Friday, August 15, 2008

Baking's one thing, packaging is another! (if you're a diva that is!)

So you think you can bake? But, can you package? As the saying goes, with real estate it's "location, location, location". With baking, it's "presentation, presentation, presentation!"

Maybe your husband and kids don't mind what your cookies and cakes look like as they devour your delicious goodies, but your diva friends have probably come to expect more!

Don't get me wrong, your keepsake Aunt Martha pound cake recipe is heaven sent, but your Aunt Marth pound cake wrapped in pink polka dot cello paper with a hot pink raffia bow is fabulous!

Over the years, I found a lot of ways to "wrap" my baked goods. For starters, I like the gourmet boxes at Nashville Wraps. They have hundreds of styles and colors to choose from and are relatively inexpensive if you buy in bulk. I also like the selection of raffia they sell, typically you can get 100 yards for $3.50!

My favorite thing to do is add a personal label to my goodies. I usually put something like "Baked with love!" or "From the Diva's Kitchen". Or if it's the holidays, I might put a seasons greeting on their as well.

Polka dots, swirls, bold or tranquil, I like to package up my baked goods to reflect the goodies inside!

Share your ideas with us.

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Easy Chicken Pasta

Easy Chicken Pasta

What's For Supper Ya'll?

White Beans, Pasta and Chicken
8 ounces dried cavatappi, fusilli, rotini, ditaloni, or other short pasta tubes
1 15- to 19-ounce can cannellini (white kidney) beans, rinsed and drained
1/2 cup chicken broth
3 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
1 tablespoon olive oil
6 plum tomatoes, coarsely chopped (about 2 cups)
12 ounces cooked chicken, shredded
1/4 cup snipped fresh Italian flat-leaf parsley
1/2 to 1 teaspoon cracked black pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt
Fresh Italian flat-leaf parsley sprigs (optional - I usually skip it)
Olive oil (optional - but I recommend at least a little for moisture)
1. In a large saucepan, cook pasta according to package directions; drain well and set aside.
2. In a blender or food processor, combine 3/4 cup of the beans and the chicken broth. Cover and blend or process until smooth. Place bean puree in pan used for cooking the pasta; bring to boiling. Return pasta to pan.
3. Meanwhile, in a large skillet, cook garlic in 1 tablespoon hot olive oil for 1 minute. Add tomatoes; cook for 1 minute. Add the remaining beans, shredded chicken, snipped parsley, pepper and salt. Heat through.
4. Add the tomato mixture to hot pasta; toss to cost. Top with parsley sprigs and additional olive oil. Serve immediately. Makes 4 servings.
Posted by Stacy Nelson, Easy Dinner

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