Shannon and I just tested the Pampered Chef Deep Covered Baker. She baked a chicken dish in the oven and I tested the Penne al Fresco recipe in the microwave. Although I am a fan of Pampered Chef stoneware, I had never used it in the microwave. I’ll admit that I was a bit hesitant to do so. You see, although I often use the microwave to steam vegetables and reheat food, I don’t use it as a primary method to make dinner. So, I was skeptical that a pasta dish made completely in a microwave oven would taste good and please my family.
Since Penne al Fresco is a one pot meal, I decided it would be a perfect opportunity to make it with my kids. And what a good idea this actually was! I brought out another new kitchen tool of mine, the Pampered Chef Garlic Slicer, for the kids to try out. The simple twisting motion proved to be an easy, safe and fun way for the kids to slice the garlic.
My children took turns drizzling olive oil, slicing garlic and dropping cherry tomatoes into the baker. After four minutes in the microwave, the tomatoes were ready to be crushed. The kids enjoyed this part, using a potato masher. Then they measured the dry pasta, chicken broth and wine themselves, adding the ingredients to the baker. Since it would take only 16 minutes of cooking, I told them to go play while the microwave magically made their dinner and I chopped the basil for the finishing touch.
Once cooked, I mixed in some chopped basil and cheese and the pasta was ready to taste. (Drum roll please!!) I am happy to report that this Deep Covered Baker produced a tasty, perfectly cooked and filling pasta dinner. Not only that, we all had seconds and even thirds. The kids were excited to see how easy it was to create such a delicious meal and gobbled it up in minutes. Thank you Pampered Chef for introducing me to a healthy and simple way to include my 3-year old and 9-year old in the dinner making process. The simple recipe and use of only one pot leant itself extremely well for cooking with kids.
I would therefore recommend the Deep Covered Baker to everyone, even those of you who would ordinarily not cook in the microwave.
I also like that the dish has a cover to keep the food nice and hot while you eat, making your second serving just as fresh. (I would recommend cooking the pasta al dente if you are planning to use the cover when serving since the pasta will continue to cook.) And for $69, it’s a real bargain. To find out more about Pampered Chef products, visit: www.pamperedchef.com.