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Cutting Up A Pineapple: Thank You Pampered Chef!

17 Mar

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When I had my Pampered Chef online party in January, I had a few friends ask me if the Pampered Chef Pineapple Wedger was really that magnificent and easy. Of course, I told them it was because, in my honest opinion, it is. 🙂 Since I a few friends purchased one, I felt a duty to show them how to use it. Since I can’t be in their kitchens with them, side-by-side, demonstrating how to use it, I thought I would post pictures of the process.

This post, in particular, is for and dedicated to my friend, Bethany. She was slated to come over to my house last week. The goal of our get together was not pineapple slicing. However, I had a fresh pineapple in the kitchen, so I told her that I would show her how I use my Pineapple Wedger while she was over. These plans quickly vaporized when our youngest woke up in the middle of the night puking his guts out. Yes, that was awesome. So, Bethany and my other Pampered Chef Pineapple Wedger purchasers, these pictures are for you!

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1) Using a chef’s knife, I cut off the top, aka “the sharp poky leaves.” (Be careful, those things are dangerous.) Next, I cut off the bottom of the pineapple. For this step, only a minimum cut is required; this simply is useful for making the bottom level. At the conclusion of this step, you have 2 halves of the pineapple remaining. See the two circles in the upper left hand corner of this picture.

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2) Locate the pineapple’s core. Do you see the dark yellow circle in the center? That’s your core!

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3) Line the circle of your Pineapple Wedger with the pineapple’s core…and press down. I usually gently rock the Pineapple Wedger back and forth as I press down.

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4) Viola! Now, I pull the 4 pieces of pineapple peel away from the Pineapple Wedger.

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5) I remove the two halves of the pineapple from the Pineapple Wedger. All that is left in the center is the core.

image6) Then, I slice and dice the fruit. I repeat these steps for the other half of the pineapple.

7) I practice oodles of self-control and do NOT eat an entire pineapple by myself.

Be cautioned, fresh pineapple will not last long in your house. So, you may want to buy 2, 3, or 50 at a time! I especially like to purchase them when Aldi has them on sale for 99 CENTS!

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The Word Became Flesh–WINNER

12 Mar

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And the winner of a copy of The Word Became Flesh and coordinating ornament set is…

Dianna  (March 7, 2014 at 1:14 pm)

Dianna, congratulations! You have until March 13 to contact me at suzanneshares AT gmail DOT com.( If I do not hear from Dianna, a new winner will be chosen.) I will connect you with Faye Maynard so that you can receive your goodies! Thanks to all of you who entered! Wishing that I could give all of you who entered a free copy. 😦 Go here to order a copy. Thanks, again, to my friend Faye for penning this book and for sponsoring the giveaway!

Stop back by on Friday to read the next “Friday Favorites” post.

This post contains affiliate links. Please read my full disclosure policy here.

What We’re Reading Wednesday & Friday Favorites

6 Mar

What We're Reading WEDNESDAYS

FRIDAY Favorites

I probably have 4, 276, 321 blog posts rumbling around in my brain. Every day a conversation is had or something I do makes me pause and think, “I  need to blog about that.” However, life often gets in the way, and those posts have yet to be written. (and I’m okay with that! After all, I’m first a wife and mother….blogger is w-a-y down on the list.) In an effort, though, to give myself some structure with the topics I enjoy writing about–books and favorite resources, I decided to have 2 on-going series moving forward with Suzanne Shares–“What We’re Reading Wednesday” and “Friday Favorites.”

What We’re Reading Wednesday–These posts will be related to books that I have or am currently reading myself or to my boys. If it’s not evident already, I’m a huge lover of books. I’m always eager to pass along a good book find. Hopefully, many of you will have additional books to offer to the conversation; I love when YOU share with me and my readers, too! So, get ready!

Friday Favorites–This will be a smorgasbord buffet on Fridays. These posts might be favorite recipes, tips from the kitchen, homemaking helps or the like. I might even sneak in a book here and there if it’s a favorite book that we’ve read in the past.

Frequency-I hope to post once a week in either “What We’re Reading Wednesday” or “Friday Favorites.” That is my goal, and as I’ve already confessed sometimes life sneaks in–6 and 8 year old league baseball games are to be watched (aren’t they just too cute in those little uniforms?!?!), church planting activities to plan or attend, a house to clean (oh, wait! I can always skip that one! ha!), or naps are to be taken. The weeks that life doesn’t creep in, though, I’ll be eagerly ready to share. It’s going to be fun! I look forward to sharing and…hearing from you guys as well!

FREE GIVEAWAY–Tomorrow will be the first installment of these two series. Since tomorrow is Friday it will be a “Friday Favorites.” I’m sooooooooooo excited to get this started, and I’m excited to announce that tomorrow’s post will include a FREE GIVEAWAY! So, come back tomorrow to read the first “Friday Favorites” and enter to win this favorite of mine! 🙂

Pampered Chef #15–Mix ‘N Chop

27 Jan

I’m hosting an online Pampered Chef party…for only a few more days! 🙂   (Today is the LAST DAY, Jan. 27! Don’t miss out!). To celebrate, I’m featuring some of my favorite Pampered Chef items here on Suzanne Shares. Missed previous posts? Read all of them including the previous 14 favorite Pampered Chef items I featured here.

Once upon a time, a washing machine flooded in a kitchen. That kitchen belonged to….yours truly. We called our good friend, Rob, to take care of the flood and our ruined floors. They did great work, but the flood and ruined floors meant our house was unlivable for a few days. Did I mention that my awesome husband was on the continent of Asia when these repairs were happening?!?!? Awesome, awesome, awesome. 🙂

Sweet friends of ours from church offered to let us live with them during those few days of floor repairs (Thank you Dave and Kae!). Bless them for letting me and  6, 4, and 1 year old boys invade their home. They were gracious hosts, and we had a blast! One evening Kae, amazing cook extraordinaire, was browning ground beef for our meal. She was using this wild looking contraption that made the cooking of ground beef look effortless! Kae was in the middle of a story when I observed the said ‘wild looking contraption.’ I stopped her mid-sentence and mid-story (a 2 year old apology for stopping you mid-story, Kae!) and screamed, “What is the amazing, ‘wild looking contraption’ that you are using?!?!” She said, “Oh, this Mix and Chop? It’s from Pampered Chef, and it’s amazing. My friend had one, and I used hers and immediately bought my own.”

Well, you know what I did?!?! I did exactly what Kae did! I immediately went out and bought my own after watching Kae cook with this amazing ‘wild looking contraption.’ The chopping design of the Pampered Chef Mix and Chop cuts the hunk of ground beef as you are cooking it. Do you know how, once the raw ground beef (or turkey, chicken or sausage, which this also works with!) is in the skillet, it is in one massive hunk?!?! The Mix ‘N Chop allows you to, literally, chop it while stirring and cooking it. Have you ever done what I used to do in my pre-Mix ‘N Chop days? Do you try to saw through the meat with a spatula (which is quite difficult, I might add) in order to make it cook evenly and faster? Or, do you try to stir the big massive chunk of meat with your spatula, flip it over and slosh hot grease on you? (Or, was that just me!?!??) Anyway, those days of mine are gone, and I’m so relieved! This little tool is only $11.50, and it is worth every penny!

The moral of the story is this–yes, my kitchen flooded, which wasn’t fun. However, getting new floors (thanks Rob and Serve Pro of Belle Meade and West Nashville), vacationing a few days with our friends during the floor renovations while my husband was on another continent, and discovering the Pampered Chef Mix ‘N Chop were very much a “making-lemonade-out-of-a-lemon” kind of experience!

Want to order one of these handy dandy Mix and Chop? The item number is: 2583. See below to order online and have it shipped to your door (or “shipped to host” if you are local to me.)

TODAY IS THE LAST DAY TO ORDER (Jan. 27).To participate in my Pampered Chef online show, go here. Click on the “Shop” button on the upper left-hand corner, and shop away! Get one of these items free when you spend $60. Thanks to my fabulous neighbor, Aimee Howell, wonderful Pampered Chef consultant for allowing me to host a party! And…no worries if you don’t live anywhere near me! When you order online, you can have it shipped directly to your door! Oh, how I love shopping online.

Pampered Chef #14-Pineapple Wedger

25 Jan

I’m hosting an online Pampered Chef party…for only a few more days! 🙂   (through 1/27). To celebrate, I’m featuring some of my favorite Pampered Chef items here on Suzanne Shares. Missed previous posts? Read all of them including the previous 13 favorite Pampered Chef items I featured here.

I’m a HUGE Aldi fan. One of my favorite things to buy at Aldi are pinapples when they are on sale for $0.99! Yup, you read that right–$0.99! We’ve gotten so used to eating fresh pineapple that canned pineapple almost tastes like a totally different fruit to me. No, I’m not snooty. I will still eat canned pineapple; it just tastes totally different. Fresh pineapple for $0.99, or the canned variety for roughly the same price. I just go for the fresh one, and actually buy several when they’re that price.

If you would’ve told me that I would be buying fresh pineapple several years ago, I would have laughed in your face! Fresh pineapple scared me–not just the rough, prickly outside skin and the sharp leaves. Trying to figure out how to cut it up made me nervous, sweaty and anxious. Yes, sometimes cooking causes me anxiety. 🙂 However, I found a handy dandy little pineapple cutter contraption on clearance, so I purchased it. Then, I felt obligated to buy a fresh pineapple because I had the new-fangled contraption. So, I took several deep cleansing breaths and cut up my first pineapple, and eating each juicy bite was so worth it. Sadly, though, as with my cheap apple wedger, the pineapple cutter broke.

After my Pampered Chef Apple Wedger purchase and learning that it was worth the few extra bucks beyond the cheapy apple wedger, I decided that I should replace my broken pineapple wedger with the Pampered Chef one. So, I did. Again, a little more than the cost of my previous purchase, but it has been a great investment! It is even EASIER to use than the first one I had, and I can literally cut up an entire pineapple in less than 5 minutes! It’s so easy to use, and it has helped me overcome my how-in-the-world-do-I-cut-up-a-fresh-pineapple-anxiety. So, when I see the $0.99 sale price for pineapple at Aldi, I go runnin’. If you run into me at Aldi one afternoon, and I have 10 pineapples in my buggy, don’t judge. My Pampered Chef Pineapple Wedger will show its muscle when I get home.

Want to order the Pampered Chef Pineapple Wedger? Here’s how…

To participate in my Pampered Chef online show, go here. Click on the “Shop” button on the upper left-hand corner, and shop away! Get one of these items free when you spend $60. Thanks to my fabulous neighbor, Aimee Howell, wonderful Pampered Chef consultant for allowing me to host a party! And…no worries if you don’t live anywhere near me! When you order online, you can have it shipped directly to your door! Oh, how I love shopping online. :)

Pampered Chef #13-Apple Wedger

21 Jan

I’m hosting an online Pampered Chef party…for only a few more days! 🙂   (through 1/27). To celebrate, I’m featuring some of my favorite Pampered Chef items here on Suzanne Shares. Missed previous posts? Read all of them including the previous 12 favorite Pampered Chef items I featured here.

I bought the Pampered Chef Apple Wedger at my last Pampered Chef party. It was a last minute “throw in the shopping cart” idea. My friend, Duffy, told me, “not all apple wedgers are alike. The Pampered Chef one is worth the extra money.” So, I put faith in what she said, and I bought one. Best.decision.ever.

Here’s a little history with me and apple wedgers. I bought one in college because they were the newest, greatest invention. Yes, it was a knock-off brand. I had seen the shiny Pampered Chef one, and was too cheap to buy it. So, I bought the knock-off brand. Well, “knock-off” was an appropriate term because it was a little “off”; it broke ASAP. There were very few apples wedged by that apple wedger. I was disgusted with the poor quality and punted all ideas of ever buying an apple wedger again. After all, if I had my Pampered Chef Quikcut Paring Knife, I was good to go.

In a moment of weakness one year ago this month, I followed the wisdom of my friend, Duffy, and broke my vow of never buying another apple wedger. She assured me that the Pampered Chef Apple Wedger was worth it, so I took the plunge. You know, what? She was RIGHT! We’ve been using it for a year now, and it has lived up to the hype. We eat mass quantities of apples at our house (I’m currently buying them in 20 pound boxes. No lie.), and being able to have an apple ready for my sons to devour in 30 seconds is phenomenal! My Quikcut Paring Knife does the trick, too, with my apples. However, the Apple Wedger takes the cake. It literally is so easy to prep an apple and serve it to my boys with the Pampered Chef Apple Wedger. I love that I can give them a delicious, whole food snack in turbo speed. 🙂 So, take the plunge like I did, and you’ll be glad that you did! You’ll enjoy hearing your children ask for a piece of FRUIT for a snack instead of something junk-food-esque.

We also have this little beauty, “The Corer,” and we love it as well. Some days my boys want their apple “not cut up, Mommy, just a hole in it.” When this request is made, I know they mean “The Corer” and not the Apple Wedger. This is a fun tool that takes out–ta dah–the core of the apple! Use “The Corer” to remove the core, slice the apple horizontally, slather some peanut butter with a few mini chocolate chips in between each layer, and you have a wonderful snack or fun party appetizer!

Now, you’re ready to get your Apple Wedger or “The Corer” aren’t you?!?!? You’ll be so glad you did! Click on the link below to shop online through my party. Thanks in advance! The item numbers are: Apple Wedger-#2427 or “The Corer”-#2415.

To participate in my Pampered Chef online show, go here. Click on the “Shop” button on the upper left-hand corner, and shop away! Get one of these items free when you spend $60. Thanks to my fabulous neighbor, Aimee Howell, wonderful Pampered Chef consultant for allowing me to host a party! And…no worries if you don’t live anywhere near me! When you order online, you can have it shipped directly to your door! Oh, how I love shopping online. :)

Pampered Chef #12-White Ceramic Saute Pan

20 Jan

I’m hosting an online Pampered Chef party…for only a few more days! 🙂   (through 1/27). To celebrate, I’m featuring some of my favorite Pampered Chef items here on Suzanne Shares. Missed previous posts? Read all of them including my 11 favorite Pampered Chef items here.

When I had a Pampered Chef party last year, one of the Host Gifts was the White Ceramic 10″ Saute Pan at a discounted price. As I was closing out the show and finalizing all the orders with my friend, Aimee, Pampered Chef Consultant Extraordinaire, she asked if I wanted to buy it. I had looked at it and decided that I would pass. However, she started raving about it, and I listened.

She said, she…

*Uses it to warm up leftovers at lunch for her son.

*Can clean it in about two seconds by simply wiping it with a dishcloth.

Both of these things intrigued me because we have leftovers a lot for lunch during our homeschool week. I don’t mind leftovers, but that nice chewy texture that my food can be transformed into when I warm it too long in the microwave is…well…overrated. 🙂 (Can you tell I have a tendency to ‘overwarm’ my leftovers?!?!? ha!) PLUS, easy clean up without nonstick Teflon? I’m sold! I have a great set of stainless still pots and pans, and I love them. Easy clean up, though, they are not. 😦

So, I took the leap, I bought the White Ceramic Saute Pan, and IT IS AMAZING! Seriously, I use it more than any other pot or pan I own! My friend’s summary of the pan was spot on! We hardly ever use our microwave anymore. I warm up our leftovers at lunch in the pan, and everything tastes like I just made it at that moment! I can also warm up a variety of leftovers at the same meal because clean up in between the various dishes is so easy. 

Now, go order yours! You’ll be glad you did! The 10″ Saute Pan is item #3131, or the 8″ Saute Pan is item #3130. Or, check out the other White Ceramic pots and pans here.

To participate in my Pampered Chef online show, go here. Click on the “Shop” button on the upper left-hand corner, and shop away! Get one of these items free when you spend $60. Thanks to my fabulous neighbor, Aimee Howell, wonderful Pampered Chef consultant for allowing me to host a party! And…no worries if you don’t live anywhere near me! When you order online, you can have it shipped directly to your door! Oh, how I love shopping online. 🙂

Pampered Chef Online Party 2.0

19 Jan

Last January, I had an online Pampered Chef PARTAY (It was too much fun to simply be a PARTY!). It was so much fun, I decided to have another. I’m calling it Pampered Chef Online Party 2.0. Creative, I know. 🙂 Last year I wrote about my 11 favorite Pampered Chef items to CELEBRATE the PARTAY. Click on their names below to read why I love them–oh, so much!

Professional Kitchen Shears

Egg Slicer Plus (aka “Strawberry Slicer” at my house. I hate eggs.)

Quikut Paring Knife

Citrus Peeler

Core & More (aka “Stawberry Capper” at my house. Yes, we love strawberries)

Apple Peeler, Slicer, Corer

Salad Chopper

Large Bar Pan (Seriously, I use this daily! LOVE, LOVE, LOVE!)

Medium & Large Scoops (and the Stoneware Muffin Pan!)

Glass Storage Containers

Mini Serving Spatula (This is the BEST!)

 I’ve decided to highlight some of my other Pampered Chef favorites this year as well. So stay tuned for that this week! 🙂

To participate in my Pampered Chef online show, go here. Click on the “Shop” button on the upper left-hand corner, and shop away! Get one of these items free when you spend $60. Thanks to my fabulous neighbor, Aimee Howell, wonderful Pampered Chef consultant for allowing me to host a party! And…no worries if you don’t live anywhere near me! When you order online, you can have it shipped directly to your door! Oh, how I love shopping online. 🙂

Book Club: Treasuring God in Our Traditions–Where is my treasure?

8 Nov
Book Club

Thanks for joining us for our final day discussing Treasuring God in Our Traditions. If you missed the previous three posts, you’ll find them here, here, and here.

Where is my treasure?

I ask myself this question, and I find myself singing the Matthew 6:21 song from Seeds Family Worship cds….but I digress.


As we wind down our discussion of Treasuring God in Our Traditions, I wanted to end with a final quote from the book. I loved this quote because it  pierced me to the heart…

“But however much we want a significant Christmas celebration for our families, that is not the primary reason for our contemplation and self-examination. Our deeper motivation is the strengthening of our ultimate hope in Jesus.” (Treasuring God in Our Traditions, page 80)

When I think back to reading #2 of Treasuring God in Our Traditions, I will think of this quote; it was exactly what I needed to read. I can easily make an idol in my heart of a tradition that my family is doing for any particular holiday, or….full disclosure here…I can easily make an idol of my family. Ouch. If the tradition itself becomes the focal point of any holiday or celebration–the tail wagging the proverbial dog–rather than strengthening my hope, my children’s hope in Jesus, it is all for naught. I am all for traditions helping us refocus, re-calibrate our wandering hearts. I have even experienced the power of “going through the motions” of a tradition resulting in my cold heart being warmed and moved to worship God. However, if the traditions are the end all, sole focus of our celebrations, then those traditions will be hollow and leave us wanting. As St. Augustine so eloquently penned centuries ago, “For Thou hast made us for Thyself and our hearts are restless till they rest in Thee.” Our hearts will find peace and rest in Christ alone. Our children’s hearts will find peace and rest in Christ alone. May our “everyday” and “especially” traditions this year and every year make much of Christ.

Thanks for reading along in our first ever Book Club! What were the lessons that you learned? What traditions are you hoping to incorporate this next year?

“For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” Matthew 6:21

In case you wonder how I do it all….

7 Nov

Really, it’s not that hard…

imageSchool room–masterfully, organized–check!

imageKitchen area–spotless–check! (Does it count that I have my cleaning supplies OUT in preparation clean sometime-in-the-not-too-distant-future (maybe Saturday??)

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Entry Hall–toys put away by son #3 and dirty clothes put away by son #2–check! Wow, I am on a roll!

I would show you a picture of my bedroom, but I don’t want to shame you. It is completely spotless, dusted, all laundry put away, bed made. You get the picture. 🙂

HAHAHAHAHA! I try to remind you often that I don’t have it all together or all figured out. I have been laughing out loud this afternoon as I walk around my house and just HAD to share it with you. 🙂 🙂  It’s days like these when I can tell we’ve had a good school day. Nothing is ever where it is supposed to be. I will work on it tonight, and it will be ok (but probably still not perfectly so-so as I’d like). It seems like I woke up this morning with an 8, 6, and almost 4 year old after putting to bed 3 tiny infants. Their lives are zooming forward at the speed of light. If that means my house is messy so that I can savor one day with my 8, 6, and almost 4 year old, I am okay with that. 🙂

So, this afternoon (and tonight AND the next day…AND the day after that) give yourself some grace; no one has it all together. Savor moments with your family and kiddos, and relax. 🙂 AND…if you’re husband comes home and he’s upset that your house isn’t spotless, just show him my pictures, and he will feel lots better about your day’s efforts. 🙂 Oooh, gotta go…smelling something burning on my stove. Burned chili for dinner-awesome.