The Time You Save & A Calphalon Giveaway

With the holiday season just around the corner, time with family and friends is so important. The holidays can be very hectic, between the shopping and party planning, but if you can save some time on the day to day tasks (like cooking for your family/cleaning up afterwards), you can definitely etch out some time with your loved ones.

Calphalon recently relaunched their popular Contemporary Nonstick line, and is all about helping families save time with “The Time You Save” campaign. One of the key new perks about the cookware is that it’s now dishwasher safe! So, you can make your quick, weeknight meals, rinse the pot/pan out & place it straight in the dishwasher with your plates & utensils. Calphalon realizes that The Time You Save is valuable, so taking away the task of doing the dishes after a meal is great! You can now take some time away from the kitchen, and instead, enjoy that time with your family decorating the house, wrapping gifts or building a gingerbread house for the holidays! :-)

Also, along with Calphalon’s “The Time You Save” campaign, I wanted to share a couple of recipes with y’all, featuring their new cookware that requires very little hands-on time in the kitchen. :-)


Calphalon sent me their new panini pan, as well as their 8 quart multi-pot with steamer to use for some time-saving recipes. I used their panini pan to make a chicken panini, using leftover roasted chicken, and I used the multi-pot to make a chicken tortilla soup.

There’s two options to make these simple recipes happen, depending on your preference (either work fine for the recipes I’m about to share):

1. You could take a weekend day to roast your own chicken(s), remove the meat (after the chicken has cooled down…reserving the meat for weekday dinners), and using the leftover bones, make your own chicken stock (for the soup I’m sharing). I found the multi-pot strainer to be especially useful for making stock…you just pull out the insert and all of your chicken bones and veggies come out for you to discard. All you need to use is a fine mesh sieve to ensure that you get pure stock in whatever containers you use to store the stock in.

2. You can simply purchase an already cooked, rotisserie chicken at the store and remove the meat for weekday dinners. You can also use store bought chicken stock/broth….the soup will still taste fantastic!

Paninis are ridiculously simple & quick to make. It’s a perfect weeknight dinner, and it’s so comforting (especially with a good bit of melty cheese). This panini is a chicken, tomato & spinach panini with cheese. The pan makes the perfect grill marks on the bread, and I love that it’s non-stick, because I don’t even need to use butter/oil to get a good grill mark/sear on the bread. I personally use the low calorie bread to make this, and it cooks beautifully. You can easily make a chicken panini customizable to your family’s preferences, if you’d prefer something other than tomato and spinach.


Chicken, Tomato & Spinach Panini
Source: an original


  • 2 slices of whole wheat bread
  • 2 oz. roasted chicken, shredded or sliced
  • handful of fresh baby spinach (stems removed)
  • 3 slices of tomato
  • 1/4 cup shredded cheese (I used pepperjack & cheddar)


  1. On medium-low heat, preheat your panini pan while assembling the sandwich.
  2. To assemble the sandwich, place a slice of bread on the bottom, then half of the shredded cheese, the chicken, spinach and tomato, the other half of the shredded cheese, and then the last slice of bread on top.
  3. Once the pan is preheated, carefully place the sandwich on the panini pan, and press the metal panini press on top of the sandwich. Allow it to cook for a minute or so (checking the bread to see how brown it is). Once the bread is toasted to your liking, remove the press, carefully flip the panini over, and then place the press back. Cook the panini until it’s toasted to your liking on the other side.
  4. Slice the panini in half and enjoy!

This soup is the perfect weeknight recipe, because it’s very tasty and it makes a lot. If you have a smaller family and don’t need a large pot of soup, the leftovers freeze wonderfully, so you could end up with a quick meal to reheat for another night. While this does take some time in the kitchen to simmer/develop flavors, there’s very little hands on time involved with this soup. I love adding shredded cheese, as well as baked corn tortilla strips on top. This soup just screams comfort, so it’s perfect to enjoy for the holiday season. :-)


Chicken Tortilla Soup
Source: adapted from The Pioneer Woman


  • 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 cup diced onion
  • 1/4 cup diced green bell pepper
  • 1/4 cup diced red bell pepper
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp. cumin
  • 1/2 tsp. chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 3 cups roasted chicken
  • 1 can (10 oz. can) rotel tomatoes/chiles
  • 32 ounces low sodium chicken broth (or homemade stock)
  • 3 tbsp. tomato paste
  • 4 cups hot water
  • 1 cup frozen corn
  • 3 tbsp. corn meal
  • 5 corn tortillas, cut into uniform strips
  • 1 cup shredded cheese


  1. Heat 1 tbsp. of olive oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add the onions and red/green bell peppers. Stir everything well, and cook the vegetables down for about 5 minutes, until the onions are translucent. Add in the minced garlic, and cook for about 30 seconds, until fragrant. Add in the cumin, chili powder, garlic powder and salt, and stir to combine for a few seconds, until fragrant. At this time, add in the shredded pre-cooked chicken and stir everything together.
  2. Pour in the rotel, chicken broth/stock, tomato paste, water and corn. Bring the mixture to a boil, and then reduce the heat to low (to simmer). Simmer the soup for 45 minutes, uncovered.
  3. In a small cup/bowl, mix the cornmeal with a small amount of water. Pour the mixture into the soup, and simmer the soup for another 30 minutes. At this time, check your spices and see if you need to add anymore spices to the soup. Turn off the heat, and let the soup cool slightly by sitting for 15-20 minutes.
  4. In the mean time, preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Add the corn tortilla strips in one layer on a baking sheet and spray well with an oil spray. Bake the strips for 8-10 minutes, until the tortilla strips start to brown.
  5. To serve, ladle the soup into bowls, and top with some grated cheese and corn tortilla chips.


Not only did the generous people at Calphalon send me these pieces of cookware to review, they also are offering one lucky reader of The Nifty Foodie the same two cookware pieces that I received: a Calphalon Contemporary panini pan set and a Calphalon Contemporary 8 qt. multi-pot with steamer! I have used both pieces quite a few times already, and as always, the quality of the cookware is amazing. They heat evenly, and the non-stick coating is awesome (especially if you add a little too much cheese to your panini).



To enter this giveaway, check out the Rafflecopter widget below.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Note: This giveaway is supplied by Calphalon and is open to readers in the continental US only. Entries will be accepted until November 27th at 12:00am (central standard time). Winner will be emailed (make sure you leave an email address in the form), and will have 48 hours to respond or another winner will be chosen.

DISCLAIMER: I was sent two pieces of Calphalon Contemporary cookware from Calphalon at no cost to me for a fair and honest review. Calphalon is also supplying the same cookware for the giveaway. All opinions are 100% my own.


  1. If possible, clean up after your dish is in the oven or your pot is simmering. That way you’ll have less to do when dinner is over.

  2. That panini looks amazing! I have often wondered how well they work at home.

    Thanks for the opportunity!

  3. Oops – I commented before reading the rafflecopter!

    My time saving tip is to menu plan and to double my cooking for future meals, if possible.

  4. Measure all o the ingredients before you start. Soo much easier and I tend to figure out if I’m missing something before it’s too late,

  5. I like to make sure all of the chopping,grating,measuring is done before I start the recipe, this way I can just grab and add without having to stop and cut or measure

  6. Reading the recipe in advance. No Lie! Can’t tell you how many times I skimmed it but didn’t read it and realized there was a 2 hour time period for marinating.

  7. I am also a fan of picking up a rotisserie chicken to use for meals throughout the week if I know I won’t have as much time. We eat it as-is, I throw it in soup, make quesadillas or tacos, use it to top salads, etc!

  8. That panini pan! I’m jealous!!!!!!!! I want to come over for lunch :)

  9. When possible, I clean up as I go. I’m more more efficient in the kitchen when I’m working in a clean space.

  10. Mmmmm…panini. Looks very yummy! This would be a great addition to my Caphalon set!

  11. I prep all my veggies (wash and cut) the day I buy them so I’m ready all week long!

  12. clean as you go, for sure!

  13. I’m still learning how to be efficient in the kitchen, but I do like to read recipes before hand to ensure I’m prepping all ingredients before I start following the recipe.

  14. I love to have the dishwasher empty when I start cooking/baking. This way, I can load my dirty dishes right in the dishwasher making clean up a breeze!

  15. I cut bacon with cooking scissors rather than using a knife and dirtying a cutting board.

  16. I use my crockpot and an extra freezer a LOT to save time.

  17. I always start with a sink filled with hot soapy water so I can wash up any prep dishes as I go. That way after dinner there aren’t as many dishes piled up.

  18. I like to make big meals on the weekend that have leftovers. That way I have a few go to things for weeknights when my husband or I are home alone (i.e. one of us is traveling or at work). Its also great for those nights when I get home late or am too tired to cook.

  19. I like to pre-chop everything I need on Saturday and spend the whole day cooking on Sunday for the week.

  20. I like to do all my chopping at once, then put things in individual tupperware for the planned meals.

  21. I get everything out of the cupboards, fridge, etc before I start cooking. That way I know I have everything I need and don’t have to go hunting for it.

  22. I use cooking scissors when I can.

  23. have everything out and clean up as you go
    thanks for the giveaway

  24. I think planning my meals has been the most help for me. I then try to use the same ingredients in multiple meals that week

  25. I take all of the ingredients out of the cupboards to make sure I haven’t run out of anything before I get started.. can’t tell you how many times I’ve realized I’m missing something mid-way through. Not anymore!

  26. I try to clean-up as I am cooking/baking. To me, it takes much less time to go ahead and put the dirty dish in the dishwasher than wait and do it all at the very end.

  27. I cut up and freeze messy veggies like onions so when I need them I can just pull them out of the freezer.

  28. make sure you have all the ingredients before you start!

  29. I’m really inefficient in the kitchen…but one thing I find that helps is to gather all my ingredients onto the raised counter in our kitchen. That way I’m sure I have everything before I start prep and it’s easily accessible.

  30. Nicole Moore says:

    I love reading your blog. I have tried many if your recipes and my family always loves them.

  31. My save time tip is cleaning as you go, not only does it help with after meal clean up, but in my case it also keeps the amount of items the toddler can pull of the counter to a minimum.

    Ps. Is there really any such thing as too much cheese on a panini!?

  32. My time-saver is one I discovered via pinterest—use and apple slicer to quickly cut up potatoes before boiling.

  33. christi in ma says:

    My tip to save time in the kitchen is to pull out the ingredients and then put them away – or on another part of the counter – when I add them to the recipe. Then I don’t have to wash all those little bowls like with the “Food Network method” of mise en place.

  34. I like to prep all my ingredients the night before–this especially helps with anything that needs to be roasted!

  35. Save time in the kitchen by ordering in!

    Just kidding! Get rid of those crappy pots and pans sooner rather than later – You waste so much time, energy, sponges, and soap trying to clean a riddled pan than a new one!

  36. This soup looks yummy! Especially for this strike of cold weather we’re having down south… I need warmth for my bones :)

  37. Whenever chopping veggies or onions or garlic, I like to have a waste bag next to me. That way I’m clearing up the trash as I’m chopping away and then toss the bag for easy clean up!

  38. my favorite tip: get a silicon garlic peeler roller thingy. I know, great description, but it’s the most amazing thing EVER and saves me so much time since i use garlic in just about everything!

  39. Definitely clean as you go! I recently started doing this at the request of my husband and I’ve noticed my time in the kitchen isn’t nearly as long.

    Aaaaand to chop veggies when you buy and freeze so they’ll be ready to go when you need them!

  40. Meal planning saves me time in the kitchen — no more standing at the refrigerator, wondering what to cook for dinner!

  41. Kim McCallie says:

    My biggest time saver is having my husband join me in the kitchen. He loves to chop veggies.

  42. I love to use leftovers in my recipes to save time. Chicken from last night can be taco salad with salsa chicken tonight, etc!

  43. My husband and I were just talking about how we should get a multi-pot after seeing PW use one on her show! :)

    It may seem a bit lazy, but I’ll call it a time-saving tip: Whenever possible, I use kitchen shears instead of knives. It makes for such quick work of chopping herbs + (my favorite) making cute, dippable waffle sticks.

  44. When I work, I really save time making my meals in the crockpot. We have good meals even when I have little time!

  45. I chop more onions than I need when I have extra time. I add them when I need them quick.

  46. Such an awesome giveaway! Would love to win!

  47. Clean as you go go save time and since I shift work I love to try and cook ahead and freeze meals.

  48. I keep my dishwasher unloaded all the time – as I go, I rinse and load so there’s no huge cleanup waiting for me.

  49. Mise en place and clean as you go.

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