Everyday Mom's Meals
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Sunday, July 21, 2019

Beach Withdrawal

As many of you know, we spent the last week of June and the first week of July at our favorite beach in the world, New Smyrna Beach, Florida.

We had glorious weather. Seriously. Out of 14 days...it rained for 3 hours. True story. So we soaked up plenty of sun, played in the sand and surf, and spent countless hours in pool. Oh it was wonderful! 

But alas, vacation has to come to an end. We've been back for a couple weeks now, and let me tell you, we are going through major withdrawal. Mostly we talk about all that tasty seafood we enjoyed; and the fact that our backyard doesn't have an ocean. 

When these whining moments come along, I try really hard to remember the memories we made will last a lifetime! I look at the hundreds of photos and I feel better. Then I try to figure out how I can bring some of that fabulous food we gorged ourselves on home to Indiana.

This year I decided to start with dessert. See, our favorite key lime pie in the world can only be found in NBS. We look forward to it every year, and have been known to eat it for breakfast. So I thought why not use those flavors in a simple, no bake, summer sweet treat? 

You might read almonds and think "why?" It is an easy explanation. That pie we fight over? It has almonds along the crust, on top of the whipped cream. So yes, I had to throw some in too! 

I hope you're soaking up all summer as to offer, and like us making some memories to live off for months to come!

Key Lime Parfaits
Graham Crackers
1 (21 oz.) can key lime pie filling
1 (12 oz.) tub Cool Whip
1/2 c. sliced almonds, reserve a few for garnish

In parfait glasses, or a similar dish, begin layers. Break up graham crackers to cover bottom. Add pie filling, and spread evenly. Sprinkle with almonds. Add Cool Whip, spread evenly. Repeat layers, ending with Cool Whip. Garnish with extra almonds. Chill until ready to serve. 


Sunday, July 14, 2019

All That & A Bag Of Chips

Many years ago, my husband had what he proclaimed to be the BEST potato chip of his life. Now, I have actually heard him say this about a couple kinds, but that's okay. In that moment, in his excitement, that's how he felt.

One of those brands/flavors he can still readily find. In fact, I ordered him a case for our 16th anniversary this year. Nothing says love like a spicy potato chip! But the other, the one I started this story with? We haven't been able to find it for years. At least not in our area. And that makes him sad. To the point that he talks about it quite a bit.

What is this magical chip you ask? It was a Steak & Worcestershire flavor, and for him it was love at first bite. For years, it has been the one he mentions any time we try a new one. The one he longs for. So, how many wife points do you think I scored when I found a way to recreate that for him, kind of?

The minute I saw a new dip by buddy Mandy over at South Your Mouth debuted, I knew I could take that idea, build on it, and recreate those flavors for him!

I couldn't wait to make it for him; and it didn't disappoint. He said it is "spot on" and could not stop eating. Woo hoo!

Need another snack for around the pool? A big bowl of this and a couple bag of chips. Done! I bet it would be super tasty with a big veggie platter too!

Making things for my boys they love gives me so much joy. But nailing something he loved and has been missing? That's just the icing on the cake, or the dip on the chip in this case!

Steak & Worcestershire Dip
16 oz. sour cream
2 1/2 TBS steak seasoning (like Montreal)
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 tsp. onion powder
1 TBS Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp. dried parsley

Mix all ingredients in a medium bowl. Chill a few hours before serving. Serve with chips, veggies, crackers, etc.



Shared at Weekend Potluck

Sunday, July 7, 2019

Gnocchi Fans


Anyone that knows us knows we are a family of pasta lovers. From mac n cheese to baked pasta casseroles, we can't get enough. I think I might have been Italian in another life.

And now I can honestly say, we are quickly becoming fanatics about pasta's little cousin gnocchi. I've mentioned before how my local Dollar Tree store has really decent packages of them, 1 pound for $1. What a deal...and you know I can't pass that up! So on those weeks when the budget might be a little tighter than normal, I like to keep those little gems in my back pocket!

This actually came to be because of another great deal when Kroger had spaghetti sauce dirt cheap. I actually bought a couple jars and then had to think "great, now what can I do with it?" Well, I had to run into DT anyway, so why not grab a couple packages of my new friend?

If you're looking for an economical, hearty, feed a hungry crowd meal, this is it! Terrific Italian flavors with soft, pillowy gnocchi are sure to please every single time!

Cheesy Gnocchi Casserole
2 lbs. gnocchi, cooked to package directions & drained
2 c. shredded mozzarella cheese
1/4 c. grated Parmesan cheese
1 tsp. onion powder
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. Italian seasoning
3/4 c. heavy cream
2 (24 oz.) jars spaghetti sauce
Salt and Pepper to taste 
Dried Parsley

Preheat oven to 350. In a large skillet heat 1 1/2 jars sauce over medium heat. (Save other half jar for other use) Add cream, garlic powder, onion powder, Italian seasoning, salt and pepper. Heat until bubbling and reduce heat to low. When gnocchi are cooked and drained, add to sauce and stir to combine. Grease 9x13 baking dish. Add half gnocchi mixture. Sprinkle with 2 TBS Parmesan cheese and 1 cup mozzarella. Repeat layers once more. Sprinkle top with parsley. Bake for 20-30 minutes. Allow to rest 5 minutes before serving. *NOTE* This does not set up like a normal pasta bake. It will be very saucy. I do this because gnocchi can be very dense and dry. They need extra sauce! 


Shared at Weekend Potluck

Sunday, June 30, 2019

Port A Pit At Home

Here in northern Indiana, we can count on many things during the summer months. Lots of beautiful sweet corn to enjoy, the humidity being oppressive some days, and parking lots filled with the smell of port-a-pit chicken cookers.

I honestly don't know if port-a-pit is a thing everywhere, so I guess I should explain a little. They are portable cookers that come to your event, or many times are hired for fundraisers that make some of the best chicken I've ever had in my life. Seriously. It's drool worthy, and something our family has been crazy about for years. 

How much? Well, when Mr. E started working for his current company almost 5 years ago, the first company picnic we went to we found out the meal was provided by the best port-a-pit business around. All of us were giddy! We just about licked our styrofoam plates. 

It's so unique and amazing, it isn't something you can 100% recreate at home. After all, the cooker is key. But many years back I made this marinade, and after grilling some chicken with it, we all proclaimed "Wow, this tastes almost like port-a-pit!" The flavor was just about the closest thing we can get.

I use chicken quarters because that's what port-a-pit we buy is, but I'm sure this would be just as tasty on any other cut. 

If you are planning a big July 4th bash, give your guests something new, besides the standard barbecue! 

You have to educate me too. Do you have port-a-pit in your area? Do you love it as much as we do?

Tangy Grilled Chicken
1 c. Worcestershire sauce
1 stick butter
1/2 tsp. onion powder
Juice 2 lemons
4 Chicken Quarters, patted dry
Chicken Grill Seasoning
Salt and Pepper to taste
Cooking Spray

In a small sauce pan, melt butter over low heat. Add Worcestershire, onion powder and lemon juice. Stir to combine. Bring to a boil and reduce heat back to medium low. Simmer for 10 minutes. Reserve a small dish of sauce for serving. Allow chicken to come to room temp. Spray with cooking spray. Season liberally with grill seasoning, salt and pepper on both sides. Sear chicken over high heat for 3 minutes on each side. Reduce heat to low. Cook chicken for 45 minutes, turning every 7-10 minutes, basting with sauce with each turn. Cook until internal temp is 165. Serve with extra sauce if desired.


Shared at Weekend Potluck

Sunday, June 23, 2019

BBQ Side Dish

You've planned the entire cookout. The meat is marinading, the salads are chilling and the ice cream is churning. You just need one more side dish. What could it be? 

How about something that takes the barbecue flavors we all love this time of year, and gives them to your guests in a whole new way? On. Potatoes. Wait, what?  Mind blown!!!

These happened by accident at our house...which isn't that uncommon. I had a beef roast for the grill, and red potatoes were on sale at the store. Great. I will throw some in the oven and roast them. I had a plan. Then I woke up and decided I wanted something new. The roast was just simply seasoned with steak seasoning, so I knew I could ramp up the taters' flavor.

Oh my gosh, did I hit this one out of the park! We love great barbecue, so I can't believe I never thought about doing this before, but can guarantee we will again! 

They are perfect with whatever you're grilling up this summer! From chicken, to steak to burgers, throw some of these in the oven and you're meal will go to the next level! If you're planning a big July 4th blowout..wow your guests with these!

Barbecue Roasted Potatoes
3 lbs. red potatoes, cut into 1 inch pieces
1/4 c. vegetable oil
4 tsp. chili powder
4 tsp. brown sugar
2 tsp. garlic powder
2 tsp. onion powder
1 tsp. paprika
1 tsp. salt
Black Pepper
Dried Parsley

Preheat oven to 400. Spray a large baking sheet with nonstick spray. In a large bowl combine potatoes and oil. In a small bowl mix brown sugar and all seasonings, except pepper and parsley. Sprinkle over potatoes. Stir and mix well. Transfer to baking sheet. Sprinkle with black pepper. Bake for 45-60 minutes, stirring every 15 until fork tender. Garnish with parsley before serving. 


Shared at Weekend Potluck