Everyday Mom's Meals

Monday, November 30, 2015

Christmas at Grandma's {A Gooseberry Patch Review & Giveaway}

Oh, Christmas time at grandma's. My childhood is filled with so many memories of such special times in the snowy hills of Pennsylvania at both of my grandmas' houses I can't even begin to tell you how much they mean to me. Waking up on Christmas morning while it was still dark to see what Santa had left under the tree, going to Christmas Eve church, all the smells of my favorite treats, family gathered around...seriously, I tear up just thinking about it. To me, those holidays of years gone by will always be some of my favorite ones.

And now, my good friends at Gooseberry Patch have made an entire book out of the idea of Christmas at Grandma's. For many of us, there are some Christmas time dishes that nobody will ever make as good as grandma. No matter how many times we try, or how close we come, we will never be able to recreate exactly how they taste when grandma made them.

This book is a fantastic collection of all sorts of delicious things to enjoy this holiday season. From main dishes, to sides, to of course the sweets, each page is more delectable than the last.

When I first saw this recipe it reminded me of my Grammy's broccoli salad, which was always on our Christmas Eve menu, so I immediately got a warm fuzzy feeling thinking about it. I love the addition of cauliflower to this one, not to mention it is so pretty on a plate, filled with holiday colors.

Whatever you are planning to serve this holiday, this would be a fantastic side dish alongside it. Plus, if you have to make something and travel with it, this would hold up very nicely. With the dressing not being very "wet", the veggies stay nice and crisp even after sitting for some time.

If you have wonderful memories of Christmases gone by at your grandma's house like me, I hope you feel as blessed as I do. Or maybe now you are the grandma, and you want to make sure you are making those memories for the little ones to hold on to for years to come!

Oh, and you can win a copy of Christmas at Grandma's too! Just scroll down to see how to enter!

Festive Broccoli & Cauliflower Salad
 1 medium head cauliflower, finely chopped
2 medium broccoli crowns, finely chopped
1 red bell pepper, finely chopped
1 (3.5 oz.) bag dried cranberries
1 (2.5 oz.) bag real bacon bits
1/2 c. plus 1 TBS mayo
1/2 c. white sugar
1 TBS ranch dressing mix
Salt and Pepper to taste 

In a large bowl combine broccoli, cauliflower, red pepper, cranberries and bacon bits. Toss to combine. In a separate bowl whisk together mayo, sugar and ranch dressing mix. Add to vegetables. Stir to coat. Season with salt and pepper. Chill 1-2 hours before serving. Stir before serving.

*** GIVEAWAY ***

To Enter: Leave me a comment telling me your favorite Christmas time dish that Grandma made best! Be sure to leave an email address so I can find you!

Open to US Residents 18 and over

Contest Ends: December 10, 2015 

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Happy (Almost) Thanksgiving!

You've got 24 hours people! I hope the turkey is almost thawed, the menu is planned and the house is cleaned because they are coming! Your guests and their big appetites will be knocking on your door, ready to make more holiday memories.

Have you got the entire meal planned out? Prepped? Maybe even some of it cooked ahead? If so, high *5* to you! That is how I like to do it too! But maybe a few of you are still looking for one more dish to add to your Thanksgiving feast. Or maybe you aren't hosting, but instead need something to take with you that is both easy and travel friendly. If either of the latter apply to you, your friendly EMM is here to help!

Thanksgivings of my childhood were always spent at my Grammy's in Pennsylvania. These are meals that still live in infamy to this day. We are talking about her cooking and baking for up to two weeks before, and putting out a meal fit for a king. The first time I ever took Mr. E to one of these holidays, while we were still dating, he could not believe the amount of food. It was normal to all of us, impressive yes, but what we had come to expect. But 15 years later, he still tells our son the story about how it was more food than he had ever seen on one table; and how he ate so much he literally could not move after. 

Those holiday meals always included our favorites she knew we loved, plenty of sides, and always at least one "sweet salad" as I like to call it. You know the ones. They are sweet enough for dessert, but you serve them as a side, call them a salad, and then you can still have pie for dessert. 

In that spirit, I knew this would be the perfect recipe to share today. I've been wanting to try it for a while now, but figured Thanksgiving Eve was the most appropriate time. Not only will it look beautiful on your table tomorrow, it includes one of the ambassadors of Thanksgiving foods...the cranberry

You could easily whip this up tonight and just let it chill until it is time to eat tomorrow, or grab it and go before you walk out the door.

Those Thanksgivings I remember with such love, and happy memories will always be the ones I try to emulate now with my family. And while I may not have the Pennsylvania snow, or Grammy's mad baking skills, I can include things like this on my menu, and eat with a smile.

Cranberry Fluff
1 (12 oz.) bag fresh cranberries
1 (12 oz.) tub Cool Whip
1 c. crushed pineapple, drained
1 large Red Delicious Apple, chopped
1 c. sliced red grapes
1 c. chopped pecans, a few for garnish
2 c. mini marshmallows
1 c. white sugar

In a food processor, pulse cranberries until finely chopped. Transfer to a bowl. Add sugar. Stir. Chill for 2-3 hours. Add pineapple, grapes, apple and pecans. Stir to combine. Fold in Cool Whip and marshmallows. Chill for at least 1-2 hours to set. Garnish with extra pecans. *NOTE* I like to leave the skin on my apple because 1. the red color is pretty and 2. it helps to keep it from browning.

Recipe from Six Sisters' Stuff

Monday, November 23, 2015

Slow Cookers and Friends

Oh, how excited am I??!! I have been looking forward to sharing today's post with ya'll for a while now! See, my dear friend Judith aka The Midnight Baker has published her very first cookbook, and it is a winner, with a capital W! Plus, I am so incredibly honored that she not only included a recipe of mine (Chicken and Noodles page ) but also had the nicest things to say about our friendship, and even asked me to include a quote on the back! I feel so important!

The Classic Slow Cooker is filled with recipe after recipe that you are going to love! So many of us are looking for ways to use our slow cookers more and more, and I would bet money many of you will want to try every single dish Judith has included.

When I started flipping through its beautiful pages, I was immediately drawn to this recipe. One because I make nothing in my slow cooker as much as soup. It is definitely my go-to this time of year. And two, because it was a bean soup! Bean soups are incredibly economical, hearty, and are great heated up on day two and three. Mr. E takes leftovers to work most days for lunch, so when I can make a meal stretch throughout the week for him, it's an added bonus! I tweaked it a bit to fit our tastes and what I had on hand, but would eat it the original way just as easily!

This is a terrific meal for those bitter cold days when you just want to come home to something warm that will fill you up without much work. Put it together in the morning and come home to a comforting bowl of deliciousness. Add some crusty bread and supper is served!

Oh, and the other fantastic thing about my friend Judith? She made sure I got 2 copies so I could give one away to a lucky EMM reader! Just scroll down after the recipe to see how you can win!

Slow Cooker 
Hearty Northeast Bean Soup
2 c. northern beans
2 c. smoked sausage, chopped
3 carrots, diced
1 small onion, diced
1/2 tsp. dried basil
3 celery hearts, diced
4 c. vegetable broth
Salt and Pepper to taste
Dried parsley

Cover beans with water and soak overnight. Rinse and drain well. Add to slow cooker. Add all other ingredients. Stir to combine. Cook on HIGH for 2 hours and LOW for 8-10 until beans are tender. Garnish with parsley before serving. 


To Enter: Simply leave a comment telling me your favorite slow cooker soup.Include an email address so I can find you!

Bonus Entry: Like The Midnight Baker on Facebook

Open to US Residents ONLY 18 and older

Contest Ends:  November 30, 2015

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Holiday Nibbly Bits

Appetizers. Who else out there could make an entire meal out of them? Yeah, me too! At parties, I'm usually the one that gets so full on all the pre-meal snacks I'm not even hungry by the time the main dish arrives. In fact, our whole family is that way. Many of you long time readers remember our annual New Year's Eve tradition of a huge appetizer buffet we eat off of all night long.

So, with the holiday entertaining season almost upon us, it is time to start thinking of some new "nibbly bits" (that is what Alex has always called appetizers) to enjoy from Thanksgiving until the ball drops at midnight on Jan. 1st. Sure, we all have our favorites, our go-tos, but I'm always looking for new ideas, or ways to make ones I already rely on even easier.

The latter is the inspiration behind these. I love a good cheese ball. What's not to love? Cheese. Nuts. The end. And one of my all time favorite ones has green olives on the inside. But what happens when time simply gets away from you and the forming of the ball, and covering in nuts, and allowing it to set...just isn't in the cards? You take all the same flavors and do this instead!

These little cracker bites taste just like they are supposed to but can literally be done in about 10 minutes, especially if you utilize your food processor like I do.

The holidays were meant for gathering around those we love most in the world, and enjoying some terrific food. Starting next week with Turkey Day, there will be so much of that, and I for one am incredibly thankful.

Olive Cheese Ball Bites
1 (10 oz.) jar green olives, drained
1 (8 oz.) cream cheese, room temperature
2 TBS dried chives
1 TBS dried parsley
Pecan Halves

In a food processor, pulse olives until finely chopped. Add cream cheese pulse until combined. Scrape sides. Remove to bowl. Add chives and parsley. Stir well. Scoop onto crackers. Top each with pecan halve. Chill until ready to serve.

Shared at Weekend Potluck

Monday, November 16, 2015

Leftover Turkey....Hold The Leftover

Nine days people. That's all. Til what? If you're asking that, you might want to look at your calendar...right now! Because we've only got a little over a week before the big Thanksgiving feast we have been looking forward to all year!

While most of you are probably still meal planning, and trying to figure out just what you will be serving when the big day rolls around, it's my job to look past the big meal. To ponder "what about the days after?" In other words, it's my job to help you figure out what you're going to do with all those leftovers!

I don't mind this job. In fact, I take it as a challenge. Here is the one and only problem. I'm testing these leftover recipes in October, and well, let's just say I don't have a 10 pound turkey hanging out in my fridge! So...I have to get creative.

I thought these sandwiches would be a terrific leftover idea because not only do they use up some of that delicious turkey, but if you have that veggie tray still laying around, you can put it to good use too. Obviously, I made mine with some sliced deli turkey, and they were perfectly tasty, but I really think they would be outstanding with some post holiday bird as well!

Sandwiches and the "day after Thanksgiving" seem to go together as much as Thanksgiving and turkey! But this year, switch up the routine beyond the mayo and white bread, using even more leftovers so when that dreaded Monday rolls around, the fridge is empty, ready and waiting for holiday baking!

Turkey & Veggie Bagels
Everything Bagels, toasted
Sliced Turkey, deli or leftover
Thinly Sliced Radishes
Thinly Sliced Cucumber
Boston Lettuce
Green Onion and Chive Cream Cheese

Spread cream cheese on warm bagels. Top with meat & veggies, starting with lettuce to form "barrier". If you're serving a crowd, lay out meat and veggies and let your guests built their own!

Shared at Weekend Potluck