Everyday Mom's Meals

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Let's Start A #PBJRevolution

Back to school time means parents every where are once again trying to come up with tasty, nutritious, unique options for all those lunch boxes. And while yes, I'm on that bandwagon, I'm also of the thinking that sometimes simple is best. Something we all had in our lunchbox. After all, the classics never go out of style. And when it comes to a packed school lunch, you don't get any more classic than our old friend the Peanut Butter & Jelly!! 

Sure, it's not fancy. It's nothing new. It's something your child has probably eaten 100 times before. But, think about it. Do they ever complain? Do they ever say they are tired of it? Not my kid. My son could eat a pb&j every single day, if I let him! 

But what's to say you can't make this classic new again? A tiny revolution maybe! In fact, Buzzfeed posted an article this month dedicated to making a better pb&j! New ways to make this favorite fun and unique! 

In that spirit, I've teamed up with my great friends at Peanut Butter & Co. to help you start your own revolution! They are giving one lucky EMM winner a jar of their original Smooth Operator peanut butter and  Seriously Strawberry Jam, two staples in this house!

If you've never tried Peanut Butter & Co.'s products, they are 100% natural with no hydrogenated oils, no cholesterol, no trans-fats and, no high fructose corn syrup. Not to mention 100% DELICIOUS!! 

So, if you want to join us in this #PBJRevolution, enter today and go make yourself one now just to snack on! And to stay up on everything peanut butter, be sure to like them on Facebook, and follow on Twitter!


To Enter: Leave a comment with your favorite way to eat a classic pb&j. 

Contest Ends: September 5, 2014

Be sure to leave an email address so I can find you!

Disclaimer: I was given (1) jar of peanut butter and (1) jar of jam in exchange for this post. All thoughts and opinions are my own. 

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Slow Cooker Fall Favorites Day 1 {A Review and Giveaway}

That's right! It's almost that time! Cool fall days with crisp fall nights are headed our way quicker than you think, or in my case, much quicker than I would like. Don't get me wrong, I enjoy fall; and everything it brings with it. Apple picking, bonfires, pumpkins, fall festivals...I love it all. 

However I hate what comes after fall, and I long for summer so much. So, if we could have autumn for a couple months, skip winter and go right back into summer...I'd be a happy camper. But alas, I live in the Midwest, where we enjoy (or endure) all 4 seasons. So I better find a way to cope. And what a better way than a brand new cookbook from my good friends at Gooseberry Patch, full of not only fall inspired recipes...but all of them are for our Crock Pots!!

I don't think there is a time of year I enjoy using my slow cooker more than fall. There is just something about being outside enjoying a cool, sunny autumn day, and then coming back to a warm, comforting meal waiting on me. As much as I use my slow cooker year round, it probably sits on the counter top the most during the autumn months. 

In this fabulous book you'll find everything from breakfast ideas, to great tailgating ideas (Another one of the reasons I love fall...football!!!), warm soups and delicious main dishes, to sweet treats to end your meal with.

When I started to thumb through my copy, I immediately knew I had to try a soup. Soups and slow cookers are just a match made in heaven to me. They are what I cook the most in mine, so it was only natural. The minute I saw this recipe I was totally intrigued. See, I have another recipe for the same dish, but it differs in two major ways. One, it contains meat; and while delicious, I'm always on the lookout for meat free options for both my family and to share with all of my vegetarian fans. And two, my other recipe cooks stove top, so this one is immediately easier!

If you love to throw something in your Crock Pot and then head to work, and know supper is waiting on you at the end of a long day, this recipe is for you. Seriously, take about 5 minutes in the morning to open a few cans, stir, and forget it. When supper time rolls around, boil some pasta and dinner can be on the table in almost no time. And not just any dinner. A warm, comforting bowl of delicious soup, bursting with flavor that will warm your soul!

Autumn is on it's way, and while we still have some very warm days ahead of us, it's time to start thinking about all the yummy things we have to look forward to! Oh, and the great folks at Gooseberry Patch have a copy of Slow Cooker Fall Favorites for one lucky EMM reader too. Just scroll down to the giveaway! 

Slow Cooker Pasta Fagioli 
Bela's Favorite Pasta Fagioli
Contributed by Julie Dossantos Fort Pierce, Fl, Found on pg. 108

1 tsp. olive oil
2 (14.5 oz.) cans Italian diced tomatoes
1 (15 oz.) cans cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
2 cloves garlic, diced
1/2 c. fresh basil, chopped
2 TBS Italian seasoning
1 1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. pepper
2 (32 oz.) boxes chicken or vegetable broth
1 lb. ditalini pasta, cooked
Thinly sliced mozzarella cheese, for garnish

Combine oil, undrained tomatoes, beans, garlic, basil and seasonings in a slow cooker. Mix well. Add broth. Stir. Cover and cook on LOW for 6 hours. Divide pasta among soup bowls. Ladle soup over pasta. Garnish each bowl with cheese. Serves 6-8. 
*NOTE* I used 1 TBS dried basil in place of fresh and garnished with shredded mozzarella. 


To Enter: Leave a comment telling me your favorite slow cooker autumn inspired dish.

Bonus Entry #1: Become a fan of Gooseberry Patch on Facebook.

Bonus Entry #2: Follow Gooseberry Patch on Twitter.

Be sure to leave an email address so I can find you!

Contest Ends: September 3, 2014

Disclaimer: I was provided with (2) cookbooks from Gooseberry Patch in exchange for this post. All thoughts and opinions are my own. 

Monday, August 18, 2014

The Great Butter Swap

The following is a sponsored post by Pompeian. All thoughts and opinions are my own. 

Did you know that August is National Olive Oil Month? Nope, me either! That is until my new friends at Pompeian Oil filled me in! 

Pompeian Olive Oil Company was founded in the hills of Tuscany, only to become America's first national brand of imported extra virgin olive oil. After establishing a headquarters in Baltimore in 1906, Pompeian began importing olive oil in bulk, then blending and bottling it fresh daily here in the U.S.—the only national brand of olive oil to do so.

Unlike many olive oils sold here, Pompeian is a blend of olive oils produced in various regions rather than from a single location or company owned grove. 

Their attention to detail and the pride they take in their products can definitely be experienced with every single bite of food you cook in their delicious oil. 

And what a better way to celebrate this month dedicated to all things olive oil than swapping Pompeian Oil for butter in one of your favorite recipes??!!?? 

If you are a butter lover, maybe you don't realize just how easy it is to do so. Well, the folks at Pompeian are here to help with this fabulous conversion chart! Have a recipe you love that includes butter, this handy chart will tell you exactly the amount of olive oil to use instead. They have taken all the guess work out of it! 

As a leader in the olive oil industry, and the #1 selling Extra Virgin Olive Oil in the U.S., Pompeian is celebrating National Olive Oil Month by launching the Pompeian Pledge. It's simple, fun and yummy! All they ask is for consumers nation wide to swap out butter for olive oil in their everyday recipes. 

To take the pledge, simply click here. To make it even more fun, 1,000 fans who sign up will be randomly selected to receive a gift from Pompeian (A free movie ticket redemption code and a coupon for free olive oil!!). Plus every week 5 additional fans will win a fun prize pack from Pompeian. 

Yep, I took the pledge! And the first recipe that came to mind was something with potatoes...for breakfast. See, when it's time to fry "taters" I would normally reach for the butter, so I knew it would be the perfect opportunity to do the olive oil swap. Well, I can tell you, it not only worked, but totally exceeded my expectations. Butter and potatoes just go together, and the flavors meld perfectly. But I can honestly say the flavor they had from cooking in Pompeian's amazing oil was just as delicious and gave them a beautiful golden color. 

Honestly this dish is a perfect one for breakfast, lunch, brunch or a simple supper, which is exactly what I made it for. A simple, hearty meal at the end of a long day the whole family will love!

Celebrate National Olive Oil Month by taking the Pompeian Pledge today! So, what recipe do you want to try with olive oil first???

Root Vegetable Breakfast Hash
3-4 large baking potatoes, peeled and diced
3 large carrots, peeled and diced
3 medium parsnips, peeled and diced
1 red bell pepper, diced
1 medium white onion, diced
3 TBS Pompeian Olive Oil
Dried Parsley
Salt and Pepper
2 eggs per person, cooked over easy

Red Pepper and Parsnips now shown

Heat oil over medium-high heat in a large skillet. 

Add potatoes, parsnips, onions, carrots and peppers. Season with salt and pepper. Stirring often, cook until slightly browned and tender-crisp, about 10 minutes. Reduce heat to low, cover and allow to finish cooking, about 10 additional minutes, stirring a couple times. In a separate skillet, cook eggs. Right before serving, sprinkle potato mixture with dried parsley. Spoon onto individual plates, topping with 2 eggs each and extra parsley. 

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf Pompeian
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Saturday, August 16, 2014

Soul Food Saturday

In this family there aren't many things better than a hot pan of freshly made gooey chocolate brownies to lift your spirit, or be the perfect fix for the biggest sweet tooth. I found a recipe online; months ago that I decided I needed to tweak a bit. Not because it wasn't good, but only to not have to use the stove at all.
Gooey Chocolate Brownies 
½ c. white sugar
2 tbs. unsalted butter
2 tbs. water
1 small package approx 1 ¾ c. semisweet chocolate chips
2 eggs
½ tsp. vanilla extract
2/3 c. all-purpose flour
¼ tsp. baking soda
½ tsp. salt

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Grease or spray with butter non stick spray an 8x8 inch square pan.

In a medium sized microwave safe bowl, combine the sugar, butter and water. Microwave until boiling, approx 1 ½ minutes on high power. In another medium bowl sift flour, baking soda and salt. Set aside. Remove hot bowl very carefully from microwave and stir in chocolate chips until melted and smooth. Mix in the eggs and vanilla. Add the flour, baking soda and salt mixture; into the chocolate mixture just until combined.  Spread evenly into the prepared pan. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes in the preheated oven, until brownies set up. Do not over bake! Cool in pan and cut into squares.


Meal Plan Aug. 17-22

*New Recipe
Links to Recipes on Blog

Grilled Steak
Corn on the Cob

Tuna Salad
Greek Cucumber Salad*
Baked Pineapple

Crock Pot Beef Vegetable Soup
Dinner Rolls

Grilled Chicken
Fried Cabbage and Noodles
Sliced Peaches

Sticky Grilled Sausage
Potato Wedges
Green Beans

No Boil Beefy Baked Ziti*
Garlic Bread