Everyday Mom's Meals

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

A Little Spice For Mr. Everyday

So, tomorrow is the big day! Do you have your cooking game plan down? Maybe you've been cooking all week so there isn't as much to do tomorrow. You're so smart! Either way, we are coming down to the wire, and it's time to loosen our belts and bring on the feast!

For today's post I could have easily shared another holiday idea, but instead I thought I would post something for those pre-feast hours. When everyone is sitting around, watching football, or the parade, playing games. The snacking time. I'm not even kidding you. My Grammy is famous for all the "nibbly bits" (as Monkey calls them) she puts out to tide everyone over until the big meal. So many delicious things that many times they are a meal in themselves; and by the time the turkey hits the table you're almost too full to eat. Almost. 

When a friend gave me this recipe I knew it would be perfect for Mr. E. He likes spicy things, and while many times I shy away from recipes that have a kick to them because my taste buds are wimps, I thought these would be a nice treat, just for him. And I will be honest...he ate the whole batch because after trying one, I was gasping for water. These. Are. Spicy. Very. Spicy. So, if you can't stand the heat, be sure to adjust the amount of red pepper flakes!! 

The turkey may be thawing, and the side salads might be waiting in the fridge, but that doesn't mean we can't still look for things to munch on all holiday weekend long. And if you like a little spice in your snack, these are just for you.

From our family to yours, I wish you a very

~*~Happy Thanksgiving~*~

Spicy Ranch Crackers
4 sleeves saltine crackers
1 package ranch dressing mix
2 TBS red pepper flakes
1/4 c. shredded Parmesan cheese
1 c. canola oil

In a large bowl whisk together oil, ranch mix and red pepper flakes. Working in batches dip crackers in mixture, covering completely. Lay on baking sheets. Sprinkle liberally with Parmesan.  Bake at 250 until golden brown and crunchy, about 45 minutes. (Check often as not to burn!) Store in airtight container. 


Snacks at Very Good Recipes

Monday, November 24, 2014

Early Winter

After that nasty polar vortex last winter, I kinda hoped Mother Nature would have pity on us and give us an easy one this year. Well, it's not even officially winter yet, and she has rared her ugly head and made her presence known! Yep, a week before Thanksgiving, and our temps plummeted into the single digits with negative wind chills, making for a cold, blustery week. 

Now, I am trying hard not to complain too much because we all watched while Old Man Winter dumped some seventy, yes that's 7-0, inches of snow on Buffalo, burying them in the white stuff, and stranding people on highways for hours. I can't even imagine!

Oh, and I have to give you the other piece of this freezing puzzle. See, our housing addition is currently under major road construction, giving us all new streets. And while it's going to be really nice when they are done (estimated time, next JULY!!) right now, it's a huge pain. We have no driveway, only half a street in and out, and get the privilege of parking at least a block away, sometimes more. I'm not kidding when I say with the cold weather, and this headache, it got to a point when I was just mad every time I had to leave the house. It was a huge hassle, and I would have much rather sat inside, warm and cozy; but life doesn't work that way, and at some point, I had to put on my big girl pants (and coat, gloves, scarf, boots...) and venture out. 

So, what's a girl to do when winter comes early, her toes are frozen and her car is what seems like half a mile away? Make soup of course!! What better way to warm up, comfort the soul and feed my icicles of a family??!! 

This one is gonna become a favorite, kids. You are going to keep coming back to this simple, delicious recipe over and over during the cold months ahead. Creamy, full of veggies, so yummy...it's what winter was made for!

I'm hoping we get a small break until winter officially arrives in December. But I'm not holding my breath. I'm also hoping to actually be able to park in my driveway soon. But again, I'm not holding my breath. Either way, I'm going to eat soup, and try to look at the bright side...spring is only 116 days until Spring! 

Easy Vegetable Chowder From Taste of Home
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 (12 oz.) bag frozen broccoli and cauliflower
1 (12 oz.) bag frozen mixed veggies
3/4 c. butter
1/2 c. flour
4 c. chicken broth
2 c. milk
2 c. half and half
1 tsp. dried oregano
1/4 tsp. garlic powder
Salt and Pepper to taste

In a large Dutch oven, saute onion in butter until soft. Add flour; stir to combine. Gradually add broth. Bring to a boil. Cook and stir for 2 minutes until thickened. Stir in milk, cream, oregano, garlic powder, salt and pepper. Add veggies. Cook gently over a low heat until heated through, about 15 minutes. 


Soup at Very Good Recipes

Disclaimer: As a Field Editor for Taste of Home, I share this recipe for my own use. I am not a paid employee. 

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Soul Food Saturday

With Holiday time comes all things pumpkin. Including coffee! How many times have you craved a big as they come, full cup of this favorite coffee house specialty and not been able to get away for one? For me it's more often than I'd like to think about. It seems I can never have enough. And truthfully the grocery store creamers are good but they don't quite hit the spot for me. So here I have a treat as well as a gift. A new version of this delight, made right in your kitchen.

Pumpkin Spice Coffee Creamer
2 c. Sugar
2 c. Water
1/4 c. Pumpkin puree
2 cinnamon sticks
2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice

In a medium sauce pan add all ingredients and stir to combine. Cook for approx 10  minutes, stirring frequently. Strain mixture through fine mesh strainer, twice. Chill
Mix 1 to 2 tbs. of syrup with coffee and warm milk to taste.
Finish with whipped cream and pumpkin spice if desired. Enjoy

Meal Plan Nov. 23-28

*New Recipe
Links to recipes on blog

Beef Roast
Loaded Baked Potato Casserole*

Mozzarella Spaghetti Casserole*


Frozen Pizza
Veggies n Dip

Happy Thanksgiving!!
I'm taking Green Bean Casserole to my in-laws :)

Bean and Bacon Soup
Pretzel Rolls*
Fruit Cocktail

Friday, November 21, 2014

Day After Bite {A Post For Earth Fare}

 Less than a week people. That's right, by this time next week all the menu planning, eating and football watching will be over. And we will have moved onto all those leftovers and tree trimming! 

Today I've got a great idea you can either serve before the big Thanksgiving meal, or wait and put some of those leftovers to good use with. 

Let's face it, while we all look forward to the huge Turkey Day meal, the entire day is really about eating, and even when dinner isn't served until 3 pm, you find yourself looking for things to snack on all day long. You're sitting on the couch, watching football, or the Macy's Parade, and you just have to have something to munch on. It's just part of the Thanksgiving aura. 

The first time I made these years ago, I wasn't sure about the flavor combo because of the addition of the cheese (after all, turkey and cranberry are a no brainer together) but they are like the perfect bite every time you put one in your mouth. 

If you need some ideas for the pre-feast snacks, let this be the first on the list. Or you know you will be in desperate need of ways to use the pounds of turkey you have left come Black Friday, this is the answer to either!

Cranberry Turkey Bites
Snack Crackers
Deli Turkey or Leftover Roast Turkey, sliced thin
Whole Cranberry Sauce
Sharp Cheddar Cheese, sliced tin to fit crackers

Lay cheese on crackers. Top with turkey and cranberry sauce. Serve immediately. 

Shared on The Country Cook Nov. 21, 2014

Cranberry at Very Good Recipes

Disclaimer: I received a gift card in exchange for this post. All thoughts and opinions are my own.