Everyday Mom's Meals

Monday, November 28, 2016

Holiday Ham

Okay, so the turkey is so last week. It is time to move on. Now it's time to talk ham.
Well, that might not be totally true, because I know many, many people who will enjoy another bird come Christmas. But in my head, as soon as Thanksgiving is over, it's time to think about that big, beautiful, tasty, holiday ham.

In fact, as you can see from this recipe I actually started thinking about it pre-Turkey Day. I have to. I'm a food blogger, and while holiday recipes are terrific, it means we foodies are developing, testing and re-testing weeks before the big day.

I made this for a simple weeknight meal (Yay for Crock Pot!) but I think it would be terrific for those upcoming holiday parties and family gatherings. Plus, if you make a big ham one day, and need another meal the next, you could usually substitute the deli ham with some leftovers, and make it even more delicious.

I served this family style, with the buns on the side. The ham has a pretty tasty sauce that comes with it, and if it sits on the rolls or buns too long, they will get soggy. So if you're thinking of putting this out for a Christmas party, I suggest doing the same thing; and that way, you can keep the meat on warm in the slow cooker all night long.

I can't believe Christmas is less than a month away. We are super excited at our house of course, with this being Max's first. These boys are by far the two most precious gifts of my life and I'm going to enjoy every single minute of this holiday season.

If you're looking for something new to do with your holiday ham, I think this is just what you've been wanting. A good ham sandwich is a classic, and these have a little something extra to make your guests say YUM!

Slow Cooker Ham Sandwiches
1 1/2 lbs. deli ham, sliced thin
1/2 c. sweet relish
2/3 c. packed brown sugar
2 c. apple juice
2 tsp. yellow mustard
1 tsp. paprika
Extra mustard/relish for serving

Spray slow cooker with nonstick spray. Layer ham in bottom. In a medium bowl whisk together apple juice, relish, brown sugar, mustard and paprika. Pour over ham. Cook on LOW for 4-5 hours. Serve on buns with extra mustard and relish if desired. 

Monday, November 21, 2016

Turkey Day, Made Easy

So, I can't lie, I am not on the hook for hosting Thanksgiving. In fact, most years I'm not. In the 13 years we've been married, I've only had to worry about cooking on Turkey Day twice. Why? Because we live 20 minutes from both my mom and mom in law, and they both have our family over on the holiday.

But just because I am not having a huge crowd over to my house doesn't mean I can't appreciate the need for some easy dishes to fall back on. One because I have hosted and know the stress that can go into preparing the biggest meal of the year. And two, this is what I do. I try to find ways to help your holiday cooking be more simple and less stressful each year.

This recipe is actually something I've made for years now, and we enjoy all autumn long. Seriously, as soon as the calendar says October, you can find me in the grocery store aisle looking for canned pumpkin. (By the way, if you live near an Aldi, their pumpkin is a "seasonal item" they only carry for a few months, but is ONLY $.89 per can! You won't find it cheaper anywhere else!)

So not only can you whip this up quickly, it's also totally adaptable for a few or a house full, plus it's 100% budget friendly!

I love a good pumpkin pie, but if I'm being honest, I don't need the crust. Give me the filling and some Cool Whip and I'm a happy girl. In fact, when I was little my grandma would take the extra filling she had after her pies were made, put it into custard dishes and bake it just for me.

This will be our first Thanksgiving since Grandma passed, and I felt it was time to revamp this recipe a bit, and bring it back to the blog (it's been 5 years since I first shared it) in her honor. Every time I make this, I am transported back into her kitchen with those little glass custard dishes and her saying " Geez Punkin (that's me), do you want a little pumpkin with your Cool Whip?" Yeah, I'm that girl. Pile on the topping!

If you are hosting Turkey Day this year, give yourself a much needed break and add this to your dessert menu. Sure, bake some pies too, by all means, but cross one or two off the list, replaced by the easiest recipe you'll make this holiday!

Pumpkin Fluff
2 (15 oz.) cans pumpkin 
2 small boxes instant vanilla pudding, DRY do NOT add milk
2 (8oz.) containers Cool Whip
1/2 tsp. cinnamon, extra for garnish
1/4 tsp. ground ginger
1/8 tsp. ground cloves
1/8 tsp. ground nutmeg

In a large bowl whisk together pumpkin and pudding mix. Fold in one container of Cool Whip. Add spices. Stir well. Chill for at least an hour before serving. Garnish with extra Cool Whip and cinnamon. 

Monday, November 14, 2016

Your Holiday Guests

So we are only 10 days away from Thanksgiving. Are you ready? Or was this a rude awakening and now you're having a panic attack? It's going to be okay. Take some deep breaths. I'm here to help.

Did your stomach just jump into your throat because you are going to have a house full of people come next week? I understand completely. Did you just remember you need to feed all of them for multiple days, and not just the big one? Sure, you will have leftovers after Thursday, but what the heck are you gonna do until then? Again, don't worry, calm down, EMM is here.

This is actually a tried and true recipe from my Grammy. It's something I've been making for years, and is perfect for any busy weeknight. So why not plan it for those couple days when you're still working before the holiday, but have to come home to a house full of people asking "What's for dinner?" Let's face it, if you are going about your normal day of work, school and life, plus prepping for Thanksgiving, coming up with dinners every night that week isn't going to be too easy. But this is!

Now, heads up! When you read the recipe, and see it calls for margarine, many of you are going to be inclined to say "Oh I can use butter instead." Don't do it. Seriously. I did the same thing once and regretted it. I don't know why, but the flavor completely changes and I don't like it. It's about the only recipe I have that flat our calls for margarine. Most of the time I am an all butter all the time girl, but not with this.

This feeds the 3 of us quite comfortably with a good sized portion each. So, if you're cooking for a big crowd, I suggest making two pans of it. It's going to go quick, I promise.

But if you aren't expecting house guests, don't feel like this isn't for you. It makes a terrific comfort meal any time, and once you make it once, it will become a part of your regular meal rotation, just like it did in my house!

Don't worry if you aren't quite ready for Thanksgiving. You still have time...just not too much, so start planning those meals now and cross one thing off that to-do list!

Chicken on Rice Casserole
2 lbs. boneless chicken tenders (about 8-9)
1 1/2 c. instant rice, uncoooked
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 can cream of celery soup
1 stick margarine, melted
1 tsp. sugar
1/4 c. lemon juice 
Garlic Powder to taste
Salt and Pepper to taste
Dried Parsley for garnish

Preheat oven to 350. Grease a 9 x 13 baking dish. In a large bowl combine rice, soups, salt and pepper. Stir well. Transfer to baking dish and spread evenly. Lay chicken on top of rice. In a small bowl whisk together melted margarine, sugar and lemon juice. Pour over top of chicken. Season chicken liberally with salt, pepper and garlic powder. Bake for 1 1/2-2 hours until rice is tender. Stir well before serving. Garnish with parsley.

Monday, November 7, 2016

Beef On a Budget

 If you are anything like me, you are always watching the bottom dollar when it comes to putting meals on the table for your family to enjoy. And if you've been reading this blog for any length of time, you know we are "freezer beef" people. We are lucky and blessed to always have fresh beef in our freezer at all times. In fact, we've had to upgrade to two freezers to accommodate it all.

And truthfully, if you are able to find a decent price around you on a quarter or half or even whole beef, I would highly recommend it. Yes, it's not a cheap investment, but in the long run, it will save you money, and the quality is so much better than anything you can find at the grocery store.

But if you are buying beef in the regular store, one of the best values you can find is round steak. It's normally cheaper than other cuts, and  I know most stores around us run a special on it a couple times each month. So keep an eye out for it, and you can not only make this delicious, budget friendly supper, maybe you can stock up too!

This meal is the ultimate "throw it together and come home to dinner" dinner. Not to mention being comfort food! If you're looking for a great side idea, potatoes! I did boiled ones, but mashed would be perfect too. Why? Simple. The gravy. It's SO good, you're going to want to drink it with a straw, but spooning it over some taters seems more appropriate.

 Being this easy should tell you how I could pull it off with Max! Yes, our little guy is now almost 3 months old, and I'm really trying to do more "real" cooking when I can.

Beef doesn't have to be something you only serve on holidays or a treat. You can have a delicious, easy steak dinner any night of the week that doesn't break the wallet!

Slow Cooker Round Steak
2-3 lb round steak, cut into portions
1 envelope onion soup mix
1 (10 3/4 oz.) cream of celery soup
1/4 c. water
Salt and Pepper to taste
Dried Parsley for garnish

Spray slow cooker with non stick spray. Season steak with salt and pepper. Place inside slow cooker. In a medium bowl whisk together water, soup and soup mix. Pour over steak. Cook on LOW for 6-8 hours. Garnish with parsley before serving.

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Perfect Timing, Max

So, we are 2 months in, and our schedule is getting a tad more back to normal. Yes, it's super hard to believe Max has been with us for over 8 weeks now, and we fall in love with him a little more each day.

Anybody that has ever had a baby will tell you, your schedule is not your own. Your schedule becomes the baby's schedule. When he/she wants to nap, the house is quiet, no matter how badly you should be vacuuming, emptying the dishwasher or rearranging closets. When it is time to eat, the world stops, and revolves around a bottle or breast. So, when Max was eating right around supper time every night, things were a  little hectic around here. I mean, how was I supposed to cook and sit down to feed him at the same time?

But luckily, his schedule has shifted a tiny bit and he has started to around supper time, making it easier for me to not only cook, but try some new recipes I've been wanting to. Or, at least it seems easier!

This was our Mexican night treat a few weeks ago. It comes together in almost no time, can even be made ahead if that helps you out, and tastes great. Oh, I will put this disclaimer on it. You might look at it and say "Why isn't the cheese melted all the way?" Well, that's easy. It had 5 minutes left to cook when Max decided he was starving. So I had to decide to pull it early, or let it burn...obviously I chose the first.

Things are beginning to feel a little more "old school" around here, and I would tell you more about that, but I hear my little chipmunk from the next room...must be time to eat again!

Green Chile Mexican Pie
10 small corn tortillas
1 lb. ground beef
1 (10 3/4 oz.) can cream of mushroom soup
1 (4 oz.) can diced green chilies
1 tsp. onion powder
1 tsp. garlic powder
2 c. shredded cheddar cheese
Salt and Pepper to taste 
Dried Parsley

Preheat oven to 350. Grease a 9 inch pie plate. In a large skillet brown beef until no longer pink. Drain if necessary. Season with garlic powder, onion powder, salt and pepper. In a medium bowl whisk together soup and green chilies. In the bottom of pie plate layer half of the tortillas, overlapping them. Add half the soup mixture. Top with half the meat and then cheese. Repeat layers. Sprinkle top with dried parsley. Bake for 20-25 minutes until cheese begins to melt.