Everyday Mom's Meals

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Soul Food Saturday

Some days you want something lighter as a snack. Whether it be after the kids get out of school or you need a snack for a party. Double or even triple this recipe to serve as much or as little as you need. This recipe came from a want for a different flavored spread and dip. I wanted something raspberry flavored and couldn't find it in the store anywhere. So I came home and tried to fill this craving. This one hit the spot, right away. Grab your favorite cracker, or fruit and share with ones you hold dear. Enjoy!

Raspberry Cream cheese Dip
1 8 oz. package cream cheese, room temperature
2 tbs. natural raspberry jam

In a bowl add cream cheese and jam. Mix until combined. 
Serve with your favorite crackers, or fruit

Meal Plan April 26-May 1

*New Recipe
Links to Recipes on Blog

Mississippi Pot Roast Sliders*

Hashbrown Cakes
Sliced Peaches


Cottage Cheese

Wild Rice

Black Bean and Green Chile Tostadas*
Chips n Salsa

Friday, April 24, 2015

#Plate Proud with Green Bean Delivery

I love entering recipe contests, but when they are also sponsored by a favorite company, that's even better. And that's the exact scenario I got when I was approached by my buddies at Green BEAN Delivery about their Plate Proud recipe contest.

Each participant is asked to submit their favorite original recipe in one—or all—of five categories for a chance to win impressive culinary prizes, including a grill set, planters, placemats, a Mandoline slicer and much more. Categories include everything from recipes on the grill to packed lunches to meals using only local ingredients. All winning recipes will be highlighted on the contest website.

Well, sign me up! I couldn't wait to come up with something delicious to submit, and of course share with all of you. I chose to develop something for the Veggie Side category, since summer time, fresh garden veggies are something I love to cook with in the warm months. Rather they be from our own backyard, or a favorite Farmer's Market, or in this case Green BEAN themselves, I can't get enough. 

This is sure to be a hit at your next cookout, potluck or family get together. Anything you have coming off the grill, from steaks, to burgers, to some delicious barbecue is going to taste even better with this crisp, cool, refreshing side. Fresh corn, tomatoes, avocado and a refreshing dressing make it like a bite full of sunshine in your mouth. Honestly, it's filling enough, it would make a terrific lunch or light supper when it's too hot to cook too! 

I've entered the Plate Proud contest and you can too. Just visit the entry page and share a recipe in one, or all five, categories! 

Summer Corn Salad
5 ears corn
2 medium tomatoes, seeded and chopped
1 small red onion, finely chopped
1 avocado, chopped
1 tsp. dried basil
2 tsp. dried parsley
Salt and Pepper to taste

Dijon Vinaigrette
1 TBS lemon juice
1 TBS white wine vinegar
2 tsp. Dijon mustard
1 garlic clove, minced
1/2 c. vegetable oil
Salt and Pepper to taste

Combine all ingredients for dressing in a jar and shake well. Chill until ready. 

For salad, bring a large pot of water to boil. Cook corn for about 3 minutes. Remove and immediately rinse with cold water. When cool, remove kernels from cobs. In a large bowl combine all ingredients for salad. Toss well to coat. Pour about 1/2 of the dressing over salad. Mix well to combine. Chill until ready to serve. Serve salad with rest of dressing on side for people to add if needed. 

Shared on The Country Cook April 24, 2015

Disclaimer: I was given a complimentary bin from Green BEAN Delivery in exchange for this feature and entering the contest. All thoughts and opinions are my own. 

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Easy Family Dinner with Hamburger Helper #freebeef #helper #ad

You know I am the biggest advocate for taking a little help from the store where you can. I think there is absolutely no shame in it. We have all been there, and will be again. It's supper time, but there is no time. You need something fast, but still tasty.  Quick family meals are where Hamburger Helper comes in! 

Something from our childhood, made new again with some great new flavors! Plus, did you know you can feed your family with one box and one pound of ground beef? Yep, you read that correctly! And now, with the ground beef rebate (more about that in a minute) you can get dinner on the table for about $1.50! Almost too good to be true, I know. But it is!!

Helper is a great dinnertime solution because not only is it convenient, but it is a crowd pleaser. Watch it be gobbled up. Or if there does happen to be some leftovers, that's okay too...lunch the next day! 

Launched in the 1970's, Helper has always been a brand synonymous with value. It gives you the ability to stretch your dollar while giving your family a yummy and hearty meal. Oh, and let's not forget it gives you something else we all love...a chance for a "one pot wonder" supper! 

About that rebate! Right now, when you buy 3 boxes of Helper, you can go online and print out a rebate form for a free pound of ground beef! FREE!! How much do we love that word??!! 

I picked a variety I knew my family would love, something with an Italian flare. Then I decided to add a few extra veggies just for good measure, and ramp up the flavor even more. Plus, it lets me still only use one pound of beef for two boxes, because the veggies kind of act like "filler" instead of more meat.  In the end, it was a big skillet of a pasta that tasted like pizza...how can you go wrong? Plus, you can easily add your favorite pizza toppings! I think black and green olives would be delicious. Oh, and banana peppers. See, the possibilities are endless! Just remember to go and get the great rebate offer so you can feed your family on the cheap too!

One Skillet Pizza Shells
2 boxes Hamburger Helper Cheesy Italian Shells
Milk and Water, check box for amounts
1 pound ground beef
8 oz. button mushrooms, sliced
1 green bell pepper, chopped
1 tsp. garlic powder
1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes
1/2 c. shredded Parmesan cheese
Dried Parsley
Salt and Pepper to taste

In a large skillet over medium high heat, brown beef until no longer pink. Season with salt and pepper. When beef is almost done, add mushrooms and peppers. Stir to mix. Continue cooking until veggies are tender and beef is cooked through. Drain if necessary. Season with garlic powder and red pepper flakes. Add water and milk, per package instructions. Add pasta. Stir. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 20-25 minutes, stirring frequently, until pasta is tender. Sprinkle with cheese and dried parsley. Replace lid. Allow to sit for about 5-7 minutes until cheese melts and sets.

Shared on The Country Cook April 24, 2015

Monday, April 20, 2015

Less Carbs, Extra Protein

So, ya'll know how much I love pasta. We don't need to discuss this again. But here is the latest update. Did you know a pasta addiction is genetically transferable? Yep, it can go from parental DNA to offspring; and  apparently it's located on the X chromosome because I have passed this obsession onto my son.

I've known for some time he loves his pasta...since about the age of 1 in fact, but I guess I never realized just how much until recently. Any time I ask him what he's hungry for me to make (when planning my menu), 9 times out of 10 he will answer with some sort of pasta. When we let him pick what restaurant to eat it, many times it's our favorite Italian place. When he comes home from school and asks "What's for supper" if I answer with pasta...he doesn't ask for a snack because he wants to save room. And if I tell him I've got a new casserole in the oven his first reaction is "What kind?" to try to see if it includes some sort of noodle.

Yeah...he's my kid. No doubt about it. (Not that there ever was.) But I'm not going to let him eat his favorite as much as he would like. After all, it's hard enough to keep him in clothes that fit, I don't need to have a carb overload make it even harder. So I need to find ways to give him what he loves, just in smaller quantities; and this casserole is the perfect solution!

Only a half pound of pasta to feed a family? Yep! How? By adding so many other things it takes that 8 ounces of pasta and bulks it up to a filling, delicious meal. Plus, some extra protein thrown in with meat and beans. He gets what he wants, and I can feel good about it.

My boys don't eat chili without some pasta on the bottom of the bowl, so this was like a hearty bowl of chili in casserole form. If you are worried about spice level with the cumin and chili powder, don't be. It tastes like it has a packet of taco seasoning in it, with the same heat level. Just a little extra from the green chilies to wake up your taste buds.

If you have little pasta lovers in your house too, give the people what they want. Just do it in a more sneaky way, remembering less is more! 

Chili Pasta Bake
1/2 lb. small shell pasta, cooked and drained well 
1 lb. ground beef
1 medium white onion, chopped
1/2 TBS vegetable oil
1 (14 oz.) can petite diced tomatoes with green chilies, with juice
`1 (15 oz.) can tomato sauce
1 ( 15 oz.) can light red kidney beans, rinsed and drained
2 tsp. cumin
1 1/2 TBS chili powder
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 bunch green onions, chopped
2 c. fiesta blend shredded cheese, divided
Salt and Pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 350. In a large skillet heat oil over medium heat. Add onion and saute until soft. Add ground beef and cook until no pink. Drain if necessary. Add garlic powder, cumin, chili powder, salt and pepper. Stir in tomato sauce, diced tomatoes and kidney beans. Mix to combine. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and cook for 10 minutes. When pasta is drained, add it to meat mixture. Add 1 c. cheese and stir well. Transfer to a greased 9 x 13 baking dish. Bake for 30 minutes. Sprinkle with green onions before serving. 

Shared on The Country Cook April 24, 2015