Everyday Mom's Meals
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Tuesday, March 26, 2019

Paw Patrol Comes to Indiana

If you have a little one like me, there is a very good chance you also have a huge Paw Patrol fan in your house! Max discovered these adorable, helpful pups a few months ago, and ever since he has been OBSESSED! 

So, you can imagine my utter giddiness when I found our one of our favorite places to take our boys, The Children's Museum of Indianapolis, was adding a Paw Patrol exhibit! Oh. My. Pup!

That's right, your kids can visit Adventure Bay, step into the lookout tower and join all their favorite friends, Chase, Marshall, Everest, Skye, Tracker, Rubble, Zuma and Rocky for some "pup-tastic" fun!

Now before we begin, here is one small note. When you find the exhibit, and you see the line...you might be inclined to run the other way. Yes, it's busy. Yes, the line can be quite long at times, but take it from someone who was there on very busy Saturday, it goes much faster than you expect. We waited about 20 minutes, and once you are inside you realize why they are only allowing a certain number of people inside at a time. It maximizes the fun the kids can have. Everyone can comfortably run around, play and have fun with space to spare.

But when your kids see what awaits them, if they are anything like mine, they aren't going to mind waiting at all! The minute Max turned the corner he was completely mesmerized!


And of course, as we got closer, he had to take a picture with his very favorite pup, Marshall!


 Once inside, you are immediately transformed to Adventure Bay! First off, all of Paw Patrol Pups are waiting to greet their little friends.


 As they explore, they will find some favorite places and things to do from the show.They can drive the Paw Patroller Truck and the Air Patroller.



Then they can head over to Mr. Porter's Bakery and bake some delicious donuts! Or, if they want a little more adventure head up Jake's Mountain, lookout high, and then slide down!




If you have a little Paw Patrol fanantic like us, I guarantee he/she will be in seventh heaven every minute they get to spend here! Oh, and they can have a memento to always remember it. There is a little kiosk where you take a pic with the whole Paw Patrol gang and have it emailed to you! We even got big brother in on the action!


Sports fans in your house? They will adore the Sports Experience. With exhibits indoors and out, there is something for everyone. Our teenager couldn't wait to get outside in the sunshine and play some football, baseball and basketball.



While he was getting a great workout with his dad,  Max and I stayed inside where it was a little warmer and he could explore a little. Cars, cars and more cars!!



Of course, we are such experts at TCM by now, our boys have favorite exhibits they always have to see, and big brother loves to share the ones he has loved for years with his little shadow. At the top of the list? Dinosaurs of course! From hanging out in a dino nest, to learning about all of them from T-Rex to Stegosaurus, your little dinosaur fans will get full experience!



One of the best things about The Children's Museum is they truly offer something for everyone of every age! Case in point? How excited my 44 year old husband was for the new Star Trek exhibit! You can see uniforms worn and a real Enterprise ship used in filming! All the "trekkies" out there need to see this!



As you can imagine, we had so much fun we are still talking about it. Max asks to see the pictures daily; and we can't wait to go back because there is always something new to see!

Be sure to stay up on all TCM has to offer through Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Paw Patrol is open until July, so plan your pup-tastic trip today!

Disclaimer: I received free admission for my family in exchange for sharing our experience. All thoughts, opinions and photos are mine. 

Sunday, March 24, 2019

Oops

Some recipes come to be because I brainstorm, test, tweak, test again, tweak a little bit more and finally they are ready to share with all of you. Others? Well, they happen because I screw up, are a complete accident and were never planned. Such is the case today!

I've been making my Lemon Chicken Noodle Soup for years. In fact, it's one of the first recipes I can remember tearing from a magazine and making when we were newlyweds. It's one of those that I know so well I can make it from memory, and it turns out perfect every time. Then basketball season happened.

Back when the boy was practicing 3-4 times per week, plus games too, I tried really hard for us to still have a meal on the table we could all sit down to. Many time I would simply cook it, and then keep it warm until he came home. It was really important to me that he wasn't eating leftovers every night and we weren't hitting the drive through either.

So, one cold January night I figured, what better meal for him to come home to than a warm bowl of my yummy soup he's loved since he was little. I prepared it, I turned off the heat, covered it and let it wait on us. Well, do you know what happens when you let noodles sit in broth? (For the record, so do I, but I had a total brain fart!) Yep, they soaked up all the liquid to the point when I ladled it up...there was barely a drop of broth left.

I was so mad at myself, and then I looked around the table and all the boys were gobbling it down. Hmmmm, maybe I'm onto something!

We love chicken and noodles, so why not put a new spring twist on it? I knew I had a new recipe up my sleeve, after a little tweaking of course!

This is a fresh twist on a classic perfect for a chilly spring day!

Lemon Chicken & Noodles
1 lb. egg noodles
2 lbs. chicken tenders
2 large carrots, peeled and diced
3 celery ribs, diced
1 small white onion, chopped
1/4 c. vegetable oil, divided use
1 TBS butter
2 (32 oz.) boxes chicken broth
1 c. water
1 TBS dried basil
1 TBS dried parsley
1 lemon, juiced
Salt and Pepper to taste
Garlic Powder to taste

Preheat oven to 350. Lay chicken tenders on baking sheet. Drizzle with 2 TBS oil. Season with salt, pepper and garlic powder. Roast for 30 minutes until juices run clear. Transfer to a bowl and allow to cool for a few minutes. Shred chicken using two forks. Set aside. 

In a large stock pot, heat 2 TBS oil and butter over medium high heat. Saute vegetables for 10 minutes until they begin to soften. Add chicken and saute for a few minutes more. Add broth, water, basil, parsley, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil. reduce heat, cover and simmer 15 minutes. Add noodles, increase heat and bring back to boil. Cook 10 minutes until noodles are tender. Add lemon juice and stir well. Turn off heat and cover. Allow to sit for 20-25 minutes until noodles have absorbed broth. Stir and serve.

Sunday, March 17, 2019

Last One....Hopefully

So, it snowed this weekend. Blah. I seriously have no other words for it.

I am over it. I am done. I am in no mood for Mother Nature's sick jokes. I know it's March in Indiana, and even though the calendar will say it's spring this week, a switch doesn't flip to automatically make it warm. But seriously. Can't we at least get rid of the snow and maybe, just maybe climb our way out of the 30s?

I have done my best this winter to make sure we've had plenty of yummy, warm soups to make those dreary days better. We've enjoyed all of them, and I hope you have too.

But now I'm ready to move on. I want backyard barbecue foods. I want summer picnic foods. I want sitting by the pool foods...after this, of course.

Yep, I had one more soup up my sleeve. And if we're being honest, we still have plenty of chilly, wet days left this spring that soup is going to taste pretty darn good! Those spring showers can bring some downright miserable weather before they bring those spring flowers!

This takes the deliciousness of Cream of Broccoli Soup and ramps up the flavor and veggies. It's hearty but still light. Add some crusty bread on the side and dinner is done.

Spring and summer are knocking on the door, but they need to knock a little louder because I can't hear them quite yet!

Creamy Broccoli & Rice Soup
7 c. water
1 (4.3 oz) box wild rice mix
3 c. broccoli, finely chopped, about 3 crowns
2 large carrots, peeled and diced
2 cubes chicken bouillon
1 tsp. onion powder
1 can cream of chicken soup
8 oz. cream cheese, at room temp and cubed
Salt and Pepper to taste

In a large pot over medium heat combine water, bouillon, rice mix (with seasoning packet), broccoli and carrots. Bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat to low and simmer about 15-20 minutes Add remaining ingredients, stir well until cream cheese is melted and combined. Cover and cook for 20 minutes until rice is tender. Turn heat off and let stand about 10 minutes before serving. 



Shared at Weekend Potluck

Sunday, March 10, 2019

You MADE Biscuits??!!

Yes, honey. I did. Don't act so shocked. 

I guess I shouldn't take it as an insult. After all, I am the first to admit I'm not a baker. I've said it many times. It's just not my thing. But every once in a while I put on my big girl pants and give it a whirl. 

I've actually been wanting to make these for literally years. When I first saw the recipe my first thought was "Wow I could do that." No rolling. No shaping. Mixing and baking. That's my kind of biscuit. 

My boys immediately fell in love with them. To the point, I made them twice in one week. Now, let's be honest here. These are homemade. They are not going to look perfect; and that's okay. Mine always come out with a couple dark spots. Nobody seemed to care! Believe me when I say, the flavor makes up for any blemishes!

These are thick, delicious biscuits. I think the next time I make them, there will have to be some sausage gravy for on top! 

I might not be the best baker, or even the most enthusiastic. But look at me....I made some down home, yummy biscuits and my boys were in love at first bite! The moral of the story being, if I can do it, so can you!

Butter Dip Biscuits
2 1/2 c. flour
4 tsp. sugar
4 tsp. baking powder
1 stick butter, melted
2 tsp. salt
1 3/4 c. buttermilk

Preheat oven to 450. Spray a 8x8 baking dish with nonstick spray. Pour melted butter in bottom of dish. In a large bowl mix flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Add buttermilk and mix well until sticky dough forms. Transfer to dish...RIGHT ON TOP of melted butter. Using fingers, spread dough out as evenly as possible. With a sharp knife, score dough into 9 biscuits, making sure to cut the entire way through. Bake for 25-35 minutes until golden brown and biscuits bounce back when touched.

A Few Notes...
1. If some of the batter comes to the top of the dough before baking, it's fine.
2. I spray my fingers with nonstick spray to help spread the dough easily without sticking.
3. If some of the tops start to brown too quickly, add a piece of foil to the top while finishing.
4. I've made these a few times. My oven has hot spots. I've had varied cooking times, so check after 25 minutes and then add 5 minute increments until done.





Inspired by The Country Cook

Sunday, March 3, 2019

The Bet


I am a mom of my word. If I make a promise, I am going to keep it. Or at least I'm going to try darn hard to. I want my boys to know when I say something, or tell them something, I will come through. It's an important life lesson I want them to learn, and no better way than by seeing me.

And that is how we come to The Bet; and how this recipe came to be. A few weeks ago we were having dinner at my in-laws. Before heading over Adam, Alex and I all started guessing as to what my mother in law would make for dinner. That was when the teenager asked "Should we make it interesting? Put money on it?"

Well, knowing how much money he had to his name, and what his allowance is, I knew that wasn't really worth my while, so I told him to pick something else. "Okay. Whoever wins gets to pick out a meal for next week, and you have to make it." Now that action, I will take!

As soon as we got there, and I walked through the kitchen, I knew I had lost. What had he picked? Meatballs and mashed potatoes. What was cooking on the stove? Meatballs and Mashed Potatoes. Yep, he won. When I showed him, we both dissolved into giggles; and had to share our little wager with them. They found it to be hilarious, and gave us all a chuckle.

So, what meal did he choose? Baked Mostaccioli, which I actually have a recipe for, but wanted to switch it up this time. About a week later, I made this, snapped a pic and texted my MIL saying, "I am a Mommy of my word!"

I am not much of a betting woman. I don't like the uncertainty of gambling. But if it involves food, and making my boy happy...I'll take that action!

Baked Mostaccioli
1 lb. mostaccioli, ziti or penne pasta
1 TBS vegetable oil
3 c. tomato sauce
1 c. heavy cream
1 lb. ground beef
2 tsp. Italian seasoning
1 medium white onion, diced
4 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 tsp. dried red pepper
1 lb. shredded mozzarella cheese
1/2 c. grated Parmesan cheese, divided use
1/4 c. dried breadcrumbs
Salt and Pepper to taste
Dried Parsley

Preheat oven to 350. Grease 9x13 baking dish. Cook pasta to al dente, drain well. While pasta boils, heat oil over medium high heat. Brown beef, onion and garlic together until meat no longer pink. Add tomato sauce, cream, Italian seasoning, dried red pepper, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer on low for 5 minutes. When pasta is ready, add to sauce. Stir well. Add mozzarella in batches, stirring until melted. Add 1/4 c. Parmesan. Stir well. Transfer to baking dish. Sprinkle with bread crumbs, remaining Parmesan and dried parsley. Bake for 30-40 minutes until bubbling and browned on top.*NOTE* I made this with penne because I can almost never find mostaccioli noodles, and the store was out of ziti too.