Everyday Mom's Meals

Sunday, October 14, 2018

Tailgate at Home

It is football season! And while nobody plays in our house, we are avid fans! Between watching the games on tv, following stats online (that would be the teenager), cheering for our favorite teams, and yes even yelling at the refs, we are definitely a football family.

Here is a little secret though. We don't share the love of any one team. There is some overlap though. Let's see, Mr. E and I are avid Steelers fan. Alex is Seahawks all the way. My love for Notre Dame is DEEP, and I've passed that onto Alex, but his dad is Purdue all the way. And Max, well, we still have time to brain wash him!

Let me tell you about that Notre Dame love though. See, as a kid all I wanted to do was go to Notre Dame and march in their band. It was my DREAM. To have a degree with that gold emblem and to play my flute in the greatest half time show ever. I had the grades in high school. In fact, I got accepted my junior year! But, another local university offered me a full ride, and I'm not going to turn down free money. But I will tell you what, I still have that acceptance letter, as a reminder that all my hard work paid off.

Fast forward to after Adam and I were married, and I finally got to attend my first home Notre Dame football game. I got to walk the campus, see the band practice, visit the bookstore, be inside the stadium, see "Touchdown Jesus", watch as they ran onto the field, and yes enjoy that half time show I had dreamed about. I' won't lie. I spent most of that day crying. Seriously, ND campus and the entire experience is one of the most beautiful things I've ever seen.

And those football Saturdays in South Bend all include on thing. Tailgating. Those fellow ND fanatics take their pre-game food very seriously!

It has been years since we've been to a game, but we can still have some tailgating fun, right in our own living room. Just minus the tailgate!

To me, a party or gathering has to have a great veggie tray. I know everyone always teases me, but I love fresh, crunchy veggies in a creamy, cool flavorful dip. Plus all the other stuff too! Oh, and this is super tasty on chips, pretzels, and crackers too!

This has been my go-to dip for years now. Every time I make it, I get rave reviews, and requests for the recipe. With only 5 ingredients, and a lot of help from the store, it can be your new favorite too! 

Irresistible Veggie Dip
16 oz. sour cream
16 oz. French onion dip
1 envelope Ranch Dressing Mix
1 envelope Knorr Vegetable Mix
1 TBS Dried Parsley, extra for garnish

In a medium bowl combine all ingredients. Chill a few hours or overnight before serving. Stir well. Garnish with parsley. Serve with veggies, chips, crackers, etc. 

Sunday, October 7, 2018

Autumn Inspired Recipe Challenge

Ya'll know how much I love a good recipe contest/challenge! Creating something new to share with all of you, and a chance to win...sign me up!

Today's contest comes from my new friends at Lang's Chocolates. If you've never heard of them, let me introduce you a little. Located in central Pennsylvania (which you know is near and dear to my heart), they are a family operated business focused on strong values. Their chocolates are made in small batches, almost "to order", and I'm guessing you might recognize their signature red boxes!

Everything about them is what I look for in a company I want to work with. So when they offered to send me some of their Keystone Pantry Allulose to experiment with in my kitchen, for a chance to win some cash, I was immediately on board!

 Lang’s Chocolates Keystone Pantry Allulose natural rare sugar sweetener, is Non-GMO, Gluten Free and Vegan friendly! It can easily be swapped out for sugar in any of your favorite recipes.
Allulose is a rare sugar, meaning it naturally occurs in natural products! It is an ultra low calorie sugar with only 1- calorie per teaspoon. It has browning characteristics as white sugar but almost none of the calories. (However, when used in baking it will brown faster than sugar so may require a slightly lower cooking temperature.)

Oh, what to make, what to make? Since we are officially into October now, I've got all things autumn on the brain. And what is more autumn-esque than a delicious apple dessert? This one happens to be easy enough for any weeknight too! 

Be sure to check out Lang's Chocolates online, where you can also purchase some Allulose to try in your own recipes! Oh and follow them on Facebook and Instagram too to see all of the recipe submissions! Wish me luck!

Baked Apple Delight
4 medium Granny Smith apples, peeled and sliced
1/4 c. apple juice
1 stick butter, cubed
3/4 c. allulose natural sugar sweetener
1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp. ground ginger
3 tsp. cinnamon, extra for garnish
1/2 c. chopped pecans
1/3 c. golden raisins
Angel Food Cake
Whipped Cream

Preheat oven to 350. Grease a 1 quart baking dish. Placed sliced apples in dish. In a medium bowl mix together apple juice, sweetener, cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger. Pour over apples and stir lightly. Dot with butter. Sprinkle with raisins and pecans. Bake, uncovered, for 45 minutes- 1 hour until browned and apples are tender. Stir before serving. Serve warm over sliced angel food cake with whipped cream and cinnamon on top. *NOTE* The golden raisins can get dark in the baking process. Don't worry, they taste just fine!

Disclaimer: I received a free product to use in my entry in the contest. The thoughts & recipe are all mine.

Sunday, September 30, 2018

Thank God for Pop Tarts

Yep, I said it. I am NOT the mom making a big breakfast before school every morning. Nope. Never have been. Some of it can be attributed to the fact that while all of us love breakfast food, we don't really want to eat it until 10am, or better, at supper time. 

But also, the teenage boy just doesn't want to eat that much that early in the morning, which I can't say I blame him at all. His dad and I are neither one early morning eaters. We just can't eat as soon as we get out of bed. So, I'm satisfied if I can get a little something in him before he heads out the door. 

Oh and just so there isn't any confusion, the 2 year old? He has a nice breakfast every morning of usually oatmeal or cereal! 

I know so many of you do make breakfast every morning though, and you're always looking for quick, easy, yummy options. That's where today's recipe comes in. 

You can simply swap out ingredients to make these a hundred different ways, as long as you keep the base of eggs and milk the same. Plus you could make a big batch on the weekend, and keep them in the fridge to be reheated on busy mornings. I would guess they would last 3-4 days in an airtight container! Perfect for on the go too when the alarm doesn't go off on time!

We of course had these for supper one night, and the boys raved! Some hash browns, toast and fruit on the side and it was a full meal deal! So no matter what time of day you decide to serve them I bet your family loves them just as much!

Bacon Cheddar Egg Muffins
12 eggs
1/2 c. milk
1/2 c. shredded sharp cheddar cheese, extra for top
1/2 c. real bacon bits, extra for top
1/2 tsp. onion powder
Salt and Pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 350. Spray a muffin tin with nonstick spray. In a large bowl combine eggs, milk, onion powder, cheese, bacon, salt and pepper. Whisk well. Pour into muffin tin, filling each well about 2/3 full. Sprinkle with extra cheese and bacon. Bake for 25-30 minutes until eggs are set in the middle, checking with toothpick.

Shared at Weekend Potluck
Shared at Meal Plan Monday

Sunday, September 23, 2018

Welcome Fall

Yep, it happened. Autumn arrived. Officially. Summer. Is. Over. Excuse me while I go cry into my pumpkin spice latte.

Seriously though, I've said it before, and I will again. I don't hate fall. Sure, the rain gets annoying, and the drop in temps are not something I enjoy, but there are still warm sunny days and fun to be had. But to me, I know what comes after fall, and that is something I dread...so it becomes like a gateway of sadness. 

Two of the things I actually enjoy about this time of year came together in today's recipe. My Crock Pot and Game Day! Sure, I use my slow cooker year round, but not near as much as I do starting now all the way through winter. And September brought with it our family's favorite sport to watch...football! We love it all. High School (Go Cadets!) College (Go Irish) and NFL (Go Steelers) Just don't mention those choices to my husband or oldest son because we are a house divided on a couple of them! 

When we want to sit around and watch the game, I almost always plan to have a Crock Pot meal that day. Heck, I also plan those types when we are out enjoying a fun fall activity too. What's better than coming home after visiting a pumpkin patch or picking apples and having the smell of something warm and yummy fill the house? Plus, if you love to tailgate, this would travel beautifully to the stadium parking lot too!

So with this dish, I went a little retro. Called up on my inner child. It wasn't that hard because the 2 year old LOVES beans and weenies! Why not make a big batch for all of us to scarf on while yelling at the refs? Oh, and if you're not a pigskin family like us, it happens to make a terrific weeknight meal too!

Crock Pot Beans & Weenies
4 (15 oz.) cans pork n beans, extra liquid on top drained
1 lb. hot dogs, sliced
2 TBS butter
1/2 c. ketchup
1/2 c. barbecue sauce
2 TBS yellow mustard
1 TBS dried minced onion
1/4 tsp. garlic powder
1/4 c. brown sugar
Salt and Pepper to taste 
Diced onion

In a medium skillet melt butter over medium high heat. Saute hot dogs in butter until browned on all sides, about 5-7 minutes. Add to Crock Pot. Add pork n beans. Stir well. In a medium bowl combine ketchup, barbecue sauce, mustard, brown sugar, and seasonings. Pour over hot dog mixture. Stir to combine. Cook on LOW 3-4 hours. Garnish with diced onion, if desired. 

Inspired by South Your Mouth

Shared at Weekend Potluck 
Shared at Meal Plan Monday

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Cookie Sheets & Cabbage

A few weeks ago I read an article and it got me thinking. I can't remember where it was, and I literally read it in the 2 minutes of "free time" I had one afternoon, but basic gist of it was how an old, brown, beat up baking sheet should become the go-to gift at baby showers.

Um, what? I know that's what you're thinking because I was too. But the author's point was a baking sheet like that was reliable, still did the job, it was her "safe" one, and while it was ugly, it was still 100% okay. She went on to say how she has new, shiny, pretty ones, but things like that tend to make her nervous; and all of this was related to parenting.

Being a mommy (or daddy) is HARD. And some days it is ugly. It isn't shiny or new. But in the end, we get the job done. There is soooooo much pressure out there to be the perfect parent (Thanks, social media) and we need to know it's okay to not only realize it's hard, but there will be times when it isn't picture perfect and not only do we need to admit that, but also embrace it.

Well, the whole thing got me thinking and I decided I needed to start being more okay with the "ugly" in my life. My kids love me just as much on the days when the house is clean, I'm in nice clothes, my hair and make up are done, as on those that it looks like a tornado just went through the living room, my clothes are wrinkled and I was lucky to comb my hair let alone put make up on. They. Do. Not. Care.

So fast forward to when I made this recipe. Yep, as you can see in the pic, there is my old, brown, worn out baking sheet. If I'm keeping it real, I will admit the photo wasn't supposed to be taken on it. I tried to transfer those beautiful cabbage steaks to a spotless white plate, but they started to fall apart.

Now as a food blogger, of course I always want appetizing photos. Pretty ones that will catch the reader's eye. The "perfect" shot if you will. So, there I was panicking a little, getting overwhelmed, and almost ready to scrap the whole thing. Then I remembered that article. It doesn't have to perfect. It will be okay. I took out the camera, and I think captured just how yummy the food can be, no matter what the background looks like.

 I am a perfectionist, so it is a daily battle for me to accept things that aren't. I live with 3 boys. I have a husband who likes to "collect" things, I have a teenager and a toddler. My life is going to be messy. There are days when I am going to be in comfy clothes, messy hair and no make up...and then realize I have to run to the store. You know what, it will be okay.

Oh, and by the way, if you love cabbage as much as we do, this is about the easiest side dish you will ever make, and it's absolutely delicious, regardless if you cook them on a pretty baking sheet, or one with character like mine!

Roasted Cabbage Steaks
1 large head cabbage, outer leaves removed
1/4 c. vegetable oil
Salt and Pepper, to taste*

Preheat oven to 400. Coat a large baking sheet with nonstick spray. Slice cabbage into 1/2 inch circles. Brush oil on both sides. Season with salt and pepper. Roast in oven for 30-40 minutes until tender, and brown around edges. *NOTE* We like lots of black pepper with cabbage, so I use lots!

Shared at Weekend Potluck
Shared at Meal Plan Monday