Everyday Mom's Meals: July 2011

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Have Faith

I should be repeating that to myself over and over again. Why? B/c I'm learning, mostly b/c of this blog, that things in the culinary world I never thought I could do, I indeed can and they aren't nearly as hard as I convinced myself they were. Today's example of this: fresh whipped cream. Now for those out there reading this that make it all the time, I realize and fully accept you are rolling your eyes right now. But I'm serious--I never even attempted it b/c I figured what's the point. I can buy a tub of Cool Whip or a can of Redi Whip and be done w/ it. After all I was the child known for having "a little pumpkin pie w/ my Cool Whip". Okay, who am I kidding? I'm still that way! But I guess I was feeling brave b/c I figured, why not try. The worse that could happen is it turns into butter, and we can have that w/ some bread for supper! Well, wonders never cease b/c it turned out perfect the VERY first time and I am now a covert! No more tubs or cans of whipped topping for me again! It's fresh and homemade from now. I'm like the Little Engine That Could of the kitchen......I think I can, I think I can......and I did!


Whipped Cream

1 c. heavy whipping cream
3 TBS powdered sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla

In a chilled mixing bowl and w/ chilled beaters, use an electric mixer to beat until soft peaks form. Do not over beat b/c butter will form :) Store in fridge.


Shared on Celebrating Family Aug. 2, 2011
Shared on This Chic Cooks Aug. 3, 2011
Shared on Lark's Country Heart Aug. 3, 2011
Shared on Lady Behind The Curtain Aug. 3, 2011
Shared on Hugs & Cookies Aug. 3, 2011
Shared on Jam Hands Aug. 3, 2011
Shared on Mangoes and Chutney Aug. 5, 2011

Church Supper Sunday #3

Thanks to everyone who has participated the last 2 weeks. I'm having so much fun hosting this party and seeing all the amazing recipes fellow bloggers and foodies alike come up w/ each week.  This week I hope we can get even more entries and continue to grow our "Church Supper". Share your favorite recipes from the week, or past ones you know are hits!  Please remember I wish you God's blessings all week long!


Rules:

1. Feel free to link up as many recipes as you like!

2. Leave comments so I can visit you back!

3. Visit at least 2 other sites and tell them you joined them at my Church Supper!

4. Follow my blog here and on Facebook :)




Saturday, July 30, 2011

Menu Plan July 31- Aug 5

*New Recipe
(Where to Find on Blog)
^^ Left Over From Previous Week

Sunday (Alex's Pick)^^
Fish Sticks
Mac n Cheese
Green Beans

Monday
Southern Chicken Tenders*
Squash Casserole*
Corn on the Cob


Tuesday
California BLTs*
Baked Beans
Sweet Potato Fries

Wednesday
Walking Tacos (February 18, 2011)

Thursday
Pork Pot Stickers
Fried Rice*
Edamame w/ sea salt

Friday
Alex is having a sleep over at grandma's. We'll have leftovers!

Friday, July 29, 2011

Mmmm......Meat

While I have all the respect in the world for those out there who have decided to live a meat free life, I could never do it. I have some very close friends and even family who are Vegetarians or Vegans, but while I love my veggies, fruits, legumes, etc., I know myself well enough to know while I might be able to keep it up for a while if I attempted, eventually I would fall off the wagon and you would find me in the closet sucking on the bones from a slab of ribs. I enjoy a great steak cooked over an open flame. I love a juicy pork chop. I crave bacon!! Maybe this is b/c I am the daughter of the original "meat and potatoes" man! When I was growing up my dad wanted 2 things for supper every night: a meat, a potato of some sort and a veggie. Thank goodness my mom could get creative and mix it up w/ different combos and still insisted on pasta, rice, and casseroles every now and then. It's funny b/c w/ age my dad has become a much more adventurous eater and will try things today he would have never been willing to back then. Because we were such big meat eaters, each of my parents found new ways of preparing it. The first time my dad (the grill master) walked outside, chuck roast in hand, my mom thought he had lost his mind! "You can't cook an entire beef roast on the grill." But ah yes, you can! I'm not even sure what my dad's method was, or what even made him think to do it, but it was seriously some of the tasiest beef we had ever eaten. And quickly became one of our favorite summer meals. So now that I have conquered the grill myself, I have started to indulge my family w/ this savory treasure also. It's a great idea to do when you're going to be home all day, b/c you do have to keep an eye on it, but at least it's all done outside. Plus, if you're tailgating all day, or camping, or hanging out at a park, this would be a very easy way to feed a crowd w/o much effort! The next time you are passing the meat case at the grocery store, leave the steaks, grab a roast and get to grilling!

Grilled Beef Roast


1 chuck roast, 3-4 lbs. (I usually use boneless)
Salt and Pepper
Cooking Spray

Allow the roast to come to room temperature for 30 minutes before cooking. Prepare grill by cleaning grates and spraying w/ cooking spray. Turn off one side of the grill (propane grills). Roast is best cooked on indirect heat. Set the heated side on medium low. Rub roast w/ salt and pepper. Place on non heated side of the grill. Cook for 1 hour. Flip and cook 1 more hour. After cooking 2 hours, increase heat to medium high and wrap roast in foil and cook 1 additional hour. Turn grill off, leave lid closed and allow to sit for 30 minutes.


Shared on Amee's Savory Dish July 29, 2011
Shared on Make Ahead Meals Aug. 1, 2011
Shared on Jam Hands Aug. 1, 2011

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Thanks Bob

Nope, for those of you who know me and think I'm talking about my father-in-law, I'm not. This time I'm talking Evans, Bob Evans. That's right, the down home restaurant that has grown to be in almost every city in America. In 1997 I was hired as a hostess/waitress at a brand new one opening here in Fort Wayne. It was my first job, and little did I know what a big part of my life it would become.

First of all, I had a very defining moment of my 30 years on this earth, in those 4 walls. February 14, 1998, thirteen days before my 17th birthday a man walked in, held a gun to my head 2 times and proceeded to hold many of my co-workers and customers hostage. We were all spared that day, but needless to say, it's an experience that stays with you forever.

Secondly, I basically grew up while working there for over 5 years. I graduated high school, worked my way through college, got engaged, graduated with a degree and finally quit when I got my first job using that degree! It was a sad day when I walked out of that restaurant for the last time as an employee, but I knew I would someday be taking my family there for an affordable home style meal. And what do you know--it has become one of Alex's favorite places to eat!

Personally I think it's because their kids meals are pretty big in portion and he does love his food! For Adam and I one of our favorite things to get there, rather it be for breakfast, brunch or supper, is their biscuits and gravy. Unlike other versions of this classic, theirs is sausage based and even has sweet overtones. While Adam is a fan of many kinds, this is his favorite and it is the only "breakfast" gravy I enjoy. So how thrilled was I when the company finally released the recipe on their website? Very. I don't know what made them share it, but thank goodness they did! (I'm serious. When I worked there, it was a TOP SECRET that nobody would tell). And now that I've seen the recipe, I think it's funny I could never figure it out on my own. Easy is an understatement! Now we can enjoy this classic favorite any time we want and I can always remember my first job, all the amazing people I worked with, and miss to this day, and be returned to my youth if only for one meal.

Copy Cat Bob Evans Sausage Gravy
1 lb. Bob Evans Original Sausage
1/4. c. flour
2 cups milk
Salt and pepper to taste
8 prepare biscuits

In a large stock pot or skillet brown sausage. (I sprayed a little non stick spray on mine). Do not drain! Add in flour and cook for 1 minute until combined. Slowly add in milk. Bring to a boil, stirring frequently. Reduce heat and simmer until thick and a light brown color.






Shared on Miz Helen's Country Cottage July 28, 2011
Shared on It's A Keeper July 28, 2011
Shared on Around My Family Table July 28, 2011
Shared on Amee's Savory Dish July 29, 2011
Shared on Make Ahead Meals Aug. 1, 2011
Shared on Jam Hands Aug. 1, 2011
Shared on Celebrating Family Aug. 2, 2011


Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Spud Toss

No, I haven't invented a new game coming to a country fair near you. I'm actually trying to find new and creative ways of saying "potato salad" :) Let's face it, w/ as many recipes we have at our fingertips thanks to Mr. Internet, you have to catch someone's eye or they will pass right on by. And posting yet another recipe labeled the same as numerous ones before it is NOT the way to do it. But come on, it's the end of July, who can resist a good potato salad for a picnic, barbecue, pool party, or weeknight supper? Some things are just meant to be eaten during the fun of summer and it's one of them. Plus, there are 10000000000000 varieties out there to try, experiment w/ and make your own, so why not put a dent in that number while you can? This latest version comes to us from a fellow blogger friend, Wanna Be a Country Cleaver. I discovered her blog due to the vast connections I am making on Facebook with fellow food blogs and everyday foodies alike. I love her site, and this is just one of the many mouth watering recipes I want to try. And I have to say, b/c of this, she can be labeled "genius" from me! I shared with you that one of my favorite ways to eat a baked potato is "loaded". Well this smarty has taken that same idea and turned it into a potato salad. I know! I was excited too the first time I saw it. Obviously so, b/c I had to find a spot in my menu for it ASAP. Along side a beef roast I'm cooking on the grill (don't worry, that recipe is coming too) and some summer fresh cucumber slices, this tater salad is going to become a star at our dinner table in no time!

Loaded Potato Salad 
1 1/2 lbs. red potatoes, cut into 3/4" cubes. (Peel half. Leave other half w/ skin on)
1 oz. ranch dressing packet
3/4 c. sour cream
1/4 c. mayo
1/2 tsp garlic, grated
1/2 tsp ground pepper
1 tsp Dijon mustard
3/4 c. sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
5 slices bacon, cooked and chopped
2 TBS minced chives

Place potatoes in a large pot and cover w/ 1" of water. Bring potatoes to a boil, reduce heat and simmer 10 minutes on medium heat until fork tender. Drain. Place on lined baking sheet and sprinkle w/ ranch packet. Toss gently to coat. Place in fridge for 30 minutes or until cool. While cooling, whisk together sour cream, mayo, garlic, pepper and mustard. When potatoes cool, mix w/ sour cream mixture. Combine well. Fold in bacon and cheese. Sprinkle w/ chives and chill for 2 hours before serving.



Shared on Gooseberry Patch July 27, 2011
Shared on Miz Helen's Country Cottage July 28, 2011
Shared on It's A Keeper July 28, 2011
Shared on Around My Family Table July 28, 2011
Shared on Amee's Savory Dish July 29, 2011
Shared on Make Ahead Meals Aug. 1, 2011
Shared on Jam Hands Aug. 1, 2011
Shared on Lady Behind The Curtain Aug. 3, 2011

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Just Peachy

I love cook books. I love getting lost in them for hours finding new recipes, exploring new ideas and learning things from cooks that have come before me. Some of my favorite ones are those who were given to me by loved ones, and passed down from generation to generation. I especially enjoy seeing handwritten notes from those whom are no longer w/ us, and feeling they are right there w/ me in my kitchen. Our condo in Florida is a family condo, and was originally owned by Adam's Great Aunt Esther. To say she was a special lady doesn't even come close to describing her. Great Aunt Esther served our country, was a college professor, a nurse, a devout Christian and the matriarch of their family. When I came along, she and I instantly clicked. Both coming from a medical background, both being God loving women and both having a knack for organization, planning, and our special bond was letter/card sending. Nobody was better at it than she, and when she found out I too was one for dropping a note in the mail for no reason at all, we were instant friends. I adored Great Aunt Esther and when our Lord called her home in 2007 at the age of  93, we knew she had lived a long, full and fabulous life. When we were in New Smyrna Beach in June I came across a stack of her old cook books and couldn't wait to dive in. In addition, there were tons of small clippings she had cut out from various sources, and some included recipes Adam remembered her making when they would visit her. This came out of "Classic Desserts"- an entire book of recipes using sweetened condensed milk. And in my experience, if a recipe includes a can of that sweet, thick yumminess, it's a good one! Cooking is like a scrapbook--it lets you remember those whom you love so much, the happy times you shared w/ them, and preserves those memories for lifetimes to come.

Peach Custard Streusel Pie
1 9 inch unbaked pastry shell
1 29 oz can sliced peaches, well drained
1 14 oz can sweetened condensed milk
1/4 c. butter, melted
2 eggs
Dash of nutmeg
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 c. cold butter
1/2 c. firmly packed light brown sugar
1/2 c. unsifted flour
1/4 c. finely chopped pecans (my bag called them "pecan chips")

Preheat oven to 425. Place peaches in bottom of pastry shell. In a medium mixing bowl, beat eggs. Add condensed milk, melted butter, cinnamon and nutmeg. Mix well. Pour over peaches. (I put mine on a cookie sheet to catch drips) In another bowl, combine sugar and flour. Cut in cold butter until crumbly. Stir in pecans.  Sprinkle over pie. Place in bottom third of oven. Bake 10 minutes. Reduce temp to 375 and continue baking 35-40 minutes or until golden brown. Cool on wire rack. Refrigerate leftovers.


Alex meeting his Great Great Aunt Esther for the first time. Nov 2004

Shared on Hugs & Cookies July 26, 2011
Shared on Mandy's Recipe Box July 26, 2011
Shared on Celebrating Family July 26, 2011
Shared on Gooseberry Patch July 27, 2011
Shared on Miz Helen's Country Cottage July 28, 2011
Shared on It's A Keeper July 28, 2011
Shared on Around My Family Table July 28, 2011
Shared on Amee's Savory Dish July 29, 2011
Shared on Make Ahead Meals Aug. 1, 2011
Shared on Jam Hands Aug. 1, 2011
Shared on Sweet As Sugar Cookies Aug. 13, 2011

Monday, July 25, 2011

Never Too Hot

I am not one of those cooks who, when May rolls around, puts the crock pot away until fall. I think the crock pot can be used year round, and is really great during the warmer months when you don't want to use the oven. But I do find myself using mine less in the summer, but that's not the fault of the crock pot. That's the cook's fault. See, I tend to make dishes in mine that lend to colder temps. Buffalo Chili, Cheddar Potato Soup, Split Pea Soup etc. None of these are at the top of my menu list in July or August. But when I find a recipe that can easily be adapted for the crock pot, or is one I haven't made it it before, I am happy to dig it out, plug it in, and let it do the work for me. That's the case w/ smoked sausage and sauerkraut. I have been making this dish since Adam and I were dating and he was living in a one bedroom duplex w/ a small eat in kitchen. We had so much fun in that tiny house! We would go to the discount grocery store and for $20 get enough groceries to last him a month (it was easy b/c he was eating most dinner time meals at my parents' house w/ me ) and then after I would make "sausage, kraut and peas" as we called it. Throw some sauerkraut in a skillet, add the sausage and simmer. Heat some canned peas up in the microwave and ta-dah, dinner was served. And we thought we were eating good! To this day, it's still something I make for a super quick weeknight meal and we love it all the same. However, this time, I was going to be out of the house most of the day and needed supper waiting on me--here comes the crock pot. I found this, changed a few things to suit our tastes and now I have a whole new way of preparing this meal we've come to enjoy so much. Your crock pot: It's not just for winter time soups anymore!

Slow Cooker Sauerkraut and Sausage Adapted from Allrecipes.com

2 cans sauerkraut
1/4 c. brown sugar
2 packages Smoked Sausage rings, cut into portions
2 tsp Dijon mustard

In a medium bowl, combine sauerkraut, sugar and mustard. Place in slow cooker, leaving about 1/2 c. reserved. Arrange sausage over and then top w/ rest of kraut mixture. Cook on high for 2 hours, check for dryness and then cook on high for 2 additional hours. Or on low setting about 4 hours. If dry, add a little water. Serve sausage on top of sauerkraut w/ peas or potatoes on side.


Shared on Hugs & Cookies July 26, 2011
Shared on Miz Helen's Country Cottage July 28, 2011
Shared on It's A Keeper July 28, 2011
Shared on Around My Family Table July 28, 2011
Shared On Crock Pot Exchange July 29, 2011
Shared on Gooseberry Patch Dec. 28, 2011

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Church Supper Sunday

Thank you to all of you who participated in my first linky party last week. I had almost 20 entries, which for a first time effort I don't think is too bad. Yummy things were shared and new foodie friends were made. This week I hope we can get even more entries and continue to grow our "Church Supper". Share your favorite recipes from the week; and if they would feed a crowd, even better!  Please remember I wish you God's blessings all week long!


Rules:

1. Feel free to link up as many recipes as you like!

2. Leave comments so I can visit you back!

3. Visit at least 2 other sites and tell them you joined them at my Church Supper!

4. Follow my blog here and on Facebook :)



Saturday, July 23, 2011

Meal Plan July 24-29

*New Recipe
(Where to find on blog)

Sunday
We are celebrating Adam's birthday at the ballpark for a Tin Caps game w/ free tickets and vouchers for food!

Monday
Scrambled Eggs w/ Cheese
Biscuits w/ Sausage Gravy* (Bob Evans recipe)

Tuesday (Alex's pick)

Grilled Beef Roast
Loaded Potato Salad*
Sliced Cucumbers


Wednesday (Alex's Pick)
Fish Sticks
Mac n Cheese
Green Beans

Thursday
Grilled Asian Pork Chops*
Fried Cabbage & Noodles (August 17, 2010)


Friday
I am going to see HARRY POTTER!!!!!!
The boys will have pizza :)

Friday, July 22, 2011

Gobble Gobble

It's July and I've got turkey on the brain. Believe me, I'm not wishing summer away. Not by a long shot. As far as I'm concerned when Thanksgiving rolls around it could still be 80 and sunny! I enjoy the winter holidays, but wouldn't mind if they came w/ summer weather! No, I'm just hungry for turkey! I'm not really one to wait for a special day to fix a turkey dish, maybe not roast an entire 18 lb one, but find another way to enjoy the "other white meat". Oh wait, that title is already taken. Oops. Well, you know what I'm saying. I just get in the mood for it sometimes, and now is one of those times. So imagine my thrill when I found these over at Mommy's Kitchen., and they were labeled "weeknight easy". Could anything be more "me"? And what a fun way to enjoy turkey---I think most kids would get a HUGE kick out of these. Plus it's easy enough little hands could even help in the kitchen making these. So while I'm happy to say autumn is still a few months away here in Indiana, I'm happy to have this to remind my stomach how much I love the gobbler, and all the trimmings that go w/ it. Think of it as putting swim trunks on Tom Turkey and letting him out to get some sun :)

Turkey Roll Ups

1 16 oz. pkg sliced Smoked or Oven Roasted Turkey Breast
1 6 oz. pkg. Stove Top Turkey Stuffing (I actually used the "Cranberry" flavored one)
1 16 oz jar turkey gravy

Prepare stuffing according to package directions (you usually need 1/4 c. butter for this) and set aside. Spoon 1/4 c. stuffing onto each turkey slice. Roll up and place seam side down in a greased 9x13 pan. Continue rolling remaining turkey slices. Pour gravy on top. Cover w/ foil. Bake @ 350 for 30 minutes or until bubbly. Serve w/ mashed potatoes and cranberry sauce.


Shared on Amee's Savory Dish July 22, 2011
Shared on Julie's Eats and Treats July 22, 2011
Shared on Make Ahead Meals July 24, 2011
Shared on Hugs & Cookies July 26, 2011
Shared on Mandy's Recipe Box July 26, 2011
Shared on Celebrating Family July 26, 2011
Shared on It's A Keeper July 28, 2011
Shared on Around My Family Table July 28, 2011

Thursday, July 21, 2011

More of Summer's Best

It's been almost a year since I posted a recipe inspired by a trip my "boys" took to the Barr Street (Farmer's) Market here in Ft. Wayne and brought home fresh grown, fresh picked eggplant. Since then Alex requests  my Eggplant Parmesan about once a month. I'm happy to oblige him as long as I can find it as fresh looking as they did that day. And let's face it, in the middle of winter, that's not always possible at our local grocery stores. Ironically enough, last week at the store Alex and I saw eggplant that looked pretty good and I bought one. Where's the irony you ask? The next day they ventured to the market again only to find eggplant one of the few veggies available! Oh well. The one I got from the produce section really is one of the better ones I've seen outside a farmer's market/stand. Now what Alex doesn't know yet is that it's not going to be used in that dish he craves so much. Instead, I have a recipe I found and have been waiting to try since probably March! Lol I love planning meals based around all the beautiful things found in the garden during the summer months, and anything I can hollow out and stuff---yeah it's my friend! I think eggplant is one of the most underused veggies out there and it is a shame b/c it has wonderful flavor, sweet, and almost nut like depending on how it's prepared. Plus it's one of those foods that absorb flavors so easily, so it's a great way to experiment w/ different herbs, spices, rubs, marinates, etc. Earth provides us w/ so many beautiful options in the summer w/ all the fresh fruits and veggies, get out there and take advantage of it while you can!

Stuffed Eggplant Adapted from Allrecipes.com

1 Eggplant, halved lengthwise
Salt and pepper to taste
1/2 c. olive oil, divided
1 lb. sweet Italian sausage (could use Portabella mushrooms instead, diced)
2 cloves garlic, minced or grated
1/2 c. chicken broth (could use veggie broth)
2 c. Italian bread crumbs
1/2 c. Parmesan cheese, divided
5 button mushrooms, finely diced

Preheat oven to 350. Scoop out flesh of the eggplant, chop and reserve. Coat shells w/ olive oil and season w/ salt and pepper; set aside. Heat 1/4 c. oil in large skillet over medium heat. Saute sausage and garlic until brown. Drain. Stir in reserved eggplant and mushrooms. Saute until a little soft and mushrooms have browned a bit. Season w/ salt and pepper. Pour in broth and cook 5 minutes. Add bread crumbs and 1/4 c. cheese. If mixture seems dry, stir in a little more broth. Stuff shells and sprinkle w/ Parmesan cheese. Bake for 30-40 minutes until tender. Serve w/ a simple green or Caesar salad.

*NOTE* The portion pictures was enough for Alex and I both. The next time I make this I'm going to try smaller eggplants for a more "personal" portion.


Shared on Around My Family Table July 21, 2011
Shared on It's A Keeper July 21, 2011

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

My Take

We all have our favorite restaurants. The ones we can eat at over, and over, and over, and never tire of. Some might be places of our youth that we love, others hold special memories of a romantic evening w/ our significant other, and others just serve darn good food! For our family, one of these that top our list is Cracker Barrel. Adam and I always did like them, but after Alex came along and we realized we had a budding foodie on our hands--and by that I mean he will eat until he pops--we knew to go out as a family we were going to need a place that would fill us up w/o breaking our wallet!!! They have such amazing variety and everything tastes as if mom or grandma is in the kitchen slaving away over the stove. It truly is down home cooking brought right to your table. Plus, any place that serves breakfast ALL day is a hit w/ the Marshalls! Two weeks ago we were having our weekly Saturday night meal out, and once again it was at Cracker Barrel, and we were introduced to a side dish that knocked our socks off!! Well, okay, so none of us were wearing socks to begin with---but seriously they looked amazingly beautiful! Adam ordered one of their current specials, "Catfish Skewers". That's right---fried catfish on a stick!!!  How fun is that? But that's not even the best part! They were fun, and yummy, but not what I'm talking about!  I wasn't paying much attention to the menu, but when they brought his plate out there were some of the prettiest "taters" I had ever seen. OMGosh, they looked scrumptious! Adam tasted them, and was nice enough to share, and we were HOOKED! Right away we started picking them apart trying to figure out how they were cooked, what was on them, and how we could do them at home! I'm sure the people in the restaurant thought we were crazy! But after much discussion and lots of bites, we came up w/ something I think is pretty close. That's the great thing about food. You find something you love and if you're lucky you can recreate it, make it your own and enjoy it for years to come!

Skillet Bakers
3-4 large potatoes, baked and chilled overnight
Melted butter for basting
Salt and Pepper to taste
Your favorite seasoning blend- I like "Mixed Up Salt"

Slice potatoes into 1/4 inch slices. Brush both sides w/ melted butter and season w/ salt, pepper and herbs. Heat non stick skillet to medium. Cook potatoes in skillet until golden on both sides and skin is slightly crispy, about 15 minutes total, turning often.




Shared on This Chick Cooks July 20, 2011
Shared on Lark's Country Heart July 20, 2011
Shared on Gooseberry Patch July 20, 2011
Shared on Around My Family Table July 21, 2011
Shared on It's A Keeper July 21, 2011
Shared on Amee's Savory Dish July 22, 2011
Shared on Julie's Eats and Treats July 22, 2011
Shared on Make Ahead Meals July 24, 2011
Shared on Mandy's Recipe Box July 26, 2011
Shared on Celebrating Family July 26, 2011

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Mail Call

I am 30 years old and I still get a thrill out of getting packages in the mail. Maybe it's b/c most of the mail I get now that I'm "all grown up" is either boring or depressing (I'm tired of bills!) or maybe it's simply b/c it means something was thinking of me and took the time to send a little "happy" my way. I'm also very good about paying it forward to others. In fact, I'm kind of known for it on both sides of the family. "Oh Krista, she's always sending out letters, cards, pictures, treats, etc." Last week when the mail carrier knocked on my door I got an extra special treat! It was a box w/ the return address label marked "Grammy". Of course Alex immediately thought she had sent him another care package of cookies, but not this time. This box had my name on it. Inside was something absolutely adorable. A "flip" cookbook from her church full of recipes from all the members and enclosed in 2 beautifully varnished pieces of wood! Grammy not only submitted A LOT of the recipes found inside, but designed it and made the wood pieces herself---I've told you before, she's talented! It is one of the most unique way to collect recipes I've ever seen and something I will treasure always. Of course I couldn't wait to try something out of it; and why not start w/ a simple dessert (actually it's another one of those "is it a salad" or "is it a dessert" that requires no baking and no heat!) It's summer and anything that can be chilled or frozen is always on my menu! So, thanks Grammy---you are and always will be what I aspire to me in the kitchen!

 Icebox Cherry Salad

1 20 oz crushed pineapple, drained
1 can cherry pie filling
1 14 oz can sweetened condensed milk
1 16 oz. Cool Whip, thawed
1 c. chopped pecans

Fold all together. Put in 9x13 pan. Chill, or freeze. (I froze mine!)



Isn't that the cutest ever?




Shared on Celebrating Family July 19, 2011
Shared on This Chick Cooks July 20, 2011
Shared on Lark's Country Heart July 20, 2011
Shared on Gooseberry Patch July 20, 2011
Shared on Around My Family Table July 21, 2011
Shared on It's A Keeper July 21, 2011
Shared on Julie's Eats and Treats July 22, 2011
Shared on Make Ahead Meals July 24, 2011
Shared on Mandy's Recipe Box July 26, 2011

Monday, July 18, 2011

Facebook Giveaway

I've now reached 500 fans on my Facebook page! Can you believe it?? I can't! I will never be able to put into words how much this blog has come to mean to me, nor how much I enjoy meeting all of you through food. As a celebration, I'm giving away an uber cute prize to one lucky Facebook Fan. It's a cupcake themed potholder and set of 20 recipe cards. (I gave another set like this away a couple weeks ago and they were a huge hit). It's a contest on Facebook only, so if you are reading this and haven't found the Everyday Mom's Meals Facebook page yet, click here and become a fan. Then follow the directions in the photo album 500 FAN GIVEAWAY for entry. Thank you to all of my current fans, the new ones who have just come along and those who have been w/ me since the beginning. I love you all. Hope to see you all on Facebook!!

The Cute Prize: Available on Facebook Only

Loving Louisana

"Laissez Les Bon Temps Roulez".....As they say in New Orleans "Let The Good Times Roll". Could there be a more perfect slogan for a city that comes alive w/ celebration, drink and food? Now you want to know the funny part? I've never been to New Orleans. Never been to Louisiana! But Adam has and he has wonderful memories of the visits in order to see his Aunt Margo. She was born and raised in the farm country of Indiana, and while she resides in the Sunshine State now, most of her years, and I think probably what she would call her happiest, were spent in Louisiana. Well, now Adam's Aunt Margo is my Aunt Margo too--she is one of my favorite people in the entire world. To use something she says to Alex all the time "I love her as big as the sky forever and ever!" One of the things Adam loved about those visits was the incredible food he was introduced to. Benet's, crawfish, po boys, crab legs, mufalettas---each one was a favorite indulgence of his. And he has taken it upon himself over the years to introduce me to as many as possible; and now one of my favorites too are crab legs. Sweet, succulent, buttery....my mouth waters just thinking of them. And wouldn't you know, the first time Alex tasted them he was hooked too. While we were in FL he begged his dad to get a bucket of them and "share" w/ him. Yeah, Alex ended up eating 3/4 of the bucket! Adam enjoyed the corn and potatoes they came with though. LOL So as an extra special treat this week Mommy decided it was time for a traditional crab boil, right here in Indiana. We might not have the excitement of the French Quarter, or the nightlife of New Orleans, but we can still cook up some good food, enjoy it w/ loved ones and make some memories of our own. We'll be thinking of Aunt Margo while we "boil" away, smiling the whole time b/c we know she would be right here w/ us if she could! Let the Good Times Roll, indeed!!

Garlic Crab Legs Adapted from Allrecipes.com

3 1/2 lbs crab legs w/ shell (we use snow crab)
5 ears fresh corn
1 lb baby white potatoes
1 1/2 c. butter
3 tsp minced garlic
1/8 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
1 tsp Old Bay Seasoning, or to taste
Melted better for dipping
Lemon quarters

In a very large stock pot, bring a large amount of water to boil. Place the crab legs, corn and potatoes in boiling water. (If you don't have a pot large enough, separate pots). Boil until corn and potatoes are tender and crab is opaque and flaky. The crab may finish before the corn. Check every 5 minutes to check tenderness. Drain well. In a large pan melt butter, garlic, red pepper flakes and Old Bay Seasoning. Saute corn and crab for 5 minutes.




Shared on Make Ahead Meals July 18, 2011
Shared on Celebrating Family July 19, 2011
Shared on This Chick Cooks July 20, 2011
Shared on Lark's Country Heart July 20, 2011
Shared on Gooseberry Patch July 20, 2011
Shared on Around My Family Table July 21, 2011
Shared on It's A Keeper July 21, 2011

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Sunday Church Supper

When I was growing up, Sundays were for worship and family time. Sometimes immediately following the service, we would all gather in the church basement for fellowship, good friends and great food. Other times, we would all go home for a while and then gather at supper time for another "mini" service and a pot luck style church supper. I have so many fond memories of those gatherings, and thought it would be a great idea to host a virtual one right here. So we'll try it this week and maybe just maybe each week Everyday Mom's Meal will be the gathering place for a Church Supper type of linky party! Share your favorite recipes from the week that would be perfect for a crowd; and please remember I wish you God's blessings all week long!

Rules:

1. Feel free to link up as many recipes as you like!

2. Leave comments so I can visit you back!

3. Visit at least 2 other sites and tell them you joined them at my Church Supper!

4. Follow my blog here and on Facebook :)


Reader Request

I am never one to shy away from asking a question. If I want to know something and I can't find the answer, I will seek out those who do. How else are we supposed to learn? I know some see asking for help as a sign of weakness, but I was taught it takes more strength to admit you need help than to try to do something on your own w/o direction. I think cooking is a good example of this. I can't tell you how many times, more so when I was first married, I've picked up the phone to call either my mom or my Grammy to ask "How do you make?" or "What temperature do you cook ___at?" or "Um, I screwed this up. Can I save it?" Thank goodness the women in my family have been there to pull my "cheese out of the fire" more than once. In order to pay this forward a little bit, I've been giving my fans on Facebook a chance to ask me to find recipes they need help with, want to know how to make, or are just curious about and don't have the time to find on their own. I talked about this a couple weeks ago when I posted the recipes for Microwave Lo Mein and Cabbage Goulash---both of which were also ideas from fans. With those cooking conundrums solved, I gave more fans the chance to use me as their cooking encyclopedia/research assistant. This was what one fan asked me to find b/c her husband ate it as a child and requested her to recreate it. Boy, can I sympathize w/ it!!! A few of those have entered into my marriage as well. If it weren't for Adam and his childhood favorites, I might not have recipes for Beef StroganoffTuna Noodle Casserole and Black Raspberry Pie---they were all made w/ love for him, b/c he asked. So as a fellow wife I felt for her, and was up to the challenge. And even tough I couldn't pronounce it, I went looking for it. Wouldn't you know, Taste of Home came through once again; and even told me how to say it (see below for an explanation)! I hope this is very close to the dish her husband remembers as a child, b/c nothing makes a wife feel as good as when her man takes a bite, and that "Wow, you nailed it" smile crosses his face. Believe me, this everyday mom knows that all too well!

Cacoila (pronounced Caserla
*A spicy Portuguese shredded pork dish perfect for sandwiches or poured over rice

3 lbs. pork meat cut into 1 inch cubes
2 cloves garlic crushed
4-5 TBS paprika
1 1/2 c. red wine
4-5 TBS Pimenta Moida (crushed red pepper sauce in Spanish or Portuguese section of grocery store)
Salt to taste

Place all ingredients in a large bowl. Stir well. Marinade will be thick. Marinate for TWO days, making sure to stir daily. Once ready, stir once more before adding to a heavy duty large pot on low for 2 hours, stirring frequently. You'll know when it's ready b/c the meat will shred easily. 

*TIPS*
  • Amounts can be altered to taste w/o messing up recipe
  • Can also be made w/ beef stew meat
  • Can also be made in slow cooker. Cook on low until meat tender enough to shred. 
Photo Courtesy of Taste of Home

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Hot Stuff

You will NEVER hear me complain about the heat of summer! I might say "oh it's hot" but it's an observation, not a complaint!! I may be a "hot box" who is hot in the dead of winter, and I may be one of those people who can't be out in extreme heat, but it's okay--I can go in where there is AC, I can take a dip in our pool, or I can just suffer. But I dislike winter SO much, I never wish summer away, no matter how much I'm sweating and panting from the high temps! This upcoming week, the thermometer is supposed to reach at least 90 every day here in northwestern Indiana, and some days they are saying closer to 100--without the heat index. Add in the wonderful humidity we have here (and let me say, that is what makes the heat miserable....that sticky, muggy, take your breath away feeling) and we're going to be looking at 102-105. Heat advisories for the entire week have already been issued and when I was at the store today you could see people preparing w/ the necessities--noodles for the pool!! So how ironic my mom handed me a page she tore out of a Family Circle magazine w/ homemade ice pops on it, just yesterday. Mom's always right on time! I obviously haven't had the time to test any of these yet, but they are definitely going on my "must make" list, especially this week when I'm outside frying eggs on the sidewalk :-)

Chocolate Pudding Pops

2 1/4 c. cold 2% milk
1 (3.9 oz) instant chocolate pudding
1 c. Oreo cookies, crushed
1 ice pop mold (w/ 10 indentations)
10 wooden ice pop sticks

Whisk together milk and pudding mix in medium size bowl for 2 minutes. Fold in cookie chunks. Pour into mold and cover. Gently insert ice pop sticks into mold, keeping as upright as possible. Freeze 6 hours or overnight. To unmold: Remove cover. Run outside of mold under warm water and gently pry pops from mold. Place in freezer safe resealable plastic bag and store in freezer until serving. Makes 10 pops.


Photo Courtesy of Family Circle

Margarita Pops


1 (10oz) can frozen Barcardi margarita mixer
1/4 c. tequila
2 TBS orange liqueur
1 tsp lime zest
1/8 tsp salt
1 ice pop mold
10 ice pop sticks

In a large pitcher, stir together mixer, 1 can water, tequila, liqueur, zest and salt. Stir until margarita mixer is dissolved. Pour into mold and cover. Freeze 2-3 hours. Gently insert sticks. Freeze at least another 4 hours or overnight. Follow directions above to unmold/store. Makes 10 pops.

 *NOTE* For "virgin" varieties, replace tequila w/ 1/4 c. water and liqueur w/ orange juice.
Photo Courtesy of Family Circle

Iced Coffee Pops


2 1/2 c. coffee, brewed w/ 1/4 tsp cinnamon, chilled
2/3 c half-and-half
1/4 c. simple syrup (equal amounts sugar/water, boiled until sugar dissolved, cool)
1 ice pop mold
10 sticks

Combine coffee, half-and-half and syrup until blended. Pour into mold and cover. Freeze 2-3 hours. Gently insert sticks. Freeze at least another 4 hours or overnight. Follow directions above to unmold/store. Makes 10 pops


Photo Courtesy of Family Circle

Meal Plan July 17- 22

*New Recipe
(Where to find on blog)

Sunday
Crab Boil*
 - Crab legs
 - Baby Potatoes
 - Corn

Monday
Turkey Roll Ups*
Mashed Potatoes/Gravy
Cranberry Sauce

Tuesday
BBQ Chicken
Skillet Bakers*
Pan Roasted Brussels Sprouts (June 27, 2010)

Wednesday
Stuffed Eggplant*
Cesar Salad

Thursday (Happy Birthday Adam!!!)
Beef Stroganoff (June 17, 2010)
Rolls

Friday
Smoked Sausage
Sauerkraut
Peas

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Feels Like The First Time

The year is 1994. A very bright and talented 7th grader sits at a table w/ 3 other girls her age, waiting. What for you ask? A recipe. I just took you back to my Junior High School and my first week in Home Ec class :) I remember all of us being so excited we were going to bake something all by ourselves. The funny thing was we wouldn't be baking at all! Our first recipe to experiment w/ was No Bake Cookies :) I think that is pretty standard in Home Education classes across the country. Get kids used to recipes and measuring before introducing heat and fire, as to avoid distraction and possibly save the school from burning down! While I had helped my mom and grandmas in the kitchen numerous times, I remember feeling so "grown up" making something on my own and seeing the results---not to mention getting to eat them! Now here's the sad part of the tale......Adam never got this experience. First off, when I was in Junior High, he was a sophomore in college---cradle robber, ha ha--- but I'm talking about the fact that as a child he was allergic to chocolate! So his mom, wanting to make a dessert the whole family could enjoy, took the basic no bake recipe, omitted the cocoa and wah-lah--no bake peanut butter cookies!! Genius, right?? And to this day, they are one of the family's favorites sweet treats, myself included and now Alex too. And the funniest part?? Even though Adam's allergy to chocolate ended almost 30 years ago, she still makes them w/o every time! If it ain't broke, don't fix it! This is my version of those, and the only reason it's a tad different is b/c the first time I made them I was out of white sugar and had to use brown instead:) That's okay though--maybe someday years down the road, my daughter- in- law will be using my recipe b/c my grandkids love it so much, and they will tell the story of when grandma was a 7th grader, and it will feel like the first time all over again!

No Bake Peanut Butter Cookies
3 cups old fashioned rolled oats (sometimes takes a little more)
2 tsp vanilla
5 TBS peanut butter
1/2 c. milk
2 cups brown sugar
1/4 c. butter

Combine first  3 ingredients. Set aside. In a small sauce pan, combine milk, brown sugar and butter. Bring to a boil over medium heat stirring often. Let hard boil for 1 minute. (Rapid, rolling boil). Add to oatmeal mixutre stirring well and rapidly. Spoon (heaping TBS) onto wax paper or plastic wrap and let set.



Shared On Around My Family Table July 14, 2011
Shared on It's A Keeper July 14, 2011
Shared on Simply Delish July 15, 2011
Shared on Lovely Little Snippets July 17, 2011
Shared on Make Ahead Meals July 18, 2011
Shared on Celebrating Family July 19, 2011
Shared on This Chick Cooks July 20, 2011
Shared on Hugs & Cookies Aug. 17, 2011
Shared on Everyday Sisters Nov. 6, 2011

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Pasta and Pigs

You have a really weird picture in your head now, don't you? Ha. Don't worry, once you scroll down and see the picture of this new dish you'll not only understand but have a happy picture instead! We love bacon. We love cheese. We love pasta. There you go. I just summed up my family in 3 tiny sentences. If you are a regular reader, none of those should come as a surprise. So picture me sitting in a car, riding home from FL (notice I didn't say driving, that is Adam's job) and it's about hour #10 in the car and I'm reading this month's Everyday with Rachael Ray and I come upon a recipe that combines all three!  I had already found the celery salad w/ blue cheese and normally if I find one usable recipe out of an issue, I'm happy, so two is an added bonus. I literally sat up in my seat and  made Adam look at the picture (which wasn't easy while trying to navigate the mountains of Chattanooga).  What a little treasure this is too. Now she presented it as "BLT" b/c she served a salad on the side to achieve the "L" part (you'll understand in a minute) but I'm not, so bye bye "L". How bad can a dish be when it has not 1, but 2 cheeses, plus bacon, plus tomatoes? Not bad, not bad at all. Three faves coming out of the same 9x13 pan---that's a successful dinner!

Bacon & Tomato Mac 'n' Cheese Adapted from Everyday with Rachael Ray


4 slices bacon, cut into 1 inch pieces
16 oz rotini pasta
2 1/4 c. milk
6 oz. cream cheese, softened
2 c. finely shredded sharp cheddar cheese
6 oz. cherry tomatoes, quartered (about 1 cup)
salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 375. In a large skillet, cook the bacon over medium heat until crisp, about 10 minutes. Drain. Meanwhile, in a large pot of boiling, salted water, cook the pasta until almost al dente; drain. In the same pot, bring the milk to a simmer over medium heat; stir in cream cheese until blended. Stir in cheddar cheese until melted. Add the pasta, bacon and tomatoes. Season w/ salt and pepper. Transfer to a 9x13 casserole dish and bake until heated through, about 20 minutes.



Shared on This Chick Cooks July 13, 2011
Shared on Lark's Country Heart July 13, 2011
Shared on Around My Family Table July 14, 2011
Shared on It's A Keeper July 14, 2011
Shared on Simply Delish July 15, 2011
Shared on Lovely Little Snippets July 17, 2011
Shared on Make Ahead Meals July 18, 2011
Shared On Celebrating Family July 19, 2011
Shared on Gooseberry Patch Nov. 16, 2011

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

1+1= YUMMY!!

Math always was my favorite subject in school; and I have to admit the one I was best at. But in this case, the equation leads to 100% deliciousness. See, it was time to once again fry up some green tomatoes ( I told you we like to eat these often in the summer) and I wanted to experiment a little. We loved the beer batter I used on the fish in FL so much I thought it would be awesome on veggies too. After all, if you are at a fair and get a fried vegetable basket, is usually includes at least one green tomato, and they are battered not breaded. Yes, I'm the girl that goes to the fair and eats anything and everything that is fried! "Fat fried fat" we like to call it :-) But if I'm eating fried veggies, they are good for me right? Well, at least that's what I tell myself!! It's a treat, and we don't do it all the time, but when we do.....mmmmmm....is it good!!! So I figured why not try the batter we tried and enjoyed so much on another treat we enjoy so much??!! Now, if you enjoy a more traditional fried green tomato, by all means, stick to the original recipe I posted, and it's perfectly scrumptious too, but if you are like me, and like to experiment and/or want a reminder that fair and festival season is upon us, try this new one. It will make you feel like you're walking the midway, lights flashing, the smell of kettle corn, cotton candy and elephant ears in the air!

Beer Battered Green Tomatoes

4-5 green tomatoes, sliced about 1/4 inch thick
Salt and pepper to taste
Vegetable oil for frying

Batter:

1/3 c. flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1/3 c. flat beer (I used it right from the bottle and it worked fine)

Slice tomatoes and drain in a colander for about 30 minutes. Pat dry w/ paper towels.  Whisk flour, salt and pepper in a large bowl. Whisk in beer.Stir well w/ no clumps. Heat 1/2 inch oil in electric skillet to 350. Batter tomatoes and let excess drip off. Fry on each side about 4 minutes. Do not let touch. Fry in batches as to maintain temperature of oil. Dry on paper towels. Season w/ salt and pepper to taste.


Shared on Mandy's Recipe Box July 12, 2011
Shared on This Chick Cooks July 13, 2011
Shared on Lark's Country Heart July 13, 2011
Shared on Around My Family Table July 14, 2011
Shared on It's A Keeper July 14, 2011


Green Tomato on FoodistaGreen Tomato

Monday, July 11, 2011

Berry Good

For so long now I've been known as the cook who doesn't bake. Well, I think it's time I start embracing my other side---the one who is no longer afraid of the oven, exact measurements and sifting! To be honest, it wasn't ever that I didn't enjoy baking, it just seemed more in depth and took more time and sometimes I'm not the most patient person in the world. But as I do it more and more, I'm learning new tricks, techniques and getting more comfortable w/ doing things I probably would have never attempted before. I've also learned that if I want a recipe for something when it's time to search for it, adding the word "easy" generates results that are ones I can do and feel comfortable trying. That's how I found this on Cooks.com--looking for "easy raspberry desserts". See, it's raspberry picking time again, and I know Adam is going to start bringing home buckets full of them, and Alex wants to go picking too, like we did for strawberries, so I needed to use what I had left in the freezer from last year. It hasn't been too long since I made my Raspberry Cobbler so I wanted something different; and since the last 2 desserts I made were not pastry based, I thought it was time for one including some sort of crust or topping. I love crumb topped pies, and/or crisps, so this was perfect for all of this. The boys get their favorite berry and I get the sweet crumbles on top! I'm so happy I have another raspberry dish in my recipe box b/c rather it be black, red, fresh or frozen, the men in my house are raspberry "nuts" and it is my job to use 'em not waste 'em; and baking, well it's "berry good" for me :)

Raspberry Crisp
4 c. raspberries (if frozen, thawed and drained well)
1/3 c. white sugar
1/3 c. brown sugar
1/3 c. flour
1/4 c. butter or margarine, softened
3/4 c. rolled oats

Place berries in a 9x11 pan. Sprinkle w/ white sugar. In a large bowl, combine butter, brown sugar, flour and oats. Mix well w/ hands until crumbles. Sprinkle over berries. Bake @ 350 for 30 minutes or until topping is browned. Serve w/ whipped cream.



Shared on Mandy's Recipe Box July 12, 2011
Shared on This Chick Cooks July 13, 2011
Shared on Lark's Country Heart July 13, 2011
Shared on Family Fresh Cooking July 13, 2011
Shared on Around My Family Table July 14, 2011
Shared on It's A Keeper July 14, 2011
Shared on Simply Delish  July 15, 2011
Shared on Lovely Little Snippets July 17, 2011
Shared on Make Ahead Meals July 18, 2011
Shared on Gooseberry Patch Sept. 28, 2011

Raspberries on FoodistaRaspberries