Friday, September 30, 2011

It's 6:30pm, Time for Breakfast

Yep, that's right. Most of the time if the Marshalls are eating eggs, bacon, sausage, pancakes, French toast, quiche, etc. it's at supper time. I've stated before, but I will again for those here for the first time, we love breakfast food, but none of us are big early morning eaters. If we are going to have a big meal for breakfast, we prefer it to be about 10am or after. (Yes, I love brunch to answer your question.) I'm sure Alex gets this from the 2 of us, but I'm not really sure where we got it from b/c both of our parents all eat breakfast; and can't start their day w/o it. Me? The thought of eating anything as soon as I get up almost makes me nauseous. As a kid, my mom was happy to get some vitamins and glass of milk or juice in me before school. (Believe me she tried many times to get me to eat something more substantial.) But for supper?? Well that we all love. It's almost comfort food to us to have it as our evening meal. Now I know where this came from b/c my dad used to fix breakfast as supper when I was a kid, and it was a huge treat when he did. (Is it just me or even men who can't cook--which my dad can--can make really good breakfast?) Alex gets so excited when he sees something that involves syrup on the supper menu I post on the fridge weekly. And for me I really like it b/c it gives me lots of other options from the "breakfast food" category to use as dinners. But rather you make this at 7am for a bright and early breakfast, 11am for a brunch or 6pm for a family dinner, it is yummy any time of the day!

 Cinnamon French Toast

6 slices Texas toast (can find a loaf in the bread aisle)
3-4 large eggs (depending on how big they are)
2 1/4 c. milk
3 TBS ground cinnamon
3 tsp vanilla
3 pinches salt

In a large bowl whisk eggs, milk, cinnamon, vanilla and salt. Mix well. Preheat an electric griddle to 350. Lightly coat w/ cooking spray. Dip each piece of bread in egg mixture for 20 seconds, making sure to coat each side. Fry on griddle until brown and crisp on each side. Cut into portions and garnish w/ powdered sugar.

Shared on Simply Sweet Home Sept. 30, 2011
Shared on Jane Deere Sept. 30, 2011
Shared on Sweet as Sugar Cookies Oct. 1, 2011
Shared on Six Sisters' Stuff Oct. 1, 2011
Shared on Make Ahead Meals Oct. 3, 2011
Shared on Home Savvy A to Z Oct. 3, 2011
Shared on Mrs. Happy Homemaker Oct. 3, 2011
Shared on Jam Hands Oct. 3, 2011
Shared on Chef in Training Oct. 4, 2011
Shared on Mandy's Recipe Box Oct. 4, 2011
Shared on Hugs & Cookies Oct. 5, 2011
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Thursday, September 29, 2011

Restaurant Favorite

Do you continue to go back to a certain restaurant for one dish, and one dish alone. It's not to say the other parts of the menu aren't just as tasty, but this one thing makes you drool at the mention of it's name, you crave it weekly, and you would drive hours to have it? For us, that would be the Fideo Soup at one of our favorite Mexican restaurants here in Fort Wayne, El Azteca. This is a family owned restaurant (I love that. Chains are okay, but I like to support local people) that serves some of the best traditional Mexican food in the city. Personally I love their chicken enchiladas. Oh, and the margaritas :) But the one thing that all 3 of love, and I mean w/ a capital "L" is that soup. Fideo Soup is best described at Mexican Noodle Soup. Yep, it's that basic. From the first time Adam and I tried it we wanted more and more. We've been known to go in there and eat the free chips and salsa and 2 big bowls of soup for a meal! And each time we ate it we would try to guess what was in it. Then one night we were taking a guest there, whom has food allergies, so we had to inquire as to what the ingredients were. They were very gracious in telling us the list; but of course no specific amounts. I have to say, upon learning what exactly made up this grand soup, I was pretty proud of us b/c we had figured most of it out. So I went searching for some info on just how much of everything to include, and after finding several ideas and different versions, I came up w/ what I was the closest thing we could get w/o getting in the car. I love when a good plan works out, our tongues don't lead us astray and we can have a favorite any night of  the week!

Fideo Soup (Mexican Noodle Soup)
8 oz vermicelli
2 TBS vegetable oil
1 c. finely chopped onion
2 garlic cloves, minced
4 cans Campbell's condensed beef broth (w/ the other condensed soups)
12 oz tomato sauce
3 beef bouillon cubes
2 tsp kosher salt (add this a little at time to taste)
1 tsp black pepper
6 cups water

In a large stock pot, head oil over medium heat. Break vermicelli into small pieces, about 1" long. Saute dry noodles in oil until golden but not too brown. Watch carefully this happens quickly and they can burn easily. Remove from pot and drain on paper towels. Do not wipe out pot. In reserved oil, cook onion and garlic until tender but not brown. Add beef broth, tomato sauce, water, bouillon, salt and pepper and stir well. Cover and simmer for 20-25 minutes until pasta is tender. Adjust seasoning and serve.



Shared on Around My Family Table Sept. 29, 2011
Shared on It's A Keeper Sept. 29, 2011
Shared on Recipes For My Boys Sept. 29, 2011
Shared on Simply Sweet Home Sept. 30, 2011
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Shared on Six Sisters' Stuff Oct. 1, 2011
Shared on Make Ahead Meals Oct. 3, 2011
Shared on Home Savvy A to Z Oct. 3, 2011
Shared on Mrs. Happy Homemaker Oct. 3, 2011
Shared on Chef in Training Oct. 4, 2011
Shared on Mandy's Recipe Box Oct. 4, 2011

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Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Trivia Winner


Thanks to everyone who played along w/ Tuesday Trivia! 

The correct answer is "Because of the amount of ingredients. A pound each of flour, butter, eggs and sugar.
GOOD JOB EVERYONE!!!

The WINNER Is.....

Alison from Under The Big Oak Tree!
An email has been sent to you and you have until Friday, Sept. 30, 12pm EST to email me w/ your address to confirm! 

Congratulations!

The next TUESDAY TRIVIA will be October 25th! Come back again for another fun round!





Apples Apples Apples

This is the title of one of the first books Alex ever read all by himself; and still one of the first "fall" books we read every year when the season comes around again. (If you have little ones, it is really cute!) It might be geared towards a target audience of 3-6 year olds, but I think it sums up what most of us relate to autumn more  than anything, next to falling leaves of course. Apple picking, apple festivals, apple pie, apple dumplings, apple butter, applesauce....all are things that start popping up in homes across America about mid to late September all the way up to Thanksgiving. There is just something about the smell of an apple w/ some cinnamon mixed in coming from my oven that makes me want to carve a pumpkin, or curl up under a blanket on the couch w/ a cup of hot cider. There really are so many things you can do them, I can understand why my grandparents always bought them bushels at a time so Grammy had enough to last through the fall baking season! To be fair, I was in a hurry, so I took some help from the store w/ pie filling, and figured w/ a crumb topping we could have a quick dessert. But I'm sure fresh apples would work just as well! Apples, apples everywhere. Fall is here ya'll!

Apple Crisp

1 can apple pie filling
11/2 tsp cinnamon, divided
3/4 tsp nutmeg
1/2 c. flour
1/2 c. brown sugar
1/2 c. old fashioned oats
1/3 c. butter, softened
1/2 c. finely chopped walnuts

Preheat oven to 375. In a 9x9 baking dish, spread pie filling evenly in bottom. Sprinkle w/ 1/2 tsp cinnamon. In a large bowl mix flour, brown sugar, oats, butter, nutmeg and remaining cinnamon. Mix until crumbly. Add in walnuts and mix well. Sprinkle over pie filling. Bake 35 minutes or until brown and bubbly. Serve warm w/ vanilla ice cream and caramel topping if desired.


Shared on This Chick Cooks Sept. 28, 2011
Shared on Hugs & Cookies Sept. 28, 2011
Shared on Lady Behind The Curtain Sept. 28, 2011
Shared on Gooseberry Patch Sept. 28, 2011
Shared on Lark's Country Heart Sept. 28, 2011
Shared on Something Swanky Sept. 29, 2011
Shared On Miz Helen's Country Cottage Sept. 29, 2011
Shared on Around My Family Table Sept. 29, 2011
Shared on It's A Keeper Sept. 29, 2011
Shared on Recipes For My Boys Sept. 29, 2011
Shared on Simply Sweet Home Sept. 30, 2011
Shared on Jane Deere Sept. 30, 2011
Shared on Sweet as Sugar Cookies Oct. 1, 2011
Shared on Six Sisters' Stuff Oct. 1, 2011
Shared on Make Ahead Meals Oct. 3, 2011
Shared on Home Savvy A to Z Oct. 3, 2011
Shared on Mrs. Happy Homemaker Oct. 3, 2011
Shared on A Healthy Jalapeno Oct. 19, 2011

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Tuesday, September 27, 2011

My Little Dumpling

We've been having some fall like days here in Indiana. We've also been having warm summer like days too. Yep, that's Indiana. They say if you don't like the weather, wait about 5 minutes, it will change. I like making my menu plans a week, or even two, in advance. It gives me a sense of accomplishment. It gives me a plan and organization, which for those who know me best will tell you, are things I excel at. The only problem w/ deciding what to eat so far in advance? The weather on the day I'm planning sometimes dictates my choices, and then Mother Nature laughs at me, if you will, mocks me, and changes it just to spite me. This was the case the night I was trying the Chicken and Dumplings recipe I found at Carolina Heartstrings- another blog I love to  follow; and I adore their motto "Two Friends...Two Lives...Two States...One Connection". Isn't that too cute?? They posted this back in August, and I knew I had to make it for Adam and Alex. The day I planned it...Rain...55. The day I made it....Sunny...78. Yep, she got me again. But that's okay.  See, here's the secret...I've never been the biggest dumpling fan. (Unless it's holding an apple or peach) But my "little dumpling" (Both of them actually) is! Each of them love getting the Chicken and Dumplings at Cracker Barrel rather it be as a side, or main course. The ironic part? The night before I was making these, we were actually there for supper and Alex had them w/ his macaroni and cheese meal. When I explained we were having them the next night his response was "Who cares. I love dumplings." See, I told you. Well, this dish made both of my boys very happy, and it even changed my mind too! These were so light, and just the right texture.....not "doughy" at all! This will definitely be something I make again when it is chilly and fall like for all of us to enjoy!

Chicken and Dumplings from Carolina Heart Strings (link to original recipe above)

1 package boneless chicken tenders
3 medium carrots, diced
3 ribs celery w/ leafy tops, diced
1/4 tsp poultry seasoning
32 oz. chicken broth
1 can reduced sodium cream of chicken soup (unprepared)
Salt and pepper to taste
1 can refrigerated biscuits- 8 count
Olive Oil

To prepare the chicken, spread on a baking sheet. Drizzle w/ olive oil and season w/ salt and pepper. Rub to coat well. Roast in preheated oven at 350 for 45 minutes or until cooked through. Remove and let cool. Once cool, shred or dice into bite sized pieces and set aside.

Combine chicken, broth, soup and poultry seasoning in a large dutch oven. Bring to a boil over medium high heat. Cover and reduce to simmer. Cook 10 minutes.

While cooking, take biscuits apart and place on a floured cutting board. With a floured rolling pin, roll each biscuit out to about 1/8" thickness. Cut each into strips. Mine made about 4-5 strips each.

Remove lid from chicken mixture and increase heat to medium and add celery and carrots. Once it's boiling again, add dumplings, one at a time, stirring between each to prevent sticking. Cover and reduce heat. Cook 20 minutes stirring occasionally. Season w/ salt and pepper if desired.

~Join me for Tasty Tuesday on Formula Mom.~


Shared on Mandy's Recipe Box Sept. 27, 2011
Shared on This Chick Cooks Sept. 28, 2011
Shared on Hugs & Cookies Sept. 28, 2011
Shared on Lady Behind The Curtain Sept. 28, 2011
Shared on Lark's Country Heart Sept. 28, 2011
Shared on Miz Helen's Country Cottage Sept. 29, 2011
Shared on Around My Family Table Sept. 29, 2011
Shared on It's A Keeper Sept. 29, 2011
Shared on Recipes For My Boys Sept. 29, 2011
Shared on Simply Sweet Home Sept. 30, 2011
Shared on Jane Deere Sept. 30, 2011
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Tuesday Trivia

It's the return of your favorite quiz game! For those new to EMM, this used to be a feature I did weekly on Facebook, and then weekly on the blog. I cut back to the last Tuesday of the month only, and this is the first in the new series. The rules are easy, the prize is cute....so why not give it a shot, and oh, tell all your friends!!!

Good Luck!!

Rules:

1. Leave a comment here w/ your answer, and email address. I have to have a way to find you!

2. If you have an extra minute, could you please become a follower of my blog through GFC? On the home page, left hand side--Google Friend Connect.

3. All correct answers will be entered and winner chosen by Random.org

4. One entry/person, please

5. This contest open to US RESIDENTS ONLY. (I'm sorry fans outside the US, If I was a rich woman I would send you each something nice!)

6. Contest Ends TUESDAY SEPTEMBER 27 at Midnight, EST.

The Prize:


A cute cutting board from Le Gourmet Chef: Apple shaped for fall :)


The Question:

Where did pound cake get it's name?



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Monday, September 26, 2011

One Potato, Sweet Potato

Have you noticed in the frozen potato section of your grocery store if they are carrying bags of frozen sweet potato fries? Well, mine is and it's a development within the past year. Before that I could only find them at stores like Fresh Market. I think it's absolutely wonderful that companies have started to make healthier options for families who shop at "regular" stores like Walmart, Meijer, Kroger, etc. I think convenience is one of the major reason for some of the poor eating habits in this country. I know it is for my family. When we're rushing around from one activity to another, or I've been out all day and home late, it is so easy to hit a drive thru or order pizza. And to be quite honest, I think every once in a while, neither of these choices are as evil as some would like us to believe. There are people out there who want parents to feel guilty about some of the choices we make when it comes to feeding our families, and I believe everything in moderation. Fast food burgers 4 nights a week.....absolutely not. Grabbing a bite to eat so your day can go a little easier every now and then....okay w/ me. So if next to the french fries there is a bag of easy to prepare, precooked, frozen sweet potato fries I think it's a fantastic option. I've used them before, and they are really tasty. But this week I had some extra sweet potatoes I needed to use, so I decided to make my own. OMGosh, how good! We love sweet potatoes, and I've done roasted "chips" in the oven before, but there is just something about having them in fry shape that I think makes them taste even better! And the best part? They were done in about the same times as the frozen ones :) I'm a mom all about feeding my family healthy delicious food. But I'm also a realist that know convenience is something every parent needs a little taste of now and then!

Oven Baked Sweet Potato Fries

3 medium sweet potatoes ( I figured 1 potato per person)
Olive Oil
Kosher Salt
Pepper

Preheat oven to 450. Line a large baking sheet w/ aluminum foil. Peel the potatoes (you can leave the skin on for extra nutrients, but it tends to be a bit chewy). Chop a small piece off each end of each potato, making the ends "flat". Slice each potato in "planks"--stand the potato up on end and slice downwards. Then slice each plank into "sticks" making fry shapes. Place on baking sheet. Drizzle w/ olive oil. They should glisten, but you don't want them laying in pools of oil. Season well w/ kosher salt and pepper. Toss around to coat evenly. Add just a tad bit more oil. Cook for 10 minutes. Turn and flip. Cook for 15 additional minutes until tender and golden brown.


Shared on Beyer Beware Sept. 26, 2011
Shared on Chef in Training Sept. 27, 2011
Shared on Naptime Creations Sept. 27, 2011
Shared on Celebrating Family Sept. 27, 2011
Shared on Sweetology Sept. 27, 2011
Shared on Mandy's Recipe Box Sept. 27, 2011
Shared on This Chick Cooks Sept. 28, 2011
Shared on Hugs & Cookies Sept. 28, 2011
Shared on Lady Behind The Curtain Sept. 28, 2011
Shared on Miz Helen's Country Cottage Sept. 29, 2011
Shared on Amee's Savory Dish Sept. 30, 2011
Shared on Everyday Sisters Oct. 30, 2011
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Sunday, September 25, 2011

Church Supper #11

Oh my gosh! How great was last week's Church Supper?? We had over 60 entries--more than double the usual amount. A HUGE thank you to each and every one of you who shared yummy dishes w/ me. I love all the ideas I get from each and every one of your submissions and I know other readers do too. We have another busy weekend at our house, including a Taekown Tournament. Congrats to my little man who walked away w/ a Bronze Medal in sparring! For his first tournament, we couldn't have asked for me and are SO proud! and The Light the Night Walk supporting The Leukemia Society tonight. Adam is walking in honor of his brother Matt. For those who follow this blog, you know Matt was diagnosed w/ leukemia back in May and Adam was his stem cell donor a month ago. Well, due to increasing blood count numbers, and the total success of the transplant thus far, Matt is home and recovering!! Praise God! And thank you for each prayers said for our family. We got our miracle, and Adam wants to raise money to support the LLS so another family can get theirs as well.  Thank you so much for sharing your wonderful food w/ me. And please spread the word! I know we can surpass last week's amount! 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. Link up to your ACTUAL recipe, not just your homepage. Much easier to find you that way!

3. Include a link back to EMM on your recipe post or grab my button!

4. Leave comments so I can visit you back!

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

6. Follow my blog here w/ GFC and on Facebook :)



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Saturday, September 24, 2011

Weekend Company #2 {Guest Blogger Tina}


I can't thank each of you enough for making last week's debut of Weekend Company such a huge success. It received such great feedback and everyone enjoyed it so much (including me) it is now a permanent weekly feature. I've had so many foodie and blogger friends say they would love to join you every Saturday, that my calendar is full until February!

This week, I have a special blogger friend here for the weekend. Back in the spring, I linked up to my very first blog hop. For those of you who don't know what that is, bloggers share recipes on one another sites and readers "hop" from one dish to the next. The host requested we visit another participant and I chose Sugar Bean Bakers. We became instant foodie friends, and I'm so excited she is here to share w/ you today. Please welcome Tina.....





Hi, my name is Tina from Sugar Bean Bakers

I'm a graphic designer with a passion for photography and I have a huge crush on flour. And sugar. And cocoa. And butter. Oh... butter.
I began blogging last year at the suggestion of a friend. Well, actually her husband suggested that I start a blog. I had been baking and posting the resulting photos and recipes on Facebook until that time. I try to present fun and easily achievable recipes. No Martha Stewart ingredients here! Just regular stuff that regular people like showcased with step by step photography.
Baking and I have a long history. I'm a farm girl, and grew up very involved in 4-H. I took cooking as a project many years. I baked and cooked with my mom growing up, and even after I got married. Once married, I continued to bake until I had my son. At that time, it seemed easier to just reach for those place and bake cookies than to make something from scratch. I still baked, but usually just for holidays and special occasions.



A couple years ago I stumbled upon Bakerella's blog. From there, things changed. I suddenly remembered what I used to love about baking.


Now, I bake two times a week, at least. I bake on Sunday nights to have treats for lunch boxes, and on Wednesdays, when I send the goodies to the Bean's youth group.
Who is the Bean? Oh, I'm glad you asked. Since my son, now 14, was very small, I have called him "Sugar Bean". I told him should I ever open a bakery (very unlikely), I would name it either The Sugar Bean Bakers or The Sugar Bean Bakery. I needed a name for my blog and it just seemed right. However, there's no Bakery to speak of... so... Sugar Bean Bakery was out. Sugar Bean Baker sounded odd... so... that was out. Sugar Bean Bakers it is, even if there is but one baker. Of course there will also only ever be one "Sugar Bean" in my life :)
This recipe, which one of my youth group members dubbed "Amazing Cakes", is something I've been making for a couple years now. You can't tell from the outside that it is filled, so when people bite into it and hit that fluffy filling, they are surprised (in a good way!).
You can start with a boxed mix for your cupcakes- no worries. The cake isn't what makes this recipe, it's the filling. And the glaze.
oh.the.glaze.
~These Cupcakes Have A Secret~
Sure, it looks unassuming. That's the fun part.



Pretty, yes. But normal.



(not that I know much about normal.)



However, these little babies contain a surprise.



shhhhh……it’s a seeekrit!!!



Rich, creamy, clouds of yumminess reside inside.

(hey, that rhymes)

So… you wanna bite?

Well, you’re gonna have to make them yourself!

I’ve tried emailing food to people before. 

Apparently that is not what the slots on my computer are for.

Who knew?

First you’ll need some chocolate cuppycakes





I recommend this recipe.

You can use any though.

Or a boxed mix. I’ll never tell.

While those are cooling, make the filling.

You’ll need:
1 Cup Milk
5 Tablespoons Flour
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 Cup Butter
1 Cup Granulated Sugar (NOT powdered sugar)

In a small saucepan, whisk flour into the milk until smooth. Heat, stirring constantly, until thick. Remove and allow to cool fully. You can sit the pan in an icebath if you don’t want to wait.

In your mixer, beat butter and sugar together until fluffy. 

Once cool, add the vanilla to the flour/milk milk and stir until fully combined. 

Then add the flour/milk/vanilla mix to the butter and sugar and beat until fluffers!

Once finished, it will look like whipped cream, but be much thicker, as shown here with my upside down spoon of the stuff.

I found this recipe on Tasty Kitchen. She uses it as icing. I don’t like it like that. It’s more of a filing. Well, in my opinion. You are free to have your own opinion.

You’re welcome :)

This is similar to, but the not the same as the filling in my whoopie pies.



You’ll need 1 of 2 things here. Either a Pastry bag with large icing tip, or an apple corer and some patience.

I have no patience, so I have a pastry bag.

(if you have the corer, core out the middle of the cupcake, then fill with a spoon).







Now, for the glaze.

mmm… glazzzzzzze.

This stuff tastes like melted fudge.

It’s bad, but good. Sooooooo good.

You’ll need:
4 Tablespoons of Butter
1 Square unsweetened chocolate
(or 3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder- no, not Swiss Miss ;) ha.)
1 Cup Confectioners Sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
2-3 Tablespoons HOT water
Melt the butter & chocolate (unless using cocoa)





Then add the sugar and vanilla.

Add 2 TBS water. If it’s not enough, add the 3rd.
This should be runny, but thick enough to fully coat your spoon.

Taste it.
DEEVINE.

Ok, now spoon it onto your cupcakes. You’ll not need to fully coat them (you might WANT to though).
Then allow to harden.

If you can wait that long! Otherwise, take a bite of the yummy confection you have just created.



Yum.

You can even share some.

I won’t make you though.

I hope you'll pop by Sugar Bean Bakers sometime soon, or 'like' us on Facebook.
Be sure to let me know that Everyday Mom's Meals sent ya!

Tina





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Meal Plan Sept. 25- 30

*New Recipe
Highlighted dishes can be found already blogged
^ New to Blog but not to us

Sunday
Adam is walking in Light the Night Walk for the Leukemia Society

Monday
Mini Pizzas*
Wedge Salads

Tuesday
Crock Pot Clam Chowder*
Oyster Crackers
Pumpernickel Bread

Wednesday
Shells w/ Mushroom Cream Sauce^
Breadsticks

Thursday
Egg Rolls
Pot Stickers
Fried Rice

Friday
Steak
Pan Roasted Brussels Sprouts
Baked Potatoes


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Friday, September 23, 2011

Shhh....Don't Tell

Do you have that one person on your Christmas list (yes, I'm thinking that far ahead) that is SO hard to shop for? Most of us do. For me, that person that stays on the "still need to get" list the longest---my Daddy! I love my father, but he has gotten to a point in his life that if he wants something, he buys it. Which I'm very happy for him, b/c he works hard and has for many many years, but it makes shopping for him a nightmare! I have the staples I get him every year, and those are great fun, but I do try to find something new to surprise him with. This year I found it on a chilly Thursday morning while prepping supper for my family. I've said before we are having more and more Mexican nights at home b/c of Alex's obsession w/ chips and salsa. This time I wanted to try my hand at a home made version of a restaurant style salsa, and The Pioneer Woman was going to help me. While searching her recipes one day I found her version, and an explanation why so many home made ones don't taste exactly like the ones we get out. According to Ree, (and I believe her, b/c she is a genius!) most restaurants use canned tomatoes, NOT fresh to make her salsa. What???? I know, I said the same thing. So I was anxious to put this theory to the test. As soon as the food processor had stopped, I knew it was close. I could just tell by looking at it. And the taste?? I was floored! It was PERFECT. I'm not ashamed to say I was "testing" it over and over at 9am! And the minute I knew it was the closest thing to the kind in the restaurants I'd ever had, I had a "light bulb moment". I would make another batch closer to December 25th and along w/ some chips have a perfect gift for my Daddy! He loves chips and salsa, and never gets it in the restaurants b/c of my mom's dietary needs. So what a treat this will be! I'm so excited just thinking of his smiling face on Christmas morning. It's the kind of gift that I am going to get as much joy giving it as he will getting it b/c I love finding that one gift for each person on my list that is made just for him/her :) Halloween may be the next holiday on the calendar, but I'm a planner and I'm glad to have one more gift "checked" from my list. Now I just have to figure out what else to get him......

Restaurant Style Salsa Adapted from The Pioneer Woman. To see her recipe click here
1 (28 oz) can whole tomatoes, with juice
2 (10 oz) cans Rotel, I use 1 mild and 1 original for a mild-medium heat
1 clove garlic, chopped
1/2 medium white onion
1/4 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 c. fresh cilantro
1/2 lemon juiced

Combine all ingredients in a food processor. (If you have a small one, do batches b/c this is a large amount). Turn on and mix to desired consistency. If not sure, pulse several times and check between each. Refrigerate for at least an hour. Test again w/ a tortilla chip and adjust seasoning if needed.


Shared on Jane Deere Sept. 23, 2011
Shared on Mangoes & Chutney Sept. 23, 2011
Shared on Six Sisters' Stuff Sept. 25, 2011
Shared on Saturday Evening Pot Sept. 26, 2011
Shared on Home Savvy Sept. 26, 2011
Shared on Make Ahead Meals Sept. 26, 2011
Shared on Beyer Beware Sept. 26, 2011
Shared on Chef in Training Sept. 27, 2011
Shared on Naptime Creations Sept. 27, 2011
Shared on Celebrating Family Sept. 27, 2011
Shared on Sweetology Sept. 27, 2011
Shared on Mandy's Recipe Box Sept. 27, 2011
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Thursday, September 22, 2011

Oops Equals Yummy

I love getting recipes from my foodie/blogger friends. I love the world of food I have at my fingertips. But I am always nervous when I try a recipe for the first time, and that is only heightened when that recipe comes from someone I know. Someone that will see the results and might thing "What the heck did she do?" I hope others out there feel that way too, and it's not just my crazy brain working over time! A perfect example of this is when I attempted to make Banana Bars from Lark's Country Heart. The moment I saw these on her blog I wanted to make them. Banana?? Well, those definitely belong in this house! After all, I do have a little monkey running around :) Not to mention I love anything w/ banana in it. So it was a weekday, Alex was at school, the laundry was done, the floors were vacuumed and the blog was up to date. Okay, I can't lie. The floors weren't vacuumed, but I really wanted to try these. I ventured into my kitchen and after following her very easy recipe (yep, click that and you'll see it too) and putting the dish in the oven, I went to write the recipe down. This was a keeper!!! That's when it happened. I noticed the "spread evenly on a sprayed sheet pan". Oops. I must have totally read over that. Great. I poured my batter in a 9x11 Pyrex baking dish. I knew in that instant these weren't going to turn out as bars. That's okay. Regroup. Now we have a banana cake!! Add some simple frosting and the family will never know!!! I will share the recipe, the way I did it (I had to go w/ what I had on hand) but if you want bars, be sure to click the link above. If you are happy w/ a cake, then mine will be great. Either way you have a yummy dessert! Next time I think I'll pay more attention (my teacher always told me speed reading would get me) I guess it can be a secret between me, Lark and all of you!

Banana Cake  Adapted from Lark's Country Heart

2/3 c. shortening
1 c. sugar
1 c. brown sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
2 tsp. baking powder
1/8 tsp. nutmeg
1/8 tsp. cinnamon
2 c. flour
1 tsp. vanilla
1 egg
3 large ripe bananas, mashed
1/2 c. semi sweet chocolate chips
1/4 c. chopped pecans

Frosting:
2 c. powdered sugar
1/4 c. milk
1 tsp vanilla

Mix milk w/ slowly in small amounts until desire consistency. Add vanilla and mix well.

In a mixing bowl, cream together both sugars and shortening. Next add in the salt, baking powder, nutmeg, cinnamon and vanilla. Mix together for 30 seconds. Add in the egg and banana. Finally add in flour slowly. Then add in chocolate chips and pecans. Pour into a greased 9x11 baking dish. Bake for 40-50 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean. Cool completely before frosting. To frost, place in a ziploc bag and snip off corner. Drizzle over cake. This is best kept chilled.



Shared on It's A Keeper Sept. 22, 2011
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Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Tell Her What She's Won.....

That's right folks, we have a winner of the 2500 Facebook Fan Giveaway. Thanks to all who participated! There will be more giveaways in my future, I'm sure. And especially be looking for a GREAT one during the holiday season. (I'm working really hard on it ) Next Tuesday, September 27th, be sure to come back for the return of Trivia Tuesday :)

The winner of the Strawberry Prize Package, chosen by Random.org is.......

Kristi from Kristi's Recipe Box!!!!!

CONGRATULATIONS!!!!

You have until Friday at 12pm EST to email me to claim your prize!
everydaymomsmeals@gmail.com


Cowboy or Not

I am in no way a pioneer woman. I love living close to the city. I enjoy the outdoors, from the comfort of my chaise lounge; and when I say outdoors, I mean the clean places, not the actual woods. And my favorite places outdoors? Well, those include sand, waves, a pool and a tropical drink w/ a tiny umbrella in my hand :) I could never survive on a farm....I'm okay w/ that. I enjoy farm animals.....at the fair....or the zoo....close to a hand washing station and bucket of sanitizer. This being said, I LOVE The Pioneer Woman, Ree Drummond. I have followed her blog for a while, and now I'm thrilled to see her every week on the Food Network. For those not familiar (Seriously, have you been under a rock?  Just kidding) Ree describes herself as an "accidental country girl." She had planned on living in the city, but cupid had other ideas- she fell in love w/ a real life cowboy and has made a life w/ him on their sprawling cattle ranch in Oklahoma. She "blogs about their life on the ranch, their 4 kids, homeschooling, photography, cooking, adventures w/ cows and dogs alike"....she's really quite the renaissance woman. I love reading about daily life on their beautiful ranch, and watching how it all plays out on her new show. Her first episode devoted an entire segment to feeding the cowboys after a 4am cattle call (See, yet another reason why I could never survive.....4am???) and she made these great breakfast sandwiches that were perfect for "on the go". I knew for us, they would make a great simple supper--our favorite time of the day to eat breakfast. I changed them up a little to fit our tastes, but you can find her original recipe here. Either way, they are delicious, filling and satisfying rather you are a cowboy, computer technician or 1st grader-whatever your job is.....something in your belly makes it much easier!

Breakfast Sandwiches  Adapted from The Pioneer Woman
Makes 4 sandwiches

8 slices Texas toast (can buy in a loaf in bread aisle)
4 large eggs
8 breakfast sausage patties (Mine were small so 2 per sandwich)
4 slices American cheese
Salt and Pepper to taste

In a large skillet, brown sausage until no longer pink, about 5-6 minutes on each side. While cooking, press down to make flat. Once cooked, remove from pan on a separate plate and keep warm. Drain off excess fat.   In same skillet, crack eggs, being careful not to touch. Season w/ salt and pepper. Flip, break the yolk and fry until over hard. Butter one side of each slice of bread. Place buttered side down on a flat griddle. Place sausage patty, egg and cheese on top and other slice of bread, buttered side up, on top. When browned on one side, flip to brown on other side. Cook until warmed through.
*NOTE* These taste great w/ bacon too. Just substitute for sausage and follow directions as posted. I  like using the precooked bacon b/c it stays flat in the sandwich.


Shared on This Chick Cooks Sept. 21, 2011
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Shared on Jane Deere Sept. 23, 2011
Shared on Mangoes & Chutney Sept. 23, 2011
Shared on Saturday Evening Pot Sept. 26, 2011
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Shared on Make Ahead Meals Sept. 26, 2011

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Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Bye Bye Borders

If you live in a city where your local Border's Bookstore closed over the last few months, you can feel my pain. I was so sad when the announcement came that the one 7 minutes from our home was on the "to go" list. I know e-readers, and e-books are all the new rage, but there is just something special about walking into a bookstore, roaming the aisles, finding just what you're looking for and sitting down to dive in. I understand the convenience of electronic reading, but to me, having a physical book, w/ pages to turn is one of life's simple pleasures. I'm sad to see the neighborhood bookstore, whatever the name, becoming something of a novelty of days gone by. When we were dating, Adam and I  spent many Friday nights in Borders reading, listening to live music, and enjoying yummy treats from their coffee shop. My favorite? The Italian Cherry Cream Soda. They offered two types of home made sodas, French and Italian. I never had the French, and it was probably delicious too, but I only ever had the Italian....the words "cherry" and "cream" sucked me in :) Every week I looked forward to our date night so I could spend a little time w/ my honey, a good book and a yummy soda. Just one more reason I was disappointed to see the CLOSED banner on the side of the building. But now I can enjoy this classic right at home, w/ this very easy recipe. I'm super excited to be able to curl up on the couch, great novel in hand and sip away!

Italian Cherry Cream Soda


1/2 c. half and half
1/2 c. cherry syrup- I used Grenadine
10 oz. Club Soda

Stir all together. Serve over ice.

~Come join me for Tasty Tuesday on Formula Mom~



Shared on Chef in Training Sept. 20, 2011
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Shared on Jam Hands Sept. 20, 2011
Shared on Hugs & Cookies Sept. 20, 2011
Shared on This Chick Cooks Sept. 20, 2011
Shared on Lady Behind the Curtain Sept. 21, 2011
Shared on Lark's Country Heart Sept. 21, 2011
Shared on Something Swanky Sept. 22, 2011
Shared on Miz Helen's Country Cottage Sept. 22, 2011
Shared on It's A Keeper Sept. 22, 2011
Shared on Around My Family Table Sept. 22, 2011
Shared on Recipes For My Boys Sept. 22, 2011
Shared on Sweetology Sept. 22, 2011
Shared on Jane Deere Sept. 23, 2011
Shared on Mangoes & Chutney Sept. 23, 2011
Shared on Sweet as Sugar Cookies Sept. 24, 2011
Shared on Six Sisters' Stuff Sept. 25, 2011
Shared on Saturday Evening Pot Sept. 26, 2011
Shared on Home Savvy Sept. 26, 2011
Shared on Make Ahead Meals Sept. 26, 2011

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Monday, September 19, 2011

Have Faith

" ....If you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, 'Move from here to there' and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you."  Matthew 17:20. This verse is featured in one of Alex's Children's CDs of Bible Songs and it always makes me smile. Do you realize how small mustard seeds are?? And if that little bit of faith allows us to move mountains.....Wow! So when I was getting ready to try a new chicken recipe w/ mustard.....this popped in my head! "Just have faith Krista, and it will turn out yummy." And what do you know?? It absolutely did! I have said it a thousand times before (okay, maybe 999) and I will say it again....we can all use more chicken recipes. And a lot of times, my use of chicken over and over is b/c our local supermarkets almost always have it on sale. I do try to find new ways of preparing though, and most of the time I have a taste in mind. This time---honey mustard. When I get chicken fingers in a restaurant, a lot of times I ask for honey mustard to dip in, but I've never made a version at home. No specific reason why, but that's all changed now that I have this in my recipe box. Now when you read the recipe you might notice the 2 ingredients that made me say "what" and "really" but I promise they work well, and much to  my surprise can't really be tasted at all. My guess is they were added for moisture purposes and a little "tang". It was delicious and definitely one I'll be using again!! Just have a little faith........

Grilled Honey Mustard Chicken from AllRecipes.com

1/3 c. Dijon mustard
1/4 c. honey
2 TBS mayo
1 tsp steak sauce
Salt and Pepper to taste
Boneless chicken of your choice (I used tenders)
Parsley, for garnish, optional

Preheat grill for medium heat. Combine mustard, honey, mayo, steak sauce and salt and pepper. Set aside a small amount for basting later. Dip chicken in remaining sauce to coat. Lightly oil the grill (I used cooking spray) . Grill chicken over indirect heat for 18-20 minutes, turning occasionally. Indirect heat is VERY important. With the sugar in the honey, burning can happen very easily. During the last 10 minutes, baste chicken and watch carefully. Garnish w/ parsley.


Shared on Chef in Training Sept. 20, 2011
Shared on Mandy's Recipe Box Sept. 20, 2011
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Sunday, September 18, 2011

Church Supper #10

Whew....another busy week passed in our house. We had a little boy turn 7 and all the extra birthday fun that goes w/ it. It definitely kept this mommy on my toes :) But of course, every second of work I put into making sure his day was extra special was very much worth it when that huge smile appeared on his face and I was smothered in monkey "huggies and kissies". Thanks to everyone who linked up your Patriotic dishes last week, I very much appreciate it and it really showed the pride and spirit of my wonderful foodie family.Thank you so much for sharing your yummy food w/ me. And please spread the word! I would love for this to grow into a huge blog hop! 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. Link up to your ACTUAL recipe, not just your homepage. Much easier to find you that way!

3. Include a link back to EMM on your recipe post or grab my button!

4. Leave comments so I can visit you back!

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

6. Follow my blog here w/ GFC and on Facebook :)


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Saturday, September 17, 2011

Weekend Company {Guest Blogger Bobbi}

Beginning this week, I'm trying something new for your Saturday at Everyday Mom's Meals. I think one of the best things about the weekend is it's the time of the week out of town guests seem to stop by the most. So, why not have some "weekend company" here too! For the next several weeks, you will get your weekly menu plan from me, and then my weekend guest will be sharing a recipe w/ you. I'm hoping this really takes off and introduces all of you--my loyal and enthusiastic readers-- to some great new foodies whom I'm so lucky to know. If you have a blog, you just love to cook, and would like to guest post, please email me at everydaymomsmeals@gmail.com to sign up! If it develops into something we enjoy, it will become a permanent feature!

For our first guest, I'm so happy to have another blogger I was introduced to through Facebook. I love her "Food Star Friday" feature--yep think Food Network meets home blogger. Plus, I respect her. This girl has had a "wow" weight loss and is still in love w/ food.  Please show her a warm welcome to EMM, and be sure to stop by her blog very soon! Without further adieu, here is Bobbi of Bobbi's Kozy Kitchen!


Hi, my name is Bobbi and I have been blogging for just a few short months now. In 2004 I underwent gastric bypass surgery and lost a total of 160 pounds. After that the whole world of food changed for me. It became all about quality, not quantity. I began my quest for new for new recipes to showcase great food with good flavor.

That is when I became addicted to cooking. I have TONS of cook books, watch countless cooking shows, and my house is littered with all types of cooking magazines.Having only done "basic cooking" before my surgery, I was so happy to find recipes that tasted wonderful but didn't require a culinary degree to prepare them. Fresh herbs and veggies took over in a kitchen that had been more accustomed to seeing fast foods and Hamburger Helper.

I have so many blessings in my life in the form of my family. They are the true inspiration for everything I do. At any given time you can find any or all of them in my kitchen helping, tasting, or just hanging out. My son Seth and daughter Jessi. My father Bob and my wonderful sous chef/boyfriend Kevin. Oh I have a few four footed babies running around here as well. We have quite the full house. They are the inspiration for everything I do!

Blogging has been a way for me to celebrate food, my family, and life. I always say that if I love you I am cooking for you. So this is a way to share just a bit of that love with you all!

2004 Right Before Surgery


Over the Memorial Day weekend we wanted to do some BBQing so we did a couple racks of ribs (I am still working on the rub and sauce so I will post those recipes when I get them right). But it is a 3 day weekend. You have to have something else besides ribs right? Well at least I thought so. I mean if you are going to BBQ LETS DO SOME BBQIN'!


Walking around the store my wonderful sous chef/boyfriend Kevin and I decided besides the ribs, we wanted do do something else. Burgers? Hhhhmmmmmm I don't know. Then we wandered past the poultry section. After looking at the thighs and legs and wondering if we were going to choose to BBQ them I looked at the whole chickens and BING a light bulg went off in my head. I turned to Kevin and announced, "I want to do a beer butt chicken"! The lady next to me looked at me with a strange look like I wanted to violate small farm animals and Kevin just flat out asked me what the heck I was talking about. "You know....beer butt chicken....where you shove the beer can up the chickens...." "Ooohhhhh was his response. The lady next to me quickly guided her children away from this obviously deluded woman.

Now Kevin is a BBQ purest. There are those that only cook on coals and those that cook on gas. We have the latter, and it drives him nuts. He misses his old charcoal grill and has grumbled on my occasion that using a GAS grill is not REAL grilling. I just laugh and remind him that there are many chefs out there that use gas ummm like who is that guy? OH ya Bobby Flay. I think he has a few cook books on grilling...just a few mind you, and they are on GAS. Get over it (insert more mumbling here)!

We grabbed our doomed chicken and I headed for the beer isle like a woman on a mission, well I was a woman on a mission, so whatever, you know what I mean. "Where the heck are you going now?" was the response I got from Kevin. I explained to him that I needed to find a beer. His answer to that was that we already had beer at home. Well, technically we did, but I was not about to cook my chicken with Miller Lite (sorry to the Miller people but ewwwww). So as Kevin stood, tapping his foot, I scoured the beer isle. You would think I was looking for a priceless jewel, but in my mind it was a very important part of the recipe. I finally decided on a hefeweizen. I didn't want to buy a 12 pack since I only needed one so I spotted the single bottles and grabbed one. Then Kevin pointed out to me that the beer was in a bottle. DUH I knew that. I told him my plan was to use one of the empty Miller Lite cans and pour the hefeweizen in it. See I am always thinking. 

Once we got home I jumped online to check out some ideas on how to properly cook a chicken with a beer can up its butt. You can not believe how many recipes you can find for these things! Kevin wandered into the office and asked what I was doing. I showed him all of the ideas I had found. Again, Mr BBQ purest..."That is silly, you just put the beer can in its....and put it on the grill. *sigh* Does he know nothing about me? I laughed. "Since when have you EVER known me to do anything, cooking wise at least, the simple easy way?" he shook his head and walked out of the room.


There were so many ideas, most of which called for some ingredients I didn't have or required overnight marinating. So I knew aside from using their instructions on how to cook the bird, I was going to have use my imagination and go with it.


I got my little bird out and cleaned him all up. Patted him dry and seasoned him liberally with coarse salt, cracked black pepper, and poultry seasoning. Making sure to get into all his little nooks and crannies. Then, after Kevin finished his beer, I washed out the beer can and filled it about half way up with whole garlic cloves. I thought about adding some lemons too, but the hefeweizen has a citrus taste to it so I was hoping that might infuse a bit into the bird during the cooking process. I filled the can to about the 2/3 full mark and got my chicken. After a quick apology to the bird, I slid it down onto the beer can until it's little legs formed a "tripod" with the beer can. I tucked his little wings behind his back to keep them from drying out while it cooked. I started laughing, for some reason he reminded me of a square dancer. Do-se-do and around you go. Ya, I know, I am weird. See what poor Kevin has to put up with.





Meanwhile Kevin preheated one side of the BBQ to medium heat. I carefully carried my little friend outside and we placed him on the grill gently positioning the can with his legs to balance him well.



Then just closed the lid and let him cook. He was approx a 5 pound bird so we cooked him about 1 1/2 hours. But I am sure just like oven times vary so will this. Start checking around an hour depending on the size of your bird.


And TADAAAA what a gorgeous bird! The skin was crispy, the meat was juicy, WOW I am getting hungry just looking at it. Hmmmm I think we will do an Asian version this weekend!



Beer in the Rear Chicken



Ingredients

1 whole chicken 4 to 5 pounds

coarse salt

cracked black pepper

poultry seasoning

8 to 10 whole garlic cloves

1 can of beer, your choice of brand

Preheat grill on one side to medium.

Wash chicken thoroughly and pat dry with paper towel. Liberally season the bird with salt, pepper, and poultry seasoning.

Pour the beer into a glass and place the garlic cloves into the empty beer can. Fill the can with beer until it is about 2/3 full. Use a can opener to punch a couple holes in the side of the can just below the rim to allow for steam to escape.

Carefully lower chicken onto the beer can until you can stand the bird in a "tripod" stance. Place the chicken on the other side of the grill away from the heated side. Close the lid. Cook chicken for 1 to 1 1/2 hours. Cook to an internal temp of 165 or the juices run clear.



ENJOY!!
Bobbi

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