Everyday Mom's Meals: October 2011

Monday, October 31, 2011

Halloween Supper


Alex as Luigi-- Happy Halloween!!

I don't know how it is at your house on Halloween night, but at ours, it's a mad dash to fit everything in, especially if, like this year, it's a school night. I know I have a few hours to finish homework, fix supper, trick or treat in multiple places, sort candy and get my little goblin to bed at a decent hour. Sigh.....for Mommy, it takes just a little of the fun out of it. But this year, I have a plan. Supper is going to be easy, quick, fun, special and spooky all "bandaged" into one dish! This is an idea I had saved to my Halloween Pinterest board since the summer! I found it on the Pillsbury website and knew not only would Alex love them, they would be the perfect "pre-candy" treat. I always make sure Alex has a meal before we head out, but I remember how it was when I was little. You are so excited to hit the streets, you can barely sit still long enough to take 5 bites, so a big meal just isn't worth it, and Alex is no exception. So w/ this, I'm hoping to hold his attention a little longer!! After all, it's a "Mummy's" job to have make sure he has all the energy he needs to haul in as much sugar as possible! Happy Halloween to you and all your little goblins, witches, mummies and vampires!


Mummy Dogs from Pillsbury

1 can crescent rolls, or seamless dough sheet (I used the dough sheet)

10 large hot dogs
2 1/2 American cheese slices, quartered
Ketchup and Mustard, if desired
Cooking Spray

Preheat oven to 375°F. If using crescent rolls: Unroll dough; separate at perforations, creating 4 rectangles. Press perforations to seal. If using dough sheet: Unroll dough; cut into 4 rectangles. With a knife, cut each rectangle into 10 pieces, making a total of 40 pieces of dough (cut it the long way). Slice cheese into quarters. Lay hot dog on cheese slice.Wrap 4 pieces of dough around each hot dog and stretching dough slightly to completely cover hot dog, creating bandages. About 1/2 inch from one end of each hot dog, separate bandages so hot dog shows through for "face". Place on ungreased cookie sheet, cheese side down. Spray lightly w/ cooking spray. Bake about 15 minutes until golden brown. Put some mustard in ziploc bag. Cut tip off. Squeeze to create eyes. Serve w/ ketchup and mustard for dipping, if desired.




Sunday, October 30, 2011

Church Supper #16

It's so hard to believe Halloween is tomorrow!! If you don't have your costume yet, don't worry, I'm here to help with a couple super easy ones, that are even food related! First, wear a white shirt w/ a big yellow circle in the middle. Add some devil horns and wah-lah.....you are now a Deviled Egg :) And the second one: With face paint, give yourself a black eye. On the front of your shirt, place a "P". Now you are a Black-Eyed Pea :) See, told you they were easy! However your family is celebrating Halloween, I hope it's filled w/ yummy food and scary good fun! 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 :)


Saturday, October 29, 2011

Weekend Company #7 {Guest Blogger Laura}

I hope all of you are having a good weekend, thus far. It's only Saturday morning, so if you're not, give it time, it can turn around when you least expect it! This week, I'm happy to welcome one of the first foodie friends I made this past spring when I expanded the blog. Since then, she's been a true supporter of mine, and I was honored to be her first guest blogger. She was so kind and gracious w/ her comments about me and EMM that I instantly sent the link to her post out to family and friends, and I'm so grateful! When we first "met" I was instantly smiling b/c of her blog name, and I know you will too! So grab a snack, curl up on the couch and please welcome Laura.


Hi foodie friends! For those who don't know me already, my name is Laura and I am the face behind A Healthy Jalapeño  blog. I am a 28 year old from Connecticut who loves my two beautiful puppies, my handsome military bf, Sunday football games, fall and {of course} FOOD!
I began blogging one year ago come January and it has been a wild trip. From throwing out an entire dinner because it was inedible, to slowly but surely cooking fabulous meals to share with you all and learning and developing the ins and outs of photography {and still 'learning'}, I have come a long way and it's been a blast. I had the honor of having Krista Guest Post on my blog this summer and she hit it out of the park with her Peach Custard Streusel Pie, I was in love. It's my turn and I think you will all love this fantastic fall appetizer.

Today I am sharing a recipe that I found last winter and adopted it to compliment compliment this beautiful fall season. This Baked Cranberry-Apple Brie has a sweet knack for the harvest season with a complimentary creamy brie that heightens the flavor and warms your soul. I hope you try and enjoy this snack as much as Paul and I do and please stop by A Healthy Jalapeño for more delicious and festive treats.


Baked Cranberry-Apple Brie
Photos by A Healthy Jalapeño 
Recipe adopted by Pillsbury

Ingredients 
1 round (8 oz) Brie cheese
1 medium apple, peeled, chopped
1/4 cup dried cranberries
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup water
1 tbsp cornstarch
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tbsp apple pie liqueur {I used Travis Hasse's}
1/4 cup chopped walnuts, toasted*
1 can (8 oz) Pillsbury® refrigerated seamless dough sheet
egg wash
additional cinnamon for sprinkling, optional
table crackers, to serve

With sharp knife, carefully remove rind from cheese. Wrap cheese in plastic wrap; freeze 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, in 1-quart saucepan, heat apple, cherries, sugar and 1/4 cup of the water to boiling. Reduce heat to low; simmer 2 to 3 minutes, stirring occasionally, until fruit is tender.
In small bowl, mix cornstarch, cinnamon, remaining 1/4 cup water and the liqueur until well blended. Add to apple mixture, stirring constantly. Simmer 2 to 3 minutes or until sauce thickens. Remove from heat; stir in walnuts.
Heat oven to 375°F. Line 15x10x1-inch pan with parchment paper. On paper in pan, unroll dough (if using crescent rolls, firmly press perforations to seal). Place cheese round in center of dough rectangle. Roll sides of dough up next to cheese, forming a rim around cheese. Top cheese evenly with apple mixture making sure to drain out most of the juice before topping. Fold edges over top to seal, tucking under if necessary. 

Egg-wash the top of the pastry and sprinkle with cinnamon. 
Bake uncovered 30 minutes. Cover with foil; bake about 5 minutes longer or until golden brown and cheese is softened. Let stand 10 minutes. To serve, cut in half lengthwise, then into crosswise strips. Serve warm.

*To toast walnuts, sprinkle in ungreased heavy skillet. Cook over medium heat 5 to 7 minutes, stirring frequently until nuts begin to brown, then stirring constantly until nuts are light brown.



Thanks everyone for stopping by and thank you Krista for allowing me to share on your fabulous blog.
Enjoy!
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Meal Plan Oct. 30- Nov 4

*New Recipe
Links to recipes on blog

Sunday
Tuna Noodle Casserole (Photo to be added)
Butter Beans

Monday
Happy Halloween!!
You'll have to wait for Monday's Post :)

Tuesday- I'll be going to Taste of Home Cooking Show to find out if my appetizer won!
Tomato Soup
Grilled Cheese

Wednesday
Baked Mac n Cheese
Green Beans
Peaches

Thursday
My mom and I are going out :)

Friday
Hamburger Pie*
Hearts of Palm Salad*


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Friday, October 28, 2011

Classic Cookie

Sometimes making something that is a "stand by", a family tradition, or favorite is just what the cook ordered! Of all the dessert choices I have at my fingertips through cookbooks, blogs, cooking sites, etc, every once in a while I enjoy making something that is both simple and 99% never fail. A classic cookie recipe that my grandma, my mom and now myself have all made sounds just about right. (If that many women agree on something, it's got to be a good thing!) Peanut butter cookies are one of those things most people like, most people know how to make, and most people have their own favorite version. So I thought it was about time I shared mine w/ you. Nothing fancy. Nothing unusual. Just a down home cookie that goes perfectly w/ a cold glass of milk. But if you enjoy these like we do, come back next Friday to see something new and fun you can do w/ the extra ones, if there are any. But there usually are in my house b/c I always make too many! Huh, I guess the classics can be new again!

Peanut Butter Cookies


1/2 c. shortening
1/2 c. peanut butter
1/2 c. sugar
1/2 c. packed brown sugar
1 egg
1 1/4 c. flour
1/2 tsp. baking powder
3/4 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt

Mix shortening, peanut butter, sugars and egg thoroughly. Blend all dry ingredients and stir into shortening mixture. Roll dough into 1 1/4 " balls. Place 3 inches apart on lightly greased cookie sheets. Flatten w/ a fork to make crisscross pattern. Bake at 375 for 10-12 minutes.


Shared on Jane Deere Oct. 28, 2011
Shared on Simply Sweet Home Oct. 28, 2011
Shared on Sweet as Sugar Cookies Oct. 29, 2011
Desserts at Very Good Recipes
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Thursday, October 27, 2011

Save The Seeds

Growing up, the jack o lantern duty always fell upon my dad and I . My mom will tell you, she isn't the most artistic person in the world; and that was okay b/c I always looked forward to it being a Daddy/Daughter activity each fall. Now I'm the mom, and guess what--I too have no artistic bone in my body. Lucky for Alex, Adam very much does. This year instead of throwing all the "guts" in the trash as soon as they were emptied out of poor Mr. Pumpkin, I told my boys to save them b/c I was going to try my hand at roasting the seeds for the first time. Oh how happy I am I did! They were super easy, really tasty and make the perfect autumn snack. They made a very cool jack o lantern, and Mommy's job was success too--something to eat when they were done, that disappeared in no time!!


Cleaning out the "guts"

Carving out windows

Haunted House w/ Bats....Spooky


Roasted Pumpkin Seeds

1 1/2 c. raw pumpkin seeds, rinsed well and dried
4 tsp. vegetable oil
Kosher salt

 Preheat oven to 300. Put seeds in a colander and rinse very well w/ cold water, making sure all pulp is removed. (I know some people who leave some pulp on for the flavor, so feel free if you enjoy that). Lay on a kitchen towel and pat the excess water off. At this point, you can either leave on the counter for about 30 minutes to air dry, or use a hair dryer on low to increase the process. On a foil lined baking sheet, spread seeds out and drizzle w/ oil. Mix well w/ hands. Sprinkle liberally w/ salt. Bake for 45 minutes, stirring every 10, until browned. Season w/ extra salt if desired.



Shared on It's a Keeper Oct. 27, 2011
Shared on Around My Family Table Oct. 27, 2011
Shared on Newlyweds Blog Oct. 27, 2011
Shared on A Little Nosh Oct. 27, 2011
Shared on Jane Deere Oct. 28, 2011
Shared on Simply Sweet Home Oct. 28, 2011
Shared on Gooseberry Patch Oct. 29. 2011
Shared on Make Ahead Meals Oct. 31, 2011

Snacks at Very Good Recipes
Pumpkin at Very Good Recipes
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Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Neighborly Treat

Halloween is just around the corner, and I've had tricks and treats on the brain. Alex gets so excited to see what candy he can get, and to just dress up for an entire evening as one of his favorite characters. This year, I have a little Luigi raring to go. Yep, my son is going to 1/2 of the famous Super Mario Bros duo. I have to admit he looks SO adorable in his costume, mustache and all :) We actually go back to my home town to go trick or treating. One, so Maa Ma can join us and have some fun too. And secondly, because, honestly, we know more people there then in our own neighborhood. We've lived here almost 9 years, and while we are friendly w/ our immediate neighbors, our housing addition is so large, we just don't know people outside of our block. So to be safe, we go to all the houses I used to trick or treat at! But we are very good friends w/ a family a few doors down from us, and I didn't want to cheat their 4 kids out of treat, since we won't be home to hand out candy. These 4 siblings, are such good kids, and Alex has gotten to be really good friends w/ of them, enjoying baseball games and trips to the park this past summer. So I wanted to do something extra cute for them, and after making one, experimenting w/ Alex, I knew these would be perfect. I actually found the idea  for these on Pinterest and couldn't wait for an excuse to make them. The original called for red licorice rope candy, but NOBODY in Fort Wayne seems to carry this anymore....lol. But I think what I substituted worked really well, and I hope all the kids enjoy them. "Trick or Treat"..........

Spider Cookies
Oreo sandwich cookies
Mini Sour Straw Candy (I found them in packs of 5 at Dollar General 8/$1.00)
Nutella
Mini Marshmallows

Place straw candy on each side of Oreo as "legs". I could only fit 3 per side. Cut a mini marshmallow in half, and put a small dot of Nutella on bottom of each half. Adhere to Oreo as "eyes".


Shared on This Chick Cooks Oct. 26, 2011
Shared on Lady Behind the Curtain Oct. 26, 2011
Shared Hugs & Cookies Oct. 26, 2011
Shared on Lark's Country Heart Oct. 26, 2011
Shared on Bacon Time Oct. 26, 2011
Shared on Miz Helen's Country Cottage Oct. 27, 2011
Shared on It's a Keeper Oct. 27, 2011
Shared on Around My Family Table Oct. 27, 2011
Shared on Something Swanky Oct. 27, 2011
Shared on A Little Nosh Oct. 27, 2011
Shared on Jane Deere Oct. 28, 2011
Shared on Simply Sweet Home Oct. 28, 2011
Shared on Gooseberry Patch Oct. 29, 2011
Shared on Sweet as Sugar Cookies Oct. 29, 2011
Shared on J Daniel 4s Mom Oct. 29. 2011
Shared on Six Sisters' Stuff Oct. 29, 2011
Shared on Make Ahead Meals Oct. 31, 2011
Desserts at Very Good Recipes
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Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Coupon? Yes, Please

So, I'm sitting here trying to think of ways to relate this post to food, and this is all I can come up with, and yes, I know I'm stretching....



  1. It does have honey in it....that's food.
  2. If I'm sick and can't cook, my family suffers and you, my readers will not get new blog posts!
  3. More and more people are asking me for gluten free options. While I might not have a lot of recipes, this product IS gluten free. 



That's right, a remedy w/ all natural ingredients instead of artificial dyes and flavors. Sounds great, right? And our good friends at Vocalpoint are offering a $4 off coupon so you can try it yourself! I already reserved mine, and if you go to: 


You can reserve yours too!



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More Than A Happy Meal

When McDonald's first advertised they were going to have oatmeal on their menu I have to admit I was intrigued. The picture on the tv commercial made my mouth water, which was kind of strange b/c I've never been the biggest oatmeal fan. But the thought of a sweet, maple and brown sugar flavor, with fresh fruit--it had even me saying "yum". Luckily, not more than a few days later, my mom gave me a coupon from the newspaper---FREE oatmeal. Well, if I wasn't interested before, I was now. I'll try anything once, especially if it's free!! Well, maybe not anything, but close to it! Well, it was love at first bite! The warm oatmeal, with a hint of sweetness, crunch of apple, and chewiness of golden raisins--it was a love song in my mouth! It has become a favorite treat of mine on a chilly fall and winter mornings. I drop Alex off at school and with my novel in tow, I head to the golden arches for a stick to my ribs kind of breakfast. (See, sometimes I do eat breakfast...in the morning!) On my latest trip to my favorite booth, I decided there was no reason why I couldn't make a version of this at home, to enjoy anytime, and probably Alex too. The morning after our first night dipping into the 30's was the perfect time to experiment! I made a big bowl w/ the intention of Alex and I sharing. By the time I was done cleaning up the mess.....he had eaten the entire thing! I guess he liked it! Actually, I know he did b/c he told me about twenty times...."Mommy, this is so good." I guess I'll have to try it during the week when he's at school; but from the smell I know it was close! McDonald's has nothing on me! Now I just need to learn how to recreate those addicting fries :)

Maple and Fruit Oatmeal

1/2 c. old fashioned oats
1 c. water
Dash of salt
1 tsp milk ( I like the creaminess it adds, and it helps to cool it down for Alex)
1/3 c. chopped apple
1 TBS brown sugar
3 tsp maple syrup
1/4 c. Craisins
Cinnamon, optional

Combine oats, water and salt in a microwave safe dish. Cook, covered, on high for 2-3 minutes. Stir in milk and let sit for about 2 minutes. Add brown sugar and maple syrup and stir well. Add apple and Craisins. Garnish w/ cinnamon, if desired.

~Join me for Tasty Tuesday on Formula Mom~


Shared on Celebrating Family Oct. 25, 2011
Shared on Chef in Training Oct. 25, 2011
Shared on Naptime Creations Oct. 25, 2011
Shared on Sweetology Oct. 25, 2011
Shared on This Chick Cooks Oct. 26, 2011
Shared on Lady Behind the Curtain Oct. 26, 2011
Shared on Hugs & Cookies Oct. 26, 2011
Shared on Lark's Country Heart Oct. 26, 2011
Shared on Bacon Time Oct. 26, 2011
Shared on Miz Helen's Country Cottage Oct. 27, 2011
Shared on It's a Keeper Oct. 27, 2011
Shared on Around My Family Table Oct. 27, 2011
Shared on A Little Nosh Oct. 27, 2011
Shared on Jane Deere Oct. 28, 2011
Shared on Simply Sweet Home Oct. 28, 2011
Shared on Six Sisters' Stuff Oct. 29, 2011
Shared on Make Ahead Meals Oct. 31, 2011
Shared on Gooseberry Patch Jan. 18, 2012

Breakfast at Very Good Recipes
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Monday, October 24, 2011

Movie Night.....Kind Of

While I know we, as a family, aren't nearly as busy as other families out there, we are plenty "on the go" for me! Between work, school, errands, seeing family and friends, Taekwondo, etc, we are as busy as I would want to be at this point in our lives. I'm not complaining, because I don't like to be bored, but there comes a time in the week when I'm happy to know we don't have to be anywhere, don't have to do anything, and can just relax and be together. For us, this usually happens on Friday nights. Many times after supper, we'll finish up the last few chores around the house so come about 8 o'clock we can pop in a DVD, grab a snack and enjoy movie night in our pjs! But thanks to Cartoon Network, lately, no DVDs have been required. See, Friday nights have become "Clone Wars" night because Alex is OBSESSED w/ Star Wars; and a new season just started. (Every Friday, 8pm EST.....lol) So it's my job to make sure my little Jedi has something yummy for his tummy while he is enjoying the latest adventure of Obi Wan, Anakin, and Asoka. Don't worry if you don't know these people...I wouldn't if it weren't for Alex and Adam. Oh yeah, did I mention that Alex inherited this obsession from DNA? And it didn't come from my chromosomes! For this Friday night I decided a Halloween inspired snack mix would be perfect for the little padawaan to munch on. (Again, another Star Wars reference. Mmmmm....maybe it's starting to rub off a little....). The components could easily be switched up depending on what you have on hand, what your little ones like, or since it has peanuts, what they can have. Plus it would be perfect for a Halloween party! Alex ate it with a smile on his face, so I will take that as he liked it since he was so engrossed I didn't hear much out of him for 30 whole minutes!!! Whew....another galaxy saved....join us next Friday for the next adventure!!!! (Not really.....but I'm sure I'll be there!)

Halloween 2009
Halloween 2010




Goblin Snack Mix

1 bag candy corn
1/2 bag Craisins
2 c. mini marshmallows
1 small bag chocolate covered peanuts

Mix all together and keep in an airtight container.

Shared on Make Ahead Meals Oct. 24, 2011
Shared on Celebrating Family Oct. 25, 2011
Shared on Chef in Training Oct. 25, 2011
Shared on Naptime Creations Oct. 25, 2011
Shared on Sweetology Oct. 25, 2011
Shared on This Chick Cooks Oct. 26, 2011
Shared on Lady Behind the Curtain Oct. 26, 2011
Shared on Hugs & Cookies Oct. 26, 2011
Shared on Lark's Country Heart Oct. 26, 2011
Shared on Bacon Time Oct. 26, 2011
Shared on Miz Helen's Country Cottage Oct. 27, 2011
Shared on It's a Keeper Oct. 27, 2011
Shared on Around My Family Table Oct. 27, 2011
Shared on Something Swanky Oct. 27, 2011
Shared on A Little Nosh Oct. 27, 2011
Shared on Jane Deere Oct. 28, 2011
Shared on Simply Sweet Home Oct. 28, 2011
Shared on Gooseberry Patch Oct. 29, 2011
Shared on Sweet as Sugar Cookies Oct. 29, 2011
Shared on J Daniel 4s Mom Oct. 29, 2011
Shared on Six Sisters' Stuff Oct. 29, 2011
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Sunday, October 23, 2011

Church Supper #15


Happy Sunday everyone! I hope you're enjoying the weekend and finding the time to do something that makes you happy. For me, that's sleeping in, watching football, eating and being w/ my "boys"! The weeks are so busy, and sometimes the weekends too, that I'm happy ones like this, come along. The most strenuous activity I've had to face is grocery shopping :) 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, October 22, 2011

Weekend Company #6 {Guest Blogger Liz}


That's right, breathe a sign of relief, the weekend has once again found us! With as much rain as we got here this past week, I'm surprised I was able to log on from the ark we are currently residing in!! This week's guest is yet another connection I made through the wonderful Facebook Food Community. Seriously, if you are on Facebook, and like my fan page, please take a look around at all the other blogs and pages I interact with b/c there are some great people out there bringing amazing food to life every day! Liz has an amazing blog, Fresh Plate with tasty recipes and she is a woman after my own heart b/c she "meal plans" too! And I'm not just saying this b/c she resides in Pittsburgh, Pa--home to my favorite team. Go Steelers!!!

Please welcome Liz, and when you get an extra minute visit her blog, fan page and take a recipe or two with you!

Hi All! I am Liz from Fresh Plate .  So stinkin' excited to be a guest blogger over at Everyday Mom's Meals. Krista definitely has one of my all time favorite food blogs! Her blog is a go to for me when I am searching for something new to make! A little about me, and then  a yummy recipe for ya'll to try. I am a mom of 4 boys who love to eat. I am super busy with the ins and outs of motherhood and am trying to find a way to have dinner on the table without too much prep using fresh ingredients and minimal effort. Sometimes it works.Sometimes...not so much. And every now and then I score some brownie points and a round of thank you's from happy tummies! Now that I have introduced myself, I would like to share a quick weeknight recipe with you. Definitely in my top ten favorite chicken dishes. This one is super simple to make . Added bonus, it uses bone in chicken  breasts that are cheaper than boneless. This is a go to recipe that always that always comes out perfect. And with so little ingredients, it is great for hectic nights.



Glazed Balsamic Chicken

Ingredients

4 chicken breasts, bone-in 

1/4 cup balsamic vinegar

1 T  olive oil

1 1/2 tsp dried oregano

1 tsp kosher salt
1/4 tsp fresh ground black pepper

Directions
1.Preheat oven  to 400 degrees
2. Place the chicken  into a 9x13 casserole dish (bone side down)
3.   Pour the balsamic vinegar over all the chicken .
4. Sprinkle the breasts with the olive oil,oregano , salt and pepper
5.Bake at 400 degrees for about 45 minutes,or until the juices run clear and the chicken is cooked through
6.Let rest for a few minutes and serve.


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Meal Plan Oct 23-28

*New Recipe
Links to recipes on blog

Sunday
Balsamic Chicken (See Weekend Company Today!)*
Baby Yellow Potatoes
Acorn Squash*

Monday
Spaghetti
Garlic Toast

Tuesday
Pork Burgers
Beer Battered Onion Rings
Waldorf Salad*

Wednesday
Baked Ham Steaks (Photo to be added)
Fried Cabbage and Noodles
Applesauce

Thursday
Vegetable Beef Soup (Photo to be added)
French Bread

Friday
We're going out w/ friends!!!


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Friday, October 21, 2011

Chowder, Take Me Away

Yes, I know it's supposed to be "Calgon", but I'm too much of a foodie not to sneak yummy things in where I can. It was a chilly, rainy day at my house, and I wasn't feeling up to par. My allergies, from the change of seasons, were getting the best of me, and I needed a day off. As I sat in my recliner wishing that was possible, (b/c let's face it, no mommy ever gets an entire day off) watching the downpour outside, I knew it was the perfect night for a new crock pot meal. I had been given this by a friend just the week before, and immediately jotted it down.  Adam and Alex love clam chowder and I'll admit, I usually buy a few cans of whatever is on sale, and call it a meal. So when I knew I could do a homemade version, with a little help from the store, and let the crock pot do the work for me, I was super intrigued. I was saving it for just the right day, and this dreary, I feel like I was hit by a Mack truck, one was perfect. I crawled to the kitchen, put the ingredients in the crock pot, and was all set. Okay, so I wasn't bad enough I had to actually crawl, but there were points I thought about it. This also happened to be a Taekwondo night for the boys, so it was even nicer to have supper done and waiting after the madness of school pick up and homework. Both of my men gave it a thumbs up and said it tasted even better than the canned version, and I had to agree. So thick, so creamy, so warm.....it was just the pick me up this Mommy needed!

Crock Pot Clam Chowder
2 cans cream of celery soup
1 can cream of mushroom soup
2 6.5 oz cans chopped clams, undrained
2 1/2 c. frozen shredded hashbrowns
2 c. half and half
Salt and Pepper to taste
Dried Parsley, for garnish
Oyster Crackers, if desired

Put all except parsley and crackers in crock pot. Stir well to combine. Cook on low for 6 hours until thick. Adjust seasoning. Garnish w/ parsley and serve w/ crackers, if desired.



Shared on The Country Cook Oct. 21, 2011
Shared on Six Sisters' Stuff Oct. 22, 2011
Shared on Make Ahead Meals Oct. 24, 2011
Shared on Gooseberry Patch Nov. 9, 2011


Soup at Very Good Recipes

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Can't Eat Just One

Nope, I'm talking about potato chips. There aren't very many things in this world that I can't walk away from eating. Yes I love food, and many things tempt me, but when I'm full I'm full. But there are a few select things that if left alone in the house w/ I am in T-R-O-U-B-L-E. Serious trouble. And one of those? Peanut Butter Fudge. No chocolate fudge. In fact, I don't really even like the "original" chocolate flavor, and only make it for others to snack on.  But peanut butter....ooohhhhh.....how sweet it is! If there is a plate of it within a 10 mile radius, I'm dangerous! My favorite version, like so many other things, is my Grammy's. Every Christmas she would make 2 or 3 kinds, and she always made extra peanut butter b/c it was not only my favorite, but my dad's. She still makes it and sends it to us around the holidays, but when I get a craving, I can't wait until December! I found this simple recipe in Taste of Home the first Christmas Adam and I were married and was so excited to try it, being a newlywed wanting to make the holiday extra special, and hoped it would come close to Grammy's. Well, it did....hallelujah. I still make this every Christmas, even if Grammy does send some of her own....you can never have enough peanut butter fudge. Especially if you live in my house, w/ me, the fiend, and have to distract me w/ new purses and shoes just to have a fighting chance at enjoying some too!

Peanut Butter Fudge
1 c. packed brown sugar
1 c. white sugar
1/2 c. milk
5 large marshmallows
1 1/2 c. creamy peanut butter

In a heavy 2 qt. saucepan, combine sugars, milk and marshmallows. Bring to a boil over medium heat stirring until sugar dissolves and marshmallows melt. Remove from heat and stir in peanut butter. Pour into a greased 8x8 square baking dish. Cool. When firm, but into squares.




Shared on Around My Family Table Oct. 20, 2011
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Shared on Something Swanky Oct. 20, 2011
Shared on Gooseberry Patch Oct. 20, 2011
Shared on Six Sisters' Stuff Oct. 22, 2011
Shared on Sweet as Sugar Cookies Oct. 22, 2011
Shared on The Saturday Evening Pot Oct. 23, 2011
Shared on Make Ahead Meals Oct. 24, 2011
Shared on Sweetology Oct. 25, 2011
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Wednesday, October 19, 2011

2012 Is Coming

At the time I am typing this there are just around 100 days (give or take a few) left until the New Year. Yep, it's time to start planning the New Year's Eve bash! Okay, so maybe even for me, the ultimate planner and organizer, it's a little too early for that. After all, I've got ideas for Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas swirling around in my mind too. Truthfully, the only reason NYE even popped into my head was b/c I was making a snack for Adam and I to share for Monday Night Football bonding time. And the minute I put it on the plate I thought "I have to remember this for our party." Now the funny part, this big party I'm planning for? It's just the 3 of us. We used to go out to celebrate, but after Alex came along, we chose to stay in and make it a family night. Now that Alex is old enough to understand he looks forward to that night so much. Kind of a post-Christmas blowout. You remember that feeling as a kid, Christmas is over, and you need something to look forward to, and help ease the blow of school vacation coming to an end, and for Alex this is it. I don't cook an actual meal that night. Instead, I put out an entire table of what we call "nibbly bits", aka appetizers. (That came when my son had speech problems and appetizers was just a tad too hard for him...lol) We have our staples we have each year, and I always try to have a couple newbies. Some of the things that are usually on our party buffet are: shrimp rings, pot stickers, veggies/dip, deviled eggs, cracker/cheese, chips/salsa, dried beef roll ups...to just name a few. But this year this will definitely be making it's debut! It's a twist on a dip/spread my grandma made 2 years ago when we were home for Thanksgiving. It's so simple, and yet so delicious--she sat it out before lunch and we couldn't get enough! By the time lunch came around we were full! Her recipe called for the cream cheese and olives only; and this time I added some capers. Why?? Because I had them, love them, and don't have enough excuses to use them! I know this will be the perfection addition to our party table and it almost makes me wish New Year's Eve was next week. On second thought....that would mean Christmas is this week and I have a TON of shopping to do. Never mind. I can wait.....

Cream Cheese and Olive Spread
8 oz. block cream cheese, softened
10 oz. stuffed green olives, drained
1 TBS capers

Put olives and capers in food processor and pulse until finely chop. Add cream cheese and pulse until combined. Using rubber spatula, scrape down the sides and pulse a few more times to insure it's well incorporated. Serve w/ your favorite crackers, veggies, pita bread, etc.
*NOTE* I topped a couple of mine w/ spicy capacolla for a little something extra


Shared on This Chick Cooks Oct. 19, 2011
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Tuesday, October 18, 2011

A Grand Little Pizza

Have you ever seen a dish and said "awwww that's so cute."? I know "cute" isn't a word that is used to describe dinner a lot, dessert yes, dinner not so much. But the minute I saw these on a tv commercial that's exactly what I said. Out loud. And yes, I was home alone at the time. Don't judge me. You know you talk to yourself too! I knew these would be a hit at my house. Why? Because I have a little man who is a HUGE fan of not only pizza, but anything that comes in a tiny package. Mini pancakes, popcorn shrimp, mini bananas, he loves them all. (By the way, have you seen the mini bananas in the produce section? Super cute! I am a sucker every time Alex spots them b/c the little monkey just looks too adorable eating a tiny banana!) I wasn't sure how the crust on these would turn out, but it was perfect! Crispy on the outside, soft and chewy on the inside. These made a great quick weeknight supper, with a salad on the side. And I know they will be a hit at our next party as an appetizer. They are truly an oxymoron at it's best: A grand little pizza it is!

Mini Pizzas from Pillsbury.com

1 can Grands biscuits- 8 ct
Small package Pepperoni
1 small can mushrooms
8 oz  pizza blend cheese
1 small jar pizza sauce

Preheat oven to 375. Generously grease 2 large baking sheets. Separate biscuits and using fingers press each biscuit out flat into an approximate 6 inch circle. Top each biscuit w/ 2 tsp. sauce. (I found this amount to fit nicely, but feel free to increase or decrease) Top w/ cheese, pepperoni and mushrooms to taste. (Amounts on these are kind of hard.) Bake for 10-15 minutes until crispy and brown on edges. Serve w/ a side salad.

~Join me on Formula Mom for Tasty Tuesday~


Shared on Celebrating Family Oct. 18, 2011
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Shared on Everyday Sisters Nov. 6, 2011
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Monday, October 17, 2011

Award Winning Monday

I am one lucky girl. I have the best foodie friends in the world. To start my week, I found out Mamie over at Homegrown Beanes awarded me The Versatile Blogger award. How sweet is that?? Really made my morning. Thanks so much, I appreciate it more than you'll ever know!



The Rules of this Award Are:

1.  Thank and link back to the person who gave you the award.
2.  Share 7 things about yourself
3.  Send it along to 15 other Bloggers and let them know you have awarded them!

Seven Things About Me:

1. When I was 16 years old working at Bob Evans, a man held a gun to my head twice and let me go before taking others hostage.

2. I have a strange addiction to "Soft Lips" chapstick. I have one in my pocket at ALL times.

3. My husband and I have been together over 14 years, married for 8. He was my one and only boyfriend.

4. When I was little, I had VERY long hair. At it's longest, it fell to the floor and reached 2 feet behind me.

5. When I was 4 months pregnant w/ Alex, I had a dream it would be boy. We didn't want to know the sex, but I always knew I was having a son.

6. My Dad named me. He told my mom while they were dating, "We will have a daughter and her name will be Krista Renae. Four years later, he got his wish.

7. I am an "ER" junkie. I saw every episode, when 1st aired. For 14 years, I never missed. Not one:)

I'm Awarding These 15 Blogs:


Congrats to all of you. I enjoy your blogs so much. There are so many blogs I read daily, choosing 15 was REALLY hard. So for those not on the list....please know I love you too!

Spooky Treat

As soon as Alex's birthday is past us, I always feel like we're in a downhill coast to what I refer to as "the holiday rush"; and that includes all of them from Halloween through New Year's. So starting on September 17th, I am looking for fun things to include in Alex's Halloween celebration, and all the weeks leading up to it. Lunch box treats, after school snacks, craft ideas, projects--anything that will enhance my little man's 2nd favorite holiday :) What's a great place to find ideas in all these categories, and more? Pinterest, of course!! I've shared my love for this handy dandy site w/ you before, and that is where I found this super cute idea for a quick, and adorable after school snack. I knew Alex would get a huge kick out of these, and they didn't disappoint. He giggled and smiled as he ate every last bite :) The funniest part was when he took a bit so one "tooth" was missing, turned to me and said "Mommy, it looks like me after loosing my teeth." Lol  So if you are looking for some inspiration for your little ghost or goblin, head over to Pinterest and see what great things you can find. A good place to start would be my Halloween board--I'm always adding things I find and want to try myself!

Mouthy Treats

1 Red Apple, sliced
Peanut Butter
Mini Marshmallows

Spread peanut butter on slices of apple. On one, put marshmallows, resembling teeth. Add another slice on top, peanut butter side down. You can try to do this very neatly, but I think the peanut butter "oozing" a little makes them look even spookier :)

*I think Nutella would work great in place of the peanut butter too.*


Shared on Home Savvy A to Z Oct. 17, 2011
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Shared on Around My Family Table Oct. 20, 2011
Shared on It's A Keeper Oct. 20, 2011
Shared on Something Swanky Oct. 20, 2011
Shared on Six Sisters' Stuff Oct. 22, 2011
Shared on Sweet as Sugar Cookies Oct. 22, 2011
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