Monday, April 30, 2012

Farmstand Winner

Thanks to everyone who entered the Gooseberry Patch Fresh from the Farmstand Giveaway! Once again, we all love Gooseberry Patch b/c we had a ton of entries! I can't blame you, I get excited each time I am lucky enough to review one of their fantastic cookbooks and share w/ a lucky fan.

~The Winner Is~
"Apple Blossom"

Congratulations!

I have emailed you. Please respond by Wednesday at 9pm to claim your prize or another winner will be chosen. 

Enjoy!!!



Embrace Your Inner Hillbilly

I think each of us, somewhere deep down inside, in places we don't talk about at parties, we have a little bit of "hillbilly". I don't care how sophisticated you think you are, I bet given certain circumstances you can "redneck" it up w/ the best of 'em! Last summer while driving back from Florida to Indiana, my parents decided to take the "long way" home and enjoy some time in our southern states sightseeing. Well, to be honest, mom can't really sight see w/o shopping too! And God bless her, b/c I can't either, so I know where I get it from. Small country stores, gift shops, it doesn't matter, if you can browse the aisles and find something to buy, she's there! In one small shop in Tennessee, she found the perfect souvenir for Adam, who isn't the easiest person to shop for- something called "Ole Smoky Extra Hot Hillbilly Caviar". Basically, it's a relish consisting of bell peppers, onions, tomatoes and cabbage in a vinegar/sugar solution. And w/ the words "extra hot" mom knew Adam would love it; and she was right! He has been using it ever since on anything he can think of. Luckily they also have a milder version that I enjoy too. Now here is the funny part: This hillbilly caviar is made by Ole Smoky Distillery, home of the Ole Smoky Moonshine!! Who doesn't love a good ole moonshine?? I will let the people of Ole Smoky Distillery tell you all about themselves~

"Our families were among the early settlers of the Smoky Mountains - they came to the
Smokies through Virginia and North Carolina. They honed the art of whiskey making in order
to survive during tough economic times. Most families from this area share a history of a family member making, running or selling whiskey. Today, the true moonshiners and bootleggers still consider it taboo to tell stories or brag about moonshine glory. Because of the consequences, talking about your craft or trade was something you just didn’t do.

When Tennessee state law recently changed to allow the distillation of spirits, we saw an opportunity to showcase the art of superior mountain-made moonshine. The Ole Smoky recipes are the product of the hard work and experience of local families who have made moonshine in the mountains for the last two
hundred years.


Ole Smoky is the first federally licensed distillery in the history of East Tennessee.
This is a local family business. Our whiskey is born in the fertile soil of East Tennessee farms where our corn is raised and then transported to our family’s mill to be ground for Tennessee’s original moonshine. At the distillery, you can see the grains converted into the clear corn liquor this part of the country is famous for." {From the Ole Smoky Website}

So when I was coming up w/ another recipe using Adam's new favorite condiment, I contacted the nice folks at Ole Smoky and they were nice enough to provide us w/ new jars of both the Extra Hot and Mild versions; and to provide some for one lucky fan to win too! (See below for entry) So, go ahead, accept your inner hillbilly, make this burger, and heck, even drink some moonshine, nobody will judge you!

Hillbilly Burgers
Makes 4 burgers
2 lbs. ground beef
2 TBS grated white onion
2 TBS grill seasoning, plus extra for sprinkling
4 onion buns
4 slices pepper jack cheese
4-8 TBS Mild or Extra Hot Hillbilly Caviar, to taste (I figure 1-2 TBS per burger)
Mustard

Preheat grill to medium. In a large bowl, combine ground beef, grated onion and grill seasoning. Gently mix until combined. Separate the meat into 4 equal portions. Using a burger press, or your hands, form 4 patties. Be sure to leave an indentation in the center of each b/c this will help burgers to remain flat while cooking. Sprinkle each patty w/ extra grill seasoning. Spray grill w/ cooking spray and place patties over indirect heat. Cook 5-6 minutes on the first side until you see juices coming to the top. Flip and cook an additional 3-4 minutes on the other side for medium. Just before done, add cheese and allow to melt.  (Adjust these times for your grill) Spread mustard on each side of bun, place hamburger on bottom half. Top w/ "caviar" and other half of bun.


Shared on Make Ahead Meals Apr. 30, 2012
Shared on Mandy's Recipe Box May 1, 2012
Shared on Chef in Training May 1, 2012 
Shared on The Country Cook May 4, 2012

Burgers at Very Good Recipes
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Now for the Giveaway!!!

Rules:
1. This contest is open to US Residents 18 and older ONLY.

2. The winner will be chosen by Random.org 

3. The winner will be notified by email and Facebook. He/she will have 48 hours to respond or another winner will be chosen.

4. When leaving comments for entries, they MUST BE SEPARATE ones AND include an email address so it's easy for me to find the winner. If entries are together, it will only count as (1) and if no email, entry will not be considered.

5. If any of the extra entries are items you are already doing, please just remind me!

6. Contest Ends: Monday May 14, 2012 12am EST


One Lucky Winner Will Receive
(1) Jar Extra Hot Hillbilly Caviar
(1) Jar Mild Hillbilly Caviar
  
Mandatory Entry:
1. Leave me a comment telling me what you MUST have on your burgers.

Extra Entries:

1. Like Ole Smoky on Facebook. Leave a comment saying you've done so.

2. Visit the Ole Smoky Website and tell me a product you would like to try.  Leave a comment when you've done so.

3. Follow EMM through GFC, Linky Followers, or Networked Blogs. Homepage, left hand side. Leave a comment when you have.

4. Follow EMM on Twitter. Leave a comment when you are.

5. Follow me on Pinterest and leave a comment.

6. Like EMM on Facebook. Leave a comment when you have.


That makes up to 7 entries per person!!!

Good Luck!

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Church Supper #37

Good Morning and welcome to the last weekend in April. I certainly hope May brings some warmer temps b/c it's time for Spring to reappear and stay this time. In March we had almost 90 and now in April  we've had days that didn't climb out of the 40's. I hope you had a fabulous week and are ready to sit down and enjoy our weekly gathering. If you're here for the first time, thanks for stopping by and I hope you find something yummy to take w/ you. Remember, I wish you God's blessings all week long!

Last Week's Most Viewed Recipe:

Congrats! Please feel free to grab my "Featured On" button!

Now, let's eat!

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, April 28, 2012

Weekend Company {Guest Blogger Angie}

We've made it to another weekend! May is just around the corner and the end of the school year is quickly approaching too. I just can't believe it! I'm actually going to be away today at my sister in law's baby shower. Yep, it's almost time for my little nephew to make his appearance! Only about 4 more weeks to wait until we all get to meet Riley!

My guest today has a recipe that I can't wait to try. As soon as she emailed me the recipe and photos I added it to my "must make" list! I love the fact my fans are willing to guest post for me and dip their feet into the world of blogging. She's a wife, she's a mother, she's a loyal EMM reader. Please welcome Angie as our Weekend Company today~

Hello EMM fans!!!!  My name is Angie Cupp.  I live in Northeast Indiana and love searching for new recipes and cookbooks.  I mostly enjoy family & church cookbooks!  I am wife to Daron and momma to three blessings... Andrew, Kaitlyn & our new addition, Kaleb.  I am blessed to be a stay-at-home mom and wouldn't trade it for anything.  In my spare time I enjoy scrapbooking the memories that our family makes, camping and working in our flower beds.

Years ago, just after we married, I worked at a credit union in East Lansing, MI.  While working there, we all contributed recipes to make a cookbook to sell with the proceeds going to the United Way.  I loved this idea since my love is for home-cooked recipes.  As soon as the cookbooks were printed and I got my copy I immediately started flipping through it to see what recipes jumped off the page.  The first one to say "try me" was Mexican Casserole.  It called for taco-like ingredients and Doritos.  How could I not make it?  Over the years I have edited and tweaked it to make it just right for our family.  We don't care for diced tomatoes so I thought I might as well just use Tomato Soup.  It was yummy and is now a favorite in our home!  I hope you enjoy it as much as we do! 


Mexican Casserole a.k.a. Taco and Doritos Casserole
1 1/2 lb Hamburger
1 medium onion chopped (optional)
1 can diced tomatoes  (I just use 1 can of Tomato Soup)
1 can (4oz) of chopped Green Chiles
1 packet of Taco Seasoning
1 bag (11.5oz) of Nacho Cheese Doritos
2 cups of Shredded Mozzarella Cheese
2 cups of Shredded Cheddar Cheese (I use Shredded Mexican Taco Cheese, gives it a bit more of a kick!)
1 container (24oz) of Sour Cream

In a large skillet, brown 1 1/2 pounds of hamburger and 1 medium onion.  Drain grease.  Add 1 can of condensed Tomato Soup, 1 can of chopped Green Chiles and 1 packet of Taco Seasoning.  Stir occasionally until bubbly.

Crush 1 bag of Nacho Cheese Doritos with rolling pin.

Layer in 9 x 13 Pam sprayed pan:

1/2 bag of crushed Doritos
All of Meat mixture
Shredded Mozzarella Cheese
Shredded Cheddar Cheese
1 container of Sour Cream
1/2 bag of crushed Doritos

Bake at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes.  Top with more cheese and bake for an additional 10 minutes.



Thank you to EMM for the opportunity to be a Weekend Guest!  I always enjoy reading Krista's blog and love trying the recipes that she shares! 


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Menu Plan April 29- May 5

*New Recipe
Links to Recipes on Blog
^ New to blog but not our family

Sunday
Grilled Steak
Twice Baked Potatoes*
Broccoli Salad^

Monday
Goulash
Garlic Bread

Tuesday
Pork Burgers
Corn on the Cob
Watermelon

Wednesday
Apple Glazed Meatballs*
Creamy Italian Noodles
Candied Carrots

Thursday
Soft Beef Tacos
Chips n Salsa

Friday
Tomato Soup
Grilled Cheese
Fruit Cocktail

Saturday
Chicken on Rice
Rolls




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Friday, April 27, 2012

Sunday Sandwich

I don't know how Sundays work in your house, but here is how they are in ours~ BUSY!! As our lives have gotten busier and busier, Sundays seem to be the day we play catch up on everything and anything. From work outside, to tidying up the house to preparing for the upcoming school/work week, I can't really say Sundays are too relaxing for us. Growing up Sundays meant three things in our house. 1. Church in the morning. 2. A big homemade lunch and 3. A "fend for yourself" supper. Mom figured if she took the effort and time to "tear down" at the noon hour, supper could be whatever you wanted, whatever you could find, and usually eaten in front of the television. There were many grilled cheese eaten for supper on Sundays at our house! Well, as much as I love traditions from when I was younger, for our family church happens on Saturday evenings, that big meal is something I plan for supper and the "whatever you can find" concept is applied towards lunch. The noon meal is when I take the opportunity to clean out the fridge, use up leftovers, and whatever I can find is what we are eating! That was the case when I came up w/ this sandwich. Alex was eating some leftovers he had brought home from a restaurant, Adam was happily fed, and it was time for me to find something. I stood in front of the fridge and scanned the shelves. In my mind something started to develop and I knew exactly what I could make. I love when something  yummy comes together so easily w/o much effort~especially on a day when I am busy catching up on so many things!!!

Spicy Egg-wich
Makes 4 Sandwiches
4 English muffins, toasted
4 eggs
8 slices precooked bacon
4 slices pepper jack cheese
Cooking Spray
Salt and Pepper to taste
Tabasco Sauce, to taste

Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Spray w/ cooking spray. Crack 4 eggs into skillet, season w/ salt and pepper and add  hot sauce, to taste, to each. Cook on first side until whites are done, about 2 minutes. Carefully flip and using a spatula, break yolk. Continue frying on second side until eggs are over hard, about 3-4 minutes. Add one slice of cheese to each egg. Cover w/ lid and allow cheese to melt.  In another COLD skillet, place precooked bacon. Turn heat on low and fry for 2 minutes or until crisp. Drain on a paper towel. On the bottom slice of each muffin, place egg w/ cheese. Top w/ 2 slices of bacon per sandwich. Top w/ other half of muffin.
*NOTE* I use precooked bacon b/c I like the fact it stays flat for sandwiches. I always have a package in my fridge. Feel free to use "fresh" bacon.



Shared on The Country Cook Apr. 27, 2012
Shared on Make Ahead Meals Apr. 30, 2012
Breakfast at Very Good Recipes
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All Natural Garden

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of Whitney Farms for SocialSpark. All opinions are 100% mine.

I have shared with all of you before how much my husband and son enjoy being in the garden each spring and summer. And I have also admitted to the fact that while I don't enjoy the "work" aspect of it as much as they do, I love reeping the benefits from it. Fresh fruits and vegetables to cook with all summer long is one of the things I look forward to the most in the warmer months. So I'm always on the look out for great products that will not only help them create and maintain a beautiful and successful garden, but that make me feel good about serving them the food I do using what has come out of said garden. That is where Whitney Farms® come in.
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Whitney Farms® is a full line of 100% natural plant food and soils with no additives and nothing artificial. Just ingredients from the Earth designed to give you big beautiful flowers and veggies. They have over 25 years of experience in gardening and have improved their products to have:
- Low to no dust
- No manure odor
-Are easy to apply
-Contain beneficial microbes
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All of these bonuses can turn your garden into the garden you've always dreamed of. I can see the image in my mind now:
I love the thought of not only growing our own food, but doing it in a way that we know what is going into the soil and coming out of it into our bodies is all natural from the Earth.
Get the goodness of growing naturally plus all the added benefits with Whitney Farms®
Would you like a $3 coupon to try some in your garden today? You can sign up for a coupon for organic soil or organic plant food just by filling out a simple form.
We all want to feed our families in the very best way we know how. And cooking with food you grew yourself is so rewarding, so why not do it in a way that can make you feel great about what you're putting into the Earth and your stomachs.
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Thursday, April 26, 2012

Let's Take A Dip

Do you have certain foods you must dip? Does your meal not seem complete unless you have a little ramekin of something extra to add? Well, if you answered yes, I think you are like most Americans, and certainly fit in w/ our family! From French Fries to sausage links, we dip so many things I don't even think about it anymore. It's become second nature to have those little dishes ready and waiting when dinner is served. So when I decided to make the Popcorn Chicken I shared w/ you yesterday I knew I needed a dipping sauce too. Now yes, for Alex that means ketchup. I swear, my kid will dip anything into ketchup! He even dips sweet potato fries in it b/c according to him, they are fries, so it tastes good. And I knew I could just have some bottled barbecue sauce on the table and it would be fine. But I wanted something a little extra special and was so hungry for honey mustard I decided to make my own. And whew~ am I glad I did. These sauce has a real "kick" to it and reminded me of ones I get at restaurants. So tangy yet sweet in the background, it went perfectly w/ those chicken bites.In fact, a big platter of that chicken, along w/ this sauce would be a great appetizer for your next backyard party! So, if your family enjoys a good "dip" as much as mine, try this one today!

Honey Mustard Sauce from MyRecipes.com
3/4 c. Dijon mustard
1/4 c. honey
1/2 c. mayo
1/8 tsp. garlic salt
1/4 tsp. paprika
Salt and pepper to taste

In a medium bowl, whisk honey, mayo and mustard until well combined. Add garlic salt, paprika, salt and pepper. Stir well. Chill until serving.


Shared on Miz Helen's Country Cottage Apr. 26, 2012
Shared on The Country Cook Apr. 27, 2012
Sauces at Very Good Reicpes
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Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Celebrate Cinco De Mayo {#CoronaRita at Chili's}

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of Chili’s Grill & Bar for SocialSpark. All opinions are 100% mine.

That's right, May 5th is just around the corner! And this year it's on a Saturday! How lucky are we?? Well, those of us over the age of 21 anyway! Bring on the margaritas, chips and salsa!

Do you love a good margarita so much you want to buy it a beer?
Let me introduce you to the brand new CoronaRita at Chili's
CoronaRita sm.jpg

Just in time for Cinco de Mayo, and the gateway to summertime, Chili's has come up with the perfect marriage of two of my favorite drinks! Made with Jose Cuervo Especial Tequila and Coronita, I can only imagine what great flavor it would have! I think it would be so flavorful and refreshing at the same time!
With Cinco de Mayo during the weekend, you can bet millions of Americans will be celebrating with friends at their local Mexican restaurant, so why not make it Chili's? How about making it a girl's night out and enjoying a great meal, tons of laughs and great times all while sipping a CoronaRita at Chili's
More of a family person? That's okay too. Chili's has a great kids menu too. So while Mommy and Daddy are having a little liquid celebration, the kids will enjoy something yummy too!
I can just taste the mouth watering chips and salsa, or babyback ribs or one of my person favorites, the chicken fajitas right now. And now something new, unique, fun and delicious to wash it all down with!
So if you don't have any plans for Cinco de Mayo yet, get planning! And be sure to include the new CoronaRita at Chili's
Have I tempted you enough to try the new CoronaRita? What Chili's menu item is your favorite? Do you think it would go well with this new unique drink?  Leave me a comment sharing! I love you hear from you!

*You must be 21 years or older to drink alcoholic beverages and as always, please remember to drink responsibly*
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Something For The Kiddies

Little ones love little food. It's something all of us parents have come to realize and accept there is no way around here. If you can take something "big" and make a mini version of it, kids will eat it. Even if they are usually not fans, if it comes in a smaller packages, their taste buds are usually intrigued. Even Alex, who I have told you is not a picky eater at all, enjoys eating mini versions of some of his favorites. My Southern Fried Chicken Tenders were not only a big hit here on EMM, but also with my #1 taste tester. In fact, he informed me they were some of the best chicken tenders he had ever had, even better than some restaurants! So when I decided it was time to whip up another batch, I thought to myself, why not "miniature-ize" them. Is that a word? Well, it is now. Same concept, a little different ingredients and he can have something even more fun to eat. Now yes, these are fried; and I realize many of you are trying to stay away from the fried foods. I don't fry a lot, so I'm okay w/ treating ourselves every now and again. Like Rachael Ray says, "everything in moderation". Adam couldn't get enough of these. He said they tasted just like Popeye's recipe, but I'll have to take his word for it b/c I've never eaten there. But they must have tasted good b/c he raved about them! I even had time to serve these up w/ a homemade dipping sauce....be sure to come back tomorrow to see how I did that too! And give your kids some mini food tonight and see their eyes light up too!

Popcorn Chicken
1 (2 lb.) package chicken tenders
2 eggs
1 c. flour
2 tsp. Cajun seasoning
Salt and pepper to taste
Canola Oil for frying

Cut chicken into bite sized pieces, about 1 inch.Sprinkle w/ salt and pepper. In a bowl, whisk egg, seasoned w/ salt and pepper. In another bowl, combine flour and Cajun seasoning. Dip each chicken piece into egg and then dredge in flour. Gently shake off excess. Heat oil in an electric skillet to 350. Fry chicken bites for 3-4 minutes on each side until golden brown. Drain on paper towels.
*NOTE* If you don't have an electric skillet, heat oil in a large skillet on medium heat stove top.


Shared on Lady Behind the Curtain Apr. 25, 2012
Shared on Newlyweds Blog Apr. 25, 2012 
Shared on Miz Helen's Country Cottage Apr. 26, 2012 
Shared on The Country Cook Apr. 27, 2012 
Shared on Addicted to Recipes Apr. 29, 2012

Chicken at Very Good Recipes
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Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Another Pinterest Find

Actually, to be truthful, this was an idea I saw on Pinterest way back at Halloween time, and for whatever reason, I can't even remember now, didn't get around to making. Like all moms, I'm sure I just ran out of time and by the time I noticed, we were talking turkey and dressing. Ha! I love finding cute and fun ideas on Pinterest and blogging about them, and here is why. First, I get to try some amazingly adorable ideas and share them w/ my family and then I get to tell all of you about it. I know many of you are Pinterest addicts just like me, but I also realize that you don't have the time to search pin after pin, board after board, and something I might come across, you haven't. I can spend hours on there and miss tons of ideas that others find. Even boards I follow can have recipes, projects, ideas, etc added to them and I won't see them until days or weeks later. It is such a vast collection that I think it is very easy to miss something. Therefore, while I accept the fact some of the ideas I blog about you might have already seen, I also know many of you haven't and therefore I'm sharing new info! These are great for lunch, after school snack or kids' party. And for me, I can't wait to make them again on our annual beach vacation this summer. Alex will be thrilled to eat a ocean inspired lunch while sitting on the balcony watching the waves roll in! I hope you enjoy all the ideas I share w/ you from Pinterest; and maybe I'm even saving you a little time b/c let's face it hours slip away FAST when you are pinning away!

Octo-Dogs
2-3 hot dogs
Ketchup
Mustard
Water

In a large pot, bring water to a boil. Meanwhile, cut each hot dog in the middle to make 2 shorter ones from each. Using a very sharp knife, cut each short piece in center on each side making 2 large legs, about 1/2-inch from the top. Then cut each "leg" into 4 skinnier legs, making 8 total. Be sure to use a sharp knife b/c these will be very fragile.  When water is boiling, carefully place hot dogs in and cook 2-3 minutes. The legs will curl a little bit. When done, carefully remove w/ a slotted spoon onto a paper towel to drain. Serve w/ ketchup and mustard if desired. To add facial features, place about 1 tsp ketchup into a small plastic bag. Using scissors, but the smallest tip you can from the end. Squeeze to decorate.

 ~Join me for Tasty Tuesday on Formula Mom~
I added a few shark fruit snacks for fun
 Shared on Naptime Creations Apr. 24, 2012
Shared on Mandy's Recipe Box Apr. 24, 2012 
Shared on Lady Behind the Curtain Apr. 25, 2012 
Shared on Newlyweds Blog Apr. 25, 2012 
Shared on The Country Cook Apr. 27, 2012 
Shared on Addicted to Recipes Apr. 29, 2012
Kids at Very Good Recipes
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Monday, April 23, 2012

Friends Again

When I first started getting into the kitchen and enjoying it more and more, one of my inspirations was Rachael Ray. I think like many home cooks, her ability to get a meal on the table in 30 minutes or less was something I was really needing in my life. Plus, I watched a TON of her on Food Network. Look, I was a stay at home mom and while I loved being w/ my infant, let's face it, he wasn't the biggest conversationalist, so I turned to tv chefs for company! I made many of her recipes both from her tv shows and her cookbooks. Some of them we really enjoyed, others not so much. That's no offense to her, they just weren't for us. But after a good amount of time I started to notice something. Just like we home cooks find ourselves getting into ruts, I thought Rachael was getting into a few herself. She had so many recipes for burgers, or "stoups" (as she calls them) I felt like I was seeing/reading the same recipes over and over. So I had to take a little break from my friend. I needed to branch out and try other sources for recipes; and now I get so many ideas from so many places, there is never just one I'm stuck on any more. Then a few weeks ago, I was once again watching her morning talk show (again, I was home alone and needed some adult voices), saw her make this, and was in love without even taking a bite! Just the mere sight of it had me drooling a little, and I knew that was my sign it was time to give RR another try! Now, as you are reading the recipe, if it seems a little daunting or time consuming, let me give you a couple hints. One, cook the chicken ahead of time. Either the day of or even the night before. Just bring it back up to room temperature before adding it. Two, clean your leeks (directions below) ahead of time too. I did mine the morning of, covered them and sat them in the fridge. Again, letting them come back to room temperature before using. Both of these steps turned dinner time into a little bit of cooking, and a lot of assembly. Splitting the steps really made it seem like less work for me. But if you have to do it all at once, don't worry, it's still pretty simple! I'm sure RR is still making burgers and "stoups" just as much as she ever was, but with recipes like this appearing too, I'm happy to say her and I can be friends again :)

Creamed Chicken w/ Leeks Over Buttered Toast Adapted from Rachael Ray
3 boneless chicken breasts
1 rib celery, chopped into large chunks
1 medium carrot, peeled and chopped into large chunks
1 small onion, peeled, halved w/ root end still attached
1 lemon, sliced
Water
Salt and Pepper to taste
3 medium leeks, cleaned and chopped
2 TBS butter
1 TBS olive oil
1 TBS flour
1 c. poaching liquid (see below)
1/2 c. heavy cream
1 TBS Dijon mustard
 1 TBS dried parsley
4 slices white bread, toasted and buttered

In a large pot, place chicken, celery, carrots, onions and lemons. Season w/ salt and pepper. Add water, just enough to cover. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat to a light boil. Poach until chicken is cooked through, about 15 minutes. Remove chicken and shred. Strain cooking liquid and reserve. Trim green tops off leeks. Split each white bulb down the center, lengthwise. Chop into 1/2-inch "half moons". Fill a large bowl or your kitchen sink w/ cold water. Add chopped leeks and wash well, making sure to separate all layers. Remove from water and drain/dry well on a kitchen towel. In the same pot you cooked the chicken, bring olive oil and butter to medium heat. Add leeks, season w/ salt and pepper and saute until tender, about 5-7 minutes. Add flour and cook 1 minute. Pour in poaching liquid and cream. Bring to a boil and reduce heat to simmer until thickened, about 5 minutes. Add chicken and Dijon. Stir to combine and heat through. Just before serving, add dried parsley. Spoon chicken mixture over buttered toast.


Shared on Make Ahead Meals Apr. 23, 2012
Shared on Naptime Creations Apr. 24, 2012 
Shared on Mandy's Recipe Box Apr. 24, 2012 
Shared on Lady Behind the Curtain Apr. 25, 2012 
Shared on Newlyweds Blog Apr. 25, 2012 
Shared on Miz Helen's Country Cottage Apr. 26, 2012 
Shared on The Country Cook Apr. 27, 2012
Chicken at Very Good Recipes
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Sunday, April 22, 2012

Church Supper #36

Wow, it's hard to believe we are almost to the end of April! Where are the weeks going? As many of you already know, we had a very exciting weekend in the Marshall last week. (For those of you who have heard this story and seen these pics already, please indulge a VERY proud mama and wife!) Last Saturday we traveled down to Noblesville for the Indiana AAU State Championships for Taekwondo. Well, it was a SUPER day for my boys. Adam won a Bronze Medal (3rd place) in Forms and a Silver Medal (2nd place) in Olympic Style Sparring. And Alex was a SUPERSTAR! He walked away w/ a Silver Medal in Forms and a GOLD 1st Place in Sparring! That's right~ after doing TKD for only 15 months, Monkey is a STATE CHAMPION!! It was such an awesome day and we are still celebrating! All of his hard work absolutely paid off, and the only person more proud of him than us is Alex himself! The look on his face when he found out he won (In fact, his match was stopped after only 1 round w/ a score of 18-1) was priceless and something I will treasure always.





Alex on the podium getting his Gold Medal



My talented "boys".





One proud Mama!













Please link up your favorite recipes from the week and remember, I wish you God's blessings all week long!

Last Week's Most Viewed Recipe:



Congrats! Please feel free to grab my "Featured On" button!

Now, let's eat!

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, April 21, 2012

Weekend Company {Guest Blogger Anne}

Good Morning everyone! I hope you had a fantastic week, and however you are spending your weekend, it includes some sunshine and fun along the way. If your family is anything like ours, our weekends are quickly becoming busier and busier as the days get warmer. I am determined to find some time to relax though~ somewhere, somehow! Today's guest is a fellow blogger who you might remember from the holidays when she hosted a fantastic countdown to Christmas on her blog, The Saturday Evening Pot, which I participated in. Be sure to stop by and say hello and visit her on Facebook too.  Please welcome Anne to EMM~


Hi, Everyone!  I'm Anne, also known as "The Lucky Wife", at the blog my husband and I co-author,  My husband, "The Chef", is trained in Culinary Arts by Johnson and Wales University.  So I figure I'm pretty lucky because I don't have to do much cooking in our home (per a deal we made when he went back to school for the degree in Culinary Arts, leaving law enforcement), and I get to taste test all of his culinary creations.
Now, this does not mean all you will find on our blog is fancy foods.  His work schedule does not permit much play time in our kitchen, and our young children do not have the more mature palettes to be able to appreciate the kinds of flavor variations we enjoy.  So you will find a good variety of recipes on our blog, including very basic, everyday family meals, such as Salmon and Sweet Corn Hash, as well as the dishes for the more advanced palettes, such as Peach and Sweet Tea Vodka Glazed Pork Tenderloin.  We've also got some great recipes for side dishes and for those days when you want to throw something in your trusty crockpot and let it cook while you're enjoying life, such as Slow Cooker Shredded Pork with "Skillet Apples".  Be sure you check out our daily paper, full of crockpot recipe ideas and information, The Crockpot Chronicles!  We also offer some kid-friendly food tips and information, like this Easy Toddler Smoothies Recipe (with a tip for eating yogurt mess-free!) and lots of creative lunchbox ideas.
Today I have something special, easy and fun to share with you.  It will be of particular interest for those of you with a child, grandchild or special niece or nephew who loves Elmo.  Both of my children are Elmo fans, and since we love food so much in our home, I got curious one day about what Elmo's favorite food is.  Any guesses?  Pizza!  And since his favorite fruit is banana, I decided to develop a recipe including Elmo's favorite foods, a fruit pizza.  The Chef suggested using strawberries to add some color (presentation!).  The end result was delicious and my children, of course, loved it.

Elmo's Favorite Food: Fruit Pizza with Banana (and Strawberries)
Ingredients:
Sugar cookies (you can make these yourself or buy them already made, the option I chose for convenience)
Vanilla pudding (again, you can make it or buy it already made, again, the option I chose for convenience)
Banana
Strawberries

Instructions:
Spread a layer of pudding over each cookie.  Cut banana and a few strawberries into toddler bite-sized pieces and position as desired on top of the pudding you had spread over each cookie.  Serve!



 Thank you so much, Krista, for having me as a weekend guest to share with your readers.  I know I do not have to tell them what a great resource your blog is for recipes!  I so enjoyed her participation on our 100-Day Countdown to Christmas series last year... check it out if you love Christmas and bookmark it or pin it for great ideas for Christmas this year (it comes quickly doesn't it?).  And thank you to those of you who took time to read what I had to share with you today.  The Chef and I would love to have you visit with us, and if you like what we offer, to become a part of our "foodie family"!


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Meal Plan Apr. 22-28

* New Recipe

Sunday
Green Chili Chicken Enchiladas*
Fiesta Rice*

Monday
Grilled Pork Chops
Stuffing
Applesauce
Winter Squash

Tuesday
BLTs
Pepperoni Pasta Salad*

Wednesday
Beef Roast
Wild Rice
Roasted Artichokes*

Thursday (Alex's Pick)

Hot Dogs
Mac n Cheese
Sliced Peaches

Friday
It's Date Night!

Saturday
I have a baby shower, so they boys will eat leftovers.


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Friday, April 20, 2012

One More Reason

Our entire family are foodies. There is no hiding that. I don't think you could read my posts day after day and get that impression. As I've said before, "we live to eat" while others around us may "eat to live". Each of us have our favorites, and a lot of those overlap from one of us to the next. I don't even remember when I had my first Reuben sandwich, but do remember when Adam and I discovered loving them was yet another thing we shared. We used to have a Schlotzsky's Deli here in Fort Wayne, and to this day, they made the best Reuben either of us every had. Well, of course like most fabulous things, just when you fall in love with them, they leave and you are left wanting just one more! We often order them out at other places, and while some are truly excellent (Arby's makes a pretty decent one), I don't think any will ever live up to the ones we loved there.  Luckily, this is such a simple sandwich to make, I can make them any time we want! To me, there are two keys to a successful Reuben- a great rye bread and a delicious Thousand Island dressing! You can always tell when people skimp on these b/c they just ruin a good sandwich! Perfect for lunch or a light supper, these sandwiches are just one more thing we can love and share together all while loving each other~ Awwwwww~

Reuben Sandwiches
Makes 4 Sandwiches
8 slices rye bread (we prefer no seeds)
8 slices Swiss cheese
8 TBS Thousand Island Dressing (see below)
1 lb. corned beef, sliced thin
Butter for outside of bread
1 (15 oz) can sauerkraut, drained very well

Dressing:
1 c. mayo
1 c. ketchup
1/4 c. sweet pickle relish
2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
1 TBS sugar
1/4 c. milk, add a little at a time until desired consistency

Butter one side of each slice of bread. On the opposite side of each, spread 1 TBS dressing. Using an electric griddle, heated to 325, lay 4 slices of bread, butter side down. Add 2 slices of cheese, 3-4 slices corned beef, 1/4 c. sauerkraut and top w/ another piece of bread, buttered side up. Allow to brown on 1st side about 2 minutes and carefully flip. Continue to brown second side another 2 minutes.


Shared on The Country Cook Apr. 20, 2012
Shared on Make Ahead Meals Apr. 23, 2012
Sandwiches at Very Good Recipes
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Thursday, April 19, 2012

Olive Garden Favorite

I know I am going to disappoint some of you with this post. I'm sure reading that title some of you were immediately drawn in thinking I was going to share a great pasta dish. But alas, no. However, if you love their salad, and would like a copycat for that, you can find my version, here. And this also reminds me that somewhere I have the recipe for my favorite soup there, and I have yet to make it. Mmmm~ need to dig that out. But I digress. The favorite I'm drooling over today is their peach iced tea. It's a well known fact among my family members, my aunt especially, if I eat at Olive Garden I'm drinking peach iced tea and I'm drinking a lot of it! In fact, if I'm with my aunt, she will flat out tell the waitress "You might as well bring a pitcher." Now, that could also be b/c the only person who comes close to drinking as much as I do is her! Ha Ha! Other peach flavored iced teas I've had don't even come close. Rather it be at other restaurants or the bottled versions, nothing quite tickles my peach fancy as much as theirs. I know one reason has to be b/c they use peach syrup, which has an intense peach flavor, but beyond that I have no idea what makes it so good. Therefore, like so many other restaurant favorites, it was time to recreate this at home. I found a recipe at Food.com and while it's not 100% spot on, it is the closest thing I've ever had, relatively cheap to make and now I can enjoy it any time I want, straight from my fridge. I know what I'll be drinking by the pool this summer!!

Peach Iced Tea
2 quarts (8 cups) Earl Grey Iced Tea, prepared
3 (11.3 oz) cans peach nectar
1/4 c. lemon juice
1 c. sugar

Combine all ingredients in a large pitcher. Stir to combine and dissolve sugar. Serve over ice and garnish w/ peach slice, if desired.


Shared on It's A Keeper Apr. 19, 2012
Shared on Miz Helen's Country Cottage Apr. 19, 2012 
Shared on The Country Cook Apr. 20, 2012 

Beverages at Very Good Recipes
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Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Chopped Salad With A Twist

I think we can all agree that a simple chopped vegetable salad while yummy, isn't anything to write home about. Well, I'm about to change that! I have to admit while skimming the pages of my latest giveaway cookbook, Gooseberry Patch's Fresh from the Farmstand, I glanced over this recipe probably three times before something unique and interesting caught me eye! We love zucchini and really enjoy the flavor and crunch of eating it raw, but most often I prepare it in a cooked dish. So when I saw this salad included chopped zucchini I was not only intrigued, but excited. What a great addition to a simple veggie side for any grilled meal! The person who contributed this recipe says she now takes it to friends' in place of a green salad and it's always a hit; and I can totally understand why! The freshness of the veggies is outstanding, the dressing is simple and the flavor of the zucchini really shines through! With summer on the way and weekly trips to the farmer's market just around the corner, this could be thrown together in no time b/c I usually have everything on hand! If your salad selection could use a little updating, but with familiar flavors, this is sure to please!
*For a chance to win this cookbook for yourself, click here.*

Israeli Salad Adapted from Fresh From the Farmstand
3 Roma tomatoes, seeded and chopped
1 English cucumber, chopped
2 green onions, chopped
1 zucchini, chopped
2 TBS grapeseed oil
1 TBS lemon juice
Salt and Pepper to taste
1 1/2 tsp dried parsley

Mix all ingredients in a large bowl. Cover and chill until serving.

 Contributed by Lydia Reaume Ontario, Canada and found on page 80


Shared on Lady Behind The Curtain Apr. 18, 2012
Shared on Newlyweds Blog Apr. 18, 2012 
Shared on It's A Keeper Apr. 19, 2012 
Shared on Miz Helen's Country Cottage Apr. 19, 2012 
Shared on The Country Cook Apr. 20, 2012
Salads at Very Good Recipes
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Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Marriage Is

Many, many things! We could all go on and on and on about it, but this time I'm talking about compromise! This is the factor that all those couples who are lucky enough to celebrate 30, 40, 50 or even 60 years can agree upon. Yes, there are many other ingredients to a successful marriage, but I think we can all agree that the give and take is at the top of the list. So, when it was a week where I was starting our menu on Monday w/ chicken, something Adam eats and enjoys, but tires of very easily, I figured the nice wifely thing to do was plan something later in the week that I might not enjoy as much, but he truly does. Since we like many of the same foods, that list isn't as long as it is for many other couples, I'm sure, but something that popped into my head immediately were bratwursts. Adam loves 'em! Me? They're okay. I think it's because my dad also loves them, and growing up we ate them a lot in the summer months and I think I just grew bored w/ them. And since I do 99% of the meal planning and cooking around here, they don't get included that often. But every once in a while, I have pity on his taste buds and treat him. When I do though I have two rules. One, they must be grilled. Hot dogs, I'll boil, skillet fry, or even microwave. Brats~ they must be grilled! And two, for me, they have to be topped w/ sauteed pepper and onions. It's like having a street fair in our own kitchen! I think Adam could have them w/o the special topping, but for me, it's the only way I can eat them. Is there a food or dish your spouse loves but you could live without? Maybe you could cook it for them and score a few extra of those compromise points! Heck, we can all use extra where we can get them!

Grilled Bratwursts w/ Peppers and Onions
1 package original bratwursts
1 TBS butter
1 TBS olive oil
1 green pepper, seeded and sliced thin
1 medium white onion, sliced thin
Salt and Pepper to taste
Brat Buns
Mustard and other toppings, if desired

Preheat grill to medium heat. Spray w/ nonstick spray. Place brats on and cook according to package directions. Ours took 5-6 minutes per side. In a small skillet, heat oil and butter over medium heat. Add peppers, onions and season w/ salt and pepper. Saute until brown and tender, stirring often, about 10 minutes. Place brats in buns. Top w/ mustard and pepper/onion mixture.
*NOTE* The peppers and onions can be prepared ahead and simply reheated when ready to serve.

 ~Join me for Tasty Tuesday on Formula Mom~

Shared on Mandy's Recipe Box Apr. 17, 2012
Shared on Chef in Training Apr. 17, 2012 
Shared on Lady Behind The Curtain Apr. 18, 2012 
Shared on Newlyweds Blog Apr. 18, 2012 
Shared on It's A Keeper Apr. 19, 2012 
Shared on Miz Helen's Country Cottage Apr. 19, 2012 
Shared on The Country Cook Apr. 20, 2012
Sandwiches at Very Good Recipes
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Monday, April 16, 2012

Kids These Days

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of AppGear for SocialSpark. All opinions are 100% mine.

If your kids are anything like mine, they can probably run a video game system, computer, smart phone or tablet better than you! In fact, a lot of times my 7 year old has to show me how to use them! That is the age of technology we live in today. Gone are the school days filled with chalk boards and calculators. Here to stay are kids being issued smart tablets and/or laptops alongside other school supplies. So if you have a mini technology expert living in your house, let me introduce  you to AppGear
AppGear is an innovative line of apps that seamlessly interact with cool, collectible toys and shift the gaming world into a new reality. An "amplified reality" if you will. This month two titles are being released:
In Foam Fighters, take to the skies in WWII fighter planes. Strap in for fast-paced action and "wing" your way to victory over the Pacific, Britian or Europe. The collectible foam airplanes fly on their own in the real world and unlock mission in the digital one when attached to an iPhone, iPad or Android.
In ZombieBurbz, zombies are tired of being misunderstood by their neighbors. They are just the average decomposing suburbanites who want to "keep up with the Jonses" not eat them! (Ha Ha Ha)
Over the next 3 months, 4 more titles will be released for even more reality and digital combinations. WowWee, the company behind AppGear has been a leader in innovative toys, robotics and consumer electronics for years and are very excited to be entering the digital mobile world.
So if your kids are quickly becoming more technology savvy than you, and love to "game" as much as my son does, why not introduce them to toys that can be also be tangible in their every day lives? How cool would they think it is to have a something they can play with at home, and then use for pretend too! Be sure to check out everything AppGear has to offer today!

Visit Sponsor's Site

A Treat With No Regret

All of the summer like temps that we've had these past few weeks in Indiana were not only very welcomed, but also got me thinking about summer time drinks and treats. Not very often do I crave something cold and refreshing in the middle of March and April, but this year spring came early! And thinking of those made me remember the wonderful, delectable treat I was first introduced to last summer. I love ice cream and milkshakes, but here is the problem. In my adult life I've come to discover I can't eat soft serve ice cream b/c it really bothers my stomach. I'm not sure why b/c I can eat "hard pack" all day long w/o a single problem. I also eat tons of other dairy and don't suffer in the least, but soft serve is no longer my friend. And unfortunately, many ice cream shops around here either only serve it, and/or it's what they use in all their shakes, so that leaves me out. I suppose I could just eat it, enjoy it for about 5 minutes and then suffer for it later, but what's the point? Well, one extremely hot Saturday night last summer, we were out shopping and decided to get Alex ice cream. We sat in the drive thru going over the menu seeing if there was anything I could enjoy too, when I came upon something I had never seen before, Boston Cooler.  Adam inquired as to what it was and when the girl told him I decided I would give it a try, soft serve and all. Here's why: it used ginger ale in it! So I'm thinking to myself, not only do I get the refreshing taste of ginger, but also the calming effects it has on my stomach. (There is  reason why it's been the "go-to" drink for flu sufferers for years!) I took that first sip and was instantly hooked! It was so good!! And I was absolutely right. The ginger ale totally counteracted the effects of the soft serve ice cream in it. This is so simple I can make it at home any time I am craving it and enjoy it all summer, or this year, spring long!

Boston Cooler
8 oz. ginger ale ( I like Canada Dry)
2 large scoops vanilla ice cream

In a large glass, place one scoop of ice cream. Pour ginger ale over. Add other scoop to top. Serve w/ straw and a tall spoon. You can also make this as a blended drink. Add all ingredients to blender and mix until well combined.

Shared at Make Ahead Meals Apr. 16, 2012
Shared on Mandy's Recipe Box Apr. 17, 2012 
Shared on Chef in Training Apr. 17, 2012 
Shared on Lady Behind The Curtain Apr. 18, 2012 
Shared on Newlyweds Blog Apr. 18, 2012 

Featured On
 
Ice Cream at Very Good Recipes
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Sunday, April 15, 2012

Church Supper #35

Good Sunday Morning everyone! I hope you had a wonderful week and are enjoying your weekend. As many of you know, I spent the sick very ill w/ bronchitis and a sinus infection. Truthfully, I can't remember being that sick in a long, long time. I basically went from the bed to the couch for 4 days straight and if wasn't for Mr. Everyday and my mom this house would have shut down. They both pitched in to help me and take care of Alex so I could rest and recover. God Bless them! For those of you who shared at Church Supper last week, I'm sorry I didn't stop by each post to thank you, but now you know why. I did appreciate everyone who linked up and so enjoyed seeing what you brought! Thanks for stopping by today, have fun and please remember I wish you God's blessings all week long!

Last week's most viewed recipe:

Congrats! Please feel free to grab my "Featured On" button!

Now, let's eat!

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, April 14, 2012

Weekend Company {Guest Blogger Bekki}

Happy Saturday everyone. Today I have a real treat for you! I have an EMM fan here to share a yummy recipe with us. I love when my fans want to guest blog for me b/c I think it's a great way for those who would love to blog but can't full time to get just a little taste for it, all while helping me out and sharing w/ all of you! Remember, if you are ever interested in doing this also, I'm always looking for guests! Please welcome Bekki to EMM and enjoy your weekend!


Hello EMM fans I am Bekki Wilson-Smith. I want to thank Ms. Krista for the opportunity to spend some time with all of you and share a yummy recipe I love.


I am married to my wonderful husband Josh, have a beautiful 12 year old step daughter Amy and 2 furbaby sweethearts Minnie and Shadow. I am a self taught baker/cook. I taught Wilton cake decorating for a while, worked in a grocery store bakery and have even spent time baking wedding/birthday cakes as a hobby on the side. My love for cooking has been since childhood. Spending time with my mother, aunts, and grandmothers. Aiding in their recipes or just being there for the conversation. Its always been a source of calm, peace, and ultimate fulfillment. The idea that you add your love to each recipe and share it with the people you care about is such an amazing blessing to me in more ways then I can ever put on paper. I have decided writing a cookbook was something I could do to share my love of food with family, friends, and whomever else comes my way. I hope your day is blessed with all your favorite things

 
This recipe evolved from a demo I saw Katie Brown do on her show Katie Brown’s workshop. I absolutely love caramel popcorn and rice crispy treats. This recipe is a happy marriage of the two of them. How could that be bad right?!? The measurements came after making the recipe by eyeball measuring. Which I’m certain I am not the only one having to stop and actually grab measuring spoons when making a recipe in order to have “actual” measurements. I took the first batch to a church function and got raved reviews. So again for Easter morning breakfast I had to add this recipe to the table once again. With a huge applause. So here it is… In all its glory!
Enjoy!

Caramel Popcorn Treats
3 tbs. butter or margarine
1 10oz. Package marshmallows
3 packages butter lovers’ microwave popcorn
½ c. mini chocolate chips
¼ c butterscotch chips
Caramel sauce for drizzling
Cooking spray for lining pan

1. Follow package directions to pop microwave popcorn.
  *Note*: To ensure you get no unpopped kernels in your dish; Allow popcorn to cool slightly. Before opening shake bag to allow kernels to fall to the bottom of bag. Tilt bag to the side and slowly drop kernels into another bowl.
2. In a large saucepan or medium stockpot melt butter over medium heat. Add marshmallows and stir until completely melted. Remove from heat.
3. Add popcorn and stir until well coated.
4. With a buttered spatula evenly press mixture into a 9x13x2 pan lined with foil and coated with cooking spray.
5. Sprinkle chocolate and butterscotch chips over the top.
6. Drizzle caramel sauce over the top as desired. *a little extra is always great
*Note* : I used the one made for caramel milk, because of the ease of the squeeze bottle.

Cool completely and cut in desired size squares 


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