Everyday Mom's Meals: February 2013

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Our Favorite

We have many favorite food products we use in our every day lives. Ones we rely on because we know just how good they are. Ones that we recommend to our friends and family. Ones that we know we can turn to and never be disappointed. And for my family, when it comes to cheese, that name is Cabot.

I was first introduced to Cabot cheese by my dad. See, he likes sharp cheddar. I mean really sharp cheddar. And until he found Cabot Seriously Sharp Cheddar, he had never had one that really satisfied his sharp taste. It has been a staple in my parents' house for years, and quickly became one in my house once my dad (AKA Pa Pa) shared with Alex. In fact, it's Alex's favorite cheese too, and since he was just little he and Pa Pa have been Cabot fiends. So much so he refers to it as "Pa Pa Cheese". And I'm fully convinced at his high school graduation party Alex will ask me to serve Pa Pa Cheese!

~But let me allow Cabot to tell you more about themselves~

Cabot Creamery Cooperative has been in continuous operation in Vermont for almost 100 years. Since 1919, when 94 farmers founded Cabot, contributing $5 per cow plus a cord of wood each. For the farm families who own Cabot today, the family commitment comes from the 1,200 farmers located throughout New England and New York.

Over the years, Cabot has won every taste award for cheddar cheese, including "World's Best Cheddar" three times at the 22nd, 27th and 29th Biennial Cheese Championship.

Their mix of Jerseys and Holstein cows yields higher butterfat content and more milk solids than most of their competitors. Plus, thanks to a clean environment New England milk is considered among the finest and freshest in the world. What does this mean for cheese? Well, it adds up to a pure, rich base for Cabot dairy products and cheese. 

Not to mention their cheese is crafted with no additives or preservatives; and is naturally aged from 2 to 36 months. So it's cheese that tastes good that you can feel good about giving your family. 

With flavors from Extra Sharp to Pepper Jack to Garlic & Herb plus many many more, Cabot has something for everyone. So the next time you are in the cheese case looking for a flavorful cheese to take home, look for the Cabot name! "Where small is beautiful....and so much better!" 



Be sure to follow them on Facebook and Twitter too! 

Disclaimer: I was provided with free product for this review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

I Do Too

I know for many of you, this is not the only food blog you read. And guess what...it's not the only one I read either! Of course not. There are too many talented people out there doing what I do, in some form, not to have us supporting each other, and reading what everyone else is cooking up too!

And for faithful EMM fans, it will come as no shock to you that another blog I not only read, but have the utmost respect for is The Country Cook. Plus, I'm guessing for a lot of you, it's one of your favorites too! Brandie is such a dear foodie friend to me; in fact, she was one of the first connections I made when I entered the world of food blogging; and to this day I value her so so much. Not to mention I always look forward to what she has coming out of her kitchen because you can always depend on two things: It will be simple and it will be absolutely delicious!

I feel like Brandie and I are kindred spirits in many ways. We are both mommies to young boys. They are both named Alex. And we are both always on the lookout for easy to make, down to earth recipes that the every day home cook can prepare and enjoy. Brandie is absolutely famous for her desserts (Seriously...I've seen them being shared on Facebook hundreds of time!) and one of the things she is a star at is using pre-packaged cake mixes in new and unique ways to come up with desserts perfect for a busy week.

So when I first saw her post these, "advertising" them only having 3 ingredients, I was ready to hit the "save" button right away. I immediately began typing a comment only to realize what I was typing underneath. The person right before me was chastising her for using a cake mix saying the recipe was "unhealthy" and "useless". Well, I'm not one to simply sit back and allow my friends to be attacked, so I began typing my strongly worded response. Just before I hit the enter button, the rude comment disappeared, so I asked her if she had deleted it. She confirmed that she indeed had, simply because there was no room for that kind of behavior on her page. I didn't blame her one bit, but did share that I was ready to defend her if need be. She explained to me that any time she posts a recipe using these mixes she receives many comments of that same nature. I won't lie. I was shocked! Not that people can be rude and say things that are out of line, but because they would choose cake mix to get so excited about.

Look, I realize that many many people are staying away from processed or pre-packaged foods; and I completely understand the reasons why; and I respect them. I truly do. But for those of us that do choose to use them every now and again to make our lives a little easier, and to still have the outcome of easy, yummy food to provide for our loved ones...well, I don't find that useless in any way. Anything that will lead to my family sitting down around the table and making memories in 100% okay in my book. All I ask is that those who choose not to use some of the same things I cook with, have the same respect for my decision as I have for theirs. (Okay...I'll get off my soap box now. I just really needed to say that.)

These are an amazing lemon dessert for any lemon lover like me. And yes, they only have 3 ingredients, making them super simple. I think they would make a festive, bright dessert for Easter brunch or dinner. (For those of you not keeping track, Easter is early this year, and only about 4 weeks away) They look like spring on a plate, while being refreshing and delicious.

I adore my foodie community...from the bloggers to the fans. I find inspiration in all of you, just like you find inspiration from me...and for that I thank you.

Easy Lemon Crumble Bars From The Country Cook 
1 (21 oz) can lemon pie filling
1 yellow cake mix (DRY do NOT add other ingredients)
1 stick butter, softened

Preheat oven to 350. Grease a 9x13 pan well. (I like to use the cooking spray with flour added) In a large mixing bowl combine dry cake mix and butter. Using a spoon and your fingers, mix well until crumbly mixture forms. Measure out 1/2 cup mixture and set aside. Pour remaining mixture into greased pan and press down to form a crust. Pour pie filling over and spread evenly. Sprinkle remaining crumbles over top. Bake for 20-25 minutes until top is slightly golden. Serve warm  or allow to cool. I like these served cold, but either way, leftovers do need to be covered and refrigerated.


Shared on Miz Helen's Country Cottage Feb. 28, 2013
Shared on The Country Cook Mar. 1, 2013

Lemon at Very Good Recipes
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Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Friday Night Tradition

For so many around this country Friday nights mean many things. The start to the weekend. Family time. Movie night. Date night. And one that seems to becoming more and more popular...Pizza Night! Maybe it's because by Friday night moms (and dads too) around America have cooked enough meals through the week to feed an army and are ready for a break. Maybe it's simply because it's a fun simple meal that is perfect for any of the occasions mentioned above. Whatever the reason, there is no doubt pizza delivery cars are out in droves in every neighborhood every single Friday night.

And like so many of you, we have included this tradition in our house too. But for us, it's not always delivered to our front door. In fact, most of the time it isn't. I have found different ways of incorporating pizza into our Friday meals that are still simple and fun, but made in my very own kitchen. From my Pizza Casserole to my Mini Pizzas we still feel like we're partaking in a fun trend, but not always ordering out.

This is yet another recipe to put on that list. I love margherita pizza but truly never realized just how easy it could be to make myself. I enjoy the fact it has familiar pizza flavors but without a heavy sauce, it's a little lighter and fresher to me. With simple ingredients, but intense flavor, this is sure to be a pizza that the whole family will love, even if it's served on a Tuesday instead of a Friday!

Garlic Butter Crusted Margherita Pizza Adapted from Pillsbury
1 can refrigerated pizza crust
1 10 oz. container grape tomatoes, halved
1/4 cup fresh basil, chopped
8 oz. mozzarella cheese
2 TBS olive oil
2 TBS butter, softened
1 TBS and 1/2 tsp minced garlic
Salt and Pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 400. Grease a large baking sheet. In a large skillet, heat olive oil on medium high heat. Add tomatoes, 1/2 tsp garlic, salt and pepper. Reduce heat to medium and cook 5 minutes. Using a potato masher, lightly crush tomatoes, and continue cooking for 10 minutes until slightly thickened. Set aside to cool slightly. In a small bowl combine butter and 1 TBS garlic. Mix until smooth. Place pizza crust on prepared pan and press into 15x10 rectangle using fingers. Spread garlic butter mixture over evenly. Bake for 7 minutes. Remove and spread tomato mixture on partial baked crust. Sprinkle with cheese and bake for 7-10 minutes until cheese is melted and crust is golden brown. Remove and sprinkle with fresh basil before serving.


Shared on Lady Behind The Curtain Feb. 27, 2013
Shared on Miz Helen's Country Cottage Feb. 28, 2013
Shared on The Country Cook Mar. 1, 2013
Pizza at Very Good Recipes
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Tuesday, February 26, 2013

My Family Will Quaker Up

If your family is anything like mine, it's pretty much hungry 24/7...or at least that's the way it seems. They wake up hungry, they want 3 meals a day with snacks in between. I swear it's a never ending cycle! And if there are kids included in that, then you are constantly trying your hardest to give them good food, that is also good for them!

A name that has been synonymous with that notion for as long as I can remember is Quaker. From breakfast, to snacks to dessert, they have got you covered every hour of the day. With brand new products like Perfect Portion Instant Oatmeal, Big Chewy Bars and Chocolate Chip Cookies, they are helping moms and dads across the country feed their families with ease, while still knowing they are wholesome and delicious.


I love that I can give my son something to snack on that will energize him and make him think he is getting a treat. The Perfect Portions idea is a busy mom's best friend. Only feeding one...there is a perfect size for that. Got 3 hungry mouths...you can feed them too. Make a little, make a lot, either way it's going to be a warm, satisfying breakfast for them to start their day.

For more information, products and recipe ideas, be sure to follow Quaker on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.

Disclaimer: I received product samples through BzzzAgent and Quaker for this review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Mexican Night Via Crock Pot

We love Mexican food, but I will admit not many of the recipes I make include the words Crock Pot. Honestly, with the exception of my Taco Soup and Chicken Enchiladas, I can't think of any others! So when a friend told me about this "go-to" recipe she makes, I figured it was worth a try to add another to that short list. She couldn't remember the entire recipe off the top of her head, but she did know it had cream cheese and black beans in it. Well, with the Internet, there really is nothing you can't find. Just by typing those two ingredients plus chicken into a search engine, I found something I had to believe was close to what she makes...and indeed I was right.

Now I will be honest with you. The original recipe calls for the chicken breasts to be added to the Crock Pot frozen, and while I can understand the convenience of that, (Heck, I forget to thaw meat out all the time!), I'm just not comfortable with it. I think it will cook more evenly, and to a safer temperature if it's thawed beforehand. But that is my hang up, so if it's something you do and feel okay about, then by all means, skip the browning steps below and throw those suckers in rock solid!

This is a great Mexican dish as is, or served over rice, which is what I did. Or you could shred the chicken and have a fantastic filling for tortillas! It truly is very versatile. I could even see shredding the chicken, mixing everything together and keeping it warm for a party. Set out a stack of tortillas or chips and let your guests make their own burrito or nachos.

Mexican nights at our house are always a good time, and something we look forward to. But I especially look forward to them when they are this easy and turn out so incredibly delicious!

Crock Pot Creamy Chicken and Black Beans
4 boneless chicken breasts, thawed
2 TBS olive oil
Garlic Salt
Shallot-Pepper Seasoning Blend (Any grill seasoning would work)
1 (15 oz.) can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 (15 oz.) can corn, drained
1 (15 oz.) jar salsa
Salt and Pepper to taste
8 oz. cream cheese, cubed
3 green onions, chopped
1/4 c. cilantro, chopped
Cooked Rice, optional

In a large skillet, heat oil to medium heat. Season both sides of chicken with garlic salt, seasoning blend, salt and pepper. Brown chicken in oil for 2-3 minutes on both sides. Combine corn, black beans and salsa in Crock Pot. Lay chicken on top. Cook on HIGH for 1 hour. Reduce to LOW and cook for 4-5 hours until chicken in cooked through. Remove chicken from Crock Pot. Stir in cream cheese and mix well to combine. Replace chicken and cook for 20-30 minutes until cream cheese melted and mixture is smooth. About 5 minutes before serving remove chicken, add green onions and mix well. To serve, divide cooked rice among 4 plates. Top each with a chicken breast. Spoon bean mixture over chicken and garnish with cilantro.


Shared on Mandy's Recipe Box Feb. 26, 2013
Shared on Lady Behind The Curtain Feb. 27, 2013
Shared on Miz Helen's Country Cottage Feb. 28, 2013
Shared on The Country Cook Mar. 1, 2013
Mexican at Very Good Recipes

Luck of The Irish {A Giveaway with Gourmet Cookie Bouquet}

I am excited to be co-hosting with some other fabulous blogs this delectable giveaway from Gourmet Cookie Bouquet, just in time to celebrate St. Patrick's Day!

Gourmet Cookie Bouquet delivers fresh-baked cookie designs in bouquets, gift baskets, gift boxes and tins! What a fantastic, yummy gift for anyone in your life. They offer a wide variety of cookies, for every occasion from birthday to a simple "thank you."

And right now they are hosting a giveaway offering (2) lucky winners a St. Patrick's Day cookie gift valued at $50. Even better news? If you win, you can pick from 12 super cute St. Paddy's designs! How about a hat filled with a cookie assortment? Or maybe a golden box with chocolate covered Oreos? These are just a couple of the choices available to the winner!


~Sounds delicious, right? So enter today for your chance to win~

To Enter:
Use the Rafflecopter widget below to enter the St. Patrick's Day cookie giveaway. 
NOTE - You must complete the specified entry task in order to be eligible to win the contest. If you hit the green entry button without completing the task, your entry will be thrown out (disqualified from winning the prize).
Giveaway sweepstakes is open to all residents of the Lower 48 States, 18 and older.
Winners will be chosen randomly. Two winners will receive their design choice of a St. Patrick's Day cookie gift valued at up to $50. The designs can be seen on this page of St. Patrick's Day cookies from Gourmet Cookie Bouquets.com
Winners will be notified via e-mail so make sure you provide the correct address. Winners must respond within three days of being contacted. If you do not respond within that period, another replacement winner will be chosen.
Giveaway ends at midnight EST on March 10th, 2013 and winners announced by March. 17, 2013


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, February 25, 2013

Wrong Can, Yummy Dish

Normally I am that grocery shopper that is meticulous to a fault. I have my list, I know exactly where things are, how much they should cost, want my items bagged a certain way...yeah, I'm that girl. But sometimes, even I am in a rush, tired, or distracted and I find myself mindlessly wandering the aisles, grabbing things from the shelves, only to come home and discover I missed something on that list, or I ended up with the wrong thing in my cart. The latter is how this recipe came to be.

A couple weeks ago we had a million things to do in a very short time span and I was on a "speed mission" at the grocery store. I swear we were in and out in less than an hour, which for our family is unheard of! But then when we got back home, as I reached into the "canned items bag" (I might have been in a hurry, but I still had time to dictate the bagging process!) I came across something that was not on my list, and at first I couldn't even figure out how I was near it. Condensed French Onion Soup. Um, okay. I have no reason to own this. The only thing I was able to deduce was I had bought Alex a couple cans of chicken noodle soup, and I literally must have grabbed one too many. Why this was in the same box as chicken noodle, I'm not sure. But unless I'm going to accept the fact it jumped into the cart on it's own, I'm sticking with that.

So into the cupboard it went and I forgot about it. Then one night I was looking for something else and came across it. Great. What am I going to do with this? I know what you're saying. "Heat it up and eat it. It's soup." Well, that's a great idea except French Onion is one of my favorite soups; and I'm very picky when it comes to the flavor, so the condensed version just doesn't cut it. So instead I went looking for something to use it in and that's when I came across this. A very easy side dish for any night of the week, it's flavorful and just unique enough to be something a little different.

If you find yourself with mysterious items in your grocery bags, be sure to make the best of it. Or there is always your local food pantry!

Mushroom Rice From AllRecipes
1 c. uncooked long grain rice
1 (10 3/4 oz) can condensed French onion soup
1 (14 oz) can beef broth
1/4 c. butter
1 (4 oz) can sliced mushrooms, drained

Combine all ingredients in medium sauce pan. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer 20-25 minutes stirring often until rice tender and cooked through.


Shared on Make Ahead Meals Feb. 25, 2013
Shared on Mandy's Recipe Box Feb. 26, 2013
Shared on Lady Behind The Curtain Feb. 27, 2013
Shared on Miz Helen's Country Cottage Feb. 28, 2013

Miz Helen’s Country Cottage
Rice at Very Good Recipes
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The Champion of Yogurts {A Review and Giveaway}

Do your kids like yogurt? Or better yet, would you like your kids to love yogurt, but can't seem to find a good match? How about a Greek yogurt, made by yogurt experts, just for them? That's exactly what you get with Chobani Champions® 

With a thick, creamy texture that kids love, and the protein and calcium parents look for, Chobani Champions® is the perfect match for the whole family! Not to mention, they come in a variety of delicious flavors!


  • Champions Cups: Available in a 4-cup pack
    • Banana Honey
    • Very Berry
    • Vanilla Chocolate Chunk
    • Orange Vanilla
  • Champions Tubes: Individual flavors sold in 8-tube pack; also available in 16-tube variety packs
    • Jammin’ Strawberry
    • Rockin’ Blueberry
    • Swirlin’ Strawberry Banana
    • Chillin’ Cherry
    • Variety Pack: Jammin’ Strawberry & Rockin’ Blueberry
    • Variety Pack: Swirlin’ Strawberry Banana & Chillin’ Cherry


Like many of you, I'm always on the lookout for nutritious yet yummy and fun things to pack in Alex's school lunch, and yogurt is one of his favorite things. So, when we first saw Chobani Champions® in the store, he was excited to try something new. It was definitely love at first bite! Rather it be a quick snack or lunchbox treat, he is always happy when Chobani Champions®  are on the menu.
He loves his Chobani!!

So you can imagine how thrilled I was when Chobani Champions® agreed to not only send me (and more so Alex) a variety of flavors to try (even ones we can't find in our local stores), but also offer 2 lucky EMM readers the chance to try the same in their homes! I know how much ya'll love giveaways, and I love being able to share some of our favorite products with all of you! 

********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. I will then pass on your address to the sponsor for shipping.

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 March 4, 2013 



Two Lucky Winners Will Receive:
(1) Variety Case of Chobani Champions cups containing 
4 six-packs for 24 cups total
Flavors may vary
Mandatory Entry:
1.Become a fan of Chobani Champions on Facebook. Leave a comment when you have.

Extra Entries:

1. Become an EMM Facebook fan. Leave a comment when you have.

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


3. Follow Chobani Champions on Twitter. Leave a comment when you have.


That makes up to 4 entries per person!!!

Good Luck!

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Church Supper #76


Good Morning and welcome to another Sunday! I hope this finds you enjoying your weekend and ready to share in some good fellowship and great food!

Thanks for stopping by today. I truly appreciate you sharing with our foodie family!
Please link up your favorite recipes from the week. And remember I wish you God's blessings all week long!
 " Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!" (Philippians 4:4)

Last Week's Most Viewed Recipe:
Half Baked Harvest

Congrats! Be sure to grab my Featured On Button!
Rules:

1. Feel free to link up as many recipes, but recipes ONLY please, 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, February 23, 2013

Weekend Company {Guest Blogger Bekki}

Happy Saturday! I hope this week treated you well, and you have a fun and/or relaxing weekend ahead of you. Today I'm welcoming a great EMM friend back into my kitchen to share yet another tasty recipe with all of us. So, grab a cup of coffee and see what Bekki has cooking...


I am married to my wonderful husband Josh, have a beautiful 12 year old step daughter Amy and 2 fur baby 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. 


With Mardi Gras just passing this is a tribute to one of my favorite dishes. Gumbo!!! But now that I have revamped my eating , it isn't always easy to just do away with the things we enjoy, So this file gumbo filled me heart and soul. Typically I use some kind of seafood (usually shrimp) in my gumbo recipes, but this time I didn't have what I wanted to add already in the fridge so I went with the next best thing! 

Bekki's Gumbo
Pkg. Chicken breasts 4-5, chopped
1 TB. Ground file
Salt to taste
1 TB. Granulated garlic
3 stalks celery, chopped
1 large onion, chopped
1 LB. Andouji sausage, chopped
2 C. Frozen cut Okra
6 C. Water

In s large pot add water, chicken, seasonings, celery, onions, and peppers. Cook until chicken is cooked through and veggies have softened. Add sausages, and okra. Cook until okra is to desired doneness. Check seasoning before serving, add additional if desired.



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Meal Plan Feb 24- Mar 1

*New Recipe
Links to Recipes on Blog
^Recipes being "re-blogged"

Sunday
Crock Pot Lamb Ragu*
Garlic Toast

Monday
Butter Bean Soup
French Bread

Tuesday
Greek Turkey Sliders*

Baked Pineapple
Mac n Cheese


Wednesday
Beef n Noodles
Mashed Potatoes
Coleslaw

Thursday
Ham Steaks
Stuffing
Baked Sweet Potatoes
Applesauce

Friday
Cabbage Roll Casserole^
Biscuits


Friday, February 22, 2013

Just A Little Zip

So officially, party season seems to be over for a while. The holidays are well over. The New Year has come and gone. The Super Bowl has it's victor. I guess if I was a "glass half empty" kinda person I could look at this and be more than a little depressed. Especially since I have something to share that is the perfect party food. It's easy, with only 3 ingredients. It cooks in the Crock Pot on your time schedule. It's a great finger food. All of these scream party! But I refuse to be boxed in like this. I say...let this become a main dish any night of the week. I say, we can party any time we want to...rather we have a reason or not!

If you enjoy my Cocktail Sausages, then this is right up your alley too. In fact Mr. Everyday said that's exactly what it reminded him of, only in a dinner size portion. And what did Alex think? Well, his reaction is what inspired the title of this post. He took his first bite and said "Mommy...it's sweet with just a little zip." He's exactly right! It's the perfect combination of the two, hitting all of your taste buds in exactly the right places.

A great dinner idea, yes it is. A fantastic party food, yep it's that too. Heck, I know there are plenty of birthdays, anniversaries, workplace pot-lucks, etc this recipe would be perfect for. Plus, graduation party season is just around the corner!

Crock Pot Glazed Kielbasa
2 lbs. kielbasa, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 c. packed brown sugar
3 TBS spicy brown mustard

Combine brown sugar and mustard in bottom of Crock Pot. Add kielbasa. Stir to coat. Cook on LOW for 3 hours. Stir before serving.
*NOTE* The one inch size is the perfect meal size. If I were doing these for a party I would cut them in 1/2" and have a bowl of toothpicks sitting next to them!


Shared on The Country Cook Feb. 22, 2013
Shared on Make Ahead Meals Feb. 25, 2013
Sausage at Very Good Recipes
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Thursday, February 21, 2013

Meatless Monday....Um, Nevermind

So here is a delightful story to illustrate just how fried my brain has become. LOL My girlfriend and I have a saying "We used to be smart. We were braniacs. Then we had kids. Now our brains our mush." It's just a basic fact. Not only do we, as mothers, give some of our brain cells to our children in the womb, but then between the cartoons, silly songs, talking to ourselves, endless conversations about pee, poop, wee-wees and ding dings, we kind of "dumb" ourselves down a bit. (I am in NO way calling moms dumb or stupid...so please don't email me!) I think most parents out there will understand what I'm trying to say. When you are around kids all day, and think on their level, the adult part of our brain gets a little smaller each hour.

I am no exception to this phenomenon. I know for a fact that while I was an honors student, and a math whiz...it's only a matter of time before my child surpasses me. Why? Because there have been homework problems now in 2nd grade that I had to resort to using the calculator on my iPhone!

There was no real inspiration to this recipe other than I was looking for something different for a meal idea, and for whatever reason these popped into my head. So I made them, we ate them, we loved them and I sat down to blog them. That's where this post took a comical turn. I was typing along, talking about the idea of "Meatless Mondays" and how I know many people who do this every week, and while it isn't something we do all the time, I do enjoy it. Heck, I even took that idea and segwayed into Lent and how I know so many of you don't eat meat on Fridays. I then began to type the ingredient list...and that's when it happened. I typed the word bacon. It was like someone took a giant slice of the crispy pork fat and slapped me right upside the head with it. I stopped, reread it and waited for my brain to catch up. Yep, my brain is officially mush. How embarrassing would that have been? I can just see the comments now "Excuse me, I realize I'm not a food blogger, but you do realize bacon counts as meat, right?"

So never mind the meatless part, of course unless you decide to omit the bacon and then you're all set! These make a fantastic filling main dish, or a fun side dish. No matter what day of the week, or combination of ingredients, these will be delicious...and are so simple, we half brain dead parents can make them too!

Broccoli and Bacon Stuffed Potatoes
4 large baking potatoes, rinsed and dried
12 oz. frozen broccoli
2 c. shredded cheddar cheese, small amont reserved for top
2 green onions, chopped
9 slices precooked bacon, small amount reserved for top
Salt and Pepper to taste

 Preheat oven to 400. Wrap potatoes in foil, poke a few times to vent and bake 1 hour or until fork tender. Allow to cool 10 minutes. Combine frozen broccoli with 3 TBS water and microwave for 5 minutes until crisp tender. Drain well.  Slice off a small portion, lengthwise, on top. Gently scrape out inside potato leaving a 1/4 inch shell. (I use a pointed iced tea spoon for this) In a large bowl combine potato, broccoli, onions, cheese, bacon, salt and pepper. In a small bowl combine reserved cheese and bacon, making about 1/4 c. total. Mix potato mixture until well combined. Carefully spoon potato mixture back into potato shells, pressing down a little. Top each with cheese/bacon mixture. Bake for 20 minutes until golden and cheese is melted.



Shared on Miz Helen's Country Cottage Feb. 21, 2013
Shared on The Country Cook Feb. 22, 2013

Broccoli at Very Good Recipes
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Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Childhood Soup

I have many fond food memories from when I was little. Dishes mom made better than anyone, things that grandma made better than anyone, special traditions that seemed so simple, but now are remembered with such great fondness. Like when my dad used to "tear down" making breakfast for supper. Pancakes just taste better at 6:30 pm for some reason. And those memories are exactly where the inspiration for this recipe comes from.

About once a month, mom would declare it was "soup night" and in our family that meant 1 thing. Everyone got to choose their own variety of canned soup to enjoy. Now, if everyone wanted the same, it became a meal. But sometimes the three of us would all want different kinds, and that was okay because mom would make them all. That's what made it so much fun! And 9 times out of 10, I was going to choose Bean and Bacon! Oh I loved it so much! Just the smell could make my mouth water! Plus, mom always treated me to my favorite "dipper"~ some crispy Texas toast. Mmm Mmm good! 

So you can imagine how thrilled I was when I came across this homemade, Crock Pot version! I couldn't believe how easy it was! I guess I shouldn't have been, but it was a pleasant surprise none the less. If you like my Ham and Beans, then I strongly suggest you try this. It's very similar, but still different enough not to seem like a repeat. Plus, an added bonus? Put this in the slow cooker int he morning, and when you come home after a long day, your house will smell amazing! Believe me, I'm speaking from personal experience. To make a little easier on yourself, let me suggest prepping the carrots and onions the night before. Pop them in the fridge and they are waiting on you the next morning when you might be in a rush trying to get this ready!

Another comforting food from my childhood updated just a little bit; and it includes my best kitchen friend, the Crock Pot. It doesn't get much better than that!

Crock Pot Bean and Bacon Soup From Crock Pot Ladies
16 oz. dried northern beans
6 slices bacon, cooked and chopped...reserve a little for garnish
32 oz. chicken broth
1 medium yellow onion, diced
3-5 large carrots, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 tsp. dried thyme
1/2 tsp. dried rosemary
1/2 tsp. pepper
Salt to taste
Water

Put beans in a large bowl and cover with cold water by 2 inches. Soak overnight. Drain beans and add to Crock Pot. Add bacon, onions, carrots and garlic. Pour in broth. Add enough water to cover mixture by 1 inch. Add seasonings and stir. Cook on LOW for 10-12 hours or HIGH for 6-8. Garnish with crispy bacon before serving. 
*NOTE* I chopped the onions and carrots in the food processor so they were extra fine. 


Shared on Lady Behind The Curtain Feb. 20, 2013
Shared on Miz Helen's Country Cottage Feb. 21, 2013
Shared on The Country Cook Feb. 22, 2013
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Tuesday, February 19, 2013

No Sauce??

Okay first thing is first. I can't let today's post begin without taking a minute to say Happy Birthday to the very best woman I know. The most patient, loving and kind person I know. The lady who has always been in my corner, and to this day will still spoil me and tell me every chance she gets that "I am her world". My person I can talk to like a friend, but get guidance from like a parent. That's right, today is my Mom's birthday, and nobody else on this earth deserves a happy, blessed day as much as she does. So, "Happy Birthday, Mom. I love you. I strive to be more like you every day, and treasure you a little more with each passing year."

Okay, now onto the food!

Pasta and sauce. Sauce and pasta. These words go hand in hand, and are pretty dependent on one another. Or so I thought. Until I found this recipe...

When I first read the list of ingredients I was pretty psyched because of all the veggies, especially the zucchini. I can't get enough of it, and don't have nearly enough recipes with it, so that was the first thing to catch my eye. (Side note: Be sure to remember this dish come summer when all of our garden growers have zucchini coming out of our ears!) The second thing, well honestly the second and third, thing I noticed (because I re-read the list again to make sure) was that it contained no sauce per say. Or at least not the conventional way I think of pasta sauces. So to be honest, I was a little leery wondering if it would be too dry for our tastes. Not at all! The saute of veggies and the renderings of the sausage truly make a sauce like quality, coating every inch of the pasta.

While I didn't do the actual math while shopping for this recipe, I can say with almost certainty it could easily be made for less than $10, especially since a couple of the things, like the onion and garlic, you might already have on hand. So if feeding your family on a budget is a weekly struggle, this is a great one to stretch a buck.

Sauce or not, this is a delicious pasta supper that will satisfy your hungry family any night of the week.

Bowtie Pasta with Italian Sausage From Comfy in the Kitchen
16 oz. bowtie pasta, cooked and drained
5 Sweet Italian Sausage links
15 cherry tomatoes, halved
1 zucchini, sliced
1 medium onion, sliced
3 TBS olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced

While pasta is cooking, in a large skillet cook sausages according to package directions. Mine were browned on all sides and then simmered in 1/2 c. water until cooked through. When cooked, drain on paper towels and slice into coin shapes. Add the olive oil to renderings from sausage on medium heat. Add all veggies and saute until tender, about 5-7 minutes. Add sausage back in and mix well. Mix drained pasta with sausage mixture and add Parmesan cheese if desired.


Shared on Lady Behind The Curtain Feb. 20, 2013
Shared on Miz Helen's Country Cottage Feb. 21, 2013
Shared on The Country Cook Feb. 22, 2013
Pasta at Very Good Recipes
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Monday, February 18, 2013

For My Sweets

Today I am sharing with you what I made for my boys for their Valentine's Day dessert. Well, to be truthful since the 14th fell on a Thursday- Which for us means work, school, Taekwondo and this year I had the added duty of retrieving my mom from the airport after a 3 week vacation in Florida (Yes, you can hiss at her now. We all did too.)- I made one of their favorite meals the Sunday prior, my Buffalo Chili, and this was our dessert.

I got the idea for this based on my Strawberry Cream Salad, another favorite. I was simply looking for something pink (have to be festive after all) to serve them, and since I've made the strawberry a thousand times, I thought using cherry as the base would be a good idea. Then I started playing around with things "cherry-ish". Chocolate covered cherries...okay, I'll add chocolate chips. (And since my boys love cherry cordials, this was an added bonus!) Nuts in a warm cherry cobbler, okay I'll add pecans. Marshmallows....well, I just had those in the cupboard!

I might have made this for Valentine's Day, but it is a easy as can be dessert for any night of the week. Plus, it's a great base to begin playing with and finding different flavor combos your family will love. Making something for my sweets is one of my favorite parts of the day of love...rather we are celebrating the day of...a few days before...or a few days after!

Cherry Bliss Salad
1 (20 oz) can cherry pie filling
1 (14 oz) can sweetened condensed milk
1/2 c. mini marshmallows
1/2 c. chopped pecans
1 (12 oz) tub Cool Whip, cooled
1/2 c. semi sweet morsels
Maraschino cherries, for garnish

In a large bowl combine pie filling and condensed milk. Stir well.  Add Cool Whip and mix well. Gently fold in marshmallows, chocolate chips and pecans. Stir well. Chill overnight to set. Top with extra chocolate chips and maraschino cherries if desired.


Shared on Make Ahead Meals Feb. 18, 2013
Shared on Lady Behind The Curtain Feb. 20, 2013
Shared on Miz Helen's Country Cottage Feb. 21, 2013
Shared on The Country Cook Feb. 22, 2013
Cherry at Very Good Recipes
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Sunday, February 17, 2013

Church Supper #75


Good Morning and welcome to another Sunday! I hope this finds you enjoying your weekend and ready to share in some good fellowship and great food!

Thanks for stopping by today. I truly appreciate you sharing with our foodie family!
Please link up your favorite recipes from the week. And remember I wish you God's blessings all week long!
 " Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!" (Philippians 4:4)

Last Week's Most Viewed Recipe:

Practical Stewardship
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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, February 16, 2013

Weekend Company {Guest Blogger Carla}

Happy Saturday! I hope you had a fabulous week! Did your sweetie treat you well on Valentine's Day? And of course Fat Tuesday...did everyone eat well?

I want to give a huge thank you to my guest today for stepping in at the last minute when my original guest had to cancel. I appreciate it so very much! Not to mention, she is here to share a yummy dessert! Please welcome for the first time to EMM, Carla~

Hi there Everyday Mom's Meals Readers! I'm Carla, authoress of fellow foodie blog Baking, not Banking! I am a twenty-something cupcake lover, baking and living in lovely sunny South Florida. I love Glee, red wine, Cosmopolitans, dancing, and cooking all sorts of goodies in my kitchen. I am happy to be here and share with you one of my favorite recipes, Mini Red Velvet Cheesecakes!

Everybody knows cheesecakes are delicious, but mini ones are not only easier to bake, but cuter too! They are the perfect centerpiece for any gathering and perfect for the office space. And who doesn't love red velvet? I do believe we are in the perfect season of love for such deliciousness as well. :)

The recipe is super easy and comes from Betty Crocker

Ingredients:
24 dark chocolate cookies (thin, to fill the bottom of a cupcake liner fully)
16 oz softened cream cheese
1 cup white sugar
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 tbsp red food coloring
2 eggs
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
1 tbsp powdered sugar
white chocolate chips (optional)

Directions:
1. Place chocolate cookies at the bottom of cupcake tins in muffin pans.
2. In large bowl, beat cream cheese with electric mixer on medium speed until smooth. Gradually beat in the white sugar and the cocoa until fluffy. Beat in vanilla and food coloring. Beat in eggs, one at a time, until well blended. Divide batter evenly among cupcake liners.
3. Bake 20 to 25 minutes or until centers are firm. Cool 15 minutes (cheesecake centers will sink while cooling). Refrigerate for at least 2 hours before serving.
4. 
In a small bowl, beat whipping cream and sugar with electric mixer on high speed until stiff. Spoon whipped cream on chilled cheesecakes. Just before serving, garnish with white chocolate chips. Cover and refrigerate any remaining cheesecakes.
5. Smile and serve!






Meal Plan Feb. 17- 22

*New Recipe
Links to Recipes on Blog

Sunday
Creamy Black Bean Chicken*
Rice
Sliced Pears

Monday
Baked Omelets
Hashbrown Cakes
Toast

Tuesday
Happy Birthday Mom!
I'm taking her out for dinner!
The boys will have leftovers

Wednesday
Tavern Sandwiches
Steak Fries
Garden Pea Salad

Thursday
I'm having a rescheduled dinner with a friend
The boys will have leftovers.

Friday
Garlic Butter Crusted Margherita Pizza*
Wedge Salads



Friday, February 15, 2013

I Love Peanut Butter

Do you? I think 99% of you reading this just answered with a resounding YES! A childhood favorite that most of us don't give up no matter what the age on our driver's license says, it's something everyone young to old craves and enjoys.

I've told you before that one of my favorite parts of this food blogging gig is getting the opportunity to share favorite things of mine, rather we've been eating them for years, or they are brand new to us. So, when I had the chance to sample some of the ooey gooey stuff from the experts themselves, I couldn't wait to lick the spoon...oh and tell you all about them!

Peanut Butter & Co. is a company built on passion...a passion for peanut butter, since 1998. Not to mention a passion for healthy eating and making the world a better place too. You love them already, don't you??!! Let me allow them to tell you a little more about their amazing product:

~"Peanut Butter & Co.'s line of all-natural peanut butter contains no hydrogenated oils, no cholesterol, no trans-fats and, no high fructose corn syrup. Our flavors are gluten-free, vegan (except for The Bee's Knees which is vegetarian), and certified kosher. Lastly, but just as importantly, we only use USA-grown peanuts in our peanut butter. Today, Peanut Butter & Co. is sold in ten delicious flavors in over 10,000 stores around the country and in Canada, the U.K., Japan, and Hong Kong."~

With flavors like "Smooth Operator, Crunch Time, The Heat Is On, Dark Chocolate Dreams, Mighty Maple" and many more, there is certainly something to satisfy the peanut butter lovers in your home! 

I had the chance to sample "White Chocolate Wonderful" and "Cinnamon Raisin Swirl" and OH MY!! Those 2 words really sum it up! I love the unique flavors (I had never had flavored peanut butter before) but I also love the face the peanut flavor still shines through. We love them on toast, plain bread or as a dip for apples...and I can't lie. I can eat the stuff straight from the jar! Don't judge me...you would too!




No matter if you visit their sandwich shop in NYC, find their fabulous peanut butter on your local supermarket shelf, or order from their online store, you can have these unique and tasty choices in your home too!

Be sure to visit them online, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google+ and YouTube.

Disclaimer: I received free product for this review. All thoughts and opinions are mine. 

Snow or Sun

I don't care if there is 3 feet of snow on the ground or if there is a month long heat wave happening, it's a good time for a new pasta salad recipe. Any time. All the time! We love the stuff. I have so many varieties I make I sometimes lose track of them; and now I have yet another to add to the list.

A couple weeks ago our aunt was cleaning out her pantry and found a Greek Seasoning blend she had bought for one recipe, never used again, and since she won't be making that recipe again (let's just say it wasn't her favorite) she asked if I could use it. Sure I can! I have a bunch of recipes that call for Greek Seasoning, and even if I didn't, it's a free seasoning blend. I'll take it.

Well, I had never heard of this particular brand, so I looked them up online. Cavender's All Purpose Greek Seasoning. And while I was on their site, I found some great recipe ideas, including this pasta salad. I guess if I didn't have enough recipes to use it in, now I do! 

This makes a great side dish any night of the week and is bursting with an unique Mediterranean flavor. Plus, it's easily adaptable to include the veggies you love. I added some, and took a couple away from the original recipe to use what I had on hand. 

If you want to wait until warmer weather to enjoy this, that's your choice. To each their own. But me...I will be enjoying this for dinner, watching the snow flakes gather on the frozen grass!

Greek Pasta Salad Adapted from Cavender's
12 oz. garden rotini pasta
5 green onions, chopped
1 (2.5) oz. can sliced black olives
1/3 c. grape tomatoes, halved
2 TBS capers
1/2 c. mayo
4 1/4 TBS lemon juice
1/4 c. olive oil
3 TBS Greek Seasoning

Boil pasta, drain and rinse with cold water. Drain again. In a medium bowl combine olive oil, seasoning, lemon juice and mayo. Whisk well to combine. In a large bowl combine pasta, olives, capers, green onions and tomatoes. Stir well. Pour dressing over. Mix well to combine. Chill until serving, at least 2 hours. 


Shared on The Country Cook Feb. 15, 2013
Shared on Make Ahead Meals Feb. 18, 2013
Greek at Very Good Recipes
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Thursday, February 14, 2013

Simple Chinese New Year {Thai Kitchen and Simply Asia}

Did you know there is another way to celebrate the New Year? Nope, we aren't going back to Times Square to watch the ball drop again. I'm talking about The Chinese New Year!

The traditional 15-day celebration kicked off February 10th, and what better way to enjoy the party than with some delicious new dishes using products from Thai Kitchen and Simply Asia?



At Thai Kitchen and Simply Asia, they have made your favorite Asian flavors available to enjoy anytime and anywhere. From noodles to sauces and seasonings, coconut milk to fish sauce, their premium products deliver restaurant-quality Asian cuisine in minutes. The ingredients and recipes offer simple solutions to spice up any celebration - and what better time to “thai” new dishes than Chinese New Year? It is a perfect reason to gather a group of friends and try tasty Asian cuisine. From mild to spicy, appetizers to dessert, Thai Kitchen and Simply Asia have something for every taste bud, sure to please even the most discerning palates.

The aromatic essences. The exotic flavors. The abundant texture. There’s no culinary experience that compares to Asian cuisine – whether you’re preparing a meal for the whole family or looking for a quick snack, we’re here to bring the adventure to your kitchen.


Thai Kitchen and Simply Asia offer a complete line of Asian ingredients and convenience items, including sauces, curry pastes, rice noodles, fish sauce, coconut milk, noodle bowls, and more. Most items are free of gluten, artificial colors/flavors and MSG – more reason to celebrate a New Year, and new you! Their ingredients and recipes offer simple solutions to spice up any celebration, or weeknight supper!



Need some inspiration? Check out these ideas from the experts themselves:

For entertaining, why not try a Satay Partay - a delicious chicken dish featuring Thai Kitchen'sCoconut Milk, Premium Fish Sauce, Red Curry Paste, Lemongrass and Peanut Satay Sauce.

Or, add a little zing to traditional party favorites with Thai Kitchen dipping sauces. Our Spicy Thai Mango dipping sauce puts a fruity twist on traditional spring rolls in this Zing Rolls recipe featuring Thai Kitchen's Red Rice Noodles.

Whether entertaining a crowd or an everyday dinner with the family, Simply Asia Stir-Fry Sauces are the perfect way to create Real Asia, Real Fast at home. Try our mild, flavorful General Tsao Stir-Fry Sauce in Restaurant Style General Tsao Chicken or General Tsao's Meatballs. Fans of ginger will enjoy the flavor our Ginger Teriyaki Stir-Fry Sauce brings to these Ginger Teriyaki Lettuce Wraps. Looking for a little more heat? Serve up these "Kung Wow" chicken wings with our Thai Kitchen Kung Pao Stir-Fry Sauce.


I love the fact their products help me bring some Asian flare into my kitchen with ease and convenience, making an unique dinner experience achievable after a busy day. This stir fry is both tasty and simple, making it a great Monday through Friday supper...you don't have to wait for a party! I served it over their Jasmine Rice for a complete dish full of fresh veggies and fantastic flavor.

Chicken and Vegetable Stir Fry From Thai Kitchen
1 lb. chicken tenders, cut into thin strips
3 c. assorted cut up vegetables (I used broccoli florets, snow peas, 1 red pepper, 2 carrots and 3 green onions)
2 TBS vegetable oil
4 tsp. cornstarch
2 TBS soy sauce
1 c. water
2 TBS Simply Asia Sweet Ginger and Garlic Seasoning

Mix water, soy sauce, cornstarch and seasoning in a small bowl until smooth. Set aside. Heat one TBS oil in large nonstick skillet on medium high heat. Add vegetables. Stir fry for 3 minutes. Remove from skillet. Heat remaining one TBS oil in skillet. Add chicken. Stir fry 5 minutes or until cooked through. Return veggies to skillet. Stir sauce mixture. Add to skillet. Stirring constantly, bring to a boil on medium heat. Boil 1 minute until sauce is slightly thickened. Serve over rice if desired. 



Shared on Miz Helen's Country Cottage Feb. 14, 2013
Shared on The Country Cook Feb. 15, 2013

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