Everyday Mom's Meals: October 2013

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Sugar Coma

Are you ready for the big fright night tomorrow? Less than 24 hours until it's finally Halloween, when children everywhere will be hopped up on sugary treats; and parents will be counting the minutes until bed time so they can raid the candy bags. (Don't deny it. You know you do it!! We all do!) But in case you're worried there won't be enough sugar in your house, I've got a great sweet treat for you today.

My blogging buddy Stacey over at Southern Bite posted these a few weeks back when I was desperately trying to find ways to use up the rest of the apples we picked at the orchard. (If you didn't see our adventure, you can read all about it here.) I only had a few left in the bushel basket, and I knew I wanted to bake something. These were just what I was looking for. But then my sweet tooth (teeth) got the best of me, and I decided to take them to the next level with a maple glaze.

Why? Because I could. Because it's fall, and apples, pecans and maple scream autumn to me. Because I'm an icing/frosting/glaze freak. Because I had 2 boxes of powdered sugar in the pantry calling my name. The reason doesn't matter. What matters is these are absolutely decadent, rich and delicious. Plan on only eating one, because after a few bites, you will be in a sugar induced coma, with a big smile on your face.

Now, to be fair, I did leave a couple "bare" when I made them so my family could enjoy them with or without the glaze, and they were delicious as is. But the glaze just put them over the top for me.

Need a dessert full of fall flavors (try saying that 3 times fast) tonight? Craving a little extra sugar? Have some apples to use? Looking for any excuse to make these you can find? Go ahead. The kids are going to get their candy. You can have these!

Apple Pecan Blondies with Maple Glaze Inspired by Southern Bite
1 c. packed brown sugar
1 stick butter, at room temp
1 egg
1 c. flour
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. salt
2 apples, cored, peeled and finely chopped
1/2 c. pecans, chopped

Glaze:
1 c. powdered sugar
2 TBS milk
1 1/2 tsp. maple extract

Preheat oven to 350. In a large bowl cream butter and sugar. Add egg and mix well. (I used my electric mixer.) In another bowl combine flour, baking powder, cinnamon and salt. Whisk well. Slowly add the dry ingredients to the butter mixture. Mix well. Fold in apples and pecans. Batter will be thick and sticky. Scoop batter into a greased 8x8 baking pan. Spread evenly with a spatula. Bake for 45 minutes until golden, and a toothpick comes out clean. Transfer to a wire rack to cool. In a small bowl combine ingredients for glaze. Mix well. When blondies are cool, cut into 9 bars. Dip each into glaze, covering top. Transfer to wire rack (I set mine was wax paper for easy clean up) to set. When set, sprinkle with powdered sugar. I like to refrigerate any leftovers so the glaze continues and stays hardened.


Shared on The Country Cook November 1, 2013

Maple at Very Good Recipes

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Come Home To Supper {A Review and Giveaway}

Three years of blogging has given me so many gifts. It has opened up entire foodie world I never even knew existed before that first post. But most of all, it has given me the opportunity to connect with so many wonderful people, both fans and fellow bloggers, that make my world better every single day. And one of those people, who is at the top of the list, is Christy Jordan, from Southern Plate.

Christy, or "CJ" as her friends call her, is by far one of the most generous, kind-hearted, God loving, funny, people I've ever had the pleasure to know. (And when I say "know" I mean through blogging and Facebook. I've never had the pleasure of meeting her in person.) Finding her positive attitude every day in my Facebook newsfeed is sometimes the only thing that makes me smile first thing in the morning. She is always there to lift us fellow bloggers up with an encouraging word, funny story or simple, but so right, advice. Basically, CJ is who I want to be when I grow up.

And now she had a brand new cookbook, Come Home To Supper; 200 Casseroles, Skillets, and Sides (Desserts, too!) to feed your family with love! That pretty much says it all!



Each page is more delicious looking than the last. I love cookbooks, but I really love the ones I can read like a novel; and this is certainly that. Sure the recipes are fantastic, but my favorite parts are the glimpses into Christy's life. The stories, the tidbits of insight, the tips, the things that make you feel like she is in the kitchen enjoying a glass of sweet tea while you cook.

There are too many recipes I am dying to try to list here, bu the VERY first that is going to debut in my kitchen will be:


Chicken and Wild Rice Casserole 
Makes 6 generous servings
My mother was a stay-at-home mom most of our lives. When we became teenagers, though, she went back to school and got her real estate license. This was her first full-time career and she excelled at it. She still made supper a priority, though, and we continued to gather around the family table every night, many times thanks to a casserole such as this.
A few nights a week Mama would put together a casserole and put it in the refrigerator covered in foil. If she ever ran late, she’d just call me and have me put the casserole in the oven so it would be ready to eat when everyone got home.
Cooking spray
1 box (6 ounces) seasoned long-grain and wild rice mix, such as Uncle Ben’s
2 cups shredded cooked chicken (see box, page 159)
1 recipe Cream of Mushroom Soup (page 282) or 1 can (10.5 ounces) condensed cream of mushroom soup
1 can (14 ounces) French-style green beans, drained
1 cup slivered almonds
1 cup sour cream (optional)
1 sleeve crackers (about 35), crushed (preferably buttery crackers such as Ritz)
1/4 to 1/2 cup (1/2 to 1 stick) butter, melted
1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Coat a 9- by 13-inch baking dish with cooking spray and set it aside.
2. Cook the rice according to the package directions and place it in a large bowl.
3. Add the chicken, soup, green beans, almonds, and sour cream, if using, and stir well until combined. Spoon the rice mixture into the prepared baking dish. Sprinkle the cracker crumbs over the top and drizzle with the melted butter.

4. Bake the casserole until hot and bubbly, 30 minutes. Serve hot.

Does that not look scrumptious? Talk about comfort food!


And guess what! Christy is SO generous, she is offering one lucky EMM fan a chance to win Come Home To Supper!!! But I think it would also make a wonderful gift for any home cook on your shopping list this holiday season, so you can also find it on Amazon. 

Be sure to check Christy out on her website, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram too! 

*TO ENTER GIVEAWAY* Leave a comment telling me why you want to add this cookbook to your collection. (1) Comment per person. Contest Ends Nov. 4, 2013

Disclaimer: I was given a free cookbook in exchange for this review. Plus one for a giveaway. All thoughts and opinions are my own. 

Monday, October 28, 2013

After School Snack Inspiration

After school snacks. We all had our favorites, and our children have theirs. But there have always been stand-bys that moms everywhere depend on, knowing they will be loved no matter how many times the little ones come home to them. Cookies and milk. Veggies with dip. Apple slices and caramel. Peanut Butter and bananas. They are what we turn to when the child walks through the door starving, and you want to make sure they get a little nosh, but don't ruin their supper. And the last one in that list was the inspiration for this dessert.

Oh, and have you seen the mini graham cracker pie shells in the baking aisle? They were also inspiration for this recipe. I've used them several times now and love them. They allow me to make mini desserts that are cute, simple and the perfect serving size! If you haven't, they are right there next to the other pre-made crusts!

Basically I had bought these mini pie shells but had no idea what I was going to do with them yet. Then I started thinking of new flavor combinations for pies, and with my brainstorming, this happened. If you love the flavors of banana and peanut butter together, you're gonna flip for this! Plus, something magical happens when the pudding meets the peanut butter and then they both meet the Cool Whip. It's a wonderful thing.

Now, I know some out there are going to look at this recipe and be critical of just how much help I took from the store. That's fine, go ahead and hate. But I'm okay with it, and I know many of my fellow crazy busy moms out there will appreciate it. If you have the time to make fresh banana pie filling, go for it! Or if you prefer to use a box of instant pie filling, go ahead. I actually probably would have done that myself had I not been able to find the canned variety.

These would be perfect if you're hosting a Halloween party later this week. Kids will enjoy the flavor and size. Adults will love the flavors reminding them of their childhood. It's a win win dessert...

Mini Peanut Butter and Banana Pies
12 mini graham cracker pie shells
1 (21 oz.) can banana cream pie filling
1 (4 serving) box instant vanilla pudding
1 c. cold milk
1 tub Cool Whip
1/2 c. creamy peanut butter
Roasted Peanuts, chopped, for garnish

In a medium bowl combine pudding mix and milk. Whisk for 2 minutes. It will be thick. Stir in peanut butter. Mix well. Gently fold in Cool Whip. Divide pie filling among pie shells, about 2 TBS each. Add peanut butter mixture to a gallon sized plastic bag. Cut off tip, creating a pastry bag. Pipe peanut butter mixture evenly over each pie. Top with chopped peanut. Chill to set, about an hour. Refrigerate any leftovers. *NOTE* When measuring out the peanut butter, first run the measuring cup under hot water. This will allow the peanut butter to slide out easily.



Shared on The Country Cook November 1, 2013


Peanut Butter at Very Good Recipes

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Church Supper #107

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:

Chocolate Fudge Pudding Cake






From:



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, October 26, 2013

Soul Food Saturday #28

Welcome to the last weekend in October! Halloween is knocking on the door, and before we meet again it will be November! Today Bekki is here with a fun dessert perfect for this time of year. Serve it at your next bonfire party, save it for the upcoming holiday parties, either way, I think you're going to love this one!


Lately I have been thinking a lot about desserts. Maybe it’s the idea of the Holiday season just around the corner. I have pumpkin, apple, and every other kind of pie dancing through my mind. I saw this recipe on Facebook and it looked so delicious, I couldn't pass up the chance to give them a try. With a little tweak here and there voila I was off and running. The ingredients are easily swapped to recreate your favorite pie. Bring the kids in to help you with this one, they may just surprise you by creating a new favorite for the whole family to enjoy.

Apple Pie Egg Rolls Adapted from Spending with Pennies
3 c. apples, peeled and diced (approx. 3 apples)
4 tbs. honey
3/4 tsp. Apple Pie Spice
12 Egg Roll Wrappers
Oil for Frying

Combine all filling ingredients and mix well. First, place 2 full tablespoons of filling in the center of each wrapper. Moisten around entire edge with water to seal, with either your finger, or a brush. Start fold by folding corners over the filling. Then pull bottom corner over and keep rolling until it’s tightly wrapped. Repeat with the rest of wrappers. **Note: Be sure that the edges are sealed well, so the filling does not ooze out and cause the oil to splatter** In a skillet, heat oil to 350 degrees F. Fry a few at a time, for 4-5 minutes or until golden brown. Drain on paper towels. Top with powdered sugar, or eat plain with a tall glass of milk. Either way you choose, they are sure to fill that sweet tooth quick. Enjoy!


Meal Plan Oct 27- Nov 1

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

Sunday
Penne with Easy Marinara
Garlic Bread

Monday
Pork Roast
Stuffing
Applesauce
Baked Sweet Potatoes

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

Wednesday 
Slow Cooker White Bean and Pasta Soup*
Corn Bread

Thursday
Happy Halloween!
Mummy Dogs
Mac n Cheese
Deviled Eggs

Friday
Greek Salads^
Biscuits



Friday, October 25, 2013

Bonfire Bundles

This time of year I always try to provide you with a great idea for your upcoming Halloween party, or if your family is like ours and the evening is a simple one of neighborhood trick-or-treating, and supper needs to be quick and simple, something that would work for that too. Well, today is the day!

If your house is the place to be Halloween night, with friends and family dropping by, or a huge kids party, these would be a huge hit! I guarantee! Have a big platter of these sitting next to your cauldron of apple cider, and all the little ghoulish guests will flip! Rather it is held indoors, our out next to the biggest bonfire of the season, they are the perfect party food!

Our Halloween does indeed include a party, but I am not the host. We actually go back to my hometown (about 15 minutes from our house) so Alex can trick-or-treat in the neighborhood I grew up in, and then head to the local volunteer Fire Department for the fun filled party, with games, costume contests, door prizes and candy galore! It's a great tradition I'm so excited to be continuing with him. It allows his grandma to always be part of the festivities and it's kinda nice to see something I enjoyed so much as a child still going strong, and a community still enjoying it.

But all of this going on between the hours of 6pm and 8pm means supper needs to be quick, simple, but most of all FUN! I like treating him to something "party inspired" on Halloween, and it's usually something he can eat with his hands. Plus, it needs to be on the light side. Between the excitement of the night, and the sheer rush, supper really isn't high on his priority list.

These take the fun and yumminess of pizza and turns them into something new, adorable, and 100% kid friendly! Three things that all food should be on Halloween!

However you are spending next Thursday night, I hope it's full of smiles, more treats than tricks and some delicious food, not just Snickers and Butterfingers!

Mini Pizza Bundles Inspired by The Gunny Sack
20 refrigerated buttermilk biscuits
20 pieces pepperoni
2-3 String Cheese, cut into 20 small chunks
1 egg, beaten
Parmesan Cheese
Italian Seasoning
Garlic Powder
Pizza Sauce

Preheat oven to 425. Grease a 9x13 baking dish. Flatten each biscuit out. Lay a piece
of pepperoni on each, then a piece of string cheese. Gather sides of biscuit up, forming a bundle. Lay, seam side down in baking dish. Brush all with egg. Sprinkle with Parmesan, Garlic Powder and Italian Seasoning. Bake 18-20 minutes until browned. Serve with warm pizza sauce for dipping.


Shared on The Country Cook Oct. 25, 2013

Appetizer at Very Good Recipes

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Make It...Save It...or Both

Thanksgiving is just a little over a month away; and Christmas only about a month after that. I realize some of you out there don't even want to think about it, and I respect that. But I also know there are many out there, who like me, are planners extraordinaire and are already making meal plans, shopping lists, and are determined to be fully prepared when the holidays descend upon us. So, for those in that category, I offer a fantastic side dish idea that is easy and free of stress, delicious and something your guests will flip for! 

I actually made this back when we got our fresh veggie bin from Green BEAN Delivery, because I was lucky enough to have some late season fresh Indiana sweet corn included. Sure, I we could have just eaten it slathered in butter and salt, straight from the cob, but I thought it was a good time to test this recipe I had found a while back in an old church cookbook. I really thought it screamed holiday meal. Sure, fresh corn might not be in season by then, but I've noticed most stores have prepackaged corn on the cob (usually 4 ears per pack) year round now. So it's a great way to get some freshness into your meal, and stretch a buck because only a few ears will feed a crowd. 

We love canned creamed corn, but this takes that to a whole new level. The sweetness, the creaminess, the silky texture, all of these lead to the most scrumptious corn side dish I've ever made. We couldn't stop eating it! I think this would compliment any protein that is hitting your Thanksgiving or Christmas table. 

If you're planning your holiday meals already, write this one down! If you're just looking for a new veggie for your weeknight meals, write this down. Or better yet, make it now to "test-run" and then make it again at the holidays. Your family will love every bite, and you will love how simple and fresh it is. 

Skillet Creamed Corn 
4 ears of corn, kernels removed and "milked" (See note below)
1/4 c. butter
1/2 c. half-and-half
1 TBS cornstarch
1 TBS sugar
Salt and Pepper to taste
Dried parsley for garnish

In a large skillet, melt butter over medium heat. Add corn kernels and half-and-half. Stir well. Sprinkle with cornstarch, sugar, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Reduce heat and simmer, stirring occasionally for about 12 minutes, until thickened. Transfer to serving dish and garnish. *NOTE* To get the most flavor from your corn, after the kernels are cut off, slide the back of your knife down "milking" the corn. This is a very starchy liquid that will enhance the corn flavor. 


Shared on The Country Cook Oct. 25, 2013


Corn at Very Good Recipes

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Flavor Your Milk {A Review of Sweet Drops}

Do your kids love flavored milk? But you don't like the added sugar and calories it sometimes has? Then what I'm about to introduce you to is going to make for happy kids...and happy parents!

SweetLeaf Liquid Stevia® Sweet Drops  offer kids the flavored milk they crave without extra calories, sugar, fat and sodium.  



Available in more than 20 flavors, including the favorite Chocolate, but also including Vanilla Creme' and Strawberry. (We can tell you first hand the Chocolate is outstanding!!) Kid tested and Mom approved, these are the perfect way to let kids have fun flavoring their milk without any guilt or worry. 

With zero calories, zero carbs and zero glycemic index, SweetLeaf Stevia is ideal for keeping kids drinking milk without increasing calories. The stevia with the most global taste awards, including two specifically for Chocolate Sweet Drops, SweetLeaf has no bitter aftertaste. This means there is no need to add sodium, fats or sugars to mask the taste, as is often done with milk containing low-calorie sweeteners.

Just as important to moms, SweetLeaf is completely free of the artificial sweeteners that have raised alarm among parents and nutrition experts. It is made only from organic, non-GMO stevia extract and natural flavors – so kids get the nutrition their growing bodies need, and nothing else.

Available at grocery and natural food stores nationwide, Sweet Drops are the new best friend to a tall, cold glass of milk. Your kids will flip for all the fun and yummy flavors, and you will be thrilled to know they aren't getting extra sugar and calories...two things that aren't supposed to come with milk!


Monday, October 21, 2013

A Cupcake Twist

Some of the most comforting recipes I have, also happen to be some of the most time consuming. Not that I'm complaining, it's just something I have to remember when I start craving them on days when I'm simply not going to have the time to make them. That's why I was so excited to find this recipe. It's super simple, reminds me of a cross between chicken pot pie and chicken noodle soup (two comfort foods at the top of my favorites list!) and is so adorable beyond words!

I swear, if your kids are anything like my son, the minute they are in the house after school, the first question they have is "What's for supper?" Well, imagine their excitement when you tell them you're having cupcakes! Yeah, I got a strange look from Alex on that one. He really thought I'd lost my mind. But then when they were baked and I put a couple on his plate he was thrilled with the play on words.

Now, his one question, thinking the was going to be funny was "But Mommy, they aren't frosted." Ha! Yes, they are, it's just done before you bake instead of after, and the frosting is made out of butter and seasonings instead of colored sugar!

These make a great, simple, fall meal any night of the week. Or if you're hosting a crowd, a big platter of them would be cute and something new for a party.

Comfort foods that simmer and cook all day just like mom used to make are one of life's simple pleasures and are to be treasured. But ones that are quick and easy for our busy lives, that are delicious too, are just as valuable to busy moms every where!

Chicken n Noodle Cupcakes Inspired by Pillsbury
1 can (8 ct.) Grands® biscuits, each separated into 2 layers each
1 (19 oz.) can Progresso® traditional chicken noodle soup
2 TBS softened butter
1 tsp. dried Italian seasoning
1/2 tsp. garlic powder

Preheat oven to 375. Spray a muffin tin with cooking spray. Place 8 of the biscuit layers into the muffin tins, working up the sides to create a "cup". Drain soup. Spoon about 2 TBS into each muffin cup. Top each muffin top with the remaining layers. Seal to close. Using a butter knife, carefully spread butter on the top of each. Sprinkle with Italian seasoning and garlic powder. Bake for 15-18 minutes until golden brown. 


Shared on The Country Cook Oct. 25, 2013


Chicken at Very Good Recipes







Sunday, October 20, 2013

Church Supper #106

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:

Butterfinger Bundt Cake




From:


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, October 19, 2013

Soul Food Saturday #27

Hello, and welcome to the weekend! We actually have a 3 day one because yesterday was Fall Break from school, so this house is especially cheerful! I hope you have some autumn fun planned over the next couple days. Bekki is in the kitchen today with a great Mexican meal that has had me drooling from the minute I first saw them!


After being under the weather for almost a week my sweetheart finally got his appetite back. He turns to me and says, "This is going to sound strange, but I'm hungry and I really want some MEAT, and anyway we have it is fine by me." So I suggested pepper steak burritos. This is a go to recipe that hits the spot every time I make it. With y­­our favorite toppings along side, you can get the perfect burrito for each person. Today we used fresh cooked salsa, shredded cheese and sour cream. You can customize this to your family and friends preferences.
 
 
Pepper Steak Burritos
2 large chuck steaks (approx. 3c.) cubed
2 red bell peppers, chopped
2 small onions, chopped
5 oz. mushrooms, sliced
2 jalapenos, chopped
1 envelope taco seasoning
2 tbs. olive oil
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 c. cilantro
8-super burrito size flour tortillas
 
In a large sauté pan, add oil, steak cubes, and garlic powder. Cook until all edges are browned.  Add onions, bell peppers and jalapenos, mushrooms, and taco seasoning. Stir to combine, cover and allow veggies to soften, stirring occasionally.
 
When ready to serve, warm your tortillas on a griddle pan or in the microwave. And have your favorite condiments ready, enjoy!



Meal Plan Oct. 20-25

*New Recipes
Links to Recipes on Blog

Sunday
Chicken with Artichokes
Wild Rice
Baked Acorn Squash

Monday
Biscuits n Gravy
Scrambled Eggs

Tuesday
Crock Pot Italian Meatball Subs*
Easy Caesar Salad

Wednesday
Beef Roast
Scalloped Potatoes
Green Bean Casserole

Thursday
Tomato Soup
Grilled Cheese
Fruit Cocktail

Friday
Cabbage Roll Casserole
Dinner Rolls


Friday, October 18, 2013

Check The Pantry

Right about now, after reading that ^^^ title, I bet you are asking yourself "Why?" Why does she want me to check my pantry? Well, for a few reasons actually. 

First off, I want to check your pantry because I'm guessing you currently have everything on hand to make this amazingly tasty side dish; and for me, that's always a nice thing. I love finding recipes that I can make "on the fly" with things I already have sitting in the cupboard without adding a single item to my grocery list. It not only helps the weekly budget, but it means I can make it any time I want when I'm desperate to put supper on the table. 

Secondly, I want you to check because I'm hoping at least a few of you are in the same boat I was when I went to make this and you find things you weren't even aware you had, and this is obviously because you have multiples of them. Let me explain. I knew I had bagged rice. I knew I had probably half the bag left. What I didn't realize was evidently there were a few times I forgot about said bag, bought a new bag, and only used half of it too. See, I had not one, not two, but three half used bags of rice. So apparently, there were a couple times I didn't bother to check the rice situation before adding it to my grocery list. Hence why when I did find them, rice immediately went on the menu. 

Third, I want you to check the herbs and spices in your pantry. For when I discovered the plethora of rice I was hoarding, it caused a mini clean out of my pantry, which is when I discovered it was time to get some new bottles of dried spices. Why? Well, let's just say their "best used by" dates were long in the past. I'm not going to tell you just how long ago, frankly, it's embarrassing, but rest assured, they were replaced promptly. In case you didn't know, that stuff does have a shelf life, and eventually it does lose flavor, so it's best to switch them out now and again.

Now, all of that being said, this side dish could not be more simple, and every bite it is delicious. It goes well with chicken, fish, beef, or maybe add some veggies for a complete one pot meal. However you decide to serve it, you will be glad to have the recipe to fall back on for those nights the family is starving and your creativity with supper just isn't up to par. Check the pantry, and in about 30 minutes you can have this sitting on the table. They will think you planned it all along!

Parmesan Rice Pilaf From McCormick
2 TBS butter
1 c. rice
2 c. chicken broth
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 tsp. dried parsley
2 TBS sliced almonds, plus more for garnish
2 TBS shredded Parmesan cheese, plus more for garnish
Salt and Pepper to taste

In medium sauce pan melt butter over medium-high heat. Add rice and cook, stirring constantly for 3 minutes until lightly toasted. Stir in broth, garlic powder, parsley, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 15-20 minutes until rice is tender. Remove from meat, stir in almonds and cheese. Transfer to a serving bowl. Garnish with extra almonds and cheese.


Shared on The Country Cook Oct. 18, 2013


Rice at Very Good Recipes

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Put Away the Foil and Plastic Wrap {A Review of Plate Topper}

Do you have a bunch of leftovers sitting in your fridge right now, covered in either foil, plastic wrap, or both? Do you get frustrated when they don't stay fresh the way you wish they would? Do you wish there was a more economical, not to mention, eco-friendly, way to store leftovers? Well, now there is thanks to PlateTopper!



The world's first airtight container that works with your plates at home, PlateTopper eliminates the need for a dirty dish and keeps food fresh with a genius silicone seal placed over the plate that is was served on. Instant food storage! Go right from the table to the fridge! Simply press PlateTopper over a plate, locking it in place, and your leftovers will stay fresh and yummy.

Plus, you can take leftovers covered with the PlateTopper straight from the fridge to the microwave for reheating! And with it's unique pull tab release, it's easy and quick to remove too. I love being able to cover something on a plate, know it's going to stay fresh in the fridge, and then be able to reheat them when I need to...all without putting the food on a different plane, unwrapping it, etc. It saves me time, and money...two things I'm always look for more of!

PlateTopper is available in a variety of colors and is a practical and affordable gift idea for anyone. (Remember the holidays are right around the corner!) The convenient 10 inch size fits any standard dinner plate, including plastic, glass and ceramic plates, and even fits large wood cutting boards. There is also a 7.5 inch PlateTopper Mini that fits salad and snack plates.

Forget the hassle of plastic food storage bags, aluminum foil and plastic wrap. Get PlateTopper today and lock in freshness, and lock out bacteria for all of your food!

**From Oct. 21-24, You can purchase a PlateTopper Combo (one tall, one mini) for $11.99...down from $20. But how about a presale? You can actually get this fantastic deal, right now just by clicking here.**

Disclaimer: I was given free samples in exchange for this review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Football Eats

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

One of our favorite times of the year in once again in full swing. Football Season!!! So, it's the perfect time to celebrate the return of the pigskin with some delicious eats! 

From bottomless wings to cold, game-changing beer, Buffalo Wild Wings has something for everyone to enjoy! It's the perfect spot for your whole family to spend an afternoon, watching the big game, or games, and filling up on a delicious meal too! 

What is Game Changer Beer you might ask? Well, it's new to Buffalo Wild Wings, made by Redhook, and the perfect drink for go with their other new promotions going on right now: Wing Tuesday and Boneless Thursday!

My entire family loves football, and the only thing we need while we are yelling at the television, or even at each other depending on the teams playing, is a big plate of yummy food to munch on while we coach our favorite team to victory. And if that plate can include wings, all the better because we love those too! Can't get enough!

Buffalo Wild Wings is the place for Family, Fun and Football, so they always have something scrumptious cooking, and a good time waiting for you. Be sure to Follow Buffalo Wild Wings on Twitter and Like Buffalo Wild Wings on Facebook for all the up to date happenings.

 photo BWW_GenBrandV2_Black_Retargeting_300x250_zps1e81f6aa.jpg

 

Visit Sponsor's Site

Our Veggie Bin

Last week I told you about our experience with Green BEAN Delivery; and how much we enjoyed the fresh produce we were provided. If you missed that review, or are totally intrigued, you can read about it here.

One of the things I added to our bin that wasn't initially included was acorn squash. We love all kinds of squash, and we love to eat it year round, but to me, there is just something about enjoying fresh squash during the fall months. Maybe it stems from my childhood when my dad used to have a pretty impressive garden, and the squash were always ready to be picked about the time the leaves were falling from the trees. Maybe it's simply because squash reminds me of pumpkin. Whatever the reason, this time of year is when squash begins to makes an appearance on our table more frequently.

I'm telling you, this recipe looks like autumn on a plate! From the squash to another of fall's best gifts, apples, this looks, smells and tastes like a celebration of the season! These would make a great Sunday supper on a brisk, fall day, or even a weeknight meal if you have a little extra time on your hands. (Don't let that scare you. It's not a difficult recipe, the squash just needs some time in the oven to get tender and delicious.)

If you are looking for more meals that include autumn's bounty, make sure to save this one. Celebrate the changing of the seasons with fresh ingredients that come together in a beautiful and tasty way!

Sausage and Apple Stuffed Acorn Squash
2 Acorn Squash, cut in half and seeded
1 lb. pork sausage
1 TBS butter, melted
1/4 tsp. garlic salt
3/4 tsp. ground sage, divided
1/2 c. onion, finely chopped
1 celery rib, finely chopped
6 button mushrooms, finely chopped
2 apples, cored and finely chopped
1 c. bread crumbs
1 egg, beaten
Salt and Pepper to taste
Grated Parmesan cheese for garnish

Preheat oven to 400. Place cut squash, cut side up, in a 9x13 baking dish. In a small bowl combine melted butter, garlic salt and 1/4 tsp. sage. Mix well. Brush the cavity of each squash with butter mixture, coating it well. Bake for 1 hour until squash is tender, but holds shape.

While squash is roasting, brown sausage over medium heat in a large skillet. Drain, reserving 2 TBS of drippings. Place drippings back in pan. Add onion, celery, and mushrooms. Saute for 4 minutes. Add apples and saute 2 more minutes. In a large bowl combine browned sausage, veggies, 1/2 tsp. sage, salt, pepper, bread crumbs and egg. Mix well to combine. Remove squash from oven. Fill each with sausage mixture, mounding slightly. Bake for 20 additional minutes until browned. Sprinkle with cheese before serving.


Shared on The Country Cook Oct. 18, 2013


Squash at Very Good Recipes

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Gluten Free Game Day {A Review of Blue Diamond}

I love a good cracker. It must be crispy. It must have fantastic flavor. And if I choose, it must be the perfect texture to hold whatever dip or topping I choose. But for all of my gluten-free friends out there, this might not be the easiest thing to find. But thanks to Blue Diamond's new line of Artisan Nut Thins.

Thanks to the added nutrition of of beneficial seeds, Artisan Nut Thins are a cracker that you can feel good about eating! Made from brown rice, almonds and seeds, they are deliciously versatile and free of wheat and gluten.



Available in 3 yummy varieties, Multi Seeds, Flax Seed, and Sesame Seed, one is more tasty than the next. For me, my favorite was the Sesame, but that's only because I'm such a sesame seed fan. I thought all of them were delicious. They are crispy, flavorful, and hold up to dipping very well. In fact, I can't wait to try this Avocado Bean Dip from Blue Diamond at our next party!



Or use them in a completely unique application with these Nutty Ranch Chicken Tenders! The kids will love them! And you will love feeding them something you know isn't filled with a lot of ingredients you can't pronounce, but instead nutrients!

If you are looking for a new cracker to bring home, especially if you are a GF family, look for Blue Diamond Artisan Nut Things today. But honestly, even if you aren't gluten free, they are a scrumptious new snack!!

Disclaimer: I received free samples in exchange for this review. All thoughts, opinions and experiences are my own. 

Nutrition On The Go {A Review of Del Monte® Fruit Squeezers}

For busy moms and dads, there is nothing more important than finding healthy snacks for the little ones, while on the go, making sure they still get energy to fuel their busy little bodies. And now, Del Monte® has a brand new way of making sure it's both easy and yummy!

Made in the U.S.A., Del Monte Fruit Burst™ Squeezers contain 1 ½ servings of fruit or fruit and veggies and are an excellent source of vitamins A and C. In addition, Del Monte Fruit Burst Squeezers contain no artificial flavors or high fructose corn syrup.



Available at your local Walmart, these make a great snack, or even addition to a packed lunch box. They are something easy and delicious that you can feel good about giving them, any time of the day. 

As you can see, Alex is a huge fan of them. He has loved every flavor he has tried, one more than the next. They are super easy for in the car, or I can even put one in my purse. I love the fact I can keep them in the fridge, and he can grab one whenever he wants a snack.



Here is a little more info on all the varieties available: 

                Fruit + Veggie Varieties:
Peach-Mango: Pear puree concentrate, water, pumpkin juice concentrate, peach puree concentrate, pear juice concentrate, carrot juice concentrate, carrot puree, mango puree concentrate, natural flavors, ascorbic acid (vitamin C), citric acid.
 Blueberry: Pear puree concentrate, water, pumpkin juice concentrate, pear juice concentrate, natural flavors, carrot puree, blueberry puree concentrate, fruit and vegetable extracts for color, ascorbic acid (vitamin C), citric acid.

Simply Fruit Varieties:
Apple Cinnamon: Pear puree concentrate, water, apple puree concentrate, pear juice concentrate, natural flavors, ascorbic acid (vitamin C), cinnamon, malic acid.
Mixed Berry: Pear puree concentrate, water, pear juice concentrate, natural flavors, strawberry puree, red raspberry puree concentrate, blueberry puree concentrate, fruit and vegetable extracts for color, ascorbic acid (vitamin C), malic acid.
Strawberry: Pear puree concentrate, water, pear juice concentrate, strawberry puree concentrate, natural flavors, carmine, ascorbic acid (vitamin C), malic acid.

For more info, be sure to check out Del Monte® on Pinterest, Facebook and Twitter too.


And right now, the great folks at Del Monte® are offering one lucky EMM reader a $50 Walmart Gift Card!!! That's right, one of you is going to walk away with $50 bucks to spend at Walmart!! It's easy to enter, easy to win. Here is how:


********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. 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 October 21, 2013

Mandatory Entry:
1. Leave a comment telling me which Fruit Squeezer you think your kids would love. 

Extra Entries:

1. Follow Del Monte on Facebook. Leave a comment when you have.
2. Follow Del Monte on Twitter. Leave a comment when you have.

That's up to 3 entries per person!

Good Luck!


Disclaimer:  The Del Monte products, information, gift pack, and gift card have been provided by Del Monte.