Everyday Mom's Meals: August 2014

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Soul Food Saturday Labor Day Edition



 I can't believe its Labor Day weekend! The last big hurrah of Summer fun before the kids start a new year of school (Or for some of us, our 3rd week of school!)  With that said I thought we all needed a big send off with a nice plate of pork ribs. We've fallen in love with these and couldn't help but share a big plate. Here's to another great Summer, Cheers!

Peppered Pork Ribs
3 1/2 lb. Rack of Pork Ribs
2 TBS Spicy Steak seasoning

Rinse meat under cool water, and pat dry. Season each side with 1 TBS steak seasoning. Allow to sit for a few minutes, then add to grill and cook as desired.

Whether you add these ribs to a mountain of other grilled meats or have it with a side of slaw; it's sure to please any Flinstone sized appetite. Enjoy!





Meal Plan Aug. 31- Sept. 5

*New Recipes
Links to recipes on blog

Sunday
We're going on a picnic to a favorite park. 
I'm packing:
Fried Chicken
Ranch Bacon Pasta Salad
Sliced Cucumbers
Potato Chips
Deviled Eggs
Cantaloupe

Monday
Happy Labor Day!!
Grilled Steaks
Corn on the Cob
Jello Parfait Salad

Tuesday
Crock Pot Sausage and Sweet Potato Chili*
Dinner Rolls

Wednesday
Stuffed Peppers
Crescent Rolls
Sliced Peaches

Thursday
Shredded Chicken Tacos*
Mexican Rice
Chips n Cheese

Friday
Hot Dogs
Mac n Cheese
Baked Beans






Friday, August 29, 2014

Labor Day Barbecue

Well folks, it's here. The end of summer. Okay, not really. I refuse to let summer go until the last possible minute. We've still got plenty of warm, sunny days left, and here in Indiana, there are usually a couple of abnormally hot days in October still! But on the calendar, Labor Day is usually considered the last hurrah of summer, and I've got a great idea for your holiday cook-out! 

It seems like we are all trying to fit in one last get together before the leaves begin to turn and some of us cover up the grills until next Spring. Now, most of you know we grill year round, but I still try to have one last big cookout Labor Day weekend. Rather is be just the three of us, with family, or in this year's case, some dear friends we've been trying to get together with all summer long. 

This one is a great way to stretch a buck and make one cut of meat feed many people. Brisket is one of Alex's favorite summer time treats, and since we just filled our freezer with another side of beef, I couldn't wait to make it for him again. 

This will remind you of barbecue you get at some roadside joint down south. It's slow cooked to tender, juicy, flavorful  perfection and be piled high onto a sandwich you can't wait to sink your teeth into. 

If you're planning a Labor Day party, get to your butcher right away. Nothing says summer grilled deliciousness like a good piece of barbecued brisket...and when it's this easy, that's icing on the cake! 

Barbecued Beef Brisket
1 (4 lb.) boneless beef brisket
Barbecue Seasoning Blend
Salt and Pepper, to taste
Barbecue Sauce
Hamburger Buns

Preheat grill burners to high. Reduce heat on one side to medium-high, and turn off burner on other.  Line a pan with aluminum foil. Rub both sides of beef with seasonings, generously. Place beef on pan. Grill for 2/5-3 hours. Take meat off pan and place directly on grill. Cook 30 minutes more until crust forms on outside. Baste with barbecue sauce every 10 minutes. Remove from grill. Let stand 10 minutes before slicing. Serve on buns with extra sauce. 





Shared on The Country Cook Aug. 29, 2014

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

He Loves Him Some Feta

We've talked before about how lucky I am to have a kid who will pretty much anything and everything; and when I say everything, I mean e.v.e.r.y.t.h.i.n.g. For those of you who might not know, my almost 10 year old will eat sushi, calamari, spinach, Brussels sprouts....just to name a few. If you have a picky eater in your house, I know you are about ready to smack me at this point. But I'm not bragging. I'm simply telling this, so I can lead into this. My kid has a cheese fetish. All cheese. Any cheese. And right now, his obsession is feta. Yep, that briny, salty, a little on the stinky, Greek cheese is one of his favorites, so it's my job to find ways for him to enjoy it.

Are you still enjoying a bounty from your summer garden? Cucumbers and tomatoes perhaps? If so, you're going to be so happy you logged on today. This is so delicious though, even if you have to go to the store for the ingredients, it's totally worth it!

I love finding different ways to serve cucumber salad. They can be so versatile and quick when you need a side dish on the table and have no time. This one have a great Greek twist with the feta cheese and homemade dressing. If you have some kalamata olives on hand, they would be perfect in this. I just happened to have the regular variety in the cupboard, so that's what I used.

Planning a Labor Day cookout or barbecue? Maybe have to take a dish with you to one. This would be perfect. Everything loves a good, refreshing cucumber salad, but this one is just unique enough to have them coming back for more, just like my little feta fiend did! Again...and again!!


Greek Cucumber Salad
2 large cucumbers, seeded and diced
4 Roma tomatoes, seeded and diced
1 (2.25 oz.) can sliced black olives, drained
1 (5 oz.) container feta cheese crumbles, a few reserved
1/4 c. olive oil
1/8 c. red wine vinegar
3/4 tsp. sugar
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 tsp. dried oregano
1 tsp. dill weed
1/2 tsp. Greek seasoning
1/2 tsp. dried parsley
Salt and Pepper to taste

In a large bowl combine cucumbers, tomatoes, olives and cheese. Toss to combine. In a small bowl whisk together oil, vinegar, sugar, garlic powder, oregano, dill weed, Greek seasoning, parsley, salt and pepper. Pour over cucumber mixture. Toss to coat. Chill at least an hour before serving. Garnish with extra feta crumbles.




Monday, August 25, 2014

Back To School

One week down. 5 days done. Only 175 more to go. That's right, we are heading into our second week of the school year. Is it wrong that I'm glad at the end of it we have a three-day weekend? I think it's time. We deserve a little break. 

With the new school year, comes the need for new lunch box ideas, and ways to keep things fresh and fun for my little man. He loves his new Angry Bird lunch kit his Maa Ma bought him, and it's my job to make sure it's filled with yummy things he loves all year long. 

I actually had these at a party years ago, and immediately asked for the recipe. I love pinwheel sandwiches, for many reasons, one being because they are so versatile. They make a terrific packed lunch idea for school or the office. See, I also happen to have a husband who takes his lunch to work every day, so I'm on the hook for double the ideas, every. single. day. 

But they are also a hit at parties, barbecues or potlucks. You can whip up a huge batch of them in almost no time at all, and your guests can just keep going back for more, and believe me they will. I also love them for a simple supper. Add a tossed salad, or maybe some marinated cucumbers and fresh fruit on the side, and you've got a meal that is fresh, light and tasty after a long day.

Back to school time is so stressful in so many ways. Lunch box ideas shouldn't have to be one of them. Make sure they go to school with a great tasting, fun to eat meal for them...and super easy for you!

Salami & Spinach Pinwheels
Hard salami, sliced thin
1 (9 oz.) bag fresh spinach
1 (2.25 oz.) can chopped black olives
1 container garden vegetable cream cheese
Flour tortillas

Spread cream cheese on each tortilla, all the way to the edges. Lay 5 pieces of salami on each, overlapping a little. Sprinkle with olives. Layer spinach on time. Roll tortilla up, as tightly as possible. Slice into 1 inch pieces. Cover and chill until ready to serve.





Shared on The Country Cook Aug. 29, 2014


Saturday, August 23, 2014

Soul Food Saturday



There is something wonderful about breakfast foods. They are delicious any time of day. Biscuits and gravy is definitely one of those that fits this category perfectly. Can you really make it any better? Yes, just add more meat! Yes I said it. This gravy is extra meaty and will cure any comfort food craving. Grab your favorite drink and meet me at the table, breakfast comfort food is coming up next!

Biscuits and "Lots of Sausage" Gravy
1 tbs. Olive oil
2 lbs. Fresh Maple sausage
2 tbs. Reserved sausage oil
2 tbs. Flour
4 c. Half and Half
1 Tsp granulated garlic
Salt and Pepper to taste
2 cans Jumbo biscuits

Open biscuits and cook as package instructs.

In a large skillet add oil and heat until oil begins to glisten. Add sausage and break up so all pieces cook evenly. Cook until sausage is cook through. Remove sausage from the pan to a bowl, drain oil, and reserve 2 tbs in the pan. Add flour and whisk to combine with oil. Continue to whisk until flour has toasted slightly. Add milk in  half at a time. Stir slowly to thoroughly combine. Continue to stir as mixture begins to bubble, add remaining milk. Add garlic, salt and pepper. Stir to combine seasonings into the gravy. Add sausage back to the pan. Stir to combine. Taste for seasoning, if need add more. Cook until desired thickness is reached. Serve hot with big fluffy biscuits, whether you like them split or whole this gravy will fill your belly and your soul! Enjoy!



Menu Plan Aug. 24-29

*New Recipe
Links to Recipes on Blog

Sunday
BLTs
Corn on the Cob
Watermelon

Monday
Left over from previous menu
Potato Wedges
Green Beans

Tuesday
I'm having GNO
The boys will have leftovers.

Wednesday
Pasta Salad

Thursday
Crock Pot Chicken and Noodles*
Biscuits

Friday
Baked Southwest Omelette*
Hashbrown Cakes
Toast



Friday, August 22, 2014

Slow Cooker Fall Favorites Day 2 {A Review and Giveaway}

Did ya'll catch the great new cookbook from Gooseberry Patch I featured on Wednesday? If not, read all about it here and check out the fantastic recipe that came with it too! 

To give you a brief overview, my good friends at GP have put together a fantastic collection of Slow Cooker recipes all inspired by autumn! I don't know about you, but using my Crock Pot more and more is one of the things I look forward to most in the fall. What's better than coming inside after a cool crisp day at the apple orchard or pumpkin patch and having a meal cooked to perfection waiting for you? 

The second recipe I want to share with all of you from this great new cookbook is something I think would be P.E.R.F.E.C.T for tailgating and football parties...something else I adore about the fall!! We are a football lovin' family and many weekends we plan our entire activity schedule around when our favorite teams are playing! I love making a big pot of something and letting us eat out of it all day long while we yell at the refs and tell them everything they are doing wrong! 

Or maybe your a big fan of bonfire parties when the nights cool off. Well, these would be ideal for that too. Leave these sitting on warm all night long and your guests can eat as they come and go, without you having to babysit anything in the kitchen! 

And to be honest with you, with this week being our first back to school, I've got simple, easy suppers on the brain even more than normal. These are exactly something I look for when I know school, work and after school activities are going to keep me busy all day long. Especially if your family has to eat in intervals due to differing schedules! 

Even though I'm not quite ready for it, autumn is right around the corner. What better way to ease the pain and celebrate the season than an entire cookbook dedicated to simple, tasty, slow cooker recipes to keep us satisfied all season long! 

Steamburgers
Contributed by Roberta Oest Astora, IL Found on page 66

2 lbs. ground beef chuck
2 1/4 TBS. onion soup mix
1 T. Worcestershire sauce
1/4 tsp. pepper
1/2 c. water
8-10 hamburger buns, split
Optional: ketchup

Brown beef in a skillet over medium heat; drain. Spoon beef into a slow cooker; stir in soup mix, sauce, pepper and water. Cover and cook on LOW for 2-4 hours, until heated through and liquid is absorbed. Spoon onto buns and top with ketchup if desired. Serves 8-10 *NOTE* Shown here served on Dark Rye buns, with American cheese, ketchup, minced onion and sweet/spicy pickles.




Shared on The Country Cook Aug. 22, 2014

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Let's Start A #PBJRevolution

Back to school time means parents every where are once again trying to come up with tasty, nutritious, unique options for all those lunch boxes. And while yes, I'm on that bandwagon, I'm also of the thinking that sometimes simple is best. Something we all had in our lunchbox. After all, the classics never go out of style. And when it comes to a packed school lunch, you don't get any more classic than our old friend the Peanut Butter & Jelly!! 

Sure, it's not fancy. It's nothing new. It's something your child has probably eaten 100 times before. But, think about it. Do they ever complain? Do they ever say they are tired of it? Not my kid. My son could eat a pb&j every single day, if I let him! 

But what's to say you can't make this classic new again? A tiny revolution maybe! In fact, Buzzfeed posted an article this month dedicated to making a better pb&j! New ways to make this favorite fun and unique! 

In that spirit, I've teamed up with my great friends at Peanut Butter & Co. to help you start your own revolution! They are giving one lucky EMM winner a jar of their original Smooth Operator peanut butter and  Seriously Strawberry Jam, two staples in this house!



If you've never tried Peanut Butter & Co.'s products, they are 100% natural with no hydrogenated oils, no cholesterol, no trans-fats and, no high fructose corn syrup. Not to mention 100% DELICIOUS!! 

So, if you want to join us in this #PBJRevolution, enter today and go make yourself one now just to snack on! And to stay up on everything peanut butter, be sure to like them on Facebook, and follow on Twitter!



****GIVEAWAY****

To Enter: Leave a comment with your favorite way to eat a classic pb&j. 

Contest Ends: September 5, 2014

Be sure to leave an email address so I can find you!


Disclaimer: I was given (1) jar of peanut butter and (1) jar of jam in exchange for this post. All thoughts and opinions are my own. 

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Slow Cooker Fall Favorites Day 1 {A Review and Giveaway}

That's right! It's almost that time! Cool fall days with crisp fall nights are headed our way quicker than you think, or in my case, much quicker than I would like. Don't get me wrong, I enjoy fall; and everything it brings with it. Apple picking, bonfires, pumpkins, fall festivals...I love it all. 

However I hate what comes after fall, and I long for summer so much. So, if we could have autumn for a couple months, skip winter and go right back into summer...I'd be a happy camper. But alas, I live in the Midwest, where we enjoy (or endure) all 4 seasons. So I better find a way to cope. And what a better way than a brand new cookbook from my good friends at Gooseberry Patch, full of not only fall inspired recipes...but all of them are for our Crock Pots!!


I don't think there is a time of year I enjoy using my slow cooker more than fall. There is just something about being outside enjoying a cool, sunny autumn day, and then coming back to a warm, comforting meal waiting on me. As much as I use my slow cooker year round, it probably sits on the counter top the most during the autumn months. 

In this fabulous book you'll find everything from breakfast ideas, to great tailgating ideas (Another one of the reasons I love fall...football!!!), warm soups and delicious main dishes, to sweet treats to end your meal with.


When I started to thumb through my copy, I immediately knew I had to try a soup. Soups and slow cookers are just a match made in heaven to me. They are what I cook the most in mine, so it was only natural. The minute I saw this recipe I was totally intrigued. See, I have another recipe for the same dish, but it differs in two major ways. One, it contains meat; and while delicious, I'm always on the lookout for meat free options for both my family and to share with all of my vegetarian fans. And two, my other recipe cooks stove top, so this one is immediately easier!

If you love to throw something in your Crock Pot and then head to work, and know supper is waiting on you at the end of a long day, this recipe is for you. Seriously, take about 5 minutes in the morning to open a few cans, stir, and forget it. When supper time rolls around, boil some pasta and dinner can be on the table in almost no time. And not just any dinner. A warm, comforting bowl of delicious soup, bursting with flavor that will warm your soul!

Autumn is on it's way, and while we still have some very warm days ahead of us, it's time to start thinking about all the yummy things we have to look forward to! Oh, and the great folks at Gooseberry Patch have a copy of Slow Cooker Fall Favorites for one lucky EMM reader too. Just scroll down to the giveaway! 

Slow Cooker Pasta Fagioli 
Bela's Favorite Pasta Fagioli
Contributed by Julie Dossantos Fort Pierce, Fl, Found on pg. 108

1 tsp. olive oil
2 (14.5 oz.) cans Italian diced tomatoes
1 (15 oz.) cans cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
2 cloves garlic, diced
1/2 c. fresh basil, chopped
2 TBS Italian seasoning
1 1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. pepper
2 (32 oz.) boxes chicken or vegetable broth
1 lb. ditalini pasta, cooked
Thinly sliced mozzarella cheese, for garnish

Combine oil, undrained tomatoes, beans, garlic, basil and seasonings in a slow cooker. Mix well. Add broth. Stir. Cover and cook on LOW for 6 hours. Divide pasta among soup bowls. Ladle soup over pasta. Garnish each bowl with cheese. Serves 6-8. 
*NOTE* I used 1 TBS dried basil in place of fresh and garnished with shredded mozzarella. 




Shared on The Country Cook Aug. 22, 2014







***Giveaway***

To Enter: Leave a comment telling me your favorite slow cooker autumn inspired dish.

Bonus Entry #1: Become a fan of Gooseberry Patch on Facebook.

Bonus Entry #2: Follow Gooseberry Patch on Twitter.

Be sure to leave an email address so I can find you!

Contest Ends: September 3, 2014

Disclaimer: I was provided with (2) cookbooks from Gooseberry Patch in exchange for this post. All thoughts and opinions are my own. 

Monday, August 18, 2014

The Great Butter Swap

The following is a sponsored post by Pompeian. All thoughts and opinions are my own. 

Did you know that August is National Olive Oil Month? Nope, me either! That is until my new friends at Pompeian Oil filled me in! 


Pompeian Olive Oil Company was founded in the hills of Tuscany, only to become America's first national brand of imported extra virgin olive oil. After establishing a headquarters in Baltimore in 1906, Pompeian began importing olive oil in bulk, then blending and bottling it fresh daily here in the U.S.—the only national brand of olive oil to do so.

Unlike many olive oils sold here, Pompeian is a blend of olive oils produced in various regions rather than from a single location or company owned grove. 

Their attention to detail and the pride they take in their products can definitely be experienced with every single bite of food you cook in their delicious oil. 

And what a better way to celebrate this month dedicated to all things olive oil than swapping Pompeian Oil for butter in one of your favorite recipes??!!?? 

If you are a butter lover, maybe you don't realize just how easy it is to do so. Well, the folks at Pompeian are here to help with this fabulous conversion chart! Have a recipe you love that includes butter, this handy chart will tell you exactly the amount of olive oil to use instead. They have taken all the guess work out of it! 

As a leader in the olive oil industry, and the #1 selling Extra Virgin Olive Oil in the U.S., Pompeian is celebrating National Olive Oil Month by launching the Pompeian Pledge. It's simple, fun and yummy! All they ask is for consumers nation wide to swap out butter for olive oil in their everyday recipes. 

To take the pledge, simply click here. To make it even more fun, 1,000 fans who sign up will be randomly selected to receive a gift from Pompeian (A free movie ticket redemption code and a coupon for free olive oil!!). Plus every week 5 additional fans will win a fun prize pack from Pompeian. 

Yep, I took the pledge! And the first recipe that came to mind was something with potatoes...for breakfast. See, when it's time to fry "taters" I would normally reach for the butter, so I knew it would be the perfect opportunity to do the olive oil swap. Well, I can tell you, it not only worked, but totally exceeded my expectations. Butter and potatoes just go together, and the flavors meld perfectly. But I can honestly say the flavor they had from cooking in Pompeian's amazing oil was just as delicious and gave them a beautiful golden color. 

Honestly this dish is a perfect one for breakfast, lunch, brunch or a simple supper, which is exactly what I made it for. A simple, hearty meal at the end of a long day the whole family will love!

Celebrate National Olive Oil Month by taking the Pompeian Pledge today! So, what recipe do you want to try with olive oil first???

Root Vegetable Breakfast Hash
3-4 large baking potatoes, peeled and diced
3 large carrots, peeled and diced
3 medium parsnips, peeled and diced
1 red bell pepper, diced
1 medium white onion, diced
3 TBS Pompeian Olive Oil
Dried Parsley
Salt and Pepper
2 eggs per person, cooked over easy

Red Pepper and Parsnips now shown

Heat oil over medium-high heat in a large skillet. 


Add potatoes, parsnips, onions, carrots and peppers. Season with salt and pepper. Stirring often, cook until slightly browned and tender-crisp, about 10 minutes. Reduce heat to low, cover and allow to finish cooking, about 10 additional minutes, stirring a couple times. In a separate skillet, cook eggs. Right before serving, sprinkle potato mixture with dried parsley. Spoon onto individual plates, topping with 2 eggs each and extra parsley. 





Shared on The Country Cook Aug. 22, 2014

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf Pompeian
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Saturday, August 16, 2014

Soul Food Saturday



In this family there aren't many things better than a hot pan of freshly made gooey chocolate brownies to lift your spirit, or be the perfect fix for the biggest sweet tooth. I found a recipe online; months ago that I decided I needed to tweak a bit. Not because it wasn't good, but only to not have to use the stove at all.
 
Gooey Chocolate Brownies 
½ c. white sugar
2 tbs. unsalted butter
2 tbs. water
1 small package approx 1 ¾ c. semisweet chocolate chips
2 eggs
½ tsp. vanilla extract
2/3 c. all-purpose flour
¼ tsp. baking soda
½ tsp. salt

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Grease or spray with butter non stick spray an 8x8 inch square pan.

In a medium sized microwave safe bowl, combine the sugar, butter and water. Microwave until boiling, approx 1 ½ minutes on high power. In another medium bowl sift flour, baking soda and salt. Set aside. Remove hot bowl very carefully from microwave and stir in chocolate chips until melted and smooth. Mix in the eggs and vanilla. Add the flour, baking soda and salt mixture; into the chocolate mixture just until combined.  Spread evenly into the prepared pan. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes in the preheated oven, until brownies set up. Do not over bake! Cool in pan and cut into squares.


 


Meal Plan Aug. 17-22

*New Recipe
Links to Recipes on Blog

Sunday
Grilled Steak
Corn on the Cob

Monday
Tuna Salad
Greek Cucumber Salad*
Baked Pineapple

Tuesday
Crock Pot Beef Vegetable Soup
Dinner Rolls

Wednesday
Grilled Chicken
Fried Cabbage and Noodles
Sliced Peaches

Thursday
Sticky Grilled Sausage
Potato Wedges
Green Beans

Friday
No Boil Beefy Baked Ziti*
Garlic Bread





Friday, August 15, 2014

One Skillet To Heart Healthier

As many of you know, last month we had a real scare in our family when Mr. E was hospitalized for 2 1/2 days with pulmonary emboli...also known as blood clots in the lungs. It was quite the ordeal, and now a month later I am happy report he is doing exceptionally well, and has had all good check ups at both his cardiologist and hematologist...praise be to God!

Upon being discharged from the hospital, the only dietary restrictions he had were to attempt to eat a little heart healthier, meaning lower sodium and trans fats. To be honest, it wasn't a major change in something he's already been doing. See, a few years ago at the urging of his physician, he decided to start eating better and working out. That's when his food habits began to change; and he went back to Taekwondo. Three years later, and almost 100 lbs. later, he is more fit, and healthier than he has ever been in the 17 years we've been together. I'm so proud of the changes he made in his life; and was up to the challenge to find even more ways to make his diet healthier.

In that spirit, how about a one skillet meal that has robust, fresh, bright flavor that is not only a fantastic meal for a busy weeknight, but also includes my favorite tip on adding less salt, without taking away flavor. What is that? You ask. Well, it's our trusty friend the lemon

I can't even tell you where I learned this trick, it's been so long ago, but the flavor of lemon or lemon juice hits some of the same taste buds on your tongue as that of salt, in such a way, it tricks your brain into thinking it has a salty flavor when in reality it has very little or even none. 

So there you go. A terrific new supper idea you can have on the table in almost no time at all; and a tasty little trick to keep up your sleeve any time you want to reduce the sodium but punch up the flavor! 

Lemon Chicken and Rice Skillet
3 boneless chicken breasts, cut into bite size chunks
1 1/2 c. instant white rice
1 (14 oz.) can low sodium chicken broth
1 TBS cornstarch
1 medium white onion, chopped
2 TBS butter or margarine
2 carrots, thinly sliced
1 c. frozen peas
1 lemon, juiced and divided
2 tsp. dried parsley
2 cloves garlic, minced
Salt and Pepper, to taste

In a large skillet or dutch oven, melt butter over medium high heat. Saute chicken, onions and carrots until tender and chicken is browned, about 10 minutes, stirring often. Season with salt and pepper.  Add garlic and cook 1 minute more. In a small bowl combine chicken broth, 2 TBS lemon juice and cornstarch. Add to chicken mixture. Bring to a boil, and cook 2-3 minutes, stirring, until slightly thickened. Add rice and peas. Stir well. Remove from heat and cover. Let stand for 5 minutes. Check for rice tenderness. Add parsley and stir again. Just before serving, drizzle with remaining lemon juice, to taste.




 

Shared on The Country Cook Aug. 15, 2014


Chicken at Very Good Recipes

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Do You Have An Abundance?

Zucchini. Do you it have it "coming out of your ears" so to speak? I know so many summer gardens out there are over flowing with it, and there is only so much zucchini bread you can make! I don't have the green thumb in our house, but I live with two boys who have two sets of them, and every year they plant a garden, and even during the summers when other things have a hard time growing, I always end up with an abundance of zucchini, so I was super excited to find this recipe!

Ironically enough, my two little farmers weren't able to plant a garden this summer, but I have a dear friend who has been very generous sharing her bounty with me, including the gigantic zucchini that inspired this recipe. I wanted to do something different with it, and I thought a salad would be a nice twist. I think zucchini is sometimes looked at as something you eat cooked, not raw, but this dish is going to change all that!

If your kids are veggie lovers like mine, they will flip for this...according to my almost 10 year old! Seriously, he couldn't stop eating it! And with something like this, he didn't have to! It is so crunchy, so flavorful, so delicious, it's going to become a go-to in the summer for us, and hopefully you, in no time!

Have other garden fresh veggies sitting in the crisper drawer to use? Add them! It's so versatile, it will be yummy no matter what! I am a huge artichoke heart fan, and was happy to have yet another recipe featuring those too. 

If you make this, be sure to do so for people you really love. Why? Because they are going to keep coming back again and again for more! If you make it to take to a potluck, cook-out or party, be sure to jot down the recipe in multiple copies because everyone is going to ask for it! 

Marinated Zucchini Salad 
Adapted from Taste of Home
1 extra large zucchini (or 4 medium), peeled and diced
1 (2.4 oz.) can sliced black olives, drained
1 ( 6 oz.) jar sliced mushrooms, drained
1 (14 oz.) can artichoke hearts in water, drained, rinsed and chopped
3 Roma tomatoes, seeded and diced
1 envelope Ranch dip mix
1 c. Italian dressing
1 TBS dried parsley
Salt and Pepper to taste

In a small bowl, whisk together dressing and dry dip mix. In a large bowl combine zucchini, artichokes, olives and mushrooms. Stir well. Pour dressing over. Add parsley, salt and pepper. Toss to coat. Cover and refrigerate several hours or overnight. 1 hour before serving, add tomatoes and toss again. Drain well before serving. 



 

Shared on The Country Cook Aug. 15, 2014


Zucchini at Very Good Recipes




Disclaimer: As a Field Editor of Taste of Home, I share my own thoughts and opinions of this recipe. I am not a paid employee. 

Monday, August 11, 2014

America's Better Sandwich with Brownberry ® Bread {A Review and Giveaway}

I love a good sandwich. Like really love. Like kind of obsessed! Especially in the summer months. There are so many evenings when it's supper time, and still scorching outside, too hot too cook, that a sandwich piled high with our favorite meats, cheeses and veggies really hits the spot; and makes for a filling, yet still light supper. Great sandwiches are made better with Brownberry® Bread, and now they have a contest to prove it! 


Brownberry® Bread is some of the best you can find in your grocery store. It's soft, delicious and everything you want in a good quality bread, while being something you can feel good about giving your family. Just look at some of these facts:


All of Brownberry® Whole Grain Sliced Breads and Brownberry® Sandwich Thins® Rolls contain/are:

3 to 4 grams of fiber per slice or thin

Zero grams of Trans Fat
No High Fructose Corn Syrup
Cholesterol free

Health authorities recommend munching on 25-38 grams of fiber and 48 grams of whole grains per day, much of which may come from whole grain products like Brownberry® Whole Grain Sliced Breads or Brownberry® Sandwich Thins® Rolls varieties.

If you’re not sure of how  many grams of whole grains you are getting, look for the Whole Grain Stamp found on all of Brownberry® Whole Grain Sliced Breads and Brownberry® Sandwich Thins® Rolls.


And now, the folks at Brownberry® want to see your best sandwich! In their  “America’s Better Sandwich” Contest, the sandwich artist whose filling best matches the goodness of Brownberry® bread  will win the grand prize of $25,000!!


Here are more details about the contest:
Before entering a better sandwich in the Contest, the entrant should make sure it includes any of the Brownberry®Whole Grain Sliced Breads or Brownberry® Sandwich Thins® Rolls varieties.

There are four (4) sandwich categories in the Brownberry®  “America’s Better Sandwich” Contest including: “Creative Classic” (a healthful twist on a sandwich that has been around for more than two generations, such as a Reuben, BLT or club sandwich), “Stealthily Simple” (maximum of five (5) ingredients), “Fueling Good” (ingredients that help boost your energy such as healthful fats, protein, fiber and iron), and “Meatless Marvel” (no animal products including land and sea animals may be included in the recipe).

The recipe in each sandwich category with the highest score will receive a $5,000 category prize.

Entries will be accepted July 23rd - August 22nd, online consumer voting will take place September 22nd - October 17th, and the winners will be announced on National Sandwich Day- November 3rd.

To submit a recipe, receive tips on creating a better sandwich or learn more about the Official Rules visit:www.americasbettersandwich.com.

For more info and fun, be sure to check them out on Facebook too!

Now, it's time to see what I did with my Brownberry® Bread. That's easy. I let the summer time garden inspire me. Some tasty bread filled with loads of fresh veggies and a flavored mayo that takes it to the next level! This sandwich is one of my favorites and I'm so excited to share it with you! 

Plus, the great folks at Brownberry® want you to try their fantastic bread in your kitchen. They are giving (1) lucky EMM reader coupons for free bread  and a $25 Visa gift card! Just scroll down past the recipe to enter! 


Garden Delight Sandwich with Herb Mayo
Brownberry® Oat Nut Bread
Spinach, washed and dried
Tomatoes, sliced thin
Cucumbers, peeled and sliced thin
Provolone Cheese
Banana Peppers, well drained
1 c. mayo
1 tsp. dried parsley
1 tsp. dried oregano
1 tsp. dried basil
1 tsp. freeze dried chives
Salt and pepper to taste

In a small bowl whisk together mayo, herbs and salt and pepper. Chill until ready to serve. To build sandwich, spread both slices of bread with mayo. Start with cheese on bottom, then spinach, tomatoes, cucumbers and finish with banana peppers. 








Shared on The Country Cook Aug. 15, 2014


To Enter: Leave a comment telling me what sandwich you would love to try with Brownberry® Bread. 
(1) Winner will receive coupons for free product and a $25 Visa Gift Card
Contest Ends Aug. 15, 2014



Disclaimer: The coupons for product redemption, information, and gift card have been provided by Brownberry® Bread so that I could try the product and share my thoughts and information about Brownberry®. The opinions expressed in this post are my own and do not reflect the opinions of Brownberry® Bread.

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Soul Food Saturday


There is something so wonderful about going out to your private garden and picking out veggies that fit your meal perfectly. Am I right? When there are tomatoes in abundance what can you do with all of them? Share them with friends at the office or church? What about the evening you only have a cup of those delicious cherry tomatoes; and have had a salad craving, with dreams of those yummy jewels floating on top? This recipe will work out perfectly. Spicy Ranch meats macaroni salad, topped with juicy cherry tomatoes and BACON! Yep, grab a cold drink and a fork this one is perfect any night of the week.
 
 Spicy Ranch Macaroni Salad
 ½ lb. macaroni, cooked
½ packet of ranch dip
1 c. mayo
1 tsp. red chili flakes
4 slices of bacon, cooked to crisp, chopped
1 c. cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
 
 To a large bowl add ranch dip, mayo, chili flakes and whisk to combine. Add macaroni and toss to combine. Chill 30 minutes before serving. Add tomatoes, bacon and toss to combine. Serve along side your favorite grilled meats or fish. Or alone for a lighter meal. Enjoy!