Everyday Mom's Meals: 2019
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Sunday, December 29, 2019

Sloppy Joe With A Twist

Since we always have ground beef in the freezer, at least once a week I cook a meal using it. Sometimes more than once. And one of the things that always comes to mind when I am looking for my weekly hamburger recipe is sloppy joes...duh! 

We love a good sloppy joe, and I have found some unique ways to serve them. My Sloppy Potatoes and Mexican Sloppy Joes to just name a couple. And now we have another oh so yummy way to get our sloppy on.

A good Philly Cheese Steak isn't the easiest thing to come by here in Northern Indiana, but it remains one of our favorite sandwiches of all time, and inspired this mama to find a way to get those flavors in a whole new way!

Yep, we're taking the tasty stuff from a dripping good cheese steak, and putting them into a ground meat mixture instead.

These come together in almost no time, so perfect for the hustle and bustle of this time of year! 

Don't be afraid to take a classic loved dish and switch it up just a little bit. You never know what new favorite you'll find!

Philly Sloppy Joes
1 lb. ground beef
1 green bell pepper, chopped
1 (4oz.) jar sliced mushrooms, chopped
2 TBS butter
1 medium white onion, chopped
1 tsp. steak seasoning
1 TBS Worcestershire sauce
2 TBS ketchup
1 c. beef broth
1 TBS cornstarch
Salt and Pepper
Hamburger Buns, toasted
Provolone cheese

In a small bowl combine beef broth and cornstarch. Whisk until combined. Set aside. In a large skillet brown beef until no longer pink. Season with salt, pepper and steak seasoning. Remove from skillet. Melt butter. Saute' onions, peppers and mushrooms until soft, about 5-7 minutes. Add beef back to skillet with Worcestershire and ketchup. Stir well. Increase heat to high. Add beef broth mixture and stir constantly until slightly thickened. Assemble sandwiches, leaving tops off. Place in warm oven for a few minutes to melt cheese.


Inspired by Fox Valley Foodie

Shared at Weekend Potluck

Sunday, December 22, 2019

EMM Christmas Greetings


Whew. I can't believe we've only got 3 more days to wait. I hope the hustle and bustle of the season is starting to slow down and you are able to enjoy this festive week.

Are you hosting a big Christmas feast? What is your family's traditional Christmas Eve or Christmas Day meal? There are so many yummy choices, and this side dish would go perfectly with most!

When I planned this post I had two things in mind. One, it would be an incredibly tasty side with ham, which I find a majority of people make this time of year. And two, it cooks itself in your slow cooker, so easy on the host and saves some oven/stove space too!

If you have to travel with a dish, this would work great too! You can simply prepare at home, and then plug back in when you get there. It's really a can't fail dish everyone will love!

Don't think this is the creamed corn our parents heated up out of a can! It is so much more! In fact, if you've tried my Skillet Creamed Corn, this is similar, but making it in the slow cooker is so handy when you're doing a huge meal.

No matter what you're cooking over the holiday, we hope it's yummy and shared with those you love most in this world.

We want to thank you for supporting our EMM family for another year, and letting us come into your homes and share our lives with you.

May the peace, love and joy that came to earth all those years ago, in a tiny baby boy, surround you this week and fill your hearts in the year to come.

From our family to yours....

Merry Christmas!!!

Crock Pot Creamed Corn
1 (32 oz.) bag frozen corn
8 oz. cream cheese, softened, cut into chunks
1/4 c. butter, softened, cut into chunks
1 (4 oz.) can evaporated milk
1 TBS sugar
Salt and Pepper
Dried Parsley

Combine all ingredients except salt, pepper and parsley in slow cooker. Cook on LOW for 6 hours, stirring a few times. Season with salt and pepper in middle of cooking. Garnish with parsley. 


Sunday, December 15, 2019

So Much Ground Beef

I've shared with you many times how we are blessed to have "freezer beef" on hand all the time. I seriously don't know what I would do if I had to by ground beef, steaks, roasts, etc. at the supermarket every time I needed them. I know for sure my grocery budget would explode, and because of that I'm sure some of our favorite meals wouldn't happen as often as we like.

The last time we filled the freezer, is when this recipe happened. But there is a tiny back story first. Every year for Mr. E's birthday, I make his favorite Beef Stroganoff. Well, this year when his special day rolled around in July, we were uber busy, and I was a bad wife. I forgot. Thankfully, I am a great wife in many other ways, so it was over looked.

Fast forward several months later and I decided I needed to make it up to him. Great. Crock Pot Beef Stroganoff makes a tasty, hearty meal on a chilly night too. But when I went to the freezer...no round steak, which is what I always make it with. However, there was a ton of hamburger.

I had seen other people make stroganoff with ground beef a lot, so I knew it wasn't totally out of the realm of possibility, I just wasn't sure how the boys would like it since they are so used to the original.

Well, I am so happy I took a chance because we all loved it! I'm talking lick our plates clean like. Mr. E agreed it was a nice alternative, and for us, a great way to use up the ground beef we always seem to have extra of.

Sometimes taking a favorite dish and switching it up just a little is exactly what we need to keep that meal plan exciting...and of course delicious!

Ground Beef Stroganoff
2 lbs. ground beef
1 lb. white mushrooms, sliced
1 medium white onion, finely chopped
1 packet onion soup mix
1 tsp. garlic powder
4 c. beef broth
7 TBS cornstarch*
7 TBS cold water*
1 c. sour cream
Salt and Pepper
Cooked Egg Noodles
Dried Parsley

In a large skillet or Dutch oven, brown beef with onions until no longer pink. Season with soup mix, garlic powder, salt and pepper. Add mushrooms and cook for 3-5 minutes more until they start to brown. Add broth, increase heat to high and bring to a boil. In a small bowl whisk together cornstarch and water until smooth. (This is a slurry.) While beef mixture boils, slowly add slurry mix stirring constantly until it starts to thicken. (This should happen quickly.) Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for 15 minutes. Remove from heat. Stir in sour cream. Serve or egg noodles and garnish with parsley. *NOTE* This is the amount of cornstarch and water I used to get the thickness we like. You might need to use more/less depending on what your family prefers.





Sunday, December 8, 2019

Soup Season

When I shared this picture on my personal Facebook page, I got so many comments of "Do your boys actually eat the spinach?" Um...while I know this answer is going to make many of you hate me, yes, yes they do. And not only do they eat it, they love it! Yep, even the toddler.

What can I say? I was blessed with little foodies, just like their parents. I truly believe God knows our limits...and He knew having picky eaters in the house wasn't something this mama could handle, so he took one less thing off my plate, so to speak. And to those who do struggle with whining and complaining at every meal, my heart goes out to you.

With soup season being upon us, I have so many recipes I'm pretty sure we could eat soup every single night of the week and I wouldn't run out. But here I am, always thinking of new ways to get a warm bowl of comfort and deliciousness on our table.

If you are looking for more meat free options when it comes to your menu planning, this one is for you. (If you want it truly meatless, be sure to swap out the chicken broth for veggie!) However, if you live in a meat loving house like me, don't fret. There is so much flavor, and hearty ingredients nobody will ever miss the meat.

I love the way this looks too, because it's just one of those dishes that you know is going to be as good for you as it is to look at.

Don't worry if the soup section of your recipe box is jammed full. There is always room for one more. And if your kids turn their noses up at the green stuff? Tell them it's Christmas themed and Santa will be sad if they don't eat it. Ha! Just kidding.....sort of...

Crock Pot Italian Bean Soup
2 (32 oz.) boxes chicken broth
2 large carrots, finely chopped
1 small white onion, chopped
2 (15 oz.) cans cannellini beans, drained
1 (8 oz.) bag spinach
2 c. water
1 tsp. dried sage
1 tsp. garlic powder
6 TBS basil pesto
1/2 tsp. dried red pepper
Juice of 2 lemons
Zest of 1 lemon
Salt and Pepper
Dried Parsley
Parmesan Cheese

Combine broth, carrots, onions, water, pesto and seasonings in Crock Pot. Cook on LOW 5-6 hours. 30 minutes before serving, add spinach, beans, lemon juice and zest. Stir well. Garnish with parsley and serve with Parmesan. 


Sunday, December 1, 2019

Post Turkey

So, how many days are you planning on eating those turkey leftovers before you say "NO more!" I will be honest, I love leftovers, and will usually make sandwiches with them for a few days, and then plan one night where we eat all the leftovers and have another mini holiday meal. But after that? I'm done.

Sure, there are a ton of ways to re purpose them too. You can substitute that tasty roasted bird in almost any recipe that calls for cooked chicken, like my Chicken, Broccoli Rice Casserole and Roasted Chicken Noodle Soup.

But after all that turkey, if you're taste buds are calling out for something completely different, these burrito bowls will be such a welcome change. Plus, they will come in handy when you've still got company hanging out for a while. (Or the ones that are coming back in just a few weeks!)

Keep the meat and rice warm, and put out a huge toppings bar! Your guests will love it! And of course, they are perfect for a busy weeknight meal too!

We look forward to that huge holiday meal all year long; and that includes leftovers too. But after that love affair is over, and you want something that doesn't include the words turkey or dressing, reach for your Crock Pot and have a Mexican night at home! 

Crock Pot Smothered Burrito Bowls
2 lbs. ground beef
1/4 c. dried minced onion
1 (10 oz.) can Rotel
2 (15 oz.) cans mild chili beans*
1 tsp. cumin 
1 tsp. chili powder
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. onion powder
1 packet burrito seasoning*
1/2 c. water
 Hot White Rice
Shredded Mexican cheese
Diced Onion
Diced Tomatoes
Pickled Jalapenos
Sour Cream
Salsa
Salt and Pepper 

In a large skillet brown ground beef until no longer pink. Drain if necessary. Spray a Crock Pot with nonstick spray. Add ground beef, dried onions, chili beans, tomatoes,  seasonings, water, seasoning packet, salt and pepper. Stir well. Cook on LOW 5 hours. Serve over white rice with suggested toppings. *NOTE* Use hot chili beans for more spice. Burrito seasoning packets can usually be found with the other packets, but taco works well too. 


Sunday, November 24, 2019

Happy Thanksgiving From EMM

Only 3 more days until the biggest foodie day of the year. I can smell the aromas now, and my keyboard might be a little wet from drool just thinking about all the yummy things that are about to hit tables across the country.

Each year I try to give you a little inspiration for your holiday meal. That last one dish that completes your menu. When I am hosting I fill our table with classics, family favorites, and always one or two new dishes to keep it interesting too.

This simple, delicious fruit salad is begging to be a part of your Turkey Day celebration. Filled with fresh autumn flavors and pretty as can be, your guests will love it.

One of the reasons I chose this to be my 2019 Thanksgiving post is many of the ingredients, you might already be buying for other favorite holiday dishes, so now they can do double duty. Oh, and I think it would taste terrific with some turkey sandwiches too, so even if your big menu is full, whip up a batch for the day and weekend after!

I hope your Thanksgiving is filled with bountiful blessings, amazing food, and most of all the love of all those who matter most to you in this world. From our family to yours,

Happy Thanksgiving!!!

Autumn Apple Fruit Salad
4 large gala apples, chopped
2 cups red grapes, halved
3/4 c. chopped pecans
1/2 c.dried cranberries
1 (15 oz.) can mandarin oranges, drained well
1 c. vanilla Greek yogurt
3 TBS mayonnaise
2 tsp. lemon juice
1/2 c. brown sugar, packed
1 tsp. cinnamon

In a large bowl combine apple and lemon juice. Toss to coat well. (This will prevent browning.) Add grapes, oranges, pecans and cranberries. Carefully toss to combine. In a medium bowl whisk together yogurt, mayo, brown sugar and cinnamon. Pour over fruit. Gently stir. Chill until serving. 



Inspired by The Country Cook

Sunday, November 17, 2019

Downsized Holiday

I have talked many times about growing up with Thanksgivings spent in Pennsylvania, at my Grammy's house, with her massive holiday table filled to the brim with every holiday dish you could possibly want. From the beautiful turkey, variety of sides and of course the desserts that made her famous, those meals were truly legendary and what all others will be compared to for me.

But when I got older, and school, work and life got busier, my parents made the decision
we couldn't make the trip every year. We needed to stay home, and start our own traditions. I won't lie. Going from those big family gatherings, to just the three of us sitting down at the table was a little depressing. We of course loved being together, and mom and dad always made sure our meal was delicious, but it just wasn't the same.

Plus, when you are just cooking for a few, the huge spread isn't practical, so you have to find ways enjoy the holiday flavors you love, on a smaller scale. That is where this chicken comes in!

This is something my mom would do for us in place of a large turkey; and if you are only cooking for a small group this Thanksgiving, it would be perfect for you as well. Tender, juicy, bursting with flavor, and perfectly complimented by cranberry sauce, and your favorite mashed taters, it is absolutely holiday worthy.

But the truly great thing? It's simple enough for any day of the week too! Sunday supper maybe?

However you plan to celebrate Thanksgiving, how many you plan on celebrating with, or how big the meal is, the important thing is to make sure we all take a minute to remember how truly blessed we are and have so much to be thankful for!

Oven Roasted Chicken
4-5 lb. whole chicken, patted dry
2 TBS butter, melted
1 TBS kosher salt
2 tsp. pepper
1/2 TBS garlic powder
1/2 TBS garlic salt
1 TBS onion powder
1 TBS paprika
1 tsp. dried thyme
2 c. chicken broth, divided use
Dried Parsley

Preheat oven to 300. Tie chicken's legs and wings. In a small bowl combine all seasonings, except dried parsley. Mix well. Baste chicken with butter. Sprinkle with seasoning mix, rubbing into the chicken. In a large roasting pan with a rack, pour 1 cup broth into the bottom. Place chicken on rack. Roast for 2.5 hours, basting with other cup of broth 2-3 times. Increase heat to 400 for last 30 minutes. When chicken reaches internal temperature of 165, remove from oven to allow to rest. Baste with broth once more, and sprinkle with parsley. 



Shared at Weekend Potluck
Shared at Meal Plan Monday

Sunday, November 10, 2019

Full Holiday House

Last week I gave you a recipe to help you get supper on the table for those holiday house guests that are about to descend! This week? I've got a delicious breakfast or brunch dish to do the same thing!

This is one of those side dishes I make morning, noon or night! It's great for a big holiday breakfast or brunch, but just as delicious for dinner too. We love it with everything from eggs to ham! In fact, I started making it after going to my husband's aunt's holiday party every year...where a huge ham and this were the main attractions!

Sure the big holiday meals are what everyone looks forward to, but you've got to eat other times too! Your full house will love waking up to this, or even coming home to it after that 4am shopping run on Black Friday.

And if you happen to be a planner, this would be amazing on Christmas morning too!

One of the best things about the holidays is having a house full of those people we love most in the world; but it can be one of the most stressful too. It's okay. It doesn't mean we love them any less, it just means we have to be creative when it comes to meal times...and make sure we've got some yummy, simple dishes in our back pocket, just like this!

Hashbrown Casserole
32 oz. bag frozen diced potatoes
2 c. shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 c. sour cream
1 tsp. onion salt
Salt and Pepper
Dried Chives

Preheat oven to 350. Grease 9x13 baking dish. In a large bowl mix frozen potatoes, soup, sour cream, 1 cup cheese, onion salt, salt and pepper. Transfer to baking dish. Bake 40 minutes. Sprinkle with remaining cheese and dried chives. Bake 5-7 minutes more until cheese is melted. Allow to sit for 5 minutes before serving. *NOTE* No need to thaw the potatoes. Just break up any large chunks before mixing. 






Shared at Weekend Potluck

Sunday, November 3, 2019

Holidays Mean Company

With November upon us, can we finally start talking about the holidays? Look, anyone that knows me knows I am an early Christmas shopper, I wrap presents in October and look forward to the holiday season so, so much.

But honestly, to me, when I think about the "holidays" it starts November 1st and ends January 2nd. After Halloween has come and gone, I am 100% in Thanksgiving and Christmas mode. And while I am totally obsessed with all things Holly Jolly, I do make sure celebrate and enjoy each holiday for it's own.

That being said, let's talk Turkey Day. Okay, not really, but the time surrounding it. No, this isn't a post to inspire something new on your Thanksgiving table, but instead something you can make before and/or after the actual holiday, when you've still got those house guests to feed.

It never fails, every year I get messages from fans asking for simple meals to plan while that holiday company is hanging out for a few days. Let's face it, leftover turkey is only going to go so far. Plus, many times, the host/hostess still has to work while guests are filling up the house, and coming home to a hungry mob isn't very festive!

If this describes what you'll be dealing with in a few weeks, or even a few more weeks after that, how about a delicious pasta bake supper that will feed a crowd easily, and on budget? Plus, you could even prep this before leaving the house for work, or maybe Black Fridays shopping, pop it in the oven when you get home and have supper on the table in under an hour!

I adore the holiday season. The entire holiday season. And while some celebrate for weeks and weeks, and others can't wait for it to be over, the one thing we can all agree on is there is enough to stress about with the hustle and bustle of the season, dinner time shouldn't be on the list too!

Sausage Alfredo Pasta Bake
1 lb. rotini pasta
1 (26 oz.) jar marinara sauce
1 (16 oz.) jar Alfredo sauce
1 lb. pork sausage
1 TBS Italian seasoning
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. onion powder
1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper
2 c. shredded mozzarella cheese, divided use
Dried Parsley
Salt and Pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 350. Grease 9x13 baking dish. Cook pasta according to directions for al dente. In a large skillet brown sausage. Drain if necessary. Add Italian seasoning, garlic powder, onion powder, red pepper, salt and pepper. Add marinara and Alfredo. Stir well. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for about 10 minutes. Add 1/2 cup cheese and stir until melted. When pasta is cooked, drain well. Add to sauce mixture and stir. Transfer to baking dish. Top with remaining cheese. Bake for 25 minutes until cheese melted. Sprinkle with parsley. Allow to sit 5 minutes before serving.



Inspired by Big Bear's Wife

Sunday, October 27, 2019

Mexi Night Side Dish

Does you family love Mexican night at home? Yeah, us too. It's a staple in my menu rotation. But the one thing I struggle with when planning those meals, is a great side dish!

 We all have side dishes we make every time we make a certain meal. I'm no exception. Believe me, just because I am a food blogger doesn't mean I don't have staples too.

Sure, there are always the staples of rice and beans. Or even chips and salsa, or queso; but after a while, those become mundane and I want to switch it up.

I love this salad because it can be made from the pantry for the most part. In fact, the night I decided to whip it up, I just ran to the store for the fresh cilantro. And I will tell you, the guys in my house said it was such a nice, refreshing change to the regular dishes we usually have on Mexi night.

Oh, and let me ask you this. Do you entertain with Mexican night? Think about it....a big group of people. A taco bar. Some chips. And a big bowl of this. What a fun way to enjoy a night with friends!

So, be sure to save this for the next Mexican night rolls around on your menu. You won't be sorry! 

Mexican Bean Salad
1 (15 oz.) can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 (15 oz.) can dark red kidney beans, rinsed and drained
1 (15 oz.) can cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
1 red bell pepper, diced
1 (12 oz.) bag frozen corn, thawed
1 (4 oz.) can diced green chilies
 1/4 c. chopped cilantro, chopped

Dressing
1/2 c. vegetable oil
1/2 c. red wine vinegar
Juice of 2 limes
Juice of 1 lemon
2 TBS sugar
1 TBS salt
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 TBS ground cumin
1-2 dashes hot sauce
1 tsp. chili powder

In a large bowl combine all salad ingredients, stir well.  In a medium bowl, whisk together dressing ingredients until well combined. Pour over salad. Stir well. Chill for 1-2 hours before serving. Serve with extra lime wedges if desired.


Sunday, October 20, 2019

Not My Kid

By now anyone who has been reading this blog for any period of time knows I don't produce picky kids. My boys will eat pretty much anything I put in front of them. They both had sushi at a young age, Alex at 5, Max at barely 2. Alex talked about calamari in Kindergarten. One of Max's favorites is my tuna salad.

And yes, before you say it, I know exactly how lucky I am. I don't have it in me to deal with picky eaters. (props to all the parents who struggle every single day) and I think God was merciful to me.

But everyone has likes and dislikes. And even kids are allowed to genuinely not enjoy the flavor of something. That is being picky. That's being human. From an early age Alex hated ranch, and anything flavored with ranch. He would come home in 1st grade and talk about all the kids dipping their pizza in ranch dressing and tell me "Mommy, that's just gross. They are ruining perfectly good pizza!"

As he grew older, he did find some things with a ranch flavor to enjoy. My Ranch Bacon Pasta Salad and Cool Ranch Doritos at the top of that list. But the creamy white dressing? To this day, and he just turned 15, he will not touch the stuff!

Thank goodness his palate grew with him because had it not, these potatoes would have never come to be. And Oh. My. Word. are they good! Seriously, we were fighting over them. All three boys asked for seconds and told me over and over how I needed to make them again soon!

I love serving them right off the pan, kinda like potato nachos. Perfect for parties or game day! No matter what you serve them with, I guarantee they will be a huge hit at your house too! Plus, if you have kids who do love ranch...they won't complain one bit about dinner that night!

Loaded Ranch Potatoes
3 lbs. red potatoes, quartered
3 TBS vegetable oil
3 tsp. ranch dressing mix
3/4 c. shredded cheddar cheese
1 (2 oz.) package real bacon bits
Dried Chives
Salt and Pepper

Preheat oven to 450. Lightly grease a large rimmed baking sheet. In a large bowl combine potatoes and oil. Stir well. Sprinkle with ranch mix. Stir well. Transfer to baking sheet and spread into even layer. Season with salt and pepper. Roast for 35-40 minutes until fork tender and lightly browned. Sprinkle with cheese and bacon bits. Roast for 5-7 minutes until cheese melted. Sprinkle with chives. Serve straight from pan.  

Sunday, October 13, 2019

The Easiest EVER

I have a lot of pasta recipes. A. LOT. I've told you before how we say Adam must have lived in Asia in his past life due to his love of their cuisine. If that's true, than I must have been residing in Rome, Venice and Tuscany in all of my past incarnations.

For the most part, the majority of my pasta dishes are baked in the oven. But every once in a while a terrific one will come to be for my slow cooker. Let's see, there is my Crock Pot Creamy Spaghetti, Slow Cooker Bolognese, Crock Pot Marinara and now this simple classic sauce too!

If you're looking for a classic tomato sauce, with just a little meat for your next spaghetti supper, this is it. The best part? You can turn it on in the morning, come home, boil some pasta and dinner is done. Okay, maybe cook some tasty garlic bread too!

I made it with ground beef because that's what I've got in the freezer, but it would be equally tasty with some Italian sausage. I will freely admit, I am not a huge red sauce fan, but this? I couldn't get enough. I had seconds the night I made it, and enjoyed the leftovers all week. We all did!

Save this one for an extra busy day when you know you'll be too exhausted to put much effort into dinner when you get home. You won't regret it!

Slow Cooker Spaghetti Sauce
1 lb. ground beef
 1 medium white onion, diced
5 cloves garlic, minced
1 (28 oz.) can crushed tomatoes
4 (8 oz.) cans tomato sauce
2 (6 oz.) cans tomato paste
2 TBS sugar 
2 c. water
2 cubes beef bouillon
1 TBS Italian seasoning
 1/2 tsp. dried oregano
2 tsp. dried parsley, extra for garnish
1 tsp. onion powder
1 tsp. garlic powder
1/4 tsp. red pepper flake
Salt and Pepper 

Lightly grease slow cooker. In a large skillet brown beef with onion and garlic until no longer pink. Drain if necessary. Add to slow cooker. Add remaining ingredients. Stir well. Cook on LOW for 6 hours. Reduce heat to warm until serving. Stir well.


Shared at Weekend Potluck
Shared at Meal Plan Monday

Sunday, October 6, 2019

Welcome October

Apparently we blinked and September came and went. What a whirlwind! To welcome in a new month, the first "true" one of autumn, I thought a tasty warm beverage was the perfect way to usher it in.

We are big slow cooker drink lovers. From apple inspired ones in the fall to festive wassail at the holidays and warm hot cocoa on a cold winter's day, they are something I make a lot on the weekends when we are at home hanging out.

Seriously, what tastes better on a chilly day than a big mug of something warm and delicious to soothe your soul? Not to mention most of the time, whatever you've got warming in that slow cooker makes the house smell AH mazing!

Got a long day of raking ahead of you? Come inside to this. Visiting the local pumpkin patch or corn maze? Have this waiting on you when you get home. Having some people over for a big bonfire? This will stay warm all night long!

It would taste just as delicious with apple cider, maybe even more so, but I had juice on hand. (Not to mention, sometimes apple cider is just too darn expensive! Seriously! It can be a tad ridiculous!)

This is one of those drinks that will take you through October, would be great on Halloween night, and terrific for those turkey day guests coming quicker than you think!

We still might have some warm sunny days left, but they are definitely getting fewer and farther between, so when the rain drops are puddling, the leaves are falling and that crisp autumn wind is blowing, a mug of this is certain to warm you from the inside! 

Warm Autumn Apple Punch
4 c. apple juice
1 can frozen orange juice, thawed
2 cinnamon sticks
3/4 tsp. ground ginger
3/4 tsp. ground allspice
1/4 tsp. ground cloves

Combine all ingredients in slow cooker. Stir well to combine, whisk if needed. Cook on LOW 4 hours. Keep on warm and serve all day!


Shared at Weekend Potluck
Shared at Meal Plan Monday

Sunday, September 29, 2019

Dump, Stir and Go!


It's officially autumn. The days are getting shorter and shorter. With day light I mean. But let's face it, the days are always short, no matter what season. I don't know about you, but I think there should be some kind of "buy back" program for hours in the day.

Here's how it would work. For every hour we don't use one day, we get to "bank" it for a day when we need more! That way when it's a random Thursday and we have a bazillion things to do...and before we know it, the clock says 6pm, we can go to the bank and get an extra hour. Genius, right?

Alas, I don't see this happening any time soon, so we need to find other ways to free up some of our minutes and hours. And in the kitchen our slow cookers can do just that!

This chunky, hearty delicious stew can be prepped in the morning, cook all day and be waiting on you when you get home. But you say your mornings are super busy too? Well, about 10 minutes is all you need to brown the sausage and onions, dump the rest of the ingredients, stir and be done! In fact, you could even saute' the sausage and onions the night before, stick them in the fridge and have one less step the next morning. Oh, and those hash browns that need partially thawed? They take almost no time at all, and the ones I used were only thawed about 20 minutes before I dumped them in. So those won't hang you up either.

Talk about an all in one meal! You've got your meat, potatoes and veggies all in one bowl! Okay, I guess corn isn't technically a veggie, but I think most of us think of it that way.

Fall is such a beautiful time, with so many reasons to be busy. From the ordinary day, to the special ones spent at the corn maze, pumpkin patch or apple orchard, make sure you have some great simple recipes to make just one thing a little easier on you!

Crock Pot Sausage & Corn Chowder
1 (14 oz.) package smoke sausage, sliced thin
2 small carrots, diced
1 medium white onion, chopped
2 TBS butter
1 lb. frozen shredded frozen hash brown potatoes, partially thawed
2 (15 oz.) cans corn, undrained
2  (15 oz.) cans cream corn
1 (14 oz.) can chicken broth
2 (12 oz.) cans evaporated milk
1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
2 tsp. lemon pepper seasoning
1 TBS dried parsley
Salt and Pepper to taste
In a large skillet over medium heat melt butter. Saute' sausage until slightly browned. Transfer to Crock Pot.  In same skillet, in leftover butter and sausage drippings, saute' onion for 1-2 minutes.You are just getting a little color on them. Transfer to Crock Pot. Add all other ingredients. Stir very well. Cook on LOW 6 hours.



Shared at Weekend Potluck
Shared at Meal Plan Monday

Inspired by Recipes That Crock

Sunday, September 22, 2019

Hello Fall

If you aren't paying attention, we have arrived at the first day of fall. Sure, some of us have had our autumn decor out since the calendar still said August (*cough cough*...I might resemble that remark) but it's official. Now our husbands can't make fun of our pumpkins and scarecrows anymore.

Autumn brings so many reasons to "party". Between bonfires, those last few warm evening cookouts, Halloween parties, Game Day...the list goes on and on! And if you don't have a reason to party, make one! There are days when we are outside raking or doing jobs around the house, and I have a big pot of chili or soup cooking, plus some snacks for motivation too! So you can't make it to the stadium to tailgate for your favorite team. Have a football day at home in your living room!

My point is a delicious party mix can be appreciated for so many reasons this time of year. This would be great for an after school snack, kids' Halloween party or classroom party (if home made is allowed).

We love Chex Mix, or more specifically Adam's late grandma's Chex Mix recipe. I make it a lot. It's the perfect salty snack. But this time I wanted something a little sweet, and of course autumn inspired.

Oh. My. Gosh. As Alex said, "This stuff is dangerous!" Talk about addicting! We couldn't stay out of it! Sweet, salty...mmmmm. We have a couple days trips planned for this fall, and I think I will make sure we have a bag of this for the car too!

Fall might not be my favorite season, but I do enjoy it and all the fun activities it brings. Add in some yummy snacks and it's a party any day of the week!

Harvest Party Mix
1 (12 oz.) box rice cereal, like Chex
4 c. pretzel twists
1 (7 oz.) bag original Bugles
2 ( 4 oz.) boxes Reece's pieces
2 ( 9 oz.) bags autumn candy mix
3/4 c. margarine, melted
3/4 c. brown sugar, packed
2 TBS vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 275. In a medium bowl whisk together margarine, brown sugar and vanilla until combined. In a very large bowl combine cereal, pretzels and Bugles. Pour sauce over mix. Stir gently, but well. Spread evenly on a baking sheet* and bake for 45 minutes, stirring every 15 until crisp and brown. Remove and allow to cool. Add candy and stir well. Store in airtight container.  
*NOTE* You will either need to do this in batches, or use 2 cookie sheets at a time. 



Inspired by One Little Project

Sunday, September 15, 2019

My Baby Is 15

September 16, 2004 6:31 p.m. That is the exact moment my world became complete. My life changed forever. I was finally what I had always wanted to be. For in that moment, I became a mommy. From the second they placed Alexander Lee in my arms, he looked into my eyes, and I knew our love was one for the ages. He was my first, and every day since has been finding ways to fill me with happiness, make me laugh and burst with pride.

And now that 8 lb. 15 oz. 21.5 inch bouncing baby boy is a 6 foot tall, 15 year old Freshman in high school. Everyone says it, but I don't think you understand just how fast kids grow up until you are a parent. I heard once "At times the days might be long, but the years will always be short." I think that sums it up perfectly. I truly feel like I blinked and now he's just a few short years away from adulthood, leaving the nest and being on his own. But we aren't there yet, and I refuse to talk about it. Yes, denial is a wonderful thing.

But alas, he is indeed 15, and I couldn't let the day go by without sharing a recipe that was 100% made with him in mind. Like his dad, Alex has a true love for all Asian foods. So anytime I can make a take out quality dish at home, I score major points with them both.

If you've never had Korean food, take it from someone who waited way too long to try it,, if you enjoy other Asian cuisines, you will like Korean too!

This comes together in almost no time, so it's perfect for a busy weeknight! Seriously, you can have this on the table in less time than it would take to pick something up from the drive thru! I also love that it can be adapted to feed a few or a crowd easily!

There are days when I look at Alex and have trouble remembering when he was tiny. But then he smiles or giggles, and it's the same exact smile from that chubby cheeked baby; or the same laugh I would hear after that toddler would make up a silly joke. I have treasured the past 15 years, and know without a doubt he is only going to get more amazing as time goes on!

Korean Beef
2 lbs. ground beef
2/3 c. brown sugar, packed
1/2 c. soy sauce
6 large garlic cloves, minced
2 TBS sesame oil
 1 tsp. spicy Asian chili oil
1/2 tsp. ground ginger
Cooked White Rice
Chopped Green Onions

Brown beef over medium high heat. In a medium bowl, whisk together brown sugar, oils, garlic, ginger, and soy sauce. When beef is browned, drain fat if necessary. Add oil mixture and stir. Bring to a simmer and reduce heat. Cook for 5-10 minutes. Serve over cooked rice and garnish with green onions. *NOTE* If you can't find the chili oil, 1 tsp. red pepper flake can be substituted. 


Shared at Weekend Potluck
Shared at Meal Plan Monday


Sunday, September 8, 2019

Lunch or Game Day

I won't lie. This recipe was supposed to up on the blog weeks ago as an idea for a hot summer night when the thermometer still read 90 at 6pm and you needed something light and refreshing. Well...obviously that didn't happen. Oops.

So when I found the post sitting there in the draft folder, staring back at me, mocking me, knowing my OCD would kick into overdrive and I would be kicking myself for the mistake, I had to adapt.

Honestly, we eat this stuff year round. A couple years ago, I made it for our annual New Year's Eve buffet! Therefore, it wasn't that hard for me to find a way to share it with all of you now that fall is in the air.

This would be fantastic for Game Day! We are a football loving family and there are times we will be watching the game at home, just the 4 of us, and I still put out a party spread. It's fun to eat all day and cheer on our favorite teams. And it would be just as tasty in the parking lot while yo tailgate with your friends! It would easily travel in a cooler.

But if football isn't your thing, make a big batch on the weekend and have something yummy for lunch all week long.

Or if neither of those "trip your trigger" (As grandma used to say!) it would be terrific for any fall party as well! Get the friends around the bonfire and give them something to snack on while the hot dogs roast or the chili stays warm in the Crock Pot.

Delicious food can be enjoyed any time of year, any season you want! Don't box yourself if and think if you like it in July you can't enjoy it in September too!

Seafood Salad
1 lb. imitation crab, chopped
1 c. frozen cooked extra small shrimp, thawed
2 celery ribs, diced
1/2 c. mayonnaise
1 tsp. Chesapeake seasoning
1/2 tsp. dill weed
1 TBS lemon juice
Salt and Pepper

Combine shrimp and crab in a large bowl. In a small bowl whisk together remaining ingredients. Pour over seafood. Stir gently to combine. Chill until ready to serve, at least an hour. Serve with crackers.



Sunday, September 1, 2019

Welcome September

Yes, it's hard to believe, but September is upon us. My son looked at me Saturday night and said "Mom, can you believe the 4th of July was almost two months ago?"

Seriously, when you think of it like that the time flies bye even faster than normal. Let's face it, summer lasts about 38 days and the cold months drag on for 904 days, if we are lucky!

I've said it before, but let me reiterate it once more. I actually don't mind autumn. I enjoy the colors, the fun activities, the decor (yes, my pumpkins and scarecrows are already displayed!) and of course, the flavors. And I don't even shun the weather. Here in Indiana, we will still have some truly warm and sunny days through October. But it's what comes after fall I dread. The cold. The snow. The ice. The gray. The blah. But hey, it's not here yet, so let's not dwell on it.

I figured with the beginning of September, and a new season, we would celebrate with a classic fall flavor. Cinnamon. Sure, we can't get enough of apple and pumpkin too, but if you think about it, what is paired with both of those in many, many dishes? Yep, cinnamon.

These are my way of bringing a little of summer with me to fall. See, they are inspired by a summertime country fair staple. The elephant ear. Fried dough sprinkled with cinnamon sugar is something so popular the lines will wind around any junk food alley.

So who says we can't have some of that yumminess as the leaves begin to turn? These are great for a quick breakfast, lunchbox treat or sweet treat after a favorite fall meal. Super easy, moist and oh so good!

I might not be able to stop summer from eventually fading away, but I can make sure to enjoy all the warm days we have left and dream of them once they are gone with some delicious muffins!

Cinnamon Sugar Muffins
1 c. flour
1/2 c. + 1 TBS sugar, divided use
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 TBS + 1 tsp. cinnamon, divided use
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 c. milk
1/4 c. vegetable oil
1 egg

Preheat oven to 375. Line 8 muffin tin wells with papers or grease well. In a large bowl combine flour, 1/2 c. sugar, baking powder, 1/2 TBS cinnamon, and salt. In a medium bowl whisk together milk, oil, and egg. Add to dry ingredients and stir, just until combined. Divide mixture evenly in muffin tin wells. In a small bowl combine 1 TBS sugar and 1 tsp. cinnamon. Sprinkle over top of batter. Bake for 15 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack. Store covered.



Shared at Weekend Potluck
Shared at Meal Plan Monday

Sunday, August 25, 2019

Not Ready to Let Go

We are only a less than a week away from September, and Labor Day. I know many out there are literally counting the days until autumn arrives; and with the arrival of cooler temps this week, we've all been reminded of what is coming.

It's no secret I love summer, and dread when it starts to fade. If I'm being truthful, I don't hate fall. After all, here in Indiana, we usually end up with some warm 80 degree days well into October. The colors are beautiful, the flavors are delicious and I adore getting outside and enjoying all the autumn activities. But see, the problem is what comes after. I know as soon as the leaves begin to turn...in the blink of an eye we will be grabbing the shovel and waiting for school delays.

So, here I am holding onto summer with all my might. I refuse to say goodbye, and still have plenty of fun in the sun planned.

This simple salad would be perfect for your Labor Day cookout, picnic or party. Or, it's just great for weeknight supper too! With all these summer veggies we have to indulge in when we can, it's a great way to use them up!

If you're one of the ones who is holding your breath until it's hoodie and bonfire season, it will be here before you know it. And if you are like me, and not ready to see summer go, let's make the most of the time we have left!

Marinated Cucumber Salad
3 medium cucumbers, peeled, seeded & chopped
1 pint snacking tomato medley, halved
1/4 c. vegetable oil
3 TBS red wine vinegar
1/2 tsp. dried basil
1/4 tsp. dried oregano
2 tsp. dried parsley
Salt and Pepper

In a large bowl combine cucumbers and tomatoes. In a small bowl whisk together oil, vinegar and seasonings. Pour over veggies. Mix well. Chill for a few hours before serving. *NOTE* If you use English cucumber, no need to peel or seed. The tomatoes are a mixed variety in the produce section. You can also use cherry, grape or a mix of both.



Shared at Weekend Potluck
Shared at Meal Plan Monday


Sunday, August 18, 2019

Only 177 Days to Go


Whew. We did it. We survived the first week of school. HIGH SCHOOL! Okay, so it wasn't a full week, but hey, it still counts! And yes, that countdown above is how mommy is coping! I know exactly how many days until Labor Day, Fall Break, Thanksgiving, Christmas, Spring Break...you get the picture. I miss my boy!

But when the weekends roll around, it's still summer in our house! I'm still going to plan outdoor fun, and soak up every last bit of the warm, sunny days because this is Indiana and the minute the calendar says September, you never know what's going to happen!

There are still plenty of cookouts to have, and you're going to want to take this to your next one! Sure, it makes a terrific no bake, simple dessert, but in this family, it's a side dish. Let me explain. When I was growing up, my Grammy always had at least one "fluff salad" dish at holidays or big gatherings. Why was something so sweet called a salad? Two reasons. 1. Most of the time they contained fruit. 2. If she called it salad, we could eat it with the meal, and still have pie when we were done. It's all about optics!

In that spirit, I almost always serve my fluff dishes as a side dish, including this one. All the flavors of a favorite summer time beverage rolled into a delicious, gorgeous sweet treat that will be a huge hit, no matter how you serve it!

Cherry Limeade Fluff
15 large marshmallows
8 oz. cream cheese, softened
1 lime, juiced
16 oz. jar maraschino cherries, halved
1 small box cherry Jello
1 (29 oz.) can mandarin oranges, drained
8 oz. tub Cool Whip
 1 1/2 c. Cherry 7-Up

In a saucepan over medium heat, combine soda and marshmallows. Stir until marshmallows are melted and mixture is combined. Set aside. In a separate bowl, use an electric mixer to combine cream cheese, Jello and lime juice until smooth. Stir marshmallow mixture into cream cheese mixture until well combined. Gently fold in cherries and oranges. Cover and chill overnight. When ready to serve, add Cool Whip and stir well. 


Inspired by The Country Cook
Shared at Weekend Potluck

Sunday, August 11, 2019

That Moment


As many of you know, not only do I run the EMM world, I am also a contributor for Parade Magazine's online food site. I have been writing for them for about five years now, and it has opened up a whole new world to me and the blog. Plus, it's another way I am able to help support my family and maintain the blog with free recipes for all of you!

Recipes that I blog here, I then share to Parade for them to publish as well. Or, that is how it normally works. But this month, there was a little hitch in that plan and this recipe was actually shared on their site before I had a chance to blog it here. Now, I will admit, I'm a little OCD and that bothered me a little because I like for my stuff to debut on my site first before I share it elsewhere, but then something happened that made it 100% okay!

Last Monday I woke up and logged onto Parade to find MY recipe was the featured recipe and cover photo of their entire food section. Woo hoo! I was excited, and apparently people were loving it because they left it there for the ENTIRE day!


So, even though this wasn't going to be published on EMM until later in the month, I decided it needed to be moved up pronto! I had to calm those OCD nerves somehow!

Taco Spaghetti is great for your Taco Tuesday, or your pasta supper tonight! Two classic favorites come together in one amazing dish that will be gobbled down! We couldn't stay out of it! Even the leftovers were fought over the next day!

With school starting back up this week for many of us (I HAVE A FRESHMAN!!! HOW DID THAT HAPPEN????) Simple casserole suppers are going to be in high demand. Tell the kids you're taking two of their absolute favorite meals and making them into one...and then watch them run to the table!

Taco Spaghetti
1 lb. thin spaghetti, broke in half
1 lb. ground beef
1 (15 oz.) can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 (10 oz.) can Rotel
1 packet taco seasoning
2/3 c. chunky salsa
2/3 c. water
1 1/2 c. shredded Mexican blend cheese
Salt and Pepper 

Preheat oven to 350. Grease a 9x13 baking dish. Cook pasta to al dente. In a large skillet brown beef until no pink. Add taco seasoning and water. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat. Add black beans, Rotel and salsa. Stir well. Add 1 c. cheese and combine until melted. When pasta is cooked, drain well and add to skillet. Mix well. Transfer to baking dish. Cover and bake for 20 minutes. Uncover, add 1/2 c. cheese and bake for 5 additional minutes until melted.


Shared at Weekend Potluck
Shared at Meal Plan Monday

Sunday, August 4, 2019

Tater Salad Inspired

Pasta Salad. I know, we all have a hundred recipes for it, but you know what? We never seem to get tired of finding new ones, so here I go again.

This one came to be quite simply. I thought about my Amish Potato Salad that my hubby LOVES and decided we needed to try the same idea for a new side dish.

I actually made this back on Father's Day weekend for a cookout with my parents (Can we pause for a moment and think about the fact that was almost 2 months ago?!?!) and even my daddy enjoyed it; and to be honest, he is kind of a purest when it comes to macaroni salad. He prefer my mom's recipe and it pretty much ends there. But he really liked this for something different.

So, what makes this different than others? The sweet factor. I've learned that many times if a salad like this has "Amish" in the title, it's usually going to be a tad sweeter than others. This also reminds us of a macaroni salad you find at the deli counter. Except one thing, and this is an important note. Mine is a little drier. Be sure to read why at the end of the recipe so you can decide which way your family will enjoy it more!

Summer isn't over yet. I'm hanging on with every fiber in my body. And that means there is plenty more time for cookouts, backyard barbecues, picnics...and of course Labor Day is less than a month away, so we'll be needing some terrific dishes for that too!

Amish Macaroni Salad
1 lb. elbow macaroni
4 hard boiled eggs, chopped
1 red bell pepper, diced
3 celery ribs, diced
2 c. Miracle Whip
2 TBS dill pickle relish
3 TBS yellow mustard
2 tsp. white vinegar
1/4 c. sugar
3/4 tsp. celery seed, extra for garnish
Salt and Pepper. to taste

Boil macaroni. While it cooks, add red pepper, eggs and celery to large bowl. In medium bowl whisk together Miracle Whip, relish, mustard, vinegar, sugar, celery seed, salt and pepper. When macaroni is cooked, rinse with cold water and drain well. Add to large bowl with eggs and veggies. Mix well. Pour dressing over top. Stir very well. Chill for 2 hours or overnight. Garnish with extra egg and celery seed if desired. *NOTE* If you serve this after the minimum chilling, it will be "wetter" than overnight. We prefer our macaroni salad a little more dry, so I opt for overnight.




Inspired by Sweet Little Bluebird
Shared at Weekend Potluck

Sunday, July 28, 2019

Egg Noodles Please


Back in May when I shared my Cajun Chicken Pasta, it was a huge hit with not only my family, but a lot of yours too! (That makes me so happy!) So, if you were one of the many that enjoyed it, you're going to flip for the this new side dish, since it was 100% inspired by those same flavors!

Sometimes when I meal plan, side dishes are my nemesis. I can figure out mains with no problem, and then I have to brainstorm for quite a while before the perfect side comes to me. Now, yes, we have our staples and our favorites, and even some meals that have to have the same things with it every single time (Seriously, these boys will riot if certain things aren't served together. Fish sticks must have mac n cheese. No substitutions.)

Many times when I find myself in this conundrum, egg noodles pop into my head...and then I begin to drool. See, they are one of my favorite things on the planet, can take on great flavor, are super easy  go with almost anything, and can live in the pantry forever.

That is exactly how this dish came to be. We were grilling out, I had a bag just calling my name, and I wanted something different. Then I remembered that Cajun Chicken Pasta and thought "Hey, I could take those basic flavors, leave out the protein and have a pretty killer side dish."

The sauce on these is much lighter than a thicker Alfredo. It lightly coats the noodles, without being too heavy. They tasted great with the chicken I served them with, but would be equally delicious with seafood or steak I think.

If you're like me and always on the hunt for new side dishes, be sure to add these to your "to make" list ASAP!

Creamy Cajun Noodles
1 lb. egg noodles, cooked and drained
3 TBS butter
1 c. heavy cream
1 c. half and half
1 small yellow onion, finely minced
1 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
3/4 c. chicken broth
2 1/2 TBS Cajun seasoning
Juice of 1 lemon 
1/3 c. grated Parmesan cheese
Salt and Pepper to taste
Dried Parsley

While noodles cook, in a medium sauce pan, melt butter over medium low heat. Saute onions with garlic powder until soft. Add chicken broth and scrape bottom of pan. Cook for 1-2 minutes. Slowly add cream, half and half, Cajun seasoning, lemon juice, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil and reduce heat to low. Add cheese and whisk to combine. Simmer for about 10 minutes, until slightly thickened. When noodles are cooked, add sauce and stir well. Garnish with dried parsley. *NOTE* This is NOT a thick sauce life Alfredo, it will be just thick enough to coat a spoon and lightly mix with noodles. 


Shared at Weekend Potluck

Sunday, July 21, 2019

Beach Withdrawal

As many of you know, we spent the last week of June and the first week of July at our favorite beach in the world, New Smyrna Beach, Florida.

We had glorious weather. Seriously. Out of 14 days...it rained for 3 hours. True story. So we soaked up plenty of sun, played in the sand and surf, and spent countless hours in pool. Oh it was wonderful! 

But alas, vacation has to come to an end. We've been back for a couple weeks now, and let me tell you, we are going through major withdrawal. Mostly we talk about all that tasty seafood we enjoyed; and the fact that our backyard doesn't have an ocean. 

When these whining moments come along, I try really hard to remember the memories we made will last a lifetime! I look at the hundreds of photos and I feel better. Then I try to figure out how I can bring some of that fabulous food we gorged ourselves on home to Indiana.

This year I decided to start with dessert. See, our favorite key lime pie in the world can only be found in NBS. We look forward to it every year, and have been known to eat it for breakfast. So I thought why not use those flavors in a simple, no bake, summer sweet treat? 

You might read almonds and think "why?" It is an easy explanation. That pie we fight over? It has almonds along the crust, on top of the whipped cream. So yes, I had to throw some in too! 

I hope you're soaking up all summer as to offer, and like us making some memories to live off for months to come!

Key Lime Parfaits
Graham Crackers
1 (21 oz.) can key lime pie filling
1 (12 oz.) tub Cool Whip
1/2 c. sliced almonds, reserve a few for garnish

In parfait glasses, or a similar dish, begin layers. Break up graham crackers to cover bottom. Add pie filling, and spread evenly. Sprinkle with almonds. Add Cool Whip, spread evenly. Repeat layers, ending with Cool Whip. Garnish with extra almonds. Chill until ready to serve. 



Shared at Weekend Potluck
Shared at Meal Plan Monday

Sunday, July 14, 2019

All That & A Bag Of Chips

Many years ago, my husband had what he proclaimed to be the BEST potato chip of his life. Now, I have actually heard him say this about a couple kinds, but that's okay. In that moment, in his excitement, that's how he felt.

One of those brands/flavors he can still readily find. In fact, I ordered him a case for our 16th anniversary this year. Nothing says love like a spicy potato chip! But the other, the one I started this story with? We haven't been able to find it for years. At least not in our area. And that makes him sad. To the point that he talks about it quite a bit.

What is this magical chip you ask? It was a Steak & Worcestershire flavor, and for him it was love at first bite. For years, it has been the one he mentions any time we try a new one. The one he longs for. So, how many wife points do you think I scored when I found a way to recreate that for him, kind of?

The minute I saw a new dip by buddy Mandy over at South Your Mouth debuted, I knew I could take that idea, build on it, and recreate those flavors for him!

I couldn't wait to make it for him; and it didn't disappoint. He said it is "spot on" and could not stop eating. Woo hoo!

Need another snack for around the pool? A big bowl of this and a couple bag of chips. Done! I bet it would be super tasty with a big veggie platter too!

Making things for my boys they love gives me so much joy. But nailing something he loved and has been missing? That's just the icing on the cake, or the dip on the chip in this case!

Steak & Worcestershire Dip
16 oz. sour cream
2 1/2 TBS steak seasoning (like Montreal)
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 tsp. onion powder
1 TBS Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp. dried parsley

Mix all ingredients in a medium bowl. Chill a few hours before serving. Serve with chips, veggies, crackers, etc.



Sunday, July 7, 2019

Gnocchi Fans


Anyone that knows us knows we are a family of pasta lovers. From mac n cheese to baked pasta casseroles, we can't get enough. I think I might have been Italian in another life.

And now I can honestly say, we are quickly becoming fanatics about pasta's little cousin gnocchi. I've mentioned before how my local Dollar Tree store has really decent packages of them, 1 pound for $1. What a deal...and you know I can't pass that up! So on those weeks when the budget might be a little tighter than normal, I like to keep those little gems in my back pocket!

This actually came to be because of another great deal when Kroger had spaghetti sauce dirt cheap. I actually bought a couple jars and then had to think "great, now what can I do with it?" Well, I had to run into DT anyway, so why not grab a couple packages of my new friend?

If you're looking for an economical, hearty, feed a hungry crowd meal, this is it! Terrific Italian flavors with soft, pillowy gnocchi are sure to please every single time!

Cheesy Gnocchi Casserole
2 lbs. gnocchi, cooked to package directions & drained
2 c. shredded mozzarella cheese
1/4 c. grated Parmesan cheese
1 tsp. onion powder
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. Italian seasoning
3/4 c. heavy cream
2 (24 oz.) jars spaghetti sauce
Salt and Pepper to taste 
Dried Parsley

Preheat oven to 350. In a large skillet heat 1 1/2 jars sauce over medium heat. (Save other half jar for other use) Add cream, garlic powder, onion powder, Italian seasoning, salt and pepper. Heat until bubbling and reduce heat to low. When gnocchi are cooked and drained, add to sauce and stir to combine. Grease 9x13 baking dish. Add half gnocchi mixture. Sprinkle with 2 TBS Parmesan cheese and 1 cup mozzarella. Repeat layers once more. Sprinkle top with parsley. Bake for 20-30 minutes. Allow to rest 5 minutes before serving. *NOTE* This does not set up like a normal pasta bake. It will be very saucy. I do this because gnocchi can be very dense and dry. They need extra sauce! 


Shared at Weekend Potluck