Everyday Mom's Meals: June 2010

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

An Oldie But Goodie

In a previous post I mentioned that I used to make a recipe w/ jarred Alfredo sauce, but after getting pregnant and having a huge aversion to it couldn't anymore. That is until my cousin sent me a recipe for a homemade Alfredo sauce ( June 24th). This is that pasta recipe. When I used to work full time, this was one of those meals I could get on the table rather quickly after a hard day at work, and feel like we were eating something substantial. Now that I have the sauce recipe, it's only enhanced by the flavor of it.

Penne with Mushrooms and Artichokes
1 lb penne pasta
8 oz mushrooms- sliced
1 can artichoke hearts in water- drained and chopped
2 cloves garlic- minced
2 TBS butter
1 TBS olive oil
salt and pepper

*See June 24th post for sauce recipe*

Cook pasta according to box directions. In a medium skillet, heat olive oil and butter. Add mushrooms and garlic cook until brown. Add salt and pepper to taste. Add artichokes and cook until heated through, 5-7 minutes. (At the same time, be cooking the sauce ) Drain pasta and return to pot. Add mushroom mixture and Alfredo sauce. Mix well.

*TIP* Always wait to salt mushrooms until after already browned. If salted at the beginning, the mushrooms will not brown b/c salt brings out the water from the mushrooms.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

You Think You Don't Like Brussels Sprouts.....Think Again....

Unlike most people, Adam and I have always liked Brussels sprouts. And like most people we used to just buy frozen ones, boil them and eat them. After Alex was born, we even turned him onto them, and he has eaten them ever since he could chew. (Yes, we realize how lucky we are!) A few months ago, I saw an episode of "Barefoot Contessa" and was amazed at how Ina Garten prepared them! There is no comparing the "old boiled" version and hers that uses fresh ones and adds a whole new flavor. If you think Brussels sprouts aren't your thing, even if you've tried them before, I encourage you to try making them this way and see what you think! Especially if you have kids--after all, bacon makes anything delicious!

Pan Roasted Brussels Sprouts
1 package fresh Brussels sprouts
2 TBS olive oil
4 slices bacon- diced
3/4 tsp kosher salt
3/4 tsp pepper
1 3/4 cup chicken broth

In a medium skillet, cook bacon until crisp, remove from pan and drain on paper towel. Add olive oil, sprouts, salt and pepper. Saute on medium heat 5 minutes. Add chicken broth. Lower heat and cook uncovered about 15 minutes. If skillet becomes dry, add more broth. Return bacon, adjust salt and pepper and serve.

Shared on Gooseberry Patch Nov. 16, 2011

There's More Than Corn in Indiana.....

But we are really happy there is indeed a lot of it! Adam and Alex were at the farmer's market yesterday and one of the things they came home w/ was a dozen ears of fresh sweet corn. Since the 3 of us can usually only eat about half that amount in one meal, I froze the other ears for another meal. (If anyone is wondering, I actually froze them whole. Just blanche them for 6 minutes in boiling water, immediately immerse in ice cold water, let cool and dry. Then put in freezer bags.) After doing so I started thinking about ways to use them instead of just "corn on the cob". I remembered seeing Ina Garten do this recipe on her show, so I headed to foodnetwork.com to get the recipe. I think it will be a side dish to a beef roast I'm planning for supper next week.

Sauteed Fresh Corn
8-10 fresh ears of corn
3 TBS unsalted butter
1 tsp kosher salt
1/4 tsp pepper

Cut kernels off of cob--this should make about 7 cups of kernels. Melt butter in a large pan. Add corn, salt and pepper. Saute uncovered on medium-low heat for 8-10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until all the starchiness in the corn is gone. Taste and add more salt and pepper if necessary.

*I am actually cutting the recipe in half for the 3 of us, and only using 4 ears of corn*

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Not Your Every Day Mayo

From the ages of 16 to 21 I was a hostess/waitress at Bob Evans. And the first summer I worked there they had a turkey sandwich on the menu that was dressed w/ an herb mayo. It was fantastic. It was only on the menu that one summer, and I've never been able to find the recipe any where. Well, thirteen years later, I have found a recipe for an herb mayo that is the closest thing I've tasted. The original recipe, from myrecipes.com, was actually for a fresh herb mayo, but since I only have dried in the house, I changed it. I will include both for those who want the fresh and dried versions.

Fresh Herb Mayo

2 cups mayonnaise
2 TBS chopped fresh parsley
2 TBS chopped fresh chives
1 TBS chopped fresh basil
1 TBS chopped fresh dill
1 TBS chopped fresh oregano

Mix all well and chill before using.

For mine, I omitted the parsley and chives b/c I didn't have them on hand. But the next time I will add in the parsley, but probably not the chives--only b/c the one I was trying to recreate did not have chives.

Herb Mayo

2 cups mayonnaise
2 tsp dried parsley
1 tsp dried basil
1 tsp dill weed
1 tsp dried oregano

This is a good reminder of the "herb rule" as I call it. For any recipe that calls for fresh herbs and dried are to be substituted, always remember 1 TBS fresh herbs= 1 tsp dried

Friday, June 25, 2010

Easy As Pie...Or Cobbler

Adam LOVES raspberries, but his absolute favorite are black raspberries. So yesterday when he had the chance to bring home 10 lbs. of freshly picked ones, he was like a kid in a candy store:-) I froze 2 1/2 bags, put some in the fridge for him and Alex to snack on, and still had bowl full left. So I went looking for an easy dessert that I could make for a treat after supper. While looking on the internet, I came across this on one of my favorite recipe sites, cooks.com and it was indeed SUPER easy, and turned out to be absolutely delicious. I served it w/ vanilla ice cream, but whipped cream would have been just as good. I know he will want me to bake it again.....good thing I have those bags of berries in the freezer!

Easy Raspberry Cobbler

1/2 cup butter- melted
3/4 cup milk
1 1/2 cup sugar
1 cup flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
2 cups black or red raspberries, fresh or frozen, if frozen- thawed

Pour the melted butter into the bottom of a 11X7 baking dish. Mix together the milk, 1 cup sugar, flour and baking powder. Pour this mixture over the butter. DO NOT STIR. Pour the berries over the batter and butter. DO NOT STIR. Pour the remaining sugar over the berris. DO NOT STIR. Bake the cobbler @ 350º for 30-45 minutes or until the crust is browned set.

Shared on Gooseberry Patch Sept. 28, 2011

Raspberries on FoodistaRaspberries

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Thanks Cuz

Since I love to cook so much, I am always swapping recipes and ideas w/ other home cooks. And one of the people I do this w/ the most is my cousin Tricia. She is also a wife and stay at home mom (to an adorable 2 1/2 year old!) and enjoys cooking as much as I do. It makes sense though since we are both the grandchildren, and products, of the original home cook--Martha Shartle--our Grammy! Tricia sent me this recipe a couple months ago and I was SO excited to try it. I used to make a recipe that I used bottled sauce for and it was one of our favorite meals. But when I was pregnant w/ Alex, and was over come w/ morning sickness 24/7, the sauce made me so sick that I couldn't even stomach the smell of it any more. So I made this and it was a huge hit and I will never buy bottled sauce again! Thanks Trish--Love you bunches and bunches!

Alfredo Sauce
1/2 cup butter
2 cloves garlic minced
2 cups heavy cream
1/4 tsp pepper
1/2 cup Parmesan
3/4 cup Mozzarella

Melt butter in sauce pan over medium-low heat. Add garlic, cream and pepper. Bring to a simmer stirring often. Add Parmesan and stir until well blended. Simmer 8-10 minutes until thick. Add Mozzarella and STIR FREQUENTLY until blended and smooth. Serve w/ favorite pasta.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Here's To You Grandma

Grandma's food. For most people, those 2 simple words bring images to mind of fresh baked cookies, pies cooling on the counter top, holidays w/ the family gathered around the table. Or at least it's that way for me. Both of my grandmas are fabulous cooks and each have their own "section" in my recipe box. This is truly one of the easiest recipes I've ever made. It was passed down to me from my Grandma Powell. It is very easily adaptable to feed 3 or a crowd. It makes both a great side dish and/or main dish. And works perfectly for a potluck b/c it travels so well. Of all the mac and cheese recipes I have, this will always be the one nearest and dearest to my heart.  Note, the macaroni is NOT boiled first :) Hence why it's extra easy!

Easy Baked Mac and Cheese
1 lb. elbow macaroni, DRY
4 cups milk, 2% or whole works best
4 cups sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
Salt and pepper to taste

In a greased 9x13 add dry pasta. Add milk. Stir. Add 1 cup cheese. Stir. Season with salt and pepper. Stir well.  Add remaining cheese to top and bake uncovered at 350 for 1 hour- 1 hour and 10 minutes until browned and bubbly.

*The milk should cover the pasta by about 1-2 inches to ensure proper cooking. 

* This can be adapted to make more as long as the amount of milk is always 2x the amount of pasta. Of course, extra cheese would be needed and the cooking time increased. But the most important thing is the pasta to milk ratio.

*Another tip: If you cook an entire pan of this, once cool, cut into individual serving "squares" and freeze. They make great quick suppers and/or lunches.

Shared on Make Ahead Meals Aug. 15, 2011
Shared on The Saturday Evening Pot Aug. 15, 2011
Shared on Jam Hands Aug. 15, 2011
Shared on My Faith and Family Aug. 15, 2011
Shared on Nap Time Creations Aug. 16, 2011
Shared on Gooseberry Patch Aug. 17, 2011
Shared on Everyday Sisters Nov. 6, 2011
Featured on Everyday Sisters Nov. 13, 2011

Monday, June 21, 2010

Happy Father's Day!!!

In honor of Father's Day this recipe is one both my husband and dad enjoy. I found it years ago in "Taste of Home". It's a really easy appetizer, or main dish depending on how it is served. When I make it for Adam I used hotter peppers, because is is a HUGE fan of spicy food; but when I make it for my dad I use a more mild pepper to suit his tastes. These are the most special men in my life and I love finding things to cook for them that they really enjoy.

Sausage Stuffed Peppers
8-10 Jalapeno peppers (for hot version)- halved & seeded
3-4 Large Mexican peppers (for mild version) Anaheim Chile is a good example- halved & seeded

1 lb. mild or hot pork sausage
1 8 oz. cream cheese- softened
1 cup shredded Parmesan

Cook sausage over medium heat in skillet. Drain off fat. Combine with cream cheese and Parmesan. Mix well. Fill peppers w/ meat mixture. Bake uncovered @ 425º for 15-20 minutes until brown and bubbly.

Saturday, June 19, 2010


Since the thermometer is supposed to reach 90º today I thought a refreshing drink might be in order. This is one that I've enjoyed MANY times at fairs and festivals. As a kid I remember saving my allowance during the summer months so I could drink as many as I wanted at our town's fair. Every time we go to a street festival, county or state fair, my hubby is nice enough to continue that tradition and buys me one after the other. I have passed the love of them onto Alex and he too will ask for one as soon as he sees the sign; and that's ok with me b/c it means Mommy can have one too:-) I found this recipe on RecipeZaar and it's the closet to my favorite one, "Martins" that I have tried.

Lemonade Shake Up
1/2 cup sugar
2 lemons, cut in half
ice (small cubes or crushed works best)

In a 16 oz glass pour in sugar. Squeeze lemons to juice them into glass. Then dice lemons and add to glass. Add ice, then water to fill. Cover and shake until sugar is dissolved. ( I use a large plastic cup to shake and "make" then pour it into a drinking glass)

Friday, June 18, 2010

PB & J for Dessert?

That's right!!! Here is a dessert that will take you right back to your childhood. But let's face it, doesn't everyone enjoy an old fashioned peanut butter and jelly sandwich once in a while. I know I do!!! These sound delicious. I found the recipe in the "Hershey's 100th Anniversary" cookbook. (A garage sale find for 50¢ I might add) Since I've been to the Hershey factory in Hershey, PA and know what an extensive facility it is, I'm sure this cookbook is going to offer many usable recipes!

Peanut Butter Chips and Jelly Bars
1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 cup sugar
3/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 cup (1 stick) cold butter or margarine
1 egg beaten
3/4 cup grape jelly
1 2/3 cups ( 10 ounce package) peanut butter chips, divided

Heat oven to 375º. Grease 9 inch square baking pan. Stir together flour, sugar and baking powder; with pastry blender, cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Add egg; blend well. Reserve half the mixture; press remaining mixture onto bottom of prepared pan. Spread jelly over crust. Sprinkle 1 cup peanut butter chips over jelly. Stir together reserved crumb mixture with remaining 2/3 cup chips; sprinkle over top. Bake 25-30 minute or until lightly browned. Cool completely and cut into bars.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Gotta Love the Crock Pot

One of Adam's favorite meals is beef stroganoff. His mom has a recipe she has used for years and he has loved it from the first time. But it's a little complicated and time consuming, so when I found this one in a "one pot meal" cookbook, I jumped at the chance to try it; and he LOVED it. It tastes just like he remembers and it so super easy for me. This has become his annual birthday meal; and w/ it being in July, it's great for a hot summer day b/c it doesn't require the oven. I love my husband and I love being able to put something on the table that brings a huge smile to his face. And while most things I cook achieve that, this one produces a little extra twinkle in those big brown eyes :)

Beef Stroganoff

2 lb. stew meat (I usually cut up a round steak)
1 can cream of celery soup
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 medium onion chopped
1 6 oz. can mushrooms drained
1 envelope onion soup mix
1/2 tsp pepper
8 oz sour cream
Egg noodles cooked and drained

In crock pot combine first 7 ingredients. Cover and cook on low for 8 hours. Stir in sour cream. Serve over noodles.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Home Sweet Home

For all of those of you who follow my recipes on a regular basis, I apologize for the lack of posting thus far in June. We actually were in New Smyrna Beach, FL for the past 2 weeks. We had a great vacation and made some wonderful memories. But now we are back home in Indiana and trying to ease back into reality.

I thought I would share a recipe I found on the internet when I was trying to recreate my favorite appetizer @ "TGIFridays".....the fried green beans! They are so addictive and I would love to make them at home, so I am going to try this recipe and see how they turn out!

Deep Fried Green Beans
1 lb. fresh green beans, trimmed and cut to preferred length
1 cup buttermilk
2 cups all purpose flour
1 TBS salt
1/2 TBS pepper
1/2 TBS garlic powder
oil for deep frying

Wash and trim green beans. Mix flour, salt, pepper and garlic powder in a bowl. Dip the beans in buttermilk and then roll in flour. Deep fry until golden brown and drain on paper towels.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Another Easy Dessert

When Adam was a little boy he was allergic to chocolate, so his mom took the traditional recipe for "no bake" cookies that so many of us know, omitted the chocolate, added extra peanut butter and came up with a cookie that to this day is still a favorite for all of us. So the other night while watching tv when I saw an ad for recipes on chiquitabananas.com featuring a no bake cookie I was intrigued. Alex and I both love banana flavored things, and I can't wait to try them.

Chiquita Banana No Bake Cookies

3 bananas with brown spots
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup 2% milk
4 cups quick cooking oats
2 cups chopped walnuts
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/4 cup peanut butter or cocoa powder (optional)

Combine first four ingredients in sauce pan over medium heat while stirring for 3 minutes or until mixture has a smooth consistency. Remove from stove and stir in the remaining ingredients. Divide batter into 12 cookies, place on wax paper and let cool completely. Store in air tight container.