Everyday Mom's Meals: July 2010

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Christmas in July

So, it's HOT outside, and I realize most aren't even thinking about the holidays yet, but as much as I love summer I have to admit that I have started Christmas shopping! (Yes, I know, you think I'm crazy, but Christmas is less than 5 months away!) Plus I recently purchased my mother in law a Taste of Home Holiday Celebrations cookbook, and while browsing through it before I handed it off--ha ha-- I stumbled upon this dessert recipe in the Christmas section and it just spoke to me! I literally can't wait until I can try it; but I will say since it includes ice cream, I might not be waiting for the holiday season to do so!

Frosty Ginger Pumpkin Squares
1/4 cup butter, melted
1 c. crushed graham crackers (about 16)
1 c. crushed gingersnaps (about 18)
2 c. canned pumpkin
1 c. sugar
1/2-1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1 c. chopped walnuts
1/2 gallon vanilla ice cream, slightly softened

In a large bowl, combine the butter and crushed graham crackers and cookies. Press half the crumb mixture into an ungreased 9X13 pan. In a large bowl, combine pumpkin, sugar, cinnamon, salt, ginger and nutmeg. Stir in walnuts. Fold in softened ice cream. Spoon into crust. Sprinkle w/ remaining crumb mixture. Freeze until firm, about 3 hours.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Trying Something New

I am always trying to come up with new meal ideas. Thankfully I am lucky enough to have many people in my life who are nice enough to share ideas and recipes with me. Supper at our house tonight will be a new pasta casserole that my friend Emily sent me the recipe for. Emily is currently dieting using Weight Watchers and has been very successful. Witnessing the progress she has made over the past several months is truly inspiring. While this is a WW recipe, I did modify it a bit. Not because I don't enjoy healthy things, but because I happened to have some alternative ingredients on hand and wanted to use them:) Thanks Emily, and keep up the great work!

Pizza Pepperoni Pasta
3 cups uncooked whole wheat spiral pasta (I used regular)
1 lb lean ground turkey (I used ground beef)
1 medium onion chopped
2 1/2 c. garden-style spaghetti sauce
1 14.5 oz can diced tomatoes, undrained
1/2 tsp dried basil
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp worcestershire sauce
1/8 tsp pepper
3 TBS grated Parmesan
4 oz sliced turkey pepperoni (I used regular)
1/2 cup shredded mozzarella

Cook pasta according to package directions.

Meanwhile, in a large nonstick skillet, cook ground turkey and onion over medium heat until meat is no longer pink; drain. Stir in the spaghetti sauce, tomatoes, basil, oregano, worcestershire sauce and pepper. Set aside.

Drain pasta. Transfer to a greased 9X13 baking dish. Sprinkle with Parmesan. Top w/ spaghetti sauce mixture and pepperoni. Sprinkle w/ mozzarella.

Cover and bake at 350º for 25-30 minutes or until heated through.

(For those who want to make the WW version: 1 1/4 cup= 1 serving= 6 points)

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Happy Birthday Honey!!!!

My loving husband turns 36 today. Instead of a cake, I'm attempting to do something I've never done before! Adam's favorite pie in the world is raspberry-more specifically, black raspberry. So I found this recipe at cooks.com and I am hoping it turns out well. I've never made it before, and if it is a total disaster, I guess the sentiment of "it's the thought that counts" will save me:-) Wish me luck--I will let everyone know tomorrow how it turned out.

Black Raspberry Pie
2 pie crusts
2/3 c. sugar
2 TBS cornstarch
1 tsp lemon juice
2 c. black raspberries, fresh or frozen
1/2 c. water

Cook all ingredients, except crusts, over medium heat stirring constantly, until mixture is thick.
Remove from heat and cool. Pour filling in an 8- inch pastry lined pie pan. Dot 1 TBS butter on top of filling. Cover with top crust. Bake @ 425º for 35-40 minutes, or until crust is nicely browned.
Raspberries on FoodistaRaspberries

Saturday, July 17, 2010

A Growing Boy

When Alex was a little guy, he HATED white potatoes. I couldn't wait until the day he was on solid foods so I could introduce him to the wonder that is mashed potatoes; but the child would have none of it! Then at about the age of 3 he discovered potatoes were awesome (his words). He LOVES them: baked, mashed, roasted, sweet, white, scalloped- he doesn't care as long as it's a potato. And we can always tell when he is going through a growth spurt, which seems like constantly, because he craves potatoes, hence why a lot of my side dish recipes are potato based! This is one he and I watched Rachael Ray make on her 60 minute Thanksgiving special last year. He loves to watch Food Network with me and when he saw her do this recipe he jumped out of the chair and said "Mommy, you have to make those". So, this is an adaptation of her recipe with some of our favorites added.

Loaded Smashed Red Potatoes

3 lbs. small red potatoes (or large ones cut into small chunks)
2 TBS butter
1/4 cup sour cream
1/2 cup milk (more if want creamier)
Salt and pepper
4 scallions, chopped
1 cup cheddar cheese
4 slices bacon diced, fried and drained

In a large pot, cover potatoes in cool water and bring to a boil. Cook until potatoes are fork tender. Drain well and return to hot pot. With potato masher, mash potatoes to desired consistency (I like a few chunks left). Add butter, sour cream, milk and salt and pepper. Mix well. Add scallions, cheese and bacon. Check for s/p flavor and add more if needed.

Shared on Nap Time Creations Aug. 23, 2011
Shared on Mandy's Recipe Box Aug. 23, 2011
Shared on Celebrating Family Aug. 23, 2011
Shared on Hugs & Cookies Aug. 24, 2011
Shared on This Chick Cooks Aug. 24, 2011
Shared on Gooseberry Patch Aug. 24, 2011
Shared on Lark's Country Heart Aug. 24, 2011
Shared on Lady Behind The Curtain Aug. 24, 2011
Shared on Miz Helen's Country Cottage Aug. 25, 2011
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Friday, July 16, 2010

Pasta Can Be Light

Hello my name is Krista and I am a pasta addict. There I said it. The first step is admitting I have a problem. I must have been Italian in my previous life b/c nothing tastes as good to me as a huge plate of fresh pasta in a warm sauce. But come on, I can't eat that every day (no matter how much I would love to). So I like to find pasta dishes that are on the lighter side, and not as heavy as the ones I love so much. This is a good example of that. It's a Barefoot Contessa recipe that I have seen both on her show and in one of her cook books I have. Truthfully, I haven't made it yet, but I have a feeling when I do it will become a "regular" at our house!

Lemon Pasta with Roasted Shrimp
2 lbs. (17 to 21 count) shrimp, peeled and deveined
olive oil
kosher salt and black pepper
1 lb angel hair pasta
4 TBS unsalted butter, melted
Zest and juice of 2 lemons

Preheat oven to 400º. Place the shrimp on a cookie sheet w/ 1 TBS olive oil, 1/2 tsp salt and 1/2 tsp pepper. Toss well, spread them in one layer, and roast for 6-8 minutes, just until they are pink and cooked through.

Meanwhile, drizzle some olive oil in a large pot of boiling salted water, add the angel hair and cook until al dente, about 3 minutes. Drain the pasta, reserving some of the cooking liquid. Quickly toss the angel hair with the melted butter, 1/4 cup olive oil, the lemon zest and juice, 2 tsp salt, 1 tsp pepper and about 1/2 cup cooking liquid. Add the shrimp and serve hot.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

I Found It!

I used to be a regular subscriber of Taste of Home magazine. But when Alex came along my magazines went from cooking and style to parenting, kids and Highlights...lol. But when he was still just a baby, I remember making this recipe from an issue of Taste of Home, and then I could never find it again--that is until now. The magazine now has an archive of recipes on their website and once I typed in artichokes, it came right up; and oh how excited I was. It's a great side dish and something just a little different from potatoes or rice.

Artichokes Au Gratin
2 cans ( 14 oz each) artichokes hearts in water, rinsed, drained and quartered
1 garlic clove minced
1/4 cup butter divided
2 TBS flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1 1/2 cups milk
1 egg slightly beaten
1/2 cup shredded Swiss cheese, divided
1 TBS dry bread crumbs
1/8 tsp paprika

In a small skillet, saute the artichokes and garlic in 2 TBS butter until tender. Transfer for a greased 1 qt. baking dish. In a small saucepan, melt the remaining butter. Stir in flour, salt and pepper until smooth. Gradually add milk. Bring to a boil;cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened. Remove from the heat. Stir a small amount of hot mixture into egg; return all to pan stirring constantly. Stir in 1/4 cup cheese until melted. Pour over artichokes; sprinkle with remaining cheese. Combine crumbs and paprika; sprinkle over top. Bake, uncovered, at 400º for 20-25 minutes until heated through.

Artichokes on FoodistaArtichokes

Monday, July 12, 2010

Love Wings, Hate the Mess

So, why not figure out a way to get all the flavor you get out of a huge basket of buffalo wings without having to deal the huge mess that comes with it? That is what this recipe is all about. It's easy, quick and can easily be adapted from mild to hot, depending on personal tastes. For us, I use the amount of sauce in the recipe and it comes out mild enough I can eat it, and then Adam adds more to his for more heat. Even though these are made in the skillet stove top, I see no reason why you couldn't make batches and then use the crock pot to keep them warm, if feeding a crowd. So the next time you need a quick week night supper, or a party food for the big game, give these a try!

Buffalo Chicken Sandwiches
4 cups chicken, boiled and shredded (about 4 boneless breasts)
Large jar Franks hot sauce
Blue Cheese dressing
1 TBS butter
salt and pepper

Melt butter in skillet and add shredded chicken. Season with salt and pepper. Saute until edges are brown and crisp, usually around 8 minutes. Add sauce to taste, a little at time. The meat will absorb it some, so a little extra doesn't hurt. I usually use half the bottle. Let simmer a few minutes until flavors mix.

Serve on buns with blue cheese dressing.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Pizza on a Bun

Sounds kind of messy, right? Well, not w/ this recipe! This is a super simple dish that will be loved by both adults and kids. I found it on the internet while searching for new things to do w/ ground beef. They were a huge it in my house the first time I made them, and since we love sloppy joes, but don't enjoy the same things over and over, these are a nice substitute.

Pizza Joes
1 lb. ground beef
8 oz. pizza sauce
1 cup mozzarella
1 tsp Italian Seasoning
Salt and pepper to taste

Brown meat in skillet and drain fat. Add sauce and seasonings and simmer 3-4 minuets. Sprinkle w/ cheese, cover and cook until cheese melted. Serve on buns w/ extra cheese if desired.

Shared on Country Cooks Across America Sept. 17, 2011
Shared on Gooseberry Patch May 30, 2012
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Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Nobody Makes Them Like Mom

There are a few dishes that I will never be able to make as good as my mom does. No matter how many times I try, or how many times I watch her make the exact same recipe, they never taste as good when I'm done. I don't know if it's because she has been making them longer, or simply b/c she throws in a couple extra dashes of love while doing it. Either way, even though I may try, and we will eat them, those few dishes will always be better when cooked by mom! This is one of those--one she has been cooking for years, and each time is better than the next.

Mom's Scalloped Potatoes

4 large baking potatoes (this is how many I use for the 3 of us)- peeled and sliced 
1 small white onion- diced

In the bottom of a greased baking dish make a layer of potatoes. Add some diced onion. Sprinkle w/ flour (about 1 TBS). Repeat layers until top is a layer of potatoes, and salt and pepper only. DO NOT ADD FLOUR TO TOP LAYER.  Add enough milk until you can see it (usually about 1/2 inch from top). Bake in a preheated oven @ 350º for 60-90 minutes or until thickened and potatoes are tender.

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Sunday, July 4, 2010

Shhhh...They Think it's a Secret

Happy 4th of July!!!! Many times during the summer if you live around where we do, you will see Nelson's Catering at family reunions, office cook outs, fundraisers, etc. selling their very yummy chicken. It's something we always look forward to treating ourselves with when the warmer months are upon us. Their chicken is absolutely some of the best I've ever had in my life and the flavor is truly unique; but I could always taste lemon in it. So the first time I came across Paula Deen's recipe for her "Daddy's Tangy Grilling Sauce" I thought maybe it would have a similar result; and low and behold I was right. It is absolutely the closest thing to Nelson's we have ever made at home. I will suggest if you can cook the chicken on a charcoal grill instead of propane, it does give it a little closer flavor to the way they prepare theirs. Hope everyone has a safe, happy holiday filled w/ good friends, happy family, and tasty food!

Tangy Grilling Sauce
1 cup Worcestershire sauce
8 TBS (1 stick) butter
Juice of 2 lemons

Mix ingredients together in small sauce pan and simmer for 10 minutes. Add to chicken once it's been seared on grill for about 2 minutes. Continue to baste w/ sauce during cooking process.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

One Potato, Two Potato

I am always looking for new ways to fix baby potatoes. They are one of our favorite side dishes, but I don't like to serve them the same way each time. So when Adam came home w/ a pound of fresh ones from the farmer's market last week, I knew it was time to find a new way to try them. This comes from Giada De Laurentiis from the Food Network. And while her recipes sometimes are a little too involved for me, this one is quick, easy, and super flavorful! Her recipe called for a mixture of potatoes, but I used all red. Also, she used herbes de Provence, which I do not have, so I made my own mixture from 3 dried herbs I have on hand. (Note: 1 TBS= 3 tsp. so I used 1 tsp of each herb)

Roasted Baby Potatoes with Herbs
1 lb. baby red potatoes- scrubbed & larger ones cut in half
1 TBS mixed herbs (I used thyme, basil and dill)
3 garlic cloves minced
1/4 cup olive oil
salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 400º. Place potatoes in 9X13 baking dish. In a small bowl, whisk the oil, garlic and herbs together until blended. Pour over potatoes and mix well. Sprinkle generously with salt and pepper. Roast potatoes until they are tender and golden, turning occasionally, about 1 hour. Transfer potatoes to serving dish and drizzle w/ leftover oil from pan.

Red Potato on FoodistaRed Potato

Friday, July 2, 2010

IHOP at Home

We all know when we go to IHOP we can have traditional maple syrup, or one of their yummy fruit syrups that they are famous for. And I've also thought those same syrups would be great as an ice cream topping. So the other night when I saw Adam put fresh black raspberries on a bowl of vanilla ice cream I decided I would try to find a simple syrup recipe he could use as an ice cream topping; and that we could use on pancakes (which we are having next week). My search lead me to recipezaar.com where I found this extremely easy recipe and I had it made within 15 minutes last night! And although it's only been sampled with a spoon, while still warm, it was given 2 thumbs up :-)

Raspberry Syrup
1 cup raspberries, fresh or frozen (Mine were frozen, so I ran them under cool water in a colander to thaw a little and drain)- mashed a little
1 cup sugar
2 TBS cornstarch
1 cup water

In medium saucepan, combine sugar and cornstarch. Stir in water. Over medium heat, bring mixture to a boil. Cook until thickened, stirring constantly. Stir in raspberries. Let cool and refrigerate.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Flip Flops for Food?

Yes, that's right....but not the way you think! As many know, our family's vacation spot is New Smyrna Beach, FL; and this is b/c years ago Adam's Great Aunt Esther bought a condo on the beach and now it's his parents, so we are lucky enough to have a "family" condo that we can all use and enjoy immensely. This past April during my mother-in-law's vacation there she had lunch at one of her favorite restaurants, Flip Flops, which happens to be where Hell's Kitchen Season 5 winner, Danny Veltri, is the head chef!!!! During that lunch, she and her friend had this amazing bean dip and luckily she was able to recreate it and bring it home to us:)

Black Eyed Pea Salsa
2 cans black eyed peas- drained
1 clove garlic minced or 1 tsp garlic powder
1/2 medium red onion- finely chopped
1 rib celery- diced
1 tsp crushed red pepper (more to taste)
1 TBS Worcestershire Sauce

Mix all and add dressing. Chill well.

1/4 cup red wine vinegar
2 TBS sugar

Whisk together until sugar is dissolved. Add more vinegar to taste if necessary.

Serve very cold with tortilla chips, baguette rounds, crackers, etc.

Shared on Gooseberry Patch Feb. 1, 2012

Shared at Weekend Potluck