Everyday Mom's Meals: April 2011

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Wedding, Royal or Not

In honor of the wedding seen around the world yesterday I am sharing a recipe from my own wedding, royal enough for me! We had incredible food at our reception- all very down home and "family" style. We had a hog roast w/ all the trimmings, and a huge buffet of other selections, from salads, to meats, to veggies and fruit, to muffins....there was a ton of food! And we were so lucky to have a very good friend of the family prepare all of it (besides the hogs, which Adam's family was in charge of) at cost, as part of our wedding gift. She was amazing. She cooked for 2 weeks prior to the big day, and even made extra things I hadn't thought of. We fed a lot of people, around 280, for so little money, and were so thankful for all she did. When we sat down to come up w/ a menu one of the dishes I insisted on having was pea salad. I love it. It is one of my favorite treats in the spring/summer; and w/ our wedding on May 17th it was the perfect time of the year. But not all pea salads are made the same, but as luck would have it, she knew exactly the kind I wanted and made a delicious version of it. Being a new bride swept up in the day and the moment, I of course never though to say "hey, can I have that recipe". But I've combined 2 recipes I've found, one from Paula Deen and one from All Recipes and come up w/ something very close to what we ate that special night that will live in my heart forever. Congratulations Prince William and Princess Catherine--may God bless your marriage always, may love fill your lives and smiles fill your days.

Garden Pea Salad
1 15 oz. can very young early peas
1/4 c. chopped onion
2 hard boiled eggs, chopped
salt and pepper
2-3 TBS mayonnaise
1/2 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese

In a colander, drain peas very well. Place peas in a medium bowl. Add the onions, eggs, cheese and mayo. Toss gently but well to coat peas. Season w/ salt and pepper. Chill until serving.

Green Peas on FoodistaGreen Peas

Monday, April 25, 2011

Refried Squared

As in refried twice. Why you ask? Well, that's simple. I don't have the time (usually) to make refried beans from scratch, but don't really enjoy them straight from the can. Let's face it, some things are ok just dumped from the can and heated up, but refried beans just aren't one of them. So I went in search of a recipe to "perk" them up, rejuvenate them in a way. I found one on food.com, added a few things, took a couple away,and it was easy, quick and perfect for our taco night supper. I'm serving them as a side dish, but I'm sure they would be great as a dip for nacho chips as well.

Easy Refried Refried Beans

2 pieces of bacon, chopped
1/4 onion chopped
1 garlic clove
1 can refried beans
1/4 cup water
shredded monterey jack cheese
olive oil

Gently fry bacon until near crisp. Remove from pan. If not enough fat has been released, add a couple drizzles of olive oil. Add onion and garlic and saute until tender. Add refried beans and water. Stir and simmer until creamy and heated through. Season w/ salt and pepper if needed, cook about 1 minute more. Top w/ cheese to melt.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Meal Plan April 24-29

* New Recipe (Although this week, I have already published it)
(Where to find on blog)

Easter- we will be celebrating w/ family

Soft Tacos
Refried Beans

Beef Stroganoff (June 17, 2010)

Lemon Artichoke Chicken* (April 17, 2011)
Loaded Baked Potatoes

Eggplant Parmesan (August 18, 2010)
Garlic Bread

We have a wedding Saturday, so we will be doing out this night instead:)

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Thanksgiving Thoughts on Good Friday

Happy Good Friday to you--the gateway to a precious Easter weekend. Many people will start their celebrations today, and we are no exception. That is, except, ours is just a big dinner, not really a celebration :-) Back at Christmas, one of Adam's customers was kind enough to give us a 18 lb turkey. Well, that really isn't something I can whip up any night of the week, so it's been sitting in my parents chest freezer since. I decided w/ Alex being off school all day, it was a good time to stay home and roast this bird along w/ all the trimmings for a yummy "Thanksgiving" type meal. Roast turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes/gravy and cranberry sauce...You're hungry, aren't you??!! So this really isn't a recipe, but more a method. I've only cooked one other turkey in my life, and that was 4 years ago, so it is a refresher course for me too. But this is the exact reference I used back then, and I must say our turkey was delectiable. This comes from allrecipes.com and I hope it's useful to someone else out there!

How To Roast A Turkey

To prepare the turkey for roasting, first remove the giblets (and save for gravy or stuffing). Next, rinse the bird inside and out and pat dry with paper towels.

•If you are stuffing the bird, stuff it loosely, allowing about ½ to ¾ cup stuffing per pound of turkey.

•Brush the skin with melted butter or oil. Tie drumsticks together with string (for stuffed birds only).

•Insert a meat thermometer into the thickest part of the thigh. The thermometer should point towards the body, and should not touch the bone.

•Place the bird on a rack in a roasting pan, and into a preheated 350 degree F (175 degrees C) oven. Use the following chart to estimate the time required for baking.

•Bake until the skin is a light golden color, and then cover loosely with a foil tent. During the last 45 minutes of baking, remove the foil tent to brown the skin. Basting is not necessary, but helps promote even browning.

Weight of Bird           Roasting time (Unstuffed)           Roasting Time (Stuffed)
10-18 lbs                   3-3.5 hours                               3.75-4.5 hours

18-22 lbs                   3.5-4 hours                               4.5-5 hours

22-24 lbs                   4-4.5 hours                               5-5.5 hours

24-29 lbs                   4.5-5 hours                               5.5-6.25 hours

The turkey is done when the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees F (75 degrees C) at the thigh

*NOTE* I baste my turkey w/ melted butter, once every hour.

Shared on Everyday Sisters Nov. 13, 2011

Monday, April 18, 2011

Exciting News

Friday I found out that this blog is a babble.com Reader's Choice Mom Food Blogger 2011!!! I was so excited and still can't belive it. For those who nominated/voted for me, thank you so much! In fact, although the list has been complied, you can still "like" or "vote" on babble.com and move Everyday Mom's Meals up the list, but I'm just excited to have been chosen as a reader's choice. Check out the badge on the left side of the home page....for the whole world to see!!!

Vegetable With a Kick

So I'm walking through the produce aisle at the store last week and I'm thinking "we need something different". Green beans, Brussels sprouts, cucumbers, tomatoes, these are all things we eat on a pretty regular basis. But I was in the mood for something new, something we'd never tried before. I spotted the yellow squash and zucchini and thought, "mmmm, maybe something w/ those". Well, I've done each steamed w/ butter, salt and pepper a thousand times, and we just had zucchini in our butter bean soup last week, so yellow squash it was. I bought 2 and decided I would turn to my trusty friend the Internet and fellow foodie bloggers to come up w/ something. ComposeWell, it didn't take long b/c as luck would have it over at For The Love of Cooking there was a simple, and very "new" way to prepare these 2 yellow squash that were sitting in my crisper drawer destined to be cooked, or forgotten about depending on what I found. I was already planning a pasta dish tonight, so I'm thinking what better side than an "Italian" vegetable. And w/ Alex, if I put marinara and cheese on anything, heck it could be a shoe tongue, he will think it's the greatest thing ever!

Stuffed Yellow Squash

Olive oil or cooking spray
2 yellow squash
1/2 c. marinara sauce
2 TBS Parmesan cheese, grated
2 TBS Italian seasoned Panko bread crumbs (I'm using Italian seasoned "regular" bread crumbs b/c I have them)
Salt/Pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 350. Coat a baking dish w/ a bit of olive oil or cooking spray. Cut the yellow squash in half lengthwise & slightly scoop out the filling down the center. Season squash w/ salt and pepper. Spoon the marinara down the center of each, equally. Sprinkle Parmesan on top of marinara and top w/ bread crumbs. Bake for 25 minutes or until golden brown.

Shared on Everyday Sisters Sept. 4, 2011

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Sea Salt Hand Scrub Take 2

Back in the fall, I shared a recipe I found (not eatable, take it) for a hand scrub made w/ sea salt to help my mother in law recreate one she had used on vacation. (September 20, 2010). Well, I believe her when she said it was amazing, but let's face it, until you try something yourself, you never really know for sure. The restaurant she had originally used it at happened to be the same one my sister in law's wedding reception was held- The Grille at the Riverview in New Smryna Beach, Fl. Let me tell you, and I'm not ashamed to admit this, I was in the bathroom off an on ALL NIGHT just so I could use their sea salt scrub!!! My hands have never been that smooth in my life. Plus, I hate sticky hands from left over residue from soap, lotion, hand sanitizer, etc; and this scrub cleaned them and made them feel fresh again w/ nothing left over. So I asked her if she had used that recipe I shared back in the fall and she in fact had, and loved it. She used coconut oil, since that is the scent they offered, and let's face it, when you're on the beach in sunny Fl, anything coconut scented is even better. Last night I decided I was going to try my hand at it too (ha! no pun inteded). But here is my confession: I'm cheap! I went to buy coconut oil and it is VERY expensive (she had warned me) and I just wasn't willing to spend the money. So I came up w/ the genius idea to use lemon extract instead. I love lemon scent, especially in soap, so why not! I wanted to store it in a crock, just like I do my cooking salt next to the stove. I ventured to Le Gourmet Chef  and it was my lucky night! I found the exact same crock on the clearance table, w/ an extra 50% off. Plus a small spoon, which I knew I needed, also on sale, for $1.18. I got both for the whopping total of $3.92!!! Then I got a huge box of kosher salt (I like Kosher better than sea b/c the granules are a little bigger) and a bottle of lemon extract on the baking aisle of Walmart for around $5. I told you, I'm cheap! I made my first batch last night and OMGosh....it's exactly like the one in Fl, and the lemon scent is perfect. I've been using it all day and my hands already feel amazing. This will definitely be something I continue to make for myself long into the future. Pampered Mommy smiling :)

Sea Salt Hand Scrub

1 c. Kosher salt
1/2 c. olive oil
2-3 tsp lemon or coconut extract (This is a guess. I just poured it in until it smelled good to me)

Mix all together until well incorporated. Store in a ceramic/glass dish w/ a small spoon for scooping. Stir once in a while. Use on hands w/ warm water.

Shared on Celebrating Family July 26, 2011
Shared on Home Savvy Aug. 15, 2011

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Meal Plan April 17-22

*New Recipe
(Where to find)

Potato Wedges
Pan Roasted Brusells Sprouts (June 27, 2010)

Angel Hair Pasta w/ Herb/Cream Sauce
Stuffed Yellow Squash*

Cheddar Potato Soup (January 21, 2011)
Pumpernickel Bread

Pork Chops
Sweet Potato Casserole (January 19, 2011)

Pizza Joes (July 8, 2010)
Sliced Pickled Beets
Sliced Cucumbers
Mac n Cheese

Friday (Good Friday)
Roast Turkey
Cranberry Sauce
Mashed Potatoes/Gravy (February 2, 2011)

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Better Than The Box

We've all had the "pot pie" out of a box. Admit it. You know you have! And every now and then I get a craving for a good 'ole turkey pot pie, so I'm not criticizing! But when I was brought into the Marshall family, I was introduced to a really easy recipe that tastes like it cooks all day, but is super easy. One reason being, is it uses refrigerated biscuits, not a traditional crust. Adam's mom always cooked it like a casserole w/ the biscuits on top, but the first time I made it, I discovered if you bake them separately, they don't become as soft, and you can serve the chicken mixture either on the top of opened biscuits or top the mixture w/ them and it tastes the exact same. Serving the biscuits on the bottom kind of gives it a chicken and dumplings feel, which I enjoy but either is equally tasty. So if want something your family thinks you slaved away at all day, but really you put together in less than hour, make this---and take all the credit for working so hard!

Chicken Pot Pie

2 cans Veg All- drained
2 cans cream of chicken soup
1 can chicken broth
3 c. cooked chicken ( Roasting method January 27, 2010)
1 can refrigerated biscuits

Mix chicken, Veg All, soup and broth together. Season w/ salt and pepper. Bake covered for 45 minutes @ 375. (If you make ahead, increase cooking time by about 15 minutes). Bake biscuits and assemble the way you prefer.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Campbells.....Mmmm Mmmm Good

Surprisingly though, this recipe contains absolutely no soup. However, it was inspired by a recipe I saw in a Campbells cook book. To be honest, it is an adaption from a few recipes I've come across and I'm putting elements of each into this, making my own original creation:) I don't have many recipes that I can call my very own, and I know all it takes is adjusting one or two ingredients to make them "mine", which I do a lot of the time, I just never think of them like that. But this one I'm taking all the credit for! Adam loves clam sauce, and I've done both white and red versions, but I'm hoping this is "the one". The ones I've made in the past were good, but weren't quite what I was looking for, so I've got my fingers crossed this one is just different enough to become a "go-to" in my repertoire.

Linguine with Red Clam Sauce

2 TBS olive oil
3-4 garlic cloves minced
1 large jar traditional spaghetti sauce
1/2 c. chicken broth or white wine (I will use broth)
1 TBS chopped fresh parsley
2 6 1/2 oz cans minced clams, undrained (depending on the cans I can find, I might adjust this amount)
1 lb. linguine
Grated Parmesan cheese

Heat oil in 2 quart saucepan over medium heat. Add garlic and cook until tender, stirring constantly. Stir in sauce, clams, parsley, broth/wine, and reduce heat to low. Cover and cook 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Serve over cooked linguine and top w/ cheese.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Meal Plan April 10-15

* New Recipe
** New for you, not us
(Where to find on blog)

Baked Beans
Pasta Salad
Pumpkin Fluff (October 3, 2010)

Chicken Pot Pie**

Spinach Salad (May 15, 2010)

Linguine w/ Red Clam Sauce*

Butter Bean Soup (October 25, 2010)

Fish Sticks
Cheesey Potatoes
Green Beans

Friday, April 8, 2011

Use It Before You Lose It

In my case, that is referring to the cookbook I gave away during my last contest. I have yet to mail out the prize to our lucky winner Emily ( I promise I haven't forgotten, but a wedding in FL last weekend, and Spring Break this week, I've been a little occupied.) But to be honest, I'm glad it isn't sitting in a post office quite yet b/c there are a couple recipes out of it that I have to write down before I give it up, and today's is one of them. When I first looked through this book and decided it would be the perfect prize, this was the first recipe that caught my eye and made me say "mmmmm" I have to try that. We're big pasta eaters in this house, you all know that by now. But I tire of anything we have too much, and our favorites are included in that. So any time I can find a new twist on something we already like, or a way to incorporate new flavors, I'm all for it. This uses one of our favorite veggies as well, asparagus and something Adam and I both enjoy tremendously, artichokes. So when you are combining 3 of your favorite things together on one plate, it has to be scrumptious, right!!??

Fusilli with Asparagus and Artichokes

1 large onion, chopped
1 lb. asparagus, rinsed, trimmed and cut into 1 inch pieces
1/4 lb. thin sliced salami or prosciutto
1 14 oz. can artichoke hearts, drained and cut into quarters
1/2 c. fresh parsley
1/4 c. olive oil
2 tsp crushed garlic
1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
1/4 tsp. black pepper
3 TBS lemon juice
8 oz. fusilli
Grated Parmesan Cheese

Cook pasta according to package directions. Heat olive oil in large skillet on medium high heat. Add onion, asparagus, garlic, red pepper flakes, and black pepper and cook about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, or until vegetables begin to soften. Add the meat and artichoke hearts and cook for 1 minute. Add lemon juice and parsley. Cover and remove from heat. When pasta is cooked, drain and cover w/ sauce and top w/ cheese.

*NOTE* I would double this to feed our family. Except the onion. And I would use 1 1/2 lb asparagus.
I would also add 1 lb. mushrooms when I add in the onion

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Congratulations, Mr. & Mrs. Lloyd

This past weekend, we traveled to one of our favorite places in the whole world, and we just didn't go for the beach, sun and 80º temps! We spent 4 days on beautiful New Smyrna Beach, Fl for Adam's sister's wedding! Amanda & Duke have been together for years and this weekend finally became husband and wife! We were so honored to be a part of their very special day and even more so, we were so happy Adam could help out by being their photographer! ( What a great job he did too! I don't know another wedding photographer out there that takes 1400 pictures!!!!) It was a fabulous 4 days filled w/ smiles, laughter, tears, good times, great food & many many happy memories to last a lifetime! And what the bride & groom probably didn't know was that one of the dinner choices at their reception was one of my favorite dishes of all time! All 3 entree choices were very delectable, but the one that caught my eye was Chicken Picatta, which I love more than other chicken dish! It's not something I make very often at home b/c it's such a treat when I get to have it "out", but I think I found a recipe I would be willing to try at epicurious.com. The one served during the reception at The Grille at Riverview restaurant was magnificent, as was everything else they provided for one of the nicest wedding dinners/receptions I've ever been too. Fantastic views of the water and sunset only added to the absolutely delicious food, and wine of course! So- Congratulations Amanda & Duke!!! We love you both so much and we are so happy for you. We wish you all of the happiness in the world, and God's blessings on your marriage all the days of your life together!

Chicken Piccata

4 skinless boneless chicken breast halves
3 TBS butter, room temperature
1 1/2 TBS all purpose flour, plus more
2 TBS olive oil
1/3 c. dry white wine
1/4 c. fresh lemon juice
1/4 c. canned chicken broth
1/4 c. drained capers
1/4 c. chopped fresh parsley

Place chicken between 2 large sheets of plastic wrap. using meat pounder or rolling pin, lightly pound chicken to 1/4 inch thickness. Sprinkle chicken w/ salt and pepper. Mix 1 TBS butter and 1 1/2 TBS flour in small bowl until smooth. Place additional flour in shallow baking dish. Dip chicken into flour to coat; shake off excess. Heat 1 TBS oil in each of 2 heavy large skillets. Add 2 chicken breasts to each skillet and cook until golden and cooked through, about 3 minutes per side. Transfer chicken to platter; tent w/ foil to keep warm. Bring wine, lemon juice, and broth to boil in 1 skillet over medium high heat. Whisk in butter-flour mixture and boil until sauce thickens slightly, about 2 minutes. Stir in capers, parsley and remaining 2 TBS butter. Season sauce to taste w/ salt and pepper. Pour sauce over chicken and serve.

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