Everyday Mom's Meals: February 2012

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Creamy Side Dish

When I find recipes in magazines that I want to try, I tend to tear them out, fold them up, stick them in my recipe box~ and inevitably forget about them. (Hence why I love Pinterest so much! Everything I can find on the web, in one spot, easy to find!) Then a glimmer of a memory will cross my mind "wait, didn't I tear something out like that" and I will go dig through the recipe box until I find what I remembered. However, this time, it was actually a recipe I tore out weeks ago, and was just waiting for the right dish to serve it with. It was one of those things I knew I wanted to make but didn't want to serve it w/ just any old thing. So when I decided to try the Italian Beef Sammies I shared w/ you yesterday I knew the moment had come. After all, when 2 recipes both have "Italian" in the title, aren't they destined to go well together? I think so! These are a great alternative to the buttered egg noodles many of us love so much. They were tasty w/ the sandwiches, but would also be delicious w/ chicken or even as a main dish if you doubled the recipe! There is now one less "scrap" recipe in the box!!

Creamy Italian Noodles from Quick Cooking Jan/Feb 2001
8 oz. egg noodles
2 1/4 tsp Italian Dressing Mix ( from a packet)
1/2 c. evaporated milk
1/4 c. butter, softened
1/4 c. Parmesan cheese
Parsley, for garnish

Cook noodles according to package directions. Drain. Return to hot pot. Toss w/ butter. Add the remaining ingredients and mix well. Garnish w/ parsley. Serve immediately.

Shared on Lady Behind The Curtain Feb. 29, 2012
Shared on This Chick Cooks Feb. 29, 2012
Shared on Newlyweds Blog Feb. 29, 2012
Shared on It's A Keeper Mar. 1, 2012
Shared on Miz Helen's Country Cottage Mar. 1, 2012
Shared on The Country Cook Mar. 2, 2012
Pasta at Very Good Recipes
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Tuesday, February 28, 2012

I *Heart* My Kitchen Aid

As some of you may remember back before Christmas a lovely friend was so generous to give me her Kitchen Aid mixer when she upgraded to a new one. I was so incredibly excited b/c I've always wanted one, but it was nothing I could ever excuse buying for myself. Well, since then I've used it quite a few times for various things, but the thing I've found to do w/ it the most? Shredding meat! I'm not kidding! When I first saw the idea on Pinterest I was so intrigued I couldn't wait to try it. And when I did so w/ some chicken and it worked perfectly I was happy to report back to my readers that "It Worked, It Really Did!" Next up on my shredding agenda was either beef or pork. I wanted to make sure this wasn't just a fluke w/ poultry only. Little did I know that I would get my chance so quickly thanks to a Valentine's Day gift from my mom, "Simple 1-2-3 Slow Cooker Recipes." (Gotta love unexpected and useful treats from mom!) This little cookbook is full of great ideas for Crock-Pot meals and I want to try so many of them! But the one I chose to start w/ was purely so I could test this method w/ beef. I'll admit, I was skeptical of it working as well w/ beef as it did w/ chicken, simply b/c beef tends to be tougher and harder to shred, even by hand. But I'm happy to report once again, it worked, it really did!!! This is a great meal to have cook in the Crock-Pot all day while you're at work and be waiting on you when you get home. Add a simple side dish (tomorrow's recipe is a great suggestion!) and dinner is served. Plus, you can look forward to shredding it too! I know, it's the little things. But seriously, shredding meat is SO much fun now!

Spicy Italian Beef
1 boneless beef chuck roast 3-4 lbs.
1 (12oz) jar pepperoncini peppers
1 (14.5 oz) can beef broth
1 (12oz) bottle beer
1 onion, minced
2 TBS Italian seasoning
Provolone Cheese
Sub buns

Trim fast from beef if necessary. Cut into large chunks. Place in Crock-Pot. Drain peppers and pull of stems. Add peppers, broth, beer, onion and seasoning to Crock-Pot. Stir. Cover and cook on LOW 8-10 hours. Remove meat from Crock-Pot and shred. (If using Kitchen Aid-- use with the paddle attachment) Return to cooking liquid to heat through. Place Provolone on bottom of buns. Using a slotted spoon, put warm meat on cheese allowing it to soften a little. Serve w/ extra peppers and sauce on the side, if desired.

Shared on Mandy's Recipe Box Feb. 28, 2012
Shared on Chef in Training Feb. 28, 2012
Shared on Cooking with Karyn Feb. 28, 2012
Shared on Lady Behind The Curtain Feb. 29, 2012
Shared on This Chick Cooks Feb. 29, 2012
Shared on Newlyweds Blog Feb. 29, 2012
Shared on It's A Keeper Mar. 1, 2012
Shared on Miz Helen's Country Cottage Mar. 1, 2012
Shared on The Country Cook Mar. 2, 2012

Monday, February 27, 2012

Cheers to 31!!!

So I'm not really one to get on here and say "Yay Happy Birthday To Me"~ But, I guess what I'm trying to say is "Happy Birthday to me". Honestly though, it's truthfully just a segway to talk about alcohol! I'm not an avid drinker, but I do like to partake every now and then. The occasional margarita, beer (only if a kind I like), wine spritzer, and most of all, "girly" fruity drinks! And if it comes an umbrella in it, even better! Well, last year at my sister in law's wedding, a close friend of the family decided I needed a drink, and something yummy. So she introduced me to a new friend~ the mimosa!! Yes, I know it's kind of sad that I went 30 years w/o one, but alas, I did. Well, it was love at first sip. So simple, so delicious and I love orange juice, so why not?? But here's my secret- I'm not a fan of champagne! So much so I only took 2 sips at our wedding for the sake of a toast and a great photo opportunity! But put it w/ some juice and I'll keep coming back for more! I've been very blessed in my 31 years. I've had a successful career, married the man I love and adore, had a beautiful son who amazes me more and more every day, and have gotten to make him my main priority every day, and now find fulfillment and joy in something I love doing and sharing w/ all of you! I can only wish 31 treats me just as well.   If someone else out there is having a birthday today too, I hope you get to "cheers" yourself  and have a blessed, fantastic day!

1/2 c. champagne
1/2 c. orange juice
Strawberries for garnish

Mix and chill well. Garnish glasses w/ strawberries, or even add to for extra flavor.
*As long as you use equal parts juice and champagne, these are easily adaptable to a crowd!

Shared on Home Savvy Feb. 27, 2012
Shared on Make Ahead Meals Feb. 27, 2012
Shared on Mandy's Recipe Box Feb. 28, 2012
Shared on Chef in Training Feb. 28, 2012
Shared on Cooking with Karyn Feb. 28, 2012
Shared on Lady Behind The Curtain Feb. 29, 2012
Shared on This Chick Cooks Feb. 29, 2012
Shared on Newlyweds Blog Feb. 29, 2012
Drinks at Very Good Recipes
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Sunday, February 26, 2012

Church Supper #28

Welcome to yet another Sunday. It's hard to believe February is almost behind us. Seriously, weren't we just putting up the tree, or better yet carving pumpkins? I think time just keeps going by faster and faster. The years certainly are. For those of you who don't know, tomorrow is my birthday :-) And since it's a Monday aka work/school day, I will be having a normal one. Thus, I've decided I'm relaxing today. (Well, at least as much as a Mommy ever can!) Please link up your favorite recipes from the week, or ones you know are a crowd pleasers. Or even something you think would make a great birthday party offering.  Remember I wish you God's blessings all week long.

1. Feel free to link up as many recipes as you like!

2. Link up to your ACTUAL recipe, not just your homepage. Much easier to find you that way!

3. Include a link back to EMM on your recipe post or grab my button!

4. Leave comments so I can visit you back!

5. Visit at least 2 other sites and tell them you joined them at my Church Supper!

6. Follow my blog here w/ GFC and on Facebook :)

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Meal Plan Feb. 26- March 3

* New Recipe
Links to Recipe on Blog

BLTs and California BLT for me
3 Bean Salad*
Baked Pineapple

Happy Birthday To Me!!!
I'm taking the night off!
Frozen Pizza
Easy Cesar Salad*

Girl's Night Out #1. Celebrating w/ Mom

Honey Soy Chicken
Accordion Potatoes
Winter Squash

Girls Night Out #2! Celebrating w/ a friend!

Crock-Pot Ham and Beans
Corn Bread

Baked Mac n Cheese
Country Lima Beans
Garlic Rolls

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Friday, February 24, 2012

Gyro Happy {Mystic Blue Spice Company Review and Giveaway Day 2}

I love food. I will be the first to admit it. As I've told many before, "I live to eat, while others eat to live." I know others out there don't have the love affair w/ food that I do, and they eat b/c they have to, not so much b/c they want to. I accept that~ I just don't understand it! Just kidding. And since I'm not a picky eater there are quite a few foods that when eating them I am instantly happy. A smile on my face and a joyous feeling in my stomach, that's what food can do for me! And one of the things that I can not be in a bad mood while eating is a genuine Greek Gyro. Just typing the words makes my mouth water. The meat, the veggies and the sauce. Oh, the sauce! I have been known to get French fries on the side and dip them in the tzatziki sauce! If you've never had it, it's a creamy cucumber garlic sauce w/ a hint of dill. And inside the pita there is usually gyro meat (a combo of beef and lamb cooked on a spit), tomatoes and onions. Or at least, that's how they serve them at our favorite, King Gyro, here in Fort Wayne. It's a family owned business and they've been doing fabulous Greek food for years! So when Mystic Blue Spice Company provided me w/ my 2nd choice, Gyro Seasoning, I knew exactly what I wanted to do with it, only with a twist. See, I love gyro meat so much I knew w/o that spit turning in my kitchen I could never perfectly recreate it. So I figured I would do one w/ chicken to 1. let the flavor of the spice really shine through and 2. easily shred for easy pocket placement! These were so yummy, I ate three! The spice blend really gave the chicken that authentic gyro flavoring I was looking for, but at the same time wasn't over powering! Now, there are many great recipes for homemade tzatziki sauce out there, and I've even made it before, but this time I knew I was going to be in a rush, and I have found one at Walmart I really enjoy, so I took some help from them. By all means, you can make your own and the recipe will still be great! (I'm not the boss of you, I will never know!) If you didn't see the kickoff of this giveaway yesterday, click here for all the details and your chance to win!

Chicken Gyros
1 package chicken tenders
Olive Oil
Gyro Seasoning
Pita Pockets
Tzatziki Sauce
Sliced Tomatoes
Sliced White Onion

Line a baking sheet w/ aluminum foil. Preheat oven to 400. Place chicken on pan, drizzle w/ olive oil  and liberally sprinkle w/ Gyro Seasoning. Toss to coat. Roast in oven for 20-30 minutes until golden and juices run clear. Let cool for 5 minutes and shred. In each pita pocket, place shredded chicken, a few tomatoes and onions. Top w/ tzatziki sauce.
*NOTE* This chicken is great made ahead. Roast and shred as directed above. Refrigerate. When ready to serve, in a skillet on medium heat, spray cooking spray. Place chicken in and sprinkle w/ a little extra seasoning. Stir until edges are a little crisp and its warmed through.

Shared on The Country Cook Feb. 24, 2012
Shared on Home Savvy Feb. 27, 2012
Shared on Make Ahead Meals Feb. 27, 2012

Sandwiches at Very Good Recipes
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Thursday, February 23, 2012

A Late Night Snack

Actually this snack is good any time of day, or night. My mom has been making this snack mix for years. It's one of our family's favorites; and don't think you can eat just one handful, b/c it's impossible. There were only 3 of us in the house when I was growing up, and mom would still make a HUGE bowl of it b/c it doesn't last long! It's great for parties, family reunions, or just a late night nosh. When I had the chance to sample some products from the Mystic Blue Spice Company (I will tell you more about them in a minute), I was super excited to see "lemon pepper" as one of the choices. See, every other time I've ever made this, I've actually wondered why the lemon pepper was even included in the recipe, b/c you couldn't really taste it. So I figured what a better way to "test" a new product than to see if its flavor would actually show up to the party! And I can say w/ a resounding YES it certainly did! Honestly, this is the first batch that I've ever been able to taste the hint of lemon in the background; and for someone who loves lemon as much as I do, that's fantastic!

What is the Mystic Blue Spice Company? Well, I will let them tell you: "The Mystic Blue Spice Company is family owned and operated. I am proud to say that all the blends and mixes you and your family enjoy are mixed in small batches to ensure freshness and quality. I am also proud to say that these mixes are my own creation, they are NOT bulk purchased and divided up for individual sale. So, Spice on Folks.....There's Nothing But Flavor in here!" ~ From their Facebook page

I am so excited to bring these products to you, b/c as I've said before, any time I can buy from small businesses making homemade products, I'm in heaven (not to mention no MSG or preservatives!) MBSC was kind enough to provide me w/ both their Lemon Pepper and Gyro Seasoning to cook with and review. They were also so kind to provide me w/ a jar of each for one lucky fan!! So, if you are looking for great spices and seasonings w/o all the "extra" stuff you find in ones on the shelf in the store, please visit their website and/or Facebook page today!  Plus, scroll down to see how you can enter to win! And be sure to come back tomorrow to see how I used the Gyro Seasoning!

Lemon Dill Snack Mix
2 10 oz. or 12 oz. packages of oyster crackers
1 c. vegetable oil
2 packets Ranch dressing mix
1 tsp garlic powder
2 tsp. dill weed
1/2 tsp lemon pepper

Pour crackers into a large roasting pan. Mix oil w/ all seasonings. Pour over crackers and stir gently. Bake at 350º for 30 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes. Turn off oven and leave inside until cool.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Old Fashion Never Gets Old

Sometimes those dishes that have been made the same way for generations truly are ageless and should not be tampered with. A few weeks back I had found a recipe on Pinterest for pot roast in the Crock-Pot and I wanted to try it. I can't really tell you a magnificent reason why. It just looked good. But then I remembered something. There is no way one of the beef roasts I have in the chest freezer was going into my Crock-Pot along w/ all the veggies. See, my Crock-Pot is old fashioned too! I don't have one of the nice stainless oval ones a lot of my friends do. Mine is a "stand up" version, green and OLD! Lol I got it at a garage sale years back and paid $.25 (yes a quarter!) for it!!! But it's the best appliance in my kitchen in my opinion. (Okay, so I love my dishwasher a little more, but don't tell it I said that!) And until the "old stand by" gives out I have no desire to switch. If it ain't broke, don't fix it. So after realizing this wonderful recipe wasn't going to work I thought "Wait, why not just cook it in the oven like I always do, and post it?" I make pot roast the same way my mom cooks it, and she learned from her mom. So if it's been feeding our family for 3 generations now, it can't be all that bad!

Old Fashion Pot Roast
1 (4-5 lb.) beef chuck roast
1 lb. baby carrots
12-15 red potatoes, quartered (Depending on the size, I figure around 4 potatoes per person)
1 medium onion, sliced
Salt and Pepper to taste
4 beef bouillon cubes
Water, enough to cover veggies

Preheat oven to 375. Liberally season both sides of meat w/ salt and pepper. Place in a large roasting pan. Cover and cook for 1 hour. Carefully remove roast from pan. Add veggies and bouillon. Add water, just to cover. Place meat on top of veggies. Reduce heat to 350. Cook for 2 additional hours.

Shared on Lady Behind The Curtain Feb. 22, 2012
Shared on Newlyweds Blog Feb. 22, 2012
Shared on Miz Helen's Country Cottage Feb. 23, 2012

Beef at Very Good Recipes
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Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Minty Fresh

I love the flavor of mint~ if it's in a dessert. Strangely enough, I don't groove on mint as an herb in savory dishes though. I know, weird. But if a dessert contains the word "mint" 9 times out of 10 I'm a fan! And I especially love the flavor of mint and chocolate together. York Peppermint Patties, Junior Mints, Andes Chocolates~ they are all friends. So when I was looking for something quick and easy to whip up for my boys on Valentine's Day an easy chocolate mousse w/ just a hint of mint (ha....Dr. Seuss would be proud) was perfect. I needed a dessert that would quick after a busy day, and one that would be just as good served the 2nd time around as the first since Tuesdays are Taekwondo nights in our house and we all eat at different times. But it still had to be yummy and special. This was just right! I think it would be perfect for dessert any night of the week, and if we're looking ahead to the next holiday, you could always add green food coloring to the whipped cream on top and call it "Irish Mousse"!!!

Mint Chocolate Chip Mousse
1 (3.9 oz) box instant chocolate pudding
1 1/2 c. milk
1 (16oz) tub Cool Whip
1 tsp peppermint extract
1 c. semi sweet chocolate chips
Chocolate Syrup, for garnish
Whipped Cream, for garnish

In a medium bowl, prepare pudding using 11/2 c. milk. (different from box directions). Let chill in fridge for 5 minutes to be "soft set." Add extract to Cool Whip and stir well. Once pudding is ready, fold in Cool Whip and chocolate chips. Chill until serving. Top individual servings w/ whipped cream and chocolate syrup.

~Join me for Tasty Tuesday on Formula Mom~

Shared on Mandy's Recipe Box Feb. 21, 2012
Shared on Celebrating Family Feb. 21, 2012
Shared on Chef in Training Feb. 21, 2012
Shared on This Chick Cooks Feb. 22, 2012
Shared on Lady Behind The Curtain Feb. 22, 2012
Shared on Newlyweds Blog Feb. 22, 2012
Shared on It's A Keeper Feb. 23, 2012
Shared on Something Swanky Feb. 23, 2012
Shared on Miz Helen's Country Cottage Feb. 23, 2012
Shared on The Country Cook Feb. 24, 2012

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Tastefully Simple Winner

Thank you to everyone who entered my Tastefully Simple Giveaway. I hope you are all enjoying all the great products I'm bringing to you on ~EMM!

Without further adieu, the winner of the Bayou Bourbon Glaze and Fiesta Party Dip is:

Pamela from Canning Granny!!!

I have emailed you and posted on Facebook. You have until Thursday at 9am EST to respond to claim your prize!


Monday, February 20, 2012

I Can't Believe....

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter for SocialSpark. All opinions are 100% mine.

Do you love the Oscars as much as I do? Or better yet, do you enjoy the pre-show Red Carpet eventmore? I love watching all the glitz and glamor of the event, and watching the stars arrive, mingle and show off their amazing (and sometimes not so amazing) gowns is one of the best parts!
This year you have the chance to participate in this fun tradition up close and personal! Toast to the Red Carpet – LIVE, presented by I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter! is inviting fans to an online red carpet viewing party, complete with insider access, an exclusive roundtable of Hollywood stars and best picture-themed recipes for you to use at your own at home viewing party! All of it will be streaming on the I Can't Believe It's Not Butter! Facebook page.
During this time, Hollywood stars will offer inside access and "dish" on red carpet fashion. Who doesn't love to check out what everyone is wearing and either love or hate it! (Let's be honest, sometimes the worst dressed are the most fun!) And even better for us foodies, who also happen to be fashionistas, a roundtable discussion will happen with Hollywood insiders and a culinary/entertaining expert sharing great best-picture themed recipes you can use at home for your own Oscar party! I'm so excited. Combining food, fashion, and great insight to both~Well, that's a FUN night for this everyday mom!
In preparation for this fun filled evening, I have a recipe for you that would be perfect for a viewing party (not to mention it makes a darn good lunch too!) Sweet, and savory at the same time, I'm sure this would be a hit with your guests.

Cheddar and Apple Panini  From I Can't Believe It's Not Butter.com
2 slices French bread
1 TBS honey mustard
1 slice cheddar cheese
3 slices Granny Smith apple 
I Can't Believe It's Not Butter spread

On inside of each slice of bread, spread honey mustard. Add cheese and apple slices. On the outside of each, spread I Can't Believe It's Not Butter. In a skillet over medium heat, lay buttered side down. Cook for about 2 minutes until golden. Flip and cook another 2 minutes on other side. 
*NOTE* I made a "lunch" size sandwich for me. But these would easily be cut into smaller appetizer portions. Also, after flipping the sandwich, I used my bacon press to apply pressure to get extra crisp.

Shared on Make Ahead Meals Feb. 20, 2012
Shared on Mandy's Recipe Box Feb. 21, 2012
Shared on Chef in Training Feb. 21, 2012
Shared on This Chick Cooks Feb. 22, 2012
Shared on Lady Behind The Curtain Feb. 22, 2012
Shared on Newlyweds Blog Feb. 22, 2012
Shared on The Country Cook Feb. 24, 2012

Be sure to check out the show February 26, 2012 from 3:00-4:30 pm PST. Log onto Facebook and submit comments to the post before 11:59pm to join in the fun!

And even better, be sure to leave a comment on this post telling me why you're excited to check out the show for your chance to win a FREE coupon for I Can't Believe It's Not Butter! That's right, all you have to do is tell me what part you are most excited about and you're entered to win. I will choose a winner on Monday Feb. 27th and a coupon will be mailed to you!

I Can't Believe It's Not Butter!® - Original Soft Spread

Enjoy the Oscars, no matter how you are watching them, but be sure to include the Toast to the Red Carpet-LIVE presented by I Can't Believe It's Not Butter!!!
Disclaimer: All giveaway items were provided by I Can't Believe It's Not Butter! per FTC guidelines. 

Visit Sponsor's Site

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Church Supper # 27

I hope this finds all of you at the end of a lovely week. We had a busy one at our house, so I am happy to be spending our 3 day weekend (Yay for President's Day) relaxing and getting some things done around the house that were neglected all week. Today's Church Supper is an extra special one b/c we're celebrating my Mom's birthday !!!!! Mom turns a young 55 today, and in half a century she has managed to be a loving daughter, a devoted wife, a loyal friend,  a magnificent mother and an "out of this world" grandmother. No other person in my life will ever love me the way my mom does. On more than one occasion in my 30 years she has looked into my eyes and said "You are my life." I can only hope & pray to be that kind of mother to my son. I strive to be more like her every single day. She's my best friend and I wish her a VERY Happy Birthday!! Please link up your favorite recipes from the week and spread the word. Remember I wish you God's blessings all week long.

1. Feel free to link up as many recipes as you like!

2. Link up to your ACTUAL recipe, not just your homepage. Much easier to find you that way!

3. Include a link back to EMM on your recipe post or grab my button!

4. Leave comments so I can visit you back!

5. Visit at least 2 other sites and tell them you joined them at my Church Supper!

6. Follow my blog here w/ GFC and on Facebook :)

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Weekend Company {Guest Blogger Mandy}

It's the weekend!!! Stand up and do a happy dance! Seriously, go on~ I won't tell anybody. And I won't judge you! As most of you know, I began blogging in May 2010 but what some of you might not know, is that I consider this "2.0" version of ~EMM after starting my Facebook fan page and connecting w/ other blogs in May of 2011. And the first time I found today's guest's blog I said to myself, "I want to be just like her when I grow up." I was just starting to realize the potential this blog could have and hers was so beautiful, so well laid out, the recipes were amazing and each week she does a blog hop party (for those who don't know, that's a "link up" party where other bloggers share recipes) that I am forever grateful for being featured on! Please, please welcome Mandy to ~EMM. I am SO honored to have her here to share a mouth watering (I'm not kidding, for a week I've been looking at the picture drooling each time!)  recipe w/ you today!

Hey everyone! It's Mandy from Mandy's Recipe Box. I am happy to be here today to share with you one of my favorite sandwiches. Before I do, let me tell you a little about myself. 
I was born and raised in the city. I went to Utah State University where I met my husband-to-be. We married in 2000 and started our family ( 2 girls and one boy) a couple years later. We moved to the middle of nowhere, Idaho and  now I'm a complete country girl. That's what happens when you marry a farmer! 

I love The Greenery in Ogden, Utah.  The food is incredible. This sandwich is what I always order when I go there. On my last visit, I got to looking at it and decided I could make it myself. So I did. And this is exactly it! I was so excited to be able to have this sandwich whenever I want. It is called Fowl Play on their menu, but I just call it the best sandwich ever. Because it is.

Fowl Play from The Greenery
3 or 4 slices Deli Turkey
1/4 or 1/2 of an avocado
Swiss or Mozzerella Cheese
1 toasted Sesame Seed bun

Place a small griddle or skillet on the stove and heat to medium. Place the bun on it dry to toast it. Meanwhile, fold each slice of turkey in half and place next to each other on a microwave safe plate. Place slices of cheese on top and microwave for about 45 seconds or until melted. Place bottom bun on a plate and top with meat and melted cheese. Add avocado, sliced. I use a half of one, but do what you like. Top with sprouts. I use alfalfa, but again, use what you like. Top with the other bun half. That is it! You don't need mayo or any other sauce. The advocado does the job.
Thanks, Krista, for letting me guest blog today!
Please come visit me on Mandy's Recipe Box.
I'm also on Facebook and Pinterest.
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Meal Plan Feb. 19-25

*New Recipe
Links to recipes on blog

Happy Birthday Mom!!!
Roast Chicken
Mashed Potatoes
Cranberry Sauce
Green Beans

Crock Pot Italian Sandwiches*
Italian Noodles*

Scalloped Potatoes
Candied Carrots

Egg & Bacon Breakfast Sandwiches
Hashbrown Patties
Mandarin Oranges

Tomato Soup
Grilled Cheese

We are celebrating my birthday at my parents.(Yes my mom and I have bdays only 8 days apart!) Mom is making me:
Beef n Noodles
Mashed Potatoes
Chocolate Chip Cookie Cake

We will be celebrating my birthday a couple days early by going out!

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Friday, February 17, 2012

Grandma's Turn

When it comes to pot luck dishes, and those the ladies in my family are famous for, I've already shared my deviled eggs and my mom's baked pineapple. Not, it's Grandma's turn in the pot luck spotlight. My grandma lives in Florida during the winter months (yep, a snow bird) in what I would describe as a retirement mobile home park. And throughout those months, they have many opportunities to gather at the community rec hall for dinners and pot luck meals. One of the things my grandma loves to take, and is always a hit among her neighbors and friends is scalloped corn. Now I don't know if this is something grandma only makes in Florida, or maybe she only started making it after I had grown up. Either way I don't remember her making it for our family meals, and therefore don't remember ever having it. So when I was trying to think of a new veggie to have remembering I had 2 cans of creamed corn in the cupboard, I picked up the phone and called grandma for the recipe. I was excited to learn it's super simple and doesn't take anything "special" as far as ingredients go. I'm sure those are two of the reasons why grandma enjoys making it too! If you are looking for a new way to fix corn, or maybe you used to have this as a kid, and haven't in a long time, try grandma's recipe today!

Scalloped Corn
2 cans creamed corn
1/4. c. milk
1/4. c. flour
3 eggs, beaten
Cracker Crumbs (I used 1/2 a sleeve of Saltines and crushed them in the food processor)
Salt and Pepper to taste
2 TBS butter, diced

In a large bowl, combine corn, milk, flour and eggs. Mix well. Season w/ salt and pepper. Pour into a 2 qt. casserole dish. Top w/ cracker crumbs and dot w/ butter. Bake at 325 for 1 hour.

Shared on The Country Cook Feb. 17, 2012
Shared on Six Sisters' Stuff Feb. 18, 2012
Shared on Make Ahead Meals Feb. 20, 2012

Corn at Very Good Recipes
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Thursday, February 16, 2012

Whack A Mole

Too cute, right??
Ha! That caught your eye didn't it! What I'm actually talking about is guacamole. But the first time Alex ever heard that word, he was probably about 3, he thought I said "whack a mole" and was very confused as to why Mommy was eating his game. LOL Avocados are one of my favorite vegetables. I can eat them sliced, w/ a little salt, I always have them in my sushi, or on Mexican food, I add them to salads when I can (Adam and Alex aren't fans, so I eat theirs too!), and in of course I love guacamole. I can make a whole meal out of a bowl of "guac" and some chips. I love having it for lunch w/ some crackers or chips.  I have come up w/ my "perfect" recipe including all the flavors I love w/ things I usually have on hand. Not to mention now, thanks to my lovely friends, Coupon Loving Chicks, I have an adorable serving bowl for it! Plus it can be mixed up in no time at all, so it's great when I get that late night craving, or for that last minute party or backyard barbecue invitation.  So if you like "whack a mole" as much as I do, this is a great one to try!

Easy Guacamole
2 avocados, chopped (I like to smash mine w/ a potato masher)
1/2 lemon juiced
2 TBS chopped onion
1/2 tsp kosher salt
2 TBS olive oil
Pepper to taste
1/4 tomato chopped

Mix all together and chill for 1 hour for best taste.

Shared on It's A Keeper Feb. 16, 2012
Shared on Miz Helen's Country Cottage Feb. 16, 2012
Shared on The Country Cook Feb. 17, 2012
Shared on Amee's Savory Dish Feb. 17, 2012
Shared on Six Sisters' Stuff Feb. 18, 2012
Shared on Gooseberry Patch May 9, 2012

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

For My Little Valentine...

Happy Valentines Day!!! I hope however you are spending today (being a Tuesday, I'm sure most of you, like me, are spending at least the day portion at work, school, or home) I hope you get to at least be w/ those you lost most at some point. I know some say Valentines Day is just a ploy from the card, candy and flower industries, and I agree that we shouldn't need a day on the calendar to remind those who mean so much to us just how much we love them; but I don't see anything wrong w/ setting aside one day per year totally dedicated to love. Let's face it, there is so much hatred in the world today, if one day in February everyone gets a little extra love in their hearts, I say more power to us! Ever since Alex was born, Valentines Day has taken on a new meaning for Adam and I. Yes, we still celebrate w/ each other and yes we do buy gifts, and sometimes we even get to sneak away for a date night, but the day itself and the ideas it represents has been turned into a family day. We usually find some way to celebrate as a family the weekend of, or before, and then the day of, Adam and I enjoy giving Alex his treats as much as we do each others. (By the time you read this, Alex will be the proud owner of some cool new Pirates of the Caribbean action figures, Pirate book and a few other treats!) These would make a great after school treat for your little Valentines! Of course, Monkey was able to taste test these last week so that I could bring them to you today, and he would definitely agree that your kiddies would be so excited to have these waiting on them after school. So, Happy Valentines Day~ Take a minute to tell those you love how much your heart sings when they are around, and how you couldn't live without them. No matter how big or small they are!

Cupid Cookies
1 package chocolate cream cookies (Try to find one w/ 3 rows of cookies)
1 (12oz) package white chocolate chips
1 TBS shortening
Red food coloring

In a glass bowl, combine chocolate chips and shortening. Microwave for 1 minute. Stir to melt. If not melted, heat for 30 seconds more. For the first row of cookies, use white as it. Dip one side of cookie only by angling it towards the chocolate. Let excess drip off. Add sprinkles. Place on parchment lined cookie sheet. For second row, add 3 drops of food coloring to get pink. Continue w/ dipping. The last row, add more coloring until you have a red color. Dip these. After all cookies are dip (or even between colors) place in freezer for 5 minutes to set. Remove and store in air tight container.
*NOTE* These would be great for the kids to help w/ too. Just divide chocolate after microwaving into 3 bowls for white, pink and red. If the chocolate gets too thick while dipping, microwave for another 30 seconds and stir. Keep heating until soft again.

~Join me for Tasty Tuesday on Formula Mom~

Shared on Mandy's Recipe Box Feb. 14, 2012
Shared on Celebrating Family Feb. 14, 2012
Shared on Chef in Training Feb. 14, 2012

Cookies at Very Good Recipes
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Monday, February 13, 2012

I'm Addicted To...

Yes, I could end that statement w/ many things. Purses probably being at the top :) But what I'm referring to this time is my new favorite product to cook with:  Philadelphia Cooking Cream! I've told you about it before and have shared my recipes for Easy Skillet Lasagna and Chicken Enchiladas that both used different flavors. And if you like either or both of those, you will be just as excited about this as I was. I had one more coupon for the cream to use, so it was time to visit Kraft.com once again for some inspiration. This time I wanted to use the Italian Herb & Cheese flavor b/c, well, those three words are kind of like food groups to this family! The minute I took the lid off the tub I knew we were going to be good friends. I'm not kidding, I could probably eat it w/ a spoon or maybe even add a cracker or two. (I don't even know if it's meant to be eaten w/o cooking, but I was "taste testing" so it was okay.) This recipe makes a ton, and besides the cooking cream itself, has basic ingredients you probably have in your kitchen right now. So, once again, if you haven't tried the cooking creams yet, I urge you to. You won't be disappointed!

Baked Penne Adapted from original recipe
3/4 lb. ground beef
Salt and Pepper to taste
1 lb. penne rigate pasta, cooked to al dente and drained
1 jar Mushroom and Green Pepper spaghetti sauce
1 small onion, chopped
2 c. mozzarella cheese
1/2 c. shredded Parmesan cheese
1 (10 oz) tub Italian Herb Cooking Cream

In a large skillet, brown beef and onion seasoned w/ salt and pepper. Drain if necessary. Add sauce, 3/4 c. cooking cream and 1 c. mozzarella cheese. Stir well and cook on low 5 minutes. When pasta is drained, return to pot. Add in meat sauce. Mix well. Pour into a greased 9x13 pan. Spread rest of cooking cream on top. Sprinkle w/ remaining mozzarella and Parmesan cheeses. Bake @375 for 20 minutes or until warmed through and cheese melted.

Shared on Home Savvy Feb. 13, 2012
Shared on Make Ahead Meals Feb. 13, 2012
Shared on Mandy's Recipe Box Feb. 14, 2012
Shared on Celebrating Family Feb. 14, 2012
Shared on Chef in Training Feb. 14, 2012
Shared on Lady Behind The Curtain Feb. 15, 2012
Pasta at Very Good Recipes
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Sunday, February 12, 2012

I'm So Honored...

I have once again been recognized by a peer in the blogging/foodie community. I can never put into words how much it means to have others who do what I do say "Wow, you do a great job. I respect and love your blog." It's like when movie stars say "I'm so honored to be nominated in this category w/ such great people." That's how I feel each time I am lucky enough to win an award. This time Carrie from Carrie's Experimental Kitchen as bestowed upon me a beautiful award and I thank her from the bottom of my heart! Now I must take care of a few items in order to pass this award on to 5 more blogs that I love. (This part is fun! I love getting to know you questions!!)

Describe yourself in 7 words~
1. Mother
2. Wife
3. Daughter
4. Christian
5. Honest
6. Loyal
7. Considerate

What keeps you up at night?
Oh wow. Well, I've always been a little bit of an insomniac/night owl. Plus I'm a light sleeper, so the smallest thing can wake me up; and ever since Alex was born, I've always slept w/ one ear open in case he needs me. 

 Who would you like to be?
I wouldn't necessarily want to be someone else, I just want to be a better me. I like me, but I think each day is a chance for personal growth. There are things about me that I know I would improve upon, and I would like to strive for those more than anything.

What scares you?
Death. It's not that I am afraid of the after life. I know I will walk beside my Lord in the Kingdom of heaven. I fear death for myself and for those I love the most. I fear it for them b/c living on this Earth w/o them would be so hard and I would miss them so much. And even more so I fear it for myself b/c I am not done living yet. There is so much more I have to do and SO much I have to live for. My son is my life and the thought of not being here to watch him grow into the fantastic person  I know he will be is something I can't even fathom.

What are the best and worst things about blogging?
The best things about blogging are~
The wonderful world of people it's opened up to me. I truly have found a second family through EMM and am incredibly thankful for all of you. 

Another great thing about blogging is the sense of accomplishment I feel every day. A feeling of success was something I needed in my life at the point I began blogging and it's given me that and so much more.

The worst thing about blogging is time management! I can get lost in blogging, looking at other blogs, connecting on Facebook and Twitter. I have to force myself to set aside a certain amount of time to do so, or the laundry would pile up!!

What is the last website you looked at? 
Facebook of course! (See this is the time issue we were discussing)

If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?
My temper. I won't hide the fact I have a short fuse. I try really hard to keep it in check, but sometimes it gets the best of me. It's something I work on every single day of my life and I am always aware of. 

Slankets, yes or no/?
Not for myself, but since my husband and child own "Snuggies" I wouldn't be surprised if one showed up in my house!

Tell us something about the person who tagged you~
Carrie is a GREAT blogger friend. So supportive and kind. Her blog is amazing and she always has something delicious and beautiful cooking in her kitchen. 

Now for those I'm passing this onto. I could have picked many more, but if I don't stop at 5, I could go on all day!

2. Debi from Recipes For My Boys

3. Denise from The Bread Fairy

4. Sheryl from Lady Behind The Curtain

Church Supper # 26

Happy Valentine's Day weekend! Are you celebrating early or will you wait until Tuesday? We are kind of doing both :) With the actual day being very busy w/ school and Taekwondo, we made yesterday a family celebration day. Alex received his bag of treats from us, and then we took him to see Star Wars Phantom Menance in 3D. OMGosh, we had one excited little boy on our hands. He loved every single minute!! Then we shared a family dinner out. Tuesday I have one more treat up my sleeve for him, plus I will make a special dinner for the 3 of us, and hopefully Mr. Everyday will like his treats too ;-) So we're spending a few days celebrating love, each other and how lucky we are. I hope however you are spending your weekend you are enjoying it. Please link up some great ideas for Valentine's Day or just some of your favorites. And please spread the word. I would love for this to become as big as some of the other linky parties out there and grow the regular 25-35 entries by leaps and bounds!! Remember I wish you God's blessings all week long.


1. Feel free to link up as many recipes as you like!

2. Link up to your ACTUAL recipe, not just your homepage. Much easier to find you that way!

3. Include a link back to EMM on your recipe post or grab my button!

4. Leave comments so I can visit you back!

5. Visit at least 2 other sites and tell them you joined them at my Church Supper!

6. Follow my blog here w/ GFC and on Facebook :)

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Weekend Company {Guest Blogger Tammy}

It's finally Saturday, the day we spend Monday through Friday dreaming about! I hope you have fun plans for the weekend, or maybe if you're really lucky, some relaxing ones too :) This week my guest is a fabulous foodie and blogger friend who has a fantastic recipe to share that I can't wait to try! I think I will let her tell you all about it. Please welcome Tammy from Skinny Mom's Kitchen~

Hi there, my name is Tammy. I am the loving wife to a hunky hubby, mother to two adorable yet crazy girls, and owner of a very needy yellow lab. I work full-time outside the home and spend most days trying to look like I know what I am doing.

After losing 40lbs, I started Skinny Mom’s Kitchen to help other busy moms eat healthier and lose weight. I do this by teaching them how to combine calorie awareness with menu planning, freezer cooking, and other make ahead cooking strategies. I love showing others how easy, and affordable, it is to serve their family healthy nutritious meals everyday. You can also check out the Skinny Mom’s Kitchen Facebook community for even more conversation, recipes, and support.

As a busy working mom, with very little time to myself, I savor the mornings when I can just sit in quiet and enjoy a cup of coffee before the day begins. Just the smell of coffee brewing can bring me to my happy place. Now add in some luscious creamer and I am in heaven.

Prior to a couple weeks ago I depended on store bought flavored creamer. I am sure you will not be surprised when I tell you most store bought creamer is not really creamer at all - mostly just a concoction of artificial ingredients I can’t even say. Yuck! This revelation  lead me on the venture to create a homemade coffee creamer I can enjoy without the added chemicals.

The first coffee creamer I put together was a French Vanilla flavor. It is very good and has become a staple in my kitchen but I wanted to venture out and create some of my other favorite flavors -  can you say peppermint mocha?

Peppermint mocha is typically a coffee creamer flavor you find popular during the holidays. However, with this simple easy to make recipe you can enjoy this pure yumminess all year long. And good news, you will not find any artificial ingredients here. Only good wholesome ingredients found right in your pantry.


Servings: Makes 3 cups of creamer.
Serving size: 2 tablespoons


1 14 ounce can sweeten condensed milk
1 ½ cups half and half
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 tablespoons natural unsweetened cocoa powder
¼ teaspoon peppermint extract


Step 1. In a medium saucepan, over low heat, whisk together all ingredients.

Step 2. Warm until the mixture is steaming. Do not let it boil.

Step 3. Move from heat and let stand for about 5 minutes.

Step 4. Using a fine strainer strain the mixture into a glass container. I put mine in a large glass mason jar. Straining is not completely necessary but it does help to remove some of the cocoa powder that did not dissolve. If this does not bother you then there is no need to strain.

This creamer will keep in refrigerator for about 10 days.

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