Everyday Mom's Meals: July 2012

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

A "Ham of a Sandwich"

This blogging community I am so lucky to be a member of is great for so many things, I could list them for this entire post and still not cover them all. But the one thing it is the greatest at providing me? Great recipes of course! As readers of blogs, you, our audience might not realize we are fans of blogs, just like you! I read food blogs each day like some people read the news. They are my connection to the outside world of the "stay at home mom" blur that can sometimes happen. So while so many of you tell me on a daily basis how you've been inspired by something I've posted, I am usually having the same feeling reading another blogger's recipe! Thus was the case when my sweet foodie friend, Brandie, aka The Country Cook shared her recipe for Ham and Cheese Party Rolls. As soon as I read it, there was a little drool at the sides of my mouth! The two things that immediately caught my attention? The Hawaiian Rolls (Mr. Everyday is a HUGE fan) and the sauce! Oh the sauce! (Just wait, keep reading and you'll understand). Well, I couldn't wait until our next party to try these so I figured add a couple side dishes, and we'll just call them sliders for an easy weeknight supper. My store happened to be out of the Hawaiian rolls, but I found a great substitute that were actually a little bigger, so more room to soak up the sauce! Did I mention the sauce? Rather they are for a party or for a meal, these little gems are 100% delicious. I'm so lucky I have so many foodie friends who inspire me every single day!

Ham and Cheese Sliders
12 ct. package  Hawaiian Rolls
12 slices black forest ham, folded to fit rolls
3 large slices Monterrey Jack cheese, cut in fourths
1 stick unsalted butter
1/2 TBS Worcestershire sauce
2 TBS brown sugar
1/2 TBS Dijon mustard

Preheat oven to 350. Slice rolls, while still attached, in half, separating tops and bottoms. In a small pot, combine butter, Worcestershire, sugar and mustard. Stir until melted and well combined. Brush glaze mixture on inside of both sides of rolls. Be liberal! Add ham and cheese. Place tops on and brush with remaining glaze. Place in a 9x13 pan, cover with foil and bake for 25 minutes. Slice and serve.

Shared on Mandy's Recipe Box July 31, 2012
Shared on Lady Behind The Curtain Aug. 1, 2012 
Shared on Miz Helen's Country Cottage Aug. 2, 2012
Shared on The Country Cook Aug. 3, 2012

Inspired by The Country Cook

6,000 Facebook Fan GIVEAWAY Winner

Thanks to everyone who entered! I love giving back to my fans b/c you give me so much every day with your comments, stories, support and love. The winner of this super cute prize package is...

Susie Costa!!!!


I have emailed you and you have 48 hours to respond or another winner will be chosen!

Monday, July 30, 2012

When It's Good, Make a Casserole

I think one thing all busy moms can agree on, rather you are a work outside of or stay at home mom, is the fact that casseroles are a wonderful thing. In fact, I've been known to say a "good casserole is a busy mom's best friend". I remember my mom making some of the best casseroles when I was little and there is something so nostalgic about making one now. And I really get excited when I find a casserole recipe that is a take on something we already enjoy. Almost as if to say, "we like these 3 things, let's just throw them together and see what happens." Or when making a casserole allows me to cook something that is usually a little more labor intensive quickly and easily because it's a one dish wonder, as in my Cabbage Roll Casserole and Unstuffed Pepper Casserole.

But this idea from Pinterest was kind of unique to me because most of my casseroles are main dishes. I don't have that many that qualify as side dishes. Some yes, but not as many. So when I saw something based on Twice Baked Potatoes, which I've already shared with you. Take all the flavors from that side dish, combine them in a larger pan and wah-lah...a casserole perfect any night of the week, or to even share at your next barbecue!

Now I will fully disclose this warning label. This is NOT for those of you on a diet. As I told my family, this is something we'll have once in a while as a treat. Waist line friendly is the last description I would use, but hey, we all need to indulge every now and then, so why not do so with a good ole' casserole!

Twice Baked Red Potato Casserole  Adapted from Taste of Home
6-9 red potatoes, depending on size, baked
24 oz. sour cream
8 oz. shredded cheddar cheese
8 oz. shredded mozzarella cheese
5 green onions, chopped
1 (2.1oz) package pre-cooked bacon, cooked crisp and crumbled
Salt and Pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 350. Chop baked potatoes into bite size cubes. Grease a 9x13 pan. Put half of the potatoes in bottom of pan. Top with half of bacon, green onions, sour cream, cheddar and mozzarella. Repeat layers, except onions! Season each layer w/ salt and pepper. Bake for 25 minutes until cheese is melted. Garnish w/ remaining green onions.


Shared at Bobbi's Kozy Kitchen July 30, 2012
Shared at Make Ahead Meals July 30, 2012
Shared on Mandy's Recipe Box July 31, 2012 
Shared on Lady Behind The Curtain Aug. 1, 2012 
Shared on Miz Helen's Country Cottage Aug. 2, 2012 
Shared on The Country Cook Aug. 3, 2012 

2013 Superbowl and Chili

Casseroles at Very Good Recipes
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Sunday, July 29, 2012

Church Supper #49

Good Morning and welcome to another Sunday! I hope this finds you enjoying your weekend and ready to share in some good fellowship and great food!

 Thanks for stopping by today. I hope you find something yummy to take with you.
Please link up your favorite recipes from the week. And remember I wish you God's blessings all week long!
 " Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!" (Philippians 4:4)

 Last Week's Most Viewed Recipe:
Coffee Cake In A Mug

Congrats! Please feel free to grab my "Featured On" button!

Now, let's eat!


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, July 28, 2012

Weekend Company {Guest Blogger Nelmarie}

Yay!!! It's finally Saturday! While I am always happy to see another weekend, I will admit, as we quickly approach August, I'm a little sad too. August means back to school, and I'm just not ready for that! What can I say? I love having Monkey home with me every day! (And the sleeping in isn't that bad either!) But I guess we'll just have to fill the next 3 weeks with as much fun as we can!

Today's guest is another dear blogger friend who I'm so excited to have debuting here on EMM. Grab a cup of coffee, and please welcome Nelmarie from The Paper Cup Kitchen...

Hi There Foodies. I am a Stay at home Mom of two, Nicholas- 3 and Allegra – 1,  and married my Prince Charming nearly 7 years ago. Food makes me smile and it makes my heart beat faster. The only place where I know I fit just perfectly, is in the kitchen. My true passion is baking and decorating and I hope that one day I will open up the doors to The PaperCup Tea Garden. I started PaperCup in 2011 whilst we were living in Moscow, Russia. Living the life of an Expat can sometimes get very lonely and the blog has not only brought the whole world into my kitchen, but I have met so many gorgeous Foodie Friends. I am so happy that I have taken the plunge and started this Food Blog Adventure. I am not a brilliant writer, I am not a brilliant cook, I am not a brilliant baker BUT I do invite you into my kitchen….. take your shoes of, relax, have a bite to eat and let's have a chat.  Foodie Love~Nel 

The new favourite in our house....Sticky Chicken with whatever you want to make with it. On this occasion we had it with the herby mushrooms and couscous. 
Very simple to make and oh so good to eat. Nicholas is not a big meat eater, but let me tell you, my little boys' face was covered in sticky sauce...what a treat to see.

Sticky Chicken and Herby Mushrooms with couscous  
Serves: 2-4 (depends if there is little mouths eating with)

For the Chicken:
½ Tablespoon/7.5ml Oil for frying
1 Garlic Clove, crushed
3 Pimentos (we buy the ones in jars)
1 tablespoon/15ml Balsamic Vinegar
1 tablespoon/15ml Soya Sauce
1 tablespoon/15ml Sesame Oil
2 tablespoons/30ml Honey
3 tablespoons/45ml Water
800g/about 2 lbs. Chicken wings, or any part you want to use
Salt and Black Pepper to taste

1. Fry the garlic and the pimentos, in a big saucepan,  for about 3 minutes.
2. Add the balsamic vinegar, soya sauce, sesame oil, honey, water and chicken and season with salt and pepper.
3. Cook for about 30 minutes, over a low heat, stirring and coating the chicken every 5 minutes.

For the Mushroom:
1 teaspoon/5ml Oil for frying
1 medium Onion, sliced
¼ Green Pepper, diced
¼ Yellow Pepper, diced
1 clove Garlic, crushed
200g button Mushrooms, sliced
1 teaspoon/5ml dried Thyme
1 teaspoon/5ml dried Parsley
Salt and Black Pepper to taste

Method:1. Fry the onion, peppers and garlic for about 5 minutes.2. Add the mushrooms and the herbs.3. Season with salt and pepper to taste and cook for 10-15 minutes.

For the Couscous
1 cup/250ml Couscous
1 ¼ cups just boiled Water
1 Stock Cube of your choice (I use chicken)
1 teaspoon/5ml Butter

1. Put the couscous in a bowl.
2. Crush the stock cube over the couscous.
3. Cover the couscous with the water and let stand, covered, for 5 minutes.
4. Stir in the butter.

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Meal Plan July 29- Aug 4

* New Recipe
Links to recipes on blog

We're hosting my brother in law and future sister in law for dinner:
Garlic Lime Chicken
Caprese Salad w/ Caper Dressing*
Angel Food Cake w/ Lemon Sauce

Fish Sandwiches*
Noodles w/ Broccoli*
Fruit Cocktail

Hearts of Palm & Beet Salad*
Pumpernickel Bread

Gyro Kabobs*

Grilled Smoked Sausages

Ranch Bacon Pasta Salad
Corn on the Cob

Alex is going to Maa Ma's. We'll have leftovers

I'm not sure what we're doing b/c of times and events.

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Friday, July 27, 2012

More From My Heart To His

I am so incredibly lucky to have the most amazing husband in the world. (Yes, I know other wives are saying,  "Nope, mine is". But I think we can all think that about our own and brag accordingly!) He is so supportive of everything I try to do or take on, succeed or fail. And he is always encouraging me when I don't think I can do something or have already done it and not had it turned out the way I envisioned it. So when I get the chance to show him, even in a small way, how much I appreciate him and everything he does for me and our family, I will jump at the chance. And what a better time to spoil him, and show him a little extra love than his birthday weekend?

I've told you before how much Adam loves hearts of palm. I also shared with you the first recipe I ever used them in, Hearts of Palm Salad, which he loved and I make whenever I can. But they are still something I'm always looking for new ways to use. So when I saw this salad on Pinterest I was excited because it used asparagus, but then when I read further and discovered it also considered hearts of palm I was thrilled! This absolutely screams of summer both in taste and color. The freshness and crispness of the veggies to the hint of lemon flavor, it's the perfect star for summer ingredients. Plus, there is no mayo or cream, so it travels very well. Which is exactly what I did with it~ I made it in the morning and took it with us to my in-laws for Adam's birthday celebration in the evening.

It's my job to make sure my man feels special and loved every day, and they always say the "way to a man's heart is through is stomach", so who am I to argue?

Asparagus Salad From Kayln's Kitchen
1/2 pound fresh asparagus, trimmed
1 pint grape tomatoes, halved
4 green onions, chopped
10 oz. can hearts of palm, drained
1 1/2 TBS lemon juice
1 tsp red wine vinegar
1 tsp Dijon mustard
2 1/2 TBS olive oil
Salt and Pepper to taste

In a medium pot, bring salted water to boil. Cut asparagus into diagonal pieces. When water is boiling, cook asparagus 2-3 minutes. Drain well. While asparagus is cooking, combine lemon juice, vinegar and Dijon. Whisk in oil until well combined. After draining asparagus add to a large bowl. Mix 2 tsp of dressing with warm asparagus to marinate. Slice hearts of palm in half and then chop into "half moon" shapes. Combine tomatoes, green onions and hearts of palm with asparagus. Pour remaining dressing over top. Mix well. Season with salt and pepper. Chill until serving.

Shared on The Country Cook July 27, 2012
Shared on Addicted to Recipes July 29, 2012 
Shared on Bobbi's Kozy Kitchen July 30, 2012 
Shared on Make Ahead Meals July 30, 2012

Asparagus at Very Good Recipes
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Thursday, July 26, 2012

Birthday Treat

As some of you know, this past weekend we celebrated Mr. Everyday's 38th birthday! It was so nice having his special day on a Saturday because I can't remember the last time he actually had his birthday as a "day off". We started celebrating Friday with a trip to Chicago with our aunt and uncle for a tour of Wrigley Field and some fun shopping. It was a great kick off to Adam's birthday weekend and so many wonderful memories were made. When Saturday came I wanted to make sure the fun continued, and of course that had to include food! Since I knew we would be celebrating on Sunday with his parents, and his mom would have a birthday cake for him, I decided to surprise him with a new version of his favorite pie on the face of this earth...raspberry! From the time we began dating, I knew one way to Adam's heart was through his stomach and raspberry pie. Last year was actually the first time in all these years I attempted to make him one, and it actually turned out pretty well for my first try. After all, it didn't even have to look the best, as long as it taste good, and he said it did! So this year, I wanted to take the filling I made for that pie and use it in a different way, and give him something new. These are very simple to make, and end up looking too cute! Plus the little something extra in the cream topping will appeal to any raspberry lover! I love my husband, and I enjoy being able to treat him whenever I can because he spoils me every day of my life!

Mini Raspberry Cream Pies
6 individual graham cracker pie shells
1 c. Cool Whip
4 TBS raspberry preserves
2/3 c. sugar
2 TBS cornstarch
1 tsp lemon juice
2 c. raspberries, fresh or frozen
1/2 c. water
In a small bowl combine Cool Whip and raspberry preserves. Set aside. In a medium sauce pan combine raspberries, sugar, cornstarch, water and lemon juice. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly until thickened. Allow to cool. Fill each pie shell with about 1/4-1/3 c. pie filling. Top with raspberry cream and a small dollop of the raspberry filling. Chill for 2 hours before serving.

 Shared on Miz Helen's Country Cottage July 26, 2012
Shared on The Country Cook July 27, 2012
Shared on Addicted to Recipes July 29, 2012 
I was featured, I was Featured by Addicted to Recipes

Raspberries at Very Good Recipes

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

First Pick Of The Summer

Do you remember me telling you how both of my "boys" have green thumbs? Well, they do. That's right, instead of 2 green in the family, we have 4. (And yes, I realize that leaves me out. There is a reason for that. As my friend, who is also plant challenged, says, "The only thing I can grow is a kid!") Adam and Alex take pride in what they can grow, how much they can grow and then look to me to use all of their harvest! This year however, we aren't sure how well anything is going to grow because of the serious drought we here in Indiana, like so many across the nation, have been contending with for weeks now. For those of you who aren't experiencing it, I'll give you a little insight as to what our area looks like. Due to lack of rain, most  yards are the color of straw, some of the trees' leaves are already starting to turn to fall colors, and since the beginning of May my husband has only mowed lawn once. The farmers in our area are really struggling and we are literally praying for rain every day. With these being the conditions we are dealing with, you can imagine our shock last week when Monkey and I were checking the garden to find we had some green onions ready to pick! Now the tops were a little brown, and they weren't as big as we normally would like, but they were there and we did not want to risk the chance of losing them, so we picked them. Alex was so excited: "Mommy we grew these!!" I knew it was the perfect time to try a new dip recipe I had saved for some time. Super simple and ready in no time, this is perfect to put out for those "drop by" guests that always seem to happen in the summer time! Chips, crackers, vegetables...it is perfect with all of them. I'm so happy, that no matter what the rain forecast hold, we can say our garden wasn't a total bust! The boys work so hard and deserve that sense of accomplishment. How is your garden fairing where you are?

Green Onion Dip From Cooks.com
1 c. sour cream
2 tsp. beef bouillon granules
2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
1/4 c. green onion, finely chopped, plus extra for garnish

In a small bowl whisk sour cream, bouillon and Worcestershire. Add onions and mix well. Garnish w/ extra onions. Chill until serving.

Shared on Lady Behind The Curtain July 25, 2012
Shared on Gooseberry Patch July 25, 2012 
Shared on Miz Helen's Country Cottage July 26, 2012 
Shared on The Country Cook July 27, 2012 
Shared on Addicted to Recipes July 29, 2012
Dips at Very Good Recipes
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Tuesday, July 24, 2012

If I Can, I Will

I'm a pretty determined person by nature. From a young child if I put my mind to something, I wouldn't stop until I achieved it. This blog is a perfect example of that. I decided I wanted to turn a small hobby into something bigger, and look where I am today. In this aspect though I'm talking about something a little more simple, and much tastier. If I can find a way to add bacon to something, I'm gonna do it! I don't hide the fact we are bacon lovers, and daily readers of this blog will not be surprised by this because you know just how many recipes bacon makes an appearance in! I mean, seriously, we're the family that covers bacon in chocolate and calls it dessert! So you can how excited my stomach was when I found this on Pinterest~ by the way, how did any of us learn new recipes before the world of Pinterest?? Ha! This could easily done on the outdoor grill too, but the word "roasted" just makes my mouth water, especially when it comes to veggies. This method of cooking gives normal, everyday vegetables such an unique flavor and texture, and totally changes the way you look at them! If you love the amazingly wonderful tasty treat that is bacon as much as we do, be sure to try this today!

Roasted Cabbage with Bacon From Green Lite Bites
1 medium head cabbage, cut into quarters
2 TBS lemon juice
2 TBS real bacon bits
1 TBS olive oil
1 TBS Worcestershire sauce
Salt and Pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 425. In a small bowl combine all except cabbage. Whisk until well combine. Place each cabbage quarter onto a piece of aluminum foil, making sure it will be completely covered when folded. Spoon about 2 tsp. of marinade over each quarter. Fold aluminum foil inward to make a "pouch" around cabbage. Place directly on oven rack and bake 20-30 minutes. Garnish with extra bacon bits, if desired.

Shared on Mandy's Recipe Box July 24, 2012
Shared on Lady Behind The Curtain July 25, 2012 
Shared on Miz Helen's Country Cottage July 26, 2012 
Shared on The Country Cook July 27, 2012 
Shared on Addicted to Recipes July 29, 2012

Cabbage at Very Good Recipes
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Monday, July 23, 2012

6,000 Facebook Fan Giveaway

Holy guacamole! I can't believe I have reached 6,000 fans on the EMM Facebook Fan page! Who would have guessed, just 12 months ago, when I was hoping to hit 500 I would come this far so quickly. And it's all because of  EACH of you who stop by each day to see what I've got cooking and I am beyond appreciative. So what better way to show how much I love ya'll? That's right, we're having a celebration on EMM!

And in blog land, when we celebrate, we give things away! I've got a super cute prize package for one lucky EMM fan. It's easy to enter, easy to win. Just my little way of sending all of you a HUGE hug along with my eternal gratitude for making what I do so enjoyable!

The Giveaway
One Lucky Winner Will Receive:
(1) Oven Mitt
(1) Hot Pad
(1) Set Paula Deen Recipe Cards
(1) Set Paula Deen Cupcake Stencils
(1) Paula Deen Jar Gripper  
Open to US Residents 18 and older ONLY

All comments must have at least one email address.

Mandatory and Extra Entries must be SEPARATE comments. All entries must be on blog ONLY. NO Facebook comments allowed.

Winner will be chosen by Random.org and announced on EMM and Facebook

He/she will have 48 hours to claim prize or another winner will be chosen

Contest Ends: Tuesday July 31, 2012

Mandatory Entry:
1. Must be a Facebook Fan of EMM. Leave me a comment here when you have done so, or already are.

Extra Entries:
1. Become a follower of EMM through GFC, Networked Blogs or Linky Followers. All found on homepage. Leave a comment here when you have done so.

2. Follow me on Twitter. Leave a comment here when you have.

3. Follow me on Pinterest. Leave a comment here.

4. Leave a comment on this post....something nice, a friendly hello, whatever is on your mind!

That is up to 5 entries per person! Good Luck!

Cool Treats and Grilled Meats {Indiana Family of Farmers}

I am so excited for this post! It is my first as a Table Talk Contributor for Indiana Family of Farmers.

 I am so proud to be a part of this wonderful organization supporting my home state and our amazing farmers. I may not have grown up on a farm, but I have lived in Indiana my whole life, surrounded by some of the nation's top producers of the grains, produce and meats Americans eat every day!

Summer time means a lot of things in the realm of food. Maybe in your family it's the time you enjoy eating fresh fruits and veggies from your backyard garden. Or maybe it means anything and everything you can throw on the grill will find it's way to the table with a "cooked open an open flame" flavor. Or maybe it's the time of year your family loves to bust out the ice cream maker and cool off with something sweet on those hot summer nights. (After all July is National Ice Cream month! And Indiana is #2 in the nation for ice cream and low fat ice cream production!)

All of these describe my family and we find as many ways to make them happen as we can all summer long. But ice cream isn't the only cool treat we love to include in our summer ritual. How about popsicles? I love to see Alex enjoying a cold, dripping down his hands, popsicle in the hot summer sun. There is just something so nostalgic about it. 

What about making your own popsicles? Until now, I never have, but thanks to IFOF we are now homemade popsicle makers for life! The flavor combinations are endless, and IFOF even has some recipes to inspire you! As soon as I saw the one with orange and cream, I knew exactly which one Alex would love the most! How fun and easy for little ones to get in on the action! Getting kids into the kitchen making sweet treats is a not only a "cool" activity for summer vacation, but it also gives parents a chance to teach them about the foods they love, promoting healthy eating habits for life!

Want another great activity for kids to learn more about the foods they eat, and where they comes from? After you purchase the ingredients for this recipe, go to WhereisMyMilkFrom.com and find out the source of your dairy products. What a fun, interactive way for your kids to appreciate the foods they enjoy every day, and those who work so hard to make them available!
Alex stirring the popsicle mixture.

So get your kids into the kitchen and whip up some yummy refreshing popsicles for the next 90 degree day (we've had a lot of those this year in Indiana). Have fun! Lick away!

Want to learn more about IFOF? You can also find them on Facebook and Twitter.

Orange Cream Popsicles
6 oz. can orange juice concentrate, thawed
2 c. vanilla yogurt
2 tsp vanilla extract
Popsicle molds OR 3 ounce cups and craft sticks
Stir all ingredients together until smooth.  Pour mixture into popsicle molds or paper cups. Insert sticks and freeze.

Yummy cool treat on a HOT day!

Shared on Make Ahead Meals July 22, 2012
Shared on Bobbi's Kozy Kitchen July 23, 2012 
Shared on Mandy's Recipe Box July 24, 2012 
Shared on Lady Behind The Curtain July 25, 2012 
Shared on Miz Helen's Country Cottage July 26, 2012 
Shared on The Country Cook July 27, 2012

*These were made with the Zoku Quick Pop Maker provided to my family by IFOF*
Disclaimer: IFOF provided me with a gift package for inspiration on this post. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

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Sunday, July 22, 2012

Church Supper #48

Welcome to another Church Supper. Where we gather to share fellowship and food. I hope you had a fantastic week and are enjoying your weekend!

Thanks for stopping by today. I hope you find something yummy to take with you.
Please link up your favorite recipes from the week. And remember I wish you God's blessings all week long!
 " Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!" (Philippians 4:4)

 Last Week's Most Viewed Recipe:
Homemade Oreo Ice Cream Cupcakes

Congrats! Please feel free to grab my "Featured On" button!

Now, let's eat!


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, July 21, 2012

Weekend Company {Guest Blogger Alison}

Welcome to the weekend! Was the week good to you? Ours was yet another busy one, but good. In fact, we even fit in a day trip on Friday. We went with Adam's aunt and uncle to Chicago and took a tour of Wrigley Field, ate at the Hard Rock Cafe and shopped on Michigan Avenue til we dropped! It was an early birthday celebration for someone very special! We have some celebrating to do because today is an extra fun day in our house. A BIG Happy Birthday from my heart to my favorite guy in the world...Mr. Everyday!! That's right Adam turns 38 today and we're going to try to make it a GREAT day for him! You know, growing up I always knew there would be dates in my life that would hold significance, but little did I know that one of the most important dates, actually came 7 years before I was even on this earth. Because I give thanks that on 07-21-74 God created my soul mate, the love of my life, and his birthday is one of my favorite days because the day I met him, 23 years later, is the day my life began. So, Happy Birthday to my husband and best friend! I love you more now than the first time you said those 3 words to me, and there is nobody else I can imagine sharing my life with!

Today's guest is a fellow blogger whom I met through Facebook. I'm excited to have her with us today, so grab a cup of coffee and join us. Please welcome Alison from Under the Big Oak Tree...

Hello, Everyday Mom's Meals readers!  I'm so happy to be posting here today!  Thanks so much, Krista for allowing me to be your guest here today!

My name is Alison.  I'm a former city-girl now enjoying life in the country as a stay at home mom.  Our small family consists of me (of course), my husband, our 3 year old daughter Grace, and our spoiled dog Remmy. After becoming a single-income family, we've had to alter our spending habits.  While I'm not an extreme coupon-er, we do shop sales, enjoy low-cost (or even free) family activities, and prepare frugal and healthy meals through out the week.  I also enjoy sharing recipes, tips, family stories, and even my weight loss struggles on my blog, Under the Big Oak Tree!

Since the birth of our daughter, we rarely go out to eat.  It's just easier, cheaper, and most times, healthier to eat at home.  But, that can start to get a bit boring if I'm not careful.  So, I like to try new recipes here and there to help switch things up a bit.  I don't get too fancy though, since I don't want the meal to get too pricey.

I like to use a lot of fresh vegetables when I cook and try to use ingredients that are currently in-season, this helps keep our grocery bill low.

Today, I want to share with you one of my favorite vegetable dishes.  It's relatively new to our family, but was a hit right away (with the adults anyway)!  In fact, I'm planning on preparing it again this weekend!  The recipe below is for a large single portion or 2 smaller portions and can be served over rice or noodles or even on it's own!

Vegetable Stir Fry

  • 1Tbs. Olive Oil
  • 1/4 head cabbage, sliced
  • 1/2 cup carrots, sliced
  • 1/2 large onion
  • few shakes of crushed red pepper flakes
  • 2 Tbs. La Choy Original Stir Fry Sauce
  • 85grams frozen broccoli*
  • 2-4 Tbs. water
  • In a hot pan or wok, heat oil.  
  • Add cabbage, carrots and onion.  
  • Cook until vegetables are tender, stirring often. 
  • Stir in a few shakes of crushed red pepper flakes.  (more or less depending on if you like some heat added to your stir fry)
  • When vegetables are just about tender, add stir fry sauce. Stir to combine. 
  • Add broccoli and water, stirring to scrape browned bits from bottom/sides of wok.  
  • Cook until broccoli is heated through.  
  • Serve over cooked rice or noodles for a heartier meal, or serve alone as a low-calorie meal.  
  • Since I'm counting calories, I weighed the broccoli before adding it to my stir fry.  The bag stated that one serving of broccoli was 4 florets (85 grams) but the size of the florets in the bag varied, so I weighed it to be more accurate.  If you're not counting calories, just add as much as you want.  
  • The first time I made this, I ate the entire pan full as a single serving!  I was really hungry!!!  This works well as 2 smaller portions, especially if serving over rice or noodles.    
  • I liked keeping the cabbage in longer slices rather than chopping.  Since I wasn't planning on serving over rice or noodles, the slices of cabbage made me feel like I was eating noodles.  
  • When I made this a second time, I added some peas that were leftover from a previous meal.  About a 1/4 cup (34 additional calories).  Yum!  
  • Be sure to add calories if serving over rice or noodles or adding additional vegetables.  
  • If you don't think an all-vegetable dinner would go over well with you or your family, check out my recipe for Cabbage Chicken Stir Fry.  

Total calories:  326* 
Calories if divided into 2 servings:  163*

There you go!  A healthy, low-calorie and low-cost meal that is quick and easy, too!  I hope you'll try it and enjoy it as much as we do!  I also hope you'll stop by and visit me over at Under the Big Oak Tree!

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Menu Plan July 22- 28

* New Recipe
Links to Recipes on Blog

We are celebrating Adam's bday w/ his family. I'm taking a new salad:
Asparagus Salad*

Grilled Steak
Twice Baked Potato Casserole*
Fresh Pineapple

Ham and Cheese Sliders*
Mac n Cheese
Baked Beans

Soft Beef Tacos
Chips n Salsa
Fiesta Rice

I'm having dinner w/ a friend.
The boys will have leftovers

Garlic Bread

We're going to Swiss Days- a local festival :)

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Friday, July 20, 2012

Soup Okay For Summer

I will be the first to admit soups are not a prevalent item on our dinner table during the dog days of summer. I think most of us would agree that when it's 100+ degrees outside, about the last thing we want to dig into at the end of a long day is a big bowl of hot and steamy soup. This being said though, if I find a soup recipe that makes my mouth water I'm not waiting for the temperature to drop to try it out. That was the case when I found this on Pinterest. The moment I saw it I knew it had to be a copy cat, or close to it, of the soup we love at our favorite sushi restaurant. We never enjoy our favorite maki roll without the house salad and "clear soup". In fact, back in February when Alex was incredibly sick with bronchitis and strep throat, their soup was the only thing he requested to eat!! (And I can't say I blame him, b/c the next week when he had shared his germs with me, I too asked "Daddy" to bring some home! So warm and cozy when you're not feeling well.)  Made with a broth of veggies and some flavorings, this soup is incredibly simple, but bursting with flavor. Not to mention the addition of mushrooms, which we love! I'm so glad I "broke" my own rule about soups in the summer so we could try this one because it is now something I can make at home any time we want it! After all, rules were meant to be broken! Especially when delicious food is involved!

Clear Soup Adapted From Carries Cooking and Recipes
5 ribs celery, chopped into large chunks
1 small onion, chopped into large chunks
2 carrots, chopped into large chunks
2 TBS fresh ginger, peeled and chopped in large chunks
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 TBS chicken bouillon granules
3 TBS beef bouillon granules
1 lb. thinly sliced mushrooms
8 c. water
1/2 c. green onions, finely chopped

In a large pot or dutch oven combine the celery, onion, carrot, ginger, garlic, and a few of the mushrooms. Add chicken bouillon, beef bouillon, and water. Place the pot over high heat, and bring to a rolling boil. When the mixture reaches boiling, cover, reduce heat to medium, and cook for 45 minutes. If too much water evaporates, add more and continue to simmer. After it's cooking for at least 45 minutes strain the cooked soup and discard all of the vegetables, leaving the broth. In individual serving bowls, place 1/4 c. sliced mushrooms. Gently ladle hot broth over top. Sprinkle with chopped green onions.
*NOTE* To easily peel fresh ginger, use the side of a small teaspoon. Gently rub outer layer with spoon and it will peel. Place leftover ginger root in freezer to store. It will keep for a long time.

Shared on The Country Cook July 21, 2012
Shared on Make Ahead Meals July 22, 2012 
Shared on Bobbi's Kozy Kitchen July 23, 2012 
Shared on Mandy's Recipe Box July 24, 2012

Soup at Very Good Recipes
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For Your Next Project

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of Astrobrights Papers by Neenah Paper for SocialSpark. All opinions are 100% mine.

It's hard to believe, but in about a month, my son will be headed back to school. Where does the summer go? So as the super oraganized mom I tend to be, I am already looking ahead to all of those school projects that are just around the corner. And now I have something new and fun to add to my shopping list: AstroBrights papers

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Here are just a few ideas of what you could use AstroBrights for:

PTA meeting flyers
After school chore chart
Summer book reports – with flair!
Scrapbooking about summer vacation (my personal fave!)

So let your imagination run wild and be extra bright on your next project, rather it be at home, school or just for fun with AstroBrights papers.

Visit Sponsor's Site

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Virtual Summer Barbecue With PCC

PCC you ask? Why I'm talking about Philadelphia Cooking Cream! Ya'll know how much I love these cooking creams, and if you recall, I've used different varieties in a number of recipes. So you can imagine my excitement when my dear foodie friend Brandie aka The Country Cook asked me to team up with her, Kraft and some other terrific bloggers for a Virtual Summer Barbecue using Philadelphia Cooking Cream!

To me summer time has it's very own menu of foods that can taste good year round, but taste OH SO MUCH better in the warmth of the summer sun. From grilled classics, to cool desserts to cool you down, we wait all year to enjoy some of our favorites during the summer months. And for our family one of these foods is the classic BLT sandwich. Why? Well, first off, we love bacon. That would be reason enough alone. But also because they are simple and quick for a busy summer night (don't we all get busier in the summer time?) and they are also fairly light, yet still satisfying, on those extremely hot nights when you do not want to cook! Plus, what tastes better than a BLT with fresh tomatoes and lettuce picked straight from your summer garden?

But we're having a barbecue folks, and I needed to take our favorite summer sandwich and make it party/backyard barbecue friendly. Well, first off, they need to be some what bite sized because when I'm entertaining outside, I love for my guests to be able to eat with their fingers! Plus, while the BLT is an All-American Classic, that doesn't mean I can't jazz it up a little for a party and give it a fun twist and new look using Philadelphia Cooking Cream!

For us, the perfect BLT consists of a few essential ingredients~ bacon, lettuce, tomato, (of course), mayo, and crispy toasted bread. Taking these as a starting point, I've come up with something super fun and easy for your next backyard barbecue!  I left the bacon and tomato alone, but instead of mayo, that's where the Cooking Cream came in! And instead of leaf lettuce, how about serving the creamy mixture in an endive cup? And finally, so I still get the crunch of some toast, a little sprinkling of toasted crouton on top! Super cute, right??!!

A big platter of these would be a huge hit next to all those other summer favorites! And your guests will love how unique and fun they are!

Now here is the BEST part of this Virtual Barbecue. You have a chance to vote for your Everyday Mom! Alongside some other amazing bloggers, I am trying to win this recipe contest for a cash prize and year's supply of Philadelphia Cooking Cream!! To vote, *Please leave a comment on this post*. Each comment counts as one vote and the blog with the most comments wins!! And I really want to!! Voting only lasts 24 hours, so don't wait! Thanks so much!!! (VOTING IS CLOSED)

Creamy BLT Cups Makes Approx 20 cups
1 tub Philadelphia Cooking Cream- Savory Garlic
1 pint grape tomatoes, halved
1 (2.1oz / 15 slices) package pre-cooked bacon
2 heads Belgian endive
1 c. croutons, crushed
Salt and Pepper to taste

Cut ends off each head of endive and separate leaves. Trim any tough ends. Wipe gently with damp paper towel to remove excess dirt. Lay on kitchen towel to air dry. In a medium skillet, cook bacon in batches until crisp. Drain on paper towels and chop. In a large bowl combine tomatoes, chopped bacon, cooking cream, salt and pepper. Mix well. Spoon about 2 TBS of tomato mixture into each endive leave. (Some leaves will be smaller, so adjust amount) Sprinkle each "cup" with crushed croutons. Chill until serving, at least 1 hour.

Shared on The Country Cook July 21, 2012
Shared on Make Ahead Meals July 22, 2012 
Shared on Bobbi's Kozy Kitchen July 23, 2012

Please visit these other blogs who are barbecuing with me, and see what yummy things they are cooking up:

Disclaimer: I received free Philadelphia Cooking Cream to participate. This is not a paid post. All thoughts and opinions are mine.

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