Everyday Mom's Meals: September 2012

Sunday, September 30, 2012

It's Fall Ya'll {A Giveaway}

Happy Autumn! I realize I'm a couple days late with the sentiment, but with so many things going on around our house right now, I'm even lucky that I know it is indeed only 7 hours until October. To celebrate the changing of the seasons and everything fun and yummy fall brings with it, I wanted to offer you, my lovely faithful, readers a little something fun. So, if you like giveaways and love fall...keep reading to see how you can enter to win a super cute prize package.

Prize Package: 
(1) Apples A Book of Recipes Cookbook
~With an index of yummy treats from appetizers, to savory dishes and both hot and cold desserts.
~Plus a guide to the various types of apples
(1) Magnetic Menu Planner
(1) Set of Paula Deen Recipe Cards

1. This contest is open to US Residents 18 and older ONLY.

2. The winner will be chosen by Random.org 

3. The winner will be notified by email and Facebook. He/she will have 48 hours to respond or another winner will be chosen.

4. When leaving comments for entries, they MUST BE SEPARATE ones AND include an email address so it's easy for me to find the winner. If entries are together, it will only count as (1) and if no email, entry will not be considered.

5. If any of the extra entries are items you are already doing, please just remind me!

6. Contest Ends: Tuesday October 16, 2012

Mandatory Entry:
1.Leave a comment telling me your favorite part of autumn.

Extra Entries:

1. Follow EMM through GFC, Linky Followers, or Networked Blogs. Homepage, left hand side. Leave a comment when you have.

2. Follow EMM on Twitter. Leave a comment when you are.

3. Follow me on Pinterest and leave a comment.

4. Become a fan of EMM on Facebook. Leave a comment when you are.

So that is up to 5 entries per person!

Good Luck!

This giveaway in not endorsed by Paula Deen or the authors of the cookbook, Linda Fraser and Anne Hildyard. Everything was purchased and paid for by me alone.

Church Supper #58

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 truly appreciate you sharing with our foodie family!
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:

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

Now, let's eat!


1. Feel free to link up as many recipes, but recipes ONLY please, 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, September 29, 2012

Weekend Company {Guest Blogger Kristi}

Good Morning and Happy Saturday. I hope this week was kind to you and your weekend plans include some rest, relaxation, and even some autumn fun! Oh and maybe yummy food too!

My guest today is a fellow blogger who always has something delicious cooking in her kitchen. So please welcome back to Kristi to EMM...

Hi everyone!  My name is Kristi and I’m the author of Kristi’s Recipe Box.  I just finished up my first year of blogging and I’m looking forward to another great year.  I was a teacher for fifteen years and now I am currently a stay at home mom.  I live in central Illinois with my husband Danny and our two children.  My daughter Madelyn just turned two this summer and we welcomed a son to our family in May.  Morgan is now nearing 5 months old!  Where does the time go?  
The recipe I’m going to share with you today is one I started making this summer.  I’ve been working so hard to shed some baby weight and was looking for a quick, healthy breakfast that was relatively low in carbs.  This was a marriage of two recipes- one I’d tried several years ago and another that was shared with me by a friend!  I shared this with KRB readers this summer and have been making them weekly since.  These are great fresh out of the oven or reheated from the fridge or freezer!  I typically leave a couple of days’ worth of cups in the fridge and put the rest in the freezer in Zip-loc bags.  From the fridge, I heat for about 30 seconds in the microwave.  From the freezer, it takes a minute.  Such a quick and healthy breakfast for busy mornings!  I hope you enjoy these as much as I have!

Quiche Cups

  • 1 cup frozen onion seasoning blend (This is found with the frozen vegetables and consists of onion, celery, red pepper and parsley)
  • 1 T. butter
  • 4 slices deli ham, chopped
  • 6 eggs
  • 1/2 t. Italian seasoning
  • black pepper to taste
  • 1 cup mozzarella cheese

Cook onion blend in butter in skillet over medium heat until onions are tender.  Add in ham and cook another minute.  Cool mixture for 5-10 minutes.  In the meantime, preheat oven to 350 degrees.  In a mixing bowl, combine eggs, Italian seasoning, black pepper, and mozzarella cheese.  Add in ham/onion mixture and stir until combined.  Ladle 1/8 cup of mixture into each cup of a prepared standard 12-cup muffin tin.  I usually have a little mixture left so I just distribute it evenly among the cups.  Bake at 350 degrees for about 20 minutes or until eggs are set.  Cool completely before storing.

Freeze in zip-loc bags.  Reheat for about 60 seconds in microwave.

Thanks to Krista for allowing me to share a favorite recipe with you today!  Hope you’ll stop by and visit me at www.kristisrecipebox.blogspot.com.

Pin It

Meal Plan Sept. 30- Oct. 5

* New Recipe
Links to Recipes on Blog

Chicken n Dumplings
Fried Apples*

Grilled Steak
Loaded Smashed Potatoes
Steamed Asparagus

Crock Pot Cream of Mushroom Soup*

Baked Mac n Cheese
Green Beans
Sliced Pears

Cheesey Hot Beef Sandwiches*
Tater Tots
Sliced Beets

Alex is going to Maa Ma's. We're having a date night!

Pin It

Friday, September 28, 2012

Birthday Breakfast

When my little boy's birthday rolls around, it's my job to make sure it is not just one fun filled day, but at least a couple! And if we are lucky like we were this year to have it on the weekend, I have the extra time to fit in as many treats as possible. As most of you know, we started his birthday weekend with a party on Saturday with his actual birthday on Sunday. So when I was making my "to-do" list for the weekend, I knew I wanted something extra special for breakfast, but knew we would be so busy I wouldn't have a lot of time either morning. I immediately knew the answer! It was time to put the new doughnut pan to use once again! I've already shared my Cinnamon Sugar Doughnuts, which were a huge hit. For the second time I knew exactly what kind I wanted to try next. Blueberry...Glazed Blueberry! When I had first gotten my new pan I started to look for various recipes with different flavor combos, and when I found this recipe it was at the top of my list because I knew both of my boys would love them. So what better time try to a new sweet treat than for a special birthday breakfast for my favorite Monkey? These are delicious! They are so much better than anything you can buy in the store, and truly take almost no time at all. And if you are a little leery of trying your hand at doughnuts, don't be! I'm telling you~if I can bake these, anyone can! If you can stir and pour, these will be perfect! If you need a new breakfast idea, or are just drooling from the photo, be sure to try these asap!

Glazed Blueberry Doughnuts Adapted from A Well Seasoned Life
1 c. flour
1/2 c. sugar
1 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1 tsp. cinnamon
2 TBS milk
2 eggs
3 TBS vegetable oil
2 TBS water
1/2 c. blueberries, mashed slightly (I used a potato masher)
1 1/4 c. powdered sugar
3 TBS milk

Preheat oven to 325. In a small bowl combine powdered sugar and milk, a little at a time, to make glaze. Set aside. In a large bowl mix flour, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon and salt. In a medium bowl whisk eggs, oil, water, and milk. Pour wet ingredients into dry. Add blueberries. Stir well until combined. Don't over stir. Spray doughnut pan lightly with cooking spray. Fill each well half way with batter, smoothing tops with back of a spoon. Bake for 16-18 minutes until firm. Remove from pan. Let cool slightly. Dip each doughnut into glaze and place on cooling rack to set.

Makes 8 Doughnuts

Shared on The Country Cook Sept. 28, 2012
Shared on Maked Ahead Meals Oct. 1, 2012
Shared on Mandy's Recipe Box Oct. 2, 2012

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Birthday Party Snack

Back on September 15th we had a big day around here. It was Monkey's 8th Birthday Party! Now I've thrown him a few parties in his 8 short years, but this was going to be the first year he was allowed to invite friends; and was he ever excited! So back in early May (yeah, I'm that kind of planner) when I started thinking about what I would be serving, I knew one thing right away. I was going to have a low key, low stress level party for mom. All of his parties I've had in the past have included tons of food; and I don't regret doing it, but let's face it, there is a lot of work that goes into that! And this time, having other kids there besides my totally non picky eater, I didn't want to take the chance of having heaps of food leftover because none of the kids, or adults for that matter, ate it. So I decided we would have a simple "snacking" menu with cake, pretzels, popcorn, my Lemon Dill Snack Mix...and one more thing. But what would it be? Well, it wasn't until August when I asked fans on Facebook for their input that I got my inspiration. Many answered with trail mix or Chex Mix; and it reminded me I had just seen a commercial for the new Apple Cinnamon Chex. Immediately something came together in my mind and I knew I had my last snack for the party. Plus, I knew exactly what I would call it. It was after all, a party for my Monkey, so naming it after him was a top priority. Salty and sweet at the same time, this is yummy and simple to make. If you can pour cereal and mix, you can make this! My guests loved it. More than one told me that many times trail mixes are too sweet, and this was just the right balance of sweet and salty. I love my Monkey so much and each minute I put into his party was totally worth it when he said "Thanks, Mommy. I love you."

Monkey Munch
1 (13.75oz) box Apple Cinnamon Chex cereal
1 (12oz) bag banana chips
1 (6oz) bag dried cranberries
1 (14.75oz) can party peanuts

In a large bowl mix all ingredients well. Store in an airtight container.

Shared on Miz Helen's Country Cottage Sept. 27, 2012
Shared on The Country Cook Sept. 28, 2012
Shared on Make Ahead Meals Oct. 1, 2012
Snacks at Very Good Recipes
Pin It

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Quick As A Beet

We have a saying in our family. Well, I should say Alex and I have a saying. "Quick as a bunny." If I want him to do something and he is afraid he's going to miss some life altering even in the 10 seconds it's going to take (If you have kids, you know what I'm talking about!) I will say to him, "It won't take long. Do it quick as a bunny." And this recipe is almost as quick as that! Okay, it's going to take you longer than 10 seconds, but seriously, compared to how long pickling can take, this is a super quick substitution. I have never pickled anything in the traditional way, because to be quite frank I have never taken the time. I will admit that! So when I was given some beautiful garden fresh beets, I knew I could roast them, but was hoping to find a quick pickling technique. I was lucky to find this and couldn't wait to try it. I literally made this in about 45 minutes on a weekday morning while doing other things around the house. No jars involved! If you think you don't like beets, and have only ever had the canned variety from the store, I urge you to try some fresh ones! I love all kinds, but I do find preparing them in my own kitchen, (roasted, steamed or pickled) gives them an entirely different flavor than store bought ones. You know your everyday mom is all about the quick, rather it be my son imitating a rabbit, or something yummy from my kitchen!

Quick Pickled Beets Adapted from Eating Well
3 large beets, peeled and cut into 1/2 inch chunks
2 TBS water
1/2 c. red wine vinegar
1 small white onion, sliced thin
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
2 whole cloves
4 whole peppercorns
2 TBS sugar

In a large microwave safe bowl combine beets and water. Cover tightly with plastic wrap. Cook on high for 10 minutes until fork tender. Remove and let stand, covered for 5 minutes. In a saucepan on medium high heat combine onion, vinegar, cinnamon, sugar, peppercorns, and cloves. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium, cover and cook until onions are crisp tender, about 6 minutes, stirring occasionally. In a large bowl combine beets and liquid mixture. Let stand 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Shared on Lady Behind The Curtain Sept. 26, 2012
Shared on Miz Helen's Country Cottage Sept. 27, 2012
Shared on The Country Cook Sept. 28, 2012
Beets at Very Good Recipes
Pin It

Protect Your Identity

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of LifeLock Facebook for SocialSpark. All opinions are 100% mine.

With everything we do on the Internet these days, from reading the news to paying the majority of our bills, making sure thieves and hackers do not have access to our personal information is of the utmost importance.

Between blogging, personal business and recreation I spend more and more time on my laptop every single day. That means there is so much "of me" out in cyberspace I need to make sure I'm protected. And no other company does it better than LifeLock. 

Introducing LifeLock, today’s leader in the world of identity theft protection and information. LifeLock provides its customers with top of the line identity theft protection through a suite of services backed by state-of-the-art technology. In addition, LifeLock provides information on all aspects of identity theft and threats.

When you visit LifeLock.com you can see just what they can do to protect you and your identity. They have easy to understand packages and pricing so you can choose the one that is just right for you and your family.

Identity theft is not only frustrating and a huge hassle to recover from, it can truly be detrimental to you, your finances and your life. I have been lucky enough to never experience it for myself, but I've heard of so many stories of people getting their credit cards numbers, bank account info, even their social security numbers stolen and didn't realize it until it was too late.

LifeLock not only monitors your identity safety, it also scans for identity thefts, notifies you when something is found and responds accordingly. Plus, they can even track your credit score.
Another great feature you can find on their site is the ability to know How hack friendly is your password?

Do you know how fast a professional hacker can breach your password security?
• If you have 6 characters in your password with no symbol, it only takes a professional .000224 seconds 
• If you have 10 characters and one symbol in your password, it takes up to 20 days for a professional to break in. 
• What would this mean to your online banking, personal information and overall privacy?

I know for me, that means I need to take a second look at some of my passwords for my online information.
If I haven't convinced you yet, take a look at some other startling statistics:

• Households earning $100k + per year have the highest identity fraud rate at 7.4%
• The average cost per person of having identities stolen is $1,513
• 11.6 million adults were victims of identity fraud in 2011 and a total of $18 billion was lost.
Alarming stats for social media/ smartphone users that have experience identity fraud:
• 6.6% of victims are smartphone owners
• 6.8% of victims are social media users who click on the applications
• 8.2% of victims are social media users who have “checked in” using their smartphone GPS
• 10.1% of victims are LinkedIn users
If you want to learn more about your identity safety and what you can do about it, be sure to check them out online today and also LifeLock on Facebook

What do you do to protect yourself? How can LifeLock help You?

AmeliaIZEA | skitch.com
Visit Sponsor's Site

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Thanks, Martha

If you read that title, and know my family and I personally, you might be thinking this is yet another recipe from my Grammy, since to me she is Grammy, but to the outside world, she is Martha. I've already shared so many of hers with you, I wouldn't blame you for thinking that. However, this time I'm giving gratitude to another lady...Martha Stewart. I will be very honest with you. I'm not always impressed with her food. Sure it looks pretty, and probably tastes amazing, but I'm a busy mom and sometimes the amount of time she wants me to put into a recipe is just a little out of the question in my life. I will read something in one of her cookbooks, or watch her talk show and think "Seriously, who has this kind of time?" But every once in a while I will come across something of hers that is "fancy" enough for Martha, but simple enough for this everyday mom. These make a great seafood supper any night of the week, but after cooking and plating them, I realized they would also make a fantastic party food too. Plus, since you can roast them in the oven (see notes below) they can be made year round! A big tray of these, the dipping sauce and a bowl of toothpicks next to it would work perfectly for your guests. (Just be sure to set out an extra empty bowl for tails too!) Spicy, but not enough to be overpowering, these have just enough heat to be counteracted by the cool sauce for a perfect combo. So while this recipe worked out great, I'm definitely going to stick with my first Martha for the majority of my inspiration!

Grilled Buffalo Shrimp with Green Onion Dipping Sauce Shrimp Adapted From Martha Stewart
1 (12oz) bag frozen (41/60 count) large shrimp, peeled, deveined and tail left on
Zest of 2 lemons
2 garlic cloves, grated
2 TBS honey
1/2  tsp. celery seed
2 tsp paprika
1/4 tsp chili powder
1/4 c. vegetable oil
1 c. sour cream
2 TBS lemon juice
1 tsp hot sauce
2 green onions, chopped
Salt and Pepper to taste

In a large plastic bag place shrimp, lemon zest, garlic, honey, celery seed, paprika, chili powder, oil, salt and pepper. Close bag and shake around to coat shrimp. Let marinate for 1 hour. When ready, preheat grill to high. Using a grill pan, grill shrimp on high for 2 minutes. Stir and flip. Reduce heat to medium and cook until opaque and pink, about 5 minutes. In a small bowl combine sour cream, lemon juice, hot sauce, green onions, salt and pepper. Stir well. Chill for 30 minutes.
*NOTE* You can also roast these shrimp. Preheat oven to 450. Place a baking sheet in the oven to heat. Roast shrimp without stirring  for approximately 10 minutes until opaque and pink. Also, the 12 oz. bag of shrimp fed our family of 3 very nicely. If you increase the amount of shrimp, be sure to adjust seasoning amounts to get same flavor.

Shared on Mandy's Recipe Box Sept. 25, 2012
Shared on Lady Behind The Curtain Sept. 26, 2012
Shared on Miz Helen's Country Cottage Sept. 27, 2012
Shared on The Country Cook Sept. 28, 2012
Shrimp at Very Good Recipes
Pin It

Monday, September 24, 2012

Tomato Substitute

Every summer one of our family's favorite treats are Fried Green Tomatoes. My gardeners (aka husband and son) know if they want a decent amount of ripe tomatoes to enjoy, they better plant extra because as soon as they are green and big enough to eat, I'm stealing them to fry them up! And they are okay with that because I've passed my love for these southern summer favorite onto them. Well, this year the drought was not kind to our garden, and while we have enjoyed some grape and cherry tomatoes, and even some peppers, the ones I would have used for frying just didn't grow that well. In fact, the only time we were able to indulge was at the State Fair and the fried veggies vendor. (And boy did they taste good!) So when I could no longer wait and needed to satisfy my craving, I remembered what my mom used to do when I was growing up. During the winter months when green tomatoes were no where to be found, she discovered eggplant made a tasty substitution. Is it the exact same? Of course not. Nothing gives you the tangy flavor of a fresh green tomato, but the texture is close, and of course the beer batter makes anything taste good! I like them sliced, served as a main dish with a little warm marinara sauce and/or ranch dip on the side; but you could also make them in smaller portions, and put them out for a party. Sometimes substitutions need to be made in life, including in our favorite foods, but when those turn out just as delicious as the original, then it's a sacrifice I'm okay to make!

Beer Battered Fried Eggplant
2 medium eggplant, peeled and sliced about 1/2 inch thick
2/3 c. flour
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
2/3 c. beer
Vegetable Oil
Sea Salt
Marinara Sauce, optional
Ranch Dip, optional

In a large bowl, combine flour, salt, pepper and beer. Whisk to combine. Should be the consistency of pancake batter. Preheat an electric skillet to 375. Pour 1 inch of oil in bottom. Dip eggplant slices into batter and place in oil when hot. Fry on each side about 4 minutes until golden brown. Drain on paper towels. Season with sea salt. Serve with warm marinara or ranch.

Shared on Make Ahead Meals Sept. 24, 2012
Shared on Mandy's Recipe Box Sept. 25, 2012
Shared on Lady Behind The Curtain Sept. 26, 2012
Shared on Miz Helen's Country Cottage Sept. 27, 2012
Shared on The Country Cook Sept. 28, 2012
Pin It

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Church Supper #57

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!

We had another busy Saturday at our house with our first TKD Tournament of the season. My "boys" still absolutely awesome, and I was a very proud wife and mama!

Alex competed in Forms and in a division of 8 kids placed
2nd winning, a Silver Medal!
Thanks for stopping by today. I truly appreciate you sharing with our foodie family!
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:

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

Now, let's eat!


1. Feel free to link up as many recipes, but recipes ONLY please, 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 :)

Sweet As Sugar

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of NECTRESSE™Sweetener for SocialSpark. All opinions are 100% mine.

Are you an avid sugar substitute user? Or maybe you are looking to start substituting something else for sugar in recipes. If you answered yes to either of these questions, than let me introduce you to my new go-to artificial sweetenerNECTRESSE™Sweetener
Now I know there are so many sugar substitutes out there, you're asking yourself, why should I try this one? Well, I'm about to tell you. What makes NECTRESSE so special is it is made from real fruit! Monk fruit extract to be exact.  Plus, it's 100% natural and zero calories per serving. Yep, you read that correctly...ZERO!

From the maker of Splenda® Sweeteners, this brand new product derives its natural sweetness from the monk fruit, a small green melon that has grown on lush vines in remote mountain regions in Asia for hundreds of years. Deliciously sweet monk fruit extract is combined with the perfect blend of other natural sweeteners to bring you and your readers the rich sweet taste of sugar without all the calories.

It is 150 times sweeter than sugar and can be used in baking and cooking for no calorie sweetness, or even in your favorite beverages. (This is the part I love since I am an iced tea fanatic).  NECTRESSE is available in both convenient single-serve packets (40 servings) and easy to hold canisters (140 servings). And it is now available at your local grocery, drug stores, supercenters and online for $3.99 for the packets and $6.99 for the canister.

Nectresse product family.jpg
Nectresse product family.jpg

But don't just take my word for it. NECTRESSE also has a spokesperson I think you will recognize. Here is what Lisa Ling had to say about it~
“From the moment I tried NECTRESSE™ No Calorie Sweetener, I loved it. Not only is it all-natural and calorie free, it was incredibly delicious! Made with deliciously sweet monk fruit extract, NECTRESSE™ Sweetener tastes like sugar and satisfies my sweet tooth in a way that fits my healthy lifestyle and is yummy too. In fact, I love it so much that I bring it with me everywhere I go. If you were to look inside my carry-on, you would find packets of NECTRESSE™ Sweetener!”

So of course I wanted to try this for myself, and what better way than in one of my favorite things...iced tea. And even better, flavored iced tea!

Spiced Iced Tea
6 c. water
1 tsp. whole cloves
1 inch cinnamon stick
3 tea bags (I use Earl Grey)
12 packets  NECTRESSE
3/4 c. orange juice
1 TBS lemon juice
Lemon slices for garnish
Combine water, cloves, and cinnamon in a medium sauce pan. Bring to a boil. Remove from heat. Add tea bags, cover and let steep 10 minutes. In another saucepan combine orange juice, NECTRESSE, and lemon juice. Bring to a boil. Strain tea into orange juic mixture. Serve over ice and garnsih with lemon. 

I love that I can add sweetness to my favorite fruit teas without guilt. NECTRESSE provides the sweet taste I'm looking for, great flavor and knowing it's all natural gives me peace of mind. That means I don't miss the sugar at all.
If you would like a chance to try this new sweet sensation in your home in all your favorite dishes, be sure to get your FREE sample of NECTRESSE™Sweetener.

Visit Sponsor's Site

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Weekend Company {Guest Blogger Lynne

Good Morning! Welcome to yet another Saturday and thanks for dropping by my kitchen to see who I have sharing with us! Today I have a fellow blogger, who challenged herself to quite the task, and after it was finished, kept right on cooking and blogging! So, grab a cup of coffee, or maybe some apple cider and please welcome Lynne to EMM~

Hi everyone!
My name is Lynne and I am the author, photographer and recipe creator over at 365 Days of Baking.  It is such an honor to do this guest post for Krista here at Everyday Mom's Meals and to introduce myself to you!  Thank you, Krista for the opportunity!
I have been married to my high school sweetheart for over 22 years and am a full-time mother to our 3 children; two girls ages 20 and 18, and our son who is 15.  I had been working full-time as the office manager of a veterinary clinic for two years when my husband and I decided that it was time for me to return to my dream job as a stay at home mom.  Staying home is something I've always wanted to do since high school when I saw a mother driving her children around while sitting on the bus.  Yup, that's the perfect life for me!
After being home for six months, I finally decided that I needed something to do while the kids were in school and since I enjoyed being in the kitchen, but hadn't ever done much baking, and really enjoyed writing, I challenged myself to baking and blogging every day for one year straight.  I began on January 27, 2011 and finished on March 9th of this year.  No, It wasn't a straight 365 days, there were 40 days scattered here and there in between because in the beginning I hadn't factored in that life might just happen - headaches, ills, lack of time, and family. And it did.  
Since I've finished my challenge, it's been exciting for me to move on to stove top dishes, recipes using my crockpot and using our grill (though I still need work with that appliance), among many others, but I do still use my oven.
Today I have brought to you some Turkey Spinach Enchiladas in which I use my Homemade Taco Seasoning.  They're easy and full of flavor.  Soon after I started 365 Days of Baking I decided to use a rolling pin rating for each recipe to let readers know what my family thought of the dish and I'll reveal that at the end of the recipe.

Turkey Spinach Enchiladas - serves 6

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 large onion, minced
1 jalapeno pepper, cored, seeded and diced small
20 ounces ground turkey
2 tablespoons Homemade Taco Seasoning
5 ounces fresh spinach, chopped
10 small flour tortillas
1 (28oz) can green enchilada sauce
3 cups shredded Mexican cheese combination, divided
1 tablespoon freshly chopped cilantro for garnish, if desired

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. and prepare a 9 X 13-inch baking dish by spraying it with cooking spray.

In a large skillet over medium high heat, warm olive oil.

Add minced onion and diced jalapeno.  Saute until soft, about 5 minutes.

Add ground turkey, breaking it apart as it cooks.

When fully cooked, add Homemade Taco Seasoning and mix until thoroughly combined.

Add chopped spinach and saute until just wilted, about 3 minutes.  You may have to add the spinach in bunches otherwise you may be tossing it all over your stovetop.  Not that I've done that.

Remove from heat.

On a plate, place one small tortilla.

On top of and on one side of the tortilla, put 1/3 cup of turkey/spinach.

Cover filling with about 3 tablespoons of shredded cheese.

Beginning at end of the tortilla where you have placed the filling, gently roll the tortilla up, so that it surrounds the filling.

Place tortilla into prepared baking dish and repeat with remaining tortillas, turkey/spinach filling and cheese.

Pour entire can of enchilada sauce over tortillas.

Cover baking dish with tin foil and bake for 25 minutes.

Remove foil and sprinkle with remaining shredded cheese.  Bake for an additional10 minutes, until cheese is melted and sauce is bubbly.

I rate everything I bake on a scale of 1-4 with 4 being the best and these Turkey Spinach Enchiladas earned 4 rolling pins.  The family LOVED them and requested that they be added to our regular menu.
I've recently started cooking more with turkey and am happy that the family enjoys it
It is a great variation and slightly healthier version than the Chicken Enchiladas I have made in the past.
I've really enjoyed the time spent with you today and a great BIG baking hug goes out to Krista for being her guest here today.

I give you all BIG baking hugs and muffins!!

Meal Plan Sept. 23-29

* New Recipe
Links to Recipes on Blog
^New to Blog, but not our family

Adam is walking in Light the Night for the Leukemia Society
Alex and I have a birthday party to attend.

Taco Crescents*
Spanish Rice

Old Fashioned Pot Roast 

Baked Ham Steaks^
Fried Cabbage and Noodles

Garlic Bread

Shrimp Fried Rice*
Egg Rolls

Friday, September 21, 2012

Autumn Picnic 2.0

Last fall when I shared my Picnic Potato Salad I shared that in my family picnics happen during the summer months, but not so much in the fall, but I knew many of you do enjoy a beautiful autumn picnic. So when I found this recipe I knew it would be yet another perfect dish to enjoy on a blanket in the middle of a park on a sunny day surrounded by golden and orange foliage. Or if your are like me and tend to only picnic between Memorial and Labor Day, then this could be your contribution to any tailgate party! That's right, football season is back upon us, and in our house that means we are all very happy. I am the wife my husband's friends are jealous of. I watch every game I can each weekend, both college and pro, and am usually the one yelling at the television! I love me a good pigskin throw down! And one of the best parts of football season is tailgating and parties. Whether you are gathering outside the stadium before cheering on your favorite team, or gathered in a friend's living room enjoying the game on the big screen, food and football just seem to go together. However you decide to enjoy this coleslaw, it will be a huge hit with the addition of two of fall's favorite flavors, apples and cranberries! This might even be something you want to tuck away in the back of your mind for your Turkey Day table! Embrace autumn and all it's splendor...including new and unique foods.

Apple Slaw From Gooseberry Patch
1 c. coleslaw mix
2 green apples, cored and cubed
1 red apple, cored and cubed
1/3 c. chopped walnuts
1/3 c. dried cranberries
1 c. sour cream
3 TBS lemon juice
1-2 TBS cider vinegar
1 TBS poppy seeds
1 TBS sugar
Salt and Pepper to taste

In a large bowl combine coleslaw mix, apples, walnuts and cranberries. Mix well. In a small bowl, combine sour cream, vinegar, lemon juice, poppy seeds, sugar, salt and pepper. Whisk to combine. Pour over coleslaw and apple mix. Stir well to coat. Garnish with extra cranberries. Chill until serving.

Shared on The Country Cook Sept. 21, 2012
Shared on Make Ahead Meals Sept. 24, 2012
Shared on Mandy's Recipe Box Sept. 25, 2012
Shared on Lady Behind The Curtain Oct. 3, 2012
Apples at Very Good Recipes
Pin It

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Green Leaf's & Bananas

Do you enjoy healthy food, but need the convenience of fast food? How about something quick that is still super tasty that you can feel good about eating? Sound too good to be true? It isn't. Let me introduce you to Green Leaf's and Bananas.

Founded in 1976, Green Leaf's continues to offer guests a healthy meal made from the freshest, top-quality ingredients. There are now over 20 Green Leaf's stores worldwide; and Bananas founded in 1979 now has more than 15 stores on the planet. It's the perfect healthy alternative to fast foods. Green Leaf's 'Pick & Mix' salad bar offers dozens of fresh ingredients and countless possibilities to make sure their customers get exactly what they want. A garden fresh salad made to their taste and tossed especially for them.

Fresh tossed salads made-to-order, delicious wraps, grilled panini sandwiches and hearty homemade soups make Green Leaf's the perfect choice for a fresh, healthy, great-tasting meal.

The refreshing fruit smoothies, cool fresh fruit frosties and delicious frozen yogurt at Bananas make for the perfect assortment of fun treats. Bananas will delight the entire family with products that offer traditional goodies and health conscious options as well.

The folks at Green Leaf's & Bananas are giving away a Vitamix! I know I would love to have one of these in my home! And all you have to do is just like them on their Facebook page to enter! 

So, get in the mix and win a Vitamix today!

Disclaimer: This sponsorship is brought to you by Green Leaf's & Bananas who we have partnered with for this promotion.

Pasta, Okay Now What

If your family enjoys a good pasta dish as much as mine, then maybe you find yourself in the same dilemma as I do each time one goes on my meal plan. What to have with it. Sure, I can make a simple side salad, or even my Easy Caesar Salad, or garlic bread, but with as much pasta as we eat (I try to limit it to once per week though) the side dish can become a little tiresome. I have a bazillion (yes, that is a number) pasta dishes, just not an equal amount of sides to go with them. So a few weeks ago when I was baking yet another pasta creation, I decided since I had some extra time on my hands I was going to come up with something new. Now it wasn't that I needed the time to make it (this comes together in about 10 minutes) but instead I needed those extra minutes to figure out just what it was going to be. I knew I had some yummy fresh veggies left from the Farmer's Market in the crisper, so salad was definitely at the top of my list. Then in the cupboard I found some white cannellini beans. Presto!! I knew exactly what my plan was, and was on my way to a brand new side dish for any pasta night. Use the beans as the base, and then add in any veggies you like~the sky is the limit. For all you fellow pasta addicts out there, garlic bread is okie dokie with me (we love bread to), but if you want something new, give this a try the next time it's Italian night at your house!

White Bean Salad
2 (15oz) cans cannellini beans, rinsed and drained well
1 small cucumber, peeled, seeded and diced
1 c. grape tomatoes, halved
1/3 c. diced red onion
1 small green pepper, seeded and diced
1/4 c. real bacon bits
1/2 c. Italian dressing
Salt and Pepper to taste
Dried Parsley, for garnish

In a medium bowl combine beans and all veggies. Stir well. Add bacon bits and dressing. Stir to combine. Season with salt and pepper. Garnish with parsley. Chill until serving. Serve with a slotted spoon.

Shared on Miz Helen's Country Cottage Sept. 20, 2012
Shared on The Country Cook Sept. 21, 2012
Beans at Very Good Recipes
Pin It

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Not just For Horseshoes

You've heard the saying, right? That "close" only counts in horseshoes? Well, after this recipe I beg to differ. This is yet another copycat recipe of one of our favorites, but it isn't a "dead ringer" and I don't think it every will be, but I do think it is one of those recipes that close is just going to have to be good enough. We love Port a Pit chicken. And if you live in our area, then you know exactly what I'm talking about, and probably enjoy it from the same vendor we do. If you've never had it, it is a grilled chicken half with a flavor like no other, but doesn't have a sauce. It is almost like a "dry" barbecue, but with no rub either. It's kinda hard to explain, and that's probably because it's such a secret! In fact my description is only my guess of how they prepare it. I truly have no idea. But a few years back when I discovered this grilling sauce from Paula Deen, it was the closest flavor we had ever had at home; with the exception of the smoky flavor the original has. I simply will never achieve that without a smoker in the backyard. So for those times we can't get a favorite treat, we can enjoy something very close at home, and year round! This sauce works great on roasted chicken too. So until the secrets of this chicken are revealed, close is just going to have to be good enough, and as long as it's yummy I think we'll survive!

Tangy Grilled Chicken
1 c. Worcestershire sauce
2 lemons, juiced
1 stick butter
2 TBS Monterrey steak seasoning
Olive oil
6 chicken drumsticks

In a small pan place butter over low heat. Melt. Add Worcestershire and lemon juice. Stir to combine. When butter is melted, increase heat to high and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 10 minutes. When ready, preheat grill to medium. Drizzle chicken with olive oil and sprinkle with grill seasoning. Place chicken on grill and cook for 8-12 minutes per side or until juices run clear. In the last 7 minutes of cooking, baste liberally with sauce. Remove chicken from grill and baste once more before serving.

Shared on Lady Behind The Curtain Sept. 19, 2012
Shared on Miz Helen's Country Cottage Sept. 20, 2012
Shared on The Country Cook Sept. 21, 2012