Everyday Mom's Meals: January 2013

Thursday, January 31, 2013

I Make No Apologies

If you are reading this thinking "Please don't let her be sharing yet another Crock Pot soup recipe"...please look away now. I am sorry to disappoint you, but yes, once again I am here to offer something yummy and warm that cooks itself!

But I also know many of you are thinking "Yay....another Crock Pot soup~ I can always use one more!" If you fall into that category, welcome to my world! I can just never get enough of them! On the day I made this, it was snowing, cold and it was such a comfort to have this on the counter simmering away all day long. It was almost picturesque! I don't know about you, but this time of the year tends to put me in a rut. The holidays are over, my birthday isn't until the end of February, and they seem to be the longest, coldest, darkest weeks of the year, which tend to affect my mood. But knowing supper is something warm, both for the body and soul, helps to cheer me up while filling me up!

So if you don't need another slow cooker soup, please come back tomorrow to see what I served with this, it will be worth it. But I will make no apologies for sharing this delicious recipe, for some days, a warm bowl of soup is the only think to look forward to!

Zesty Ham, Bean and Tomato Soup 
2 c. 12-bean soup mix
1 lb. diced ham
2 c. chicken broth
6 c. water
1 medium onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 (15 oz.) can diced tomatoes, undrained
1 (10 oz.) can tomatoes with green chilies, undrained
Salt and Pepper to taste

Place beans in slow cooker, OFF, and cover with water. Soak over night. The next day, drain beans well. Place back in slow cooker. Add all other ingredients. Cook on HIGH 4 hours. Lower heat to LOW and cook 3 additional hours.
*NOTE* I like to serve this with some whole wheat Texas toast croutons. Simply butter both sides of a bread, toast in skillet. Cut into bite sized pieces.

Shared on Miz Helen's Country Cottage Jan. 31, 2013
Shared on The Country Cook Feb. 1, 2013

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

It's Official, We Are Fiends

Pasta. Just the word makes me smile. I just can't get enough of the stuff. I'm convinced I must have been named Isabella and lived in some quaint Italian village in my past life! And I have passed this obsession onto my son. Well, to be fair, he didn't really have a fighting chance because he got the pasta gene from both parents, since Mr. Everyday loves it just as much as I do. I'm not kidding, these boys could eat spaghetti 7 nights a week and twice on Sunday and be totally happy. But as much as we love the stuff, I do try to limit it to one dinner per week. For us, yes it's a favorite, but it's also an indulgence and I don't ever want that feeling to get stale or "old".

So, when I was flipping through my latest Gooseberry Patch book, I was so excited to see an entire section dedicated to Italian! This is one of the two books released this month that I am so lucky to have recipes in! (And you can win a copy of yourself in my latest GIVEAWAY! Click here for for details!)

The minute I saw this recipe I was super excited because it had a little something for each of us. See, the boys truly prefer a red sauce while I tend to be a cream fan. But this has the best of both worlds because it's what I like to call a "blush" sauce. No, that's not a technical term, but it makes sense to me! You take the two, mix them, and it looks as if the pasta is blushing.

This was a big hit! We ate the entire pot, and loved every single bite. With the Alfredo sauce you might think it would be a little heavy, but it's truly not. It's rich, and deep in flavor, but doesn't "sit" heavy after you eat it.  Plus, it's not one of those pasta dishes that has sauce on the first two bites, but the rest is bare. This sauce is so creamy, it coats every inch of the linguine for equal distribution!

If you are a pasta fiend like we are, be sure to give this a try tonight. Super simple. Super tasty. The perfect weeknight addiction fix!

Creamy Marinara Linguine Adapted from Weeknight Dinners
1 lb. linguine, cooked and drained
1 (14.5 oz ) can petite diced tomatoes, drained well
1 (14. 5 oz) can regular diced tomatoes, undrained
1 (15 oz.) jar Alfredo sauce
1/2 c. milk
3 TBS olive oil
2 garlic cloves, grated or minced
1 tsp. Italian seasoning
1 tsp. dried parsley
Salt and Pepper to taste

While pasta is cooking, heat oil in large skillet over medium heat. Add garlic and saute' for 30 seconds. Add undrained tomatoes. Stir well. When heated add Alfredo sauce, milk and drained tomatoes. Increase heat and bring to a bubble. Reduce heat, add seasonings and simmer on low for 10 minutes until slightly thickened. When pasta is cooked, return to hot pot. Mix sauce with pasta, stirring well.

Shared on Lady Behind The Curtain Jan. 30, 2013
Shared on Miz Helen's Country Cottage Jan. 31, 2013
Shared on The Country Cook Feb. 1, 2013

Pasta at Very Good Recipes
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Tuesday, January 29, 2013

The Only Way I Can

When our cousin was home from college for holiday break, he and I got into a very lengthily discussion about the difference between Coney Dogs and Chili Dogs. And like many subjects, we discovered this was yet something else we definitely agreed on. There is a huge difference between the two, and the terminology is not interchangeable.

I've already told you how much our family loves Coney Dogs. So much so that I had to recreate a recipe at home to match the local diner that serves them. And I'm not even going to try to lie, I think we absolutely prefer the coney style over the typical chili dog any day of the week. In fact for me, I can honestly say I'm not a fan of a "regular" chili dog whatsoever, and actually didn't eat the coney ones here in town for years because I thought they were the same until Mr. Everyday convinced me to try them; and I was instantly hooked.

For those of you who don't know, coney sauce has no beans, and the meat is broken up into a finer consistency. And the sauce itself is thinner than a chili sauce, a little more watery if you will. And these were the differences our cousin and I were talking about; and airing our frustration when a menu reads "Coney Dog" when indeed it's a chili dog. Or when people say "They are the same thing." Uh, no they are not!

But this recipe, which was given to me a few years back, is the only way I can eat an actual chili dog. And it would not taste the same using my coney sauce, so I guess the chili does have it's place. I enjoy this casserole because it's a kid friendly meal that can be done in no time after a busy day. I love to top it the same way we do our coney dogs, or a hot bowl of chili~ with a little freshly chopped white onion. The burst of crunch and flavor really rounds out the dish.

If you are a chili dog fan, you too will appreciate this meal. And if you are like us, and enjoy it's cousin, the coney, go ahead and give it a chance. I truly think you won't regret it!

Chili Dog Casserole
2 (15 oz.) cans chili with beans
6 hot dogs
6 corn tortillas, small size
Shredded Cheddar Cheese
1 small white onion, finely chopped

Preheat oven to 425. Pour both cans of chili into 9x11 baking dish. Lay each hot dog in a tortilla, roll and place on chili seam side down. Sprinkle with cheddar cheese to desired amount. (I probably used about 3/4 c.) Cover with foil and bake for 25 minutes until hot dogs are cooked and everything is heated through. Remove foil, garnish with onions and serve.

Shared on Mandy's Recipe Box Jan. 29, 2013
Shared on Lady Behind The Curtain Jan. 30, 2013
Shared on Miz Helen's Country Cottage Jan. 31, 2013
Shared on The Country Cook Feb. 1, 2013

Monday, January 28, 2013

Yep, It's That Time Again

What time? Soup time! And more specifically, Crock Pot soup time! What can I say? I am addicted to my new one, and the numerous new recipes I have to go with it. And with the temperatures not rising out of the teens for day time highs, the arctic chill screams for more soup meals. I try to limit it to once per week, but to be honest, if I am cold, there is going to be soup on the table!

When I was trying to "prioritize" the new soups I have to try, so basically putting them in order of "drool factor" this was one that had to be put at the front of the line, for one simple reason. Leeks. I love leeks, but don't get to cook with them nearly enough. Have you ever had them? They look like giant green onions, but have a much milder flavor. They give a dish a slight onion flavor in the background without overpowering the dish. And one thing they were meant to be cooked with are potatoes.

Now when you buy them at the store, they will more than likely have the dark green stems attached. These will not be used. And when you chop and prepare them, here is a great tip. Slice the white and light green part down the middle, vertically. Then slice each piece into half moon shapes, separating the pieces. Fill your sink, or a large bowl, with cold water. Place the separated pieces into the water and gently shake with your fingers. Leeks grow in soil, and it gets into the layers. By doing this, you separate the layers, washing them thoroughly. The dirt and grit will fall to the bottom while the pieces of leek will float. Remove them from the water with your hands or a slotted spoon and place in a colander to drain/dry.

This soup is so creamy with great flavor and is truly "set it and forget it". Serve some sliced bread or maybe my Easy Yeast Rolls, or even Cheddar Biscuits on the side for a full, satisfying and comforting meal. As long as winter sticks around, you can be sure to find more soups here on EMM and I'm guessing a majority those are going to include the Crock Pot!

Potato and Leek Soup Adapted from Crock Pot
5 c. frozen shredded hashbrowns
1 (10 3/4 oz) can cream of potato soup, undiluted
1 (5 oz) can evaporated milk
1 (14 oz ) can chicken broth
3 leeks, cleaned and sliced
2 ribs celery, finely chopped
12 slices pre cooked bacon, crisp and chopped
1/2 c. milk
1/2 c. sour cream
Salt and Pepper to taste
Real bacon bits, for garnish

Combine potatoes, leeks, soup, evaporated milk, chicken broth, crisp bacon, salt and pepper in Crock Pot. Stir well. Cook on LOW 6-7 hours. After 1 hour, add 1/2 c. milk. Throughout cooking, stir about every 30 minutes. Just before serving stir in sour cream and garnish with bacon bits.

Shared on Make Ahead Meals Jan. 28, 2013
Shared on Mandy's Recipe Box Jan. 29, 2013
Shared on Lady Behind The Curtain Jan. 30, 2013
Shared on Miz Helen's Country Cottage Jan. 31, 2013
Soup at Very Good Recipes
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Sunday, January 27, 2013

Church Supper #72

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:
Chica Chocolatina Bakeshop

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1. Feel free to link up as many recipes, but recipes ONLY please, as you like!

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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!

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Saturday, January 26, 2013

Weekend Company {Guest Blogger Kristi}

Good Morning. I hope this week was a nice one for you. If you were in the part of the country, like we were, that experienced the arctic blast, I hope you have thawed from the deep freeze too!

Today we welcome back a fellow blogger who always has something yummy to share, so let's sit down, grab a snack and see what she's cooking up today!

Thanks to Krista for welcoming me back to EMM!  I always enjoy sharing recipes with all of you!!  My name is Kristi and I’m the author of Kristi’s Recipe Box.  I live in central Illinois with my husband Danny and two children.  We have a daughter Madelyn who is 2 ½ and a son Morgan who is almost 9 months old.

2012 was a busy but wonderful year for us and we are looking forward to an even better 2013.  Hope everyone’s year is off to a great start!  I can’t believe it’s the end of January already!  Where does the time go?  As I was trying to decide what recipe to share with you today, it occurred to me that the Super Bowl is just a few days away so I thought I would share one of my favorite party recipes- Ranch Party Spirals.  My mom gave me this recipe a few years back and it’s so easy and delicious!  I make these pretty frequently when I’m asked to bring an appetizer to a family gathering or other celebration.  These would also be perfect as an appetizer for all those upcoming spring and summer celebrations!  Hope you enjoy this one!

Ranch Party Spirals
2 - 8 oz. pkgs. cream cheese
1 pkg. dry Hidden Valley Ranch Salad dressing mix
2 green onions, chopped (both white and green parts)
12 - 8 inch flour tortillas
thin-sliced deli ham
In a small bowl, beat the cream cheese and salad dressing mix until smooth.  Add onions and mix well.  Spread about 2 T. of the mixture over each tortilla and top with ham slices.  Roll each tortilla tightly.  Cover and refrigerate until firm.  They should be refrigerated for at least an hour but could also set overnight.  Cut each tortilla into 3/4 inch slices.  Keep refrigerated!

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.

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Menu Plan Jan. 27- Feb 1

* New Recipe
Links to Recipes on Blog

Crock Pot Chicken Fajitas*
Chips and Salsa

Pork Chops
Sauteed Parsnips

Italian Beef Sandwiches
Seasoned Potato Wedges
KFC Copycat Coleslaw

Toasted Ravioli*
Easy Caesar Salad

I have dinner plans with a friend. The boys will have leftovers.

Sausage, Bean and Barley Soup*

Friday, January 25, 2013

Foodie Gifts

I remember when I was a kid, my favorite Christmas presents were, of course, toys. Then as I became a "tween" and teenager, they became clothes, CDs and books. Now into my adult life, I still enjoy new clothes and books; and yes my husband had a great track record for beautiful jewelry; but some of my most recent favorite gifts are foodie ones! Anything that is used, can be used, or goes in my kitchen is at the top of my wish list, and some of the items I have most fun with. And even more fun is when someone finds something I didn't even know about and I get to cook with or experience new things. This is the case of one of the ingredients of this dish. Our aunt got me the best gift set from a local olive oil company, Olive Twist, where the specialize in gourmet olive oils and vinegars. This set included 3 flavored olive oils and 3 flavored balsamic vinegars. I was so incredibly excited to start cooking and experimenting, but the holidays and next couple weeks got away from me, and I was too busy to even open a bottle. But when I decided I was going to make the time, I immediately knew which one I wanted to start with...black cherry balsamic vinegar. I knew this would pair so well with chicken, so I went looking for a recipe to inspire me. I found exactly what I was looking for, and the result is truly one of the most delicious chicken dishes I've ever made. The flavor of the new vinegar was exactly what I was looking for and it only concentrated in the cooking process, thus creating the perfect sauce.

I'm so lucky to have so many in my life that love to treat me with such lovely gifts. And I guess when you are a food blogger who spends a majority of her time in the kitchen, it only makes sense foodie gifts quickly become very special!

Cherry Balsamic Chicken Adapted from Food.com
3-4 boneless chicken breasts, patted dry
3 TBS butter, divided
1/2 small onion, thinly sliced
2 TBS black cherry balsamic vinegar
1/2 c. dried cherries, chopped
1 TBS flour
1/2 tsp. dried basil
1/3 c. chicken broth
Salt and Pepper to taste

In a large plastic bag, combine flour, basil, salt and pepper. Shake to mix. Add chicken and gently shake, dredging chicken. In a large skillet over medium heat, melt 2 TBS butter. Add chicken and onions around edges. Brown chicken for 4 minutes on each side, and stir onions occasionally. Add broth and vinegar around chicken. Add cherries. Reduce heat and cover. Simmer until chicken is cooked through, about 10 minutes. Remove chicken and keep warm. Increase heat until mixture bubbles. Cook 2-4 minutes stirring, until slightly thickened. Reduce heat, add 1 TBS butter, stirring to combine. Place chicken back in sauce to warm again. Remove chicken to platter and pour sauce over top.

Shared on The Country Cook Jan. 25, 2013
Shared on Make Ahead Meals Jan. 28, 2013
Shared on Mandy's Recipe Box Jan. 29, 2013
Chicken at Very Good Recipes
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Thursday, January 24, 2013

Another New Kitchen Gadget

Post Christmas I shared with all of you what a lucky foodie I was during the holiday season. I received so many wonderful new kitchen items to use and cook with, I was in food blogger heaven! One of the many new fun items I now have to experiment with is a mandolin!

I have wanted one for so long, and one day while shopping at a kitchen outlet store my mom and I found one for under $10. She bought it and marked it off my Christmas list! (And yes, this was in May, and by December 25th I had forgotten about it!) It's nothing fancy, but perfect for what I will need it for. It comes with various attachments for slicing, julienne, and grating.

I knew the first thing I wanted to do with it was make homemade potato chips! To be honest, I've tried to do these before by thinly slicing the potatoes with a sharp knife, and they never turned out crisp enough, obviously because I could never get the slices thin enough! Well, now I can and did! These make a great side dish that you can feel good about giving your family, because you control the ingredients! Flavor them however you like, from garlic, to cheese to herbs! If you are going to be hosting a Super Bowl party, wow your guests with a big bowl of these so they can snack without feeling too guilty!

I am such a foodie, new kitchen gadgets make me so happy! They are only topped by a new Coach purse...but you can't cook soup in it!

Baked Potato Chips
4 large baking potatoes, scrubbed, peeled and patted dry
1/4 cup butter, melted
French Fry Seasoning

Preheat oven to 500. Using a mandolin, thinly slice potatoes about 1/8" thick. Pat slices dry between paper towels. Place on 2 greased baking sheets. Brush with melted butter. Cook 20-25 minutes, until golden brown and crisp. Start checking after 15 minutes and rotate baking sheets once during cooking. Be careful, once these start to brown, they can burn easily. Remove from oven and sprinkle with French fry seasoning. Allow to cool before serving.

Shared on Miz Helen's Country Cottage Jan. 24, 2013
Shared on The Country Cook Jan. 25, 2013
Potatoes at Very Good Recipes
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Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Another From The Vault

When I decided on this little resolution of mine to go back and "re-blog" recipes that already were, but during the very early weeks and months of EMM when I pretty much had no audience (other than family of course), I didn't intend for the first two to be featured so close together. But, even though that's not the order we ate them in, that's how it worked out here, so be it. This is something I've literally been making for years, or at least for the 10 (almost) Adam and I have been married. Our favorite Italian restaurant here in Fort Wayne makes a killer version of this, and the first time I had it I knew I had to come home, recreate it, and thus this recipe was born. It was actually the very first baked pasta I ever made! It has become a family favorite and I'm frequently asked to bring it to family parties and meals. It's so easy after a few times of making it, that like me, you will probably have it memorized. I can also tell you that even though the recipe calls for "meat sauce" you can substitute "plain" spaghetti sauce with no problems. I know this because I do exactly that when making it for a meal that includes my non-meat eating sister in law!

Now that I've shared two of these gems from the EMM vault, I'm even happier I decided up on this foodie resolution for 2013. There are a lot of great recipes from my early blogging days that I can't wait to share again!

Baked Mostaccioli
1 lb. mostaccioli, cooked and drained
1 (26 oz.) jar meat flavored spaghetti sauce
8 oz. mozzarella cheese
1/2 c. Parmesan, plus extra for top
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. Italian seasoning, plus extra for top
16 oz. small curd cottage cheese
2 eggs, beaten
1/4 c. Italian bread crumbs
Salt and Pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 375. When pasta is cooked and drained, return to hot pot. In a medium bowl combine cottage cheese, 1/2 c. Parmesan, eggs, garlic powder and Italian seasoning. Mix well. Add cheese mixture to hot pasta. Add bread crumbs. Stir well. Add about 1/2 the spaghetti sauce, 1/2 the mozzarella cheese and mix to combine. Grease a 9x13 pan. Add just enough sauce to cover bottom. Pour pasta mixture into pan. Top with other 1/2 sauce and mozzarella. Sprinkle with extra Parmesan and Italian seasoning. Bake for 45 minutes, uncovered, until brown and bubbly.

Shared on The Hopeless Housewife Jan. 23. 2013
Shared on Lady Behind The Curtain Jan. 23. 2013
Shared on Miz Helen's Country Cottage Jan. 24, 2013
Shared on The Country Cook Jan. 25, 2013
Pasta at Very Good Recipes
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Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Baking With Love

Yep, that's right, I am already thinking about that day of love that is actually quickly approaching! But this year, the first treat I wanted to make that was Valentine's inspired, actually started at Christmas! Let me explain...

I have been wanting to try my hand at cake pops for a while now. Why? Because I've had them at Starbucks before and I quickly became addicted! So when I spotted a cake pop pan I immediately added it to my  wishlist; and on Christmas morning, Mr. Everyday came through with flying colors. I didn't want a machine to make them, just a simple pan to use in the oven. It's the perfect cake pop helper! I'm telling you, these are no fail! Mix, pour, bake! How much simpler could it be?

These would certainly please any valentine from young to old! Maybe a special after school treat on the festive day! Or, if you are lucky enough to be able to share home made treats with your child's class, these could make you a rock star mom! Or better yet, if your little ones are home with you, making these would be the perfect fun activity for the day!

I love treating my little valentine to something yummy and fun each February 14th, and for me, there is no better definition of "baking with love" than either surprising him with a sweet treat, or having him in the kitchen next to me making one! Plus, we always share with my other "big" valentine too, his Daddy!

Valentines Day is the perfect chance to show all those special people in your life just how much you care about them, and we all know the quickest way to anyone's heart is through their stomach, especially when it includes chocolate!

Fudge Cake Pops Adapted from Nordicware
3/4 c. semi sweet chocolate chips
1/2 c. butter
3/4 c. sugar
2 eggs
3/4 c. flour
1/4 tsp. salt
3 TBS cocoa
8 oz. semi sweet chocolate baking bar
8 oz. white chocolate baking bar
Cake pop sticks

Preheat oven to 325. Grease cake pop pan. In a small sauce pan over low heat, melt chocolate chips and butter. Stir to combine until smooth. Remove and pour into a large mixing bowl. Add sugar and cocoa. Stir well. Add eggs, one at a time, stirring after each. Add flour and salt. Stir well until combined. Spoon mixture into pan and bake for 25 minutes or until a toothpick in the center comes out clean. Remove from oven, cool in pan for 5 minutes and then remove to cool completely. To melt baking bars, break into small pieces in glass bowls. Microwave for 30 second increments stirring after each until melted. Insert sticks into cake pops. Dip each into melted chocolate, swirling to remove excess. Decorate with various sprinkles.

Shared on Mandy's Recipe Box Jan. 22, 2013
Shared on Hun What's For Dinner Jan. 22, 2013
Shared on The Hopeless Housewife Jan. 23. 2013
Shared on Lady Behind The Curtain Jan. 23. 2013
Shared on Miz Helen's Country Cottage Jan. 24, 2013
Shared on The Country Cook Jan. 25, 2013

Disclaimer: This is NOT a paid endorsement for Nordicware. All thoughts and opinions are mine.

Chocolate at Very Good Recipes
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Monday, January 21, 2013

Extra Calcium

I am a lucky mom. I have a child who has such a wide palate that we can honestly say "If it's food, he likes it." Sure he has his favorites, and even his few things that he doesn't truly care for, but for the most part I never see meal time as a struggle. Now there was a time though when he was about 13 months old, we did have a small conundrum on our hands; but in the scheme of things, and compared to other parents dealing with picky eaters, I know it was on a very small scale.

You see, as soon as Alex could drink whole milk, and we could finally stop buying those pricey cans of formula, he wanted no part of it! The only way he would drink milk was in is bottle, warmed up, the same as he enjoyed his formula. Well, by this time, he was down to only 1 bottle per day, right before bed. I remember feeling so helpless because I could not get him to drink it any other way, any other time of day. I spoke to my doctor and she suggested a couple things. One, he's only a little over 1, so if he still wants a bottle, wait a little while to wean him. So we did. My child took that bedtime bottle until he was 15 months old, and then one night quit cold turkey! Two, she suggested flavoring it to help ease him into drinking it from a cup. She said to try a powdered mix that contained extra vitamins and minerals. I must have had a look of horror on my face upon this suggestion because she said "Look, I know as a parent you don't expect me to tell you that, but sometimes parents make it so hard on themselves, and if putting a little flavoring, that does have some nutritional value, into his milk makes your day a little easier, and does indeed result in him drinking it, I say go for it." So that's exactly what we did. For those few months until he was weaned, the milk he drank through the day was vanilla flavored, and I was okay with that. He was getting the milk he needed and I wasn't in tears during lunch anymore. Then when the day came when the bottles were a thing of the past, and he was used to drinking it, and even enjoying it, the flavoring became not so necessary.

But during this time I also made sure he was getting calcium in other ways too, which to this day I still to, even though he will happily sit down and drink a glass of milk...heck, he will even ask for it! He takes 6 vitamins per day, a multivitamin, one with extra immunity and one with extra calcium. And he is the kid that loves cheese and yogurt. Not likes. Loves! And I know there are many of  parents out there simply trying to get your kids to eat ____. Fill in the blank. But for those that would finish that sentence with calcium or dairy, I've got the perfect treat for you! It's 2 ingredients, and one of those is yogurt! These are super fun, and the kids can even help make them. They make a great mini dessert or even an after school snack. And with all the yogurt/gelatin flavors the combinations are endless.

While I am very lucky to have the child who pretty much eats anything and everything, I do sympathize with those out there who aren't so lucky and hope this helps even just one make dinner time a little easier.

Strawberry Yogurt Bites From JELL-O
3 (6 oz) containers strawberry yogurt
1 (0.3 oz) package strawberry gelatin
Fresh strawberries, optional

Line muffin tin with paper liners. (Mine made 10 large) Mix yogurt and dry gelatin mix in microwavable bowl. Microwave on HIGH for 2 minutes. Stir. Microwave 2-3 minutes more until gelatin completely dissolved, stirring after each minute. Spoon mixture into prepared muffin tin. Chill for at least an hour to set. Top with fresh berries. Peel from paper and serve.
*NOTE* This can easily be made with light yogurt and sugar free gelatin.

Shared on Make Ahead Meals Jan. 21, 2013
Shared on Mandy's Recipe Box Jan. 22, 2013
Shared on Hun What's For Dinner Jan. 22, 2013
Shared on Miz Helen's Country Cottage Jan. 24, 2013
Shared on The Country Cook Jan. 25, 2013

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Sharing Gooseberry Love {A Giveaway}

For a while now it has both a goal and dream of mine to have one of my recipes accepted and published into the Gooseberry Patch family of cookbooks. And this week, it happened! Well, actually I got the letters telling me it was happening back in July, but the books are finally released and there I am in print! See, dreams really do come true! And for me, they came true 3 times over! That's right, 2 books, and 3 recipes later I am finally in Gooseberry Patch. Plus, about 2 weeks before these were released, I received letters telling me two more of my recipes are going into books come this summer! I couldn't be more excited and proud! I have so much respect for Gooseberry Patch, and am honored to be in their cookbooks!

See, there I am! It's so cool to flip through and find my name!

For those wondering here are the recipes featured:

Split Pea Soup- Slow Cooking Year Round Page 69
Roasted Potatoes- Slow Cooking Year Round Page 88
Butter Bean Soup- Weeknight Dinners Page 7

And when you are published in a Gooseberry Patch book, you receive a copy for free. But those folks are so nice, when I asked if I could have an extra of each to giveaway to my fans, they were happy to oblige. See, without all of you...my loyal foodie family...I would have never had the chance to have this dream come true, so I want to pay it forward! So, here is your chance to win a copy of either of these! 

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: Friday February 1, 2013

Two Lucky Winners Will Receive
 (1) Copy Slow Cooking Year Round
(1) Copy Weeknight Dinners
 (I have one copy of each to give to 2 separate people)

Mandatory Entry:
1.Leave me a comment on this post. BE SURE TO TELL ME WHICH BOOK YOU WOULD WANT IF YOU WIN!!!

Extra Entry:
1. Become an EMM Facebook fan. Leave a comment when you have.

That's it! Couldn't be easier! 


And if you would like to purchase these fabulous books, check out Gooseberry Patch online or on Amazon.

Church Supper #71

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:


Half Baked Harvest

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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!

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Saturday, January 19, 2013

Weekend Company {Guest Blogger Bekki}

Good Morning and welcome to another weekend. Was your week a busy one? Ours sure was, so I'm very happy to have the next 3 days "off". Yep, that's right we have a 3 day weekend and it's definitely appreciated!

Today I welcome Bekki, EMM super fan and regular here on Weekend Company, back into the kitchen with me! So grab a seat, something warm to drink and join us!

I am married to my wonderful husband Josh, have a beautiful 12 year old step daughter Amy and 2 fur baby sweethearts Minnie and Shadow. I am a self taught baker/cook. I taught Wilton cake decorating for a while, worked in a grocery store bakery and have even spent time baking wedding/birthday cakes as a hobby on the side. My love for cooking has been since childhood. Spending time with my mother, aunts, and grandmothers. Aiding in their recipes or just being there for the conversation. Its always been a source of calm, peace, and ultimate fulfillment. The idea that you add your love to each recipe and share it with the people you care about is such an amazing blessing to me in more ways then I can ever put on paper. I have decided writing a cookbook was something I could do to share my love of food with family, friends, and whomever else comes my way. I hope your day is blessed with all your favorite things. 

Happy Saturday EMM family! I hope the New year is treating you all well, and finds you in great spirits! Thank you again, Mrs. EMM for inviting me back to spend some time with you. :D

With the holidays now behind us and the new years resolutions still strong in our minds. I thought this recipe would warm us all and keep our goals in sight. I have been able to lose over 60 pounds in the past 6 months and I feel I still have a way to go. So, one of my goals is to cook at home more often. Keeping good hearty recipes, and my pantry full will surely help me. What goals have you set for yourself this year? Who's up for the challenge of meeting our goals? I know I am! Blessings and good luck in all of your endeavors. 

Turkey Chili
 2 c. precooked turkey, chopped
1 green bell pepper, chopped
1 medium onion, chopped
1 tbsp. olive oil
1 40 oz. can pinto beans
1 28 oz. can baked beans
1 28 oz. can diced tomatoes
1 ½ tbsp. chili powder
1 tbsp. granulated garlic
1 tbsp. cumin
½ tbsp. red chili flakes
Salt to taste
In medium soup pot, over medium heat add olive oil, onions, and bell peppers.  Stirring occasionally, cook until onions are clear and bell pepper has softened 7-10 minutes. Add beans and seasonings. Allow to simmer about 25 minutes until beans are completely heated through and veggies have softened slightly. Add turkey and stir to combine. Check seasoning for desired taste, adjust as needed. Chili is ready when turkey has warmed through. Serve hot with your choice of toppings, shredded cheese, sour cream, over tortilla chips, Fritos or with your favorite bread. Enjoy!

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Menu Plan Jan. 20- 26

*New Recipes
Links to Recipes on Blog
^ New to Blog but not us

Mashed Potatoes/Gravy
Creamed Corn

"Lobster" Rolls
Mac n Cheese
Jell-O Salad


Chili Dog Casserole*
Green Beans
Mandarin Oranges

Creamy Marinara Linguine*
Ciabatta Rolls

I have to take someone to the airport. So we will have leftovers

Nine Bean Soup with Tomatoes*
Bacon Crescents*

We're taking Alex and his friend to a pizza buffet/arcade!

Friday, January 18, 2013

Back In Time

Right after the beginning of the New Year, a dear friend asked me if I had any "foodie resolutions". Well, as a general rule I don't make New Year's resolutions. Personally I think they are just asking for us to feel let down, disappointed in ourselves and guilty when we break them. But she did get me to thinking about what I could do here on EMM as a resolution type of thing. Two years ago I vowed to make at least 1 new recipe per week for the entire year, and I DID! Some weeks even more than one. But to be honest I don't think I could do that again if I tried. Our schedules weren't nearly as busy back then as they are now, and some weeks I just need to rely on old stand bys to make sure there is food on the table each night. So after a little thought I decided on a foodie resolution that will not only help out all of my readers but also me. See, there are quite a few recipes I blogged back when only my mom and husband read EMM; so why not go back and "re-blog" some of those? That way, they are like new recipes to all of you but still things that I don't necessarily need to "test" before I feel comfortable sharing them. They are already blog approved, just hidden in the vault as I like to call it.

So to start off this 2013 resolution, I chose one of my favorite recipes of the bunch. This is simple yet delicious. Easy yet elegant. And 100% delicious. If you are a fan of artichokes and lemon, this will excite you as much as it does me. Plus, I love the fact it uses boneless chicken thighs because they are one of the most affordable cuts of chicken in the store!

I hope this experiment of going back in time on EMM turns out as fun and tasty as I plan, and this recipe is the perfect way to begin!

Chicken with Artichokes and Lemon
1 1/2 lb. boneless, skinless chicken thighs, patted dry (about 6 pieces)
1/4 c. all purpose flour
2 TBS vegetable oil
1 c. chicken broth
2 cans artichoke hearts in water, drained
1 lemon, thinly sliced
1/2 tsp dried thyme
1 tsp. dried parsley
1 TBS butter
Salt and Pepper to taste
Garlic Salt to taste

Sprinkle chicken with garlic salt, salt and pepper. Lightly dredge both sides in flour. Warm oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add chicken and cook, turning once, until browned on both sides, about 4 minutes total. Add broth, and artichokes and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer until chicken is almost cooked through, 10-15 minutes. Scatter lemon slices over chicken, cover and cook until chicken is done, 2-3 minutes longer. Transfer chicken, artichokes and lemons to platter. Add butter to skillet. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and stir in thyme and parsley. Cook 1-2 minutes until slightly thickened and "shiny". Pour sauce over chicken.

Shared on The Country Cook Jan. 18, 2013
Shared on Make Ahead Meals Jan. 21, 2013
Shared on Mandy's Recipe Box Jan. 22, 2013

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Lower Sodium Lunch

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of Boar's Head for SocialSpark. All opinions are 100% mine.

It's a new year. And so many of us are trying to fit food goals into our resolutions. Now, as I've said before, I don't make resolutions because I simply think they set us up to fail and then feel guilty. And as far as diet plans go, I live by the "all things in moderation" mantra. However, I too am always looking for ways to sneak healthier foods into our meals. No because we won't eat them if we know they are a tad better for us, but "sneak in" as far as taste goes. When something touches my tongue I don't want my first thought to be "Oh this must be the healthier version." So when I had the chance to try the new Boar's Head lower sodium deli meats and cheeses I jumped at the opportunity.

Boar's Head is a name synonymous with great tasting deli items, many of which I used for simple lunches. And now they have over 20 Lower Sodium products to choose from. I decided to work with The Branded Deluxe Ham, which is 42% less sodium and the White American Cheese which is 25% lower sodium. Plus, both are gluten free! The ham is also milk free, and is certified by the American Heart Association as a heart healthy food! From Bologna and Turkey to Provolone and Swiss, there is something for everyone in the lower sodium choices!

This salad makes a great lunch or brunch. Serve it as is, or with some crackers or pita chips on the side. How many times a week do you hit a drive-thru on your lunch break? This makes a great take along meal or even a quick snack. It's light yet filling and satisfying. And knowing you're eating something with less sodium, only adds to the satisfaction! Be sure to look for the new Boar's Head Lower Sodium products the next time you visit your local deli counter!

Ham and Cheese Salad Adapted from Boar's Head
1/2 lb. Boar's Head Lower Sodium Deluxe Ham, sliced thick and diced
1/2 lb. Boar's Head Lower Sodium White American cheese, sliced thick and diced
3-4 large radishes, thinly sliced
2 celery stalks, diced
2 green onions, finely chopped
1/4 c. Honey Dijon salad dressing
1 tsp. dried parsley, plus extra for garnish
Salt and Pepper to taste
In a large bowl combine all ingredients except dressing. Gently toss to combine. Pour dressing over, and mix well until coated. Chill until serving, at least 15 minutes. Garnish with extra parsley.

Shared on Miz Helen's Country Cottage Jan. 17, 2013
Shared on The Country Cook Jan. 18, 2013
Visit Sponsor's Site

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

A Weekly Thing

In our house during these cold, dark, depressing winter days (Can you tell the post holiday blues have set in??) one of the only bright spots is knowing we are sitting down to a warm bowl of soup for supper. And or the cook of the family...me...that bright spot shines just a little brighter when I know said soup is coming from the Crock Pot, which has done my job all day while I did my other jobs! And I just feel like when a soup comes out of the slow cooker, the flavor is deeper and it truly has that "cooked all day" flavor without me actually having done so. And so, soups are basically a weekly occurrence at our dinner table during the winter.

This is another recipe from that collection I told you about last week. The set came with many soups, but this was the first I had to try. I had a version of this soup many years ago made by a friend of the family, and it was probably one of my favorite soups of all time. I distinctly remember there only being a small amount of that soup to go around (She was actually sharing leftovers with us) and my dad and I literally fighting over it!

And for those of you who read my plight to find barley on Facebook (it really was quite funny) here is the reason why! For those of you who didn't see that story, I was at 2 different stores on 2 different days before I was able to find the pearl barley for this recipe. So, let me help you a little. Look next to the dried beans and/or rice. If not there, try the baking aisle. (Both of these places were ones I had checked because I had found it there before) And if both of those places fail, try the soup aisle. Now, if you are like I was and after searching the shelves in all of these locations and you are pulling your hair out because you still can't find it, try the international foods aisle. Because this is where I finally found mine! In the "British" section! Which, by the way, I didn't even know existed until this day! Whew...I'm glad I bought the 1 lb. bag because the next time I need it, I only have to search my pantry!

If  you too are a soup lover just trying to survive these winter days, put your Crock Pot to work making this delicious, and easy (after you find the barley) selection!

Mushroom and Barley Soup Adapted from Crock Pot
9 c. beef broth
1 lb. mushrooms, sliced
2 carrots, finely diced
1 large onion, finely diced
2 celery stalks, finely diced
3 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 c. pearl barley, uncooked
1/2 tsp. dried thyme
Salt and Pepper to taste

Combine all ingredients in slow cooker. Cook on LOW for 4-6 hours.

Shared on Lady Behind The Curtain Jan. 16, 2013
Shared on Miz Helen's Country Cottage Jan. 17, 2013
Shared on The Country Cook Jan. 18, 2013
Soup at Very Good Recipes
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Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Post Holiday Leftovers

While I do not, I know many of you have containers of leftovers sitting in your freezer right now; all things you enjoyed during the holidays but just couldn't finish at the time. I think leftovers can be a great thing. Reheat them "as is" for a quick meal, or have fun turning them into something else. So even though I had to purchase the ham I used in this delicious dish, I know many of you are going to be excited to use some of that extra holiday ham you have on hand!

This is comfort food at it's best! Let's face it, if you are making a recipe that includes the words "serve over egg noodles" most of the time it's going to be a hit! There is just something so familiar, yet versatile about them. Your family is going to love this, and when they find out you made the cheese sauce from scratch, you will be a hero! Yes, it takes a little longer, but it's very simple if you go step by step. I promise. If I can do it, you can!

If you are looking for simple suppers during these chilly winter nights, but also want your loved ones to feel satisfied, this is perfect! Plus, if you have some ham hanging out in your freezer as we speak, now you have something to use it for!

Ham and Swiss On Egg Noodles Adapted from Family Living Classics
1 lb. egg noodles
2 c. cooked ham, diced
10 oz. frozen peas, thawed and drained
1 (4 oz) can sliced mushrooms, drained
3 green onions, chopped
8 TBS butter, divided
1/4 c. four
3 c. milk
8 oz. shredded Swiss cheese
1 TBS dried parsley
Salt and Pepper to taste

Cook egg noodles according to package directions.In a large saucepan cook green onions in 2 TBS butter for 3 minutes. Add mushrooms and peas. Cook until heated through, about 5 minutes. Remove from pan and set aside. Melt 6 TBS in saucepan. Add flour, whisking until smooth. Cook for 1 minute, stirring constantly. Gradually add the milk, and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until mixture is thickened and bubbly. Add cheese, in small batches and stir in a figure 8 motion until cheese is completely melted and sauce is smooth. Season with salt and pepper. Add vegetable and ham. Mix well. Cook until heated through, about 10 minutes on low. When noodles are done, drain and return to hot pot. Add 2 TBS butter and parsley. Stir well until noodles are coated. Serve ham mixture over egg noodles.

~Join me for Tasty Tuesday on Formula Mom~

Shared on Mandy's Recipe Box Jan. 15, 2013
Shared on Lady Behind The Curtain Jan. 16, 2013
Shared on Miz Helen's Country Cottage Jan. 17, 2013
Shared on The Country Cook Jan. 18, 2013
Ham at Very Good Recipes
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Monday, January 14, 2013

It's A Trend

When I sat down to blog this recipe I realized something interesting. This is the second Monday in a row I am sharing a scone recipe with you. It wasn't planned that way, but apparently I've started a trend. I'm guessing it won't continue next Monday, but a two week occurrence can still be a trend, right?!

After my luck at making the Cranberry Orange ones I shared last week, I wanted to try them again! Like I said in that post, I've never been a fan, but I can whole heartily say I am a convert! In fact, I would venture to say I've almost become addicted. They are much easier to make then I ever imagined and I just adore the texture and flavor. These make the perfect weekend breakfast or brunch item, but truthfully I love serving them for dessert too. I usually have them for breakfast in the morning and the leftovers, (if there are any) become a quick dinner time sweet treat. I haven't done it myself, but I'm guessing these would be great baked off, frozen and then reheated for a quick school/workday morning too.

Without even trying, I've started a trend here on EMM, and while I'm not making any promises, I'm guessing it's one that while not on a weekly basis, will continue at some point!

Apple Cinnamon Scones From AllRecipes
2 c. flour
1/4 c. sugar, plus 2 TBS for topping
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 c. butter, chilled
1 medium apple, peeled and diced
1/2 c. milk, plus extra for topping
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon, plus extra for topping

Preheat oven to 425. In a large bowl combine flour, 1/4 c. sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt and 1/2 tsp. cinnamon. Mix well. Cut in butter until crumbly. Add apple and milk. Stir to form soft dough. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Knead gently 8-10 times. Pat into two 6 inch circles. Place on greased baking sheet (or use parchment paper or Silpat). Brush with milk and sprinkle with extra sugar and cinnamon. Cut each round piece into 6 pie shaped wedges. Bake for 15 minutes until browned and risen.

Shared on Make Ahead Meals Jan. 14, 2013
Shared on Mandy's Recipe Box Jan. 15, 2013
Shared on Lady Behind The Curtain Jan. 16, 2013
Shared on Miz Helen's Country Cottage Jan. 17, 2013
Breakfast at Very Good Recipes
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