Everyday Mom's Meals: August 2013

Saturday, August 31, 2013

Soul Food Saturday #20

Happy Labor Day weekend! I hope you have something fun, or maybe relaxing, planned for this 3 day gateway to fall. Okay, so I'm not wishing summer away by any means, but with September coming in less than 24 hours, I'm trying to embrace the fact the hot, sunny days are going to become further and farther between. But I'm sure we still have some beautiful weather ahead of us, and hopefully you'll get out and enjoy some this weekend! Bekki is here with the perfect holiday dessert, especially if you're having guests. It takes one of my all time favorite ice cream parlor treats and put a new spin on it!

I saved the best for last. Since most of us have a 3 day weekend and are celebrating Labor Day, we can’t leave out the dessert. This pie transforms banana split toppings into one delicious slice. After having a nice cookout this is a perfect way to end the meal. Super easy to prepare and in advance so it doesn't get in the way of other celebrating that must be had this weekend. This is one you’ll want to keep around, because someone is going to want your secret recipe. Enjoy!
Banana Split Pie {Adapted from Valley View Women’s club Cookbook}
 2 graham cracker crusts
2 cups confectioners’ sugar
1 stick unsalted butter
2 tbs. vanilla
1 8oz. package Cream Cheese, softened
6-7 bananas, sliced
1 large can crushed pineapple, drained
1 tub whipped topping
1 c. Maraschino cherries
1 c. macadamia nuts, chopped
In a large bowl, cream together butter, sugar, vanilla and cream cheese. Pour half of    mixture into each pie crust. Layer bananas on top of filling and press them in gently. Then layer pineapple on top of bananas. Lastly finish each pie with a layer of whipped topping, and top with cherries and nuts.

Menu Plan Sept. 1- 6

*New Recipe
Links to Recipes on Blog

Grilled Beef Brisket
Corn on the Cob
Baked Sweet Potatoes

Oven Glazed Chicken Wings*
Parmesan Rice Pilaf*

I'm having dinner with my mom.
The boys will have leftovers.

Crock Pot Vegetable Soup
Dinner Rolls
Fruit Cocktail

Sloppy Potatoes
Cottage Cheese
Sliced Beets

Blushed Pasta Bake*
Garlic Toast

Friday, August 30, 2013

Doesn't Get Fresher

Having a big barbecue this Labor Day weekend? Have fresh veggies from the garden you would like to use? How about a cool, creamy, crunchy and most of all flavorful salad you and your guests will love? Your everyday mom is here with the perfect idea!

I love summer for so many reasons, too many to even list, but the foodie in me loves being able to eat foods we grow ourselves in our backyard. Or should I say, foods my boys grow in our backyard. Because besides picking them, I don't have much to do with it. It's better that way. My thumbs are not green in any way!

But when they come inside with a big bowl filled with beautiful tomatoes, cucumbers, blackberries, grapes, etc...that's when it's my job to find ways to use them all in a yummy, and sometimes new way.

When I first saw this recipe, it reminded me of other creamy veggie salads I've made in the past, except for one thing: the radishes. We are huge radish fans. Even little man loves them, so I was happy to find a new way to use them. Plus, I loved the use of lemon and seasoning salt in the dressing. They really took the basic sour cream dressing and took it to a whole other flavor level. Oh, and I have to tell you, I was extremely pleased with it's consistency after sitting in the fridge for a few hours. The vegetables were still crisp, not mushy at all.

Since we're going into the "last weekend of summer" (the quotations are because I don't consider it to be, but I know society says different) there is no better time than to head outside, fire up the grill, invite friends and family over, and enjoy a backyard bash. And this salad would be great with anything you're pulling off the fire. Enjoy summer's bounty while you still can because it doesn't get fresher, and in about 3 months when we're knee deep in snow, we will be missing it profusely!

Creamy Vegetable Salad Adapted From Taste of Home
2 large tomatoes, seeded and chopped
2 large cucumbers, seeded and chopped
3-4 green onions, chopped, reserve a few for garnish
6 radishes, finely chopped
1 c. sour cream
1/2 tsp. seasoning salt
1/8 c. lemon juice
1/4 tsp. pepper
1/2 tsp. celery seed, extra for garnish

In a large bowl combine tomatoes, cucumbers, green onions, and radishes. Toss to combine. In a small bowl whisk together sour cream, seasoning salt, lemon juice, pepper and celery seed. Pour over veggies. Mix well. Cover and refrigerate at least 2 hours. Serve with a slotted spoon.

Shared on The Country Cook Aug. 30, 2013

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

A Hand In The Kitchen Part 2 {A Review of Cooking Planit}

Monday I introduced you to my new favorite assistant in the kitchen, Cooking Planit! Their site and their app are a home cook's best friend. (If you missed Monday's post, click here to read all about it!)

Today I'm sharing a delicious sandwich that if it weren't for the step by step instructions provided by Cooking Planit, might seem a little over whelming to an inexperienced cook. Or heck, even one like me who spends a lot of time in the kitchen! But I promise you, it's very simple, and the end result is very worth it.

Now, just like the Bowtie Pasta Salad I shared the other day, I made a few adjustments to this recipe to better suit our taste buds. To see the original, click here. One of the things that caught my eye about this sandwich was the avocado mayo...but then I remembered Mr. Everyday does not care for avocados in the same loving way I do, so I decided to substitute my herb mayo that I've been making for years.

Also, while I love arugula, I was already buying the spinach for the pasta salad, so I thought why not get double duty out of it, and include it as the green in the sandwich instead. That's just my budget conscious self shining through. I think the arugula would be 100% yummy too.

But without a doubt, the star of this sandwich, and the one thing I knew I could not mess with, is the Pickled Red Onions. Talk about taking a simple ingredient and with almost no effort transforming it into something new, unique and delicious! Once you make them, you will find a hundred more ways to use them, I know it!

A simple sandwich supper is always welcome in this house. If it is in yours too, try this one tonight, and maybe that scrumptious pasta salad too. Oh, and don't forget to check out Cooking Planit, and scroll down for the fabulous giveaway they are offering EMM readers too!

Roast Chicken Sandwich with Pickled Red Onions and Herb Mayo Adapted from Cooking Planit
1 (1.25 lb.) package chicken tenders
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 tsp. onion powder
1 TBS olive oil
1 c. baby spinach, stems removed
1 small cucumber, peeled and thinly sliced
Salt and Pepper to taste
4 Hoagie buns

Preheat oven to 375. Place chicken on baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil. Sprinkle with garlic powder, onion, powder, salt and pepper. Stir to coat. Roast for 20-30 minutes until cooked through. Spread each bun with herb mayo. Layer spinach, cucumber and chicken. Top with pickled onions.

Pickled Red Onions:
1 medium red onion, thinly sliced
1 c. apple cider vinegar
1 tsp. mustard seed
1 dried bay leaf
1 tsp. salt
3 black peppercorns
2 TBS sugar

Fill a small saucepan 2/3 with water. Bring to a boil. Cook onions for 1 minute to soften. Drain. In the same pot, combine vinegar, mustard seed, bay leaf, salt, peppercorns and sugar. Stir well. Bring to a boil. Cook onions for 8-10 minutes until pink in color. Drain and reserve.

Herb Mayo:
1/2 c. mayo
1 tsp. dried basil
1 tsp. dried oregano
1 tsp. dill weed
1/2 tsp. dried parsley

Mix all ingredients well and chill until ready to use.

Shared on The Country Cook Aug. 30, 2013
Sandwich at Very Good Recipes

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, August 26, 2013

A Hand In The Kitchen Part 1 {A Review of Cooking Planit}

Have you ever said to yourself "Cooking would be so much easier, if I just had a little help. Another set of hands to make sure everything is getting done at once."? Well, if you have, you are not alone. Anyone who spends any amount of time in the kitchen at some point has wished for a little assistance to make everything run smoothly. And today I have the answer to those wishes...in the form of not only a website, but also an app you can run on your iPad or iPhone! 

Let me introduce you to Cooking Planit, the site that takes the guesswork out of the kitchen. From your grocery list to the final product, they are there every step of the way, making sure your meal goes off without a hitch. 

From their website: 
• Simplified Meal Planning – Thoughtful and tested meal plans that your family and friends will love.
  • • Organized Shopping – No more headaches while getting your list together. We build your shopping list just like you would.
  • • Guided Cooking Steps – It's like G.P.S. for cooking! We'll do all the organization and lead you through each recipe's steps so that the entire meal is ready at the same time.
  • • Cloud Sync – Sync your account across the web, your iPhone and iPad
That's right, every single detail is not only thought of, but executed with ease and simplicity. When you find a recipe you want to make, just save it to your cookbook. Then when you are ready, it's waiting on you. Step by step instructions, all leading to a delicious meal, where all dishes are done at the same time! 

Let's start at the beginning. Here is this recipe, on my iPhone using the Cooking Planit app. It starts by telling me everything I should gather in the kitchen, so my ingredients are waiting on me, not the other way around. 

Next up, it tells me what equipment I'll need throughout the entire cooking process. No searching for a gadget at the last minute this way!

Now here is one of my favorite parts. Before you even start, it asks how many servings you are cooking for, adapted the recipe accordingly. Only have 2 in your house? Not a problem. No more guessing how much to make. It's so user friendly for cooks of all walks of life, from the small household to the ones cooking for a small army.

And this...well, this is my absolute favorite part. The timing aspect. It talks to you and tells you how much time you have before the next step needs to be completed. It even has a timer so you know exactly where you are in the process. Plus...if you get ahead of schedule...it even tells you that. And suggests you have a seat and enjoy a glass of wine while you wait! It truly is like having a friend in the kitchen with you!

Cooking Planit is the perfect site/app for everyone who enjoys cooking, but can always use a little help. I think it would be a great idea for college kids, living on their own for the first time, or maybe a new bride who isn't quite comfortable in the kitchen yet. But I also love that the more experienced home cook can adapt the recipes to fit their tastes (which is exactly what I did for this one) and even "skip" steps to better fit their time frame. Cooking Planit is easy to use, fun, and a home cook's best friend! 

Plus, they are very generous! They are giving EMM readers a chance to win a 12-piece T-Fal Cookware Set! It is GORGEOUS! And all you have to do to enter, is follow the directions in the Rafflecopter widget below! 

Now, for this recipe, I took one on their site, and adapted it to satisfy our family a little better. If you want to see the original, click here. This would make a great addition to your Labor Day picnic or backyard party...NO mayo! The light dressing makes it delicious without being too heavy. And I love the combination of spinach and feta! 

If you are looking for a little help in the kitchen, look no further than Cooking Planit. And be sure to check out the giveaway below, and come back on Wednesday to see the sandwich I made to go with this salad too!

Bow-Tie Pasta Salad with Spinach and Feta  
Adapted from Cooking Planit
12 oz. bow-tie pasta
1/2 c. sliced black olives
1 c. fresh baby spinach, chopped
1 (12 oz.) jar roasted red peppers, drained and rough chopped
1 c. feta cheese crumbles
1 clove garlic, minced
1 TBS olive oil
1 TBS lemon juice
Salt and Pepper to taste

Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Cook pasta to al dente, about 10 minutes. While pasta is cooking, add garlic, spinach, peppers and olives to a large bowl. Stir to combine. When pasta is done, drain well. Add directly to bowl. In a small bowl combine olive oil and lemon juice. Whisk to combine. Pour over pasta while warm. Season with salt and pepper. Stir to combine. Place in fridge at least 10 minutes to chill. Just before serving add feta and toss to combine. 

Shared on Mandy's Recipe Box Aug. 27, 2013
Shared on Lady Behind The Curtain Aug. 28, 2013
Shared on The Country Cook Aug. 30, 2013

For More Info: 
 Website: http://www.cookingplanit.com/browse
 iOS'Apps: https://itunes.apple.com/us/artist/cooking.planit/id544421990

 Social Media:
 Blog: http://blog.cookingplanit.com/
 Facebook:' https://www.facebook.com/cookingplanit
 Twitter: https://twitter.com/cookingplanit
 Pinterest:'' http://pinterest.com/cookingplanit
 YouTube:' http://www.youtube.com/cookingplanit
 Instagram: http://instagram.com/cookingplanit

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Church Supper #99

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:

Strawberry Peach Smoothie


Congrats! Be sure to grab my Featured On Button!


1. Feel free to link up as many recipes, butrecipes 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, August 24, 2013

Soul Food Saturday #19

Well, we have one week of school under our belts! Five days down. Only 175 more to go! It's hard to believe that summer is coming to end, Labor Day is next weekend, and autumn is just around the corner. And today Bekki is sharing a great idea for any busy school night, especially if your family is like ours and the "after school" activities keep you just as busy!

  *NOTE* Bekki had a friend give her this recipe, but couldn't remember where she got it, so if you recognize it, or where it came from, please let us know so we can give them a little shout out love!

For most summer vacation is officially over. The new school year has begun and thoughts of fall sports and fun are in the air. So I decided we needed a fun recipe that’s great for a family movie night snack or one to come home and have right after a day at school. This one will be fun for the kids to help with. Choosing your favorite combinations of meats and cheese, just like your favorite pizzas. Whether you are a dipper or a purist, this will fit everyone’s fancy. Pull out the ranch, or your favorite marinara. Or maybe even both. This one is a winner!
Mini Pepperoni Pizza Egg Rolls
3 mozzarella string cheese, quartered
12 mini egg roll wrappers
36 slices of mini pepperoni
Oil for deep-frying

Marinara or pizza sauce (optional)

On top of egg roll wrapper, place three pieces of pepperoni from one corner to another. Place a piece of the quartered string cheese on top of the pepperoni. Moisten around entire edge with water to seal, with either your finger, or a brush. Start fold by folding corners over the cheese. Then pull bottom corner over cheese and pepperoni and keep rolling until cheese is tightly wrapped. Repeat with the rest of wrappers.

In a skillet, heat oil to 375 degrees F. Fry sticks, a few at a time, for 30-60 seconds on each side until completely brown. Drain on paper towels.

Meal Plan Aug. 25-30

*New Recipe
Links to Recipes on Blog
^Recipes being "re-blogged"

Skillet Chicken Pot Pie^

Cottage Cheese

I'm having dinner with a friend. The boys will have frozen pizza.

Crock Pot Barbecue Beef Sammies
Mom's Macaroni Salad^
Marinated Cucumbers

French Toast
Sausage Links

Stuffed Peppers^
Dinner Rolls
Sliced Peaches

Friday, August 23, 2013

The Best E.V.E.R.

Having a big party this weekend? Maybe a back to school blowout? Or heading up to the lake for one of the last summer weekend getaways before it's too late? Or maybe you're even looking ahead to next weekend, Labor Day and a big backyard barbecue. If any of these are true, or you're just looking for a great party idea to keep in your back pocket, or even a simple side dish for your next Mexican night at home, I've got something that works for every single one of those!

As most of you know, before I was a SAHM, I had a career outside the home. After getting my degree, I worked in an Orthopedic Medical Office for 2 1/2 years before little man came along and changed my world forever. I was lucky enough to work with a great group of people, including the other ladies in my department, nurses, PAs, doctors, support staff, etc. It was a great company and there are still days when I miss it.

And one of the best things about this office were the carry ins! Rather it be in our department, another down the hall, or office wide, those were some of the yummiest days on the job! Now working in medical records, we had a lot of contact with other departments, and on the days they were having carry-ins and we weren't, more likely than not, they were always so kind to invite us to share in their "brought from home" goodies, and this was one of those recipes.

I was actually pregnant the day the nurses were having a carry-in and were so kind to share. Who can say no to a 7 month pregnant lady drooling over your plate? The minute I dipped my first chip into this queso, I had to have the recipe...because it was the BEST I'd ever had. She was kind of enough to share, and I couldn't believe how simple it was, plus being Crock Pot friendly makes it so nice for parties or potlucks.

I remember the next fall, after Alex was born, I made this one Sunday and we literally ate it all day long while we watched football, making it a meal. These days, I use it as a side dish if we're having tacos, enchiladas, etc. Or it's a great one to set out for a large crowd, because the pot never seems to end!

I've been so lucky to stay at home with Alex. After all, it's what lead me to blogging, and all of you. But I took a lot away from my working years too. Experience, knowledge, great friends, and even some tasty recipes to share!

Crock Pot Queso Dip
1 lb. bulk sausage, browned and drained
32 oz. Velveeta, cubed
8 oz. cream cheese, softened a bit
1 (10 3/4 oz.) can cream of mushroom soup, unprepared
1 ( 10 oz.) can Rotel

Place Crock Pot on low setting. Combine Velveeta, cream cheese and mushroom soup. Stir well. Add Rotel. Mix again. Cook on LOW 30 minutes. Add sausage and stir well. Continue cooking on LOW for another 30 minutes, stirring occasionally, or until completely melted and combined. *NOTE* If you wish to leave this in the Crock Pot for a long duration, turn to KEEP WARM or even OFF. If it becomes extra thick, add a few splashes of water to thin it out. Also do this if left over and reheating.

Shared on The Country Cook Aug. 23, 2013
Shared on Mandy's Recipe Box Aug. 27, 2013
Mexican at Very Good Recipes

Thursday, August 22, 2013

More Greatness From Zak! Designs {A Review and Giveaway}

If you've been reading this blog for any length of time now, you know what a big fan of Zak! Designs I am. I love their products, and I love when I get a chance to blog for them, or in this case team up with them for a fun fan giveaway! 

Their products are both functional and adorable. I have so many of them in my kitchen, it can look like a Zak showroom at times! And now they have a brand new line I'm so excited to introduce you to, Moso Bamboo

This new biodegradable collection not only showcases a delightful organic shape, the material is organic too. Made through an innovative process that combines 75% bamboo fiber, from the giant Moso bamboo plant (which are a rapidly growing, renewable resource), with wheat starch. Moso is durable enough to be used for years. Yet it is 100% biodegradable and carries all the environmentally friendly benefits of bamboo. 

Available in three colors: kiwi, orange and azure, these bowls are a fantastic addition to any kitchen. They are functional but look nice enough to serve out of too. I love these bowls! I chose kiwi, and are such a pretty accent to my dinner table. 

And now you have a chance to win a set of these fabulous new, environmental friendly bowls for your kitchen too!

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. I will provide the sponsor with the winner's address and they will ship the prize.

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: Aug. 28, 2013

One Lucky Winner Will Receive
(1) Set Moso Bamboo Bowls 
A $24.99 Value
In YOUR choice of Azure, Kiwi or Orange

Kiwi Pictured 
Mandatory Entry:
1. Like Zak on Facebook. Leave a comment when you have. 

Extra Entries:

1. Like EMM on Facebook. 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.

 That makes up to 4 entries per person!!!

Good Luck!

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

The Very First

As most of you already know, my woes of a broken oven are over. My man fixed it, and it's up and running...baking, roasting...doing all the things it is supposed to, beautifully.

 But I'm not going to lie. As much as I love no bake desserts, I was starting to crave something freshly baked from that oven. I'm not kidding you, he got it fixed on a Saturday afternoon, and Sunday morning I got up extra early to bake something, simply because I knew I could; and this recipe was the very first thing I baked in my newly fixed oven!

This is a take on my Strawberry Cobbler I shared last summer. See, not only are my boys raspberry and blackberry fanatics, but this year, we actually have fresh blackberries growing in our backyard. Alex gets so excited every time he checks the bushes and finds those purple beauties staring back at him. So, Mommy just had to find a yummy dessert to use some in to reward all his hard work.

I love this recipe because it is truly fool proof. Even if you aren't much of a baker, I guarantee you can make this. Mixing, pouring, baking. That about covers it. And I don't see why your favorite berry couldn't be substituted.

I'm so grateful to have my oven up and working again. Not only does it make menu planning so much easier, but in insures scrumptious things like this are going to keep showing up on EMM!

Blackberry Cobbler
1 c. flour
1 c. sugar
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 egg, beaten
4 TBS butter, diced
4 c. blackberries, fresh or if frozen, thawed and drained
Whipped Cream, optional

Preheat oven to 375. Spray an 8x8 baking pan. Layer berries in bottom of pan. In a large bowl combine all dry ingredients. Mix well. Add egg. Using a fork, mix until forms a crumbly mixture. Sprinkle over top of berries. Dot with butter dices. Bake for 45-55 minutes until golden brown and bubbly. Cool slightly before serving. Top with whipped cream, or ice cream!

Shared on Lady Behind The Curtain Aug. 21, 2013
Shared on The Country Cook Aug. 23, 2013

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Back To School Fuel

It's the most important meal of the day. We all know that. But it's not always the easiest one, especially for the smallest people in the house. Kids need a nutritious, filling breakfast to start their school day, but many times, there isn't a lot of time in the morning, but with Better Oats from MOM Brands, you don't need as much time as you might think to make sure their stomachs are satisfied and they have the fuel they need to get them through the day, or at least until lunch!

Better Oats is continuing their oatmeal revolution with the addition of three new steel cut instant oatmeal varieties to the their Oat Revolution line. The new oatmeal is one of the fastest cooking steel cut oats products on the market, allowing us, the consumer, to enjoy all the taste, flavor and health benefits of steel cut oats in just 2 1/2 minutes cook time! Now that's even something my busy mornings can allow for!

Available in 3 varieties, the new Oat Revolution steel cut oats have flaxseed and carry the 100% Whole Grain Stamp from the Whole Grains Council. They are also a good source of fiber and ALA omega-3, and are considered hearth healthy.

"This innovative new oatmeal is great for busy people who want the taste and texture of slow-cook steel cut oatmeal, as well as the speed of cooking by microwave. What makes this oatmeal even more convenient is the built-in measuring cup pouch--just another way we're finding better ways to make a better breakfast." ~ Linda Fisher, Director of Corporate Communications for MOM Brands, the parent company of Better Oats. 

These new varieties are currently available at over 1,000 Kroger and Safeway stores. And they will be hitting the shelves of other retailers nationwide over the next several months. The new tasty options are: 

* Oat Revolution Steel Cut Maple & Brown Sugar: A tried and true favorite flavor with a hearty texture everyone will love. (This is my favorite!! It reminds me of the oatmeal of my childhood, but taken to the next level!)

*Oat Revolution Steel Cut Classic: Oatmeal that's perfect on its own or customize with fruit, syrup or other favorite additions. (This one made me thing of my father in law, who could enjoy his oatmeal with homemade granola added in.)

*Oat Revolution Steel Cut Apples & Cinnamon: Made with real apples and warm flavor of cinnamon. (This is the one Alex could eat every day, especially come autumn!)

If you are looking for something new to fuel your kids' day, giving them energy to start their day the right way, while filling them up and make them say "Yum", the new Steel Cut line from Better Oats is definitely the answer. Quick enough not to derail your busy morning, but nutritious and hearty enough for you to feel good about! Be sure to check your grocery store today!

Monday, August 19, 2013

Indoor Hog Roast

Do you enjoy a good old fashion hog roast? Do you even know what I'm talking about? See, I'm not sure it's something enjoyed from coast to coast or not, but here in the Midwest, if you have a party and mention there is going to be a freshly roasted hog, your guest list will double! In fact, we love them so much, it's what we served at our wedding reception! Yep, we had a dear friend make all the sides, salads, etc, but the main dish was shredded pork from two hogs our family prepped and roasted ourselves.

We are lucky enough that my father in law has a hog cooker, and we were happy to take full advantage on our special night. And to this day, I still get compliments about the food at our reception being some of the best, most delicious and family friendly ever.

For those of you who don't know, I'm talking about taking a whole hog, seasoning it, and putting it inside this huge cooker to slow roast for hours and hours. It comes out tender, juicy and mouth watering. Now, it's a preference thing rather you include sauerkraut, and what most folks around here do is to cook part with, and part without. I like to eat it on a plate with a fork; and yes, I enjoy the kraut too. But it makes the best pulled pork sandwich around too, and some even add barbecue or hot sauce to it.

As much as we enjoy this, it's not very practical for an every day meal. It has to be a pretty special occasion to pull out that hog cooker. So, when I crave it during random moments of the year, this is a simple, tasty alternative. With only 4 ingredients, and a few hours in the slow cooker, it gives us a flavor that is very close, and makes for an excellent weeknight meal.

If you love a good roast hog as much as I do, or are just fans of pork and kraut together, you will love this one too! But I'm still looking forward to the next hog roast. There has to be a graduation, wedding or family reunion coming soon!

Slow Cooker Sausage and Kraut
2 (9 oz.) packages smoked sausage, cut into 2 inch pieces
2 ( 15 oz.) cans sauerkraut, undrained
1/4 c. brown sugar
2 tsp. Dijon mustard

Place sauerkraut, brown sugar and mustard in Crock Pot. Stir well. Spoon some of the sauerkraut mixture on top to cover sausage. Cook on LOW 4-5 hours. Check for dryness every hour or so. If it dries out, add a splash of water.

Shared on Mandy's Recipe Box Aug. 20, 2013
Shared on Lady Behind The Curtain Aug. 21, 2013
Shared on The Country Cook Aug. 23, 2013
Crock Pot at Very Good Recipes

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Church Supper #98

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:

Peaches And Cream Cheese Bars


Congrats! Be sure to grab my Featured On Button!


1. Feel free to link up as many recipes, butrecipes 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, August 17, 2013

Soul Food Saturday #18

Well, that time is upon us. It is the last weekend of summer vacation for us. I am trying hard to come to terms with little man not being with me all day, every day, but honestly, I think I'm still in denial. In fact, I could use some cheering up. And Bekki is here with just the drink to do it! I love make at home versions of my favorite Starbucks drinks, and she has one for my latest obsession of theirs. 

This drink is popular in some Mexican restaurants and even some full service grocery stores here in California. They are found often at farmer's markets and street fairs as well. This is a favorite recipe I found several years ago on a PBS show called Pati's Mexican Table. I love Jamaica year round, but especially in summer. This tea reminds me of  Starbucks  Very Berry Hibiscus Refresher. The tart flavor with the slight sweetness in the background. It may just be a new family favorite of yours as well. The concentrate is made just as you would brew any tea, then to make the water, you add additional water like you would traditional iced tea. Grab a big glass your going to love this one!

Hibiscus Tea/Jamaica Water  Pati's Version
2 c. Jamaica concentrate (see below)
3 c. water
When ready to serve, Add 2 cups concentrate with 3 cups water, or to your liking, and some ice cubes.

Jamaica Concentrate
8 c. water
2c. dried hibiscus or jamaica flowers (found in the Mexican spice section of the grocery store)
2c. sugar, or to taste

In a saucepan, pour 8 cups of water and place over high heat. Once it comes to a boil, add the jamaica flowers, simmer at medium heat for 10 to 12 minutes and turn off the heat. Allow to cool slightly and strain into a heat proof glass or plastic water jar. Add the sugar and mix well, cover and refrigerate. It will keep in the refrigerator for at least 3 months.

Weeknight Solution

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

When I was growing up, my mom became a working mom when I was in school full time. Until then she had stayed home with me, but when I was gone all day, she had to find a way to fill her day. So, she got a part time job, and some evenings needed a little help from the store when it came to supper. And one of the things I can distinctly remember her making were Sloppy Joes made with Manwich!
Today, that same can sits on the grocery shelf,  but I've noticed it's been joined by a couple of friends: Bold and Thick & Chunky, giving families every where more options when it comes to an easy, tasty weeknight supper idea.  Plus, it's especially nice for families like mine who have different tastes. See, my husband loves the Bold because he enjoys a little "kick" to his food, that this girl is too wimpy for. Me? Well, I like the Original because it reminds me of my childhood. And we can all enjoy the Thick and Chunky!

The "kid-stopping" power of Manwich gives moms and dads and easy, quality ingredient to bring the family's attention back to meal time and away from every day distractions. I can attest to this because as I was cooking away in the kitchen, the aroma from the skillet lured my child away from the video games so he could inquire what was for supper.

I know you're mouth is watering now. But did you know that each can of Manwich is free of artificial flavors and preservatives and  offers a full serving of veggies!
We're talking a two-handed, messy-licious meal that can be on the table in almost no time, but you can still feel great about giving your family!

Plus, there is so much you can do with besides just sandwiches. Just look at these great Manwich Recipes!
For more information, check out the Manwich TV Ads and log onto their website for lots of ideas!

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Meal Plan Aug 18-23

* New Recipe
Links to Recipes On Blog

Ranch Bacon Pasta Salad
Fried Green Tomatoes

Chips n Cheese
Sliced Cucumbers

Beef Roast
Roasted Baby Potatoes
Creamed Corn

Bottle O' Beer Chicken*
Rice Cups*
Jello Salad

Baked Mostaccioli
Garlic Bread

We're going out!

Friday, August 16, 2013

Last Hurrah Of Summer

That's right, our world is going to be shocked back into reality come Monday morning. From the sound of the alarm, which we haven't heard for 2 months, to the fact my favorite side kick won't be with me all day, to the fact we have to get up on Tuesday and do it all over again, it's not going to be easy!

I'm very lucky that Monkey loves school, and I'm sure by the second week, he will be happy to be there, but for right now, he isn't ready for summer break to end, and I can't say I blame him. I feel like we barely got a summer, and now it's time for school which means autumn can't be far behind. I just want to find the pause button! But I'm sure some of that is the fact my baby is going to be a 3rd grader, and thus far I simply can't wrap my mind around it.

So we aren't quite ready to let summer go yet, and one of the things we've really enjoyed this year is making homemade ice cream in the new machine I got back in May. We've definitely put it to good use over the past few months, and this is our newest concoction. In fact, this was our dessert last week when we grilled some steaks and I had fresh corn on the cob too. As I told my friends "Summer mind be winding down, but it isn't over yet!!" And with a meal like that, it truly felt like it.

If you love mint...you are going to love this. It has such a smooth flavor and creamy texture. The combination of milk and cream give it a tad different texture than the other ice creams we've made thus far. And the tiny chocolate chips are like finding little treasures in every bite!

The school year is quickly approaching, but I'm determined to squeeze every little bit of fun, and deliciousness, out of this summer as I possibly can!

Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream 
2 c. 2 % milk
2 c.heavy cream
1 c. sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. vanilla
1 tsp. mint extract
1 c. mini chocolate chips
5 drops green food coloring

In a large bowl combine all ingredients and stir well, until sugar is dissolved. Pour into ice cream maker and freeze according to directions. For a harder ice cream, remove to a large bowl, cover and freeze for at least 2 hours. *NOTE* Mine is served in waffle bowls, which you can find with the other ice cream novelties.

Shared on Mandy's Recipe Box Aug. 20, 2013
Shared on Lady Behind The Curtain Aug. 21, 2013
Ice Cream at Very Good Recipes

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Back To School Driving

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of Pep Boys and Techron for SocialSpark. All opinions are 100% mine.

From teenagers heading off to college to parents driving car pool, with everyone heading back to the classroom, there are going to be lots more cars on the roadway. Wouldn't you like to know yours is in prime working condition? Let Pep Boys and their Techron Fuel System Cleaner help!

The Techron Fuel System Cleaner works to get the most of your engine, thanks to patented fuel additive technology, trusted by motorists, mechanics and auto manufacturers all over the world. Proven to be effective on both older and newer engines, Techron leads to maximum power, lower emissions, and maximized fuel economy.

Engines are designed to work at their best when they are clean and modern engines are designed to work with finer tolerances and at higher temperatures. Techron works molecule by molecule to prevent deposit formation, and also removes those left behind by low quality gasoline.
Gas isn't cheap, and that doesn't seem to be changing anytime soon. But Techron can help you from wasting gas in a dirty engine. It helps to ensure your car is using every drop of gasoline, so you not only go further, but your engine burns cleaner.

If you want to keep your car in the best working condition you can, and have your engine doing the most it can to get you from here to there, while saving you money too, be sure to Find a Pep Boys Near You where you can buy the Techron Fuel System Cleaner!

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Wednesday, August 14, 2013

One Slice At A Time

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

It's lunch time. You are craving a sandwich, but don't want the same, everyday, mundane burger. You want something mouth watering. Something stacked high with layer after layer of yumminess. Something made with only the freshest ingredients. Well, look no further, because Arby's has just what you are searching for.
Arby's,  our favorite stop for juicy, delicious roast beef, is now making turkey speical...one slice at a time. In fact, they are on a quest to make the perfect turkey sandwich. And with a name like Grand Turkey Club, you know it has to be good! And coming from Arby's you can trust it's going to be fast, but still fresh and savory.

The Grand Turkey Club is made with freshly sliced, hot roast turkey, melted Swiss cheese, pepper bacon, lettuce, tomato and mayo, all served on a Harvest Wheat bun. (Yep, I said bacon. I'm repeating it because I know once you read that word, you started to drool just a bit, and now you're feeling silly. Don't. It's bacon. It makes everything better!)

As if that wasn't scrumptious enough, you can make it even more interesting and add ham to the mix too. Served with the same taste bud pleasing toppings, the Grand Turkey Ham Club sandwich is just as tasty, but with even more to love with the added ham!
Doesn't that sound like a good plan for lunch tomorrow? Or depending on just how hungry you are, maybe right now! Not sure where there is an Arby's close to you? That's okay, you can Find an Arby’s right here.
A good sandwich is hard to find, and Arby's is giving us more than one to choose from. Be sure to stop in soon to try the new Grand Turkey Club or Grand Turkey Ham Club. But leave some for me too.

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