Everyday Mom's Meals: September 2013

Monday, September 30, 2013

It's An Epidemic

I know many of you are read this blog every day also follow me on Facebook, and while I try not to blog to a specific audience, today's post is mostly directed to you Facebook users. For those of you who aren't on Facebook, I still encourage you to read and enjoy the recipe!

About 8 months ago, recipe sharing on Facebook really went wild. Not only were there food blogger fans pages, like mine, but there were every day people starting pages as a place to share food, recipes and tips. Great. I love sharing. If I didn't I wouldn't do this. I adore taking something from my kitchen and putting it out there for the world to enjoy. But when this trend became so popular, somewhere along the way, something went wrong. Let me explain.

It is a common rule among us food bloggers, if you use my recipe, please simply give me credit. A link back to my blog is sufficient and so easy to do. We all understand it, respect and live by it. (If you ever look at the recipes I share that aren't my own, I always give credit.) However, many of these pages on Facebook have dismissed this common courtesy and they have made a bad habit into an epidemic. Take a look at some of the recipes being shared, and I'm guessing 80-90% of them are a photo, with the entire recipe and directions typed out in the description, with no mention of the original source.

This is wrong. There is no wiggle room. It violates copyright law, and we food bloggers aren't sitting back and taking it anymore. We realize many on Facebook don't realize it's wrong, and that's why we are trying to educate our fans on what to look for, recognize and avoid. Every time one of these violations is shared, with NO reference to the blogger that put so much work into it, it's literally taking money out of that blogger's hands. See, most of us who have made a career by doing this, make the money we do by advertising, which is directly related to the number of visitors we get each day. Hence, when a recipe we have posted is now shared thousands of times without nobody having to visit our blog to see it, we lose visitors and money.

Once you see a post shared the incorrect way, they are so easy to spot; and actually very simple to track down the original post. This recipe is actually an example of one I've seen stolen and shared too many times to count. I simply downloaded the photo to my computer, then went to Google images and uploaded it, to do a search. With 2 clicks I was able to find where the photo was originally posted, along with the recipe, and now I can give credit where credit is due.

These are a great, easy, but beautiful side dish for any weeknight meal. The kids will love them! They are like a little rice muffin or cupcake! Cheesy and delicious, they are fun and delicious.

I know so many of you probably never realized some of the recipes you are seeing, sharing and loving on Facebook were stolen in the eyes of food bloggers. Please know, we don't blame you. We just want to inform you, so you can notice it, and still continue to support your favorite bloggers in every possible way, like you already do. We appreciate you, and everything you do for us every single day!

Broccoli and Cheese Rice Cups Adapted from The Fountain Avenue Kitchen
1 (12 oz.) frozen broccoli cuts, thawed
1 c. water
1 c. instant brown rice
1 c. shredded sharp cheddar cheese, divided
2 eggs, beaten
1/4 c. ranch dressing
Salt and Pepper to taste

 Preheat oven to 350. In a microwave safe dish, combine water and rice. Cover and cook for 7 minutes. (Check your box for directions. These were mine.) Transfer rice to large bowl and allow to cool slightly. Add broccoli, 3/4 c. cheese, eggs, ranch dressing, salt and pepper. Stir well to combine. Spray an 8 cup muffin tin with cooking spray. Fill each with rice mixture, pressing slightly to pack. Sprinkle remaining 1/4 c. cheese over each cup. Bake for 20-25 minutes until slightly brown around edges. Allow to cool 2-3 minutes before removing and serving.

Shared on The Country Cook Oct. 4, 2013

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Church Supper #103

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:

10 Crock Pot Freezer Meals


Congrats! Be sure to grab my Featured On Button!


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 28, 2013

Soul Food Saturday #24

Good Morning! Can you believe it's the last weekend of September? I can't believe October will be here in a few short days!! In my mind, as soon as the calendar reads Oct. 1st, it's simply a downhill race to the holidays. Ha Ha. But let's not get ahead of ourselves because Bekki is here with a great recipe for any autumn evening you need to warm up! She has actually taken my Crock Pot Corn and Cheese Chowder, and come up with a quick stove top version, when you need supper on the table and fast!

With Fall just started to show her face, it brings thoughts of warm comfort food to my mind. Being a California grown girl I love corn. Fresh corn is always best in summer, and how can it be a bad idea to mix the words comfort and corn together? That is exactly what this soup is comfort in a bowl. With the evenings beginning to get cooler and the crop of fresh corn almost gone, this is my last hurrah for summer.  Some time ago, I stumbled over a recipe of Mrs. E’s that I have held close since the first time making it. It’s Crock Pot Corn Chowder, taken to the stove. Yes! I wanted it right now! So my impatience took the recipe straight to a pot on the stove top. After making it several times, I put my own spin on it. Changing this here and there to suit what I had on hand. I hope you fall in love with this soup just like we did. Enjoy!

Corn Chowder, In a Hurry! 
2 TBS unsalted butter
1 large onion, chopped
2 c. potatoes, sliced
1 Anaheim chile pepper, diced
3 sweet mini peppers
4 c. fresh corn, off the cob (4-5 ears)
2 ½ c. diced ham
1 can cream of mushroom soup
2 ¼ c. half and half
2 tsp dried parsley
Salt and Pepper to taste

In a medium pot add unsalted butter to melt. Add onion, and peppers. Cook until onion is clear and peppers are softened slightly.  Add sliced potatoes, corn, ham, soup and half and half. Stir to combine. Add parsley and salt and pepper to taste. Cover and simmer until potatoes are tender about 20 minutes, stirring often.
Serve hot with your favorite bread or alone. Which ever way you choose, this one will be around for a long time.

Meal Plan Sept. 29-Oct 4

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

Sausage, Potato and Pepper Bake

Monday (Leftover from previous menu)
Sausage and Cheese Quiche
Hashbrown Cakes

Mini Chicken Pot Pies*
Waldorf Salad

Crock Pot Cheddar Potato Soup^

Soft Tacos
Chips n Salsa

Tuna Noodle Casserole
Fruit Cocktail

Friday, September 27, 2013

Breakfast Treat

Weekends are for many things; and in this house one of them is something special for breakfast. Adam and I don't eat breakfast most days, and while I make sure Alex does every single morning, it's usually something light, easy and quick. But when I have more time on the weekends I like to treat my boys to something yummy and new.

Lately, all three of us have totally gotten addicted to scones. They are perfect for breakfast or brunch, but I've also been known to whip up a batch for dessert too! 

Ya'll know my obsession with all things lemon, so when I found this recipe uniting an old obsession with a new one, I knew they would be the perfect version to try next. They are fresh and bright, perfect to wake you up in the morning. Each bite is like a little burst of sunshine on your tongue. Plus the glaze...oh the glaze. It's literally the icing on the "cake" so to speak. The scones are delicious enough on their own, but the glaze just puts them over the top. 

If you want to surprise your family with special extra special, not to mention yummy, this weekend, maybe these scones should make an appearance in your oven too!

Lemon Poppy Seed Scones From Country Living
2 c. flour
3 TBS sugar
2 TBS poppy seeds
2 lemons, zested
1 TBS baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 TBS salt
1 stick cold butter, diced
1/2 c. heavy cream
1/4 c. fresh lemon juice
1/2 c. powdered sugar

Preheat oven to 400. In a large bowl combine flour, granulated sugar, poppy seeds, lemon zest, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Cut in butter until mixture is very coarse. Pour in cream and 1/4 c. lemon juice. Mix until dough forms. Using hand, form dough into a ball. Transfer to a parchment lined baking sheet and form into 8 inch dish. Cut into 8 wedges and separate so pieces are 1 inch apart. Bake until golden and a tooth pick comes out clean, about 12-14 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack and cool about 20 minutes. In a small bowl combine powdered sugar and remaining lemon juice. Stir until smooth, and desired consistency. We like ours slightly thick. Spoon glaze over scones. 

Shared on The Country Cook September 27, 2013
Lemon at Very Good Recipes

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Brisket at Arby's

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

We all know we Arby's is the place to go for tender, juicy and flavorful roast beef. Then a few months back, I told you about how they are taking turkey to the next level. And now, they have done it again, but this time with beef brisket!
Arby's knows you can't rush real, smoky flavor and tenderness. That is why their new Smokehouse Brisket Sandwich is smoke for at least 13 hours! But even low it is smoked low and slow, keeping in the Arby's tradition, it is ready when you are! Piled high with slow smoked brisket, then smoked Gouda cheese, crispy onions, barbecue sauce, mayo and served on a toasted bakery-style bun, it's a sandwich that eats like a meal!!
We love brisket, but I know when I make it, I'm going to need a day at home, all day, because it's going to slow cook on the outdoor grill for many hours to achieve that tender, flavorful meat we enjoy so much. But that can only happen once in a blue moon with our busy schedules. But now, with Arby's Smokehouse Brisket Sandwich, we can enjoy one of our favorite treats, any day, any time, easily!! Heck, we can even enjoy it in the car, on the go! (I've never tried to eat our brisket in the car with our hands, but I'm guessing it would be a tad messy!)
If you love brisket as much as we do, and you always enjoy a good Arby's sandwiches, then be sure to stop in today and sink your teeth into the Smokehouse Brisket Sandwich! Don't know where there is an Arby's close? Find an Arby’s easily!
I would love to hear why you are excited to try this new sandwich creation from Arby's. Leave a comment telling me!
Visit Sponsor's Site

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Don't Put It Away Quite Yet

Yep, autumn is here. We already established that on Monday. And for many of you I know that means the end of grilling season, but in this house it never ends. That's right. We are those crazy people are stand outside in our snow boots to grill a good steak in the dead of winter. In fact, we have been known to grill in a blizzard. An actual blizzard!! While the snow fell at an alarming rate, our neighbors were outside trying to keep up with shoveling, they were all jealous of the smells coming from our backyard, as the T-bones cooked to perfection!

So if you're like us, and the falling of the leaves has no reflection on the use of your grill, today's recipe will totally excite you. But don't worry, if your grill is all tucked away until next spring, there is also an oven option noted in the recipe! 

We love chicken wings. Buffalo. Barbecue. They are all scrumptious to us. And when I was a teenager, there was a local Chinese restaurant that had these amazing lunch specials that included a bunch of appetizers with each entree, one being a glazed chicken drummette (the small piece of the wing) that would have you licking your fingers when you were done. These are the closest thing to that I've had in years. In fact, Adam described them as "Asian barbecue". Sweet like barbecue, but with some of the best Asian flavors around, soy and ginger. 

If you are grilling this weekend, these are a definite must. Maybe for the big game? I would love to see these at a big tailgating party! Or if you want to stay inside, see the note above the oven. Either way, they are yummy, and easy, two things that are always welcome, winter, spring, summer or fall!

Asian Glazed Wings
2 lbs. chicken wings, separated into 2 pieces each
2 TBS all purpose seasoning, your favorite brand
2 TBS honey
2 TBS soy sauce
1 cup vegetable juice
1 tsp. ground ginger
Garlic Salt to taste
Salt and Pepper to taste
Cooking Spray

In a large bowl combine vegetable juice, honey, soy sauce and ginger. Set aside. Sprinkle wings with seasoning, garlic salt, salt and pepper. Allow to marinade for at least 30 minutes. When ready, preheat grill to medium-high. Spray wings with cooking spray. Sear on both sides, about 2 minutes. Reduce heat to medium-low and continue cooking for 15-20 minutes until cooked through. For the last 10 minutes baste with sauce on both sides many times. 
*NOTE* These can also be cooked in the oven. Follow directions, but roast on a baking sheet in 400 degree oven for 20 minutes, and then baste and cook for another 20 minutes, basting often.

Shared on The Country Cook September 27, 2013

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Brownies At Your Door { A Giveaway Sponsored by All About Gifts & Baskets}

The All About Gifts & Baskets site is so excited to introduce their new line of gourmet brownies, they are giving 3 lucky winners a box of their mouth-watering, scrumptious brownies, a $36.95 value! We're talking about a dozen of their yummy brownies, in the most popular flavors, from Raspberry Swirl to Toffee Crunch.

Each box is available in different wraps, perfect for every occasion from Thank You To Happy Birthday! Or what about Welcome Baby for those new parents in your life? Can you imagine how excited an over tired, sleep deprived new mommy would be to get a box of gourmet brownies delivered right to her door step? You would be such a hero!

These brownies are soft, moist and most of all delicious, with a capital D! Each dozen starts off with a rich original chocolate brownie, and then one each of the "specials" are added in: Caramel, Chocolate Chip, Mint Chocolate, Peanut Butter, Pecan, Raspberry Swirl, Toffee Crunch, Walnut, White Chocolate, Espresso Nib and Cream Cheese.

 I am a brownie lover from way back, and I have to admit, just looking at the pictures is making me drool a little!

Be sure to check out their entire brownie gift collection, and enter to win a box of your very own!

Contest is open to all residents of the 48 Contiguous States. You must be 18 or older to enter.
Winners will be chosen randomly by the contest sponsor All About Gifts & Baskets.  The three winners will receive a box of 1 dozen classic brownies in their choice of box wrap design (shown in the image above) - a value of $36.95.
If you are one of the lucky winners, you will be notified via e-mail. Winners must respond within three days of being contacted. If you do not respond within that period, another winner will be chosen.
The full list of rules can be found here .
Sweepstakes ends at midnight EST on October 6th, 2013. The sweepstakes winners will be announced by October 13, 2013.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Skillet Supper

Fall is officially here. If you missed it, the first official day of autumn was indeed yesterday, bringing with it all the favorite flavors we look forward to every year. Of course you have your apple and pumpkin lovers. I include cinnamon in the list too. But one thing that I think everyone can agree on is that when the leaves are falling, and we have crisp mornings followed by sunny days with just a nip in the air, ending with clear nights perfect for bonfires, something that always tastes good is good ole' fashion comfort food!

Now me...I love comfort food year round, but it does taste different in each season. And one of the things I love most about fall, and that season that comes next, which I refuse to even discuss at this point, is the fact I can enjoy all of my favorite comfort foods, and they are functional too, warming me and my family from the inside out! Let's face it, there is nothing better than coming home after a long chilly day, to a piping hot meal sitting on the table inviting you to sit down, relax and thaw out!

One meal that is at the top of that list for us is Chicken Pot Pie. And I have a pretty simple one that is my go-to recipe, but when I found this I knew it was going to be even simpler, perfect for those days when I'm rushing here and there.

This comes together in almost no time at all, and while every single bite is filled with intense chicken flavor and delicious veggies, the stars of this meal are definitely the biscuit pieces seasoned to perfection. They make this a fun, new, unique way to enjoy a classic!

Comfort food is one of the best things about the new season that is upon us. So get in the kitchen, whip up something delicious, maybe even this dish, and enjoy every single bite!

Skillet Chicken Pot Pie Inspired by Pillsbury
1 1/2 lbs. chicken tenders, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 1/2 TBS vegetable oil
2 c. chopped carrots
2 c. frozen diced potatoes
1 1/2 c. frozen peas
1 (12 oz.) jar chicken gravy
1/2 -1 c. chicken broth
1 (10 ct.) Grands Jr. biscuits, cut into quarters
1 1/2 tsp. dried thyme
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
Salt and Pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 400. In a larges skillet heat oil over medium high heat. Add chicken to oil and season with 1/2 tsp. thyme, salt and pepper. Stir and cook until chicken is browned on all sides, about 5-7 minutes. Add potatoes and carrots. Cook for another 5 minutes. Add gravy and 1/2 c. broth. Stir well. Bring to a boil. Cover and reduce heat to low. Cook 20 minutes, stirring often. If too thick, add other 1/2 c. broth. Add peas and cook for 5 additional minutes. Remove from burner but keep warm. In a large bowl combine biscuit pieces, 1 tsp. thyme and garlic powder. Toss to coat. Lay on a ungreased baking sheet. Bake for 8-10 minutes until golden brown. To serve, ladle chicken mixture onto plates and top with several biscuits.

Shared on The Country Cook September 27, 2013
Chicken at Very Good Recipes

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Soul Food Saturday #23

Welcome to yet another weekend, and another yummy recipe from Bekki! Today she is sharing a make at home version of a favorite soup of mine from Olive Garden! I can't wait to try this myself and enjoy a restaurant treat right in my own kitchen!

This Olive Garden soup is my husband’s favorite. He couldn’t ever get enough. So having it at home was a must. After trying the recipe several times, his one request was that it had more “stuff” than broth. So the next time I loaded it up, and he LOVED it. This is a family favorite now and we make it as often as possible. Whether its, in the low temps, or highs of over 100 its cooking. I know after you taste it, you will be hooked as well.

Loaded Zuppa Toscana  Adapted from Restaurant Food
1 tsp. olive oil
2 pound ground spicy sausage
1 large onion, sliced
3 medium potatoes, cut in half lengthwise, and then cut into 1/4" slices
1 ½ tsp. granulated garlic

4 cups kale leaves, stems removed, cut in half, then sliced
4 c. chicken broth

½ c. heavy whipping cream

 In a medium stock pot add oil. Add sausage to pot. Stirring frequently, breaking up so it cooks evenly. Cook until no longer pink. Then add onions, cook until onions are almost clear. Add potatoes, garlic and chicken stock. Simmer 15-20 minutes or until potatoes are tender. Add kale and cream simmer 5 more minutes for kale to become tender. Serve hot, with your favorite bread. Enjoy!

Meal Plan Sept. 22- Sept 27

*New Recipe
Links to Recipes on Blog

Slow Cooker 15 Bean Soup*

Garlic Bread

Pot Roast

Pork Burgers
Crock Pot Applesauce*
Cottage Cheese
Sweet Potato Fries

Sausage and Cheese Quiche
Hashbrown Cakes
Sliced Peaches

Rehearsal for the wedding Alex is in Saturday.

Friday, September 20, 2013

Coming Soon...Autumn

If you haven't been paying attention to the calendar, the first day of fall (according to the calendar) is this Sunday. Now I realize that for many, the minute the clock struck midnight on September 1st, you were in full on autumn mode; while some, including us, still had some 95+ degree weather ahead of them, so summer was lingering in our minds. No matter what the thermometer says though, it is time to at least enjoy the flavors fall has to offer!

So I thought the perfect way to kick off the season here on EMM would be with something featuring one of autumn's greatest treats, apple!

This is the perfect dessert for a busy schedule like mine, hence the word "lazy". Taking a little help from the store with the cake mix, this comes together in no time. Plus, the use of pie filling makes it something you can make rather the fresh apples look good or not.

Rather it is for a weeknight supper, or a nice bonfire party, complete with warm cider and a hayride, this simple dessert will be loved by all, and ring in the new season with a taste bud celebration!

Lazy Apple Crisp
1 (21 oz.) can apple pie filling
2 TBS brown sugar
1 (16.5 oz) yellow cake mix, DRY do NOT add other ingredients
1/4 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 c. chopped walnuts
6 TBS butter, diced

Preheat oven to 375. In the bottom of a 8x11 pan, spread pie filling. Sprinkle with brown sugar. Evenly sprinkle cake mix until completely covering pie filling. Sprinkle with cinnamon and walnuts. Dot with diced butter. Bake for 45 minutes or until browned and bubbly. *NOTE* I did NOT use the entire package of cake mix. I probably had about 1/4 c. leftover.

Shared on The Country Cook Sept. 20, 2013
Apple at Very Good Recipes

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Warm Up Your Winter { A Review}

I don't enjoy cold weather. At all. Period. But since I live in a Midwest state with four changing seasons, I have accepted there is no getting around it, no ignoring it, and no skipping it. So, I try to find things that allow me to enjoy autumn and winter, and many times that leads me to the kitchen.

One of the things I most enjoy when the temps drop is a nice warm, tasty beverage that warms me from the inside out. And now there is an entire pamphlet full of them just in time for the changing of the seasons.

Warm Up Your Winter by Laura Powell, has everything from Classic Hot Cocoa, Hot Caramel Apple Cider and Hot Mulled Cider to really fun things like Nutella Hot Chocolate and even Frozen Hot Chocolate, plus many many more.

The one I'm most excited to try is Pumpkin Pie White Hot Chocolate! Doesn't that just sound like heaven in a mug?

And I'm most excited to share this with you because Laura is a food blogger just like me! She started Real Mom Kitchen in 2008, and I was one of her earliest fans! In fact, her blog was one I used for inspiration when starting EMM. So, I'm honored I now get a chance to read this collection of recipes from her and share them with all of you.

So when winter is raging outside, snuggle up next to the fire and enjoy a steaming cup of deliciousness!!

*Disclaimer* I was provided with a free sample for this review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

For The Meat Free Fans

We are meat lovin' people. I have never tried to hide that fact. In fact, we wear it as a badge of honor, as we cut into our juicy steaks, pork chops and roasts. I have said it before, and will again, as much as we love our vegetables, there is just not way we could ever give up meat entirely. But I also realize more and more people are doing just that, and making it a true lifestyle change in their life, so today I've got something just for them, or for your parents out there trying to get one more veggie into the kids.

If your kids fight you tooth and nail every time you say "you have to eat your vegetables", I feel for you. I can't say I know how you feel, because as most of you know, my son has never met a vegetable he doesn't like, but I truly do have empathy for those parents who are in the constant struggle. I have a lot of moms ask me how they can entice their kids with meals that include veggies; and I have to be honest with them. When in doubt, pair them with something they already love, or in dire times....hide 'em! And this meal accomplishes both of those in one dish!

Pasta and cheese. What kid is going to turn that down? And if they happened to have some broccoli and cauliflower mixed in...even better! My family did not miss the meat one bit. In fact, when he first saw it my husband asked if there was chicken in it. (So if your kids ask the same, feel free to tell a little white lie, if it makes dinner time easier!) There is so much ooey gooey cheese, it's hard to even think about the veggies you are eating. But if you're a veggie lover, like us, you too will enjoy every single bite.

I know many who are taking the meat free option, and I respect it 100%. And with the love affair I have with veggies, at times it even sounds appealing. But then a juicy tender medium rare steak waves at me from the grill and I'm once again reminded of how much we enjoy it. But if you are looking for more meat free options, or simply trying to incorporate more veggies into your kids' diets, this meal will satisfy all!

Cheesy Veggie Pasta Bake Featured on SpacesQuarterly.com
3 c. frozen chopped broccoli, thawed
2 c. frozen cauliflower, thawed and cut into small pieces
1 (10 3/4 oz.) can cream of mushroom soup, undiluted
12 oz. egg noodles, cooked and drained
1 c. sour cream
2 c. shredded mozzarella cheese
1/2 c. shredded Parmesan cheese
1 tsp. onion powder
Salt and Pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 350. In a large bowl combine broccoli, cauliflower, soup, noodles, sour cream, onion powder, salt, pepper and ½ c. mozzarella. Pour into a greased 9×13 baking pan. Top with remaining mozzarella and Parmesan. Bake, uncovered, 30 minutes or until bubbly.

Shared on The Country Cook Sept. 20, 2013
Pasta at Very Good Recipes

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Healthy Lunches For School or Work {A Review/Giveaway of Zak!}

Do your kids prefer packed lunches, or buying school lunch? My son actually enjoys both, but there is no doubt on the days I pack him one he gets more, and better quality. Packing school lunches is just one way parents can encourage healthy eating habits at school, and for life. Plus, it's a fantastic way to save money and have kids develop environmentally conscience habits at a young age. And now, Zak has made all of this easier, and more fun with their new lunch packs.

Zak's Mickey and Minnie lunchtime sets give kids a fun way to carry their meals to school every day. The insulated totes, and dishwasher safe snack bags (Yay for easy clean up!!) are made with recycles materials, so they not only teach kids the importance of carrying food in reusable containers to reduce the amount of trash in land fills, it also reminds them (and us) to recycle the disposable containers we do use. Plus, the set also includes a new bento box that help parents pack sandwiches, veggies, fruits and other snacks all in one container. And...they also include the new condiment containers, which are perfect for ketchup, mustard, mayo, ranch, etc! (These are my favorite part!)

And for the tweens, teenagers, or even us adults the Planet Zak Flora lunch set is a great way to display a strong sense of style and commitment to our Earth. This one also include the handy condiment containers (perfect for salad dressing) and also a 24 oz. water bottle that works at work, in the classroom, at the gym, or simply for on-the-go. (I adore this water bottle and now carry it every where I go!)

Packing school lunches for work and/or school might seem like something small, but it can lead to a much bigger impact on healthy eating habits for our children, and our environment. So, why not make it fun too?

And now Zak is giving one lucky EMM reader the chance to win a lunch pack of your choice! (Any of the 3 listed here!!) Contest Ends Saturday, September 21st.

**To enter, simply leave a comment (with a valid email address) saying which one you would like to win!**

*Disclaimer* I was provided with (2) free samples for this review. One to keep and one to give away. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Alex Makes Dessert

Nine years ago today I received the most precious gift of my life. God brought our beautiful baby boy into this world, forever making me the luckiest Mommy ever. 

That's right, it's Monkey's birthday!!! I am celebrating my favorite little man today. The one whose smile can instantly make my day go from bad to great, the one whose hugs and kisses complete my world, and the one who when he says "I love you, Mommy", makes my heart skip a beat and my soul leap for joy. 

I thought instead of sharing something I made for him, it would be fun to share something with you that he made himself! That's right this is so simple, that with just a little help from Mommy (or any other adult) a little monkey can make it! 

It was Labor Day weekend and Alex wanted to be in the kitchen, so I figured why not put him in charge of dessert! He and I love anything peach, so we couldn't wait to try this. But to be honest, even his Daddy, who isn't the biggest peach fan in the world, could not get enough. Mixing the sugar with the peaches, even though they are drained, forms this almost custard like filling that takes this from good to outstanding. 

If you are looking for an easy sweet treat tonight, maybe your little ones could have a hand in making it. 

~Happy Birthday Alex! We could not love you more. 
The day we had you, God gave us the world.~

Easy Peach Cobbler From Betty Crocker
1 c. original Bisquick mix
1 c. milk
1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg
1/2 c. butter, melted
1 c. sugar
1 (29 oz.) can sliced peaches, drained
Cinnamon for garnish

Preheat oven to 375. Stir together Bisquick, milk and nutmeg in an ungreased 8x8 baking pan. Stir in butter until blended. Stir together sugar and peaches. Spoon over batter. Bake 50-60 minutes until golden. Sprinkle with cinnamon before serving.


Shared on The Country Cook Sept. 20, 2013

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Church Supper #102

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! 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, September 14, 2013

Soul Food Saturday #22

It's a special weekend at our house. Monkey will be turning 9 on Monday, and we are celebrating all weekend long! So of course Bekki couldn't have Soul Food Saturday without a little party for her favorite little guy!

Right here on Soul Food Saturday we are celebrating our favorite Monkey’s birthday! Yep, its here again! Can you believe it? It feels like we just celebrated him turning 8. Where has the time gone? It seems like just as fast as these pizzas bake, our Monkey is growing up before our eyes. I want to thank his sweet Mama for sharing him with us all, and giving me this opportunity to celebrate and create this party food for him.

Big love to you from California Alex! May God continue to bless you in every area of your life, keep your heart full of His everlasting love, and show you every moment that you are his beautiful child.
1 can Pillsbury pizza dough
Jar of pizza sauce of your choice
1 c. pizza cheese blend
1 c. Mexican cheese blend
1 package mini pepperoni
1 c. thickly sliced pepperoni
1 c. precooked sausage crumbles
1 jalapeno, chopped
4 sweet mini peppers, sliced
½ c. red onion, sliced
1 tbs. olive oil

Preheat oven to 425°F. Spray cookie sheet with cooking spray; sprinkle with cornmeal. Set aside. Cut roll of dough into 2 equal pieces; shape each piece into a ball. Roll out ball of dough into a 10-inch round. Place the rounds on the prepared cookie sheet; brush each with oil. Bake 6 to 8 minutes.

The Perfect Monkey Combo
Spread round with 4 tablespoons pizza sauce. In a small bowl mix cheese together; sprinkle ½ c. over pizza sauce. Top with 2/3 of pepperoni, half of crumbled sausage, ½ of sweet peppers, ½ of jalapeno and ½ of onions. Then top with ½ c. of blended cheeses. Bake 10 to 13 minutes longer or until crust is golden brown and cheese is melted and bubbly.

Meat Loving Monkey Super Supreme
Spread round with 4 tablespoons pizza sauce. Sprinkle ½ c. cheese over pizza sauce. Top with remaining pepperoni. Add thick sliced pepperoni, remaining half of crumbled sausage, sweet peppers, jalapeno and onions. Finally top with ½ c. cheese. Spread round with 2 tablespoons pizza sauce. Mix 1/2 cup Pizza blend cheese and 1/2 cup Mexican blend cheese; sprinkle half over pizza sauce.

Turbo Booster Punch
You can’t have a party without a great drink, so for this party I chose punch! Because Monkey loves it and so do I.
1 64 oz. can of pineapple juice
1 full cap of presweetened cherry Kool aid
64 oz. water
1 2 liter of 7up
Maraschino cherries
In a large pitcher or punch bowl add water, and kool aide mix. Stir to combine. Add pineapple juice and 7 up and mix to combine. Serve with ice, and garnish with maraschino cherries.


Meal Plan September 15-20

*New Recipes
Links to Recipes on Blog

Mongolian Noodles*
Egg Rolls
Mandarin Oranges

Happy Birthday Alex!!!!
Crock Pot Buffalo Chili

Hot Dogs
Seasoned Potato Wedges
Green Beans

Grilled Steak
Amish Potato Salad
Baked Beans

Taco Casserole*
Mexican Rice

Pizza Bundles*
Wedge Salads

Friday, September 13, 2013

Cracked, Not Crushed

I am not the most delicate cook in the world; and I'm the first to admit this. Depending on what I'm making, the kitchen can begin to look like a cyclone hit it, but that usually means something scrumptious  is on it's way! But there are times when a soft touch is required for a dish to turn out perfectly, and this recipe is an example of that. 

A couple weeks back I had a bag of baby red potatoes sitting in the cripser, and no idea what I wanted to do with them. Why did I have them then? Because they were on sale for $.99/lb. at the store, and I'm not one to pass up a bargain, especially in the produce section! 

So I was having them for supper, I just didn't know how. I thought about roasting them, after all, my oven is capable again, but it was busy cooking a beautiful beef roast, and I didn't want to increase the temperature and ruin my "low and slow" method. My mind started wandering...boiled, grilled, fried...and I decided why not a combo? 

These are like taking your basic boiled or roasted baby potato and "mooshing" them together into a new, delicious side dish. Change them up by adding your favorite herbs. Just remember, you simply need to crack them...don't press too hard leading to a crushed potato mess. If you're in the mood to crush something, make mashed instead, those are a great stress reliever!

Sometimes a soft touch in the kitchen is absolutely required. From a temperamental souffle, to these yummy potatoes, it can lead to very good things!

Cracked Red Potatoes
2 lbs. baby red potatoes
1/2 c. olive oil
Dried Rosemary
Dried Parsley
Salt and Pepper

Bring a large pot of water to boil. Cook potatoes just until fork tender, about 7 minutes. Drain well. Lay out on a cookie sheet. Using a fork slightly crush each one to flatten it out. Be gentle, and don't' be surprised if you loose a little potato along the way. Brush tops with olive oil and sprinkle with rosemary, parsley, salt and pepper. Heat a large non-stick skillet over medium heat. Place potatoes (in batches) oiled side down. Brush other side with oil and season. Fry for 3-4 minutes on each side until golden brown and crisp. 

Shared on The Country Cook Sept. 13, 2013
Potatoes at Very Good Recipes

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Technology on a Budget

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

Did you know the average American spends more on their monthly cell phone bill than groceries or health insurance? (I can attest to this fact because we do in this house. Simply due to the fact our smart phones are also our business lines, so a lot of work gets done on them!) But now, Republic Wireless has decided to do something about that!
Republic Wireless believes that if a phone is truly smart, it should save you money! So in the spirit of that notion, they have built a smartphone service that empowers, not impoverishes. This plan cuts the cost from about $100/month (what the average owner pays) to just $19/month, about $.60 per day!

Now you're asking "What do I get for that $19/month?" Well, let me tell you. All the talk, texting and surfing you can handle. And you get those things without a contract, limits or overages. Are you wondering how that is possible? It's all due to Hybrid Wi-Fi Calling. It allows you to harness the power of Wi-Fi for calls, texts, and data while still having full cellular capabilities. 
The next question that probably popped into your head was "Okay, but do I get a decent phone?" Yes, yes you do. This calling plan is included on the $199 Motorola DEFY XT smartphone. 

The Motorola DEFY™ XT Smartphone: 
Front-facing VGA Webcam 
Rear-facing camera with auto focus/LED Flash, 4x digital zoom 
Android operating system with wi-fi and Sprint® 3G Coverage with dual-band reception 
Over 450,000 Apps through Google Play™ 
3.7 inch Corning® Gorilla® glass display 
Dustproof, water and scratch resistant

If you are a family on a budget like we are, what better way to make sure everyone has a smartphone they can enjoy, while not breaking the bank! Teenagers want the "cool" phones. Parents don't want to spend an arm and a leg...now you can have both. Be sure to check out Republic Wireless, and their $19/month calling plan, and everything it has to offer, today!

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