Everyday Mom's Meals: September 2014

Monday, September 29, 2014

Kid Approved Recipes From Eggland's Best {A Sponsored Post}

Anyone who reads this blog on a regular basis knows it's a common even to have Alex in the kitchen with me. I love finding recipes that he can not only enjoy eating, but help me make, creating memories in the kitchen that will last a lifetime. And now, thanks to Eggland's Best that same idea is spreading like wild fire! 

Whether eggs are the star of your child's breakfast, or maybe a nutritious after school snack, it is so important to keep kids energized during and after school hours by providing them with foods packed with nutrients, such as vitamins E, D, B-12 and omega-3's By choosing Eggland's Best, you're getting eggs that are fresher, taste better, and contain more vitamins and nutrients. 

By using EB eggs in everything from breakfast, to snacks, to sweet treats, it's easy to sneak extra nutrients into your child's diet, keeping them energized, focused and strong. 

Compared to ordinary eggs, EB eggs contain more than double the omega-3s, which studies have found may boost attention in kids under 12.  Plus, with ten times the vitamin E, a key antioxidant for strong immunity, EB eggs can help to ward off those sick days.

The folks at EB know the day doesn’t end after the bell rings, so you’ll be excited to hear their eggs pack four times the vitamin D, helping the body absorb calcium for strong bones on and off the field.  They also  have only 60 calories while ordinary eggs have 70 and also contain 25% less saturated fat, -helping to keep kids light on their toes.

So let's get those kids into the kitchen to make something yummy they will love to eat, and you can feel good about giving them! 

This is a great recipe to start with! I love muffins. I love how versatile they are. I love that one batch can go so far because you can give them to kids morning, noon or night. Need a quick breakfast? Done. Maybe even on the go? Done. Kids want a after school snack? Done. Want a dessert that is also nutritious? Done. Oh, and want a recipe you can have fun with your kids making together and enjoying every single minute? Done. 

The flavors of fall have come to a muffin, and you're going to love every bite!!! Plus, my friends at Eggland's Best have a fun prize pack to give to one lucky EMM reader, Just scroll below the recipe to see how you can win! 

And be sure to stay up on all things "eggy" with Eggland's Best on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram

Pumpkin Cinnamon Streusel Muffins
3/4 c. brown sugar
3/4 c. white sugar
1 stick butter, room temp
2 eggs
1 c. pumpkin puree
1/3 c. water
1 3/4 c. flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp. ground ginger

1/3 c. packed brown sugar
1 TBS flour
1 TBS butter, room temp
1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon

1/2 c. powdered sugar
4 tsp. water

Preheat oven to 350. Line a muffin tin with muffin papers. Beat 3/4 c. brown sugar, white sugar and 1 stick butter with an electric mixer until smooth and creamy. Add eggs. Beat. Add water and pumpkin. Beat until well incorporated.  In a medium bowl combine flour, baking soda, salt, 1 tsp. cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg. Mix well. Slowly combine into pumpkin mixture. Mix until smooth. Scoop into muffin tin, filling each vessel about 2/3 full. In a small bowl combine ingredients for topping. Using fingers, mix until crumbly. Sprinkle over muffins. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean. Remove to wire rack to cool. In a small bowl, combine powdered sugar and water. Mix well. Drizzle over cooled muffins. Makes 18 muffins

Shared on The Country Cook Oct. 3, 2014


To Enter: Leave a comment telling me what your favorite kid approved recipe you would use Eggland's Best eggs for. Be sure to leave an email address so I can find you. 

Contest Ends: October 8, 2014

 (1) Lucky Winner Will Receive: 
(1) $25 Visa Gift Card 
(2) Coupons for 1 FREE Dozen EB Eggs

Disclaimer: The Eggland’s Best information, coupons, gift card, and additional gift pack have been provided by Eggland’s Best.

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Soul Food Saturday

What's better than football season? Not many things in my opinion but the food is definitely up in the rankings near number one. That's why I feel these slow cooker pulled pork sandwiches are perfect for any game day meal. Tender, juicy, flavorful meat that is then covered by your favored BBQ sauce. Piled high on your favorite bread, that is even more delicious soaked by the delectable sauce.

Game Day Sized 
Crock Pot 
Pulled Pork Sandwiches
3 lb. pork shoulder roast
1 medium white onion, sliced
1 c. Water
2 tsp. salt
3 tsp. granulated garlic
1 bottle BBQ sauce (I used Texas style-we like the heat)

Add onions, pork roast, salt, garlic, and water to the crock pot. Cook on high 4-6 hours, or until very tender. Remove the meat from the crock pot and strain juices, reserving onions and 1 cup of cooking liquid. Shred roast with 2 forks. Add shredded pork together with onions and half of your BBQ sauce. Stir to combine, if you enjoy a saucy pork, add more sauce, then add cooking liquid a little at a time to thin your sauce if desired. Taste for seasoning, and adjust if needed.
Pile pork high on your favorite roll, grab a friend or a dozen, and enjoy the game!

Menu Plan September 28-Oct 3

*New Recipes
Links to Recipes on Blog
^ Recipes getting re-blogged

We have a birthday party to go to!!!

Baked Ham and Cheese Sammies*
Sweet Potato Salad*

Spanish Noodle Casserole*
Sliced Pears

Grilled Steak
Baked Potatoes
Skillet Creamed Corn

Slow Cooker White Bean Soup*

English Muffin Pizzas*

Friday, September 26, 2014

Car Repairs and Recipes

Not two things that normally go together, right? But last week, they did for me, and the result is going to be something yummy for you!

I hate car repairs. Ugh. They are so annoying. And more often than not, so expensive. Luckily, this time was a "planned" visit, not unexpected, so it was a tad less painful. 

So as I sat there in the waiting room, finding ways to pass the 3 hours it was going to take for them to finish my car, and I found myself talking food with a couple other ladies also waiting. We were watching Food Network  and discussing what the chef was making, which turned into things we love to make, which then turned into us swapping ideas and recipes. 

One of the ladies said she had just made a recipe for her boyfriend, who is pretty picky, and he loved it. She works weird shifts, and is always looking for ways to use her slow cooker to make meals easier. She said it was great because she could have it cooking while she worked, he could eat when he got home, and it was still just as delicious when she got home later. With our busy schedules, dishes you can eat out of all night long are a must!  

If you love chicken pot pie, you're going to adore this. It's like the inside of a chicken pot pie your grandma used to make, turned into a comforting bowl of soup. Think pot pie without the crust. Which, for me is quite appropriate since when I was a kid I always left the crust on the plate after I ate the entire middle out.

This makes the perfect "set it and forget it" fall supper. It's full of flavor and will warm your family up in no time. I can't say I'm ever going to enjoy getting the car repaired, but at least this time I came out of it 

Crock Pot Creamy Chicken Stew 
3 boneless chicken breasts, cubed
3 c. frozen mixed veggies 
2 (10 3/4 oz.) cans cream of chicken soup
1 can water
3 medium potatoes, peeled and cubed
1/2 tsp. onion powder
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
2 tsp. dried parsley
2 tsp. cornstarch
Salt and Pepper to taste

Combine all ingredients except cornstarch in slow cooker. Mix well. Cook on HIGH for 6 hours. Combine cornstarch with 3 tsp. liquid from stew. Stir well, Pour back into stew. Cook until thick, about 10-15 minutes.

Shared on The Country Cook Sept. 26, 2014

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Autumn Chicken {A Post For Earth Fare}

I wish I had some wonderful autumn themed story to tell you that was my inspiration for this recipe. A day spent picking apples that led to me coming home to a fire in the fire place and sitting around with the family eating this delicious dish. Well...not so much. Apple picking? That's still on our to do list. Sitting around the fire place? Yeah, we don't have one of those. What I do have is a simple explanation that is going to give you a new chicken recipe you're going to love.

It was time for me to go shopping at my local Earth Fare for my monthly post. It just so happened they had beautiful chicken thighs on sale for $.99/pound! It was a deal I couldn't pass up. The second part of the story is while we grill year round, when the days start to get a little chilly, and then down right cold, Mr. E. is in charge of manning the grill. Sure, he normally is anyway, but I have actually gotten pretty proficient  at it myself over the last few years, but only when it's warm outside.

So there I was. I had these gorgeous chicken thighs that needed to be cooked in the oven. Okay, that's easy enough. I love roasted chicken. And why not add in some autumn flavor with apples. Do you cook savory dishes with apples? They are fantastic in dishes other than dessert. And if you've never tasted the way they compliment onions, you must! When they cook together (think a stuffing that has apple in it) it's a match made in fall heaven.

This would make a terrific Sunday supper but is also easy enough for any weeknight. It's a beauty to entertain with, and can be adapted to feed more without much hassle

Not every recipe has to have some magical story behind it. Sometimes the yummiest of dishes come by the most simple of means. A good deal + A chilly day = Your lucky day!

Roasted Honey Mustard Chicken 
6 bone in chicken thighs, patted dry
2 large Cortland apples, cut into large chunks
1 large white onion cut into large chunks
1 c. chicken broth
2 TBS honey mustard
1 1/2 TBS olive oil
Salt and Pepper to taste
Dried Parsley

Preheat oven to 450. Grease a 9x13 baking dish. Heat oil in large skillet over medium high heat. Season chicken with salt and pepper. When oil is hot, place chicken in, skin side down, and cook for about 6 minutes until golden brown. Flip. Cook 3 additional minutes. Remove to a platter lined with paper towels. Drain off all but 2 TBS drippings. Add apples and onions to skillet. Season with salt and pepper. Sprinkle with parsley.Saute' until softened about 4 minutes. Mix honey mustard with broth. Pour into skillet. Increase heat to high and bring to a boil. Carefully transfer to baking dish. Lay chicken on top. Roast in oven for 20-25 minutes until chicken cooked through. To serve, remove chicken and then using a slotted spoon, lay apples and onions on platter. Lay chicken on top. Spoon pan juices over top. Sprinkle with extra parsley. *NOTE* This honey mustard is NOT the salad dressing. It can be found in the condiment aisle next to the other varieties of mustard.  

Shared on The Country Cook Sept. 26, 2014

Disclaimer: I was provided with a gift card in exchange for this post. All thoughts and opinions are my own. 

Monday, September 22, 2014

303 Simple & Satisfying Recipes Day 2 {A Review with Gooseberry Patch}

If you didn't stop by on Friday, you missed the debut of Gooseberry Patch's newest book, and believe me it's one you don't want to miss! 

If you missed the first recipe I featured, Crock Pot Cream of Potato Soup is something you'll want to make again and again with the cold months approaching. So, click here if you didn't catch it the first time.

The reason I chose this to be the second recipe I featured is simple. It's a great way to stretch a dollar when it comes to the cost of boneless chicken breasts, and I'm always on the lookout for those kind of meals. Chicken is expensive, but if you can find it on sale, or you can figure out how to make only one package feed the whole family, it is a little easier on the weekly food budget. 

The flavor of this is so unique, and delicious, it's sure to become one of those dishes your family will ask for over and over. I love that it's pasta, which we love, but also high protein with the chicken. Plus it's got veggies in there too. Oh, and you can start it in the morning, and easily finish when you get home, dog tired and dinner can be on the table in almost no time. It's really a win win recipe for you and your family.

Oh, and Gooseberry Patch is giving a copy of this fantastic cookbook to one lucky EMM fan, so be sure to click here to find out how to enter!

Slow Cooker Provincial Chicken
Submitted by Shari Upchurch, Dearing, GA Found on pg. 139
4 boneless chicken breasts
2 (15 oz.) cans diced tomatoes, with juice
2 zucchini, diced
1 (10 3/4 oz.) can cream of chicken soup
2 TBS balsamic vinegar
1 TBS dried onion
2 TBS dried parsley
1 tsp. dried basil
1 c. shredded cheddar cheese
1/2 c. sour cream
Cooked bowtie pasta

In a slow cooker, combine chicken, tomatoes, zucchini, soup, vinegar, onion and herbs. Cover and cook on LOW for 6-8 hours. Remove chicken, cut into bite-size pieces and return to slow cooker. Stir in cheese and sour cream. Cover and cook for 15 minutes. To serve, spoon over cooked pasta. *NOTE* I seasoned the chicken with salt and pepper. I used an Italian blend cheese and served over penne pasta instead. I also garnished with extra parsley too.

Shared on The Country Cook Sept. 26, 2014

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Soul Food Saturday

Sometimes no matter what you do, you have a huge craving for something that you just can’t get rid of until you have that first bite; okay sometimes you really need the whole plate full. Am I right? This happened to be one of those days. And wouldn’t you know it; the first ingredient was still on my shopping list. So in comes another Internet search. Yep, you guessed it. I loved it enough to make a mountain of pancakes and then share the recipe with you. This baking mix is a good as the boxed stuff, maybe even better dare I say? I’ll let you decide! Grab a fork and your favorite pancake toppers, because this plate is nearly ready!
Homemade Baking Mix
 9 c.all purpose flour
1 c. dry buttermilk
5 tbs. baking powder
¼ c. sugar
1 tbs. salt
1 c. shortening

In a large bowl add flour, buttermilk, baking powder, sugar and salt. Stir to thoroughly combine. Add half of shortening add a time, and use pastry blender (or 2 forks) to cut into the dry ingredients. Add second half of shortening and continue until the mixture resembles corn meal. Store mix in air tight container, for up to 3 months.
  2 c. mix
1 c. water
 2 eggs

All your family favorite toppings- syrup, fruit, jellies, butter, or all the above!
In a medium bowl add mix, water, and eggs. Whisk to combine, and continue until smooth. Add ¼ c. amount to a greased pan or griddle. Flip when edges are dry. Cook until golden. Repeat with remaining batter.
Whether you love them topped with just butter, pieces of fruit on the side, or doused with your favorite syrup; these will definitely be a winner at your table as well. Enjoy!

Meal Plan September 21-26

*New Recipe
Links to Recipes on Blog

Crock Pot Chicken Pot Pie Soup*
Sliced Peaches

Pork Chops

Crescent Dogs
Sweet Potato Fries
Jello Parfait Salad

Beef Roast
Pan Roasted Baby Potatoes

Cheesy Baked Shells and Broccoli*
Garlic Bread

We're heading out of town on a little family get away :)

Friday, September 19, 2014

303 Simple & Satisfying Recipes Day 1 {A Review of Gooseberry Patch}

It's that time again! Another new Gooseberry Patch cookbook is here and you're going to love it! 

3 books in one! This super-sized collection of recipes has everything you need to create breakfasts to remember, dinners they'll devour and desserts you'll love to share. 303 Simple & Satisfying Recipes includes 3 sections with every recipe from our previously published cookbooks, 101 Easy, Everyday Recipes, 101 Slow-Cooker Recipes and 101 Cupcake, Cookie & Brownie Recipes. With this book at your fingertips, kitchen creativity is just a page-turn away. ~From Gooseberry Patch

Cover to cover, this book is filled with recipes that will quickly become classics and go-tos in your kitchen. I've already got a bunch marked to try, but as soon as I saw this one, I knew it would be first. 

Fall, soups and my Crock Pot are three peas in a pod. While I use my slow cooker all year long, autumn is definitely when it gets utilized the most. And I love nothing more than a big pot of soup, cooking all day long, ready to eat when we are, after along, cold day.

This one is so simple, and tastes like a warm blanket feels. Smooth, creamy, flavorful, everything you want in a good potato soup. 

Oh, and that fabulous new cookbook? The fine folks at Gooseberry Patch have one for a lucky EMM reader too. Just scroll down underneath the recipe and find how to enter to win! 

Crock Pot Cream of Potato Soup
Submitted by Roberta Simpkins Mentor-on-the-Lake, OH Found on pg. 166
6 potatoes, peeled and cubed
2 onions, chopped
1 carrot, sliced
1 stalk celery, sliced
4 cubes chicken bouillon
1 TBS dried parsley
5 c. water
1/4 tsp. pepper
1 TBS salt
1/3 c. butter, melted
1 (12 oz.) can evaporated milk
Chives for garnish

Combine all ingredients except milk in a slow cooker. Cover and cook on LOW for 10-12 hours or on HIGH for 3-4 hours. Stir in milk during last hour of cooking. Garnish with chives, if desired. *NOTE* I always salt and pepper to taste, and probably added more here. I also used a potato masher right before I added the milk to thicken it a bit. Then I removed some of the liquid, added 1 TBS cornstarch and whisked the mixture and evaporated milk back into the soup. I cooked for another 30 minutes until it had thickened. 

Shared on The Country Cook Sept. 19, 2014


To Enter: Leave a comment telling me your favorite slow cooker soup!

Bonus Entry #1: Become a fan of Gooseberry Patch on Facebook.

Bonus Entry #2: Follow Gooseberry Patch on Twitter.

Be sure to leave an email address so I can find you!

Contest Ends: October 1, 2014

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Fall Means Tailgating, Football and Bonfires

The days are cooler, the sun is going down before 9pm and the nights are bonfire worthy. Yep, autumn is here in all it's glory! I don't know what that means to your family, but for ours, it means too many things to list. But a few that pop into my head are tailgating, football watching, and fall inspired parties.

But one thing it also means is a super busy schedule. With school back in session, Taekwondo in the evenings 5 nights per week, and then tournaments on the weekends, we are here, there and every where. So I am always on the lookout for easy to make, delicious to eat, meals that can fit into our hectic lives.

They don't have to be new recipes necessarily. I also like to find ways to take something I've been making for years, switch it up a little and have it be even more simple than it might already be. With that, I present taco meat from the slow cooker!

This recipe is great for dinner, any night of the week. It can stay warm for hours, so everyone can eat at different times, and it's still perfect. You could also use it for your next autumn party or even a kids birthday party. Oh, and if you're tailgating, you will be the rock star with this one. Plus, it's a great way to stretch a buck when boneless chicken breasts go on sale! A package of three will feed a crowd!

If you are a lover of all things fall, I'm sure you are happy as can be the new season is upon us. If you love certain things about fall, like me, maybe this recipe can fit into one of those! 

Slow Cooker Shredded Chicken Tacos
3 boneless chicken breasts
1 packet taco seasoning
2 cups favorite salsa
Salt and Pepper to taste
Splash of water
Soft Flour Tortillas
Favorite Taco Toppings

Preheat slow cooker to HIGH. Spray with nonstick spray. Lay chicken breasts in bottom. Sprinkle with salt, pepper and taco seasoning. Pour salsa over top. Add water to jar and shake. Pour over chicken. Cook on HIGH for 1 hour. Reduce heat to LOW and cook 3-4 hours until chicken cooked through. Remove chicken and shred using two forks or stand mixer. Return to slow cooker. Stir well. Reduce heat to WARM until ready to serve. Serve with tortillas and favorite toppings.

Shared on The Country Cook Sept. 19, 2014

Autumn with Red Gold Tomatoes {A Giveaway}

September, slow cookers and soups. Now, there is a group of things that go together like peas in a pod! Autumn is quickly approaching, and that means we are all going to be looking for more recipes to come home to after a long, probably chilly day, to warm us up while they fill us up. And my good friends at Red Gold couldn't agree with me more. "After coming home from work, picking up the kids, taking them to and from practice, and running your daily errands; there's nothing better than the aroma of a great tasting , warm meal waiting for you."  

In the spirit of all things slow cooked, starting today and running through October 8th, Red Gold will be running their "Red Gold 2-a-day Crock-Pot Give-a-way!" on the Red Gold Facebook page. Every day, two loyal Red Gold consumers will get a Red Gold branded Crock-Pot!! That's 44 slow cookers in over 3 weeks! During that period, they will also be sharing their new slow cooker recipes featuring Red Gold ® Tomatoes.

Plus, they are giving one lucky EMM reader the chance to win the prize pack below! 

To Enter: Leave a comment on this post telling me your favorite thing to make in the slow cooker with canned tomatoes. Be sure to include your email address! 

Contest Ends Sept. 24th. 

Monday, September 15, 2014

All Things Pumpkin

The minute I flip the calendar from August to September it means all things pumpkin and apple are fair game. I know many people feel they are too used during this time of year, especially since Pinterest came along and it seems there are 1,000 new recipes featuring each every single day.

Well, no fear. I'm not going to inundate you with so many you feel like I'm running an apple orchard or pumpkin patch. But I would not be true to myself if I didn't feature my two autumn flavors in at least a couple dishes.

If I had to choose one, it would probably be pumpkin. (And not just because my nickname is "Punkin".) I was the kid who wanted pumpkin pie in lieu of a birthday cake. True story. And my child has been known to ask his Maa Ma (my mom) for the same thing. She makes a pretty mean pumpkin pie!

These are a simple dessert perfect any night of the week. They would be perfect for tailgating or a bonfire party too! But they are completely yummy and pretty enough if you wanted to serve them come Thanksgiving you totally could.

Fall means all things pumpkin and apple. They are what I crave this time of year (well, those and soup) and when that craving results in something this delicious, it makes me remember one of the few reasons I do enjoy autumn. 

Pumpkin Pecan Parfaits
1 (15 oz.) can pumpkin puree
1 (3.4 oz.) box instant vanilla pudding, unprepared
1 (12 oz.) tub Cool Whip
1/2 c. chopped pecans
1 c. granola cereal (I used one with pecans)
1/2 tsp. cinnamon, plus extra for garnish
1/4 tsp. ground ginger
1/8 tsp. ground nutmeg
1/8 tsp. ground cloves

In a large bowl combine pumpkin, dry pudding mix, 1 cup whipped topping, and spices. Mix well. Chill for 30 minutes to set. In large parfait glasses, layer pumpkin mix, granola, whipped topping and pecans evenly. Repeat layers, ending with pecans. Sprinkle with cinnamon. Chill until ready to serve. Makes 3 large parfaits or 5-6 small.

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Soul Food Saturday Special Birthday Edition

On this special edition of Soul Food Saturday we are celebrating Monkey's birthday. I can't believe another year has past, and he's grown so much. Most of you know already that Monkey is a big eater, and LOVES Mexican food. Since this year he turns the big 1-0 we need a bunch of food to celebrate in a BIG WAY!!
Thank you again to Mr. and Mrs. Everyday for letting us celebrate right along with you!!! Grab your party hats, its party time! 

May God keep you nearest Him always, remind you daily of His truest love, shower you with His ultimate blessings, guide your every step, and give you decades more birthdays to be blessed with. Love you always, Mrs. Soul food
This menu stems from one recipe of Crock pot Chile Verde. Yep, one recipe cooked up and divided to create several meals; for the ultimate celebration!
Plus, we’ll have a fun dessert and a sparkling party drink! 

Crock pot Chile Verde Pork 
3 lbs. boneless pork roast
1 29 oz. can green enchilada sauce
4 jalapenos, diced 
1 large onion, diced 
Granulated garlic, to taste
Salt to taste 

Add onion, and peppers to the bottom of the crock pot. Then add pork roasts on top. Season roasts with salt and garlic. Add sauce over top of roasts and veggies. Cover and cook on high power 6-8 hours or until tender. Shred pork and return it to the sauce. Sauce will thicken as it rests.

Chile Verde Pork Nachos
4 c. corn tortilla chips
2 c. shredded cheddar- jack cheese
2 c. Chili verde pork, shredded with sauce

Add 1 c. chips to the bottom of the plate, top with ½ c. of Chile Verde, and ½ c. of cheese. Microwave; on high power for 45-60 seconds, or until cheese is melted.  Serve hot and top with sour cream or jalapenos if desired.

Chile Verde Pozole in a Hurry
 Remaining pork and sauce left from Crock pot recipe (4 c. pork with 5-6 c. sauce)
1 28oz can Mexican style hominy. 
Lemons cut into wedges
Cabbage, shredded
Optional toppings:  shredded cabbage, squeeze of lemon
For this recipe we are going back to the crock pot. Take remaining shredded meat along with the sauce. Add it all to a soup pot. Add hominy with its liquid. (If you prefer more broth in your pozole add one cup at a time and adjust seasoning as needed)
Bring to a boil and then simmer for about 10 minutes just until hominy has softened and heated through. Serve with all your favorite toppings, like cabbage and a squeeze of lemon. Enjoy!

We can’t have a birthday party without a dessert, right? This one is a birthday cake with a twist. We kicked it up with fruit and lots of whipped topping. What would be better than that you think, well how about an individual size? Grab a spoon, because this one is good all the way to the bottom of the glass!
Strawberry Cheese Cake Birthday Parfaits
 1 French vanilla cake mix
3 eggs
½ c. vegetable oil
1 tsp cinnamon
8oz tub of whipped topping
4 oz cream cheese
2 c. chopped strawberries
In a medium bowl add cake mix, eggs, oil and cinnamon. Mix to combine completely. (Approx. 2 min with electric beaters) Spray two 9 inch pie plates with non stick spray and divide batter between both pans and bake as package directs. Bake until done and allow to completely cool before assembling parfaits. (Cut cake into 4 pieces- each parfait will take a quarter of the cake)
In a medium bowl add half of whipped topping container with cream cheese. Mix until completely combined. (We personally liked the sweetness it already had so no additional sugar was needed, if you prefer it sweeter; add 1 tbs. of powdered sugar) Set aside
In a glass that holds approx 2 cups. Take a quarter of the cake and break it into pieces. Add cake pieces to bottom of the glass. Then add ¼ c of the cream cheese mixture on top. Add ¼ c. strawberries as the next layer. Repeat with another layer of cake, top with ¼ c. whipped topping and finish with strawberries on top.

And last but definitely not least, we have come to the yummy party drink. Mrs. Everyday loves to indulge Alex with fun drinks; but keeping the sugar at a moderate level is something important to her as well. So keeping that in mind I decided why not bomb limeade with cherries, and fizz it up with sparking water! Keeping a bit of sweet and a little sour with a whole lot of fun! Cheers to you birthday boy!
Cherry Bombed Sparkling Limeade
 1 can limeade concentrate
2 liters Sparkling water
Maraschino cherries 2-3 per glass
 In a 2 quart pitcher add limeade concentrate and sparkling water. Mix to combine. Add ice to a pretty glass and top with limeade. Bomb your glass with cherries, and enjoy!

Meal Plan Sept 14-19

*New Recipe
Links to Recipes on Blog

I'm throwing a BIG 10th Birthday Party for little man. 
Tomato Soup
Grilled Cheese

Garlic Toast

Fish Sticks
Mac n Cheese
Candied Carrots

Baked Honey Mustard Chicken with Apples*
Wild Rice

Slow Cooker Lentil and Sausage Stew*
Crescent Rolls

Pizza Joes
Sweet Potato Fries
Cottage Cheese

Friday, September 12, 2014

Fall is Coming

Any one that knows me well, or is a faithful reader of this blog knows I love summer...and when it comes to an end I tend to get a little grumpy. I don't mind fall, in fact, I enjoy it. Sunny days at the pumpkin patch, apple orchard or one of our favorite autumn festivals. Donning a hoodie because there is a chill in the air. Decorating for Halloween. Enjoying a family meal with all the trimmings at Thanksgiving. 

But this is where the train comes off the track. See, while I don't mind fall, I detest what comes next. I hate snow. I hate the cold. The only bright spot for me in winter is Christmas. As far as I'm concerned, we can go from summer, to fall, back to summer, take a two-day break at Christmas for some festive flakes, and then go right back into summer again. Yeah, I know....I live in the Midwest...it's a pipe dream. But there are things to look forward to with fall on it's way, so I try to make the best of it, and find solace in those. 

One thing I love to do during the chilly fall days is make a big pot of a warm drink to enjoy all day long while we are watching football, coming and going, or in this case, feeling a little under the weather. That's right, before summer was over, little man and I both got sick. Between his strep throat and my sinus infection, we made a good pair. But the one thing we could both enjoy was this delicious, warm, comforting drink that not only tasted great, but really soothed our oh so sore throats. 

If you love apple cider, this takes it to the next level. It combines fantastic autumn flavors with the brightness of citrus. It's perfect for your fall cook-out or bonfire too because you can heat it up, and then leave it warm in the slow cooker all day and night long. Oh, and if there is some left, you can keep it in the fridge for up to three days, so it doesn't go to waste. 

Autumn is on it's way. I can't hide from it. But I can enjoy these last warm days, and look forward to the things I do love about the next season. And as far as what is coming after it, denial is a beautiful thing.

Hot Citrus Cider
1/2 gal. apple juice
2 1/4 c. water
1 1/2 c. orange juice
3 4-inch cinnamon sticks
1 TBS whole cloves
1/4 c. molasses
Garnish: apple slices

Mix together all ingredients except garnish in a large saucepan over medium heat. Simmer for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until heated through. Transfer to a slow cooker; keep warm on low setting. Serve in mugs, garnished with an apple slice. May be refrigerated in a covered container up to 3 days. Makes about 3 quarts. *NOTE* I did not have cinnamon sticks on hand, so I used 1 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon.

Shared on The Country Cook Sept. 12, 2014
From Gooseberry Patch