Everyday Mom's Meals: November 2014

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Tomato Selfie {A Feature}

With the holidays quickly approaching, it's important to remember to spread holiday cheer wherever and whenever we can. And getting some extra holiday spending money couldn't hurt either! That's why right now, NatureSweet Tomatoes is sponsoring a Santa selfie hashtag contest! 

Customers can snap a selfie with Santa Timmy at retail locations, upload is using #MySantaSelfie hashtag, and be entered for a chance to win gift cards, or even a $3,000 holiday shopping spree! 

NatureSweet is committed to having a positive impact on the communities in which it operates, so in that spirit, everyone who enters must also explain how they are giving back this holiday season. 

After you upload your photo, be sure to tell all your friends and family how they can vote for you. One winner each day will receive a $50 gift card, while the Grand Prize Winner, selected from the Top 20 entries will win the $3.000 shopping spree! 

So while, you're out grocery shopping this weekend, be sure to snap your selfie with Santa Timmy and enter today! Contest ends December 5, 2014! 

Soul Food Saturday

During every holiday we have those go to recipes that everyone expects to see. I am talking about a dessert usually served cold with lots of whipped cream and wonderfully sweet. Now that I have your complete attention how about we take similar ingredients and turn them into a cupcake shape and bake it? Yes, I said cupcake shapes on your holiday table. What could be greater than that? Not many things in my opinion. Grab a napkin because this one can be served without a plate or even a fork!

Baked Ambrosia Cupcakes
5 slices white bread, diced
4 tbs. butter, room temperature
1/4 c. Sugar
2 eggs, beaten
20 oz can fruit cocktail in light syrup drained, and diced
1/4 c. pineapple juice
1/4 c. half&half
1/4 tsp. cinnamon

In a large bowl cream sugar and butter together. Add juice, half and half, eggs and cinnamon then blend to combined. Stir in fruit and bread. Stir to coat bread completely. Add mixture into greased muffin tin. Bake in preheated 350 oven for 35 minutes or until top is brown and juices are bubbling. Remove from oven and allow to cool slightly before serving to make removing from the pan easier. Top with whipped cream if desired. Enjoy!

Meal Plan Nov. 30- Dec. 5

* New Recipe
Links to Recipes on Blog

Penne with Buttery Onion Tomato Sauce*
Garlic Bread

Tex Mex Cheese Soup*

Skillet Lemon Chicken
Baked Zucchini*
Mandarin Oranges

Chili Dog Casserole
Sliced Peaches

Tavern Sandwiches
Steak Fries
Cottage Cheese

Friday, November 28, 2014

Slow Cooker Christmas Favorites Day 1 {A Gooseberry Patch Review}

Good Morning! Happy Black Friday! I hope all of you had a wonderful Thanksgiving! I hope you ate lots, and are still full this morning! 

In our house, today is the official start to the Christmas season. Sure, we've been listening to Christmas music for a month now, but we really try to wait for everything else Christmas related, so Thanksgiving gets the attention and love it deserves. But now we can trim the tree, hang our stockings and get ready for our favorite time of year.

Now ya'll know how much I love Christmas....and Gooseberry Patch...and my slow cooker. So, you know I'm super excited to share their newest cookbook with you...that combines all THREE of those! 

This book has everything you need for your Christmas season. From main dishes, to sides, to candy and cookies, to even condiments that would make great gifts! And they are all for your crock pot! Talk about your new best friend during this busy time of year! 

The first recipe I am sharing gives a little nod to one of my boys' favorite Christmas movies, A Christmas Story. Every year we have to watch, usually multiple times thanks to the 24 hour marathon on TBS, and one of the funniest parts is when on Christmas Day they have to eat in the Chinese restaurant. If you've never seen it, I won't ruin it; but if you have, you know exactly what I am talking about. 

So, when I saw this I had to chuckle to myself. Plus, I know many of you will have a house full of people to feed, and this will get the job done and keep you on budget! Not to mention, it's simple to make and absolutely delicious. 

Plus, you have a chance to win a copy of this new cookbook for yourself. Just scroll down under the recipe to see how!

The Christmas season is finally here. I could not be happier; and I'm happy to kick off the holidays here on EMM with this gift to you. Oh, and come back on Monday to see the next recipe...it's a keeper too! 

Crock Pot Teriyaki Chicken
Submitted By Beth Kramer Port Saint Lucie, FL Found on page 182
1 onion, cut into thin wedges
1 (20 oz.) can pineapple cubes, drained
1 TBS oil
8 chicken thighs, skin removed
1/2-3/4 c. favorite teriyaki basting and glazing sauce
Cooked rice
Green onions sliced, for garnish
Sesame Seeds, for garnish
Salt and Pepper to taste
Garlic Powder to taste (my addition) 

Place onion and pineapple in a greased slow cooker; set aside. Heat oil in large skillet over medium heat. Season chicken with salt, pepper and garlic powder. Brown in skillet for about 4 minutes per side, until golden. Drain. Add chicken to slow cooker. Spoon sauce over chicken. Cover and cook on LOW for 5 hours, or until chicken is no longer pink. Serve chicken, onion and pineapple over cooked rice. Spoon some sauce over top. Sprinkle with green onions and sesame seeds. 

Disclaimer: I received (2) copies of this cookbook in exchange for this review. One to keep, one to giveaway. All thoughts and opinions are my own. 

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

A Little Spice For Mr. Everyday

So, tomorrow is the big day! Do you have your cooking game plan down? Maybe you've been cooking all week so there isn't as much to do tomorrow. You're so smart! Either way, we are coming down to the wire, and it's time to loosen our belts and bring on the feast!

For today's post I could have easily shared another holiday idea, but instead I thought I would post something for those pre-feast hours. When everyone is sitting around, watching football, or the parade, playing games. The snacking time. I'm not even kidding you. My Grammy is famous for all the "nibbly bits" (as Monkey calls them) she puts out to tide everyone over until the big meal. So many delicious things that many times they are a meal in themselves; and by the time the turkey hits the table you're almost too full to eat. Almost. 

When a friend gave me this recipe I knew it would be perfect for Mr. E. He likes spicy things, and while many times I shy away from recipes that have a kick to them because my taste buds are wimps, I thought these would be a nice treat, just for him. And I will be honest...he ate the whole batch because after trying one, I was gasping for water. These. Are. Spicy. Very. Spicy. So, if you can't stand the heat, be sure to adjust the amount of red pepper flakes!! 

The turkey may be thawing, and the side salads might be waiting in the fridge, but that doesn't mean we can't still look for things to munch on all holiday weekend long. And if you like a little spice in your snack, these are just for you.

From our family to yours, I wish you a very

~*~Happy Thanksgiving~*~

Spicy Ranch Crackers
4 sleeves saltine crackers
1 package ranch dressing mix
2 TBS red pepper flakes
1/4 c. shredded Parmesan cheese
1 c. canola oil

In a large bowl whisk together oil, ranch mix and red pepper flakes. Working in batches dip crackers in mixture, covering completely. Lay on baking sheets. Sprinkle liberally with Parmesan.  Bake at 250 until golden brown and crunchy, about 45 minutes. (Check often as not to burn!) Store in airtight container. 


Snacks at Very Good Recipes

Monday, November 24, 2014

Early Winter

After that nasty polar vortex last winter, I kinda hoped Mother Nature would have pity on us and give us an easy one this year. Well, it's not even officially winter yet, and she has rared her ugly head and made her presence known! Yep, a week before Thanksgiving, and our temps plummeted into the single digits with negative wind chills, making for a cold, blustery week. 

Now, I am trying hard not to complain too much because we all watched while Old Man Winter dumped some seventy, yes that's 7-0, inches of snow on Buffalo, burying them in the white stuff, and stranding people on highways for hours. I can't even imagine!

Oh, and I have to give you the other piece of this freezing puzzle. See, our housing addition is currently under major road construction, giving us all new streets. And while it's going to be really nice when they are done (estimated time, next JULY!!) right now, it's a huge pain. We have no driveway, only half a street in and out, and get the privilege of parking at least a block away, sometimes more. I'm not kidding when I say with the cold weather, and this headache, it got to a point when I was just mad every time I had to leave the house. It was a huge hassle, and I would have much rather sat inside, warm and cozy; but life doesn't work that way, and at some point, I had to put on my big girl pants (and coat, gloves, scarf, boots...) and venture out. 

So, what's a girl to do when winter comes early, her toes are frozen and her car is what seems like half a mile away? Make soup of course!! What better way to warm up, comfort the soul and feed my icicles of a family??!! 

This one is gonna become a favorite, kids. You are going to keep coming back to this simple, delicious recipe over and over during the cold months ahead. Creamy, full of veggies, so yummy...it's what winter was made for!

I'm hoping we get a small break until winter officially arrives in December. But I'm not holding my breath. I'm also hoping to actually be able to park in my driveway soon. But again, I'm not holding my breath. Either way, I'm going to eat soup, and try to look at the bright side...spring is only 116 days until Spring! 

Easy Vegetable Chowder From Taste of Home
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 (12 oz.) bag frozen broccoli and cauliflower
1 (12 oz.) bag frozen mixed veggies
3/4 c. butter
1/2 c. flour
4 c. chicken broth
2 c. milk
2 c. half and half
1 tsp. dried oregano
1/4 tsp. garlic powder
Salt and Pepper to taste

In a large Dutch oven, saute onion in butter until soft. Add flour; stir to combine. Gradually add broth. Bring to a boil. Cook and stir for 2 minutes until thickened. Stir in milk, cream, oregano, garlic powder, salt and pepper. Add veggies. Cook gently over a low heat until heated through, about 15 minutes. 


Disclaimer: As a Field Editor for Taste of Home, I share this recipe for my own use. I am not a paid employee. 

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Soul Food Saturday

With Holiday time comes all things pumpkin. Including coffee! How many times have you craved a big as they come, full cup of this favorite coffee house specialty and not been able to get away for one? For me it's more often than I'd like to think about. It seems I can never have enough. And truthfully the grocery store creamers are good but they don't quite hit the spot for me. So here I have a treat as well as a gift. A new version of this delight, made right in your kitchen.

Pumpkin Spice Coffee Creamer
2 c. Sugar
2 c. Water
1/4 c. Pumpkin puree
2 cinnamon sticks
2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice

In a medium sauce pan add all ingredients and stir to combine. Cook for approx 10  minutes, stirring frequently. Strain mixture through fine mesh strainer, twice. Chill
Mix 1 to 2 tbs. of syrup with coffee and warm milk to taste.
Finish with whipped cream and pumpkin spice if desired. Enjoy

Meal Plan Nov. 23-28

*New Recipe
Links to recipes on blog

Beef Roast
Loaded Baked Potato Casserole*

Mozzarella Spaghetti Casserole*


Frozen Pizza
Veggies n Dip

Happy Thanksgiving!!
I'm taking Green Bean Casserole to my in-laws :)

Bean and Bacon Soup
Pretzel Rolls*
Fruit Cocktail

Friday, November 21, 2014

Day After Bite {A Post For Earth Fare}

 Less than a week people. That's right, by this time next week all the menu planning, eating and football watching will be over. And we will have moved onto all those leftovers and tree trimming! 

Today I've got a great idea you can either serve before the big Thanksgiving meal, or wait and put some of those leftovers to good use with. 

Let's face it, while we all look forward to the huge Turkey Day meal, the entire day is really about eating, and even when dinner isn't served until 3 pm, you find yourself looking for things to snack on all day long. You're sitting on the couch, watching football, or the Macy's Parade, and you just have to have something to munch on. It's just part of the Thanksgiving aura. 

The first time I made these years ago, I wasn't sure about the flavor combo because of the addition of the cheese (after all, turkey and cranberry are a no brainer together) but they are like the perfect bite every time you put one in your mouth. 

If you need some ideas for the pre-feast snacks, let this be the first on the list. Or you know you will be in desperate need of ways to use the pounds of turkey you have left come Black Friday, this is the answer to either!

Cranberry Turkey Bites
Snack Crackers
Deli Turkey or Leftover Roast Turkey, sliced thin
Whole Cranberry Sauce
Sharp Cheddar Cheese, sliced tin to fit crackers

Lay cheese on crackers. Top with turkey and cranberry sauce. Serve immediately. 

Shared on The Country Cook Nov. 21, 2014

Cranberry at Very Good Recipes

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

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Foodie Gift Ideas

Have you started your holiday shopping yet? Do you have foodies on your shopping list? Folks in your life that enjoy fun gifts that speak to their culinary side? If you answered yes, you've come to the right place. Today I've got a great round-up of fun gift ideas for all the foodies in your life! 

Cooking Up Memories Culinary Journal 

Cooking up Memories provides a keepsake to remember all your favorite recipes. Capture and share favorite recipes, great cooking tips, and fond food memories. The journal prompts the writer in ways that allows you to share so many things with the reader. Pass down all of this to the next generation! You can find more online here.

Drawer Decor System

Organize any kitchen drawer and add a splash of color with the Drawer Decor System from KMH home designs. The drawer mat is made from non-slip silicone to prevent sliding and features repositionable dividers to secure contents in place. Available in a variety of colors, and a deluxe or standard version, any  home cook would love to have this.

Smart Sizzors

What if I told you there is one tool you can keep in your kitchen drawer that does the work of multiple ones? Sounds like a pretty good idea, right? Well, that's exactly what you get with the Smart Sizzors from Any Sharp. Not only can they cut up chicken, snip herbs and trim meat, these multi-functional scissors have a bottle opener, nut cracker and garlic crusher. Plus, they can strip wire and cut through tough material, so they can be used outside the kitchen too! For more info, visit them at anysharp.com 

Disclaimer: I received products in exchange for this feature. All thoughts and opinions are my own

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Breakfast For Dinner

By now, most of you know if I share a breakfast recipe with you, I didn't make it for breakfast at all. We are big fans of breakfast dishes, but we enjoy them for dinner more. So when I test out new morning time recipes, it's at the end of my day. But that's okay. One way I know a recipe will be a success is when I can tell it's something that could be enjoyed any time of day, making it even more versatile.

I really wanted to make sure I got this one posted soon because I realize so many of you are preparing for the house guests that are about to descend upon your home. Let's face it, some of them will come for turkey and stay on through until you ring in the New Year. Okay, not really, but it might seem like that. You know, like Cousin Eddie in Christmas Vacation.

If that sounds familiar to you, you're going to love this recipe. It's easy, and can feed a crowd on a budget! Plus, they are perfect for when the household is all getting up at different times. Make them first thing in the morning for the early birds, and the teenagers can reheat them for brunch when they finally roll out of bed at 11.

So many of us concentrate on what we are going to serve for family dinners or entertaining during the evening meal, sometimes remembering you actually have to feed those squatters, err, lovely family members, three meals a day can seem over whelming. Don't fret. I'm here to help, and I've brought along some yummy...and easy... breakfast burritos to help!

Baked Breakfast Burritos
8 eggs
1 package pre-cooked bacon, fried crisp and chopped
1 c. shredded taco cheese
8 oz. button mushrooms, sliced
1/4 c. sour cream
2 TBS butter
6 green onions, chopped, a few reserved for garnish
Salt and Pepper to taste
6 flour tortillas

Preheat oven to 350. Grease a 11 x 7 baking dish. In a large skillet saute mushrooms and green onions until soft. Remove from skillet. In a large bowl whisk together eggs and sour cream. Cook in skillet until set to desired consistency. I kept mine just a little soft to allow for extra cooking in the oven. Combine mushrooms and bacon with egg mixture. Stir and cook until heated through. Fill the center of each tortilla with egg mixture. Sprinkle with cheese. Roll tightly. Place seam side down in baking dish. Spray with nonstick spray. Sprinkle with remaining cheese. Bake for 5-10 minutes until browned and cheese melted. Top with salsa and extra green onions.

Shared on The Country Cook Nov. 21, 2014

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Around The Table { A Review}

I love cook books. We know this about me. And we also know that many of you out there share in my passion for the. Like me, you collect them. Read them like novels. Get lost in them. Well, today I'm going to introduce you to the latest one that's been added to my collection:

Around The Table 
Recipes and Inspiration for Gatherings Throughout the Year
by Martina McBride

Yep, you read that correctly. One of country music's most beloved artists has just published her first book filled with her personal tips for entertaining and inventive party ideas. We are talking simplicity for parties in your home. From recipes to even music play lists, Martina gives you all the tools you need to throw an amazing, but still budget friendly, gathering your guests will love. 

It was so hard to decide on a few recipes I wanted to share with all of you, but finally I narrowed it down to these three, because I think they are perfect for the upcoming holiday season.

Autumn chopped salad 
Serves 6 
The Balsamic–Poppy Seed Dressing (recipe follows) has a pleasant tanginess that is a 
nice change of pace from the usual super sweet poppy seed dressings, plus it balances 
the sweetness of the dried cherries and pears. I dress the salad very lightly and offer 
more of the dressing for guests to add at the table if they wish. 

 3 romaine hearts, chopped (about 8 cups) 
 2 small Red Bartlett pears, chopped 3⁄4 cup dried cherries, roughly chopped 
 3⁄4 cup pecans, chopped and toasted 
 6 slices thick-cut bacon, cooked and crumbled 
 1⁄2 cup crumbled feta cheese 
 1⁄2 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves 
 Balsamic–Poppy Seed Dressing 

1. Combine the lettuce, pears, cherries, pecans, bacon, feta, and parsley on a large 
platter or in a large bowl. Serve with the Balsamic–Poppy Seed Dressing. 

Tip: Have you ever noticed that when you toss a salad all the good stuff (in this case the 
fruit, nuts, cheese, and bacon) goes to the bottom of the bowl? I like to toss the 
chopped lettuce with the dressing and then add the rest of the ingredients on top. It’ s 
really pretty that way and it ensures that everyone gets a little of everything on their 
salad plate. This salad is pretty enough to bring to the table to serve. 

Balsamic–Poppy Seed Dressing 
Makes 1 cup 
 2 tablespoons poppy seeds 
 1⁄3 cup sugar 
 6 tablespoons balsamic vinegar 
 1 tablespoon grated yellow onion 
 2 tablespoons chopped garlic 
 2 teaspoons dry mustard powder 
 1 teaspoon kosher salt 
 1⁄2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper 
2⁄3 cup extra-virgin olive oil 

1. Combine the poppy seeds, sugar, balsamic vinegar, onion, garlic, mustard powder, 
salt, and pepper in a food processor, pulsing 3 times. With the food processor running, 
gradually add the olive oil through the feed tube, blending until incorporated. 

2. Pour the dressing into a screw-top jar and store in the refrigerator. When ready to use, shake to combine.  

Garlic Roasted Shrimp Cocktail
 3 pounds jumbo tail on shrimp (16 to 20 or 21 to 25 count), peeled and deveined 
 8 garlic cloves, finely chopped 
 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil 
1 1⁄2 teaspoons kosher salt 
 3⁄4 teaspoon cracked black pepper 
 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice 

1. Preheat the oven to 450°F. 

2. In a large bowl, combine the shrimp, garlic, olive oil, salt, and the pepper. Spread the 
shrimp in a single layer on a 17 × 13-inch rimmed baking sheet lined with parchment 

3. Roast the shrimp for 6 to 8 minutes, turning once, or until they are opaque and firm. 
Transfer the shrimp to a shallow dish and refrigerate, partially covered, for at least 3 

Serve with Spicy Cocktail Sauce with Red Onion (recipe follows). 

Spicy Cocktail Sauce
 1 cup ketchup 
 3⁄4 cup chili sauce 
 1⁄4 cup grated red onion 
 1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh jalapeno 
 1⁄3 cup prepared horseradish 
 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice 
 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce 
 1⁄4 teaspoon kosher salt 
Dash of Tabasco hot sauce 

Combine the ketchup, chili sauce, onion, jalapeno, horseradish, lemon juice, 
Worcestershire sauce, salt, and Tabasco in a medium bowl.
Chill, covered, until ready to use. 

Hunter’s Chicken 
Serves 8 to 10 
This is a savory, rustic, satisfying main course dish. Feel free to use all breast pieces if 
that’s what your family prefers. Just make sure they are skin-on, bone-in breasts. If you 
have a Dutch oven or roasting pan, you can prep this from start to finish all in the same 
pan. Just place the roasting pan over two burners. 

2 whole (4- to 5-pound) farm-raised chickens, cut into serving pieces 
Kosher salt 
Freshly ground black pepper 
3 garlic cloves 
7 to 8 fresh sage leaves 
1⁄2 bottle dry white wine, plus 3⁄4 cup flour for dusting 
1⁄2 cup extra virgin olive oil 
1⁄4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes 
2 14.5-ounce cans diced tomatoes (preferably San Marzano), drained 
1 cup whole pitted Kalamata or Taggiasca olives 
2 cups fresh sliced baby Portobello mushrooms 
2 cups chicken stock 

1. Rinse the chicken and pat it dry, then season liberally with salt and pepper. Place the 
pieces in a large bowl. Smash and peel the garlic and add it to the bowl with the sage 
leaves and the half bottle of wine, turning the pieces to coat. Marinate in the refrigerator, 
turning the pieces occasionally, at least 4 hours but preferably overnight. 

2. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Drain the chicken, discarding the marinade. Dust the chicken pieces lightly with the flour. Heat a Dutch oven or 16 x 13-inch roasting pan over 
medium-high heat for 1 minute, then add the oil. When the oil shimmers, add the red 
pepper flakes and stir about 1 minute. 

3. Working in batches, brown 3 to 4 pieces of chicken at a time, skin side down, 5 minutes per side until the skin is golden brown, and set aside. 

4. Add the remaining ¾ cup wine to the pan, stirring to loosen any browned bits, and boil 
for 5 minutes, or until reduced by half. Stir in the tomatoes, olives, mushrooms, and 
chicken stock to blend. Return the chicken to the pan and spoon the tomato mixture over 
the chicken. Cover the roasting pan tightly with aluminum foil, or if using a Dutch oven, 
cover with the lid. 

5. Bake for 45 minutes, then uncover and cook for an additional 20 minutes, or until the 
juices run clear when the chicken is pierced between the leg and the thigh with the tip of a knife. 

I told you every dish was more mouth watering than the last. If you love to entertain at home, this cookbook is going to be your new best friend. Or, maybe you have a foodie on your gift list this year! They would love this too. Either way, you can find Around The Family Table on Amazon. Happy entertaining! 

Disclaimer: I was provided with a free copy of the cookbook in exchange for this review. All thoughts and opinions are my own. 

Monday, November 17, 2014

Take A Gander Into The Pantry

Have you ever wandered into the kitchen, taken a gander into your pantry and found something that made you say to yourself "Um, how long as that been there?" If not, then my hats off to you, because it's been happening to me more and more lately. I'm assuming I've bought or been given items for recipes, and for whatever reason they weren't used. Either I changed my mind about the recipe I was creating, or a company was very generous and I was given extra. Then I put them in the pantry and move on. Well, recently it was time for me to go back, see what I have and create something to use it up.

This recipe was inspired by one simple can. A can of diced tomatoes with olive oil and basil. Well, okay, there were two cans, but of the same thing, so for story telling purposes, they count as one. Think diced tomatoes with an Italian twist. I've had them forever, and it was time for them to be put to good use. But how? I mean, you can do almost anything with diced tomatoes. They are great in the cold months when fresh ones just aren't an option. So, the brainstorming began. To be honest, the first thing that came to mind was a great bruschetta recipe. However, I was more in need of a hearty dinner, so my brain moved on.

Then I got to thinking about something else I knew I had sitting in the pantry. Egg noodles. I always have them on hand because they make a quick side dish in a pinch. And to be honest, I will find any reason to eat some warm buttered egg noodles. That's when the plan really started to come together.

I wish I could tell you this is a fantastic one pot meal, but it actually takes two. But the main part does come together in one skillet, so it's almost just as good. This meal is rustic, delicious and perfect after a long day.

I'm so glad I finally found a use for those two cans of tomatoes. Just in time too. Why? Because I bought two more so I could try out that bruschetta recipe I thought of. Time to get to cooking again!

Italian Skillet Chicken
Buttered Egg Noodles
3 large boneless chicken breasts, cut into bite sized pieces
2 can diced tomatoes, with garlic and olive oil, ONE can drained
1/4 c. chicken broth
8 oz. button mushrooms, thick sliced
1 small onion, diced
1 lg. extra wide egg noodles, cooked to package directions
5 TBS butter
3 TBS olive oil
1 TBS corn starch
1 1/2 TBS Italian seasoning
1 TBS dried parsley
Garlic powder, to taste
Salt and Pepper to taste
Parmesan cheese

Season chicken with salt, pepper and garlic powder, Allow to sit at room temperature about 15 minutes. In a large skillet melt 2 TBS butter. Add onions. Saute until almost tender. Add mushrooms and saute both until mushrooms are browned. Season with salt and pepper. Remove from skillet. Add olive oil. Add chicken. Do not move for 1-2 minutes to brown on first side. Continue cooking until chicken is almost cooked through. Add chicken broth and scrape bottom of pan to deglaze. Add mushrooms mixture and both cans tomatoes (1 with juice) to chicken. Mix well. Cook for 3-5 minutes. Carefully ladle out about 1/4 c. liquid. Add cornstarch to liquid and whisk well. Return to pan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer about 15 minutes until thickened. When pasta is cooked, drain well and return to hot pot. Add 3 TBS butter and parsley. Stir well. Serve chicken over egg noodles. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese if desired.

Shared on The Country Cook Nov. 21, 2014

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Soul Food Saturday

I know for our family we are all about traditions. Every Thanksgiving we have the same recipes because they are someone's favorite. And for some we don't have every aunt, uncle or cousin to make those recipes all the time, am I right? So we NEED those comforts. Ever thought about mixing it up just because? Well this is where asparagus comes in. A twist on our favorite casserole takes a turn and adds some spice. Grab a plate, you've gotta taste this!

Loaded Asparagus Casserole
2 tbs. Unsalted butter
1 small onion, chopped
2 slices thick cut bacon, diced
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1/2 c. Half and half
2 cans asparagus tips, drained
1/4 tsp black pepper
1 c. Fried jalapeños, divided

In a medium pan add butter and allow to melt. Add onion and stir to combine with butter. Cook until onion has softened slightly. Add bacon and stir to combine. Cook until onions are clear and bacon is cooked through. Add mushroom soup along with half and half, then stir to combine until smooth. Add pepper and asparagus, stirring again to combine. Add 1/2 c. of fried jalapeños and stir gently to combine.
Transfer mixture to 9inch round baking pan. Place in 375 oven uncovered. Bake 10-15 minutes or until bubbling. Remove from oven and add remaining 1/2 c. of fried jalapeños  to top. Return to oven for additional 5 minutes or until top is browned. Garnish with dried parsley if desired. Enjoy!

Meal Plan Nov. 16-21

*New Recipe
Links to Recipes on Blog

Mozzarella Baked Spaghetti*

Pulled Pork Sandwiches
Sliced Beets

Slow Cooker Clam Chowder*

Sliced Pears

Honey Garlic Drumsticks*
Wild Rice
Creamed Corn


Friday, November 14, 2014

Stocking Up

If you live in a part of the country where temps did not plummet in the last 72 hours, lucky you! Here in Indiana, we went from sunny and 63 on Monday to down right FREEZING the past few days. I guess old man winter decided to come a little early this year, and for me that means it is time to stock up! On what you might ask? Soup recipes, of course! 

Around here, during the cold months, I make soup at least once per week, sometimes more. And I don't want to be eating the same thing over and over, so I try to find new ones to try. Sure, we have our favorites, and my go-to's; but I really do try not to rely those on so much we tire of them. 

I can guarantee this one is going to quickly be added to that list because it's not only super delicious, but so easy to make! When I think soup, I want comfort, and to me that means not a lot of effort. Now usually, that means I bust out the trusty slow cooker, and let it do all the work for me, but not this time! This is cooked completely stove top and can be on the table in about 30 minutes! Exactly what you want after a long, cold day when you just want to eat and warm up!

Now, let me tell you this up front. You are going to read there is cheese in this and wonder why I didn't call it broccoli and cheese soup. Well, I will explain. Yes, there is cheese, but it's what I like to call a back ground flavor. It almost acts more like a thickener than a main flavor. Sure, you can taste it, but not as strong as "real" versions. This is more creamy than cheesy, so I went with it.

If you are in a deep freeze like we are, brace yourselves, because I'm afraid it's here to stay, and I have a suspicion, starting this early, we're in for a llloooonnnnggggg winter. So, let's soothe our pain with some yummy soups all season long!

Cream of Broccoli Soup From Kraft
1 small white onion, finely chopped
2 TBS butter
2 TBS flour
4 c. milk
8 oz. cream cheese, room temperature, cubed
32 oz. Velveeta, cubed
2 (10 oz.) packages frozen chopped broccoli, thawed
1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg
Salt and Pepper to taste

In a large pot or dutch oven, saute' onions in butter over medium high heat until crisp tender, about 3-5 minutes. Whisk in flour until well blended. Add milk. Cook and stir on medium heat about 2 minutes. Add cream cheese. Cook and stir until melted, about 3 minutes. Stir in remaining ingredients. Cook 5 minutes, or until heated through, stirring occasionally. Garnish with shredded cheese if desired. 

Shared on The Country Cook Nov. 14, 2014
Broccoli at Very Good Recipes

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Another Turkey Day Idea

So, is that Thanksgiving menu set in stone yet? Or are you still looking for a little inspiration? If the first one is true, good for you! Way to be ahead of the game! Way to be prepared! But if the second one rings more true for you right now, your friendly neighborhood blogger is here to help!

Sweet potatoes are such a staple on so many holiday tables, sometimes we forget there are more things we can do with them than the traditional marshmallow topped dish. But there are, there really are!

This recipe actually came about last week when I had bought sweet potatoes to simply bake; but decided I wanted something more. And how could I say no to the addition of great flavors like brown sugar, vanilla, cinnamon and pecans? I could not! I mean, who can resist the words pecan crumb topping?

I love this dish because you can easily adapt it to feed a few (This version fed the 3 of us with leftovers, so I'd say it would feed 6 as a side dish easily.) or the masses. It can also cook in the oven alongside the bird while you are working on other dishes. It's the perfect mix of savory and sweet, and literally tastes like a holiday on a plate. Plus, it would travel really well too, in case you have to go "over the river and through the woods!"

That Turkey Day menu needs to be coming together pretty soon. We've got 2 weeks to finalize it; and I for one love knowing what's going to be served so my taste buds can start looking forward to it now! If there is room on yours, this might just be what you've been waiting to add to it!

Roasted Sweet Potatoes
Pecan Crumb Topping

5 large sweet potatoes (about 3 lbs.), peeled and cut into 1 inch cubes
2 TBS orange juice
1/4 c. packed brown sugar
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp. ground ginger
1/2 tsp. salt
2 TBS butter, diced
1 c. dried cranberries

1/2 c. flour
1/2 c. packed brown sugar
4 TBS butter, diced
1 tsp. ground cinnamon 
1 tsp. ground ginger
1 c. chopped pecans

Preheat oven to 400. Lightly grease a 9 x 13 pan. Add sweet potatoes to a large bowl. In a small bowl whisk together orange juice, 1/4 c. brown sugar, vanilla, 1/2 tsp. cinnamon, 1/2 tsp. ginger and salt. Pour over potatoes. Stir well to coat. Transfer to pan. Sprinkle with cranberries. Dot with butter. Cover with foil and bake for 30 minutes. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, combine flour, brown sugar, cinnamon and ginger for topping. Mix well. Cut in butter using two forks. Stir in pecans. Remove potatoes from oven. Uncover. Sprinkle with pecan mixture. Bake an additional 25-30 minutes until potatoes tender and browned on top.

Shared on The Country Cook