Everyday Mom's Meals: September 2015

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

"Mommy Why Don't People Like Spinach?"

That was the question my 11 year old asked me one day a few weeks ago. I can't even tell you what we were eating at the time, but of course it contained spinach, one of our favorite veggies. Yes, that's right. Our entire family, including the boy, love the stuff!

I realize many of you are now racking your brains trying to figure out how the heck I can get my kid to eat spinach and not bat an eye; and the answer is I am just lucky. He loves food. He loves trying new things. He has a varied palate and has from a young age. Maybe it's because pickiness has never been tolerated, or maybe because it's the fact we have always made him try new things, or maybe it really is just luck and I was blessed with one of the few children on the face of the earth that simply enjoy all kinds of food. But whatever the reason is, I'll take it!

With the way he eats food, including things other people, even adults, turn their noses up at, you can understand why he posed this question to me while he gobbled down whatever it was we were eating. To which he followed said question with a request. "Mommy, could you make a new pasta dish with spinach in it?" I told you, I'm lucky.

As always, his wish is my command, so this is what I came up with, and oh how happy he was. This amazingly flavored, super cheesy and creamy pasta supper might just be the sure fire way to get your kids to eat things like spinach, zucchini and mushrooms! They might not even care they are buried under all the pasta and cheese!

Kids ask so many questions about the world, and when my son does, I try really hard to answer them the best I can. Or I distract him with yummy food until he forgets.

Creamy Veggie Rigatoni Bake
1 lb. rigatoni
2 tsp. olive oil
1 TBS butter
 1 (8 oz.) bag fresh spinach
1 lb. baby bella mushrooms, sliced
2 medium zucchini, sliced
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 TBS flour
2 c. chicken broth
1/2 tsp. dried basil
1/2 tsp. dried oregano
1/2 tsp. dried parsley, plus extra for top
8 oz. cream cheese
1/2 c. grated Parmesan cheese
2 c. shredded mozzarella cheese
Salt and Pepper, to taste

Preheat oven to 375. Cook pasta according to package directions. In a large skillet heat oil and butter over medium high heat. Add zucchini, mushrooms and garlic. Saute for about 5 minutes until mushrooms browned and zucchini crisp tender. Add flour. Cook and stir 1 minute. Add broth and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and cook about 10 minutes until slightly thickened. Add seasonings and spinach, in batches, until wilted. Stir in Parmesan cheese and 1 cup mozzarella. Drain pasta well. Add to sauce mixture and combine well. Transfer to a greased 9 x 13 baking dish. Top with remaining mozzarella and sprinkle with parsley. Bake for 10 minutes until browned and cheese melted. Let stand 5 minutes before serving.

Monday, September 28, 2015

First Official Day Of Fall

In case you missed it, the first official day of autumn has come and gone. Sure, most of us have been in a fall mindset since September 1st, but it was official last Wednesday, the 23rd. Now, as much as I love a good holiday, and decorate for everything from Halloween to Valentine's Day, the Autumnal Equinox isn't one of them. However, this year I decided we would welcome the new season in a most delicious way.

This is a recipe that I actually put on the blog years ago, but it was time for a face lift. Not only to the recipe itself, but the photo too. I didn't chance much about the recipe itself, just tweaked a couple things here and there to make it even easier, and add even more flavor.

Is there anything better on a chilly, sometimes rainy, fall day than soup? Nope. The End. While I love soup year round, chilly fall and bitter cold winter days are the absolute perfect time for them, and this one is a classic.

Big bites of tender beef, lots of veggies and a rich broth come together with almost no work on your part and turn into something magical. Serve some hard dinner rolls, or maybe even a grilled cheese on the side, and dinner is done!

It's fall ya'll, that means soups, hoodies, bonfires, corn mazes, pumpkin patches and oh so much more! Be sure to get out there and enjoy them all!

Crock Pot Vegetable Beef Soup
2 lbs. round steak, cubed
2 medium potatoes, peeled and cubes
12 oz. bag frozen mixed veggies
3 celery ribs, diced
2 large carrots, diced
1 medium white onion, diced
1 (14 oz.) can diced tomatoes, with juice
5 1/2 c. beef broth 
Salt and Pepper to taste

Combine all ingredients in Crock Pot. Stir well. Cook on HIGH for 2 hours and LOW for 4. 

Saturday, September 26, 2015

Meal Plan Sept. 27- Oct. 2

*New Recipes
Links to Recipes on Blog

Sliced Peaches

Taco Spuds*
Chips n Salsa

Crock Pot Ham & Potato Soup*

 Roasted Chicken
Wild Rice
Cranberry Sauce
Fish Sticks
Mac n Cheese

Jello Parfait

Friday, September 25, 2015

A Sweet Treat For Mom

My poor mom, she can barely eat anything. Not because she doesn't want to, but between health conditions and allergies, her "okay" list is pretty short. Think I'm exaggerating? The lady has to check the ingredients on bread because most of them she can't have. No joke. So, when I find something she can eat, and it would be a treat for her, you bet I'm going to! 

Okay, so technically these began as her idea. She emailed me a recipe for pound cake she found that she could actually eat. Well, it sounded just a bit too complicated for this busy food blogger, so I decided to find something with similar ingredients that could be made in "mini" form. More fun anyway, right??!! Plus, with only her eating them, they are portioned perfectly!

Oh, and the other part of this story is the poor lady that can't eat, is now recovering from her 6th operation, in 5 years, on the same foot. Yep, we are holding our breath, and crossing our fingers and our toes (No pun intended) this is the last one! So, you can see why I was totally up for giving her a sweet treat she could really enjoy!

Love pound cake? Then you're going to adore these! Same flavors. Same density. Just individualized for easy snacking! They would make a great breakfast on the go too! 

I love my sweet mom. She is a special lady. Ask anyone who knows her, and they will tell you how lucky they are to know her. But I'm the luckiest. I get to call her mom, and make her special treats that make her smile.

Mini Pound Cakes
1 1/2 c. flour
1 c. sugar
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
3 eggs
2 sticks butter, softened
1/4 c. milk
1 tsp. vanilla

Preheat oven to 350. Line 2 muffin trays with papers. In a large bowl combine flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Add butter, milk and vanilla. Mix until just combined. Using an electric mixer, mix at medium speed for about 4 minutes. Scrape the sides of the bowl. Add eggs one at a time, mixing for 30 seconds after each. After all eggs are added, mix at medium speed for another minute. Batter will be thick and fluffy. (It will resemble frosting!) Spoon into muffin in, filling each well 1/2 way. Smooth out with back of spoon or spatula. Bake for 20 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean. Cool on wire rack.  *NOTE* If you have extra wells in your tin, put some water in them before baking for more even cooking.  

Recipe from Cupcake Recipes
Shared at Weekend Potluck

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Bonfires, Football and More

There are so many reasons people are getting together this time of year. Folks are gathering for bonfires, tailgating, hayrides and good ol' fashion fall fun! And when it is time to start your next autumn party, you've got to be ahead of the game with great recipes ready to go.

When it comes to parties, any get together, or heck, even a weeknight meal, what is more fun, more tasty than sliders? I'll give you a minute to think....Nothing, right??!! They are easy to eat, no matter where you are, and can usually be whipped up in almost no time. Plus, if you're having an day event, it's easy to make them ahead, and then reheat them as you go!

When I first saw these, my eyes immediately went to the sesame seeds. I'm a sucker for a good bun with sesame seeds on it. But then when I read the other ingredients, I was literally drooling. I knew I wanted to serve them at the next party we had, but to be honest, I don't entertain a lot, so I figured, hey, they would make a great simple supper too!

No matter what you've got planned this fall, easy, tasty food needs to be a part of it. These little sliders are like a party in a bun!

Party Burgers
1 lb. ground beef
12 dinner rolls
1 (10 oz.) can diced tomatoes with green chilies, drained
1 tsp. onion powder
1 tsp. cumin
1 tsp. ground mustard
1/2 tsp. paprika
3 garlic cloves, minced
Salt and Pepper to taste
12 slices medium cheddar cheese

1 stick butter
2 TBS brown sugar
1 TBS Worcestershire sauce
1 TBS mustard
1 TBS sesame seeds  

Preheat oven to 350. Grease a 9 x13 baking dish with nonstick spray. In a large skillet, brown beef with garlic. Drain if necessary. Add cumin, paprika, onion powder, ground mustard, salt and pepper. Add tomatoes. Stir to combine. In a medium pan, combine sauce ingredients. Heat on low until combined. Lay bottoms of rolls in dish. Using a slotted spoon, add beef mixture, making sure it is evenly distributed. Top with sliced cheese. Add tops of rolls. Pour sauce over. Spread evenly. Sprinkle with extra sesame seeds, if desired. Bake for 25 minutes. 

Recipe from Kevin and Amanda
Shared at Weekend Potluck

Monday, September 21, 2015

The Turtles Are Coming

We are coming to the end of September so quickly, sad I know, but we have actually been looking forward to this time of year for a while now. Why? Because one of our favorite places to visit for a fun filled day, The Indianapolis Children's Museum, is getting a brand new exhibit on September 26th. 

The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles are coming!! That's right, these Heroes in the Half Shell are descending upon our great state with all their ninja skills and teamwork! Now, ya'll know how much a good ninja is near and dear to this Tae Kwon Do Family's heart, hence why we are super stoked!

And there is nothing in the world Leonardo, Michelangelo, Raphael, and Donatello love to eat more than pizza! So I took some inspiration from them, and one of my little ninja's favorites, pasta, and came up with a meal that is sure to please any Ninja Turtle fan, from young to old!

A perfect weeknight meal, you can easily add your most loved pizza toppings! Or maybe a twist on Friday movie/pizza night! Any way you serve it, it's a meal the whole family will devour! 

If you are planning a trip to the Children's Museum any time soon, be sure to stop by the Turtles exhibit, you might just find your EMM ninja loving family there too! 

Pizza Pasta Skillet
1 lb. Italian sausage
1 green bell pepper, chopped
1 (4 oz.) can sliced mushrooms
1 (14 oz.) jar pizza sauce
1 (10 ¾ oz.) can cream of mushroom soup
½ c. pepperoni, chopped, reserve a few whole for top
¼ tsp. Italian seasoning, extra for top
¼ tsp. garlic powder
¼ tsp. onion powder
1 lb. elbow macaroni
½ c. grated Parmesan cheese
½ c. shredded mozzarella cheese
 Cook macaroni according to package directions. Meanwhile, in a large skillet, brown sausage, chopped pepperoni and pepper. Drain off extra grease. In a large bowl whisk together sauce, soup, garlic powder, onion powder, Italian seasoning and Parmesan cheese.  When macaroni cooked, drain well. Add to sausage mixture. Stir well. Pour sauce over mixture. Gently stir until incorporated. Reduce heat to low. Sprinkle with mozzarella and Italian seasoning. Top with extra pepperoni. Cover and keep on warm until cheese has melted.

Recipe Originally Developed for The Children's Museum
Shared at Weekend Potluck

Saturday, September 19, 2015

Meal Plan Sept. 20- 25

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

We are celebrating Alex's birthday with Adam's family. 

 Breakfast Sandwiches
Hashbrown Cakes
Sliced Peaches

Leftover from previous menu
Crock Pot Vegetable Beef Soup^
French Baguette

 Baked Veggie Rigatoni*
Sliced Tomatoes

Crock Pot Buffalo Chicken Sliders*
Sweet Potato Fries


Friday, September 18, 2015

Gnocchi... "Gnot" So Hard

Ha! Did you like that play on words there? I couldn't help myself. I guess a good place to start with this post is to ask "Have you had gnocchi before?" And for those of you shaking your heads "no" right now, I will explain.

Gnocchi (pronounced NO-KEY), are soft dough dumplings, usually made from potato, from Italy. Now, you know I am a sucker for all Italian food, so it shouldn't come as a shock that the first time I tried gnocchi I was instantly hooked.

Yes, you can make gnocchi from scratch, at home, but like so many other things in today's world there are time saving options in your regular grocery store. Something you used to have to go to a specialty store for, is on the shelf, next to the other dry pastas. (A side note though--if you have leftover mashed potatoes, especially at the holiday times, this is a great use for them!)

I even found my packages at Aldi, so if they have them, I would think most other stores would too! The ones I used were pre-cooked, so all I had to do was cook them until they were tender. But don't expect them to by hard like a dry pasta. Even though they are already cooked, they are still soft and dumpling like.

I love the flavor combo of white beans and spinach; and they make this an extra hearty dish. This is rustic food perfect to come home too after a long, maybe chilly, fall day when all you want is a meal that will satisfy you without a lot of prep work.

If you've never tried gnocchi at home, I encourage you to. After all, this was my first time making them in my kitchen, and look how fantastic they turned out!

Gnocchi with Spinach & Beans
 2 (16 oz.) packages potato gnocchi, cooked according to package directions
2 (14 oz.) cans Italian diced tomatoes, with juice
2 (14 oz.) cans cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
1 (6oz.) bag fresh spinach
3 TBS butter
1 small white onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 c. shredded mozzarella cheese
3 TBS grated Parmesan cheese
Salt and Pepper to taste

In a large skillet heat 2 TBS butter over medium high heat. Add butter, onion and garlic. Stir and cook until tender, about 5-7 minutes. Add 1 TBS butter and gnocchi. Saute until browned on all sides, another 5 minutes, stirring constantly. Add tomatoes, beans and spinach. Stir to combine. (You might have to add the spinach in batches) Cook until spinach is tender and cooked down. Season with salt and pepper. Add cheeses, cover and remove from heat, sitting for about 5 minutes until cheese has melted. 

Recipe Inspired by Taste of Home

Shared at Weekend Potluck

Disclaimer: As a Field Editor for Taste of Home, I share this recipe as a volunteer, not a paid employee. 

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Getting Excited Again

Do you have loose your craving for something? Like you plan a meal, and when it comes time to cook it, there is absolutely nothing that sounds appetizing about it anymore? Even if it is something you've good before, for some reason, at that moment in time, you would do anything not to eat it? That is exactly what happened to me last week.

I had a "regular" dish in our house on the menu, and when supper time rolled around, the thought of stepping into the kitchen and actually preparing it didn't exactly make me want to jump out of my recliner. So, I started thinking about what I could do to make it a bit more exciting. Why not add some spice? Not too much. Ya'll know how wimpy my tongue is, but enough to get my taste buds enthusiastic!

This comes together in almost no time, and while yes, you do need a bowl and a pan to make it, it's still pretty close to a one pot wonder, for those super busy nights we all seem to have too many of.

The amount of Cajun seasoning was just enough for us, some heat, but not too much. But if you are worried about it, start out with 1-2 tablespoons, and then taste it before adding more.

If you need a simple supper that doesn't taste simple, this needs to be on your menu soon. If you have a dish you've made forever, and need to get excited about it again, brainstorm and see what you can do!

Sausage, Potato & Pepper Bake
1 lb. polish sausage, sliced on a bias
2 green bell peppers, sliced
5 medium potatoes, cubed
1 (10 oz.) jar banana pepper slices, drained
3 TBS olive oil
3 TBS Cajun seasoning
Salt and Pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 400. Combine all ingredients in a large bowl. Toss well to coat. Transfer to a large, greased baking pan. Bake for 30-45 minutes until potatoes are tender.

Shared at Weekend Potluck

Monday, September 14, 2015

Classic Cut in Half {A Post for Earth Fare}

I love meatloaf. Wait, let me start over. I love my mom's meatloaf. It is the best, and one of my favorite things on the face of the Earth. (Really only topped by her Beef n Noodles.)

For a long time, I could never make it to the level of perfection she does, but I finally mastered it, thank goodness. (But it still always tastes better when she makes it!) It is a favorite of my husband and son as well, so it shows up on our dinner table as much as possible.

Unfortunately though, it hasn't been able to make an appearance in a while. Why? Because of our crazy schedule! We are so busy there are days I don't know if I am coming or going; and days like that don't lend themselves to the time I need to give mom's perfect recipe the attention it deserves.

However, now I can take that recipe and cut the time by over half and have the flavor I adore in an even easier meal! Kids will love these, they are just their size! I think they would be fantastic at a party too, or even tailgating at the big game!

Nothing will ever take the place of mom's meatloaf in my heart. The original will always be the best, but at least this way I can enjoy it more often in today's busy world!

Meatloaf Muffins
2 lbs. ground beef
2 eggs, beaten
1 medium white onion, finely minced
1 cup. bread crumbs*
Salt and Pepper to taste
1/4 c. ketchup
Dried Parsley for garnish

Preheat oven to 350. Spray a muffin tin with nonstick spray. In a large bowl combine beef, eggs, bread crumbs, onion, salt and pepper. Using hands, combine well. Fill each well of muffin tin to top with a meat ball. Press down a little to obtain muffin shape. Place ketchup in plastic bag. Snip one edge. Pipe ketchup on top of muffins. Bake for 25 minutes. Increase heat to 400. Bake 10-15 minutes more until internal temp reaches 165. Let sit 2 minutes before removing. Garnish with parsley. *NOTE* If mixture doesn't seem to be coming together with 1 cup breadcrumbs, feel free to add more. It will depend on the moisture level of your mix. 

Shared at Weekend Potluck

Disclaimer: I received a gift card in exchange for this post. All thoughts, opinions and the recipe are all mine.

Saturday, September 12, 2015

Meal Plan September 13-18

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

Party Burgers*
Amish Potato Salad
Sliced Cucumbers

Jello Parfait

Crock Pot Vegetable Beef Soup^
French Baguette

Happy Birthday, Monkey!
He has requested pizza from his favorite place!

Ham Steaks

Tomato Soup
Grilled Cheese

Friday, September 11, 2015

Jump on the Pumpkin Bandwagon

Pumpkin Spice is everywhere....in every thing! From chapstick (yep I saw that) to coffee creamer, cupcakes and candy...tis the season! Now, I'm not complaining because I have yet to find something pumpkin flavored I didn't like, so I figured why not jump on the bandwagon?

I know many of you share my love of all things "no bake" during the hot summer months, but who says that convenience has to end at Labor Day? I say let's carry it right on through to fall, after all our schedules aren't any less busy, so why not make dessert something we can whip up in no time? Plus, there are still going to be days that are warm enough we don't really want to bake anyway.

Parfaits are a great no bake treat when you don't have much time, but want to impress. Layer anything into a nice dish or glass and it looks so fancy, nobody will care it only took you about 20 minutes!

A couple notes about this recipe. One, if you make your own granola, of course use that instead. I was going for all out help from the store. Secondly, if you can't find the pumpkin spice pudding (it's a seasonal thing) you can easily substitute vanilla, and add pumpkin spice to taste.

I'm all about welcoming fall in the most delicious way, and if that means I need to find more ways to fit pumpkin into recipes, well I'm okay with that too!

Pumpkin Spice Parfaits
12 oz. bag granola with raisins and almonds
1 small box (4 serving) pumpkin spice pudding
1 1/2 c. milk
1/4 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
Cool Whip
Ground Cinnamon

Combine pudding mix and milk in large bowl. Whisk well. Chill for 10-15 minutes to set. Open bag of granola. Add pumpkin pie spice. Shake well.  In parfait cups, place a couple TBS granola. Top with a couple TBS pudding. Continue layers.Top with Cool Whip. Sprinkle with extra granola and cinnamon.

Shared at Weekend Potluck

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Game Day Fun with Dr Pepper® and Kroger

It's here! It's here! It's here! Do I sound like a kid on Christmas morning? That's because around here we welcome the return of College Football season with almost as much gusto! 

Football season is not just a fad in our house. It's a time honored tradition. We are either watching in person, on television or listening to the radio, each week, cheering on our favorite teams. And in our house, those are different, so we are a house divided, but the rivalries only add to the fun. 

One thing I've learned is a fun football party doesn't have to include a house full of people. I can make the game into a fantastic party with just the three of us, in our living room. And now thanks to Dr Pepper® and Kroger, it's even easier! 

When I'm doing my regular weekly grocery shopping at Kroger, it is so convenient to load up on all our favorite game day treats, including Dr Pepper®. The little guy loves
to open up a can of Dr Pepper® while he snacks and yells at the refs! The bold flavor is so refreshing when your throat is dry from armchair quarter-backing!

After I've got the drinks covered, it's time to move onto snacks. The food is almost as important as the game itself! Even if it is just the three of us hanging out I want a big spread we can eat from all day/night long! There is no rule that says a terrific tailgating party can't be indoors! 

So, whether you are planning a football bash in your own living room, or packing up the cooler to head out to the huge party in the parking lot before the game, College Football is not the same without great friends, great fun, and great food/drinks! Be sure to swing by your local Kroger to pick up all the Dr Pepper® and snacks you will need!

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Dr Pepper®. Game Day Greats brought to you by Kroger. The opinions and text are all mine.

PS...I Love You {A Giveaway}

So what if I told you two of your favorite things, one of them just coming into season now, are now available together, in a match made in heaven? Intrigued? I bet you are!

Pumpkin Spice is every where....in every thing right now! For us pumpkin lovers, we have so many more options than we used to! Don't get me wrong, a piece of pumpkin pie is still my favorite, but now we can enjoy this autumn classic so many different ways. And now, thanks to my friends at Peanut Butter & Co. we can have it in our peanut butter too! GASP....that's right....they have combine their already delicious peanut butter with the ultimate fall flavor...pumpkin spice! 

Guys...this stuff is crazy good! Perfect on toast or English muffins, but also great to bake with too; and well, if you are like me and my little guy....just grab the jar and a spoon! 

And now you have a chance to try some in your home too! The great folks at PB & Co. have offered up this terrific prize pack to one lucky EMM winner! 

The #PSiloveyou Box

To Enter: Simply leave a comment on this post. Be sure to leave an email address so I can find you. 

Bonus Entry: Become a fan of Peanut Butter & Co. on Facebook. Leave me a comment you have.

Contest Ends September 17, 2015

Open to US Residents ONLY

Disclaimer: I received a prize pack as part of the YUM Squad. All thoughts and opinions are my own. 

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Do I Have to Cook?

There is a little myth about food bloggers that I believe it's time to debunk. See, we are just like all of you. As much as we love being in the kitchen, as much as we love cooking, as much as we love what we do, there are days when quite simply, the thought of cooking makes us want to cry. 

Whether is be because of exhaustion, a busy schedule, or pure laziness, there are times when if we could either pay someone to come cook for us, or afford to go out, we would. But alas, when this mood hits me, 9 times out of 10 I gather the will and head into the kitchen. Sure there are times when I allow the mood to overtake me and totally flake out, but most of the time I overcome. 

Last week when this dilemma hit me, it was after a long, HOT day when the only thing I wanted to do was sit in my comfy chair, enjoy the AC and "veg" so to speak. I racked my brain on how I could get out of cooking, but no good solution came to mind, so there I was standing over the stove. 

But the story has a happy ending. Why? Because this is what I was cooking, and seriously, it was a no effort type of meal. Open cans, dump. Chop a few veggies. Brown beef. Stir. Cook. The end. It is that easy! A one pot wonder that can be on the table in about 30 minutes and your family will love. My boys couldn't get enough of this. There were second and third helpings that night. 

The next time the urge to skip cooking hits you, don't feel bad. Even us "professionals" feel that way time to time. But maybe, just maybe, you can find the will to do it anyway, and make this. Or, call for pizza...yeah, we've done that too!

Taco Rice Skillet
1 lb. ground beef
1 1/2 c. long grain white rice
1 (14 oz.) can diced tomatoes, undrained
1 (4 oz.) can diced green chilies, undrained
1 (15 oz.) can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1 medium white onion, chopped 
1 c. salsa
1 c. water
1 c. beef broth
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp.chili powder
1 tsp. paprika
2 tsp. cumin
1 c. shredded taco blend cheese
1 green onion, chopped
Salt and Pepper, to taste

In a large skillet, brown beef with peppers and onions. When cooked, add tomatoes, chilies, beans, salsa, water and broth. Stir well. Add garlic powder, chili powder, paprika, cumin, salt and pepper. Stir again. Add rice. Stir to combine. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover and cook for 20-25 minutes, stirring occasionally, until rice is tender. Remove from heat, sprinkle with cheese. Return lid until cheese melts. Garnish with onions.

Shared at Weekend Potluck

Recipe Inspired By Sweet C's Designs

Saturday, September 5, 2015

Meal Plan Sept. 5-11

*New Recipe
Links to Recipes on Blog

Pizza Pasta Skillet*
Garlic Bread

We're going to a baseball game!

Happy Labor Day!
Grilled Steak
Corn on the Cob

Leftover from previous menu 

Mac n Cheese
Green Beans

Veggie and Bean Gnocchi*



Friday, September 4, 2015

Autumn Food...Summer Temps

It's September and my brain immediately goes to all things pumpkin, apple, soup and slow cooker. I can't help it. It's not even that I'm holding my breath for fall. Ya'll know what a fan of summer I am. It's just my palate. While fall might not be my favorite season, some of the flavors/dishes it brings with it are! So the minute the calendar flips to September 1st my stomach starts screaming. Not a problem, right? Well...not technically, but kind of.

See, I happen to be getting my wish of warm weather sticking around as long as possible. And the day I decided to work on this recipe and then serve it for supper, it was around 90 degrees outside. Now, there is no cardinal rule saying you can't eat stuff like this when it's that hot outside, but my son thought I had truly lost my mind. "Mommy, whey are we having soup when it's soooo hot outside?" 

Because son, 1. mommy plans her meals before the weather forecast is predicted, and 2., Mother Nature enjoys mocking me at every turn. She sends rain in the spring when I'm ready to grill, and heat advisories when I've got something like this cooking. They say make plans, and watch God laugh...I guess that's about right. 

Either way, I'm happy I made this when I did because it needs to be on your table ASAP, and there has to be someplace in the U.S. right now that is having actual autumn-like weather. Plus, it never hurts to have a jump start on things you know you want to make at some point over the next couple months.

When I tasted this, it immediately made me think of a crisp, sunny, fall day spent at the pumpkin patch, apple orchard, or hay maze. Then coming home to something warm and comforting to enjoy while you watch some college football. Or maybe you're having friends over for a bonfire. This will keep them satisfied all night long!

September is here...and that means fall is too. Or at least it's closer than it was, even if the thermometer doesn't reflect it.

Crock Pot Chicken n Dumplings
6 skinless, boneless chicken thighs, fat trimmed
2 (10 3/4 oz.) cans cream of chicken soup
1 (14 oz.) can chicken broth
1 soup can water
2 chicken bouillon cubes
1/4 tsp. paprika
1/4 tsp. poultry seasoning
2 (5 count) cans refrigerated biscuits, torn into pieces
Salt and Pepper to taste
Dried Parsley

Spray Crock Pot with nonstick spray. Lay chicken in bottom. Sprinkle with poultry seasoning, paprika, salt and pepper. In a separate bowl, combine soup, broth and water. Whisk well. Pour down over chicken. Add bullion cubes. Cook on HIGH for 4 hours. Remove chicken and either shred or chop. Return to Crock Pot. Cook on LOW for 2 more hours. Add biscuits pieces, and 1 c. water. Stir well. Make sure biscuits are submerged to avoid sticking together. Cook on HIGH for 1- 1 1/2 hours more until biscuits are cooked through. Garnish with parsley. (Total Cook Time: 7-7 1/2 hours) *NOTE* When you shred the chicken, you don't want it as fine as you might for a sandwich. You still want some pretty big pieces left. 

Shared at Weekend Potluck

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Ice Cream...It's Not Just For Summer

It's been almost a year since I developed this recipe for my friends over at Indiana Dairy, so I thought it was about time I shared it here too. Especially since many of you (in fact thousands of new readers) have joined the EMM family since last October when I did.

We all know summer's favorite sweet treat is ice cream. It's an American classic that is almost a mascot of summer time. But with September upon us, does that mean we have to stop? I say heck no! Now, you are talking to an ice cream fanatic, so quite frankly, you'll find me in the Culver's drive through year round, but when I created this, I thought it was about time ice cream got an autumn flare added to it!

If ice cream is the flavor mascot of summer, then pumpkin and apple have to be the ones for fall. Pumpkin spice everything is every where; and trips to the apple orchard are a favorite pastime. And once you're back home with those bushels of goodies, it is time to put them to good use.

Think about a big piece of warm apple pie, with a big scoop of vanilla ice cream on it. That will get you in the mood for this. It has all the same flavors, but in a new, fun, yummy twist. They are perfect for fall time parties, bonfires and tailgating. If you make the sauce ahead of time, you could easily keep it warm in the slow cooker for all day/night fun.

It's time to say good-bye to summer and hello to fall. But no matter what the calendar says, I don't think we have to stop eating our favorite summer time foods quite yet, especially if we transform them just a little to incorporate fall favorites too!

Apple Pie Sundae
Originally Posted on Indiana Dairy
4 large apples, cored, peeled and sliced into 1/4" slices
1/4 c. butter
1/2 c. chopped walnuts, a few reserved for garnish
1/4 c. packed brown sugar
1 tsp. lemon juice
1/2 c. apple cider
1 TBS cornstarch
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/8 tsp. ground nutmeg
1/8 tsp. allspice
Vanilla ice cream
Waffle bowls
Melt butter in a large skillet over low heat. Add apples in a single layer. Sprinkle with lemon juice, brown sugar and spices. Stir to coat. Cover and simmer on low until tender, about 10 minutes. Remove apples with a slotted spoon. In a small bowl combine apple cider and cornstarch. Whisk well. Pour into skillet with drippings from apples. Increase heat to medium. Whisk continuously until thickened. Combine apples, sauce and walnuts in a large bowl. Stir gently to combine. Allow to cool slightly. Scoop ice cream into waffle bowls, spoon apple mixture over top. Add a few walnuts to top. *NOTE* You can serve this right after cooking, when it's very warm, but I find it works better when it's cooled slightly. You can also make it ahead of time and reheat in the microwave, for about 1-2 minutes until it's warmed through.

Shared at Weekend Potluck