Everyday Mom's Meals: October 2015

Saturday, October 31, 2015

Meal Plan Nov. 1-6

*New Recipe

Crock Pot Corn Chowder*

Mandarin Oranges

Crock Pot Pizza Burgers*
Cottage Cheese

Ham Steaks
Slow Cooker Sweet Potato Casserole*

Tomato Soup
Grilled Cheese
Sliced Peaches


Thursday, October 29, 2015

New Potatoes

That title actually has double meaning for this recipe. Obviously because it's a new recipe, but also because it is made with the "new" baby sized potatoes. I love when new blog posts are that easy to name!

My favorite potato chip on the face of the planet is a crunchy salt and vinegar. Oh the saltiness, the sour tang, the crispiness....how I love thee. Mr. E and I are also the ones at the fair, eating the big plates of curly fries or "potato stacks" drowned in malt vinegar. In fact, I keep a bottle in the fridge for drizzling whenever we want!

I've told you before how much I love cooking with the Yukon gold potatoes, small, medium or large. They are buttery, tender and take on whatever flavor they are cooked with, making them so versatile for so many things.

These are the perfect side dish for a beef dinner, whatever type it is. I served them alongside a beef roast, but they would be delicious with steak, burgers, or even sloppy joes. If you aren't as big of a fan as the vinegar as me, start with a little and see how they taste. We like a strong flavor, but it might be overpowering for some. The contrast of it with the salt and buttery potatoes is pretty hard to beat!

Potato dishes are one of those things you can have a million of and still look for more!

Salt & Vinegar Potatoes
3 lbs. "size B" Yukon gold potatoes, halved or quartered
4 TBS olive oil
3 tsp. dried rosemary
3-4 TBS red wine vinegar
Salt and Pepper to taste
Kosher salt

In a large skillet or dutch oven, cover potatoes with water. Bring to a boil and cook about 10 minutes until just fork tender. Drain. Wipe out pan. Heat oil over medium high heat. Add potatoes. Don't move for about 2 minutes, allowing them to brown. Add rosemary, salt and pepper. Cooking, stirring frequently about 10 minutes until golden. Turn off heat. Add vinegar and stir well. Sprinkle with kosher salt. 

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Chicken or Turkey

This is the time of year we food bloggers start to think ahead to the biggest foodie holiday of them all. Sure, we still have to get through all the trick or treaters, the candy overload and sugar crash; but it is our job to look into the future.

So yes, most of us are currently testing the recipes we will start featuring for you closer to Thanksgiving, and for me, that means trying to come up with ways for you guys to use all that leftover turkey sitting in the fridge the day after the big day.

However, there is only one problem. Testing recipes like this in October means no leftover turkey. I'm dedicated, but I'm not roasting a 15 pound bird for practice! That means finding ones that I can test with chicken, and know for sure ya'll can substitute turkey for the same tasty dish!

For this I chose to use boneless thighs because I know for us, we always have more dark meat leftover after the holiday, so this gives you a chance to use that up. Plus, I really love the flavor dark meat, rather it be chicken or turkey, gives off in a casserole. I think it stays moister and juicier after a "double cooking" session.

We've got less than a month until Turkey Day. And when Black Friday rolls around and you are desperate to use up some of that extra bird...remember this. It's a fantastic hearty meal, perfect to feed those leftover holiday guests, or a hungry family any night of the week.

Chicken & Wild Rice Casserole
2 lbs. boneless chicken thighs, trimmed
Olive Oil
Garlic Powder
2 celery ribs, diced
1 small white onion, diced
2 (4 oz.) boxes wild rice mix
2 TBS butter
1/2 tsp. dried basil
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 can cream of celery soup
1/4 c. milk
1/4 c. chicken broth
Parmesan cheese
Salt and Pepper to taste
Dried Parsley

Preheat oven to 350. Place chicken on large baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt, pepper and garlic powder. Roast for about 45 minutes until juices run clear. (Leave oven on!) Set aside to cool enough to handle. Cook rice according to package directions. Meanwhile, in a large skillet saute onion and celery in butter until soft. When chicken in cool, dice and add to celery mixture. Add soups, broth, and basil. Stir well. Cook on medium heat for 5-7 minutes until heated through. Transfer to a greased 9 x 13 baking dish. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and dried parsley. Cook for 35 minutes uncovered until bubbly. Stir before serving.  *NOTE* Both the chicken and rice can be prepared ahead of time and then reheated in skillet before baking.


Monday, October 26, 2015

Pasta's Cousin

By now you all know what a pasta lover I am. How if I had to pick one food to eat for the rest of my life, it would definitely be in the running. But now, I've got another Italian classic that I am currently obsessed with and can not get enough recipes for...gnocchi!

These little potato dumplings are like soft little potato pillows that can take on whatever flavor you want and be a super star doing it. I've seen them featured in so many different ways I could do a different one each week and never repeat!

Plus, I've seen our local stores (even the discount ones like Aldi) carrying more and more varieties as well. Different flavors than just the standard potato gnocchi, so you can really switch it up!

This time around I wanted to pair them with a traditional meat sauce that normally I would serve with a short cut pasta. Seriously, this sauce is so good, and super easy, there is no reason to by the jarred stuff again! And after you boil them, the gnocchi can finish cooking right in the skillet you make the sauce in, so it is really close to being another "one pot wonder" meal your family will love!

If you still haven't tried them at home, the store bought gnocchi are really a steal at the store. They are inexpensive and very filling. Be sure to keep the sauce recipe handy too for so many other things!

Gnocchi with Homemade Meat Sauce
2 lbs. gnocchi
1 lb. ground beef
1 medium white onion, finely chopped
2 (14 oz.) cans diced tomatoes, undrained
2 (8 oz.) cans tomato sauce
1 (6 oz.) can tomato paste
2 tsp. dried oregano
2 tsp. dried basil
1 tsp. garlic powder
Salt and Pepper to taste
Shredded Parmesan cheese

In a large skillet brown beef with onion. Drain if necessary. Add tomatoes, tomato sauce, tomato paste and seasonings. Stir well. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and cook for 1 hour, stirring occasionally. Boil gnocchi according to package directions and drain well. Add to sauce. Stir to combine. Keep on warm about 10 minutes to allow flavors to develop. Garnish with cheese. 

Friday, October 23, 2015

Fall in a Bowl

We have been having some beautiful Indian Summer weather here in northern Indiana this week. For those who have never experienced this seasonal phenomenon, it's the streak of warm, sunny, summer like days you have right after a cold spell...and right before the chill sets in for good. We're talking warm days where you have to dig back out the capris and flip flops you just put away. It's been gorgeous, but we are all holding our breath, knowing it won't last.

The only downside to this warm spell is when you've planned traditionally fall meals to warm your family up, and they are already warm enough the AC is running. Oh well, they are still yummy and perfect to 1. save for those upcoming cold days and 2. share with those who are actually enjoying autumn like temp.

How about a soup you have to chew? Okay, probably not the most appetizing description, but when I think of chowder, that's the first thought that enters my mind. It's a soup with big chunks of veggies or meat, even bigger than a stew, covered in a rich, flavorful broth. Y-U-M!

This one happens to look like autumn in a bowl too. Those vibrant orange and yellow colors of the season, in a delicious meal that you can easily make after a long, busy day. Plus, it has bacon, and that just makes everything better.

If you're having some Indian Summer weather in your neck of the woods, maybe this wouldn't be supper tonight, but I guarantee if you jot it down or print it out, there will be a day very soon you're so happy you have it! 

Autumn Chowder
5 large carrots, sliced
1 medium white onion, minced
3 cloves garlic, minced
6-7 Yukon Gold potatoes, cubed
6 slices bacon, chopped
2 TBS butter
1 (32 oz.) box chicken broth
1 (14 oz.) can chicken broth
2 c. milk
1 TBS dried parsley, extra for garnish
3 c. shredded sharp cheddar cheese
2 TBS cornstarch
2 c. frozen corn
Salt and Pepper to taste

In a large stock  pot, cook bacon until crisp. Remove with slotted spoon to paper towel. Reserve some for garnish. Add butter to pot. Saute onion, garlic, carrots and potatoes for about 5-7 minutes until onions are soft. Add chicken broth. Stir well. Cover. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 15-20 minutes until potatoes and carrots are fork tender. Add corn, milk, bacon and parsley. Stir well. Cook on low for about 5 minutes until heated through. In a bowl, combine cheese and cornstarch. Add to soup, stirring constantly. Increase heat to medium and stir until cheese melts. Reduce to low and cook until slightly thickened, about 5 minutes. Garnish with extra bacon and parsley.

Autumn Chowder

Inspired by Thriving Home
Shared at Weekend Potluck

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Autumn in a Jiffy {A Gooseberry Patch Review & Giveaway}

Autumn is in full swing here in Indiana. I realize some out there are lucky enough to still be enjoying those summer temps you are blessed with year round; but here in the Midwest, the chilly days are becoming more frequent and this past weekend we woke up to our first frost. Yep, fall is here ya'll!

What better way to celebrate than with my good friends at Gooseberry Patch? They have just released their brand new seasonal cookbook, and I know you're going to love it as much as I do!

Autumn in a Jiffy is full of terrific, tasty recipes for everything from breakfast to dessert, and everything in between! Oh, and if you're looking close, you might just find a couple of your favorite Everyday Mom's dishes in there too!

When I started to look for the recipe I wanted to make and share with all of you, this one stood out above all the rest! First off, new slow cooker meals are always welcome on my menu plan. This time of year I find myself using it more and more. Secondly, anytime I can use some of our freezer beef and save some money on the grocery bill, sign me up! And third, I knew with the Mexican flavors and rice, it would be a hearty meal my boys would gobble down; and it did not disappoint.

This is the perfect meal if you've got a hungry crowd, big or small! It makes a simple weeknight meal, or would be great to entertain with too. It would be so simple to keep in the crock pot, rice ready to go, and a whole slew of toppings to choose from. It's a party waiting to happen!

Autumn in a jiffy....what a great concept. Recipes that are quick and simple, so you can feed your family and still have plenty of time to get out there and enjoy all the things the season has to offer!

Oh, and I just happen to have an extra copy of the book for one lucky winner! Just scroll down to enter!

Crock Pot Fiesta Beef on Rice
2-3 pound chuck roast, fat trimmed
1 (14 oz.) can diced tomatoes, with juice
1 (14 oz.) Mexican stewed tomatoes, with juice
1 packet fajita seasoning
4 cups cooked white rice
3/4 c. water
1 TBS dried parsley
Salt and Pepper to taste
Canola Oil

Rub roast with oil. Season with 1 tsp. seasoning packet on each side, with salt and pepper. In a large skillet over high heat, Brown roast for 2-3 minutes on each side. Place in Crock Pot. Add both cans tomatoes, water and rest of seasoning packet. Stir to combine. Cook on HIGH for 3 hours. Reduce heat to LOW and cook 3 more hours. Remove meat and shred. Return to Crock Pot, stir and keep warm until serving. Mix rice dried parsley. To serve scoop meat and tomato "gravy" down over rice. 


To Enter: Leave a comment telling me your favorite autumn time recipe; and your email address so I can find the winner!

US Residents 18 and older ONLY

Contest Ends: November 4, 2015 

Disclaimer: I received a free cookbook in exchange for this review. All thoughts & opinions are my own.  

Shared at Weekend Potluck

Monday, October 19, 2015

Halloween Party

In just under two weeks our streets are going to fill with ghosts, goblins, witches, zombies, super heroes, ballerinas, princesses and more! Yep, all the little ones will begin their annual neighborhood, door-to-door candy marathon.

In our house, the Halloween celebrations start well before the 31st, and basically mean Mommy coming up with yummy treats for the boy to enjoy all month long. But I know for many of you, a big Halloween bash is on the menu, and you need ideas that are both easy and yummy.

That's where I come in. This was actually my last post for The Children's Museum of Indianapolis this month. I can't believe my 6 months with them has come and gone, but I enjoyed every minute. What a thrill for me to work with a place that not only does my child adore, but I have very fond memories of growing up as well.

I wanted to give them a recipe that kids can enjoy as an after school snack, or like I said, at a big Halloween party. Something so simple it can come together in almost no time, and enjoyed all night long, or in our case, be munched on for days!

Even if you don't have huge Halloween plans, you can still make it a fun day for the little ones. And more importantly, a really delicious one!

Halloween Snack Mix
2 ½  heaping cups. Apple Cinnamon Cheerios
2 cups pretzels
1 (7.5 oz) jar salted roasted peanuts
1 (8 oz.) bag candy pumpkins
1 (8 oz.) bag candy corn
2 (3.4 oz) boxes M&M’s
Mix all in a large bowl. Store in an airtight container.

Originally Posted on The Children's Museum
Shared at Weekend Potluck

Friday, October 16, 2015

Just Around The Corner {A Post for Earth Fare}

I'm going to go out on a limb here and say most of you haven't even though about your Thanksgiving menu. Of course not. We are just now creeping up on Halloween, and you've got candy and caramel apples on the brain. I get that. I really do. 

But see, as a food blogger, it's my job to think ahead like that. I've got a few Halloween themed posts under my belt, so now my brain moves on to the next "big" thing on the calendar, and here in the U.S. that is most definitely Turkey Day. And truthfully, it really is only a little over a month away, so with the way time sees to fly, we will blink and it will be here.

This recipe didn't even start out as something I would be featuring as an idea for your Thanksgiving holiday meal. I was simply cooking some squash for us to have as a side dish on a random Tuesday night. But then I started thinking. What if I could cook it in new way, and be able to utilize one of my favorite "big holiday meal" tips? Those two ideas came together and this genius dish was born.

While I usually am not the one in charge of our elaborate holiday meals, due to having family so close, I am done it before, so that means I do have some tricks up my sleeve. And one that I share each year is to free up oven/stove space as much as you can. If you can find a way to cook something you traditionally would be doing in the oven, or on the stove, either in your slow cooker, or maybe even head of time, DO IT! You will be so happy you did when your work level, and stress level, the day of is reduced! 

Such was the case with my squash. I also roast it in the oven, remove it, scoop it out, (while trying not to burn my skin off) season it, and serve it. But not this time! This time, it spent some time in my slow cooker, and then I could handle them cool, and reheat at meal time. 

Translated, this would make a terrific dish for your holiday meal! Make it the day of, or even a couple days before. If you've go some traveling to do, make it at your house, but take it scooped and seasoned with you. Using the slow cooker really gives you so many more options, all while the same flavors you love!

Slow Cooker Acorn Squash
2 medium acorn squash, halved and seeded
2 TBS butter, cut in half
2 TBS packed brown sugar
Salt and Pepper to taste

Place squash in slow cooker, stacking if necessary. Put 1/2 TBS butter and 1/2 TBS brown sugar in each. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Add a splash of water to bottom, around squash. Just enough to cover bottom of cooker. Cook on HIGH for 3 hours. Take lid off, and allow to cool to handle. Scoop out flesh, add more butter, salt and pepper. Reheat when ready to eat. 

Shared at Weekend Potluck

Disclaimer: I received at gift card in exchange for this post. The recipe and all thoughts are my own. 

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Game Day Fun with Dr Pepper® and Kroger {Part 2}

It's Game Day! Grab your favorite team apparel, load up the car (or grab the remote) and get the tailgating/pre-game party started!

For our family, as much as we love College Football (ALL football really) we have discovered we don't have to be at the game or even with a huge group of people to have fun. See, the three of us can make a pretty big ruckus ourselves, and do it right from the comfort of our living room!

As a busy mom, I have to make sure I can plan our day of football fun around everything else we've got going on, and one way I make it convenient for myself is by stocking up on our favorite snacks and drinks at Kroger. I am already there doing my weekly grocery shopping, so why not grab some favorites, like Dr Pepper® and let the party planning begin! For us, there needs to be lots of food, from main dishes like sandwiches, to sides, such as good ol' tater salad, to snacks we can munch on the entire game.

 For our at home football feasts, I still put out enough food to feed an army, even if it is just the 3 of us enjoying the game. I want us to be able to eat all day/evening long, and keep going back for more and more. The "spreads" I put out for these low key, in our own living room parties, have kinda become famous. Everyone is always so amazed at the amount of work I put into something that nobody but us will enjoy, but I always want it to be extra special, extra fun and of course, extra delicious.

One of the ways I make sure we can enjoy our tasty buffet all day long is to utilize one of my favorite kitchen appliances...my crock pot! Food stays warm all through the game and we can go back for seconds, thirds and fourths, as much as we crave!

So this time, with my crock pot and Dr Pepper®, I became inspired right away. Adding one of our favorite sodas, to one of our favorite dishes, barbecue, was a no brainer! The Dr Pepper® really blends with the barbecue sauce to make this barbecued pork like you've never tasted before! So unique. So tasty. Dripping with amazing flavor, they are sure to please even the hungriest of football fans.

If you are heading out to the game to party down in the parking lot, have fun! But if you are like us, and are enjoying your favorite team from your recliner, make sure you have just as much fun! Lots of food to keep you energized until the last down has been played!!

Oh, and while you're at Kroger stocking up on your game day essentials, look for the in-store sweepstakes from Miller Coors®/Kellogg’s®/Dr Pepper® for fly away trips to Rivalry Games! See store for details. Heck, maybe if your team comes up short, you can still be a winner!

Crock Pot Dr Pepper® Barbecued Pork
2 lbs. leftover roast pork, shredded
1 (19 oz.) bottle barbecue sauce
1 (12 oz.) can Dr Pepper®
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 medium white onion, thinly sliced
Salt and Pepper, to taste
Pretzel Buns
Sliced Pickles

Spray Crock Pot with nonstick spray. Add pork, onion, garlic powder, salt and pepper. Stir to combine. Pour barbecue sauce over. Add a little Dr Pepper® to empty barbecue sauce bottle, put lid on and shake. Add to pork mix. Add rest of soda to pork. Stir well. Cook on LOW for 6 hours. Serve on pretzel buns with pickles.

Shared at Weekend Potluck

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

Monday, October 12, 2015

Our Day at the Corn Maze

Last weekend we had the pleasure of being invited up to the Amazing Fall Fun: Corn Maze and Pumpkin Patch. Nestled in the country about 30 minutes north of us in Waterloo, Indiana, this autumn wonderland of fun is quickly becoming an annual tradition in our house. 

Between finding our way through the corn made, to all of the fall inspired activities, it was an afternoon filled with fun! 

Knowing we were going to be gone all afternoon, enjoying our time in the country on a beautiful autumn day, I wanted to make sure supper was waiting on us when we got home. Something to continue our theme of fall...so of course I immediately thought Soup. And more specifically, Crock Pot Soup.

It had to be hearty. It had to be filling. It had to be delicious. But it had to be all of those things, plus basically make itself since I wouldn't be home to supervise. Well, this one met all those criteria, plus one more important one. It was super easy! 

If you're planning a day away, or simply a hard day at work, and you want a comforting bowl of awesome-ness when you get home, this is the meal for you. And if you are in my neck of the woods, the drive to Waterloo is definitely worth all the fun you and the little ones will have!

Slow Cooker Cabbage Roll Soup
1 large head of cabbage, chopped
1 lb. ground beef
1 medium white onion, chopped
1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp. paprika
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 tsp. ground thyme
1/4 tsp. dill weed
1 (14 oz.) can beef broth
 1/2 c. water
2 (14 oz.) cans diced tomatoes, with juice
3 ( 8 oz.) cans tomato sauce
1 cup instant rice, cooked to package directions
Salt and Pepper to taste

 In a large skillet brown beef and onion until cooked through. Drain if necessary. Add Worcestershire, paprika, garlic powder, thyme, dill weed, salt and pepper. Stir to combine. Add to slow cooker. Add tomatoes, tomato sauce, cabbage, water and broth. Stir well to combine. Cook on LOW for 8 hours. Right before serving, cook rice and add to slow cooker. Stir well. Cook for about 5 minutes just to warm through.

Shared at Weekend Potluck

Friday, October 9, 2015

Anything Stuffed Is More Fun

So many parents email me and ask how they can get their kids to eat more and be less picky when it comes supper time. As many of you know I have the world's most non-picky eater living in my house, but that doesn't mean I can't empathize and try to help these desperate mom and dads in any way I can.

One thing I've learned about kids is if you can find a way to combine two of their favorite dishes they do eat into one, new meal, you will be a rock star. Pizza Grilled Cheese. Chili Pasta. You gee idea. It's a sure fire way to know they will eat something new, because it is actually two old stand bys.

Another way to ensure kids will run to the supper table is to add the word "stuffed" to anything. For whatever reason, stuffed not only means fun but also yum!

And now I have a dish for you that takes both of these tips into a delicious one. Kids love tacos. Kids love potatoes. Kids love stuffed anything. May I introduce you to taco spuds. Yep, all the taco fixins you love stuffed inside a fluffy baked potato.

These make a terrific simple supper, or serve them "bar" style at your next party! Either way, your kids are going to flip for them!

Taco Spuds
1 lb. ground beef
4 large potatoes, baked
1 packet taco seasoning
2/3 c. water
Diced Tomatoes
Diced Green Onions
Shredded Taco Cheese
Other toppings
Salt and Pepper to taste

In a large skillet skillet brown beef. Season with salt and pepper. Drain if necessary. Add taco seasoning and water. Stir to combine. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until slightly thickened. Cut potatoes open and gently squeeze to make opening. Fill with taco meat and add desired toppings.

Shared at Weekend Potluck

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Welcome to the Land of Plenti {A Feature}

We are yogurt fiends around here. We love the stuff. Can't get enough it. So when Yoplait® offered to let me try their new Greek Yogurt, Plenti, I jumped at the chance! 

 This stuff is delicious and full of so many great things! 
It's called Plenti for a reason! They start with Yoplait® Greek Yogurt, a great source of calcium and vitamin D. Then they add just the right amount of hearty ingredients, making it a healthy, high-protein snack. Filled with yummy extras like whole grain oats, flax seeds, and pumpkin seeds, every bite is more substantial than the last. 

One of the greatest parts is Plenti stays with you, making it the perfect on-the-go snack, or even light breakfast. Plus it has 12g of protein and is gluten free. Coming in delicious flavors like Spiced Apple (my favorite), Coconut, Blueberry and more, there is something for every yogurt lover. 

If you looking for a little more "umph" in your yogurt, bring the one home that is plentiful with flavor. Find Plenti in your grocery store today! 

Disclaimer: Today's post is sponsored by Plenti, but my love for their yogurt is all my own.

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Celebrate #Oatober with Peanut Butter & Co.

Just in time for Halloween, and all the sweetness that goes with it, I've teamed up with my good friends at Peanut Butter & Co. and Bob's Red Mill to transform October into "Oatober"!

I've got something that the little ones can not only enjoy for an after school snack, lunchbox treat, or Halloween party dish, but can also help make! They will love getting their hands sticky and messy, and then maybe even licking them when done!

So many schools don't allow homemade treats at classroom parties, but if yours is okay with it, these would be perfect! So yummy and a perfect little sweet bite.

We love peanut butter. Like eat from the jar with a spoon love, so the double peanut butter punch in these, with the Reese's candies, makes them extra special.

If you're looking for something fun to make with your kids, or maybe something to feed all those little goblins and witches that come to your big Halloween bash, I've got you covered!

No Bake Halloween Balls
2 1/2 c. old fashion oats ( I used Bob's Red Mill)
1 c. creamy peanut butter (I used PB & Co. Smooth Operator)
1/2 c. honey
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 c. mini chocolate chips
1/2 c. Reese's pieces

Combine all ingredients in a large bowl. Mix well. Roll into balls. Chill for 30 minutes to set. Store in fridge in airtight container. *NOTE* When rolling, some of the candies will want to fall out. Just keeping pressing. 

Shared at Weekend Potluck

Disclaimer: As part of Yum Squad I received product in exchange for this post. All thoughts, opinions and the recipe are all mine.

Monday, October 5, 2015

More Football (Or Busy Night) Food

Does anything say football food more than chicken wings? I don't think so. But let's face it, those little suckers are a little labor intensive. Sure, there are short cuts; but to do them right is to do them the way God intended, and quite frankly, I don't have that kind of time. But what I do have time for is a fun little sandwich that has all the same flavors, and cooks itself in my Crock Pot.

Sliders scream armchair quarter backing! When we are screaming at the refs and leading a team down the field in a 2 minute drill, we can't be bothered with some huge sandwich! But a tiny, hands friendly one, with huge flavor...we can all get on board with that! 

Oh, and let me add, if your schedule is as hectic as ours, these also make a terrific weeknight supper too! I served them with some cut veggies/dip on the side and sweet potato fries. The meat cooked all day while I was busy doing other things and then dinner came together in almost no time!

Football food can easily be turned into every day food when we utilize our favorite kitchen assistant, the Crock Pot! And these are so tasty, even non-football fans will show up, just to eat!

Crock Pot Buffalo Chicken Sliders
2 lbs. boneless chicken thighs, extra fat trimmed
1 envelope ranch dressing mix
Garlic Powder, to taste
Salt and Pepper, to taste
12 oz. bottle hot sauce
2 TBS butter
Slider Buns
Blue Cheese Crumbles

Grease Crock Pot. Lay chicken in bottom. Sprinkle with ranch dressing, garlic powder, salt and pepper. Pour hot sauce over. Cook on HIGH for 1 hour. Reduce heat to LOW and cook 3 hours more. Remove and shred. Add back to Crock Pot. Add butter and stir. Cook on LOW 30 minutes. Serve on slider buns with blue cheese crumbles.

Shared at Weekend Potluck

Saturday, October 3, 2015

Slow Cooker To Go! {A Review and Giveaway}

Ya'll! I am so excited to be typing this post! I can not wait to introduce you to your new best friend for not only in your kitchen, but for on the go as well! 

We all love our slow cookers. Can't get enough recipes for them. Adore the convenience and easy of cooking with them for everything from our every day meals to parties and holidays. But what if I told you our favorite kitchen appliance just got even better??!!! Not possible? Oh, but it is with the Hold & Go Slow Cooker from BeraTek Industries

This 5 quart slow cooker is not only portable but comes with a no-spill locking lid for your on-the-go lifestyle. The single handle makes it your new best friend for tailgating, family gatherings and more! The handle also doubles as a handy place to prop the lid while serving!! (My favorite feature of all!)

I LOVE this slow cooker! I am never going to another "hey bring this dish" party again without it! No more having to worry about spilling in the car, or holding it, burning my legs while Mr. E drives. This thing is the best thing to happen to slow cookers since they went oval! 

And the great news? My friends at BeraTek Industries not only provided me with one of these awesome slow cookers, but they have one for you too! That's right, ONE lucky EMM reader will WIN one for their very own. How? It's easy! 


To Enter: Leave me a comment HERE telling me the first thing you would cook in your new slow cooker. 

Bonus Entry: Like BeraTek Industries on Facebook. Leave me an additional comment HERE when you have.

Leave an email address so I can find you!

Open to US Residents 18 years older ONLY.

Contest Ends: October 10, 2015

Disclaimer: I received a free slow cooker in exchange for this post. All opinions are my own. 

Weekly Menu Oct. 4-9

*New Recipes
Links to Recipes on Blog

Crock Pot Cabbage Roll Soup*
Pumpernickel bread

Turkey Veggie Bagels*
Sliced Tomatoes

Green Beans
Mandarin Oranges

Ham Steaks


Tomato Soup
Grilled Cheese

Friday, October 2, 2015

Cincinnati, Here We Come

Last weekend was a whirlwind of activity in our house...kind of like the rest of September was. We had yet another Tae Kwon Do tournament, and since this one was in Cincinnati, we decided to make a weekend getaway out of it!!

So, Friday around noon I retrieved little man from school, Mr. E got off work early, we loaded up the car and we started making our way south about 3 hours. I love road trips. I love family time. I love getting away and making memories. What I don't love? All the work that happens when you return!!

We had an amazing couple days finding fun things to do, yummy places to eat, winning trophies (Yep, my little ninja warrior brought home a 1st and 2nd place trophy!) and just being together.

But when I awoke Sunday morning, after getting home at 1:45 a.m., I truly felt like I had been run over by a semi! I was exhausted, with a capital E. The boys were the same way; and when we all looked around at the bags to unpack, the mess to clean up, the laundry to do, the dishes, etc, we really considered moving and starting from scratch, just to avoid it!!

Okay, not really, but when I looked at all that, and remembered I was still on the hook for supper, I was so glad I had planned ahead and new it would be the perfect day for a crock pot full of soup that I barely had to put any energy into.

Talk about the best way to warm up on a chilly fall day, or some of those bitter cold winter ones that aren't too far off. Creamy potato soup with bites of ham...it is sure to make you smile and fill you up at the same time.

I am so thankful we have the opportunities we do to have family time and make memories to last a lifetime. And when those are over, I'm also thankful for simple recipes for when I'm dog tired and starving! 

Crock Pot Ham and Potato Soup
1 (30 oz.) bag frozen shredded hash browns
1 lb. diced ham
1 medium white onion, chopped
1 (32 oz.) box chicken broth
1 (5 oz.) can evaporated milk
4 oz. cream cheese
Salt and Pepper to taste
Chopped Chives

Allow frozen potatoes and ham to come to room temp for about an hour, so they are partially thawed. Combine potatoes, ham, chicken broth and onion in Crock Pot. Season with salt and pepper. Stir well. Cook on HIGH for 2 hours. Reduce heat to LOW and cook 4-5 hours more. Mash potatoes to desired thickness. Add milk and cream cheese. Cook 30 minutes extra. Garnish with chives (I like dried).