Everyday Mom's Meals: August 2017

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Max Time

It's no secret that since our baby Max joined our family, the blog has suffered. New recipes aren't really on the top of my priority list. Some days I barely have time to throw some frozen fish sticks in the oven, let alone test a new recipe, play around with it, photograph it and blog it. This little cutie pie keeps me way too busy.

I'm not complaining. See, when I started blogging it was because Alex was getting older and didn't need me as much, so I needed an outlet. A way to contribute to our family and keep me busy. Those needs haven't went away, they have just shifted to the back burner so to speak because for the last 12 months my time has been Max's. And honestly, I don't see it changing any time soon.

This little guy turned 1 on the 11th, and I can't believe an entire year has gone by. The craziness of having a newborn and tiny infant is gone, but it's been replaced with the whirlwind of having a walking, talking, and yes most of the time, running toddler who doesn't let me get much rest.

But that's my job. Him and his big brother. My life revolves around them. My schedule is set to theirs. My days are planned with them in mind every single minute. I am mom and I wouldn't trade that for anything in this world.

But every once in awhile, the stars will align and I can try something new in the kitchen. I will have the time to test a dish I've been cooking in my mind. (I still develop recipes....in my head...usually when I'm giving Max a bottle or rocking him!)

That's what happened last week with this meal. I had been given some beautiful green bell peppers from a friend's garden and I was craving stuffed peppers. And even though I have a super simple recipe for them, they still take over an hour to cook. I wasn't going to have that kind of time, so I wanted to find a way to have the same flavors, in the time Max allowed me. 

A one skillet meal that can be on the table in about 30 minutes....every busy mom's (or dad's) dream! Both of my big boys said this was one of the best things I had made in a long time. (Yeah, I think they are noticing the dinner rut around here too!) I have to agree. It was not only easy, but super delicious.

Max is still occupying most of my time, and I thank God for that every day. But maybe now in his second year I can find time to try a few more new recipes...we can hope!

 Stuffed Pepper Skillet
1 TBS vegetable oil
1 lb. ground beef
2 green bell peppers, diced
1 ( 4 oz.) can diced green chilies, undrained
2 (14 oz.) cans diced tomatoes, undrained
1 cup beef broth
1 1/2 cups instant rice
1/2 tsp. ground cumin
1 tsp. chili powder
1/2 tsp. dried roasted garlic*
1 cup Mexican style shredded cheese
Salt and Pepper to taste
Fresh Cilantro Leaves, for garnish

In a large skillet over medium high heat oil. Saute beef and peppers until brown and tender. Drain any excess fat. Add seasonings. Stir to combine. Add broth, tomatoes, chilies and rice. Stir. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium low, cover and cook until rice is tender, about 10 minutes. Reduce heat to low. Add cheese. Cover until cheese is melted, about 3 minutes. Garnish with cilantro. *NOTE* Regular garlic powder would work fine too. If you want to use fresh, about 2 cloves. 

Shared at Meal Plan Monday
Shared at Weekend Potluck

Recipe Inspired By Damn Delicious

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Summer Sides

When I am meal planning in the summer I of course want to enjoy all those side dishes we associate with warmer weather. Potato Salad. Coleslaw. Corn on the Cob. Pasta Salad. The list could go on and on. But sometimes I want something super fresh, with that straight from the garden crunch you get with the veggies you're bringing in from the garden. That's when a salad like this is perfect.

I love beans. All beans. But here is a family secret. My husband will eat pretty much anything on the planet. Except....Garbanzo Beans! In his exact words, "Chic Peas are scary." I don't know if he had some childhood trauma with those little evil things, but he will not touch them. We've been married 14 years and I've only tried to use them once....and no joke, he walked into the kitchen, saw them, and walked back outside. True story.

I'm telling you this, because if I had my way this would have been filled with garbanzo beans, but to ensure the stability of my marriage I substituted others instead.

I love this salad for not only how fresh it is, but how economical too. Veggies are pretty inexpensive this time of year, and if you grow your own, or have a local farmer's market, even better. And canned beans? One of the best values at the grocery store. I shop at Aldi and I think these cans ran me 59 cents each.

If you've got zucchini and/or yellow squash laying around, I think both of those would be so tasty in this too! It goes so well with anything you've got coming off the grill, and makes a great dish for a sunny day since there is no "creamy" aspect.

I can't believe summer is starting to wind down. I'm in total denial, but I'm going to make sure we get to enjoy all of these warm weather foods as long as we can!

Marinated 3 Bean Salad
1 (15 oz.) can cannellini beans
1 (15 oz.) can black beans
1 (15 oz.) can great northern beans
1 medium tomato, chopped
1/2 yellow pepper, diced
1/2 orange pepper, diced
1/2 red pepper, diced
1 rib celery, diced
1/2 English cucumber, diced
1/2 cup water
1 TBS dried basil
1/2 TBS dried parsley
2 TBS lemon juice
2 TBS vegetable oil
1/2 tsp. dried oregano
Salt and Pepper to taste

Rinse and drain all beans well. Add to a large bowl with tomato, peppers, celery and cucumber. In a medium bowl combine water, oil, lemon juice, and seasonings. Whisk well. Pour over vegetables. Stir well. Cover and chill several hours before serving, stirring occasionally.