Everyday Mom's Meals: 2018

Sunday, December 16, 2018

Almost 2019

It is truly mind boggling to me to think that another year has come and gone. We are almost to the end of 2018, and in a couple weeks we will be ringing in the start to another new year. I seriously don't know where the time goes.

With the hustle and bustle of the holiday season, you might not want to think about another party or get together, but tis the season!

Are you hosting a Christmas or New Year's Eve party? Are you searching for something easy and yummy to add to your menu? Then you've come to the right place.

As many of you know, every year on December 31st, we stay in, where it's warm and safe with our boys. I put out a huge buffet of appetizers, or "nibbly bits" as Alex used to call them, and we eat all night long. Some years it's just us, and others my parents stop by. Either way, there is enough food to feed our neighborhood (and probably yours too!) and we enjoy every single bite.

We have our favorites I am always sure to include on the menu, and then I try to add a couple new things too. But, in order to make sure that works, I have to recipe test early. I actually made this for the first time back in October, and the boys told me it had to be added to our NYE extravaganza!

This can be whipped up in almost no time, so if you have the ingredients on hand, it can become a life saver. Serve it up with some chips, crackers, or even some frozen taquitos! The dipping possibilities are endless.

I hope your holiday season is in full swing, and filling up with love, magic, friends, family and delicious food too!

Baked Chili Cheese Dip
1 (15 oz.) can chili with beans
8 oz. cream cheese, room temp
2 c. shredded extra sharp cheddar cheese, divided use
1/2 tsp. garlic salt
1/4 tsp. chili powder
1/4 tsp. cumin
Dried Chives

Preheat oven to 375. Grease a 9 inch pie plate. In a large skillet heat chili over medium heat. Break cream cheese into pieces and add to chili. Stir until combined and melted. Add 1 cup shredded cheese and stir until melted. Add garlic salt, chili powder and cumin. Stir and cook for flavors to combine, about 3 minutes. Transfer to pie plate. Spread evenly. Sprinkle with remaining shredded cheese. Bake for 15-20 minutes until bubbly and heated through. Garnish with chives.

Inspired by South Your Mouth

Sunday, December 9, 2018

Holiday Appeitzers

If you think about it, I don't know if any other time of the year requires as many appetizer recipes as RIGHT NOW! From Thanksgiving to New Years, we have so many reasons to need a great appetizer menu, or the chance to enjoy someone else's!

If you've been following me for any amount of time, you know our New Year's Eve tradition is to stay home, in comfy clothes, safe, warm and eat all. night. long. I put out a huge spread of "nibbly bits" as Alex used to call them and we feast. It is literally one of my favorite holiday traditions, and we set the menu for this year's festivities over a month ago.

I actually made these for the first time last year, but must have had a little too much sparkling grape juice (I know...I'm such a rebel) because I totally forget to snap a pic and blog them! So this year I made them early (actually before Halloween) so I was sure to share them with all of you in time.

This is one of those recipes that can pull double duty. See, you can fill your Crock Pot with them for a party, set out a slotted spoon and watch them disappear. Easy as can be. But they also make a terrific simple weeknight supper! Just cook some white rice on the side, serve them over the top and you have a fantastic meal! The sticky, sweet sauce mixes with the rice and makes something magical!

If you're looking for a new appetizer for your next holiday party I hope these make the cut! I promise you won't regret it!

Crock Pot Hawaiian Meatballs
1 (32 oz.) bag frozen home style meatballs
1 (18 oz.) bottle barbecue sauce
1 (21 oz.) can pineapple chunks, with juice
1/2 c. brown sugar, packed

Spray Crock Pot with nonstick spray. Place meatballs inside. In a medium bowl combine barbecue sauce, pineapple and brown sugar. Stir well. Pour over meatballs. Cook on HIGH 2-3 hours. Serve as an appetizer or over rice for a meal. 

Shared at Weekend Potluck

Friday, December 7, 2018

Foodie Christmas Gifts {Week 3}

Bekki is back with yet another sweet treat that is meant for sharing! Personally, I think these would be delicious for Christmas morning, and you could even make them ahead!

A long time standing family tradition for us was always catching the different Christmas movies that were played throughout the month of December on tv. I remember my godmother calling our house and saying, “Babes in Toyland is coming on in 20 minutes, hurry and finish what you were doing and run over here.” Because it was one of my all time favorite things to do I followed instructions to the letter and ran a couple doors down to nab my favorite spot in her living room. The floor, right beside her and the fireplace was my perfect spot. No matter the movie, there was always a delicious baked treat waiting for us to share.  Still at the top of the list of those treats is apple cinnamon, donut holes. Yes I said donut holes! Whether you have them with a mug of hot chocolate or hot coffee they’re a winner.
Apple Cinnamon Donut Holes
 Vegetable oil  (enough to fill a large sauce pan several inches deep)
 1 10 oz can Jumbo Butter Biscuits
2 tsp Apple pie Spice
¼  tsp Cinnamon
¼ c. Sugar
Add oil to your vessel of choice and heat until 375 degrees. Add sugar, and spices to a pie plate and mix gently to combine. Set aside. Line a plate or baking sheet with paper towels to drain off excess oil from cooked donut holes. Set aside.
Open biscuits and separate each one. Press on them slightly to even out thickness. Cut with half inch (mini) biscuit cutter.
Note: Scrap pieces can be rolled into balls and fried as well so there’s no waste.
Add dough to heated oil a few at a time, and don’t over crowd the pan. Cook each side about 30 seconds or until golden brown. Drain well on paper towel lined baking sheet. Then roll gently in sugar mixture, to coat.
Try to resist the urge to dive in immediately because they are very hot. But served freshly made or snacked on throughout a movie I hope these little bites are a favorite of your family as much as they are ours. Enjoy!

Sunday, December 2, 2018

Holiday Ham

Do you serve ham for Christmas? I have never done the research, but it has to be at the top of the list of most popular meats for Christmas dinner, don't you think? But either way, there is one thing I know for sure, there is about to be an abundance of leftover ham to put to good use, so I've got just the thing!

To be honest though, this is now a go-to busy night supper in my house, and the deli meat is perfect. I just think leftover holiday ham, with it's amazing flavor, would put it over the top!

If you're going to have a house full of family to feed for several days, these would be perfect come December 26th, 27th, 28th...how long are they staying anyway?? :-)

Or if you're hosting a casual Christmas party, and want ham, but something easier and more relaxed, here you go! This way you can get out of the kitchen and actually enjoy the festivities!

Oh, and let's not forget about all the football games that happen over the holidays, well into the New Year. These are game day food! No matter what teams is winning, you'll be a winner with the fans!

Ham is definitely one of the things I think of when I imagine a big Christmas dinner. This way I can have that any time of the year I want!

Crock Pot BBQ Chopped Ham Sandwiches
1.5 lbs. deli honey ham, chopped
1 cup barbecue sauce
3/4 c. chili sauce*
1/4 c. brown sugar, packed
1 1/2 tsp. dry mustard
1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce 
Black Pepper
Sliced Pickles

Grease Crock Pot with non stick spray. Put ham in, breaking pieces apart with fingers. In a medium bowl combine barbecue, chili sauce, brown sugar, dry mustard, Worcestershire and black pepper. Stir to combine. Pour over ham and stir well. Cook on LOW 2-3 hours, stirring a couple times to ensure pieces don't stick together. Serve on buns with pickles. *NOTE* This chili sauce is not the Asian condiment. It is a sweet sauce found by the ketchup and other condiments. 

A Blast From The Past with Beanos

When I first saw Conroy Foods' condiment line Beanos, I was immediately intrigued. From sandwich sauces like Horse Radish to their variety of Mustards, and tons of yummy things in between, they definitely have a little something for everyone. 

But the one that caught my eye the most, that made me drool and sent me into a total deja vu moment was their Original Submarine Dressing

See, when I was a little girl, while I am a born and raised Hoosier, some of my best memories come from my time spent in Pennsylvania. My parents were raised there, and my grandparents lived there the whole time I was growing up, so we made the 6 hour trip a lot to see them. And every summer my mom and I would go "home" for 2 weeks. 

It was during one of those trips my Grandpa started raving about this little sub shop they found in a neighboring town. They had to visit this town about once a month for a specific doctor and every time they got subs for lunch. He could not stop talking about them. He loved them. So of course he wanted to share them with us. 

I don't remember a lot about the sandwich itself, but the sauce I do. I distinctly recall Grandpa always getting his dressed with their "house dressing" and it was definitely what made the sandwich so delicious. 

Fast forward 30 years, and me not having one of those subs in about as long, and you can see why I would be so excited to try Beanos version. Oh, and ironically enough they are a family owned Pennsylvania company too! It's truly kismet!

A mix of soybean oil, red wine vinegar and fresh Italian spices make up this amazing concoction that truly takes any sandwich to the next level. The minute I tasted it, I knew my suspicions were right. It was indeed very close to that dressing Grandpa loved so much, and that brought a smile to my face and a warmth to my heart.

If you love sandwiches as much as we do, especially subs, you will flip for this. I can't wait to start having subs more and more at home (yay for saving money too!) now that I have Beanos in the fridge to make them extra yummy!

To see if Beanos is sold near you, click here. And to stay upon the latest deliciousness they are putting out, be sure to visit them online and Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram too!

Disclaimer: I was given free samples for this features. The thoughts, opinions and stories are all mine.

Saturday, December 1, 2018

Foodie Christmas Gifts {Week 2}

  Welcome back my friend Bekki with another terrific treat for your holiday season!

For many of us, we’re starting to settle into cooler weather; and for others just darn right cold. Bringing out the hoodies, extra blankets and just need more stuff around that’s warming. This is always the time of year my mother would go all out and have warm cinnamon rolls after church on Sundays, or delicious breads for after dinner family movie nights. Or even more often have baked goods for anyone who stopped by to visit over the holiday season. That’s where these little mini bundt cakes come in. Raspberry Extra Chip muffins are on the menu today. The white chocolate chips give that gooey center, and the mini chocolate chips balance the raspberry to give a smooth, deep and oh so wonderful flavor everyone will love.Enjoy them with your family, or share with neighbors, co-workers, the mailman..the list is endless!
Raspberry Extra Chip Muffins
 2 boxes Jiffy Raspberry Muffin Mix
2 Eggs
¼ c. Half and Half
1 5.3 oz oikos vanilla yogurt
¼ c. mini dark Chocolate chips
¼ c. White Chocolate Chips
Preheat oven to 400 degrees and spray mini bundt pans with non stick cooking spray, then set aside. In a large bowl add muffin mix, eggs, half and half, and yogurt then mix to thoroughly combine. Fold in all chips and fill pans ½ full. Bake 18-23 minutes or until toothpick tested in the center comes out clean.
Whether you piles them up on your favorite plate on your counter for guests, or your favorite teacher they’re sure to be a new family favorite. Enjoy! 

Sunday, November 25, 2018

Casseroles, Holidays and Company

At first glance those 3 things might not seem like they go together, but if you think about it a second time, you will realize they are like peas in a pod! Why?

Well, let's see. Casseroles are a perfect meal when you're super busy any normal time, but add in the hustle and bustle of the holidays, and now your schedule just tripled. Then you've got the holiday house guests that are going to descend up on your home in just a few weeks...and some might pull a Cousin Eddie and think it's okay to stay through the New Year! So, you've got to feed them! A tasty, budget friendly casserole can help you do that too!

Thanksgiving is over, and now we have our eyes set on Christmas. Okay, I can't lie, Christmas has been on my mind since way before Halloween, but now it's socially acceptable to admit that!

With all the holiday celebrations coming our way, the shopping to do, the wrapping, the baking, the work parties, school programs, (the list could go on and on) our already jammed packed schedules are about to overflow to commitments. This is the supper you want when you're busy and starving! It will feed a crowd and get them back out the door again!

It's so easy to get swept up into the holiday season and have it fly by. Let's slow it down a bit, try to enjoy every minute, sit down with our family to a hearty, delicious casserole and share our day!

Frito Pie Casserole
1 lb. ground beef
1 medium white onion, chopped
1 envelope taco seasoning
2/3 c. water
1 (19 oz.) can enchilada sauce
1 (15 oz.) can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 (7 oz.) can diced green chilies
1 (9.25 oz.) bag corn chips, divided use
2 cups shredded Mexican cheese blend, divided use
Salt and Pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 350. Grease 9x13 baking dish. In a large skillet brown beef with onions. Drain if necessary. Stir in water and seasoning. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to simmering and allow to thicken a little, about 3-4 minutes. Stir in enchilada sauce, black beans and green chilies. Cook 2 minutes to warm through. Place 4 cups corn chips in bottom of dish. Top with 1 cup cheese. Spoon in beef mixture, and top with remaining cheese. Bake 20 minutes until cheese melted and bubbling. Top with remaining chips.

Inspired  by Betty Crocker
Shared at Weekend Potluck

Saturday, November 24, 2018

Foodie Christmas Gifts 2018 {Week 1}

Now that Thanksgiving is over, we can officially begin the MOST wonderful time of year! I can't help it. Christmas is my absolute favorite holiday and I treasure each and every second.

When my good friend Bekki asked me if I could spare some blog time for her to share some fantastic homemade foodie gifts, I said "Absolutely!" 

Homemade gifts are so special, and such a great way your loved ones you really put some effort into their gift, and stay on budget too! So, for the next few weeks Bekki is going to be sharing some of her favorites with us! 

Can you believe we just had Thanksgiving? I can still smell Turkey and all the glorious sides wafting around me. If you’re anything like me, sharing food is a favorite thing to do during the holidays. Whether it’s your neighbors, your child’s teacher, your postal carrier, or even your doctor’s food gifts give a sense of warmth. Like giving someone a basket of muffins, isn’t just the sweet treat but love from your kitchen to them. In this recipe we’re dressing up chocolate muffins. How can you dress up chocolate muffins you ask? Well add more chocolate and peppermint of course. Come with me, as we create this dolled up recipe for the upcoming holiday and turn it into a fun gift as well. 
 Triple Chocolate Peppermint Muffins
1 Fleishmann’s Simply Homemade Double chocolate muffin mix
2/3 c. water
¾ c. vegetable oil
2 eggs
½ c. mini chocolate chips
½ c. peppermint chips
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line 6 large muffin cups with paper liners OR spray with cooking spray, set aside.
Combine mix, water, eggs, and oil in a large mixing bowl with a spoon, stir until blended. Add chips and stir to combine.
Fill prepared cups with batter, to ¾ full.
Bake muffins for 35 to 45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool on wire rack for 10 minutes then remove from pan.
Fill your favorite basket with the cooled muffins and share with someone today! Enjoy! 

Sunday, November 18, 2018

Holiday House Guests

Are you hosting Thanksgiving this year? If so, hopefully you've got your menu planned, that shopping list made and a schedule of cooking times. Now, the next question is, are you holiday guests "meal only" people, or are they extended stay? If your house is about to get really full, you're going to need some extra meals too!

Did you just freak out a little? It's okay. Take a deep breath. If you're going to have extra mouths to feed for the entire week, I am here to help. Sure, you will have the leftovers for Friday, and maybe even Saturday, but you're going to need more than that!

Soup!! What a better way to feed a crowd, and maybe even have some leftover to do it again the next day! Oh, and if you, and/or some of your guests are planning on hitting the stores on Black Friday...this would be wonderful to come home to after standing in those long, sometimes cold lines!

We love stuffed peppers. I have a terrific, simple recipe for them I make whenever green peppers go on sale. But this time of year, that isn't often. So what's great about this is that is has all those same classic flavors, and only 2 peppers, so it's super budget friendly too!

Holiday house guests are what Thanksgiving and the holiday season are all about! (As long as they aren't like Cousin Eddie and camp out until New Years!) And there is nothing wrong with feeling a little stressed about feeding them, showing them a good time, and being a good hostess! So be sure to have some simple, delicious meals ready to go...starting with this soup!

Slow Cooker Stuffed Pepper Soup
1 lb. ground beef
1 medium white onion, chopped
2 medium green bell peppers, chopped
2 (8.8 oz) pouches ready to serve brown rice
3 TBS brown sugar, packed
1/2 tsp. dried basil
1/2 tsp. dried oregano
2 (15 oz.) cans tomato sauce
2 (14.5 oz.) cans diced tomatoes, with juice
1 (32 oz.) box + 1 (15 oz.) can beef broth
Salt and Pepper to taste 
Shredded cheese for garnish, if desired

In a large skillet, brown beef with onion. Drain if necessary. Transfer to slow cooker. Stir in remaining ingredients. Cook on LOW 5-6 hours. Serve with shredded cheese on side.

Shared at Weekend Potluck

Saturday, November 10, 2018

Think Outside The Pie Box

I realize the dessert of choice on Thanksgiving is pie. I am not even going to argue that point. Pumpkin, Apple, Mincemeat, Pecan, Sweet Potato... we all have our favorite. And I am not complaining. My mom's pumpkin pie is something I look forward to each and every year.

But maybe you want to include another option. Maybe you want a different option other than pie. Or maybe you are having a smaller holiday and don't need a big pie for only a few people. Or maybe you're going to have house guests for an extended time that week, and you want an idea for dessert other than the big meal. If any of these are true, have I got a treat for you!

A super simple cake, that starts with a little help from the store, that smells and tastes like autumn, and has two of fall's favorite flavors...apple and cinnamon!

This makes the perfect amount for 4-6 people, depending on the size of the pieces, and I'm guessing if you need to feed more, you could easily double the recipe, use a 9x13 pan and have it be just as yummy.

Pies are as much a part of Thanksgiving as turkey and dressing. But that doesn't mean we can't make a little room on our table for another sweet treat!

Apple Cinnamon Cake
1 (7 oz) package apple cinnamon muffin mix
1/4 c. milk
1 egg, beaten
1 1/2 TBS apple butter
1 TBS brown sugar, packed

4 oz. cream cheese, softened
1 1/2 tsp. apple butter
2 tsp. brown sugar, packed

Preheat oven to 350. Grease 8x8 baking pan. In a large bowl combine first 5 ingredients. Stir well. Pour into pan. Bake for 25-30 minutes until toothpick comes out clean. In a small bowl combine last three ingredients. Mix until smooth. When cake is done, cool on wire rack. Frost with cream cheese icing. 

Shared at Weekend Potluck

Sunday, November 4, 2018

17 Days

If you haven't looked at a calendar, that's how many days we have until Thanksgiving! In just over 2 weeks we will all be sitting down to the holiday meal we dream about the other 364 days of the year.

Now in the spirit of full transparency, I am not hosting this year. In fact, most years I don't because we are at my in laws and my parents both, but there have been a few Thanksgivings over the years when I have hosted my parents for the holiday, So I full understand all the work that goes into such a fabulous meal.

I've talked a hundred times before about the Thanksgivings of my childhood when we would be in Pennsylvania with my family. The spreads that Grammy would put out are still legendary. They are the holiday meals that every other will always be compared to for me. They are the ones I channel when I am hosting. They are the epitome of Thanksgiving for me.

One of the many things she always had on her Turkey Day table was squash. Her favorite kind, and ours too is buttercup. No, not butternut. This is completely different. And to be honest, I almost never find them in Indiana. I think in my almost 15 years of marriage I have bought them once. That's it. And I don't understand because they are so sweet, so tender and have such amazing flavor.

So to satisfy our squash craving, I turn to acorn most of the time. It is so easy to prepare, and always look so pretty on a plate. There are a hundred different ways to make them, but sometimes the most simple is the best.

I love serving these as a half per person. They look gorgeous on the table and each person can just spoon it out. But if you are having a large crowd over, that really isn't practical, so you can just serve  it family style. In fact, if I were making these for the holiday, I would roast them off the night before, scoop it out, cool and reheat the next day when I was ready. Anything you can make the day before is GENIUS!

I can't believe it's November and the holidays are coming so incredibly fast. We are going to blink and it will be 2019. Let's be sure to enjoy every single moment, and bite, until then!.

Roasted Acorn Squash
2 medium acorn squash, halved and seeded
2 TBS butter, room temperature, cut into 8 pieces
4 tsp. packed brown sugar
Salt and Pepper

Preheat oven to 400. Carefully slice a small area on bottom of each squash half, to help them sit evenly. Place on a baking sheet. Rub each half with 1 small piece of butter, inside and around the edges. Season with salt and pepper. Place 1 small piece of butter inside each half, and 1 tsp. of brown sugar. (You will use 2 pieces of butter on each half. One to rub, one to cook) Bake for 45 minutes until fork tender. Serve a half to each person, or scoop out into serving dish.

Sunday, October 28, 2018

Pumpkin Fun

It is no secret to anyone that knows me that I am not a huge fan of fall. Sure, there are a few things I enjoy about it. but to me it is quite simply a gateway to cold and yuck for several months.

But when I'm trying to look on the bright side, and talk about the parts of autumn I do enjoy, I always mention trips to the pumpkin patch, picking apples, fall festivals, and the one thing these all have in common in our house. The fact that when we get home, there will be a big pot of soup, that has cooked all day, waiting on us.

One of the simplest pleasures in life is walking in the house, after being outside on crisp day, and instantly being greeted by the smell of a delicious meal, and the warmth it brings. 

To show you I don't just talk the talk, but I walk the walk too, this was the recipe I made the day we made our annual trip to Neptune, Ohio for some of the cutest painted pumpkins around! About an hour away, Karen's Painted Pumpkins is a stand we discovered a few years back, and ever since we pick a day in fall, and make it a fun trip. This year's even included a snack at the ice cream stand, and some shopping too. 
Aren't those just the cutest? And yes, Mommy scored major points by asking ahead for her to make a "Melmo" one!

This tasted SO good after our fun trip. It was a delicious end to a beautiful, fun filled day! I served some crusty bread on the side and it was simply perfect.

Soup season isn't going anywhere, so having some new ones to add to your rotation is a must! Hopefully this one makes its way to your table soon!

Crock Pot Cheesy Sausage Chowder
1 lb. smoked sausage, diced
3 large baking potatoes, peeled and chopped into 1 inch cubes
1 red bell pepper, diced
1 medium white onion, chopped
2 (14 oz.) cans chicken broth
1 1/2 c. heavy cream
2 TBS cornstarch 
2 tsp. all purpose seasoning, use your favorite
1 tsp. garlic powder
3 c. shredded sharp cheddar cheese
Salt and Pepper to taste

Add sausage, potatoes, onion and peppers to slow cooker. In a medium bowl whisk together broth, cream, corn starch, seasoning, garlic powder, salt and pepper. Pour over sausage mixture. Stir well to combine. Cook on LOW 5-6 hours. Stir well. (Don't worry if it separates a bit while cooking, just stir until it incorporates again) Turn heat to HIGH. Add cheese and stir until creamy and melted. Cook for about 10 minutes to thicken. Turn heat to warm until serving time. Garnish with extra cheese if desired. 

Crock Pot Cheesy Sausage Chowder

Sunday, October 21, 2018

Asian Saturdays

That title actually comes from something Mr. E says all the time. Why? Because he loves Asian food, and on the weekends when lunch rolls around, he is usually in the kitchen making some for himself. Could be as simple as a pack of ramen noodles, or a really tasty dish filled with exotic ingredients. And every time he sits down at the table to eat he will declare "Oh look, it's Asian Saturday!"

It is no secret how much we love Asian cuisine in our house. All of us. Heck, Max would be happy if I gave him rice for every meal, every day. We can't get enough of Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Thai...all of it.

Most of the time when we reach for a take out menu, you can bet it is going to be Chinese. We have a few different places in town we love, and we tend to rotate our trips to them. Oh, and let's not forget the buffets too! That is actually where Alex had this dish for the first time. On the Asian buffet we've been going to for years, but this was a "new" dish to him.

So the next time we were getting take out, he said to me, "Mom can I see if they have that dish I had at the buffet last time?" Sure enough they did and this was even better than the first.

Well, we can't be ordering take out or visiting the buffet all the time, after all private school and diapers aren't cheap! So it was time for mommy to come up with a make at home version he could enjoy just as much, anytime!

Black Pepper Chicken
2 lbs. boneless chicken thighs, cut into 1 inch pieces
5-6 stalks celery, chopped (about 2 cups)
1 medium white onion, chopped
1 TBS corn starch, divided use
3 1/2 tsp. black pepper, divided use
3/4 c. chicken broth
1/4 c. soy sauce
4 TBS vegetable oil, divided use
3 TBS white vinegar
Salt to taste
Cooked White Rice 

In a large bowl, combine chicken, 1/2 TBS corn starch, sat and 2 tsp. black pepper. Mix to coat. In a medium bowl, whisk together broth, soy sauce, vinegar, 2 TBS oil, 1/2 TBS corn starch and 1 1/2 tsp. black pepper.  Heat 2 TBS oil over medium high heat. Saute onions and celery until soft, about 5 minutes. Add chicken and saute', stirring often for 5-7 minutes. Add sauce into the pan. Stir well. Bring to a simmer, and reduce heat to medium low. Cook for additional 10-15 minutes until chicken is cooked through and slightly thickened. Serve over cooked rice and extra pepper.

Shared at Weekend Potluck

Sunday, October 14, 2018

Tailgate at Home

It is football season! And while nobody plays in our house, we are avid fans! Between watching the games on tv, following stats online (that would be the teenager), cheering for our favorite teams, and yes even yelling at the refs, we are definitely a football family.

Here is a little secret though. We don't share the love of any one team. There is some overlap though. Let's see, Mr. E and I are avid Steelers fan. Alex is Seahawks all the way. My love for Notre Dame is DEEP, and I've passed that onto Alex, but his dad is Purdue all the way. And Max, well, we still have time to brain wash him!

Let me tell you about that Notre Dame love though. See, as a kid all I wanted to do was go to Notre Dame and march in their band. It was my DREAM. To have a degree with that gold emblem and to play my flute in the greatest half time show ever. I had the grades in high school. In fact, I got accepted my junior year! But, another local university offered me a full ride, and I'm not going to turn down free money. But I will tell you what, I still have that acceptance letter, as a reminder that all my hard work paid off.

Fast forward to after Adam and I were married, and I finally got to attend my first home Notre Dame football game. I got to walk the campus, see the band practice, visit the bookstore, be inside the stadium, see "Touchdown Jesus", watch as they ran onto the field, and yes enjoy that half time show I had dreamed about. I' won't lie. I spent most of that day crying. Seriously, ND campus and the entire experience is one of the most beautiful things I've ever seen.

And those football Saturdays in South Bend all include on thing. Tailgating. Those fellow ND fanatics take their pre-game food very seriously!

It has been years since we've been to a game, but we can still have some tailgating fun, right in our own living room. Just minus the tailgate!

To me, a party or gathering has to have a great veggie tray. I know everyone always teases me, but I love fresh, crunchy veggies in a creamy, cool flavorful dip. Plus all the other stuff too! Oh, and this is super tasty on chips, pretzels, and crackers too!

This has been my go-to dip for years now. Every time I make it, I get rave reviews, and requests for the recipe. With only 5 ingredients, and a lot of help from the store, it can be your new favorite too! 

Irresistible Veggie Dip
16 oz. sour cream
16 oz. French onion dip
1 envelope Ranch Dressing Mix
1 envelope Knorr Vegetable Mix
1 TBS Dried Parsley, extra for garnish

In a medium bowl combine all ingredients. Chill a few hours or overnight before serving. Stir well. Garnish with parsley. Serve with veggies, chips, crackers, etc. 

Shared at Weekend Potluck

Sunday, October 7, 2018

Autumn Inspired Recipe Challenge

Ya'll know how much I love a good recipe contest/challenge! Creating something new to share with all of you, and a chance to win...sign me up!

Today's contest comes from my new friends at Lang's Chocolates. If you've never heard of them, let me introduce you a little. Located in central Pennsylvania (which you know is near and dear to my heart), they are a family operated business focused on strong values. Their chocolates are made in small batches, almost "to order", and I'm guessing you might recognize their signature red boxes!

Everything about them is what I look for in a company I want to work with. So when they offered to send me some of their Keystone Pantry Allulose to experiment with in my kitchen, for a chance to win some cash, I was immediately on board!

 Lang’s Chocolates Keystone Pantry Allulose natural rare sugar sweetener, is Non-GMO, Gluten Free and Vegan friendly! It can easily be swapped out for sugar in any of your favorite recipes.
Allulose is a rare sugar, meaning it naturally occurs in natural products! It is an ultra low calorie sugar with only 1- calorie per teaspoon. It has browning characteristics as white sugar but almost none of the calories. (However, when used in baking it will brown faster than sugar so may require a slightly lower cooking temperature.)

Oh, what to make, what to make? Since we are officially into October now, I've got all things autumn on the brain. And what is more autumn-esque than a delicious apple dessert? This one happens to be easy enough for any weeknight too! 

Be sure to check out Lang's Chocolates online, where you can also purchase some Allulose to try in your own recipes! Oh and follow them on Facebook and Instagram too to see all of the recipe submissions! Wish me luck!

Baked Apple Delight
4 medium Granny Smith apples, peeled and sliced
1/4 c. apple juice
1 stick butter, cubed
3/4 c. allulose natural sugar sweetener
1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp. ground ginger
3 tsp. cinnamon, extra for garnish
1/2 c. chopped pecans
1/3 c. golden raisins
Angel Food Cake
Whipped Cream

Preheat oven to 350. Grease a 1 quart baking dish. Placed sliced apples in dish. In a medium bowl mix together apple juice, sweetener, cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger. Pour over apples and stir lightly. Dot with butter. Sprinkle with raisins and pecans. Bake, uncovered, for 45 minutes- 1 hour until browned and apples are tender. Stir before serving. Serve warm over sliced angel food cake with whipped cream and cinnamon on top. *NOTE* The golden raisins can get dark in the baking process. Don't worry, they taste just fine!

Disclaimer: I received a free product to use in my entry in the contest. The thoughts & recipe are all mine. 

Shared at Weekend Potluck

Sunday, September 30, 2018

Thank God for Pop Tarts

Yep, I said it. I am NOT the mom making a big breakfast before school every morning. Nope. Never have been. Some of it can be attributed to the fact that while all of us love breakfast food, we don't really want to eat it until 10am, or better, at supper time. 

But also, the teenage boy just doesn't want to eat that much that early in the morning, which I can't say I blame him at all. His dad and I are neither one early morning eaters. We just can't eat as soon as we get out of bed. So, I'm satisfied if I can get a little something in him before he heads out the door. 

Oh and just so there isn't any confusion, the 2 year old? He has a nice breakfast every morning of usually oatmeal or cereal! 

I know so many of you do make breakfast every morning though, and you're always looking for quick, easy, yummy options. That's where today's recipe comes in. 

You can simply swap out ingredients to make these a hundred different ways, as long as you keep the base of eggs and milk the same. Plus you could make a big batch on the weekend, and keep them in the fridge to be reheated on busy mornings. I would guess they would last 3-4 days in an airtight container! Perfect for on the go too when the alarm doesn't go off on time!

We of course had these for supper one night, and the boys raved! Some hash browns, toast and fruit on the side and it was a full meal deal! So no matter what time of day you decide to serve them I bet your family loves them just as much!

Bacon Cheddar Egg Muffins
12 eggs
1/2 c. milk
1/2 c. shredded sharp cheddar cheese, extra for top
1/2 c. real bacon bits, extra for top
1/2 tsp. onion powder
Salt and Pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 350. Spray a muffin tin with nonstick spray. In a large bowl combine eggs, milk, onion powder, cheese, bacon, salt and pepper. Whisk well. Pour into muffin tin, filling each well about 2/3 full. Sprinkle with extra cheese and bacon. Bake for 25-30 minutes until eggs are set in the middle, checking with toothpick.

Shared at Weekend Potluck
Shared at Meal Plan Monday