Everyday Mom's Meals: June 2018

Sunday, June 17, 2018

Side Dish Or The Star

I love when a recipe can wear different hats. Having something that is both delicious and versatile means I can make it again and again, and utilize it in different ways.

Case in point? Today's recipe. If you're doing Meat Free Monday, this could easily be your main dish tonight. (See note below!) Or, if you are like me and are always on the lookout for new side dishes, this could totally rock that too! It would be SO tasty with anything you're grilling up this summer. Oh, if your kids turn their noses up at anything green...this has so much cheese, they might not even notice!

Broccoli and Cheese are such classic flavors and this really lets them shine! You might not think it is hearty enough to be the center of a meal, but I assure you, it is! I served it with some fruit and crunch bread on the side and we were plenty full. Plus, the leftovers made a great lunch for the hubby the next day.

If your recipe box is in need of some dishes that you can pull out for different reasons, and enjoy them any way you serve them, start with this!

Cheesy Broccoli & Rice Casserole
2 TBS butter
2 c. instant rice, uncooked
2 (12 oz.) bags frozen chopped broccoli, thawed
1 small yellow onion, finely chopped
2 celery ribs, finely chopped
1 (10 oz.) can cream of mushroom soup
1 (10 oz.) can cream of chicken soup
1 (16 oz.) jar cheese sauce
1/4 c. sour cream
3/4 c. milk
1/2 c. shredded sharp cheddar cheese
Salt and Pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 350. Grease a 9x13 baking dish and a piece of aluminum foil big enough to cover it. In a large skillet over medium heat, melt butter. Saute onion and celery until soft, about 5-7 minutes. Add broccoli and cook another 5 minutes. In a medium bowl whisk together cheese sauce, soups, milk and sour cream. Add rice. Stir to combine. Add mixture to skillet. Stir well. Season with salt and pepper. Transfer to baking dish. Cover. Bake for 30 minutes, until rice is tender. Uncover. Sprinkle with shredded cheese and extra pepper. Cook 10-15 additional minutes. Stir well before serving.*NOTE* If you want to make this 100% meat free, swap out the cream of chicken for cream of celery soup. I think it would be delicious!

Sunday, June 10, 2018

How Does Your Garden Grow?

One of the things some people look forward to the most this time of year is planting their summer time garden. If you're one of them, my hat is off to you!

It's not that we don't want one, our backyard just isn't very conducive for growing, and after trying to no avail more years than I care to remember, we've given up. But thankfully we are surrounded by many farmers markets and road side stands; and even have some friends with really big thumbs, so we still enjoy fresh garden veggies all summer long!

I can eat tomatoes like apples. Bring them in, wash them off, a little salt and bite! Cucumbers picked on a warm day always taste better than anything you can buy in the produce aisle.

With all of these beautiful summer veggies, salads are sure to be on the menu. On one of those nights that it is still sweltering at supper time, but you're starving, a light, crisp, cool salad can really hit the spot.

My inspiration for this one was the traditional cucumber and tomato salad we've all eaten a hundred times. But this time I added a little Greek flare. Why? Because the teenager loves feta cheese, and asked me to come up with a reason for him to eat it. No joke. This entire recipe came to be because of the boy's love of cheese.

This would be perfect with anything you've got coming off the grill, and really nice for a cookout or picnic outdoors since there is no "creamy" factor. Plus, the leftovers can be a great lunch the next day. Just ask Mr. E. That's exactly what he did!

If you are a master summer gardener, I am impressed! It really is an art, and the rest of us are so lucky there are so many out there who are willing to share with those of us who aren't as skilled!

Greek Garden Salad
3 large cucumbers peeled and sliced thin
3 medium tomatoes, seeded and chopped
1 (6 oz.) jar pitted kalamata olives, drained
1/4 c. feta cheese crumbles
1/3 c. Greek salad dressing
Salt and Pepper to taste
Dried Parsley, for garnish

In a large bowl combine cucumbers, tomatoes and olives. Season with salt and pepper. Mix gently. Pour dressing over and mix again. Sprinkle with feta and parsley. Chill for an hour before serving. 

Shared at Weekend Potluck

Sunday, June 3, 2018

Summer Time Snacking

School is out! Hooray!!! Seriously, those last couple weeks were rough! And then the fact we had to go back after Memorial Day for 1.5 days was almost torture. But we persevered and don't have to set an alarm or pack a lunch until August!

I adore summer vacation. I realize it is different for me because I am at home, and don't have the stress of additional child care, but I cherish every minute he's home with me. And now that Max is old enough to understand "Bruh Bruh" is home with us, well let's just say it even more special.

One of the things that I do recognize has being harder during these months is the fact I have to feed the teenager that extra meal every day, every week! I find myself going to make Max's lunch and saying "Oh that's right. Alex might want something too." Now, to be fair we are only a few days into summer vacation, so I'm still getting into my groove. But it isn't just lunch! He wants snacks too! I swear, these kids...they think they need fed 24/7. LOL

I love making trail mixes because we can all enjoy them. Even Max now! (Sure he likes to pick out the M&Ms, but he does like the pretzels and cheese crackers too) And in the summer, they are perfect for snacking in the car, at the park, beside the pool, or just hanging out in the back yard. True story, if you would have seen us last weekend in our back yard, Max was in his baby pool, and the three of us were sitting around it, watching him, and passing around a huge bowl of this!

Sweet and salty together are one of my favorite things. Even flavor combos you think might not work do. Mr. E made the comment he didn't know how the candy and cheese crackers would taste, but they were really good!

You can always add some other ingredients your family loves too. Make it your own! Let the kids get in on the action too--they could come up with some interesting combos!

Summer break is something I look forward to all school year long. My boys, with me, adventures to be found, and yummy snacking on the way!

Sweet n Salty Trail Mix
4 c. twist pretzels
3 c. cheese crackers
2 c. honey roasted peanuts
1 1/2 c. roasted almonds
1/2 c. M&Ms
1/2 c. Reece's Pieces
1/2 c. raisins

Mix all together in a large bowl and store in an airtight container. 

Shared at Weekend Potluck

Disclaimer: I received free samples from Kroger and MyMagazine Sharing Network for use in this post.