Everyday Mom's Meals: August 2018

Thursday, August 30, 2018

Bye Bye Summer Sweet Treat

So, summer was a fun 15 minutes...or so it seems! Winter lasts 36 months, but you blink and summer is gone. But we've still got some warm days ahead of us, and there are Labor Day cookouts this weekend, so we still need some summer time food! 

Looking back over this summer, of course one of our favorites memories is our Florida vacation. Two weeks on our favorite beach, lazy days in the pool, watching our boys at Sea World, and of course eating amazing food. And one treat, we get every single year, and drool over the entire time we're eating it, is key lime pie.

Our favorite? Out of the Publix grocery store bakery. No joke! They are always perfect, and oh so yummy.

So when I wanted to bring back some of those memories, as we prepare to say goodbye to summer, I took a page out of the key lime book. Maybe not pie, but just as delish!

This would be a great take along to that lake party this weekend. Or if you're having a crowd over to barbecue in the backyard, you could easily whip up a couple of these in almost no time!

Key lime is such a summer time, tropical flavor, but I will be honest, I might have bought some extra pie filling, so there is a good chance we will be eating this as we watch the leaves fall or even worse...that stuff that comes next!

Key Lime Cobbler
2 (21 oz.) cans key lime pie filling
1 box white cake mix
1 stick butter, melted
Whipped Topping, if desired

Preheat oven to 350. Prepare a 9x13 baking dish with nonstick spray. Pour pie filling in dish and spread evenly. In a medium bowl combine DRY cake mix and butter. Mix with a fork until a crumbly dough forms. Using your fingers, sprinkle topping on pie filling evenly. Bake for 30-45 minutes until browned around edges. Serve warm, or transfer to wire rack to cool. We actually like this in the fridge.

Shared at Weekend Potluck
Shared at Meal Plan Monday

Sunday, August 26, 2018

Not Mom's But Oh So Good

My mom makes a few dishes that only she can make to satisfy me. Ones that I don't even attempt, because they will never be as good. Her beef and noodles? Yeah, we only eat those at her house. I can finally make a meatloaf that is almost as good as hers, but it has taken me years of practice to even come close. And the one we will talk about today? Her baked beans.

Seriously, they are amazing. I've tried to make them. Replicate them. It's hopeless. I give up. Any time I have a party or cookout for a group, mom just knows she will be bringing the beans.

So when I was hosting my in laws for Mr. E's birthday last month, I wanted to make beans, but knew better than to try hers and fail again. Instead, I decided to make some we would love, but would be different enough we wouldn't be comparing them to hers.

Enter these. Like the title said, they aren't mom's, but boy were they good! Well, duh! They have bacon on top, how could they not be? Sweet, tangy, smoky...they've got everything we love about a good bean.

If you're planning and end of summer bash, or maybe a Labor Day cookout, your guests will love these as much as we did! Perfect with whatever you've got coming off the grill...and even better the next day we thought!

Bacon Baked Beans
5 (15 oz.) cans pork and beans
6 slices bacon, cut into thirds
1 medium white onion, finely chopped
2 TBS butter
3/4 c. ketchup
1/2 c. molasses
3 TBS mustard 
1/2 c. brown sugar

Preheat oven to 325. Grease a 9x13 baking dish. In a medium skillet over medium high heat, melt better and saute' onions until soft. Transfer to a large bowl. Add beans, ketchup, molasses, mustard and brown sugar. Stir well to combine. Transfer to prepared dish. Top with uncooked bacon. Cook for 3 hours until browned on top and liquid absorbed.

Sunday, August 19, 2018

Yes, I Bake

I have never hidden the fact that I am not one of those home cooks who pride themselves in their baking skills. Not once have I pretended it's my thing. Can I do it? Sure, to a degree. Do I enjoy it as much as others do? Not at all. But that's okay. We all have our strengths!

So when I decide to, and really put forth an effort, you can imagine how excited I get when something turns out as yummy as I hoped. In fact, this was my second baked dessert in less than 3 weeks, so I felt like I was on a roll! (If you didn't catch my Tropical Orange Cake, be sure to check it out!)

A few weeks ago, my parents were coming over to help us with a few things around the house, and I was "paying" them will grilled steak, roasted red potatoes, fresh Indiana sweet corn, and decided THIS would be dessert. It was such a hit, my daddy even asked for seconds!

I had actually just found the recipe that same morning, while looking for ways to use up the strawberries in the fridge before they had a chance to go bad. I had stocked up at Aldi's when they were $.99/pound, and the boys hadn't finished them yet, so I had extra.

For someone who shutters at the thought of making a pie crust...this was calling my name. Crustless pie? Yes, please!

If you can cut, stir and pour you can make this! Believe me, if I can, you can too! Just look how pretty it is too! A great way to take full advantage of summer berries before it's too late; and the pumpkin/apple flood begins!

Crustless Strawberry Pie
1 c. plus 2 TBS white sugar, divided
1 c. flour
1/4 tsp. salt
1 stick butter, melted and cooled a little
2 tsp. vanilla 
2 eggs
2 1/4 c. strawberries, quartered

Preheat oven to 350. Grease a 9 inch pie plate. In a large bowl mix together flour, 1 c. sugar and salt. In a medium bowl whisk together butter, eggs  and vanilla. Pour into dry ingredients. Stir to combine. Fold in strawberries. (Batter will be thick) Transfer to pie plate. Add remaining 1/4 cup strawberries to top, pressing in a bit. Sprinkle top with remaining sugar. Bake for 35-40 minutes until toothpick in center comes out clean. (It can have crumbs on it, but NO liquid batter.) Transfer to wire rack to cool. 

Inspired by Averie Cooks

Shared at Meal Plan Monday 
Shared at Weekend Potluck

Sunday, August 12, 2018

Rice Loving 8th Grader

Actually, that title leaves out a very important detail. It's not just Alex who loves rice, but his dad, and little brother too. Seriously, they will eat the stuff any way they can get it. We even tease Adam he must have been Asian in another lifetime, because it is hands down his favorite cuisine, and it revolves around rice.

But the title came to be because Tuesday is the first day of school. (Insert very sad mommy tears here.) You all know how much I adore having my boy home with us all summer long, and apparently June and July were only scheduled to last 10 minutes this year. I swear it was just Memorial Day and we were gearing up for the last day and awards, and here we are loading up the backpack and pencil pouch again.

With back to school comes even busier schedules. Pick up is at 3:15, and without a doubt he is going to come to the car starving every single day. We'll come home, start homework, get a small snack, I will blink and it will be time for supper. And that will be our lives for the next 9 months...except when basketball starts, and it is even more hectic.

So it is vital I have some hearty, filling, delicious meals in my back pocket to make sure the growing boys are fed and happy. My trusty friend Mr. Slow Cooker can help me with that. A comforting, stick to the ribs meal can cook all day while I'm busy with Max, and come 6:30 I look like a rock star! In this case, make some rice and dinner is done!

I can't believe my first baby boy is an 8th grader this year (and by the way, turns 14 next month, which is a whole other level of mommy trauma I'm in denial about still). It's going to be a busy year, with lots going on, and mommy will make sure really good food too!

Slow Cooker Stewed Beef & Rice
2 lbs. sirloin steak, cut into 1 inch pieces
2 envelopes onion soup mix
1 c. beef broth
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 can cream of celery soup
8 oz. white button mushrooms, sliced
Salt and Pepper to taste
Dried Parsley for garnish 
White Rice

Place meat in slow cooker. Season with salt and pepper. Layer mushrooms over meat. In a medium bowl mix together broth, soups, and soup mix. Pour over mushrooms and meat. Cook on LOW for 6-8 hours. About half way through, stir to combine. When ready to eat, cook your favorite white rice. Serve meat mixture over rice and sprinkle with parsley. 

Shared at Meal Plan Monday
Shared at Weekend Potluck

Sunday, August 5, 2018

Downhill From Here

So, believe it or not, but back to school is right around the corner, and I know for some of you, it's already here. Summer will wind down. Fall will be here before we know it, Halloween, the holidays...and oh look it's 2019....Happy New Year!

Okay, so maybe I'm being a little over dramatic, but I know I'm not the only one because a friend on Facebook and I just had this conversation the other day, and I have seen a few memes saying the same thing. Good to know it's not just me that feels like as soon as the school buses run again, it's just a down hill coast until next year, or at least that's how it feels.

It actually makes me so sad because you know how much I love summer, and having the boy home with my all day. Plus, with both of my babies having August and September birthdays, it only adds to mommy's depression. Needless to say I'm not ready for 2 and 14! 

But...in the spirit of taking each day as a gift, and cherishing every stage, let's talk about what the new seasons mean in food! We are going to need simple meals for those busy school nights, and not too long from now, we will need fun stuff to eat during the big game, and tailgating. And that is exactly what I've got for you today!

Sliders are all the rage right now. You probably see as many recipes for them as I do, so you know there are about a million versions; and I'm 100% on the bandwagon. I love coming up with new ones, and this is my latest idea. 

A warm ham and cheese sammy is such a classic, and these take it to a new level with some great flavor and a little kick. Don't worry if you're feeding little mouths though, they aren't too spicy for them, and you can always adjust the recipe to make sure. 

If you feel like time is flying and you're not ready for the "next" of anything either, sit down next to me. We will drown our sorrows in a yummy sandwich!
Kickin' Ham & Swiss Sliders
1 (9oz.) container smoked ham deli meat
8 sliced Swiss cheese
12 count honey slider buns
1 1/2 TBS horseradish sauce
1 TBS spicy brown mustard
1 stick butter, melted
2 TBS brown sugar
1 tsp. onion powder
2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce 
1 TBS dried parsley
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
Spray a 9x13 baking dish. Preheat oven to 350. Remove tops of buns, but leave bottoms intact. Carefully spread horseradish sauce across bottoms. (I used a pastry brush) Lay in bottom of baking dish. Top with ham and cheese, overlapping to cover entire area. Replace bun tops. In a medium bowl whisk together butter, mustard, brown sugar, onion powder, Worcestershire, parsley, salt and pepper. Baste sandwiches liberally with sauce, making sure to get it between and along sides. Cover dish with foil and bake for 20 minutes. Uncover and bake 10 additional minutes. Cut sandwiches apart and serve hot. *NOTE* This is NOT prepared horseradish. Horseradish sauce can be found in the condiment aisle.