Everyday Mom's Meals: September 2019

Sunday, September 29, 2019

Dump, Stir and Go!

It's officially autumn. The days are getting shorter and shorter. With day light I mean. But let's face it, the days are always short, no matter what season. I don't know about you, but I think there should be some kind of "buy back" program for hours in the day.

Here's how it would work. For every hour we don't use one day, we get to "bank" it for a day when we need more! That way when it's a random Thursday and we have a bazillion things to do...and before we know it, the clock says 6pm, we can go to the bank and get an extra hour. Genius, right?

Alas, I don't see this happening any time soon, so we need to find other ways to free up some of our minutes and hours. And in the kitchen our slow cookers can do just that!

This chunky, hearty delicious stew can be prepped in the morning, cook all day and be waiting on you when you get home. But you say your mornings are super busy too? Well, about 10 minutes is all you need to brown the sausage and onions, dump the rest of the ingredients, stir and be done! In fact, you could even saute' the sausage and onions the night before, stick them in the fridge and have one less step the next morning. Oh, and those hash browns that need partially thawed? They take almost no time at all, and the ones I used were only thawed about 20 minutes before I dumped them in. So those won't hang you up either.

Talk about an all in one meal! You've got your meat, potatoes and veggies all in one bowl! Okay, I guess corn isn't technically a veggie, but I think most of us think of it that way.

Fall is such a beautiful time, with so many reasons to be busy. From the ordinary day, to the special ones spent at the corn maze, pumpkin patch or apple orchard, make sure you have some great simple recipes to make just one thing a little easier on you!

Crock Pot Sausage & Corn Chowder
1 (14 oz.) package smoke sausage, sliced thin
2 small carrots, diced
1 medium white onion, chopped
2 TBS butter
1 lb. frozen shredded frozen hash brown potatoes, partially thawed
2 (15 oz.) cans corn, undrained
2  (15 oz.) cans cream corn
1 (14 oz.) can chicken broth
2 (12 oz.) cans evaporated milk
1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
2 tsp. lemon pepper seasoning
1 TBS dried parsley
Salt and Pepper to taste
In a large skillet over medium heat melt butter. Saute' sausage until slightly browned. Transfer to Crock Pot.  In same skillet, in leftover butter and sausage drippings, saute' onion for 1-2 minutes.You are just getting a little color on them. Transfer to Crock Pot. Add all other ingredients. Stir very well. Cook on LOW 6 hours.

Shared at Weekend Potluck
Shared at Meal Plan Monday

Inspired by Recipes That Crock

Sunday, September 22, 2019

Hello Fall

If you aren't paying attention, we have arrived at the first day of fall. Sure, some of us have had our autumn decor out since the calendar still said August (*cough cough*...I might resemble that remark) but it's official. Now our husbands can't make fun of our pumpkins and scarecrows anymore.

Autumn brings so many reasons to "party". Between bonfires, those last few warm evening cookouts, Halloween parties, Game Day...the list goes on and on! And if you don't have a reason to party, make one! There are days when we are outside raking or doing jobs around the house, and I have a big pot of chili or soup cooking, plus some snacks for motivation too! So you can't make it to the stadium to tailgate for your favorite team. Have a football day at home in your living room!

My point is a delicious party mix can be appreciated for so many reasons this time of year. This would be great for an after school snack, kids' Halloween party or classroom party (if home made is allowed).

We love Chex Mix, or more specifically Adam's late grandma's Chex Mix recipe. I make it a lot. It's the perfect salty snack. But this time I wanted something a little sweet, and of course autumn inspired.

Oh. My. Gosh. As Alex said, "This stuff is dangerous!" Talk about addicting! We couldn't stay out of it! Sweet, salty...mmmmm. We have a couple days trips planned for this fall, and I think I will make sure we have a bag of this for the car too!

Fall might not be my favorite season, but I do enjoy it and all the fun activities it brings. Add in some yummy snacks and it's a party any day of the week!

Harvest Party Mix
1 (12 oz.) box rice cereal, like Chex
4 c. pretzel twists
1 (7 oz.) bag original Bugles
2 ( 4 oz.) boxes Reece's pieces
2 ( 9 oz.) bags autumn candy mix
3/4 c. margarine, melted
3/4 c. brown sugar, packed
2 TBS vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 275. In a medium bowl whisk together margarine, brown sugar and vanilla until combined. In a very large bowl combine cereal, pretzels and Bugles. Pour sauce over mix. Stir gently, but well. Spread evenly on a baking sheet* and bake for 45 minutes, stirring every 15 until crisp and brown. Remove and allow to cool. Add candy and stir well. Store in airtight container.  
*NOTE* You will either need to do this in batches, or use 2 cookie sheets at a time. 

Inspired by One Little Project

Sunday, September 15, 2019

My Baby Is 15

September 16, 2004 6:31 p.m. That is the exact moment my world became complete. My life changed forever. I was finally what I had always wanted to be. For in that moment, I became a mommy. From the second they placed Alexander Lee in my arms, he looked into my eyes, and I knew our love was one for the ages. He was my first, and every day since has been finding ways to fill me with happiness, make me laugh and burst with pride.

And now that 8 lb. 15 oz. 21.5 inch bouncing baby boy is a 6 foot tall, 15 year old Freshman in high school. Everyone says it, but I don't think you understand just how fast kids grow up until you are a parent. I heard once "At times the days might be long, but the years will always be short." I think that sums it up perfectly. I truly feel like I blinked and now he's just a few short years away from adulthood, leaving the nest and being on his own. But we aren't there yet, and I refuse to talk about it. Yes, denial is a wonderful thing.

But alas, he is indeed 15, and I couldn't let the day go by without sharing a recipe that was 100% made with him in mind. Like his dad, Alex has a true love for all Asian foods. So anytime I can make a take out quality dish at home, I score major points with them both.

If you've never had Korean food, take it from someone who waited way too long to try it,, if you enjoy other Asian cuisines, you will like Korean too!

This comes together in almost no time, so it's perfect for a busy weeknight! Seriously, you can have this on the table in less time than it would take to pick something up from the drive thru! I also love that it can be adapted to feed a few or a crowd easily!

There are days when I look at Alex and have trouble remembering when he was tiny. But then he smiles or giggles, and it's the same exact smile from that chubby cheeked baby; or the same laugh I would hear after that toddler would make up a silly joke. I have treasured the past 15 years, and know without a doubt he is only going to get more amazing as time goes on!

Korean Beef
2 lbs. ground beef
2/3 c. brown sugar, packed
1/2 c. soy sauce
6 large garlic cloves, minced
2 TBS sesame oil
 1 tsp. spicy Asian chili oil
1/2 tsp. ground ginger
Cooked White Rice
Chopped Green Onions

Brown beef over medium high heat. In a medium bowl, whisk together brown sugar, oils, garlic, ginger, and soy sauce. When beef is browned, drain fat if necessary. Add oil mixture and stir. Bring to a simmer and reduce heat. Cook for 5-10 minutes. Serve over cooked rice and garnish with green onions. *NOTE* If you can't find the chili oil, 1 tsp. red pepper flake can be substituted. 

Shared at Weekend Potluck
Shared at Meal Plan Monday

Sunday, September 8, 2019

Lunch or Game Day

I won't lie. This recipe was supposed to up on the blog weeks ago as an idea for a hot summer night when the thermometer still read 90 at 6pm and you needed something light and refreshing. Well...obviously that didn't happen. Oops.

So when I found the post sitting there in the draft folder, staring back at me, mocking me, knowing my OCD would kick into overdrive and I would be kicking myself for the mistake, I had to adapt.

Honestly, we eat this stuff year round. A couple years ago, I made it for our annual New Year's Eve buffet! Therefore, it wasn't that hard for me to find a way to share it with all of you now that fall is in the air.

This would be fantastic for Game Day! We are a football loving family and there are times we will be watching the game at home, just the 4 of us, and I still put out a party spread. It's fun to eat all day and cheer on our favorite teams. And it would be just as tasty in the parking lot while yo tailgate with your friends! It would easily travel in a cooler.

But if football isn't your thing, make a big batch on the weekend and have something yummy for lunch all week long.

Or if neither of those "trip your trigger" (As grandma used to say!) it would be terrific for any fall party as well! Get the friends around the bonfire and give them something to snack on while the hot dogs roast or the chili stays warm in the Crock Pot.

Delicious food can be enjoyed any time of year, any season you want! Don't box yourself if and think if you like it in July you can't enjoy it in September too!

Seafood Salad
1 lb. imitation crab, chopped
1 c. frozen cooked extra small shrimp, thawed
2 celery ribs, diced
1/2 c. mayonnaise
1 tsp. Chesapeake seasoning
1/2 tsp. dill weed
1 TBS lemon juice
Salt and Pepper

Combine shrimp and crab in a large bowl. In a small bowl whisk together remaining ingredients. Pour over seafood. Stir gently to combine. Chill until ready to serve, at least an hour. Serve with crackers.

Sunday, September 1, 2019

Welcome September

Yes, it's hard to believe, but September is upon us. My son looked at me Saturday night and said "Mom, can you believe the 4th of July was almost two months ago?"

Seriously, when you think of it like that the time flies bye even faster than normal. Let's face it, summer lasts about 38 days and the cold months drag on for 904 days, if we are lucky!

I've said it before, but let me reiterate it once more. I actually don't mind autumn. I enjoy the colors, the fun activities, the decor (yes, my pumpkins and scarecrows are already displayed!) and of course, the flavors. And I don't even shun the weather. Here in Indiana, we will still have some truly warm and sunny days through October. But it's what comes after fall I dread. The cold. The snow. The ice. The gray. The blah. But hey, it's not here yet, so let's not dwell on it.

I figured with the beginning of September, and a new season, we would celebrate with a classic fall flavor. Cinnamon. Sure, we can't get enough of apple and pumpkin too, but if you think about it, what is paired with both of those in many, many dishes? Yep, cinnamon.

These are my way of bringing a little of summer with me to fall. See, they are inspired by a summertime country fair staple. The elephant ear. Fried dough sprinkled with cinnamon sugar is something so popular the lines will wind around any junk food alley.

So who says we can't have some of that yumminess as the leaves begin to turn? These are great for a quick breakfast, lunchbox treat or sweet treat after a favorite fall meal. Super easy, moist and oh so good!

I might not be able to stop summer from eventually fading away, but I can make sure to enjoy all the warm days we have left and dream of them once they are gone with some delicious muffins!

Cinnamon Sugar Muffins
1 c. flour
1/2 c. + 1 TBS sugar, divided use
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 TBS + 1 tsp. cinnamon, divided use
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 c. milk
1/4 c. vegetable oil
1 egg

Preheat oven to 375. Line 8 muffin tin wells with papers or grease well. In a large bowl combine flour, 1/2 c. sugar, baking powder, 1/2 TBS cinnamon, and salt. In a medium bowl whisk together milk, oil, and egg. Add to dry ingredients and stir, just until combined. Divide mixture evenly in muffin tin wells. In a small bowl combine 1 TBS sugar and 1 tsp. cinnamon. Sprinkle over top of batter. Bake for 15 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack. Store covered.

Shared at Weekend Potluck
Shared at Meal Plan Monday