Everyday Mom's Meals: February 2020

Sunday, February 23, 2020

Classic Never Goes Out Of Style

There are many classic dishes we've eaten for years in our family, and to us, no matter how retro they might be, they never get old. My mom's goulash, Grammy's chicken on rice, and slow cooker pot roast to name a few. 

These comfort foods are like a big hug at the end of a long day, and this casserole is one of our favorites we've been eating for years. It was one of the recipes I made as a newlywed, and once our boys came along, it shows up on my meal plan monthly.

It has the classic ingredients, plus a couple you might be surprised at. I have always made mine with peas, for a splash of green. Plus, I have added a panko topping for a little crunch. It's so good...I'm drooling just thinking about it.

Oh, and even better? It can go from stove to oven to table in about an hour! A simple supper for those nights you just can't handle complicated. Add a little side salad, or fresh fruit and dinner is done.

Lent begins this week, and I know many of you will be looking for seafood dishes for those meat-free Fridays. This should definitely be on your must make list!

Classic recipes are loved for a reason. No matter what food trends come and go, they stand the test of time and are loved by generations now and those to come!

Classic Tuna Noodle Casserole
1 lb. egg noodles
4 (5 oz) cans tuna, drained well
1 (10 oz.) bag frozen peas
2 cans cream of mushroom soup
1 c. milk
1/2 c. Panko breadcrumbs
2 TBS butter, melted
1 tsp. dried parsley
Salt and Pepper

Preheat oven to 400. Grease 9x13 baking dish. Cook noodles according to package directions. Drain well. Combine noodles, tuna, soup, milk, peas, salt and pepper. Mix well. Transfer to baking dish. In a small dish combine melted butter and breadcrumbs. Sprinkle over top. Sprinkle with parsley. Bake for 25-30 minutes until slightly browned and heated through. 

Shared at Weekend Potluck
Shared at Meal Plan Monday

Sunday, February 16, 2020

Two Favorites, One Bowl

One of the things I love to experiment most with in the kitchen is combining two favorites into one new, delicious dish. What do I mean? Well, for tasty examples, check out my Taco Spaghetti, Skillet Cheeseburger Pasta, Pizza Gnocchi Bake and Philly Sloppy Joes!

Whenever I make one of these new creations, I am always reminded of an old episode of Full House. Michelle was trying to earn a cooking badge, and she decided the easiest way to do this would be to take two things she liked and combine them into a new dish. Yeah, she was like 6 or 7 at the time, so it didn't go too well. I distinctly remember her family being subjected to "tuna ice cream." She like tuna fish sandwiches. She liked ice cream. It was sure to be a hit! NOT! 
Thankfully, I've never taken it to that extreme, but that image always gives me a giggle. Trust me when I say this combo is way more yummy! 

I know we are far from cookout season, but I know without a doubt this is going to show up on our deck lots this year! To be hones though, sometimes I just need a "warm weather" meal in the middle of winter to remember what those flavors are. This was the perfect side to some hot dogs, and the leftovers were delicious the next day for lunch! 

Finding new ways to enjoy favorites, combining them in new unique ways, is a great way to feel more creative in the kitchen. What are some of your favorite two favorites in one dish recipes?

Coleslaw Pasta Salad
1 lb. ditalini pasta
1 lb. tri-color coleslaw mix
1 red bell pepper, finely chopped
1 large cucumber, finely chopped
1 1/2 c. mayo
1/3 c. sugar
1/4 c. apple cider vinegar
 1/2 tsp. onion powder
2 tsp. dried parsley
Salt and Pepper

Boil pasta according to package directions, rinse with cold water and drain well. In a large bowl combine pasta, coleslaw mix, red pepper and cucumber. Toss to combine. In a medium bowl whisk together mayo, vinegar, sugar, onion powder, parsley, salt and pepper until smooth and sugar is dissolved. Pour over coleslaw mixture. Stir well. Cover and chill 4-6 hours before serving.

Shared at Weekend Potluck
Shared at Meal Plan Monday

Sunday, February 9, 2020

Valentine's Day At Home

You and I both know restaurants across America can't keep up with the reservations being made for Cupid's special day, especially with it being on Friday night. I am sure most are booked by now, and there are many men out there who waited too long trying to figure out what they are going to do now!

Mr. E and I have learned many things after being together so many years. One of them being Valentine's Day at home can be just as special as a fancy dinner out. Sure, I love to go out to eat. Someone else cooks. Someone else cleans it up. It's a great treat for me, but it also means finding a sitter for Max, getting dressed in real clothes, doing my hair, my makeup...sometimes I'm just not feeling it.

Plus, ever since we had Alex, and now with Max too, we make the day more of a family time. We have gifts for each other, for the boys, they have them for each other, I make a nice meal, complete with something sweet, and we just hang out.

Since all of my boys love Asian food, this would be a fantastic idea for Valentine's Day. And if you're looking for something special to make your sweet heart, this simple dish would be a great place to start planning that menu!

Thai food can sometimes be really spicy, but this isn't, so don't worry if you're feeding little ones, or wimps like me. However, if you do like it hot, like my husband and oldest, you can serve some hot sauce or chili paste on the side they can add as they like.

Filled with unique flavors, this is spot on for dishes I get when we do go out for Thai food. I love the cool crunchy cucumber on top. They really add a little something extra to a meat and rice supper.

If you're staying home this Valentine's Day, Easy Thai Beef would be a simple, tasty way to enjoy a nice meal with your special someone. Or if you are getting treated to a night out, add this to your meal plan for the week anyway!

Easy Thai Beef
2 lbs. ground beef
2 red bell peppers, diced
1/2 c. + 1 tsp. soy sauce
1 TBS sugar
Juice of 2 limes
5 large garlic cloves, minced
2 TBS Thai basil, finely chopped
1/4 tsp. dried red pepper
1 English cucumber, thinly sliced
Pinch of salt 
Pinch of pepper
Cooked White Rice

In a large skillet over medium high heat, brown beef until no longer pink. About half way through cooking, add bell pepper and garlic.  In a small bowl whisk together 1/2 c. soy sauce, lime juice, sugar and dried red pepper. Set aside. In a medium bowl combine cucumbers, 1 tsp. soy sauce and 1 TBS basil. Stir well. Set aside. When meat mixture is browned, add soy sauce mixture and 1 TBS basil. Stir well. Reduce heat to simmer and cook 10 minutes until reduced. Serve beef over cooked rice and topped with cucumbers.

Shared at Weekend Potluck
Shared at Meal Plan Monday

Sunday, February 2, 2020

Straight Out Of The Pantry

I am a big meal planner. Every week I make a list of suppers I will be making, use that to make my grocery list, and then have a game plan for every night of the week. It's the way I've always done it. But sometimes, even my plan goes astray and I have to think quick on my feet.

A few weeks ago when I went to prep supper, I realized I had forgotten to buy literally 80% of what I needed for the meal I wanted to make. I have absolutely no clue how it happened, but there I was. Just a girl, standing in front of the fridge, pantry and freezer hoping for a meal to appear. Or at least some inspiration. Thank goodness it finally did! I got a new delicious soup supper to share with all of you!

Another chicken and noodle recipe? Don't worry, this one is a little different than anything I've shared before.

Now, let's talk condensed soups for a second. I will admit, I use them often, quite often, in a ton of recipes. They are a great shortcut and I've never been bothered by the stigma they sometimes get. But I know there are many of you who are trying to watch your sodium intake, or for whatever other reasons, don't like to use them. No fear. I am hear to help with that too!

Check out this article I wrote for Parade! In this collection you will find some terrific DIY seasoning blends, dips and dressings (also great if you're watching your ingredients) AND a homemade version of the condensed soups! Easily swap them out in any recipe that calls for the canned variety for a healthier choice.

Back to my new soup though. I started grabbing things I had on hand to make sure my boys had a yummy supper, and in about an hour we did! Seriously, roasting the chicken took more time than anything! And those condensed soups? They give it an extra layer of flavor, and semi-creamy texture.

Be sure to serve them right away as those noodles are going to suck up any broth in the pot. And if you reheat it, add a little water too! However, if you want a "chicken and noodles" meal instead of a soup, per say, simply turn off the heat, leave the pot covered and let the broth be soaked up! Either way, it's delicious!

I have to have my meal plan to function on a daily basis; but I was pretty proud of myself for shooting from the hip on this one and the new, tasty meal I made. Next time though, I will plan for it!

Creamy Chicken Noodle Soup
2 lbs. boneless chicken tenders
2 TBS vegetable oil
Garlic Powder
2 (32 oz.) boxes chicken broth
2 c. water
2 cubes chicken bouillon
2 celery ribs, diced
2 medium carrots, diced
1 medium white onion, diced
2 TBS butter
1 lb. medium egg noodles
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 can cream of celery soup
1 TBS dried parsley
Salt and Pepper 

Preheat oven to 350. Baste chicken with oil. Season with garlic powder, salt and pepper. Roast for 40 minutes until juices run clear. Shred. 

In a large stock pot over medium high heat saute carrots, onion, and celery in butter until soft. Add cooked chicken, broth, water and bouillon. Bring to a boil. Add noodles and cook until tender. Reduce heat to simmer.  Stir in both cans of soup and parsley. Cook about 5 minutes to warm through.