Everyday Mom's Meals: April 2020

Sunday, April 26, 2020

Quarantine Carbs

I don't know about you, but the one thing I've noticed while we've been sheltering in place is I'm basically thinking about food ALL.THE.TIME. I wake up in the morning thinking about what I will make the boys for lunch that day, or what I need to prep for supper. Other times I am wondering where I can run and get some drive thru or carry out easily and safely. I even went as far as to order Panera delivery this week because I was so tired of eating what we had in the house.

It's pretty much been five weeks of counting the minutes until my next meal. I am sure it is totally psychosomatic. I love going out to dinner once a week with my boys, usually after Saturday evening church service. That's now cancelled. (Although we have been getting carry out from local restaurants to help them in this dire time.) Those first couple weeks when the shelves were bare...yeah for someone who cooks and develops recipes for a living, it freaked me out. So I think some of the wanting to eat all the time comes from the fact I want to know I can.

There are things I've been craving more of during lock down too. At the top of the list? Carbs! I want the pasta. All the pasta. Don't get me wrong, we are big pasta eaters during "normal" life too, but for some reason sitting here day after day has me drooling at the sight of a plate of spaghetti and meatballs.

So, you will see a few new pastas coming to EMM over the next few weeks, and this Baked Ravioli Casserole is the first. I was able to make this because of a handful ingredients the store actually had on hand, so it's a great place to start if you are still having issues finding staples every week, or maybe you're cooking from the freezer and pantry, and might just have everything you need.

I threw in the can of mushrooms because I had them on hand, but you could easily add any veggies you like. You can even swap out the meat sauce for another to have a completely meatless meal.

April has lasted what seems like 398 days...all of them at home...and all of them pretty much centered around our next meal. I pray whatever you're craving, your family is staying healthy and safe. So...what's for dinner?

Baked Ravioli Casserole
1 (25 oz.) bag frozen cheese ravioli
1 (26 oz.) jar spaghetti sauce with meat
1 (6 oz.) can sliced mushrooms, drained
2 c. shredded mozzarella cheese
1/4 c. grated Parmesan cheese
2 tsp. Italian seasoning

Preheat oven to 400. Lightly grease 9x13 baking dish. Spread 1/3 cup sauce evenly on bottom of dish. Layer ravioli in dish. Add half of remaining sauce. Sprinkle with 1 cup mozzarella. Top with another layer of ravioli. (This should use remaining) Add mushrooms in an even layer. Sprinkle with remaining mozzarella, Parmesan and Italian seasoning. Cover with foil and bake for 20 minutes. Remove foil and bake 25 minutes or until bubbly and cooked through. Let stand 10 minutes before serving.

Shared at Weekend Potluck

Sunday, April 19, 2020

Check Your Bananas

Do you have fresh bananas on the counter? Are they starting to look like a science experiment? If they are brown, even blackish, and starting to get squishy...they are PERFECT for this recipe!

How is grocery shopping for you these days? I haven't stepped foot in a grocery store in over a month. See, since Mr. E works in healthcare, he is already exposed to Covid 19 daily, so we decided it was smart for him to venture into the stores weekly.

And oh what an adventure it is! I don't just hand him a list and say see you in a couple hours. Oh no. See, when I was pregnant, both times, I was extremely sick. More so with Alex, but Max too. So for weeks he did the grocery shopping and I learned letting him loose with a list is not a good idea. Therefore, to avoid that disaster again, we virtual shop. Yep, he Facetimes me and I instruct him on what to get.

But here is the ironic part. Something happened to me when this whole quarantine started. Those first few shopping trips were a nightmare of empty shelves, revamping meal plans and substituting products. So now that stores are better stocked, I still find myself having him get things simply because they have them, and didn't at one point.

Case in point? Bananas. We already had some. But he found more. So I had him get a few. Now, my boys eat fresh fruit daily, and we go through a lot of it, but bananas go from green to black in about 35 minutes! So I found myself needed to use some up, and fast.

Banana bread came to mind instantly, but I only had 2 bananas. So muffins it was, and a small batch at that. But it was the perfect amount for us, and can easily be doubled for more.

They are perfect for a quick breakfast before your Zoom meetings, or a snack in the afternoon, since I know the kids are asking for those every 10 minutes!

I hope you're staying healthy and safe. Sheltering in place with as much ease as possible. We can all get through this quicker if we do what is asked. No doubt, some yummy muffins will make it a bit easier too!

Banana Bread Muffins
2 over ripe bananas, divided
1/2 c. white sugar
1 c. flour
1/2 tsp. vanilla
1/4 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking soda
6 TBS butter, melted and cooled
1 egg

Preheat oven to 350. Grease muffin tin, or use papers. In a large bowl mash one banana with a fork. Add sugar. Whisk until well incorporated. Add butter, vanilla and egg. Whisk well. Add flour, sugar, baking soda and salt. Using a spatula, fold together until just mixed. Mash remaining banana and fold into batter. Fill wells 3/4 full. Bake for 20-25 minutes until toothpick comes out clean. Makes 6-9 muffins. 

Shared at Weekend Potluck

Sunday, April 5, 2020

Grocery Shopping Today

Quarantine...Day....I don't even know. I've stopped counting. One day runs into the next. Every morning when I wake up, for just a second I find myself asking "what day is it and what do I have to do"...and then I remember. I'm not going anywhere. I'm not doing anything. Well, nothing of excitement that is. There is always stuff around the house to do.

Have you ventured out to the grocery store since this all began? We are weekly shoppers in this house. We don't have the space to have tons of stuff on hand. Yes, we have 2 chest freezers with our beef supply, which I'm so thankful for, but not a lot of cupboard space, and no pantry at all. So, I have always done a weekly store run.

Thus, we are those people who have to go out for essentials. Well, I say we, it's not. Adam goes. See, he works in healthcare, so he is already exposed daily, so we decided it was smartest for him to do the shopping as well. But we have a good system. I help him over the phone. I keep the list at home, and I guide him. Or we even Facetime so I can shop with him. It cuts down on him getting the wrong thing and/or adding things to the card he finds "necessary" that are in fact, not.  LOL

I planned on posting this recipe this week, because while I used deli ham for these tasty biscuit sandwiches, they would be super tasty with that leftover ham many of us will have in the fridge after Easter. But when I sat down to type this out, I almost decided not to because I know many of you are struggling to find things at the grocery, or aren't shopping at all.

After going back and forth for a while, I decided to still post. See, I need some normal in my life; and I assume most of you do as well. So I figure, even if some of you can't make these right now due to these crazy circumstances, you can always save the recipe for post quarantine as something to look forward to.

We are actually still having our big Easter dinner. Well, kind big. After we had to cancel our trip to Pennsylvania to visit my grandma and aunt, we were planning an Easter dinner here with my parents. But since Adam works where he does, we all decided that wasn't safe either, plus our governor extended our shelter in place order, so it will just be the 4 of us.

I'm making a spiral cut ham, mashed potatoes, noodles, hearts of palm salad, deviled eggs and a new lemon dessert. I'm looking forward to it, and I know my boys are too.

These are a terrific breakfast or brunch while you're working from home, or heck, maybe add these to your Easter menu. A simple brunch might be the holiday pick up you need! And if you don't have all the ingredients, use the recipe as a template and create something with what you do have!

However you're coping with these uncertain, sometimes scary, sometimes boring times, I hope you're staying safe and healthy. We wish you a very Happy Easter from our family to yours!

Everything Ham & Cheese Biscuits
8 count jumbo flaky biscuits
16 thin slices honey ham
8 slices Provolone cheese, cut into quarters
1 stick butter, melted
1 1/2 TBS Dijon mustard
1 TBS everything bagel seasoning

Preheat oven to 350. Bake biscuits for 10 minutes. Carefully split. Grease 9x13 baking dish. Place biscuit bottoms in dish.  Top each with 2 pieces ham, folded if necessary, 4 quarter pieces of cheese and top biscuit. In a medium bowl whisk together butter, mustard and seasoning. Pour over biscuits. Bake for 15 minutes until golden on top. *NOTE* Each biscuit is getting 1 piece of cheese, but cut into 4 smaller pieces to fit better. The bottoms of the biscuits are going to be extra brown and crispy, if you don't like them that way, reduce cooking time by a few minutes.