Everyday Mom's Meals: September 2020

Sunday, September 27, 2020

Welcome October(ish)

With posting new recipes on Mondays, the timing of something I want to say doesn't always line up perfectly with the calendar. Thus is the case this week. I wanted to welcome the new month with this simple, fun, autumn inspired snack...but October doesn't begin until Thursday. Oh well. I think you appreciate my effort. 

By now, you have seen quite a few snack mixes from me like my Sweet n Salty Snack Mix, Halloween Snack Mix, and Harvest Party Mix. I try to come up with a new one every fall, and my boys always look forward to my yearly creation.

I don't know what it is about autumn that makes me want to dig into a big bowl of salty, sweet goodness, but it never fails- the minute the temps drop a bit and pumpkins are on the porch, I find myself walking up and down the grocery store aisles waiting for inspiration.

 This year's is especially simple because there is no baking. No sauce. No cooking. You literally dump, stir and eat. It will last forever (okay, not really, but a long time) in an airtight container at room temp, so it's perfect to enjoy all season long. My boys love it for an afternoon snack, road trip treat or movie night! With Halloween just around the corner, you're going to need plenty of spooky movie snacks and this will satisfy both the popcorn and candy taste buds, all in one handful! 

Get the little ones in the kitchen and have them help make a big batch of this, get out side and enjoy some crisp, sunny days, visit a pumpkin patch or U pick apple orchard...soak up all October has to offer!


Scarecrow Crunch

2 (6 oz.) boxes butter toffee popcorn

2 c. buttered popcorn

1 (16 oz.) bag candy corn

1 (16 oz.) bag candy pumpkins

2 c. Cheerio cereal

1 (5 oz.) box Whopper candy

1 (4 oz.) box Reece's pieces candy

In a very large bowl combine all ingredients. Gently stir. Store in an airtight container at room temperature. Stir before each serving, as some of the smaller pieces will fall to the bottom.  

 Shared at Weekend Potluck

Shared at Meal Plan Monday

Sunday, September 20, 2020

Social Distance Fall

With the state of the world as it is right now, so many of us have been missing out on favorite activities for several months now. From pools being closed all summer, to some restaurants still being closed, concerts cancelled, sports seasons postponed...the list goes on and on. But when I sat down to write this post, I realized something amazing. Many of the autumn festivities we enjoy so much were made for social distancing, so right now is the time to feel a little slice of normal! 

Which ones you ask? Because all you can think of are the fall festivals that have been cancelled, football stands are empty and everyone wondering what Halloween will bring. Well, let me tell you! 

We have many pumpkin patches around here where you can spread out while you find your favorite ones. Or, better yet, farmers are setting out huge wagons full of them and a "honor system" for paying so you never even see another person. 

Do you have huge corn mazes where you are? We have quite a few around us, and they are so much fun to explore, and maybe get lost a little, on a sunny fall afternoon. Again, you might not come into contact with anyone while you're there! Some of the ones here are even limiting the number of people they are allowing into the maze at one time to ensure safety even more.

Been missing friends and would love to have a get together? Grab some lawn chairs and spread out around a bonfire on a chilly evening. Just like all those cookouts we did during summer that were deemed relatively safe since we were outside, the fall version of that can include good times and great food too! 

 Have you ever been to an orchard for U Pick apples? Here's another fun fall tradition that is outside and you can easily avoid other people. Okay, so you probably have to visit a worker to get that cool thing you can reach up into a tree with, and then pay for your apples of course, but mask up and for the most part, it's another social distanced activity.  

My point with all of this is I for one, am ready to look past all that we are missing out on and try to find ways, safely of course, to enjoy some of our favorite seasonal traditions, and many of them are already made for the guidelines we need to follow right now! 

If you do pick yourself a bushel of apples, or want something yummy to enjoy while sitting around that bonfire, here is your next delicious inspiration!

My latest fluff salad screams fall! We love caramel apples, but let's face it, they are messy and with a little guy, just more trouble than they are worth!  But this way, we get all those same flavors in one spoonful! 

With a new season, we have so many reasons to get outside and make some family memories. Let's not allow this crazy pandemic to take away any more than it already has!

 Caramel Apple Fluff 

2 gala apples, finely chopped, peel on

1 (8 oz.) can crushed pineapple, with juice

1 (3 oz.) box instant butterscotch pudding, dry

1 c. sour cream

3/4 c. chopped pecans 

1 1/2 c. mini marshmallows

1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon

1 (8 oz.) tub Cool Whip

Carmel Sauce 

In a large bowl combine dry pudding mix and pineapple. Stir well. Add sour cream and cinnamon. Stir again. Fold in Cool Whip, apples, pecans and marshmallows. Chill until ready to serve, at least 2 hours. Drizzle with caramel before serving. *NOTE* I leave the peel on my apples because I think they last longer. Feel free to peel yours if you want. 




Inspired by Mr. Food 

Shared at Weekend Potluck 

Shared at Meal Plan Monday

Sunday, September 13, 2020

Autumn Traditions

 Anyone who knows me, even a little, knows I am a summer for life kinda girl. It could be 85 and sunny 365 days a year, and I would be thrilled. In fact, the hotter the better. In our family, you never hear complaints about hot summers because as my husband says "You don't have to shovel sunshine!" 

And while I'm not one of those people who welcome fall with open arms, I do in fact, love fall decor, activities, food, football, pumpkins, apples, and so many other things it brings with it. For example, these super simple apple dumplings that have been a staple in our family for decades. 

Like so many other of our favorite recipes, these come from my Grammy. She has made these for so long, I can't remember an autumn without them. When I was growing up, her and my Popeye would come to Indiana to visit for a few days. Since both of my parents worked, and I had school, Grammy had the kitchen to herself for the day. We would come home to the best smells, and tons of yummy things she spent the day baking. These were always what I looked forward to most. 

As the years went by and those visits weren't possible anymore, Grammy will celebrate her 96th birthday in a few months, we were blessed with apple dumpling care packages. Yep, she found a way to make them, freeze them and send them home with mom and dad when they visited to share with us. (I of course shared the tip about freezing below.)

These couldn't be simpler, even if you're not like me and can pull a batch from the freezer, thaw, add the sauce and bake. To make them from scratch is still pretty darn easy. If you have a favorite pie crust recipe, go for it, but I've used the ones from the freezer section many times and they work just fine. The star of these for me, is definitely the sauce. If I could have it in an IV injected into my veins, I would!

Oh, and if we're talking about Grammy's apple dumplings, I have to tell this funny story too. All my life, I have eaten these warm with some cold milk poured down over the top. I learned from my dad, and he learned from Popeye. It was years before I learned why we do this. See, one morning years ago, Grammy caught Popeye having an apple dumpling for breakfast. She couldn't believe it. He quickly explained to her "If I pour milk on top, it is a breakfast food." And so the tradition began. (We also eat strawberry shortcake this way, for the same reason!) My husband thinks we are crazy, but I've passed the tradition onto my kids, so it will live on! 

If you're planning on apple picking this fall, be sure to add these to your baking list when you bring your bushel home. I hope they become a part of other families' fall time traditions for years to come.  

Easy Apple Dumplings 

4 Golden Delicious Apples
4 TBS butter
Brown Sugar
2-3 ready to bake pie crusts (or your favorite)
1 c. brown sugar
1 1/2- 2 c. water
1/2 tsp vanilla
dash cinnamon
dash nutmeg
2 TBS butter

Preheat oven to 375. Core and peel apples. Cut in half. Cut 4 circles out of each pie crust.  Place each apple on a dough circle and add 1 TBS butter, sprinkle w/ brown sugar and cinnamon. Fold edges up over apple and pinch to assure they are sealed. Place in a baking dish. To prepare sauce, combine first 5 sauce ingredients and boil over medium-low heat. Once boiling, add the butter and keep boiling until melted. Pour over dumplings and bake at 375 for 45 minutes. Sauce will thicken as it cools. *NOTES* After the dumplings are made, you can wrap them individually in plastic wrap and freeze. Thaw out and proceed with sauce and baking when ready. This recipes makes eight, but can easily be adapted for more, as seen in the photo.

Shared at Weekend Potluck 

Shared at Meal Plan Monday