Everyday Mom's Meals: October 2020

Sunday, October 25, 2020

A Campfire Favorite Indoors

 With only a week left in October, have your evenings outside become too cold to handle? Sure a nice bonfire or campfire can keep everyone warm, but that only lasts so long. Heck, by this time of year here in Indiana, sometimes we've seen our first snowflakes. So for all of you who are missing your campfire experience, have I got a treat for you! 

Once again, I am keeping up my reputation as the "fluff dessert queen". Okay, so that might be a title only uttered in our house, but anytime my name and queen are in the same sentence, I will take it. This time around I've got a tasty twist on a classic you won't be able to resist. 

S'mores Fluff takes all the flavors from the classic and mixes them together in yummy harmony in every single spoonful. Be careful, this stuff is addicting. Be sure to only make it for people you really like. They will keep coming back for more.

Have you decided how you will be celebrating Halloween this year? Maybe your at-home party needs one more sweet treat. Your little ghosts and goblins are sure to love something so familiar but in a brand new fun way. 

 S'mores are such an quintessential summer time treat, but I say no more! With this creamy, fluffy, chocolaty dessert, we can satisfy that craving any time of year. Plus, we can stay inside where it's warm and dry, no fire needed!  

S'mores Fluff

1 (3 oz.) box instant chocolate pudding

1 1/2 c. milk

1 (8 oz.) tub Cool Whip

1 c. mini marshmallows

1 (4 oz.) chocolate candy bar, chopped, reserve a couple for garnish

4 graham crackers, chopped, reserve some large pieces for garnish

Chocolate Sauce

In a large bowl whisk together pudding mix and milk. Chill for 5 minutes to soft set. Fold in Cool Whip until well combined. Add chopped chocolate, graham crackers and marshmallows. Chill for 2 hours. Drizzle with chocolate sauce and garnish before serving. 


Shared at Weekend Potluck

Shared at Meal Plan Monday

Sunday, October 18, 2020

Weeknight Side Dish

How have your days been lately? Super busy? Not enough hours in the day? Feel like your to do list is never ending. You cross one thing out and three more get added? I feel you. Seriously. We are in the same boat. 

Even being home more isn't changing how much I need to do, and I know all you out there who are still working from home, or the kids have remote learning, or both, know exactly what I'm talking about. There are truly days I put Max to bed and wonder what I accomplished in the day even though I know I got things done. It never feels like enough. 

All of you know I am a meal planner from way back. It's the only way I know how to function and I truly don't think there has been one day in our 17 year marriage that dinner time rolled around and I said "I have no earthly idea what to make for supper." Heck, when I still worked outside the home, before Alex was born, I had a dry erase board on the fridge with the meals wrote out so if Adam beat me home from work, he could start cooking. I told you it's always been the way I have done it. 

Sure, I switch things around here and there when life demands it, but for the most part, the meal plan I sat down and made this past Friday will be the way it goes for the next 7 days. 

No matter how much this system works for me, I also know without a doubt there are many out there who have another way. A more "fly by the seat of your pants" approach, and when you need to come up with something quick, and don't want to put too much effort in, these potatoes are for you!

A tasty side dish to really any meal, these roasted potatoes are done just a little different than others I've made. Usually it is season, throw on the pan and bake. But for these, you want to take the couple extra minutes it takes to make sure they are flesh side down. This will allow them to get extra crispy on the outside while still being buttery and delicious on the inside. 

If your daily planner is filled to the brim and you agonize over dinnertime every night, try doing a little meal planning of your own. Maybe not quite as meticulous as me, but a few mental notes of things you could have so a plan is already in the works on those days when you just can't do one more thing.

 Crispy Roasted Potatoes

3 lbs. baby red potatoes, halved

1/4 c. olive oil

1 tsp. dried rosemary

1 tsp. garlic powder

1 tsp. salt

1/2 tsp. black pepper

Preheat a large baking sheet in oven set to 400. In a large bowl mix all ingredients. Stir to coat. Place potatoes flesh side down on hot pan. Roast for 30-40 minutes until tender and crispy.*NOTE* For this recipe you want to look for the "size B" red potatoes.





Sunday, October 11, 2020

Home School Halloween

Since deciding to home school Max for preschool, I have found myself constantly on the hunt for activities to have him learn in fun and hands on ways. He actually enjoys sitting and doing worksheets probably more than most kids his age, says he is "doing homework like Bubbie" but when I tell him we have something extra fun to do, his little eyes light up.

Some days it's a fun craft, others he gets time to play with his Play-do sets or paint. And then there are the times I find ways to incorporate life skills like math into a recipe so we can spend some time together in the kitchen. Today's recipe is a perfect example. 

First off, let's be very clear. This isn't a recipe at all. There are 3 ingredients and you assemble. That's it. Max and I literally spent 10 minutes start to finish on this batch. But hey, that was the perfect amount of time for a 4 year old's attention span. 

I used these for a couple different lessons. We talked about what shape the cookies were, what shape we piped the frosting on, and the dollop of jelly on top. "Mommy, we painted squares onto rectangles and then added a tiny circle of jelly." We counted out the number we made and made rows of them in equal amounts. 

It is moments like these I don't even think he realizes we are "doing school" or that he is learning. He's having fun and loves to show me what he knows. Who wouldn't love a math lesson you can eat at the end? 

Max will also tell you these are "spooky but yummy", the perfect Halloween treat. If you're finding ways to celebrate at home this year, they definitely need to be on the menu. Maybe you are letting the kids have a few friends over instead of a big trick or treating group, you could easily have little cookie making kits pre-made for them to create their own. 

I never thought I was cut out to home-school, I realize that preschool is easy in the scheme of things, and know I could never do it full time until college. But for these years when he is still home with me, and I can watch him learn, have fun and enjoy discovering the world around him, I feel very blessed and am thankful to be his favorite teacher! 

Bloody Band-Aid Cookies
 Vanilla Sugar Wafer Cookies

Vanilla Frosting

Strawberry Preserves

Quart Size Plastic Storage Bags


Carefully scoop some of the frosting into a plastic bag. Do the same with the preserves. Close tightly and squeeze air out. Cut the tip of each bag. Pipe the frosting into a square in the center of the cookies. Smooth out with toothpick if necessary. Add a small dot of preserves. Serve immediately. 



Shared at Weekend Potluck

Shared at Meal Plan Monday


Sunday, October 4, 2020

It is COLD

 With the way I typed that title, I'm sure it appears as if the arctic winter has set in, and we are well below freezing. Well, let me tell you, after a summer of most days being in the 90s and only a week removed from the 80 degree mark, 50 feels like we should be donning parkas and building igloos. 

I had to turn the heat on this weekend. Not for long, just to take the chill off in the morning so the little guy's feet didn't freeze, but come one! We don't get to ease into this? We just got thrown into the deep end of the pool so to speak, and the water is cold!

It's October, chilly, getting darker earlier, rainy...all of these point to on definite thing. It's soup season-and while I am not a fan of the cold, or the wet, I am a huge fan of all things soup and take it as a great challenge every year to find some tasty new ones to share with all of you!

This soup has been one I've been attempting to make for our entire marriage. No joke. See, that year on Christmas family friends had my parents, Adam and I over for a light soup supper on Christmas night. She served a tasty mushroom barley soup and my dad raved about it, as did we. I have literally been trying to recreate that soup ever since. Sure, I could have asked for the recipe, but for some reason, I just wanted to do it on my own. (I have no idea where my children get their stubborn streak by the way.) 

I have made a couple different mushroom barley soups over the years, and while they have come close, they have never hit the nail on the head. That all ended with this. I think I finally conquered it! The reason? Milk. Yep, it was a creamy soup, and for some reason I never remembered that until I took the first bite of this and knew I had unlocked the key. Oh, and my dad and husband agreed. This is as close to that delicious soup as we've had since that Christmas almost two decades ago.

Looking for a hearty, stick to your ribs soup for a cold evening? One that will thaw you out and satisfy a long day's huger? This has got you covered. Serve it with some crusty bread or for something different, my Cranberry Turkey Bites (we love these on soup nights) and you've got a meal that make the cold outside disappear with the first spoonful!

Here's to a tasty soup season! I promise there are more new ones to come!

 Creamy Mushroom Barley Soup

1 lb. baby bella mushrooms, sliced

3 carrots, diced

3 celery stalks, diced

1 small yellow onion, diced

2 cloves garlic, minced

4 c. beef broth

4 c. milk

2 TBS cornstarch

2 tsp. dried thyme 

1 tsp. lemon pepper

2 beef bouillon cubes

1/4 c. butter 

1 c. quick cooking barley

Salt and Pepper 

 In a large stock pot, heat butter over medium heat. Add mushrooms, onions, carrots and celery. Saute' for about 7 minutes, until tender. Add beef broth, bouillon, thyme, barley and black pepper. Stir to combine. Increase heat to high and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to simmer, cover and cook for about 15 minutes until barley is tender. In a large bowl whisk together cornstarch and milk. Add milk mixture, lemon pepper and salt to soup. Increase heat back to boiling. Stirring constantly, boil for a few minutes until slightly thickened. Reduce heat to low and cook for 10 more minutes to allow flavors to develop. 

Shared at Weekend Potluck

Shared at Meal Plan Monday