Everyday Mom's Meals: December 2021

Sunday, December 26, 2021

The Week Between

The next 7 days are sure to be a little foggy, kind of run together and always have us saying "What day is it?" For some reason that week between Christmas and New Year's always causes a little confusion. Kids are still out of school, many are off work, holiday guests are still hanging out- all of this is a recipe for not knowing if we are coming or going and having no clue what the date on the calendar is! 

I hope you had a wonderful Christmas filled with love, peace and joy. Our family was very blessed this year to be together, enjoy our traditions and of course have some very lovely gifts. 

If you're anything like me, you've got leftovers in the fridge, presents to put away and housework to catch up on. The weekly meal plan isn't made and heading to the grocery store is the last thing you want to do. However, if you've got family visiting through the new year, you need to come up with something to feed them!

In our house breakfast for supper is a weekly thing; and I'm always looking for ways to keep it new and fresh. I don't want to fall into an eggs or pancakes rut. "Brinner" is a great way to get a filling meal on the table that is also easy and budget friendly. Heck, the week I developed this recipe the boxes of frozen waffles were on sale for $.99! That is like finding money! 

If you've got extra mouths to feed this week, this fun and yummy meal will definitely help with the grocery bill. Or, if you're planning on a New Year's Day brunch, these are a new tradition to start! 

Frozen waffles are used as the tostada base with eggs, ham and white country gravy on top! It's like a great diner breakfast plate all in one bite! Serve them with some fresh fruit and you've got a full meal deal! 

I wish you all very happy and healthy New Year. May we all have good things in 2022; and maybe, just maybe a little extra human kindness can be included in all of our resolutions.


Waffle Tostadas

8 frozen waffles

8 slices cheddar cheese

8 eggs

8 slices deli brown sugar ham

3 TBS flour

3 TBS butter

2 cups milk

1 cup shredded cheddar cheese

5 Roma tomatoes, seeded and diced 

Preheat oven to 400. Melt butter in medium saucepan over medium heat. Add flour and whisk until smooth. Cook for 2-3 minutes. Pour in milk, slowly, whisking constantly. Once mixture bubbles, reduce heat to low and cook until thickened, about 5 minutes. Season well with salt and pepper. Keep warm and continue with recipe. 

Bake waffles on rimmed baking sheet for 5-8 minutes. While cooking, prepare eggs how you like. Once waffles are cooked, top each with a slice of cheese and return to oven for 1-2 minutes to melt. Once melted, top each with a slice of ham and egg. Pour gravy over top. Sprinkle with shredded cheese and diced tomatoes. Garnish with chives if desired.


Shared at Weekend Potluck

Sunday, December 19, 2021

Merry Christmas And After

 Full disclosure: I totally dropped the ball on a traditional EMM Christmas post this year. Now, a few weeks ago I did share my Crock Pot London Broil which would be a terrific new Christmas dinner tradition, but I don't have anything holiday inspired for this week like I normally would. 

Time just got away from me. Between the normal hustle and bustle of the holiday season to helping the teenager study for finals (which he rocked by the way) to simply trying to keep up with every day life, I wish I had a fantastic new Christmas dessert or dish to share with you, but alas I don't. 

What I do have is a tasty soup that would be perfect post holiday! Once the leftovers are gone, and you are tired of cooking, this delicious soup can be on your table in about 30 minutes. Perfect for a cold night between Christmas and New Year's. Plus, it will feed a crowd, so if a few holiday house guests are hanging out a bit longer, you've got that covered too.

I love the fact this is doesn't have any meat in it, but if you have some ham in the fridge come December 26th, that would be delicious. Oh, and if you want it 100% meat free, a vegetable stock could be swapped for the chicken broth, no problem! Great if you have some vegetarians coming to stay! 

Slow cooker soups are a go-to for me during the winter months, but some days you need something quick. Stove top soups can taste just as good as the ones that cook all day, you just have to infuse as much flavor as possible in a short amount of time. Sautéing the veggies at the beginning helps to do just that. Plus the chicken broth/stock brings another layer of flavor. 

I felt bad when I went to my draft folder today to choose which recipe to post. I didn't have anything festive; but then I decided it doesn't matter. What I do have to offer is my sincere, heart felt wish for a very Merry Christmas to you and yours. May the love that came down that most precious night, lying in a manger, surround you and fill your heart with joy. From my family to yours, may the Christmas spirit fill your home and your life long after the presents are opened. 



Creamy Corn Soup

1lb. frozen corn

4 ribs celery, finely chopped

1 medium yellow onion, finely chopped

2 medium potatoes, peeled and cubed

4 TBS butter

2 TBS flour

1/2 tsp. dried thyme

2 tsp. dried parsley

8 cups chicken broth

3-4 cloves garlic, minced

2 cups half and half 

Dried chives for garnish

Salt and Pepper

In a large stock pot or Dutch oven, melt butter over medium high heat. Sauté celery, onion and garlic in butter until soft, about 5 minutes. Stir in thyme and parsley. Sprinkle with flour.  Cook and stir another 2 minutes. Stir in corn and potatoes. Add broth, half and half, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil.Reduce heat to simmer. Cook uncovered for 20 minutes until potatoes are tender. Garnish with dried chives if desired.


Shared at Weekend Potluck

Sunday, December 12, 2021

Holiday Pasta

 If you've been a fan of this blog for more than 5 minutes you know about my deep love affair with pasta. You know I am a carb addict, and will find ways to put a pasta supper on the table any way I can- I don't care what form it is! 

In spite of the fact I could eat pasta every day, it has never been something I have served on a holiday. I know many families who do, and my mother in law served lasagna on Christmas Eve for years. But for me, we eat is so much on a "weeknight basis", I wanted a different meal on the holiday. 

If you do serve pasta as part of your Christmas Eve/Day celebration, today's recipe will make you extra holly jolly. Or maybe the hustle and bustle of the season has you worn out, and you are just trying to get supper on the table during the week and don't want to hear one complaint! This will take care of that too.

Frozen tortellini comes together with Italian sausage, and yes *gasp* jarred Alfredo sauce for a hearty, delicious pasta bake. 

Yes, homemade Alfredo sauce is super easy to make at home, and I stopped buying jarred years ago...if it's the star sauce of the recipe. (Here is my recipe if you've never made it!) What do I mean by that? Simple. If I am making a fettuccine or penne pasta with Alfredo sauce, I'm making it from scratch. But if it's being used inside a recipe, especially a casserole, I find the jarred to be a great help from the store. I especially love the brand they sell at Aldi and it's the only one I buy anymore. 

This is a hearty, filling meal for a cold night or to feed your holiday guests. Especially if you've got Cousin Eddie coming! You know the ones I mean- they come for presents and stay until the New Year! You know you're going to have to feed them 3 meals a day for days!

Pasta can definitely be holiday worthy; and if you're like me and usually don't plan on it, maybe this year it's time for something a little easier, but oh so delectable.


Cheesy Baked Tortellini

1 (32 oz.) bag frozen cheese tortellini

1 lb. mild Italian sausage

1 (24 oz.) jar marinara sauce

1 (15 oz.) Alfredo sauce

1 tsp. garlic powder

1 tsp. Italian seasoning

2 cups shredded Italian five cheese blend

Dried Parsley

Salt and Pepper  

Preheat oven to 400. In a large skillet brown sausage until no longer pink. Add both sauces, garlic powder and Italian seasoning well. Stir well. Add frozen tortellini and mix. Grease a 9x13 baking dish. Add half the tortellini mixture. Top with half shredded cheese. Repeat layers. Sprinkle with parsley. Spray a piece of aluminum foil with nonstick spray. Cover dish and bake for 30 minutes. Uncover and bake 10 additional minutes. 


Shared at Weekend Potluck

Sunday, December 5, 2021

A Little Down On The Farm At Home

The days are getting dark before 5pm here in Indiana, which is no doubt one of the things I dislike most about winter. The others being freezing, snow, ice...I don't even try to hide the fact I'm not a fan. Besides Christmas and then my birthday in February, I don't really have many nice things to say about Old Man Winter. 

But I live in northern Indiana, and haven't won the lottery this week, so that beach mansion isn't happening anytime soon, so time to focus on the positive! Winter in our neck of the woods means it is also soup season, stew season, chowder season and comfort food season! Yep, while I don't enjoy the cold days, I do love the food. 

Most of you know I worked at Bob Evans all through high school and college; but what some might not realize is now my oldest is carrying on the family tradition and is now working at the same location for the same general manager that hired me 24 years ago! How cool is that? It has become a true family to us, and we are so thankful he loves his job, and the people he works with/for as much as I did. It warms this mama's heart to see him thriving in the same way as a young person about customer service, food service and how good earning your own money feels! 

To this day one of Bob Evans' most popular recipes continues to be their Chicken and Noodles. It was a favorite back in the day when I was serving tables and it remains so today. After all these years I knew it was time to recreate it at home in my own kitchen.

This is what you want to come home to after a very long, cold day when you've been out in the kind of cold that makes your face hurt. Oh, I forgot to mention, my version happens to be a slow cooker meal too! Talk about putting the icing on the cake! 

If you've never used the frozen Reames noodles they are the closest thing to homemade I've ever had and absolutely perfect in this recipe. They are the thicker, chewy style like my grandma used to make and remind me of the ones they use at the restaurant both in flavor and texture. 

Did you happen to freeze some leftover turkey after Thanksgiving, or maybe you will have some come December 26th? You could easily make this with turkey instead of chicken! Oh, that would be so yummy! 

Winter might not be my favorite time of year, but warm, hearty, comfort food meals help to make it better! Turn on the Christmas tree, grab a blanket, and enjoy a big bowl of this deliciousness!


Copycat Bob Evans Chicken and Noodles

3 boneless chicken breasts, about 2 lbs.

2 (32 oz.) cartons chicken stock

1 (16 oz.) bag frozen home style noodles, like Reames

1 medium yellow onion, finely chopped

4 carrots, finely chopped

3 celery stalks, finely chopped

2 TBS butter

1 tsp. dried thyme

1 tsp. garlic powder

2 tsp. dried parsley 

Salt and pepper 

Place all ingredients, except noodles, in slow cooker. Cook on LOW for 4-6 hours until chicken cooked. Remove chicken and shred. Return to slow cooker and cook 1 hour. Add noodles and cook 30-45 minutes until tender. Serve.