Everyday Mom's Meals: June 2022

Sunday, June 26, 2022

Storms, Casseroles and Gratitude

 If your Summer 2022 is anything like mine, it is flying by, the days are busier than ever and when it is time for bed you wonder where all the minutes and hours went. 

The last two weeks in our house have been especially busy, and might I say, stressful. On the night of June 13th, a massive thunderstorm went through our area wreaking havoc in it's path. We now know it was actually a "derecho" with sustained winds of 98mph, the same as a Cat 2 hurricane. 

We were some of the unlucky ones who sustained damage in the storm. Our huge maple tree in the front yard, the one that was there long before we moved in almost 20 years ago, couldn't withstand the strong winds. It crashed down onto our house, right above where the 5 year old was sleeping. I wish I had the words to describe the level of fear, and then instant gratitude we felt because it could have been so much worse.

The next morning the tree was removed and we could assess the damage. Let's just say we have some major repairs that have to be done to both the exterior and interior of our house. It has been a stressful two weeks and we continue to pray we have success with the insurance and repair process.

As you can imagine, this situation only added to an already busy summer schedule. Between days of fun, and now days of planning and scheduling, you know I need some easy suppers to satisfy these hungry boys of mine. 

What could be more perfect than a hearty casserole filled with meat, cheese and noodles? A retro one our grandmas and moms probably made because it is pretty budget friendly too! 

Hamburger Casserole is one of those meals you might just have everything on hand for and will feed a crowd. It is also a great "take to" meal for those new babies, loss of a loved one, or your neighbors who have storm damage! 

Summer time doesn't mean the calendar opens up at all. More things to do and a shorter amount of time to do them in. Fun in the sun is the goal as much as possible, with some stress-free suppers to end the day with!


Retro Hamburger Casserole

1 lb. ground beef

2 cans tomato soup

1 lb. rotini pasta

1 small yellow onion, diced

1/2 cup beef broth

1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese

2 cups shredded cheddar cheese

1 tsp. garlic powder

Salt and Pepper

Dried Parsley

Preheat oven to 375. Grease a 9x13 baking dish. Boil pasta according to package directions. In a large skillet over medium high heat, brown beef with onion until no longer pink. Drain if needed. Season with garlic powder, salt and pepper. Drain pasta well. Add pasta, beef broth, soup and half of both cheeses to skillet. Stir well to combine. Transfer to baking dish. Top with remaining cheeses. Cover tightly with foil and bake for 20 minutes. Uncover and sprinkle with a little dried parsley. Bake for 10 additional minutes until bubbly and brown. 




Monday, June 20, 2022

Summer Time Crock Pot

 If you are anything like me, when you think of Crock Pot food, summer isn't the first season that comes to mind. Most of us reserve our best slow cooked recipes for fall and winter. Those soups, stews and comfort food meals we all crave when the temperatures drop and there is a crispness in the air. 

BUT...and that's a big but...your Crock Pot can absolutely be super handy during the dog days of summer. You can make so many dinners that will fill you up, without heating up the house, or have your standing over a hot burner sweating more than you already are. 

Sure, we are like most families and when the temperatures soar, we start to crave lighter and cooler meals. However, I live in the house with three boys, two of which are still growing. So you know I am still putting out some filling, hearty meals during the summer because they are always starving, no matter what the thermometer says. So a great way for me to do that is turning to my slow cooker. 

I've talked before about my love of frozen meatballs for the convenience, flavor and value. I always have a bag in the freezer and when they go on sale or I have a coupon I stock up. From my Italian version perfect for pasta to my Hawaiian ones that can be a tasty party appetizer or easy supper, there is always something I can do with a bag of meatballs. 

Now we can add another region of world to our list of meatballs flavor inspiration! Calling all Asian cuisine lovers! That's right, we are adding some teriyaki flare to meatballs, serving them over rice and savoring every single bite! 

These make for an easy, tastes like take-out meal! We love them served over hot white rice and steamed broccoli on the side. They would be delicious set out at your next get together too. Just put a box of toothpicks next to the Crock Pot (on the warm setting) and let your guests serve themselves! 

Summer time is definitely a great time to put your Crock Pot to work more than what you might have in the past! Delicious meals your family will love, and you don't even have to turn on a fan!

Crock Pot Teriyaki Meatballs

1 (32 oz) bag frozen homestyle meatballs

1/4 cup soy sauce

1/3 cup beef broth

1/2 cup pineapple juice

1/3 cup packed brown sugar

1 TBS honey

2 garlic cloves, minced

1/4 tsp. ground ginger

2 tsp. sesame oil 

1 TBS cornstarch

Sesame seeds, optional

Cooked rice

Spray Crock Pot insert with nonstick spray. Place frozen meatballs in bottom. In a medium bowl, mix remaining ingredients. Pour sauce over meatballs and stir well. Cook on LOW for 4-6 hours. Stir well before serving over cooked rice with steamed broccoli on side if desired. 

Inspired by Let's Dish

Shared at Weekend Potluck

Monday, June 13, 2022

Put Down The Jar! Homemade Alfredo Is Super Easy

 Let me preface this post by saying, I will never throw shade on someone who is using jarred pasta sauce in their house. We've all been there. We've all done it. We all still do it! In no way am I being critical, or sitting on my food blogger pedestal being all pious about how homemade is the way to go. I am simply showing you how easy making your own can be, if you want to and time allows, since I spent too many years thinking it was complicated. 

When I first shared homemade Alfredo years ago, it was like a revelation to me. I couldn't believe I had made it from scratch and it actually worked! More recently, when I posted a Copycat Olive Garden Alfredo I pointed out it was a little different than ones I had prepared in the past because it was thickened with a roux- a mixture of butter and flour. This one is s a little different yet again, with the addition of cream cheese! It's nice to have variety and each one is as tasty as anything an Italian restaurant is serving up.

One reason why I love this recipe, besides being absolutely delicious is the use of frozen tortellini. Let's face it prices at the grocery store are enough to make anyone scream, but this is a great way to stretch a big bag of frozen pasta. I used 2 of the 19 ounce bags which were under $3 each. Even adding in the ingredients for the sauce, that is still less than one plate of pasta at our favorite Italian place. 

Making the sauce might seem like quite a few steps, but I promise it comes together quickly and simply, and you won't have to stand over a hot stove for long. (If you are in for triple digits like we are this week, that is something to be thankful for!)

Throw a quick green salad and maybe some crusty bread with this and you have a pasta supper any Nona would be proud of! 

Making homemade Alfredo might be easier than you might think, but don't think you have to hide those jarred ones in the back of the pantry. Believe me, there are currently jars of both red sauce and Alfredo in my kitchen right, and I am 100% here for it! 


Cheese Tortellini Alfredo

2 (19 oz.) bags frozen cheese tortellini

1 cups half-and-half

2 cups milk

1/4 cup butter

1/4 cup flour

6 garlic cloves, minced

1/2 cup grated Parmesan Romano cheese

4 oz. cream cheese, broken into small chunks

Salt and Pepper

Fresh Parsley, chopped

Cook pasta according to package directions. Meanwhile, melt butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Cook garlic for 1 minute, stirring constantly. Whisk in flour and cook for 1-2 minutes, until smooth. Slowly pour in milk and half-and-half, whisking constantly. Bring to a simmer and cook 5 minutes, until slightly thickened. Add cream cheese and stir until smooth. Add grated cheese and stir until smooth. Reduce heat to low and cook until thickened, about 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Keep warm until pasta is done. When pasta is cooked, drain well. Add to skillet and gently stir into sauce. Transfer to serving bowl or plates and garnish with fresh parsley, if desired. 

Shared at Weekend Potluck

Tuesday, June 7, 2022

The Peach Truck Is Coming

 If you love peaches like I do, then you are going to be so excited to learn The Peach Truck might be headed to a city near you this summer! 

Celebrating its 10 year anniversary in 2022, The Peach Truck is hitting the road once again, delivering fresh, delicious produce to all of their loyal customers. Founders Jessica and Stephen Rose are happy to share their passion with 60+ booths across Nashville, 25 state tours or delivered to your front door with nationwide shipping! 

To find out if The Peach Truck will be in your area this summer, simply use their easy locator tool to find out where you can visit the truck, or in some cases you can pre-order now for easy pick up! 

For those of you in my neck of the woods, here are the locations & dates they will be in Fort Wayne!
  • Connolly's Do It Best Hardware-Dupont Rd- 7/13 and 8/7
  • Menard's Southtown- 8/7
  • Menard's Illinois Rd.- 7/13 and 8/7
  • Menard's Meijer Dr.- 7/13
I was lucky enough to get some peaches to sample last week and I can honestly say, they were some of the juiciest, sweetest ones we've ever had. I can't even lie, I didn't have time to bake anything with them, because we were eating them so fast! However, my plan to was to make this amazing recipe from The Peach Truck Cookbook, had they not disappeared from the counter so quickly! 
If The Peach Truck ends up in your hometown, I hope you will take the opportunity to support their business and taste the difference in their peaches for yourself! 
Peaches and Cream Bars
1 ½ cups graham cracker crumbs
1 stick (½ cup) butter, melted
⅓ cup sugar
1 14-ounce can sweetened condensed milk
1 cup white chocolate chips
5 peaches, pitted and cubed (about 4 cups)
2 T all-purpose flour
Preheat oven to 350. Prepare a 9x13 straight-sided baking dish by lining it with parchment or waxed paper.Mix together the graham cracker crumbs, melted butter and sugar until thoroughly combined. Spread evenly across the bottom of the baking dish and, using the back of measuring cup or other smooth surface, press the mixture down firmly to form the crust. Spread the sweetened condensed milk evenly over the prepared crust. In a mixing bowl, combine the cubed peaches, white chocolate chips and flour and toss until coated. Distribute evenly across the surface. Bake on center rack for 45 minutes. 

All photos and recipe were provided by The Peach Truck. The thoughts and opinions are all mine.

Sunday, June 5, 2022

Summer Time Sandwich

 I can not tell you how happy our house is that summer has arrived! School has been out for almost 2 weeks, the pool opened last week and I have tan lines on my feet from my flip flops, earned from trips to the zoo and air show! I am in my happy place! 

With the warmer temperatures, I am always looking for meals that keep us cool, can be eaten outside on our backyard deck or be packed in a picnic basket for a trip to a local park. Nothing screams all of these more than a terrific sandwich! 

The options are endless when it comes to a simple summer sandwich supper, but at the top of my favorites list has to be a great chicken salad; and one of my go-to versions is this simple copycat version of Arby's Pecan Chicken Salad.

The crunchy pecans, apples and celery with the sweetness of red grapes give this chicken salad a flavor like no other. It has been my most sough after version for years. When it disappeared from the menu at our local Arby's I almost rioted. Hence why I had to learn to make it at home! 

Now it's been back for a while now, but let's face it, like everything else, whew that price has gone up! Yet another great reason to make a big batch at home for a summer supper or lunches all week long!

Let's talk canned chicken. I used it in this recipe because I had some on hand, but leftover chicken or rotisserie style would work well too! However, canned chicken has become something I am using more and more of in certain recipes because it's more economical than fresh sometimes. It works well in soups, salads and some casseroles. So, don't overlook it when you have a recipe that calls for cooked chicken. 

Summer time is here, and we are rejoicing. We intend to suck every last drop of fun, and deliciousness out of it! 

 Copycat Arby's Chicken Salad 

2 (12 oz.) cans chicken, drained well

1 cup red grapes, halved

1 cup pecans, chopped

2 gala apples, finely chopped

3 ribs celery, finely chopped

3/4 cup mayonnaise

1 TBS lemon juice

Salt and  Pepper

In a small bowl, whisk together mayo, lemon juice, salt and pepper. In a large bowl combine chicken, grapes, apples, celery and pecans. Stir well to combine. Add dressing and stir again. Chill for at least an hour before serving. Serve on bread, toast, rolls, crackers, croissants, etc. *NOTE* Chill the cans of chicken before making to be able to serve right away.