Everyday Mom's Meals: October 2022

Sunday, October 30, 2022

No More Potato Rut

 Does anyone feel like you are rotating the same potato side dishes over and over again? I hope it's not just me! Mashed, baked, scalloped, roasted, fries, tots, hashbrowns, repeat. 

Thankfully there are enough ways to make a potato, it does take a while to feel like I've fallen in a rut, but it does still happen. Lately, this feeling has reared its ugly head mostly when I want to make some tasty roasted potatoes. 

When you think about it, there are a thousand (or more) different flavor combos to come up with when seasoning potatoes to roast in the oven, but when you're in the middle of a busy week, tired and just want to eat, inspiration doesn't always come easy. 

Thankfully, you have a friendly food blogger to do the brainstorming for you and come up with a delicious new way to roast that bag of taters hanging out in the kitchen right now. 

Roasted potatoes can go with literally almost any meal, making them a go-to for so many of us for busy weeknights. 

I used red for these, but yellow would be delicious too. With garlic, onion and Parmesan cheese, use pantry staples to create big flavor in every bite. Crispy on the outside, buttery and creamy inside-everything you want in a tasty tater.

If you are working on your meal plan for this week, you just stumbled upon the perfect side dish to add immediately!


Garlic Parmesan Potatoes-Everyday Mom's Meals


Garlic Parmesan Roasted Potatoes

3 lbs. red potatoes, quartered

3 TBS olive oil

1/2 tsp. paprika

1/2 tsp. onion powder

1 tsp. garlic powder

1 tsp. Italian seasoning

1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Salt and Pepper

Fresh Parsley, garnish

Preheat oven to 375. Lightly grease a large rimmed baking sheet. In a large bowl combine potatoes and oil. Add seasonings. Stir well. Transfer to baking sheet. Roast for 45-50 minutes until fork tender. Garnish with fresh parsley. 

Garlic Parmesan Potatoes-Everyday Mom's Meals

Sunday, October 23, 2022

Lower Temperatures Mean Hearty Meals

 The past week has been quite the weather roller coaster here in northern Indiana. Last Monday we had temps in the 30's with the wind chill making it feel in the 20's. Oh, and we had snow. Not just flurries. Stick to the ground, have to scrape the car, measurable snow. So depressing. Fast forward to this weekend and we are looking at sunny skies and almost 80 degrees. (I'm not complaining since it is Trunk or Treat at our church/school and not having to wear 3 layers is a welcome change!)

When those temps took a nosedive though, I saw so many friends on Facebook talk about how they were craving something hearty and comforting for supper. Those two requirements always bring to mind pasta bakes to me, so I knew it was time to share this new one, so the next time mother nature decides to skip ahead on the seasons, we are ready!

This simple casserole is pretty effortless and can be on the table in under an hour after you get home and in out of the cold. Froze tortellini combined with fresh mushrooms and spinach in a creamy cheese sauce and baked to perfection. 

If your kids don't groove on spinach and mushrooms, switch out the veggies! It would be just as delicious with broccoli, asparagus or peas! 

If you're worried about no meat meaning not filling, don't be! I have some major eaters in this house and not one of them even noticed it was meat-free. They gobbled it down, asked for some more crusty bread and were full in no time. 

We are going into winter much quicker than I am ready for, but at least it gives me an excuse to cook more meals like this and enjoy every bite!


Spinach & Mushroom Tortellini Bake

1 (19 oz.) package frozen cheese tortellini

1 lb. button mushrooms, sliced

1 (6-8 oz.) bag fresh spinach, coarsely chopped

2 garlic cloves, minced

1/4 tsp. onion powder

1 stick butter, divided use

1 (12 oz.) can evaporated milk 

8 oz. Italian blend shredded cheese

8 oz. shredded mozzarella cheese

Salt and Pepper

Preheat oven to 350. Cook tortellini according to package directions and drain well. In a large skillet over medium high heat, heat 4 TBS butter and sauté mushrooms until brown. Season with garlic, salt and pepper. Add spinach and continue to sauté until spinach is wilted. Remove from skillet and set aside. In same skillet over medium heat combine remaining butter and milk. Bring to a gentle boil. Stir in Italian cheese until melted and smooth. Transfer cooked pasta to a large bowl. Add mushroom mixture and cheese sauce. Stir very well. Transfer to a greased 9x13 baking dish. Sprinkle with mozzarella cheese. Cover with foil and bake for 15 minutes. Uncover and bake for 10-15 minutes until cheese has melted and slightly browned. 

Sunday, October 16, 2022

Take Out Woes

 It has been a busy day, you're exhausted, want something delicious for supper, but don't want to lift a finger. Oh look, that take-out menu from your favorite Chinese restaurant is staring at you from where it hangs on the fridge. Yes! Problem solved. 

So you get everyone's orders, call it in and tell the hubby to pick it up on his way home from work (This is how it works in my house, you can mold the details to fit your story...) Yay! He's home! Bring on the hot and sour soup, noodles, crab ragoon....oh I'm drooling just thinking about it. 

But you know what takes the joy out of this tale? The total! Whew...even our "hole in the wall" Chinese place has had to raise their prices in today's economy and the cheap take-out isn't so cheap anymore. 

I am in no way complaining about them having to do what they need to, we are all feeling the pinch in our wallets. The price of everything is going up every single day, and nobody is immune. I completely understand why that container of Pad Thai is a few dollars more than it was just a few months ago; but it makes me sad. Sad for the restaurant, because you know they are probably struggling, still feeling the effect of the pandemic on top of everything else. Sad for us because we can't support them as much as we would like to. Sad for my stomach because I can't fill that craving as often as I want! 

One way to enjoy the take-out dishes we love and stay on budget is to make them at home. It's not a new concept, just something many people are getting back to lately. I know the restaurant copycat recipes on this blog have been getting a LOT of views! 

My Shrimp Fried Rice has always been a popular recipe, so I know this sweet version will be a hit too! Pineapple Fried Rice is a great side dish with some store bough frozen egg rolls, or add some protein (chicken, shrimp or pork) for a full meal. 

The sweetness of the pineapple really adds a depth of flavor to a savory dish. If you're a fan of sweet and salty, you know what I'm talking about!

Put that take-out menu back in the junk drawer. I promise this is almost as easy as picking up the phone, and will definitely save you a few bucks in the long run. 

Pineapple Fried Rice

3 cups cooked brown rice

1 medium yellow onion, finely chopped

3 garlic cloves, minced

3 green onions, chopped

1 (12 oz.) bag frozen peas and carrots, partially thawed

1-2 TBS sesame oil

3 TBS soy sauce

1/2 tsp dried ginger

2 TBS olive oil

1 (20 oz.) can pineapple tidbits, well drained

Black Pepper, to taste

In a small bowl whisk together soy, sesame oil, ginger and black pepper. Set aside. In a large skillet or wok over medium hit heat, sauté onions and garlic in oil until soft, about 4 minutes, stirring constantly. Add peas and carrots and cook 2-3 minutes. Add cooked rice and soy sauce mixture. Stir well and cook 7 minutes until flavors combine. Lower heat to medium low. Add pineapple and green onions. Stir gently to combine. Serve immediately with extra soy on the side. 

Sunday, October 9, 2022

Sniffles and Soup

If your family hasn't run into all the yuck that is going around right now, consider yourself lucky! I know, we've all spent the last 2.5 years worrying about Covid lurking around every corner, but let's not forget about all the other germs that are still fighting their way into our homes.

We knew with Max going into Kindergarten the fall illness was inevitable. Let's call it how it is. Schools are petri dishes and kids are going to get sick. And we knew with Max never being in a classroom before, his immune system was going to be tested. Boy is it ever!

This poor little guy has been sick twice in 3 weeks. In September it was an ear infection that kept him home for two days. But this past week? He has been the sickest he has ever been in 6 years. He missed three more days of school, and is still not 100%. We've hit the point that he's better by the technical terms- no fever, eating better, playing...but he sounds awful! He has almost no voice and a nasty cough, but fingers crossed will be going back to school Monday. 

The doctor told me there is some nasty stuff going around right now, and it just isn't affecting little kids- he has been seeing all ages in the office for all sorts of sickness. 

So when I was decided which recipe to share this week, I figured soup was a safe bet because nothing tastes better when you're feeling a little under the weather. 

Creamy Sausage Tortellini Soup has rich, cooked all day flavor, but can be on your table in under an hour. When you come home after a long day or come inside out of the cold, a bowl of this what you want to sit down to.

Using frozen tortellini makes this perfect for busy weeknights because it cooks right in the soup, no need to thaw before. I use mild Italian sausage, but if you like things spicy, grab a package of hot. Fresh spinach gives the soup a pop of color and of course nutrients, but you could use kale too. 

When the sniffles find their way into your house, be ready with some delicious soup recipes to help everyone feel better! 


Creamy Sausage and Tortellini Soup

1 (19 oz) bag frozen cheese tortellini

1 lb. mild or hot Italian sausage

1 medium yellow onion, finely chopped

3 carrots, finely chopped 

4 cloves garlic, minced

6 oz. fresh spinach, coarsely chopped

1/4 cup flour

1/2 tsp Italian seasoning

4 cups chicken broth

1 cup water

2 cups half-and-half

Salt and Pepper 

In a large stock pot or Dutch oven, brown sausage over medium high heat until no longer pink. Remove to a paper towel lined plate. Sauté carrots, onion and garlic in sausage drippings until soft. Sprinkle with flour and cook 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Slowly add chicken broth and water, whisking constantly until smooth. Bring to a simmer and cook about 8 minutes until slightly thickened. Add half-and-half, cooked sausage, Italian seasoning, tortellini, salt and pepper. Simmer until pasta is cooked-it will float to the top. Serve immediately with grated Parmesan on the side if desired.