Everyday Mom's Meals: March 2023

Sunday, March 26, 2023

Easter Must-Have From The Dairy

 Since I began blogging, almost 12 years ago, I have been blessed to work with countless companies and organizations. One on that list that brings me the most pride is most definitely Indiana Dairy Farmers. 

Years ago I did a monthly post for them and through that I got to know one very special local dairy farm run by the Kuehnert family. 

Kuehnert Dairy Farm


The Kuehnert Dairy Farm is celebrating 125 years of "bottling memories" (their words, not mine) and I am so incredibly proud to know this family and the work they do on the farm is amazing. The 5th generation is carrying on the family tradition and there are some big things happening on the farm!

Kuehnert Dairy Farm

Every fall the Kuehnerts open their 1200-acre farm up to the public for their annual Fall Festival, and I can tell you it is some of the best fun you will have in a corn maze, plus so much more! Both of my boys have enjoyed it and our little guy can NOT wait to go back this year! It will run from September 15-October 29, 2023 and I can tell you it is already on our calendar!

Kuehnert Dairy Farm Fall Festival

In 2023 the Kuehnert Milk House will be opening! This on-farm store will be offering the freshest milk and dairy products around; and I can NOT wait!

Kuehnert Milk House
So when my friend Sarah posted the Kuehnert family macaroni and cheese recipe, I asked her if I could share it with my readers. It was an extra cheesy, custard style old fashioned mac and cheese, unlike any other I've ever made, and I told her it would be perfect for an Easter side dish! 

This macaroni and cheese has not one, not two, but THREE cheeses for extra ooey gooey factor. My boys gobbled this down and asked for more.
I know so many families include a great mac and cheese on their Easter menu, and this one would be so tasty with that big glazed ham. But honestly, it's easy enough for any night of the week too! 
If you are in my area, I hope you will check out the Kuehnert Dairy site, maybe schedule a tour with a school class, plan a trip to the fall festival and visit the milk house when it opens. This is a great family doing great things for our community. We *heart* our dairy farmers!
What Kind Of Cheese To Use 
This recipe calls for three different cheeses, and it is a great way to use up whatever you have in the fridge. I used cheddar, cheddar jack and mozzarella for an extra smooth flavor. 

Do I Have To Boil The Macaroni First
Yes, for this recipe the elbows have to be cooked to just al dente before baked. If you're looking for a no-boil recipe, I have one of those too, just scroll down to the end of the page!

Should I Shred My Own Cheese
When it comes to shredded cheese in a bag, people have strong opinions. If I am making a homemade cheese sauce I always shred my own, but for a recipe like this, I don't have any issues using pre-shredded.

Can I Use Milk In Place Of Evaporated Milk

The simple answer is no. Evaporated milk has a thicker texture than regular and therefore can't be swapped same for same. If you need to substitute it, try 3/4 cup whole milk mixed with 1/4 cup half-and-half. This recipe actually uses both evaporated and regular, and both are needed for the best texture.

Baked Three-Cheese Macaroni

Best Tips

Make sure to not overcook the macaroni. You want a little bite left (al dente) so it can finish cooking in the oven.

Don't try to use all regular milk. The evaporated milk really helps to make this extra creamy.

Use any combo of cheeses you like, that add up to 6 cups total. 

This is great frozen too. Bake, cool and cut into individual portions to reheat later.  

You can also prepare this in the Crock Pot. Mix all ingredients except 1/2 cup cheese and paprika in a greased Crock Pot. Add cheese and paprika. Cook on low for 3 hours.

Baked Three-Cheese Macaroni

 Baked Three-Cheese Macaroni

8 oz. elbow macaroni

2 cups shredded cheddar cheese

2 cups shredded cheddar-jack cheese

2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese

1 (12 oz.) can evaporate milk

1 1/2 cups milk

1/4 cup butter, melted

2 eggs, beaten

Salt and Pepper

Dash of paprika

Fresh parsley, for garnish

Preheat oven to 350. Cook macaroni to al dente and drain well. In a large bowl combine pasta with all other ingredients. Stir well. Transfer to a greased 9x13 baking dish. Cook for 50 minutes until set. Garnish with fresh parsley if desired. Allow to cool for 5 minutes before serving.

Baked Three-Cheese Macaroni
Shared at Weekend Potluck


More Mac and Cheese Recipes To Try

Sheet Pan Macaroni and Cheese

No-Boil Baked Macaroni and Cheese

Copycat Cracker Barrel Macaroni and Cheese

Pub Macaroni and Cheese

Stove-Top Creamy Macaroni and Cheese 

Mac and Cheese Cupcakes 

Queso Chili Mac 

Creamy Baked Mac and Cheese

Sunday, March 19, 2023

Thanks, Mrs. T

 We are huge pierogi fans in our house, and I am always looking for new ways to include them in our weekly meal plan. They are sort of a "new" thing for us, since I only started making them a couple years ago. They just weren't something I grew up with, and never thought to try. So, what changed you ask. 

Thanks to a foodie/blogging relationship with the great folks at Mrs. T's frozen pierogies, these little pillows of potato and cheese goodness are now a permanent part of our family's cuisine. 

Now, if you love to make homemade, or want to try, there are a thousand recipes out there for them and I fully support that approach. But for me, being able to grab a couple boxes out of the frozen food section, knowing I can have them on the table in almost no time, works for me. 

I use Mrs. T's for my Loaded Pierogi Skillet, which has quickly become a go-to 20 minute side dish for busy weeknights. And now I have a brand new recipe that we love just as much, thanks to inspiration from my friends at Mrs. T's. 

Combining their mini four-cheese medley pierogies with a buttery buffalo sauce is a GENIUS idea for a tasty appetizer for your next party, snacking while watching March Madness this week, or a side dish with a little kick perfect any night of the week. All the flavors of buffalo wings, but in a yummy dumpling.

I am so thankful we discovered pierogies, even if we were a little late to the party; and even more grateful for the opportunities to team up with a fantastic company any chance I get!

Buffalo Mini Pierogies


What Are Pierogies

Put simply, pierogies are filled dumplings. They can be savory or sweet, but the most popular fillings are potato, cheese, onions and cabbage.

Where Can I Buy Mrs. T's Frozen Pierogies

If you've never seen them before, Mrs. T's can be found in the frozen food section of your grocery store, usually close to the frozen pastas. 

What Kind Of Hot Sauce To Use

For this recipe I used a basic cayenne hot sauce, similar to Frank's Red Hot. But feel free to use any flavor or brand you like. 

Can I Make Pierogies In The Air Fryer 

YES! For this recipe, follow the directions but instead of baking in the oven, place the pierogies in the air fryer basket and cook at 400 for 12-14 minutes, flipping halfway through.

Buffalo Mini Pierogies

 Best Tips

Melt butter over low heat to avoid scorching.

No need to thaw pierogies.

Don't forget to turn halfway through cooking so they don't burn.

Save any leftover buffalo sauce mixture to baste on the pierogies when they come out of the oven.

Serve with blue cheese, ranch or your favorite dipping sauce.

If serving as an appetizer, include toothpicks or skewers so people can help themselves.


Buffalo Mini Pierogies

1 box mini 4-cheese medley pierogies

4 TBS butter, melted

1/2 cup hot sauce

1/2 tsp chili powder

Green onions, chopped, for garnish

Blue cheese dressing and crumbles, for serving

Carrots and celery, for serving

Preheat oven to 400. In a large skillet, melt butter over low heat. Add hot sauce and chili powder. Stir well. Toss with frozen pierogies. Transfer to a large baking sheet coated in nonstick spray. Bake for 16-18 minutes until browned, turning halfway through. When cooked, baste pierogies with extra sauce. Sprinkle with green onions. Serve with blue cheese and veggies. 

Buffalo Mini Pierogies

More Easy Side Dish Recipes

Souper Rice

Cafeteria Noodles

Sheet Pan Macaroni and Cheese 

Easy Corn Casserole 

Garlic Parmesan Roasted Potatoes 

Red Potato Salad 

Broccoli Grape Salad

Shared at Weekend Potluck


Sunday, March 5, 2023

Not Really A Recipe

 If your schedule is as out of control busy as ours, a meal you can truly assemble more than actually cook might just save your week! 

Sure each component of this copycat recipe has to be cooked, steamed or heated up, but they all be done at the same time and in almost no time at all. 

Copycat KFC Famous Bowls are comfort food perfect for a hectic weeknight. Plus, the kids can help with them, they are great if everyone is eating at different times and everyone can customize theirs. 

The famous bowl at KFC has been a huge hit for years, but they aren't always available in every area. So now you can make them at home whenever that craving hits! 

A complete meal in one bowl, every bite has some protein, veg, starch and of course gravy. Quick, simple and on the table in about the time it takes to bake some frozen popcorn chicken! 

Don't let supper time stress you out! Assemble some KFC bowls and dinner is done! 

What Is In A KFC Famous Bowl

These bowls are filled with individual portions of their famous mashed potatoes, crispy chicken, gravy, corn gravy and cheese. 

Can I Get A KFC Famous Bowl Without Corn

I am pretty sure most KFC locations will leave the corn off if you wish, but if you're making them at home, you can make them any way you want!

What Kind Of Chicken For Copycat KFC Bowls

I used frozen popcorn chicken for the size and convenience factor. Chicken nuggets and tenders would work too, just chop them up. You could even use some leftover fried chicken, or lighten it up with shredded rotisserie chicken.

Why Beef Gravy

Simple. It is what KFC serves. They don't have chicken gravy, but I think it would be great in this. Or even some white country gravy could be swapped. 

Instant Potatoes vs Homemade

No, I am not a fan of instant potatoes either, so if you want to make some homemade and use those, go for it. Or if you have some leftover, this would be a great way to keep from throwing them out. But KFC does use instant ones, so this is authentic. And, the quality of them have come a long way since I was a kid, and adding the butter, salt and pepper really does help.


Copycat KFC Famous Bowls

Best Tips

Have all the ingredients warming/cooking at the same time so you can assemble everything when done.

Popcorn chicken, nuggets or tenders can all be used.

Chicken or white gravy can be used in place of beef.

Shredded triple cheddar would be delicious too.

Serve with a salad on the side for a complete meal.



Copycat KFC Famous Bowls 

3 (4 oz.) pouches butter instant mashed potatoes

1 (12 oz.) bag frozen steamable corn

2 lbs. frozen popcorn chicken

1 (18 oz.) jar beef gravy

1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese

2 TBS butter

4-6 cups water

Salt and Pepper

Preheat oven to 400. Place chicken on a baking sheet. Only make the amount you need for each bowl, about 7 pieces each. Bake 10 minutes, or according to package directions. Prepare potatoes according to directions, add butter and season with salt and pepper. In a small saucepan, warm gravy on stove over medium-low heat. Steam corn in microwave according to directions. When chicken is done, gather all ingredients and build each bowl: potatoes, gravy, corn, chicken and sprinkle with cheese.

Copycat KFC Famous Bowls

More Copycat Recipes To Try

Copycat Bob Evans Chicken and Noodles

Copycat Olive Garden Fettuccine Alfredo

Copycat Applebee's Oriental Chicken Salad

Copycat Pizza Hut Cavatini

Copycat Panera Broccoli Cheese Soup

Copycat Texas Roadhouse Green Beans

Copycat Dole Whip

Copycat Olive Garden Chicken Gnocchi Soup

Copycat Wendy's Chili


 Shared at Weekend Potluck