Everyday Mom's Meals

Monday, February 1, 2016

BIG News

So, we've got some big things going on in the EMM house as of late. If you've noticed, new recipes on the blog have been few and far between since the beginning of the year, and there is a very good reason as to why.

Many of you follow me on Facebook, and already saw the announcement, but for those that don't, here it is...

That's right, I haven't been doing too much cooking lately, but I still have a bun in the oven! We are over the moon excited, and while the first trimester has been kinda rough, it's all worth it. 

But now you can understand why being in the kitchen and creating new recipes hasn't really been at the top of my list. When you've got "morning" sickness that lasts all day long, and most days you are too sick to leave the house, things get put on the back burner. 

However, there have been a few days here and there when I have felt up to cooking, and even trying something new, and I am always sure to take advantage of those when they come. Such was the case when this recipe came to be. It helped that it only took about 15 minutes of effort from me, and the slow cooker took care of the rest! 

This is a great "set it and forget it" meal. It is truly that effortless. I added some bread and fruit on the side and dinner was done. 

We are thrilled to be able to share our exciting news with all of you, and I hope you will be patient with me if things continue to be a little slow around here for a while. 

Crock Pot Ham & Potato Supper
1 lb. ham, cubed
1 lb. frozen green beans
8-10 red potatoes, halved or quartered
1 medium yellow onion, sliced thin
3/4 c. chicken broth
Salt and Pepper to taste
Dried Parsley

Grease Crock Pot with nonstick spray. Layer in potatoes, season with salt and pepper. Top with onions, green beans and ham. Pour chicken broth over. Cook on LOW 6-8 hours. Stir before serving and adjust seasoning. Garnish with a little dried parsley. 

Monday, January 11, 2016

He Eats THAT?? {A Post for Earth Fare}

So, we've talked before about how lucky we are that our 11 year old boy loves food. All food. Seriously, he is probably one of the least picky eaters on the face of the planet. He has always been that way. This is the kid who was eating sushi and fried calamari at the age of 5.

How did we do this? Did we put some spell on him? Brain wash him? Nope. We just never allowed him to be a picky eater. Now, I'm not here to judge or tell others how to parent their children. But I do think that many times when children turn their noses up at foods, it is a learned behavior, or one that is condoned so much, it's normal. So, in a way, I think sometimes parents inadvertently create their own picky eaters, without realizing it.

However, I also believe that every person, including kids, are allowed to have certain foods they simply don't care for. We all do, and as long as the boy tries it once, if he determines it is truly something that doesn't agree with his palate, I'm okay with that. But those things are few and far between in our house. But when he does discover one, I will respect that.

When I made this pasta dish and was telling it to a friend her first response was "And Alex will eat that? With mushrooms and spinach in it?" You can imagine her shock when I explained it was actually he who requested me to make a new pasta with spinach in it. He loves the stuff! She of course was bewildered because she happens to have a picky eater on her hands, and it is getting to be quite frustrating for her.

I feel for her. It must be a daily struggle when it comes to meal time, and kids like hers are missing out on so many yummy food experiences. I encouraged her to keep trying. Maybe give her child new things in a different way. Doesn't like cooked broccoli? Try it raw. Maybe find ways to sneak more veggies into the dishes she will eat. And of course, try to stay strong. Don't become a short order cook. As my mama always said "You don't like it? It's a long time until breakfast."

This pasta supper is hearty and filled with so many fresh ingredients you can actually feel good about it! Plus, it's super hearty and filling, perfect after a long, cold day! And if you can trick your picky eaters into liking it, think what a victory it will be!

Sausage & Spinach Rigatoni Bake
1 lb. mild Italian sausage
1 lg. rigatoni pasta
2 TBS olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
 3 c. fresh spinach
8 oz. baby bella mushrooms, sliced
2 c. shredded mozzarella cheese, divided
1/4 c. grated Parmesan cheese
2 (14 oz.) cans diced tomatoes, drained with a little juice left behind
1 tsp. Italian seasoning
Salt and Pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 375. Grease a 9 x 13 baking dish. Cook rigatoni to package directions for al dente. In a large skillet heat oil over medium heat. Add garlic and stir for two minutes. Add sausage. Cook until no longer pink. Add mushrooms and cook until browned. Add tomatoes, seasonings and spinach. Stir to combine. Cover and reduce heat to low. Cook until spinach is wilted, about 10 minutes. Check for salt and pepper, and season again if necessary. When pasta is cooked, drain well. Add to sauce mixture and mix well. Add half sausage mixture to baking dish. Sprinkle with 1 cup mozzarella. Add other half of sauce mixture. Top with 1 cup mozzarella and Parmesan. Bake uncovered 20-25 minutes until slightly browned.

Recipe from Wine & Glue

Monday, January 4, 2016

Pork in the New Year

Do you have any traditions when it comes to food on New Year's Day? Black Eyed Peas or Collard Greens maybe? My grandma always served pork and cabbage to begin a new year, and while I might not do it every year, or even on the exact day, every time the calendar flips to January 1st, I think about ways I can keep the tradition alive.

We love any and all Asian food. We can't get enough. I would venture a guess and say it is the cuisine we eat the most of in this house. But let's face it, sometimes it can be a tad less than healthy. Now, yes I do pride myself on being able to make take-out favorites in my own kitchen and leave out all the "extra" ingredients that might come in the little white box, so that does help.

If you are trying to lighten things up in 2016, and love egg rolls, this is going to quickly become a go-to in your meal rotation. All the same flavors, and textures, but no fried wrapper. Yep, all the yummy inside stuff, in a simple to make, one skillet dinner. Oh, did I forget to mention that? Not only are you getting a meal that is a tad healthier, but yes, it is also a one pot wonder!

If your new Year foodie resolutions include finding ways to make your favorites a little more guilt-free; or if you are determined to make dinner as stress-free as possible, this should definitely be your first new recipe of 2016!

Pork Egg Roll Skillet
1 1/2 lbs. ground pork*
8 oz. white button mushrooms, sliced
1 (14 oz.) bag coleslaw mix
1/4 c. soy sauce
2 tsp. Asian ginger garlic spice blend*
Chopped green onions
Salt and Pepper to taste

In a large skillet brown pork. Season with salt and pepper. When browned, add mushrooms, coleslaw mix and Asian seasoning. Cook and stir over medium heat until mushrooms browned. Add soy sauce. Stir to combine. Let cook a few minutes to reduce. Garnish with green onions before serving. *NOTE* You don't want sausage for this. You want ground pork, usually near the pork chops. You could also use ground chicken. The spice blend I use is found on the regular spice aisle in the grocery store. I like the Simply Asia brand.  

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Our New Year's Eve Tradition

If you've been reading EMM for any length of time now, you are well aware of how the Marshall family likes to ring in the New Year every December 31st. For those of you who have joined our little blogging family since last NYE, let me explain.

Ever since Little E was about 6, our annual tradition is to stay home, inside where it is warm, and safe off the roads, wear our pjs, watch movies, and eat ALL night long. I put out a huge buffet of appetizers (or nibbly bits as the boy calls them) and we make an entire meal out of them, for hours. And when I say huge, I'm talking enough to feed an entire house full of party guests, but just for the 3 of us. It's become such a special little tradition for us, and we look forward to it so much. It's a terrific way to finish out the holiday season.

So every year I try to come up with at least one new dish to add to the menu, and start testing them out in about mid November. This is the new addition for 2015.

No party is complete without a tasty dip, and this one combines that notion with another favorite of ours, crab! Perfect for a platter of crackers or even some pita chips! Plus you can make it ahead of time and keep it in the fridge until party time.

However you are welcoming in 2016, I hope it's in a fun, safe and of course yummy way! May the New Year bring you all the happiness and joy you can hope for!

Creamy Crab Dip
1 (6 oz.) can crab meat, drained and cartilage removed
8 oz. cream cheese, room temperature
2 TBS mayo
1 tsp. Dijon mustard
1 tsp. lemon pepper seasoning
1/4 tsp. garlic powder
2 tsp. paprika, extra for garnish
1-3 tsp. horseradish, to taste
Salt and pepper, to taste
Dried chives, for garnish

In a medium bowl combine cream cheese, crab, mayo, mustard, lemon pepper seasoning, garlic powder, salt and pepper. Beat with electric mixer on LOW for 1-2 minutes, just until combined. Stir in horseradish. Chill for 1-2 hours. Add paprika and stir to combine. When ready to serve, sprinkle with extra paprika & chives. Serve with crackers or veggies. 

Friday, December 18, 2015

From Our Family to Yours...

I can't believe we only have one week left. That's right, only 7 more days until the most magical day of the year is upon us. Are you caught up in the holiday hustle and bustle? Are you done and able to take a minute and enjoy the sights and the sounds of the season? Either way, this next week will no doubt go by in the blink of an eye. 

Since we begin Christmas vacation from school today, I will be taking next week off to spend with little man and get every last drop out of our holiday as I can. I will be back the week of New Year's to share a great appetizer for your New Year's Eve bash; but until then, I thought it would be best to leave you with a simple, yet totally inspired Christmas dessert. 

Candy canes at Christmas are like jellybeans at Easter. They are truly this season's mascot candy. And now you can have the same flavor, in a super simple, yummy sweet treat you can easily add to your holiday menu! It could easily be made for a few or a lot, and your guests will love it! 

I hope this is your most magical holiday season to date, and you get to spend it with those whom you love most in the world. From our family to yours...

Merry Christmas!!!

Candy Cane Fluff
24 large marshmallows
1/2 c. half and half
1 tsp. vanilla
1/4 tsp. peppermint extract
1 (8 oz.) tub Cool Whip
Red Food Coloring
Crushed Candy Canes

Combine half and half and marshmallows in a medium saucepan over low heat. Cook, stir constantly, until marshmallows melted and mixture is combined and smooth. Remove from heat. Add vanilla, peppermint and food coloring. Chill for 10 minutes. Fold in Cool Whip. Top with crushed candy. Chill until serving.