Everyday Mom's Meals

Friday, October 24, 2014

It Doesn't Have To Be Fancy

A couple weeks ago my mom and I were browsing one of our favorite little grocery stores when we stumbled upon a brand new display. We were elated to find they are now carrying an entire line of products from our favorite Amish store. One stop shopping! Which is great, because we never get to the Amish store as much as we would like! 

Well, the first thing my eyes traveled to were the homemade Amish noodles. Yep, there I stood, in  the middle of the store, drooling. I love noodles. Plain noodles, noodles with sauce, noodles in soup...it doesn't matter to me as long as it includes noodles. 

I was looking at all the varieties, and I found a bag of the thinnest egg noodles I had ever seen. They were beautiful. (Yes, I love noodles so much I find beauty in them!) My brain immediately goes into food blogger mode and I start brainstorming what I could do with them. And that's when mom comes into the story. 

I was staring at them, the gears in my brain turning, and she asked what I was doing. "I'm trying to think of something special I could do with these. A new recipe for the blog." Here comes mom's infinite wisdom..."Why? Do something simple. It doesn't have to be fancy. They would be perfect in chicken noodle soup." Talk about a huge "Duh!!" moment! For it was in that instant I realized I had never blogged my classic, go-to chicken noodle soup recipe! Sure, I had shared my Lemon Chicken Noodle Soup forever ago, but never my "ordinary, every day" one! Sometimes you just need a little perspective; and in my life, that usually comes from mom! 

So, here it is. The chicken noodle soup recipe I've been making since we were first married. It's a classic in our house, but you might notice a couple nontraditional things about it. First of all, I don't boil the chicken with the veggies. Sure, this leads to a delicious broth, but for me, I think it also leads to chicken lacking in flavor. Instead, I roast mine, locking in all the juice and flavor. Secondly, I start my veggies by sauteing them. Why? Two reasons really. One, it helps to get them cooking, so this can be ready as soon as possible. And two, it's about flavor again. To me, veggies cooked in butter taste a whole lot better than just boiling them. Sure, it's an extra step, but one that can be done while the chicken cooks, so the soup is moving forward while you wait! 

This is a classic soup recipe for a cold day, or perfect to take to someone who is under the weather. It's one of those soups that eats like a meal. It's simple, but delicious. Easy, but filling. 

See, it doesn't have to be fancy. It just has to be yummy!

Roasted Chicken and Noodle Soup
3 boneless chicken breasts
Olive Oil
2 (32 oz.) boxes chicken broth
2 chicken bouillon cubes
1 lb. fine egg noodles
3 TBS. butter
2 c. water
5 carrots, diced
3 celery stalks, diced
1 medium white onion, diced
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 tsp. ground thyme
1 TBS dried parsley
Salt and Pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 375. Line a baking sheet with foil. Drizzle chicken with olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. Roast for 30-45 minutes until juices run clear. Allow to slightly cool and shred. Set aside. In a large stock pot over medium heat melt butter. Add onions, carrots, and celery. Saute' until veggies are beginning to soften. Add chicken to mixture. Season with garlic powder and thyme. Saute' for 2 more minutes. Add broth, water and bouillon cubes. Stir to combine. Cover and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes to allow flavors to develop and veggies to cook through. Bring heat back up to a hard simmer. Add noodles and cook about 5 until tender. Add parsley. Stir and serve.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Yep, Another Tater

If you're a long time reader of EMM, you've heard me refer to our family as "tater lovin' people" too many times to count. Yep, we've got a reputation. What can I say? It's one we accept and even celebrate like a badge of honor.

And in that spirit, I have yet another potato side dish recipe to share today. These are so easy to make, but so packed with flavor. You might not guess it from the simplicity of the ingredients, but they will make your taste buds sit up and take notice!

I think this would be a great one to keep around come the holiday rush too. Maybe not for the actual holiday meal, but for all of those "extra" holiday parties that come up between Thanksgiving and New Year's. Especially if there are ones you have to travel with a dish for. These would take a car ride beautifully!

If you enjoy other herb/spice combinations, you could easily adapt these to fit those, no problem. However you make them, they are going to be easy and yummy...two things I love almost as a good tater! 

Zesty Red Potatoes
6 large red potatoes, thinly sliced, about 1/4"
1 stick butter, melted
1 small onion, thinly sliced
1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes
1 tsp. dried parsley
Salt and Pepper to taste
Chives, for garnish

Preheat oven to 400. Spray a 9 inch square baking dish with nonstick spray. Layer potatoes and onions, seasoning each layer with salt and pepper. End with potatoes on top. Mix butter with red pepper flakes and parsley. Pour over potatoes. Cover with foil. Bake 25 minutes. Remove foil and bake an additional 20-25 minutes until browned and potatoes are tender. Sprinkle with chives. 





Shared on The Country Cook Oct. 24, 2014

Disclaimer: As a Field Editor of Taste of Home, I share my own thoughts and opinions of this recipe. I am not a paid employee.

Monday, October 20, 2014

2 for 1 Special

Yep, that's right. If you are a bargain hunter like me, you're going to be so happy you dropped by today. Why? Because I'm running a 2 for 1 special on EMM today. You will walk away with two recipes for the price of 1. (That's just a saying. Don't worry, I'm not charging you for either.) 

I guess to be accurate, one part isn't really a recipe, but more of an idea that you can take and run with...customizing them to fit your family tastes. But they are definitely a great idea for a simple supper, when life is too busy to chew, let alone cook. Or for a kid's birthday party...both to eat, and for an activity to keep them busy! 

But the second part is definitely a recipe, that I think could easily become a go-to for you like it is for me. I don't know about you, but the variety of canned/jarred pizza sauce in the stores is kind of underwhelming to me. I've tried several, and each one seems to be missing a little something, and doesn't quite taste "right." So, I decided it was time to attempt to make my own, but in true EMM style, it couldn't be complicated or fussy! Easy is the name of the game, and if I'm making something fun for dinner, I don't need any part of it ruining it by being too time consuming.

So here is the answer. A simple, ready in about 5 minutes, homemade pizza sauce that has the exact flavor I've been looking for; which can then be used to make some adorable mini pizzas the kids (And who are we kidding? The adults too!) will love. Toss a salad together, and dinner is done! Heck, take a few minutes in the morning and mix together the sauce, put it in the fridge, and that's one less step you have when you come home.

I'm happy to give you easy recipes, but I get really excited when I can double up and give you more "bang for your buck!" Since it's Monday, and I know you were swearing at the alarm clock this morning, why not treat yourself to knowing supper could be as easy as this! 

English Muffin Pizzas
English muffins, halved
Pepperoni
Canned Mushrooms
Mozzarella Cheese
 Pizza Sauce

Sauce:
1 (15 oz.) can tomato sauce
1 ( 6 oz.) can tomato paste
1 TBS dried oregano
1 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. paprika

For sauce, combine all ingredients and stir well, until smooth. Preheat oven to 375. Lay opened English muffins on large baking sheet. Spread with sauce. Sprinkle with cheese and top with pepperoni and mushrooms. Bake for 15 minutes until cheese melts and edges are crispy. *NOTE* This was enough sauce to make 12 halves, and freeze the rest. 





Shared on The Country Cook Oct. 24, 2014

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Soul Food Saturday



Anyone interested in family movie night? Well in this house we love evenings like these! Is the best part that you don’t have to cook, but take out? Or is it the one evening you plan on cooking together? For us we really enjoy cooking together, so this recipe fits these types of nights perfectly. How about home made pizza dough? Yes, one you made at home, together with all your favorite topping combinations.
Grab your favorite movie, its pizza night!
 
Homemade Pizza Dough 
Adapted from Center Cut Cook
 1 packet rapid rise yeast
1 c. warm water
2 ½ c. all purpose flour
2 tsp. honey
1 tsp. salt
2 tbs. olive oil
Pizza Sauce
Mozzarella/ cheddar cheese blend
Turkey pepperoni
Thin sliced onion, green bell pepper, tomato 
 
In a large bowl, add water and yeast. Stir until the yeast is dissolved. Then add flour, honey, salt, and olive oil. Stir to thoroughly combine. After all ingredients have combined then use your hands to knead the dough for several minutes. Shape the dough into a ball, and allow it to rest for 10 minutes.
Pre-heat your oven to 375 degrees
This is where you decide if you want one large pizza or 2 small ones. If you’d like 2 small, divide the dough ball in half and set one aside covered. Roll the second half into an 8 inch circle. Spray your 9 inch pie plate and place rolled dough in the pie plate. Repeat with the second. If you’d prefer one large spray your pizza pan, and roll out dough to 16 inch circle. Place onto the pizza pan.
Add sauce, cheese, and toppings. Place the pizza into the oven for 12-15 minutes, or until the crust is crispy and the cheese is melted. Cut into slices and enjoy!


Meal Plan Oct. 19- 24

*New Recipes
Links to Recipes on Blog

Sunday
Mashed Potatoes
Winter Squash

Monday
We're meeting Daddy after work for supper!

Tuesday
Crock Pot Barbecued Pulled Chicken Sandwiches*
Mac n Cheese
Fruit Cocktail

Wednesday
Grilled Steak
Parmesan Red Potatoes*
Roasted Carrots*

Thursday
Crock Pot Orange Beef*
Fried Rice

Friday
Confetti Spaghetti*
Garlic Toast