Everyday Mom's Meals

Monday, September 15, 2014

All Things Pumpkin

The minute I flip the calendar from August to September it means all things pumpkin and apple are fair game. I know many people feel they are too used during this time of year, especially since Pinterest came along and it seems there are 1,000 new recipes featuring each every single day.

Well, no fear. I'm not going to inundate you with so many you feel like I'm running an apple orchard or pumpkin patch. But I would not be true to myself if I didn't feature my two autumn flavors in at least a couple dishes.

If I had to choose one, it would probably be pumpkin. (And not just because my nickname is "Punkin".) I was the kid who wanted pumpkin pie in lieu of a birthday cake. True story. And my child has been known to ask his Maa Ma (my mom) for the same thing. She makes a pretty mean pumpkin pie!

These are a simple dessert perfect any night of the week. They would be perfect for tailgating or a bonfire party too! But they are completely yummy and pretty enough if you wanted to serve them come Thanksgiving you totally could.

Fall means all things pumpkin and apple. They are what I crave this time of year (well, those and soup) and when that craving results in something this delicious, it makes me remember one of the few reasons I do enjoy autumn. 

Pumpkin Pecan Parfaits
1 (15 oz.) can pumpkin puree
1 (3.4 oz.) box instant vanilla pudding, unprepared
1 (12 oz.) tub whipped topping
1/2 c. chopped pecans
1 c. granola cereal (I used one with pecans)
1/2 tsp. cinnamon, plus extra for garnish
1/4 tsp. ground ginger
1/8 tsp. ground nutmeg
1/8 tsp. ground cloves

In a large bowl combine pumpkin, dry pudding mix, 1 cup whipped topping, and spices. Mix well. Chill for 30 minutes to set. In large parfait glasses, layer pumpkin mix, granola, whipped topping and pecans evenly. Repeat layers, ending with pecans. Sprinkle with cinnamon. Chill until ready to serve. Makes 3 large parfaits or 5-6 small.

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Soul Food Saturday Special Birthday Edition

On this special edition of Soul Food Saturday we are celebrating Monkey's birthday. I can't believe another year has past, and he's grown so much. Most of you know already that Monkey is a big eater, and LOVES Mexican food. Since this year he turns the big 1-0 we need a bunch of food to celebrate in a BIG WAY!!
Thank you again to Mr. and Mrs. Everyday for letting us celebrate right along with you!!! Grab your party hats, its party time! 

May God keep you nearest Him always, remind you daily of His truest love, shower you with His ultimate blessings, guide your every step, and give you decades more birthdays to be blessed with. Love you always, Mrs. Soul food
This menu stems from one recipe of Crock pot Chile Verde. Yep, one recipe cooked up and divided to create several meals; for the ultimate celebration!
Plus, we’ll have a fun dessert and a sparkling party drink! 

Crock pot Chile Verde Pork 
3 lbs. boneless pork roast
1 29 oz. can green enchilada sauce
4 jalapenos, diced 
1 large onion, diced 
Granulated garlic, to taste
Salt to taste 

Add onion, and peppers to the bottom of the crock pot. Then add pork roasts on top. Season roasts with salt and garlic. Add sauce over top of roasts and veggies. Cover and cook on high power 6-8 hours or until tender. Shred pork and return it to the sauce. Sauce will thicken as it rests.

Chile Verde Pork Nachos
4 c. corn tortilla chips
2 c. shredded cheddar- jack cheese
2 c. Chili verde pork, shredded with sauce

Add 1 c. chips to the bottom of the plate, top with ½ c. of Chile Verde, and ½ c. of cheese. Microwave; on high power for 45-60 seconds, or until cheese is melted.  Serve hot and top with sour cream or jalapenos if desired.

Chile Verde Pozole in a Hurry
 Remaining pork and sauce left from Crock pot recipe (4 c. pork with 5-6 c. sauce)
1 28oz can Mexican style hominy. 
Lemons cut into wedges
Cabbage, shredded
Optional toppings:  shredded cabbage, squeeze of lemon
For this recipe we are going back to the crock pot. Take remaining shredded meat along with the sauce. Add it all to a soup pot. Add hominy with its liquid. (If you prefer more broth in your pozole add one cup at a time and adjust seasoning as needed)
Bring to a boil and then simmer for about 10 minutes just until hominy has softened and heated through. Serve with all your favorite toppings, like cabbage and a squeeze of lemon. Enjoy!

We can’t have a birthday party without a dessert, right? This one is a birthday cake with a twist. We kicked it up with fruit and lots of whipped topping. What would be better than that you think, well how about an individual size? Grab a spoon, because this one is good all the way to the bottom of the glass!
Strawberry Cheese Cake Birthday Parfaits
 1 French vanilla cake mix
3 eggs
½ c. vegetable oil
1 tsp cinnamon
8oz tub of whipped topping
4 oz cream cheese
2 c. chopped strawberries
In a medium bowl add cake mix, eggs, oil and cinnamon. Mix to combine completely. (Approx. 2 min with electric beaters) Spray two 9 inch pie plates with non stick spray and divide batter between both pans and bake as package directs. Bake until done and allow to completely cool before assembling parfaits. (Cut cake into 4 pieces- each parfait will take a quarter of the cake)
In a medium bowl add half of whipped topping container with cream cheese. Mix until completely combined. (We personally liked the sweetness it already had so no additional sugar was needed, if you prefer it sweeter; add 1 tbs. of powdered sugar) Set aside
In a glass that holds approx 2 cups. Take a quarter of the cake and break it into pieces. Add cake pieces to bottom of the glass. Then add ¼ c of the cream cheese mixture on top. Add ¼ c. strawberries as the next layer. Repeat with another layer of cake, top with ¼ c. whipped topping and finish with strawberries on top.

And last but definitely not least, we have come to the yummy party drink. Mrs. Everyday loves to indulge Alex with fun drinks; but keeping the sugar at a moderate level is something important to her as well. So keeping that in mind I decided why not bomb limeade with cherries, and fizz it up with sparking water! Keeping a bit of sweet and a little sour with a whole lot of fun! Cheers to you birthday boy!
Cherry Bombed Sparkling Limeade
 1 can limeade concentrate
2 liters Sparkling water
Maraschino cherries 2-3 per glass
 In a 2 quart pitcher add limeade concentrate and sparkling water. Mix to combine. Add ice to a pretty glass and top with limeade. Bomb your glass with cherries, and enjoy!

Meal Plan Sept 14-19

*New Recipe
Links to Recipes on Blog

I'm throwing a BIG 10th Birthday Party for little man. 
Tomato Soup
Grilled Cheese

Garlic Toast

Fish Sticks
Mac n Cheese
Candied Carrots

Baked Honey Mustard Chicken with Apples*
Wild Rice

Slow Cooker Lentil and Sausage Stew*
Crescent Rolls

Pizza Joes
Sweet Potato Fries
Cottage Cheese

Friday, September 12, 2014

Fall is Coming

Any one that knows me well, or is a faithful reader of this blog knows I love summer...and when it comes to an end I tend to get a little grumpy. I don't mind fall, in fact, I enjoy it. Sunny days at the pumpkin patch, apple orchard or one of our favorite autumn festivals. Donning a hoodie because there is a chill in the air. Decorating for Halloween. Enjoying a family meal with all the trimmings at Thanksgiving. 

But this is where the train comes off the track. See, while I don't mind fall, I detest what comes next. I hate snow. I hate the cold. The only bright spot for me in winter is Christmas. As far as I'm concerned, we can go from summer, to fall, back to summer, take a two-day break at Christmas for some festive flakes, and then go right back into summer again. Yeah, I know....I live in the Midwest...it's a pipe dream. But there are things to look forward to with fall on it's way, so I try to make the best of it, and find solace in those. 

One thing I love to do during the chilly fall days is make a big pot of a warm drink to enjoy all day long while we are watching football, coming and going, or in this case, feeling a little under the weather. That's right, before summer was over, little man and I both got sick. Between his strep throat and my sinus infection, we made a good pair. But the one thing we could both enjoy was this delicious, warm, comforting drink that not only tasted great, but really soothed our oh so sore throats. 

If you love apple cider, this takes it to the next level. It combines fantastic autumn flavors with the brightness of citrus. It's perfect for your fall cook-out or bonfire too because you can heat it up, and then leave it warm in the slow cooker all day and night long. Oh, and if there is some left, you can keep it in the fridge for up to three days, so it doesn't go to waste. 

Autumn is on it's way. I can't hide from it. But I can enjoy these last warm days, and look forward to the things I do love about the next season. And as far as what is coming after it, denial is a beautiful thing.

Hot Citrus Cider From Gooseberry Patch
1/2 gal. apple juice
2 1/4 c. water
1 1/2 c. orange juice
3 4-inch cinnamon sticks
1 TBS whole cloves
1/4 c. molasses
Garnish: apple slices

Mix together all ingredients except garnish in a large saucepan over medium heat. Simmer for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until heated through. Transfer to a slow cooker; keep warm on low setting. Serve in mugs, garnished with an apple slice. May be refrigerated in a covered container up to 3 days. Makes about 3 quarts. *NOTE* I did not have cinnamon sticks on hand, so I used 1 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon. 

Shared on The Country Cook Sept. 12, 2014

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

A New Kind of Chili

September, slow cookers and soups. Now, there is a group of things that go together like peas in a pod! Autumn is quickly approaching, and that means we are all going to be looking for more recipes to come home to after a long, probably chilly day, to warm us up while they fill us up. And my good friends at Red Gold couldn't agree with me more. "After coming home from work, picking up the kids, taking them to and from practice, and running your daily errands; there's nothing better than the aroma of a great tasting , warm meal waiting for you."  

Your slow cooker is a great way to make tasty dishes without having to be a slave to the stove. So, while you are away, a delicious, hearty meal can be waiting for you at home. And for me, there is nothing that tastes better on a chilly day than a big bowl of soup; and in this case chili. 

Chili...it's one of those things I save to make during the fall and winter months. I think everyone has that go-to family chili recipe that you rely on to be yummy and something the family will love. But why not switch it up a little? Put an unique twist on it? Well, thanks to Red Gold, I was able to do just that. 

This is not only a great weeknight meal that can be cooking while you are away, but it would also make a terrific dish for your next tailgating party! Chili and football are two more things that were just made for each other. Plus, this one has the added nutrition from sweet potatoes, one of our favorites. 

In the spirit of all things slow cooked, starting next Wednesday, September 17th and running through October 8th, Red Gold will be running their "Red Gold 2-a-day Crock-Pot Give-a-way!" Every day, two loyal Red Gold consumers will get a Red Bold branded Crock-Pot!! That's 44 slow cookers in over 3 weeks! During that period, they will also be sharing their new slow cooker recipes featuring Red Gold ® Tomatoes, including this one! 

To enter, be sure to drop by the Red Gold Facebook page starting Sept. 17th. 
Oh, and that same day, be sure to drop by EMM again for a fantastic giveaway from Red Gold too...more details to come!! 

Sausage and Sweet Potato Chili
1 lb. Italian sausage
1 TBS chili powder
1 tsp. ground cumin
3 c. beef broth
2 (15 oz.) cans or 1 (28 oz.) can Red Gold ® Crushed Tomatoes
1 (14.5 oz.) can Red Gold ® diced tomatoes
1 (15 oz.) can black beans, rinsed and drained
2 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 3/4 inch cubes
1 c. shredded Mexican cheese blend or 1/2 c. crumbled cotija cheese

Spray a 5 or 6 quart slow cooker with nonstick spray. In a large skillet, brown sausage over medium heat for 8-10 minutes until cooked through. Drain excess fat. Add sausage and remaining ingredients, except cheese, to slow cooker. (Use tomatoes with juice.) Cover and cook on LOW 5-6 hours. Stir chili and top each serving with cheese. *NOTE* I added salt and pepper to taste. I also garnished with some chopped chives for a hint of onion flavor. 

Disclaimer: I received a gift pack in exchange for this review. Plus one to giveaway to a fan. All thoughts and opinions are my own.