Everyday Mom's Meals

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Soul Food Saturday

On days like these we are scrabbling for ideas for what to bring to the office for everyone to have with morning coffee, food gift ideas to bring to our children’s teachers, and goodies for our family postal carriers. Am I right? Well this sweet treat can be all of those things and more if you like. Chocolate Chip and pumpkin, what can beat that? Well me! This recipe makes 2 loaves of bread, so you have 1 to give and one to keep. Sounds like a great deal to me. Grab your favorite hot drink and cozy up with me; we’re making goodies to give. 
Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Bread
Inspired by Taste of Home
 3 c. all-purpose flour
3 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking soda
4 eggs
1 c. sugar
3 ½ c. canned pumpkin
1 ½ c. semisweet chocolate chips

In a large bowl, add flour, cinnamon, salt and baking soda. Set aside. In a medium bowl, beat eggs, sugar, and pumpkin until smooth. Add dry ingredients a third at a time, and mix just until moistened, then fold in chocolate chips. Pour batter into 2 (8x4) loaf pans that have been sprayed generously with non stick spray. Bake at 350 for 1 hour to 1 hour and 15 minutes. Or until a toothpick comes out clean when inserted near the center. Cool for 10 minutes before removing for the pans, and transferring to wire racks to cool completely. 
Whether you package it up or not your friends will love this recipe and appreciate the effort you put into it. Enjoy!

Meal Plan Dec. 21-26

*New Recipe
Links to Recipes on Blog

Crock Pot Chili
Olive Cheese Ball*

Shrimp and Wild Rice Bake*
Sliced Pears

Egg Rolls
Mushroom and Snow Pea Stir Fry*
Mandarin Oranges

Merry Christmas Eve

Merry Christmas


Friday, December 19, 2014

More One Pot Meals

Less than a week people! That's right! There are only 6 days until Christmas. Are you feeling stressed yet? I know so many who are still trying to get their shopping done, the cards mailed, everything wrapped, and still keep up with day to day responsibilities as well. If this describes you, how about a simple meal that can be on the table in about 30 minutes and feed that hungry crowd? Will that help take just a little of that stress away?

One pot meals are never more welcomed than during the busiest times of the years, and no matter how hard we try to avoid it, Christmas time is one of those. Rather it be working extra hours to assure the time off for the holiday, running here and there finishing that last minute shopping, Christmas pageants and school programs...whatever it is consuming your evenings, a simple, delicious meal can be one thing you look forward to.

Plus, let's not forget many of us have those holiday house guests we need to feed more than just the big holiday meal. Extra mouths to feed for multiple days can put a strain on the budget, but with this dish you can stretch a buck and satisfy many hungry souls at the same time.

If you can't imagine with this is like, thing goulash on steroids. Goulash with extra "stuff" that takes it to a whole new level. And don't turn your nose up at the spinach because it makes this dish! We love spinach and I really enjoy it's flavor when pared with both sausage and beans.

Give yourself a break tonight with this scrumptious, simple meal that is full of flavor, but easy on effort. Plus, it's pretty on the plate too!

Sausage and White Bean Ragu
Inspired by Basilmomma
2 small yellow onions
4 garlic cloves
2 TBS olive oil
1/2 lb. ground beef
1 lb. bulk pork sausage
2 ( 14 oz.) cans chicken broth
1 (15 oz.) can cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
2 (15 oz.) cans petite diced tomatoes, undrained
2 heaping cups fresh spinach
2 TBS dried basil
2 tsp. dried oregano
1/4 tsp. red pepper flake
1/3 c. shredded Parmesan cheese
1 lb. elbow macaroni
Salt and Pepper to taste

Place onion and garlic in food processor and pulse until extra fine. Heat oil in dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add onion mixture to oil and cook about 2 minutes until tender. Add beef and pork. Continue to cook until meats are browned, about 10 minutes. Drain if necessary. Add beans, broth, tomatoes, basil, oregano, red pepper flakes, salt and pepper. Stir well. Reduce heat to medium. Simmer for 15 minutes until flavors develop. Add macaroni. Stir well to combine. Cook another 10-15 minutes until macaroni is tender. Add spinach, in batches and allow to wilt. Add cheese. Stir and serve. Sprinkle with extra cheese if desired.

Shared on The Country Cook Dec. 19, 2014

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Veggie Twist on a Classic

Tomato Soup and Grilled Cheese. These are a match made in heaven. And in this house you don't have one without the other. By that I mean, we can have a grilled cheese sandwich sans soup, but not the other way around. In fact, we love this combo so much I find myself from having to refrain from making it a weekly menu option.

And I know for a fact many families out there enjoy this combo just as much as we do, so why not put a slight twist on it? How about adding more veggies for a heartier bowl of soup, therefore increasing the nutrients too?

As many of you know, the dreaded flu invaded our house last week. I had a very sick Monkey on my hands. During cold and flu season, I don't think one meal gets served more in households across the country than soup. It is the go-to for so many when we are under the weather to comfort and satisfy our soul. And when the little ones are sick, if you can get some extra veggies in them to try to fight off all those germs, it's an added bonus.

This is basically vegetable soup meets tomato soup. Simplicity at its best, but full of flavor. And yes, the grilled cheese sammies are a must! It's the perfect soup for dipping, and if the sandwich isn't there, well, it's just not going to taste the same. Okay, it probably will, but like I said, the combo is mandatory in our family.

The "sick season" as I call it, isn't going away any time soon. If it hasn't found your house yet, lucky you!!! If like us, you are just trying to get everyone healthy again and hope to God it doesn't come back, try a big pot of this to help fight off all those dreaded germs! Either way, it's going to be delicious and perfect on a cold day, sick or not!. 

Slow Cooker Tomato Veggie Soup
4 c. vegetable juice
1 (32 oz.) bag frozen mixed veggies
1 (6 oz.) can tomato paste
1 (14 oz.) can chicken broth
3 c. water
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. Italian seasoning
1/2 c. finely chopped onion
Dried Parsley
Salt and Pepper to taste

Add all ingredients to slow cooker. Stir to combine. Cook on LOW 6 hours or until heated through. Garnish with dried parsley.

Shared on The Country Cook Dec. 19, 2014

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Out Of The Box Holiday Recipes with Post {A Feature}

What if I told you there is a way to incorporate a favorite morning cereal into your holiday recipes? Did I peak your interest? Well, there is because the great folks at Post have come up with not one, but two recipes using Grape Nuts (YUM!) in some creative ways to enjoy this holiday season! 

Grape-Nuts and Wild Rice Stuffing
 1 box (32 ounces) or 4 cups fat-free lower sodium chicken broth
2 cups water
2 cups wild rice
2 Tablespoons olive oil
3/4 cup chopped onion
3/4 cup chopped celery
3/4 cup chopped carrot
1 teaspoon fresh thyme
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 cup Grape-Nuts Cereal, divided
1/2 cup chopped dried cranberries
1/2 cup golden raisins
1/3 cup chopped parsley
1 Tablespoon chopped sage
1/4 cup sliced almonds

Bring chicken broth and water to a boil, stir in wild rice. Reduce heat and simmer, covered 40-45 minutes or until kernels puff open. Drain off and reserve any excess liquid.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. 

Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil over medium heat in a large skillet. Add onion, celery, carrot, thyme, salt and pepper; saute 1 minute. Reduce heat to medium; cook 4 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat.

In a large bowl, combine rice, vegetables, 3/4 cup of the Grape-Nuts cereal, dried cranberries, raisins, parsley and sage. Add 1 cup of reserved liquid. Spoon stuffing into a 2 quart baking dish. Sprinkle with sliced almonds and remaining 1/4 cup Grape-Nuts Cereal. Cover with foil; bake at 400 degrees F for 20 minutes. Remove foil and bake for 5 minutes more to toast almonds.   

Serves 8
 Prep Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 20 minutes 

Grape-Nuts Greek Yogurt Pie with Sugared Cranberries
 Grape-Nuts Cranberry Crust: 
1 cup ground Grape-Nuts Cereal
1/4 cup cranberry juice concentrate, thawed
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

Greek Yogurt Filling: 
8 ounces block-style cream cheese, room temperature
1 6-ounce container plain non-fat Greek yogurt
1/4 cup honey
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Sugared Cranberries:
1/2 cup fresh or thawed cranberries
1/3 cup sugar

 Fresh mint

Place cereal in food processor container and process until finely crushed. In a medium bowl, mix with juice concentrate and nutmeg until well blended. Press onto bottom and up side of 9-inch pie plate lightly coated with cooking spray. Bake at 350 degrees F for 5 minutes or until light golden brown. Cool completely on wire rack.

With an electric mixer, beat together cream cheese, yogurt, honey and vanilla for 5 minutes until well-combined and fluffy.  Spoon into prepared pie crust and smooth top.  Cover and refrigerate until set, at least 4 hours or preferably overnight.

When ready to serve, prepare sugared cranberries.  Dip cranberries individually in water then roll in sugar.  Dry on paper toweling.

Top each slice with sugared cranberries and fresh mint.  Serves 8.

Prep Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 5 hours

Both sound equally unique and delicious. We all have our favorite traditional recipes this time of year, but if you are like me, you like to add in a few new things every year too. Plus, I love being able to re-purpose ingredients I already have...like my morning cereal!