Everyday Mom's Meals

Sunday, April 22, 2018

One Bite Winner

After so many years of doing this, sometimes it is hard to get the reaction to a new recipe I'm hoping for from my boys. The teenager is usually easier to sell than Mr. E, because let's face it, he would pretty much eat the tongue of his shoe if Mommy took the time to heat it up, and maybe covered it in cheese.

It isn't that the hubby isn't thankful or enjoys my cooking or effort, I think it is simply the fact new recipes are such a normal around here, he is used to it. While other husbands might find themselves in a rut with what is for supper every night (and believe me, we fall into those too), my job is to make sure I have new things to share with all of you, so he reaps the benefits.

So last week when I decided to give this one a go, I certainly wasn't prepared for the reaction I got. Let me set the scene for you. Mr. E was actually late getting home from work, not much, but enough that the boys and I had already finished supper by the time he walked in the door.

After tweaking it a bit, cooking it, photographing it and finally sitting down to eat it, Alex and I had declared it to be really yummy. "Oh Mom, this is really good", and I agreed. (Max had eaten earlier and was happily munching on some toddler puff snacks, but he did have a couple macaronis, and even he was happy.)

Then it was daddy's turn. He came home. Said hi to the boys and sat down to eat. He had asked me earlier in the day what was for supper, so he knew it was a new casserole. And that's when it happened. From the other room, after about only 20 seconds, enough time he could have taken one or two bites, I hear, "Wow. This is really good. Mmmm. Yeah, I would eat more of this."

Was I hearing things? Was he actually making a big deal out of a new recipe? Excited even? Yes, yes he was. That's when I knew I had a winner. Something that could be put on the dinner rotation permanently. Yay!!

So there you have it. The 100% endorsement from my house to yours. I hope if you try it, you get as much warm and fuzzy feedback as I did! After all, the cook always likes to be complimented, no matter how long we've been doing it!

Nacho Beef Casserole
1 lb. elbow macaroni
1 lb. ground beef
1 (7 oz.) can diced green chilies, reserve 2 TBS
1 TBS taco seasoning
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. onion powder
1 tsp. chili powder
1 (10 oz.) can cheddar cheese soup
2/3 cup milk
1 cup finely shredded Colby Jack cheese
Salt and Pepper to taste
Pickled jalapenos  

Preheat oven to 350. Grease a 9x13 baking dish. Boil pasta to al dente. Meanwhile, in a large skillet, brown beef. Drain if necessary. Add green chilies. Stir well. In a medium bowl whisk soup and milk. Add chili powder, garlic powder, onion powder, taco seasoning, salt and pepper. Mix well.  When pasta is cooked, drain well. Add to skillet with beef. Pour sauce in. Gently stir to combine. Transfer to baking dish. Top with shredded cheese and extra green chilies. Bake for 20 minutes until set and cheese has melted. Garnish with jalapenos. 

Monday, April 16, 2018

Yes, I Know It's Fake

Have you noticed more and more people are becoming very brave online? And by that I mean they know they can sit behind their keyboards and spew out opinions and hide from the person they are saying it to. Yep, cyber bullying is a term that has invaded our culture and our homes. 

Well, me and my friends, aka food bloggers, know all too well how these comments flow freely and without much remorse from many. From the use of Minute Rice, to cake mixes, to condensed soups (the list could really go on and on) folks have opinions on all of them and they basically want to tar and feather any of us who use them. 

Now I will be honest, I haven't had near as many of the nasty comments on these said foods as many other bloggers. I don't know if it's because EMM fans are more polite, or like me, my followers are all for taking a short cut here and there to make sure dinner is tasty and still on budget. 

Today's recipe includes one of those "evil" foods a lot of people love to hate on. Imitation Crab. Oh my. Yes I said it. And before we go any further, yes I know it's fake. I know it doesn't have an ounce of real crab in it. And yes, I think it tastes good and I'm okay with it! If it isn't your thing, please move on, or heck spend the big $$$ on the real if you want. Whatever floats your boat. For us, the fake stuff works just fine, and leaves my wallet a little fatter. 

This is going to become a huge hit this summer to every party, cookout, picnic, and backyard barbecue you take it to. Everyone is going to want the recipe (sorry if when you tell them you get the crab hate too) and ask you to bring it again!

I actually served this as a main dish with some crusty bread and fresh cantaloupe on the side; and I know that is how we will enjoy many times this summer, on those hot nights when it's too hot to eat but you're starving! 

I love what I do, and I know there are downsides to every job. But maybe, if we all just take a step back and remember there is someone on the other side of the screen, and make sure we aren't typing anything we wouldn't say to some one's face this whole online world can be just a little bit happier.

Crab Pasta Salad
1 lb. salad shells
1 lb. imitation crab
2 large celery ribs, diced
1 red bell pepper, diced
1 yellow bell pepper, diced
1 (3 oz.) can sliced black olives, drained
1 1/2 cups plain yogurt
1/4 cup mayo
1/4 cup zesty Italian salad dressing
1 TBS Chesapeake seasoning
1 tsp. celery seed
1 TBS mustard
1/2 TBS soy sauce
Salt and Pepper to taste
Dried Chives for garnish

Cook pasta according to package directions. Meanwhile, place crab in a large bowl. Using two forks, tear it apart to separate it. Add celery, peppers and olives. In a medium bowl combine yogurt, mayo, salad dressing, Chesapeake seasoning, celery seed, mustard, soy sauce, salt and pepper. Stir well. When pasta is cooked, rinse with cold water and drain well. Add to bowl. Pour dressing over. Mix gently to combine. Chill for a couple hours. Garnish with dried chives. 

Shared at Weekend Potluck

Inspired by Wine and Glue

Thursday, April 5, 2018

Upping Your Frozen Food Game

I am so blessed to have so many connections because of what I do here. One of my favorite communities I've been working with lately is MyMagazine Sharing Network through the Kroger family of stores. 

I receive free samples or coupons for free items and get to try them and let the powers that be know what I think of them. Plus, share my thoughts on social media too! 

My latest campaign came at a perfect time. They sent me coupons for various items from the frozen food section of my local Kroger store, and asked I try to elevate one or more of them to something new. 

Mission accomplished! I knew exactly which one I was going to play around with first too. The oldest was home for Spring Break and it was time to come up with a fun, tasty lunch for him using Farm Rich Mozzarella Cheese Sticks.

I looked in the pantry to see what I had on hand, and about 30 minutes later I had a dish he loved and I knew would be a big hit with your kids too! Rather it be lunch, after school snack or a kids' party these will be the star! I can just see a bunch of littles around the pool, soaking up the sun, scarfing these down!

Oh, and if you wonder why there is no sauce on this pizza? I was afraid it would make it too wet, but some on the side to dip might be good. I just didn't have any on hand! 

If you want to learn more about MyMagazine Sharing Network, click here & maybe you can start to receive yummy free samples too!

Cheese Stick Pizza 
15 frozen mozzarella sticks*
Sliced Pepperoni
3/4 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
Sliced Black Olives
Canned Mushrooms
Dried Oregano

Cook cheese sticks according to package directions. When finished, allow to cool for just a couple minutes. Reduce oven temp to 350. Transfer to a 9 inch pie plate. Top with cheese, pepperoni, olives and mushrooms.  Bake for 5-7 minutes until cheese is melted. Sprinkle with oregano. *NOTES* 15 cheese sticks fit in my pie plate perfectly, be sure to check yours. Some marinara on the side for dipping would be fun too, I just didn't have any on hand. 

Disclaimer: I received a free sample I used in this recipe. The blog post and recipe were all my ideas.

Sunday, March 18, 2018

Barbecue Season IS Coming

When spring has sprung one day, and the next there are snowflakes are falling from the sky I keep telling myself over and over warmer weather is on the way. 

It has to be! The first official day of spring is this week, it is staying light out until 7:30 or later, and I am starting to crave all things dubbed "warm weather" food. ALL of these are signs my favorite time of year is right around the corner. 

So this past weekend when the sun was shining and the thermometer went above 50, it was time to grill! I had my Barbecue Burgers on the menu, with some roasted asparagus and wanted a summer side dish too! Obviously the first two things that came to mind were either potato or pasta salad. Well, we had just had potato salad so pasta salad it was. Macaroni to be exact; and it was time for something new. We all adore Mom's Macaroni Salad, but I wanted to try something new. 

I didn't know for sure what it would have in it, but I knew it would have LOTS of hard boiled eggs in it. A little brainstorming and taste testing later, I had complete success. In fact, Mr. E tasted it when it was still half warm and said "I don't even care it's warm. We need lots of that. Lots and lots." I knew it was a winner! 

With all those backyard barbecues and cookouts that are coming our way, one more macaroni/pasta salad recipe is sure to come in handy. Not to mention the graduation parties, bridal, baby showers and picnics, there will be so many times to eat this I can't wait! But if you don't want to wait...I think it would be super tasty with your Easter ham too!

Country Macaroni Salad
1 lb. elbow macaroni
6 hard boiled eggs, chopped
2 celery ribs, diced
1 1/2 cups mayo
2 tsp. yellow mustard
2 TBS sweet relish
1/4 tsp. onion powder
1 TBS Worcestershire sauce
1 TBS dried parsley
1/2 tsp. celery seed 
Salt and Pepper to taste

Cook macaroni, rinse and drain. Place in large bowl in fridge for 20-30 minutes to chill. In a medium bowl mix mayo, mustard, relish, onion powder, Worcestershire, parsley, celery seed, salt and pepper. When macaroni is chilled, add chopped eggs and celery. Stir combine. Pour dressing over mixture. Stir well. Chill in fridge until ready to serve. Stir before serving.*NOTE* Allowing the macaroni to chill not only cools it, but it also prevents the salad from becoming watery.

Shared at Weekend Potluck
Shared at Meal Plan Monday

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Be Adventerous

Before my husband came long, I wasn't the adventurous eater I am today. I was always a good eater, mom and dad made sure of that, but I just didn't have the opportunity to try so many new things until Adam shared them with me. He loved all different cuisines and forced me to try things I had never dreamt of. And for the most part, I discovered I loved them too. Sushi, Calamari, Raw Tuna, just to name a few. Oh, and of course Korean food, which is where today's recipe comes in.

We have this little Korean restaurant here in town, a little "hole in the wall" if you will, and the first time he took me there I was not impressed. That will teach me not to judge a book by its cover! I had NO idea what to order, but he guided me to something he was pretty sure he knew I would love, and he was right! 

If you've never had Bibimbap, it literally means "mixed rice." It is this huge rice, meat, veggie mixture, and then...here is my favorite part...it has an ooey gooey fried egg served on top. Why? Because the minute you cut into it, the warm yolk covers everything making it's own sauce. I know it might sound weird, but you have to take my word for it...one bite and you will be hooked. 

Every time we go, I order the same thing, savor each and every bite and am always sad when it's gone. So it was about time I made a version at home we could enjoy any time. 

You can easily adapt this to include veggies you love, these are what I had on hand. You can also add some sriracha or garlic chili paste if you like it hot! 
And don't get overwhelmed! It really isn't a complicated recipe, it just has a lot of steps. But you can prep the veggies, and even pre-cook the rice too! Then all you have to worry about is the beef and frying up some eggs. Just take your time and take it one step at a time. No lie- I made this on a Monday night, with 1 hour until dinner had to be ready for Alex to eat before Tae Kwon Do, and Max was at my feet the whole time! My point? If I can do it, YOU can too! 
If you aren't a very adventurous eater, or maybe your kids won't touch anything that isn't a chicken nugget or hot dog, I urge you to start small. Try something like this that has things that are familiar, and then go from there!

Korean Beef Bowl
2 lbs. ground beef
6 garlic cloves, minced or grated
1/2 c. packed brown sugar
1/2 c. low sodium soy sauce
4 tsp. sesame oil
1/2 tsp. ground ginger
1/4-1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
Black Pepper to taste
1 medium cucumber, sliced thin
3 medium carrots, grated*
1 bunch green onions, chopped*
6 cups cooked white rice*
4 eggs, cooked over easy or sunny side up
Sesame Seeds for garnish 

Prep ALL veggies, and set aside. In a large skillet brown beef with garlic until no longer pink. Drain well, return to skillet.  In a medium bowl whisk together brown sugar, soy sauce, sesame oil, ginger, red pepper and black pepper. Pour over beef. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer about 5 minutes until sauce reduces a little. To assemble, place rice in bottom of bowl. Top with beef, cucumber, carrots and green onions. Place 1 cooked egg on each bowl. Sprinkle with sesame seeds. *NOTES* When grating carrots, use the large hole on a box grater. You only want the dark green parts of the green onions. Don't stress over using "fancy" rice. Save yourself some time and energy and use minute rice! Brown can be substituted too. 

Inspired by The Recipe Critic  

 Shared at Weekend Potluck
Shared at Meal Plan Monday