Menus of a Mom

Just trying to get the family fed!


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Recap Week of 10/29/12

Happy Halloween!  I hope everyone had a safe and happy holiday!  We did, my little garden gnome has been all candy-crazed since Halloween for sure.  Now I remember why she doesn’t get sweets a whole lot…

Other than all of the candy, we had a great food week:

Monday, 10/29: Twice Baked Spaghetti Squash

It was tasty and pretty easy.  I told Boog we were having “Spaghetti Boats” for dinner and she ate it right up.

Tuesday, 10/30: Buffalo Chicken Chili

This was pretty easy made in the crock pot.  LOVED it!  Husband raved and had to take leftovers to his buddy at the shop.  Boog asked, “What’s this?  Is it a carrot?  Mmm, I like carrots.”  She asked for more carrots and more beans.  What?!?  This is a definite winner in my house, and the only prep was to chop some veggies the night before.

Wednesday, 10/31: HALLOWEEN! Creamy Chipotle Chicken

Husband was wound up about this one too.  While it was pretty tasty, I might keep some of this on hand in a bind, but probably won’t keep the Campbell’s skillet sauces in a normal rotation.  It’s a prepackaged sauce so the stats (read: SODIUM!) are a bit horrendous.

Thursday, 11/1: Crowd Pleasing Vegetable Casserole

Ok, I get that this is definitely not a “virtuous” recipe, but anything that gets my two-year old to hork down an entire bowl of vegetables can’t be all bad, right?  Seriously, this was delicious…with no prep…and less than an hour of bake time.  Yeah.  Winner Winner Vegetable Dinner.

Friday, 11/2: Chili Mac (made with our leftover Doc’s Chili)

I know, I took super healthy chili and dumped it over carbs and added cheese on top.  But it was good.  And at least I started with healthy chili…?  Again, a hit with the Boog, but it’s “skyettee” so how could it not be.  My favorite thing about this is that the preparation was already done.

In other news, the fever is gone, but I’m still feeling a little wiped out.  So, this will be the new format for the foreseeable future, unless I get struck by some extra energy and amazing words come to me…but probably not 🙂

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Fall is Here!

Fall is here!  At least it seemed that way with the Poppy Seed Pork with Apples and Rice we had for dinner tonight.  It was all around a success.  I think I make this once a year during the fall and it’s just so hearty and warm and delicious.

The  slow cooker recipe does say to put the apples in late and says to cook it for less than 10 hours <insert mood-setting doom music here>, but this recipe still works leaving it on warm for longer than it suggests.  The apples turn to complete mush, but it’s a good thing, combining with the juices and dressing to create a delicious sauce for the pork and rice.

When we got home, it was of course, very hot.  Since time was limited on swim class night, I wanted to cool Boog’s down so she could eat it and used the colorful ice cube trick to do so.

While I was stirring the orangey-red ice cube into her bowl, she told me, very emphatically:

That’s my bowl.  Don’t eat it.  Don’t eat my stuff, Mommy.

I guess she knew she was going to like it and want to eat it, and she did 🙂


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Sometimes It’s OK to Change Your Mind

I know, I know.  After the debacle with the lasagna last week, I sort of swore off using the slow cooker for anything but shredded bbq and pot roasts.  I immediately turned around and made the turkey in it on Tuesday, but that totally counts as a roast, so yeah.

I had planned to have enchiladas on Friday night, but decided to switch nights and have them tonight instead.  After having a really easy prep schedule this week and crazy times at work, no part of me wanted to cook and shred chicken last night.  So, I decided to cook all of the enchilada filling in the slow cooker today instead!

This morning, I threw diced onion, diced bell pepper, diced tomatoes, chicken, and taco seasoning in there with some water…and when I came home, there was beautifully cooked chicken.  I used the hand mixer to shred it and them mixed in some Greek yogurt to add creaminess.  Of course, I topped them off with some shredded cheddar cheese, with some help from Boog, and popped them into the oven.

In an overabundance of caution (since I got burned last week), I added a bit too much water, but otherwise, these were great.  This is definitely the plan for enchiladas from now on, though I will probably mix up the ingredients a little more, like some salsa verde in place of the tomatoes.  Who knows?  Now that I found a way to make these even easier, I’ll have time to think through new options 🙂


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Crock-Pot Disaster

MMMM…I wish you could smell this. Don’t you?

Yep.  There’s that.  That is slow cooker lasagna.  Can’t you tell?

No?  Well, I’m offended.

So, here’s the thing about slow cooker recipes…Most of them have a lot of potential for SAHMs and WAHMs, but not so much for people who work outside of the home, especially full-time.  Because most recipes call for cooking on HIGH 3-4 hours or LOW 6-8 hours.  So, if you’re out of the house for say, 10+ hours, like I am, you have a couple of options, both of which I’ve attempted to use in recent dinner disasters:

1. Instead of cooking on LOW for 6 hours, try WARM for 10-1/2 hours.  Result: Gummy, not quite cooked food – see one not awful example here, and another complete disaster example here.

2. Cook it on LOW and go for broke.  And you end up with that “delicious” mess above.

While disappointed (I had dreamed of lasagna all day), I’m not surprised.  I knew it was a long shot.  Tuesdays are going to have to go back to sandwiches or reheats or proven crock-pot meals, like BBQ, because these experiments have not been working.  TGFEM!  We had some Easy Mac in the pantry leftover from our time at the beach, so that’s what Boog and I ate.

Easy Mac + Purple Ice Cube

My husband tried to reassure me that he could tell it would have been “really good” had it cooked for two hours less.  It makes me really sad that I put so many veggies in it.  I would have enjoyed them.

I leave you with this.

Notice the nice, uniform brown-grey color. Oh wait, it was supposed to be green, red, white, orange…

I don’t plan to post the recipe.  Now, now, don’t cry.  At least my dogs will be eating good for the next few days.  Again.


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Vegetarian Mexican Lasagna

Today, the Vegetarian Mexican Lasagna was up to bat.  This was super easy to prepare.  It didn’t take very long last night to get everything ready and no time this morning to layer the ingredients into the crock pot.  Voilà!  Dinner was waiting for us when we got home.

Unfortunately, the Boog was not a fan.  She ate the sour cream off of the top and then declared that she didn’t like it, but she did try a bite.  Maybe the cauliflower threw her off? Eh, she ended up eating leftover polenta from last night.

I liked it. My husband said it was “different”, but he made it seem like that was a good thing.  This wasn’t one of those WOWZA! recipes, but it was pretty tasty, especially with a little sour cream and sweet chili sauce.  Next time, I would add onions and bell peppers to bring it around a little more.  But it’s a keeper for swim class nights and meatless nights, for sure!