Wednesday, June 27, 2012

What's For Lunch Wednesday, Fourth Sticks!

PB&J and 4th Sticks.

Audrey helped me make Fourth of July inspired fruit sticks for lunch today. We had our regular Wednesday play date and these were perfect! A simple PB&J accompanied the sticks.

Working hard on her sticks.

We have our play dates at a church with a full kitchen so I just grabbed the supplies and let Audrey create when we arrived. Wednesdays are very busy days starting at 7:30 for our Social Media Club meeting and not ending until school is over at 4:30.

Check out what the other kids had for lunch today at What's For Lunch Wednesday.

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Sunday, June 24, 2012

Cheesy Chicken Enchiladas #SundaySupper

Ready to bake.

We participated in #SundaySupper last week and it was amazing. Our fellow bloggers were so welcoming and friendly. The combined traffic made it a popular event as well. Even though I am out of town this weekend I thought it would be fun to join in again and am I ever glad we did. 

This week we are showcasing Getting Together With Friends and Portable Meals from The Mom 100 Cookbook. I found an easy dish we could make ahead for easy baking while I am out of town. Check out the Mom 100 Website to learn more.

Cheesy Chicken Enchiladas

  • 2 tbsp Canola Oil
  • 14 small (6-inch) Corn Torillas
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 tbsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 can (28-oz) enchilada sauce
  • 4 cups shredded cooked chicken
  • 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
For Serving:
Chopped fresh cilantro
1/2 cup thinly sliced scallions
Thinly sliced avocado
Sour cream

Lightly oil a 13 x 9 dish. Heat the tortillas for 2-3 seconds each side in a large skillet over medium-heat and then place on a plate. Add a little more oil to the pan and saute the onion and garlic for 3 minutes. Incorporate the seasonings and cook until fragrant, about another minute. Add the enchilada sauce and heat until sauce comes to a simmer. Turn off the heat. Place the chicken and half the sauce in a medium bowl and stir to combine. Place tortillas on a work surface. Spoon 1/4 cup chicken onto the edge of the tortilla and then gently roll up the tortilla. Place the enchilada, seam side down in the greased dish. 

Either pour the reserved sauce on top and then sprinkle with cheese or skip the sauce and just add cheese. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes or until cheese is melted. Top with any items desired from the serving list. 

Audrey helped me pull the chicken off the bone and then place the mix on the tortillas. It was a simple but new meal for us. I will try to update the post with info on how the family likes the meal as soon as they eat it.

I spoke with the family and they enjoyed the dinner last night. Two items came up as tips to make the meal better next time. The book said to cover with plastic wrap or foil to store in the fridge. I selected foil and the meal dried out a bit before they baked it. I did not add the second half of the enchilada sauce because it was a little spicy for my family. If you add the rest of the sauce it may not dry out as much. Also, Joshua said he would prefer flour to corn tortillas.

Shredding chicken.

We are honored to be featuring The Mom 100 Cookbook Around the Family Table for #SundaySupper this week.  You will fall in love with Katie Workman and her solutions for all the the cooking-for-kids dilemmas that everyone faces every day.
Join us for #SundaySupper on twitter starting at 3:00 pm EST.  We are featuring Portable Recipes for getting together with friends from The Mom 100 Cookbook.  Katie Workman will be joining us to answer questions, give tips and inspire at 5:30 pm EST.  You don’t want to miss this week’s #SundaySupper and these fabulous recipes!
  • Wine Pairing  to complement our recipes ~ ENOFYLZ
Connect with Katie Workman, Author of The Mom 100 Cookbook:
Join us this week! We’ll share these fabulous recipes and want you to share yours with us!  The fun starts at 3pm EST and lasts all afternoon until dinner time and sometimes beyond.  All you have to do is follow the hashtag #sundaysupper on twitter or follow along on TweetChat.  Our #SundaySupper Pinterest Board will be filled with fabulous family recipes. There is always room Around the Family Table for you.

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Friday, June 22, 2012

Five Make-Ahead Dinners

I am away for a few days and decided to have the girls help me make a few dinners to throw in the oven for simple yet healthy meals. When I attended #TypeACon last year the girls ate fast or processed food the entire time I was gone. There is no guarantee that will not happen again this year but there is a better chance with healthy meals ready to cook.

Here are five of our favorite make ahead dinners for when you want to leave the kitchen!
  1. Tomato, Basil & Cheese Pasta. This is a dish from a Rachael Ray Cookbook, Cooking Rocks! for young children. We love this dish.
  2. Daddy's Favorite Lasagna. We shared this yesterday. Every time we make this meal the girl's daddy thanks us for all of our work in the kitchen. He loves it.
  3. Mini Spaghetti Pies. These are easy to make ahead and then reheat. We made a lot of these while the girl's daddy was away recently with the military. So simple to make, freeze, and reheat.
  4. Muffin Tin Meatloaf. This dish is just like the Spaghetti Pies, yummy and simple. We make these a lot.
  5. Pork Roast. I left this dish in the slow cooker yesterday morning before I left. We have this a lot because I love how delicious it is with so little effort.
We would love to hear what is your favorite Make-Ahead Dinner. This Sunday we will also be sharing another great dish for those moments when you want dinner ready for the oven. Check back with us for #SundaySupper.

Time to make the meatloaf.

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Thursday, June 21, 2012

Mom's Away Lasagna

I am away at a conference these next few days and wanted to leave my family fun and easy dinners. The girls helped me make two easy to pop in the oven casserole type dishes that should feed a small army for a few days. Or at least two small girls and their daddy.

One of the dishes is for our #SundaySupper post. Be sure to check back to see how easy it was to make and how tasty looking.

The other dish is a family favorite, Daddy's Favorite Lasagna. Normally we make this and bake it right away but this time I covered it and wrote directions for baking on the foil. Don't you love Sharpies?

Maurene helped me with the Lasagna and let me just share this tip. No matter how experienced or talented your almost three year old helpers is, don't tell her to spread the shredded cheese and then walk away. It could end badly. 

Here is a picture from last October when Maurene helped me make this dish.

Stirring the cheese, her favorite part.

A final result. 

I wanted to leave my family with easy to fix homemade meals. What dishes do you like to make ahead for traveling or busy days?

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Wednesday, June 20, 2012

What's For Lunch Wednesday, Fruit Bowl

We are calling it "Fruit in a Bowl."

Here is our late post for What's For Lunch Wednesday. I am leaving for a conference tomorrow and a little behind with everything. This meal was packed recently by the adorable Audrey in a round tub in a bed of lettuce. I showed her about lettuce bowls and she thought it was cute. We packed ranch to dip the lettuce in but the girls were too busy playing to even finish the fruit.

Camera phone capture!

Audrey placed the lettuce in the bowl and then stacked fruit on top. I helped her by cutting the strawberries but she did the rest. You cannot see but they had crackers and milk as well. It was another simple lunch for a hot summer day.

Check out what the other kids are having today at What's For Lunch Wednesday.

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Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Barbecue Chicken Wings

When it comes to easy meals it doesn't get better than little pieces of chicken coated in a sweet yet savory sauce. And this one is fun for the little ones to slather with an adorable silicon pastry brush that looks like a blue man.

So serious.

Don't disturb her, she is working.

Maurene could not be left out.

This was a meal prepared by my beautiful children while I got ready for a run. I laid out the chicken and set Audrey up with the potatoes and a sharp knife. The potatoes are easier to cut when they are less wobbly so I cut them in half for her. She cut most in quarters and then sliced a few thin for the girls. Maurene would not be left out so I set her up with a small cutting board and her own potato. She pulled out a child sized butter knife and then was upset it would not cut. I let her hold a sharp knife while I placed my hand over hers and let her help me cut a few. 

After these simple preparations were made we put the food in the oven and the corn on the stove all ready to cook. Audrey went to piano lessons and I went for my run. All that had to be done was to turn on the oven and stove. I would love to share a picture of this fabulous meal but it was mostly consumed by the time I returned home from running with friends.

Mom's Tasks:

  1. Gather ingredients
  2. Set up chicken and potatoes
  3. Turn on the heat (actually daddy did this job)
Audrey and Maurene's Tasks:
  1. Coat chicken in sauce
  2. Cut potatoes and toss them in oil and salt
It was that simple. What is your favorite weeknight meal?

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Monday, June 18, 2012

Muffin Tin Monday, Picnic!

Our idea of fast food.

We took our Muffin Tin Monday on the road today! This summer we are touring the parks of our city and today is a park date. Instead of missing the girl's favorite meal I packed up some good tin food and off we went.

The girls played for a bit and then decided they were hungry. Audrey happily participated but cranky Mo only wanted crackers and cherries. At least it wasn't fast food!

Loading up the tins.

Audrey had fresh pineapple, raisins, carrots (with a to-go peanut butter tub), cherries, pretzels, Gold Fish crackers, and Ritz crackers. They washed it down with some hydrating water; it was warm today!

Check out what the other kids had today at Muffin Tin Monday.

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Sunday, June 17, 2012

Healthy French Toast #SundaySupper

In honor of Father's Day we are sharing my father's famous French Toast recipe. Since he remarried ten years ago this is the only meal he has continued to make at family functions. Almost every time we visit he gets up early and cooks this memorable dish for us. 

The girls and I decided to tweak the recipe slightly to make it a little healthier.
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 2 tbsp sweet potato puree (we used baby food but you can make your own)
  • 8 slices whole grain bread
Mix eggs, milk, and sweet potato puree in a medium bowl. Place bread in the mixture and then flip to coat the other side. Cook bread in a hot skillet with a little bit of olive oil for 3-4 minutes on each side.

I rarely make this meal because this is a meal made famous by Papa Jim. My version turned out a little overdone with the first few slices but better toward the end. The girls happily ate every bite and even the burnt bacon.

Her favorite utensil.

Watching momma cook.

Healthy French Toast.

She can't taste the healthy stuff.

We swapped whole grain bread for Papa Jim's white and added a little pureed vegetable. It did not change the taste much. I like the firm texture of the whole grain instead of the white bread.

Try making a healthy swap to one of your family favorites and see if anyone notices. I am lucky my girls are young enough to not question the addition of pureed sweet potatoes to the batter.

What are you making for Sunday Supper?

Happy Father’s Day to all the Dad’s that hold a special place in our hearts. The recipes this week are a tribute to fathers:
Father’s Day Brunch:
Dad’s Favorite Soup, Salads and Bread:
Father’s Day Favorite Main Dishes:
Dad’s Sweet Tooth:
Wine Pairings for Father’s Day ENOFYLZ
We love to connect with you and answer any of your recipe questions and inspire you to spend more time Around the Family Table with loved ones. Whether it’s #SundaySupper or #weekdaysupper, our team always has great recipes to share.
With this amazing menu, Father’s Day is sure to be a special Occasion. Join us this week and enjoy The Perfect #SundaySupper Father’s Day Menu. We’ll share these fabulous recipes and want you to share yours with us!  The fun starts at 3pm EST and lasts all afternoon until dinner time and sometimes beyond.  All you have to do is follow the hashtag #sundaysupper on twitter or follow along on TweetChat.  Our #SundaySupper Pinterest Board will be filled with wonderful Simple and Fresh Summer Recipes. There is always room Around the Family Table for you.

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Thursday, June 14, 2012

Big News

I have been working more and have had less time to cook with the girls these last few weeks. Mostly we have been enjoying the summer and have been spending less time in the kitchen.

Instead of leaving you with nothing I thought I would share an exciting piece of information. 

It is a very poorly kept secret that the girl's daddy and I never married before we had the girls. It was a personal choice but we have decided to change it. This past Christmas we got engaged and are planning a fall destination wedding. 

Our favorite place to relax is Devil's Den State Park, our recent mini vacation. We went there to get away but I also was taking a look around and making plans. Plans for our ceremony.

I am working with my mother-in-law and step-mother to plan a nice weekend. They are both very helpful and have tons of ideas. I am undecided. Everyone is driving or flying in so we will be providing all the meals, including an evening dinner party. All of the cabins have a full kitchen. We will have to have everything made or make it ourselves. The closest city of any size is over 30 minutes away.

Since it is in the country I would love an outdoor yet classy feel to the food. Could you help? I have a Pinterest Board for this and would love feedback and new ideas.

Ceremony to take place October 14, 2012.

Ceremony location.
Reception location.
Our mini vacation.
She doesn't cater yet.

What do you think? Please share ideas here or on Facebook.

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Wednesday, June 13, 2012

What's For Lunch Wednesday, Peanut Butter Apples

Putting together the apples.
Peanut Butter Apples and cream cheese graham cracker sammies. Add some strawberries, carrots, cucumbers and dip and you have the makings of a yummy lunch. The girls love to make Peanut butter apples and they are so easy. 

Simple lunch.

Since the girls are older now they are starting to eat better at meals instead of just picking a few tasty items out of their lunch boxes. When we pack lunches for a play date or picnic in the park I have to really consider what items they will enjoy. Audrey loves PB&Js but Mo is not fond of sandwiches. Mo would love nothing more than bananas and cheese but Audrey prefers melon. Unless I want to make two separate meals I need to get creative about lunch.

Check out what the other kids are having this week at What's For Lunch Wednesday.

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Tuesday, June 12, 2012

A French Lunch

Audrey has become more independent lately. When lunch time arrives she runs to the kitchen so she can be the on to plan and make the meal. Even though her skills are still limited to opening lids and filling a cold platter, she has done well. This is her latest creation:

A fruit and cracker plate with yogurt.

The strawberries came from our garden. Crackers are kept on a high shelf and the apricot and yogurt are in the fridge. She made sure to tell me repeatedly that she was making lunch and I was to stay out of the kitchen. I only entered to take the picture. 

This meal comes with no recipe and no how to except let your children explore. They will learn. In the grocery store this week several people stopped to ask about my helpers. Audrey had a list and Maurene was making suggestions. There was no doubt who was in charge and it wasn't me. I added a few items they forgot and we had a grand time.

What have you let your child plan? A meal, an outing, an evening? I would love to hear about it or see pictures on Facebook.

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Monday, June 11, 2012

Muffin Tin Monday, Pancake Sticks

Pancakes on a Stick is a recent Pinterest find. We love the site for finding amazing new recipes to try and crafts to make. If ever we find a free moment we check out one of our Pinterest Boards for inspiration.

I wish ours looked more like the inspiration but at least we had fun making them. There are plenty of years to learn staging and setup.

Both girls helped with the pancake batter and then I cooked the little bites up quickly. Once they were cooked each came to put together their own tin. So cute!

Maurene always cracks the eggs.

Audrey helped with the batter.

Audrey making up sticks.

Maurene adding fruit to her sticks.

Check out what the other kids are having this week at Muffin Tin Monday.

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Friday, June 8, 2012

Five Fun Cookout Foods

Shucking corn.
We went camping. And we have been doing a lot of cooking out, at home and at the park. Fortunately for us there are a number of great parks with cooking grills in our town. The girls think playing at the park while mommy or daddy cooks is the greatest thing. They love it so much they will gladly clean the kitchen and pack all of our picnic supplies for the fun evening meal. Here are a few of our favorite meals to enjoy al fresco.
  1. Chicken Packets. We make these up and just throw them on the grill when we get there. So simple and so yummy.
  2. Grilled Pizza. This was a recent find and we are in love. Even Mo loved this pizza and she does not like much other than bananas and cheese. And crackers, she loves crackers. Does Ritz want to sponsor us?
  3. Corn on the Cobb. Most make this on the grill, we like it boiled just to perfection. If we include it in a meal to go I simply wrap the cooked ears in foil.
  4. No Bake Energy Bites. Another recent find. They make up easy and travel well. We love them at the park or straight from the bowl. Don't tell we eat them from the bowl.
  5. Walking Tacos. This is a meal to make before heading to the park. Or for having a party in the back yard. Simple, portable, fabulous. They are an instant favorite.
What is your favorite food for cookouts or camping? 

Chopping mushrooms for Chicken Packets.

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Thursday, June 7, 2012

Grilled Pizza

Grilled pizza and fresh pineapple.

A first for us and we were blown away. Who knew it was so easy to grill pizza? The girls loved playing with the dough getting it flat for the grill and then Mo was my sweet helper for toppings. Audrey was being the big sis and cleaning up their room. This really was a magical day for us.

Adding toppings

Finished product

This was a lot easier than I thought it would be. Just use the dough you would to make pizzas (we made ours in the bead machine) and throw it on the grill. After the dough cooks for 3-4 minutes on a hot grill with the lid down check to see if it has grill marks. If so pull it off and load toppings on the grilled side. Once it is topped place it back on the grill for another 3-4 minutes or until your cheese is melted. This is the type of pizza that requires all the toppings to be cooked and warm because they will not cook long on the grill. 

We loved it! The smokey flavor of the grilled crust was amazing and made a regular pizza taste gourmet. Try it yourself to see.

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Wednesday, June 6, 2012

What's For Lunch Wednesday, Hiking

Trail lunch.

While we were at Devil's Den we packed lunch and went on a three mile hike on our favorite trail, Yellow Rock. Audrey did the packing and Mo the sulking. 

Enjoying the trail.

We had PB&Js (not Mo's favorite), pretzels, fresh fruit, pineapple, and trail mix! The girls enjoyed the trail mix almost more than the fresh fruit and we all know how much they love fruit.

Filling the lunch box.

We took our lunches and hit the trail. I took some photos and planned to put together a photographic essay but it really was just a collection of pictures of Mo being two. It was a great adventure and I am so glad we were able to enjoy the experience.

Eating lunch at the lookout.

The raison d'etre.

Check out what the other kids are having this week at What's For Lunch Wednesday.

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