Sunday, July 29, 2012

Bringing #SundaySupper to All



When I first came across the #sundaysupper movement I was immediately intrigued. It was so lovely to find a group of people who still believed in the power of a family sitting down for dinner and sharing a meal. No TV, no video games, no texting in the middle of the main course. Supper is a time to regroup and focus on the family.

Yeah, a lot of my friends think I am old fashioned. We are fairly conservative. We go to church together on Sundays, we have family "date night", I homeschool my kids. We spend a lot of time together as a family but to me there is something special about the time spent in the kitchen. My kids love to cook with me and with them being so young sometimes it is more of a headache than a help but I love knowing I am building in them a fondness of food and the care to make meals by hand that seems all but extinct in many households these days. We take pride in our creations and without even knowing it my children are building a bond of trust and admiration that will last through out their lives.



Our topic this week was to discuss what #sundaysupper means to me. It encompasses so many things but I truly believe that this small daily act of sharing a meal with your family will grow our children into more competent, respectful, and socially aware adults. We have a long lasting tradition in our home that at least once a week we will make double the recipe we need for our family and freeze the extra half to give to a family in our community in need. I don't necessarily mean an impoverished family (although many times the families we help have fallen on hard times) but bringing help to a family of new parents, single parents, new neighbors, and other families who may find it temporarily difficult to have the time to cook a meal themselves. It is sad today how many people will go out of their way to donate to reputable charities that send aid to other countries when they couldn't even tell you the first names of their next door neighbors. 50 years ago these were the people you depended on in an emergency, the women you swapped recipes with, the men who helped you carry in your groceries when you had 3 small kids in tow, the children who would come play in your yard and drink your lemonade. I know, again, many say I live in a dream world, but why should it be? How easy is it to reach out and help your neighbors in need? You never know who or what is going on behind closed doors and perhaps that is what people are so afraid of (too much Desperate housewives on tv! haha) but the simple act of saying hello or bringing someone some extra bread you made can make a world of difference in someone's life. Food speaks to everyone, it is a universal language because it is something we all need to survive. Another is companionship.



I have found a great resource for freezer meals is over at Once a Month Mom. Now you don't have to make EVERY recipe she has for the month if you don't want to but she has a great template to know how much extra to make for an extra family. You could even quadruple the recipe and give the same dish to a few different neighbors. It comes with the recipe, shopping lists, and labels with directions for heating up from frozen! I love seeing my neighbors who are now my friends faces light up when they see us coming with some goodies for them! And the joy it brings my children to give someone something they made that they know with bring them happiness is a priceless reward for my heart. I encourage you all to look around to those closest to you and bring a hand delivered meal to them with a message of friendship and watch the love in your community blossom!



The #sundaysupper initiative has been gaining a lot of national attention in recent months (yay!) and we are blessed to have many brand name companies wanting to join in and promote our cause. This week, Merrill has extended a wonderful opportunity for our readers to enter for the chance to win a new pair of shoes! Head over to some of my foodie friend's blogs for your shot a winning one of 10 pairs of brand new shoes! Then you can put them on and go meet your neighbors! :)





Merrell has chosen these 10 amazing bloggers to host a giveaway on their site.  Make sure you stop by for a chance to win some great Merrell Products.  From city streets to mountain trails and everywhere in between, we are impressed by Merrell’s passion!
The inspiration and recipes don’t stop there, we have more reasons to celebrate wine, food, friends and #SundaySupper and you don’t want to miss these great posts and recipes:
Let’s celebrate wine, food, friends and #SundaySupper.  The fun starts every week at 3:00pm ET by showcasing fabulous recipes. At 7:00 pm ET, we will start our live chat.  Join us on twitter by using hashtag #Sundaysupper or using Tweetchat.  We love to feature your recipes on our #sundaysupper pinterest board and share them with all of our followers.
You might want to say hello to our friends at Merrell too: www.merrell.com
Or connect with them on Twitter @merrelloutside and Facebook www.facebook.com/merrell
Check them out on You Tube 
  

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Chilli Cheese Corn Dog Muffins



Looking for something your kids will not only not complain about but absolutely love?? We generally try to eat fresh and healthy in our home which surprisingly my kids don't seem to have a problem with but every now and then they need a special kid specific treat (and so do you!).

I got this idea from my #sundaysupper team mate over at In the Kitchen with KP.  Her recipe was for corn dog muffins but who doesn't love a chilli dog?? We mixed in some no bean chilli into our cornbread mix and substituted cheese dogs. Yeah...... don't count the calories!! Just close your eyes and enjoy!








Ingredients:
  • 1 package cornbread mix, prepare as directed 
  • 1 can no beans chilli
  • 1 cup shredded Mexican blend cheese
  • 4 cheese hot dogs, sliced 
Directions:
Preheat oven to 400F.

Prepare cornbread as directed on packaging. Grease muffin pans. Pour cornbread mixture in each hole about 1/3 of the way. (This should leave you with about half of your cornbread mix left over) Mix remaining cornbread mixture and chilli until well blended. Top  plain cornbread mixture with the chilli cornbread mixture. Sprinkle cheese on top of cornbread and place hot dog slices on top of cheese pressing down slightly. Bake in oven for 20-25 mins. 

Our Ratings:


Mama F: 8 - Not gonna lie, I was a little scared to eat these. But they were so yummy! Even if they did take all my WW points for the day! 

Daddy F: 7 - Reminded me of my childhood. Wish there was a way to make them a little less fattening but still taste as good! 

Fuller Kids: 10 - Of course they LOVED them. They each ate 3 and wanted more!

Lucky the Dog: 12 - Lucky loves cornbread. Chilli tasty. Lucky the dog LOVES hot dog!! Cheese inside gets extra 2 points! Puppy perfection!

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Fresh Mozzarella Pasta Casserole for #SundaySupper




 Once again this week we are getting the chance to work with Katie Workman and her new cookbook "The Mom 100".  The #sundaysupper crew were all asked to pick from a list of her recipes and recreate it adding our own twists. When I saw this recipe I knew it would be a hit in our home - we love pasta. This dish, like many featured in her book, are kid friendly, healthy, and quick to make. We chose to change it up a bit by mixing in ricotta along with our mozzarella for a more creamy texture!



Ingredients
  • 1 (12-16 oz) box pasta, shape of your choice 
  • 8 oz package fresh mozzarella, cut into small cubes 
  • 8 oz whole milk ricotta cheese
  • 1 (24-28 oz) jar pasta sauce -we used tomato basil
  • Parmesan Cheese for topping (optional) 

Directions:

 Cook pasta according to the package directions, bringing just below al dente. Drain the pasta and add the sauce, tossing to coat fold in Mozzarella and pour into a casserole dish sprinkle with Parmesan if using Bake at 350 for 20-25 minutes, until bubbly




We are honored to have Katie as our guest during our #SundaySupper live chat at 7:00 pm est.  Join us and chat with Katie about being a mom, kids and Spending time Around the Family Table.

We will be giving away 3 copies of the Mom 100 Cookbooks. This is an event you don’t want to miss!!


Here are some  favorites we will be sharing with you during #SundaySupper this week.

Salads:
Main Dish:
Desserts:
Wine pairing Wine Everyday  @wineeveryday

We will be sharing great family recipes all afternoon and want you to share yours with us! #SundaySupper starts every week at 3:00pm EST by showcasing fabulous recipes.  Follow us on twitter by using hashtag #Sundaysupper or using Tweetchat.  We love to feature your recipes on our #sundaysupper pinterest board and share them with all our followers.
The Mom 100 Cookbook

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Thai Chicken Lettuce Wraps



It has been a busy busy this last week in our home! We have celebrated 2 birthdays (Little E's and mine!) and I have been on the phone almost everyday with Disney booking reservations for clients since the 2013 rates just came out! The last thing I have felt like doing at the end of the day was cooking something fancy. I wanted to be off my feet and eating ASAP!

 These Thai Chicken Lettuce wraps are always a favorite with the family and are a great choice if you are on a low carb diet!





Ingredients:
  • 2 large chicken breasts
  • 3 tablespoons peanut oil
  • 1 tablespoon fresh ginger, minced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup onions, chopped
  • 3 Thai chilis (more or less to taste), chopped
  • 1/4 cup water chestnuts, chopped

Marinade:
  • 2 tablespoons cooking sherry
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  •  2 tablespoons peanut oil
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil 
Sauce:
  • 3 tablespoons Hoisin Sauce
  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 3 tablespoons cooking sherry
  • 2 tablespoons sesame oil
  • 2 tablespoons peanut oil
  • 2 tablespoons Thai chili sauce
  • 2 tablespoons corn starch
 Directions:

Chop chicken into small chunks and place in a medium sized bowl. Mix in sherry, soy sauce, salt, and pepper and blend until chicken is well coated. Mix in cornstarch until dissolved. Add in peanut and sesame oil. Set aside and let marinate for 20-30 mins.

In another bowl, mix together all sauce ingredients until well blended.

Heat your wok (or large pan if you don't have a wok) on med high heat and add 3 tablespoons of peanut oil. Once oil is heated add chicken and marinade to the wok. Cook on high about 5 mins continuously moving meat so that it does not over cook on any sides. Add in your ginger, garlic, and onions and cook 2 mins until fragrant. Add in chilis and water chestnuts. Pour in the sauce and continue to cook and move until chicken is cooked through and no longer pink.

Serve with lettuce wedges and enjoy!

Our Ratings:


Mama F: 10 - This was so yummy, easy, and I had all the ingredients on hand so it was really cheap to make too!

Daddy F: 10 - Absolutely delicious! Tasted just like eating out - if not better!

Fuller Kids: 7 - Little E enjoyed the "picy" chicken while Big E felt there was a bit too much kick.



Lucky the Dog: 7 - Human Mommy dropped chicken on floor while cooking. Lucky stole chicken!! Chicken was yummy! Not like green stuff. Not rabbit.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Icebox Chocolate Pie for #SundaySupper


Welcome again to #SundaySupper! I am really enjoying my time with these amazing bloggers. It is such a great opportunity to get the word out on how important it really is to take the time to sit down with your family and share a meal. We are blessed to eat dinner together every night of the week (unless of course the rare date night occurs!). Of course, my kids are only 5, 2, and 3 months so they have no real social live of their own yet. I am hoping that by starting them out young turning off the tv and sitting down to share stories of our day together that they will still want to do the same when they are teens. Haha - here's to hoping!

This weeks theme is "Beat the Heat" and I know ALL to well here in central Texas that the heat can certainly be a challenge. With temps commonly being in the 100s for 3 straight months I DO NOT want to be in the kitchen all day with the oven on! I would be happy have 3 meals a day of ice cream but my thighs and my children's dentist would disagree.

This is a recipe for an old family favorite that used to only get busted out at holidays. I don't understand that mentality as an adult. If it' something you love you should make it more often - especially when it is so super easy!







Ingredients:
  • 1 graham cracker pie crust
  • 1 cup butter
  • 1 1/2 cup sugar
  • 3 squares melted unsweetened chocolate 
  • 2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 tub of whipped cream 
Directions:

In mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar. Blend in melted chocolate and vanilla. Add eggs 2 at a tome beating 3-5 mins each. Pour into pie crust. Allow to freeze for 2 hours. Top with whipped cream and chocolate shavings. Place in freezer another 2 hours or until ready to serve.

Our Ratings:


Mama F: 10 - Nice and cool for the summer and requires NO cooking! Brings back great childhood memories for me!

Daddy F: 8 - It was really good but REALLY rich. I could only eat half the lice I was given. 

Fuller Kids: 7 - Not surprisingly Big E was not a fan with her disgust over chocolate. Little E however could not get enough! 

Lucky the Dog: 2 - Chocolate not good for Lucky the Dog. Sneaked a lick of whipped topping. Was good. Want more.





Check out this week's other "Beat the Heat" #Sunday Supper participants!



#BeatTheHeat Appetizers:
#BeatTheHeat Salads, Soups, & Sides:
#BeatTheHeat Main Dishes:
#BeatTheHeat Desserts:
#BeatTheHeat Drinks & Cocktails:
Wine Pairings Provided By: ENOFYLZ

Monday, July 9, 2012

Canning 101 Week 2 - Strawberry Lemon Marmalade







Welcome to week two of Canning 101! Did you get a chance to make some spicy pickles? We gave a bunch to friends as gifts and then ate all the rest. Now I am craving some more!

This week I thought I would try my hand at some marmalade. This is one recipe I remember my grandmother making when I was young. It was something I was terrified to try for fear I would mess it up. Luckily, it wasn't that difficult. In fact, the most difficult part was the clean up. Make sure you clean as you go because this stuff gets sticky - and it gets EVERYWHERE!! At least when I am making it!












Ingredients:
  • 1/4 cup thinly sliced lemon peel
  • 4 cups crushed strawberries
  • 1 pkg powdered pectin
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 6 cups sugar
Directions:

Cover lemon peel with water and boil 5 mins. Drain.  Combine lemon peel, strawberries, powdered pectin  and lemon juice in a large pot. Bring slowly to a boil. Add sugar stirring until dissolved. Bring to a boil. Boil one min stirring constantly. Remove from heat. Pour hot marmalade into hot jars leaving 1/4 inch headspace. Adjust two piece caps. Process 10 mins in a boiling water canner.


Please feel free to link up some of your favorite canning recipes for our Linky Party!


Congrats to last weeks giveaway winner! 
Shannon Schmid!

Enter to win this weeks giveaway to win the Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving! 

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