Our Menu for a Weekend Family Gathering (including our “Fakes-giving” menu)

Tomorrow my sister and her kids and my parents are all coming to our house!  We’ll be celebrating Peter’s 20th birthday (how am I old enough to have two kids in their 20s??).

We’ll also be having and early Thanksgiving dinner (dubbed “Fakes-giving” by the kids), because my nephew is headed to Marine bootcamp in mid-November.  This is the last time we’ll all be together for a long while.

Enchilada Dinner

Peter requested enchiladas for his birthday. That seems easy enough for 13 people, because some of it can be made ahead of time.

white enchiladas

I’ll be making a double batch of these White Chicken Enchiladas.

grilled chicken and cream cheese enchiladas done

I’m also making Enchiladas with Chili-Tomato Sauce. The photo above is actually Grilled Chicken and Cream Cheese Enchiladas, but it’s so, so much better than the photos of the Chili-Tomato Enchiladas, I thought I’d spare you a little bit.

Of course we’ll have chips, guacamole and salsa. And a big salad to combat the cake and candy.

Speaking of cake, Peter requested Pudding Cake. It’s not the most beautiful (and the photo is pretty bad), but it tastes great!  It’s chocolate cake that makes it’s own pudding-like sauce.

Not that anyone needs cake with all the candy that will be around, since it’s Halloween, but that’s what happens when you’re born on October 31.

Early Thanksgiving Meal

My mom is making most of this meal. She’s baking a chicken or a turkey breast. Here’s a recipe for an easy Turkey Breast in the Slow cooker.

turkey breast in slow cooker

And of course we have to have Chicken and Dumplings (or turkey and dumplings).  Mom has already made the dumplings and frozen them. We’ll cook them up on Saturday.

chicken and dumplings done

Cornbread Dressing is a must have for us.

apple cornbread dressing done

We make homemade Cornbread Dressing, but the photo above is Apple Cornbread Dressing that starts with a box mix.

We’ll also be having some vegetables and cranberry sauce.

gingerbread with lemon sauce

And for dessert instead of pie, we’re having Gingerbread with Lemon Sauce.

Another good option would be these Gingerbread Bars with Orange Cream Cheese Frosting.

gingerbread bars with orange cream cheese frosting done

I hope you all have a wonderful weekend!  I know we will.  We’re definitely going to be eating good!

15 Minute Tacos with Chipotle and Garlic

McCormick Tacos with chipotle

 

We love tacos at our house, and we love trying different types of taco recipes.

Last week we had one of those nights when everyone needed to eat at a different time.  Tacos are perfect for those nights.  The meat can be made ahead of time and in just a few minutes.  Then each person can assemble their tacos when they’re ready to eat.

Lucky for me, McCormick had just sent me a bunch of their new Skillet Sauces.

I had ground pork in the freezer, so I browned that out quickly and chose the Taco with Chipotle and Garlic Sauce to add to the meat.

McCormick Taco

 

We loved the flavor of it.  The tacos were saucy, with a nice amount of chipotle taste.  Not too hot at all, but just a great flavor.  The sauces are made with McCormick’s all natural herbs and spices.

Did I mention that the meat was saucy?  We don’t like dry taco meat.  These didn’t even need extra taco sauce added.

McCormick Tacos with Chipotle and Garlic

15 Minute Tacos with Chipotle and Garlic

Ingredients

  • 1 lb. ground beef or pork
  • 1 packet McCormick Taco with Chipotle and Garlic Skillet Sauce
  • Lettuce, tomato, cheese and other taco fixings
  • 12 taco shells

Instructions

  1. Brown the ground meat in a large skillet.
  2. Pour in McCormick Skillet Sauce and heat over medium heat.
  3. Serve in taco shells with all the fixings.
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McCormick’s new Skillet Sauce comes in a variety of flavors.  Some are even able to be used in the slow cooker too.

McCormick skillet sauces

Smoky Applewood BBQ Chicken with Bacon

Taco with Chipotle & Garlic

Sesame Chicken Stir-Fry

Sweet & Smoky Sloppy Joes

Fire Roasted Garlic Chili

Fajita with Roasted Chili, Garlic  & Lime

Sicilian Chicken with Tomato, Basil & Garlic

We also tried the Sesame Chicken Stir-Fry last week.  Since I’d been sick with a cold, these came in so handy!  I used frozen popcorn chicken and broccoli with the Sesame Chicken Sauce and it turned out great!  So easy!

Disclosure:  I have been compensated and was provided McCormick Skillet Sauces.  However, all opinions are my own.

 

Creamy Chicken and Vegetable Topped Baked Potatoes

Creamy Chicken and Vegetable Topped Baked Potatoes

 

Last week I was really in the mood for Chicken Potpie.  But I was also in a hurry, and I didn’t have any pie crusts on hand.  It’s not hard to make pie crust, but I didn’t have the time.

What I did have was a bag of baking potatoes that needed to be used.  So I decided to bake the potatoes and then make a quick chicken and vegetable topping for them.  The topping is a lot like chicken potpie filling.

The result was great and it only took a few minutes of hands on prep.

Instead of adding onions to the topping, I decided to add onion slices to a few of the potatoes (leaving the picky people’s potatoes plain).

Baked Potatoes with Onions

 

This is easy to do.  If you like onions, you really should try it.  Just cut the potatoes most of the way through, using the knife to pry the halves apart a little bit.  Stuff onion slices and pats of butter inside.  Season with salt and pepper and wrap in foil.  Bake the same way you do baked potatoes – 350 degrees for about 2 hours.

Here’s what you’ll need for the chicken and vegetable topping:

[Read more...]

3 Things that Work in the Kitchen This Week (and my confession) – October 27

3 Things that work in the kitchen

 

I’m going to be sad to see October go.  November gets precariously close to winter and I’m not ready for that!

Super Easy 15 Minute Meals

I’ve been working with McCormick most of the year and they sent me a package that came in so handy this week. Their new skillet sauces saved dinner twice this week. More on that on Wednesday.

McCormick skillet sauces

Eating Out

This is embarrassing to admit, since my blog is called Eat at Home, but we ate out quite a bit last week. It’s what worked. I had a terrible cold at the beginning of last week and I never went to the grocery or made a plan. And on Thursday I was supposed to go to book club for dinner, Mia had volleyball practice and Jim was taking Isaac to a soccer tournament for the weekend. I’d planned that we would all eat out, since no one would be home. I ended up skipping book club to due to a headache, but we still had take-out.

On Friday night, I gathered up Mia, plus my oldest two kids and we ran some errands and had pizza out.

Some weeks are just like that. But a steady diet of restaurant food usually puts me in the mood to eat at home again. Which leads too…

 

Big Grocery Trip – Finally!

printed grocery list

Saturday I hit the store with a well thought out list. I printed the Slow Cooker list for this week of Weekly Meal Plans. I’ve looked ahead at our schedule and I know I need slow cooker meals for Tuesday and Thursday. I also added all the items I’ll need for next weekend, when my family comes to visit. And I even made a list of last minute items I’ll need to pick up late in the week for that visit.

It feels good to be organized again!

What’s working in your kitchen this week?

Weekend Links – Laying around with a cold edition

I got hit with a terrible cold last Sunday and Monday.  Thankfully, that fell on our fall break from school so I had the luxury of laying around and doing nothing.  In between napping and taking cold medicine, here are a few things I watched/read/used.

 

Binge Blog Reading

I like to binge read blogs that are not part of my normal list. This time I read through a lot of Life in Grace. I met Edie at the Becoming Conference in August, when my friend and I crashed her breakfast table. She’s just as kind in person as she is on her blog.

updatedworkroom

I love the concept of her workroom. It’s the spot where laundry, books, studies, crafting all come together. I crave a more minimalist space, but still…the books, the color, the idea of mundane work and creative work happening in the same space is very appealing.

And this description of an ordinary homeschool day is perfect.  Our homeschool has never quite looked like that, but the image is a lovely one.

I always love to hear about the books that influence so deeply.  Edie shares some of hers here.

 

Binge TV Watching

Screen Shot 2014-10-24 at 1.22.51 PM

I started watching Gilmore Girls and I’m really liking it. It’s like a “comfort food” show – a little humor, a little drama, fun characters. It’s on Netflix instant watch now.

Cold Comfort

I used a lot of Vick’s Vapor Rub, but I wish I had some of these made up too.

Homemade-All-Natural-Vapor-Shower-Disks

Steamy showers are wonderful when you’ve got a cold, but some of these homemade Natural Vapor Shower Discs would make it even better.

 

Feed a Cold

Jim brought me a bowl of chicken pho from the local Vietnamese restaurant. It tasted so good! But what I was really craving was a bowl of Virus Killing Chicken Soup. My daughter made some the week before and still had a few bowls in her freezer. I thought about buying some from her.

virus killing soup done

 

*note to self – update the photos in that post.

This soup is the best chicken soup you’ve ever had.  It smells amazing while it cooks and with every bite you can feel that it’s battling the cold virus.  It is a bit of a process to make.  So having it in the freezer, ready to go is a great idea.

What are your favorite comforts when a cold strikes?

Freezing Single Servings for Teenage Boys and Other Hungry People

Freezing Single servings

 

A reader asked the other day about what types of foods are good for freezing in single servings.  She’s got a hungry teenage boy to fill up. (I can relate to that!)

Short of keeping the kitchen open all the time, with a cook waiting on hand, filling the freezer with single serving foods is the best way to keep those boys filled up.  And it works for others in the family too, who need to eat at off hours.

If you’re trying to feed boys, there are a few things to keep in mind:

1.  Include protein.  They like foods that will stick with them.

2.  Make it easy.  Hand-held is good.

3.  Keep a list on the freezer so they know what’s in there and where to find it. Or is it just my boys who forget what I’ve told them?

Here’s a list of recipes that will keep all kinds of  hungry people happy:   [Read more...]

Layered Cole Slaw – Perfect for Potlucks and Family Gatherings

Layered Cole Slaw

 

This easy salad uses slaw mix, peas, bacon bits, water chestnuts and a simple homemade dressing.  It’s perfect for potlucks and family gatherings, but easy enough for a plain old weeknight.

 

Not only is this salad easy, it also holds up well.  Unlike the lettuce version (which is also fantastic), this one holds its shape.  You can make it early and it still tastes fresh later.

And if you have leftovers (unlikely if you take it to a potluck), it doesn’t go limp.  Even the next day the slaw stays crisp.

This is a common salad to find on the potluck table, but it’s usually made with lettuce.  Sometimes there are peas in it and sometimes cauliflower.  Both are wonderful!

Here’s what you’ll need:   [Read more...]

6 Ways to Use Leftover BBQ Chicken

How to Use Leftover BBQ Chicken

 

No matter if your BBQ chicken was grilled, baked, slow cooked or even a BBQ rotisserie chicken, it is wonderful to have leftovers.  It might not be quite as versatile as plain cooked chicken, but there are still a lot of possibilities.

1.  Fajitas

bbqchickenfajitas_thumb.jpg

We love this version, but you can add any type of veggies you like.  You might even try adding pineapple!

2.  Quesadillas

Instead of wrapping in a soft tortilla, use the BBQ chicken to make quesadillas.  Try adding your choice of cheese, along with bacon and green onions.  Toast until crispy on the outside and melty on the inside.

3.  Nachos

15 Minute BBQ Chicken Nachos

 

I made these 15 Minute BBQ Chicken Nachos with rotisserie chicken, but they’d be even better with BBQ Chicken.  Keep the ingredients handy for game day, because these are great for a party!

4.  Top baked potatoes or baked sweet potatoes

Use leftover, shredded bbq chicken to top baked potatoes or sweet potatoes.  This is a great meal if you’re dealing with a few picky eaters.  You can bake both white and sweet potatoes and let everyone have their choice.  And if they’d rather have the meat on the side, that works too.

5.  Slop Bucket/BBQ Sundae

photo-52

 

I ran across versions of this treat twice this summer.  Basically, it’s a layer of cheesy potatoes, a layer of baked beans, a layer of bbq meat topped with slaw.

Or there’s this version:

10620803_758871124154922_6880181212675736571_n

This one has baked beans on bottom, then cole slaw and topped with meat.

I’ve never done this at home, but why not?  They’re delicious and a little different.  And again, if someone wants to keep all the elements separate, they can do that.

6.  BBQ Chicken Pizza

Top your choice of pizza crust with bbq chicken, bbq sauce, red onion, pineapple and Monterey Jack cheese.  Or change it up with different toppings to go with the chicken.  Sounds like a winner to me!

How do you like to use leftover BBQ Chicken?

3 Things That Work in the Kitchen This Week – October 20

3 Things that work in the kitchen

1. I’m still using the pressure cooker.

Pressure Cooker Macaroni and Cheese

But mostly just for Macaroni and Cheese. This is the best mac and cheese! The leftovers are really good too (which isn’t something you can often say about mac and cheese). But I really do need to learn some other pressure cooker recipes and use it more often.

2. Quick Tortilla Soup.

Chicken Tortilla Soup

I made this Chicken Tortilla Soup real quick before running out the door to pick up Isaac from soccer practice. I love this soup. It’s so easy and so good. I even made the crunchy tortillas. Sometimes I skip those, but they are worth the effort.

Broken Ice Maker.

water pitcher

Okay, actually that’s something that’s not working. What is working is keeping a pitcher of cold water in the fridge. Simple solution. The fridge guy is coming on Wednesday to see if it can be fixed.

What’s working in your kitchen this week?

Weekend Links

Sometimes I use these weekend links posts to talk about things other than food.  But this week, it’s all food, all the time!

I was interviewed by RealSimple.com this week on the 10 Secrets of Home Cooks (and how you can become one too).

 

 

40-Easy-Ground-Beef-Recipes-520x520

 

My friend, Lynn wrote a post on 40 Easy Ground Beef Recipes.  She followed that up with a discussion on the price of beef in different parts of the country.  I was surprised to see the wide range of prices.  We’re on the high end where I live.  What about you?

Cinnamon-Roll-Casserole

 

As I was browsing Pinterest the other night, I kept seeing this recipe for Crockpot Cinnamon Roll Casserole.  It looks fabulous!

Speaking of Pinterest, you can follow me there.  But I also have a question – Has your Pinterest feed turned into all one topic?  Mine is all food.  I’m wondering if others have seen the same thing.  Or maybe you all are more well balanced than me :)

pinterest boards screen shot

 

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