Archive | EAT

everyone <3's mexican lasagna

i wish i could say that having my brood makes me an expert at picky eaters… but not so much.  every time i think i have it figured out, the next one is picky in a totally different way.  for instance, my oldest, ozzie required dippy to eat during his toddler years.  while my youngest, griffey is choosy about ev.er.y.thing….  child doesn’t even eat fruit right now unless it’s in smoothie form.  same song for the middles, too.  just a different tune.

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the good news is that my older three have (mostly) come out of the picky eater stage to the other side, healthy and still opinionated, but willing to try just about anything.  (persistence pays off!)

while I don’t have a foolproof plan to share there are a few tricks and yummy recipes i’ve learned and this mexican lasagna recipe is the perfect example of both.

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here’s why:

* if your little ones enjoy helping out in the kitchen, this recipe is the perfect fit for them (and you).  lots of prepping and assembling to keep their hands busy and kids love to eat what they helped make.  usually.

* it’s colorful, which is a good distraction.

* i’m not one to hide veggies in my kids food, but this recipe is full of yummy carrots that are grated so they won’t even notice.  (mom – 1, fussy eater – 0)

* the greatest advice i’ve received is to have my kids try something multiple times before deciding to scratch it off my recipe list.  this recipe makes a big enough batch that you’ll have plenty of leftovers to offer to little ones if they don’t like it right away.

* lastly, it’s a total crowd pleaser…. hasn’t failed me yet and even gets rave reviews at yoder’s (my hubs) fire station!

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doesn’t it look good?  in a messy sorta way?

here’s what YOU’LL NEED:

(serves 8 / to make in oven, preheat to 375, follow directions below and bake for 35 minutes until heated through)

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 pound lean ground turkey
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 large egg, whisked
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1 cup carrots, peeled and grated (about 2 carrots)
  • 1 cup frozen corn kernels, defrosted
  • 1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
  • 12 corn tortillas
  • 2 cups mexican cheese blend, shredded
  • 2, 16-oz jar mild chunky salsa
  1. 1. Heat 1 tbsp of olive oil in a large sauté pan and cook the onions for 3 minutes. Add the garlic and sauté an additional minute.
  2. Add the ground turkey meat, cumin, salt and chili powder and cook for 6-7 minutes until cooked through. Place turkey mixture aside and cool.
  3. In a large bowl, whisk the egg and sour cream together. Add the cooled turkey mixture, carrots, corn and cilantro and mix to combine.
  4. Spread a 1 cup of salsa on the bottom of the crock pot.
  5. Layer 5 tortillas on top of the salsa, cutting them if necessary to fit the crock pot and covering the salsa completely.
  6. Place half the turkey mixture on top of the tortillas and top with 1 cups of salsa and 1/2 cup of cheese.
  7. Add another layer of 3 tortillas on top of the cheese. Pour the remaining turkey mixture on top of the tortillas and top with another 1/2 cup of cheese.
  8. Top the lasagna with another layer of tortillas, pour the remaining salsa on top and cover with 1 cup of cheese.
  9. Cook on low for 2 1/2 hours & then serve!

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we’d love to hear about your little eater(s) in the comments below…. or perhaps a tip you might have to share!

<3 . rae

(images by stacy jacobsen)

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muffin tin meatloaves

One of my favorite parts of fall and winter months is making  c o m f o r t   f o o d .  Every part of the process brings a little bit of warmth into the home, from the ingredients to the baking and then finally the eating.  So good.

Since it’s been cooling off quickly in the evenings around here, I decided to fire up the oven and reunite the fam bam with a delicious and updated version of individual turkey meatloaves.

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They devoured them, asked for seconds, and were so full by the end of the meal that they didn’t even ask for dessert.

It’s also an easy recipe for the kids to help with.

And because the mini loaves need 45 minutes in the oven, there is plenty of time for them to help you clean up and set the table!

Click the image above to download the recipe.

It’s also part of the spread’s monthly meal plan for October.  You should join us if you haven’t already!?  The menu get’s posted today and for the first time features a filled out shopping list.

Before you go, let us know what your favorite comfort food is, in the comments below!  Mine would be pumpkin spice latte’s, but I’m not so sure that counts (te, he.).

xo . rae

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homemade pancake mix recipe

Every time I make something that comes in a can, jar, box or bag at the grocery store, from scratch, I’m amazed at how easy it is and delicious it turns out.  It also makes me feel like I live on a farm… and farms are cool.

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Making pancakes from scratch is extra easy because you make a large batch of mix all at once and then use part of it to make the pancake batter.  Just like you would a bag of krusteaz or bisquick, but without the extra ingredients that are impossible to pronounce.

If you would like to join us on our make-believe farm (please say yes!), here’s a recipe my mom and I whipped up:

HOMEMADE PANCAKE MIX (makes about 5 batches)
6 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups whole wheat flour (NOTE: you can substitute for all-purpose flour)
2 cups powdered milk
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup baking powder
1 tablespoon salt

1. Mix all ingredients together well and store in an airtight container.  Then use the following recipe to make the batter.

PANCAKE BATTER
2.5 cups homemade pancake mix
2 large eggs
water (about 2 cups)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract (optional, but delicious)
2 tablespoons melted butter or oil

1. Whisk together all ingredients, adding water until combined but slightly lumpy!

2. Heat greased skillet or fry pan over medium heat.  Pour about 1/4 cup batter per pancake and cook until golden brown, flipping once.

Sounds good, yes?!  Well, I have a fun post planned for Friday and this recipe will come in handy so be sure to save or pin it!

What is your take on cooking/baking from scratch as opposed to store-bought???  Have you tried it?  Does it seem like too much work?  We would love to hear!

xo . rae (+ gamma jane)
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greek inspired chicken piccata recipe

ever feel like you could really use a happy surprise?  a change of pace? maybe with regards to dinner — and a no-fail chicken and noodles recipe you follow because everyone likes pasta and no one complains about chicken?

i have just the thing.  that will taste like heaven in your mouth.  especially if your down with all the greek flavors.

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say hello to:

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Greek inspired Chicken Piccata over Herbed Noodles

Serves 6 (with chicken leftovers for lunch)
Gluten Free, Dairy Free (if served without Feta)
Prep time: 15 minutes  Cook time: 15 minutes

8- 6 ounce chicken breasts, slightly pounded
1 cup rice flour
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup chopped, pitted kalamata olives
1 small can artichoke hearts in water, drained and coarsely chopped
2 cups spinach
2/3 cup chicken or vegetable stock
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice (from approx 3 lemons)
2 tablespoons chopped and rinsed capers
2 tablespoons chopped parsley
1/4 cup crumbled feta or goat cheese

For coating: In medium size bowl, add rice flour, salt, pepper and oregano. Dredge  the chicken breasts in mixture. Set aside.

In skillet, add oil over medium-high heat. Pan fry chicken breast until golden brown on each side. Remove cooked chicken breasts from skillet and drain excess oil.  Remove two of the chicken breasts for a later lunch recipe (see BBQ Chicken Sandwich Recipe). Add chicken breasts back to skillet over medium-high heat and add olives, artichoke hearts, stock, lemon juice and capers. Cook over medium heat until sauce boils and thickens, then reduce heat to medium, add spinach and cook until chicken is cooked thouroughly. Remove from heat and serve family style with parsley and feta.

For noodles (gf if desired), boil according to directions sprinkled with olive oil, lemon juice and chopped parsley, salt and pepper.

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once the noodles are cooked and drained, it’s super easy for the kids to add the herbs and lemon juice and toss together.

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making a fork “cheers” a must before taking a bite.

for more fun and yummy recipes, check out the “EAT” tab along the top of the page….

what has your family been loving to eat lately!?  ice cream and quesadillas totally count.

happy (memorial day) weekend!

xo . rae

// images by stacy jacobsen // recipe by armommy //

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date night in

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date nights (around our house) are not usually a weekly occurrence. however they do happen more than they used to. mostly because over the years we’ve expanded the definition to include afternoon coffee dates, home depot trips (sans kids), crash your friends quiet evening down the street date, and more recently, put the kids down early for a night-in date.

on the menu this past month was a wine and cheese pairing. johan and i had such a fun time (especially considering how easy it was to throw together) that i had to share with you.

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                         C L I C K   H E R E   T O   D O W N L O A D   T H E   M E N U   O P T I O N S

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we opted for a fancy-ish (for us) bottle of chardonnay and paired it with brie and berries.

so simple and delicious and perfect – you should definitely give it a whirl.

have any date night secrets? we’d love for you to share in the comments…

hope you enjoy!! happy monday!

xo . rae

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salted caramel coffee DIY

Um, I will fo-sho be making one of these today….  anyone want to join me?  Happy to make extra.

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 Also, a little hint…

you can pour the caramel over the coffee and ice, but it will clump up a bit.  If that bugs you, pour your coffee, add the caramel, (stir) and then add ice.

To view or download the tags and recipe, click the image below.

Let me know if you have any questions about the tutorial…

So, now that we have our coffee, let’s chat 4th of July!  How was it?

Our day was so full of fun activities  (like a water balloon fight, blind-folded boat race, 3 legged relay…) & delicious food, it was hard to stay awake for fireworks!  Oiy.

Talk soon,

xo . rae

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watermelon juice

Back in the day while visiting one of our first farmer’s market, Mr. Friis, Ozzie, & I stumbled upon a delicious invention….  watermelon juice.  We’ve been making it at home ever since.

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/picture credit—> stacy jacobsen photography/

Here is our homemade recipe:

I N R E D I E N T S
1/2 large seedless watermelon, balled or cubed
2 tablespoons lemon juice
mint leaves, strawberries & ice to serve (optional)

D I R E C T I O N S
1. Place watermelon & lemon juice into the jug of a blender.  Blend until smooth.  To sweeten, (if desired) add agave syrup.
2. Serve immediately over ice and garnish with mint.

My last trip to the grocery store, watermelons were on sale ($4 each, yo!) so it might be the perfect time to give it a try!  I think we’ll be making some today.

Do you have any no-fail summer recipes?  Please share in the comments below!

xo . rae

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