Mommy Made From Scratch

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Booktacular Giveaway at Front Page Freebies! *Expired*

Head on over to Front Page Freebies to get your chance to win a Kindle 3G Touch! What a great tool to have in the kitchen for all of those digital cookbooks! Click here to check it out!


Saturday, October 22, 2011

IKEA Favorites Giveaway *expired*

I'm so excited to be doing my first ever giveaway!!!

So any of you who know me personally most likely know of my love for IKEA. Where I grew up the closest IKEA was four hours away in the Chicago area. When I moved to Cincinnati I was still without an IKEA close by...until a few years ago. I was so excited when IKEA announced that they were adding a store in Cincy. Now I have an IKEA within a 15 minute drive of my home! It's great to have one nearby to wave any shipping charges that I would normally incur when ordering from the catalog but I'm pretty sure my husband would rather they stayed away because he knows I can't resist that store. I mean really, super stylish, modern, affordable stuff all in one ginormous store. AND, they have really great food so we often eat there for lunch when we're visiting.

So here's the deal: There are so many things I love at IKEA so I had to narrow my love down to a few kitchen-themed items for this giveaway. I have not been provided these items by IKEA nor have I been compensated by them for this review/giveaway. These are simply a few things that I adore and thought I'd like to share with a lucky fan! This giveaway includes 1 green LAGG trivet, 1 CHOSIGT grater bowl and 1 GLÄNTA kitchen towel.

The GLÄNTA kitchen towel is made of 100% cotton with a knit multicolored loop at the top to hang when not in use. It has a teacup, pitcher and saucer theme and is super-cute!

The CHOSIGT grater includes the bowl with a rubberized bottom, to prevent slipping when in use, a large grater lid, small grater lid and a lid for storage. I use this all of the time, especially when I make Zucchini Brownies.

The LAGG trivet is lime green in color and is made of silicone so it will keep your tables and counter tops safe from all of your hot homemade dishes.

Here's how to enter:
1) "Like" Mommy Made From Scratch on Facebook then leave a comment on this post letting me know that you did. Please include your first name, last initial and email address with your comment so that I can contact you if you win!


2) Follow this blog via Google Friend Connect then leave a comment on this post telling me that you did. Please include your first name, last initial and email address so that I can contact you if you win!

-for one more entry-

3) For one more additional entry, share this post on your Facebook page and leave a link to your shared post in a comment below. Please include your first name, last initial and email address so that I can contact you if you win!

*Leave one comment for each entry method*

You must either "like" MMFS on Facebook or follow MMFS publicly via Google Friend Connect to be eligible to win. For a total of 3 entries, you can do all three steps listed above. However, YOU MUST DO EITHER #1 OR #2 TO BE ELIGIBLE. The winner for this giveaway will not be drawn until MMFS Facebook "likes" reaches at least 150 or there are at least 100 followers via GFC. Winner will be chosen randomly via a third party and will be notified by email. If you have any questions, please contact me directly using the info on the Contact Me tab at the top.

Thanks for being such loyal fans! Good luck!

**Congrats to Geoff K.!  Details here**

Crock Pot Smoked Sausage and Vegetables

This meal is one of the simplest and most delicious things to hit our household on a regular basis. We make it a lot. It's one of the only things that the entire family will eat without complaining. My kids call the sausage hot dogs and I don't tell them any different. I figure, hey, if that's what gets them to eat it, then that's what we'll call them.

I usually serve this with rolls or biscuits to round out the meal. For a variation on this dish, include frozen or fresh corn off the cob to add a sweetness to the overall flavor. Enjoy!

Crock Pot Smoked Sausage and Vegetables

2 packages smoked sausage
5 medium to large potatoes
3-4 14 oz cans green beans
1 tsp ground black pepper

Clean and cut potatoes into bite-size cubes and set aside.

Slice sausages into 1 inch pieces, making sure to reserve any liquid left in the packaging. There won't be much liquid but it makes a big flavor difference if you don't forget to keep it for later. Set aside.

Put the potatoes in the bottom of a 5 or 6 quart crock pot. Pour green beans over potatoes, including liquid in the cans. Sprinkle black pepper over top of green beans. Add the sausage and reserved liquid on top of the green beans. Cover and cook on low for 5 to 6 hours.

Stir halfway through cooking to make sure none of the goodness is getting charred. After 5 hours check the potatoes to make sure they are fully cooked. Scoop into individual serving dishes along with some rolls if you like.


Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Autumn Apple Raisin Bars

There are two types of desserts this time of year that just scream fall to me: apple and pumpkin. I quite literally tripped over this recipe awhile back when the paper that had the recipe on it was in my path on my way to print some coupons in our basement.

We have an office area down there with a ginormous desk housing our printer as well as a bunch of other papers and office related things that we have yet to find a home for.

We moved into our house almost two years ago but at the time had a newborn and a rambunctious 2 year old as well as a house full of more important projects to attend to so the messy desk has pretty much remained just that...messy. It kind of worked out since I had forgotten about this recipe until I basically fell on top of it. Just remember this story whenever you are feeling that your mess is a bad thing. You never know what gems you might trip over. Please enjoy...and be safe!

Autumn Apple Raisin Bars

2 cups flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
2 cups packed light brown sugar
2 eggs
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups diced Golden Delicious apples
3/4 cup raisins

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Coat a 9x13 pan with nonstick cooking spray and set aside.

In a medium bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder, cinnamon and salt then set aside.

Using an electric blender, mix together the brown sugar, eggs, butter and vanilla until smooth.

Using the low speed, gradually add the flour mixture to the wet mixture until everything has been evenly combined.

Stir in the diced apples and raisins with a spatula or wooden spoon.

Look at that concentration

Oops! Dropped a few.

Spread the mixture evenly into your 9x13 pan.

Bake at 350 degrees for 30-35 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool completely then cut into bars for serving. Garnish with powdered sugar if you like and enjoy!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Garlic French Fries

The other night I was getting ready to make dinner for the fam when I needed french fries to go with the main entree. I was severely disappointed to find that we had no fries in the freezer. Then I realized we don't have frozen fries but we do have potatoes so why not make my own. After all, for those not aware, french fries come from real potatoes.

The first time I tried to do this I couldn't for the life of me get the potatoes to get brown and crispy no matter how long I put them in the oven. I've since discovered my mistake; soak them first, then bake. Read on for this and all the other genius details to these delectable homemade french fries.

Garlic French Fries
5 large potatoes
sea salt
ground black pepper
2 cloves minced garlic
olive oil

Begin by taking five potatoes and washing them to get all of the dirt off. If you want to peel them you can do that next. I prefer to keep the skin on to add to the nutritional value of the dish.

Next slice the potatoes into long thin sticks. Be sure to cut them as uniformly as possible to ensure even cooking throughout. If you have a mandolin slicer you can use that. I don't have one so I just used an old fashioned knife. 

Then put all of your taters in a bowl and fill with water. Sprinkle some salt in. Let it soak for 30 minutes. This little tater bath will help your spuds to release some of the starch so that they will crisp up in the oven nicely.

Next take the potatoes out of the bath and spread on a few layers of paper towels. Take a wadded up paper towel and dab up the excess water on the fries. This is where I went wrong the first time I tried homemade fries in the past. By blotting off the excess water you will give your fries a chance to brown and crisp instead of steaming in the oven.

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and spread the potatoes on the pan. Evenly sprinkle the fries with salt, pepper and minced garlic. Drizzle olive oil over the potatoes. 

Stick the whole pan in the oven at 400 degrees for 45-60 minutes, depending on how large the potatoes were and how big you cut them. Periodically turn them to ensure even cooking.

Pull them out and voila! Cest magnifique...or something like that. I never took French. Hope you enjoy!

Monday, October 10, 2011

Melt In Your Mouth Monday Blog Hop

My recipe for BBQ Chicken Shells and Cheese is featured on Make Ahead Meals for Busy Moms Melt In Your Mouth Monday blog hop! Say that five times fast! Head on over to her site for a lot of other really good recipes also featured in today's blog hop!

Sunday, October 9, 2011

BBQ Chicken Shells and Cheese

I love barbecue sauce and cheese. They are two things that were just meant to be in my stomach. I recently had the idea to come up with this meal that would be a less processed version of a Velveeta boxed meal you can now buy in stores. We have also recently begun to harvest our first crop of green peppers from our garden this year so I'm especially happy to be able to use our organically grown peppers in this dish. I had to buy the red pepper but at least we could control the pesticides on the green one and save a little money in the process.

If you want a bigger barbecue flavor in this dish, decrease the cheese by 1/2 a cup to make a stronger barbecue taste. My husband doesn't like barbecue sauce as much as I do so I made the version below with a milder barbecue flavor. I hope you enjoy!

BBQ Chicken Shells and Cheese

1 small green pepper, diced
1 small red pepper, diced
1 lb. chicken, chopped into bite-sized pieces
1 clove minced garlic
dash of salt
1 16 oz. box medium shell pasta
6 T. butter
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
7 T. flour
2/3 cup BBQ sauce
3 cups 2% milk
3 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese

Boil pasta according to box directions. While pasta is boiling cook peppers, chicken, garlic and dash of salt in large frying pan until chicken is no longer pink and peppers begin to soften. You may need to start the peppers by themselves for 1-2 minutes prior to adding the chicken if you don't want them at all crunchy.

In a large saucepan, heat the butter over low to medium heat until melted.

Remove from hot surface then add the salt, pepper and flour until well mixed.  Slowly add the milk and BBQ sauce then return to medium heat.

I would suggest using a barbecue sauce like Bull's Eye or the store equivalent such as the one pictured. Some of the other sauces are too sweet without any tang.

Stir until sauce starts to thicken then remove from heat and add the shredded cheddar cheese. Stir until all cheese is melted.

Combine pasta and chicken mixture into large pot. Add all but about 1-2 cups cheese sauce into pot and mix until well coated. Reserve the rest of the sauce for adding to any leftovers or if you want it extra saucy, mix it all in. This recipe will make 6-8 servings. Enjoy!