Tag Archives: cooking

Favorite Family Recipes: Roasted Butternut Squash Lasagna from bell’alimento

This week, most kitchens are dedicated to preparations for Thanksgiving turkey plus all the trimmings. If you happen to be a vegetarian who is gearing up to say “no, thanks” when Aunt Martha passes the bird for the seventh time, then you need a back-up plan. Not to mention we all have experienced picky eaters at the dinner table. Skip the drama with a fancy, yet easy to follow recipe that will surely become a family favorite. Who knows, you may have just started a new family tradition. Roasted-Squash-Lasagna-www.bellalimento.com-008-533x800

Paula Jones at bell’alimento has a Roasted Butternut Squash Lasagna recipe that you could serve as one of your favorite family recipes any night of the week, but also makes an exceptional pinch hitter for poultry around the Thanksgiving table. 

If you have a full kitchen, you can make this dish in advance by preparing it the night before and covering before you place in the refrigerator over night.  When you’re ready to bake the following day, let the dish come to room temperature and then bake according to directions. If you want to dress it to impress, fry a few sages leaves to use as a crispy garnish and loosen a few tablespoons of the squash puree with extra stock to drizzle around plate. Now that’s fancy!

According to Paula, your friends and family will “think you ran off to culinary school.”

Well, maybe not but your table will be mega-impressed and your little ones won’t be whining at your holiday event when you tell them they get to eat lasagna! 

Visit bell’alimento for more delicious recipes and favorite family recipes like this one.

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smartmom sweet potato spanish tortilla

Favorite Family Recipes: Sweet Potato Spanish Tortilla

Everyone knows that the best part of Thanksgiving is eating leftovers the next day. Kris Orborne knows how to make those leftovers last without perpetuating the indulgences of Thanksgiving Day. 

So what do you do with all of those sweet potatoes that languished in your crisper after you finished your sweet potato casserole? Enjoy the exotic flavor of the Sweet Potato Spanish Tortilla from 80 Twenty, a blog about eating nutritiously and finding a healthy balance that so many moms strive to achieve.

According to Kris, the Sweet Potato Spanish Tortilla is about as good as it gets. “Layers of sweet potatoes intertwine with softened slivered onions to frame the egg and the woody, nutty brightness of the pesto bring it all together,” she writes. “It’s simple to make…and can be eaten warm, cold, or at room temperature, making it a perfect meal for any time of the day.”

That’s what we call leftovers.

 

And to keep your little ones polite during dinner, here’s some advice about teaching table manners to them!

Get more great advice and meet other moms. Download the SmartMom app today.

recipe for spaghetti and meatballs

Favorite Family Recipes: Spaghetti and Meatballs

There’s nothing more comforting then a big bowl of spaghetti and meatballs. Whether you’re a new mom stocking the freezer with reheat-able meals for post-baby or a dutiful neighbor bringing dinner to a friend, you can’t go wrong with a hearty classic.

Tanya Schroeder loves the combination of ground pork and ground beef that make her Spaghetti and Meatballs on Lemons for Lulu hearty and flavorful. Her entire family reached for seconds – even her son who typically avoids red sauce.

One of the best things about this recipe is that you can modify it if you’re cooking for a crowd — make a double batch so you can feed your family dinner (and leftovers!) and still have enough to bring to a friend.

Pair with a loaf of crusty Italian bread and a fresh green salad…and maybe even that glass of red wine you’ve been eyeing for nine months.

Visit Lemons for Lulu for more delicious recipes like this one.

 

And to keep your little ones polite during dinner, here’s some advice about teaching table manners to them!

Get more great advice and meet other moms. Download the SmartMom app today.

halloween friday recipe post

Favorite Family Recipe: Diablo Eyeballs (Taco Meatballs) and Black Bean Pasta from Boulder Locavore

Once you have kids, it’s hard not to become consumed with the spirit of Halloween. For Toni Dash of the food blog Boulder Locavore, it’s hard  to imagine not making food inspired by the seasonal colors of candy corn or the risk of a gory hand “rising from the depths of a bowl of dip.”

We agree with Toni: this is the perfect time of year to make cooking family dinners fun. Toni lets whimsy take over and delights her diners with the fright of Halloween.

One of her favorite Halloween recipes is her Diablo Eyeballs (Taco Meatballs) and Black Bean Pasta, which delivers the perfect amount of trick and treat for a dinner preceding your Halloween festivities.

Visit Boulder Locavore for more delicious recipes like this one.

 

And to keep your little ones polite during dinner, here’s some advice about teaching table manners to them!

Get more great advice and meet other moms. Download the SmartMom app today.

squash soup

Favorite Family Recipes: Curried Butternut Squash and Pumpkin Soup

Whether you’re shopping at fall farmer’s markets or making quick grocery store trips on the weekend, you’re going to find an abundance of squash in the produce aisle. In particular, butternut squash is plentiful in the fall and despite its bulbous shape and intimidatingly thick skin, it’s relatively simple to prepare.

Once you’ve mastered how to peel and cut a butternut squash, you can move onto creating a delicious, comforting pot of soup.  Soon to be new mom Amber Bracegirdle at Bluebonnets and Brownies looks to Curried Pumpkin and Butternut Squash Soup when she needs a bowl of cold weather comfort.

Like most soups, this freezes and reheats well, so it’s a perfect option for making ahead if you’re expecting a baby or if you’re simply bogged down with life and don’t have time to cook dinner every night.

Visit Bluebonnets and Brownies for more delicious recipes like this one.

Photo Credit: Amber Bracegirdle, used with permission.

 

And to keep your little ones polite during dinner, here’s some advice about teaching table manners to them!

Get more great advice and meet other moms. Download the SmartMom app today.

potato leek soup with bacon

Favorite Family Recipes: Potato Leek Soup with Bacon from Sugar Dish Me

No matter what the season, soup is delicious and comforting. In the fall and winter, soup takes on a whole new role in most menu plans. Soup can be a side to a fresh delicious salad or a main dish alongside a loaf of crunchy whole wheat bread.

Soup is the perfect gift to take to a new mom, because most soups can be frozen in individual portions for lunches during maternity leave or quick weeknight dinners once she has gone back to work. A hearty, filling favorite is the Potato Leek Soup with Bacon from at Sugar Dish Me. 

While some soups are tedious for busy home cooks, this soup is anything but. You can prepare and cook it in less than an hour and the result is thick, creamy, comforting and satisfying.  Though some potato soups fall into the “bland” category, this one is packed with flavor from fresh leeks and smoky bacon. Garnish with green onions and a little bit of cheese for an extra punch of flavor. 

Visit Sugar Dish Me for more recipes like this

Photo Credit: Heather Tullos, used with permission.   

 

And to keep your little ones polite during dinner, here’s some advice about teaching table manners to them!

Get more great advice and meet other moms. Download the SmartMom app today.

Apple Pie Bars

Favorite Family Recipes: Homemade Apple Pie Bars

Some occasions call for celebration…with pie. Or perhaps you’d like to whip up some homemade apple pie bars? If you haven’t mastered the art of rolling out your own pie crust (or if you prefer a dessert that you don’t need a fork to dive into), you can’t go wrong with Apple Pie Bars by Roxanna Yawgel at Roxanna’s Home Baking. 

Though apples are a year-round fruit, they’re most plentiful in the fall. Pile your apples into a buttery crust,  toss them with cinnamon, butter and sugar and make a delicious crumb topping to finish them off.

Whether you’re baking to satisfy a pregnancy-induced sweets craving or need a simple and easy treat to make for a new mom friend or relative, you’ll be glad that these bars are grab and go – you’ll want to take them with you everywhere.

Visit Roxanna’s Home Baking for more recipes like this one.

Photo Credit: Roxanna Yawgel, used with permission.

 

And to keep your little ones polite during dinner, here’s some advice about teaching table manners to them!

Get more great advice and meet other moms. Download the SmartMom app today.

beef stroganoff - what's cookin' chicago

Make Ahead Meals from What’s Cookin’ Chicago?

This is the time of year I absolutely love. Here in Chicago the foliage is changing colors with bright hues of orange, red, and gold. It’s also a great time to stock my freezer with meals in preparation of hectic time that comes with the fall season such as school and activity schedules, longer work days in the office, and for some friends of mine, adjusting to new additions in their families with babies!

For those who have busy schedules and long work days, along with the slight chaos of parenting, getting meals on the table can be a challenge. To remedy this, I aim to set one day aside to prepare in advance several meals that I can freeze for later.

Here are some great make ahead meals both perfect for the season and for the freezer! Click on the picture to view each recipe:

make ahead meals

Beef Stroganoff

make ahead meals

Baked Shrimp Scampi

make ahead meals

Chicken Parmesan Meatloaf

make ahead meals

Honey & Spice Glazed Pork Chops

make ahead meals

Make Ahead Meatloaf

make ahead meals

Cilantro Lime Chicken Tacos

  

RELATED QUESTIONS

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Favorite Family Recipes: Garlic Chicken Legs from Dine and Dish

Before the baby is born, most moms are all about stocking the freezer full of delicious and healthy meals to defrost and eat once your family has grown by one tiny person.

In the early days of parenthood, you’ll never go hungry. Between dinner drop-offs and surprise take-out from neighbors, you will probably have more food than you and your partner can reasonably consume. However, once the take-out offerings from friends and family begin to slow down and you’ve made your way through the casserole stockpile you amassed during your third trimester nesting phase, you’ll still have a family to feed.

Now that you’re a family of three (although one might not be eating solids yet), it’s all about convenience and nothing is more convenient than a simple chicken dish made in the slow cooker.

The Garlic Chicken Thighs from Kristen Doyle at Dine & Dish is a simple recipe: you throw it in the crockpot and forget about it, leaving the flavors and seasonings “to party with the chicken all day.” At dinnertime, throw together a simple green salad and you have a tasty and delicious meal.

Visit Dine & Dish for more delicious recipes like this one.

Photo Credit: Kristen Doyle. Used with permission.

 

And to keep your little ones polite during dinner, here’s some advice about teaching table manners to them!

Get more great advice and meet other moms. Download the SmartMom app today.