This mom loves to cook

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Hello! I'm Deirdre and I'm a stay at home mom to two boys. Cooking for a 6 and 4 year old- day in and day out can be the best job in the world, also the most frustrating. Trying to create not only kid friendly but husband and mom friendly meals is a challenge that I've readily accepted! My Foodie Mom blog is a record of the different recipes that I've tried in the kitchen, pictures of my ventures, and cool tricks I've picked up along the way. Cheers!

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Peppered Steak and Shrimp With Cognac Cream Sauce

Recently, we placed an order to Omaha Steaks for some good quality meat to make some really nice meals with. If you're not familiar with this, basically you can go on this website and order some fantastic (and a little pricey) meats. They mail them to you frozen and pack the cooler with dry ice to keep it frozen and fresh. It's pretty awesome. 

Part of our order was 4 (4oz) filet mignons. They have just been taunting us from the freezer, begging to be cooked. Mike already had it set in his mind exactly what he wanted to do with them, and last night was the night. I fed the kids a special meal just for them a little earlier, and once they went to bed Daddy cooked dinner for us. What's better than having your husband cook for you while you relax and watch The Bachelor? It was simply amazing. I was so proud (and happy I wasn't cooking dinner for a change).

He pretty much followed the recipe from Alton Brown for Steak Au Poivre, only making a few tiny adjustments. He also sautéed some large shrimp to go with the filets to make it surf n turf (my idea of course). Steak and shrimp were served over some crostinis with a salad on the side. 


  • 4 steaks ( we used 4 oz filet mignons, and had 2 each - this recipe should serve 4 though we were just gluttonous)
  • 6 large shrimps (shelled and deveined) 
  • 2 tablespoons whole peppercorns (coarsely crushed with a mallet or bottom of a skillet)
  • salt
  • 1 1/2 tablespoon plus 1/2 tablespoon unsalted butter 
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1/3 cup cognac plus 1 teaspoon (we used Hennessy)
For Crostinis:
  • baguette cut in small slices
  • olive oil
Remove the steaks from the fridge about a half an hour prior to cooking, to bring it to room temp. Sprinkle all sides with salt. Spread the crushed peppercorns on a plate and press the steaks on both sides into the pepper until coated. Set aside.

In a skillet over medium heat melt 1 1/2 tablespoons of the butter and olive oil. As soon as it starts to turn golden gently place steaks into the pan. We cooked ours to medium- rare so this was 4 minutes on each side. Increase the time for the desired amount of doneness you're trying to achieve. Once done, remove the steaks place on a plate and tent it with tinfoil.

Drain the access fat out of the pan, but do not wipe it clean. Do not return the pan to the burner (this is important that its off the heat, because we will be playing with fire). 

This is a pretty dangerous part- we had never ignited anything in a pan before last night. And it was a little scary, so please don't try to attempt this unless you are confident you can do it and nothing is going to catch fire around you. 

So with the pan off of the heat, add the cognac to the pan and ignite with a long match or we used a wooden skewer (for kabobs). Gently shake the pan until the fire dies.

Return the pan to medium heat and add the cream. Bring to a boil and whisk until the sauce can coat the back of a spoon about 5 minutes. Add the remaining 1/2 teaspoon of butter and 1 teaspoon of cognac and season with salt to taste. During this time you can season the shrimp with a little salt and pepper and in a separate small pan sautee in a little olive oil until its pink and cooked through.

Place steak and shrimp on the crostinis (see below), and spoon the sauce over it. Serve with extra sauce on the side.

To make the crostinis, place the sliced baguette on a baking sheet and brush them with a little olive oil and bake at 250 until golden brown. You can do this while you are preparing the rest of the meal, just keep an eye on it to make sure they don't burn.

I know this looks like a lot, but it truly was a really simple recipe. This was all made in about 30 minutes, maybe less. It really pays to use pricier ingredients every once in a while. This was for sure a splurge for us. Between the filets, shrimp, bottle of cognac and fresh baguette- it was more than I would normally spend on a meal cooked at home. However, so totally worth it. To be able to cook ( or have cooked for you in my case) a fantastic restaurant quality meal in your own home, and enjoy it with someone special priceless. Cheers!

Below is the video of us doing the cognac sauce, note the huge flames and the smoke detector going off. Excuse the language. Be careful trying this at home!

Adapted from: Steak au Piovre

Pizza Lunch For Me and the Kiddos

 Ollie (the already terrible almost 2 year old) got into the drawer that contains our take out menus this morning. Threw all menus aside except for a big flyer for Domino's. Then proceeded to run around the house with it repeating "pizza" over and over. So what else were we to do, but make some pizza's for lunch. 

I had some pizza dough that I bought at the store a few days ago and a half can of pizza sauce already in the fridge, it was perfect. I cut the dough in half to do 2 pizzas, a mommy one and a kiddo one.  The mommy pizza is my all time favorite pizza to make, my broccoli, fig and goat cheese pizza. I had this once at Uno's a few years ago and I fell in love with it. Never saw it again, so had to start making it by myself.

(Kiddo Pepperoni Pizza)

  • Half ball of refrigerated pizza dough (We used garlic flavored)
  • 1/4 cup pizza sauce
  • 1/4 cup shredded mozzarella
  • sliced pepperonis
Preheat oven to 425, roll dough out into desired shape/ size. Mine always come out a little funky, and not quite round. PLace dough on baking sheet. Spread sauce over dough. Top with cheese. Arrange pepperonis on top. Bake 15-20 minutes until crust is golden brown.

(Broccoli, Fig and Goat Cheese Pizza)
  • Half ball of refrigerated pizza dough (used the other half of the garlic dough from above)
  • 3-4 tablespoons pesto
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1/4 cup cherry tomatoes cut in half
  • 1/4 cup broccoli chopped
  • 1/4 cup dried figs sliced 
  • goat cheese
  • shredded mozzarella
Preheat oven to 425. In a small sauté pan melt a little butter and add the tomato, broccoli and figs. Sauté 2-3 minutes until the broccoli is tender and turns a bright green. Stir in the balsamic vinegar and remove from heat. 

Roll out pizza dough and place on a baking sheet. Spread the pesto onto the dough. Evenly spread the sautéed veggies onto the pizza. Dollop little balls of goat cheese over the pizza and lightly sprinkle the whole pizza with a little mozzarella. Bake 15-20 minutes until crust is golden brown. 

It always pays to keep stuff to make pizza on hand. Wether you make your own dough (which I hate doing) or sauce. Having cheese and the basics to make pizza at home is such a good idea. You can make your own pizza at home in less time it will take you to order one and have it delivered. The kids will love you for it. You might love yourself a little more for it too, when you can eat a hot fresh lunch you'll enjoy and not feel guilty about. Cheers!

Monday, February 24, 2014

Honey Mustard Turkey and Baby Spinach Croissant

I made this a few weeks ago for me and the kids lunch. They loved having this buttery croissant instead of their usual 12 grain bread. I did too! It's just a really quick and different  sandwich idea for a healthy lunch. Cheers!


  • croissant
  • roasted turkey breast
  • provolone cheese
  • baby spinach
  • sliced tomato
  • 1 tablespoon honey mustard dressing
  • 1/2 teaspoon light mayo
  • pepper to taste
Cut croissant in half (they're delicate so be careful). Assemble with mayo on the bottom, then the baby spinach, turkey, provolone, tomato, pepper and honey mustard.

Simple, easy and delicious. More importantly- kid approved. Just the way I like it!

Shredded Beef Stew

When I make beef stew, I make my grandfathers recipe. In the crock pot, low and slow for 8 hours. I've never even attempted to make any other variation of this tried and true recipe. Until today. 

I made a roast last week in the crock pot to make shredded beef for burritos. I had a good amount of shredded beef left in the fridge from this and today was probably the last day it'd be good to use. So I decided to make some soup. Its February in New England, so why the hell not. 

 (For shredded beef)

  • boneless roast ( any kind will do, I just happened to use a 3 pound eye roast. Remember this was left over beef from something else I made, so If you're just making beef for this stew than a small 1 pound roast would do. I only used about 2 cups of shredded beef for this stew).
  • 1/2 can of pickled jalapeños and carrots with the juice (The kind I used for my spicy steak tacos)
  • 3 beef bouillon cubes
  • 2 tablespoons of Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 10 peppercorns
Add all of these ingredients in the crockpot together, then add enough water to just cover the top of the roast.

Cook on low for 6-8 hours. Remove the roast from the crockpot and let cool until it's easy to shred by hand.

Strain the broth from the crock pot and set aside (this will be used for the soup).

(For Stew)
  • 2 medium onions chopped
  • 3 medium carrots chopped
  • 4 medium celery stalks chopped
  • 2 medium red potatoes chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves chopped
  • 6 tablespoons butter
  • 1/3 cup of red wine
  • reserved beef broth from crock pot (see above)
  • 2-3 cups of water
  • 3-4 beef bouillon cubes 
  • 2 tablespoons worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tablespoon gravy master
  • salt and pepper to taste
Combine onions, carrots, celery, garlic and potatoes in a large pot. Add in 4 tablespoons of butter and over medium high heat cook the veggies down. This will take about 15 minutes. Cook until the veggies are softened and the potatoes are pretty much cooked through. Add more butter during the cooking process if more moisture is needed.

Once the veggies are cooked and soft, add in the red wine and deglaze the pot. Scrape up all of the browned bits at the bottom of the pot (this is a ton of the flavor), cook for an additional 3-5 minutes until everything is unstuck from the bottom of the pot.

Add in your reserved beef broth from when you cooked the beef in the crock pot. And depending how much of that broth you have left add anywhere between 2-3 cups of water and 3-4 beef bouillon cubes. Finally add in your shredded beef. Bring everything to a simmer then reduce the heat to low. Everything is fully cooked, so just leave it on low/ warm until it's ready to be served.

If you have saved a ton of the reserved broth you might not need any water at all for more broth.  It's up to you on the broth/ veggie & meat ratio you want. I like a good amount of broth, because I could just drink it warm by itself. Especially now with this cold that I'm coming down with, the warm broth really helps my throat. Theres only so much tea I can drink, ya know? Also, when I make soup I like to keep it on the stove on low/warm through out the day. For lunch, a snack for the kids with some crackers or a little cup of broth. Its the perfect thing to have available all day long. Cheers!

Tangy Bacon Chive Potato Salad

I found this gem on Pinterest a few weeks ago, and was dying to make it. So I did. For Sunday dinner yesterday, and it was beyond amazing. Potato salad is always something I struggle with. My potatoes always come out either under done and crunchy or overcooked and complete mush. I think I might have finally found a solution to my problem. 


  • 5 medium red potatoes (about a pound, pound and a half)
  • 1 Tablespoon Balsamic vinegar
  • 1/3 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/3 cup sour cream
  • 1 Tablespoon spicy brown mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon chipotle adobo sauce
  • 1 chopped onion
  • 1/3 cup chopped celery
  • 2 hard boiled eggs
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 4 strips of cooked and crumbled bacon
  • fresh chives
Place the potatoes (whole) into a pot. Cover the potatoes with water and boil over med/ high heat for about 20 minutes until all of the potatoes are tender and you're able to pierce them with a fork. Transfer cooked potatoes to the sink and shock them with cold water to stop the cooking process. Leave them in the sink for about a half an hour, or until completely cooled off.

Cut your potatoes into the size pieces you want. Mine were about 1-2 inch cubes. 

Put cubed potatoes in a mixing bowl and drizzle the balsamic vinegar on the potatoes, and gently mix with a rubber spatula. Add in the chopped onions, and celery. Then crumble the hard boiled eggs with your hands into the bowl.

In a separate small bowl mix together the mayo, sour cream, chipotle, mustard and salt. Then fold this mixture gently into the potatoes, until well coated. Top with crumbled bacon and chives.

I wish I had got pictures of this before every one dug in, because it was way prettier. The pictures do not compare to the tastiness of this potato salad. It was truly awesome. We had this on the side of our dinner with my cheesy jalapeño popper chicken. It was deelish!! The next time you're looking for a different kind of potato salad to make, try this one. You won't be disappointed! As always, you can just omit the bacon to make this a vegetarian dish. Cheers!

No Bake Mini Reese's Cheesecakes

At our house we try to do a weekly dinner with family and friends. Usually on a Saturday or Sunday so we can take our time with the cooking, and the chatting (and the drinking). Yesterday I hosted Sunday dinner, and wanted something easy and no bake for dessert since I was cooking dinner as well. These were perfect! I had picked up the ingredients (all 2 of them) a few weeks ago. I was going to make them on Valentines day, but never got around to it. So behold- The no bake mini reese's cheesecake!

INGREDIENTS: (makes 12 mini cheesecakes)
  • 1 box Jello No Bake Cheesecake
  • 1 1/2 cups milk
  • 12 Reese's Cups
  • 12 muffin liners
Combine the cheesecake package from the box with the milk in a bowl, whisk for about 3 minutes until the lumps are gone and it starts to thicken.

Line your muffin tin with the muffin liners. Place a reese's cup at the bottom of every liner. Spoon cheesecake filling to the top of every liner.

Refrigerate until you are ready to serve (at least an hour).

The original recipe shows crumbled graham crackers and mini chocolate chips on top of these guys. Toppings totally slipped my mind, but they were yummy just the same. This concept would be great with any sort of 'mini cheesecake' idea you may have. The no bake cheesecake concept is a huge time saver. I love making cheesecakes and desserts from scratch. Sometimes though, its nice to just do something easy and spend that saved time with family and friends. Cheers!

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Baked Ham and Swiss Sliders on Hawaiian Sweet Rolls

I've seen this recipe (or variations of it) so many times over the past few months on pinterest. So, when I saw hawaiian sweet rolls out of the corner of my eye at the store the other day, I knew it was time for me to try them. I already had a good amount of deli ham and swiss cheese at home that I had to use up so it was perfect! This recipe was so easy and straight out freaking awesome. I made 12 "sliders" and that was barely enough for my husband, my dad, myself and the boys. Next time I make these (which will probably be for a baby shower or family dinner) I will make way more than 12. So if you have more than 4-5 people to feed with this… double it and make 24. You will not be disappointed! 


  • 12 pack of sweet King Hawaiian rolls 
  • 1 lb. deli ham
  • 1/2- 3/4 pound slice swiss cheese
  • 1 1/2 sticks butter
  • 3 tablespoons spicy brown mustard
  • teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 3 teaspoons of poppy seeds 
  • 1 onion, chopped
Preheat oven to 350. In a small saucepan melt butter, then add mustard, worcestershire sauce, onion and poppy seeds.

 Cut the entire pack of rolls horizontally, keeping all the bottoms and tops intact.

Place bottom rolls in a greased 9x13 pan. 

Pour 1/3 of butter- onion mixture over the bottom rolls.

Arrange all of the ham over the bottom bums, then all of the swiss, then place the top of the buns over it all. Pour the remaining butter mixture over the tops of all of the sandwiches.

Cover with tinfoil and bake 15-20 minutes, until all of the cheese is melted.

Cut and separate for serving.

We ate our mini ham and cheeses with some home made potato salad, and the combination of the two was just heaven. I'm telling you right now, if your looking for an easy dinner, something to serve for a crowd or awesome picks on game day. This is what you need to make. You should totally do it. Now!! You won't regret it and your family or guest will thank you immensely. Cheers!

Update: 2/24/14
Made this with mini potato rolls and they came out just as good. Just less sweet! Enjoy!

Maxx Approved!!

Avocado Bacon Eggrolls

Me and the hubs made these guys last sunday (morning… afternoon… brunch-ish). We were also doing a few other things in the kitchen and really didn't spend to much time on this. They still came out pretty good. But I'm left with the feeling that it needed something more. More bacon, perhaps? Or just some more filling in general. You be the judge! They're defiantly still worth making. You can't really go wrong with avocados and bacon. Cheers!

INGREDIENTS: Make about 15 egg rolls 

  • 4 avocados  sliced( you want about 25-30 slices)
  • lime juice
  • salt
  • 8 slices pepperjack cheese
  • 15 slices bacon, cooked
  • 15 egg roll wrappers
  • veggie oil for frying

Slice avocados and place in a bowl, drizzle with lime juice and sprinkle liberally with salt.

Lay an egg roll wrapper down. Place 1/2 slice of cheese in the middle, then 2 slices of avocados and a slice of bacon. Roll it up and seal with a little water.

Heat some veggie oil in the bottom of a skillet over medium high heat for 2-3 minutes.

When oil is hot enough place 3-5 egg rolls in pan (don't over crowd, you can work in batches). Fry about 2 minutes on each side until golden brown.

Remove from oil and let dry on a plate with paper towels.

Spinach, Mushroom and Feta (crustless) Quiche

I made this last weekend for me and Mike. Maxx was away at a sleepover, and Ollie was in bed- so it was a perfect opportunity to make an easy adult meal. Although I'm sure that the kids would have loved this too. Almost like an adult scrambled egg.


  • 1 (8oz) package of fresh mushrooms ( I used half sliced white and half baby bellas)
  • 1/2 teaspoon of minced garlic
  • 1 onion diced
  • 1 (10oz) box of frozen spinach
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 cup of milk
  • 1/4- 1/2 cup of feta cheese
  • 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 cup of shredded mozzarella
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • non stick spray
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Defrost your frozen spinach in the microwave for about 2 minutes until soft. Empty spinach into a colander in the sink and squeeze access water out. Let sit and drain more as you prepare the rest.

Melt butter in a pan and sauté mushrooms and onions until they release all of their moisture, about 5 minutes. Add in garlic and some salt and pepper, and remove from heat.

Next beat the eggs. Then add in the milk, park cheese and some salt and pepper. Whisk together and set aside.

Give the spinach in the colander one more good squeeze to get all of the moisture you can out of it, season with a little salt and pepper.

Spray your pan with non stick spray (I used a pie dish). Spread the spinach on the bottom of the dish. 

Then add the sautéed mushrooms and onions and sprinkle the feta on top of the veggies.

 Pour the egg mixture over everything in the dish. Then sprinkle the shredded mozzarella on top.

Place the pie dish on a baking sheet, and place into the oven. Bake for about an hour until the middle is solid and the top is golden brown.

This was really such an easy dish to make. It took less than 15 minutes to prepare. The hard part is waiting the hour for it to bake. Don't be afraid to season this dish, you really have to season it good because of the frozen spinach. This would also be a really great breakfast too, since it is just eggs and veggies. Something new to try I'm sure everyone will appreciate! Cheers!

It sure went quickly…