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!

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Split Pea and Ham Soup

This is one of my hubby's absolute favorite. Every time I make a ham I save the bone and a little of the extra ham, and whip this up a few days later. Really good and hearty soup, perfect for this cold weather coming in. I actually used the recipe off of the split pea bag but adjusted it a bit, still pretty straight forward.

  • 1 16 oz bag of split peas (2 cups)
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 1/2 cup chopped carrots
  • 1/2 cup diced potatoes
  • 1/2 cup chopped ham
  • 1 ham bone
  • 2 quarts of water
  • 1/4 teaspoon thyme

Wash peas through a colander, and sort through any shells or bad looking ones. Add cleaned peas to a pot and add the water. Bring to a boil. Let simmer for 2 minutes, remove from heat and cover pot. Let sit for an hour.

Add ham bone, bay leaf, thyme and Veggies. Heat to boiling. Reduce heat and simmer covered for about 2-3 hours, until the peas are soft. Remove bone and cut the ham off (discard bone), add the bone ham and reserved ham (if any) back into soup. Season to taste with salt and pepper. 

We ate our soup with some yummy grilled cheese sandwiches. Perfect fall meal. Cheers!

Pumpkin Cupcakes with Pumpkin Spice Icing

I had some left over canned pumpkin, from the pumpkin alfredo I made the other day. So I came across this recipe yesterday and adjusted it a little to fit what I had in the kitchen. The frosting turned into an icing, but whatever it still tasted awesome!

(makes 12 cupcakes)

  • 1 cup + 2 tablespoons of flour
  • 1/2 tablespoon of baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon of baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon of salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 stick of butter (softened)
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 egg slightly beaten
  • 1/2 cup canned pumpkin (not pie mix)
  • 1/2 cup of milk
For Icing/ Frosting mixture:
  • 4 oz of cream cheese
  • 3 tablespoons of butter softened
  • 3 tablespoons of canned pumpkin (Leave this out if you prefer a traditional frosting, this made the mixture really loose)
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon each of cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg
  • 1-2 tablespoons of milk if frosting is to thick (mine was and adding this turned it into icing, so leave this out for more of a frosting)
Preheat oven to 375
In a bowl combine the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt and spiced

In your mixing bowl or stand mixer cream together the butter and sugar until fluffy. Add in the egg and beat until combined. Add in the pumpkin and beat until combined. Alternate adding in the dry ingredients and milk. Stir until well combined.

Fill cupcake liners 2/3rds full. And bake for about 20 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean.

To make the Icing- in a mixer beat together the cream cheese and butter until fluffy. Add in the powdered sugar, vanilla and spices. Add in pumpkin and milk (leave these two out for a more tradition frosting. Adding these to mine made it an icing).

Frost cupcakes and Enjoy!

The kids devoured them! I let them create their own Halloween treats. Maxx made a pumpkin zombie. We had fun with this, fall is here officially now! Cheers!

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Tortillini with Pumpkin Alfredo Sauce

This was our Meatless Monday dinner this week! I know the picture doesn't look to great, but this dish was so fricken good! I doubled the original recipe, and it was a good thing I did because it was such a huge hit! The whole thing took under 30 minutes to make. By the time the pasta was done boiling, I had the sauce done and ready to go. Super quick weeknight meal, and everyone devoured it.

  • 1 3/4 bags of frozen tortillini (1 wasn't going to be enough, and 2 was going to be to much so I just sort of eyed it- adjust to how many people you are cooking for)
  • 1 cup pumpkin (100 pure pumpkin or pumpkin puree- do not use pie mix)
  • 2 large shallots finely diced
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup grated parm cheese (I added a little more once the sauce came together because I like things cheesy)
  • 1/2 cup grated gruyere cheese
  • salt, pepper and nutmeg to taste
  • reserved pasta water (if the sauce gets to thick, use a little to thin it down)
Boil some salted water and cook tortillinis until al dente- drain and run some cold water over it to stop the cooking process.

While your pasta is cooking, make your sauce. In a large skillet heat up some olive oil over medium high heat. Add in the shallots and cook for about 2 minutes until soft and fragrant. Add in the pumpkin and some nutmeg and lower the heat to medium low. While constantly stirring, slowly add in the heavy cream. Turn the heat up to medium and bring to a simmer, while stirring add the cheese in until melted. Season with salt, pepper and more nutmeg to taste. 

Add in the cooked tortillinis and mix into the sauce. Turn it down to low and allow to warm for a few minutes. If sauce gets to thick add in a little of the reserved pasta water to thin it down. 

This was seriously one of the best alfredos I've made. And I've made a lot lately. Totally kiddo approved too (as you can see below). I love this awesome new way to use canned pumpkin. What a great recipe to get you ready for fall! Cheers!

Maxx Approved

Ollie Approved

Monday, September 15, 2014

Orange Chicken

I made this last week with some awesome sautéed veggies and fried rice. It didn't really come out as I would have hoped. I don't know if I made the batter wrong, or just because I was trying to deep fry in a pot and it just didn't work out very well. All of the flavors were there, I just don't think I executed it properly. Of course my husband and dad were all over this, and thought it was amazing. I'm just really hard on myself, when things don't turn out exactly as I wanted. So below is the recipe as I followed it. It's another fabulous recipe by one of my favorite food bloggers, the Pioneer Woman. I'm absolutely positive that it was something I did, and not her recipe that failed me in the end. 


  • 4 boneless chicken thighs cut into bite sized pieces
  • 4 egg whites
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1/2 cup orange juice
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon packed brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar 
  • 1/4 teaspoon sesame oil
  • salt
  • crushed red pepper
  • 1 minced clove of garlic
  • 2 teaspoons grated ginger
  • 1 teaspoon corn starch 
  • oil for frying (I used veggie)
Whisk together egg whites and cornstarch until frothy, about 1-2 minutes. Place the chicken in this mixture and allow to sit 5-10 minutes.

Put orange juice, soy sauce, sugar, vinegar, sesame oil, salt and red pepper to taste, garlic and ginger in a small non stick skillet and whisk. Heat until bubbly and starts to thicken, about 5 minutes.

Mix together the 1 teaspoon of cornstarch and 1/4 cup of water. Add about 1-2 tablespoons of the cornstarch slurry into the sauce to thicken.

Heat two inches of veggie oil in the bottom of a heavy bottomed pot, like a dutch oven. Until a deep fry therm. reads 350. (This is where I think I went wrong, because I have neither a dutch oven nor a therm. so I kind of winged it.)

Carefully drop the chicken in and gently flip around cooking about 3-4 minutes, then removing to drain on a paper towel lined plate. Repeat the frying process for the rest of the chicken. Once all of the chicken is fried, drop them each back in for about 1 minute then drain on another paper toweled plate for extra crispiness.

Toss the chicken with the sauce and serve.

I served this with fried rice, sautéed broccoli and peppers and with some green onion on top. Like I said, everyone else loved it. I'm just disappointed it didn't fry up as crispy as I wanted. The sauce was amazing though. Cheers!

Credits: Orange Chicken

Easy Fried Rice

I was going to be making orange chicken last week, and I needed a fast yummy side to go with it. I had seen this recipe on Pinterest before and decided to give it a try. 


  • 1 onion chopped
  • 1 cup of frozen peas and carrots
  • 1 teaspoon of minced garlic
  • 3 cups of cooked brown rice
  • 2 eggs beaten
  • olive oil
  • soy sauce (to taste)
  • sesame oil (to taste)
Start off with adding a little olive oil in a skillet, over medium high heat sauté the onions, garlic and frozen veggies.

Cook for about 5 minutes until everything is soft and cooked through. Move all of the veggies over to one side of the pan, and add the eggs on the empty side. 

Allow to cook for a minute or two, when it is mostly cooked add in with the veggies and continue to sauté until all the egg is cooked though. Stir in the cooked brown rice, add soy sauce and sesame oil to taste.

This was quick and very yummy. The kids actually ended up liking this more than the orange chicken itself. Cheers!

French Onion Salisbury Steaks

Hubby asking for some salisbury steak recently, and I wanted to try out something a little different. I found this gem, and it was absolutely amazballs. Mike couldn't stop raving about it for days after wards.


  • extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons of butter
  • 2 large onions sliced
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 teaspoon ground thyme
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 pieces of stale white bread with crusts cut off
  • 1/4 cup of milk
  • 1 1/2- 1 3/4 ground sirloin
  • 1 egg beaten
  • 1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
  • 3 tablespoons grated onion
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 1/2 cup white cooking wine
  • 1 cup beef stock
In a pan add some olive oil, the onions, salt and pepper, thyme and bay leaf and cook over medium heat for about 20 minutes until onions become caramelized. 

In a small bowl soak the bread in the milk for about 10 minutes.

In a mixing bowl combine the beef, grated onion, worcestershire sauce, egg. Squeeze the excess milk out of the bread, and add little pieces at a time to the beef mixture. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and mix with hands. Form patties.

Heat up some olive oil over medium high heat, and fry the patties until they are cooked through, do in batches if you need to- don't over crowd the pan. About 5-10 minutes on each side depending on how thick they are. Once they are all cooked through remove and place on a dish.

Once the onions are caramelized, sprinkle the flour over them and cook an additional minute. Deglaze the pan you cooked the meat in with the white wine, and pour into the onions. Add the beef stock and cook a minute or two until thickened. 

Serve the onion gravy over the salisbury steaks.

This is so yummy! Kid and husband approved, that's all I can ask for in a meal after all. I served this with some mashed potatoes and grilled asparagus. Cheers!

Roast Pork and Sweet Potatoes

Bought the September issue of Food Network Magazine a few weeks back, and made a list of all the new yummy fall recipes I wanted to try. This one was the first one I tried. It came out awesome!! I just love sweet potatoes anyway, but with the roasted onions and little dash of cayenne it made them that much better.

  • large pork tenderloin (about 1 1/2 pounds)
  • 3 tablespoons light brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon dried sage
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • salt and pepper
  • 3 sweet potatoes cut into wedges
  • 1 red onion cut into wedges
  • olive oil
  • cayenne pepper (a pinch to taste)
Toss the potato and onion wedges with a little olive oil, and cayenne pepper. Place on a baking sheet and roast at 450 for about 20 minutes, tossing once. Roast until the potatoes are tender.

Combine the brown sugar, sage, garlic and a little salt and pepper. Poke the pork all over with a fork then rub the spice mixture all over the pork. Heat a few teaspoons of olive oil in a cast iron skillet over medium high heat. Add the pork in once its hot, and sear the pork on all sides until golden brown. 

Transfer to baking sheet and roast for about 25 minutes, until cooked all the way through.

This was so good! The perfect meal to kick off the crispness of fall. Cheers!

Baked Chicken Thighs with Mushrooms and Onions

Made this really simple dish a few weeks ago. I served it with salad, and boxed au gratin potatoes. The perfect fit for a weeknight!


  • Large package (about 8) bone in chicken thighs
  • 1-2 cups of mushrooms
  • 1 chopped onion
  • 1/4 cup of white wine
  • salt and pepper
  • olive oil
Heat up some olive oil in a cast iron skillet over medium high heat. Salt and pepper both sides of the chicken. When the pan gets hot- add in a few chicken thighs at a time, flesh side down. Don't over crown the pan. Cook about 3 minutes just enough to get a nice golden brown sear on the meat. Repeat for the remainder of the chicken. Place all the seared chicken in a 9x13 dish. 

In the same skillet heat up a little more olive oil, and add the mushrooms and onions. Sauté until the onions and mushrooms are cooked through and starting to brown. Add in the white wine and let the pan deglaze / alcohol cook off, about 2-3 minutes. Pour the mushroom wine sauce over all of the chicken in the baking dish.

Bake at 350 for 40 minutes or until the thighs are cooked through. 

I really wanted to do boneless thighs, but I grabbed the wrong thing at the grocery store. Next time I will be trying something similar but with boneless chicken. Cheers!

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Crispy Pork Cutlet Salad with Sautéed Veggies and Cous Cous

This was dinner last night, and it was fantastic. I really just threw it together with what I had in the fridge and pantry, but it was a winning combo. I tried to go with a bunch of different textures and flavors- and I think I really pulled it off.


For Pork Cutlets
  • package of thin center cut pork chops
  • flour
  • italian bread crumbs
  • 3 eggs beaten with a little milk
  • salt, pepper 
  • veggie oil
For Sautéed Veggies
  • 1 orange bell pepper
  • 1/2 large white onion
  • 1 large zucchini cubed
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • salt, pepper
For salad
  • Mixed greens 
  • sliced cucumber
  • cherry tomatoes
  • craisens
  • croutons 
  • cooked cous cous 
  • italian dressing 

Heat up a pan with the olive oil, once its hot sauté the veggies for about 5 minutes until cooked through, season with salt and pepper. Remove from pan and set aside.

Set up a breading station. In a shallow bowl place some flour, salt and pepper. The next bowl the beaten eggs, and the third is the bread crumbs. 

Heat up 1/2 inch of veggie oil in a large skillet over med high heat. Dredge each pork chop in flour, then egg, then bread crumbs. Once the oil is hot place 2-3 chops in the pan at a time and fry for 2-3 minutes on each side- depending on the thickness. 

Cook until golden brown. Remove pork chops and place on a plate with a paper towel to soak up extra oil. Repeat for the remaining chops. 

I whipped up a quick box of 5 minute cous cous (this stuff is awesome).

To assemble the salad, I put the greens, cucumbers and tomatoes on the plate first. Sprinkled some craisens. Sliced pork cutlets on top then some cous cous and croutons after.  The pictures don't show the cous cous or croutons on top, because I wanted to show the vibrant colors of all those yummy veggies! Top with your choice of dressing, but the Italian was awesome.

This was seriously an awesome dinner salad! It was filling and delicious. Everything that I could possibly want in a salad. Cheers! 

Crispy Tofu Pad Thai with Peanut Sauce

At the beginning of the year I attempted my first Pad Thai with some left over shredded turkey. I wasn't really to happy with the way it came out (the noodle to sauce ratio was way off), so I was excited to get the chance to redeem myself and try this veggie version. This was also my first time cooking anything with tofu in it, ambitious I know.


  • 2 cups of noodles prepared (we used rice noodles, you can use wheat linguine or fettuccine, ramen, whatever you choose)
  • 1 package of firm tofu
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 bag of broccoli slaw 
  • 2 cloves of garlic minced
  • 1/2 cup of sliced green onions
  • 2 beaten eggs
  • 3 tablespoons fresh grated ginger
  • 3 tablespoons peanut butter
  • 2 tablespoons sesame oil
  • 2 tablespoons of rice vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons mirin
  • 2 tablespoons fish sauce
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 3/4 cup water
  • crushed peanuts (for garnish)
  • Fresh cilantro (for garnish)
About an hour before you are going to start cooking you want to prepare the tofu. This involves getting all of the excess water out of it. Wrap the block of tofu in some paper towels, and place on a cutting board. Place a heavy object (I used my cast iron skillet) on top of the tofu and let it sit for about an hour to get all the water out. I actually changed the paper towels 1/2 way through because they were soaked, but that is up to you.

Once your tofu is done cut into medium sized cubes, then place 1/2 of the olive oil in a skillet over high heat. When the oil is really hot then throw in the tofu and turn heat down to medium high. Cook your tofu for about 10 minutes, until crispy and golden brown on all sides.

While the tofu is cooking, whisk together the ginger, peanut butter, sesame oil, rice vinegar, mirin, fish sauce, soy sauce and water. Set the sauce aside.

When the tofu is nice and crispy, remove from the pan and place on a plate with a paper towel to drain excess oil. Sprinkle tofu with a little salt.

While the pan is still hot, add in the broccoli slaw and garlic. Sauté for 1-2 minutes until it becomes fragrant. 

Move the veggies to one side of the pan and add 1/2 of the green onions to it, and add the beaten eggs to the other side of the pan. Allow the eggs to slightly cook then mix the egg and veggies together and continue to cook until the eggs are cooked through.

Stir in the sauce and cook for a minute or 2 until it starts to thicken a bit. Then stir in your prepared noodles. Combine well.

Serve with the remainder of the green onions, crushed peanuts and cilantro. We also drizzled a little sriracha on top of ours. 

Ollie digging in

I actually enjoyed making and eating this dish. Especially the crispy tofu, surprisingly. The tofu actually reminded me of cheese curds kind of, which I love. The kids really loved this meal too. Ollie was a huge fan. My job is done. Cheers!