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!

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Apple Pecan Cake

We went apple picking a few weeks ago, and there are still a ton of apples I have yet to use. I saw this apple cake recipe on Pinterest a while back, and decided to give it a go. It was really simple- and apparently the best cake I've ever made according to my husband.


  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 3 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1 cup chopped pecans
  • 3 cups peeled and chopped apples
  • 1 stick of butter
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup evaporated milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
In a large mixing bowl combine oil, sugar and eggs. Add in the flour and baking soda. Stir to combine. Add in the vanilla, pecans and apples, mix well. Add to a greased 9x13 baking dish and bake for about 45 minutes (until a toothpick comes out clean). Allow to cool.

To make frosting, in a sauce pan combine all ingredients and bring to a boil, allow to boil for 2 minutes. Set pan in a bowl filled with ice water, and beat for about 3-5 minutes until it becomes spreading consistency. Spread over the top of the cake.

This really was one of the easiest, tastiest cakes I've ever baked. And Im sure you can replace the apple with other kinds of fruit too. This would be amazing as a blueberry cake... Oh, I know what I'm doing next! Cheers!

Credits: Fresh Apple Cake

Sweet Potato Black Bean Burger with Avocado Spread

Every time I make a veggie burger, I swear they get better and better. This time they were the perfect constancy, texture, taste and size. It was seriously the best veggie burger I've ever eaten. This was my Meatless Monday meal for yesterday!


  • 1 cooked sweet potato (skin removed)
  • 1/2 can of black beans (drained and rinsed)
  • 1/4 cup diced red onion
  • 1 diced jalapeño (seeds removed)
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 2 cloved diced garlic
  • 2 teaspoons cajun seasoning 
  • 1/2 cup cooked brown rice
  • 1 avocado
  • 2-3 tablespoons greek yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro
  • juice from 1 lime
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • wheat buns
  • spring mix greens
Add sweet potato, beans, onion, jalapeño, cilantro, garlic and cajun seasoning to a food processor. Pulse until a smooth consistency, you may need to stop and scrape down sides a few times. Transfer mixture from processor to a mixing bowl and combine with the cooked brown rice. Taste- add more seasoning if needed. 

Shape into patties (I like mine on the thin side), and place on a piece of parchment paper on a baking sheet. Refrigerate for 30 minutes or more.

Heat some veggie oil in a skillet over medium high heat. Fry each veggie burger for 2-3 minutes on each side until golden brown. Transfer to a paper towel lined plate. 

To make the spread, smash together the avocado, cilantro, yogurt and lime in a bowl until it reaches a thick consistency, chunky texture. Season with salt and pepper.

Serve veggie burgers on a wheat bun with greens and avocado spread.

As I'm typing this, it's almost lunch time- and I have a leftover veggie burger in the fridge with my name on it. I can't wait to eat it. Such a great, fresh burger. This is going to be my go to recipe from now on. Love it! Cheers!

Spicy Sausage and Sweet Pepper Stuffed Shells

Stuffed shells are one of my favorite things to make. Lately I've been experimenting with different fillings for them, this is a batch I made the other day. So Yum!


  • 1 box jumbo shells
  • 1 container part skim ricotta cheese
  • 2 cups cooked spicy italian sausage (I took casings off the links of spicy italian sausage, sautéed in a skillet, drained grease and set aside)
  • 1/2 cup diced sweet peppers
  • 1 egg
  • 2 cups shredded mozzarella 
  • 2 cups marinara sauce
Cook the shells according to directions. Drain and run cold water over it until cooled to stop cooking process. Set aside.

Heat some olive oil in a small skillet and lightly sauté the sweet peppers. Set aside.

In a large mixing bowl combine the ricotta, egg, cooked sausage, and peppers 1/2 cup of the mozz cheese salt and pepper to taste.

Spoon a little sauce in the bottom of a 9x13 baking dish. Fill each shell with spoonfuls of the ricotta mixture, and line them in the baking dish. Spoon a little sauce on top - and sprinkle the remainder of the mozz cheese. Bake at 350 for 30 minutes.

As always, these stuffed shells were a hit. Just something about them - the spicy of the sausage and the sweet peppers, creamy ricotta and tangy sauce. Its FREAKING amazing! I also made some meatballs and a nice salad to go with this. Yummo Italiano! Cheers!

Chicken and Broccoli Curry Casserole

This recipe is actually something that my mom used to make. I actually have the instructions she wrote me out, tapped inside of my recipe book.  It's really good, and if you're not used to eating or cooking curry- this is the perfect started recipe to ease yourself into it.


  • 2-3 cups cooked chicken
  •  2-3 cups steamed broccoli
  • 2 cans cream of chicken soup (small)
  • 1/2 cup mayo
  • 2 tablespoons curry powder
  • 1-2 cups shredded cheddar
  • breadcrumbs 
Mix together the soup, mayo and curry powder in a bowl. 

In a 9x13 baking dish, layer the cooked broccoli and chicken. 

Sprinkle the cheese over the chicken and broccoli.

Top with the soup mayo mixture.

Sprinkle a little breadcrumbs over the top.

Bake covered with foil for 25 minutes at 350.

Pretty easy right? I usually serve this with egg noodles, but this would be good with rice or pasta too. A good quick dinner to know. Cheers!

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Vegetarian Moussaka

So last year I had my first go at making moussaka. Its this awesome Greek dish that I'm absolutely in love with. Layers of cooked potatoes, eggplant and a yummy tomato meat sauce topped with a creamy layer of white sauce and cheese. Last time I tried a traditional recipe, using ground beef. I decided to go with a vegetarian version this time. I tweaked the original recipe I used, and came out with this. And I have to say it was pretty damn good. This was our Meatless Monday installment for this week. 


  • 3 small graffiti eggplants,sliced into rounds
  • 3 medium potatoes, sliced into rounds
  • olive oil
  • sea salt
  • 1 small package of baby bellas
  • 1/2 red onion diced
  • 1 can of whole peeled tomatoes, drained
  • 1-2 cups cooked quinoa 
  • 2 tablespoons minced garlic
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • pinch of all spice
  • 1/4 cup red wine
  • 1/4 cup breadcrumbs
Béchamel Sauce:
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1/2 stick of butter
  • 4 cups hot whole milk
  • salt, pepper, nutmeg to taste
  • 3 egg yolks beaten
  • 1 1/2 - 2 cups grated hard cheese (I used half parm, half gruyere) 
There are 3 "layers" that need to be made. So as I'm not rushing around trying to do it all at once, I cook the potatoes/eggplant earlier on, then start the mushroom sauce- and while that's simmering I make the béchamel sauce. 

Coat the eggplant and potatoes with olive oil and salt, then broil for about 15 minutes until fork tender (Keep the eggplant and potatoes separated, they will be two different layers). Set aside.

Heat some olive oil in a skillet over medium high heat, sauté the mushrooms, onion and garlic until tender. Drain off extra oil and moisture. Break the whole peeled tomatoes up with your hands and add into the skillet.Add in the red wine and let simmer for 1-2 minutes. Add the bay leaf, cinnamon and all spice. Add in the cooked quinoa, and breadcrumbs- stir to combine, and keep over low/ medium heat until all the moisture is absorbed. Remove bay leaf and cinnamon stick. 

To make the béchamel sauce- melt the butter in a pot over medium high heat, once melted slowly add in the flour- whisking constantly. Cook for about 2 minutes. Slowly add in the hot milk, while continuing to whisk- letting it thicken up as you pour. Once thickened, season with salt pepper and nutmeg to taste. Remove from heat and slowly add in the egg yolks in a stream. Return to heat for 1-2 minutes, making sure all of the ingredients are combined. Set aside off the heat to cool. 

Add 1 ladle full of the béchamel sauce to the mushroom quinoa sauce- stir to combine.

To Assemble - coat the bottom and sides of a 9x13 baking dish lightly with olive oil. Sprinkle just enough breadcrumbs to lightly coat the bottom and sides. 

Arrange the potato slices as the bottom layer, slightly overlapping the pieces. 

Spread half of the mushroom and quinoa sauce on top of the potatoes.

Arrange the eggplant slices as the next layer, slightly overlapping the pieces making sure to cover the whole dish (this will help hold to top layer of béchamel up).

Spread the remaining mushroom quinoa sauce on top of the eggplant.

Top with the remainder of the béchamel sauce, spreading evenly over the entire dish.

Bake at 350 for 30 minutes.

Spread the cheese evenly on top, return to the oven for an additional 20 minutes.

Shut oven off, but leave in the oven with the door cracked open for 20 minutes.

Remove from oven and let sit 15-20 minutes before cutting and serving.

We served this with a fresh home made Greek salad. I'm not going to lie, this recipe is very labor intensive. It takes a while, but if you have the time and patience - it will be worth it. If you prefer trying this with meat, just substitute the mushrooms/ and or quinoa with 1 pound of ground beef (or lamb). Just don't forget to drain the excess grease off of the meat once you sauté it. Wether with meat or vegetarian, this is something that you have to make if only once in your life. Cheers!

Southwestern Chicken Salad

This is one of my favorite things to make. I made this batch on sunday, and I've been eating it all week for lunch (today is Wednesday). The past few times I've made it, I used taco seasoning from a package to season it. This time Mike seasoned the chicken really well and it didn't need any extra seasoning. So whatever you feel like doing!


  • 2-3 boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • olive oil
  • cumin
  • salt and pepper
  • juice from 1 lime
  • 2 (small) sweet peppers finely diced
  • 1 jalapeño finely diced
  • 1/4 red onion finely diced
  • 1/4 cup of corn
  • a few tablespoons of mayo (to your own taste, some people like more mayo than others)
Place chicken in a baking dish and drizzle with olive oil. Season with cumin, salt and pepper. Pour lime juice on top. Bake at 350 for 45 minutes (depending how thick the chicken breast is). Allow chicken to cool before chopping up.

Chop chicken into small pieces, combine with peppers, onion, corn and mayo. Add more seasoning if needed. 

Put this on a sandwich, wrap, salad or my favorite- eat it with tortilla chips. Any way you choose, a guilt free- lunch, dinner or snack. Cheers!