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!

Friday, July 24, 2015

Mushroom and Spinach Alfredo Lasagna Rolls

This is an adaptation of these Spinach Lasagna Rolls I made a few months ago. These lasagna rolls have become almost a constant in our dinner rotations. I love doing them for #meatlessmonday, and I've been loving doing them with alfredo sauce. So this is my latest reinvention of the recipe.


  • 9 lasagna noodles
  • 1 small container ricotta 
  • 1 egg
  • 2 - 3 cups shredded mozzarella
  • 6 oz frozen spinach (thawed and drained)
  • 6 oz fresh mushrooms (washed and patted dry)
  • 2 tablespoons of butter
  • salt and pepper 
  • 1 jar of alfredo sauce (I like Newman's Own)

 Bring lasagna noodles to a boil, 
and boil just until softened and pliable. About 6 minutes.

While your noodles are cooking, prepare the ricotta mixture. 
In a bowl combine the ricotta, egg, salt and pepper and 2 tablespoons 
shredded mozzarella. Stir to combine.

Set aside a small bowl with about a cup of shredded cheese. 

In a small sautee pan melt butter over medium high heat. Add in mushrooms, salt and pepper and sauté about 5 minutes. Add in spinach, cook for an additional 1-2 minutes, salt and pepper to taste. Remove from heat and set aside.

You now have everything prepared and you can start with the assembly. 
Place about 1/2 cup of alfredo sauce in the bottom of a 9x13 baking dish.

Lay 3 lasagna noodles out at a time on your work surface. Layer on some ricotta.

Then a little of the spinach and mushroom mixture.

Sprinkle a little shredded cheese on top, then roll each noodle up- the fun part!

Spoon remaining alfredo sauce on the tops of all the rolls. 
Top with shredded cheese. The more the better.

Bake @ 350 for 25 minutes. Broil 1-2 minutes to get a nice golden 
crust on the cheese!

Served with croustinis and salad. Perfecto!

I really enjoy making and eating lasagna rolls. I think there are a few reasons that make the way I do this very appealing. #1- It makes perfect portions. #2- You can usually do this 2 times with 1 box of lasagna noodles. #3- Its fun to lay out and actually make with your hands. #4- The portions that are leftover are great to reheat the next day for lunches! That concludes my lasagna roll campaign - Cheers!

Monday, July 20, 2015

Turkey Cheeseburger Egg Rolls

Whipped these babies up the other night in under 45 minutes. I've been all about easy and fun summer meals the past few weeks. The kids adored these, and hand held food is automatically a hit. Even though they're fried... we used ground turkey. Trying to keep it on the leaner side of things. Not sure how well that worked, ha! Fried anything is amazing, and I'll leave it at that. 

(Makes approximately 10 egg rolls )

  • 1 pound ground turkey (you can of course substitute ground beef as well)
  • 1/4 diced red onion
  • 2 tablespoons mustard
  • 2 tablespoons ketchup
  • 1 teaspoon worcestershire sauce
  • 1/3 cup chopped pickles
  • cheese of your choice, we used swiss and provolone about 10 slices 
  • egg roll wrappers (about 10)
  • veggie oil (about 1/2 cup)
In a skillet brown the ground turkey and red onion until the turkey i
cooked all the way through. Drain any access liquid. Add in ketchup, 
mustard, worcestershire and pickles. Stir to combine. 

Set up your egg roll station. Wrappers, filling, cheese and a 
little dish of water for sealing your egg rolls.

Add about 2 tablespoons of burger filling 
plus one slice of cheese to each egg roll wrapper

Fold up the egg rolls. There should be a diagram on the
 package of egg roll wrappers that will explain how better than I ever can.

Once you have all of the egg rolls prepared. In a skillet with high sides heat up about 1/2 cup of oil over medium heat. BE CARFUL FRYING WITH OIL. When it gets up to temp place 2 egg rolls in at a time very gently and fry until golden brown, flip and fry the other side. 1-2 min each side. 

If you want something similar but don't want the grease of frying or the pain of rolling egg rolls: Try flour tortillas, then either baking or lightly toasting each side on a griddle, skillet or panini press. An example is my bacon jalapeño cheeseburger wrap. Those are ridiculously flavorful and easy to make. I'm actually thinking about doing a re-boot of those in the coming weeks, so be prepared! Cheers!

Chipotle Chicken Taco Salad

This was last weeks "Taco Tuesday" excursion in the Forgione household! It was a hit! Everyone was a little concerned at first with having "just a salad" for dinner. However, served with some tortilla chips on the side, this was no meal to complain over. Prep was fast, and making the dressing from scratch was fun to do. This is a meal you can totally prep, then have the kids dump everything into the bowl and- Voila! They've helped make dinner! How exciting for them!

  • 4 cups shredded romaine lettuce
  • 2 cups chopped grilled chicken
  • 1 cup diced tomatoes
  • 1-2 peeled and diced avocados (we went with 2)
  • 1/3 cup thinly sliced red onion
  • 1 cup corn (8oz can is fine)
  • 1 (150z) can black beans (rinsed and drained)
  • juice of 1 lime
  • tortilla chips
For Dressing:
  • 2/3 cup sour cream
  • 1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 tablespoon minced chipotle pepper in adobo sauce
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • juice from 2 limes
  • salt to taste
  • (original recipe called for 1 teaspoon of chili powder as well- I left it out fearing it would be to spicy for the kiddos- feel free to add it in!)
In a large bowl combine lettuce, tomato, onion, avocado, corn and black beans. Toss lightly with the juice of 1 lime. Add in chicken. 

Prepare dressing by combining the sour cream, cilantro, chipotle, 
cumin, lime juice and salt.

Pour the dressing on to the salad, toss to coat the salad evenly. 

Serve with tortilla chips.

I could categorize this as an under 30 minute meal. Easy, quick, and delicious. Perfect for a hot weeknight when the last thing you want to do is turn on the stove. Cheers!

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Marinated Grilled Portobello Burgers

Made these beauties last night for our weekly "Meatless Monday". Great choice if I do say so myself. This was my first time marinating and grilling portobellos and it was actually a fast and easy meal. With only 30 minutes of prep/ marinating time then 15 on the grill, I had this meal done in less than an hour. 

  • 6 large portobello mushroom caps, stems removed and caps washed and patted dry
  • 3/4 cup dry white wine
  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons minced garlic
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
  • wheat bulky rolls
  • sliced mozzarella 
  • your choice of toppings (we did sliced tomato, onions and jalapeños)

Combine the white wine, soy sauce, balsamic, garlic, 
and olive oil together to make your marinade. 

Arrange portobellos on a baking sheet 
and spoon about 1/2 of the marinade into the caps.

Let marinate for about 30 minutes. Every 10 minutes or so spoon some
more marinade into the mushrooms. 

Preheat grill over medium/ high. 
Once up to temp- place mushrooms gill side up on the grill.

Close cover and grill for about 5 minutes.

Flip them and grill for an additional 3-5 minutes. Until soft and juicy.

The last minute of cooking shut the heat off- throw your cheese on, cover it again and wait 1-2 minutes for the cheese to melt.

Serve on a wheat roll with your choice of toppings.

I really thought these were absolutely delicious. I made my kids with a little ketchup on it and just told them it was a burger... They accepted it well enough. Hubby approved too! Served with creamy pea and onion pasta salad on the side was an awesome veggie dinner that eats like a meaty dinner. Cheers!

Creamy Pea and Onion Pasta Salad

The original recipe I got this from uses chives instead of onions. I've done it both ways. Many times. This has literally been the only pasta salad I've been making all spring/ summer long. It is seriously AMAZINGGG. I prefer the chives, for their mild flavor and great color. Using very finely diced onion is just as delicious too. Be careful though, to much onion can throw this dish overboard. Less is more when it comes to raw onions.

  • 8 oz of pasta (you're choice! In the picture about was a mixture of rigatoni and farfalle)
  • 1 cup of peas (I use frozen peas and just let them defrost while pasta cooks)
  • 1/2 cup mayo
  • 1 teaspoon dijon mustard 
  • 1 tablespoon white vinegar
  • 1/4 cup fresh chives chopped (or 2 tablespoons finely diced onion)
  • salt and pepper to taste
Cook pasta according to directions for al dente. 

When the pasta is cooked drain in a colander and run cold water (shock) the pasta so it stops cooking and cools down.

In a large bowl combine the pasta, peas, mayo, mustard, 
vinegar, onions, salt and pepper.

Like I said above, I've made this pasta salad with different kinds of onions and different kind of pasta- and you literally can't go wrong with this recipe. The combination of the creamy mayo, the tangy mustard and vinegar and fresh peas and chives- its just the best pasta salad Ive ever made. And I'm happy to pass it along to you! Cheers!

Lemon Ricotta Parmesan Pasta with Spinach and Grilled Chicken

Always looking for some new recipes- I found this one last week and really wanted to try it. I've never made a sauce with ricotta before and this was easy peasy and fun to do. Make sure you keep a measuring cup of reserved pasta water off to the side. You will need to gradually add this in towards the end of the dish to keep the sauce from thickening up too much as it sits. 

  • 1 pound of grilled chicken breasts cut into strips
  • 1 pound of dry linguine
  • 1 cup reserved pasta water
  • 8 oz of fresh baby spinach, steamed until just starting to wilt
  • 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
  • juice from 2 lemons
  • 2 teaspoons lemon zest
  • 1 small container ( 1 1/2 cups) ricotta
  • 1/2 cup parm cheese plus more for top if needed
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • halved cherry tomatoes 
Cook pasta in a large skillet. Reserve 1 cup of pasta water while draining.

Return pasta to skillet after draining and over medium high heat add- Olive oil, lemon juice, lemon zest, ricotta, parm cheese and 1/2 cup of reserved pasta water. 

Toss to evenly coat the pasta, add more pasta water as needed to thin the sauce. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Toss and cook for about 2 minutes until heated through.

Add in spinach and grilled chicken. Toss. Add cherry tomatoes for garnish.

I thought this was a great, fresh summer dish! We served it with salad and garlic bread. We had another couple over for dinner the night I made this, and they gave the thumbs up! The kiddos were actually gone that night, so I'm not sure what they would think of it. Cheers!