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, September 29, 2015

Butternut Squash Alfredo Stuffed Shells

Ever in search for amazing Meatless Monday meals, I came up with this beauty yesterday. They were so delicious the 4 of us ate the whole pan full. I will most certainly be making this again. My 3 year old must have eaten like 3 or 4 shells in one sitting. 

  • 1 medium butternut squash
  • olive oil
  • salt and pepper
  • about 3/4 box of jumbo shells
  • 1 small container of ricotta 
  • 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella 
  • 1/4 cup grated parm cheese
  • 1/4 cup seasoned bread crumbs
  • 1 diced tomato
  • 1 cup alfredo sauce
  • italian seasoning, salt and pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 375. 

Cut squash in half and scoop out seeds. 

Rub it with a little olive oil, and season inside with salt and pepper.

Place flesh side down on baking pan, pierce tops of squash with a knife a few times.

Add 1/2 a cup of water to baking dish.

Bake squash for 40-45 minutes, until cooked through. 

Allow squash to cool a bit.

While squash is cooling, boil the jumbo shells in salt water for about 8 minutes or until softened.

Drain and set shells aside.

When squash has cooled enough to handle, scoop flesh into a medium sized bowl.

Add ricotta, italian seasoning, salt and pepper to taste.

Mix well to combine.

Place 1/2 alfredo sauce on bottom of a 9x13 baking dish

Stuff all the shells with the squash ricotta mixture, and place in baking dish.

Top with diced tomato. 

Drizzle the remainder of the alfredo sauce on shells. 

Top shells with mozzarella, parm and bread crumbs.

Cover with tinfoil and bake at 325 for 45 minutes. 

We served these shells with leftover green bean almondine from Sunday Supper. And let me tell you the combination was just incredible. The addition of the almonds and crunchy green beans to this rich cheesy dish was so delicious. I highly recommend trying this recipe ASAP. Cheers!

Slow Cooker Coconut Curry Cashew Chicken


Huge fan of slow cooker meals over here. Set and and forget it! I found this recipe and as it cooked I had to tweak the seasonings a bit. It came out pretty good, I would try it without the potatoes next time, or maybe swap out for sweet potato.

  • 2 large boneless skinless chicken breasts, chopped into bite size pieces
  • 1/2 red pepper diced
  • 1/2 green pepper diced
  • 1/2 onion diced
  • 2 potatoes peeled and chopped 
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 2 tablespoons red curry paste
  • 1 tablespoon curry powder
  • 1 tablespoon garam masala
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 can coconut milk.
  • cilantro, cashews, pineapple chunks (for garnish)
  • jasmine rice (for serving)
Place chicken, peppers, onions and potatoes in crock pot.

In a bowl combine the chicken broth, curry paste, curry powder, garam masala, cumin and salt/ pepper to taste. Adjust seasonings if needed. Pour over chicken and veggies in crock pot.

Cook on low for 5 hours. 

Stir in coconut milk.

In a measuring cup combine cornstarch and 1/3 cup of cold water. Whisk to combine. 

Add cornstarch slurry into crock pot, and cook on high for 15-20 minutes until sauce has thickened. 

Season if needed.

Serve over jasmine rice, garnish with cilantro, cashews, and pineapple chunks.

Great new recipe to try! Another solid slow cooker recipe to add to my Fall rotation. Cheers!

Crispy Sweet Potato Wedges with Chipotle Mayo

Made these as a side to go with some yummy steak and cheese subs I threw together last week. They were great! Went really well with the subs. The perfect sweet and savory combination. 

  • 3 sweet potatoes peeled and cut into wedges
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 2 teaspoons brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon italian seasoning 
Preheat the oven to 450.

Place sweet potato wedges in a bowl.

Season with olive oil, and seasonings. Make sure each wedge is coated well.

Prepare a baking sheet, Line it with tinfoil then place baking rack over.

Arrange wedges on the baking rack.

Bake for 30 minutes.

Turn broiler on and broil 3-5 minutes, until crispy.

To make chipotle mayo: take 1/2 cup mayo and combine with 1-2 tablespoons of chipotle in adobo sauce (depending how spicy you want it. 

Crispy sweet potato wedges with steak and horseradish cheddar cheese subs. So GOOD. Cheers!

Mushroom Stuffed Potato Cutlets


This was last weeks Meatless Monday. They were a lot of fun to make and not to time consuming. Anyone that knows me could tell you that, I hate working with dough. Any sort of crusts, bread floury kind of deal I try to avoid. So I was a little hesitant at first doing this, forming things out of potato mush I mean. It ended up being great though, and filling! I will most certainly be doing this again, and like I always say - play around with the fillings and what I can do with different flavor combinations!

  • 6 large potatoes
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tablespoon flour
  • 8oz baby bella mushrooms rinsed and drained
  • 1/2 onion diced
  • 1 teaspoon parsley
  • olive oil
  • salt
  • pepper
  • cornmeal
  • sour cream (for garnish)
  • chives (for garnish)
Peel the potatoes and give them a rinse. 

Cut into pieces, place in pot, cover with water and generously salt.

Boil over medium high, until fork tender and cooked through. 

While the potatoes are cooking make the mushroom onion filling.

Over medium high heat, heat a medium skillet. Add a little olive oil. Add mushrooms and onions, parsley, salt and pepper to taste. 

Sautee until cooked through about 5 minutes. Set aside.

Once the potatoes are cooked through, drain then return to pot and set aside. 

Allow the potatoes to completely cool. 

Mash potatoes with a potato masher, add in the egg then flour and continue mashing the potatoes until they are smooth.

Add in salt and pepper to taste. 

On a cutting board coated with corn meal place 2-3 tablespoons of potato, and flatten into a disk.

Add 2 teaspoons of mushroom mixture into center of disk.

Fold each end in to completely cover mushroom mixture, and form into a sealed cutlet.

Roll each cutlet in cornmeal, and set aside.

Once all of the cutlets are made, heat oil in a skillet over medium heat.

Once hot add in cutlets, doing only 2 at a time as to not over crowd the pan.

Fry for about 3 minutes on each side, or until golden brown.

Serve with sour cream and chives. 

Another successful and not to mention kid friendly Meatless Monday Meal completed! Can't ask for anything more than that. Cheers!

Friday, September 18, 2015

Parmesan Spinach Stuffed Portobellos over Garlic Texas Toast

This weeks Meatless Monday! I'm always looking for different veggie recipes for Mondays- I came across this one and I just had to try it. 

  • 5 large portobello mushrooms
  • 1/2 onion diced
  • 3 tablespoons of butter
  • 2 tablespoons minced garlic
  • salt and peppper
  • garlic powder
  • 1 large bag baby spinach
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 1/2 cup parm cheese
  • 5 slices of garlic texas toast ( I use frozen Pepperage Farms)
Remove the stems from the mushrooms, wash, dice and set aside.

Wipe down mushrooms, be sure to remove excess dirt.

Melt 2 tablespoons of the butter and brush all of the mushrooms until they are completely coated. Sprinkle mushrooms with salt, pepper and garlic powder.

In a skillet, melt the remaining butter and add in the diced onions and mushroom stems. Salt and pepper to taste.

Saute about 2 minutes then add in the baby spinach a little at a time until it is all added and softened. This can take a few minutes but it'll happen. 

Stir the wilted spinach with the onions garlic and butter until completely coated. Remove from heat.

Stir in the sour cream.

Place the mushrooms in a skillet on the stove top over medium high heat.

Fill the mushrooms evenly with spinach mixture.

Top with parm cheese.

Cook about 10-15 minutes until the mushrooms have begun to release their moisture.

Stick under broiler for 2 minutes to melt cheese.

Make Texas toast according to directions.

Serve each stuffed mushroom over a piece of Texas toast. 

Usually Mike is really hesitant about Meatless Monday. Really about portobellos in general. He doesn't like them very much. This recipe however, he loved! So we have the approval of the portobello hater. This recipe is a keeper. Cheers!

  Adapted from:

Spinach and Mushroom Stuffed Chicken Breasts


As some of you may know, I'm a little obsessed with making rollatinis. Wether its stuffed chicken, or lasagna rolls - I love coming up with different combinations. See: Mushroom and spinach alfredo lasagna rollsSpinach and cheese lasagna rollsChicken Cordon BleuJalapeño popper chicken. Obviously one of my favorite dinners to make. Tonights adventure was a cheesy spinach and mushroom mixture inside a thin chicken cutlet, breaded and baked. We love us some spinach in the Forgione house. 

  • 6 thin chicken breasts, gently pounded out
  • 8 oz package cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1 cup Mozzarella cheese
  • 5oz frozen spinach thawed and drained
  • 1 cup mushrooms, rinsed
  • 1/2 onion diced
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1-2 cups seasoned bread crumbs
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • toothpicks
In a skillet heat the butter over medium high heat. Add in the onions and mushrooms and sauté until the mushrooms have softened and released all their moisture. 5-8 minutes.

Salt and pepper to taste. Set aside.

Add drained spinach to the softened cream cheese.

 Then fold in the mushrooms and onions. Stir until combined.

Set up your breading station, one shallow dish for bread crumbs, Another combine the lemon juice and olive oil.

Put out another small bowl of shredded mozzarella. Now we should have everything laid out to begin.

Lay out each thin chicken cutlet and place 1/6th of the cream cheese mushroom mixture on top of the chicken. Sprinkle a little mozzarella on top. 

Roll up each chicken cutlet, making sure to keep the filling inside- and secure with 2 toothpicks.

Dip each stuffed chicken in the oil/ lemon juice- making sure to coat it well.

Dip each stuffed chicken in the breadcrumbs- making sure to coat it well.

Place stuffed chicken in a baking dish, toothpick side down. 

Sprinkle remaining mozzarella cheese on top. 

Bake at 350 for 45 minutes.

Enjoy all the cheesy goodness that is: stuffed chicken breasts. 

As I'm typing this inspiration is starting to come to me. I'm thinking: Ham, pineapple and cheddar jack cheese stuffed chicken breasts. Sequal to this is to come. Cheers!


Baked Mac and Cheese


Everyone needs a good homemade Mac and Cheese recipe. I made this in under 15 minutes, then just threw it in the oven to bake for about 30 minutes. Pretty easy and delicious. This is what I think of when I hear baked Mac and Cheese.

  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • 1 1/2 cup milk
  • 2 cups shredded cheese of choice (I used sharp cheddar)
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • 8 oz of elbow macaroni 
  • Ritz crackers (1/2 sleeve about)
Put your pasta on to boil.

Prepare cheese sauce while pasta is cooking.

Melt butter over medium high heat in a large skillet.

Add in the flour, cook about a minute until well combined.

Slowly add in the milk, while stirring constantly. 

Roux should be thickening up as you're adding the milk. 

Reduce the heat and add in the cheese. 

Season to taste.

By now your pasta should be cooked to al dente. 

Drain the pasta, shaking off excess water. 

Add pasta into the cheese sauce, and stir so all the pasta is well coated.

Transfer into a baking dish.

Crumble Ritz crackers on the top.

Bake at 350 for 30 minutes, until crackers are golden brown. 

Since I made this at the beginning of the week, I've literally been dying to make this again. I've been refraining all week, but you better believe tomorrow (Saturday) I'm making a bacon jalapeño baked mac and cheese. Fall is coming and I just want to make some yummy comfort foods and start the hibernation process. Cheers!

Buttery White Wine and Garlic Steamers


Made steamers for the first time ever last week. Sort of perused different recipes to get some ideas, then made up my own. They were absolutely spectacular. I was very proud of myself- and I think we devoured like 2 huge bags of steamers (just me and Mike). Served with a loaf of fresh crusty bread to soak up all the amazing broth! This is summer time in New England. 

  • 2 bags of steamers ( I think they were 1-2 pounds each)
  • 3/4 stick of butter
  • 1/2 onion diced
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1 cup white wine
  • 1/3 cup fresh chopped basil
  • juice of 1 lemon
Soak the steamers in cold water for 30 minutes prior to cooking. This will help remove most of the sand. 

After the 30 minutes, remove from water and give them all a good rinse off. We don't want to be eating a bunch of sand.

In a large skillet melt the butter over medium high heat. 

Add in the onion and sauté for a minute. Then add garlic. Sauté another minute or so until fragrant. 

Add in the steamers, then throw in the white wine and lemon juice.

Cover and let simmer for 5 minutes.

Give the sauté pan a little shake and make sure all of the steamers are opening. 

Simmer for another 5 minutes.

Discard any steamers that haven't opened. 

Garnish with chopped basil and serve with fresh crusty bread. 

The night I made these we had somewhat of a New England feast: Lobsters, steamers, corn on the cob and bread. It was my first time making both lobsters and steamers- and I think that I did extremely well. Me and Mike devoured pretty much everything I made. I feel like I need to cook seafood more often. It can be a little intimidating I must admit though, I totally rocked this one! Cheers!

Avocado, Bacon and Egg Breakfast Sandwich


I made this beautiful creation for the whole fam damily this morning, and they were a huge hit! So decadent and filling though. The kids could barely finish half, which was understandable. Mike and I could barely finish ours but we persevered. It was totally worth it. Something about bacon, egg and avocado. Its a winning combination.

Makes 4 sandwiches
  • 4 toasted everything bagels
  • 8 slices of bacon
  • 4 fried eggs
  • 1 avocado sliced
  • 4 slices of american cheese
Build your sandwich on top of the toasted everything bagel. 
Egg, cheese, bacon then sliced avocado.
ENJOY. I know you will. 

What can I say. This is the breakfast sandwich of champions. I'm going to call it the Mumma sandwich from now on. Cheers!

Skillet Chicken Pot Pie

OK- Lets talk about the easiest chicken pot pie you will ever make. The filling is made right in the cast iron skillet, then just throw a crust on top and bake it. This is my go to pot pie recipe my friend Laurel gave me a long time ago. I've adjusted it a little over the years, but the premise is the same. 

  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 1/4 cup Bisquick 
  • 1 small onion diced 
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 tablespoon chicken bullion
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 cups cooked chicken
  • 1 can of corn drained
  • 1 cup diced potatoes (cooked)
  • 1 1/2 cups frozen peas and carrots
For the Crust:
  • 2 cups Bisquick
  • 1/2 cup water
In a large cast iron skillet melt the butter over medium high heat.

Add in the onions, bullion, salt and pepper, and sauté for a minute or two.

Add in the Bisquick and stir until bubbly. 

Slowly add in the milk and water, letting the roux thicken up while you're adding it in. 

Reduce to a simmer and add in the veggies and chicken. 

Stir to combine, season to taste. 

Remove from heat- set aside. 

Make the crust: 

Combine the additional Bisquick and water, until a dough is made.

Roll the crust out and place on top of the filling in the skillet. 

Bake at 425 for 15 minutes, or until the crust is golden brown.

UPDATE: Laurel suggested using milk in leu of water for the crust- will be trying this tonight!

And here you have it. Feel free to make the filling in a regular pan and then transfer that into a 9x13 baking dish if you prefer. I really liked doing it this way, because it was one less pan for me to clean up afterwards. We always serve our chicken pot pie with chilled cranberry sauce on the side. Cheers!