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 20, 2015

Spaghetti O's with Meatballs


Growing up, I loved having Chef Boyardee's Spaghetti O's. My kids do too! Who can resist those little meatballs and sweet sauce. Now that I'm adult and trying to be conscious of what I feed my kids, I try to take certain things you would normally buy and make it from scratch. This was a huge hit. It was kind of a pain to try and make all of these "mini meatballs", but the end result was totally worth it. 

  • 1 pound "meatball mix" (this usually has beef, veal and pork- 1 pound ground beef is fine)
  • 1/3 cup seasoned breadcrumbs
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 2 tablespoons ketchup
  • 1/2 teaspoon parsley
  • 1/2 teaspoon oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 large can tomato puree
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 diced onion
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • parsley, oregano, salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 cups dry mini wheel pasta 

In a mixing bowl combine the ground meat, breadcrumbs,egg, milk, ketchup, parsley, oregano,salt and pepper. Mix until everything is incorporated. 

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Form meatballs, I tried to make as many as possible. 


Bake at 350 for about 25 minutes (depending on meatball size), or until cooked through and starting to brown. 

While the meatballs are baking you're going to put the pasta on to boil, and cook to al dente.

Start the sauce while the pasta is cooking.

In a large skillet heat olive oil over medium high heat. Add in onion and sauté for about 3 minutes until softened. 

Add in the garlic and sauté just a minute or two until fragrant. You don't want to burn the garlic.

Add in the tomato paste and mix in with the onions. 

Add the tomato puree and water, stirring in with the tomato paste until combined. 

Stir in the rest of the seasonings and sugar to taste. 

Bring to simmer, stirring every few minutes. 

The sauce, meatballs and pasta should all be done pretty close together. 

Strain the pasta and add it into the large sauce skillet.

Carefully incorporate the cooked meatballs. Being careful not to stir to much and break them apart. 

Season to taste. 

Serve and enjoy. 

I made this about 2 weeks ago- and the kids have asked for this several times since then. I will be making this in the next few weeks again for sure. Give it a try! You can pull this off in under an hour. Cheers!


Sweet Potato Fries with Curry Mayo


I've been in search of the best way to cook sweet potato stuffs lately. A few weeks ago I made sweet potato wedges, and while they were yummy- they were lacking what I was really looking for. 

In this recipe I soak the fries first, to draw out some of the starch. I really believe this helped in creating fries that were somewhat crispy and not just sagging all over the place. I made a curry mayo to go with them. Sweet potato fries with curry mayo hold a special place in my heart of sides dishes. Very reminiscent of my early 20's spent at the local Irish pub eating and drinking draft beers. 

  • 2 medium sweet potatoes 
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon dried parsely
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/2 cup mayo
  • 2 tablespoons curry powder
Peel sweet potatoes, and cut into 1/2 inch thick fires.

Soak fries in a large bowl of cold water for 1 hour.

Rinse fries with cold water, pat fries dry with a clean towel.

Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Preheat oven to 400.

Place fries in a large bowl, drizzle with olive oil.

Season with brown sugar, parsley, salt and pepper.

Toss to coat all fries evenly.

Divide fries between both baking sheets. Evenly spread in one layer. 

Bake for 20 minutes. Flip fries.

Bake for an additional 15-20 minutes until golden brown. 

To make Curry Mayo:

Combine curry powder, salt, pepper and mayo in a bowl. Adjust seasoning to taste.

We served these sweet potato fries not only with the curry mayo which was amazing, but country ketchup made by Stonewall Kitchen. The pub I used to frequent made their own home style ketchup, this comes in a close second. Cheers!

7 Layer Dip

When researching '7 layer dips' for Taco Tuesday a few weeks ago,  I came across a couple of different options. First I had to decide if I wanted this baked and warm with chips, or as a cold side. I went with a cold side. Actually we just scooped this into our tacos instead of adding individual toppings in. It was really convenient and yummo. 

  • 1 can refried beans 
  • 3/4 cup sour cream
  • 3/4 cup salsa
  • 3/4 cup shredded cheddar
  • 1/2 cup diced tomato
  • 1/4 cup diced olives
  • 1/4 cup sliced green onion
Layer in an 8x8 pan. 

Refried beans, sour cream, salsa, cheese, tomatoes, olives and green onions.

Serve with chips or tacos.

I totally recommend using Doritos Sweet and Spicy Chili chips with this dish. It's my fav. Cheers!

Roasted Eggplant with Feta

This was a lovely Meatless Monday dish I made. Served with tubule and home made pita chips. 

  • 1 medium- large eggplant
  • salt and pepper
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • italian seasoning 
  • crumbled feta
Wash eggplant and slice into about 1/2 inch discs.

Lay flat on a baking sheet and sprinkle with salt. 

Let sit for 20-30 minutes. This will draw out some of the bitter taste. 

Pat eggplant down with paper towels to get rid of the bitter juice.

Drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with salt-pepper- italian seasoning

Bake for 20 minutes at 400.

Flip eggplant sprinkle with feta, and bake for another 20 or 
until tender and cooked through. 

I thought it was amazing just like this- then my husband took the leftovers, stuck them in the food processor and made some sort of baba ganoush concoction. Whipped together a batch of homemade pita chips, and it was seriously so good. Cheers!

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Steakhouse Quesadillas


Last weeks Taco Tuesday at our house! I marinated the steak tips (and really use good steak tips, it's totally worth it) with the mushrooms and onions during the day. Then when it came time to cook them I just separated the steak from the veg.

  • flour tortillas
  • shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • steak tips ( I used a little under a pound)
  • 1 onion sliced
  • 8 oz baby bella mushrooms, washed and dried
  • 1/4 steak sauce
  • 1/4 cup italian dressing
In a gallon zip lock bag combine the steak, 
mushrooms, onions, italian dressing and steak sauce. 

Seal bag and refrigerate until you're ready to cook them. 
Mine sat in the fridge about 4 hours.

When you're ready to cook. Separate steak from mushrooms and onions.

Place mushrooms and onions in a baking dish and bake at 350 for 25 minutes.

Leave veggies in oven, move to bottom rack.

Place steak on a baking pan and broil for 3 minutes on each side.

Or until you reach desired doneness. 

Make quesadillas by layering shredded cheese, mushrooms, 
onions and steak on a flour tortilla.

Grill for 3 minutes on each side, until golden brown and cheese is melted.

Serve with sour cream. 

We love trying different and new things for Taco Tuesday every week, and this recipe didn't disappoint. You really can't go wrong with an amazing steak and melty gooey cheddar though. I really think most of my quesadilla success should be attributed to my griddle. That thing makes the best grilled cheeses and quesadillas, Nicely crispy and golden brown - soft and oozy cheese inside. Let that image settle in for a few and then see what you're craving. Cheers!

Hawaiian Stuffed Chicken Breasts with Fried Rice

Yes, I know! Another stuffed "something", but they're always so good. I love coming up with different flavor combinations. This dish was actually really fun to make. I've only made my own fried rice one other time- and it definitely wasn't as good as this time. I took to the time to season and adjust flavors as needed, because brown rice can need a little help sometimes other wise it'll be totally bland.

  • 4 thin sliced, lightly pounded out chicken breasts
  • 4 slices ham
  • 4 pieces pepper jack cheese
  • pineapple chunks
  • bread crumbs
  • lemon juice
  • olive oil
  • jalapeños (garnish)
For fried rice:
  • 3 cups cooked brown rice
  • 1/2 onion diced
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1 teaspoon garlic 
  • 1/2 cup frozen corn (thawed)
  • 1 cup frozen peas and carrots (thawed)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • garlic powder to taste
  • soy sauce to taste
Pound out the chicken breasts until flat and thin, careful not to tear them.

In a bowl add a little bread crumbs. In a second bowl combine a 
little lemon juice and olive oil. This will be your breading station.

Take a piece of ham place a piece of cheese 
then a few pineapple chunks in the middle.

Place each piece of ham on a chicken cutlet and roll.
 Securing ends with toothpicks.

Dip each stuffed chicken in the lemon/oil, then in the bread crumbs. 
Be sure to coat evenly. 

Place in a lightly oiled baking dish.

Bake at 350 for 45 minutes
 (or until chicken is completely cooked through).


While the chicken is baking, you can make the fried rice.

In a skillet over medium high heat melt the butter. 

Throw in the onions and sauté 2-3 minutes. 

Add in garlic and sauté about a minute, just until fragrant.

Add in the veggies, season with salt, pepper and garlic powder.  

Sauté 2-3 minutes.

Push veggies to one side of skillet.

Crack both eggs into the pan, season with salt and pepper then scramble them until cooked through.

Mix eggs with veggies.

Add in cooked brown rice, stirring to combine all ingredients. 

Add in honey, soy sauce and seasoning to taste.

We served the stuffed chicken and fried rice with more pineapple chunks and jalapeño slices. If it were just me and my husband eating I would have added jalapeños into the chicken itself. That would have been to spicy for the kiddos, so we just had ours on the side. Ridiculously good dinner. Just sitting here typing this recipe makes me 
want more  fried rice! It was extremely easy to do and it's so much better
 when it's home made and not  all greasy. Cheers!