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, November 19, 2015

Ginger Scallion Meatballs with Sesame Green Beans

I originally found this recipe as sweet and sour meatballs over rice. I really wanted to give this an asian flare, because for real- you can't go wrong with fresh ginger and scallions. While the meatballs were baking in the oven I had time to get the rice on, make the green beans and sauce for the meatballs. I was able to prepare and finish this in just under an hour. 


For Meatballs:
  • 1 1/2 punds of ground meat (I use a meatloaf mixture of beef, pork and veal)
  • 3/4 cup quick oats (lightly pulsed in blender or food processor) 
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped onion
  • 2 tablespoons- 1/4 cup grated ginger (depending on taste)
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 teaspoon worcestershire sauce 
For Sauce:
  • 1/2 cup hoisin sauce
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 cup chicken stock
  • 1 tablespoon yellow mustard
  • 1/4 cup finely diced onion
  • 1/4 cup finely diced ginger 
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon worcestershire sauce 
  • green scallions for garnish
For Green Beans:

  • 1 pounds fresh green beans (trimmed)
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon sesame seeds
  • salt and pepper to taste
First combine all of the ingredients needed for meatballs in a large mixing bowl. Mix well to combine.

Roll into meatballs and place on a rack / baking sheet.

Bake at 350 for 30 minutes. While you prepare everything else. 

At this point you can put rice on to boil if you're serving that as well.

In a medium skillet add green beans and 1/3 cup of water. Cover and simmer over medium high heat. 

In a large skillet add a little olive oil over medium high heat. 

Once hot add onions and ginger, sauté until fragrant about 3 minutes. 

Add minced garlic and sauté another 1-2 minutes, don't burn. 

Add in hoisen sauce, vinegar, brown sugar, mustard and worcestershire sauce. 

Whisk together until combined and bubbly. 

Slowly add chicken stock until all incorporated thick and bubbly. 

Lower heat to medium.

Take meatballs out of the oven and add to the skillet with sauce.

Lightly toss meatballs with sauce until they are all covered.

Garnish with sliced scallions, and simmer on low for 5 minutes. 

Green beans should be simmering for a little bit now and the water should be completely evaporated. 

Add in sesame oil and honey. Sauté another few minutes until al dente. 

Add in sesame seeds and seasoning to taste. 

Remove from heat once the sesame seeds have begin to become toasty. 

This was one flavorful, amazing, easy, fresh dinner. Husband says the sauce kind of resembles a General Gau's Chicken. I think the sweet and sourness of the sauce was a perfect combination with the nutty sesame in the green beans. All in all a great dinner. I just wished the kids enjoyed it a little more. They don't have the pallet just yet for this unfortunately. Cheers!

Adapted from: Sweet and Sour Meatballs

F'n Good Chocolate Chip Cookies


This should be your go to cookie recipe. Pretty much the base of this (minus the chocolate chips) plus whatever you want to add will make the perfect cookie. Me and my friend Kristy used to make batches and batches of these cookies all the time. It's something you can keep in the fridge for a few days and make them fresh as needed (or wanted).

  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 egg room temp (lightly beaten)
  • 7 oz chocolate chips (about 1/2 a bag)
  • 1 stick softened butter

In a large bowl combine softened butter, sugar and brown sugar.

With a hand mixer or stand mixer beat on low speed until well combined and smooth.

Add the vanilla and egg, and beat on low until fully mixed. Don't over beat.

In a medium bowl combine dry ingredients, flour- baking soda- salt.

On low speed add the flour mixture into the wet mixture until well incorporated. Don't over mix. 

Add chocolate chips and incorporate into cookie dough by hand with a wooden spoon. 

Refrigerate for an hour. 

Spoon cookie dough onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. 

Bake at 350 for 11-13 minutes or until golden brown around the edges. 

Remove from oven, and slide parch paper onto workspace.

When see (3 minutes or so) move to cooling rack.

Wait 5 minutes until you serve. 

Can't beat an amazing cookie recipe. You can spend your whole culinary career searching for the perfect chocolate chip cookie. This comes pretty damn close. Cheers!

Pumpkin Alfredo Lasagna with Chicken Apple Sausage and Spinach

Ok, I'm going to say this before we get started. Unless you really, really like the flavor of pumpkin ( I used canned pumpkin puree) - I would suggest you substitute the pumpkin for 1- 2 cups of roasted butternut squash (mashed). This is how I'm going to do this next time I attempt this. 

The pumpkin was really over powering and I think the subtle buttery flavor of butternut squash would go nicely with the chicken apple sausage and spinach. That being said- use which ever of the 2 you'd prefer. 

A friend of mine also suggested fresh roasted pumpkin- I think that might be a sugar pumpkin thats most used for cooking. Another friend of mine chastised me for using jarred alfredo sauce. Yes, I know I should have just sucked it up and made my own, but when doing so many components in 1 dish... jarred was just easier. Again, do whichever you would prefer. 

  • 12 lasagna noodles
  • 1 large container of ricotta
  • 1/2 cup parm cheese
  • 1 tablespoon italian seasoning 
  • 1 egg
  • salt 
  • pepper
  • 1 can (15 oz) pumpkin puree (or 1-2 cups fresh roasted pumpkin or squash)
  • 1 jar (15 oz) alfredo sauce (or about 2 cups home made)
  • 1-2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice (to taste)
  • 2- 3 cups shredded mozerella 
  • 2 cups fresh baby spinach
  • 1 package (about 5 links) chicken apple sausage
  • 1/2 onion finely diced
  • olive oil 

Place lasagna noodles in a large deep skillet. Cover with water and cook over medium high heat until it comes to a boil. Boil about 3 minutes until noodles are pliable but not completely cooked.

Drain noodles, shock with cold water and set aside.

While the noodles are cooking- in a sauté pan cook the onions with a little olive oil until softened.

Remove sausage from casings and add to the pan and onions. 

Cook until the sausage is all broken up and cooked through. 

In one bowl combine the ricotta, 1/4 cup parm cheese, italian seasoning, egg, and a little salt and pepper.

In another bowl combine the pumpkin puree (or fresh squash or pumpkin), alfredo sauce and pumpkin pie spice. 

Once the noodles and sausage is cooked you're ready to assemble.

In a 9x13 pan, spread a littler pumpkin alfredo sauce on the bottom.

Place 3 horizontal noodles and 1 vertical to make the bottom layer.

1/2 of ricotta.

1/2 sausage onion mixture.

1/2 spinach. 

 pumpkin alfredo sauce.

1/3 shredded mozzeralla. 

A little parm, salt and pepper. 

Place your other 4 noodles down.

1/2 of ricotta.

Last of sausage onion mixture.

Last of spinach.

Pumpkin alfredo sauce.

1/3 shredded mozzarella. 

A little parm, salt and pepper. 

Finally the last of the noodles. 

Last of the pumpkin alfredo. 

Last of the mozzarella cheese. 

Bake at 350 for about 45 minutes, or until the top is golden and bubbly. 

I can't wait until I have another go at this recipe. I really think that butternut squash would be the perfect substitute for the canned pumpkin puree. If I had done that instead I think I would have enjoyed this recipe so much more. All and all a pretty great dinner anyway. Cheers! 

Banana Muffins with Honey Cream Cheese Frosting


Since I had just recently made chocolate chip banana bread, I really needed to think of something different to do with the surplus of ripe bananas in my freezer. I decided on muffins. Muffins do duel duty as breakfast- and dessert. Simply because my kids think they are cupcakes regardless. I loved this recipe. It was so simple. I combined a few differant ones that I had and made my own frosting up. 

  • 4 ripe bananas (mine are usually frozen so I just set them in the sink to defrost a bit)
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1/3 cup melted butter (cooled)
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cups flour
Preheat oven to 375.

In a mixing bowl mash the bananas with the sugar and egg.

Stir in the (cooled) melted butter.

In a separate bowl whisk together the dry ingredients.

Slowly incorporate the dry ingredients into the banana mixture. 

Stir until combined, it will be lumpy. 

Spoon into muffin tins and bake 15-20 minutes.

Until a toothpick can be stuck in and comes out clean.

Allow to cool before frosting.

To make frosting:

  • 1 8oz package of cream cheese (softened)
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon 
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 tablespoons milk
With a hand mixture beat the cream cheese until fluffy.

Add in the rest of the ingredients and mix on low until well combined. 

Adjust to taste. 

Of course this recipe can be converted to loaf form if you prefer to have a banana bread, or cake even. It's good any which way because we all know it'll be going to the same place. The thighs and perhaps love handles. So lets enjoy it while we can. Cheers!


Monday, November 9, 2015

Broccoli Cheddar Soup

We have all been sick this past week, so all I've wanted to do was make a big ole pot of soup. This was probably the best soup I have ever made. I was extremely proud of this- especially since I winged the whole recipe. I made a huge pot of this - so feel free to cut the recipe in half if it seems like it'll be to much. You can also freeze the leftovers. 

  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 diced onion
  • 5 tablespoons flour
  • 32 oz chicken stock
  • 2 cups half and half 
  • 3 cups fresh broccoli chopped
  • 1 1/2 cup shredded carrots 
  • 8 oz shredded sharp cheddar
  • salt, pepper and nutmeg to taste
The first thing I always do before I cook is set up my "miss en place", which essentially means to gather up all the ingredients and prepare them before you start cooking.

Chopped broccoli- 

Shredded carrots-

Shredded cheddar- 

Diced onions-

And the stuff for my soup base-

This way everything is set up and ready to go. 
No running around to find everything at the last minute. 

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

Add in onions and sauté until softened, 3-4 minutes.

Add in the flour and stir to make your roux.

Slowly add in the chicken broth. Allowing to thicken as you add it in.

Do the same with the half and half. 

Reduce to medium low and allow to simmer and thicken up. 

Add in broccoli and carrots. Cover and simmer for 25 minutes until veggies are tender. Stirring every few minutes. Reduce heat if to hot. 

Season with salt, pepper and nutmeg to taste. 

I served this with grilled cheese sandwiches. In my opinion the perfect friday night meal. The kids really loved this. I probably had 4 bowls over the course of the weekend. Ill only admit that here. Cheers!

Angry Orchard Steamers


Made some steamers with white wine a few weeks ago, and while those were really good. I think these steamers were way better. Something about cooking them with the hard apple cider. The broth was absolutely to die for. As I'm tying this I'm getting really excited, because I'm actually making these again tonight. Woo hoo!

  • 1-2 bags of little neck steamers
  • lemon slices
  • 1/4 diced onion
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 bottle of Angry Orchard hard cider
Place steamers into a large bowl. Cover with cold water.

Let soak for at least 30 minutes, 
then give them a good rinse off- to get all of the sand out.

Discard any with cracked or broken shells.

In a large sauté pan melt the butter over medium high heat, 
then sauté the onions until softened. 

Throw the steamers in the pan, then pour the angry orchard over them.

Toss in a few lemon slices. 

Cover and let cook for 5 minutes. Give a little shake- open the cover and make sure they are all opening. 

Cover and let simmer for another 5 minutes until they have all opened up. 

Serve with crusty bread. 

Seafood is something that I've been craving a lot lately. It's been totally worth it to learn how to cook things like this at home, so I can make it for myself whenever the mood strikes. Cheers!

Harissa Meatloaf


I love playing around with different ingredients, and recently we opened a bottle of Harissa sauce from Stonewall Kitchen. They have some seriously awesome products. So I wanted to try to substitute my normal ketchup for the harissa in the last meatloaf I made. It gave it an amazing flavor and just the right kick. 


  • 1 - 1 1/2 pounds of meatloaf mix (mixture of beef, pork and veal. This is what I usually use but feel free to use just beef or what you normally use)
  • 1 egg
  • 1/3 cup harissa sauce
  • 1/3 cup seasoned bread crumbs
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried parsley
In a large mixing bowl combine the ground meat, 
egg, harissa, bread crumbs, salt and pepper. 

Mix until everything is incorporated.

Form into a loaf, and place in a baking dish.

Sprinkle with dried parsley.

Bake at 325 for 45 minutes. 
Or until cooked through (depending on size and shape of loaf)

I served this meatloaf with cous cous and fresh steamed green beans. This was a fast, no fuss dinner that I had prepped and on the table in an hour. Can't beat that! Cheers!