Weeknight Dinners

10 Minute Baked Potato

What?! Did you even know this was such a thing?

We were in a hurry the other day, yet we were all craving a good, hearty meal. We had potatoes, steak, mushrooms and a bunch of herbs and shallots in the fridge.

With less that 20 minutes to get dinner on the table, we googled this potato recipe, and now it’s a game change for us.

All you need is a baked potato or 4. Rinse well, poke with a fork all over. Pop into your microwave for 5 minutes. Check on it, flip it, put it back in for 5 more minutes.

I’ve made potatoes this way 2 times this week because I am in such awe! The potato turns out PERFECT. Fluffy and hot, cooked all the way through. Top with your favorite things

  • bacon
  • shredded cheddar cheese
  • scallions
  • sour cream
  • salt + pepper
  • chili

We had these giant “petite” filets from Metcalfes. After speaking with the butcher this week, he said there are no nuts in the meat prep area, and if there were, it would be on a marinated item, which he could not even think of a possible cross contact scneario. Of course he gave the disclaimer that they could not 100% guarantee, but speaking with him gave me peace of mind. Now for the steak….

potatoes beside stainless steel cooking pot
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Ingredients

  • 2 (6 or 8oz) petite filets
  • salt
  • pepper
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • fry pan
  • baking sheet lined with foil
  • meat thermometer

Directions

  1. Pre-heat your oven to 400 and place your lined baking sheet inside.
  2. Let your meat come to room temperature over 30 minutes; just hanging out on the kitchen counter. If you don’t have time to do this, 10 minutes will be fine.
  3. Salt and pepper the ends of your steak to you liking, set aside on a plate.
  4. Melt the butter in the frying pan over high heat, about 2 minutes.
  5. Once your pan is super hot, sear the ends of the steak in the frying pan, about 2 minuets on each side.
  6. Then quickly place your steaks in the oven on the baking sheet.
  7. Baking time will vary depending on the thickness of your steak. Our steaks were huge. So it took about 12 minutes to get the internal temperature to 130, mediuim.
lunch meal steak meat
Photo by Markus Spiske temporausch.com on Pexels.com

Enjoy!

We also did some sauteed mushrooms with rosemary, thyme and shallots. Just a large frying pan with 2 tbsp butter, and the herbs and mushrooms on medium heat for 15 minutes or so. It was so , so good!

food wood kitchen cutting board
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com
Holiday Favorites

Halloween Party Menu

Halloween is one of our favorite holidays to celebrate – it can also be one of the trickiest when you have to think about food allergies. This is one of the reasons why we always host a party, we are in control of the menu. This year I have the pleasure of hosting with a good friend of mine, and let me tell you, it’s so much easier having a buddy to plan and prep with!

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Here is what we have decided on for food:

Appetizers

  • Taco Dip
  • Veggie Tray
  • Fruit Tray
  • Cheese + Triscuits

Mains

  • Macaroni & Cheese Bar
    • Bacon
    • Sausage
    • Chives
    • Salsa
    • Avocado
    • Parmesan Curls
  • Crock pot meats for adults / meatballs
    • Kings Hawaiian (safe) buns + sauce

Dessert

Drinks

 

If you’re having a party and need some allergy friendly snacks, here is a list I foudn on Twitter that was really great – and easy to find.

IF you dont know what your party will be having, be safe and always bring your own food. A subway sub is a good sandwich to bring – or eat in advance. Kids like more play time anway, they could careless about the food.

Follow my Instagram to see the latest local safe brands available. You’ll never guess where I found the candy corn this year! Amazon also carries it.

**Keep in mind if you’re in Madison, Hy-Vee Health Market in Fitchburg has the largest array of nut free items. Metcalfes nut free is on the end cap of the first aisle facing the milk coolers. Copps / Pick n Save / Kroger is usually in the first or second aisle near the specialty foods + gluten free items. Sometimes they put things in the candy aisle, but they are not popular, so check the bottom shelf!**

Happy Fall!

Birthday Parties

Birthday Totes ‘n Treats

Happy Birthday, Christopher! Thank you ALL for coming to make this day special. We hope you had a wonderful day celebrating!

Lets talk about those treat bags! They are 100% nut free. Nut free candies are listed below with ingredient labels. Also, those cupcakes were made in a special nut free facility known as Nutphrees Bakery!

Nutphrees now distributes to Whole Foods Madison. We decorated these cupcakes with some non-food, fun little Spider Man toppings! The label and contact info is below. Their recipe is the same we use at home and they are made in a dedicated, nut free facility in Chicago.

Want to make your next gathering nut free? I would love to help you out:

Nutfreemomblog@gmail.com

Have a great week!

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Holiday Favorites, Snacking

Sheet Pan Apple Pancake

Last week we visited a local apple orchard, Eplegaarden. It’s an old Norwegian farm where the owners have done a wonderful job of preserving it. There is a small picnic area so you can bring in your own treats (and take the garbage when you leave), a real pick your own pumpkin patch, raspberry picking, apple picking, sweet bakery area (don’t forget your epi-pens! Be safe and eat your own treats. Farms and Orchards are NEVER safe.) and some animals. We went mid-week and there were the only ones picking apples when we got there. I much prefer this, compared to the long lines and huge crowds at some pumpkin patches + apple orchards!

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Now that we have 10 pounds worth of apples, here are the ideas that we have to use them all up.

  1. Apple Pie
  2. Apple Sauce
  3. Apple Pancake
  4. Sauteed Cinnamon Apples
  5. Apple Cinnamon Muffins
  6. Apple Cinnamon Bread
  7. Apple Snack
  8. Apple with Sun Butter
  9. Give some away
  10. Share with teachers!

We first ate a bunch, they are so juicy and sweet. Then we made some for dessert, this recipe was a huge hit last year! Then the kids and I tried to make sheet pan apple pancakes – and let me tell you. AMAZING!

I highly recommend doubling the amount of apples you use in the first “roasting” step. And, this is great for large crowds, like Thanks Giving sleepovers, or Christmas Morning. This makes A LOT of pancake. We ate this every day for 5 days, which I can’t complain. Morning breakfast was so easy since we all just watned to eat apple pancake! It travels (aka breakfast in the car when we were running late!) well and re-heats VERY well in the microwave. You could put it in the frige to last a little longer.

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Sheet Pan Apple Spice Pancake

Ingredients

  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup packed brown sugar
  • 2 tsp apple pie spice (Penzeys)
  • 3 tbsp unsalted butter, room temp.
  • 3 golden delicious or gala apples, peeled, cored and sliced into rounds
  • 1 and 3/4 cup all purpose flour (King Arthur)
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour (King Arthur) also, I did not have this, just use regular flour
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 cups whole milk (regular is fine too)
  • 3/4 cup whole milk greek yogurt (Fage greek 2% works too)
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract (Penzeys)

Topping

  • 1 cup confectioners sugar
  • 5 tsp apple cider
  • 1/4 tsp apple pie spice
  • maple syrup or whipped cream

Directions

  1. Make the pancake. Preheat oven to 400*, mix the granulated sugar, brown sugar and pie spice in a large bowl. Rub a rimmed baking sheet with 2 tbsp butter and arrange the apple slices on top in a single layer. sprinkle with 1/3 cup of the sugar spice mixture. bake until the apples are tender and the baking sheet is mostly dry. It will smell amazing, so be ready!
  2. Next, whisk flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt into the remaining sugar mixture. Whisk the milk, yogurt, eggs, and vanilla in a separate bowl. stir the milk mixture into the flour mixture.
  3. Pour the batter of the apples and spread to cover. Bake until dry and a toothpick inserted comes out clean, about 12 to 15 minutes. Brush the remaining 1 tbsp butter on it. Let cool.
  4. Make the Glaze. Stir the confectioners sugar, cider and pie spice in a bowl. Drizzle over the pancake. Cut into squares. Invert onto plate and serve with syrup and whipped cream.
  5. Enjoy!
Holiday Favorites, Weeknight Dinners

Chicken Enchilada Melt Subs

Happy Fall! It’s October 1st and we couldn’t be more excited about this month’s upcoming festivities; orchards, pumpkins, lattes, leaf piles, leaf peeping, camp fires, parties and trick-or-treat! Halloween is one of our favorite holidays to celebrate.

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As the kids get older, and our time to make meals becomes less and less due to their involvement at school + activities, my blog posts containing elaborate meals is diminishing by the day! I’m peeking back at prior posts thinking, “how the heck did I have TIME to make all that food?!” And the reality is, I didn’t.

Opportunity Cost {A benefit, profit, or value of something that must be given up to acquire or achieve something else}

This is the biggest take away from my studies as an MBA student, and the time that I was spending making fancy meals was time away from things I could be doing with the kids. I’ve really tried to curb my food prep time in order to maximize human contact time. Why else are we here? Not to live in a cave alone.

The kids have had an awesome time pouring through new food recipe material with me. between activities or in the car on the go. We have two books open right now. One is called “Eat at Home Tonight” and the other is the latest Food Network Magazine. The cookbook was given to me by my brother, THANK YOU JOEY! And is organized by TIME. What a concept. The Mom who wrote this is a genious. The first chapter is “I only have 15 minutes to cook dinner” —Let me tell you, WE LOVE THIS BOOK. And she doesn’t use nuts, yet, so it’s easy converstions for us, like finding the right, safe breads to use.

Here is what we made last night. Kids gave it kind of a thumbs up, but they cleared their plates. I thought it was good!!!

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Chicken Enchilada Melt Subs

  • 3 cups shredded cooked chicken (rotisserie works great, Metcalfes is the best)
  • 1 (4oz) can diced green chiles
  • 1 (8oz) can tomato sauce
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • salt + pepper
  • shredded cheddar cheese
  • 6 sub rolls – Pretzilla is your go-to nut free option! And so tasty!
  1. In a large microwave safe bowl, combine chicken, chiles, tomato, and garlic powder. Season with S+P. Microwave 2 min. Add some cheese to the mixture and microwave for 30 seconds until melted.
  2. Split your sub rolls. We use Pretzilla since they are PN + TN free. Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil and spay with Pam non-stick. Put your rolls face side up and load up your subs. Sprinkle with cheesse.
  3. Put them under the broiler until cheese is melted.

We made a green vegetable and had some apple slices to get all food groups in! This was ready in 15 mintues. To save even more time, prep that shredded chicken on the weekend, that way you hvae it ready for your week night meals!

Have a great week everyone. And remember, the point of a meal together is just that, being together. So save some time in the kitchen and focus up on the people that you’re surrounded with, engage in some good conversation and enjoy being in the moment.

Nut Free Cookies Below….Metcalfes carries Lofthouse Bakery cookies – perfect for your Halloween Parties at school or home ๐Ÿ™‚

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