Recipe: Homemade Cream of Mushroom Soup

I don’t know about you, but before we switched over to “real food” we used to make quite a few recipes that called for canned cream of mushroom soup. With over a dozen ingredients (including MSG in some brands) this item definitely doesn’t pass the “real food” test. Even when Michael Pollan discusses the importance of cooking food yourself (to ensure you know where your food comes from) he specifically says “all bets are off…[if] you’re the kind of cook who starts with a can of Campbell’s cream of mushroom soup.”

I just assumed I would have to give up all of those old casserole, stuffing, dip, and potpie recipes…but not anymore! Thanks to a casserole recipe (pictured) that I found in Eating Well Magazine I was able to extract an easy-to-make “cream of mushroom” binding agent to use in other dishes as well. A blog reader even suggested making extra and freezing the leftovers. Now instead of reaching for a factory made ingredient out of a can how about something similar (but better of course) right out of your freezer? You certainly can’t beat knowing exactly what’s in your food! Continue Reading »

Budget Day 46: Pancakes for Dinner and Record Time

I might as well get used to never following my weekly dinner plan because that is slowly becoming the norm rather than the exception. That’s okay though…it makes me feel “flexible” (even though I know my Type A Personality is really nothing of the sort!). Anyway, we were supposed to have our chicken and rice casserole last night, but we didn’t. My husband was out of town and I didn’t feel like working that hard in the kitchen in his absence. So, on a whim, (see, I am flexible!) I surprised my girls with whole-wheat banana pancakes for dinner.  We’ve had “breakfast for dinner” a thousand times in this house, but for some strange reason it is always an egg dish. I have no idea why it never occurred to me to serve a different breakfast meal for dinner? Well, let’s just say the pancake surprise was a pretty big hit. I think my 5-year-old ate as much as me and my other daughter combined.

Tonight we were supposed to go to Earth Fare (free kids night) with some friends, but those plans changed as well. So I decided we should have last night’s chicken casserole tonight. The only problem was that the girls and I were unexpectedly out running errands until almost 6:30 P.M. The whole way home I was worried about how in the world I would manage to make dinner, feed them, bathe them, and still get them to bed by 7:30 (my kindergartner has to get up at 6 A.M.!) all while my husband was still out-of-town. I admit that I was tempted as I drove past Chick-fil-A. Continue Reading »