It’s National Soup Month! What’s in Your Bowl?

Did you know that January is National Soup Month? Thank goodness because it’s cold outside, and who doesn’t love a bowl of steamy hot soup on a cold winter day? I know I do!

It seems that soup is an overlooked item at my house – it’s easy to make, I often have the ingredients on hand – but it’s never top of mind when I’m staring into the fridge thinking “what the heck should I make for dinner?”

It must have been a recent case of the winter “blahs” that had me stepping into my kitchen thinking about making soup… or it could have been these delicious soup recipes I have been drooling over for the past month or so.

French Onion Mushroom SoupMushroom Soup Au Gratin

Mushroom Soup Low FatLow Fat Creamy Mushroom Soup {via Skinny Taste}

Mushroom SoupParis Mushroom Soup {via Eat. Live. Travel. Write}

Mushroom Brie SoupMushroom Soup with Red Wine and Brie {via Mushroom Council & Healthy Delicious}

Craving soup yet?

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What’s your favourite mushroom soup? Creamy? Pho? Broth? Do share!

New Year’s Resolution: Get Your Family Back to the Table

Well folks, we are 1 week into the new year. Are you still on track with your resolutions?

I came across some great resolutions while scouring Twitter yesterday, but one of them really caught my eye: “Family mealtime.”

Think long and hard about this one. When was the last time you and your family sat down at the dining room table and ate a meal together?

Somewhere along the way it seems that family meal time has been lost. I remember when I was little we always, always sat at the table and ate dinner together. None of us were allowed to leave the table until everyone was finished, and even then, we had to ask to be “excused.”

Now, with the wide availability of convenience meals, there is no need to even sit down! How often have you found yourself grabbing an egg mcmuffin on the way to work, or popping in a Michaelina’s before heading off to soccer practice? This has become an everyday thing in today’s busy society.

So how do you take back dinner time with your family? After prying the cell phone from your teenage daughters’ hands, and convincing your young son to put the Nintendo DS on pause, you can begin.

Pick a Day
Start slow and work your way up, the last thing that you want to imply is that family dinner night will be every night without exceptions. Pick a day that works for everyone. Circle this day on the calendar or post in on the fridge; “Wednesday night is family dinner night!” If you start to notice that this one night a week is working for everyone, introduce the idea of two family dinners a week, if the reception is good, then go for it.

Get Everyone Involved
Once you pick a day of the week and the family has committed to it you need to get all the family members involved in the process of making dinner. It’s not only the eating together that is a great social environment but the preparation of dinner as well. Get your daughter to cut up the vegetables, your son to set the table and your husband to grill up the meat. Create a feeling that everybody is important in the preparation, this makes it more satisfying when everyone sits down to eat, they all know that they have done their part.

Bring on the Excitement
Make your family dinner time fun and exciting; after all, you would like your family members to want to be there. Next family dinner make it a theme night. Try Mexican taco night. Have everyone dress up in bright colourful clothing, big hats, and talk with an accent. Drop by the dollar store and pick up $2 or $3 worth of inexpensive props to help create an authentic Mexican atmosphere. Guaranteed the kids will love playing dress up and making up their own tacos. How exciting!

Why? Because It’s Good For You
Still not convinced that you can get your family back to the table? Here the top reasons why it is important:

  • You are being a positive role model by demonstrating healthy eating habits and rituals.
  • Help to build vocabulary and conversational skills.
  • Allows you to get to know each other better as a family, and enjoy each others company.
  • Help your children feel more connected and open with the family.
  • Teaches your children proper manners. Saying “please” and “thank you” around the table should be a must.
  • Teaches friendly cooperation and responsibilities (for example setting the table or washing the dishes).

Try these quick and easy recipes at your next family meal:

Free Printable 2011 Mushroom Recipe Calendar

Happy New Year everyone!

I hope that everyone had a fabulous Holiday filled with family, friends and of course lots of food (maybe some mushrooms? *wink*).

If you didn’t get a chance to pick up a new calendar for 2011 don’t fret, Mushrooms Canada to the rescue!

You can now download our NEW (and free) 2011 Mushroom Recipe Calendar! Simply download the PDF, and print off your calendar at home. It’s instant, easy, and filled with great Mushroom recipes.

Download your copy here.

posted by Brittany

Recipe of the Month: Baked Eggs with Mushrooms

1 tbsp vegetable oil
8 oz fresh sliced fresh Mushrooms
1/3 cup diced red pepper (optional)
1 tbsp minced fresh parsley (optional)
1/4 tsp each salt and pepper
1/2 tsp dried thyme, tarragon or basil (optional)
4 large eggs
1/3 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
Preheat oven or toaster oven to 350 ºF (180ºC). In a medium skillet heat oil over medium – high heat, sauté mushrooms 5-7 minutes or until lightly browned and moisture is released. Add red pepper, parsley, salt, pepper and herb if using; sauté 1 minute. Spoon evenly into 4 lightly greased (6 oz/ 90 mL) ramekins. Crack one egg into each ramekin and sprinkle cheese evenly on top. Bake in oven for 10-12 minutes (baked eggs are done when whites are set and puffy but yolks are just starting to set). Serve with toast to dip in the soft yolk.
Makes 4 servings
Tip: If using wide gratin dishes in place of ramekins make a well in the middle of the mushrooms and crack eggs into the well; increase cheese to ½ cup (125 mL). For brunch bake herbed tomato halves in the oven with the eggs.
Variations:
1. Substitute Swiss or havarti with jalapeno cheese for Cheddar.
2. Substitute diced cooked ham for red pepper.
3. Substitute ½ cup (125 mL) salsa or chili sauce for the red pepper, salt pepper and herbs.
4. French Style: for a softer texture eggs may be baked in a water bath. Place the filled ramekins in a roasting pan or baking pan (large enough so they are not touching each other). Place the pan on the oven shelf and pour in enough boiling water into the pan to reach ½ -2/3 up the side of the ramekin. Bake as directed 12- 15 minutes.
Nutritional Information: Calories: 152, Sodium: 263 mg, Protein: 9.4 g, Fat: 11.7 g, Carbohydrates: 2.6 g, Dietary Fibre: 0.9 g
This recipe is an Excellent Source of Protein

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Holiday Menu Planning

Holiday Menu PlanPlanning a holiday menu for 4 people can be a task, I can’t imagine having to cook for 20+ people during the holidays. Every year my grandma cooks the most amazing feast for 22 people, with no menu plan!

I’m a little different. I need to have everything planned out; recipes printed out, ingredients bought, required cooking utensils on hand, and lots of time.

I shared with you yesterday some of my favourite places to find delicious recipes, and using those resources I put together a little Holiday Menu Plan, which will hopefully make meal preparation easier.

Appetizers
Baked Brie with Caramelized Mushrooms
Cheesy Herbed Mushroom Caps
Roasted Asparagus Wrapped in Proscuitto

Side Dishes
Braised Turnips, Onions & Carrots
Mushroom Potato and Herb Saute
Fresh Pea, Herb and Cheese Salad
Shredded Brussels Sprouts with Bacon, Cranberries and Pecans