Balsamic Roasted Broccoli Rabe and Winter Vegetables

 I made this recipe a few weeks ago and immediately knew it would go on the blog. It was one of those nights where I "kinda" knew what we were having for dinner. You know,  when you have the main components chosen, but just aren't sure how you will be preparing them. It was CSA delivery day, so I was eager to cook up some fresh veggies along with a pork tenderloin I had picked up at the store. After pondering my veggie choices, I decided to tackle the broccoli rabe along with butternut squash and turnip. I made a honey-balsamic-garlic marinade for the tenderloin and thought the flavor combination would work beautifully with the veggies, too. Well, I was right, they came out delicious and even my little guy (who is normally very picky about his vegetables) liked the broccoli rabe (yay!). Just another reminder to never give up and keep offering our kids new dishes and flavors. You never know what they will like!

Meal Plan Week of 12/29 - 1/4

Whew! It has been a crazy few weeks with the holiday rush and starting the new job! After scrambling the past couple weeks to get all the Christmas preparations in order and of course staying up late with the hub on Christmas Eve, assembling the big Santa gift (we really could have used some elves for that!) -- I was thrilled to see the smiles on my kids faces Christmas morning! Truly magical -- I wish I could bottle moments like this and keep them forever.

On the job front, I am pleased to report that I absolutely love my job. The work is interesting and even more importantly, my co-workers are downright awesome! I cannot wait to get to know more of my co-workers and really start working on projects.

With my new schedule, it will be even more important to meal plan and stick to it. Between my work schedule, the kids activities, and the hub's work schedule, there won't be much room for error. I know meal planning will be a huge part of decreasing stress and keeping things running smoothly at home. With this in mind, I also have a couple meal planning goals for 2014:

Fresh Mamas Cooking Club Week 4

Welcome to FMCC Week 4! We changed things up a bit this week in order to accommodate some members who can't make it to our usual meet up day/time. This day didn't coincide with our CSA delivery, so we decided to focus on pantry basics -- items most people buy at the store, but can easily make themselves.  We made Chewy Granola Bars, Whole Grain Pancake Mix, and Homemade Hamburger Helper Mix.

Tomato-Arugula Bruschetta

With the holiday season in full swing and many of us busy trying to juggle our regular routine and fit in all the extra holiday activities, you may think it is too much work to bring something homemade to the next party. However, I give you Tomato-Arugula Bruschetta!

Fresh Mamas Cooking Club: 3 Easy Make-Ahead Recipes for the Holidays

With the busy holiday season upon us, the Fresh Mamas decided a holiday prep cooking day was in order. We made cranberry sauce, make-ahead mashed potatoes, swiss chard spanakopita and even had time to make a batch of granola bites, recipe (HERE), for everyone! How's that for a productive few hours?!

Ground Pork-Kale Stuffed Acorn Squash

Acorn squash... to be truthful is not my favorite winter squash, but this recipe has given me a whole new perspective! The delicious Mexican-inspired filling pairs perfectly with the tender, sweet squash. My husband (who has not been a fan of acorn squash in the past) loved it. The boys

Meal Plan for the Week 12/15-12/21 and More News!

I'm very excited to share some news today! Things have been a little crazy in the Fresh Mama house the past few weeks and I have already shared one piece of exciting news via my facebook page, but in case you missed it...

Fresh Mamas Cooking Club Week 3

Veggie burger with side salad topped with Honey-Balsamic Dressing
This week we made some amazing recipes! Veggie Burgers, granola bites, and Honey-Balsamic salad dressing! So delicious -- the granola bites and salad dressing take no time at all. The veggie burgers are a bit more involved, but made a perfect recipe for group cooking. We ended up missing a few members today due to unexpected illness, a broken toe and work, but we split up the tasks and once again, were able to get it all done in under 2 hours.

How I got here and How to Freeze those Greens

First off, thank you, thank you for stopping by and checking out my blog! If you know me you probably know that cooking healthy, delicious meals for my family has been my passion for many years. After recently creating the Fresh Mamas Cooking Club with my friend Dawn, I saw how eager other families are to learn more about local produce and incorporate fresh veggies into their diet. Between this and all the encouragement from friends and family I finally decided to "put it out there" and share my passion.

So, you may be wondering what I'm going to write about here. What does Lil have to say

Fresh Mama Mason Jar Gift Party

If you continue to follow my blog, you will come to realize I have a slight huge obsession with mason jars. I use them for everything! I'm sure one day, I will do an entire blog post on my love for the simple mason jar, but today it is all about giving the perfect holiday gift. Cook up some lovely granola or gourmet popcorn, fill a mason jar, put a cute fabric topper and tag on it, then you have yourself an adorable gift for anyone on your list.

Thanks to the Fresh Mamas Cooking Club, a group of us got together and cooked up 60+ jars worth!

Hubbard Squash - Oatmeal Muffins

If you have never baked with a winter squash before, please make these muffins your first winter squash bakery treat. They are sweet, moist and delicious! I made mine with Hubbard squash puree, but you could certainly substitute butternut squash or pumpkin.

Meal Plan for the Week 12/1 - 12/7

Meal planning has been a life-changing experience for me. I have been an avid meal-planner for at least 3 years and now that our kids activities have pretty much taken over our schedule, I find it is essential to plan and be prepared for dinners every week. I usually start the planning process on Monday evenings

Fresh Mamas Cooking Club Week 2

I hope all of you had a wonderful holiday, yesterday. Here in New England it was absolutely frigid, which made it a perfect day to stay cozy inside and enjoy a nice, big Thanksgiving meal. Here are a couple recipes you might want to try if you have the next few days off. The granola is a great recipe to make with the kiddos and if you don't have any Thanksgiving leftovers in your house, the Eggplant Casserole makes an easy, satisfying dinner.
After having a blast getting together for our first FMCC, I was so excited to share more recipes for our next club! This week we made Maple-Pecan Granola, Eggplant Casserole and I gave a quick demonstration on how to freeze greens (blog post coming soon).
 I have been making the granola for a while and it is a big hit in my house - I just knew the ladies and their families would love it! The feedback from all the FMCC families confirmed my suspicions -- no one can say "no" to the granola.

Winter Squash Puree

One of the first signs that summer is over... the appearance of winter squash in your CSA box. At first you may feel a little sad -- the days of corn, tomatoes, zucchini are over. Its time to put away the grill and pull out the crockpot and start dreaming of all the comfort food recipes you've neglected over the summer! Well, a mainstay in your CSA box during the fall will definitely be a variety of winter squashes -- butternut, acorn, spaghetti, pumpkin, and your CSA will very likely send you some varieties

Fresh Mamas Cooking Club (FMCC) Week 1

So, to say I am overwhelmed with the response to my first post is an understatement. Thank you to all the readers who stopped in and took a minute to leave a comment either on the blog or my facebook page, and a huge thank you to those of you who shared my post on your own facebook pages! If you like what you see, you have some options to make sure you don't miss a post. You can like me on facebook, follow me on Pinterest or subscribe  to receive posts via email.

Welcome to Fresh Mama, Kale Cubes and My Favorite Smoothie

Thank you so much for stopping by and seeing what Fresh Mama is all about! After much encouragement (over many, many years) and family and friends saying "you really need to share your recipes and show other moms how you do it", I finally took the plunge!
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