Category Archives: Lunch

Horseradish Egg Salad

Horseradish Egg Salad

You know what stinks?  When The Great Husband is traveling for work and I go downstairs to get in the car with the kids and discover that one of the little rascals have played with the overhead car lights again.  

And the car is dead.

The car being a massive mini-van.

And and that said massive mini-van is parked on diagonal in a small 1960’s garage.  Just because it seemed like a good idea at the time.  Don’t ask me why.

And because I am parked on a diagonal there is no way another car can get next to it.

Not even a Smart Car.

So I call a friend over to help me push the car into a good place to jump the battery.  My tiny friend  and I need to get the massive mini-van into vertical position because my garage is at the bottom of a steep hill.

There was no way in hell we can push up this hill.

So using the 3-point turn system, (or 20-point in our case,) we push the van.

And we push it.

And pushed it. (My friend is tiny, but she is strong.)






And we positioned it right smack dab in the middle of the garage.

Then the shift locks up in the park position.  So it is impossible for us to push anymore.

And as we are standing there panting, my tiny, yet strong friend says,

“Hey!  I have AAA.  Why don’t we call them?”

Then my tiny friend becomes my smartest and most beloved friend at that very moment.

Minor disasters seem to happen mostly when the Great Husband is away.

Twice there has been a snowstorm.  The only snowstorms of the winter.

This left me to shovel the driveway .

By myself.

Up hill.

Both ways.

Once we had a mouse.

I HATE MICE.  With a passion.

I considered camping out on the kitchen island with my kids until The Great Husband got home.

Both kids had a puke-fest.

All night long.

And into the day.

I praise all single parents.  All military parents. All parents doing it on their own.  You play the role of two parents every day.  That deserves more credit than I can give you.  You are strong.  You are amazing.  And someday if and when your children become parents, they will thank you.  They will respect you more.

And will probably come crying to you for help like I still do to my mom.

My mom loves egg salad.  And so do I.

Here is my flavor-punched egg salad recipe.

Let’s Cook!

Horseradish Egg Salad

6 Hard Boiled Eggs

2 Tb Dijon Mustard

2 Tb Mayonnaise

1 Tb Prepared Horseradish

1/4 tsp salt

In a medium bowl, mash up eggs into small pieces.  (I sometimes remove a couple of yolks before this to save on cholesterol.)

Add remaining ingredients to bowl.

Stir until all ingredients are evenly distributed.

Serve on toasted bread or a rice cake.

In and Out

Quinn and I like to have lunch dates. About twice a week I take her out and we enjoy a leisurely lunch with just the two of us. We catch up on things…even though we are always together.
We usually go out one day after Jazzercise, and always go out to Subway after Ballet.
After Jazzercise she gets to choose the location. Sometimes it’s Skyline Chili, other times it’s Panera. Sometimes it’s Mexican or a Zips burger, and a lot of times it is Bruegger’s Bagels. I am totally down with all of these choices, because I enjoy them all.
The other day my husband took a look at our bank statement. He was quietly printing out pages then walked into the room I was in.
“Honey, we need to talk.”
This is never good.
“Do you have any idea how much money each month we spend on eating out?”
“No. But it has to be less than it was before we had Quinn. I mean, remember? We used to eat out. I meant EAT OUT. All the time. Nice meals. Remember?”
“Erin. Look at this. These pages are just the charges for eating out or ordering in from January.”
Let me tell you, the list went on and on. It was obscene.
So when I told you at the beginning of this post that Quinn and I ate lunch out 2 times a week,
I was just fooling myself.
It’s more like 3-4.
Times are calling for a change.
A baby is on the way, we are saving for some things. I am spending our money with nothing to show for it…except for maybe some extra lbs.
I can blame it on baby cravings. That would be easy, but not truthful.
Here’s the deal though, I can make many of my favorite things at home.
I mean, I am the MotherChef, Gosh Darnnit! I can make almost anything!
Or at least try.
So, just as I featured the Maggiano’s Chopped Salad,
the next few posts will be dedicated to the lunches I love to eat out.
This one in particular is based off of what I always order at Brueggar’s Bagels.
My version of the Leonardo DeVeggie.
I will give you this disclaimer: %50 of what makes this sandwich is the bagel. So I get a bag of day-old bagels from Brueggars. It’s whole heck of a lot cheaper than the fresh, and after it’s toasted it tastes exactly the same to me.
Veggie Sandwich on Bagel
1 everything bagel, split and toasted golden brown
1 Tb jarred minced sundried tomato
1 tsp veggie cream cheese
2 slices roasted red pepper (i buy it jarred)
4 thin slices of red onion
1 leaf romaine lettuce
2 slices tomato,
(my tomato in the picture are heirloom, which is why they are purple.)
Assemble by spreading sundried tomato on one half of the bagel. Spread cream cheese on the opposite half. Layer red pepper, onion, lettuce and tomato.
Close and cut in half.

Call Me Chicken

Here are some things I am a total chicken about:

1. Flying. I have panic attacks during takeoff. After that I am usually fine.

2. Heights.

3. Scary Movies. The older I get, the less I like them.

4. Ghost Stories. I don’t deal well with people’s stories of their run-ins with the supernatural.

5. Getting Robbed. I have no idea where this one comes from, but I have a major fear of someone breaking into my home while I am sleeping.

Yeah, I am a chicken. So what?

Speaking of chicken…

Chicken Salad
serves 4

Breast meat from a rotisserie chicken
1/4 almonds (walnuts are fantastic as well)
1 tsp thyme
1/2 c mayo
1/3 c red grapes, halved

Salt and Pepper

In a medium bowl, mix together first 4 ingredients. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Gently fold in grapes.

Serve on toasted whole wheat with lettuce and tomato.

Smile For The Camera

Well, I took some initiative and entered a few of my recipes into various medias and what do ya know? I am getting published!
Nothing big actually, but it is a start. Cincinnati’s local city paper, CinWeekly, will be printing my Taco Pie recipe next week. I was informed of this over a month ago. They contacted me and said they were interested in publishing the recipe I submitted. They wanted to send a photographer out that Friday at noon.
“Have the taco pie made and be ready to get your picture taken,” they told me. That Friday I was prepared with a gorgeous taco pie that I had made. I carefully picked out a flattering shirt and painstakingly did my hair and makeup. It was my first public debut, I needed everything to be perfect.
I put Quinn down for her nap and waited for the photographer’s arrival. I waited…and waited…and waited. I sat on the couch for 3 hours, trying not to ruin my hair. But it was all in vain. He never showed. I thought I was getting punked. I felt like someone had stood my up for a dance. I drowned my sorrows in taco pie.
Three days later I got a phone call from the photographer. He was quite apologetic and wanted to reschedule. I agreed. This time around, I didn’t spend more amount of time than usual doing my hair, makeup, and picking out my clothes. I was going normal Erin this time. As Murphy’s Law would have it, the taco pie looked awful. What could I do. He was on his way and I had no time to make changes.
My picture was taken with the taco pie, and he left. I anxiously awaited for the publication to come out the following Wednesday. Wednesday came and I picked up the paper. No article. No recipe. The next Wednesday came with the same outcome. Another week passed. Still no article. I didn’t understand. My God, didn’t these editors realize the people of Cincinnati need a recipe like taco pie!?
I finally received an email last night saying it will be published this coming Wednesday. There had not been room in the paper for it the past few weeks. I’ll believe it when I see it. And when I see it, I will share it with you.
There are two cookbooks coming out this summer from Cincinnati Mom’s Like Me that will include my recipes as well. A summer cookbook will have my recipe for Grilled Asparagus Salad. There will also be a Back To School cookbook that will include my Breakfast Cupcakes. More on those books to come!
As for this week’s recipe, it is something I truly had throw together in time for the sitter to arrive. I used what we had in the house, and it turned out okay. This takes 10 minutes to put together if you already have cooked chicken.

Stacked Enchilada Pie

1 1/2 c enchilada sauce
3 whole wheat tortillas
2 cups cooked chicken breast, shredded
1 1/2 c cheese
1 can black beans, smashed
1 small onion, finely chopped

Preheat oven to 350.

1. Spray a deep pie pan with cooking spray.
2. Pour 1/2 c enchilada sauce on the bottom.
3. Lay one tortilla on sauce.
4. Sprinkle 1 c chicken, 1/2 can black beans, 1/2 onion, and 1 c cheese.
5. Lay another tortilla down and repeat step 5.
6. Lay another tortilla down and sprinkle with remaining cheese.
7. Place in oven for 25-30 minutes, until cheese is melted and edges are brown.
8. Remove from oven and let sit for 10 minutes before cutting into pie.

Snuggie Up With Me

Have you ever seen this commercial?

Yes. It is the one and only Snuggie. The blanket with sleeves. The best part of this commercial is that everyone, especially the older gentleman in the recliner, looks like a monk. That or as my friend Melanie says, something out of Star Wars.
Speaking of Melanie, she convinced me to go in with her and purchase one of these great inventions. My mom is always cold, so I knew she would absolutely love, love, love this thing. I could just imagine her roasting marshmallows around the campfire, or watching a sporting event and giving me a high-five without even having to remover her arms from under a blanket.
Oh, Snuggie inventor…thank you so much. You really had me and my family in mind when you thought of making a blanket with sleeves that keeps us so warm and holy looking.
I know that you are turning green with envy right now. Sorry about that. It always happens when someone sees that I have purchased a Snuggie.
Another thing to keep you warm this winter is a wonderful recipe passed on to my mom from a great friend of hers in our old neighborhood. It is a delicious, rich, tasty, and super easy hot chicken salad. As my mom told me, each time the recipe reaches someone they add their own flair. Here is my version:


1/2 c dried cranberries

3 stalks of celery, chopped

1/2 can cream of chicken soup

6 oz sour cream

1 Tb mayo

2 c chopped cooked chicken breast

1/2 c sliced mushrooms

2 tsp thyme

1/4 slivered almonds

1 c shredded cheddar

1/2 crispy fried onions

Place dried cranberries in a cup of warm water for 10 minutes to rehydrate them. In a medium bowl, mix together next 7 ingredients. Add cranberries.

Place in a 8″ x 8″ dish. Top with cheese and fried onions. Bake at 375F for 30 minutes or until bubbling and browning.

Serve along side a light greens salad tossed in balsamic vinegrette.