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Meet Mary Susan

"Welcome to Mommy Magic! An interactive community of real moms, founded by a real mom, to give support and tips to make the chaos of motherhood easier and more fun! I am Mary Susan, an author, a columnist, a life coach for moms and a I have Mommy Magic TV segment too! Most importantly, I have three beautiful (and very busy) daughters! I am a real mom managing the daily insanity of motherhood just like you!"

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Wednesday
Apr152015

NOT-TUNA SALAD

Makes 3 cups.

Enjoy the flavor and texture of tuna salad with this vegetarian mixture of garbanzo beans (also known as chickpeas), apples and pecans. Perfect for sandwiches, wraps or spread on crackers.

Recipe courtesy of Whole Foods Market.

Ingredients:

  • 1 (15-ounce) can no-salt-added garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1/2 apple, cored and chopped
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped celery
  • 1/4 cup chopped pecans
  • 2 tablespoons dill relish
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped red onion
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon kelp granules
  • Ground black pepper to taste

Method:

Pulse the garbanzo beans in the bowl of a food processor until coarsely chopped. Transfer to a medium bowl and add apple, celery, pecans, relish, red onion, dill, lemon juice and kelp granules. Stir until well combined. Season with pepper and chill until ready to serve.

Tuesday
Mar312015

LEARN TO COOK: BROWN RICE

Serves 4

Brown rice is a nutritious whole grain that delivers fiber, protein and selenium. It is not another type of rice; it's the same as white rice without all the good stuff removed in processing. Whole grains in general are packed with nutrients and fiber, which aids in healthy digestion and weight management. These are the "good carbs" that help balance your diet and can fill you up.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup brown rice
  • 2 cups water

Method:

Put rice and water into a small pot and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover pot and simmer until liquid is completely absorbed and rice is just tender, about 40 minutes. No peeking until then; valuable steam escapes! Set covered pot aside off of the heat for 10 minutes then uncover and fluff rice with a fork.

Friday
Mar272015

BEST BLACK BEANS EVER

Serves 6-8

Concentrating the bright flavor of green onions, fresh garlic and dry white wine is the key to this ideal pot of black beans. Spoon over rice or expand with vegetables and broth to make a soup.

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound dried black beans, soaked overnight in water, rinsed and drained
  • 6 dried bay leaves
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 bunch green onions, white and light green parts sliced, dark green parts thinly sliced, divided
  • 2 cups Sauvignon Blanc
  • 3/4 teaspoon fine sea salt

Method:

Put beans, bay leaves, garlic, white and light green sliced onions and 3 quarts water into a large pot and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover and simmer until just tender, about 1 1/2 hours. (Skim off and discard any foam that gathers on the surface.) Meanwhile, in a small pot, simmer wine over medium heat until reduced by half, about 15 minutes.  

Uncover the bean pot, stir reduced wine and salt into beans and continue to simmer, uncovered, until beans are very tender and creamy, 20 to 30 minutes more; discard bay leaves. Ladle into bowls, top with remaining green onions and serve.

Wednesday
Mar252015

Roasted Butternut Squash with Sage and Cranberries

Serves 4-6

Roasted squash embodies the essence of cold weather meals, caramelized onions add a piquant touch, and fresh sage and dried cranberries dress it up for the holidays. A versatile side dish that complements anything from a weekday family dinner to a lavish holiday celebration.

Ingredients:

  • 1 medium butternut squash
  • 4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • Fine sea salt and ground black pepper
  • 2 medium onions
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh sage
  • 4 tablespoons dried cranberries or cherries

Method:

Preheat oven to 375°F.

Peel squash and cut in half lengthwise. Scoop out seeds from the center and discard. Cut squash into large chunks. Coat with 2 tablespoons of the olive oil. Season with salt and pepper to taste and arrange on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake for about 30 minutes, or until well caramelized.

Peel onions and cut into large chunks. Coat with remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil. Season to taste with salt and pepper and spread on a second lined baking sheet. Bake for about 20 minutes, or until well caramelized. When squash and onions are done, toss with sage and cranberries. Serve immediately.

Tuesday
Mar242015

Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Walnuts and Crispy Bacon

Serves 6.

Bacon and Brussels sprouts make a delicious savory pairing in this simple skillet side dish that comes together quickly and easily.

Recipe courtesy of Whole Foods Market.

Ingredients:

  • 3 slices thick-cut bacon, cut into 1/2-inch wide strips
  • 2 pounds Brussels sprouts, halved
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup toasted walnuts, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme, chopped
  • Method:
  • Preheat the oven to 400°F. Cook bacon in a large oven-proof skillet over medium heat until crispy. Remove bacon with a slotted spoon to a paper-towel-lined plate. Add sprouts, salt and pepper to the skillet and toss until combined. Place skillet in the oven and roast until sprouts are deep golden brown, crispy outside and tender inside, 25 to 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Transfer to a serving dish and toss with bacon, walnuts and thyme.