easy preparation

3 Healthy and Easy Appetizer Recipes with Meatballs

Having friends over to watch the Final Four or hosting a party soon? Here are three ways you can create healthy finger foods with meatballs:

1. Mini Meatball Grinders. Place Mom Made Turkey Meatballs on a small bun with marinara sauce and hold it together with a toothpick. Make them a little fancier by adding a slice of fresh mozzarella and a sprig of fresh basil.

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2. Meatball Taco Bites. Heat Mom Made Beef & Cheese Meatballs according to directions. Lay out scoop chips on serving platter and place a pinch of chopped lettuce into each. Add a meatball on top of the lettuce in each chip. Top them with a pinch of shredded cheddar and a bit of salsa. Simple and fast!

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3. Asian Meatballs. Combine 2/3 cup hoisin sauce, 1/4 cup seasoned rice vinegar, 2 garlic cloves (minced), 2 Tbsp. soy sauce, and 1 tsp. sesame oil. Whisk together all these ingredients. CookMom Made Turkey Meatballs according to directions and dip each meatball individually with a toothpick into the Asian sauce. Sprinkle toasted sesame seeds on top along with fresh chopped chives. (as seen in "gimme me some oven")

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….or simply serve a variety of different meatballs and sauces with flag toothpicks themed to match your party. We got crafty last season and made these NFL toothpicks. Or, you can find lots of fun toothpick choices, such as these online.

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Enjoy! 

9 Mom Made Highlights in 9 Years

Farmer's Market

9) Launch day at the Del Ray Farmer’s Market in Alexandria VA.   I awoke at 5 am to make a trip to our commercial kitchen I was renting at the time to pull product out of the freezer and have the stand set up by 7 am. After seven months of full-time business planning, it was awesome to see everything come together that morning on that sunny day in late May 2006. My family and friends came to support me and even more fun was meeting our first customers. We still have our first dollar from that day framed on our wall. It’s a day that is crystal clear in my memory.

8) Having a sales background, the thought of getting my foot in the door of our first retailers was daunting but a very fun challenge for me. Whole Foods Mid-Atlantic’s buyer was my first buyer meeting. She said she’d like to put our foods into their 35+ stores in the region. I took a deep breath and said, “I don’t think we can do that right now because we’re making it all by hand. Lets start with the 8 stores in Virginia then grow together into the other stores.” The rest is history. Whole Foods Mid-Atlantic and Mom Made have now been working together for 8.5 years. We are forever grateful for their strong support of our brand.

7) Seeing our product in the freezer of a new retailer. It is a long, tenuous process to sell to a new retailer. Months, sometimes years. It’s so rewarding to see Mom Made in a new home, knowing that new consumers will discover our products.

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6) Moving from our basement in our home to a REAL office. It became official the day the Mom Made logo went up on the front door of the office. Walking through the Mom Made door every morning, I pinch myself at how lucky I am to get to work with such an amazing team and towards a mission of making kids healthier with our organic foods.

5) Hiring new team members. It’s tough to find individuals who hold the experience you’re looking for but also the passion for the mission of what Mom Made stands for. I remember clearly the first day of each of my colleagues joined the Mom Made team. I am so fortunate to work with such a talented group of dedicated professionals.

4) Support from my family, my husband and brother especially. My brother is a chef and helped in the early days with getting my home made recipes ready for large portions. He and his wife (who’s also a chef) have been very helpful along the way. My husband is frequently asked whether he works for Mom Made. His reply is that he’s the Chief Morale Officer. It’s so true and has been a critical piece for me personally on this journey but also as a sounding board for Mom Made as we've grown.

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3) Launching a new product. It takes months (if not years in a few cases) to concept,test, design, produce and sell a new product to be ready for retail. Our most recent product launch was Gluten Free Cheesy Mac. Being onsite in our facility when the first products come off the line is very exciting.

2) Customer letters make our whole team happy.One day we received a letter from the Indiana mother of 5-year old, Adler, who  has brain cancer. Adler had no appetite but his favorite food was Mom Made’s Beef & Cheese Meatball Bites. We immediately stopped what we were doing and put an enormous case of meatballs in the mail with some fun goodies for Adler. We continue to keep Adler in our thoughts and prayers.

1) Mom Made is my third child. The team is part of my extended family. Every day, we laugh, goof around, support each other, challenge each other and work very hard together. There are no politics in our company and no one who doesn’t put in their very best effort. It’s so refreshing and fun to be a part of and lead this incredible team. It’s amazing to see how far we’ve come together and I have no doubt that we will be a household name in no time.

Happy 9th birthday, Mom Made!

#Madewithlove

Nine tips for an easier back-to-school

After long hours playing in the summer sun, the transition back to regimented school schedules and studying can be stressful on kids. Here are a few tips (and some fun ideas, too) to ease everyone back into the academic year from Mom Made Foods:

  1. It’s back-to-school time! To motivate your children, we’re fans of rewarding kids when they meet their goals. Have your kids set their own goals with your guidance and base them on what’s realistic for each child. Some ideas: eat healthy snacks, save part of their allowance, read a book a week/month or learn to play an instrument. Back to school tips with Mom Made
  2. Ever thought about getting your kids writing in a daily journal? We love this idea because it cultivates the writing and language skills vital to success in school and in life. Favorite topics to start young writers off: favorite school lunch, happiest summer moment, what I learned today.back-to-school -FB-YellowFrame3
  3. Create a month-long lunch plan for your family. Bring your kids in on the planning! It’s a great way to make sure they finish their lunch and get the nutrition they need to be successful in the classroom.back-to-school -FB-YellowFrame4
  4. Many kids are always on the hunt for a snack, especially right after school. Hide the cookie jar and counter unhealthy choices with easy-to-grab pre-cut veggies and fruit in the fridge.

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  1. Spend quality time eating together as a family! This “together” time is so essential to maintaining a bond for the whole clan. Another great way to squeeze in some QT: Sit down together on the weekend and plan ahead for dinners.

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6. Kids love notes—especially surprise notes from you stowed away in their lunchbox. Simply jot down an inspirational quote or a quick message on a napkin and slip it under their sandwich. THEY WILL LOVE IT.

back-to-school -FB-YellowFrame77. How many plastic sandwich bags do you toss every week? We’re betting a lot. Switch to the reusable variety for packed lunches—you’ll reduce waste and save money. Our favorites are from our friends at LunchSkins and…Mom Made Munchies fit perfectly in them!

back-to-school -FB-YellowFrame88. It can be next to impossible to find convenient foods that are actually healthy within the packed shelves at grocery stores. You have to commit to reading food labels to differentiate the “real food” from the rest. Simplicity is your best friend here. Focus on products with short, pronounceable ingredients and look for these labels: organic, antibiotic-free, non-GMO! Need more simple guidelines, then peak into our 2 min video "5 Tips for reading food labels."

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9. You don’t have to break into a sweat for exercise to “count.” But you do                   want to be regularly active with your kids—even walking or biking with them to school can make a huge difference. Combining this with balanced nutrition will keep your family on a healthy track and you’ll feel better!

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Fore more healthy insights and advice from our own Heather herself, please watch this 2 min video "5 Steps to hop on a healthy track."

It's never too late to start healthy!

Cozy Family Winter Meal

Heather's Creamy Pasta with Mom Made Chicken and Apple Meatballs! I love dreaming up new recipes and especially love it when my whole family approves with a "Mommy, this is so good!" I hope your family enjoys this too!

Simple:  Mom Made Chicken and Apple Meatball Bites served with homemade white sauce over pasta (potatoes or rice works well too!).

Family Dinner:  In a pan, warm 3 Tbsp olive oil then saute diced garlic and shallots and sliced mushrooms over medium heat for 5 minutes. Add 2 Tbsp of flour and stir so that flour is soaked up. Add 1 1/2 cups of milk and salt and pepper to taste. Let the milk warm till it is bubbling and thickens slightly. Add a few handfuls of fresh baby spinach and a package of frozen Chicken & Apple Meatball Bites. Warm the sauce over medium heat until the meatballs are hot. Voila! Serve over your favorite pasta. You can also bring your own twist to the table by adding other veggies.

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Mom Made Meatball Kabob Recipe

We're so excited to see our brand new product, Mom Made's Chicken & Apple Meatball Bites, featured in this month's "Every Day with Rachael Ray" magazine! There are so many fun and delicious ways to use these in making a healthy dinner. Here's one of our favorite recipes...Mom Made Meatball Kabobs, a meal on-a-stick the whole family will enjoy! Prep Time - 10 min Cook Time - 2 min...no kidding!

Serves 4

Ingredients:

  • 1 box of Mom Made's antibiotic-free RachaelRay - Chicken Apple MeatballsChicken & Apple Meatballs (8oz)
  • 2C low sodium chicken broth
  • 1 yellow bell pepper, washed and cut into 1" squares
  • 1 green bell pepper, washed and cut into 1" squares
  • 1 box of cherry tomatoes
  • 1C cheddar cheese, cut into 1/2" cubes
  • 1C pineapple, cut into 1/2" cubes
  • Wooden skewers

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Heat the meatballs in low sodium chicken broth according to directions on the box.

Place meatballs, cheese cubes, bell peppers and pineapple on skewers. Serve with your favorite rice and dipping sauce, e.g. ranch, bbq, sweet & sour.

Family Tip: It's fun to have the kids make their own and challenge them to include as many colors on their kabob as they can.

Optional: Make the kabobs without the cheese. Grill then add the cheese cubes to each end.