Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Bacon Cheeseburger Meatballs

  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tbsp flour
  • 2 tbsp milk
  • 1/2 lb bacon, cooked and crumbled
  • 1/4 cup crushed French fried onions
  • 8 oz sharp cheddar cheese cubed (I only end up using 1/2-2/3 of block)
  • splash of pickle juice (optional, but HIGHLY recommended!)

  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees
  • In a medium-large bowl, combine meat, egg, flour, milk, bacon, fried onions, and pickle juice until thoroughly mixed
  • Shape meat around cheese cube (I find that leaving an opening at the top of the ball works best)
  • Place meatballs on foil-lined baking pan
  • Bake about 25 minutes or until cooked

My Thoughts:
Boy, are these amazing! I first made these without leaving an opening on the top of the ball, and all of the cheese ended up oozing out everywhere!  So, by leaving an opening at the top, the cheese doesn't break loose and you end up with a nice "glob" of melted cheese in the center of your meatball.  These meatballs have a nice crust on the outside and a great tenderness in the center.  The pickle juice REALLY adds to the meatball, I have tried it both ways and without that juice, it doesn't even compare.  

Source: CentsLess Deals

Red Garlic Mashed Potatoes

  • about 8 medium red potatoes, chopped in similar pieces
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 tbsp butter
  • 1/2 cup warm half & half or milk (more if needed)
  • 1/4 cup Parmesan, grated
  • black pepper, to taste
  • a couple dollops of sour cream (optional)
  1. Place sliced potatoes in large pot and fill with water to just cover the potatoes; salt if desired
  2. Bring to a boil and cover, reduce heat so it doesn't boil over and simmer for about 25 minutes or until tender; drain water
  3. Add in remaining ingredients and mash all together

My Thoughts:
These potatoes are comparable to Applebee's; the measurements are approximate so get creative lol, i have been making these for years

Source: from my mother, and probably morphed from there lol...its been too long to recollect

Red Beans & Rice

  • 1 (14 oz) package smoked sausage
  • 2-3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 (15 oz) can red beans, drained
  • creole seasoning
  • 1 cup brown rice, prepared as directed on package
  1. Slice sausage thinly
  2. Heat olive oil in a  large skillet over medium heat
  3. Add sausage to skillet and season with creole; and cook for about 7 minutes, stirring occasionally until lightly browned and sizzled
  4. Stir in beans until warmed through
  5. Serve over prepared rice

My Thoughts:
If you are looking for a filling yet inexpensive meal, this is the one to try!  This dish consists of very simple ingredients with simple flavors, and gets a nice kick from the creole seasoning.  Leftovers reheat well

Source: adapted from Kevin & Amanda

Monday, October 13, 2014

Garlic Parmesan Chicken & Spinach

  • 3 tbsp butter
  • 6 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 lb boneless chicken breasts, cubed
  • seasoning blend or salt & pepper
  • 1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
  • 8 oz of spinach

  1. Melt butter in a large skillet over medium heat
  2. Stir in garlic and cook for about a minute
  3. Add in chicken and season as desired; cook until no longer pink in the center
  4. Stir in Parmesan cheese until melted
  5. Add spinach and stir until wilted and everything is combined
  6. Serve over brown rice, quinoa, or pasta

My Thoughts:
Healthy? Yes!  Boring? Maybe a little, but I enjoyed it.  This is a very simple recipe with simple ingredients but it has so much potential.  You can really play around with this dish, using different seasonings and other ingredients to make it the way you want.  Next time I think I may add a squeeze of lemon over the brown rice for a little zing.

Source: adapted from Simply Healthy Home

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Pumpkin Cream Cheese Bread or Muffins

Pumpkin Batter:

  • 1 (15 oz) can pumpkin puree
  • 4 eggs
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup applesauce
  • 2/3 cup milk
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 3 1/2 cups flour
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 2 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1 tsp ground cloves
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 1/2 cup mini chocolate chips
Cream Cheese Filling
  • 16 oz cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 egg, room temperature
  • 1 tbsp milk

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  2. Grease loaf pans, line muffin pans, or prepare a combination of each **
  3. In a very large bowl, combine pumpkin, eggs, vegetable oil, applesauce, milk, vanilla, and sugar
  4. In a separate bowl, sift flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and ginger
  5. Mix the dry ingredients in with the wet, just til combined; stir in chocolate chips
  6. Beat the cream cheese filling ingredients together in electric mixer until smooth
  7. For loaf pans:  Pour a thin layer of batter at the bottom of the pan, then spread a thin layer of filling and repeat until desired amount of layers, or if you prefer just make one big filling layer in the center of bread.  Do this until pan is 3/4 the way full; sprinkle top with extra chocolate chips for presentation and bake for about 1 hour or until inserted toothpicks come out clean
          For muffins:  Fill each liner about 1/3 full with batter, spoon in a little bit of filling, then top off with a 
          little more batter.  Bake for 15-20 minutes or until inserted toothpicks come out clean
    8.  Allow to fully cool before storing

** One batch of this recipe made me one loaf pan and about 15 muffins
**  For loafs, I prefer to grease the pan and then lay out wax paper that go up the sides, for easier removal

My Thoughts:
This recipe makes A LOT of pumpkin bread, so you have been warned.  I think this was the first time I have ever really had any baked good made with pumpkin, so this was exciting for me.  The more I ate it, the more I liked it and I think I will be making it again next fall.  My mother also was lucky enough to sample some, seeing as I had baked goods coming out of my ears over at my house.  She liked it, but she claims that the chocolate chips are not needed, so i guess those are optional lol.  To be honest, you probably don't really even need the filling either, the pumpkin bread alone is that good.  This bread is crazy moist and has all the flavors of fall and is really worth trying...even though it could feed a small village. 

Crock Pot Tender Roast and Veggies

  • beef roast, any kind or any size
  • seasoning, if desired
  • potatoes, red or Yukon gold work best, as many as you want
  • carrots, as many as you want
  • 10 oz beef gravy

  1. Place roast in bottom of crock pot.  Season if desired (I prefer a seasoning blend)
  2. Peel and chop as carrots and place over meat
  3. Cut potatoes and place over meat
  4. Pour gravy over all
  5. Cover, and cook on Low setting for 8-10 hours

My Thoughts:
This is a super easy way to prepare pot roast without any fuss.  You can season it up with whatever you would like or eat it as is.  Vegetables become very tender and the meat just falls apart!

Monday, September 22, 2014

Greek Yogurt Chicken Salad

  • 1 lb chicken breasts, cooked and shredded
  • 1/2 an apple, diced
  • 2/3 cup grapes, halved
  • 1/3 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/4 cup sliced almonds
  • 6 oz plain Greek yogurt
  • juice from 1/2 a lemon
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • black pepper, to taste

  1. Combine all in a medium-large bowl 
  2. Serve between two pieces of bread or over a bed of leafy greens
  3. Refrigerate leftovers

My Thoughts:
This was a very nice healthy rendition of chicken salad.  The sweetness of the fruit really gives this a juicy fresh flavor.  Don't go into this thinking that it is going to taste like your mom's chicken salad, because it wont.  Greek yogurt will never be mayo lol, but if you want to try to eat healthier, you should defiantly give this a try.

Source: adapted from Damn Delicious