Monday, June 29, 2015

Pioneer Woman's Meatballs

We bought ground beef this week with the intent of making Hamburger Helper when we had no time. Instead, we decided to make meatballs. They took two hours to prepare!! We served them with store-bought mashed potatoes but in hindsight a green vegetable or salad would have been a nice addition.


1 1/2 pounds ground beef
3/4 cup quick oats
1 cup milk
3 tablespoons very finely minced onion (about a quarter cup)
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 1/2 teaspoons ground black pepper
4 tablespoons canola oil
1/2 cup all-purpose flour

1 cup ketchup
4 to 6 tablespoons minced onion
3 tablespoons distilled white vinegar
2 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce

Dash of hot sauce, such as Tapatio

1.Combine all ingredients through black pepper in a large bowl and stir together with spoon or hands.
2. Roll meatballs into Tablespoon sized balls (try to get them all even) and place on a tray. Refrigerate for 45 minutes
3. Meanwhile, make the sauce by combining all the ingredients in a pitcher
5. Heat canola oil in a large frying pan. Dredge meatballs in flour. Fry in the pan the meatballs until lightly browned. Do batches if you need them.
6. Place the meatballs in a rectangular baking dish. Drizzle sauce over the top. Then, bake until bubbly about 45 minutes.

These were good and we have more for another day! Ours were a little too wet because we only had a pound of beef and failed to reduce the amount of liquid. But, they still worked! 

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Coconut Oatmeal

Recently I've been really into oatmeal. Today I tried a different recipe and it was delicious! No sugar added!  To make it healthier, look for lowfat coconut milk.

serves 1
1/2 cup quick cooking oats
1/2 cup coconut milk
1/2 cup milk (1%)
1 banana, sliced

1. Boil milk and coconut milk
2. Add oats once boiling and reduce heat to medium
3. Stir occasionally for 5 minutes
4. Pour into a bowl and top with banana slices.  Oatmeal will be very hot.

I hope this is really filling!

Friday, January 16, 2015

Caprese Pasta

I saw this recipe for Caprese pasta a few weeks ago and decided I had to make it. It was really good! I might make a few changes but I would make it again!

4 oz fresh mozzarella, cubed (you could probably use regular mozz here too)
4 oz mozzarella, shredded
1/4 C basil, chopped
1 C tomato pasta sauce
1/2 pint cherry tomatoes, cut in half
1/3 C half & half
1/4 C shredded parmesan cheese
8 oz whole wheat pasta

Preheat the oven to 350
1. Prepare pasta according to directions
2. Heat tomato sauce. Once it's warm add half & half and parmesan cheese
3. Drain pasta and toss in tomato sauce mixture
4. Add in tomatoes, basil and cubed cheese. Salt to taste
5. Pour into a baking dish and top with shredded mozzarella (or you could use fresh and make slices)
6. Bake for 25 minutes until cheese is melty and golden and tomatoes are blistered

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Best Hot Chocolate

You know how I always re-blog recipes I see and make because I'm paranoid that something I love will suddenly go off the internet? WELL that happened this morning for Hot Chocolate and the recipe was nowhere to be found elsewhere. What a shame.  I decided to just guess and the results were delicious.  Here are my approximations:

.74 oz Chocolate appeals 65% chocolate (Can be found at Sprouts)
1/4 C chopped 85% chocolate
4 C whole milk
2 C heavy cream
1 t vanilla
2/3 C milk powder

1. Pour milk and cream into a pot and bring to a boil. Watch closely so it doesn't boil over.
2. Add chocolates and vanilla and let melt, stirring
3. Add vanilla and milk powder and bring to a boil a second time.
4. Stir and serve
A skin might form but it doesn't impede the flavor

Yield 10 Cups (But our mugs are bigger so this served 4 + 2 refills)

Monday, December 22, 2014

Crispy Roasted Chicken Thighs

Last night we had to make some chicken that we had been defrosting for a few days. Joey decided to opt out of chicken and eat leftovers. I decided to make all the chicken for myself! And it was wonderful!  The skin was crispy, the flavor was spot on and while I made three large thighs I was having trouble not eating all of them!

bone-in chicken thighs (1-2 thighs per person)
olive oil
lemon pepper
potato (1 medium red or yellow potato per person)

1. Preheat the oven to 425
2. On a rimmed backing sheet rub olive oil onto the skin of the chicken. Sprinkle with salt, lemon pepper and rosemary.
3. IMPORTANT: Wipe all excess olive oil off the tray. Don't be like me and boil the oil in the oven and then set off the smoke alarm and wake the baby.
4. Slice the potato into thin slices, toss with olive oil, salt and lemon pepper and place on one side of the tray
5. Bake for 25-35 minutes until juices run clear when chicken is pierced
6. Eat the skin first.

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Sticky Toffee Pudding

Have you ever had sticky toffee pudding? You can order it at Claim Jumper and in my opinion it is the best thing on the menu. This year, I decided to make sticky toffee pudding for our Smith Christmas celebration...and as you can see from the photo it was a HUGE hit! This is really not difficult to make but it does take a little time. It is so delicious you could eat it any day or you could save it for a big event but don't skip it. Do you hate dates? Yeah I mean who eats dates? I've never had them before but they make this cake absolutely amazing.

I did not vary from Smitten Kitchen's recipe at all but I am forever worried that someone's blog will be taken down and then I will no longer have the recipe and then...I just might cry.  

Okay, well actually I varied it a tiny bit - I used Muscavado dark brown sugar for the sauce and we served this also with whipped cream AND ice cream and in my opinion the ice cream was the best.  Seriously, make this tomorrow. And also you can find already pitted dried dates at Sprouts in a 3/4 lb package which, incidentally is EXACTLY what you need!

3/4 pound dried dates - get them pre pitted to save time
2 1/4 cups boiling water
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
8 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
3/4 cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons brown sugar
2 large eggs
1/4 teaspoon table salt
1 2/3 cups all-purpose flour

Butterscotch Sauce
8 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1 cup heavy whipping cream
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons brown sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

To serve
Unsweetened whipped cream
Vanilla Ice Cream

Make the cake: Roughly chop dates and place them in a heatproof bowl. Pour boiling water over them and stir in the baking soda. Cover the bowl and set it aside for 30 minutes. (I covered it with a towel and it was fine)
Meanwhile, heat oven to 350°F. Butter a 9×13-inch baking pan. In a large bowl, combine the melted butter and sugars. Whisk in eggs, then salt. lend date-water mixture with an immersion blender until smooth. Stir in the flour, then date puree. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.

Make the sauce: Combine butter, cream, sugar and vanilla in a larger saucepan than you think you’ll need over medium heat and bring to a simmer. Whisk for about 10 minutes, until the mixture thickens slightly. If you have to reheat the sauce, the butter will be all separated. Bring it back up to a simmer and whisk for about 5 minutes until combined. Then, if you're serving buffet style, consider putting the sauce in a fondue pot or something because it hardens really fast. Also, this is a great chance to use really hard brown sugar because it melts!

To serve: Cut the cake into squares warm or cold. Drizzle each slice with toffee sauce and top with a dollop of whipped cream and/or ice cream. 

Friday, December 12, 2014

Gemma Stafford's No-Churn Ice Cream

We make ice cream all the time and it is really delicious. However, this time, I decided that instead of using the regular churn method with cream, milk, sugar and eggs I would use Gemma Stafford's recipe. Gemma has a cooking show on youtube that I watch. You can check her out here. Her no churn ice cream recipe looked so easy I knew I had to try it and see how close it was to the real thing.

Have you ever had marshmallow ice cream? I have, we made s'mores ice cream once and it was great BUT it had a weird texture...not weird bad, just silky and marshmallowy. This no-churn ice cream has the same texture but it's still great. I brought it to my Mommy & Me class potluck and it was well liked so I think you will like it too. The best part? You can make whatever flavor you can think of  all with the same base AND you can do it in the 15 minutes your baby is occupied in a bouncy chair.

Watch the video!

Ingredients for the base:
2 Cups heavy whipping cream
1 (14oz) can of sweetened condensed milk, cold (place it in the refrigerator overnight)

1. Whip the heavy cream until stiff peaks form. I did this in the stand mixer but if you want to get some exercise do it by hand!
2. Once stiff peaks form, turn down the mixer speed and add the condensed milk and combine together.
Yields 3 1/2 pints of ice cream with flavoring/mix-ins added

And now make it fun! I made two flavors, Blueberry Pie and Chocolate Candied Orange.  Both were good but the chocolate one was AMAZING.  This is what I did:

Blueberry Pie Ice Cream
2 slices blueberry pie
4 cups ice cream base

1. Put the 4 cups of base in a large bowl.
2. Add pie and break up with a fork or potato masher
3. Stir together until well combined
4. Put in containers and freeze for a few hours or overnight before eating

Chocolate Candied Orange Ice Cream
2 T chopped candied orange peel (we made our own...)
1 1/2 oz bittersweet chocolate roughly chopped
scant teaspoon butter
zest of one orange
remaining ice cream base

1. In a microwave proof bowl place chocolate and butter. Melt on half power for 30 second increments until mostly melted. Then stir to melt completely.
2. pour chocolate into the base
3. Add the zest of one orange and the orange peels
4. Stir together until combined. Put in containers and freeze for a few hours or overnight - if you can wait!