Love Overflowing

MMMMM….. Meatballs.

In case you haven’t realized yet, I love trying new recipes. I just don’t have the time to make anything super complicated since I have to basically prep during nap time because Zachary gets a little possessive when I am in the kitchen and wants my attention. I decided that I wanted to try to make meatballs the other day. I combined a recipe that I found on……Pinterest and from a fellow playgroup momma. They were very delicious. Emily kept telling me how much she loved them. She even ate leftovers the next night. Not that there were many left. I wanted to share the recipe as I made it. In parenthesis are the original ingredients and directions.

1 1/2 pounds ground turkey  (Lean ground Beef)
3/4 cup Panko ( Italian style breadcrumbs)
1/2 cup milk
1 egg
1 tsp. garlic powder
2 TBSP parsley flakes
1 tsp. salt
1/4 cup parmesan cheese
2 jars spaghetti sauce
2 sticks mozzarella string cheese, cut in chunks
Mix together & shape into golf ball size or little larger meatballs, put the mozzarella chunk in the middle. Put on cookie sheet & bake 350 degrees for 8 minutes then turnover for another 5 or until browned slightly. (Remove to strainer and rinse under water to remove excess grease. Squeeze each gently with paper towel to squeeze out grease and dry. I skipped this step because the turkey was so lean.) Can be frozen in ziplock bag or cook in spaghetti sauce. To cook in sauce…simmer on low 4 hours in the crockpot or on high for 2 or more hours. I followed the original directions and started it out on high for about 45 minutes and then turned down to low.

I served with spaghetti noodles but you can also serve as meatballs subs or just plain meatballs. The meatballs were so yummy with the melted cheese in the middle.

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Yummy in my tummy

Ever make a meal that was super easy to prepare and tasted great? I really enjoy cooking and baking. What I don’t enjoy is cleaning up the mess I make. Unfortunately, I don’t cook as much as I want. No, we don’t eat out a lot. I just have a several meals that are my “go to” that I can just pop in the oven. You know, super easy. Zachary makes it really hard to cook. He is underfoot. All. The. Time. He wants picked up or he is pulling things out of the cabinet. Or opening the refrigerator a million times. Annoying enough to make me not want to cook until he’s older.

I ran across a few recipes that I have been wanting to try. I am sure I have mentioned how much I love cookbooks and recipes. I decided to finally a few out the other night. One I could prep while he was napping and just pop in the oven when it was time to prepare. I bet it would be a really good freezer meal too. The other, a dessert, I just put in the crockpot. Super easy. Emily loved the bake and even asked for seconds.

Sour Cream Noodle Bake

http://tastykitchen.com/recipes/main-courses/sour-cream-noodle-bake/

Ingredients

  • 1-¼ pound Ground Chuck
  • 1 can 15-ounces Tomato Sauce
  • ½ teaspoons Salt
  • Freshly Ground Black Pepper
  • 8 ounces, weight Egg Noodles
  • ½ cups Sour Cream
  • 1-¼ cup Small Curd Cottage Cheese
  • ½ cups Sliced Green Onions (less To Taste)
  • 1 cup Grated Sharp Cheddar Cheese

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Brown ground chuck in a large skillet. Drain fat, then add tomato sauce. 1/2 teaspoon salt and plenty of freshly ground black pepper. Stir, then simmer while you prepare the other ingredients.

Cook egg noodles until al dente. Drain and set aside.

In a medium bowl, combine sour cream and cottage cheese. Add plenty of freshly ground black pepper. Add to noodles and stir. Add green onions and stir.

To assemble, add half of the noodles to a baking dish. Top with half the meat mixture, then sprinkle on half the grated cheddar. Repeat with noodles, meat, then a final layer of cheese. Bake for 20 minutes, or until all cheese is melted.

***** I used a pound of ground turkey, low fat sour cream and low fat cottage cheese.

Crock-Pot Baked Apples

http://skinnychef.com/recipes/baked-apples/   Found on Pinterest

Ingredients

1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup walnuts, chopped
2 tablespoons trans-fat free margarine
1 teaspoon cinnamon
6 Gala or Macintosh apples, cored
1/2 cup apple juice or apple cider
2 tablespoons orange liquor (optional)

Preheat a large crock-pot on high heat and preset it for 3 hours. In a large bowl, mix brown sugar, walnuts, margarine, and cinnamon. Fill the apples with the filling and place them in the crock-pot. Pour in the apple juice or cider and the liquor, if using. Cover and cook 2 1/2 to 3 hours on high heat until the apples are soft and begin to collapse.

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Master Chef

Emily is becoming quite the chef these days. She has been helping me bake muffins, cookies and cakes. She also made dinner by herself twice in the past few weeks.

The first dinner a la Emily was pizza. It was her first attempt at making dinner pretty much on her own so I thought we would take the simple route. I bought a package of “make your own pizza dough” and let her add the water and mix. She then spread it out on the pan and topped the pizza with sauce, mushrooms and black olives. Dinner was delish that night and I didn’t have to make it. For the most part.

 

 

The second meal Emily made was enchiladas. I didn’t follow a recipe, per se. I pretty much merged a couple of recipes to suit what I had on hand and what was easy enough for Emily to do on her own. And she did it all. She mixed the ingredients and filled the corn tortillas. She really enjoyed rolling them herself. Add some enchilada sauce and cheese. Voila! Dinner you can sink your teeth into. If you want to know the ingredients and how she made these yummies, let me know!

Bon appetit!

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Another Yummy!

Another recipe. I love cookbooks and I love trying new recipes. This recipe was actually found via an internet search. I had a bunch of asparagus in the crisper that needed to be used. Stephen found a beautiful bunch at the greenhouse/produce stand and couldn’t pass it up. I was more than willing to deviate from the menu and come up with something different. I could have just steamed it but seemed boring to me. Clickity clack (more like touch, touch) and up popped a recipe that I knew was a winner!

Asparagus and Chicken Pasta recipe

Ingredients:

1 pound pasta
8 asparagus spears, cut into 2-inch pieces
1 tablespoon olive oil
4 4-ounce skinless chicken breasts, cut into thin strips
1 teaspoon dried basil
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon black pepper
¼ cup white wine
½ cup parmesan cheese

Directions:

  1. Cook the pasta in a pot of boiling water according to package directions, 9 to 10 minutes. Drain and set aside.
  2. Meanwhile, heat oil in a large skillet over medium. Add chicken and cook until lightly browned, 5 to 7 minutes, stirring. Add asparagus and basil and cook until softened, 3 minutes.
  3. Add salt, pepper, and wine; bring to a boil over high heat, reduce, and simmer until liquid is almost gone and chicken is cooked through, 3 to 4 minutes.
  4. Add reserved pasta and cheese to skillet; toss to coat and serve immediately.

 

Easy and delicious!

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Drool worthy

Have you ever made a meal that was so easy but yet so yummy? So delicious that thinking about it makes your mouth water, wishing for another serving? That was my dinner last night. Wondering what I made? Two very simple dishes. Both prepped the day before so there was really nothing I had to do. Without further ado, the recipes! Let me know if you try them and what you think!

 

Merry Marinated Veggies
   ~ Hungry Girl

Ingredients:

1 large cucumber; thinly sliced

1 medium-sized red pepper; thinly sliced

1 cup thinly sliced red onion

1 medium-sized zucchini; halved lengthwise and cut into 1/2-inch wide strips

1 cup balsamic vinegar

1 tsp. olive oil

4 packets SPLENDA (or 2 1/2 tbsp. SPLENDA Granular)

1 cup water

salt and pepper; to taste
Directions:

In a plastic container with a lid, combine all vegetables.  In a separate container, combine and mix vinegar, oil, Splenda and water.  Pour marinade over veggies, cover, and place in fridge for 24 hours.  Season to taste with salt and pepper.  HG Tip:  This is even yummier after 2 days!  Makes five generous 1-cup servings.

NOTE: I also added some yellow and green peppers because I had them on hand. I also was out of Splenda so I substituted a tablespoon of sugar. Increased the calories a bit but really wasn’t a deal breaker in my opinion.

 

Slow Cooked Puerto Rican Pork (Pernil)
 ~
The Well-Fed Newlyweds

Ingredients:
4 lbs. pork shoulder (also called pork butt)
6 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 T. olive oil
1 1/2 T. white vinegar
1 tsp. dried oregano
4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper

Directions:

Place the pork in the insert of a slow cooker.

In a small bowl, whisk together all of the remaining ingredients.

Take the liquid mixture and pour it over the pork.  Use your hands to rub the mixture into the pork, coating it well on all sides.

Place the lid on the slow cooker insert and refrigerate overnight.

Cook on low for 8 to 9 hours, or until the pork is tender.

Remove the pork from the slow cooker and shred or pull into larger pieces.

Serves 6 to 8.

NOTE: I didn’t have any garlic. I didn’t realize I was out until it was too late so I just substituted garlic powder. I am sure the flavor wasn’t as intended but it was still “oh, my, goodness” good.

 

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5 Minute Key Lime Pie

This recipe was so easy that Emily practically made the pie by herself. I helped with the boiling water part but she did the rest. It was super easy and not totally super bad for you. Without further ado- the recipe!

1/4 cup water
1 package (4 oz size) sugar free lime jello
2 containers fat-free key lime yogurt
1 tub low-fat Cool Whip
1 Keebler Ready Crust Reduced Fat Graham Cracker

1) In a microwave-safe measuring cup hear water on high until boiling. Whisk in Jello until dissolved.
2) In a large bowl whisk together Jello mixture and yogurt. Fold in Cool Whip. Carefully spread in crust. Refrigerate at least 4 hours or until set.
3) Garnish as desired. Store in refrigerator.

So yummy and so easy! Next, I am going to substitute strawberries in the recipe to make a strawberry pie. Love strawberry season!

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Apple, Cheddar and Turkey Meatballs

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 pounds extra-lean ground turkey
  • 1 large egg (I used a 1/4 cup of Egg Beaters)
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 green apple, peeled and shredded
  • 1/2 cup shredded sharp cheddar
  • 1/2 cup dried unsweetened cranberries

Directions

Use a 4-quart slow cooker. In a large mixing bowl, mix the ground turkey with the egg, seasonings, apple, cheese and cranberries. I used my hands. Make golf-ball sized meatballs and place them into your stoneware. Stagger stacking. Cover and cook on low for 5-8 hours or high for 4-6 hours.

While they cook, juice will collect on the bottom of the crock, and the meatballs will begin to look bright white and slimy. Don’t be alarmed- they will continue to cook and will brown. They don’t seem to stick together in a big blob so you will be able to separate them.

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Buffalo Chicken Lasagna

Serves 8

  • 4 cooked boneless, skinless chicken breast halves, chopped
  • 1 (26oz) jar pasta sauce
  • 1 cup buffalo wing sauce
  • 8 to 10 uncooked traditional lasagna noodles
  • 1 (15 oz) container ricotta cheese
  • 3 red, yellow or orange bell peppers, chopped
  • 2 cups shredded cheese
  • 1/2 cup blue cheese crumbles
  • 1/4 cup water

Use a 6-quart slow cooker. In a mixing bowl, combine the chicken, pasta sauce, and buffalo wing sauce. Ladle a big spoonful of the sauce into the bottom of your stoneware. Cover with a layer of uncooked lasagna noodles. You’ll have to break to them to get a proper fit. Add a smear of ricotta cheese to the top of the noodles. Add a layer of bell pepper, and top with some shredded cheese. Repeat layers until you run out of ingredients. Add the blue cheese crumbles. Put the water into your empty pasta sauce jar and shake. Pour the liquid over the top of the entire lasagna. Cover and cook on low for 6 to 7 hours, or on high for 4 to 5 hours. When the cooking time is complete, unplug the crock and take off the lid. Let the lasagna sit for 20 minutes before cutting.

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Chicken and Dumpling Soup

Serves 6

  • 3 pounds boneless, skinless chicken (I used breasts. 3 lbs seemed excessive to me so I used a little over a pound and there was a lot of chicken.)
  • 1 yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 cup mushrooms, chopped
  • 16 oz frozen vegetables
  • (2) 10 oz cans cream of something soup, or alternative below
  • 1 can refrigerated biscuits

Use a 4 qt slow cooker. Put the chicken and vegetables into the bottom of the crock. Add the cream-of soups or the substitute. Cover and cook on low for 6 to 8 hours or on high for 4 to 5 hours.

An hour before serving, shred the chicken with two large forks, and drop in the biscuit dough. Cover and cook on high for another hour. The dumplings are done when a knife is easily inserted and comes out clean. The dumplings will be spongy and will brown a bit on the sides and top. Serve in bowls, with a dumpling or two per person.

Alternative soup

  • 4 tbl butter
  • 6 tbl flour
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp poultry seasoning

Combine ingredients in a saucepan.

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Organic?

Do you like the concept of buying fruits and vegetables without pesticides? Who doesn’t, right? The problem with buying organic is cost. Let’s face it- it costs a lot more to purchase things that are healthier for you. I came across a recipe to make your own fruit/vegetable wash. Super easy, super economical. Eat your lettuce and peppers without worry!

1 tablespoon white vinegar

1 tablespoon lemon juice

1 cup of water

That’s it! Cheap and easy. All you do is pour all the ingredients into a clean spray bottle. Mix well. Spray on fruit or vegetables to remove any harmful pesticides. Let stand for minutes and then rinse thoroughly.

Can’t get much easier than that!

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