Monday, September 16, 2013

Chicken parm meatballs

This is one of those recipes that for once I didn't have to change the main ingredient, see I stopped eating red meat oh about 3-4 years ago. I did it for health reasons and do feel much better but.... since I can't have a big ole juicy steak I try to replace meat with say chicken or turkey whenever I can to get my fix. Ya know,  turkey tacos, turkey lasagna, turkey meatloaf, turkey stuffed peppers, seeing a trend here. Me too!! I guess I tend to gravitate more towards turkey then chicken, not sure why really but it seems there are more recipes out there with turkey as a meat substitute then chicken. I must say
that over the past few weeks I have been using more ground chicken and darn it what have I been missing.

Until I came across this little gem of a recipe by Jenny Rosenstratch  from  Dinner a Love Story  over on Pinterest, yes my obsession with Pinterest has only increased.  This is a great blog by the way so go check her out! This is a great recipe when you are craving chicken parm with out all the fuss.. The dipping, the breading, the mess!! Oh my! None of that here with these yummy Chicken Parm Meatballs.  Or should we call them chicken balls, since really they are not meat.. Hmmmm I think we shall!! I am a huge fan of chicken parm, and it happens to be one of families favorites. Maybe it's the ooey gooey cheese or the sauce whatever it is I love it and this was a great substitute for it! I of course made some changes when do I not! I used gluten free breadcrumbs and NO fennel seed, just not a fan. I also think next time I will grate the onion and garlic, for textural reaaons. I felt that the onions were to big chopped in the balls. They were sooooo good and a definite keeper recipe!!

Chicken Parm Meatballs
Adapted from Dinner a Love Story 

Preheat oven to 400 

Items needed
Foil lined baking sheet 
Baking dish 

1 1/4 pounds ground chicken 
1/2 cup breadcrumbs **
2 tbs chopped onion**
1 tbs chopped parsley**
1/2 cup Pecorino or Parm, more for topping 
Salt  & pepper to taste
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tsp fennel seeds* *
1 egg, whisked
Zest of half a lemon
3 tbs olive oil
1 14oz can pizza sauce, I used Targets new Simply Balanced Tomato Sauce 
About 4 oz fresh mozzerella, a dozen slices

Set oven rack to upper third partof oven 

In a large bowl using your hands ( ok a little messy) gently mix together the first 11 ingredients. Shape into lacrosse size balls.. (For those not in the know its between a golf and tennis ball, I had no clue lol) and place a few inches part on a foil lined baking sheet 

In a small bowl mix your tomato sauce and olive oil and brush on top of each meatball. Bake for 15 minutes. 

Remove meatballs from the oven and spoon some sauce over each meatball and cover each ball with mozzarella cheese. Broil another 3-5 minutes until cheese is bubbly and starting to brown a bit.

You can heat the remaining sauce and serve each ball with some sauce and a sprinkling of Parmesan cheese.

*** I will next time grate the onions and garlic
**** didn't have fresh parley so used dried
*** I used gluten free breadcrumbs 

Eat and enjoy! 

What's your favorite way to switch up a classic like meatballs?  

Sunday, September 1, 2013

CSA Living- Quick Pickled Cucumbers


We are loving the variety of the CSA, every week when we get the email letting us know what is in this weeks bounty I try to plan our meals. I love that it forces me to think about the weeks meals ahead of time. I also have to figure out how I'm going to use all the vegetables up before the next weeks share. Some weeks it's easy and some not to so much! When we were getting lots of lettuce I could bring a salad to work everyday.

 Well we have now moved on to Cucumbers! We have been on the receiving end of this bounty via the farm share and some awesome friends!! I love cucumbers, I love them with dip,I love them without dip, I love them with hummus, I love them in a salad,  I ok so I'm running out of loves.. So now what? 

What does one do with Cucumbers galore!!!! The thing with cucumbers is that as delicious as they are it's is not as easy as having a bunch of say zuchini.. You can throw zuchini into anything.. Cukes eh.. 

Cue Mom.. She's always good for giving me ideas/recipes to use up my leftovers whether it's last nights dinner or my overstock of veggies!! Mom is always saying how much she loves pickled cucumbers and guess what I have a bunch of... CUCUMBERS!!!! 

So here it goes... 

Quick Pickled Cucumbers and Red Onion 
Adapted from Martha Stewart

2 large Cucumbers- peeled and sliced thin I used a mandeline
1/2 Red onion- thinly sliced- I used a mandeline for these too 
1 tsp sugar 
1/4 c rice vinegar 
Coarse salt and pepper

Combine cucumbers, red onion, sugar and vinegar. Add salt and pepper to taste. I also added a little more sugar. Use your own taste to guide you. You could also add more vinegar if you like it a bit more tart. 

Eat and Enjoy!! 

What's your favorite way to use up your cucumber bounty? 

Thursday, July 18, 2013

CSA living... Week 1

Some time last year or so I had wanted to join a CSA, we had a few local ones that I had heard/read about but I could never pull the trigger. See we live down the street from a farm stand which is great and known for its native sweet corn. My problem is I would go and get the same thing every week, corn, potatoes, zucchini, and maybe some non local fruit. Not much in the unusual department or "new" but if I joined a CSA I'd be forced to experiment and try new vegetables. 

So this year I did my research  and had narrowed it down to two... And then the choice was made easy by my brother in laws girlfriend ( ya get all that ) who works at our local hospital. I conveniently work across the street from said hospital. She received an email from the hospital saying that they were joining forces with one of my top choices of CSA's to be a pick up location. I was sold,we decided to split a full share with my BIL and his GF. 

It works out great every Sunday we receive an email from the farm with the list of goodies for this weeks bounty, great for menu planning. Then on Thursday afternoon between 3-6 the farm sets up shop right on the hospital lawn and we go reusable bags in hand and pick up our bounty. They set up tents and display there goods, so anything extra you need you can pick up right there, and if your going on your 3rd week of turnips in your basket you can trade them in for say some sweet delicious corn easy peasy! 

So this starts my weekly blog round up of our beautiful bounty!! 
 Week ones' bounty included: 

On list....
Chinese cabbage
Mustard greens
Pea tendrils
Bag of mixed saute greens 

Green onions
Purple Turnips
Dozen farm fresh eggs
Homemade Blueberry Jam
Baby spinach

Wow!!!!!!! So because this was week one we got lots of surprises!! They did say upon sign up that occasionally there would be surprises, and boy oh boy did they ever come thru week one!
 Show offs ;) 

The jam was to die for and with only 4 ingredients!! 

Super yummy green onions and spinach. 

I've been picking off the basil and got some more week 2 

The strawberries were so fresh and juicy we ate them all in one sitting! 

The greens mostly went into salads we were going thru a heat wave!! 

And this is what you do at the end of the week when you need to make room for week two's bounty!! 

Farm Fresh Frittata 
( say that 5 times fast.. Pheeew! ) 
Items needed: 

Heavy duty frying pan able to go in the oven 

Pre heat oven to 350*

  • 1cup or 1-2 Handfuls of spinach 
  • Leftover roasted potatoes, turnips and onions
  •  ( 6 smallish Yukon gold potatoes 1 sml onion, 2 sml turnips )roasted the night before @ 425 for 1hr ish... 
  • Cooked bacon, crumbled
  • 6 eggs, I used 5 full eggs 2 egg whites
  • Cheese, 1/2 c or so we love cheese so we definitely used more. 
  • Salt/ pepper to taste
  1. Heat heavy duty frying pan with oil and lay sliced potatoes, turnips and onions heat 3-5 minutes
  2. Then throw spinach on top, let wilt for about 2-3 minutes 
  3. Sprinkle with salt and pepper 
  4. Add eggs, bacon and cheese and cook until egg almost set 2-3 minutes (no stirring)
  5. Place in oven until eggs are set completely and top is browned slightly. 

Eat and Enjoy!!! 

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Getting back into the swing of things...

So once again I went missing... Lets see the holidays (ya know way back in November and December) of course came rolling in... first a big family Thanksgiving at our house and then Chrismakuahh for us in early December. Then of course New Years and a few days after that we were off to Walt Disney World for a fantabulous vacation! Which we each came home from with nasty colds ya know with all those pesky kid germs flying around.. fast forward a few weeks..Blizzard of 2013 hit New England. Fast forward a few more weeks stomach flu... Fast forward to end of March.... Elbow & Hand surgery.... Ouch.. Owie... Yowzers... Did ya get all that? There is going to be a quiz after this!!

Sooooo that means I wasn't really cooking or typing which is still a pain in the you know what!!!  The hubs was great and did most of the cooking while I was laid up... I am pretty much back in the kitchen but need him to do the lifting..but it was a nice break for me. This is one of those recipes that was so delicious you would never now it took 5 minutes to throw together. 

I once again have to give credit to my new obsession Pinterest which is where I found this recipe.. OMG how does anyone get anything done with Pinterest around. Thanks to the silly site I found Bridget's Blog Whats cooking in the Burbs and lots of other great recipes of hers to try. So thank you Pinterest for this recipe and a new blog to follow. 

Slow Cooker Buffalo Chicken Chili
adapted from Whats Cooking in the Burbs 

Items needed: 
Slow cooker 
I did change the amounts of a few things I will note with an * 

3 boneless skinless Chicken breasts* 
3/4 bottle Franks Buffalo Sauce (12 oz bottle)*
1 15.5 oz can Great Northern beans , rinsed
1 lg sweet onion, chopped 
3/4 c tomato sauce*
1 can creamed corn*
3/4 jar salsa *

Dump everything into the slow cooker and stir well, cook on low 5-6 hours. 
Shred chicken** and stir to combine
Serve with crushed or not tortillas, blue cheese and a dollop of sour cream if too spicy or just cause ya feel like it!

*** Now for my changes I uped it to 3 breasts that's how many came in the package didnt want to have 1 left over, made great leftovers for another recipe Ill post about later. Now because of this I upped the hot sauce, tomato sauce and salsa and we just dumped the whole can of corn because well we love corn..
I did not add the jalapeno, not because we are afraid of spice, but because I forgot to grab it at the store. I made up for it with the extra hot sauce. 

I also just shredded the chicken right in the crock pot, the original recipe called for taking it out.. I'm too lazy I'll admit it! 

Eat and Enjoy!!

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Pesto Crusted Fish

This is another one of those recpes that once I make it I ask my hubby why I don't make it at least once a week.  Ahhhh just another one to add to the rotation, which makes me think I need to make a master rotation list so that when I am in a dinner slump I can look at the list and bam Dinner Idea!!  Sounds simple enough to do but its sticking with it that's the tough part. Not that I am admitting to starting things and not finishing them.. no not me (cough, cough) like this blog for instance.  We are talking about a list, ya know keep it with all the recipes that need to be files away, oh wait there I go again not finishing things bahahaha.. 

Ok so where was I oh yay my Pesto Crusted Fish recipe, so it is so delicious and like I said should go into the weekly rotation. There is no scientific recipe here basically 3 ingredients, fish of course , pesto and breadcrumbs now do you see why I want it in the weekly rotation soooo easy. 

Pesto Crusted Fish 
 Items Needed:
Baking Dish 

Preheat oven to 500  
  •  2 Cod filets, or other white flaky fish 
  •  1 small container Pesto, or fresh if ya have it, I did not.... 
  •  Bread crumbs, why no measurement well you'll see  
  • 2 tbsp Butter (YUMMMM) cut up
  • Sprinkle fish with pepper no salt I find the pesto salty enough if you think it needs it then sprinkle with salt too
  • Now this is when it gets tricky.... The pesto to breadcrumb ratio is really a personal one I think. If you love pesto then I would say use the whole container... if you are unsure then start with 3-4 tbsps of the pesto and about 2-3 tbsp breadcrumbs and continue until you get  a stiff consistency that tastes good for you, now gently place enough mixture on top to form a nice thick crust. We love pesto so I usually use a lot of pesto : ) 
  • Place your butter in the baking dish and put in the oven to melt, once melted place your fish on top and bake for about 15 minutes or until flakes with a fork.
 Eat and Enjoy!!!!!


Saturday, July 14, 2012

Back at it again Spinach Lasagna Rolls

Ok so once again I have been MIA... I am not going to lie this blogging thing is tough to keep up with...but I am back and ready with lots of recipes.. I might have been MIA from blogging but Not from the kitchen, I have diligently been taking pictures and documenting my cooking endeavors. First up is one of those recipes that I have probably pulled out of magazines a gajillion times.. And of course never made! Story of my really if you could see the piles and piles of recipes ripped out of nemesis! Ok back to the recipe drum roll please....

Spinach Lasagna Rolls....

I love lasagna as it is but I loved the idea of how portable these were.. Because they are rolled up they are easier to pack up for lunch or to bring over to my parents house. ( I'm a good doobie and cook for them often.. I realized that after all this time saving the recipe it was pretty much the same as my regular lasagna so I dumped all that paper lol and winged it.

Spinach Lasagna Rolls

Preheat oven to 350'

Items needed: Baking Dish 9 x 13

10 lasagna noodles, only need 8, 2 extra just on case, cooked per directions 1

10 oz pkge spinach, thawed and completely drained** very important to drain well

1 15 oz container fat free ricotta cheese

1 c Mozzarella cheese

1/2 c Parmesan cheese

1 egg

32 oz jar of tomato sauce of choice

Salt and pepper

Pour 1 cup sauce in baking dish In a large bowl mix the ricotta, 3/4 cup of the mozzarella, 2 tbs of the Parmesan, salt, pepper and the spinach, mix well.

Lay a nice size piece of wax paper ( I didn't have any so I used parchment paper worked well but wax is probably better. Lay lasagna noodles down on the paper and pat dry

Take 3/4 c of the ricotta mixture and spread onto the noodle evenly, roll each one carefully not gonna lie some will come out the sides... But do your best to keep all in there lol

Place each noodle seam side down in the baking dish Repeat with remaining noodles and ladle sauce over them and sprinkle with the rest of the cheese

Cover with foil and bake about 40 minutes until cheese is bubbly then remove foil and just slightly brown the cheese yummy!!

Ladle some sauce on a plate to serve and enjoy!!

****To drain the spinach really well place in a kitchen towel and squeeze until ya can't squeeze no more!!!





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