Sunday, November 25, 2012

Meatball Sandwiches and Roasted Green Beans with Balsamic Glaze

See I'm cutting back on carbs by eating my sandwich open faced. 
Naw, I really just don't like all the bread of a big roll but after these last few days I could stand to cut back a few carbs.

As I try to recover from eating pounds of amazingly creamy mac n cheese aka Thanksgiving dinner, I'm trying to get back to regular eating habits. Which for Sunday means a hot meal between 3 and 4 o'clock. Although I included green beans in our meal, I fully intend to eat a salad tomorrow.

As you might notice, my meatballs didn't come out so "ball-like", but we actually like our sandwiches better this way and found them easier to eat.

Recipe (adapted from Bev Cooks Chicken Meatball Sub Sandwiches)
For the sauce:
1 (28 oz) can tomatoes
8 basil leaves, roughly torn
Italian seasoning
1 handful Italian flat-leaf parsley, roughly chopped
2 cups baby spinach, roughly chopped
Salt & pepper

For the meatballs:
1 1/2 pounds ground beef
1/2 medium onion, finely diced
1 tbps. tomato paste
1 egg
3/4 cup panko
2 handfuls shredded Italian blend cheese
1 handful Italian flat-leaf parsley, roughly chopped
2 cups baby spinach, roughly chopped
~ 2 tbsp. olive oil
Wheat rolls
Provolone cheese

In a food processor, combine the tomatoes, basil, a hearty shake of italian seasoning, 1 handful of parsley, and 2 cups of baby spinach. Puree until smooth (There were still some small tomato chunks in mine). Taste and add salt and pepper as necessary. Set aside.

Now, combine the beef, medium onion, tomato paste, egg, panko, cheese, parsley,and spinach in a bowl. Only use half (2 cups) of the spinach here. Combine into balls with your hands (if I can do this, anyone can do this.) Set the meatballs aside.

Heat the oil in a skillet on medium-high. Add the meatballs and cook for about 8-10 minutes or until browned on all sides. This is where my meatballs turned a bit crumbly. Just keep turning with tongs until the  outsides are browned. Pour the tomato sauce over the meatballs. Turn the heat to low, cover the meatballs and cook for 35-40 minutes or until meatballs are cooked through.

To assemble, toast the wheat rolls in the oven- about 4-5 minutes at 400 or using the broiler. Add the cheese and continue to toast until crispy and golden around the edges. Spoon the meatball mixture onto the bread.

Serve with roasted green beans with balsamic glaze. I used this recipe from the Pioneer Woman and just replaced green beans for brussel sprouts and didn't add the dried cranberries. We followed the brussel sprouts recipe on Thanksgiving and they were also delicious!


Monday, May 28, 2012

Easy Enchiladas

We've had a blast running around in Breeze's new JEEP, swimming, partying, and eating some good food (obviously) all weekend. 

Enchiladas for dinner wrapped up this Memorial Day Weekend awesomely.

After a long weekend of the above mentioned activities, a delicious yet easy dinner was what we needed.

Enchiladas a la Jenni

I made up some taco meat Saturday morning. I just browned about 2 pounds of lean beef, then added in taco seasoning, water, and black beans. It's the meat mixture I used in these enchiladas. Also, I used white flour tortillas for Bryan's and a whole what flour tortilla for myself. I really like them but they don't get that really great chewy texture the white tortillas get after being baked.

For enchiladas:
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/4 onion, chopped
1 whole rep pepper, chopped up bit size
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 can green chilis
About 2 cups of taco meat
Shredded cheese (I used colby jack)
1 can hot enchilada sauce (with added garlic powder & oregano)
4 flour tortillas

For topping:
1 tomato, chopped up bite size
Cilantro, torn
Sour cream

Melt the butter and oil in pan over medium heat. Add onions and chopped red pepper and cook about 4 minutes. Add the garlic and green chilies continue to cook for a couple more minutes until onions and peppers are softened. Add in the taco meat and a little bit of the enchilada sauce. Stir to combine.

Put some enchilada sauce down in the bottom of an 8x8 pan.  Spoon some of the enchilada mixture into each tortilla, top with some cheese, roll them up, and put them face down in the pan. Top the enchiladas with the rest of the sauce and mounds of cheese. Cover with foil.

Bake covered on 375 for 20 minutes. Remove foil, add tomatoes and return to the over for about 8 more minutes. Broil for about 2 minutes until the tops are nice and crispy. Top with the cilantro and sour cream (if you like the stuff).

I served the enchiladas with a salad that consisted of romaine lettuce, tomatoes, red pepper, cilantro, and this awesome lime vinaigrette.

For lunch tomorrow I packed leftover salad to eat with leftover enchilada mixture. Easy peasy.

We are off to grab some ice cream to really top of the fat fun filled weekend. Dyl's waiting for us in the car.

My dog jokes never get old. To me.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Buffalo Chicken Pizza, From Start to Finish

I've loved Frank's Hot Sauce since the first time I tried my friend Joel's buffalo chicken dip many many moons ago. I can't remember where we were or why he made it, all I remember is that is was goooood.  And then for weeks we would all say, "Remember how good Joel's dip was?!"

Then he told me he made it into pizza. And that was awesome too.

So when I saw this crockpot buffalo chicken recipe on YoungMarriedChic's blog last week, I knew I had to make it!

Shredded Buffalo Chicken
6 raw chicken breasts
1/2 cup Frank's Hot Sauce
1/4 cup yellow mustard
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar

I whisked together the sauce and poured it over the chicken.  Mine cooked on high for 3.5 hours.  During that time I flipped it back and forth a couple times. When you think it is about done, take a fork and shred it up really stirring up the juices that have formed.  Let it cook for another twenty minutes.

I have big plans for this shredded buffalo chicken- salads, sandwiches, with sides of veggies.

But first, pizza!

I had gotten into the habit of using Trader Joe's pizza crust- which is great- but I was so excited to have some time to make my own crust again!

I used a recipe for Wheat and Honey crust from eat8020's blog.  Since we're reminiscing, I should tell you this is the same recipe I used the first time I ever made pizza crust before I had the KitchenAid.  

1 1/3 cup warm water
1 package active dry yeast
3 Tbsp olive oil
2 Tbsp honey
1 3/4 cups whole wheat flour
1 3/4 cups white flour
1 tsp salt

I used my KitchenAid to make this so in my big mixer bowl I put the yeast, olive oil, honey, and topped it with the warm water. I used my hand mixer to mix the ingredients together for thirty seconds. Then the mixture sat for about ten minutes until it gets foamy.  I added the flours and the salt and mix again for one minute .  I used the dough hook to "knead" the dough for 6 minutes. Next, I put the dough in a nicely olive oiled bowl, forming the dough into a bowl and coating it with the olive oil. I put a nice clean kitchen towel over the top of the bowl and let it sit for about an hour while it doubled in size.

The next part is the best part, punching the dough down!  I punched it down and turned it out on my floured counter.  I knead (kneaded?) the dough a few times, placed the bowl over the dough and let sit for twenty minutes.

After that twenty minutes, put it in the oven on 325 for another twenty minutes.

During this time I got everything together for the pizza.
Frank's Hot Sauce
Celery heart
Buffalo chicken
Shredded cheese

I stirred together some ranch and Frank's Hot Sauce in a 1:2 ratio and found the heart of the celery and chopped it up finely.  II grabbed some tomatoes from the fridge, shredded some cheddar jack cheese, and set aside some of the buffalo chicken.

Pour the sauce on the pizza.  Top with the cheese, chicken, and tomatoes.  Bake for 7-9 minutes or until cheese is melted.

Serve hot with the celery heart on top!


Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Nothing says Valentine's Day Like Steak & Pasta

Our Valentine's Day tradition continued this year with a freaking awesome dinner.

Every year for the past few years, we've stayed home and cooked ourselves whatever we thought sounded best.  This year was no exception.

Although I wouldn't call myself Valentine of the Year this year, Breeze did an awesome job of making me feel special! I did my part in the kitchen, though and together we made a delicious meal. It doesn't fall under the healthy category, but it just felt special and that's all that matters on this day.

After a little prepping, we had our meal on the table in about twenty minutes.

Breeze made steaks.  He seared a couple filets that he marinated last night in Worcestershire and then cooked them through on the griddle.
While the steaks cooked, he made our salads with romaine lettuce, carrots, celery, and tomatoes. 
I made us tortellini from Pallucas- half cheese, half meat- with garlic butter sauce adapted from here
Some bread sticks from Pallucas rounded out the meal. 

Garlic Butter Sauce for Tortellini
6 tbsp butter (I just used what I had left in my Brummel and Brown container, I think it was less than 6 tbsp)
5-6 garlic cloves, smashed
1 tsp salt
1/8 tsp pepper
Big shake of Italian seasoning

How to-do
On low heat, melt the butter.  Add the garlic and let cook for 10-12 minutes.  Your kitchen will smell ah-mazing.  At the same time, boil salted water and add the tortellinis until cooked through.  Ours were frozen so they took about 10 minutes to cook. When the tortellinis are cooked, pour the sauce over them and stir. Sprinkle parsley over the top.

Enjoy! And Happy Valentine's Day from the Breeze's!

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Breeze's Favorite Muffins

Breeze LOVES banana muffins.  Banana chocolate chip, banana peanut butter, banana whateva, he loves them.

He asks me to make them somewhere around 5 nights a week.  Lucky for him I frequently buy bananas with every intention of eating them on the oatmeal I also have every intention of eating for breakfast and then I don't.

I like muffins just as much as the next person so I gave in tonight and made the following muffins.

Banana Muffins with Crunchy Topping
(Muffins adapted from this TastyKitchen Member recipe, topping from HowSweetEats)

For the Muffins
¾ cups Whole Wheat Flour
¾ cups All-purpose Flour
1 teaspoon Baking Soda
1 teaspoon Baking Powder
½ teaspoons Sea Salt
 Large Ripe Bananas, Mashed
¼ cups Brown Sugar (lightly Packed)
½ cups Sugar
⅓ cups Unsalted Butter, melted

Except the egg, I forgot the egg!

For the Topping

3/4 cup brown sugar

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1 tablespoon flour

2 tablespoons softened butter

Except the butter, I forgot the butter too!

These muffins are seriously good.  I ate three (they're mini!) before I came in to write this blog post and realized they had no egg and no butter.


Sunday, January 29, 2012

Weekend Fajitas

I've been lucky recently in that I've spent a ton of time in the kitchen.  I've really made an effort to prep and grocery shop to make sure we eat good, nutritional meals.  This weekend was no different and I have lots of ideas for meals throughout this week.  Fingers crossed- I'm hoping/planning on sharing a few of them.

Like I was saying, we ate good this weekend.  Friday night we ate Louisiana Pan Roast at Turtleheads, which I highly recommend as well as the grilled oysters.

This picture tells it all.

Saturday, after some glorious sleeping in and a good workout I spent a while researching new fajita and margarita recipes.  I wanted to make the fajitas that I posted here a few months ago and Breeze wanted to try something new so . . .

Drumroll, please . . .

Here is the winner.
Steak & Chicken Fajitas with Pico adapted from TastyKitchen

Chicken- fajita sliced from the grocery store
Steak- about one pound of tips cut into strips
1 Red bell pepper
1 Green bell pepper
1 Yellow onion
3 Jalapeno peppers
3-4 Roma tomatoes
6 Tbs Vegetable oil
2-3 Limes
2 Tbs Soy sauce
1 Tbs Worcestershire
1/2 c. Chopped cilantro
2 Cloves minced garlic

Shredded cheese
Shredded romaine lettuce
Greek yogurt with fresh lime juice mixed in

Prep (~35 min.):
Make the pico. Finely chop tomatoes, half of the onion, jalapeno peppers, and cilantro. Place in a bowl and squeeze fresh lime juice over the vegetables and stir.  Refrigerate until ready to use.

Make the marinade. Whisk together vegetable oil, juice of one lime, soy sauce, Worcestershire, cilantro, and garlic.  Pour marinade over chicken and steak. Refrigerate for a few hours.

Slice peppers and half of onion.

Cook (10-15 min):
Pour meat with juice into a skillet.  Heat between medium to medium-high until cooked through.
Pour a little bit of olive oil into a skillet. Add peppers and onion.  Heat on medium until veggies are cooked through but not soggy.

We ate our fajitas as fajita tacos.  I layered veggies, combination of meat, cheese, pico, and lots of lettuce.

Margaritas adapted from Sandra Lee
Makes about 4 servings.
3 Trader Jose Light beers
1 can Lemonade concentrate
1/2 - 3/4 cup Tequila

Mix together and enjjjjoy.

We are eating leftover fajtas tonight, we're all pretty tired after Dyl's bath today.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Spice Cookies after a long day

So I didn't get to eat much lunch today.  I had a granola bar at 8:00 with my coffee followed by a small snack at lunch.  I had every intention of eating at least an apple in the afternoon, but time just got away from me and I didn't get around to it.  Because of this occurrence, I was STARVING when I got home today.  All I wanted when I finally got home tonight was one loaf of french bread with a container of butter.  Good ol' white flour carbs.  So, I went to the store to buy a loaf of French bread before Breeze got home.  On the way I stopped to get gas (second attempt of the day) but my gas tank opening would not open.  No budging.  I knew for sure it was broken and we would have to take it into the shop tomorrow.  I went to show my sister the problem when I arrived at home and it freakin' popped right open!  To make a long story somewhat short, I got gas and finally went to the store to get french bread, a spice cake mix to make cookies, some veggies, flour and cinnamon sticks.  My only thought on the way home was which item I was going to eat for dinner first.  Fortunately I have a rational husband who made me tacos for dinner and I made the cookies for dessert.  The recipe is below. 

Recap- Hunger is NOT good for the mind!! I'm pretty sure there are studies out there that say you get dumber (see!) when you don't eat.  

One Spice Cake + One Can Pumpkin + 10-12 minutes on 350 = Deliciousness

You don't even have to be smart to make these... Perfect for a day you skip lunch