Archive | September, 2011

Meatball Sandwich

29 Sep

Not really sure where the desire to make meatball subs came from. I have never even considered ordering one at Subway. The idea of putting meatballs on a sub sandwich actually seems kind of weird to me. Don’t meatballs only belong on top of a mound of spaghetti noodles?

But it seems like every time I step foot in a Subway there is always some one in the line ordering a meatball sub. So there has got to be something I’m missing out on.

And they were actually really tasty!!  Parmesan, garlic and italian seasoned meatballs in a warm marinara sauce. Topped with a slice of melted provolone cheese! And the crunch of a lightly toasted baguette!

Just might have to give the meatball sub a try the next time I go to Subway!

Meatball Sandwich

1 pound ground beef

1/2 cup italian seasoned bread crumbs

1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce

1 egg

2 cloves of garlic, minced

1/4 cup parmesan cheese

2 tablespoons parsley flakes

spaghetti or marinara sauce

1 french baguette

olive oil

garlic powder

slices of provolone cheese

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In a medium sized bowl, combine ground beef, bread crumbs, and egg. Add garlic, parmesan cheese, and parsley. Mix until well combined. Shape into 12-15 meatballs and place in a baking dish. Bake for 15-20 minutes.

While the meatballs are in the oven, cut the baguette in half lengthwise. Brush with olive oil and sprinkle with garlic powder. Slip the baguette into the oven the last five minutes of the meatball baking time.

Warm the spaghetti sauce in a saucepan over medium heat. When they meatballs are done transfer them to the sauce. Coat with sauce and spoon them onto the baguette. Top with sliced provolone cheese. Return to the oven for two to three minutes to melt the cheese.

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Creamy Chicken Taquitos

29 Sep

I tend to do most of our grocery shopping on Sundays. Always nice to have a fully stocked fridge and pantry before starting the busy work week. But this also means that I have to try and plan our dinner mean for the upcoming week. Not always an easy task. Sometimes by the end of the week I don’t feel like making what I had planned. Or I have some weird kind of craving and need to make a spur of the moment grocery store run. And sometimes I just don’t feel like cooking at all. Making it a frozen pizza or cereal for dinner kind of night!

This recipe has made several appearances on the “upcoming dinner schedule,” but as usual, never followed through with my original plan. And now I’m kicking myself for always shoving this recipe to the side and coming up with an alternate dinner option.

These little guys were definitely filling enough for a dinner option, but would also be fun to use six inch tortillas and bring to a party as an appetizer.

Creamy Chicken Taquitos

3 ounces cream cheese, softened

1/4 cup salsa

1 tablespoon lime juice

1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

1 teaspoon chili powder

1/2 teaspoon onion powder

2 cloves of garlic, minced

3 tablespoons chopped cilantro

2 tablespoons chopped green onions

2 cups shredded chicken

1 cup shredded mexican cheese blend

small flour tortillas

cooking spray

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Lightly grease a baking sheet with cooking spray.

In a large bowl, combine cream cheese, salsa, lime juice, cumin, chili powder, onion powder, and garlic. Once combined, stir in the cilantro and green onions. Finally add the chicken and cheese. Mix until well combined.

Working with a few tortillas at a time, heat them in the microwave between two paper towels until they are soft enough to roll (about 20 seconds).

Spoon approximately 3 Tablespoons of the chicken mixture onto the lower third of a tortilla. Roll the tortilla as tightly as you can.

Place the rolled tortilla seam side down on the baking sheet. Repeat with remaining tortillas until the mixture is gone.  Make sure the taquitos are not touching each other. Spray the tops lightly with cooking spray.

Bake for 15 – 20 minutes or until crisp and golden.

Serve with salsa, sour cream or guacamole.

Pumpkin Pancakes

22 Sep

And it continues! Another pumpkin recipe!!

Obviously I have an obsession with pumpkin, but you may not know that I am equally obsessed with pancakes! I pretty much lived off of pancakes and cream-of-wheat a few years ago when I was living with a couple of girlfriends. Made grocery shopping pretty darn easy! But then this thing called marriage happened and I was forced to expand my cooking a little. Figured Zach wouldn’t have really appreciate a piping hot plate of pancakes being placed in front of every night for dinner. But I do still manage to sneak in the good ‘ol “breakfast for dinner” meals a couple times a month! And thankfully he eats them without saying a peep!

Last fall I stumbled upon a pumpkin pancake recipe and immediately thought I had died and gone to heaven! Quit possibly the best idea ever! I went straight to the kitchen fried up a pumpkin pancake, slathered it with butter, a little sprinkle of sugar on top, and dove right in! But stopped after one bite. They were pretty much tasteless. So I added a little more cinnamon, nutmeg, and brown sugar! Easy solution, right? Fried up another pancake and had the same results. A flour-tasting patty on plate. The blandest pancakes I’d ever had. At that point I gave up and dumped the whole mixture down the drain! Such a disappointment!

But there was no way I could let such a wonderful combination be wasted. I was determined to find a good recipe this fall. Luckily it happened the first time around! I turned to one of my favorite blogs Annie’s Eats and used her recipe as a base! With just a few minor changes, they were just to my liking! Full of spice!

Pumpkin Pancakes

1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

3 tablespoons brown sugar

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon pumpkin spice

1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

Dash of ground cloves

1 cup milk

1/2 cup pumpkin puree

1 large egg

2 tablespoons melted butter

In a medium mixing bowl, combine the flour, brown sugar, baking powder, salt and spices and stir with a fork to combine.  Mix together the milk, pumpkin puree, egg and butter in a liquid measuring cup.  Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and whisk together just until combined.

Heat a greased skillet or griddle over medium heat.  Once the skillet is hot, add a 1/3 cup of batter to the pan.  Let cook until bubbles begin to form on the top surface.  Carefully flip with a spatula and cook the second side until golden brown. Repeat with the rest of the batter until it has all been cooked, regreasing the pan as needed.  Serve with cinnamon sugar, maple syrup, and/or whipped cream.

Turkey Lasagna

18 Sep

A coworker of mine brought this lasagna to work one evening last week and was ranting and raving about how good it was. She let me try a bite of it and I had to fight every urge to not grab the rest of it from her hands. It was delicious. Unlike any other lasagna I have ever had. Not too saucy, meaty, or cheesy. Just the right amount of all three!

And then I found out it was one of Ina Garten’s recipes! I absolutely love her! And now I had to make it!

Little did I know that Zach doesn’t even really like lasagna. Thought I knew just about everything about him after ten years, but apparently not. Luckily he is a good sport about eating just about everything I place before him and dished up a huge piece. After his first bite he said, “If we ever open a restaurant, this would definitely be on the menu.” Phew! So glad he loved it as much as I did! Meaning it will probably be making frequent appearances on our dinner table!

Turkey Lasagna

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 medium yellow onion, chopped

2 gloves of garlic, minced

1 pound ground turkey

1 teaspoon italian seasoning

1- 28 ounce can crushed tomatoes

1- 6 ounce can tomato paste

1/2 cup chopped fresh basil

1 teaspoon pepper

1/2 pound lasagna noodles

15 ounces ricotta cheese

1 cup grated parmesan cheese, plus 1/4 cup for sprinkling on top

1 large egg, lightly beaten

2 tablespoons parsley

2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese

Heat the olive oil in a large skillet. Add the onion and saute over medium-low heat for five minutes, until translucent. Add the garlic and cook for an additional minute. Add the ground turkey and cook for 8-10 minutes while breaking it up with a fork. Mix in the italian seasoning, crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, basil, and pepper. Simmer, uncovered, over medium-low heat for 15-20 minutes, until thickened.

Meanwhile, heat water in a large saucepan. Add the noodles and let them sit in the water for 20 minutes. Drain.

In a medium bowl, mix together the ricotta, 1 cup parmesan, egg, and parsley. Set aside.

Ladle 1/3 of the sauce mixture into the bottom of a 9×12 baking dish. Then add the layers as follows: half the pasta, half the ricotta, half the mozzarella, and one-third of the sauce. Add the rest of the pasta, ricotta, mozzarella, and finally the sauce. Sprinkle with 1/4 cup of parmesan cheese. Bake for 30 minutes, until the sauce is bubbling and cheese is melted.

Zucchini Fries

14 Sep

Last week when I opened the bottom drawer of the refrigerator I discovered that apparently I had only been putting zucchini in the drawer and not taking any out. To say I had a few zucchini on my hands would be an understatement. And worst of all, a few of them were already starting to get a little soft. I scoured the internet high and low for quick recipes to use up a few of them. Particularly one where I already had all of the ingredients and could make it for lunch.

I was sold on this recipe as soon as I read the word “fries.”

Zucchini Fries

Medium zucchini cut into 3″ x 1 1/2″ sticks

1 egg

1/3 cup seasoned bread crumbs

2 tablespoons grated parmesan cheese

1/4 teaspoon garlic powder

salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. In a small bowl, beat egg and season with salt and pepper. In a ziplock bag, place bread crumbs, parmesan cheese, and garlic powder. Shake well to combine.

Spray baking sheet with cooking spray. Dip zucchini sticks into the egg. Toss in bread crumb mixture until evenly coated. Place on baking sheet in a single layer. Spray the top of zucchini fries with cooking spray. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown. Serve with warm marinara sauce.

Taco Soup

13 Sep

 Yesterday was my friend Sarah and I’s second annual soupathon! We spent the afternoon whipping up four delicious heart-warming soups! With a little girl-talk on the side! My favorite part of course!

We divided the soups into single-serving containers and popped ’em in the freezer! Convenient to grab as we head out the door to work. Or better yet, for those evenings that I just don’t feel like cooking.

This soup is kind of similar to a bowl of chili. Chock full of meat, beans, and tomatoes. All in all, very hearty and filling.

Taco Soup

1 pound lean ground beef

1 onion, chopped

4 cloves of garlic, minced

1 packet taco seasoning

3 cups water, divided

2 28-oz cans diced tomatoes

1 15-oz can tomato sauce

2 15-oz cans kidney beans

1 15-oz can corn

toppings: sour cream, shredded cheese, pico de gallo, guacamole, or tortilla chips/strips

Heat a large soup pot over medium heat. Brown the ground beef with the onion and garlic. When almost browned, add the taco seasoning packet and 1 cup of water. Mix until seasoning is well incorporated. Add remaining ingredients and bring to a boil. Then cover and reduce the heat. Simmer for fifteen minutes. Serve with desired toppings.

Apple Doughnut Holes

11 Sep

Despite the temperature being close to ninety today, I couldn’t refrain from staying with the “fall” theme. Pumpkin and apple will definitely be the shining stars for the next couple of months! Thanks to the extremely addictive pinterest, I have found over 20 “fall” recipes to try!

These little doughnut holes were bursting with flavor. I was a little apprehensive about them at first since the only spice was nutmeg. I thought there were going to end up dry and bland. But the nutmeg paired with the cinnamon and sugar coating was just the right amount! And then the crunch of apple! Quit frankly, they were perfect! And fairly healthy as well, being that they were baked instead of fried!

Don’t be fooled. I definitely had more than three of these little guys. At least six, possibly eight, if not more! I just couldn’t stop my right hand from reaching forward and grabbing another!

Oven Baked Apple Doughnut Holes

1/4 cup brown sugar

1/4 cup white sugar

1 1/2 cups flour

1 3/4 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon nutmeg

1/3 cup cold butter, cut into pieces

1 egg

1/4 cup milk

1 1/2 cups bite sized pieces of apple, peeled and cored

to coat:

1/4 cup butter, melted

1/3 cup sugar

1 teaspoon cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a medium sized mixing bowl, whisk together sugars, flour, baking powder, and nutmeg. Using a fork or pasty blender, cut in to the cold butter until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs.

In a separate bowl, beat together the egg and milk. Fold in the chopped apples. Add the egg mixture to the dry ingredients. Stir until mixture is well combined. Place a spoonful of batter into each mold of a buttered mini muffin pan. Bake for 15-18 minutes or until the doughnuts are golden brown.

Remove from the oven and allow to cool for five minutes. Gently remove doughnuts from the molds and lightly brush each doughnut with melted butter. Coat with cinnamon and sugar. Serve immediately with a ice cold glass of milk or warm cup of coffee!