Meatballs with Spinach…what!?

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It tastes much better then the picture does. ūüėČ

Homemade meatballs with Spinach yes they are good. No I mean they are really good and would go so far to say they are the best meatballs I have ever made and the best tasting meatballs I have ever tasted!

Ingredients
1 pound Ground Chuck 85/20
1 pound Ground Pork
6 oz thawed Chopped Spinach – squeeze out as much of the liquid as you can
1 large Egg
1/2 cup Bread Crumbs – I used bread crumbs that I ground from a stale homemade French bread
1/2 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese
1 teaspoon Salt
1 1/2 teaspoons dried Parsley
1 1/2 teaspoons dried Basel
1 1/2 teaspoons Garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon Red Pepper flakes

3/4 cup Bread Crumbs for coating meatballs

Mix it, meld it, roll it, cook it
1) Add all ingredients to bowl expect the 3/4 cup of bread crumbs
2) Mix well with your finger tips trying not to squish the mix but just blending well
3) Cover with plastic wrap, pressing wrap to mix so there is no air gap
4) Store in Frig for at least a few hours to meld the flavors. Mine was in the Frig for about 5 hours
5) Form meatballs to even sizes. I used a scale ensure each meatball weighed about the same
6) Coat each meatball with remaining 3/4 cups of bread crumbs. I put the bread crumbs in a bowl and rolled each ball around after I weighed the ball. Place meatballs on a large cooking sheet.
7) Preheat oven to 400 F
8) Cook for about 20 minutes turning over halfway through the cooking time.

I served these with homemade Pasta and sauce top with Parmesan cheese (see picture below).

This recipe was inspired by Alton Browns meatball recipe and recent podcast. He knows what he is doing, even though I changed the recipe. ¬†Sorry I just won’t eat Lamb.

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And this is was the leftovers!

Pasta, Egg, Ham and Cheese Bake

Time to eat!

Time to eat!

Pasta, eggs, ham and cheese who knew it could be so good and easy to make. You can also add some additional toppings such as salsa, hot sauce, veggies, or whatever floats your boat.

Ingredients

  • 1 pound Lumaconi pasta – my favorite
  • 1 pound ham steak – chopped
  • 8 large eggs
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 8 oz shredded cheese reserving some for the topping – perhaps chedder thats what I used

The steps to goodness

  1. Cook pasta per package directions
  2. Preheat of to 450 F
  3. Break eggs into large pan and scrambled eggs making sure you cook with the butter
  4. In a casserole dish (greased) add pasta, ham, and egg and blend well. Don’t break up the egg to much the egg pieces should be in small bite size pieces
  5. Add cheese to the blend and mix well
  6. Flatten out blend and top with cheese
  7. Cook in oven for about 10 minutes or until cheese topping is a lite gold color
  8. When serving be sure to include topping on each plate. You can add some additional topping such a salsa or hot sauce.

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Before the bake

Before the bake

Hows this view before the bake?

Hows this view before the bake?

All warm and ready to eat!

All warm and ready to serve!

Homemade Dough and Pizza Sauce with the KitchenAid Attachment – Strainer

My mother in law came for a visit and in tow she had a plastic bag full of KitchenAid stand mixer attachments! She said she was doing some cleaning in the basement and found these from about 15 years ago which were never used. She took a chance bringing them as she did not know for sure which mixer I had. But as you know, if you are a regular reader of my blog that my mother bought me a KitchenAid stand mixer just a short time ago (I love this thing if you could not tell and sorry that I have not posted all the things I have made with it. Sometimes I get so involved in cooking that I forget to get the camera out.). Here is the contents of the bag:

  • Fruit/Vegetable Strainer Set (used in the recipe below)
  • Slicer/Shredder Attachment
  • Food Grinder Attachment
What's in the bag

What’s in the bag

I came up this pizza sauce recipe while at the farmers market looking at all the fresh produce. I just LOVE fresh produce!

Ingredients for pizza sauce

  • About 5 large red ripe tomatoes – strained through the¬†KitchenAid¬†Fruit/Vegetable Strainer
  • 2 table spoons of extra virgin olive oil ¬†– I used¬†Oliveto Mediterranean Blend – first cold pressed – Yum!
  • 1 medium sized yellow onion – diced
  • A couple dashes of kosher salt
  • A couple of grinds of black pepper
  • 1 to 1 1/2 cups of fresh Basal, no stems – chopped – THIS IS A MUST!
  • 2 cloves garlic – diced

Sauce is boss

  1. Using the KitchenAid Fruit/Vegetable Strainer strain the tomatoes. I am sure you can strain these by hand but it would take longer.
  2. In a medium sized sauce pan add olive oil and heat over medium high heat, add onion and salt and lightly brown the onions  Рaround 10 minutes
  3. Add strained Tomato sauce and boil covered for 10 minutes
  4. Remove cover reducing heat to low for about 35 minutes.
  5. Add basal, garlic, pepper and continue over low heat until sauce has reduced to the thickness you would like. I added about another 30 minutes or so.
Dough and Sauce

Dough and Sauce

Ingredients for Pizza Dough

  • 1 package active dry yeast
  • 1 cup warm water (105¬į F to 115¬įF)
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup cornmeal plus a dash extra for the pizza pan
  • 2 1/4 to 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • Your toppings

Build the pizza from the dough up

  1. Dissolve yeast in warm water in warmed mixer bowl
  2. Add salt, olive oil, 1/4 cup cornmeal and 2 1/4 cups flour
  3. Attach bowl and dough hook to mixer
  4. Turn to Speed 2 and mix about 1 minute
  5. Add remaining flour, 1/2 cup at a time, and mix about 3 minutes. The dough should clean sides of bowl during this time and then start to ride up the hook. Please note humidity and temperature can have a huge impact on how the dough will perform. Your dough may be too sticky or too dry so add a table spoon of water or flour at a time to get the proper behavior as described.
  6. Place dough in greased bowl, turning to grease all sides of dough ball.
  7. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise in warm place, free from draft, about 1 to 1 1/2 hour. I put mine in a cold oven.
  8. Preheat oven to 450 F – Don’t forget to remove the dough! he he.
  9. Punch dough down, yes with your fist!
  10. Brush 14″ pizza pan with oil. Sprinkle with cornmeal. I use a cast iron pizza pan and this recipe reflects that.
  11. Roll dough out to a disc on a floured surface about and inch or two larger then the size of the pizza pan. I make two pizzas with this recipe. One small personal pizza and the larger one. Just cut of a bit of dough for the smaller pizza.
  12. Place on pizza pan and form a ridge around edge of the dough
  13. Add toppings
  14. Heat pan on stove until you see a bit of steam being release from below the dough
  15. Bake at 450¬įF for 10-15 minutes or until cheese is just golden brown
  16. Let rest for one minute then slice and enjoy!

The test taste results: Bowing down on the floor, I am not worthy. This is so good! Yum! wait I need to test it again. Yum! Wait one more time just in case. Yum!!!

Top me!

Top me!

Avocado with Fried Egg

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Avocado with fried egg is a great combination on a sandwich and this is the first time I have ever tried this.  This is a simple meal and a very satisfying! I will be making this again.

Ingredients

  • Fresh buns – sliced – I used large homemade buns
  • Provolone cheese
  • Deli Ham – sliced thin
  • 1 tablespoon of Butter
  • Egg
  • Avocado – sliced
  • Tomato – sliced if desired
  • Hot Sauce – if desired
  • Fresh ground pepper

Build it

  1. Warm the ham in a pan for about 10 seconds each side
  2. Add butter to pan wait for it to melt then add the egg. While the egg is cooking spoon the melted butter from the pan on top of the egg until done
  3. Add buns to same pan to toast and warm slightly
  4. To build the sandwich put bottom half of bun on plate followed by the cheese, ham, egg, sliced avocado, pepper. Optionally you can add the tomato and or hot sauce.
  5. Slice if to big then eat!

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Enchilada Lasagna Beef and Veggies

So Good!

So Good!

An enchilada that is not an enchilada but a cross between an enchilada and lasagna, yes its possible and better yet very tasty.

I wanted to get out of my recent repeat meal cycle and as a result I came up with this meal. Yes the meat and veggie part of the meal is similar to a recipe I came up with before but does not taste the same when combined like this.

Oh and this tastes great leftover the next day!

Ingredients 

  • 1 can of Las Palmas¬†Enchilada Sauce
  • 8 Corn Tortillas (or however many fit your baking dish)
  • 1 cup – Cooked White Rice
  • 1 pound of Lean Ground Beef
  • 1 Green Bell Pepper – chopped
  • 1 Yellow onion – chopped
  • 2 Garlic cloves – diced
  • dash of Salt
  • 1 can of Black beans – drained
  • 2 bricks of Cheddar Cheese – shredded
  • Cooking spray
  • 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil

Cook it, build it, Cook it , Eat it 

  1. Preheat oven to 350 F
  2. Add vegetable oil and let heat then add green pepper then onion to medium high heated skillet and cook for about 3 minutes or until they just start to turn brown
  3. Add ground beef to skillet brown and crumble
  4. Add Black beans, garlic and dash of salt and mix well
  5. Heat Las Palmas Enchilada Sauce in microwave for about a minute. Put this in a container with a large opening as you will be dipping the corn tortillas into the container
  6. Spray baking dish with cooking spray
  7. Now do the building and cook it:
  8. Dip 2 tortillas into the Enchilada Sauce and place the tortillas on the bottom of the baking dish
  9. Add a portion of the meat veggie mixture in an even layer then top with cheese then two more dipped tortillas
  10. Add a layer of white rice then cheese and yes two more dipped tortillas
  11. Once again add a portion of the meat veggie mixture in an even layer then top with cheese then two more dipped tortillas
  12.  Pour sauce into baking dish carefully covering your stack of goodness
  13. Top with cheese
  14. Cover the baking dish in aluminum foil and bake for 20 minutes
  15. Remove foil and broil until cheese is bubbly and a golden brown
  16. Let cool in baking dish for a few minutes before cutting and serving
This is the sauce I used. It does say mild on the can but I would say this is medium.

This is the sauce I used. It does say mild on the can but I would say this is medium.

The very first layer

The very first layer

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We have a layer of tortillas, meat and veggie mix, cheese, tortillas, rice, cheese, tortilla, meat and veggie mix, and cheese

Ready for the oven

I added another layer of tortillas, the sauce and cheese. Now it’s ready for the oven!

Cooling and waiting to be cut and served

Cooling and waiting to be cut and served

Rogan Josh – the fast and easy way

Sometimes you just find a step saver product that makes things easy and tastes great too. I found that for a Rogan Josh dish and that great product is shown in the picture below with chicken breast cut into bite size pieces.

To prepare the meal you cut 1 pound of chicken breasts into bite size pieces, brown the chicken, simmer the chicken in the sauce for 15 minutes. Not much too it. Of course you should serve this on a bed of white rice (not that minute kind).

To step things up a bit I did brown the chicken in a cast iron skillet with olive oil not that I would do it any different.

Cut the chicken, brown the chicken, simmer the chicken in the sauce.

Cut the chicken, brown the chicken, simmer the chicken in the sauce.

Simmer time

Simmer time

Time to eat!

Time to eat!

BBQ Chicken Onion Bacon Pizza

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This pizza is so good you will have to make it again and will not be able to stop at eating two pieces. I mean this is REALLY GOOD! I would not change a thing.

If you try this let me know what you think. This was a huge hit in my house. Plus it was a great use of leftovers.

Ingredients – for a 12 inch pizza

  • Pizza dough – homemade or store bought. I went with homemade using my bread machine to kick things off
  • 5 small BBQ Chicken thighs – cooked and chopped. I used my leftovers that I cooked on the gill. I grilled them four minutes per side, brushed with BBQ sauce on each side cooking an additional 30 seconds each side
  • 1/4 cup – Sweet Baby Rays BBQ sauce – enough to just coat the pizza
  • 1 Onion sliced into rings then sliced in half
  • 3 slices of cooked bacon – chopped
  • 1 cup of grated white cheeses blend – just enough to coat the top of the pizza
  • Dash of Oregano to garnish
Your onions should look like this.

Your onions should look like this.

Everything but the cheese.

Everything but the cheese.

Build it and they will eat it!

  1. Prepare pizza dough
  2. Preheat oven to 450 F
  3. Caramelize the onion
  4. Top the pizza dough with BBQ sauce (see picture below)
  5. Top the pizza with the onion, chicken, bacon and cheeses
  6. Bake for 10 minutes or until the cheese in golden brown
  7. Let cool for 5 minutes before slicing
  8. See if you can only eat two pieces!
Top with BBQ sauce

Top with BBQ sauce

I have BBQ sauce, I have chicken, I have onion, I have bacon.

I have BBQ sauce, I have chicken, I have onion, I have bacon.

I am cheesy and ready to be baked!

I am cheesy and ready to be baked!

Waiting to be sliced

Waiting to be sliced

still waiting to be sliced

still waiting to be sliced

Chicken Asparagus Bacon Crunchy Wrap

Crunchy and tasty

Crunchy and tasty

One recent late night this recipe came to me. I am not sure why it came to me but it does not matter now I just had to give it a try.  It turned out just as I expected it to and that would be a crunchy not overpowering taste but satisfying to the taste buds.

Ingredients – for 6 wraps

  • 2 Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts
  • 6 Asparagus – uncooked and be sure to cut off about a 1/2 unch from the bottom of the spear
  • 1/2 Cup Parmesan cheese – shredded
  • 3 Bacon slices cooked – slice the bacon length wise
  • 6 Flour tortillas
  • 1/4 cup of vegetable oil
  • a few tablespoons of finely grated¬†Parmesan cheese
  • 2 tablespoons ¬†– Balsamic vinegar

Top it, Wrap it, Cook it

  1. Preheat oven to 350 F
  2. Cook chicken in a skillet heated to medium high for about 4 minutes per side – you might want to add a dash of salt to each piece of chicken
  3. Cut the Chicken into strips then cook an additional minute or two turning to brown all sides
  4. Add oil to a plate or other shallow dish
  5. Heat stack of tortillas in the microwave for about 45 seconds
  6. Using tongs pick up one tortilla at a time and coat both side with oil. Allow oil to drip from the tortilla
  7. Place tortilla on a flat surface then add  shredded Parmesan cheese, bacon and finally chicken.
  8. Just roll this thing up and place it seem side down on a baking sheet. Repeat until done.
  9. Bake in oven for about 20 minutes until the tortillas are hard and a bit brown
  10. Plate a serving topping with a splash of  Balsamic vinegar and a dash of grated Parmesan cheese
  11. Eat!
Just before we wrap

Just before we wrap

I added a side of Broccoli florets that had a splash of  Balsamic vinegar, splash olive oil, salt and pepper. I put this in a shallow baking dish adding it to the oven with the wraps.

Before the cook

Before the cook

Having fun with Quesadillas oh and a side of homemade baked tortilla chips!

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Fun with Quesadillas!

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Add the chips too!

With Cinco de Mayo coming up and great food sales what better way to celebrate and have fun with food by making Quesadillas and tortilla chips! Yes I know Quesadillas are easy to make but they still taste good and the real fun part is coming up with your own creation. I am going all out here not just cheese but a blend of different ingredients some even leftovers.

I also made some homemade tortilla chips and will start with those first. The homemade baked tortilla chips are very easy to make and taste so much better then store bought.

The making of a chip

The making of a chip

Ingredients for Tortilla Chips

  • Tortillas – flour or corn or both – I went with both
  • Vegetable oil – small bowl enough to dip a cut tortilla into
  • Lime juice – from a fresh squeezed lime
  • Kosher salt

Baked Tortilla Chips Steps

  1. Preheat oven to 400 F
  2. Cut a stack of tortillas with a pizza cutting into well pizza looking slices
  3. Combine the oil and Lime juice blend well
  4. Using tongs dip each tortilla slice into the oil lime blend making sure the blend runs off the slice. You don’t want it to oily
  5. Place each oil lime coated pre-tortilla chip in a single layer on a baking sheet then put a dash of salt on each chip
  6. Cook for 7 minutes but check after 5 minutes. You are looking for these to brown just a bit and maybe even bubble a bit. Once you learn your oven you should be good to go without watching it. Mine was 7 minutes.
  7. Once done place on a plate and let cool for a bit. The chips will become more crunchy as the cool.
  8. Top then, eat them, enjoy them!

Moving on to the making the Quesadillas you need to decide what you want in them. I decided to go with the ingredients below but not all in one Quesadilla! I put out all the ingredients and have people decide what they want. It only takes a minute to build and a few minutes to warm up/cook.

What do YOU want in your

What do YOU want in your Quesadilla?

Ingredients for your Quesadilla – pick one pick all it’s up to you

Build your Quesadilla!

  1. Place cheese on half a tortilla
  2. On the same half add a couple of table spoons of select ingredients from above. Be creative here and mix it up!
  3. Top with cheese – yes on the same half. The cheese will help it stick together
  4. Fold over the empty side an add to a medium high heat skillet for a few minutes each side
  5. Remove from skillet once the cheese is melted and the tortilla is slightly brown
  6. Wait a few minutes for the Quesadilla to cool before cutting with a pizza cutter
  7. You can top them, dip them or just dive in and eat them. These are so good!
In the skillet waiting for side one to melt the cheese and tortilla to slightly brown

In the skillet waiting for side one to melt the cheese and tortilla to slightly brown

Burrito time – with grilled Steak!

Enlarged to show texture

Enlarged to show texture

When I want a Burrito I want a Burrito! There was a great sale on Sirloin steak at the store and it’s too cold outside for the gill so that means it’s steak burrito time! You can put whatever you want in a burrito so be creative. I do recommend if you use rice do not use the minute kind. If you use the rice that takes longer you will be rewarded in taste and texture.

Ingredients – for two large Burrito

  • Guacamole – see my recipe¬†Homemade Baked Taquitos and Guacamole
  • Burrito sized flour tortillas
  • Yellow onion – sliced (this ones for grilling)
  • Sirloin Steak – season with a dash of salt and pepper
  • 1 cup of pinto beans – cooked and drained
  • 1 cup of Colby cheese – shredded
  • Tomato – seeded and diced
  • Yellow onion – diced
  • 2 cups White Rice – cooked – the real stuff please none of that minute kind

Steps before you eat it

  1. Start cooking the rice, this can take a while
  2. Add diced tomato and diced yellow onion to a bowl and blend
  3. Grill the sliced onion in a skillet on medium high heat then remove and place on a serving dish
  4. Add steak to the skillet and cook until desired pinkness – me I went with 5 minutes per side. Remove and let rest on a cutting board for about 5 minutes then cut into bite size pieces
  5. Heat your clean skillet
  6. Place a tortilla on a flat surface then add these ingredients in the following order: Cheese->Rice -> Steak -> Beans -> Tomato and Onion bend -> Cheese
  7. Now fold it up! Fold the sides in then role up tightly until completely sealed
  8. Carefully transfer to your heated skillet (seem side down first) and lightly brown one side for about 30 or so then flip and repeat
  9. Move to a plate and slice. You can add the Guacamole and sour cream to the plate as well for dipping

Now you can eat it!