Monthly Archives: March 2012

Scrumtious Meatballs in Marinara over saute’d Kale

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I love meatballs. Pretty much any and every kind. When I get a craving for some… well, for anything actually.. I have to make it. The Man doesn’t really like meatballs.. uhhhh. WHAT??? but he loved these, and they were also 5 year old approved by the little man ๐Ÿ˜‰ ย They were so light and fluffy and scrumptious!

I know the ‘correct’ way would be to serve these over a beautiful bed of angel hair pasta, but I’m the carb nazi, and pasta is the devil, so I had mine on a lovely bed of saute’d kale. Mmmmmm.. delish! But any pasta would work, pick your poison ๐Ÿ™‚

I make my meat balls the same way I make my hamburgers. I remember this mix from when I was a little kid and it’s how my Mom made them. Don’t get no betta ๐Ÿ˜‰

MEATBALLS

1 lb lean ground beef (I use 93/7)

salt, black pepper, red pepper, onion powder, garlic powder ( about, ehh 1 tsp salt and 1/2 tsp of others, I guess) I don’t measure, so bear with me ๐Ÿ˜‰ / or a couple-few shakes of Tony’s

1 egg

1/4 c milk

1 TBSP Worchestershire Sauce

1/2 c bread crumbs

1 TBSP dried parsley

*(These measurements are all guesstimations.. but pretty close ๐Ÿ˜‰ )

Looking pretty gnarly, right?

Mix it all up real good and shape into desired size meat ball. I guess mine were inch and a half or so, whatever that means, haha.

I put them all in a baking pan, and cooked them at 350′ for a good 20-25 minutes till they looked pretty much 3/4 of the way cooked, turning them once.

I use a jarred Ragu, Mama’s Special Garden sauce, that I just love the flavor of, but use whichever Spaghetti sauce you prefer. Of course I doctor it up and make it “mine” with onion, bell pepper and garlic…. cause what DON’T I cook with those 3?! ๐Ÿ˜‰ I had mine simmering while the meatballs were in the oven. Add cooked balls to sauce of choice, and simmer for another 15 minutes or so, until they are cooked through and saucealicious.

Serve over pasta of choice, topped withย Parmesanย cheese and a slice of garlic bread. This was absolutely delectable on top of kale, and even better the next day… Isn’t everything? ๐Ÿ˜‰

Crockpot Sticky Chicken

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Who’s a crockpotting?? ย THIS girl

Not something that I’ve done very often, but it seems to have made its way into my kitchen TWICE, in the past week! ย Like I said before, I like to stir, add to, ย taste, peek and tweak, so I normally simmer for hours on the stove. I do like the idea of the crockpot, and how all the flavors gloriously meld together, and the meat is fall apart tender. My kinda stuff, right there!

I saw this recipe on Pinterest, and it looked a bit on the scrumptious side, so I figured I’d give it a try.

This concoction came out sweet, sticky, a lil bit sour and next time…. Will be spicier (posssibly a TBSP of Sriracha added to the mix) . I’ll dare to compare it to chicken on a stick from the Chinese buffet…. Except with no stick…. And more sauce, but you get the idea ๐Ÿ˜‰

Honey chicken

1lb. Bonless skinless chicken thighs (trimmed of fat)
Salt, pepper, red pepper
8oz honey
1/4 c ketchup
1/2 c low sodium soy sauce
1 Tbsp veg oil
1 small onion (thinly sliced half moons)
1 clove garlic (minced)
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
2 tsp cornstarch
4 tsp cold water
Scallions for garnish

Trim thighs of all visible fat, that you can get to. This is the first time I’ve used thighs ย and I’ll be playing around with them to perfect my “handling technique” ๐Ÿ˜‰

Season both sides of chicken with salt, black pepper and red pepper. Place into crockpot.

Mix together in medium bowl.. Honey, ketchup, soy sauce, and oil. Add to chicken.

Thinly slice onion and mince garlic. Add to chicken and sauce.

Give it a good stir and cook on Low for 3-4 hours or High for 1 1/2 -2 1/2 hours. I went a full 2 1/2 hours on high and I think it was perfect.

When cooking time is up, remove chicken from pot and set aside.

Mix cornstartch with COLD water. (you ALWAYS want the water to be cold when mixing cornstartch, so it doesn’t clump. If you add dry cornstartch to hot liquids….. well let’s just say that you don’t want white gelatinous balls in your sauce ๐Ÿ˜‰ )

Sauce will start to thicken. ย Chop, shred, tear chicken and add it back to pot and coat with sauce.

Serve over fluffy white rice, with an eggroll and roasted asparagus, if you so desire ๐Ÿ™‚

We be Wokin’

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So, the Man of the house knows me all too well. This Valentine’s Day, he gave me kitchen stuffz… Uh, Hell to the Yeah! Technically what he got me was an immersion blender (sweeeet) Silicone spatulas, tongs, and brush (suh-weeeet), and a crock-pot (suuhh– oh wait).

What he didn’t realize was that I already had one, all tucked away in the back of a cabinet, and never used. I’ve had it for about 3 years now… I was all cool with going to Le Gourmet Chef the next day to return it, then I would able to pick out a couple of things that I had been missing in my kitchen, but my 5 year old was so upset!! They had planned (beautifully, for two boys, I might add) to surprise me with the gifts, and had even hidden the crock-pot in the oven. Little man thought that I didn’t like it, and he didn’t get why we had to return it.. or not keep it just for it to collect dust, next to the other one I had, haha.

As much as I realize how wonderful a crock pot CAN be… I like to stand over the stove, and stir, and adjust flavors. So maybe I’ll try out the crock pot soon, hopefully before another 3 years goes by ๐Ÿ˜‰

Sooooooo, before I got off on the crock pot tangent, I WAS telling a story ๐Ÿ˜‰ ย So the next day we went to Le Gourmet Chef, and I really needed a 3 qt saucepan, so I gets me a nice one. The Man had also mentioned a Wok, and I was super stoked. Since I’m not eating carbs at all, it was perfect, because I always have fresh veggies and protein on hand, and I’ve had a craving for any kind of ethnic cuisine lately.

That Friday, I stopped on the way home to get stir fry veggies- Broccoli, carrots, celery, bell peppers, onions, snow peas, baby corn, garlic and ginger… and some new condiments, because I AM the condiment queen…

no really

I AM… I probably have no less than 10 types of mustard in my fridge. You never know which kind you’ll have a hankering for ๐Ÿ™‚

Aaaaanyway ๐Ÿ˜‰ I then proceeded to mise en placing.. AKA – Chopping all of the everything… like a mad woman.

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Once I had everything ready (essential for stir frying, since you really can’t walk away) the cooking began.

I cooked the chicken first, just until I couldn’t see any more pink, then removed it from the wok and started with my veggies. Add them according to the time they will take to cook, this particular time it was carrots and broccoli up to bat, first. When those were about halfway done I slowly added the rest, all while constantly stirring. When veggies are still a crisp tender, add the chicken back to the wok, and cook through. This is when I added the sauce I had made…. Fresh minced garlic and ginger, Soy Sauce, Hoisin, Sweet Chili Sauce (LOVE this stuff), and Siracha. Mix it all up, pour it in, stir to coat everything, and VOILA!

Tasty Stuff, right there! Serve over rice with an eggroll, The hubs had 2 GIANT bowls! I now make a stir fry of some kind at least 2 nights a week. I made shrimp for myself last night and I’m doing Beef and Broccoli tonight. You can use any variation of vegetables and proteins, mix up your own sauce to fit your taste. Quick, Easy, and best of all Healthy ๐Ÿ™‚

Till next time…

~Marie

Dangerously good pulled pork

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Dangerous, delicious, damned near sinful!! This pork will keep you coming back for more, or eat your fill before you even make your plate. I’m telling you, I couldn’t keep my hands off of this thing when it came out of the oven. I had to put it in the dining room to cool, so I wouldn’t eat all the bark :p

As good as the pork is on its own, the sauce is what makes it, seriously, you could bottle it….. Or dip anything and everything in it. It’s tangy, sweet, spicy awesomeness. Seriously, you’ll want to drink this stuff, I’d strongly advise against it, but I want to as well, so no harm no foul ๐Ÿ˜‰

The hubster loves this, as do I. It feeds a lot, so it’s great for parties, football games, fight nights, or just a lazy Sunday (so that you can keep the leftovers for yourselves ๐Ÿ˜‰ )

Recipe___

PORK

1 – 5-7lb pork shoulder or boston butt roast (bone in and trimmed)

DRY RUB

Paprika, garlic powder, dry mustard, brown sugar, salt, red pepper

SAUCE

Apple cider vinegar, brown mustard, ketchup, brown sugar, salt, red pepper, black pepper, minced garlic

COLE SLAW

shredded cabbage, mayo (I use Karft w/oilive oil Reduced fat) , apple cider vinegar or lemon juice, sugar (splenda), salt

THIS IS HOW WE DO IT..

Mix together dry rub and season meat liberally. Cover with plastic wrap, and let sit in refrigerator for at least an hour and up to overnight. When ready to start cooking, remove from fridge about 30 mins before putting it in the oven to let it come up to temp a bit. Preheat oven to 300′ F, and place pork roast in roasting pan. ( I don’t use any racks or foil, because I trim the meat very well before seasoning, and I want the little bit of yummy bits on the bottom of the pan to add to my sauce). Once oven is ready, place pork in oven and forget about it for a good 5 hours, depending on the size. Cook until meat thermometer reads 170′ F

While the pork is roasting, mix together BBQ sauce ingredients in small saucepan. Stir and heat over medium low, until all combined and sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat and let sit until pork is done.

Remove pork from roasting pan and onto a large plate or cutting boards for 10-15 minutes, and try not to eat all the bark ๐Ÿ˜‰

place roasting pan over medium heat stove burner, and de-glaze the porky goodness mountain of flavor drippings, on the bottom of the pan with 3/4c. water. scrape bits with wooden spoon and reduce by half. Add reduced flavortown to BBQ sauce

Your pork should now be cool enough to handle. Remove the bone, and transfer pork to a large bowl. It’s should literally fall apart in your hands ( which gives you a good excuse to taste it ๐Ÿ˜‰ ) take two forks and start pulling the meat in opposite directions

Once you’ve got all the larger pieces shredded, pour half of the sauce into the meat and give it a good mix, and shred some more

Serve a mound of this glorious masterpiece on a soft bun with coleslaw and extra sauce, on top of a nice bed of coleslaw with no bun (my preference), or eat it right out of the bowl ๐Ÿ˜‰