Friday, June 3, 2011

Italian Meatballs


1lb ground veal
1lb ground lamb
1lb ground beef 85/15
1/3c tomato paste
2 large eggs
1 heaping cup fresh bread crumbs
1T granulated garlic
1T granulated onion
1T black pepper
1 heaping T kosher salt
1 heaping T dried herbs de province
2T dried basil
Generous shake of cayenne pepper
1t ground fenugreek seed

Bring meat and eggs to room temp for half an hour before preparing, and preheat oven to 400°F.

Mix together all ingredients in a large bowl until combined. Using a small ice cream scoop, shape into 1” balls and evenly space on a cookie sheet. You will most likely need to use two cookie sheets to fit all of the meatballs.

Bake at 400°F for 15 minutes, then turn off the oven and let the meatballs rest for another 15 minutes inside the hot oven.

Can be cooked in a sauce at this point or frozen – let cool completely and then put into the freezer on a cookie sheet for one hour to firm up. Transfer to a gallon baggie and keep frozen until use.

Veggie Goulash

Veggie Goulash

1 large sweet potato, peeled and cut into ¼” cubes
1 large sweet yellow onion, ¼” dice
2 Anaheim peppers, seeded and sliced 1/8” thick
15-20 sweet baby bell peppers, seeded and sliced 1/8” thick
1lb sliced button mushrooms
1qt canned tomatoes, pureed
1 can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
1/3 cup tomato paste
1 bottle of pale ale (Rahr Stormcloud)
1T ground black pepper
2T kosher salt
2T granulated garlic
1T dried basil
Generous shake of cayenne pepper
Extra virgin olive oil

Coat the bottom of a large Dutch oven with olive oil and heat over medium-medium high heat. Add diced sweet potato and onion and sauté for 2 minutes. Add tomato paste and seasonings and sauté for another 3 minutes, stirring frequently. You want the mixture to begin to brown.

Deglaze the pan by adding about half of the bottle of beer and scraping the goodies from the bottom of the pan. Stir, and add in all of the peppers. Cook for another 3-4 minutes then add the mushrooms.

Deglaze the pan again with about ½ of what’s left in the beer bottle, then add the tomatoes and beans. Continue cooking over medium heat for 15 minutes, stirring frequently as it begins to thicken.

At this point you can add meatballs, mozzarella cheese, etc.

Sunday, January 23, 2011


Simple title, amazing creation. These things are so awesome they don’t need a fancy name. I finally got a waffle iron that I’ve been wanting forever and then immediately had my wisdom teeth pulled so didn’t get it put it to good use – until a couple days ago. Waffles are soft, right?

Using Annie’s WIG recipe as a guide and the ingredients I had on hand these babies were born. This morning I made over a dozen of them for my family and let’s just say there wasn’t a lot of talking going on at the breakfast table. :-)


1 cup all-purpose flour
½ cup whole wheat flour
1 heaping tsp. baking powder
½ tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
1 heaping tsp. sugar
1 cup skim milk
2 – 6oz containers vanilla yogurt (I used the Greek yogurt, honey vanilla flavor, but Yoplait works too)
½ cup vegetable oil
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 ½ tsp. vanilla extract
1/3 cup honey

In a large bowl, combine the dry ingredients and stir to combine. Set aside.

In a separate bowl, combine your wet ingredients and whisk until smooth. Incorporate into your dry ingredients and stir until there are no lumps. Let rest at room temperature for 30 minutes.

Preheat your waffle iron while the batter rests. When it’s time to cook, spray the iron lightly with cooking spray and ladle approximately 1/3-1/2 cup batter in each well, depending on the size of the iron. Allow to cook, without opening the lid, for about 3-5 minutes or until the steam starts to subside. Re-spray each time you start.

Keep waffles warm in the microwave or in a 200°F oven. Serve warm with syrup.

Enjoy! KC

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Chicken & Tomato Soup

Sunday night after we were finished trick-or-treating, we decided to head over to Chili’s for a quick dinner. There was a new soup on the menu that sort of jumped out to me and I ordered a cup with my meal. That was my first mistake. When the soup arrived I was immediately taken by the aroma, and as soon as I took the first sip Brent could tell I was in love! We fought over the remainder of the soup and our waiter was kind enough to bring us a second cup on the house. I wrote down the ingredients from the menu and knew I had to recreate it.

Brent says this is better than the original, but I think it’s pretty dang close – if not slightly different. For my version there is more avocado and a slight sprinkle of cheddar cheese which I think brings the whole thing together. I urge you to try this soon, you won’t be disappointed!!

Chicken & Tomato Soup
Yield: 8 servings

 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
1 yellow onion, small dice
¼ cup minced fresh garlic
4oz can chopped green chilies
10oz can Mexican Rotel with Lime & Cilantro
14.5oz can fire roasted tomatoes
49.5oz + 32oz chicken broth
2 cups cooked rice (we used brown)
1 Tbsp. Kosher salt
½ tsp. black pepper
1 bunch cilantro, chopped
Fresh avocado, cubed
Lime wedges
Shredded cheddar cheese

Using a mandolin slicer, slice your chicken breasts very thin (or use a knife). Heat a large stockpot over medium, medium-high heat and drizzle generously with EVOO. Once heated, toss in your onion and sauté for 3 minutes, stirring frequently. Add in your chicken, salt and pepper and continue to cook for another 3 minutes then add your garlic and cook for 2 more minutes, stirring often. To the pan add your green chilies, tomatoes, Rotel, cooked rice and chicken broth. Simmer for 30 minutes over medium-low heat.

Just before serving, add in your chopped cilantro. To serve, place approximately half of an avocado, cubed, in the bottom of your soup bowl and top with ¼ cup shredded cheddar cheese. Ladle soup over that and top with a generous squeeze of lime juice.

Enjoy! KC

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Vegetable Lasagna

As I’ve mentioned many times, lasagna is my absolute favorite food. All of its cheesy, meaty, tomato-y goodness – mmm! Growing up my standard birthday dinner consisted of my Mama’s homemade lasagna, Caesar salad and cheesecake.

Since I began cooking on my own I’ve never made lasagna the same way more than once. I throw together whatever I have on hand and make it work. Brent had asked for vegetable lasagna last weekend and the very first thing we saw as we entered Central Market was these one-balled squash. I hadn’t seen anything like them before and I was completely giddy to make this lasagna with them. They are 3-4 inches in diameter and look like a small pumpkin. Maybe next time I find them I’ll try squash chips with them.

Like most things I make, this recipe is completely versatile. You could use whatever veggies you had on hand and I think especially eggplant would be great.

Vegetable Lasagna
Yield: 12 servings

1lb whole wheat lasagna noodles, cooked according to package directions
2 one-balled squash (or 4 regular squash)
1 Vidalia onion
10oz baby spinach
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 ½ cup tomato sauce (I used leftovers from the meatball recipe)
16oz ricotta cheese
Zest and juice from ½ a lemon
1 Tbsp. Kosher salt
2 tsp. black pepper
1 Tbsp. Italian seasoning
2 cups grated Italian cheese blend
2 cups grated mozzarella cheese
½ cup grated parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 375°F. Spray a 9”x13” lasagna pan with cooking spray and set to the side.

Using a mandolin slicer with a thin setting, slice your squash (conversely use a knife and slice 1/16thick). Then switch to the ultra thin blade and slice your onion (or, using a knife, slice paper thin).

In a large skillet heated to medium-high heat and drizzled with EVOO, sauté your onion and garlic for 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Add in your spinach, cover and let steam for 2 minutes. Remove lid, stir, recover and remove from heat. Let sit about 5 minutes or until spinach has wilted.

In a large mixing bowl, combine your ricotta cheese, lemon zest & juice, salt & pepper and Italian seasoning. Stir to incorporate. Add in 2 cups grated Italian cheese blend and stir to combine.

To begin layering your lasagna, ladle ¼ of your tomato sauce on the bottom of the pan, and top with noodles to cover – approximately 3. Drop 1/3 of your ricotta cheese mixture on top of noodles and spread as best you can. Top with 1/3 of your squash slices, and then 1/3 of your spinach and onion mixture. Drizzle another ¼ of your tomato sauce over the spinach and onion. Repeat the layers two more times, ending with tomato sauce. Top with 2 cups grated mozzarella cheese and ¼ cup grated parmesan cheese.

Bake in preheated oven on a cookie sheet for 45 minutes, or until lasagna is bubbly and cheeses have browned. Remove from oven and allow to cool on a cooling rack for 20 minutes before serving.

Enjoy! KC

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Meatballs in Tomato Sauce

Remember how I mentioned that I LOVE Italian food? Well, next to lasagna, meatballs are my favorite. You could forgo the pasta as long as you have the meatballs swimming in a perfect red sauce.

Brent has never been a big fan of meatballs but since eating these he has requested them again for next week already, so that’s really saying something. These were born from my watching “Food Feuds” on Food Network and having a massive craving for meatballs while heading to eat sushi. All through dinner I was bouncing ideas off of Brent and writing ingredients in my iPhone. Needless to say we made an early trip to Central Market the next day.

This recipe can be quick, or it can take an entire day, depending on how much time you’re willing to spend. I tasted it both ways – eating as soon as they were finished, and eating them the next day, and we both preferred them on day two as they’d absorbed the flavor of the sauce.

Yield: 15-16 meatballs

1lb ground lamb
1lb ground veal
½ cup fresh seasoned breadcrumbs
2 Tbsp. Italian seasoning
1 tsp. onion powder
1 Tbsp. granulated garlic
1 Tbsp. Kosher salt
Pinch black pepper
½ cup fresh grated parmesan cheese
Simmering tomato sauce (recipe below)

Combine all ingredients in a large mixing bowl and work with your hands until incorporated.

Heat a large skillet over medium high heat and add just enough vegetable oil to coat the bottom. Fry your meatballs on each side just until browned, then transfer to your simmering tomato sauce. Cover, and cook over medium-low heat for one hour.

You may eat the meatballs after they’ve cooked for the hour, however by letting them cool and then refrigerating them overnight they will absorb the flavors of the sauce. Reheat the next day and serve over spaghetti.

Tomato Sauce
1-28oz can pureed crushed tomatoes
1-28oz can tomato sauce
5 small carrots, diced
5 cloves garlic
1 cup diced red onion
1 cup fresh basil leaves
1 Tbsp. granulated sugar
Salt & pepper to taste

Sauté your carrots and onions in EVOO over medium high heat for 3-4 minutes. Add in your garlic and basil and cook 1 minute. Pour in your tomatoes, salt and pepper, cover and simmer for 1 hour over medium-low heat. Remove from heat and puree, then return to the pan.

Enjoy! KC

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Pot Roast

Pot roast falls into the category of “Traditional Sunday Dinners.” At least that was the case before the invention of the Crock Pot. Now you can have a pot roast any day of the week, one that practically cooks itself while you’re away at work (or shopping, depending on the day!)

This recipe lends itself well to variations – you can use beef or pork and any root vegetables you like. We’ve always used the classic potato/carrot/onion combination and go a little heavy on the carrots – that’s my favorite part.

Depending on where you buy groceries, it’s always a good idea to buy a couple roasts when they go on sale during the cool months and keep them frozen. That way, when you get a hankering for a Sunday dinner on Tuesday, it’s only a day away in the Crock Pot.

Pot Roast
Yield: 6 servings

2-3lb boneless roast
½ T. granulated garlic
1 tsp. dried oregano
1 T. Kosher salt
½ T. black pepper
5 large carrots, 1” chop
2 large russet baker potatoes, 1” cube
1 sweet yellow onion, 1” chop
½ cup beef stock
1 bay leaf

Turn your Crock Pot to high heat and put the lid on it to heat while you chop your veggies.

Stir together your dry ingredients in a small bowl and then rub generously over the roast, reserving any unused seasonings. In a skillet over high heat, drizzle a bit of EVOO and sear your pot roast on all sides to seal in the juices. Remove from pan and put immediately into heated Crock Pot. Cover with your chopped veggies, sprinkle leftover seasonings and pour over your beef broth. Top with a bay leaf and cover.

Turn heat to low and cook for 6-8 hours, or until potatoes are tender.

If you like your pot roast to have a gravy, simply remove your veggies and roast from the Crock Pot and stir into the juices 1 T. flour dissolve in 2 T. cold water. Stir until thickened, and pour over the finished dish.

Enjoy! KC
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