Monday, August 8, 2016

Pioneer Woman Spaghetti and Meatballs

This is the best spaghetti and meatballs recipe I have ever tried so it totally makes sense that it came from Pioneer Woman. I swear, her recipes are just so great! This recipe actually came from the back of one of her "Charlie" children's books, but I also think it's on her website. The meatballs are moist and flavorful and the sauce it super yummy. We have spaghetti all the time - which is why I have so many spaghetti recipes on my blog - and I think this spaghetti will go in to our regular rotation. I served it with Caesar salad and garlic bread and it was a fabulous dinner.

Pioneer Woman Spaghetti & Meatballs

Meatball Ingredients:
1 1/2 lbs ground beef
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup bread crumbs (about 2 pieces of thick bread processed in a food processor)
1/2 cup grated Parmesan
2 eggs
1/4 teaspoon salt
pepper, to taste
1/4 cup chopped Italian parsley
splash milk

Sauce Ingredients:
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1, 28 oz can whole tomatoes
1, 28 oz can crushed tomatoes
1/4 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
pepper, to taste
1 tablespoon sugar
1/4 cup chopped Italian parsley
8 whole basil leaves, chopped finely

To make meatballs combine meat, garlic, bread crumbs, Parmesan, eggs, salt, pepper, parsley, and a splash of milk. Mix together well. Roll into 1 1/2 inch balls and place on a foil-lined, non-stick sprayed cookie sheet. Bake at 350 for 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a heavy pot. Add onion and cook for a few minutes or until translucent. Add garlic and cook another minute. Pour in whole tomatoes and crushed tomatoes. Add salt, Italian seasoning, pepper, sugar, and parsley. Stir to combine and cook over medium heat for 20 minutes. At this point I used an immersion blender to blend up some of the bigger chunks of tomatoes. Add meatballs and stir gently. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook for 30 minutes, stirring gently a few times during the simmer. Just before serving, stir in finely chopped basil. Serve over cooked spaghetti with grated Parmesan on individual servings.

Monday, August 1, 2016

Chicken Salad for a Crowd

I recently helped out with the food at my good friend's daughter's wedding. They had this chicken salad on croissants and I made two big batches of it. It was so yummy! It's a very simple chicken salad, but that's what makes it so good. You could add in some halved grapes or Craisins for a little sweetness, but just like this it is delicious. Thanks Kimberly for a great recipe!!

Chicken Salad for a Crowd

5 lbs chicken breasts, cooked* and chopped
4 cups diced celery
2 cups chopped green onions
1 cup slivered almonds
2 cups mayonnaise (or more)
salt & pepper, to taste

Combine chopped chicken with celery, green onions, and almonds. Add enough mayonnaise to moistened but not make too mushy. Season with salt and pepper to taste (I used probably 1/2 - 3/4 teaspoon of salt). Serve in croissants or prepared puff pastries.

*To Cook Chicken Breasts:
Place chicken breasts in a 5 quart crockpot and add about 1 cup chicken broth. Cover and cook on high for 4 hours. Remove chicken, cool, and then chop/dice the chicken.

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Kid Friendly Spaghetti Sauce

This recipe is from Lil Luna and it's great!! It really is a kid-friendly spaghetti sauce - my 3 year old loved it! It's flavoring is mild, but it's still really tasty. Just so you know, this recipe is probably a good 6 servings, but I'm going to double it next time because we always want seconds and left-overs of spaghetti. I can definitely see this as our go-to from-scratch spaghetti sauce recipe.

Kid-Friendly Spaghetti Sauce

1 lb ground beef
1, 15 oz can tomato sauce
1, 6 oz can tomato paste
2 cups hot water
2 beef bouillon cubes or 2 teaspoons beef bouillon granuales
2 teaspoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt (a little less if using table salt)
1/2 teaspoon garlic salt
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
pepper, to taste

Brown ground beef in a large deep skillet. Add tomato sauce, tomato paste, hot water, bouillon cubes, sugar, salt, garlic salt, basil, and oregano. Bring to a boil and then turn heat to low and simmer, uncovered, for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Cover and simmer another 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Serve over spaghetti or other pasta with Parmesan cheese on individual servings.


Monday, June 13, 2016

Chicken Gloria Casserole

I didn't realize how blurry this picture was! Oh well. Anywho, this is a fantastic, creamy, chicken and mushroom casserole. I served it over rice, but you could also serve it over pasta or mashed potatoes (YUM). It really was awesome! The chicken turns out so moist and tender. Better yet, it's a casserole with out any condensed soups. I definitely recommend this casserole! I got this recipe from the blog Natasha's Kitchen.

Chicken Gloria Casserole

5 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, but into 1 inch thick strips
salt & pepper
1 cup flour
6 tablespoons avocado (or olive) oil, divided
1 lb mushrooms, sliced (baby bella or button)
1 medium onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
3 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons flour
1 1/2 cups chicken broth
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 cup half & half
1/4 teaspoon dried basil
1/4 teaspoon dried rosemary
1/4 teaspoon dried sage
salt & pepper

Season chicken pieces with salt and pepper. Then dredge chicken pieces in flour. Heat 3 tablespoons oil in a large skillet. Once oil is hot, add chicken and saute on both sides until golden. Work in batches to not over crowd pan. Once chicken is browned (you do not need to cook through) place in a non-stick sprayed 9x13 baking dish.

Wipe down skillet with a paper towel. Add 3 tablespoons oil  and heat. Add mushrooms and onions and saute until soft and golden. Add garlic and cook another minute. Spread this mushroom and onion mixture over the chicken in the baking dish.

Add 3 tablespoons of butter to the skillet and melt. Add flour and whisk until lightly golden, about 2 minutes. Add chicken broth, whisking constantly. Add half & half, basil, rosemary, sage, and salt and pepper to taste. Pour this sauce over the chicken and mushrooms. Cover with foil and bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes. Remove foil and bake another 5 minutes. Serve over rice, pasta, or mashed potatoes.

Monday, June 6, 2016

Indian Butter Chicken

Oh my goodness, this recipe is so good!! I've mentioned my love for butter chicken at Indian restaurants before and now being able to make it at home makes me so happy! This really is a great at-home version. My whole family really loved it too and I have kids ranging in age from 3 to 16 - so don't be afraid of the spice level - it's actually quite mild. The sauce is smooth, creamy, and has such a great mixture of Indian spices. And it's not hard to make! If you make the rice ahead it's certainly a 30 minute meal. I served it over jasmine rice this time with naan on the side. It was a great weeknight meal. Thanks to Mel's Kitchen Cafe for another great Indian recipe.

Indian Butter Chicken

2 tablespoons oil (I used avocado oil, but olive or canola works too)
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
1 jalapeno, seeded and finely chopped
1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 teaspoons garam masala
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon cardamon
1/2 teaspoon coriander
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1, 14.5 oz can chicken broth
1, 6 oz can tomato paste
1/2 cup cream
5 boneless, skinless, chicken breasts, cut into 1 inch cubes
1 teaspoon kosher salt
3 tablespoons butter
hot cooked rice for serving

Heat oil in a large deep skillet. Add onion and jalapeno and saute over medium high heat until the onion is translucent, about 4 minutes. Stir in ginger and garlic and saute another minute. Add in garam masala, chili powder, cardamon, and black pepper. Stir around for about a minute just to cook those spices a little. Remove from heat.

In a blender combine chicken broth and tomato paste and blend until smooth. Pour this mixture into the skillet and put back on the heat. Add cream and bring to a simmer. Add chicken pieces and salt and bring to a boil, turn down heat, and simmer for 15 minutes, until the chicken is cooked through and the sauce has slightly thickened - stirring frequently.

Cut the 3 tablespoons of butter into chunks and stir into the sauce until melted. Serve immediately over rice.

Monday, May 30, 2016

Zuppa's Garden Chowder

I love Zuppa's! Sadly, we don't live near a Zuppa's so I have to make my own copy-cat recipes and I think this recipe is pretty darn close to their garden chowder. My kids all love that soup at Zuppa's and they love this one just as much (even though it has zucchini in it - go figure). It is creamy and full of veggies. SO good! It's very much a summery soup. I served it with shredded cheddar on top and homemade bread on the side and it was a hit. I think my kids wish I would have also made chocolte covered strawberries to serve with it like Zuppa's - maybe next time!

Zuppa's Garden Chowder {Copy Cat}

2 tablespoons oil (avocado, olive, or vegetable oil)
3 small zucchini, diced
2 large tomatoes, diced
1 red bell pepper, diced
1 green bell pepper, diced
1 onion, diced
1 can corn, drained
3 cloves garlic, minced
4 cups chicken stock
6 cups whole milk, divided
½ cup butter
½ cup flour
3 teaspoons chicken bouillon powder
1 teaspoon salt, plus more to taste
1 teaspoon oregano
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
½ teaspoon ground black pepper, or to taste
½ teaspoon onion salt
¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 cup grated parmesan cheese
¼ cup fresh finely chopped parsley (or you can use 2 teaspoons freeze dried/dried)

Heat oil in a large stock pot. Add the diced zucchini, tomatoes, bell peppers, onion, and drained corn. Cook, stirring, until most of the liquid has evaporated and the veggies are just starting to caramelize a little. Add the garlic and cook another minute. Add the 4 cups of chicken stock and 2 cups of the whole milk. Bring to a boil, turn down heat and simmer.

Meanwhile, melt butter in a saucepan. Add flour, whisk and cook for 1-2 minutes. Slowly whisk in the remaining 4 cups of whole milk. Bring to just a simmer, whisking constantly. Stir this mixture into the large stock pot of soup and bring back to a simmer.


Season soup with chicken bouillon, salt, oregano, Italian seasoning, black pepper, onion salt, and cayenne. Stir well. Add the parmesan and chopped parsley. Season to taste with more salt and pepper. Allow to cook and simmer, stirring occasionally, for another 10 minutes. Serve with more grated parmesan or shredded cheddar sprinkled on individual servings if desired.    

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Traditional Beef Stroganoff

Stroganoff is a wonderful comfort food dinner and this is a great traditional recipe. No condensed soups or ground beef in this one. It's tender sliced steak in a creamy mushroom sauce. My family really liked this meal (some of my mushroom haters picked out the mushrooms, but they still liked it!). I got this recipe from The Food Nanny Rescues Dinner cookbook and modified it just slightly. I served it with egg noodles and hot buttered peas and it was delicious!

Traditional Beef Stroganoff

2 tablespoons butter
1/2 medium onion, chopped
2 lbs beef sirloin, cut into thin strips
1 lb mushrooms, sliced
2 cups beef broth (1 can)
1 1/4 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
2 teaspoons beef bouillon granuales or 2 cubes
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
1/8 teaspoon cayenne
1/8 teaspoon pepper
1/2 cup cream
1 1/2 cups sour cream
1/2 tablespoon cornstarch, mixed with 2 tablespoons water
salt and pepper

Melt butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add onions and cook and stir until soft. Add beef and stir and cook unitl browned. Add mushrooms, broth, salt, nutmeg, beef bouillon, basil, cayenne, and pepper. Bring to a boil and immediately decrease heat to low. Simmer for 30 minutes uncovered. Cover and cook on low for 10 minutes. Stir the cream and sour cream into the mixture. Stir in the cornstarch mixed with water and cook for about a minute until thickened. Season with salt and pepper and serve over cooked egg noodles.