Chocolate and a Sweater. Summer 2015.

Ah Summer. I love summer. Sundresses and sandals. Long walks on the beach and picnics. Warm nights with a cool breeze and mosquito bites. Salads and meat on the grill.  This may be true where you are right now. Today, I’m in a sweater and muddy sneakers. I mean, it’s warmer in Alaska than it is here.  What’s up Mother Nature?  Who pissed in your Cheerios this month?  We only get 3 months of summer! Get your shit together and give us some sunshine! The up side of this weather rant? There is no snow.

Good news!! Everyone is moving on to the next grade.  Well, with a little help from summer school for the oldest. Now let the childcare games begin! And may the odds be ever in your favor.  I’m going to start petitioning for year round school. Seriously, I have 6 weeks in the middle of summer break covered.  This year, one week prior to camp, and 3 weeks after camp, I will be frantically looking for childcare.  My sister takes her a lot, which is greatly appreciated, but still there is so much running around.  Selfishly, I’m finally in a gym routine.  Not that I’ve lost a single pound, but still the routine is there.  All the running around mucks it all up!  Who has time for all that?

The. Whining. Stops. Now.  Moving on…

On a much brighter note, I helped photograph a wedding last weekend. It was a beautiful wedding.  Yes, it rained. Luckily, all the outside shots were taken before the heavens opened up!  Editing give or take 800 photos is a lot of work. Creatively, it’s a lot of fun. But time consuming!

5861   5948x2

Since I have about 200 more edits to do, I leave you with this.  If you are experiencing any sort of summer and are looking for an easy ice cream treat, this is it.  If you are in need of a chocolate fix, this is perfect.  Triple Chocolate Brownie Bites. We all need a little chocolate now and again, even if you are on the wagon.  That’s the great thing about these babies!  They are small. And super chocolaty.   The original recipe is from Food Network Magazine. The idea is they resemble Snow Caps that you get at the movies, but you eat them at home while watching movies there. They used donut holes not brownies.  Well, I tried the donut holes, and they didn’t work out so well for me.  The mini brownies worked great!  I was, like always, short on time.  I purchased the already-made-for-you-thank-you-Danny-Wegman mini brownies.  Of course, you can always bake your own using your favorite brownie mix and a mini muffin pan.

Triple Chocolate Brownie Bites

  • 1 package Mini Brownies
  • 1/2 gallon Slow Churned reduced calorie chocolate ice cream
  • 1-12oz package semi sweet chocolate chips
  • Nonpareils, optional
  1. Set the ice cream out at room temperature just to soften (about 10 min)
  2. Cut the brownies in half.  Set in freezer for about 10 minutes, just to set a little.
  3. When the brownies are hardened, and the ice cream is soft, spoon about a tablespoon of ice cream on the bottom half of the brownie. Set the top part of the brownie over the ice cream, making a sandwich.
  4. When all the brownies sammies are finished, set in freezer again to set.
  5. Meanwhile, in a double boiler, melt chocolate chips. (I add a tablespoon of shortening in with the melty chips, it just gives it a shine)
  6. When the chips are melted, take the brownie bites out of the freezer; pour over chocolate sandwiches. Tip: if you set the sandwiches on a cooling rack, set cooling rack in a cookie sheet lined with foil, it makes clean up sooooo much easier.
  7. Sprinkle the nonpareils over the top.  Freeze.  Store in an air tight container in the freezer.

browniebites

 

Maybe if you eat one of these fantastical little babies, you will have a hot flash, and need not worry about a sweater!

 

 

It’s not too late for soup!

Wow! It’s been a long time since I’ve posted! Super sorry about that! So much and yet absolutely nothing has been going on. If that made any sense, you let me know. I know what I was thinking in my head..not sure if it really came out the way it’s intended.

First, let’s get this out of the way.  After weeks and weeks of consistently going to the gym, planning meal after meal, very carefully watching my calories, and carb intake; I have officially lost 7 pounds. All since Friday. All due to a nasty GI virus, that I still have.  Saturday I walked, brace yourself, an entire 935 steps.  All of them from the living room to the bathroom. And now that you know things about me that you really don’t need to know..

Easter here in our crazy house was fantastical! Actually nothing happened. Wait! Yes it did! We made Easter eggs with Kool-Aid. I saw the post floating around Facebook, and thought we’d try that. Had I found it on Pinterest, it would have been a Pinterest fail.  Ok, so not a fail, but certainly not a PAAS coloring experience! The red turned out red, the purple turned gray and everything else dried various shades of orange.

IMG_4608

 

The ol’ man hid plastic eggs for the lil’ monsters.  Yes, even the older 2 liked looking for about 800 plastic eggs in our palatial abode. Of course, I’m kidding. About the palatial abode. Undoubtedly, we will find one in August with a moldy Twix in it.  We don’t go super crazy here at Easter.  Some people go nutty, almost like Christmas!  The kids under our roof get a chocolate bunny, and 1 gift. And a roof. This year they got impostor Fitbits so they can start monitoring their steps and sleep. We are trying so hard to get them on the healthy track!  New mamas: Listen up!!  If you want your kids to have a healthy lifestyle, start ASAP!  Once they develop bad habits, it’s soooooooo difficult to break those habits!  What’s that song?  5-2-1-0 be a healthy hero!  You totally sang the song in your head..admit it!

Since I woke up to snow yesterday morning, and it’s going to be cold for the next week, soup for dinner is still fair game! Seriously, if I had no sense of portion control, I would have eaten the whole pot. It’s a Pillsbury recipe, but I changed things around a little.  It’s delicious. I served this bisque with the Red Lobster cheddar biscuits. It was a perfect combination.  Everyone liked it!  Even the one who likes NOTHING liked it. Only because I made hers without the crab. Apparently, I have a “made to order” kitchen.

Tomato Crab Bisque

  • 1- 32 oz carton Bisque style tomato soup (any tomato soup is fine)
  • 1- 7oz can Chopped green chiles
  • 1 C Whipping cream
  • 1 tsp Seafood Seasoning (from 6 oz container)
  • 1 C  Chopped cooked crabmeat (I used imitation crabmeat)
  1. In large saucepan, heat soup and chiles to boiling over medium heat.  Reduce heat to low.
  2. With a wire whisk, beat in whipping cream and seafood seasoning until blended.
  3. Cook until just hot (do not boil).
  4. Stir in crabmeat.
  5. Ladle soup into bowls or mugs. Garnish with thyme.

tomatobisq

 

 

 

 

 

 

Easy! This week… easy is needed!

I have exactly 20 minutes to get my post up! I’m on a time schedule. I’m trying to stay on a planned schedule, but it’s not going so well this week.   Everything was planned, the gym, blog posts, the menu.  Then the ol’ man’s mom had to have unexpected open heart surgery yesterday. Poor thing ended up with a quadruple bypass. She’s off the ventilator and awake; which is fantastical for just 24 hours after surgery. Ironically, 16 years ago today, my dad died, essentially after the same surgery. It kinda sucked being in the same hospital, the same unit, the same everything.  The good thing, if there is a good thing, is that I was able to give the ol’ man some insight as to what will happen. Like when we saw her right after surgery, she had a little bit of color.  I thought she looked good! You know, good for someone who just had their chest cracked open. My dad looked gray and dead.  The smart ass he is, said “We are Italian, of course she has color!”  Point made lol.

Needless to say, I needed easy this week.  Nothing easier than the slow cooker, and since I neglected slow cooker Sunday for you, I’m giving it to you now. Easter is coming, and you undoubtedly will have leftover ham. This Pillsbury recipe is perfect!  As always, I changed it a little. On the kid scale, 2 out of 3 liked it.  I will give you a penny if you can figure out which one didn’t like it!

Cheesy Ham Au Gratin

  • 3C Milk
  • 1 Can condensed Cheddar cheese soup (10 3/4oz can)
  • 2- 5 oz pkgs cheesy scalloped potatoes, with skin on potatoes (I didn’t used the skin on)
  • 2 C Cooked diced ham
  • 2 Cans Whole kernel corn, with Red and green peppers, drained (I used a frozen bag of corn and peppers)
  • 2 C boiling water
  • Cheddar cheese (optional)
  1. Spray slow cooker with nonstick cooking spray.  In a large bowl, combine milk, soup, and contents of seasoning packets from potatoes; blend well.  Add potatoes, ham and corn; mix well.  Pour mixture into sprayed slow cooker.  Pour boiling water over potato mixture; stir to mix.
  2. Cover; cook on low setting for 7 to 8 hours.
  3. Sprinkle with cheddar cheese.

hamaugratin

Fat Tuesday=Double time Wednesday!

Hurricanes and Gumbo!!  It’s Fat Tuesday, baby!! Sadly, I didn’t have a Hurricane, but I sure did have some gumbo! We had a little Mardi Gras party at work.  Definitely the highlight of the past few weeks.  From the Louisiana Breakfast Hash  to the Gumbo it all lived up to it’s name.  Except for the salad.  There was no fat in the salad.  Um, I didn’t have any salad.  I must do double time at the gym tomorrow.  Especially since I made….wait for it…wait for it..Red Velvet Oreo Balls.  It’s a good thing I’m the Wellness Champion for the department. Hey!  It’s not my fault they call it “Fat Tuesday”!

Red Velvet Oreo Balls

  • 36 Red Velvet Oreos
  • 1-8oz pkg Cream cheese, softened
  • White Chocolate Chips, melted
  1. In a food processor, finely crush Oreos, pour into a large bowl.
  2. Add cream cheese and mix until blended.
  3. Roll into 1-inch balls.  Freeze 10 minutes.
  4. Dip into melted chocolate, place on a cookie sheet lined with wax paper.
  5. Refrigerate 1 hour, or until firm.

redvelvet

Warning: These are addicting.  I think more addicting than regular Oreo balls.  Proceed with caution, or plan on extra time at the gym.

On a completely separate note, we have caught up with Grimm; life as I know it can resume again.

 

Slow Cooker Sunday!-Beef Barley Soup

Holiday season is over. Valentine’s is over. Football is over……Wake me up in April. Seriously, I’ve added enough insulation to get me through until then.  Wait!!!  Fat Tuesday is coming.  Let me add another layer of gumbo and hurricanes.  Then hibernation begins!!  If I could I totally would. I’m kidding of course. Sort of.

How was everyone’s Valentine’s day?  I spent the day with the kids. I made pink pancakes for breakfast.  The ol’ man went to a movie with a friend who lost his wife a few years ago. We’ll hit the movies next weekend, when they aren’t so crowded; and you know how I feel about restaurants on Valentine’s.  I made mini chicken and waffles for all of us.  Doesn’t that scream romance!  I made something without vegetables in it.  The kids think that’s love. Win for Mom!

Mini Chicken and waffles!  No real recipe here.  I mean, you totally could make homemade waffles, and bread the chicken yourself.  I make this when we are running from work to soccer to the grocery store, ‘Oh shit it’s 7:30pm already’ what am I going to make for dinner?  Eggo mini waffles, and chicken strips.  Bake the chicken strips according to the directions on the package, pop the mini waffles in the toaster. I cut the strips in half, make a little sandwich, spear with a tooth pick to hold them together, drizzle with maple syrup.

minichickwaf

 

So parenting challenge #14,864?  The 16yo wants to read 50 Shades of Grey. Some of you are thinking, where’s the parenting challenge? The answer is no. She’s 16, are you out of your mind? The ol’ man did say no.  But I’m not entirely against it.  I know I’m not going to make a lot of friends with my opinion of 50 Shades, so I’m going to just touch on it a little. She has friends who have read it.  She reads books from the “romance” section already. I mean she is 16,  I’ve played Cards Against Humanity with her, so I know not a whole lot in the series is going to be shocking to her. Ok, so there may be a little shock. I’m impressed that she even asked at all.  Easily, she could have purchased it to her tablet, and we would never know.  She didn’t ask permission to smoke her first cigarette, or do shots of cake batter vodka. Proof that she’s unsure why it’s wrong. I’m not entirely sure I disagree with her. I lived that lifestyle for a few years before I met the ol’ man, who is very vanilla. So I feel like if she reads it, we know she’s reading it, when she has questions she can ask, and we {I} can answer them. Real answers. If she reads it behind our back, she will ask her friends questions and goodness knows what the hell they will answer with. Part of me feels like 50 Shades is romanticizing S&M; just like Pretty Woman did for prostitution.  The reality of the lifestyles just isn’t as black and white has Hollywood and fiction makes it out to be. Probably one of the best things about fiction. Bottom line, I told her if I got written permission from her mom that it’s alright for her to read them, then she can borrow the books. She can duke it out with her father.

On to things that will get me in less trouble! Slow Cooker Sunday!  Today, in our -25°F, snowy weather, nothing sounds better than Beef and Barley Soup!  Straight from Betty Crocker 🙂 The kids liked it, although 2 of the 3 thought there was too many vegetables, and not enough beef.  Damn carnivores!

Slow Cooker Beef and Barley Soup

  • 2 Tbsp Olive oil
  • 1 Medium onion, chopped (about 1/2 C)
  • 2 tsp finely chopped garlic
  • 2 lbs Beef boneless chuck, cut into 1″ pieces
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 1/8 tsp Pepper
  • 2 Medium carrots, cut lengthwise in half, then cut into 1/4″ slices
  • 1 C Pearl barley, uncooked
  • 8 C Beef broth
  • 1.5 C frozen sweet peas
  • 1 C frozen corn
  1. Heat oil in large skillet over medium heat. Cook onion, garlic, beef, salt and pepper in oil until beef is brown, about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  2. Spoon beef mixture into 6-quart slow cooker.  Stir in carrots, barley and broth.
  3. Cover and cook on low heat for 8-9 hours.
  4. Increase heat to high. Stir in frozen peas and corn. Cover and cook 8-10 minutes or until peas and corn are hot.

beefbarleysoup

 

 

 

Peppermint Mousse Cups

I know, I know..a post 2 days in a row.  What?  What’s going on here? Crazy, right?!  I really wanted to get this Peppermint mousse recipe out to you since there’s only three days until 50 Shades of Grey is released. Um.. I mean until Valentine’s Day!  This would be super cute to do with the kids or bring to a Valentine’s Party at work.  And since I have every intention on going to the gym tomorrow night, here I am 🙂  In general, I don’t watch television. I do make time for Vampire Diaries on Thursday nights. The ol’ man just got me hooked on Grimm. I think he’s a jerk for doing that.  Now I’m frantically trying to catch up. We just started Season 3, and Season 4 is on the tv now; it’s a little frustrating.  The point here, as I’m sure you are wondering, is the time I would have normally made time to try to get to the gym, is spent watching Nick the hottie on Grimm.  🙂

This little treat is perfect for Valentine’s Day. Or any day really. Pillsbury had this recipe in one of their Christmas books from like 2007.  If you want to make your own chocolate shells, you can it’s pretty simple. I totally took the easy way out and bought them at the store.

Peppermint Mousse Cups

  • 1.5 C Semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1/2 C White vanilla baking chips
  • 1 C Whipping cream
  • 1/2 tsp Peppermint extract
  • 2 drops Red food color
  • Colored sugar or crushed peppermints
  1. Line 24 mini muffin cups with petit four paper cups. In a small sauce pan, melt the semi-sweet chocolate chips over low heat, stirring frequently. Spoon about 2 teaspoons of the chocolate into each paper cup.  With the back of a small measuring spoon, spread the chocolate up sides to within 1/8″ of the top.  Chocolate should be warm enough to spread. Refrigerate about 20 minutes or until completely set. (Or go to the store and purchase them!)
  2. In a small microwavable bowl, microwave the vanilla baking chips uncovered on high 1 minute.  Stir in 3 tablespoons of the whipping cream; microwave about 30 seconds longer or until the chips are completely melted. Stir in peppermint extract and food color.  Cool slightly.
  3. Carefully remove paper cups from chocolate cups.
  4. In a medium bowl, beat remaining whipping cream with electric mixer on high speed until stiff peaks form. Fold melted vanilla chip mixture into whipped cream. Spoon or pipe whipped cream mixture into chocolate cups. Refrigerate until serving.  Just before serving, sprinkle with candy.

Peppmintcups

 

 

 

 

Valentine’s Day Treat for Kids!

Valentine’s is for kids too!!

As a kid, my parents never did anything for us for Valentine’s Day. Not a card or chocolate. My friends got little gifts or a card. It’s probably why I don’t get overly crazy about Valentine’s Day for my significant other. (Sorry ol’ man!) As a mother though, I have always given Ms. Autumn a small token. Nothing extravagant; but a little something as a reminder of how much I love her. A lot of times, we go on a date to the movies. Conveniently for her, SpongeBob is out.

Does anyone else go on a one-on-one date with their kids? Not just on Valentine’s Day, but throughout the year?  The ol’ man and I have a date jar that I made for him last year. All I did was paint craft sticks. After they dried, I wrote a date idea on each one stick. When we are stuck for a date idea, (not that we have a whole lot of time to date these days), we pull one from the jar. The jar? Just a Mason jar that I made pretty with ribbon.  If you want to differentiate a winter date, from a summer, you could paint the tip white.  So the whole point of telling you that I’m lame and can’t think of date ideas off the top of my head, is that you could do it for the kids too.  They don’t have to be expensive, it’s just so you can have alone time with your little one; just like your adult relationship.

  • Cook a meal together, have them help plan a healthy menu
  • Zoo, museum or aquarium
  • Go out to breakfast
  • Have movie night at home with popcorn. In the living room. ( in my house, that in itself is a treat)
  • Go sledding or build a snowman, and then treat yourselves to hot cocoa
  • Surprise them by taking the day off work, spend the day at the beach, or park with a picnic
  • Feed the ducks
  • Go to the local ice cream shoppe for frozen yogurt or milkshake
  • Mani/Pedi’s at home or out at the spa
  • Lunch at a restaurant of their choice
  • Take a class at the gym together
  • Go to a college sporting event or the high school play
  • Farmer’s Market!!
  • Try a new restaurant, pretend you guys are food critics
  • Game night, with actual board games. Yes, just like Santa and M&M’s, they do exist
  • Go to the local coffee shop or bakery, share a treat
  • Slumber party in the living room
  • Snuggle on the couch and watch a favorite TV show or a series on NetFlix

One of Autumn and my favorite things to do is to go to dinner at Wegmans (strange right?!) and get a small container of their soup from the soup bar and share a bagel. We sit in the Cafe and chat.  With three kids in the house, work, school, cooking, cleaning, homework, blogging..everything is always so hectic, sometimes is nice to reconnect with just her.

Enough of parenting 101.  Especially since I have no idea what I’m talking about.  Let’s get to the good stuff!  This recipe is from Ree Drummond. It looks daunting, but it really isn’t.  I think because it has a lot of ingredients, it seems more complicated than it is.  And the reason I’m putting this in the “Valentine’s” category? Chocolate.  The bottom of these granola bars are dipped in chocolate. Makes it a little bit naughty, it a good way, not like a 50 Shades sort of way. Depending on your 50 Shades opinion, of course. Either way, it’s a delicious, healthyish, treat for Valentine’s Day!!  A little side note, I omitted the pecans, and added extra almonds. I used generic rice crispies, a little extra vanilla and used the release foil so I didn’t have to do extra greasing 😉

Granola Bars

  • 6 C Rolled oats (not Quick oats)
  • 4 Tbsp Butter, melted, plus some for greasing
  • 1/4 C Vegetable or canola oil
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 1 C Brown sugar
  • 1/2 C Honey
  • 1/4 C Apple juice
  • 1/4 C Molasses
  • 3 tsp Vanilla extract
  • 1.5 C Rice Krispies
  • 1 C Wheat Germ
  • 1/2 C Finely chopped pecans
  • 1/4 C Roughly chopped Almonds
  • 8 oz. Milk Chocolate  or chocolate almond bark, melted (I used semi-sweet chocolate chips)
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F
  2. In a large bowl, toss the oats with the canola oil, melted butter and salt.  Spread the mixture out on 2 baking sheets and toast in the oven for 15-20 minutes, shaking the pan twice and making sure they don’t burn. (Mental note, they will burn, and it stinks, so keep close eye on them).  Remove from oven and set aside.
  3. Reduce heat to 325°F
  4. In a medium saucepan, combine the brown sugar, honey, apple juice, and molasses.  Heat the mixture slowly, stirring until combined. Stir in the vanilla.
  5. Toss together the toasted oats, rice cereal, wheat germ, pecans and almonds in a large bowl. Pour in the sugar mixture, stirring as you pour. Toss to combine; it’s sticky.
  6. Press into 1 baking sheet, thoroughly greased with butter, or line pan with foil and grease foil) and bake until golden, about 20-25 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool completely.  Cut pieces with a sharp knife and remove from pan.
  7. Dip the cooled granola bars straight in the melted chocolate so the top is plain and the bottom is chocolate-covered. Set on parchment until set or sticking in the fridge to hurry the process.
  8. Perfect for date night 😉  Kids or adults!

granolabars

 

Love is in the air…

Superbowl? I got nothing.  I was cheering for the Seahawks, simply because Tom Brady wasn’t playing in his underwear. I’m kidding!  Of course I’m kidding 😉  Autumn and I had our party. We decorated with Seahawk colors. Filled our table with appetizers. Katy was decent. Lenny had too many clothes on. Missy Elliot was awesome! Never does the team we are rooting for ever win the game. This was the first year I was like “Yes!!!  They have it in the bag.” Oh. My. Gawd.  Sorry true Seattle fans.  Worst. Play. Ever.  But hey, our food was as awesome!!

Now we are on to the next event. Sort of frustrating how we live our lives holiday to holiday. Wait! Maybe that’s just me. And Wegmans. So, even though Valentine’s Day merchandise has been out since December 26th, I’m now just getting around to thinking about it. I guess I’m sort of indifferent to Valentine’s day.  Spread the love all year round I say! I was helping a friend with her daughter’s 5th birthday party this weekend.  It was a Frozen theme, and we set up a hot chocolate bar.  I was thinking that would be a great idea for Valentine’s day if you have all the kids. I wish I had taken a picture. We started with crock pot hot chocolate. Then had marshmallows, chocolate chips, Red Hots, crushed Andes candies and whipped cream to mix in. OOO maybe I will do that this weekend.

Personally, I refuse, absolutely refuse to eat out on Valentine’s Day!  Restaurants are CRAZY!! I just assume stay in, stay cozy and make something delicious.  I will see what I can do about getting some recipes for two out in the next 11 days. I will start…now! Naturally, I’m going to start with dessert.  I’ve been making this recipe for years. It’s so rich, and delicious.  It says love in about 5,000 calories. Make plans with your loved ones to go to the gym on the 15th.  Nothing says love like sweat! But this dessert is totally worth it!

Chocolate Mousse for Two (realistically, for Four)

  • 2 oz. Semi-sweet Chocolate Chips
  • 2 Tbsp. Water
  • 2 Egg Yolks
  • 2 Egg Whites, stiffly beaten
  • 1/4 C Sugar
  • 1/2 C Cool Whip
  1. Place chocolate and water in top of a double boiler.  Stir until blended. Set aside to cool.
  2. In a medium bowl, beat egg yolks and sugar with a fork until pale yellow and creamy.
  3. Add chocolate to egg yolk and sugar mixture. With a mixer, blend well.
  4. Fold egg whites into chocolate mixture.
  5. Fold in cool whip.
  6. Pour mousse into individual goblets or dessert dishes.
  7. Chill several hours or overnight.
  8. Garnish with a little whipped cream.

mousse42

Who’s ready for some football?!

Who am I kidding?  WHO’S READY FOR SPRING?!  I’ve had it with white knuckle driving.  Ok. Good night friends!

Alright, alright.  It’s not really good night.  Although I’m very tired.  Monday’s always suck for me at work. And on top of that, guess who was up late last night doing her book report?  Yeah.  My parenting skills at their best.  I talk the best parenting game.  But the bottom line?  I suck.  I didn’t do any of it for her, like she wanted. But I did let her stay up to finish it, even though I had many many threats of “bed at 9”.  She didn’t like the feeling of being unprepared. I think the next time, there won’t be so much procrastination.  A parent can hope.

Football!!!  Every year Autumn and I have a Superbowl party.  It’s usually just us. And it’s fun 🙂  We’ve been trying various recipes over the past few weeks, just to change up our party menu. We seriously make enough food to eat leftovers for a week.  I’m not entirely convinced that there will even be a Super Bowl this year, but we are going to party like there will be.  And our decorative balls will be inflated!

If you have read any of my previous posts, you know how I feel about meatballs, Oreo balls, cookie balls etc. When I saw these Chicken Parmesan Meatballs from Rachel Ray, it was game on.  I knew this would be on the menu. Next time I make them, I may try baking them.  The kids LOVED these. Let’s focus on what’s important.. I loved them!! Feeding a real crowd?  Like more than just 2 people?  Double the recipe!

Chicken Parm Meatballs

  • 1lb Ground Chicken
  • 1/2 C Grated Parmesan
  • 1/2 C Panko
  • 2 Tbsp Italian Seasoning
  • 1 Egg
  • 16 cubes Mozzarella
  • 3 Tbsp Olive Oil
  • 1 C jarred arrabiatta sauce, warmed (I used regular spaghetti sauce)
  1. In a bowl, mix chicken, Parmesan, panko, Italian seasoning and egg.
  2. Gently form meat around cheese into 1.5-inch balls.
  3. In a nonstick skillet, cook in olive oil over medium-high heat, turning. About 8 minutes.
  4. Serve with sauce.

chickenmeatballs

Happy Anniversary! I should have made a real cake!

What?  A Friday afternoon and A Little of This and That has a blog post up?  What’s going on?  The world is coming to an end!!  Simmer down.  The world is just fine.  Ish.  I’m on an unexpected sick day, and decided to get a post in since I can’t really do anything else.  So before I start a Gilmore Girls marathon on Netflix, I’m gracing you with my presence. Again. I really have to blog more often.

Speaking of blogging, today is A Little of This and That’s one year anniversary!  I’m still as clueless today about this whole blogging thing as I was then.  I’m not entirely sure I would have known about the anniversary if I didn’t get a notification from WordPress.  Just like I don’t know anyone’s birthday without the help of Facebook.  I hope you still like the blog, even with all of its inconsistencies, and mishaps.  I’m pretty fond of it. I have great intentions for it! Tell all your friends.

The little one made it though her 10th birthday, fairly unscathed.  Her father didn’t call her, but other than that I think she had a pretty good day. She’s so funny.  Even though she’s 10, with the mouth and attitude of a 20 year old, she’s still so innocent.  We were playing the Family Feud board game, (yes, for those of you under 25..they still make games that aren’t on your computer, tablet or cell phone) and it’s the fast money round.  I’m Steve Harvey, or Louie Anderson, whatev, and the question comes up “Name something a couch potato needs”.  She screams out “Salt” like it is the number 1 answer.  She was so confident.  I nearly peed myself laughing so hard.  She just stared at me in confusion.  I. Love. Her.

So in honor of potatoes, and A Little of This and That’s anniversary; today I bring to you Meatloaf Cupcakes.  I made these a while ago, just never blogged about them.  It’s just fitting for today.  I was going to post about creamy mushroom pasta, but you get meatloaf.  Both fantastically great recipes!  The Meatloaf Cupcakes take a little bit of work, so they are definitely a weekend meal.  I’m giving you my recipes for meatloaf, and mashed potatoes.  Feel free to use your own recipe, and just assemble accordingly!

Meatloaf Cupcakes

Meatloaf

  • 1lb                   Lean ground beef (I like 90/10)
  • 1                       Egg
  • 1/2 C               Italian-style bread crumbs
  • 1/4 C               Grated Parmesan cheese (add more if needed)
  •                          Salt and pepper
  •                          Seasoning to your liking (garlic powder, onion powder, Italian seasoning etc)
  1. Mix all the ingredients together.  Fill a muffin pan with the meat mixture. I spray each little thing with some cooking spray.
  2. Bake at 375°F for about a half hour, maybe 45 minutes.  Just until done.
  3. Meanwhile, make those taters.

Mashed Potatoes

  • 6-7               White Potatoes (maybe more depending on little they are)
  • Milk
  • Garlic Powder
  1. Wash and peel the potatoes.
  2. Boil the potatoes until fork tender, drain.
  3. Mash them up, I like to use the hand held blender.
  4. Add in garlic powder to taste.
  5. Add enough milk a little at a time to give the consistency you want.  If you are piping them through a piping bag, you want them smooooooth. But not runny.

Assembly

  1. Take the little meatloaf cakes out of muffin pan.
  2. Either dollop or pipe the mashed potatoes on the meatloaf cakes.
  3. Sprinkle with chives (if you like chives)
  4. Dab with a little ketchup

meatloafcupcakes

 

Off to rest with the Gilmore Girls!  Happy Weekend everyone!!