Saturday, February 1, 2014

Meatball Sliders for Super Bowl!

Here it is, almost Super Bowl Sunday! If you are one of the many people planning a party for the big day, I have a fantastic Meatball Slider recipe for you to serve during the Super Bowl or any time for that matter. This is a really easy recipe where the meatballs are baked and then cooked for a short time in the quick tomato sauce, topped with cheese and then the buns. I have adapted my mother's meatball recipe for these yummy sliders and made an easy Italian flavored sauce for them. My husband loves these Meatball Sliders, so I hope you will too! Here's my recipe.
Meatball Sliders
From Lynda's Recipe Box
(If you want to add some spicy heat to the sauce just add 1/4 teaspoon of red pepper flakes to the oil at the same time as the minced garlic when making the sauce.)

Meatball Ingredients:
1 pound beef ground chuck
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
2 cloves minced garlic
1/2 cup dry bread crumbs
1/3 cup milk 1 egg, slightly beaten
2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
1 teaspoon salt
black pepper
either shredded or sliced Provolone or Mozzarella cheese. If using slices you will need 6 slices to have cheese on top and bottom. Cut the sliced cheese in 4 square pieces.
1 dozen slider rolls, or dinner rolls if you can't find sliders

Directions for Meatballs:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a large bowl, combine the ground chuck, Parmesan and minced garlic; toss it lightly with a fork to incorporate. Add the remaining ingredients and mix fairly well, either with a fork or your hands. I use my hands, I confess. It's just easier.
Line a large baking sheet with foil and spray liberally with cooking spray. Divide the meat mixture into 12 even pieces and roll each into a ball and place on baking sheet. Place pan in oven and bake meatballs for 25 minutes. When done remove meatballs from pan and add to the sauce.

Quick Italian Style Sauce Ingredients:
1 - 28 ounce can of good quality crushed tomatoes
2 cloves minced garlic
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon dried basil
1/4 teaspoon dried pepper flakes, optional, only if you want some heat
salt and pepper to taste

In a large sauce pan or Dutch oven, over medium heat, add the olive oil, then the minced garlic and pepper flakes, if using. Saute for 30 seconds; then add the tomatoes and dried basil. Cover and cook on low heat for 15 minutes or so. If sauce gets too thick you can add a little water to thin it. Taste and adjust seasonings if needed. I sometimes add about 1 teaspoon of sugar if sauce needs it. Some canned tomatoes can have a sharp taste and the sugar helps.
Add meatballs when they are done, cover and cook another 10-20 minutes.
I like the sauce to be thick so it will stick to the meatballs some.

To assemble sliders:
If you want to toast the rolls, just open the rolls and lay on a baking sheet, put under the broiler for a short time. Stay by your stove as they toast really quick! Remove from oven.
Add cheese to the bottom of the buns; place 1 meatball on each bottom bun. Top with more cheese and the tops of the buns. Place on serving tray and enjoy!




Sunday, December 29, 2013

Rolo Pretzel Turtle Candies

I hope everyone has had a Merry Christmas and that you are looking forward to the New Year! Food is such a big part of our holidays aren't they. You've all probably eaten these delicious Rolo Pretzel Turtle Candies at some time. These candies are such easy little Turtle candies to make and so addictive once you pop one in your mouth. I made some of them into sandwiches for anyone that can't have nuts. I wanted to drizzle them with more chocolate, but I had depleted my stash of chocolate. Oh well, I'll do it next time. I will be making these yummy treats again.
Easy and delicious too, they don't require many steps. Here's the directions to make the Rolo Pretzel Turtles.
Rolo Pretzel Turtle Candies
Make as many candies as you wish. I used all of the Rolos. Baking too long will cause the Rolos to break open when pressed with a pecan, so don't over bake.
1 bag individual Rolo Candies, unwrapped
1 bad waffle shaped pretzels, I used Snyder's
pecan halves- enough for all the candies you are making
 
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or foil. Place the pretzels on the baking sheet, not too closely. Place 1 Rolo on each pretzel. Put pan in oven and bake 2-3 minutes. Remove pan from oven and press a pecan half on each candy. Let cool completely before serving. Enjoy!


Sunday, December 8, 2013

Garlic Sauteed Spinach

When I was a kid, the cartoon Popeye the Sailor Man was one of my favorite cartoons. I can remember wanting to be strong like him so I begged my mother to buy me the canned spinach that Popeye reportedly ate. When she prepared it for dinner one evening I can remember taking a few bites and then flexing my arm to see if I had muscles as large as Popeye's! Of course I didn't, but as we know spinach is considered a very healthy super-food adding lots of nutrients that our bodies need. Sauteing spinach in olive oil and garlic makes it a most delicious side dish. Really, if you love wilted spinach, I think you will enjoy this version adapted from Ina Garten, very much.

Garlic Sauteed Spinach
approximately 3-4 servings

1 pound of baby spinach, washed
4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon fresh black pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon butter
fresh lemon for squeezing

In a large pot or dutch oven, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the garlic and cook only about 1 minute. Don't let it get brown. Add all off the spinach, the salt and pepper to the pot. Give it a stir and cover the pot with a lid to let the spinach steam about 2 minutes. Remove the lid and give it a good stir and cook if needed, until all the spinach is wilted. Using a slotted spoon, remove the spinach to a serving dish. Top with the pat of butter and a good squeeze of lemon. Serve hot. Enjoy!


Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Homemade Cranberry Sauce

Well, it's just a few hours until Thanksgiving officially is here. Are you ready? I thought I'd share a very quick recipe for Homemade Cranberry Sauce that is delicious. I grew up eating the cranberry sauce from the can. That's all my mother ever bought. I didn't have the homemade stuff until I was married and had my first holiday at my mother-in-laws house. I fell in love with the tart, fresh flavor of the cranberries. I've made several different recipes through the years, like Cranberry Apple Relish which I have also posted. This is the quickest recipe and will only take you about 15 minutes! There's definitely time for you to make this before dinner!

Homemade Cranberry Sauce
From Lynda's Recipe Box
I used the juice from an orange plus enough water to make 1 cup of liquid. There is just a hint of orange in the taste. You could use all water, or another juice like apple or pomegranate if desired. You can also stir in chopped nuts after cooking.

Ingredients:
12 ounce bag of fresh cranberries
zest from 1 orange
juice from 1 orange, plus enough added water to make 1 cup of liquid
1 cup of granulated sugar

Directions:
In a 3 quart sauce pan bring the water mixture and the sugar to a simmer; add the cranberries and bring to a rolling boil. Turn heat down to medium low, still boiling, and cook for 10 minutes. Stir frequently. Stir in the orange zest and remove pan from heat. The cranberry sauce will be foaming, but as it begins to cool, it will disappear when you give it a stir. Or you may skim the foam off if preferred. Pour sauce into a serving dish and chill until time to serve. I hope you enjoy your deliciously sweet, but tart Cranberry Sauce
Happy Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Sage Stuffing (or Dressing-whatever you want to call it!)

Here it is, 2 days before Thanksgiving. Time really flies by fast this time of year doesn't it? If you are hosting the meal on the big day I hope that you already have some of the preparations out of the way so that you can enjoy your time with family and friends. Our family had our big dinner this past Sunday. Now that our kids are all married, it seemed like a good idea to celebrate on a different day than Thanksgiving. That frees up the kids to go to the other side of the family on the big day. I mean, it's not really fun if you have to make it to 3 dinners in one day. So this worked well for us.
I thought I'd share my stuffing recipe with you today. Dressing or stuffing, I've called it both names. For years I've tried to make my stuffing like my mother-in-law used to. But she didn't follow a recipe, she had a method that she followed every year that produced a moist and spicy bread dressing that we loved. I'm getting closer. I think I would have nailed it this year, but I needed more sage. But this was still a yummy dressing full of fresh herbs that made tasty leftovers too. My photo was taken quickly, before we sat down to devour our food. Here is my method.
Sage Stuffing
From Lynda's Recipe Box
(Hint) You may use all bread if desired, instead of adding cornbread. To save time on the big day, prepare the corn bread 2 days ahead of your dinner. Also cube the bread at this time. Use a hearty white bread. It will then be dried out enough to stir up the day before your dinner. Just mix up the stuffing and place in a greased baking dish; cover and refrigerate. Take out of fridge about 30 minutes before placing in the oven, Bake and serve.

Ingredients:
about 8 cups of white bread cubes- trim crusts from bread and cut into small cubes
about 4 cups of cornbread, cubed or crumbled- from this recipe, or your own recipe
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
3 tablespoons fresh sage, finely chopped- or about 1 tablespoons dried sage
1 teaspoon fresh thyme or rosemary, finely chopped
1 teaspoon salt
about 1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 stick (1/2 cup), unsalted butter, melted
1 large sweet onion, finely diced
2 stalks celery, finely diced
2 large eggs, beaten
1 cup of unsalted chicken stock or broth, or more
1/3 cup half and half or heavy cream

Preparation:
If you need to dry the bread and cornbread more, place the cubes on 2 baking sheets and place in a 300 degree oven for 15-20 minutes until dry. Cool in pans, then transfer to a large bowl. When ready to stir up the dressing, stir in the herbs and the salt and pepper.

Melt butter in a heavy skillet over medium low heat. Add the onions and celery and cook until tender, about 5minutes. Pour into the bowl with the bead. Mix the eggs and half and half together. Pour over the bread. Add the chicken broth and toss all the ingredients together. if you need more broth stir it in. I used about 1 1/3 cup.

Transfer stuffing to a greased 2 1/2 quart to 3 quart baking dish. Cover with foil. (At this point you can refrigerate the stuffing for 1 day.) If ready to bake, place it covered, in the middle of the oven at 350 degrees for 25minnutes. Uncover and bake another 25 - 30minutes until golden. Remove from oven and enjoy.
Also check out my recipe for Sausage and Cornbread Dressing.

My daughter Hailey has started a food blog also. She'd be so happy if you stopped by to "hi" at Tasteful Cuisine.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Oatmeal Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

 I love cookies. My favorites are peanut butter, oatmeal cookies and chocolate chip cookies. So when I found this recipe that contained all three ingredients in one cookie I was thrilled. I must say they taste amazing! Soft and chewy in the middle and crisp around the edges these are the perfect cookie in my opinion. The aroma while baking made it really difficult to resist when they were done. So I just gave in. They are just so delicious!  The dough freezes well too, making it easy to make ahead and thaw for later use. These Oatmeal Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies are going to be on my cookie trays this holiday season. Here's the recipe.
Oatmeal Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies
adapted from Epicurious
This dough can keep in the refrigerator up to 1 week before baking. It also freezes very well. I baked about half the dough and froze the rest. I thawed it out about 2 weeks later and baked the rest. Perfect cookies!

Ingredients:
1 1/2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
2   cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted butter, softened
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup light brown sugar, firmly packed
1 tablespoon vanilla extract, (yes, that right!)
3/4 cup regular peanut butter- either plain or chunky works
2 large eggs
1 1/2 bags (about 18 ounces, or more if you wish), of semi-sweet chocolate chips

Directions:
In a food processor pulse 1 cup of the oats until fine. In a large bowl mix together the ground oats, the other 1/2 cup of rolled oats, flour, baking powder, soda, and salt.

In another bowl with a mixer beat together the butter and sugars until fluffy. Beat in vanilla and peanut butter and beat well. Add eggs one at a time. Gradually beat in the flour mixture, or mix it by hand if desired. Add the chocolate chips and mix until combined.. Chill cookie dough covered,  at least 2 hours, or up to 1 week.

To bake:
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.
Form rounded tablespoons of dough and place on baking sheet about 2 inches apart. Flatten balls just slightly. Bake in the middle rack of the oven 15 minutes just until pale golden. Cool on baking sheet 5 minutes an then remove cookies to cooling rack. Enjoy!

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Pumpkin Coffee Cake with Brown Sugar-Pecan Streusel

 I am so happy that fall is here! I want to spend more time in the kitchen when the cooler weather arrives, and I always love trying new pumpkin and apple recipes to add to my recipe collection . I must admit that I've struggled with cooking and blogging the last few months since I had surgery, but fall is my favorite time to experiment in the kitchen. This Pumpkin Coffee Cake with Brown Sugar-Pecan Streusel is delicious and was a real treat for my husband and I. We both love pumpkin so there's nothing bad to say about this recipe. This cake is not as heavy and moist as my pumpkin bread, because it uses butter instead of oil. The streusel is so yummy with the toasted pecans and made this cake such a treat with a steaming mug of coffee! I also love the size of the cake; it's made in a 9 inch springform pan so it's not too huge for a small group. It was perfect for us. Here's the recipe.
Pumpkin Coffee Cake with Brown Sugar-Pecan Streusel
Adapted from Williams-Sonoma
(The only thing I changed in the recipe was the spice amounts.)

Ingredients:
For the streusel;
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
pinch of salt
6 tablespoons cold unsalted butter
1 cup chopped pecans, lightly toasted (Spread pecans on baking sheet; toast   at 325 for 5 minutes. Cool before adding to streusel.)

For the batter:
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon salt
8 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
2 large eggs
1/2 cup canned pumpkin puree
1/2 cup sour cream

For the glaze:
1/2 cup confectioners sugar
about 2-3 teaspoons of milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour a 9 inch springform pan.

To make the streusel, combine the flour, brown sugar, salt and cinnamon in a bowl. Add the butter; use a pastry cutter to cut in the butter until mixture looks like coarse crumbs. Or you may use  a food processor. Stir in the pecans. Set aside.

For batter; in a large bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and salt. In another bowl, beat together the butter and sugar, until combined. beat in the eggs, one at a time. Add the pumpkin and sour cream and mix. Stir in the dry ingredients. Batter is very thick.

Spread half the batter in the prepared springform pan. Sprinkle half of the streusel over the batter. Dollop the remaining batter over the streusel and spread over the streusel as best you can. (This was the hardest part of the recipe for me as the batter does not want to spread well. but it turns out delicious anyway.) Top with the remaining streusel. Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake come out clean, about 50-55 minutes. Place pan on a wire cooling rack for 15 minutes. Remove the sides of the pan from the cake and slide cake onto rack to finish cooling.

To glaze, whisk together the confectioners sugar, milk and vanilla until smooth. Place cake on serving platter. Drizzle glaze over cake. Enjoy!