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Category Archives: Recipes

Pork, Cheddar and Apple Meatballs

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Tonight is a girl’s night, and it couldn’t be more necessary. I am going out to dinner with three of my best friends from high school and I can’t wait to spend the night with them and catch up. We were very close growing up and went to all different places for college (including New Orleans!) but now three of us are back in Philadelphia-with hopefully the last one coming soon! πŸ™‚

For those of you who aren’t going to be served dinner tonight at a restaraunt, I give you: Pork, Cheddar and Apple Meatballs.

Ground pork really doesn’t get enough credit, in my opinion. We always think to use ground beef, or if we are trying to be good, ground turkey. But ground pork has so much flavor and is right in between beef and turkey on the nutritional scale; give it a try, it won’t let you down!

To make these meatballs, you’ll want to cut up a small apple (I used Gala) and a half of an onion into very small pieces. Add this to the pork along with some cheddar cheese, breadcrumbs, an egg and parsley. Salt and pepper to season!

Once the meatball mixture is all combined, use a cookie dough scoop to scoop uniform size meatballs onto a tray lined with tin foil. Can I just tell you how much I love my cookie dough scoop? It’s so versatile, I use it for cookies (obvi), meatballs, biscoff bites, when I’m putting cupcake batter into the liners, when I want uniform size pancakes, etc. It’s an excellent kitchen tool!

Once you have your cookie sheet all filled, broil them on the top rack of your oven for about 8-10 minutes. If you have an old, bad oven, it may take 15 minutes. They will look nice and golden brown when they are done.

These meatballs are so moist and flavorful! They have a tiny bit of sweetness from the apple, saltiness from the cheese, and lots of rich flavor from the pork. They can be served with pasta, or if you’re obsessed with quinoa like us, the two pair well together πŸ™‚

These reheat really well too, just ask Seth; he ate them several days in a row for lunch.

 

Pork, Cheddar and Apple Meatballs

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound of ground pork
  • Salt & Pepper to season
  • 1 cup of reduced fat grated cheddar cheese
  • 3/4 cup of breadcrumbs
  • 1 small apple, peeled and cut into very small pieces
  • 1/2 an union, diced
  • 1/2 cup chopped parsley
  • 1 egg, beaten

Directions

  1. Turn on oven broiler
  2. Peel and dice the apple and add to a bowl with the diced onion
  3. Add in breadcrumbs, cheddar cheese and chopped parsley
  4. Lightly beat one egg and pour over above ingredients
  5. Add ground pork and season with salt and pepper
  6. Using your hands, thoroughly combine all ingredients-this should take about 3-4 minutes
  7. With a cookie dough scoop (or spoon), scoop balls onto a tray lined with tin foil and sprayed lightly with cooking spray
  8. Broil the meatballs for about 10 minutes, longer if your oven is old like mine. The meatballs should be browned on top

 

Recipe adapted from Rachael Ray Magazine

Whole Wheat Chia Banana Bread Pancakes

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Something really disturbing happened this weekend. A mouse was spotted. In the kitchen. On the stove.

EW.

We live in a very old house and earlier in the fall, a very tiny mouse was spotted (and later killed) by Lucy. Since then, there haven’t been any sightings….until now. I mean the NERVE of this thing, traveling to the top of the stove to investigate pancake crumbs that hadn’t been cleaned up yet. The mouse definitely thought it had hit the jackpot; food, on top of the stove where the cat can’t reach it. Well I screamed as soon as I saw it and it hasn’t shown its ugly face since, but Lucy isn’t helping much either.

That’s a heated blanket that she’s laying on. And I don’t think she’ll be moving unless the mouse runs right in front of her nose.

Anyway, before the mouse incident, I made these healthy, delicious banana bread pancakes. They have whole wheat flour, chia seeds, no oil and they taste like cake. Win.

I made the batter the night before so that we could eat these as soon as we got home from the gym, so feel free to make it ahead of time as well. The dry ingredients include whole wheat flour, oat flour (made in the blender again), baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon. The wet ingredients include milk (1%), egg, applesauce, mashed banana and chia seeds.

Once the batter is mixed up and poured into the pan, I added some cinnamon chips. This was a great decision and I highly recommend it.

See those bubbles on that pancake? That means it’s ready to flip. Seth taught me that.

These pancakes are so moist and flavorful, I haven’t been able to stop thinking about them since Sunday.

Since the pancakes were totally healthy, we decided they needed a very unhealthy glaze poured all over the top to really take them over the edge. A cinnamon cream cheese glaze was in order!

Looking at this picture again makes me want to add a breakfast for dinner night to this week’s menu. I hope you enjoy them as much as we did!

 

Whole Wheat Chia Banana Bread Pancakes

Ingredients:

For the pancakes:

  • 1 Cup of oats, processed into oat flour
  • 1 3/4 Cup of whole wheat flour
  • 1 Tablespoon of brown sugar
  • 2 Teaspoons of baking powder
  • 1/2 Teaspoon of baking soda
  • 1/2 Teaspoon of salt
  • 1 Teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 egg
  • 2 Cups of milk
  • 2 Tablespoons of applesauce
  • 1 Teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 Mashed bananas
  • 1-2 Tablespoons of Chia seeds
For the glaze:
  • 4 ounces of 1/3 reduced fat cream cheese
  • 8 Tablespoons of butter
  • 1 1/2 Cups of powdered sugar
  • 1 Teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 Teaspoon ground cinnamon

Directions

  1. Combine the dry ingredients together in one bowl and the wet ingredients in another. Add chia seeds to wet ingredients
  2. Combine the two and mix
  3. Let stand for 30 minutes (or overnight is fine)
  4. Heat a skillet on medium heat and using a 1/3 dry measuring cup, pour batter into pan
  5. Add cinnamon chips and cook about 3 minutes on each side
  6. To make the glaze, microwave the cream cheese and butter about 30 seconds, stirring until smooth and runny
  7. Whisk in powdered sugar, vanilla and cinnamon
  8. Drizzle generously on top of pancakes!

Pecan Crusted Salmon

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Good news: Seth’s dad came through the surgery with flying colors and is recovering rapidly. Thanks to everyone for their thoughts and prayers over the last few days.

Other good news: This one is home with me again πŸ™‚

Lucy is especially happy, she hasn’t stopped purring since he walked in the door.

As a welcome home dinner, I decided to make this pecan crusted salmon. It is our favorite salmon recipe and so easy and fast.

Here is what you need for the recipe. So simple!

To begin, you combine the breadcrumbs, chopped pecans and parsley in one dish and in another, combine the honey, dijon mustard and melted butter.

Next, salt and pepper your salmon filets and lay them skin side down in a baking dish.

Drizzle the mustard sauce over each filet, and then sprinkle the pecan crumb mixture on top, pressing down gently with the back of a fork to keep it from falling off.

Bake it in the oven at 450 degrees for 12 minutes and voila!

This salmon is awesome. It’s tangy from the dijon mustard, sweet from the honey and has a slightly crunchy topping from the pecans. Give this a try!

 

Pecan Crusted Salmon

Note: This recipe is for two but can very easily be doubled for four

Ingredients:

  • 2 Salmon Filets
  • Salt & Pepper to season
  • 1 Tablespoon of Dijon mustard
  • 1 Tablespoon of melted butter
  • 3/4 Tablespoon of honey
  • 1/8 Cup of breadcrumbs
  • 1/8 Cup of finely chopped pecans
  • 1/2 Tablespoon of chopped parsley

Directions

  1. Lightly grease a baking dish and preheat the oven to 450 degrees
  2. Season the salmon filets with salt and pepper and place them skin side down in the dish
  3. Combine the butter, honey and dijon mustard and stir to mix thoroughly
  4. Combine the chopped pecans, breadcrumbs and parsley and stir to combine
  5. Spoon the mustard sauce over the salmon, covering liberally
  6. Sprinkle the pecan mixture on top, using the back of a fork to gently press it into the sauce
  7. Bake for 12-14 minutes

 

Salmon is super healthy and has lots of Omega-3s, so eat up!

 

 

Chewy Granola

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Whoever decided that the next paid holiday after New Years Day would be Memorial Day must have been a total a-hole. I mean, I felt like I was doing okay today at work, Tuesday, the first full week back since the holidays, and things are tickin’ along. And then a co-worker of mine drops a bomb in our weekly staff meeting.

“UGH, at least this weather helps take the sting out of the fact that our next paid day off isn’t until the end of May”

Sweet. Thanks for bringing that to everyone’s attention anonymous co-worker. You’ve really lightened the mood for us.

I feel a sick day coming on.

In the meantime, I made you this granola. Actually, we made it for Seth’s dad who is having open heart surgery tomorrow and everyone knows how DELICIOUS hospital food is. I figured he could use a snack πŸ™‚

We like our granola “wet” or in otherwords, kinda chewy. A little sticky. Not at all hard or crunchy.

The best thing about granola is that you can put whatever you want in it and make it your own. For ours, we used almonds, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, coconut, and dried cranberries.

The bulk section of Wegman’s is a granola maker’s dream.

The basics of granola aren’t much different than cookie making. Mix the wet with the wet, the dry with the dry, and combine. Here are the dry ingredients all together.

And here are the “wet” ingredients.

Extra peanut butter for us, obvi. Oh and don’t be intimidated by the “oat flour” ingredient. Here is how you make oat flour:

Step one, put the oats into a blender.

Step 2: blend.

You could do this in a food processor too of course, but some people don’t have them (like me).

So you combine the wet and dry and stir it so that it’s completely combined as Seth so graciously volunteered to do.

Spread the mixture out in a pan that is covered with parchment paper and bake at 350 degrees for about 15-20 minutes, stirring the granola every 5 minutes. DO NOT OVERCOOK! It will look chewy and raw still, but I promise it will harden up a bit as it cools. Of course, you can cook yours longer if you like it crunchier.

Yum!

 

Chewy Granola

Ingredients:

  • 1 2/3 cup quick oats
  • 1/2 cup of brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup oat flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2-3 cups of dried fruits and nuts (we used almonds, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, dried crannys and coconut)
  • 1/3 cup of peanut butter (any kind)
  • 1 teaspoon of almond extract
  • 3 tablespoons of melted butter
  • 1/2 cup of honey or maple syrup
  • 2 tablespoons of light corn syrup
  • 1 tablespoon of water

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and line a cookie sheet with parchment paper
  2. Combine the dry ingredients in a bowl, including oat flour. To make oat flour, pulse 1/3 cup of oats in a blender or food processor until fine
  3. Combine the wet ingredients, including peanut butter, honey/maple syrup, and fruit & nut mix-ins
  4. Combine them all together! (this is tough stuff people)
  5. Spread the granola out on the parchment paper
  6. Cook for 15-20 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes
  7. Allow to cool; the granola will firm up
  8. Enjoy!

Crockpot Chicken With Rosemary and Thyme

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Laundry is piling up, my book just got to the good part and the DVR still has Grey’s Anatomy from last week on it. Good thing I had a slow cooking chicken in the crockpot so that I could check dinner off of my list as soon as I walked in the door.

Meet the crockpot, the solution for all working individuals who like to eat dinner before 7:30PM.

My wonderful mom gave this to us for Christmas and it is quickly becoming our new favorite kitchen gadget. We bought a whole chicken at Wegman’s which cost a total of $5.75. That’s right, a whole chicken for half the price of a package of boneless skinless chicken breasts. And we like the skin anyway, right?? It gives us flavor! You can always peel it off before you eat it.

To start this recipe, Seth cut up some onion and garlic and laid it in the base of the pot. He topped it with a few sprigs each of fresh Rosemary and Thyme. There really is no substitute for fresh herbs.

In the meantime, separate the chicken into breasts, wings and thighs. We won’t show you a picture of this because it gets rather graphic.

Heat a cast iron skillet over medium-high heat with a small amount of olive oil and brown the chicken on both sides, about 3 minutes/side. Do not cook the chicken! We’re just browning here.

Once you’ve browned, place the chicken into the crockpot on top of the onion/garlic/fresh herb mixture.

Top the chicken with a few more sprigs of fresh herbs and pour in the broth made from combining white wine, flour, honey, maple syrup and red pepper flakes.

Set the crockpot to Low for 7 hours and walk away!

Here she is all plated up with some delicious roasted veggies. This chicken lasted us several days and was so flavorful and moist that I’m afraid I’ll never be able to eat chicken cooked any other way again.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I have this waiting for me–

It’s all clean I promise, it just needs to be folded! Stop judging me.

 

Crockpot Chicken with Rosemary and Thyme

Ingredients

  • One whole chicken
  • 6 sprigs each of Rosemary and Thyme
  • Half an onion, cut into strips
  • Six cloves of garlic, sliced
  • 1 cup of white wine
  • 1/3 cup flour
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • Pinch of red pepper flakes

Directions

  1. Chop an onion and slice the 6 cloves of garlic and lay them in the bottom of the crockpot
  2. Lay 3 sprigs of rosemary and 3 of thyme on top of the sliced onion and garlic
  3. Cut the chicken into its individual parts; thighs, breasts, wings
  4. Season the chicken with salt & pepper and place into a hot cast iron skillet with a small amount of olive oil
  5. Brown both sides of the chicken, about 3 minutes/side
  6. Remove the chicken and place it into the slow cooker
  7. Top the chicken with additional sprigs of rosemary and thyme
  8. Create a sauce by combining white wine, flour, honey, maple syrup and red pepper flakes with a whisk until thick and pour over the chicken
  9. Cover and cook on low for 7 hours

 

Enjoy!

Quinoa and Roasted Beet Salad

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The first day back at work after a long vacation is always rough. The 20 degree temperatures didn’t help either; apparently, winter finally decided to make an appearance. That biting wind makes my two block walk from the parking garage to the office seem like 3 miles. And the thermometer in our apartment currently reads 61 degrees. That’s COLD folks. Lucy thinks so too, she has decided to burrow herself in the deepest and coziest place she can find….Seth’s closet.

I was glad I had a meal planned that required turning the oven on because it made our kitchen warm and toasty and it felt so good that I convinced myself to stay in there and do all the dishes and clean all the counters just so that I wouldn’t have to go back “out there” in the 61 degrees.

Over the weekend I picked up some beets at the grocery store and boiled them with sugar and salt until they were fork tender. Don’t they look kind of funny and slightly inappropriate in this pot…?

Once they were cooled and cut up into little pieces, I made a very simple dressing with balsamic vinegar, olive oil, honey and shallots, coated the beets, and roasted them at 450 degrees for 8 minutes. They come out looking like little jeweled pieces of red candy.

While the beets were in the oven, I got some quinoa going in a pot on the stove. 2 cups water, 1 cup quinoa is the ratio to live by. If you all haven’t introduced quinoa into your life, you’re seriously missing out. It’s the most versatile, healthy, filling grain out there. It can get a little pricey but I’ve found that this Whole Foods brand pictured below is a pretty good deal if you don’t have access to bulk bins (which are always the best option).

Once the quinoa is cooked (about 15 minutes), toss it with the roasted beets and generous amounts of goat cheese and you have yourself a delicious and very satisfying meal! We added some of our leftover crockpot chicken that we are STILL eating from a few nights ago. Buying a whole chicken and roasting it is so much more cost effective than buying individual pieces that it’s almost silly. I believe roasting chickens will be on my Sunday evening agenda for many weeks to come.

Enjoy!

 

Quinoa and Roasted Beet Salad

Ingredients:

  1. 4-5 medium sized beets
  2. 2 tablespoons diced shallots
  3. 1/8 cup balsamic vinegar
  4. 1/4 cup olive oil
  5. 2 teaspoons honey
  6. 1 cup quinoa
  7. 3 ounces of crumbled goat cheese

Instructions

  1. Cut the beets from the stems leaving just a small spud at the end and rinse them gently in cold water
  2. Place them in a pot of water and add 2 tablespoons sugar and 1 tablespoon salt. Bring the water to a boil, then down to a simmer and let them cook covered for 45 minutes or until fork tender
  3. Remove the beets and submerge them in cold water to stop the cooking process
  4. Once the beets are cooled, peel the skin off and cut them into bite size pieces. The skin should peel off very easily
  5. Chop the shallot and whisk it together with the balsamic vinegar, olive oil, and honey
  6. Coat the beets with the dressing mixture and spread them on a pan with tin foil. Roast at 450 degrees for 8 minutes
  7. Combine 1 cup quinoa with 2 cups water and cook according to instructions
  8. Once quinoa is cooked, combine with beets and crumble goat cheese throughout. Mix gently to distribute the goat cheese

Loosely adapted from Giada’s Food Network Recipe

Cinnamon Sugar Roasted Chickpeas

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Today is the last day of vacation–so sad! We have had such a great holiday with lots of family and friends, and I don’t think either one of us are ready to go back to work! Lucy concurs; nothing beats snuggle time on the couch πŸ™‚

Today we hit the gym with the rest of the New Years Resolutioners and got in a good workout before heading to the mall to finish up some Christmas returns. Among the stops we had to make was Sur La Table, my absolute favorite kitchen store. We had a few ceramic knives that were given to me as a gift last year that had chipped and the store replaced them for free!!

These are seriously great knives and very affordable too. They don’t need to be sharpened because they are made out of ceramic and they are our go-to knives for everything! Definitely recommend them.

Seth decided to try a new bubble tea stand that was in the mall. He is a big fan of new and “different” drinks (aka drinks that most people would never think to order). This particular tea was mango flavored and had chewy tapioca balls in the bottom. Kind of weird if you ask me but he loved it!

Can you see the balls going up the straw? Sick.

While he drank his bubble tea I had the new Chocolate Dipped Coconut Luna Bar for lunch. AMAZING. Seriously tasted like an almond joy. I highly recommend this-my previous Luna bar fav was the chocolate raspberry flavor but this definitely replaces it. And with 9 grams of protein and 3 grams of fiber, you can’t beat it!

Now we are back home and savoring the last few hours of relaxation. While catching up on blogs and watching the PSU bowl game (such a disappointment), I made these Cinnamon Roasted Chickpeas that I saw a few weeks ago on Two Peas and Their Pod.Β In an effort to have some healthy snacks around here, I thought I would give these a try!

Here are the ingredients you need:

  1. 1 Can of chickpeas, 15 oz
  2. 2 tablespoons of cinnamon sugar mixture
  3. 2 teaspoons of canola oil
  4. 1 tablespoon of honey

To start, you want to rinse the chickpeas in water to get the salt and starch off of them.

The chick peas have a sort of “membrane” on them which is optional to take off or leave on. You can see what the outer covering looks like in the pic below.

I wasn’t sure if it would matter taste-wise, so I decided to make half with the shell on and half with it off. Once you rinse the chickpeas, you combine them with the oil and cinnamon sugar mixture in a bowl and lay them on a pan in a single layer.

You roast them for about 35 minutes at 375 degrees, toss them with the tablespoon of honey, and let them get hard. They were delicious! I think I preferred the ones without skin because they got crunchier and tasted less like an actual chickpea. These were very easy to make and I’m looking forward to snacking on them this week!

If you want the printable recipe, head on over to Maria’s site.

Honey Cinnamon Roasted Chickpeas