The Pioneer Woman’s Comfort Meatballs Remix

I’ve made The Pioneer Woman’s comfort meatballs so many times, the binding on my cookbook has broken in that exact spot. They are the boys very favorite type of meatballs, and we make them at least once a month, if not more often. However, over the years I’ve streamlined the recipe so it is faster to put together because I rarely have time to individually cook the meatballs in a skillet before baking them in the oven. Here are some of my favorite tips for making them a little quicker. First, I make the normal meatball recipe, but I leave out the diced onions (food allergies) and add a tsp of garlic powder instead. I then divide the meatballs out onto a nonstick foiled lined pan:

And bake them for 10 minutes at 400 degrees. Then, I take them out of the oven and turn the temp down to 350 degrees. While the meatballs are cooking, I make the sauce that goes with the recipe, and line the bottom of the pan with about 1/4 of the sauce:

Once the meatballs have “pre-cooked” I put them on top of the sauce:

Then I add the rest of the sauce on top:

And then I bake them in the 350 degree oven for about 25-30 minutes, until the sauce is bubbly, and the meatballs are cooked through. We serve them with mashed potatoes, corn, or sweet potatoes depending on the week. Either way they’re delicious!

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This and That

This is my Target order haul from the past week:

Since it’s been a pain-ish to get to Target right now, I’ve been adding things to my cart throughout the week and then I order it all at the beginning of the next week. I also may need to stop following so many blogs that I keep discovering new things to try.

J is reading Sarah, Plain, and Tall out loud with his reading group at school and at home to me:

This was one of my favorite books when I was his age, so I love that he’s reading it and that I get to hear it all over again!

My Mom had baby chicks hatch in her classroom this past week, and J really loved them so:

This kiddo has a heart for animals!

On Friday we braved the rain to pick up new baseball equipment for J, and for the boys to spend their Christmas and birthday money at Target:

These are the newest Elite Trainer Pokémon boxes. They were excited about them, I was excited there were two boxes!

This is the salmon sheet pan supper that is so, so easy:

Salmon, asparagus, lemon. Drizzle with a little olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper and cook at 400 degrees until done (about 12-15 minutes).

And finally, this podcast got me intrigued by A Color Story App, which I promptly downloaded and have had fun trying out!

My first in-app purchase was At Home and I love it! It creates amazing filters that look natural, but just a tad brighter, truer, better. I definitely recommend it! Have a great Monday!

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Making pasta

B gifted me a pasta maker for Christmas, and while I’m still getting the hang of it, it’s alot of fun to test out! Our favorite current recipes are from the fall edition of Magnolia Journal:

The pasta was good, but the sauces were amazing. I’ve got to step-up my pasta skills to match the sauces!

You can get a copy of the Magnolia Journal Fall 2018 here! I highly suggest picking it up, you’ll refer to it again and again!

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Hermits

Don’t ask me how they got their name, because I have no idea. However, these little spiced cookies are my Dad’s favorite and my Nannie (my Dad’s Mom) used to make them every year. Now my Mom makes them, and we have all joined in at one point or another to help make multiple batches of these throughout the holiday season. Even though the holidays are over, you can still make a batch and enjoy the fact that they are slightly healthy because they have raisins.

Hermit Cookies

  • 2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 tsp of baking soda
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 tsp clove
  • 1 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2/3 cup shortening
  • 1 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 2 tbs milk
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup raisins

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, clove, and salt. Set aside.
  4. On medium speed cream shortening for about three minutes.
  5. Add sugar to butter and mix until light and fluffy about 3-4 minutes.
  6. Scrape down the sides and then add in the eggs and milk. Mix until it resembles cottage cheese (so slightly lumpy, but well mixed).
  7. Add all of the flour mixture to the bowl. Mix just a little by hand (so it doesn’t puff out when you start the mixer), and then mix on low speed only until blended, then add in raisins and mix.
  8. Divide by scoopfulls onto parchment  lined pan.
  9. Bake for 12-15 minutes.
  10. Will keep in an air tight container at room temperature for 5 -7 days. In our house they rarely last that long.

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Chicken enchilada casserole

I made this on a whim last week, so this is definitely something you could create easily if you have some pantry and fridge essentials on hand. It was creamy, delicious, and reheated for next day’s lunch really well!

Chicken Enchilada Casserole

  • 2-3 cups cooked shredded chicken (you can use rotisserie chicken, or bake 1 lb of lightly oiled chicken breast in the oven at 350 for 30 minutes)
  • 2 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp of kosher salt
  • 1-2 packages or cans of green Chile enchilada sauce (we use Frontera brand)
  • About 12 white corn tortillas
  • 2-3 cups grated cheddar cheese
  • 1 cup sour cream, divided 
  • Optional toppings: cilantro, salsa, extra sour cream, olives

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly spray an 8×8 glass pan with canola oil.
  2. In a medium bowl, mix shredded chicken, spices, about 1/3 of the enchilada sauce and 1/2 cup sour cream
  3. Layer about 4 corn tortillas to cover bottom of pan.
  4. Spread half chicken mixture over tortillas.
  5. Cover chicken mixture with a light drizzle of enchilada sauce and then 1/2-1 cup of cheese
  6. Repeat step 3-5.
  7. Cover with remaining 4 corn tortillas.
  8. In the empty chicken mix bowl add remaining enchilada sauce and remaining 1/2 cup sour cream and mix well.
  9. Spread enchilada sauce mix over corn tortillas and top with remaining sharp cheddar cheese.
  10. Bake for thirty minutes and let it stand for about five minutes after taking it out of the oven.

Here’s a breakdown of the set-up. From pre-bake:

 

To post bake:

To cutting slices:

Happy eating!

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This and that

This weekend we visited Santa and the boys shared what they would like for Christmas…

This is my favorite nail combination (I do polish x 2, top coat, glitter coat and let my nails dry for about ten minutes in between the polish coats, top coat, and glitter coat)….

My favorite frozen Rhodes rolls hack is to put two freezer rolls in a greased muffin tin, and then let them rise all afternoon, then bake at 350 for fifteen minutes:

I took this picture of A by my favorite tree on campus when we were walking to my class last week:

And finally two of my current favorite things, my Magnolia Journal and a Gingerbread Spiced Latte:

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Molasses Crinkle Cookies

Molasses Crinkle Cookies

  • 2 cups plus all purpose flour
  • 2 tsp of baking soda
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp clove
  • 1/2 tsp ginger
  • 1/2 tsp of kosher salt
  • 3/4 cup softened unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup molasses
  • 1 large egg

Directions

  1. Cut butter into tablespoon slices and place in the bottom of the mixer. Set your egg out on the counter. Do this first then prep the rest of your ingredients
  2. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line a cookie sheet with a Silpat mat or parchment paper.
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, clove, and salt. Set aside.
  4. Crack egg into a small cup and whisk.
  5. On medium speed cream butter for about three minutes.
  6. Add sugar to butter and mix until light and fluffy about 3-4 minutes.
  7. Scrape down the sides and then add in the egg mixture. Mix until it resembles cottage cheese (so slightly lumpy, but well mixed).
  8. Add in molasses and mix briefly
  9. Add all of the flour mixture to the bowl. Mix just a little by hand (so it doesn’t puff out when you start the mixer), and then mix on low speed only until barely blended.
  10. Divide by scoopfulls onto silpat lined pan.
  11. Bake for six minutes, then rotate the pan 180 degrees and bake for two additional minutes. Let cool on the pan for 2 minutes then transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely.
  12. Will keep in an air tight container at room temperature for 3-5 days. In our house they rarely last that long.

 

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Sprinkle Candy Cookies

We are starting on our holiday cookie baking because it’s November, and nothing is better this time of year than cookies, chai tea, and an episode of Holiday Baking Championship. First up on our list is a straightforward m&m cookie with mini m&ms and holiday sprinkles. These are our take on a kitchen sink cookie, and they usually disappear as fast as I can get them out of the oven.

Sprinkle Candy Cookies

  • 1 1/2 cups plus 2 tbs all purpose flour
  • 3/4 tsp of baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp of baking soda 
  • 1/2 tsp of kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup softened unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 tbs pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup mini m&ms
  • 1/2 cup green and red sprinkles

Directions

  1. Cut butter into tablespoon slices and place in the bottom of the mixer. Set your egg out on the counter. Do this first then prep the rest of your ingredients
  2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a cookie sheet with a Silpat mat or parchment paper.
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt. Set aside.
  4. Crack egg into a small cup and whisk with vanilla.
  5. On medium speed cream butter for about three minutes.
  6. Add sugars to butter and mix until light and fluffy about 3-4 minutes.
  7. Scrape down the sides and then add in the egg mixture. Mix until it resembles cottage cheese (so slightly lumpy, but well mixed).
  8. Add all of the flour mixture to the bowl. Mix just a little by hand (so it doesn’t puff out when you start the mixer), and then mix on low speed only until barely blended.
  9. Stir in m&ms and sprinkles
  10. Bake for seven minutes, then rotate the pan 180 degrees and bake for two additional minutes. Let cool on the pan for 2 minutes then transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely.
  11. Will keep in an air tight container at room temperature for 3-5 days. In our house they rarely last that long.

 

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Roasted pumpkin

When we went on our annual pumpkin patch trip all the kiddos got pumpkins to carve and my sister and I picked up two sweet pumpkins to roast! Using a straightforward recipe I roasted the pumpkin slices this weekend and we ate some with dinner and then the rest I puréed in the food processor and froze for pumpkin soup. Here is a breakdown of what I did!

I started by wiping down the pumpkin:

And then I carved the top like you would a normal pumpkin, and then scooped out the seeds and cut the pumpkin in half:

And then cut it into mostly equal slices that I put on a foiled pan (a large foil pan):

And then I drizzled it with olive oil, sprinkled it with the spice mixture from the recipe, drizzled a little more olive oil, and rubbed it all into the pumpkin slices:

 

Then I roasted it at 400 degrees for fifteen minutes until fork tender:

After I served it with dinner, I puréed the rest with just a little bit of chicken stock:

And then put it in a container to freeze:

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Red wine marinated steak salad

 

This is our quintessential it’s almost fall, but still feels like summer meal. A grilled flank steak, marinated all day, combined with roasted sweet potatoes, on top of fresh leafy greens takes us from summer to fall.

So the first thing your going to do is make your marinade. We use this recipe. I typically put the steak in the marinade in the morning before work, so it’s ready when we all get home.

The other ingredients (besides flank steak) you’ll need are:

Green leaf lettuce

Two sweet potatoes, peeled and diced

4 oz shredded cheddar cheese

1 tomato, diced

Olive oil

Balsamic glaze *optional

Directions

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Roast sweet potatoes (drizzled with a bit of olive oil, kosher salt, and pepper) for forty minutes. Meanwhile, grill the steak for about 5-6 minutes per side (depending on the thickness of the steak), until preferred doneness (we aim for about 155 in the middle). Top green leafy lettuce with tomatoes, steak, sweet potatoes, cheese, and a drizzle of balsamic. Enjoy!!

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