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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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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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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Notebook favorites

Part of my path to organization (and stopping the on going list from running constantly in my head when I’m trying to go to sleep) is keeping great notebooks around. Here are my favorite planner, list book, and recipe index:

Favorite notebooks[Recipe book] [Notebook] [Planner]

I love the notebook because it’s pretty, but also has wide lines for making lots of lists (before I create a typed copy to hand out to family members…cause I do that.):

Notebook ListMy favorite thing about the planner (besides the tabbed edges) is that it has both full month view and day by day conversions:

Planner PlannerWhich is helpful if I need to organize day by day appointments or activities, but also to put items on the list for months out planning.

After years of using this recipe folder:

Recipe folderI needed something that was not as clunky and was updated with recipes we don’t use. I love the Kate Spade recipe book because it’s cute:

Recipe BookBut also super functional:

Recipe bookSo I can stop being kicked out of Pinterest when I try to make bagels:

BagelsWhich makes recipe conversion to my new book much easier! Happy organizing, planning, and baking!

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Lemon white chocolate chip cookies

Lemon white chocolate chip cookiesThese are the cookies that my husband brings for his work party every year, and every year they get eaten the fastest.

Lemon White Chocolate Chip Cookies*

  • 2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 tsp of baking soda
  • 1 tsp of kosher salt
  • Zest of one large lemon
  • Juice of one large lemon
  • 1 cup softened unsalted butter
  • 3.4 oz vanilla pudding instant mix
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 11 oz bag of Ghiradelli white chocolate chips

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 soda, salt, vanilla pudding. 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 in lemon and lemon juice to butter mixture and mix until just blended.
  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. Stir in white chocolate chips chocolate chips.
  11. Bake for nine minutes, then rotate the pan 180 degrees and bake for two additional minutes. Let cool on the pan for 3-4 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.

*Recipe based on Picky Palate’s white chocolate lemon pudding cookies.

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Mint chocolate chip cookies remix

For Mother’s Day I got this book from the boys:

Cookie_LoveIt has terrific cookie recipes (the snickerdoodle is hands down my boys’ favorite of the book), but it also has great tips for creating a better cookie. With that in mind I applied several of the tips to one of my classic cookie recipes and thought I would share!

Mint chocolate chip cookiesMint Chocolate Chip Cookies

  • 1 1/4 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp of baking powder
  • 1/8 tsp of kosher salt
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (Ghiradelli’s is our favorite)
  • 1/2 cup softened unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract

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, salt, and cocoa. 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 mint chocolate chips.
  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.

As I stated, it’s not a huge difference from my original recipe, but the method has some additional steps. If you enjoy baking (even just at the holidays) I would highly recommend the book!

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Mexican Pizzas

As we were driving home from the lake this past weekend, B and I started talking about the time we got Taco Bell in the middle of no where and I ordered a Mexican pizza that was a hot mess. Then I said “I bet we could make the Mexican pizza at home”. I started looking up the ingredients (beans, taco meat, pizza sauce, tomatoes, cheese, corn tortillas). Easy enough. We picked up the ingredients, and this is a dinner you can put together in less than twenty minutes.

So here’s your easy assemble steps (after you heat the beans, and prep the taco meat):

Mexican Pizzas Mexican Pizza Mexican Pizza Mexican Pizza Mexican Pizza Mexican Pizza Mexican PizzaAfter you layer everything I just put them under the broiler until the cheese was melted. Easy! Mexican pizzas at home.

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Quinoa for Lunch

Quinoa LunchThis super easy lunch makes enough for 2, or for a wholesome dinner for 1. And it’ll be done in less than fifteen minutes

Ingredients

1/2 cup quinoa

15 roasted tomatoes sliced in half

5 portobello mushrooms sliced in quarters

1/4 cup crumbled feta

1 tbs of julianned basil and rosemary

2 tsp balsamic vinegar

olive oil, salt, and pepper

lemon (optional)

Directions

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Cook quinoa according to package directions. While the quinoa is cooking, sprinkle the tomatoes with olive oil, salt, and pepper and spread them evenly on a foil lined cookie sheet. Cook for 15 minutes. Then add the mushrooms (add some olive oil to them) and cook for another 5-7 minutes. Add all of the remaining ingredients (minus the basil and rosemary) to the cooked quinoa and mix well. Sprinkle the basil and rosemary across the top and finish with a splash of lemon. Refreshing!

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My Mom’s Rigatoni

 

RigatoniOver Christmas my Mom made rigatoni with her spaghetti sauce, and the boys ate it up. I  made a slow cooker version of the meal this past week and thought I would share the results!

First thing you assemble the ingredients. I browned the meat….

RigatoniPut together the sauce in a slow cooker…

RigatoniBoil the noodles to a minute under al dente, and then combine everything together and cook in the slow cooker for 3-4 hours on low…

RigatoniAnd that’s it! The list of ingredients and full directions are after the jump!

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