Saturday, September 5, 2009

Crockpot Meatballs

Okay so apparently I'm not adventurous and trying new recipes. July? Really? no posts for a month? ah well... it's coming to be my favorite time of the year. Football season! And along with that crisp weather, light sweaters, tailgating, and homey, warm, comforting, foods.

I'll start this glorious Football Saturday off with one of my most requested tailgate/party recipes. We are headed to a party at noon and I was requested to bring the Buffalo Chicken Dip by the wife, and then told NO WAY! I had to bring my meatballs by the husband. Well, to appease both (and compensate for the fact they are having KEGS! at their party and we don't have to BYOB- I feel like I'm in college again :) ) I made both. I have already shared the Buffalo Chicken Recipe with you. Go ahead, check it out. I'll wait.

But now I'll share the meatballs with you. It's a no-fail recipe. Easiest thing ever, and only uses 3 ingredients! Do I have your attention? Good. Let's get started.

Ingredients (this is for a large batch, if not going to a party or for a smaller group just adjust)

64 oz Frozen Meatballs. I've used original and italian and our fav and go to now is Farm Rich Original Meatballs. I large bag or 2 small. I've even done 2 small- 1 original and 1 italian.

Bottle of Ketchup

Bag of Light Brown Sugar

Optional: Slow Cooker Liners. These save my life for parties since I know the crock will be on all day long and I don't have to dred cleaning the stoneware when I get home.

I use a 6qt. Crockpot for most batches- it may look like a lot but they are gobbled up before I know it and everyone is asking for more!
Line slow cooker with liner if you are using it, if not you could lightly spray cooking spray around to help with cleanup as well.
Place half of the meatballs in the crockpot and get ready to make your sauce.
The sauce is open for interpretation but I've found around 1:1 ratio of ketchup to brown sugar works well. Fresh brown sugar is best to avoid the clumps of rock hard sugar. Mix the ingredients in a bowl and taste. I use about 3/4 bottle of ketchup to about 3/4+ of brown sugar. We like ours a little bit sweeter because when it cooks and cooks the flavor just melts together and it's delightful and not so ketchup-y. It should turn a dark red color once mixed thoroughly. Try to get out as many lumps as you can. Using the back of a spoon helps. Just mix a little and taste, add a little more, and keep going till you have enough sauce and are happy :)
Pour half the mixture over the meatballs, repeat by adding the rest of the meatballs and topping with the remaining sauce.
Cook on high for about 4 hours or until cooked through. I usually start on high for about 3 hours and then switch to warm for a few more hours if I have time before the party. The longer it cooks the better the sauce gets.
Here we are all starting to cook. I'll try and get a picture of the finished product... if they aren't all gone first!


Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Pulled Pork Sandwiches

So back to Rachel

She posted this recipe for Pulled Pork Sandwiches back in March.

I found it on Friday and immediately sent it to the husband and demanded I make this for dinner one night. A man to turn away BBQ Pork sammiches? Marinated in Beer? Yeah right so of course he was already hungry for it.

Decided to make these yesterday (prep on Monday night) and invited the family over since there was no way I'd fit into my dress this weekend had I eaten 2 of the 4 lbs of Pork Shoulder I was about to make.

Prep work was minimal, took maybe 15 minutes... only because I trimmed some of the fat and the bone from the pork. And I'm squeemish with raw meat. Gives me the heebie jeebies.

I'll not post the whole recipe here since I really really want you to go check out the southern hospitality over here.

I made 1 obvious change. Instead of Miller Lite (eeew in our household) I substituted Budweiser Select since it is what I had in the house.

5 simple ingredients, 1 delicious outcome.

6 people ate this last night (everyone agreed it was delicious!) and we had enough for a couple more sandwiches as leftovers.

The pork smelled awesome when I put it in the crock after marinating all night. When she says "Resist the urge to dive face first into the crockpot." She isn't kidding. Seriously. It was so moist and tender after cooking all day that it shredded easily and was ready and waiting for the BBQ sauce. I may get the bigger bottle next time for a little extra BBQ flavor. But this recipe will be repeated again I'm sure. Probably pretty soon.

And now that I've discovered Mouth Watering Mondays hopefully I'll be able to post here more than once a month with some new recipes that we've tried!!!

Find the Recipe Here.


Tuesday, July 28, 2009

A little bit of Texas

So I read blogs... a lot. All kinds of blogs. Pretty much if you are snarky, witty, take lots of pictures, make good food, I'll read your blog and then dream about being just as talented as you are.

I found Rachel's blog recently and have become wrapped up in reading the archives... in particular the Mouthwatering Monday posts. I'm already anticipating my next trip to the grocery store!

Rachel has a Simple Seasoning. And boy is it good. and simple! go figure. You probably already have everything in your cabinet. Just go grab a little container and make this.


I put it on my steak on Sunday night and oh man it was fantastic. Not overpowering like some marinades I've used. She says you can use it for everything. I can just think of how great it would be on chicken... and french fries! I used it yesterday for her pulled pork sandwich recipe.

Those are up next. Is your mouth watering yet?

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Pasta Primavera

So I decided it was high time to start eating better and with the hubs being out of town its the perfect time to experiment with some recipes including veggies!

I found this recipe at Woof Nanny and thought it sounded like a good and healthy dinner and she portioned it for 2 so that definitely helps when you are only cooking for 1 or 2.

The sauce wasn't creamy which I was unsure about since I love cream sauces- yet my thighs do not- but the end result was slightly citrusy and light and refreshing while at the same time filling me up to where I almost couldn't finish! I loved chopping up my own veggies and felt like a real grown-up in the grocery store since I was stocking up on the "good for you" stuff. I definitely be starting a mini-herb garden in my kitchen so that I can have fresh basil all the time!

I brought the second portion in today for lunch and at 6 WW Pts it was well worth it!

(Re-posted from Woof Nanny with my adjustments in Red)

2 teaspoons olive oil or vegetable oil (Extra Virgin Olive Oil)
1 cup broccoli florets (About 1.5-2 cups... I love broccoli)
2 medium tomatoes, peeled, seeded, and chopped (1 large, not peeled- probably should have)
1/2 cup sliced yellow squash
1/2 cup sliced carrots (baby carrots cut in half)
2 garlic cloves, minced (1 monster large bulb that was slightly intimidating)
1/2 cup canned ready-to-serve low-sodium chicken broth
1 Tablespoon chopped fresh Italian (flat-leaf) parsley (eyeballed it)
1 Tablespoon chopped fresh basil (eyeballed it)
2 cups cooked penne pasta (Barilla Piccolini mini farfalle)
1 Tablespoon grated Parmesan cheese (Oops forgot this)
fresh basil for garnish (just a little bit)

In 10-inch non-stick skillet, heat oilAdd broccoli, tomatoes, squash, carrot, and garlic and cook over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until squash is softened, 1 to 2 minutes.Add broth, parsley, and basil and stir to combine.

Reduce heat to low, cover and cook until broccoli and carrots are tender, about 5 minutes.Add pasta to vegetable mixture, stir to combine. To serve, transfer pasta mixture to serving bowl, sprinkle with cheese, and garnish with fresh basil leaves, if desired. Two servings. Each serving provides: 4V, 1FA, 2B, 20C


Trifle- AKA The Best Dessert Ever

So my former coworker used to spoil us rotten by making this phenomenal dessert. It is amazingly rich and chocolatey yet so light that it's almost sinful. Don't get me wrong, it isn't light on calories I'm sure but I choose to ignore that fact.

I made this (condensed version) for Easter and it was a huge hit. I unfortunately (or fortunately depending on how you look at it) didn't have any leftovers to bring home.

The full version is double of everything and you need a VERY BIG bowl. The half version that I'm posting fit nicely (with room to spare) in the Pampered Chef Trifle Bowl.

Okay okay, now on to the good stuff.


1 box of chocolate cake (whatever kind you would like)
1/2 bag of peanut butter chips
1 box of chocolate pudding (I used Fat Free, Sugar Free)
2 cups of cold milk (to mix with the pudding)
1 tub of Cool Whip (I used Cool Whip Light)
a few bars of butterfingers, crushed, chopped, whatever you want

Bake the cake according to the directions, I made 2 9'' round cakes and only used about 3/4 of 1 for the trifle. Let cool completely. While this is baking/cooling, make your pudding and keep in fridge, also crush, chop, whatever the butterfingers and set aside till you need them. Tear up the cake and make a layer in the bottom of dish. Melt peanut butter chips in microwave or on stovetop. Pour over cake. Layer 1/2 of the chocolate pudding over the peanut butter. Layer 1/2 of the Cool Whip over that. Top with 1/2 of the butterfinger yummies. Repeat Pudding, Cool Whip, Butterfinger layers 1 more time. Now step back and try to control the overwhelming desire to put your face right in the bowl and start nomming.

A large spoon is reccomended for serving and eating. Preferably 1 with a long handle so that it takes less time from bowl to mouth.


Friday, February 13, 2009

Pasta with Shrimp, Zuccini, and Yellow Squash

So I was feeling adventurous the other night and whipped this up on my own. I was pleasantly surprised that the flavors came together for me and yet I was missing sauce. I suppose I could have tweaked it by adding additional liquids to simmer down and thicken up but this worked well for me as a first try at whipping up something I'd never done before, sans recipe.

1/3 lb seasoned shrimp (I purchased a garlic and herb blend from my seafood counter but you could use and blend that you would like. I think a citrus would possibly have worked better)
1/2 zuccini cut into chunks
1/2 yellow squash cut into chunks
olive oil
clove of garlic minced
white wine
1/2 lime

I started by heating the garlic in a small amount of oil until I could smell it. I tossed the zuccini and yellow squash with olive oil, salt, and pepper to coat and then added that to the pot. Cooked for about 8 minutes (but I could be wrong, our power went out twice at this point and I was cooking blind by the light of the flames) I added the shrimp and cooked until opaque. Power went out again but I was able to locate my wine bottle and half lime by the time it came back on. I added the juice of 1/2 lime and some white wine. (should have used more than i did) cooked together until the veggies were browned and the shrimp was completely cooked.
- While I was doing this I had thin spaghetti boiling in some water (wish I had angel hair)

I drained the spaghetti and added to the pain. drizzled just a little bit more olive oil on and cooked together for a few more minutes.

I may have killed the zuccini and squash as they were a bit too cooked but overall I got the concept. I liked the flavors together. the lime gave a little bit of zing!


Friday, January 30, 2009

Crockpot- Pot Roast

So everyone has their own pot roast recipe. And everyone likes theirs best. I'm constantly trying to update mine and figure out one recipe that I just can't live without. I made this during the snow storm on Wednesday and it was pretty close to being the best!

2-3 lb pot roast
2 cloves garlic
2 tbsp olive oil
italian seasoning
7-8 potatoes (peeled and cut into chunks)
2 portions of baby carrots (mine were individual size but 1 small bag would be fine)
1/2-3/4 sweet onion (i diced 1/2 of that into teenytiny pieces and just cut the others into chunks)
1 can beef broth

Brown pot roast on the stove with 2 cloves of minced garlic and the olive oil. (When I get my garlic press from pampered chef they will be pressed!) Season both sides with salt and pepper (and italian seasoning though next time I'll probably omit that) place in crockpot. Pour half of broth over it. Throw the potatoes, carrots, and onion on top. Pour rest of broth over vegetables.

Cook on High for 4-6 hours or low for 6-8 hours. I cooked ours on high for 2 and switched to low for about 4. Vegetables will be tender and meat will fall apart.