Monday, January 25, 2016

Turkey Meatballs

We love these meatballs at our house. They can top spaghetti or be put into a hoagie for a meatball sub. This makes plenty and I always freeze the leftovers in packs of 4 so Andrew can make an easy lunch or dinner.

1 1/2 lbs ground turkey
1 cup bread crumbs
1 cup grated parmesan cheese
2 eggs
salt to taste
1 Tbsp milk
2 jars of sauce, or use two cans of crushed tomatoes to make your own

Preheat the oven to 375.

Mix the ground turkey with the bread crumbs, parmesan cheese, eggs, milk, and salt. Form meat balls (about 28). I use a cookie scoop to get uniform size meatballs. Pan fry them to brown them (they will finish cooking in the over).

Pour some sauce in the bottom of a dutch oven. Lay the meatballs in a single layer and then cover with more sauce. Bake covered for 30 minutes. If you want to pump up the cheese factor, you can now sprinkle the top with mozzarella cheese and broil until bubbling. 

Serve over pasta or on hoagies and with any extra sauce.

Monday, January 11, 2016

Quick Cobb Salad

This salad is quick and easy to put together, as long as you are willing to do a little work in the beginning.

To make this lunch quick and easy, you need to have grilled chicken stocked up in the freezer. Spend one day marinating a big batch of chicken breasts and then grill them. Flash freeze them on a cookie sheet once they are cool and then bag them individually and store them in the freezer. I use a vacuum sealer for each breast so that all the air is out and I don't get any freezer burn. 

When you go to use the frozen chicken, just pull out one of the packages the night before. Then it will be thawed in time for you to use for your salad at lunch. Easy way to add that grilled chicken to your lunch!

I also keep my salad topping already prepared and read to go in the fridge. So my eggs are already boiled, cucumbers, etc.

Frozen grilled chicken breast, thawed and diced
Bard Boiled Egg
Shredded Carrots
Shredded Cheese

Add everything to the bowl and top with some dressing. I go with Extra Virgin Olive Oil, a little salt & pepper, and some dried basil. Be careful with the dressing you pick. It can take a completely healthy salad and add tons of empty calories and fat.

Other good salad toppings: avocado, bacon, tomato, green onions, red onion, black beans, or even salsa as the dressing.

Monday, January 4, 2016

Smoked Chicken Tacos

We love to use our smoker and one of my new favorite things to make is smoked chicken. It doesn't take anywhere near as long as smoking bbq pork and the left overs can be used in may ways. This is Andrew's favorite way to make chicken tacos right now.

So you can either make or buy your smoked chicken. We keep it simple by brining the chicken over night in a sugar/salt/water mixture. The next morning I pat dry the chicken and sprinkle on a little bit of salt and pepper. Then smoke it for about 3 hours using hickory wood. Yum! This is what we did for our Christmas dinner this year and served it up with southern biscuits, green beans, & squash casserole.

We smoke at least two chickens so that we have leftovers for recipes like this. Enjoy!

8 oz can tomato sauce
1 tsp Chili powder*
Smoked chicken, about 2 cups

Drizzle the skillet with a little oil so the chicken doesn't stick with you heat it. Toss in the chicken and stir it around so it starts to break up a little. Add the tomato sauce and chili powder. Use your spoon/spatula to mix all the ingredients in the skillet and to break up and shred the chicken while it heats through.

Once it is heated, dish it into taco shells and top with shredded lettuce and cheese. It would also be good on nachos!

*A note about the chili powder. We use this salt free chili powder from Sprouts.

I bought it thinking it was, in fact, just chili powder, but it is actually a mix of spices which work really well for this recipe. You should be able to use a taco seasoning or something similar in its place.

Friday, January 1, 2016

Happy New Year! - Weekly Wrap Up

I'm going to sum up a couple weeks, since I didn't post last Friday.

So the first week of Christmas Break we went to McWane with Colin. He loves McWane but never gets to go since he is at school now. They had a train exhibit set up and both boys loved it. These boys never get tired of trains!

Memaw came for Christmas Eve and we decorated cookies after dinner. Santa also came around on his firetruck like he does every year. It is so exciting to hear the sirens and run out to see him riding on the top. If you ask Charlie what Santa rides, he won't say a sleigh. He answers with a firetruck. Ha! Charlie is also my kitchen helper. He wants to cook and stir all the time. I love it!

Christmas Day Memaw headed home to meet up with Uncle Will and Granny & Papa came to the house. I don't have a lot of pictures from Christmas Day. =( Santa has scaled way back over the years. Looking at old pictures, he went way overboard. So he pulled it in a made sure there were some fun gifts under the tree but didn't buy the entire Target.

The boys loved what Santa brought! It was a very Star Wars Christmas for Colin. He got the Ewok Village Lego set and some other Star Wars themed goodies. Charlie got an assortment of toys that interest him like a bus, a Mickey Mouse fire truck, a vet kit, and Magnaformers. My favorite gift was this tray from my mom. It looks so good on my kitchen table with flowers.

 This week Colin has been in Florida with Granny & Papa so it's just been the three of us. We've been lazy and hung around the house a lot. We did go to McWane again, this time with Daddy, and did breakfast at Edgar's. We tried the park one day but it has just been so wet and rainy. It was completely gross. I got my first Stitch Fix of the year and it had this really cute polka dot vest in it!

I found a new tea that I love at our bakery and I think Charlie may end up being a tea drinker too. He felt so big sipping out of a mug.

I got a coloring book for Christmas this year too. It is really relaxing to sit down with a coloring book, tea, and cookie. Who knew?

Colin comes home today and I'm looking forward to hearing how much fun he had!