Sunday, October 30, 2011

Recipe: Turkey Meatballs

Last week I went to visit my college roommate, her husband, and their beautiful week-old baby boy.  It could not have been a more perfect day. We just sat and watched that precious little man sleep the day away, not a care in the world, and while he was dozing, I made the new parents a big 'ol batch of meatballs so they wouldn't have to cook all week.  For them, I used beef, which is totally acceptable and super delicious.  For you (and for me & the man this week at home), I'm going with turkey.  Feel free to mix it up however you like!  This recipe is an eyeball-it, kitchen-sink, ingredient free for all...if you don't have one or some of these ingredients, it won't really make or break the dish...just substitute any other Italian herbs in your pantry.  Experimenting is key!

1-2 lbs. ground turkey (or beef)
2 egg whites
1-2 handfuls of breadcrumbs (I tend to use Italian-flavored here but if you want a lighter meatball you could try Panko)
Minced garlic
Onion powder
Crushed red pepper flakes
Splash of Worcestershire sauce
Handful of grated Paremsean cheese

Two (2)- large cans tomato sauce
One (1) 8-oz. can tomato paste
Garlic Powder
Onion Powder
1-2 bay leaves (be sure to remove these before serving!)
Salt & pepper to taste

I love a meal that cleans out the cabinets.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Mix all of the meatball ingredients together and form into meatballs on a non-stick pan.  Bake for 10-15 minutes, turning halfway through.

While the meatballs bake, mix sauce ingredients in a Crockpot or large stock pot.  Once meatballs are browned, place is pot and cook on Low 4-6 hours.

 fresh out the oven and ready for a sauce bath :)

Note: I noticed that the beef meatballs were sturdier than the turkey and that you may end up with more of a meat sauce if you use turkey meat.  I'd suggest cooking the turkey meatballs all the way through in the oven and make sure they have a nice brown "crust" around them before placing in the sauce.  They'll stay together better that way.

Monday, October 10, 2011

GUEST RECIPE! Ma's Mandel Bread

So this past weekend was Yom Kippur, and aside from fasting and ultimately being delusional all day, I have to say I love this holiday.  Each year we get together with longtime family friends to break fast, and my mom has been making Mandel bread for years.  Mandel bread is really like the Jewish biscotti- loaves of cakey bread with chocolate chips, sprinkled with cinnamon and sugar, served for dessert (and best dipped in coffee!).  Here's my mama's recipe...thanks Ma!

3 cups flour
1 cup sugar
2 tsp. baking powder
3 eggs
3/4 cup canola oil
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 c. chocolate chips
cinnamon & sugar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix flour, sugar, and baking powder in a large bowl.  Make a well in the center and add eggs, oil, and vanilla.  Mix well.  Add chocolate chips and stir.

 "the well"

Divide mixture into 3 loaves and place on greased cookie sheet.  Bake for 25 minutes.  Cool for 10 minutes and then sprinkle cinnamon/sugar mixture over loaves.  Bake another 5 minutes.
i don't reccommend eating this dough raw...well maybe just a taste...or two

the final product! Imagine how hard it is to make this while you're fasting :)

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Recipe: Bowtie Pasta with Spinach & Feta Cheese

Yesterday was Wednesday, or as I like to call it, WINESDAY! Whatever gets you through the week, right? I had some friends over for dinner and whipped up this quick and easy (and fairly healthy) pasta dish in between playing with my friend's 7-month-old adorable little mini-me and indulging in a glass of vino (did i mention it was WINESDAY?).  Needless to say, this meal requires little concentration and is pretty hard to mess up.

Sorry there isn't a picture of the final the time the meal was done I realized I forgot about it...whoops!

1 box bow-tie pasta (or any other pasta you have layin' around...we don't discriminate here, folks)
1 onion, chopped
1 package fresh spinach leaves
1 yellow pepper(red would work too, but I don't think green has the same affect)
1/2 c. sundried tomatoes, chopped
chopped garlic to your desired garlicky-ness
1 c. reserved cooking water from your pasta
feta cheese, crumbled
white cooking wine (hello...WINESday!)
lemon juice
S&P to taste

Bring pot of water to a boil for the pasta.  In a separate saucepan, get the EVOO and add onions once the pan is hot.  Cook until transparent.  Add pepper and white cooking wine, simmer 5-10 mins on low.  Once pepper is soft, add garlic and spinach and cook until spinach is wilted.  Add sundried tomatoes at the end.

Once pasta is cooked, reserve a little bit of cooking water before you drain, then set the pasta aside.  Add cooking water the veggies, and some crumbled feta.  Cook until feta is melty.  Toss pasta in sauce and garnish with feta, salt and pepper, and a squeeze of lemon juice.  Grab a glass (or judgment) of wine and you're good to go!

Don't forget to let me know what you thought of this recipe in the comment section below.