Monday, July 27, 2015

Maddie's SECRET Meatballs

First let me start off by saying, YES, this really IS this big of an issue for my granddaughter.  This precious, beautiful little princess won't come within 10 feet of a veggie if it was up to her.  She is spending the summer her with her dad and stepmom, brother and sister and Nonna and Pop-Pop and we have had to figure out ways to get veggies in her.  If for one second you think I can put them on a plate and convince her they are worth a single taste, let alone bite, you are mistaken.  This kid has stubborn down to a science and I know she can't be the only one

Let me introduce you to Madalynn a.k.a Maddie.  She is my oldest granddaughter and she is my precious little cupcake.  She is a special little girl who we don't get to see enough but love her to the moon and back.  We are so excited to have her here close to us for the summer and it has been my mission to get her to eat vegetables.  I would have had an easier time wallpapering the moon.  Look at those eyes, and that face, UGH, she melts me!

Maddie loves meatballs.  In fact, everyday she wants something with meatballs.  I thought to myself, self......secretly load those babies with veggies.  So I did.  She almost called me out, as she was eating them she saw a TEENY TINY piece of spinach and squealed, "NONNA THERE IS LETTUCE IN HERE".  ROFL  I was laughing so hard.  The struggle is real friends, lettuce in her meatballs, SOMETHING was fishy about this whole thing.  I proceeded to watch her out of the corner of my eye, carefully inspecting each meatball before eating it.  She must have eaten 15 of these things.  I tried to use kid rationale before making them.  Things like making them small enough she didn't have to cut into them to see any possible contraband.  I used ground chicken just for a leaner alternative and we eat tons of it so I always have it on hand.  As she was eating I asked her if we should share these with other kids so their parents or Nonnas could make them her special meatballs and I got the firm thumbs up.  So here they are, Maddie's SECRET Meatballs, what they don't know is in there, will be GOOD for them!  I am so happy to be able to share these and my beautiful grandbaby with you all.

Before you start this "kid approved because they have no idea what they are REALLY eating" recipe you will need to concoct your veggies using a food processor. 

1/4 of an onion
1 small carrot
1/2 of a stalk of celery
1/4 cup fresh spinach leaves
1 clove garlic
1 T dried Italian seasoning

Puree this until it nearly all liquid.  Remember the goal is to have nothing recognizable in these meatballs.  Set aside to add to your meatball mix.

1 lb. ground chicken
1 egg
vegetable puree
1 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper
1/2 cup breadcrumbs (plain or seasoned, it makes no difference and you may need more or less depending on how moist you like your meatball mix)

Combine all ingredients in a bowl.  Using a tiny scoop or just your hands make little meatballs, no more than 1/2 inch in diameter.  We don't want them to have to cut the meatball and risk seeing anything "suspicious".  Place on a baking sheet and bake at 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes.  Remove and place into your favorite marinara sauce and let simmer for a good 30 minutes so they can soak up that great flavor!  Serve over pasta of your choice!


Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Thin Crust Reuben Pizza

Ohhh Ohhhh OH, Oh those summmmmerrr nights! Wella, wella, wella, UH.... 
Yes, I am watching Grease in the background.  I guess that means I am listening to Grease.  Anyway, I hope that song is now stuck in YOUR head for awhile like I have!

This is a bit of a "semi-homemade" pizza.  Let me be honest, I do this from time to time and I go through spurts of it.  In the summer I tend to do it more, simply because of being busy and not wanting to heat up the kitchen.  But I have my own opinions, I think even though you purchase some ingredients, it is homemade, it is assembled by your hands in your kitchen with your love, and dang it, that is homemade.  Am I right here?  This is probably the first time in maybe 5 or 6 years, (dead serious) that I BOUGHT a pizza crust thingy.  I have to much going on and my sister requested that I made a pizza like this for her last winter.  WHAT?  So she had to be put on my waiting list, I think 6 months out isn't bad at all!  Let me just tell you friend O' mine who want to make your own sauerkraut, pizza dough, and Russian dressing on a 100 degree day......GO FOR IT.  Isn't happening for me.  Also if I had real corned beef on hand, I would have gone that route.  But this is a quick and easy pizza, so just do it!

This will beyond satisfy any Reuben lover in your life.  It far exceeded my expectation but I don't know why, it is just like I made a regular Reuben sandwich just in thin crust pizza form!  Some of the toppings, are kind of "to taste" but I will just tell you what I used. 

Oh yea, ask me why there is only 1 photo of my prep.  Because I forgot to take more.  And frankly, it's a pizza, you will figure it out!

You will need

1 Pillsbury (or whatever brand) pizza crust
1/4-1/2 cup Thousand Island Dressing
1/4 lb. deli corned beef sliced thin by the deli and in strips by you
1 cup drained and packed sauerkraut
2 cups grated Swiss cheese

Press dough out unto a pizza pan.  Mine is pretty large. Use a cookie sheet if you need to, just get it pressed out.  Follow package directions, I needed to pre bake mine for 5 minutes.  I let it cool a couple of minutes and then started the masterpiece!

Thousand Island dressing, leave a little border. 

And that is where your pictorial stops!  Next comes half of the cheese!  THEN the sauerkraut, corned beef on top of that, then the rest of the cheese.  Make sure that sauerkraut is drained REALLY well.  Bake for an additional 7-10 minutes.  Your crust will be golden and the cheese will be melty goodness.

This is fantastic and if you aren't sure, just ask me.  I will tell you to just make it, and see for yourself!  That thin crispy crust and those Reuben toppings, good Lord above, it is amazing!

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Parmesan Baked Egg Loaf

Good morning, or, I mean evening!  I get confused on these egg recipes ya know.  (wasn't that funny)  We eat them at our house morning, noon and night.  No time is a wrong time for an egg recipe or breakfast recipe at our house! 

So how many of you make egg in a nest?  Toad in a hole?  Bird in a nest?  Frog on the pond?  You know what I am talking about, don't you?  I think we have even had the discussion on social media, on what you call it!  If you call it something different you will have to let me know in the comments!  Regardless of what you call it, I call it perfect for any meal!  This recipe is just a bit of a "grown up" version, which I only say because some would consider this fancy enough for serving guests where they might not serve a plain ol' frog on the pond!

I was inspired by a photo my husband sent me.  It was similar to this, but I could find no recipe, only a photo.  After a couple of tried both of which were fantastic, I found the way I wanted to share with you all.  I know eggs are skyrocketing in price especially here in the Midwest, but when you find a good deal, stock up and make this! 

Here we go, on this fah-nsah nan-sah version of whatever you call it!

1 loaf of French bread or baguette
4 eggs
3 T grated parmesan cheese
2 T melted butter
dried parsley to taste
salt and pepper to taste

Preheat your oven to 375.  Using about a 2 inch cookie or biscuit cutter, cut through the top layer of your bread.  Using a serrated knife cut out the circle and dig out the bread halfway down to the bottom.  Be careful not to pierce the bottom of the loaf we don't need leaky eggs! 

Now, brush this loaf with melted butter.  Use every last drop of that butter, don't let me catch you leaving a little behind.  Just don't!  Drop an egg into each hole, then sprinkle with parmesan cheese, salt and pepper and parsley. 

Now, pop this bad girl into the oven, for 18-23 minutes.  You want the yolks to still jiggle, and the whites to ALMOST be firm.  They will carryover cook, so take them out shy of the whites being completely firm. 

Let it cool for a few minutes and cut into 4 pieces or 2 pieces if you are serving 2 to each person.  If you are serving more than 2 or 4 people, well, get another loaf out kids!

I love these and one was so filling!!!