Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Asian Meatballs

I adapted this recipe from a recipe my sister Karen gave me for Sesame Soy Meatballs.  I didn't have all the right ingredients, so I made my own version of what I'm calling Asian Meatballs.  They came out really yummy and my kids loved them.  I served them with orzo and string beans. 


2 Tablespoons brown sugar
3 Tablespoons soy sauce
2 Tablespoons sesame oil
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon chopped garlic
1/4 teaspoon coarse salt
1 lb ground turkey
1/4 cup panko bread crumbs
2 Tablespoons of vegetable oil


Mix together first 6 ingredients until combined.  Add ground turkey meat and mix gently with soy mixture.  Mix in panko bread crumbs until combined. (I added panko to help bind the meatball mixture because turkey meat tends to be loose, if you use ground beef you can omit the bread crumbs). Wet hands and form into balls.  Heat a 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil in a skillet and cook meatballs until browned on both sides.  Place meatballs on cookie sheet and bake at 350 degrees for about 10 -15 minutes to finish cooking.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Warm Butternut Squash, Lentil and Feta Salad - Secret Recipe Club

It's Secret Recipe Club time again!!  This time I was very excited to get a great blog to work with Farmgirl Gourmet.  Heather started this blog back in 2006 and her blog is filled with delicious recipes using a lot of organic and sustainable ingredients hence her tagline Homegrown, Local, Sustainable, Delicious!!  I orginally had a different recipe in mind to make from Heather's blog but very recently she posted this fantastic sounding recipe and I just had to make it.  I really love anything with butternut squash in it and this particular recipe with lentils, roasted peppers, pistachios and feta cheese sounded irresistable to me and I was right! YUM!  I adjusted the amounts of the ingredients and seasonings to my taste but the rest of the recipe is the same as the original recipe.

Warm Butternut Squash, Lentil and Feta Salad
(adapted from Farmgirl Gourmet)

1 medium butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cubed
1 tablespoon olive oil
/21 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
3 cups chicken stock or water
1 cup dry brown lentils
1 red pepper, roasted, peeled, seeded and diced
1/2 cup reduced-fat feta cheese
3 handfuls baby spinach leaves
2 tablespoons Italian parsley, coarsely chopped
2 tablespoons roasted pistachios, chopped

4 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1 garlic clove, coarsely chopped
1 teaspoon dijon mustard
1 teaspoon Sriracha sauce
salt and pepper, to taste


Preheat oven to 425. On a large rimmed baking sheet add the butternut squash cubes, 3 tablespoons olive oil, 1 tablespoon salt, 2 teaspoons black pepper and 1 tablespoon chili powder. Toss to coat the squash. Bake for 30-40 minutes. Test doneness by piercing the squash with a fork. Remove and allow to cool for 5 minutes.   Meanwhile, in a medium sauce pan add the chicken stock and bring to a boil. Add the lentils and turn to medium-low and simmer for about 30 minutes. Or until the lentils are tender but not mushy. Turn off the heat and allow to cool for a few minutes.  In a small mason jar add the vinaigrette ingredients and add the lid. Shake vigorously to combine.   In a large bowl add the red pepper, feta, spinach, parsley, pistachios, squash, lentils and vinaigrette. Toss to combine and serve immediately.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Hugs and Kisses Preztel Buttons

I have seen this "recipe" all over Pinterest and I finally decided to see what the hype was all about.  Wow what a ridiculously easy treat to make and it tastes soooo good.  I keep wondering "why didn't I think of that?"   Now I want to come up with some creative twists on this snack/dessert/candy/treat.


1 bag of Hersheys Hugs and Kisses (they make a bag that has both kinds mixed in now)
1 bag of small preztel twists


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Line a baking sheet with foil or parchment paper.  Lay preztels down on lined baking sheet in a single layer. 

Place a Hersehy's Kiss or Hug on top of each preztel and bake in 350 degree F. oven for about 5 minutes (until chocolate is just getting melted but still holds it's shape).

Spinkle generously with sprinkles and top each Hug and Kiss with a single M&M pressing down the tip of the chocolate to flatten.

You can also top the chocolate preztels with other things like nuts!  My kids loved these pecan topped chocolate preztels the best.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Uncle Phil's Chicken

I got this recipe from my friend Farah quite a long time ago.  I bumped into her in the market on Valentines Day and I had no idea what to make for dinner.  She told me she was making Uncle Phil's Chicken so I decided to be a copy cat and make that too.  I'm so happy I did because it was really easy to make and totally delicious.  My whole family really loved it, especially the sauce.  This recipe makes a lot of extra sauce so my kids loved pouring it over their rice and extra over their cut up chicken.  The recipe calls for chicken gravy mix but the market didn't have any so I opted for brown gravy mix and I think it was really good.  Next time I'm going to try it with chicken gravy mix to see which we like better.

*Farah usually makes the rice dish (recipe below) to go with this chicken.  I used plain brown rice but I think I'm definitely going to try Farah's rice dish next time instead.


4-6 Boneless chicken breasts
2 packages of chicken gravy mix (I used brown gravy mix)
2 cups of chicken broth
1 cup of white wine
1 box sliced mushrooms (optional)
1 tablespoon butter


You may want to flatten the breasts a bit if they are really thick or slice them through the middle. Dredge chicken in egg. (I season my egg with a bit of parsley flakes, salt, pepper and garlic powder) Next, dredge them in breadcrumbs. Heat up about 2 tablespoons of oil in a large skillet/sauté pan. Add more oil as cooking if needed. Sauté the breasts until golden. (don't over cook them, keep the heat fairly low, they will be in the oven for a good 45 minutes and you dont want them dry.) Save the drippings in the pan when you are done. Place cutlets in a 9 x 13 pan.  I usually pour off a bit of the oil, leave about ½ T in the pan. Add the broth to the skillet, all the while stirring so that the bits will loosen a bit, add the wine and begin whisking in the two packets of gravy. Maintain a nice medium level of heat and dont dump in the gravy to be sure you dont get clumps. It should begin to thicken and bubble after a few minutes.  Sauté the sliced mushrooms in 1T of butter until cooked through, sprinkle over cutlets. Then, pour the gravy mixture over the cutlets.
Bake at 325 for 45 minutes, serve over rice.

Rice Recipe

1 medium onion chopped
1 stick of butter
2 cans of broth
1/2 package of frozen chopped spinach, well drained
3 chicken bullion cubes
1 1/2 cups of Uncle Ben's converted rice


Sauté onion in butter until transparent. Add 2 cans of broth, spinach, bullion cubes, and rice. Simmer on stove covered for about 25 to 30 min until liquid has been absorbed.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Black Magic Cake - Crazy Cooking Challenge

It's time for this month's Crazy Cooking Challenge and this month's theme is Chocolate Cake!  I knew it would'nt be hard to find delicious chocolate cake recipes around my favorite blogs and I was right!  The recipe I decided to make, Black Magic Cake sounded perfect for this challenge.  It's a super dark, moist cake that looked irresitable.  I found this cake recipe on a great blog....My Baking Addiction and I couldn't wait to try it myself.  The frosting recipe I found on a local message board and gave it a try, I think it went pretty well with the may have been a little too sweet but overall the cake was a hit.


2 cups sugar
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup HERSHEY’S Cocoa
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
1 cup buttermilk or *sour milk
1 cup strong black coffee OR 2 teaspoons powdered instant coffee plus 1 cup boiling water
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

* To sour milk: Use 1 tablespoon white vinegar plus milk to equal 1 cup

Heat oven to 350°F. Grease and flour two 9-inch round baking pans or one 13x9x2-inch baking pan.  Stir together sugar, flour, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder and salt in large bowl. Add eggs, buttermilk, coffee, oil and vanilla; beat on medium speed of mixer 2 minutes (batter will be thin). Pour batter evenly into prepared pans.  Bake 30 to 35 minutes for round pans, 35 to 40 minutes for rectangular pan or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean.  Cool 10 minutes; remove from pans to wire racks. Cool completely. Frost as desired.

Chocolate Cream Frosting

4 1/3 cups plus 2 Tbs. unsifted powdered sugar
1 pinch salt
4 oz. unsweetened chocolate -- melted and cooled to tepid
1 1/2 oz. bittersweet chocolate -- melted and cooled to tepid
6 Tbs. unsalted butter -- cut into tablespoon chunks and softened
3/4 cups plus 3 Tbs. heavy cream
2 1/4 tsp. pure vanilla extract

Place powdered sugar and salt in large bowl. Add the melted chocolates, butter, cream, and vanilla. Using an electric hand mixer, beat for 1 minute on low to combine ingredients; continue beating on high for 2 more minutes or until very smooth and creamy, scraping down the sides of the mixing bowl several times with a rubber spatula to keep the frosting even textured. The frosting should be thick but creamy; if it seems too dense, lighten it with a little more heavy cream, added a tsp. at a time. Use frosting immediately.

Makes about 3 3/4 cups frosting

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Everyday Sisters Sharing Sundays - FEBRUARY

It's Baaaacccckkkk!!  Everyday Sisters Sharing Sundays is making a reappearance for the month of February and if you couldn't guess, this month's theme is LOVE!!!  Please link up any recipes that you think is romantic, warm hearted or one you would make for Valentine's Day.   All recipes or fun food ideas are welcome.  The link will be up all month long so feel free to come by and add more recipes during the month.

Our Rules:
1. Please become a follower of our blog.
2. Please share a link back to your actual recipe post, not to your main blog page.
3. Please link back to our blog so others can join in the fun.
4. Leave us a comment about what recipe you are linking up.
5. Have fun!
Happy Valentines Day!

Sticky Honey BBQ Wings

Who's ready for Game Day!!!  If you're tired of the traditional Spicy Buffalo wings here is a great alternative.  I love these because the wings are baked not fried and then they are tossed in this delicious sticky, sweet, tangy sauce right before serving so the wings stay crispy, hot and delicious.  If you are the more traditional type of wing eater here is a link to a super simple and delicious wing buffalo wing recipe........Baked Buffalo Wings

1 lb of chicken wingettes and drumettes
1/2 cup ketchup
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 tablespoon honey
1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper


Preheat oven to 425 degree F.  Place chicken, skin on on a lined greased baking sheet.  Bake wings for 45 min - 1 hr until they are light brown and very crispy.  Meanwhile in a large bowl mix together ketchup, soy sauce, vinegar, brown sugar, honey, salt and pepper.  Once chicken is done, remove from baking sheet and add directly into the large bowl with sauce.  Toss until coated well and serve immediately.