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Wednesday
Mar122014

Sriracha Turkey Meatballs

Sriracha turkey meatballs

We don’t repeat many recipes in this house, so when we do, it’s for a good reason. I’ve made these meatballs a few times in a month because they are just so good! They are incredibly versatile too! They make a deliciously quick dinner, but they would be just as awesome on an appetizer plate at a party. We added them to our weeknight meal repertoire, over a bed of brown rice (cooked in the rice cooker because it’s the only way I don’t burn it). Delicious, simple, and filling!

For the Meatballs
1 pound Ground Turkey
1 Egg
1/2 cup Plain Breadcrumbs
2 inches Fresh Ginger, grated
1/2 teaspoon Soy Sauce
1 bunch Scallions, divided
Black Pepper, freshly cracked

In a large bowl, combine the turkey, egg, breadcrumbs, grated ginger, soy sauce, black pepper, and 2-3 of the sliced scallions. Shape the mixture into golf ball sized meatballs and place them on a baking sheet that has been lined with foil. Bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes, until the meatballs are fully cooked. You should be able to make about 2 dozen meatballs with the mixture. 

For the Sriracha Glaze
2 tablespoons Soy Sauce
1 tablespoon Rice Vinegar
1/4 cup Brown Sugar
2 tablespoons Sriracha
1/2 cup Water, divided
2 tablespoons Cornstarch 

In a small saucepan, combine the soy sauce, rice vinegar, brown sugar, sriracha, and 1/4 cup of water. Stir the mixture over medium heat until the brown sugar has dissolved. In a small bowl, make a slurry with the cornstarch and the remaining 1/4 cup of water. Add the slurry to the saucepan and stir to combine. Allow the mixture to simmer until the glaze thickens and becomes glossy. Brush the glaze over the tops/sides of each of the meatballs. Sprinkle the meatballs with remaining scallions and serve over rice, or with toothpicks as an appetizer. 

SOURCE: Budget Bytes

Monday
Feb242014

Peanut Butter Pie

Peanut butter pie

I can’t believe that it is already the end of February. Somehow, I have the feeling that 2014 is going to fly. With the end of the month comes Secret Recipe Club Reveal Day! This past month, I was assigned to Nicole’s blog, I Am A Honey Bee. I absolutely enjoyed every second of searching through Nicole’s blog, reading about the food she cooks, her scrapbooking, her travels, and her family, including her super cute Boston Terrier and her sweet little baby daughter. Boston is one of my favorite cities, so I enjoyed her posts that explored the New England area. I also enjoyed her scrapbook posts, as I have scrapbooked for quite some time (though I’ve fallen away recently). Every recipe that Nicole posted sounded like something I’d make in my own kitchen. I couldn’t help but think as I read through her posts that if I lived in the Boston area, we’d be fast friends! After narrowing my choices down to about 2 dozen recipes, I finally settled on this peanut butter pie, thanks to a little help from my brother. His birthday was mid-month and my mom had us all over for dinner. As I do every year, I volunteered to bring dessert. I don’t know why I bother asking Michael what he wants me to make, because every year he responds by saying “anything with Oreo or peanut butter flavor”. Perfect! This recipe made more filling than needed for the pie, which would have been perfect to make individual pies, but I chose to eat it by spooning it onto the leftover Oreos from the crust. Thanks Nicole, for helping me to join my brother’s two favorite flavors into one delicious birthday pie. I had a great time getting to know you this month! 

8 ounces Oreos (about half a package)
4 tablespoons Butter, melted
4 ounces Chocolate Chips or Finely Chopped Chocolate (I used dark)
1/4 cup Peanuts, chopped
1 cup Heavy Cream
8 ounces Cream Cheese
1 cup Creamy Peanut Butter
1 cup Powdered Sugar
1 can (14 ounces) Sweetened Condensed Milk
1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
1 teaspoon Lemon Juice 

Process the cookies in a food processor until crumbs are formed. Dump the cookie crumbs into a bowl and add the melted butter; mix well. Firmly press the cookie crumb mixture into a 9” pie plate. Melt the chocolate in a double boiler or the microwave for 30-second intervals, stirring between each, until fully melted. Pour the melted chocolate over the cookie crust and spread into an even layer. Sprinkle the chopped peanuts over the chocolate and place the pie plate in the fridge to firm while preparing the filling. Pour the heavy cream into the bowl of a stand mixer and using the whisk attachment, whisk the cream until soft peaks form. Place the whipped cream into the fridge to chill. In a large bowl, beat the cream cheese and peanut butter until well combined. Add the condensed milk and beat until incorporated. Slowly add the powdered sugar and blend until fully incorporated. Add the vanilla extract and lemon juice and beat until smooth. Fold 1/3 of the whipped cream into the filling with a rubber spatula until blended. Then fold in the remaining whipped cream until no white streaks remain. Pour the filling into the pie plate and most the top with a spatula. Sprinkle with additional peanuts or chocolate, if desired. Refrigerate for until 3 hours before serving.

SOURCE: I Am A Honey Bee

Wednesday
Feb122014

Winter Squash Carbonara with Pancetta and Sage

Winter squash carbonara

We’ve been spoiled. Over the past few years, we’ve had relatively mild winters; light on the snow and temperatures in the double digits, which are very much not the norm in Buffalo. Needless to say, we got used to those winters, forgetting how cold and snowy it once was. This year, however, was very much like the winters I remembered as a kid; snowing pretty much consistently and temperatures well below zero. Since it has been a few years since we’ve experienced a winter like that, it came as a bit of an unwelcome surprise! While these last two days have been light on the snow, the temperatures have still been absolutely brutal! Since Mother Nature continues to blast us with her frigid air, we’ve been craving simple, yet hearty dishes to warm us up. As I flipped through the pages of the Bon Appetit magazine the other day, I knew that this dish would fit the bill. Easy enough for a weeknight, yet delicious enough to serve guests, this meal warmed us right up! 

2 tablespoons Olive Oil
4 ounces Pancetta, chopped
1 tablespoon Fresh Sage, finely chopped
1-2 pound Butternut Squash, peeled, seeded, and cut into 1/2” pieces
1 Onion, chopped
2 Garlic Cloves, chopped
Salt and Pepper
2 cups Vegetable Broth
12 ounces Fettucine or Linguine Pasta
1/4 cup Finely Grated Pecorino, plus shaved for serving

Add the oil to a large skillet set over medium-high heat. Add the pancetta, reduce the heat to medium, and cook, stirring occasionally, until crisp, 8-10 minutes. Add the sage and toss to coat. Transfer the pancetta and sage to a small bowl and set aside. Add the squash, onion, and garlic to the skillet, season with salt and pepper, and cook until the onion is translucent. Add the broth and bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer until the squash is soft and the liquid has reduced by half, about 20 minutes. Cool slightly, then pour into a blender and puree until smooth. Season with additional salt and pepper, if desired. Meanwhile, cook the pasta according to package directions, then drain, reserving 1 cup of cooking liquid. Combine the pasta and squash puree in the skillet and cook over medium heat, tossing the pasta in the puree to coat. Add reserved pasta cooking liquid, as needed (I didn’t end up using any). Mix in 1/4 cup of the grated cheese and season with additional salt and pepper, if desired. Serve pasta with reserved pancetta and sage, shaved pecorino, and cracked black pepper.

SOURCE: Bon Appetit, February 2014

Sunday
Feb092014

Bolognese Sauce

Bolognese

There is no better way to spend a blustery, wintery day than by playing in the kitchen, making a slow-cooked meal, and letting it's aromas and warmth fill the house. It requires only a little bit of work at the start to prep the ingredients, and the payoff is amazing! Soups, stews, and sauce are perfect recipes to make on those long, cold days. When it comes to sauce, I’m generally a fan of meatless marinara. However, in the depths of winter, with the frigid temperatures we’ve been having, I’ve been feeling the need for something more substantial to keep us warm. This bolognese did just that. It also made more than enough to enjoy for 4 meals! Since I unfortunately don’t see an end to winter any time soon, I take comfort in knowing that I have plenty bolognese in the freezer to warm me up whenever I need it! 

Olive Oil
4 ounces Pancetta, diced
1 pound Ground Sirloin
1 pound Ground Italian Sausage
2 Onions, chopped
2 Carrots, peeled and diced small
1 Green Pepper, chopped
8 Garlic Cloves, minced
Salt and Pepper, to taste
1 can (6oz) Tomato Paste 
1 cup Red Wine
1 cup Beef Stock
2 cans (28oz each) Crushed Tomatoes
2 cans (14.5oz each) Diced Tomatoes
2 Bay Leaves
1 tablespoon Dried Oregano
1/2 teaspoon Crushed Red Pepper Flake
Parmesan Cheese Rind

In a large, heavy-bottomed pot over medium-high heat, cook the pancetta in olive oil until slightly crisp. Add the sirloin and sausage, breaking up the meat with a wooden spoon, and cook until browned. You may want to drain some of the fat before going any further. Add the onions, carrots, bell pepper, and garlic, stirring frequently, and cook until the vegetables have softened. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Stir in the tomato paste until it is fully incorporated, then add the wine. Using a wooden spoon, scrape up any browned bits from the bottom of the pot, and cook until the wine has reduced. Add the beef stock, crushed tomatoes, diced tomatoes, bay leaves, oregano, red pepper flakes, and parmesan rind, stirring to combine. Bring the sauce to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium-low. Cover and let the sauce simmer for 3-5 hours to thicken. Discard the bay leaves and cheese rind (if it didn’t already melt) before serving. Season with additional salt, pepper, oregano, or red pepper flakes, as needed. Serve over pasta. If freezing, let sauce cool completely before placing it into a freezer-safe container.

SOURCE: Cassie Craves

Saturday
Feb012014

Beet Caprese Salad

Beet caprese

A few days into the new year, Joel and I had a bit of a case of cabin fever, and to remedy that, we drove up to Toronto for the day. We almost didn’t make it because the roads were a mess, but for the sake of our sanity, we continued. Our only goal was to go to Toronto for lunch, then Ikea on the way home. When we finally made it to TO, we braved the frigid temperatures and walked a few blocks to one of Joel’s favorite places, Pizzeria Libretto. We’ve only been there twice, but they have amazing pizzas and the atmosphere is really cool. They were offering a pre-fixe lunch menu which included a salad, whole pizza, and dessert for a very reasonable price. Our salad options were arugula or beet caprese. Caprese salad is one of my favorite simple dishes in the summer. You can’t beat it when the tomatoes are ripe and fresh from the garden. In the winter, however, caprese salad never crosses my mind. Store bought tomatoes just don’t do much for me. However, a beet caprese sounded too good to be true. Joel opted for the arugula salad, and I went for the beet caprese salad. Best. Choice. Ever! While it has been a month since our little trip, I have not been able to get that salad out of my mind. It’s amazing that something so simple could be so absolutely delicious.

2 Beets
1 ball Fresh Mozzarella
Basil Leaves, chiffonade
Olive Oil
Salt and Pepper

Clean the beets, drizzle them with olive oil, salt, and pepper, then wrap them in tinfoil. Roast the beets at 400 degrees for 45 minutes-1 hour, or until the beets are tender. When they are cool enough to handle, peel the beets, then slice them into rounds. Slice the mozzarella into rounds. On a plate, arrange the salad alternating between beet and mozzarella slices. Sprinkle with the basil leaf chiffonade. Drizzle the top of the salad with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. 

SOURCE: Inspired by Pizzeria Libretto