Friday, January 21, 2022

Cheeseburger Meatball Bowls

I've been mildly obsessed with bowls lately, so when I saw this recipe for Cheeseburger Meatballs I decided to turn them into a bowl.

Cheeseburger Meatball Bowls
Adapted from How Sweet Eats

1 pound ground beef
1 large egg, lightly beaten
½ cup seasoned breadcrumbs
1 teaspoon garlic powder
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon pepper
12 cubes of cheddar cheese, about 1-inch in size
1 tablespoons olive oil
4 ounces sharp cheddar cheese, freshly grated
shredded lettuce, for serving
sliced cherry tomatoes, for serving
pickled onions, for serving
pickles, for serving
fries, for serving

½ cup mayonnaise
1 tablespoon ketchup
1 tablespoon yellow mustard
1 tablespoon chopped pickles
½ teaspoon garlic powder
½ teaspoon smoked paprika
pinch salt and pepper

In a bowl, combine the ground beef, egg, breadcrumbs, garlic powder, salt and pepper. Mix until just combined. Form into meatballs about the size of a golf ball. Stick one cube of cheddar inside each meatball, forming the beef around it and sealing so the cheese stays inside. Repeat with remaining meatballs.

Heat the olive oil in a large skillet (make sure it has a lid) over medium heat. Add the meatballs in a single layer and brown on all sides, cooking for about 5 minutes total. If there is a lot of excess grease, remove it. Place the lid on the skillet and cook for another 2 minutes. Remove the lid, cover each meatball with some of the grated cheese, and put the lid back on. Let the cheese melt.

Combine all the sauce ingredients in a bowl and mix until combined. Assemble the bowls with meatballs, shredded lettuce, tomato, pickles, pickled onion, sauce, and fries.

Pickled Onions
1/2 red onion, thinly sliced
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1/2 cup water
1/2 tablespoon sugar
3/4 teaspoons kosher salt

Separate the onion rings and place in a small bowl. Whisk the vinegar, water, sugar and salt together until the sugar and salt dissolve, then pour over the onion rings. Let sit at room temperature for at least 1 hour. Can be made 2 weeks ahead. Cover and chill. Drain onions before using.

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Thursday, January 20, 2022

Chicken, Shrimp, and Mixed Veggie Stir Fry

I made this amazing stir fry last night and had to document it for posterity (and easy sharing among friends). I don't make a lot of stir fries because Steve finds them to be one dimensional. This was anything but. The sauce was drinkably good.

I took the original recipe for Shrimp with Broccoli and turned it into a chicken, shrimp and mixed veggie stir fry, packing it with as many veggies as I could. I love the versatility and my family loved that I mixed chicken and shrimp. Ha! For some reason it never occurred to me that I could do that. What can I say, I'm a bit slow sometimes. 

Peanuts would be great on this, by the way. As I was eating it I kept thinking how much it reminded me of kung pao. If Katie wasn't allergic to nuts I would have rustled some up. 

Chicken, Shrimp, and Mixed Veggie Stir Fry
Sauce from Rachel Cooks

1/2 cup reduced sodium soy sauce
1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup water
2 tablespoons freshly grated ginger
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1 teaspoon chile garlic sauce, or more to taste

2 tablespoons canola oil, divided
2 broccoli crowns, cut into florets
1 medium onion, chunked
8 mushrooms, chunked
2 large/4 small carrots, peeled and chunked
2 ribs celery, chunked
1 red or green bell pepper, ribs and seeds removed, chunked
salt and pepper, to taste
1-lb raw, peeled, deveined shrimp
1-lb boneless chicken thighs, cut into bite-size pieces
1 can sliced water chestnuts, drained and rinsed

Cooked rice or noodles, for serving

Whisk the sauce ingredients together in a 2-cup measuring cup. Set aside.

Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a large frying pan or wok over high heat. Add broccoli, onion, mushrooms, carrots, celery and bell peppers. Season with salt and pepper and cook until veggies are crisp tender. Remove to a bowl.

Season shrimp with salt and pepper. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in the now-empty pan and add shrimp in a single layer. Cook, turning once, until just pink. Remove to another bowl.

Season chicken with salt and pepper then add to the pan. Cook, undisturbed, until brown on one side. Add veggies and sauce, then mix together and allow chicken to cook through and sauce to thicken, 5 minutes. Add the shrimp and water chestnuts and heat through.

Serve over rice or noodles.

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Friday, May 28, 2021

Dill Potato Salad with Hard Boiled Eggs

I love my go-to potato salad recipe but sometimes I like to switch things up. I saw a photo of this version on The Food Pornographer's Instagram and knew I had to make it. She didn't have a recipe so I just winged it based on our preferences.


The key to my go-to recipe is to soak the potatoes in something acidic when they're hot so the flavor penetrates the potato. I decided to use white wine vinegar, which worked well. I used dried dill but if I can successfully grow fresh dill this summer I think that would be even better.  

I've made this a few times without blogging it but this time I took some pics so I could share it. Steve grilled some sausage and shrimp and I made a Mexican chopped salad with romaine, tomatoes, roasted corn, black beans, red onion, cilantro and avocado with crushed tortilla chips.

Dill Potato Salad with Hard Boiled Eggs

2 lbs Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and cut into ¾-inch cubes
1½ teaspoons salt, divided
4 tablespoons white wine vinegar, divided (plus more to taste)
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup sour cream
1 tablespoon minced red onion
1 teaspoon (or more) dried dill (or 1/4 cup fresh dill, minced)
4 hard boiled eggs, cut into quarters

Place potatoes in a large saucepan with cold water to cover by 1-inch. Bring to boil over high heat, add 1 teaspoon salt, reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer until potatoes are just tender, 10 minutes.

Drain potatoes thoroughly, then spread out on rimmed baking sheet. Drizzle 3 tablespoons white wine vinegar over potatoes, and toss until evenly coated. Refrigerate until cooled, about 30 minutes.

Mix remaining 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar, remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt, pepper, mayo, sour cream, red onion and dill in a large bowl. Toss in cooled potatoes, cover, and refrigerate until well chilled. 

Right before serving, arrange the quartered hard boiled eggs on top. 

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Friday, March 05, 2021

Fried Chicken Sandwich with Apple, Cheddar, and Cinnamon-Infused Maple Syrup

It makes me so happy when I can recreate a restaurant dish at home. Take these sandwiches. A local restaurant had them as a special this fall and we loved them. I think we had them four or five times, which is a lot for us. Then they switched to a winter special and we've been missing them ever since. Then one day I realized I could just make them at home.

The hardest part was the chicken. We're able to get the same buns they use at the restaurant at a local market, so that part was easy. Cheddar and honey crisp apple slices were also not a problem. I took a chance on the cinnamon-infused maple syrup being as easy as sprinkling some cinnamon in maple syrup and reducing it. That left the chicken. 

Then, like a sign from above, I was scrolling through social media and saw a Cook's Country spot on GMA about none other than fried chicken! I watched the video, found the recipe and I'm thrilled to say it was spot on.

Fried Chicken Sandwich with Apple, Cheddar, and Cinnamon-Infused Maple Syrup

Inspired by Lovebird, breading from Cook’s Country


1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon dried sage
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 (6- to 8-ounce) boneless, skinless chicken breasts, trimmed and halved crosswise

1 1⁄2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
3 tablespoons water
2 large egg whites, lightly beaten
Vegetable oil, for frying

1/4 cup real maple syrup

1/8 teaspoon cinnamon

Sharp cheddar cheese, thinly sliced


1 honey crisp apple, unpeeled, cored and cut into 1/2" thick slices

4 brioche rolls, cut in half and toasted


Combine salt, paprika, pepper, garlic powder, thyme, sage, and cayenne in bowl. Measure out 1 tablespoon spice mixture and set aside.


Pat chicken dry with paper towels. Using meat pounder, gently pound each chicken piece to even 1/2-inch thickness. Season both side of the chicken with the remaining spice mixture.

Whisk flour, baking powder, and reserved 1 tablespoon spice mixture together in large bowl. Add 3 tablespoons water to the mixture and rub together with your fingers until water is evenly incorporated and shaggy pieces form. Beat egg whites in shallow dish.

Set wire rack in rimmed baking sheet. Working with 1 piece at a time, dip chicken in egg whites to thoroughly coat, letting excess drip back into dish, then dredge in the flour mixture, pressing to adhere.

Transfer chicken to prepared wire rack and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes or up to 1 hour. Add maple syrup and cinnamon to a small non-stick saucepan. Bring to a boil and stir frequently until thickened. Keep over low heat until ready to serve.


Add oil to large Dutch oven until it measures about 1 1/2 inches deep and heat over medium-high heat to 375 degrees. Add chicken to hot oil. Adjust burner, if necessary, to maintain oil temperature between 325 and 350 degrees. Fry, stirring gently to prevent pieces from sticking together, until chicken is golden brown and registers 160 degrees, 4 to 5 minutes, flipping halfway through frying. 


While the chicken is frying, combine the maple syrup and cinnamon in a small pot. Bring to a boil and let thicken. Keep an eye on it so it doesn't burn. You want to keep it hot or the sugar in the syrup with solidify, so keep it over low heat until you're ready to use it. 


Transfer chicken pieces to clean wire rack, top with some cheddar slices, and let sit until the cheese melts.


Spread some mayo on the top half of each bun. Add some of the maple syrup to the bun. Place one chicken breast on the bottom bun, then top with two slices of apple. Serve.

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Wednesday, February 03, 2021

Greek Chicken Bowls

I really should make more bowls. I know they're all the rage - or they were, I'm not exactly up on current food trends. All I know is they're incredibly satisfying and every time I make one we love it. Take these Greek Chicken Bowls. There's nothing crazy in here, but the combination of flavors is fantastic. The best part was that I made the tzatziki and cooked the chicken the night before so the day we had these all I had to do was cook the orzo and prepare the rest of the sides.


These are wonderfully customizable. I added cooked spinach because I had some to use up. If you like peppers, you could add some chopped red pepper. You could make this vegetarian by swapping the chicken for tofu or potatoes or beans.

Greek Chicken Bowls
As seen on Tipps in the Kitchen

For the chicken:
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (or 4 chicken thighs)
4 tablespoons olive oil
Zest and juice of 1 lemon
2 teaspoons garlic powder
2 teaspoons dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
Salt and pepper, to taste

For the bowls:
Rice, quinoa, jasmine rice, couscous, orzo, etc
Cherry tomatoes, diced
Cucumber, peeled, seeded and diced
Red onion, minced
Kalamata olives
Crumbled feta, more to taste
Homemade or store-bought tzatziki
Sauteed spinach, chopped red pepper, beans, etc.
Toasted pita bread, for serving

Add chicken to a large food storage bag with the olive oil, zest and juice of lemon, garlic powder, oregano, red pepper flakes, salt and pepper. Marinate overnight.

Heat more olive oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add chicken and cook for 7-8 minutes per side, until juices run clear and chicken is no longer pink. Slice or cut into chunks.

Assemble the bowls with rice/grain in the bottom, followed by tomatoes, cucumber, red onion, olives, feta, tzatziki, and chicken. Add any other toppings you want. Serve with toasted pita.

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Wednesday, January 27, 2021

Saag Feta

I've been listening to old episode of the Bon Appetit podcast lately and let me tell you, listening to people talk about food trends and going out to eat and the boring normality of life pre-pandemic has been equal parts enjoyable and soul-crushing. This recipe falls squarely into the enjoyable column. I heard an interview with Indian-ish cookbook author Priya Krishna and immediately checked the book out of the library solely for this Saag Paneer, but with Feta recipe.

This was seriously amazing. We all love paneer, but the feta was so, so good with the spinach. Obviously spinach and feta are a natural combo, but I didn't appreciate how good this would be until we tasted it. 

You definitely want to use a good quality feta since it's one of the stars of the dish. My friend brings me huge tubs of authentic Greek feta from NYC and we're spoiled for anything else. 

I served this with one of our all-time favs, Indian Spiced Chicken Stew with Potatoes, which was a great pairing.

Saag Feta
As seen in Indian-ish by Priya Krishna

1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons ghee or extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons coriander seeds (or 3 teaspoons ground coriander)
1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
1 small onion, chopped
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
1 1 1/2" piece ginger, peeled, chopped
1 lb. baby spinach (about 12 cups)
1 small Indian green chile, jalapeno, or serrano chile, ribs and seeds removed, coarsely chopped
1 1/2 teaspoons fresh lime juice
Kosher salt
6 oz. feta, cut into 1" pieces
1 teaspoon cumin seeds (or 3/4 teaspoon ground cumin)
1/4 teaspoon red chili powder
Roti, naan, and/or rice, for serving

Heat 1/4 cup ghee or olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Toast the coriander seeds and cardamom, stirring constantly, until starting to brown and smell fragrant. Add onion and cook until translucent and slightly browned. Mix in garlic and ginger and cook, stirring, 1 minute. Add spinach by the handful, letting it wilt slightly after each addition before adding more. Cook until all of the spinach is just wilted. Remove pan from heat and add chile and lime juice; season with salt. Let cool 5 minutes.

Transfer spinach mixture to a blender (reserve skillet) and blend until a coarse paste forms, about 1 minute. Return spinach mixture to skillet and set over low heat. Stir in 1/2 cup water, then gently fold in feta, being careful not to break up. Cook until feta is slightly softened and has absorbed some of the sauce, 5–7 minutes.

Meanwhile, heat remaining 2 tablespoon ghee or olive oil in a small saucepan over medium-high heat. Add cumin seeds. As soon as cumin seeds start to pop, sputter, and brown, remove from heat, 1 minute tops. Immediately add asafetida, if using, and chili powder. Pour mixture over spinach and stir to combine. Spinach (without spiced ghee) can be made 1 day ahead. Let cool; cover and chill.
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Monday, January 25, 2021

Breakfast Hot Pockets

I made apple turnovers over the Christmas holiday and used only one sheet of a box of puff pastry. I wanted to do something fun with the other one so I did a quick search and found this recipe for breakfast hot pockets.

The original recipe calls for sausage links, but I didn't have any on hand so I used cooked ham. I don't think I'd ever use links because we really liked these with small pieces of meat. I'd recommend crumbled bacon, sausage or cooked ham. I'm sure it would also be great with veggies. They're infinitely customizable. Just be careful not to overfill them.

Breakfast Hot Pockets
Slightly modified from Foodie with Family

7 eggs
1/4 cup milk
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
3 tablespoons butter
1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
4 scallions, trimmed and thinly sliced
2 sheets puff pastry dough thawed according to package instructions
8oz cooked and crumbled breakfast sausage, bacon, or ham

Preheat the oven to 400.

Crack the eggs into a large liquid measuring cup and whisk with the milk and salt. Ladle out about 1/3 cup of the eggs into a small bowl to brush on the pastries.

Melt the butter in a non-stick pan over low to medium low heat, and pour in the eggs. Use a silicone spatula to move the eggs gently toward the center of the pan until they're soft and set. Sprinkle the cheese over the top and stir until the cheese is melted and no liquid egg remains. Stir in the thinly sliced scallions. Remove the pan from the heat, spread the eggs on a large plate and transfer to the refrigerator to cool.

Unfold 1 sheet of puff pastry and cut straight down along the fold lines (lengthwise) to create 3 long rectangles. Then cut across them in the center to create 6 evenly sized rectangles.

Separate the rectangles and place them on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, leaving at least 2 inches between each rectangle. Put he baking pan in the refrigerator.

Unfold the second sheet of puff pastry onto a lightly floured cutting board. Roll it gently with a rolling pin until it is about 4 inches wider and 4 inches longer than it was, or 14" by 19". Cut this sheet along the fold lines (they should still be barely visible) lengthwise into 3 long rectangles, then crosswise once down the center so you have 6 slightly larger rectangles.

Remove the baking sheet from the refrigerator and brush the perimeter of the smaller rectangles with the reserved egg wash. You do not need to brush the whole pastry base. Divide the cheesy scrambled eggs evenly between the bases, leaving a 1-inch perimeter, using your hands to mound the eggs slightly. Nestle some of the cooked meat in the center of the eggs. Top with one of the larger pastry rectangle, being sure to tuck any filling back under the pastry.

Use a fork to crimp the edges together, then brush the remaining egg wash on top of the pastries. Use a sharp knife to cut to small vent slashes in the top of each pastry.

Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until the pastry is puffed and set and is a deep golden brown. Remove the pan from the oven and let the pastries rest on the pan for 5 minutes before serving.

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