Makin Grammie Proud!

Food, Garden and family

What is that green stuff?

So like most children in America it can be hard to get them to eat foods that might be good for them. In a world where parents try harder and harder to be a childs friend instead of well…. parent they cave and give a child whatever they want instead of teaching them to eat things they should. I of course would love to say my children are not picky in any way and eat and like anything I put in front of them but that would be a half lie. They do eat what I serve them but if they don’t like it they don’t ave to ask for seconds. I totally get catering to what you know your child will eat with out a fight but I am not for fixing my 4 year old Kraft mac and cheese and  my 8 year old the 5 foot subway sub every night while Hubby and I eat something different. So when i saw RR take my fav thanksgiving traditions and turn it in to mac and cheese. I was so inspired. So here is what came out of all this jabbering.

Spinach and artichoke mac and cheese with bacon.

6-8 slices of bacon

1lb of tube pasta

2 tbs of butter

3 tbs of flour

half and onion chopped

2 cloves of minced garlic

salt and pepper.

a few grates of fresh or like 1/8 tsp of nutmeg.

10 oz ( or one box) frozen chopped spinach  defrosted and wrung dry

1 can or one box of frozen quartered artichoke hearts ( I cut mine a little more)

2 1/2 cups of cheese ( I chose Smoked fontina. I think a smoked cheese is great in this.)  reserve a bit for the top

2 cups of milk

1 cup of  chicken stock.

Directions

Get your pasta going in a LARGE pot of salted water. Dont let them over cook. You want them to keep their shape. So take one out at about 8 min and taste the bite. to chewy go another like 2 min. Strain it and set aside.

Chop up your bacon and toss it in another pot and let it cook up. Pull it out when almost all the pieces look done. Place it on some paper towels to get rid of some of the grease. Pour almost all  the bacon fat out of your pan leave about 2 Tbs. If you are like me I poured all of it out in to a coffee mug and measured 2 tbs back in to the pan.

To the bacon fat and your butter on med heat till melted then add your onion and garlic and cook till soft with salt and pepper. When the onions are soft sprinkle in your flour and cook that up till it smells kind of nutty. Not crazy… nutty. You know what I mean. Constantly whisking, slowly add your chicken stock and let it thicken up. Then add half your milk, still whisking, let that thicken up add the rest of your milk and keep whisking till it is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. Sprinkle in your spinach and artichokes. Add your nutmeg and bacon and stir to coat.

Add 2 cups of shredded cheese. Stir to  just combined.

spray a baking dish with  non stick spray ( unless you don’t mind scrubbing cheese off your pans.)and pour the noodles in. Then top the noodles with  the cheese sauce and careful mix the noodles and sauce together. Top with your reserved cheese and put it under the broiler to make it all bubbly. Pull it  out let it cool and enjoy. I would say with some garlic bread or those knots I was supposed to post a couple months ago. Sorry :/

Any way I can get my guys to eat almost anything if I put bacon in it and smother it with cheese. I love that this is kind of a rounded meal in a bowl. I should have used whole grain pasta but I didn’t have any in my cupboard. Let me know what you think. I miss you guys. I hope I still have at least one reader.

Blessings

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Travel To Cuba minus the passport and embargo stuff.

So when I was 9 may Dad married a woman from Cuba. She  made many things I turned my nose up to. (I was a very picky eater now I am just a semi picky eater) One of my fav things she made was  Black beans and rice. Until then all beans I had eaten were in chili or in a can of refried and all my rice was topped with butter.  Hey i was 9.  So I have asked her and some cuban friends of hers  and I never really got a for sure recipe. So here is what I have come up with .

1 bag of black beans soaked drained and cooked or 2 big ol cans of black beans if you can afford that type of thing.

One whole onion diced

as well as one green bell pepper diced too.

3 garlic cloves minced or pressed thru a garlic press.

2 TBS of vinegar white is ok but cider is better.

1tbs of sugar

3 tbs of Ketchup… don’t question just do it.

a big palmful of ground cumin and another of dried oregano.

2 cups of chicken or veggie stock. .

*Start 2 cups of rice cooking is a steamer or pan according to your rice package directions.

so  get a pot probably a large one and add some oil to the bottom saute up the onion and bell pepper for a few min then add the garlic. Dont burn it.  keep it going till onions are soft  add the herbs and stir it up. add the beans back in with the chicken stock sugar, vinegar and ketchup. Let this simmer for a while. I think mine went for like 30 min in all. I also did a couple smashes with my tater masher  to thicken up the sauce.  Season with salt and pepper to taste. Viola yummy-ness.

In our home we lie to have pork with this meal. If  you want that too i would suggest cutting up a few pork chops into bite size pieces and pan cooking them up while the beans are simmering. To make it even better marinate them in some kind of store bought marinade about an hour before you cook them.  orrrrrrrr Mojo…. google it mah freeeen. Add the pork to the cooked beans.

serve it with rice in the bottom of the bowl then top with beans and maybe some fried plantains on the side. Soooo good I cannot wait to eat my leftovers.

Blessings

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shepherds pie twice baked taters.

So as many of my facebook friends know I was blessed yesterday with a BUNCH of taters. So sitting here today thinking of ways to use up these babies…. hmm soup? naw no bacon and not enough milk.  fries? naw trying to cut back… hmmm baked taters? naw but maybe… twice baked…. oooh or shepherds pie… or oh wait both…. Hmmmm Ab’s think this one out for  a sec…. and all I could here was  Joey in an episode of friends… ” meat good peas good custard GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOD!” you all know which episode I am talkin I about hahahahahaha. Here is it.

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Start with

6-8 large russets.  ( I used 6 and had enough inside stuff for at least 2 more)

1 lb lean ground beef ( you can sub turkey or chicken or tofu if you are in to that stuff)

1 med onion diced

1/2  packet of ranch powder

1-2 cups of cheddar

3 TBS Butter or margarine

1 cup (give or take) of milk

*Some frozen peas… ( for my youngest who doesn’t want to eat meat lately)

So You can bake up your taters. I cheated and used the microwave and if you are gonna do that then ( prick them with a fork like 12 times 1st) I did 4 for 10 min then 2 more for I think 6 min. I actually used the potato setting on my microwave so yeah.

While those bad boys are baking ( or cooling see below)  get out your big pan and set it to med hi heat and soften up your onions in a tiny bit of oil and salt. add your meat and brown it up with whatever spices you like. We like the montreal steak seasoning from McCormick.

But anyway when they are baked to perfection and cooled to an easily handleable temperature, cut the top 3rd off. Scoop the top out  and put it in a bowl. I didn’t use that much of the skins but you can. My doggy liked the skins.

now CAREFULLY scoop out the big part of the potato leaving enough innards inside to keep the sides up.  Add those innards to the innards of the tops.  I had a few places on mine where i scooped them to close and they ended up leaking some meaty juicy goodness on to my sheet pan and made it hard to remove the potato without ruining it.

Use all the innards and make mashed taters. I added the butter sour cream and 1/2 packet of ranch powder mashed em up and added milk till i liked the consistency. mash.

preheat your oven to 350.

Now to put em together.  Get out a sheet pan and cover it with foil, unless you get some weird kick out of scrubbing baked on cheese. Now that I think about it can’t hurt to spray  your pan with nonstick spray.  Put a big scoop of you meat mix in the potato canoe 1st then make a rounded top of your mashed taters. place on your sheet pan. I topped mine with the shredded cheddar ( actually my boys topped them so more cheese made it on the sheet pan and in their mouths then on the potatoes) but you can do something else… what ever floats your potato boat. 🙂

* Oh for my youngests I added frozen peas to the bottom of his instead of the  meat mixture. Then topped with mashed potatos and cheese marked his with peas on top so we would know which was his. super easy and I knew he would eat it that way.

Bake for ten minutes at 350. I then pulled mine out and turned the broiler on and broiled the cheese tops for a min or two. Let cool for a few while you set the table and steam one of the veggies in a bag.

these were so good I had ZERO leftovers. Hubs ate 3! Hope you all like these. Tell me how you change them up. All in all probably only took me 30 min to make them.  Unless you are baking the taters int he oven it shouldnt take a very long time to throw this one together.

Blessing all!

P.S.  please if you have any ideas for an over abundance of onions.. let me know 🙂

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SFBC Yuminess

So yes this is my second post today but you need to understand that dinner was so good I could not wait to share it with you.

SFBC means spinach feta bacon chicken burgers.  YUM. i served these on regular plain old burger buns with just a touch of ranch and they were awesome. If one likes tomato a good slice  would probably be yummy here too.

1 lb ground chicken

1/2 a 10 oz box of frozen spinach defrosted a rung out well.

2 tbs of diced parsley (optional)

1 egg

1/2 cup of bread crumbs

4 oz of feta chopped in to small pieces.

4 slices of bacon cooked cooled and crumbled.

2 green onions diced fine ( you can use whatever onion you have but i would grate up a big onion so you dont get a ton of onion flavor.)

1-2 tsp salt (to taste)

1/2 tsp of pepper

2 tbs Worcestershire sauce.

Ok  kids remove your rings… I always forget. Open up you chicken plop it in the bowl.. crumble the spinach on top add everythign else up there in to the bowl. Then get to mixing… mix it up good… but dont “squish it” . Heat your grilled pan on med high heat and  start to form your pattys. I got 5 good sized pattys out of mine.  Cook them for 3 min on each side. Mmmm i am still so full but i cant wait for lunch with leftovers tomorrow.

I hope you try these soon

Blessings

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Pelmeni a.k.a. yummy meat stuffed dough.

So I always have a storage of ground beef in my freezer. I wanted to make something new for dinner. Something other then tacos or burritos or meatloaf ya know? so I googled “ground beef filled….” then i got this.  They are Russian yummies.  I am rambling.  I am not Russian in heritage ( that i know of) but my husband is. they eat a dish called veraniki  in his house  growing up. So he wanted  to try pelmeni. After much research on pelmeni i came up with this combo.

Dough

2cups of flour (start with 2 you might need more depending)

2 eggs

1/2 cup of water or milk

1/2 tsp of  salt

Mix the flour, eggs, water or milk and the salt. Let the dough rest 30 min to 1 hour and make the filling.

Filling

1lb of ground meat ( I used all beef but most of the recipes i saw used 1/3 ground pork and 2/3 ground beef)

1 carrot diced very very fine you could even shred it

1 medium onion diced.

2 cloves of minced garlic

1 tsp of black pepper

2 tsp salt

I cooked the carrot with the onion and salt and pepper. Then I added the garlic at the last minute. Let that cool a little then mix it with the uncooked meat. Add more 1tsp of salt and pepper to the meat mix too.

Roll out the dough thin ( no not paper but thin) You will need more flour it will try to stick to your table or counter. then cut out as many circle as you can ( I used an empty green bean can they say it is the perfect size). fill each little circle with a tsp of meat filling. Lightly touch the edge of the dough circle with a finger dipped in water and seal the whole baby up. Make sure you do it good so they dont pop open in the broth.

Broth

1 box of beef stock and an equal portion of water

2 bay leaves

a handful of peppercorns

Bring this mix to a low boil and add 6-7  pelmeni let em boil for 8 min. take em out with a slotted spoon. and place them in a very low oven while you finish the others.

You can eat these with their broth or with sour cream. Some people say soy sauce or mustard or vinegar but… thats not for me.  Also shots of Vodka are good with these.  🙂

Blessings

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cluck cluck yum

So in my kitchen there are usually 2 main meats, boneless skin less chicken breasts and beef of one form or another. usually ground. We also like pork but it is maybe once a week.  so being that we are between paychecks again i am working on making meals again with what we have here at home. scrounging thru the freezer i found some ground chicken… ” hmm what can i do with this? not enough for burgers for the family it is only a pound… hmmm.” then it clicked I saw rachel ray do a recipe with ground chicken on a rerun the other day. chicken parm meatballs mmmmm. So here it is.

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1 lb of ground chicken

1 box of frozen spinach thawed and well drained. ( really well drained. Wring it out in a towel)

1/2 cup of bread crumbs ( I used panko because that is what I had.)

1/4 cup of milk

1/2cup shredded parm cheese

1 egg

1 clove of garlic minced

1/8 teaspoon of nutmeg

1 onion ( for grating)

3Tbs tomato paste divided

Salt and pepper to taste

preheat your oven to 400 and like a cookie sheet/ baking sheet with parchment paper.

“Place chicken and spinach in bowl. Grate 1 clove of garlic into bowl or finely chop and add garlic. Grate 3-4 tablespoons of onion directly into bowl. Combine 1/2 cup of cheese and breadcrumbs with nutmeg and barely moisten with milk, no more than 1/4 cup. Sprinkle the bread-cheese mixture into chicken then add egg, parsley, salt and pepper and 2 tablespoons tomato paste.

Combine 1 tablespoon of tomato paste with 1 tablespoon EVOO in small bowl. Mix and combine the chicken with breadcrumbs and section the meatball mix into quarters. Then roll 3 large balls from each section. Arrange balls on baking sheet as you work. Using a pastry brush, brush meatballs with tomato paste and oil mixture and roast for 18-20 minutes”

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We ate ours with jarred sauce and whole wheat noodles. This is the full recipe if you want it. (http://www.rachaelrayshow.com/food/recipes/chicken-parm-meatballs-and-spaghetti/) It was delicious. I am serious. My son had fun mixing the meat and he ate like 4 meatballs.  YOWZA!!!

Blessings

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