Sunday, May 29, 2011

Crockpot Sweet and Sour Meatballs

So ever since I made Mozzarella Stuffed Meatballs, I've been wanting to make Sweet and Sour meatballs. I found some recipes for sweet and sour meatballs online and most called for chilli sauce, grape jelly and lemon juice.

Well, we bought Sweet Chilli Sauce which after reading reviews online is not the same as regular chilli sauce. So, I kind of just kept throwing stuff in there and the result was the best sweet and sour sauce I've ever tasted. I am going to use this sauce for everything from now on, so good.

As usual, I'm still not mastering the art of a one pot crockpot meal because I browned these meatballs in the oven on a baking sheet for about ten minutes. The reason for this was I read online that most people had issues with meatballs falling apart in their crockpot. The solution offered by a lot of the people was to brown them in a skillet or in the oven prior to putting them in the crockpot to finish cooking.

Hope you guys like it!


1.235 lb package of Italian sausage, casing removed
2 cloves garlic, hand grated or finely minced
1/2 cup carrot, hand grated or finely minced
1/2 cup onion, hand grated or finely minced
1/2 tbsp parsley, finely chopped
1/2 tsp oregano
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1 cup grated parmesan cheese
1 egg
1/2 cup milk
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1 cup breadcrumbs

Only 5 Ingredients? Score!

Sweet and Sour Sauce:

1 cup ketchup
1/2 cup Sweet Chilli Sauce
1 cup grape jelly
2 tbsp lemon juice
1/2 cup pineapple juice

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Start crockpot on low. In crockpot, whisk together ketchup, sweet chilli sauce, jelly, lemon juice and pineapple juice until well combined.

In a large mixing bowl, combine all ingredients for meatballs until well combined. Form meatball about the size of a golfball. Place on baking sheet lined with aluminum foil about one inch apart. Bake in oven for 10-15 minutes just to lightly brown outside and allow to hold meatball shape.

Once browned in oven, place meatballs in crockpot, covered in sauce. Cook on low for 2-3 hours.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Cookie Dough Truffles

Let's just start off by saying YUM. These are seriously sinful. I tried to give a bunch of them out so I didn't have them sitting in my fridge willing me to eat them and gain 6 pounds. They were easy enough to make. I made a large batch so the most tedious part was rolling them in the chocolate. Then there was the waiting game while the chocolate hardened. Jon didn't do so well with this part, he just ate them with the mostly melted chocolate, haha.

1/2 cup butter, softened
1 cup brown sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
2 cups all purpose flour
1 cup sweetened condensed milk
1 cup chocolate chips
11 oz bag chocolate chips (for outside coating)
Sprinkles to decorate (optional)

Using an electric mixer, beat together butter and brown sugar. Add in vanilla extract, baking soda and salt. Alternate adding in flour and sweetened condensed milk. (Add 1/2 cup flour, then 1/2 cup sweetened condensed milk, 1/2 cup flour, 1/2 cup sweetened condensed milk). Fold in 1 cup of the chocolate chips. Form dough into bite sized balls. Set on baking sheet with wax paper. Set in refrigerator for about one hour.

Once the dough has set, use a double boiler or microwave to melt chocolate chips. Using a fork or slotted spoon, dip each dough ball into chocolate until fully covered. Add sprinkles while chocolate is still soft if desired.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Spanish Rice

Okay, so I've been watching Rachael Ray for a few years now and I know I've seen her use Piquillo Peppers before. I was in my grocery store the other day looking for diced tomatoes with green chiles and I found the Piquillo Peppers which I've never seen there before and figured I'd snatch them up while I could. The issue with grocery stores in Hawaii is that we rarely have anything outside of the basics. For example, they didn't have the diced tomatoes with green chiles. Fail.

Anyways, I knew I had seen her use Piquillo Peppers before but I couldn't remember in what. I decided to do a Spanish Rice extravaganza and use up my newfound peppers. Also, we always have rice on hand in the house because that is definitely one thing you can always find in Hawaii.

It helps too that Jon has recently started to allow me to get a little adventurous with the recipes. He has NEVER allowed mushrooms within ten feet of him and in the past week has eaten mushrooms THREE times. He has also discovered how much better food is when onions and green peppers are cooked in it, which he refused to try a few years ago. In all honesty, I always just used the ingredients and hid them from him. Haha. You gotta do what you gotta do! Anyhoodles, I hope you guys enjoy this recipe, it would go perfectly along side my Chicken Enchiladas.

Not pictured: Diced Tomatoes. Poor neglected tomatoes.
2 tbsp butter
2 cups long grain rice
2 tsp paprika
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp Goya adobo seasoning
1/2 cup onion, finely chopped
3 cloves minced garlic
1/2 cup green peppers, chopped
2 piquillo peppers, chopped
3 cups chicken stock
1 15oz can diced tomatoes
Shredded Mexican cheese (optional)

In a saucepan, brown rice in vegetable oil until golden over medium-high heat. Add in paprika, cumin, goya, onion, garlic, green peppers and piquillos. Cook until onions are tender. Add in chicken stock and diced tomatoes. Reduce heat to medium, cover and allow to simmer for 15-20 minutes. When I served it, I added some shredded Mexican cheese which made it even more delicious!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Turkey Bacon Cheeseburger Calzones

I am really excited about this recipe. First of all, it was delicious. Second of all, it was semi-guilt free. I used turkey bacon, ground turkey, a mostly wheat pizza dough and my homemade marinara which is filled with veggies and low in sugar. I mean there is cheese and ketchup in there because hi, it is inspired by a bacon cheeseburger. I am excited that even with some simple swaps, it still tasted like it had 8000 calories per bite.

You could make calzones like I did or just a good old pizza with it. I also make quick flatbread pizzas sometimes using a FlatOut wrap, which is perfect for thin crust pizzas if you don't want to make/don't have the time to make the dough.

Pizza Dough

2 1/2 cups warm water
2 tsp granulated sugar
2 packets active dry yeast
1 1/2 tbsp olive oil
2 tsp salt
3 cups whole wheat flour
2 cups all purpose flour

In a mixing bowl (I used my Kitchenaid mixer), combine warm water and sugar to allow sugar to dissolve. Sprinkle top of water with yeast. Set aside until water is foamy, 8-10 minutes. Add olive oil and salt to water mixture. Using the dough hook on mixer, add flour in at 1/2 cup increments until both flours are fully incorporated.

Generously flour a work surface and knead out your dough for 3-5 minutes, until smooth. Slather with some olive oil, set in a bowl and cover with a towel. Allow it to double in size, about one hour.

Once dough has doubled, separate into two pieces. Knead each piece on the floured surface, and set aside again to rise for about 45 minutes.

Calzone Filling

1 lb ground turkey breast
8 slices bacon
2 tbsp olive oil
2 cloves garlic
1 cup mushrooms, diced
1/2 cup green pepper, diced
1/4 tsp onion powder
1 cup marinara sauce
1/2 cup ketchup
2 tbsp mustard
2 tbsp brown sugar
Salt and Pepper to taste
1-2 cups shredded cheese (I used mexican cheese)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. While the dough is rising the second time, brown off the ground turkey in a skillet until fully cooked. Drain off juices and set aside. Next, cook up the turkey bacon. (Go ahead and use the same skillet, no sense in more dishes). Once fully cooked, set aside on a paper towel to get off any grease. Using the same skillet, heat the olive oil on medium heat. Add in garlic, mushrooms and green peppers. Allow to cook about 2-3 minutes to soften. Add in onion powder, marinara, ketchup, mustard, brown sugar, salt and pepper. Reduce to low-medium heat and allow to simmer for 15-20 minutes. *I didn't forget about the cheese, you'll sprinkle that on right before it goes in the oven.*

Once the dough has risen again, roll out each piece to desired calzone size. You want your dough to be about 1/2 inch thick. Place on pizza stone or baking sheet. Fill with about 1 cup of filling and top with some shredded cheese. Fold dough over the filling and seal the edges of the calzone with a fork. Bake for 15-20 minutes.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Funfetti Cupcakes

So, my younger sister's 22nd birthday was this past week and she hearts cupcakes. I decided it was a good time to try and master my own cupcake batter from scratch. I have tried other people's cupcake recipes and I'm always left wanting something more. It's major Goldilocks syndrome where the cupcakes are too moist or too dry, or too sweet or not sweet enough. I think that with this batter I found the "just right" formula. I based my batter recipe off of the Vanilla Cupcake recipe from and then my frosting is off of Rachael Ray's vanilla frosting. I did add some cream cheese to her frosting recipe which I think made it even more delicious.

Makes about 24 cupcakes

1 cup butter, room temperature
1 1/2 cup granulated sugar
6 eggs, room temperature
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp almond extract
3 cups all purpose flour
3 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup vanilla yogurt
1.75 oz package sprinkles (about 1/4 cup)

4 oz cream cheese, room temperature
1 stick butter, room temperature
4 cups powdered sugar
2 tsp vanilla
1 tsp almond

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line muffin pan(s) with cupcake liners. In electric mixer, beat butter until smooth. Add in sugar 1/2 cup at a time until combined with butter, pale and fluffy. Beat in eggs one at a time. Add in vanilla and almond extracts.

Sift flour, baking powder and salt in mixing bowl. Add flour into wet mixture a little at a time. Mix in vanilla yogurt and sprinkles. Use an ice cream scoop to divide batter evenly among pan. Bake for 15-20 minutes, until inserted knife or toothpick comes out clean.

While cupcakes are baking, beat cream cheese, butter and sugar with electric mixer. Add in powdered sugar one cup at a time until well combined and no clumps. Add in vanilla and almond extracts.

Once cupcakes are cooked and fully cooled, frost and enjoy!

Here ^^^ are some pictures of fun times with my younger sister. I especially love our level of hotness on that see-saw. Thanks Mom for photographing me while wearing a tap costume in my everyday life. Really appreciate that one.

I know my sister probably won't read this because she is pretty much banned from the kitchen so reading a cooking blog would be silly, but just in case-- Hau'oli lā hānau Krissy!! <3

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Philly Cheese Steak Sloppy Joe's

Okay, so I was totally bored on my day off and reading through some of my favorite blogs looking for inspiration. THREE of the blogs I read had listed this recipe. I felt like that was a sign that I had to make them. You all know me, I enjoy creating my own recipes but if a recipe is good as is, I'm totally sharing it anyways. Apparantely this recipe was originally from my idol, Rachael Ray. The three blogs did exactly what I would do to make it a little lighter which is switch out the ground sirloin with ground turkey breast.

I am totally not a fan of steak sauce, which is called for in this recipe. Jon is however so I still made it as it called for and I actually liked it! I made a couple Cait tweaks to the recipe I followed from Running Mama Cooks. I hope you guys like it. Jon certainly did!

P.S. This is another recipe where I use my mama's cheese sauce. I always have extra on hand which makes a recipe like this super easy to throw together. :)

2 tbsp olive oil
1/2 medium onion, finely chopped
1/2 green pepper, finely chopped
2 clove garlic, finely minced
1 tsp paprika
1.25 lbs ground turkey breast
1/4 cup steak sauce
1/2 cup chicken stock
1 tsp tomato paste
Salt and pepper
4-6 hamburger buns or sub rolls
Desired amount of cheese sauce

Heat olive oil in large skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion, green peppers and garlic and allow to cook for about 2 minutes. Add in paprika and ground turkey breast. Cook until turkey breast has turned into a light brown. Add steak sauce, chicken stock, tomato paste and salt and pepper to taste. Allow to simmer for 5-10 minutes.

Serve desired amount of turkey mixture on bun or roll and top with cheese sauce. Enjoy!

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Happy Mother's Day!

Happy Mother's Day!

I hope you are all showering your moms with love and affection and if you are a mom taking some time out to celebrate yourself. I have a hard enough time being a canine mommy so I applaud the hard work of all mothers out there!

And to all the women out there who are fighting to become mommys, take time to celebrate your hard work too. I hope that your future Mother's Day are filled with hand-drawn cards and flowers picked from the backyard.

A special Happy Mother's Day shout-out to my own Mama! You are beautiful, strong and kind. You are an inspiration to me and I hope to be a mom like you someday <3

Crockpot Chicken Chili

So, I've been trying to get better at actually using my crockpot. I still kind of miss the whole point of using it as a "one pot dish" maker, but I'm slowly coming around.

Jon and I went to Ruby Tuesday's a few weeks ago for lunch and he got their White Bean Chicken Chili. Jon enjoyed it, and I thought it was alright in terms of taste. My main issue with it was the color. Just because its white bean and chicken doesn't mean we can't make it colorful! So, I went home after picking up four different colored bell peppers and threw this together. Definitely more appealing to the eyes and it was quite tasty too!

2 tbsp olive oil
1 medium onion, diced
4 bell peppers, assorted colors, diced
1 serrano pepper, diced
3 cloves garlic, finely minced
15 oz can corn
15 oz can garbanzo beans
15 oz can diced tomatoes
32 ounces chicken stock
1 tbsp chili powder
1/2 tbsp paprika
1 tsp cumin
1 tbsp lemon juice
1/4 cup parsley, diced
2-3 cups shredded chicken (fully cooked)
1/2 cup greek yogurt
Salt and pepper to taste
Shredded cheese for topping, optional

Heat olive oil in skillet. Cook onion, bell peppers, serrano pepper and garlic for 2-3 minutes. Add chicken stock to crockpot. Add all ingredients to crockpot, including onion, peppers and garlic, and stir until combined. Cook on low heat for 4-5 hours or high heat for 2-3, stirring occasionally.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Chicken Enchiladas

So in honor of Cinco de Mayo, I decided to make some yummy chicken enchiladas. I pretty much look for any excuse to combine cream cheese, Mexican cheese and salsa together so I figured that it would make a great filling for enchiladas. I used a combination of Emeril Lagasse's and Rachael Ray's enchilada sauce recipes, with a couple of my own additions. The result was delicious!

Enchilada Sauce:
2 tbsp vegetable oil
2 cloves garlic
1 serrano pepper
12 oz tomato paste
1 tsp hot sauce (or more to taste)
1/4 cup chili powder
3 cups chicken stock
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp cumin
Salt and Pepper to taste
1/4 tsp cinnamon

8 oz cream cheese, softened
8 oz shredded Mexican cheese
8 oz salsa
4 cups shredded chicken, fully cooked

10-12 corn tortillas
Additional 1 cup shredded cheese for topping

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a skillet, cook garlic and serrano in vegetable oil for about 2 minutes on medium-high heat. Add in tomato paste, hot sauce and chili powder. Allow to cook just for a minute and then add remaining ingredients. Reduce heat to low-medium and allow to simmer together for 10-15 minutes.

Meanwhile, combine cream cheese, Mexican cheese, salsa and chicken in mixing bowl.

Once sauce is fully combined and seasonings are to your liking, spread about a 1/2 cup of the sauce on the bottom of a baking dish. Next, place a couple spoonfuls of the filling in each of the tortillas and place seam side down in baking dish. Top with remaining enchilada sauce (you will have leftover sauce for later) and then additional shredded cheese. Bake for 15-20 minutes until cheese is melted and bubbly.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...