Monday, July 7, 2014

Frankies Spuntino Spaghetti and Meatballs

Spaghetti and meatballs is a staple in our home. It's one of our favorites and a true comfort food for us. This recipe is from the Frankies Spuntino cookbook which is apparently a super yummy Italian restaurant in Brooklyn. Unfortunately, I haven't been there (yet) so I get to enjoy this whenever I'm craving pasta and it makes it more bearable :)
The recipe is huge so I cut in half. The tomato sauce is simple and yummy and I'll never make a different one ever again. The meatballs are tender and juicy. David's cousin made this recipe for us a few years ago and I was hesitant about the meatballs because they had pine nuts and raisins in them. They ended up being my favorite ever. The raisins plump up when you cook the meatballs and provide a sweet little bite that goes so great with the rest of the ingredients. This is a true winner!

Here's the ingredients for the meatballs. I mix all of this together and form balls, and then either bake them on a baking sheet until mostly cooked through or in a pan with a little oil until just browned on all sides. Then, either way I've cooked them, I put them in the sauce to finish cooking for an hour or so.
  • 2 slices plain white bread, torn into large pieces (about 2 packed cups)
  • 1 pound ground beef (90 percent lean, no fattier)
  • 3 medium garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 Tablespoons finely chopped fresh Italian parsley leaves
  • 2 Tablespoons finely grated Pecorino Romano, plus more for serving
  •  2 Tablespoonscup pine nuts
  • 2 Tablespoons raisins
  • 1  teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/4 cup dried plain breadcrumbs

For the sauce:
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 6 medium garlic cloves,chopped
  • 2 (28-ounce) cans high-quality whole tomatoes, I prefer CENTO brand, with juices 
  • 2 teaspoons salt
 Heat the oil in a high sided skillet. Open cans of tomatoes and have them ready. Add garlic and pepper flakes to the warm oil and cook for 30 seconds. Add tomatoes and stir. I usually grab some scissors and cut the tomatoes up a little bit (they'll break down because the sauce cooks so long). Add salt. Cover and simmer on low for a few hours. 4 hours is ideal, but 2 should work fine. And the meatballs cook with the sauce for the last hour or so.
I always serve this with spaghetti, but it would work with any pasta, really.


Coconut Chia Seed Pudding

I've been trying to include more healthy foods in my diet, especially since our son started eating all of the same foods as us. Chia seeds are a good for you seed you can add to smoothies or drinks. They swell when they get wet which is what makes them so filling. They have a ton of fiber and have omega-3 fatty acids, protein and magnesium.

This pudding is made from coconut milk and chia seeds. That's it! Here are the ingredients and how I made it.

1/3 cup chia seeds
2 cups coconut milk

toppings: blueberries, strawberries, almonds or cashews, shredded coconut, honey or agave

Mix chia seeds and coconut milk together. Let it sit in the fridge for an hour to thicken and chill. Serve and top with whatever fruit and nuts you want!

I've also seen a chocolate version that looks yummy. Maybe made with chocolate almond milk? I love this healthy and fun dessert!

Monday, May 6, 2013

Whole Wheat Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies!

I am obsessed with cookies. I force myself to make them as little as possible however, because I am not the type that can eat one cookie and call it a day. I'll eat them for breakfast, lunch and dinner until they are gone! One of my friends pinned this copycat Great Harvest Giant Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookie a few months ago and I decided to give it a try. Anything to make them a little healthier- then I can have 5, right? ;)

They ended up being amazing and you can't even tell they're made with whole wheat flour. They still have butter and sugar, of course, but at least there's some extra fiber!

Here's the ingredients:

2 sticks of salted butter
2 cups brown sugar
2 eggs
2 tablespoons molasses (yes, you HAVE to add this! it makes them.)
1 tablespoon milk
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt (i use more than the recipe originally calls for and I use kosher salt)
2 cups oats (for them to be really chewy, don't use quick oats. We want whole oats)
2 cups whole wheat flour
1 1/2 cups chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350. Cream the butter with the sugar. Add eggs, molasses and milk, mix for 30 seconds. Stop mixer and scrape down the sides of the bowl to make sure everything is combined. Add baking powder, soda and salt. Mix for 10 seconds. Add oats, flour and chocolate chips. Mix JUST until everything is moist. Usually it takes me about 20 seconds MAX to get everything combined. Not over mixing cookie dough makes them light and delicious.

These were originally giant cookies, but I make them normal size and bake them for significantly less time:
The original source says to bake them for 12-14 minutes- I ALWAYS under bake my cookies. Bake these for 9 minutes! As in- they are still almost raw on top when I take them out.  Ever wonder why cookie dough is so dang good? It's not cooked, that's why. So who wants to eat over baked cookies? Not me. Plus, when under baked, they are softer and last days longer...if they aren't all eaten within 24 hours :)

Monday, September 24, 2012

Buffalo Chicken Grilled Cheese

I saw this recipe today on food gawker and my mouth was watering. I've been obsessed with buffalo lately, I love the flavor! These grilled cheese are super easy to make, I kinda made it up as I went along so there aren't exact measurements.

2 cans of chicken (this saves a ton of time, but feel free to use shredded chicken)
buffalo wing sauce
red onion

Heat a flat pan on medium heat.
Meanwhile, drain chicken and combine with buffalo sauce in a bowl. I added enough buffalo sauce to make it look like tuna with mayo, make sense? Grate cheese and add it to the meat & sauce mixture, you want a good amount since this is a grilled cheese after-all. Chop up a little red onion and mix it in too.
Take two pieces of bread and butter one side of one slice. Put a good amount of the meat mixture on the bread (with butter on the outside). Take your other piece of bread and butter one side then place it on top of the sandwich.
Grill on flat pan til both sides are golden brown. Cut in half and enjoy!

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Hawaiian Baked Ham & Swiss

I tried a new recipe tonight and we quite enjoyed it. I found it on Pinterest and of course you never know how recipes from Pinterest will turn out. But I took a chance on this one and we liked it. The sweetness of the rolls mixed with the onions in the sauce was a fantastic combination.

Here is the recipe, but I originally found it here, I only modified it to feed fewer people.

1 pkg. Hawaiian rolls (you only need 9 of the 12 rolls)
6 large slices of honey ham fresh from the deli
4 slices of swiss cheese
6 T. butter
2-3 T. mustard
1 T worcestershire sauce
1/2 onion, chopped

Preheat oven to 375 degrees
Melt butter in pan, add onion, mustard & worcestershire sauce-simmer for 3-5 minutes
Grease 8x8 pan. Take 9 rolls being careful to keep them connected and slice in half. You'll have two halves with the rolls still connected.
Place the bottom half of the rolls in the 8x8 pan and pour 1/3 of the sauce over the rolls. Layer ham & cheese over the rolls and cover with top half of the rolls.
Pour remaining sauce over the top. Cover and cook 15-20 minutes. 
Cut into 9 sandwiches for serving.


Monday, August 27, 2012

Dresden's menu 8-27

We are headed to Wyoming this weekend to visit my aunt & uncle on their mission. We are very excited to learn more about the Pioneers and do a little camping :)

Until then, here is my menu for the week

Monday: Chicken Quesadillas with guacamole

Tuesday: Chicken & Wild Rice Casserole
UPDATE: This recipe was delicious. My husband doesn't like rice and he had multiple servings of this. I halved the recipe and made it in an 8x8 pan. It took about an hour and 20 minutes to cook. I will for sure be making this one again.

image source

Wednesday: Hamburgers
Friday-Sunday: Wyoming!

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Broccoli Pasta Salad

Hey everyone, it's Kari
I've posted on this blog before but that was pre-baby and now that I'm just barely getting back into blogging (my baby may or may not be almost 14 months old - oops!) Natalie asked me to post this recipe for a salad I made the last time she and her husband (and her bump) came to dinner!
I first saw this recipe on Pinterest and posted it to my board in hopes to someday make it and I'm glad I finally did!
If you like the broccoli salad from Souplantation/Sweet Tomatoes you'll like this too!
The original recipe was a little different from what I ended up making because I tried to use mostly what I already had on hand,

This is the original recipe:
  • 1 cup chopped pecans
  • 1/2 (16-oz.) package farfalle (bow-tie) pasta
  • 1 pound fresh broccoli
  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup diced red onion
  • 1/3 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups seedless red grapes, halved
  • 8 cooked bacon slices, crumbled 
This is what mine ended up being:
  • 10 oz. bow-tie pasta (Instead of 8 oz. - I kinda wanted it to be more hearty)
  • 1 lb. fresh broccoli
  • 1 cup mayo
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup diced red onion
  • 1/3 cup apple cider vinegar (didn't have red wine vinegar)
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 2 1/2 cups red grapes, halved
  • 6 cooked bacon slices, crumbled (Instead of 8 slices - we ended up using some of the chewy bacon pieces for the burgers)
  • 1/2 cup cashews (didn't have pecans - also didn't roast them)

Cook bow-tie pasta until it is al dente, let cool. While pasta is cooking cut broccoli into bite size florets.
Combine mayo, sugar, onion, vinegar and salt in a small bowl.
Toss pasta and broccoli and grapes in large bowl, pour mayo mixture over. (In the original recipe it says to refrigerate at this point for 3 hours - I didn't have time for this at first, but I do think the pasta was better second day, so if you have time to make it ahead you can stop at this point!)
Before serving toss in bacon and cashews.

It makes for a perfect summer salad and was delicious with burgers and corn on the cob!