Comfort Meatballs

Ingredients

  • Meatballs
    • 1 1/2 pounds ground beef
    • 3/4 cup quick oats
    • 1 cup milk (used whole milk)
    • 3 tablespoons very finely minced onion (used yellow onion)
    • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt (used table salt)
    • Plenty of ground black pepper (used freshly ground black pepper)
  • 4 tablespoons canola oil
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • Sauce
    • 1 cup ketchup
    • 2 tablespoons sugar
    • 3 tablespoons distilled white vinegar
    • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
    • 4 to 6 tablespoons minced onion (used 6 tablespoons of minced yellow onion)
    • Dash of Tabasco

Directions

  1. Take a large mixing bowl and mix the beef and oats together in it.
  2. Pour in the milk, adding in the onion and salt next.
  3. Toss the black pepper into the bowl and mix everything together just until combined.
  4. Take tablespoon-sized amounts of the meat mixture and roll them into meatballs. Place them in the fridge for 30 to 45 minutes so they can firm up.
  5. Turn your oven on and preheat it to 350 degrees. Pour the canola oil into a large skillet, setting the skillet over medium heat.
  6. Roll the meatballs in the flour until completely covered, shaking off any excess flour.
  7. Once the oil’s hot, add the meatballs to the skillet (in batches), cooking them just long enough to lightly brown them.
  8. Once browned, take them out of the skillet and place them in a rectangular baking dish (I used a 13 x 9 baking dish). Repeat the browning process until all of the meatballs have been browned and are in the baking dish.
  9. Stir all the sauce ingredients* together in a large bowl, drizzling the sauce evenly over all of the meatballs.
  10. Place the baking dish in the oven for 45 minutes or until the sauce is bubbly and hot.
  11. Serve immediately (I served this with PW’s Creamy Mashed Potatoes).

*I added more than just a dash of Tabasco, I added enough to start tasting it in the sauce (without it overwhelming the other flavors though).

Even though the sauce got reduced down more than it should, this still tasted delicious ! Eating these meatballs is like getting to eat meatloaf in a meatball form. If you want, you could skip the mashed potatoes and just put a toothpick into these meatballs, making them a tasty snack !

This recipe came from “The Pioneer Woman Cooks” by Ree Drummond.

I wasn’t paid in any form to promote Tabasco or “The Pioneer Woman Cooks” by Ree Drummond.

Take care everybody !

PW’s Creamy Mashed Potatoes

Ingredients

  • 5 pounds russet or Yukon Gold potatoes (I used russet potatoes)
  • 12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) butter, softened, additional 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) butter (optional) (I used the extra 4 tablespoons)
  • One (8-ounce) package cream cheese
  • 1/2 to 3/4 cup half-and-half (I used 3/4 cup)
  • 1/2 teaspoon seasoned salt, such as Lawry’s (I used Lawry’s)
  • Salt to taste (I used table salt)
  • Black pepper to taste (I used freshly ground black pepper)

Directions

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Fill a large pot with water and set it over medium-high heat. Let the water come to a boil.
  2. Take a sharp knife or a vegetable peeler (I used a vegetable peeler) and remove the skin from the potatoes, rinsing the potatoes under cold water afterwards. Cut the potatoes in half or fourths so all the potatoes are around the same size (this will help them cook quicker and more evenly).
  3. Place the potatoes in the boiling water, turning the heat up to high so the water is at a complete boil. Let the potatoes cook for 20 to 30 minutes.
  4. You’ll know the potatoes are ready once you stick a fork into a piece and the fork slides out with no resistance. If you feel like you’re meeting resistance when you stick a fork into a piece of potato, just cook the potatoes longer. Undercooked potatoes will result in lumpy mashed potatoes !
  5. Drain the potatoes into a large strainer, shaking the strainer to get rid of any leftover water.
  6. Place the potatoes back in the pot, setting the pot over low heat. Take a potato masher and mash the potatoes for 2 minutes or until all the lumps are gone. Turn the heat off.
  7. Add the 12 tablespoons of butter, the cream cheese and the half-and-half, stirring everything together until combined.
  8. Stir the seasonings in until evenly distributed throughout. Take a taste and add more seasoning in if necessary.
  9. Take a 2-quart baking dish and put the potatoes in it. Using a knife or spatula, spread the potatoes out evenly within the dish.
  10. If you want, slice up the extra 4 tablespoons of butter and spread the slices out across the top of the potatoes. Cover the dish tightly with foil.
  11. Place the baking dish in the oven for 25 to 30 minutes or until heated throughout.
  12. Serve immediately.

This is such a filling, tasty mashed potato recipe ! If you’re going to put the butter on top of the mashed potatoes, trust me when I say that you’re going to want to put a sheet of foil on the rack below ! The butter will melt and drip over the edges of the baking dish, creating a burnt, smoky mess on the bottom of your oven if you don’t have something to catch the butter drippings. The mess was totally worth it though ! You can taste the cream cheese but it’s not overwhelming and the potatoes were fluffy and smooth. This will fill you up sooner than you want it to !

This recipe came from “The Pioneer Woman Cooks” by Ree Drummond.

I wasn’t paid in any form to promote Lawry’s or “The Pioneer Woman Cooks” by Ree Drummond.

Take care everybody !

Pork Chop Mac And Cheese

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped yellow onion
  • 4 (1/2-inch-thick) bone-in pork rib chops
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt, divided
  • 2 teaspoons ground black pepper, divided (we used freshly ground black pepper)
  • 5 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 5 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 5 cups whole milk
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh sage
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded  whole-milk mozzarella cheese*
  • 1 (16-ounce package cavatappi pasta, cooked according to package directions
  • 2 tablespoons panko (Japanese bread crumbs)
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • Garish: fresh rosemary

Directions

  1. Preheat your oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Take a 12-inch cast-iron skillet and pour 1 tablespoon of oil in, setting the skillet over medium-high heat. Once the oil’s hot, toss the onion in, stirring it now and then for around 5 minutes or until the onion looks lightly browned. Take the onions out of the skillet and put them on a plate for the time being. Pour the remaining oil into the skillet. Season the pork chops with 1/2 teaspoon salt** and 1/2 teaspoon pepper**, adding them to the skillet so they can get browned (about 3 minutes per side). Take the pork chops out and put them on a plate (not the one with onion on it).
  3. Add the butter into the skillet, turning the heat down to medium. Once the butter’s melted, put the flour in the skillet, stirring constantly for 1 minute (we slowly whisked the flour in and then stirred for a minute). Whisk in the following ingredients: milk, sage, rosemary, and the remaining 1 1/2 teaspoons each of salt and pepper. Turn the heat up to medium-high and wait for boiling to occur, stirring constantly during that time. Once boiling, turn the heat down to medium-low. Whisk constantly for 2 minutes or until the sauce has thickened, taking the skillet off the heat once it has.
  4. Add the mozzarella into the sauce, stirring until melted. Put the pasta in the skillet, tossing to get all of it coated in the cheese sauce. Put the pork chops on top of the mac and cheese, overlapping them a little. Sprinkle on the onion, bread crumbs and Parmesan.
  5. Place the skillet in the oven for 25 minutes or until the pork chops are tender and fully cooked. Garnish with the rosemary and you’re ready to dig in !

*The only whole-milk mozzarella we could find in our town was a 16 oz. package of fresh whole-milk mozzarella from Belgioioso. It was a hot mess trying to grate it, we had all kinds of pieces breaking off while grating but we were able to get the 1 1/2 cups of shredded cheese from that one package and we enjoyed just snacking on all the broken off pieces.

**1/2 teaspoon each of salt and pepper just didn’t seem like enough to season the pork chops with so we added extra salt and pepper on so that both sides of the pork chops seemed properly seasoned.

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The pork chops tasted so good that we actually considered gnawing on the bone just to get to every last bit of meat ! The pork chops are great but the macaroni and cheese is freaking awesome ! The cheese was ooey gooey and you could taste the sage but it wasn’t overpowering. The chopped onions tasted good with the pork chops and the macaroni and cheese. The rosemary garnish helped the flavor of rosemary come through a little more and it added some more color to the meal. This is a fantastic 2-for-1 comfort food dish that we hope you love as much as we did !

Recipe source unknown.

We weren’t paid in any form to mention Belgioioso.

Take care everybody !

Lentil Tourtiere

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil (we used extra-virgin olive oil)
  • 1 large yellow onion, minced
  • 2 celery ribs, minced
  • 1 large Russet potato, cut into ¼-inch dice
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tablespoon dried savory or marjoram (we used dried marjoram)
  • 8 ounces mushroom, chopped (we used cremini mushrooms)
  • ½ cup dry red wine (we used a cabernet sauvignon)
  • 2 cups cooked or canned lentils (we used cooked lentils)
  • 1 cup vegetable broth (we used Swanson Organic vegetable broth)
  • ½ cup old-fashioned rolled oats
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 teaspoon sugar (we used organic cane sugar)
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground allspice
  • Salt (we used kosher salt) and freshly ground black pepper)
  • 2 vegan pie crusts (we used Wewalka Pie Crust)
  • Your favorite cranberry sauce or chutney, to serve

Directions

  1. Pour the oil into a large skillet, setting the heat to medium-high. Once the oil’s hot, toss in the onion, celery, potato and garlic, stirring frequently for 5 minutes or until the vegetables have softened. Add the marjoram, mushrooms and wine to the skillet, stirring to combine. Let the mixture cook for 3 minutes. Add in the lentils, broth, oats and tomato paste, stirring to combine. Turn the heat down to low and let the skillet mixture simmer for 20 minutes or until the mixture’s thickened, stirring now and then during that time (it took us less than 20 minutes).
  2. Mix the sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, and allspice into the skillet, seasoning the skillet mixture with salt and pepper afterwards. Take the skillet off the heat and allow the food to cool down. Once cool, take a bite and see if it needs any extra seasoning (ours didn’t).
  3. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Take a 9-inch pie plate out and line it with one of the pie crusts. Add in the cooled lentil mixture, spreading it out evenly. Place the remaining pie crust over the lentil mixture, trimming and fluting the edges of the pie crust afterwards. Cut some slits into the top crust and place the pie in the oven for 40 to 45 minutes or until the crust looks nicely browned (we baked ours for 44 minutes). Pull the pie out of the oven and let it cool for 15 minutes before slicing it. Serve the pie when it’s warm or at room temperature with the sauce/chutney.

Serves 6

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We enjoyed this even without the chutney or cranberry sauce ! This recipe was supposed to be inspired by meat pies from Quebec and while we’ve never tried actual meat pies, this lentil pie was delicious ! The spices gave this a warm, comforting feeling while you’re eating this and the crust was nice and flaky. While the portions are small (and may not serve 6 depending on your appetite), we thought this was very filling and great to eat when it’s cold outside !

We got this recipe from “One-Dish Vegan” by Robin Robertson.

We weren’t paid in any form to promote Swanson, Wewalka, or the cookbook (and its author).

Take care everybody !

Red Lentil Thai Curry

Ingredients

  • Nonstick cooking spray
  • 2 cups red lentils (we rinsed our lentils after measuring out 2 cups worth)
  • 3 Tbsp. green curry paste (such as Thai Kitchen) (we used Thai Kitchen brand)
  • 6 cloves chopped garlic
  • 2 Tbsp. soy sauce (we used reduced-sodium soy sauce)
  • 2 Tbsp. chopped ginger
  • 2 tsp. sugar
  • 1/8 tsp. cayenne (we used ¼ tsp.)
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 ½ cups carrot juice
  • 1 cup halved yellow cherry tomatoes
  • 1 cup coconut milk (we used full-fat coconut milk)
  • ¼ cup chopped cilantro
  • 4 cups cooked jasmine rice (we used brown jasmine rice)
  • Lime wedges, for serving

Directions

  1. Take a slow cooker out (we used our 4 qt. slow cooker) and spray the inside of it with the nonstick cooking spray. Add the following ingredients to the slow cooker, stirring to combine: lentils, onions, green curry paste, garlic, soy sauce, ginger, sugar, cayenne, water, carrot juice, and yellow tomatoes. Put the lid on the slow cooker and cook for 3 hours on HIGH. Stir in the coconut milk and cilantro, serving the curry over the rice with lime wedges on the side.
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This was such a warming dish to enjoy ! We tried a bite of this before the coconut milk was added in and you could tell there was a definite spiciness to it. Once the coconut milk was mixed in though and the curry was served over rice, the heat just became a nice background note. The tomatoes were so tender by the end of the cook time that they practically just melt in your mouth as soon as you bite into them. We couldn’t taste the cilantro but it did add a nice pop of color to the dish. The dish tastes good on its own but the lime juice makes it even better. Overall this is a warm, comforting dish we’d be happy to eat again, especially on a cold day !

This recipe came from Family Circle.

We weren’t paid in any form to promote Thai Kitchen or Family Circle.

Take care everybody !