“Cookery is not chemistry. It is an art. It requires instinct and taste rather than exact measurements.” - Marcel Boulestin

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Crock Pot Spaghetti and Meatballs

My work schedule has been crazy lately because I haven't found a full time legal job that I am willing to do yet.  Currently, I am working for a vascular surgery practice (where my mom works) doing odd jobs, some legal some not.  I promise you I am going somewhere with this job talk.  Their office is in Newnan, where I used to live, and about 45 mins. from where I now live.  Obviously I do A LOT of commuting, so I have become extremely dependent on my crock pot. (see I told you this story had a point)  I decided to try and make a good spaghetti sauce with meatballs so I could just cook the pasta when I got home and dinner would be done. In the end I didn't have time to make the sauce from scratch, but I did make the meatballs. Here is my crock pot version of this classic:

Crock pot Spaghetti and Meatballs

  • 1 lb ground beef
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 cup of bread crumbs
  • 1/2 cup of Parmesan cheese
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tbs of Italian seasoning
  • 2 tbs of Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 jars of spaghetti sauce

Pour 1 jar of sauce into your crock pot

 Add remaining ingredients (except the other jar of sauce) to a mixing bowl.

Don't be afraid to get dirty and mix it all up with your hands.

Roll the meat mixture into balls and place them into the sauce in your crock pot.

Pour the second jar of sauce over the meatballs.

Cook on low for 6 hours.

Serve over spaghetti noodles and enjoy!
(Sorry for the dark picture)

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Easy Marinated Steak

I was looking for a quick and easy steak marinade recipe that I could add to my week night cooking mix.  I searched all over until I found this recipe on allrecipes.com.  I chose it because I just happened to have all the ingredients needed in my pantry.  I LOVED it, and you will too.

The Best Steak Marinade

  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • salt and pepper to taste

  • Add ingredients to a mixing bowl.

    Wisk ingredients together.

    Place steaks in a ziploc bag and pour in marinade. 
    Let it sit in the fridge for atleast 8 hours.

    I was planning on grilling my steak, and to me steak always grills
    better if its dry and at room temperature.
    I rinsed the marinade off the steaks (because after 8 hours the flavors had been
     absorbed into the steaks) and let them sit out for about 30 mins before I grilled them.

    I grilled my steaks until medium rare (the best way to eat a steak) and served them with mixed veggies and scalloped potatoes. Enjoy!

    Zesty BBQ Chicken

    This recipe is a great go to for week night cooking.  The sauce has a nice kick to it that is different than regular bbq sauce.  You will love it!

    Zesty BBQ Chicken

    • frozen skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
    • 1 (12 ounce) bottle barbeque sauce
    • 1/2 cup Italian salad dressing
    • 1/4 cup brown sugar
    • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce

    Mix all ingredients.

    Place chicken in your crock pot and cover with sauce.

    Cook for 7 hours on low and enjoy!

    Baked Ziti

    I love any kind of baked pasta, and this is my own take on an Italian classic.  

    Baked Ziti

    • Ziti pasta cooked
    • Ground Beef
    • Spaghetti Sauce
    • 1 1/2 cups ricotta cheese
    • slices of provolone or mozzarella cheese
    • 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
    • 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
    • 1tbs of Italian seasoning

    Cook ground beef.

    Let beef and spaghetti sauce simmer together until it thickens.

    Mix ricotta cheese, Italian seasoning, parm cheese, and 1 cup of the mozzarella.

    Pour some of the sauce mixture in the bottom of your caserole dish.

    Layer half of the pasta on top of the sauce.

    Layer the sliced cheese.

    Layer half of the ricotta mixture.

    Keep layering, ending with sauce until dish is full

    Topp with the rest of the mozzarella cheese.


    Bake at 350 for 40 mins.

    Serve with a caesar salad and some garlic bread.

    Tuesday, April 24, 2012

    Week 5 Menu

    So sorry for the late posting this week, but the weekend was very busy and crazy so I am playing catch up this week.  I also have about 10 blogs to post from last week, they are in the works and hopefully will all be posted on my day off from work on Wednesday. Here is this week’s menu:

    Publix Chicken and Sides (I had a really good coupon)

    My friend Megan is coming to dinner so I am super excited about trying my new recipe for Zesty BBQ Chicken.  I am serving it with red beans and rice and grilled zucchini.

    Crock pot spaghetti and meat balls

    Sour Cream Chicken (I didn’t get to make this last week)

    Date night!

    Extras for the week:

    Tuesday, April 17, 2012

    Crock Pot Cubed Steak

    I found this recipe on pinterest and added it to my to do list of meals.  I actually wasn't planning on making this recipe for a more weeks but with a coupon I had for our new super target I picked up the cube steaks for this recipe for just under $2! What a deal! This recipe is really easy and it is really really really good.  I only made 1 change from the pinned recipe.  I have found that recipes that require dry soup mixtures can be very salty if you don't add enough water, so I added more to the recipe, and it turned out just right.

    Crock Pot Cubed Steak

    • 2 cans cream of mushroom soup
    • 1 packet of onion soup mix
    • 1 1/2 cup of water
    • cubed steaks

    Put all ingredients in to your crock pot.
    (p.s. check out my FABULOUS new crockpot)

    Cook on low for 8 hours.
    (it's not pretty but it's yummy)

    Serve over mashed potatoes (my personal choice), noodles, or rice and enjoy!
    This is probably one of my favorite crock pot meals ever!!!!

    Slow Cooker Shredded Beef Tacos

    Slow Cooker Shredded Beef Tacos

    • 1 chuck roast
    • 1 tbs garlic
    • green onions diced
    • 1 jalapeno pepper diced
    • 1 can diced green chilies
    • salt and pepper to taste
    • 4 tbs beef broth base (or 2 cups of beef broth)
    • 2 cups of water (if beef broth is used don't add water)
    • 2 tsp cumin
    • 1 1/2 tsp chili powder
    • 1 1/2 tsp of oregano

    I forgot to include the spices in my ingredient list...ooops!

    Mix the all the veggies, spices, and dry ingredients together in a bowl.
    (it looks wet because of the canned chilies)

    Add the water to the mixture.

     Place chuck roast in the slowcooker and cover with the mixture.

    Cook for 8 hours.

    Serve with your favorite taco toppings and enjoy!

    Just as Good as Restaurant Salsa

    "Just as Good as Restaurant" Salsa

    • 2 cans of diced tomatoes
    • 1 packed of mild or hot salsa seasoning (I use hot and its not too hot)
    • green onions
    • 2 tsp of fajita seasoning

    Put all ingredients in food processor.

    Blend until desired consistency.

    Serve and enjoy!

    Strawberry Pineapple Spa Water

    I made this water to experiment with other flavors after I made my first spa water a few weeks ago.  First of all let me say spa water is like my new favorite drink.  If I take the time to make it, I wont drink anything else in my fridge until its gone.  It is really great for increasing your water intake.  I wanted to try different fruit and veggie combinations and this one is FANTASTIC!

    Strawberry Pineapple Spa Water

    • 1/2 a cucumber
    • 1 lemon
    • 4 or 5 strawberries
    • 1 cup of pineapple
    • water

    Put all the fruit in a pitcher, and fill with water.  Let it sit for 24 hours and then enjoy!


    Monday, April 16, 2012

    Week 4 Menu

    Sorry for the late posting, but yesterday was a little crazy for us and now I am at work, so this will be a short blog post.  I have about 4 blogs about recipes from last week waiting in the wings, I will try to post them all tonight.

    For this week...

    Baked Ziti

    Crock Pot Sour Cream Chicken

    Crock Pot Cube Steak (a pinterest recipe) with Mashed Potatoes

    Marinated Steaks on my new grill!

    Date Night!

    Lots of beef this week...it was all on sale, and I had great coupons.

    Thursday, April 12, 2012

    Starter Free Friendship Bread

    Starter Free Friendship Bread

    Have you ever been given one of those yeast starters for friendship bread? I have, and its one of my favorite breads to make and give away as a gift.  I was talking with a friend the other day about getting a starter bag going to give away, but it really is a pain to make, and who wants to wait 10 days to eat this yummy bread?  So I did some research, like any good lawyer would do.  I found a recipe here that is made without the starter.  I decided to give it a try. I made mine in a bunt pan because it calls for 2 loaf pans and I only have one.  The final product, is even better (in my humble opinion) than the one made from the yeast starter.  Make it today (because you don't have to wait 10 days), you wont regret it!
    I put brown sugar in the pan before I baked it so it would have a nice crispy sugar crust.
    Isn't it pretty?

    Chicken Paprika

    This is a recipe that my dad used to make for my brother and me a lot when we would stay at his house.  I haven't had it in almost 10 years, but for some reason, I just started craving it last week.  So I texted my dad for his recipe and did some research online and came up with my own version of one of my childhood favorites.

    Chicken Paprika

    Ingredients: (sorry I forgot to take an ingredients picture)
    •  1 whole chicken boiled and shredded.
    •  1 box of shells pasta
    •  2 cans of cream of chicken soup (I used fat free)
    •  1 cup of sour cream (I used fat free)
    •  3 tbs of paprika
    •  1/2 cup of pasta water

    Boil, cool, and shred chicken.
    (I boiled mine with garlic, onions, celery,
    and carrots and kept the broth for soup later)

    Boil pasta according to package instructions.

    In a large saute pan, combine the soup and sour cream.

    Heat on med heat and stir until smooth and creamy

    Add pasta water to the soup mixture
    (use more than 1/2 cup if mixture looks really thick)

    Add chicken and simmer for 10 mins.
    Keep stirring so mixture doesn't burn.

    Add paprika.
    (it is supposed to have a nice orange color and subtle taste of paprika
    so if it still looks pale yellow or you don't think the taste is right,
    add more paprika if desired)

    Drain pasta.

    Return pasta to pot and pour the soup mixture over the pasta.
    Stir and serve.

    Garnish with a sprinkle of paprika and enjoy!