Friday, October 25, 2013

Pumpkin Cornbread

It is fall the weather is cooler and with that comes soup season. I love a good bowl of soup/stew/chili when the weather is cool and nothing is better than some fresh made bread or cornbread to go along with it. I stumbled across this gem of a recipe over at In the Little Red House and knew I had to give it a try. This stuff was awesome!!! Nothing says fall like pumpkin and cornbread!! It was genius to put them together. If you love Pumpkin and you love cornbread give this recipe a try you will love it I am sure!!!
Pumpkin Cornbread
(adapted from In the little red House)
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup cornmeal
4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon,optional(I didn't  use it)
1 cup milk
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 egg
1/2 cup coconut oil, melted
1 cup pumpkin puree
Mix the dry ingredients in a bowl. Mix the wet ingredients in another bowl. Dump the wet ingredients into the dry and mix just until combined. Pour into a well greased 8 or 9 inch square pan and Bake at 350 for 20 -25 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean. Serve with your favorite soup. SLather with butter and honey if desired.
Note: Many cornbread recipes tell you to cook it at a high temp like 400-425 but I find that it makes the outside cook too fast and I hate when the sides are overcooked so I cook it at a lower temp for longer time. All ovens vary in temp so just watch it to make sure you don't cook it to long!! if you want a 9x13 pan size than double the recipe. I always double for my family cause we love cornbread!!

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Baked Pasta with Smoked Sausage

Last night I was searching for something different to make for dinner than our usual fare and went to one of my most trusted websites for awesome recipes, Mel' s Kitchen café. I decided on this pasta and my family and I loved it. Very easy to put together and tasty. My little family of 5 ate 3/4 of a heaping 9x13 inch pan of pasta!! if you need a new pasta dish or even just an easy meal go give this one a try. Would be perfect for a freezer meal, potluck or when you need to take dinner to someone.
Baked Pasta with Smoked Sausage
(adapted from Mel's Kitchen Café)
1 T. olive oil
1 large red onion, chopped
1 large red bell pepper, chopped
2 T. minced garlic
1(14.5 oz)can diced tomatoes
1(28 oz)can crushed tomatoes
1 tsp dried basil
1 tsp dried oregano
1 cup heavy cream
2 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
1 lb rigatoni, rotini or you pasta of choice
9 oz fresh spinach chopped
12 oz. precooked Hilshire farms smoked sausage. (you can use any brand and turkey or chicken sausage if you wish)found near the hotdogs in all supermarkets, cut into chunks
2-3 cups mozzarella cheese, shredded
1/4 cup parm cheese
Boil the pasta according to package directions. In a large skillet or pot heat the oil over medium heat. Add the onion and  red pepper and cook until almost tender. Add the garlic and continue to sauté till veggies are cooked. add the diced and crushed tomatoes, basil, oregano, salt and pepper and bring to a boil. lower heat and simmer for at least 10 minutes, I prefer to do it about a  half hour just because the flavors have more time to come together, but do what you have time for. Meanwhile, heat a small skillet over medium heat. add the precooked sausage and cook until they are browned on both sides. Take off heat and set aside. After the sauce as had time to simmer for a little bit add the cream and spinach to the sauce and heat through. Then mix the sauce, sausage, and cooked pasta all together. Add half of the mozzarella cheese and stir well. Dump into a greased 9x13 inch pan. Sprinkle the remaining mozz cheese and the parm cheese over the top. Place in a 400 degree oven and bake for 20-30 minutes until browned and edges are crisp.
Make Ahead method:
Prepare as directed right up to the baking step and then cover with a double layer of foil. Freeze. Bake covered for 1 hour  and 30 minutes, uncover bake 30 minutes more. The dish can also be prepared and refrigerated, covered for up to 12 hours before baking. Bake as directed in the recipe, adding and additional 5-10 minutes if needed

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Thai Green Curry Meatballs

We love curry in this house and so when I saw this recipe over at Mel's kitchen Café I was intrigued and wanted to try it out. My hubby was skeptical about the meatballs saying that meatballs and curry don't go together but I decided to try it anyway and it was a success. The kids and hubby loved these yummy curried meatballs as did I.  Next time I make this I am going to do less meatballs and add some cooked diced potatoes to it. just to change it up a little bit.

Thai Green Curry Meatballs
adapted from Mel's Kitchen Café
3 large eggs
1 1/2 cup old fashioned oats
1/8 cup milk
2 1/2 lbs ground beef(next time I am going to use 1 1/2 lbs ground beef and add 1 lb partially cooked diced potatoes to sauce)
1 T. grated fresh ginger
2 T.   thai green curry paste
1 tsp sugar
1 T. chili garlic paste
1 T. Soy Sauce
1 T. Sriracha Sauce
1/2 cup chopped cilantro
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 T. minced garlic
3 green onion, white and green parts chopped
2 T. coconut oil, fry browning the meatballs
4 cans(13.5 oz each)unsweetened coconut milk
1(4 oz) jar Thai green curry paste
Note: this is the sauce doubled. if you like less sauce cut these ingredients in half but we like it with lots of sauce. also the curry paste, chili garlic paste, and Sriracha sauce can be found at most grocery stores. I get mine at Walmart but you can buy them online as well.
In a large bowl, combine the eggs, oats and milk. Let the mixture stand and soak for 5-10 minutes. Add the ground beef and all of the rest of the meatball ingredients, except the oil, that is for frying them in. Mix to combine and distribute all the ingredients throughout the meat. Shape the meat mixture into meatballs in the desired size you like. I made mine fairly small so they were easy for the kiddos to eat.    Heat the oil over medium heat in a large skillet or pot. When the oil is hot place, one layer of meatballs in the pan leaving a little room in between each one. Brown the meatballs on all sides, about 4 minutes total. They don't need to be cooked all the way through because they will continue cooking while simmering in the sauce. do this to all the meatballs and take out and place on a plate. Drain the excess grease from the pan. Return the pan to medium heat and stir in the coconut milk and the green curry paste, scraping up any of the browned bits from the bottom of the pan and stirring into the sauce. Place the meatballs in the skillet in the sauce. Pile them all in and if using the potatoes add the partially cooked potatoes as well. Bring to a simmer and simmer the sauce, meatballs and potatoes for 15-30 minutes, stirring occasionally. I like to simmer mine longer so the flavors have more time to meld together. Add salt and pepper to taste and serve over warm rice.