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Tag Archives: Dinner

Sweet and Sour Meatballs

Earlier that day I had been near the store when Mr.Picky messaged me to pick up a can of pineapple chucks.  I did as he asked but was confused because Mr.Picky does not like canned pineapple and I was curious to know what he was making.  I was headed to play my monthly game of Bunco.    Mr.Picky offered to prepare dinner for him and the kids.  I don’t usually leave until after dinner and I usually wait to eat until I get to Bunco.

He went on the faithful Allrecipes and found Waikiki Meatballs Recipe.  I was shocked and so was he that he was making sweet and sour meatballs.  He does not like hot pineapple or sweet and sour sauce.  Like a good dad he figured the kids would love it.  Well it turned out great and both Mr.Picky and the kids enjoyed it.  He was so proud of his homemade meatballs.  I ended up eating two dinners that night because of course I needed to sample Mr.Picky’s cooking.  This will continue into the dinner rotation of recipes.

We slightly altered the recipe because the bell peppers needed to be cooked just a bit more.  I would add a bit more vinegar as it was a bit sweet for me.  But it was still great and could be left as is.

Sweet and Sour Meatballs:

  • Sweet and Sour Meatballs1 1/2 pound lean ground beef
  • 2/3 cup saltine cracker crumbs
  • 1/3 cup minced onion
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1 egg
  • 1 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 Tbs olive oil
  • 2 Tbs corn starch
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 (15 oz.) can pineapple chunks, juice drained and reserved
  • 1/2 cup white vinegar
  • 1 Tbs soy sauce or amino acids
  • 1/3 cup green bell pepper, chopped (we chopped it large so the kids could pick it out)

In a bowl combine beef, crackers, onion, milk, egg, ginger, and salt mix until evenly incorporated.

Scoop meat into even size balls 1-2 Tbs of meat per ball.

Heat olive oil in a medium heat skillet and brown meatballs until cooked through.  Add the green peppers into cook the last few minutes of cooking on the meatballs.

Sweet and Sour Meatballs

Drain any fat if there is any.

In a small bowl combine cornstarch, sugar, pineapple juice, vinegar, and soy sauce until smooth.

Pour the sauce over the meatballs and continue to cook and stir about 5 minutes until sauce has thickened.

Add the pineapple chunks and continue to heat through.

Serve over white or brown rice.

Sweet and Sour Meatballs

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One Dish Italian Chicken and Sides

Five ingredient one dish meal!

Five ingredient one dish meal!

After a friend shared the recipe Green Beans, Chicken & Potatoes – Julie’s Eats & Treats, she raved on and on about how easy and great it was.  I immediately made it and let me tell  you she was right.  I don’t think dinner can get easier or more family friendly than this recipe.

This meal was a one dish Italian flavored chicken and sides dish.  No need for anything else besides maybe some dinner rolls if you have them around.  Moist flavorful chicken, tender potatoes, and perfectly cooked green beans.  Both kids loved this meal and ate seconds and leftovers the next day.  Not to mention my 5-year-old decided she did like green beans.

The only thing I would do differently and I will keep you all posted is to create my own Italian seasoning mix.  I am not a fan of packaged seasoning mixture because they are usually full of salt and junk.  Ranch dressing I have down but I don’t normally cook a lot with Italian seasoning so I will have to experiment.  If you try this with a homemade seasoning mix before I update let me know.

Italian Chicken and SidesOne Dish Italian Chicken and Sides:

  • 2-3 cups fresh green beans, trimmed and cut
  • 2-3 chicken breasts, cubed
  • 3-5 medium/large red or new potatoes, cubed
  • 1/4 cup butter, cut in small cubes or slices
  • 1 package of Italian seasoning/dressing mix

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a 9×13″ pan line up green beans on one side lengthwise and potatoes on the other.

Place the chicken in the center row.

Arrange the butter cubes evenly over everything and then sprinkle all with the Italian seasoning.

Tightly cover with foil and bake at 350 degrees for 60 minutes.

Carefully remove foil (it is so so hot) and serve.
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Chicken Fajitas

I never thought I like fajitas until I tried this recipe for Chicken Fajitas:Allrecipe.com.  I started making this years ago and will continue forever to use this recipe.  No gross packets of seasoning and everything is in the pantry.

The key to these fajitas are to slice the chicken thinly, marinade the meat, and cook over a high heat.  This makes for the most tender flavorful chicken.  Wrap it all up with a corn tortilla (one day I will try making my own) and some peppers and onions.  This is a great meal on its own or add some spanish or mexican rice.

This is great the way the recipe is written.  Something that stops me from making fajitas so often is that the kids and Mr.Picky usually pick out most of the peppers (which make me crazy).  I made a recipe for drunken peppers instead and cooked just the chicken as written below.  Then you could just eat a chicken fajita or load it up with peppers and onions.  This did take a bit of the flavor away from the chicken but the drunken peppers made up for every bit of it.

Chicken Fajitas:Chicken Fajitas

  • 1 Tbs worcestershire sauce
  • 1 Tbs cider vinegar
  • 1 Tbs soy sauce
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 dash hot sauce
  • 1½ lb. (about 2 large breasts) chicken, sliced thinly in strips
  • 1 Tbs oil
  • 1 onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 green pepper, sliced
  • ½ lemon, juiced

Combine chicken and first 6 ing. and refrigerate overnight.

Heat oil over high heat. Add chicken for 5 minutes.

Then add onion and pepper for 3 minutes  more.

Remove from heat and add lemon juice.

Serve with warm corn or flour tortillas and top with a dab of sour cream.
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Tuna Green Bean Casserole

My neighbor mentioned tuna noodle casserole and it occurred to me I hadn’t made that in forever.  My heart was torn because I had just purchased a giant bag of French’s Fried Onions and a bag of petite fresh green beans.  I really wanted to make green bean casserole.  So I combined the two and came up with a simple and tasty dinner.

The whole family enjoyed this meal.  Who doesn’t love a comforting casserole?  Mr.Picky heated it up even the next morning for breakfast.  Next time I will update the recipe by removing the canned mushroom soup and making it from scratch.  This is because Mr.Picky dried a ton of wild mushrooms and for health reasons.  It was late and I was hungry so I reached for the extra cans in the cupboard.  I really enjoyed the green beans and would probably double the amount next time.  This depends on if your family likes green beans of course.

Tuna Green Bean Casserole

Tuna Green Bean Casserole:

  • 2 cup dry egg noodles, cooked until al dente according to package
  • 2 (10 3/4 oz.) cans of cream of mushroom soup
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 1/2 cup onions, finely chopped
  • 2 (7 oz. or smaller) cans tuna, drained and flaked
  • 1 cup fresh petite green beans, cut to bite size pieces
  • 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1 cup fried onions, divided

Tuna Green Bean Casserole

While cooking noodles, throw the green beans into the water the last-minute or two of boiling to start the cooking process.

Meanwhile in a large bowl combine mushroom soup, milk, pepper, onion,tuna, 1/2 cup fried onions, and shredded cheese.

Drain noodles and beans and add to the bowl.

Combine the mixture and pour into a lightly grease 9×13″ glass baking dish.

Bake at 375 degrees for about 30-40 minutes, or until bubbly.  The last 5 minutes of cooking sprinkle with the remaining 1/2 cup fried onions and cook until golden brown.
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Cheesy Crab Bread

Cheesy Crab BreadThis might sound gross to some of you.  To be honest cheesy crab bread is the last thing that appeals to me, this would be because shellfish is one of the few things that I don’t like.  That might be why I like this.  I make it with imitation crab meat, this is the only thing I ever buy it for and it is rare that this bread is made.  My sister growing up used to make it all the time for dinner.  It is a fatty comfort food and sometimes it just sounds good.

Mr.Picky likes anything on bread and with cheese so he also enjoys it.  It is verily rich so a piece or two is usually good for the year.  I try to serve a decent amount of vegetables with this because it is full of fat.  Did I mention it is worth the fat?

Usually cheesy bread is a side to some sort of main dish.  But Cheesy crab bread should be thought of more as an opened face sandwich.  You can easily reheat any leftovers in the over for the same cook time.

Cheesy Crab Bread:

  • 8 oz. imitation crab meat, flaked or shredded
  • 2 cups shredded cheddar, mozzarella, or cheese blend
  • 1/3-1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 Tbs Johnny’s garlic seasoning
  • 1/4 cup red or green onions, finely chopped
  • 1 Tbs butter, softened
  • 1 loaf french bread, sliced lengthwise

Combine all ingredients but the bread and mix until evenly combined.

Spread the mixture evenly over the halves of french bread.

Cheesy Crab Bread

Place bread on a cookie sheet and bake at 400 degrees for 10-15 minutes until cheese is bubbling and starting to brown.

Slice and Serve hot!

 

Balsamic Garlic Pork Loin Roast

I had a pork loin tip roast in the freezer and needed something new to make for dinner.   Knowing we would have the pork one way or the other I had pulled the pork loin out of the freezer the night before to thaw.  I had a new bottle of balsamic vinegar to try out and had the time to marinade, so I went for it.  I came up with a marinade that was amazing.

Mr.Picky thought it was the best pork loin roast I have ever made.  It was very flavorful without being too spicy for the kids who both had seconds.  In my mind the tangy brightness from the vinegar paired great with the garlic and herbs on this mild flavored meat.

Balsamic Garlic Pork Loin Roast

Balsamic Garlic Pork Loin Roast:

  • 2-4 lb. pork loin roast (or tip roast)
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1 Tbs Montreal steak seasoning
  • 1 Tbs Morton’s Nature Seasoning (bought or made)
  • 3-5 cloves garlic, pressed or minced

Morton’s Nature Seasoning:

  • 1/3 cup salt
  • 1/4 cup black ground pepper
  • 1/4 cup garlic powder
  • 1/4 cup onion powder
  • 2 1/2 Tbs sugar
  • 1 Tbs dried parsley
  • 2 tsp celery seed

Combine all of the following in a container with an air tight lid.

Balsamic Garlic Pork Loin RoastRoast:

Place vinegar, both seasonings, and garlic in a plastic sealable bag.  Mix until seasonings began to dissolve.

Add in olive oil and squish around again.

Place pork into the bag and refrigerate at least 2 hours or overnight.

In a glass baking dish place pork and marinade, cook in a 350 degree preheated oven.  Cook about 1-1 1/2 hour or until the internal temperature reached 140 degrees.  Baste with marinade a few times during the last 30 minutes of cooking.

Remove from oven and tent with foil to rest for at least 10 minutes before slicing to serve.

Baked Ham & Swiss Sliders

The first time I had Hawaiian Ham & Swiss Sliders w/ Poppyseed Sauce – Saving Money Living Life my sister had made them at a birthday party.  Mr.Picky miss the party a few years ago and I knew he needed to try these sandwiches.  I have since made the recipe at least 3 times for dinner.  Whenever I buy a spiral ham and have extra to use up.

After the holiday season you can find spiral sliced ham incredible cheap, sometimes .99 cents a pound.  This is a great time to throw a few in the freezer for throughout the year, either whole or divided up.  If you don’t want to spend the money on a ham I am sure sliced deli ham would be tasty.

This is the best tasting ham sandwich I have ever had.  The kids love them, Mr.Picky loved them, and recently I had company who loved them.  They will please any crowd and can be made ahead without taking too long to bake.

Usually I use a sweet or plain dinner roll for these sliders.  After wanting to purchase these delicious pretzel rolls I had sampled I figured they would be tasty on them as well.  I prefer a sweet roll to the pretzel roll but I still ate two and leftovers for lunch, so no complaints here.  I felt the need for 1/2 cup butter in the original was unnecessary so I cut it in half with no problem.

Baked Ham and Swiss Sliders

Baked Ham and Swiss Sliders:

The rolls needed really depend on size.  I fill a 9 x 13″ glass baking dish with sandwiches smashing them in together, so however many it takes you will work.

  • 12 rolls
  • 24 pieces of ham (preferably leftover spiral sliced)
  • 12 small pieces of Swiss cheese
  • 1/3-1/2 cup mayonnaise

Topping:

  • 1 Tbs poppy seeds
  • 1 1/2 Tbs yellow mustard
  • 1/4 cup butter,melted
  • 1 Tbs onion,finely minced
  • 1/2 tsp Worcestershire sauce

Prepare sandwiches by spreading a bit of mayo on each side of roll.  Add two pieces of ham and one slice of swiss cheese followed by the top bun.

Place all sandwiches tightly together in a baking dish.

Whisk together all the ingredients for the toppings.  Evenly pour and spoon the topping on to the sandwiches.

Allow sandwiches to set for at least 10 minutes to soak up topping before baking.

Baked Ham and Swiss Sliders

Cover with foil and bake at 350 degrees for 12-15 minutes, uncover and bake for 2 minutes more until golden.

Baked Ham and Swiss Sliders

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