Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Tasty Tuesday: mozzarella stuffed meatballs!

Hello! Happy Tuesday, and happy last week of August/first week of September! Can you believe that September is nearly here??? Have your children started school yet? I have none of my own, and I always started school after Labor Day, but I've learned that most seem to start in August! Crazy to me! I always loved the first day of school though.

It's been a bit crazy in DC the last week or so. First there was an earthquake, and then a hurricane! We were lucky, and neither were too bad at all. Also, the weather has cooled off a bit lately, which is so pleasant, because it had been so, so hot this summer. I'm from

New Hampshire- I am not a hot weather girl at all! I'm not sure that I could make it as a Texan ;)

On the way home, I was considering dinner options, and nothing really jumped into my mind initially. I often decide at the grocery store, and today was no different! I saw containers of fresh mozzarella, and thought of this.....

Mozzarella Stuffed Meatballs!

I didn't really follow a recipe, I kind of made it up as I went along...feel free to do your own improvisations! If you want to add something, do it, and if you don't like something I used, delete it! That is the beauty of cooking...you can make it to your taste!

Mozzarella Stuffed Meatballs

1 package ground beef (1 pound, ish!)

1 container fresh mozzarella (mine was already balled!)

1 jar pasta sauce (I used basil garlic)

1 cup breadcrumbs

1 generous spoonful of minced garlic

salt and pepper

1 egg

empty package of ground beef into large bowl. add egg and mush together with hands (it is the easiest method!). add cup of breadcrumbs and much further. add minced garlic (oh, and a shake or two of parsley!), and feel free to add any other spices that you'd like. I just used salt and pepper in this case.

grab handfuls of ground beef and form into disk. press one mozzarella ball into the center and form the meat around it. be sure to seal the meat well, or the cheese will oooze out, the way mine did! I made 12 meatballs. you could make them smaller, and use half a mozzarella ball to each, if you prefer them smaller. mine were about 2" in diameter.

drink a glass of moscato while preparing the meatballs. it helps. trust me.

bake the meatballs at 375* for about 45 minutes. mine stayed in the oven a bit longer, so they were crispier around the edges, but that is how we like them! oh, and be sure to use cooking spray on the baking pan before you put the meatballs down!

cook pasta of your choice and when it's ready, place on plate and spoon the sauce over/next to it, and then add the meatballs.

then, enjoy!!!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Tasty Tuesday: Ratatouille??

There is a question mark in the name of this post because the recipe I used made reference to this famous dish. I must say, I have no idea what Ratatouille actually is. I've only seen a portion of the Disney movie that bears its name.

For those of you who are equally bewildered, I looked it up! According to Aubergine Recipes, "In addition to being an animated film about an industrious rat who aspires to be a Parisian chef, Ratatouille is a delicious vegetable stew that comes to us from the Provence region of Southern France." Our lovely Aubergine apron is named after one of the key ingredients in this side dish - the fabulously versatile and always delicious eggplant!

Back to the Ratatouille. I found this recipe in Whole Living Magazine, which miraculously started coming to my house after my first triathlon. This is probably the first magazine subscription I've ever had and the first magazine that I've ever read cover to cover (almost). The recipe was pretty simple: summer squash, tomatoes, potatoes, and onions all baked together after being drizzled with olive oil, seasoned with provencal spices, and dusted with parmesan cheese. Yum.

Next time, I will be using eggplant in the mix. I can't believe that I forgot to use
the eggplant that I purchased at the farmer's market two weekends ago. But, c'e la vie!

1 Zucchini or Magda Squash
3 Roma Tomatoes
2 Potatoes
1 Onion

Thinly slice the onion and brown in olive oil, salt and pepper. Place in the bottom of a casserole dish.

Slice zucchini, tomatoes, and potatoes and layer on top of the onions in the casserole dish. The recipe stated to slice them 1/4 inch thick, however I recommend a thinner cut or 1/8 inch thick.

Drizzle with olive oil. Season with salt, pepper, parsley, and thyme. I might recommend some garlic powder. Then sprinkle with 2 tablespoons of parmesan cheese.

Bake for 30 minutes covered, 30 minutes uncovered. And, voila! Bon Appetit!

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Tasty Tuesday: Carrot Raisin Buckwheat Muffins (gluten-free!)

Happy Tuesday, and you know what that means....another Tasty Tuesday recipe for you! This one was sent to me from my friend Hillary...my oldest friend in the world! Our parents lived across the street from one another, so we've been friends since the day she was born- I was born in January, she was born in February!

Here's a photo of us in July 1980...I'm on the right, she's on the left...aren't we cute? I love how she's trying to hold my little hand! :)

So cute, hehe!

So, without further ado!

Carrot Raisin Buckwheat Muffins

If you are a buckwheat lover then you will to enjoy these gluten-free muffins. Try adding more carrots, raisins, some shredded apple, or any chopped nut for a denser, more nutritious treat. These muffins work great as a quick breakfast, simply serve with a green smoothie for a balanced and energizing meal. I grind my own buckwheat flour from raw buckwheat groats. I find the flavor and texture of this fresh flour superior to that of the packaged roasted, ground buckwheat flour. You can use a Vita-Mix to grind the flour or a small electric grinder such as a coffee grinder.

2 ½ cups buckwheat flour
½ cup tapioca flour
½ cup organic brown sugar, Sucanat, or maple sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon sea salt
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon ginger powder
2 cups applesauce
¼ cup melted virgin coconut oil or grapeseed oil
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 cup grated carrots
½ to 1 cup raisins, soaked for 10 minutes in ¼ cup water (then drain)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Lightly oil muffin tins or line with paper muffin cups.

In a large bowl combine the buckwheat flour, tapioca flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, sea salt, and spices. Mix well.

Place apple sauce into a separate bowl and add the melted coconut oil, vanilla, carrots, and raisins; whisk together. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and gently mix together being careful not to over mix.

Spoon batter into oiled muffin tins. Fill each muffin cup to the top. Bake at 375 degrees F for about 25 minutes. Loosen sides with a knife and gently take out of tins and place onto a wire rack to cool.

Then, enjoy!

What's baking in your kitchen this week??

Friday, August 5, 2011

cookbook swap partners!!!

I'm really excited to see that we had ten people sign up for our first ever cookbook swap! That means, of course, that there will be five sets of partners.

For fear of my emails ending up in your junk folders, I am listing the partners right here, on this post. Each persons' email is listed back at the original post, found HERE. Please go to that post to find your partner's email and then send them a note and introduce yourself. The two of you can then find out each other's likes and dislikes and then exchange address and mail books accordingly. Feel free to exchange more than one book, if you choose to, and any other goodies that you wish, but that is totally optional! One cookbook exchanged is the minimum.

Without further ado, here are your partners!

Unknown (Gretchen) and TheLittleKitchen

Does this make sense?

Please visit each other's blogs and make a new friend in the process!

There is no strict deadline on sending- we all have busy lives, but please try to be prompt when sending to your partner- I don't want anyone to be disappointed! Please email me with any issues that you may run into- lexi @ scarletthreads.org and I will look into any situation that may arise!

Most of all, have fun with this! I have high hopes for our first ever swap! I'd love to see what you receive with the swap, so please blog about it, and send the link to me- we can do a linkup and see what everyone received! Sound good? :)