Gigante Meatballs

Make these when you have time because they’re delicious and they freeze well. I just pulled a bag out of the freezer for dinner added them to a pot of sauce and served it over spaghetti. So easy. They’re also great over polenta!

Giant Meatballs

THE MEATBALLS:

  • 1 pound 80% fat ground beef
  • 1 pound ground pork
  • 6 Tbsp Italian style breadcrumbs
  • 6 Tbsp seasoned Panko breadcrumbs
  • 3 Tbsp grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 Tbsp milk
  • 2 Tbsp dried oregano
  • 1 Tbsp dried thyme
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 1/2 cups of your favorite marinara (more if you’d like more sauce. Up to 5 cups)
  • Mozzarella for top (optional)
  1. Preheat oven to 375˚F
  2. In a large bowl, mix meatball ingredients until evenly combined.
  3. Portion meatball mixture into 1/4 pound pieces, rolling into balls.
  4. Place meatballs in a large baking dish. Bake for 20 minutes.
  5.  Remove dish from oven and top meatballs with the sauce. Return to oven and bake for an additional 25 – 30 minutes, or until meatballs have reached an internal temperature of 165˚F. If adding mozzarella, add 10 mins before pulling out of oven.

Miss Heidi’s Beautiful Noodles

My LO attends the most nurturing and loving preschool led by a an earth fairy. Ok, she’s human but an extraordinary one. Her name is Miss Heidi and her school is called, Rainbow’s End.

My LO tells me the reason it’s called Rainbow’s End is because her school is where the rainbow ends and the gold is the children. Really! Can I stay there all day too? It smells like freshly peeled oranges.

LO loves her “pasta” so here’s the recipe.

Miss Heidi’s Beautiful Noodles

  • 1 bundle of soba noodles
  • 10-12 shakes of Braggs Amino Acid
  • 1 TBSP raw cashew butter
  • A splash of water

Cook noodles for 5-6 mins. Drain. Add braggs and cashew butter and water. Mix and eat.

Butter Mochi Muffins

The cutest/sassiest names website, snixykitchen posted this recipe and I love it. It reminds me of Hawaii and makes me so happy to eat (looking at you gluten-free)! They smell crazy good coming out of the oven. They’re crunchy on the outside and mochi chewy on the inside. I’m addicted. Thanks snixy!!

Butter Mochi Muffins

  • 1/4 cup (2 ounces) unsalted butter, melted and cooled, plus more for greasing pans
  • 2 cups (320 grams) mochiko sweet rice flour
  • 1 cup (200 grams) organic dark brown sugar*
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 13.5-13.66-ounce can full-fat coconut milk
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1½ teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon molasses (optional, added for flavor) – I didn’t use it
  • 1½ tablespoons each, black and toasted sesame seeds, for garnish
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F and place the oven rack in the middle of the oven.
  2. Generously grease the sides and top of a 12-cup muffin tin** with soft butter.
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk together the sweet rice flour, dark brown sugar, baking powder, and salt.
  4. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment or a large mixing bowl, whisk together the melted butter, coconut milk, eggs, vanilla, and molasses.
  5. With the mixer on low speed, slowly add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix until completely combined.
  6. Divide the batter among the prepared muffin tin, filling each cup all the way to the top. Note: the thickness of your batter will vary depending on the brand and thickness of your coconut milk and temperature of your butter. If your batter is thicker than mine pictured, that’s okay and it will still bake up delicious!
  7. Sprinkle the tops with black and white sesame seeds.
  8. Bake 55-65 minutes*** until the top is brown and crispy and the muffin springs back when poked with a finger.
  9. Let cool 10 minutes in the pan, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
  10. Store in an airtight container for up to 4 days.****

NOTES

*Organic dark brown sugar is richer and more caramel-y than conventional, but you an use conventional in a pinch!

**Any muffin tin will do, but for ultimate crispy exterior, I recommend a dark non-stick muffin tin.

***If using a light muffin tin, you may have to bake the muffins a little bit longer.

****If keeping them for longer, they’ll lose their crispiness after a day or two in storage, but you can pop them in the oven for a few minutes to get them crispy again before eating.

Bake Sale Betty Knock Offs

I’ve never been to the restaurant but friends have had parties with Bakesale Betty catering. Bakesale Betty is a restaurant in Oakland, CA. And although, I’ve never been, I love Betty. These chicken fried sandwiches that she has inspired me to make for every major sporting/watch-and-eat event. They’re crunchy and savory and oh so easy to eat way too much of. They’re also great booze absorbers.

Bakesale Betty Knock Offs

  • 4 whole boneless, skinless full chicken breasts (or 8 if they’re halved)
  • 2 packages of biscuit dough (or make your own, ambitious one)
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 cups panko
  • 1 cup flour
  • 3 TBSP kosher salt
  • 1/2 head cabbage, sliced thin
  • 1/2 bunch cilantro, chopped
  • 1 TBSP poppy seeds
  • 1-2 jalapeños, diced
  • Rice wine vinegar
  • Canola oil

Bake biscuits according to package – or your recipe.

While biscuits are backing, mix cabbage, cilantro, poppy seeds and jalapeños. Drizzle with oil and vinegar and set aside (kids do not like this slaw so I always serve it as an add on).

Mix eggs in a shallow bowl. In another shallow bowl, mix part of the panko, flour and salt (this you’ll need to keep filling as the chicken cooks.) Cut chicken pieces diagonally to appropriate size of biscuits. Dredge chicken in eggs then dry mix.

Heat oil in a pan about 1″ deep. Heat until quick but not vigorous bubbles form around panko that’s dropped in to the pan. don’t let it over heat or smoke.

Add chicken to oil and cook until done. Drain on paper towels.

Assemble chicken sandwiches and devour!

Pink Mylk – Sakara inspired

One of my favorite discoveries in the past year was Sakara. It’s a meal program that inspired my cooking creativity just by taste.

Their Pink Mylk is one of my favorites over granola and freeze dried strawberries.

Pink Mylk

  • 1 Tbsp powdered Pitaya or Dragon Fruit powder
  • 2 shakes of cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/8 tsp Himalayan sea salt
  • 2 Tbsp Manuka honey
  • 2/3 cup oat milk

Combine all ingredients and shake vigorously. Serve over nut granola topped with shredded coconut and freeze dried strawberries.

Best Chocolate Chip Cookies

This cookie recipe never fails me. It’s so good and never lasts more than a couple days in the cookie jar. Make some with nuts and others without and tell me which ones you prefer.

Chocolate Chip Cookies

Credit to Smitten Kitchen again!

  • 1/2 cup (100 grams) granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup (120 grams) firmly packed light brown sugar
  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) (115 grams) unsalted butter, cold, cut into 1/2-inch (1cm) pieces
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 1/4 cups (175 grams) all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cups (200 grams) semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1 cup (130 grams) pecans, toasted and chopped (optional)

Adjust the oven rack to the top third of the oven and preheat to 300F (150C).

Line three baking sheets with parchment paper.

Beat the sugars and butters together until smooth. Mix in the egg, vanilla, and baking soda.

Stir together the flour and salt, then mix them into the batter. Mix in the chocolate chips and nuts if you’re including.

Scoop the cookie dough into 2-tablespoon (5cm) balls and place 8 balls, spaced 4 inches (10cm) apart, on each of the baking sheets.

Bake for 18 minutes, or until pale golden brown. Remove from the oven and cool on a wire rack.

I’ve refrigerated cookie dough balls to cook later (these are delicious freshly baked). They worked out great and just require that you bring them to room temp before baking.

Enjoy!

Mufaletta Sandwich

This is a great sandwich for parties. The briny olive salad cuts through the rich provolone and fatty salami. And ham, I mean, come on!!

These are French rolls made by Safeway and they’re perfect since they don’t get soggy but aren’t too crunchy. Your belly and the roof of your mouth will thank you.

Party Sandwiches (Mufalettas)

  • Olive salad (see below)
  • 1 lb of thinly sliced salami
  • 1 lb of thinly sliced ham (I like Boarshead)
  • 1/2 lb of sliced provolone
  • 3 packs of Safeway French rolls (4 in each) or other

Olive Salad:

  • 1 cup green pimento olives, chopped
  • 1/2 cup Kalmata olives, chopped
  • 1/4 cup capers, chopped
  • 2 carrots, minced
  • 1/3 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tsp dried oregano

Mix it all together.

Assemble sandwiches with 2 heaping tablespoons of olive salad, 1 piece of provolone, 3 slices of ham and about 6-8 slices of salami.

Cut and serve with a side of giardiniera pickled veggies.

Enjoy!

Best Pesto Potato Salad

Spring is here and my belly wants crisp salads and fragrantly fresh from the garden herbs. Winter is hanging on a bit so this salad is a perfect marriage of comforting potatoes and herby pesto with crisp green beans.

It’s a good pot luck hit too.

Pesto Potato Salad

Smitten Kitchen Recipe – no adaptation

  • 4 pounds small Yukon gold and red-skinned potatoes mixed, halved
  • 1 pound green beans, cut into two-inch segments
  • 1 to 2 small garlic cloves, peeled
  • 2 bunches of basil (about one ounce each)
  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 6 tablespoons (or more to taste) mild vinegar, such as champagne, white wine or a white balsamic
  • 1/4 cup chopped green onions (scallions)
  • 1/2 cup pine nuts, toasted
  • Parmesan cheese to taste
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Cook potatoes in large pot of boiling salted water until just tender, about 10 minutes. Add beans; cook four minutes longer. Drain well and let cool, then transfer potatoes and beans to a large bowl.

Meanwhile, discard the stems from the basil and wash and dry the leaves. Puree them in a food processor with garlic, drizzling in enough olive oil that it gets saucy. Add a handful of pine nuts and Parmesan. Season the pesto with salt and pepper. [Alternately, you can swap this step with one cup of prepared pesto, but seriously, I think you’ll be missing out.]

Toss the beans and potatoes with pesto. Stir in vinegar, green onions, pine nuts and season with salt, pepper and/or additional vinegar to taste. Finally, shave some wide flecks of parmesan over the salad with a vegetable peeler.

Serve immediately, or make this up to two hours in advance. It can be stored at room temperature.

Enjoy!

The Best Belgium Waffles

People! The holidays are just on the horizon and that means we can indulge a bit on the sweets and decadent breakfasts. Who am I kidding? We make these monthly.

These waffles are a family favorite. They freeze really well and can be popped in the toaster for a quick weekday breakfast. You can serve it with fried chicken or cheesy toppings to make it savory.

The trick to making the best waffles is the waffle maker and mix. You can get both at Williams Sonoma. The waffle maker is an investment. Well, shoot so is the mix but it’s sooooo worth it. The waffle maker is the All Clad 2 waffle maker. It’s great and consistent. The mod is the gluten free or regular Willams Sonoma Bellgem Waffle Mix.

Go out and splurge on this set for yourself, your kids or someone who has those little humans running around their house. It’s a great gift.

Notes: I heat the waffle maker to 4. I add an extra tablespoon of butter to the mix (and always let it sit 15mins before cooking). I use a 1/3cup mix for each waffle. I freeze them flat in the freezer and then bag them (otherwise they bend in funny shapes and won’t fit In the toaster).

Happy Waffle Wiggles!!

Honey Cakes

These are typically eaten for the Jewish New Year to insure a sweet new year. I’m a bit late posting because I wanted to see how well they froze. The answer: perfectly! These would be wonderful holiday gifts too especially in the little loaf pans.

Honey Cake

Exact recipe from Smitten Kitchen

    3 1/2 cups (440 grams) all-purpose flour
    1 teaspoon (5 grams) baking powder
    1 teaspoon (5 grams) baking soda
    1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
    4 teaspoons (about 8 grams) ground cinnamon
    1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
    1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
    1 cup (235 ml) vegetable oil
    1 cup (340 grams) honey
    1 1/2 cups (300 grams) granulated sugar
    1/2 cup (95 grams) brown sugar
    3 large eggs at room temperature
    1 teaspoon (5 ml) vanilla extract
    1 cup warm (235 ml) coffee or strong tea
    1/2 cup (120 ml) fresh orange juice

Fits in three loaf pans, two 9-inch square or round cake pans, one 9 or 10 inch tube or bundt cake pan, or one 9 by 13 inch sheet cake. I made mine in one full-size loaf pan plus four miniature ones.

Preheat oven to 350°F. Generously grease pan(s) with non-stick cooking spray. Line the bottom with lightly greased parchment paper, cut to fit.

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, cloves and allspice. Make a well in the center, and add oil, honey, white sugar, brown sugars, eggs, vanilla, coffee or tea, orange juice and rye or whiskey, if using. (If you measure your oil before the honey, it will be easier to get all of the honey out.)

Using a strong wire whisk or in an electric mixer on slow speed, stir together well to make a thick, well-blended batter, making sure that no ingredients are stuck to the bottom.

Spoon batter into prepared pan(s). Sprinkle top of cake(s) evenly with almonds, if using. Place cake pan(s) on two baking sheets, stacked together (this will ensure the cakes bake properly with the bottom baking faster than the cake interior and top).

Bake until cake tests done, that is, it springs back when you gently touch the cake center. For angel and tube cake pans, this will take 60 to 75 minutes, loaf cakes, about 45 to 55 minutes. For sheet style cakes, baking time is 40 to 45 minutes.

Let cake stand fifteen minutes before removing from pan.

Freeze once cooled and store for up to 3 months.