Meatloaves. Yes dad, if you are reading this I willingly made myself meatloaf for dinner. But I discovered the secret to overcoming their mushy texture which is the primary reason for my distaste for them all my life – minis! When you make them mini it’s just like eating a meatball and are less mushy. After I discovered this fact while reviewing The New Way to Cook Light cookbook, I decided to try out another mini recipe.
Since I recently received a ginormous shipment of Chobani Greek yogurt, I decided to make some mini meatloaves using some of it. Fittingly, I made Greek meatloaves with the Greek yogurt! With the additional flavors of mint and cucumber this meal is perfect for the spring-time and can be ready in under 30 minutes. Did I mention that I have now enjoyed my second meatloaf in my entire life? Crazy!
One year ago: Homemade Imo’s Pizza
Two years ago: Avocado Fries
MINI GREEK STYLE MEATLOAVES
10 oz. ground sirloin
5 oz. lean ground lamb
1/3 cup breadcrumbs
1/3 cup minced red onion
1 Tbsp chopped fresh mint
1 Tbsp chopped fresh thyme
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp allspice
1/4 tsp crushed red pepper
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 egg, lightly beaten
1/2 cup plain fat-free Greek yogurt (I used 0% plain Chobani)
2 oz. reduced-fat feta, crumbled
1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
1 tsp chopped fresh mint
1 tsp chopped fresh thyme
1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
1 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
1/8 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
4 cups baby arugula leaves
1-1/2 cups 1/4-inch diagonally sliced, seeded, peeled cucumber
- Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Coat eight muffin cups with nonstick spray, set aside.
- In a large bowl, combine meatloaf ingredients. Press mixture into prepared muffin cups. Bake for 7 minutes. Turn broiler on to high and broil for 3 minutes.
- While the meatloaves cook, combine sauce ingredients in a mini food processor. Pulse 10 times to combine.
- In another large bowl, whisk together lemon juice, olive oil, salt and pepper. Add arugula and cucumber then toss to coat.
- Serve meatloaves with a cup of salad and feta sauce on top.
Source: Cooking Light, May 2013
The first time I made these, I did a dumb thing and used the juice from the lemon as well as the zest. Do you know what happens when you add liquid to rice krispies? They get soggy just like in a bowl of milk. I should have realized this in advance but somehow I thought it was a brilliant idea, until I took a bite and was appalled with myself.
Batch #2 I did not use the juice, just the zest and added some extract to ensure the citrus flavors did not get lost. With the addition of the freeze dried strawberries they taste just like strawberry lemonade but without the use of any artificial beverage mixes!
What brainless baking/cooking things have you done in the past? Make me feel better by letting me know I’m not the only one who does things without thinking them through in the kitchen.
One year ago: Malted Chocolate and Peanut Butter Chip Cookies
STRAWBERRY LEMONADE RICE KRISPIE TREATS
Makes 24 bars
3 Tbsp unsalted butter
10 oz. marshmallows
1 lemon, zested
1/8 tsp fiori di sicilia or lemon extract
6 cups puffed rice cereal
1-1/2 cups freeze dried strawberries
- Coat a 13 x 9-inch pan with non-stick spray, set aside.
- In a large pot over medium heat, add the butter. Once melted, stir in the marshmallows until melted. Remove from heat and stir in lemon zest and extract (if using).
- Add the puffed rice cereal and strawberries to the melted marshmallows and stir until coated and evenly distributed.
- Transfer to prepared pan and spread evenly. Press down with a sheet of wax paper.
- Allow to cool completely, then cut into bars.
Source: The Spiffy Cookie original
Dishwashers are a perk when it comes to kitchens and made sure mine had one when I moved 4 years ago. However, I would probably get more use out of my dishwasher if it were cabinet space. Cooking for one, I don’t generally build up enough dirty dishes to fill it, since I like to hand wash my pots and pans, before I need something that’s been sitting in it for the past 5 days. Oddly enough, I have used it as a drying rack for items that I hand washed. But being obsessed with fun baking bans and kitchen gadgets while residing in a tiny kitchen means storage space is much more desirable.
But I digress. Let’s talk about fries that require not fancy pans or gadgets to make. Brown sugar fries? Yes, I was skeptical at first too but their crispy-ness and slightly sweet yet salty flavors will win over even the most judgmental fry-person. And they are baked in the oven! Who knew such beautiful fries could be made without a deep frier? These tasty fries would pair quite well with any burger, but I enjoyed them alongside an edamame burger.
One year ago: Pineapple Burgers
BROWN SUGAR BAKED FRIES
1 lb. Russet potatoes
4 Tbsp olive oil
1-1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
2 Tbsp brown sugar
- Peel and rinse off the potatoes. Cut them into uniform-width fries. Plunge the cut potatoes into warm water and let them soak for 20 minutes. Drain and lay them out over a bed of paper towels and pat dry.
- Preheat oven to 475 degrees.
- Coat a rimmed baking sheet with 3 tablespoons oil. Sprinkle on half of the salt and pepper. In a bowl coat the now dry potatoes with the remaining 1 tablespoon oil. Lay them out on the rimmed baking sheet in a single layer. Sprinkle on the remaining salt and pepper. Cover with aluminum foil and bake for 5 minutes then remove the foil.
- Continue baking for 8-10 minutes then rotate the pan. Continue baking for another 8-10 minutes, then use a spatula or tongs to flip each fry. Sprinkle on 1 tablespoon of brown sugar and continue to bake for another 5 minutes or until desired doneness.
- Remove the fries to a bed of paper towels to remove excess oil. Sprinkle on the remaining 1 tablespoon brown sugar just before serving.
Source: Adapted slightly from A Beautiful Mess.
To say my weekend was eventful is an understatement, even for a birthday weekend. Friday night I watched the Grizzlies beat the Clippers and advance into the second round with a couple friends. I even brought along my giant margarita glass that I haven’t used since my 22nd birthday (6 years ago) and we all had a good time taking turning drinking that mammoth beverage. Saturday I went to see Iron Man 3, and had dinner and drinks with friends. I didn’t lay myself down into my own bed until almost 5am. Needless to say I slept in until about 1pm on Sunday and still managed to get my butt in gear for the final day of Beale Street Music Fest.
Today, my energy stores are pretty low and I anticipate many early to bed evenings this week to recharge. A good dose of healthy food probably won’t hurt either after all the dessert and other ridiculousness I consumed this weekend as well. Speaking of eating healthier things, I know that I may have scared a few of you already with the green tortilla chip coated chicken I shared last week, but I promise there’s nothing to be afraid of with these burgers either.
These edamame burgers are full of flavor and also surprisingly filling. My favorite part about them is not needing to shove my hands into raw meat! Don’t get me wrong I adore a full on meat patty, but trying to turn on the faucet and dispense soap in order to clean off your hands, all without contaminating other surfaces is an awkward task.
SPICY EDAMAME BUGERS
Makes 4 burgers
1/4 cup chopped white onion
2 garlic cloves
15 oz. shelled edamame, cooked and roughly chopped
2 Tbsp chopped fresh cilantro
1/3 cup bread crumbs
1 egg, lightly beaten
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes (or more to taste)
1/4 tsp salt
Generous sprinkle of pepper
4 toasted burger buns
- In a food processor, blend together onion, garlic, 2/3 of the edamame, cilantro, 1/2 of the bread crumbs, egg, red pepper flakes, salt and pepper until a thick paste forms.
- In a medium bowl combine this paste with the remaining edamame and bread crumbs. Fold together until just combined and then form 4 patties. Wrap in plastic and freeze them for later or cook them immediately.
- To cook, heat a little olive oil in a pan over medium heat. Lightly dredge the patty in flour. Cook in the oil until warmed through and crispy on both sides.
- Serve on toasted buns with your favorite toppings.
Source: Adapted slightly from A Beautiful Mess.
Did you really think I would leave off for my birthday weekend with my post yesterday, lacking cake batter, peanut butter, and cookie dough? Yes it was a most splendid ice cream, but I refuse to spend my birthday without at least one of those 3 things! So I went ahead and made breakfast using all three…
Peanut butter pancakes.
Eggless chocolate chip cookie dough.
Put the three together and you get an overload of some of my most favorite things about the dessert world… but for breakfast! And since it’s my birthday it’s completely acceptable to eat this first thing in the morning.
And since today is also star wars day (may the fourth be with you), I had originally made these pancakes with star wars vehicle pancake molds, but they didn’t come out right so I ended up just making the rest regular. So you’ll have to just imagine these as cool Millenium Falcons and X wings and Tie Fighters.
One year ago: Funfettinutter Cupcakes for Two (or One Birthday Girl)
Two years ago: Peanut Butter Cup S’mores Ice Cream
BIRTHDAY OVERLOAD PANCAKES
Makes about 1.5 dozen
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
2 Tbsp sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 Tbsp milk
1/4 tsp vanilla extract
1-1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/8 tsp salt
1/4 cup mini semisweet chocolate chips
1-3/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1-1/2 cups milk
1 Tbsp sugar
1/4 creamy peanut butter
1/4 cup vanilla Greek yogurt (I used 0% vanilla Chobani)
CAKE BATTER “SYRUP”
1/2 cup dry white cake mix
1/4 cup water
2 Tbsp sprinkles, plus more for garnish
- To make the cookie dough, in a large bowl, beat butter and sugars with an electric mixer on medium until light and fluffy. Mix in milk and vanilla.
- Stir in flour and salt and mix on low until incorporated. Fold in chocolate chips. Set aside.
- To make pancakes, in a large bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt.
- In a medium bowl, combine the milk, egg, sugar, peanut butter, and Greek yogurt. Beat with an electric mixer on low until smooth. Add mixture to the dry ingredients, and mix until just combined.
- Heat a large griddle over medium heat. Ladle the batter onto the griddle and cook until golden brown on both sides, about 2-3 minutes per side.
- Keep pancakes warm by placing on a oven-proof tray in an oven preheated to 200 degrees.
- To make the “syrup”, whisk together the cake mix and water until smooth. Fold in sprinkles.
- To serve, layer pancakes alternating with crumbled bits of cookie dough, topped with a drizzle of cake batter “syrup”. Add extra sprinkles if desired.
Source: Cookie Dough from The Cookie Dough Lover’s Cookbook. Pancakes adapted from The Peanut Butter & Co. Cookbook. Cake Batter “Syrup” adapted slightly from Little Bitty Bakes.
On Tuesday, my fabulous purple bangs were dyed back to brown and also had lowlights put in while I was at it. As much as I am unhappy about this transition (and feel like an imposter when I look in the mirror), I decided to make myself feel better by coming up with the theory that the brown hair will send good vibes into the world, making my experiments work better and therefore help me graduate sooner and get a job (hence the need for normal looking hair). Sure enough, the experiment that has been an extra pain lately finally worked! I call it my brown hair magic, and you cannot make fun of me because it’s working. It’s also my birthday tomorrow, so I can do what I want.
I’m going to go ahead and tell you that this ice cream might be one of my favorite homemade versions ever. That should mean a lot since I have made ice cream flavors consisting of peanut butter cup s’mores, double cake batter truffle, and Reese’s peanut butter cup. The ice cream base is malted vanilla which is heavenly enough on its own, but then chopped up homemade cosmic brownies are thrown in along with some extra sprinkle action. The best part about making the cosmic brownies from scratch, is that I under baked them for extra fudgy gloriousness.
P.S. Tonight is the start of Beale Street Music Fest – I like to pretend it’s a weekend-long party dedicated to my birthday every year.
One year ago: Sausage, Red Bell Pepper and Spinach Pesto Pizza
MALTED VANILLA COSMIC BROWNIE CHUNK ICE CREAM
Makes about 1-1/2 quarts
1 cup milk (I used2%)
3/4 cup sugar
Pinch of salt
1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise
2 cups heavy cream
1/2 cup vanilla malted milk powder
5 egg yolks
2 cups chopped cosmic brownies (store bought or homemade)
Rainbow chips or sprinkles (optional)
- Warm the milk, sugar, and salt in a medium saucepan. Scrape the seeds from the vanilla bean into the milk with a paring knife, then add the bean pod to the milk. Cover, remove from heat, and infuse for one hour. Remove the bean pod.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the heavy cream and malt powder. Set aside.
- In a separate small bowl, whisk together the egg yolks. Slowly pour some of the warm mixture into the egg yolks, whisking constantly, then scrape the warmed egg yolks back into the saucepan.
- Stir the mixture constantly over medium heat with a heatproof spatula, scraping the bottom as you stir, until the mixture thickens and coats the spatula. Whisk it into the malted milk mixture. Allow to cool, then cover and chill the mixture thoroughly in the refrigerator, overnight.
- Freeze ice cream in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions. As you remove the ice cream from the machine, fold in the chopped brownies and sprinkles if using. Freeze for at least 4 hours.
Prepare yourself, for an awesomely different looking chicken dish – it’s GREEN!! This is not Dr. Seuss’s green eggs and ham, we’re talking about Cinco de Mayo food!
In addition to the delicious strawberry margarita mix from On The Border, which I used to make the cupcakes I shared yesterday, I also received their Monterey Jack Queso, Medium Salsa, and Guac Blast Tortilla Chips. Did I get your attention with that last item? Because it surely caught my eye when I first saw them. They really are very green and since they taste like guacamole you almost don’t need to dip them in anything. But that didn’t stop me from dipping them into the Monterey Jack Queso… MmMmm.
I decided to have some fun with these products and used the chips as the breading for an oven-fried chicken. It resulted in a fabulously green and festive exterior, which was packed with flavor and crunch to boot. The queso was mixed up with some Greek yogurt (my favorite sour cream substitute), to then be dolloped on top of the cooked chicken along with some salsa and cheese. It’s a full blown Mexican fiesta all on one piece of chicken!
One year ago: Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Brownies
Two years ago: Butterscotch Truffles
GUACAMOLE TORTILLA CHIP-CRUSTED NACHO CHICKEN
1/4 cup buttermilk
4-4 oz. chicken breasts
1/2 cup finely ground On The Border Guac Blast Tortilla Chips
1/4 cup plain Greek yogurt (or sour cream) (I used 0% plain Chobani)
1/2 cup On The Border Medium Salsa
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Arrange a wire rack on a large baking sheet; coat rack with cooking spray. Set aside.
- Place buttermilk in a shallow dish. Add chicken to buttermilk, turning to coat.
- Place ground chips in another shallow dish. Remove chicken from buttermilk mixture; discard buttermilk mixture. Dredge chicken in ground chips, pressing slightly and turning to coat.
- Arrange chicken on rack; coat chicken with cooking spray. Bake for 13 minutes or until chicken is done.
- While the chicken cooks, combine the Greek yogurt and Monterey jack Queso in a small bowl. When the chicken is done, top with queso mixture, followed by salsa and shredded cheese. Put back in the oven until the cheese starts to melt; about 1-2 minutes.
Disclosure: I was provided with complimentary On The Border products by Truco Enterprises. I was not compensated for this post. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
I have a bad habit of forgetting about Cinco de Mayo every year because my birthday is the day before and it is also Star Wars Day (may the fourth be with you). I pretty much have the most amazing birthday ever, right? But when I was contacted by Karla of Truco Enterprises recently, asking if I’d like to try out any On The Border products, I knew it was a sign that I wouldn’t be missing out on posting any recipes for the holiday this year.
Of course, the first thing I was drawn to was the strawberry margarita mix. What’s Cinco de Mayo without a good margarita in hand? As a bonus, On The Border’s margarita mixes are made with all natural flavors and juices, setting them apart from many other manufacturers. After seeing many different margarita cupcake recipes, I knew I had to try making a strawberry margarita cupcake with their mix. And I have to say, they taste fantastic and look brilliant! I even gave them a sugar rim just like the drink itself. Obviously these are not kid friendly cupcakes since they do contain small amounts of tequila, but you can substitute with extra margarita mix if you want a “virgin” cupcake.
These are actually displayed in a huge margarita glass that I own, and will likely need to fill it up with the actual strawberry margarita beverage with the remaining mix on Sunday! Yummy
STRAWBERRY MARGARITA CUPCAKES
Makes 12 cupcakes
1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1-1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup sugar
2 eggs, room temperature
3 Tbsp pureed, thawed frozen sweetened strawberries
1/4 cup On The Border Strawberry Margartia Mix (regular also works)
2 Tbsp tequila
1/4 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 cup buttermilk
1-2 Tbsp tequila
2 Tbsp pureed, thawed frozen sweetened strawberries
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
2-1/2 cups powdered sugar
1 Tbsp On The Border Strawberry Margartia Mix (regular also works)
1/2 Tbsp tequila
Pinch of salt
1/4 cup crystal sugar sprinkles mixed with 1/4 tsp salt
- Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Line a standard muffin tin with paper liners; set aside.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt; set aside.
- In an electric mixer on medium-high speed, beat the butter and sugar together until pale, light, and fluffy (about 5 minutes).
- Reduce the mixer speed to medium and add the eggs one at at time, mixing thoroughly after each addition.
- Scrape the sides of the bowl and add the strawberry puree, margarita mix, tequila and vanilla extract. Mix until combined. (The mixture may start to look curdled at this point, but don’t worry)
- Reduce the mixer speed low. Add the dry ingredients in three batches, alternating with the buttermilk in two batches. Mix only until just incorporated, using a rubber spatula to give it one last mix by hand.
- Divide the batter between the muffin cups. Bake for approximately 25 minutes or until just slightly golden and a skewer shows only moist crumbs attached, rotating the pan at the halfway point.
- Allow cupcakes to cool for 5 to 10 minutes, and then remove to a cooling rack. Brush the tops of the cupcakes with the 1 to 2 tablespoons of tequila. Set the cupcakes aside to cool completely before frosting them.
- To make the frosting, whip the strawberry puree and butter on medium-high speed of an electric mixer using the whisk attachment for 5 minutes. Reduce the speed to medium-low, and gradually add the powdered sugar, mixing and scraping the sides of the bowl until all is incorporated. Give it a mix on medium speed for about 30 seconds. Add the margarita mix, tequila, salt and mix on medium-high speed until incorporated and fluffy. If the frosting appears a bit too soft, add some additional sugar, one spoonful at a time until desired consistency is reached.
- Frost cupcakes by first piping a circle around the edges. Dip the frosted edges iton the sugar/salt mixture, then finish frosting and garnish with a lime wedge.
Disclosure: I was provided with a complimentary bottle of On The Border’s Strawberry Margarita Mix by Truco Enterprises. I was not compensated for this post. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
Before I get into today’s post, I have an announcement… today my gorgeously purple bangs will be transformed back to their natural brown state (even though I like to think purple is their natural state). Sad sad day, but I need to send good vibes into the universe so I can graduate soon and get a big person job. Don’t think a potential employer would appreciate the purple in an interview (despite the PhD after my name), but maybe it will be able to be revived pending their hair-color restrictions.
It’s time for April’s edition of Bakin’ Friends hosted by Steph of Steph’s Bite by Bite. This months secret ingredient was lemon, perfect for spring! The idea behind Bakin’ Friends is after you get your match at the beginning of the month, you are required to bake something with the secret ingredient and ship it out by the 16th of the month. Then whatever you receive, post about it on the last day of the month!
This month, my Bakin’ Friend and I were on the same wavelength. Her first batch of cookies didn’t turn out, and my first batch of the treats I made also was not satisfactory resulting in both of us not shipping out by the 16th. Then I forgot to include the recipe in the package, and sure enough she did too! But no harm done and if anything it made me feel less guilty. Even if it was a big deal, these cookies would’ve forgiven anything. They were incredibly soft and had the perfect amount of lemon flavor. Thanks Lizzie for these amazing cookies! Totally worth the wait .
One year ago: Baked Banana Almond Pancakes
For The Secret Recipe Club this month, I was assigned to Baking and Creating with Avril. She actually had my blog in March of 2012 and she made my Fluffernutter Blondies, so I was excited to explore her blog this time. Initially I was drawn to her Crescent Chicken Packages and Chunky Monkey Oatmeal Cookies, but with Cinco de Mayo coming up in combination with the spring weather, I had to make this salsa.
This salsa was incredibly easy to throw together and disappeared even faster. If you are serving this to more than 2-3 people you might want to consider doubling it. My friend Maggie and I nearly killed the entire thing while watching Hustle and Flow (figured we should watch it since we live in Memphis).
Two years ago: Funfetti Month Recipe Round-Up
15.25 oz. can sweet corn
2-3 Roma tomatoes, chopped
1 ripe avocado, peeled and chopped
1/4 cup red onion, finely chopped
1 lemon, juiced
Salt and pepper
1/4 cup cilantro, finely chopped
- Combine all ingredients except cilantro, adding salt and pepper to taste. Refrigerate at least 1 hour before serving.
- Stir in cilantro just before serving with your favorite tortilla chips.