Monday, May 26, 2014

Grilled vegetable marinade

We have been trying to incorporate more vegetables daily, and while we love green beans and broccoli (the greens of choice in our household), I love grilled zucchini and yellow squash. I could eat these every single day.

My "usual" routine is to cut up the zucchini, squash, and an onion (occasionally an eggplant), add some salt and pepper, then put in several (healthy) splashes of olive oil and balsamic vinegar. I was looking for something similar but different, and ran across So Tasty So Yummy's blog. She has a grilled asparagus recipe and recommended that I try that marinade. It was a little different in that it not only has balsamic vinegar, but also includes some lemon juice, soy sauce, and garlic.

This marinade was definitely a keeper! It had a little more depth to the marinade, and the vegetables turned out delicious.

Can you believe this much vegetables (raw, tossed in marinade)...

... turn into this after being cooked? Yum.

  • 2 zucchini, diced
  • 1 yellowneck squash, diced
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 3 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp low sodium soy sauce
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • Fresh ground black pepper to taste

  1. Place all the diced vegetables into a large Ziploc bag.
  2. Add the marinade 60 minutes before cooking.

Source: Adapted from So Tasty So Yummy

Bobby Flay's Roasted Vegetable Meatloaf with Balsamic Glaze

While I love roasted vegetables, "roasted vegetable meatloaf" was not on my radar... until someone on one of my forums recommended this dish. I would never have tried this dish (despite the 300+ positive reviews) had it not been for her recommendation- and I would have never found my favorite turkey meatloaf. Yes, it was just that good! Don't get me wrong- when it comes to a beef meatloaf, this is still our reigning favorite. But, this one was delicious- like out of the world, I never expected this to be so darn good, delicious.
Bobby Flay's original version uses a mixture of ground chuck, veal, and pork ("meatloaf mix"), but I decided to go with ground turkey- yes it's more lean and not as flavorful, but I was told that the meatloaf would still be incredibly moist due to the roasted vegetables within. Let me tell you- it didn't sacrifice flavor or tenderness at all.

I also love that there are vegetables within this meatloaf (or for you parents, what an easy way to "sneak" in veggies), and the balsamic glaze- oh, the super delicious balsamic glaze!- you are in for a scrumptious treat!

Some notes I learned:
  • Use a Silpat or parchment paper- Balsamic is really sticky, and it leaves for an extremely sticky (and messy) if it gets onto your pan. Make sure to cover your pan well with parchment paper (don't use foil, trust me). If you've got a Silpat, use that instead of parchment paper
  • The meatloaf is rather flat- This meatloaf shape isn't your traditional hunk of meat- it is pretty narrow height-wise (look at above picture)
See how flat I am?

  • 3 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 large zucchini, finely diced
  • 1 red bell pepper, finely diced
  • 1 yellow pepper, finely diced
  • 1 yellow onion, finely diced
  • Salt & freshly ground black pepper
  • 5 clove of garlic, minced
  • 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 Tbsp finely chopped thyme leaves (I used 1-1/2 tsp dried thyme)
  • 1/4 cup chopped parsley (I used 2 Tbsp dried parsley)
  • 1.75-2# ground turkey (we use 93% lean ground turkey)
  • 1 cup Japanese panko breadcrumbs
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Romano cheese
  • 1-1/2 cups ketchup, divided
  • 1 cup + 2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar

  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
  2. Heat the oil in a large saute pan over medium/medium-low heat. Add the zucchini, peppers, onion, and salt and pepper to taste, and cook until almost soft, 30 minutes.
  3. Stir in the garlic and red pepper flakes and cook for 30 seconds. Set aside to cool.
  4. Whisk together the eggs and herbs in a large bowl.
  5. Add the meat, bread crumbs, cheese, 1/2 cup of the ketchup and 2 Tbsp of the balsamic vinegar, and the vegetables; Mix until just combined.
  6. Mold the meatloaf on a baking sheet lined with Silpat or parchment paper (see notes above). 
  7. Whisk together the remaining ketchup and balsamic vinegar in a small bowl then brush the mixture over the entire loaf.
  8. Bake the meatloaf for approximately 1-1/2 hours.
  9. Remove from the oven and let rest 10 minutes before slicing.

Source: Adapted from Bobby Flay

Skinnytaste's Fiesta Bean Salad

If you love beans, you're going to go bonkers for this healthy salad. Beans are mixed in with cilantro, red onions, avocado, and cherry tomatoes in a cumin-lime dressing. It is so refreshing, light, and healthy! Perfect for all the upcoming BBQ parties. 

You can make this salad in advance, and add the avocados right before serving (so they don't turn brown on you).

I also like to add in some chicken (my favorite way here) to increase the protein factor. I made this over the weekend, and divided this up into (4) 1-cup(ish) servings. Can't wait to have this light and satisfying salad for lunch!

  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 Tbsp lime juice (this was approx 2 small limes for me)
  • 1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • Pinch of crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 15-oz can of black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 cup canned chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1/4 cup minced red onion, finely diced
  • 1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
  • 1 medium avocado, diced

  1. In a large bowl, combined the garlic, lime juice, oil, cumin, red pepper flakes, and salt.
  2. Add the black beans, chickpeas, tomato, red onion, and cilantro; mix well.
  3. When you're ready to eat, add the diced avocados, and serve immediately.

Source: Skinnytaste

Overnight Oats

I've been seeing this talked about a lot amongst friends. I love having oatmeal for breakfast, and while cooing oatmeal is simple, I love how creamy and filling this version is. I would call this a "suped up" oatmeal since it's more than just oats- it has tons of calcium (milk- use regular, coconut, almond- any milk you like), protein (greek yogurt, or if you're like me, I love Kroger's CarbMaster yogurt), and healthy carbs (oats!). You can also top it with nuts (walnuts, almonds, or pecans), granola, or fresh fruit. I can eat it in the morning and I feel full until lunchtime.

There are many versions out on the internet, but I think this makes a great base and you can add your own varieties to make it your favorite!

I bought these 8-oz Ball jars at Kroger


  • 1/4 cup old-fashioned (not quick cooking) oats
  • 1/4 cup milk (I use almond milk)
  • 3-oz Greek yogurt (I use 1/2 of 6-oz container of Kroger CarbMaster yogurt)
  • Pinch of cinnamon

  1. The night before you plan to eat your oats, assemble all ingredients above and mix well. Seal in an airtight container.
  2. Refrigerate the mixture overnight (they will be ready in about 5 hours, but overnight is best).
  3. Wake up and enjoy the next day!

I like to top mine with...

  • Fresh fruit- Sliced strawberries, blueberries or raspberries
  • Granola
  • Nuts- Crushed pecans, almonds, or walnuts

Source: Adapted from Lauren Conrad

Mojo Criollo Pork Chops

Happy Memorial Day weekend!

This truly marks our grilling season, and today couldn't have been a better day to bust out the grill. Sunny, warm, and non humid, grilling on days like these are pretty terrific. I had bought this marinade years ago, and completely forgot about it until I passed it at Kroger doing my weekly grocery shopping.

As the bottle states, Mojo Criollo marinade is made with "garlic, onion, and citrus for tender, tasty meat and poultry." In the past, we have used it to marinade flank steak, pork chops, and fajita beef. It really makes it flavorful, and the taste is out of this world.

I love grilling pork chops with some garlic salt and pepper, but I really wanted something refreshing and different, so in went this marinade into my shopping cart. I also purchased a boneless pork loin and cut up my own pork chops (thick cut all the way), and let them marinade for almost 24 hours.

The result? The pork chops came out moist and tender with a zesty spicy/smoky flavor. I am definitely glad I let it marinate for awhile (I think at least overnight so the marinade tenderizes the meat), and I couldn't have been more pleased with the end result.


  • 1-1/2 cups Goya Mojo Criollo marinade
  • 4# boneless pork loin, cut into thick 3/4"-1" pork chops
  • Goya Adobo all-purpose seasoning

  1. In a large Ziploc bag, add the marinade and pork chops, making sure the chops are fully immersed in the marinade. 
  2. Place the Ziploc into a glass pan (just in case the bag leaks), and refrigerate for at least overnight up to 24 hours.
  3. Prepare the grill; while the grill heats up, remove the pork chops from the fridge and let it sit in room temperature for 30 minutes.
  4. Remove the pork chops from the marinade (discard the marinade), season the chops with adobo seasoning, and grill it until the internal temperature reads 145 degrees. While the pork chops cook, baste it with additional marinade (don't use the marinade that the pork chops were marinating in)- it should cook in 15-20 minutes.

Adapted from Goya

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Healthy Turkey Meatloaf Muffins

These muffins were so easy, so moist, and so delicious! I love that I can bake them in a muffin pan so they are proportionate. I had 2 muffins (and D had 3). I already had this silicone muffin pan, and I love making things in it. It is so easy to remove food items, and these muffins baked up great.

Since we had extras, I placed 2-3 meatloaf muffins per plastic food container, added some canned green beans, and we had lunches ready to go for a week.

Turkey Meatloaf Muffins
Yields: 12 muffins, 6 servings (2 muffins/serving)

  • 1.25# ground turkey
  • 2/3 cup oats 
  • 1 cup salsa
  • 1 package Knorr vegetable mix (I find this in the soup aisle of my local grocery store)
  • 1/2 cup finely diced onion or grated
  • 4 egg whites
  • 1 tsp ground black pepper
  • 12-15 tsp ketchup (1 tsp per muffin top)

  1. Mix all ingredients together and put in either a 9x5 meatloaf pan or a muffin tray. (If you use a muffin tray that isn't made of silicone, make sure to spray each well with cooking spray.) I used a 1/4 cup measuring cup to fill each muffin well- it was the perfect amount!
  2. Put 1 tsp ketchup on top each meatloaf muffin and bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour. 
  3. Serve with veggies. You can also serve with a different carb, but keep in mind the oats in the recipe already do add a little carbs to the meatloaf, so do not eat quite a full serving of whatever carb you choose. 

Nutrition stats per serving (2 muffins): 195 calories, 17g protein, 18g carbs, 7g fat

Yields: 12 muffins (16-17 muffins if you use 1.75# ground turkey)

Source: Adapted from BFL party

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Beef & Cheese Manicotti

Darin loved manicotti, and I wanted to make something special for him for Christmas dinner. I read through reviews online, and adjusted the recipe according to them. The outcome was fantastic!

Many reviewers mentioned an all-beef mixture was too bland, so I did a 50/50 mixture of ground chuck and spicy sausage = lots of flavor. Also, make sure to use a good quality spaghetti sauce (I used Emeril's, and loved it), and it was crucial to the final taste of this dish. We paired this Texas Toast, and was in carb heaven.

Tip: Many reviewed said they placed the cheat/meat mixture into a quart-sized Ziploc bag, cut a corner of it, and filled the manicotti shells. The mixture seemed too thick for me to "pipe" the shells easily, so I just stuffed it myself. I also had a little bit of the cheese/meat mixture left, and just placed it on top of the stuffed pastas.


  • 3 tsp olive oil, divided
  • 1 medium onion, coarsely chopped
  • 1/2# ground chuck
  • 1/2# spicy sausage roll (we used Bob Evans' spicy sausage roll)
  • Salt and freshly cracked black pepper
  • 8-oz package manicotti
  • 15-oz container whole-milk ricotta cheese
  • 3 cups shredded Mozzarella cheese, divided
  • 1 cup grated Parmesan, divided
  • 1 Tbsp dried parsley
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 24-32 oz jar marinara sauce
  • 2 Tbsp butter, cut into pieces

  1. Heat a heavy medium skillet over medium heat. Add 2 tsp olive oil, and saute the onion until tender.
  2. Once tender, add the ground beef, sausage, salt, pepper, and cook until the meats are cooked through.
  3. While the meat cooks, add water and remaining 1 tsp oil in a large pot, and cook the manicotti shells for 6 minutes (slightly softened but still very firm to the touch.) Using a slotted spoon, transfer the manicotti from the pot to the oiled baking sheet and cool. 
  4. Meanwhile, combine the ricotta, 2 cups mozzarella cheese, 1/2 cup Parmesan, and dried parsley. Add the garlic, salt, and pepper to taste, and mix. Stir the cooled meat mixture into the cheese mixture.
  5. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  6. Spray a 13x9 pan with cooking spray.
  7. Spoon 1-1/2 cups marinara sauce over the bottom of the prepared dish.
  8. Fill the manicotti with cheese/meat mixture. Arrange the stuffed pasta in a single layere in the prepared dish and spoon the remaining sauce over. (see "tips" above)
  9. Sprinkle the remaining 1 cup Mozzarella cheese and 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese over the stuffed pasta. 
  10. Dot the entire dish with the butter pieces.
  11. Bake the manicotti uncovered until heated through and the sauce bubbles on the sides of the dish, about 30-35 minutes. Let the manicotti stand 5 minutes and serve.

Source: Adapted from Giada de Laurentiis

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Garlic Pesto Chicken with Tomato Cream Penne

Even though I generally save more time-consuming meals for weekends, it's nice to have quick and efficient meals on busy weekends. Or even on lazy weekends such as this past one. Darin and I lounged all day (in our PJs, no less) and it was pure bliss. We got caught up on emails, surfed the web, and watched some TV (we're currently re-watching all the seasons of Friends for the 3rd time) and some movies (he voluntarily put on Step Up and enjoyed it). It was laziness at its best, and although we didn't leave the house, we still had a great time. We ended our night with this creamy pesto dish (loved the addition of pesto in here!), and a serving of apple dumplings paired with vanilla ice cream.

Note- the original recipe calls for half & half; when I tried making this the first time, it was creamy but lacked a depth of flavor. I subbed in heavy cream, and that made this dish truly stand out.


  • 2# boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite-sized cubes
  • 1/2 bottle of Lawry's Herb & Garlic marinade or Italian salad dressing
  • 2 spoonfuls of pesto (homemade or we used this by Classico)
  • 8-oz penne pasta (we use 100% whole wheat)
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 spoonfuls of pesto
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth
  • 8-oz tomato sauce
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • Salt & pepper
  • Parmesan cheese (for topping)

  1. Place the cubed chicken breasts in a Ziploc bag. Add the marinade or salad dressing and pesto. Mix well, seal, and place in the fridge to marinate for 4-6 hours. (I marinated mine in Kraft Lite Italian salad dressing overnight.)
  2. Cook pasta according to package directions.
  3. While the pasta is cooking, cook your chicken in a large sautepan on medium heat until it is cooked thoroughly. Set aside on a plate, and discard any remaining liquid.
  4. In the same large sautepan, add the olive oil, garlic, and pesto on medium heat. Stir until mixed.
  5. Add the chicken broth, and simmer it on medium heat until reduced by half (took 5 minutes for me.)
  6. Add the tomato sauce, heavy cream, and season with a dash of salt and pepper. Lower the heat to medium-low and allow it to simmer for 15-20 minutes (until it thickens and becomes more creamier in consistency).
  7. Once the sauce has thickened and reduced, add the cooked pasta, and top with cooked chicken. Toss to combine. 
  8. Top with grated Parmesan cheese.

Source: Adapted from Plain Chicken

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Charleston Cheese Dip

If you love cheese and bacon, this dip is for you. D and I both love dips, so it was a no brainer for us to choose this dip for our Thanksgiving appetizer. Warm, melted cheeses (Cheddar, Monterey-Jack, and cream cheese) mixed with crumbled bacon? We were sold, and it did not disappoint. This is best served warm, and immediately following baking. It smells and tastes delicious.

*Note- Do yourself a favor and grate your cheese (aka. don't use the pre-shredded cheese). Pre-shredded packaged cheese has a flour coating which prevents the shredded cheese from clumping together, which results in a really thick (read: non-creamy) dip from the excess flour. Take a block of cheese and grate it yourself. You're welcome in advance.

  • 1/2 cup mayo (we use the full-fat Hellman's mayo)
  • 8-oz package of cream cheese (we use reduced-fat), softened
  • 1 cup grated sharp Cheddar cheese*
  • 1/2 cup grated Monterey-Jack cheese*
  • 8 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled (we bake our bacon; no frying pan mess here!)
  • 2 green onions, finely chopped
  • 1 dash cayenne pepper (we used several healthy dashes)
  • 8 butter crackers, crushed, such as Ritz
  • Bagel chips (you need something hearty and thick b/c the dip is thick)

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. 
  2. In a medium bowl, mix the mayo, cream cheese, Cheddar cheese, Monterey-Jack cheese, bacon, green onions, and cayenne pepper.
  3. Transfer the mixture to a shallow baking dish, such as a 9" pie pan.
  4. Top the mixture with cracker crumbs, and bake until heated through, about 15 minutes.
  5. Remove the pan from the oven, and serve immediately with chips.

Source: Adapted from Trisha Yearwood

Ham & Swiss Puff Pastry Pinwheels

Oh yum! These pinwheels were one of the apps I made for Thanksgiving- fast, easy and filling, and these are definitely best served warm. We had a lot leftover, and they have heated up beautifully for breakfast, snacks, or even a quick app before dinner.

  • Puff Pastry sheets (we use this brand; 2 sheets per box), thawed*
  • Dijon mustard
  • 10 slices of good quality ham, thinly sliced (get it from the deli counter, not the pre-packaged kind)
  • 8-10 thinly sliced Swiss cheese or 8 oz shredded Swiss cheese

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with foil or a Silpat baking mat.
  2. Unroll a thawed pastry sheet (there are 2 sheets per box), and spread a thin layer of mustard.
  3. Place your ham down the center of the puff pastry sheet.
  4. Layer with Swiss cheese (4-5 slices per pastry sheet, or use shredded Swiss).
  5. Roll up the puff pastry tightly. (Make sure to roll these tightly or else your pinwheels will be thick.) 
  6. Repeat with 2nd puff pastry sheet.
  7. Wrap it in saran wrap, and place in the refrigerator for 30 minutes before slicing.
  8. Slice each "log" in half, and then keep slicing each half in half until you have 16 pieces from each log. 
  9. Place the pinwheels cut-side up onto your  baking sheet, and bake for 18-20 minutes, checking on them after 14 minutes. The dough will have browned and the cheese will be bubbly inside.
* You can quick thaw it in room temperature for 30-45 minutes. I like to let it thaw in the fridge overnight for even thawing (around 4 hours).

Yield: 32 pinwheels

Source: Adapted from Mix and Match Mama

Favorite, Classic Mashed Potatoes

I know there are a lot of "classic mashed potatoes" recipes out there, but this is hands down my favorite. Minimal ingredients that are easy to find and in all grocery stores. While there is a place for Parmesan mashed potatoes, or adding roasted garlic for Garlic mashed potatoes, I wanted something classic that wouldn't overwhelm our taste buds with all the other Thanksgiving food we were preparing.

A classic mashed potatoes dish! You can't go wrong here. It also makes a ton (as in, it fit 2 Pyrex square baking dishes), so alter the recipe if needed.

  • 5# Yukon gold potatoes, peeled
  • 8-oz sour cream (we use reduced-fat)
  • 4-oz cream cheese (we use reduced-fat)
  • Salt and black pepper
  • 4 Tbsp butter (for topping)

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Prepare (2) baking dishes with cooking spray. (We use an 8" square baking dish and 2.2-L Pyrex baking dish.)
  2. In a large stockpot, place the peeled potatoes and cover with water until the potatoes are covered.
  3. Bring the water to a boil, covered; reduce heat and simmer on medium-low for 40-45 minutes or until a fork can prick the potatoes easily.
  4. Drain the water (leave the potatoes in the pot). 
  5. Add the sour cream and cream cheese, and mash with the potatoes well.
  6. Season with salt and pepper.
  7. Place the potatoes into the baking dishes, top with butter and bake for 1 hour.

Cheddar Green Bean Casserole

Cheddar-topped green bean casserole? Yes, please.

This is a new version to the classic green bean casserole that's associated with Thanksgiving meals. What makes this green bean casserole different is adding some sauteed onions and topping it with Cheddar cheese. It is rich, savory, and a nice change from the original.

*Note: I omitted the fresh green beans and chicken broth and instead used (2) 15-oz cans of french-style green beans (drained) with great success, but look forward to cooking fresh green beans in chicken broth the next time (reviews have said it takes this dish to a whole other level).

  • 2 Tbsp butter
  • 1 cup diced onions
  • 2 cups sliced green beans*
  • 3 cups chicken broth*
  • 10.75-oz can of cream of mushroom soup (used 98% fat free)
  • 2.8-oz can French-fried onion rings
  • 1/2 tsp garlic salt (we use Lawry's garlic salt)
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 cup grated Cheddar cheese

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Prepare a 1-1/2 qt baking dish with cooking spray.
  2. Melt the butter in a large skillet. Saute the onions in the butter until soft- 10-15 minutes on medium heat.
  3. Boil green beans in chicken broth for 10 minutes and drain. 
  4. Add the green beans, mushroom soup, onion rings, and seasonings (salt, black pepper, and garlic powder) to the onion mixture. Stir well.
  5. Pour into the prepared baking dish, and bake for 20 minutes, then top the casserole with the Cheddar cheese, and bake for 10 minutes longer, or until the casserole is hot and cheese is melted.
Source: Adapted from Paula Deen

Pioneer Woman's Apple Dumplings

This was supposed to be our dessert for Thanksgiving, but alas, we were too full to eat another bite. However, after watching Catching Fire and grabbing some Mexican food for date night tonight, I decided that something sweet was in order.

I scrambled to the kitchen and made this quickly. Got to love Pioneer Woman for her easy and delicious recipes! They were like little apple pies, and we both loved them. There definitely was a lot of liquid leftover (which was great for spooning, but kind of excessive)- next time, I will try adjusting the butter/sugar and pop amounts*. I still want enough to top these dumplings with the "special sweet sauce" but cut back a bit on unnecessary calories and fat.

I was nervous the apples weren't going to be cooked all the way, but they were soft but not too mushy. The crescent rolls baked up nicely and had a nice cinnamon-sugar crust. We paired this with vanilla frozen yogurt, and sat down to be entertained by Lady Gaga and the Muppets Thanksgiving special.

  • 2 Granny Smith apples, peeled, and cored
  • (2) 8-oz cans of crescent rolls (I used the reduced-fat, perforated kind)
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) butter*
  • 1-1/2 cups sugar*
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 12-oz can (1-1/2 cups) Mt. Dew* (I used Diet 7-Up)
  • 1 dash cinnamon
  • Vanilla ice cream

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 13x9 pan with cooking spray.
  2. Slice the apples into 16 slices per apple (you should have 32 slices total).
  3. Roll 2 apple slices into a crescent roll triangle, and place into the 13x9 pan. Repeat with remaining apples and crescent rolls.
  4. Melt the butter, then add the sugar; barely stir.
  5. Add the vanilla and stir; pour the mixture over the apples.
  6. Pour the soda around the edges of the pan.
  7. Sprinkle with cinnamon, and bake for 40 minutes.
  8. Serve with ice cream, and spoon some of the sweet sauce from the pan over the top.
Source: Pioneer Woman

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Pioneer Woman's Chocolate Peanut Butter Cookie Cups

There is something to be said about a 2-ingredient cookie recipe-
Especially for a lazy Sunday.

If you're looking for something utterly sweet and ridiculously easy, look no further. All you need is a refrigerated cookie dough (peanut butter or chocolate chip would work great here) and a bag of Reese's mini  pb cups. That is it. 15 minute from start to finish. Can't beat that for a lazy but yummy treat.

Side note- this is also a great cookie for cookie swaps or potluck lunches since they're already individual-sized! Next time, I'll definitely use mini muffin liners as I couldn't remove these cookie cups right out of the oven without them breaking apart.

  • 16.5-oz package refrigerated cookie dough (peanut butter or chocolate chip)
  • 1 bag of 24 miniature Reese's peanut butter cups

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a mini muffin pan with liners or spray with cooking spray.
  2. Slice the cookie dough into 6 equal slices. Each slice should be approximately 1.25".
  3. Slice each slice into fourths.
  4. Place one quarter into each muffin well (should have 24 quarters total).
  5. Bake for 9-11 minutes (I baked mine for 10 minutes. They'll look slightly undone but will continue cooking in the pan once removed from the oven.)
  6. While the dough is still warm, push a peanut butter cup into each muffin cup and let cool in the pan.
  7. When the cookies are cool, use a spoon to remove them. (If you try to remove them while they are still warm, they will break apart.)
Yield: 24 cookie cups

Source: Pioneer Woman

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Turkey Meatloaf with Feta and Sun-Dried Tomatoes

Despite the numerous positive reviews and having had this recipe printed since 2012, this meatloaf never made it into my rotation until this past week. And OMG, I was so pleasantly surprised how much I loved this dish.

We have our favorite meatloaf recipe- It's awesome, and no other meatloaf has been able to take it out of its #1 spot. But this meatloaf by Giada- it's right up there. It's a toss-up which one I would say would be my favorite.

The meatloaf is moist and packed with flavorful. I could go on and on, but really- you need to make this. A big thanks to D who made this meal for my birthday :)

  • 1 cup seasoned breadcrumbs
  • 1/2 cup dried parsley
  • 1/2 cup chopped sun-dried tomatoes packed in oil
  • 2-3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 4 eggs, room temperature, lightly beaten
  • 4 Tbsp milk (we used skim)
  • 1 cup crumbled feta cheese
  • 1-1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 2 tsp black pepper
  • 1-3/4 lb ground turkey (we use 93% lean)

  1. Place rack in the center of the oven. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. In a large bowl, stir together the breadcrumbs, dried  parsley, chopped tomatoes, garlic, eggs, milk, feta, kosher salt, and pepper. 
  3. Add the turkey, and gently stir to combine, being careful not to overwork the meat.
  4. Carefully pack the meat mixture into a loaf on your parchment-lined baking sheet, and bake until the internal temperature reads 165 degrees (about 45 minutes.)
  5. Remove from the oven and let it rest for 5 minutes. 
Source: Adapted from Giada de Laurentiis