“One of the Best” Recipes of Our Project

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My husband and I are embroiled in a ‘Biggest Loser’ family weight-loss challenge. We’re pitted against some of his aunts, uncles and cousins to see who can lose the most weight in the weeks leading up to Thanksgiving.

It’s a very low-key, friendly competition. We’re family, after all.

But, it must be noted — who dropped a whole dress size the last time she went shopping?!?!  THIS GIRL!!  Woo-hoo!!

As you may have previously read, I’ve been recently inspired to add more low-cal meals to our menus.  Some have been successful. Some haven’t. (You might recall tofu noodles.  While the Hubs isn’t a fan, I’ve eaten them several times since my original post and am growing to be quite fond of them.)

But a few days ago, I made a dish that was quick and easy, the kids LOVED, and the Hubs called one of the best I’ve made since I started writing this blog.  It was based on this recipe I found on www.chow.com, but I made one major change when I tried these at home:

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Grilled Fish Tacos

I’ve made fish tacos many different ways before.  I’ve breaded the fish fillets and fried them. I’ve baked them.  I’ve used a cream-based sauce.  I’ve used a citrus-based sauce.  You name it.  But I never made them like this before.

So here’s what I used and how I did it:  (note: there are subtle variations from the http://www.chow.com recipe, but I think those changes made a mentionable difference.)

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 LB firm white fish (I used cod – on sale for $4.99/lb.)
  • 2 limes (1 more if you feel necessary)
  • 1 1/2 tsp minced garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • pinch of chili powder
  • Cooking spray to prepare the grill grates
  • Drizzle of olive Oil
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 small package of brussels sprouts, shredded in food processor
  • 1/4 medium red onion, diced
  • 1/2 cup coarsely chopped fresh cilantro
  • 10 (6-inch) wheat tortillas
  • 2 Avocados, mashed
  • 4 small-medium tomatoes, chopped
  • Additional limes (for garnish)

Get to work:

  1. Prepare the grill by either oiling the grates with vegetable oil OR spraying with a grill spray. (the latter is my preference.)
  2. Mix the juice of 1 lime, garlic, chili powder, and cumin in a small baking dish Image I used an 8-inch square) and then place the fish in to marinate for at least 15 minutes.  Refrigerate.  (I turned the fish over after 15 minutes, and let it marinate for 30 minutes total.  I think it could have sat longer.)
  3. Use the 30 minutes of marinating time to shred the sprouts in your food processor.Image Mix the shredded sprouts with the onion, cilantro, juice of one lime and black pepper. Drizzle with some olive oil and let stand so the flavors settle. (NOTE: the original recipe calls to add salt to this step, but I never add salt to fish. I think most fish is salty enough. Plus, we’re trying to cut back on sodium.  I honestly did not notice the omission.)Image
  4. When the fish is done marinating, grill on medium-high heat until flaky. The original recipe says you should grill it on the grill to get those cool grill marks, but, if I were you I’d consider grilling this on aluminum foil. I have trouble with the fish flaking too much and falling through the grates into the grill.  Plus… unless you’re plating for a restaurant, those grill marks mean nothing to a 5-year-old.  (speaking from experience….)
  5. Serve on the tortillas with the chopped tomatoes, slaw, and diced avocado.  (we do a make-your-own taco bar and let the kids pile on the toppings they want.) Image

On the diet front: I like that this recipe stays healthier by replacing sour cream and cheese with the delicious, creamy avocado.  And I avoided using too much salt by using fresh, chopped tomatoes instead of store-bought salsa.

But one thing I might try the next time I make these — add a little lime zest to the slaw. I felt it could’ve used a little more lime.  (maybe that’s the margarita lover in me talkin’.)

Now — to address the elephant in the room — BRUSSELS SPROUTS?!?!  

Yup.

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I didn’t have any cabbage, but did have the sprouts in my fridge so I gave them a try. I’ve made plenty of slaws out of brussels sprouts with mixed reviews from the family. But this worked really well and added a nice tanginess when combined with the lime, garlic and cumin used to marinate the fish.  It might be a good way to sneak sprouts into your family’s meal plan.

There were clean plates all around on this one, even with my 3-year-old.  And I liked that it was a one-dish-meal with the proteins and veggies combined in one delicious concoction on a plate.

Plus… to get such high-marks from my Beloved!!  Well…. you know the best way to a man’s heart!  Needless to say, I’ll make this again… and again… and again!

Happy eating!!

Sharon

Recipe Review: Slow-Cooker Balsamic Roast Beef

There’s just something about best friends, isn’t there? They always know your quirks and qualms. So when one of my closest, dearest friends sent me this recipe the other day, I thought: “She knows me way too well!”

My friend just invested in her first slow cooker and was researching recipes when she came across this one. Knowing about my not-so-secret love affair with my own slow cooker, she passed it along to me.

Balsamic Roast Beef

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I never thought I would say this — but I’m getting sick of pulled pork.  It’s probably my favorite thing to make in my crock pot because it’s so easy and delicious.  But we have it ALL OF THE TIME and I’m starting to OD on it.  So when my friend sent me this recipe, it spoke to me. It’s uncomplicated AND involves a meat that falls apart when cooked low-and-slow. Yum.

Her colleague gave her this recipe for Balsamic Roast Beef from www.addapinch.com. Take a look — you’ll see it’s incredibly easy.

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Honestly, it took me 5 minutes to throw the ingredients into the crock pot, set it to 6 hours on high, and then run out the door to run my errands.

I served it with baked sweet potato rounds, sautéed mushrooms, and steamed broccoli. photo 4-24

But would the family like it?

YES!

The Results:

  • my 7-and-5-year-olds really liked it, saying “it’s great!” and cleaned their plates!
  • my 3-year-old said “It’s Yucky!” with that sly little smile that means she’s saying something she doesn’t mean.  You know — the smile that only 3-year-olds can give. Then she cleaned her plate! (veggies and all!)
  • The Hubs thought it was great and had seconds!
  • my friend, who I invited over to try, loved it.

So thumbs up all around, right? Wrong.

Personally… I didn’t hate it, but I didn’t love it.  Not because it’s a bad recipe, but because I’m just not a fan of ‘sour’ meat. I’ve never been.  I try, but it’s just not my thing.  But, in this recipe’s defense, the sourness was very subtle.

I also thought it turned out too dry.  It didn’t pull apart as easily as, say, my pulled pork. I think it would be helpful if I used a smaller cut of meat in the recipe so there would be more liquid to make it more moist.  That might help.. in my book.photo 1-43

So I’ll make it again for my family who loved it — it just might be on a night when I have book club.

Give it a try… you might think differently!  Then, tell me I was wrong!

Happy eatings!

Sharon

A Taste of India

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Wow. Just wow. I’m still shaking my head over what happened in our house tonight.

I love Indian food and often make the ‘heat-and-eat’ cans of Saag Paneer, Chana Masala, and Vegetable Korma.  You know — the kind you can get in the grocery store International aisle. They’re great for nights when my husband is working late, the kids have had an easy chicken nugget night, and the only person left to feed is myself. 

We’ve taken the kids out for Indian food before, but it’s been a while. Honestly, I don’t think they remember it. 

So tonight, I had a bottle of Butter Chicken simmer sauce in the pantry and decided — it’s go time!  Time to try this on the kids! 

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I made Butter Chicken (no recipe here, since I just browned the chicken and poured the sauce into the pan), and boiled some jasmine rice. Delicious and comforting on a chilly, rainy, fall night. But I wanted to try my hand at making a side dish, and here’s what I came up with:

Curried Cauliflower

ImageWhen I found cauliflower in our refrigerator, I turned to Suvir Saran and Stephanie Lyness‘s book “Indian Home Cooking” for inspiration. They have a recipe for “Cauliflower in a Piquant Tomato Sauce” that looks delicious, but I didn’t have all of the ingredients. So I improvised and came up with this:

Ingredients: 

  • 1 small head of cauliflower, cut into small florets
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • 3 fresh diced tomatoes
  • 3/4 cup cilantro, chopped

Get to work: 

  1. Heat the oil in a wok over medium-high heat.
  2. Add the cauliflower and sprinkle with cumin and garam masala. Saute.
  3. Add the diced tomatoes and cilantro.  Cook through.
  4. This takes a total time of about 10 minutes.

The results: 

  • My 3-year-old CLEARED her plate!!! I had to take a picture of it to believe it myself! 
  • ImageMy 5-year-old cleaned his plate and asked for seconds!!! 
  • My 7-year-old liked the Butter Chicken and the jasmine rice (even though earlier in the night he told me he’s ‘not really a fan of Indian food.’)  He really liked the cauliflower, but didn’t like the tomatoes in it.  I think he had a problem with the texture of them.
  • My husband liked the whole meal and asked me to make it all again. But I think the next time, I’ll go all out and make butter chicken from scratch.  (The Saran/Lyness cookbook has a recipe that looks really good and is not terribly complicated.) 

It just goes to show how surprising meals can be in our house.  🙂

Happy eatings!! 

Sharon

Feeling Oh-So-Grateful

THANK YOU!

I haven’t posted in a few days. But I felt compelled to send you each a thank you note as I come upon the 6-month anniversary of my first post here.

When I left my career 7 years ago, I knew I was making the right decision for our family. But I LOVED my TV producing job and knew that taking writing out of my life was stripping me of something that was profoundly a part of me.  As much as I tried to sneak in a journal here-or-there (and tried writing the next Great American Novel), nothing was sustainable… until now. 

The key: accountability. I needed to know someone was interested; someone was reading. 

When I worked in TV news, I would scrutinize the ratings each-and-every-day wanting to know:  Was anyone really watching? And, more importantly…. why?  

This story best exemplifies my neurosis:

Many moons ago, early in my career, I wrote a story about how the way couples sleep together can decode their relationships. That night, after the story aired, I was at a party and overheard some women talking about it. They, literally, relayed the story to their friends WORD-for-WORD (without knowing who I was).  It made me realize the power of the broadcast word and how people believe what they see and hear on TV. 

This knowledge helped guide me for the next 12 years of my career, until that career ended with the birth of our oldest son.

Now that I’ve traded in broadcasting for ‘posting’, it’s amazing to me that you are actually reading this little experiment of mine. 

You come from the U.S. From Canada. From the U.K. From Singapore!!  

You might be my sister-in-law. My aunt. My cousin. 

My neighbor. My former roommate. My former colleague.

My friend from high school. My sorority sister.

My friend from our kids’ preschool. From our elementary school.

You might be my mother. My mother-in-law.

I don’t know who you are! But I want you to know that I am humbled beyond measure. When read that all of you have read my blog over these past few weeks, it brings me to tears because I never thought I’d find such joy AND value in my writing again. 

So… thank you!!!

But I want this to be so much more interactive than it is. I REALLY want to hear from you!!!

I want to know what you’ve tried. What you loved. What you hated. I think as a community, we could help each other teach our kids to eat well.

So let me hear it!!  Here on this site!  Give me your success stories and let’s try them out together!!  Tell me about the dinners  your kids hated — I’ll experiment on my kids!  (poor kids!)  🙂

And remember… I’m always grateful to you. You are the reason I found my voice again….

xoxoxo! 

Sharon

Recipe Review: Slow-Cooker Coconut-Curry Spaghetti Squash

After my last post about breaking my addiction to pasta, many of my friends suggested I use spaghetti squash instead of tofu noodles.  Little did they know I already had spaghetti squash in my sights.  (cue evil laugh… bwah-hah-hah!!)

photo 1-34In my efforts to shed a few LBs and get some healthy recipe ideas, I “liked” a site on Facebook called Paleo Pot.  The website is great and has very simple, idiot-proof recipes.  Just what I need!  A couple of weeks ago, they posted this recipe for Super-Easy Crock-Pot Spaghetti Squash Curry.

Considering some of my favorite words are “crock pot,” “curry” and “spaghetti,” this was high on my ‘Recipes to Try’ Pinterest board.

They weren’t kidding when they called this ‘super-easy!’  Just follow their quick-prep directions, toss everything in the crock pot and go! But be careful you don’t buy a squash that’s too big.  Mine almost didn’t fit into the crock pot once it was split in half.  And it made much more than my family could eat.

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This dish was very flavorful.  My 7 year old typically snubs his nose at curry dishes, but he cleaned his plate and asked for seconds.  My 3yo gobbled it up.  My husband also really liked it.  Very surprising considering I accidentally bought the ‘hot’ red curry paste in my rush through the grocery store!  Yikes!

The person who surprised me the most was my 5yo.  This kid is ALL about spicy!  He eats a mound of wasabi straight when we go out for sushi!  He puts spicy horseradish sauce on his steak!  He started eating Lamb Vindaloo at 18 months old!

But this squash — he wanted nothing to do with it, saying he doesn’t like curry!  I was SHOCKED!

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I served this with baked flounder and sautéed spinach.  Probably not the best pairing, on my part.  But I’ll make it again because it’s different than most of the recipes in my usual repertoire and oh-so-simple.

Give it a try.  If you like coconut curry, you might like this!

Happy eating!

Sharon

The (Poor) Dieting Girl’s Spaghetti

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So… true disclosure: I’m on a diet.

It seems like I’ve been on a diet since my oldest was born 7 years ago and the great figure I used to complain about disappeared more with each beautiful life I created.

But this time, I’m REALLY on a diet.  I turn 40 in T-minus 2 months and, I swear: I. Am. Going. To. Own. 40.

I’m exercising. I’m watching what I eat.  I got myself a Fit Bit.  I’m in it to win it.

But I have a little problem. Spaghetti. It’s just so darn delicious.

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So, I decided to trick my mind and body and try something new.

Tofu Pasta. (those of you who know me… don’t faint from the shock.)

Honestly, the mere thought of this struck me as absolutely gross. It sounds pretty icky, doesn’t it?  I didn’t even dare test this on the kids because I wanted to check it out first.  But the Hubs didn’t escape.  He was, as always, my ultimate guinea pig.

My garden is full of eggplants, peppers and (OMG! SO MANY) tomatoes. So I whipped up a quick-and-dirty lunchtime version of my Grandma’s stewed eggplant recipe and hoped a delicious topping would make Tofu Noodles palatable.  (I followed the recipe I previously posted almost exactly, but used all fresh tomatoes instead of canned.)

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Here’s the thing: I was VERY skeptical. It certainly LOOKS like spaghetti, and when you take it out of the bag it feels like cold, cooked spaghetti.  photo 5-8Plus, it only has 20 calories a serving and takes about 3 minutes to cook.  (just follow the directions on the package.)  But… c’mon. This can’t taste good. Can it?

I’m not gonna lie. It ain’t spaghetti. Its texture is different, somewhat chewier.

But once you get past the texture I didn’t find it all that different from spaghetti, especially after I topped it with the eggplant and tomatoes. I think it would also be good topped with tomato sauce, as part of a Veggie Primavera, or as cold sesame noodles. I’d eat it again, particularly as I try to loose the dreaded belly before our big anniversary vacation that’s coming up. It makes a quick, low-cal, low-carb meal.  photo 3-30

The Hubs is not sold. He ate it. He tolerated it. He would eat it again if I made it and that was all there was for dinner. But as he told me tonight, he definitely would not ask for me to make it again.

I’m going to try these again because I have goals and I’m going to reach them. (Cue the music: Katy Perry’s ‘Roar’)

Look out 40.  Here I come and you are about to get schooled…. even if I have to replace my beloved spaghetti with tofu noodles for a little while.  (just until I get my sexy back!!)   🙂

Happy eating!

Sharon

Hectic Days = Low and Slow Nights (Part Two)

Our first fall leaves of 2013

Our first fall leaves of 2013

It’s FALL!!! Fall! Fall! Fall! Fall!

I spied my first sight of fall leaves at our park the other day and nearly jumped with joy!!

Oh!  I love it so much!! I have to say it again!

FALLLLLLL!!!!!!

The air is crisper, cleaner. Out come the comfy sweaters; in go the dreaded bathing suits.  The kids are back at school.  Hooray!

And we can’t forget the wonderful foods that return with Fall — apples, pears , brussels sprouts, root veggies, squashes. All so comforting and delicious on chilly autumnal nights.

Most nights in the Fall and Winter, I use my slow-cooker. I throw everything in and let Old Trusty do the work for me.  It’s a savior when the after-school activity schedule gets the best of us.

So I do a lot of soups and stews — and I made one of our family’s favorite Crock Pot meals this week:  Butternut Squash Soup.

Slow-Cooker Butternut Squash Soup

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Ingredients:

  • 1 butternut squash (on the medium-large side)
  • 1 apple (I used red delicious), peeled and chopped
  • 1 box of chicken stock, low-sodium (veggie stock works, too)
  • 1 can cannelloni beans, rinsed and drained
  • about a 1/4 cup of diced sweet onion
  • about 1 1/2 tsp minced garlic
  • cumin, to taste
  • nutmeg, to taste
  • salt and pepper, to taste (I use white pepper)
  • croutons (optional)

Get To Work:

  1. Pierce the squash with a fork several times all over and microwave it for 2 minutes.  Check it to see if the shell is starting to get soft.  If so… you’re good.  If not, nuke it another minute at a time until the shell gets soft enough to peel with a veggie peeler.
  2. While the squash is in the microwave, saute onion and garlic in olive oil on your stove top.photo 1-32
  3. Peel the squash, scoop out the seeds, and cut the squash into 1-inch cubes.
  4. Put the squash, apple, onion, garlic, beans, chicken stock, cumin and nutmeg into the slow cooker.
  5. Cook on low for 4 hours.
  6. Use an immersion blender to mix it all up.
  7. I like to serve with croutons… and a side salad and some bread. (on this particular night, I didn’t have crusty bread. So I served it with some dumplings I had in the freezer.)

There are never complaints at our table when I make this.  Everyone loves it.

And I particularly like that the cannelloni beans become a hidden ingredient in this dish.  They add protein to a veggie dish and make it creamy without the added calories of cream.  It’s my favorite trick to use in soup recipes that call for cream.

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It’s a standard meal in our house especially on busy, chilly, fall nights.

Enjoy this wonderful time of year!!!

Happy eatings!

Sharon

Hectic Days = Low and Slow Nights (Part One)

You know those nights — the ones where one kid has soccer, one has baseball, you have Back To School Night, the Hubs is working late.  Those are the nights when everyone is running in different directions, but you still want to bring everyone together to the table.

We had nights like that twice this week.  (I know.  We’re lucky.  Many of you have to swing this scenario most weeknights.)

On nights like this, I pull out Old Trusty: The Crock Pot.  And tonight, I’m going to share one of the two meals that came from my kitchen wing-man.  (Sorry ’bout the forthcoming pun….)

ImageSlow-Cooker Chicken Enchiladas

One night’s dinner was an adaptation of this recipe from allrecipes.com.  (If you haven’t visited this site for dinner inspiration, you should.)  I find most of the recipes 1) call for things I already have on hand; and, 2) are easy and quick to make.

I followed the recipe fairly closely, but kept out a lot of the spicier ingredients.  Here’s how I did it:

Ingredients:

  • cooking spray
  • 9 whole wheat tortillas (the small ones)
  • 2 cups cooked chicken (I poached and pulled 5 chicken thighs the night before making this)
  • 2 cans red, mild enchilada sauce
  • 1 can corn, drained (note: I did not use the corn with chiles)
  • 1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • sprinkles of garlic salt
  • sprinkles of chili powder
  • smaller bag of Mexican blend shredded cheese (I believe it was 2 cups)

Get to Work:

  1. Spray the slow-cooker with the cooking spray.  (spray liberally — those tortillas will STICK!)
  2. Line the bottom of the slow-cooker with 3 tortilla
  3. ImageCover the tortilla with 1 cup of the chicken, the can of corn, a sprinkling of garlic salt and chili powder (to taste) and half of the cheese.  Pour about 1/2 of one can of enchilada sauce over it.
  4. Top the mixture with 3 more tortilla, the remaining cup of chicken, the can of black beans, another sprinkle garlic salt and chili powder (to taste), the remaining 1/2 of the cheese, 1 can of enchilada sauce.  Image
  5. Top this with the remaining 3 tortillas and the remaining enchilada sauce.

I’m going to tell you what.  The pictures don’t make it look like much but it was SO easy and very tasty!

And my family liked it — the Hubs even asked me to put it into the regular rotation! My 7-year-old “isn’t really a fan of black beans” (his words) but he ate everything else on his plate.

In my opinion:  Winner! Winner! Chicken Enchilada Dinner!

Later, I’ll share the other recipe my Crock Pot slaved over while I was on the run.  (and — SPOILER ALERT! — the kids LOVED IT!)

Happy eatings!

Sharon

Something Old, Something New

When I’m trying to get my kids to try something new, I tend to pair it with something old — something they’ve tried before and liked.  It’s a trick that’s worked well for me in the past, and I used this trick again tonight.

Creamy, Cheesy Polenta with Tomato Sauce and Meatballs

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If I had to put a finger on it, I’d say our family’s favorite dinner is homemade Spaghetti and Meatballs.  But I didn’t feel like having spaghetti tonight.  So I made our favorite dinner with a twist:  Polenta.

I’ll admit:  I’m not a huge fan of (firm) polenta and have, therefore never made it for my kids.  In fact, the last time I tried to make polenta, I set it on fire under my broiler.  True story.

But I’ve been wanting to give it another try, so I looked online for a recipe for creamy polenta. This Creamy Cheesy Polenta I found on www.barefeetinthekitchen.com screamed out ‘TRY ME!’ tonight.  Talk about comfort food!

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But while I love grits, my family does not. That’s why I paired it with the sauce and meatballs.  I make homemade sauce at least twice a month because it’s so very easy to make and, personally, I can’t stand jarred sauce. Plus, I can make a huge batch of it and freeze half for a future meal.

Tomato SauceImage

Ingredients: Image

  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 1 glove garlic chopped
  • 1 28oz can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 6oz can tomato paste
  • 1/2 of the 28oz can of water
  • 2 Tbsp fresh basil, torn
  • 2 Tbsp fresh oregano leaves
  • splash of red wine
  • pinch of salt and pepper

Directions:

  1. Heat the olive oil in a small pan and sauté the onion and garlic until they’re translucent
  2. Put the onion, garlic, and remaining ingredients into the crock pot and cook on low for 6 hours. (enlist your children to help if you’re so inclined.)
  3. Enjoy the comfy way your house smells.
  4. Serve on spaghetti, polenta, spaghetti squash, sauteed zucchini — whatever your heart desires.  Dip Italian bread in and eat it straight out of the crock pot  (this is my favorite way.)

Baked Meatballs

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Tonight, I hit the freezer and grabbed some meatballs I made a couple of weeks ago.  I love making meatballs in batches and then having them one night and freezing the others for 2-3 more meals…

Ingredients:

  • 2lb ground beef
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • parsley
  • oregano
  • salt pepper
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup parmesan cheese, shredded
  • bread crumbs (about 1/2 cup, but I eyeball it and add it as needed to bind the meatballs.)
  1. Put all ingredients in huge mixing bowl and mix them with your hands.
  2. Form into 1 1/2 inch balls and place onto baking sheet lined with aluminum foil. (a great thing to get the kids to help you with!)
  3. Bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes (you want them cooked, but left a little pink in the middle so you can then put them into your sauce to heat them up an hour before serving.)

THE RESULTS:

As expected, my 7yo complained about not liking ‘grits and gritty’ things, but that he liked the sauce and meatballs.  But the rest of the family really liked it.  My 5yo even had seconds!!  So did The Hubs, who grimaced when I told him we were having polenta for dinner. (I think he was remembering the aforementioned Polenta Fire of 2004.)  But when it was all said and done he really liked the meal, even though he wanted spaghetti.

Ah well… whatcha gonna do?  I’m gonna keep trying… that’s what.

Happy eatings!

Sharon

Dinner on the Fly

Now that school’s in session again, that means one thing: families on the run. We learned that first hand tonight as baseball season started up again.

My son’s baseball team practices until 5:30 — prime dinner time in our house.  So tonight, by the time practice ended and I was set and ready to start dinner, it was 6pm.  I needed something quick and easy so I could feed the beasts and get them to bed!

My husband asked for fish tonight and, frankly, I’m just tired of salmon.  We eat salmon here all of the time. When I saw sea scallops were on sale today, I thought they were the ticket.

I used this recipe as a basis for our dinner tonight, but with some tweaks (not to be confused with twerks.)  🙂  And if you have 30 minutes or less… this can be your dinner, too.

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Pan-Seared Scallops with Herb Butter Sauce

  • 1.5 lbs sea scallops
  • 4 Tbsp butter, divided
  • 4 Tbsp olive oil, divided
  • kosher salt and fresh cracked pepper
  • fresh chopped herbs (I used basil, parsley, chives, thyme)
  • 1 tsp. garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp. lemon juice
  • 1/2 c. dry white wine

Heat a large skillet.  Melt 2 Tbsp butter with 2 Tbsp olive oil.  Sear the scallops for about 3 minutes on each side until they’re cooked through and browned on each side.

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Once the scallops have been seared, transfer them and keep them warm on a separate dish.  In the pan, saute butter and garlic.  Add the white wine and lemon juice and let it cook down.  Add the chopped herbs and let simmer for 2-3 minutes.  Serve over the scallops.

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This dinner was rounded out with steamed broccoli and wild rice.  The wild rice was the most time-consuming part of this menu taking about 30 minutes to make.  (I used Zatarains Wild Rice.)  If you make a different side dish, you might save time. (I had considered making orzo or sauteed mushrooms.)

The broccoli was another story.  So fast!  And the reason is my favorite kitchen tool — the Pampered Chef Micro Cooker. I’ve had it longer than I’ve had my husband.  I love it because you can clean your produce in it, drain it, and then steam it perfectly in your microwave in 2 minutes. ImageI

The results???

My husband and I thought this was delicious.  And the kids loved it — our boys really liked it, but actually could have done without the butter sauce.  I get it.  If I wanted to make this healthier, I’d make it without the butter, too. But I’ll definitely make scallops for our family again.  Quick.  Easy.  Dinner is done.

I don’t know about the rest of you… but as we get back into the swing of the school year herein our house, I need a lot of quick-and-easy meals.  Hopefully you’ll find some help from this post.  Maybe you have some suggestions for me.  Let’s get through this school year together!  🙂

Happy eatings!

Sharon