Monday, March 31, 2014

Swedish Meatballs

Randal loves Swedish meatballs, but until recently it wasn't a meal I made very often, not until I found this recipe over at  damn delicious anyway!

This recipe made a lot of meatballs so I froze half of them, which is perfect for us right now, as in a few weeks I am about to be even more busy during the day as Sophie and her baby sister will be coming back to daycare, the twins are very excited to get Sophie back but I have already warned Randal that he will be eating a lot of simple meals, at least until I get the three 2 year olds and the three month old on a schedule.

1 lb ground beef
1 lb ground pork
1/2 cup panko
1 onion, diced
2 large egg yolks
1/2 tsp allspice
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper

1/4 cup unsalted butter
1/3 cup all purpose flour
4 cups beef broth
3/4 cup sour cream
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
2 tbsp fresh parsley, chopped

In a large pan, heat a tablespoon of olive oil and cook the onion until softened, about 5 minutes.  Remove from heat and set aside to cool.

In a large bowl, combine the ground beef and pork, along with the egg yolks, panko, allspice, nutmeg, salt, pepper and the cooled onion.  Roll into 1 1/2 inch sized balls.

Add a tablespoon of oil to the pan the onion was cooked in and brown the meatballs in batches and set aside on a paper towel lined plate.

To make the sauce, melt the butter in the pan, add in the flour and let cook for a few minutes.  Gradually whisk in the beef broth and bring to a simmer.  Add in the sour cream, salt and pepper and whisk to combine.  Add the meatballs back to the pan and cook for 10 minutes.  Top with fresh parsley and serve.

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Irish Apple Cake

Being English I don't celebrate St. Patrick's day, our day is St. George's day, which is in April.  However I rarely pass up the opportunity to bake something, so I figured I would join in with the rest of America this year and celebrate St. Patrick's day just a little bit!

This cake is packed full of apples with a crunchy sugary top.  I made my usual custard to serve this with this rather than the one that was with the cake recipe over at  the kitchen mccabe.

3 cups all purpose flour
6 oz butter
3/4 cup sugar
4 large granny smith apples, peeled and diced
2 large eggs
3/4 cup milk
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp cloves
1/8 tsp salt
2 tbsp sugar, to sprinkle on top of cake

Preheat oven to 375 and grease an 8 inch springform pan.

 Sift the flour, baking powder, salt, nutmeg and cloves into a large bowl.

Using your fingertips rub the cold, diced butter into the flour mixture, until it resembles crumbs.

Add the sugar and apples to the mixture and stir together.

In a small bowl, combine the eggs and milk.  Add to the flour mixture and stir together.

Pour cake batter into the cake pan and sprinkle the top with the 2 tablespoons of sugar.

Bake for 45 minutes.

Creme Anglaise
1.5 cups heavy cream
1.5 cups whole milk
3/4 cup sugar
Seeds from 1 plumped Vanilla Bean (vanilla beans plumped in rum for at least 2 weeks)
8 large egg yolks

Pour the cream and milk into a saucepan, and add the sugar. Scrape the seeds from the vanilla beans and add to the milk, then split the vanilla beans in half and add that to the milk also. Whisk the egg yolks in a large bowl and leave near the stove. Place a sieve over a second large bowl.

Heat the cream mixture over medium heat, stirring often to dissolve the sugar, until the mixture is very hot but not boiling. Slowly whisk half of the cream mixture into the yolks. Pour this mixture back into the saucepan. Cook over medium-low heat, stirring constantly, until the crème anglaise is thick enough to coat the spatula. Pour through the sieve to remove the vanilla beans and any cooked egg pieces, leave to cool for 15 minutes.

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Greek Lemon Potatoes

One of my favourite restaurants in Houston is Niko Niko's.  Their lemon potatoes are so addictive that I usually buy an extra order to reheat the next day.  Now these lemon potatoes are not really the same as Niko Niko's because theirs doesn't have an oven roasted feel to them at all, but the flavour of these potatoes wedges are as equally addictive as the ones at Niko Niko's, so lemony and delicious!

4 large potatoes
1/2 cup lemon juice
1/3  cup olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp dried oregano
1 cup chicken broth
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper

Peel potatoes and slice into wedges.

In a large ziploc bag, combine the olive oil, garlic, oregano, salt, pepper and chicken broth.  Add the potatoes to the bag and leave to marinate for at least 2 hours.

Preheat oven to 400.

Pour the potatoes and marinade into a baking pan.  Bake for 1 hour, turning half way.

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Greek Yogurt Chicken

I found this chicken recipe on pinterest, but I think I read that it is originally a weight watchers recipe.  I was already planning on making some greek lemon potatoes but I wasn't sure what to make with them, but as soon as I saw the picture for this recipe I knew I had to try it.

This is a really simple meal to make, but very flavourful.  You simple marinate the chicken in yogurt and herbs and then bake.


2 lbs chicken thighs
1 cup plain greek yogurt
5 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 cup fresh parsley, chopped
1 tbsp oregano
Juice and zest from 1 lemon
Salt and pepper

In a large bowl, mix together the yogurt, garlic, parsley, oregano and lemon juice and zest.

Season the chicken with salt and pepper and add to the yogurt mixture.  Cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours.

Preheat oven to 375.

Place the chicken in a large baking pan and cook for 45 minutes,, or until chicken is cooked through.
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Menu Plan Monday

Monday: Coconut chicken curry, jasmine rice and naan bread

Tuesday:  Swedish meatballs

Wednesday: Cabbage rolls

Thursday: Herb roasted chicken, mashed potatoes and green beans

Friday: Eating out

See other menu plans over at Organizing Junkie

Lebanese Meatballs

The original recipe for these meatballs from The Spice Kit were made with turkey, I decided to make these with beef as I wanted Randal to enjoy these and he really isn't a fan of ground turkey, and he loves the Armenian beef kebabs I make so I was hoping he would like these as well.

These meatballs are simmered in a lightly spiced tomato sauce and we served them with rice and a salad.  We both really loved this dinner, and now I wish I had made more meatballs to freeze for another day!

2 lbs ground beef
⅔ cup bread crumbs
1 onion, diced
⅓ cup fresh parsley, chopped
2 eggs
6 cloves garlic
2 tsps sugar
1 tsp salt
1 tsp allspice
1 tsp coriander
1/2 tsp cayenne
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp cumin

1 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
28 oz crushed tomatoes
1 cup chicken broth
8 oz tomato sauce
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp allspice
1 tsp oregano
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper

In a large bowl mix together all the meatball ingredients.  Form into golf ball size meatballs.

Heat a tablespoon of olive oil in a large frying pan.  Brown the meatballs, then remove from pan.

To make the sauce, add the diced onion to the pan and cook for a couple of minutes, add in the garlic and cook for another minute before adding in the crushed tomatoes, tomato sauce, chicken broth, sugar, allspice, oregano, salt and pepper.

Bring the sauce to a boil, add in meatballs, reduce heat, cover and simmer for 20 minutes.

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Cabbage Dolma

I bought a couple of cabbages back when they were on a great sale for St. Patrick's day, I knew that I would make my mother-in-law's cabbage rolls with one of them, but I wasn't sure what I would make with the other.  Then I thought about what other meals I was planning such as Greek chicken and Lebanese meatballs and I thought I would try making some cabbage dolmas.

The filling for these rolls is really good, you can really taste the mint and the meat is totally optional, I just added it to make these more appealing to my husband.

1 cabbage
1 lb ground beef
1 cup rice
1 onion, diced
1/2 cup fresh mint
1/2 cup fresh parsley
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 tsp allspice
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
juice of 2 lemons

Cut the core out of the cabbage and place into a large pan of boiling water.  Cover and let cook for 10-15 minutes to soften the cabbage.  Remove and set aside to cool.

In a large bowl, mix together the beef, rice, onion, mint, parsley, garlic, allspice, half the lemon juice, salt and pepper. 

Separate the cabbage leaves, and fill each one with around 1/4 cup of filling and roll up.

Place a couple of extra cabbage leaves in the bottom of a large pan, and place the cabbage rolls in the pan.  Season with salt and pepper and the remaining lemon juice.  Pour enough water to cove the cabbage rolls, bring to a boil, cover and reduce heat to simmer and cook for 45 minutes.

Once mine were cooked I decided to pan fry for a couple of minutes to get them a little browned.

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Monday, March 24, 2014

Menu Plan Monday

Monday: Chicken cacciatore

Tuesday: Randal's birthday, he wants dirty rice stuffed peppers, layered pea salad and Italian cream cake

Wednesday: Lebanese meatballs, rice pilaf (didn't make this last week)

Thursday: Cabbage dolma, tabouleh (didn't make this last week)

Friday: Eating out

See other menu plans over at Organizing Junkie

Monday, March 17, 2014

Menu Plan Monday

Monday: Armenian beef kebabs, fatoosh salad

Tuesday: Fish tacos

Wednesday: Lebanese meatballs, rice pilaf

Thursday: Cabbage dolma, tabouleh

Friday: Greek marinated chicken, yogurt cucumber salad

See other menu plans over at Organizing Junkie

Sunday, March 16, 2014


Time for another Secret Recipe Club reveal.  This month I was assigned the blog close to home.  I love getting my assignment each month, and getting to look through all the recipes on that blog.  The first thing I noticed about this blog was how nice and bright the pictures are.  I really need to improve the pictures on my blog, but I need a new camera first!

One of the first recipes I found ended up being the one I went back to and decided to make.  I have never made jambalaya before, and it seemed seasonally appropriate and Randal very much wanted to try it, and I am very glad that we ended up loving it as it made a huge amount and we were eating it for days!

8 chicken thighs
1 lb sausage
1/2 lb shrimp
1 onion, diced
2 red bell peppers, diced
2 cups diced celery
3 cloves garlic
1 jalapeno, minced
1 28 oz can whole tomatoes
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp dried thyme
1 tsp cajun seasoning
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
2 tbsp tomato paste
5 cups chicken stock
3 cups rice
3 bay leaves
2 tbsp butter
2 tbsp olive oil
1/2 cup chopped spring onion
1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice

Heat oil in a large pan, add sausage and cook until browned, around 8 minutes. Remove sausage and add chicken thighs and cook for 5 minutes per side to brown them.  Remove from pan.

Add the butter, followed by the onion, celery and bell peppers to the pan.  Cook for 10 minutes, until softened.  Add the canned tomatoes, garlic, jalapeno, tomato paste, oregano, thyme and cajun seasoning.  Pour in the stock and bring to a boil.  Add the rice, salt and pepper, bay leaves and the chicken and sausage.  Cook for 30 minutes.  Add in the shrimp and cook for 5 more minutes, before mixing in the spring onion, parsley and lemon juice.
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Buttermilk Strawberry Shortcake

I had a lot of strawberries in the fridge that I needed to use up, so I thought I would surprise Randal with strawberry shortcake for dessert.  I have never made this before and apparently Randal has never tried this kind before, he's always had the strawberry shortcake made with more of a sponge cake so this was new to both of us. It reminded me very much of an English scone and I loved it because it wasn't very sweet which was perfect with the sugared strawberries.

3 cups all purpose flour
4 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/3 cup white sugar
1 1/2 tsp salt
3/4 cup unsalted butter, cubed
1 cup buttermilk 
2 tbsp heavy cream
1/4 cup sugar 

4 cups sliced strawberries
1/4 cup sugar
1 tsp lemon juice 

Place the sliced strawberries into a large bowl, add in the sugar and lemon juice and mix together.  Cover and set aside.

 Preheat the oven to 425 .

Whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, 1/3 cup white sugar, and salt in a mixing bowl. 

Cut in cold butter with a knife until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. 

Stir in buttermilk until the flour mixture is moistened. 

Drop 1/3-cup of the dough 2 inches apart onto a baking sheet. 

Brush biscuits with heavy cream and sprinkle with sugar. 

Bake until golden brown, 15 to 20 minutes.

Serve the shortcakes with the strawberries and juice with whipped cream.

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Monday, March 10, 2014

Menu Plan Monday

Monday: Dirty rice stuffed peppers (still haven't made them!)

Tuesday: Breakfast spaghetti

Wednesday: Italian pot roast

Thursday: Tacos

Friday: Eating out

See other menu plans over at Organizing Junkie

Monday, March 3, 2014

Menu Plan Monday

Monday: Cottage pie

Tuesday: Chicken and shrimp jambalaya

Wednesday: Swedish meatballs

Thursday: Dirty rice stuffed peppers (didn't make them last week)

Friday: Eating out

See other menu plans over at Organizing Junkie