Broccoli Rabe Crockpot Meatballs

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Happy Fall! I am posting this recipe so that I will not forget how much I loved this meal. I rely on Kitchenbelle.com as a place to find our favorite recipes. Whenever I am at a loss of what to cook for dinner, or if someone asks me to bring an appetizer to a party, or I need to make a dessert, I come to this site to find my favorites curated and easily accessible.

SO here we go. I recently made Skinny Taste Broccoli Rabe Crockpot meatballs and instantly fell in love. They are DELICIOUS. And so easy. I made one substitution–instead of the bread I used one cup of oatmeal because my husband is gluten free. I was wary of how it would work but then very pleasantly surprised by the result. The oatmeal gave the meatballs a nice firmness and great texture. And they reheated really well the days following. I served over quinoa and with a side salad. To my future self–do not forget about this recipe!!

Skinny Taste Crockpot Broccoli Rabe Meatballs:

  • 1 bunch  broccoli rabe, washed, stems trimmed off
  • 1 cup gluten free oatmeal
  • 3 tablespoons  milk
  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1/2 cup grated Pecorino Romano or Parmesan cheese
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 3 cloves smashed garlic
  • 28 ounce can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 bay leaf
  • salt
  • black pepper
  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil, then add the broccoli rabe. Blanch for about 1-1/2 to 2 minutes, drain well and set aside in a colander to cool. Finely chop 3/4 cup of the florets and leaves (3-3/4 ounces) and set the rest aside for another use
  2. Meanwhile, in a medium bowl combine the oatmeal with milk, tossing to coat. Let stand, mixing occasionally, about 10 minutes.
  3. Add the ground beef, chopped broccoli rabe, grated cheese, egg, fresh garlic, salt and pepper. Mix with clean hands, then gently form into 15 meatballs, about 1/4 cup each and transfer to a large baking sheet. Broil on the 2nd rack from the top until the top is golden, about 8 to 10 minutes.
  4. In a small skillet heat the oil over medium heat, add the garlic and cook until golden on both sides.
  5. Pour the crushed tomatoes into a slow cooker. Add salt and pepper, bay leaf and the garlic. Gently place the meatballs into the sauce, cover and cook low 4 to 6 hours or high 2 to 3 hours.

Source: Skinny Taste

 

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Chewy Molasses Cookies

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Fall! I love it more than ever. The season is even more exciting now that there are two little girls trailing behind me eating up the season as much as I do. We have been baking cookies, taking hikes, going on bike rides, perusing the Halloween decoration aisles of every store and crunching our sneakers through the leaves in our yard. The girls are bursting at the seams with excitement for Halloween and our little countdown calendar is a huge source of pleasure.

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We had a few parties to go to last week and I found myself needing a straightforward recipe that could be made with little notice. These Chewy Molasses cookies fit the bill and I ended up baking several batches over the course of the week. They are thick, chewy, and full of flavor. I especially like that they are sturdy and hold up well to a warm cup of tea. The sanding sugar gives a welcomed little crunch and they have a kick of ginger that was well-received by all. These cookies remind me that it is sometimes the simplest ingredients that yield the most delicious items.

Chewy Molasses Cookies:

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 stick butter, melted
  • 1/3 cup white sugar
  • 1/3 cup molasses
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • coarse sanding sugar (we roll the cookies in this just prior to baking)

Preheat oven to 375 F.

In one bowl whisk together flour, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, and salt.

In another bowl whisk egg, butter, white sugar, molasses, and brown sugar. Add dry ingredients into wet ingredients and mix until just incorporated.

Place sanding sugar in a shallow bowl. Roll dough into tablespoon size balls and roll into sanding sugar. Place on parchment paper lined cookie sheet (or silpat) 2 inches apart. Bake for 5 minutes then rotate sheet pan and bake for another five minutes, or until cookies puff up and crack. Cool on a wire rack.

Source: Bon Appetit.

Apple Tart

Remember back in the day when I used to make tarts all of the time?

Well, I was asked to make an apple dessert for Thanksgiving and I wanted to step outside of the apple pie box. I contemplated making an apple tart for Rosh Hashanah and decided on apple cake instead, so for Thanksgiving I determined it was time for a tart!

This tart was well-received. My dad actually thought it was purchased from a bakery when he saw it on the dessert table. (That is always the best compliment, isn’t it?)

This recipe follows my standard tart formula: crust + filling + fruit + glaze. It is easy to make and yields a beautiful and delicious tart. Enjoy!

Apple Tart:

Filling

  • 3 Granny Smith apples
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
  • 1/4 – 1/2 cup (50 – 100 grams) granulated white sugar, divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, divided
  • Confectioners’ Sugar for browning the top of the tart.
  • 1 1/2 cups chunky apple sauce (you can definitely use home made if you prefer)

Crust

  • 2 cups graham cracker crumbs
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/3 cup melted butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Glaze

  • 1/2 cup apricot preserves
  • 1 tablespoon Water

Make the Crust

Preheat oven to 350 F. In a large mixing bowl, combine all crust ingredients and stir with a fork until mixture is moist, like wet sand. Pour into a well-buttered 9- or 10-inch tart pan and press into an even layer, going up the sides of the tart. Bake for 12-14 minutes, until crust is just starting to brown at the edges. Cool completely.

Make the filling

Peel, core, and cut the apples into slices 1/4 inch thick. Melt 1 tablespoon butter in a large skillet over medium heat and stir in the other 2 – 4 tablespoons sugar and 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon. Add the apples and saute until they begin to soften, approximately 5 minutes. Set the cooked apples aside.

Assemble

Spoon the apple sauce into the cooled crust.

Arrange the cooked apple slices in concentric circles over the applesauce, and brush with 1 – 2 tablespoons melted butter. Sprinkle with confectioner’s sugar. Broil it under a preheated broiler about 4 inches from the heat until the edges of the apples are golden brown and crisp.

Make the Glaze

In a small saucepan, heat the apricot preserves until boiling. Remove from heat and strain to get rid of lumps. Add the water. Use this glaze to seal the baked tart shell and to brush the top of the finished tart.
Recipe inspired from this one found here on The Joy of Baking.

Pumpkin Cupcakes

 

 

Pumpkin cupcakes! Perfect for Halloween and Thanksgiving. Hope everyone is enjoying this wonderful season!

Pumpkin Cupcakes recipe found here: http://smittenkitchen.com/blog/2008/11/pumpkin-cupcakes/

P.S. I hope One-Pie never changes their can label. I love the nostalgia it evokes and choose it over Libby’s every time because of it!

Apple Cake with Caramel Sauce

It’s that time of year! (And believe it or not, I’m not referring to pumpkins. Not yet, at least!) I have APPLES on the brain!  Boy am I loving these crisp cool mornings. I’ve officially made the switch to hot coffee, which is a big step given the iced coffee addict that I am.

I always welcome the transition to fall with open arms. The season seems  briefer and briefer each year, which is all the more reason so savor it. The pressure of filling the long days of summer is behind us and we can retreat to the house for warm dinners, red wine, and pumpkin beer. And the season is all the sweeter now that I have a little pumpkin’s birthday to celebrate each fall!

I attended a Rosh Hashanah dinner party this weekend and I was asked to make a dessert containing apples. It’s my understanding that apples (and honey) signify the sweetness of the New Year. (If anyone would like to elaborate on this in the comments, please do.)

I always enjoy being tasked with a specific request! I contemplated an apple tart but ultimately decided on this apple cake because it gave me a reason to purchase a Bundt pan. I can’t believe I didn’t already own one! It’s green, of course!

This cake turned out great! While it worked well as a dessert, it would also be appropriate to serve with tea and coffee as a coffee cake. I decided to take a short cut using the caramel candies instead of making caramel sauce from scratch because it was so. much. easier. While making the sauce from sugar might have been fun, it would have required me to find my candy thermometer and would have taken much longer. This “fake” method tasted fantastic and I am not sure it would be worth my time to make it from scratch. (Feel free to convince me otherwise!)

I poured the sauce into a squeeze bottle and drizzled it over the cake until it dribbled down each corner and crevice. Mmmmm. Apples + Caramel– a duo that is in the rankings of Peanut butter + Chocolate, Tuna Salad + Potato Chips, and Crusty Bread + Cheese in my book.

Apple Cake with Caramel Sauce:

  • non-stick cooking spray
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon ground
  • cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups light brown sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 1/3 cups vegetable oil
  • 4 Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    Caramel Sauce (recipe follows)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 12-cup Bundt pan with cooking spray; set
aside.
Sift together flour, cinnamon, baking soda, and salt; set aside.

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine vegetable oil, sugar, vanilla and eggs; mix on high speed until combined.

With mixer on medium speed, gradually add dry ingredients until just incorporated.

Using a wooden spoon fold apples into batter and mix to combine.

Pour batter into prepared pan, and bake until a cake tester inserted in the center comes out with
a few moist crumbs attached, about 60-65 minutes. Note: Ovens vary drastically so this cake could take as long as 70 minutes. Begin checking it at 55 minutes. My oven is hot and this cake took about 60 minutes.

Remove from oven, and cool on a wire rack. Invert cake onto rack; turn cake right-side up to cool completely on rack, and drizzle with caramel sauce.

Easy Caramel Sauce:

  • 1 bag of caramel candies
  • 1/2 cup of cream or milk

Place unwrapped caramel square candies into a microwave safe bowl. Add cream or milk. Microwave on high for one minute at a time stirring after each minute until melted.

Recipe adapted from Butter + Cream blog, originally from Martha Stewart.com.

Pumpkin Cupcakes with Maple Cream Cheese Frosting

HAPPY HALLOWEEN!!!!!

This is probably my favorite holiday. I have wonderful childhood memories of this holiday, some of which I have discussed on the blog in years past.

This year the pumpkin cupcakes made a reappearance, this time with Smitten’s Maple Cream Cheese Frosting. No fancy decorating, just plain and delicious.

If you are looking for some other last minute ideas, check out these festive baked goods from past years!

Chocolate Peanut butter Cake 

Mini Chocolate Cupcakes with Silver Peanut butter Frosting

Apple and Meringue Tartlets

Pumpkin Whoopie Pies

Mini Chocolate and Pumpkin Whoopie Pies

Caramel Apple Cupcakes with Maple Cream Cheese Frosting

Mini Pumpkin Cupcakes (and Halloween cupcake decorating ideas)

Mandarin Orange and Pomegranate Tart

Peanut butter cup cookies

Maple Pumpkin Muffins

Rich Chocolate Cupcakes with Honey Cream Cheese Frosting

Pumpkin Oatmeal Cookies

Orange White Chip Cookies

Enjoy!!!!!

Lentil and Brown Rice Soup

The weather has been a little strange lately. We had a few gorgeously crisp fall days followed by some summer-like weather. Today is rainy and humid. That said, we are technically in soup season and there’s nothing like a pot of soup simmering on the stove to warm the house and beckon your family.  Soup is so practical too–make one large pot at the beginning of the week and reheat it for several lunches and dinners during the days that follow.  Better yet, freeze the leftovers. This recipe is chock full of nutrients and fiber.  It is also hearty, filling, and delicious.

Ideas:

–Transform this recipe to vegetarian by using vegetable stock in place of the chicken broth and beef stock.

–Serve with a warm crusty baguette for a wonderfully satisfying weeknight meal.

–For easy entertaining, make a pot and invite some friends over to watch a football game (go Patriots!)

–Perfect for a Halloween dinner because it won’t require your attention while you answer your door to trick-or-treaters!

Lentil and Brown Rice Soup:

  • 6 cups chicken broth
  • 4 cups beef stock
  • 1 1/2 cups dry lentils (picked over and rinsed)
  • 1 1/2 cups long-grain brown rice
  • 1  28-ounce can crushed tomatoes
  • 3  14-0unce cans diced tomatoes with garlic and olive oil
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 1 large stock of celery, chopped
  • 3 large cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 large carrots, chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/2 teaspoon thyme
  • 2 tablespoons cider vinegar
  • 2 handfuls of fresh spinach
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper

In a large pot (I used Le Creuset) combine broth, stock, lentils, rice, tomatoes, onion, celery, garlic, carrots, oregano, thyme, bay leaf, and vinegar. Bring to a boil then reduce heat and cover pan. Simmer, stirring occasionally, for 45-55 minutes or until the lentils and rice are tender. Stir in spinach, salt, and pepper. Don’t forget to remove and discard the bay leaf.

Adapted from So Easy, So Delicious by Ellie Deaner. Buy it!