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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Oatmeal and Parmesan Crusted Boneless Pork Chops

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We hardly ever eat pork so while meal planning last week I decided to add it to our menu to freshen things up. This recipe reminds me of a homemade version of Shake ‘N Bake. It uses ground oatmeal instead of bread crumbs (to keep the gluten out) while keeping a crisp-ish texture. Use parchment paper to line your pan if you have it. Parchment paper absorbs the moisture from the pork, unlike foil, yielding a better texture.  If you are out of parchment paper, like I was when I made these, use foil to line your pan and then just flip the chops and broil them for a few minutes prior to serving. Doing so will eliminate any moisture that might make for a soggy bottom.  Did I really just say soggy bottom?

This recipe pairs well with most vegetable sides. Roasted carrots, mashed potatoes, cauliflower rice mash would all be great. Even a simple tossed green salad would work well. The above photo shows it with this broccoli salad, which I highly recommend. It contain bacon. I’ll just leave it at that.

Parmesan and Oatmeal Crusted Pork Chops:

  • 4 boneless pork chops
  • 1 cup parmesan cheese
  • 1 cup raw, dry, quick cook oatmeal, pulverized in the food processor until smooth
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

Preheat oven to 350 F. Line a baking dish with parchment paper (or foil) and coat with cooking spray.
In a medium bowl gently mix together cheese, oatmeal, salt, pepper, and garlic powder.

Rub each pork chop in a thin coat of olive oil. Dip each chop into the cheese mixture and press mixture onto chop so it sticks.

Place each chop in the baking pan and bake for 40-45 minutes or until pork is cooked through. To ensure a crispy top you can put the oven on broil for 3-5 minutes, after baking. This will brown and crisp the tops of the chops.

Adapted from Just a Pinch.

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Maple Pumpkin Muffins

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Saturday was a baking day.  There were no ifs, ands, or buts about it.  It was rainy and dark and I knew I needed to fill our kitchen with scents of the season.  This summer my in-laws visited Canada and brought back some delicious Canadian maple syrup.  I decided to bake something maple flavored so when I stumbled upon this recipe for Maple Pumpkin Muffins I was very pleased! 

A couple of notes:

  • The original recipe suggested baking at 400 F, and though it struck me as odd, rather than follow my gut I followed the recipe.  Unfortunately the oven was way too hot and a few of my muffin bottoms burned.  These should be baked at either 350 F or 375 F.
  • Rather than top these muffins with pecans, I added a crumbly streusel-like topping.
  • As you know I am a lover of chunks, so I almost added some chocolate chips but I feared it would overpower the maple flavor so I refrained.  These were more “breakfast” without chocolate chips.  Adding chocolate would make them more “dessert.”  🙂

Maple Pumpkin Muffins:

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons packed brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups canned pumpkin or squash
  • 3/4 cup evaporated milk
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 5 tablespoons maple syrup, divided
  • 1 package cream cheese, softened
  • Topping:

  • 3/4 cup oatmeal
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4  teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • Preheat oven to 350 F.  Line muffin tins with papers.

    Prepare topping by combining first five topping ingredients in a small bowl.  Cut butter into this mixture and use your finger tips or a fork to crumble the ingredients together.  The texture should be like that of coarse sand/pebbles.  Set aside.

    In a large bowl, combine the flour, 3/4 cup brown sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, baking soda, pumpkin pie spice and salt.

    In another bowl whisk together the eggs, pumpkin, milk, oil and 3 tablespoons maple syrup.  Slowly add dry ingredients to this mixture and stir just until moistened.  

    In a small mixing bowl, beat cream cheese and two tablespoons brown sugar and 2 tablespoons syrup until smooth. Gently stir into batter until mixture appears swirled.

    Fill paper-lined muffin tins about three-fourths full.

    Sprinkle about a tablespoon of topping over each muffin cup.

    Bake at 350 F for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool for 5 minutes before removing from pan to a wire rack. 

    Adapted from Made by Melissa.

    Oatmeal Birthday Cake

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    When I made this oatmeal cake for my father-in-law’s birthday back in April, I knew it was well-received but I had no idea that it would become the most requested birthday cake!  MONTHS ago, my brother-in-law requested this cake for his 30th birthday dinner held this weekend.  While we were eating it every single person was ooo-ing and ahhh-ing about how much they loved it.  More than one person claimed they could drink the frosting—and I had to agree!  If you haven’t made this cake yet–I suggest you give it a try!   

    Oatmeal Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting:

    • 1 tablespoon  all-purpose flour
    • 1 1/3  cups  boiling water
    • 1  cup  quick-cooking oats
    • 3/4  cup  granulated sugar
    • 3/4  cup  packed dark brown sugar
    • 1/3  cup  vegetable shortening
    • 2  teaspoons  vanilla extract
    • 3  large eggs
    • 1 1/2  cups  all-purpose flour
    • 1  teaspoon  baking soda
    • 1  teaspoon  ground cinnamon
    • 1/2  teaspoon  salt
    • 1/2  teaspoon  ground nutmeg
    • 1/2  cup  buttermilk
    • Cream Cheese Frosting
    • pecans for garnish (optional)

    Preheat oven to 350 F.

    Coat bottoms and sides of 2 (9-inch) round cake pans with shortening  and dust well with flour.

    Combine boiling water and oats in a medium bowl; let stand 20 minutes. Beat granulated sugar, brown sugar, shortening, and vanilla at medium speed of a mixer for 5 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add oatmeal, beating until blended.

    Combine 1 1/2 cups flour, baking soda, cinnamon, salt, and nutmeg, stirring well with a whisk. Add flour mixture to sugar mixture alternately with buttermilk, beginning and ending with flour mixture.

    Pour batter into prepared pans. Sharply tap pans once on counter to remove air bubbles. Bake at 350 F for 30-35 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pans on a wire rack.

    Place one cake layer on a plate.  Pipe one thick circle of frosting around perimeter of cake.  Fill with a layer with frosting (recipe below), and top with the remaining layer. Spread the remaining frosting over the top and sides of cake.

    Cream Cheese Frosting:

    • Two 8-ounce package of cream cheese, at room temperature
    • 12 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
    • 3 cups confectioners’ sugar
    • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

    In a medium bowl, cream together the cream cheese and butter using an electric mixer, until smooth.  Slowly sift the confectioners’ sugar into the butter/cream cheese, about one cup at a time.  Continue to beat until all lumps are gone.  Add the vanilla and mix until fully combined. 

    Oatmeal Cake recipe adapted from Cooking Light.  Frosting recipe adapted from Crazy About Cupcakes by Krystina Castella.

    Vanishing Oatmeal Coconut Cookies

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    A co-worker is getting married in a few weeks so the office threw her a bridal shower.  I offered to make cookies and I got wind that she likes coconut, so when I spotted these Vanishing Oatmeal Coconut Cookies on Blonde Ambition in the Kitchen, I figured they would be perfect! 

    I was very pleased with the texture: somewhat thin cookies with a chewy middle and crisp on the top and bottom.  Since I am a lover of chunks, I think next time I will add some mini-chocolate chips and bump up the amount of coconut.  That said, these cookies were great the way they were.  The almond extract added an interesting yet subtle flavor and the addition of the coarse sugar jazzed them up! 

    Vanishing Oatmeal Coconut Cookies:

    • 2 sticks butter, at room temperature 
    • 1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
    • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
    • 2 eggs
    • 1/4 teaspoon almond extract
    • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
    • 1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
    • 1 teaspoon baking soda
    • 1/2 teaspoon salt
    • 2 1/2 cups oatmeal
    • 3/4 cup of sweetened flaked coconut
    • sanding sugar (optional)

    Preheat oven to 350 F.

    In large bowl, beat butter and sugars until creamy. Add eggs one at a time and beat well after each.  Add almond and vanilla extract. 

    Combine flour, baking soda and salt together in small bowl and mix well.   Slowly add flour mixture to butter/sugar/egg mixture until thoroughly incorporated.  Stir in oats and coconut.

    Drop dough by rounded tablespoonfuls onto ungreased cookie sheets.  Slightly flatten each using the bottom of a glass and top with sanding sugar.

    Bake 10 to 12 minutes or until light golden brown. Cool for one minute on cookie sheets and then remove to wire rack. Cool completely on rack. Store tightly covered.

    Adapted from Blonde Ambition in the Kitchen.

    Kitchen Sink Cookies

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    On Saturday I attended the Healthy Living Summit for Bloggers.  As part of the event, the planners organized a Team in Training bake sale silent auction where all proceeds benefitted the The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.  As my contribution to the bake sale I made Kitchen Sink Cookies.  (I also made a second batch for my sister-in-law’s 30th birthday!) 

    They are called Kitchen Sink Cookies because in them is “everything but the kitchen sink.”  I used Martha Stewart’s recipe and found it to be nice and adaptable so go ahead and swap cookie condiments you like with those you don’t.  (Or just use whatever you have on hand!) 

    I decided to use oatmeal, semi-sweet mini-chocolate chips, milk chocolate chunks, butterscotch chips, white chocolate chips, mini-M&Ms, and currants.   Martha called for coconut and walnuts, which I omitted.  If you are going to make these cookies on the smaller side of the cookie spectrum you may want to use mini-sized cookie condiments like mini-chocolate chips, mini-M&Ms and currants instead of raisins.  However if you are going to make monster cookies the full-size cookie condiments work well.  The idea is that each bite contains a little bit of each ingredient.  If you make small cookies using full size M&Ms, the entire cookie could end up with two big M&Ms and nothing else!    

    I really enjoy foods that have lots of texture and “chunks” so these cookies were right up my alley!  (I may or may not have eaten more than one of these cookies before wrapping them…cookies go down so easily!)  I wrapped these in the same way I wrapped the Better than Brownie Cookie Peanut Butter Sandwiches.

    Kitchen Sink Cookies:

    •  1 cup (two sticks) unsalted butter
    • 1/2 cup granulated white sugar
    • 1/2 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
    • 2 large eggs
    • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    • 2 cups all-purpose flour
    • 1 teaspoon baking soda
    • 1/2 teaspoon  baking powder
    • 1/2 teaspoon salt
    • 2 cups old-fashioned oats
    • 2 cups mini semi-sweet chocolate chips
    • 1 cup mini M&Ms
    • 1 cup butterscotch chips
    • 1 cup white chocolate chips
    • 1 cup currants

    Preheat oven to 350 F. Line baking sheets with Silpat baking mats or parchment paper.

    In a large bowl with a wooden spoon (or in a stand mixer with the paddle attachment) beat butter, sugar and brown sugar together until smooth and creamy, about 2 minutes. Beat in eggs, one at a time, until well blended. Stir in vanilla.

    In a medium bowl, sift together flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Gradually stir into butter mixture until well blended.  Remove bowl from mixer and add oats, chips, M&Ms, and currants.  Stir until well blended.

    Drop batter by heaping tablespoons onto silpat about 2 inches apart. Press tops down with the bottom of a glass to flatten cookies evenly. Bake until golden, about 16 to 18 minutes. Cool on pan for 2 minutes. Remove from pan, and finish cooling completely on wire rack.

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    Adapted from recipe found here on Martha Stewart.com.

    Oatmeal Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

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    I made these cupcakes for a cookout and they were a huge hit!  All of the children at the party found them and ravaged them before dinner was even served.  Then the adults followed suit!  I had to snag one for myself in order to have a taste before they were gone!  DELICIOUS! 

    I used this recipe for the cupcakes-

    Oatmeal Cupcakes:

    • 1 1/3  cups  boiling water
    • 1  cup  quick-cooking oats
    • 3/4  cup  granulated sugar
    • 3/4  cup  packed dark brown sugar
    • 1/3  cup  vegetable shortening
    • 2  teaspoons  vanilla extract
    • 3  large eggs
    • 1 1/2  cups  all-purpose flour
    • 1  teaspoon  baking soda
    • 1  teaspoon  ground cinnamon
    • 1/2  teaspoon  salt
    • 1/2  teaspoon  ground nutmeg
    • 1/2  cup  buttermilk

    Preheat oven to 350 F.

    Insert liners into cupcake pans.

    Combine boiling water and oats in a medium bowl; let stand 20 minutes. Beat granulated sugar, brown sugar, shortening, and vanilla at medium speed of a mixer for 5 minutes. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Add oatmeal, beating until blended.

    Combine 1 1/2 cups flour, baking soda, cinnamon, salt, and nutmeg, stirring well with a whisk. Add flour mixture to sugar mixture alternately with buttermilk, beginning and ending with flour mixture.

    Pour batter into prepared pans. Sharply tap pans once on counter to remove air bubbles. Bake at 350 F for 30-35 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pans on a wire rack.

    And this recipe for the cream cheese frosting–

    Cream Cheese Frosting:

    • Two 8-ounce package of cream cheese, at room temperature
    • 12 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
    • 3 cups confectioners’ sugar
    • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

    In a medium bowl, cream together the cream cheese and butter using an electric mixer, until smooth.  Slowly sift the confectioners’ sugar into the butter/cream cheese, about one cup at a time.  Continue to beat until all lumps are gone.  Add the vanilla and mix until fully combined. 

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    Oatmeal Cake recipe adapted from Cooking Light.  Frosting recipe adapted from Crazy About Cupcakes by Krystina Castella.