Make Ahead Freezer Meatballs

Seriously Delish, page 199

How sad is it that this is actually the first time I’ve made meatballs? My grandmother makes the best meatballs known to man (with my husband’s grandmother a close second. he’ll disagree, but it’s my blog!)  I need that recipe.

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These meatballs were fairly easy to throw together, and reminded me of most freezer meatballs I’ve had.  I think it was the seasoning blend.  They are heavily seasoned with oregano, basil, onion powder and smoked paprika mixed with a 50/50 mix of beef and turkey, so ever so slightly healthier than an all beef meatball.  They were tender (ish), but not like the family meatballs we’ve had for years, not that I expected them to be.

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For me, the goal was to have something homemade in the freezer, that we could easily turn into a quick dinner.  After freezing these on a cookie sheet, I popped them into a Foodsaver bag, and vacuum packed them.  We ate them a few weeks later in meatball subs, with some homemade tomato sauce I also had lurking in the freezer.  The key for making bready saucey sandwiches?   Wrapping them super tight in foil and heating them in the oven, like described here.  It really does make a difference in the bread.  Do it.

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I think I jipped myself on the sauce on this one.

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Crispy Black Bean Tacos with Mango Pico de Gallo

Seriously Delish, page 180

Oh my goodness guys. Can we talk about tacos for a second?  We eat more tacos in our house than I care to admit.  For awhile there, we were doing Taco Tuesday on the regular.  So. Many. Tacos.

What do you want for dinner? Tacos. Non taco leftovers? Put it in a taco. Taco salads, taco pizzas, tacos, tacos, tacos.  It happens far too often.  Sometimes we change it up and have quesadillas.  I know.  We’re so creative.

So, needless to say, this recipe was on my radar very early on.

Crispy Black Bean Tacos

These tacos are so easy. They consists of things I keep stock in my fridge/pantry, except for the queso fresco.  I make a batch of fresh black beans weekly (pressure cook them, they take like 4 minutes!), and usually have cherry tomatoes, cilantro, and some sort of spicy pepper around (we’re partial to poblanos, since I can’t tolerate much more heat than that, and they’re delicious).  The salsa has mango, which, not going to lie, I used some frozen mango that I keep on hand for smoothies that I zapped in the microwave for a bit.

Using corn tortillas, and getting them crispy in a frying pan was the key here.  I probably could have let them go for a bit longer to get some more crunch on there, but it was late, and we were hungry.  We literally ate these as they came out of the frying pan leaning over the stove.  As with anything fried, a little bit of salt right as they finish goes a long way too.

Chapter Total Recipes Total Made Percent Complete
Breakfast (… for Dinner?) 20 1 5.00%
Snack Time 17 0 0.00%
Sandwiches & Stuff on Toast 13 0 0.00%
Salad, Soups, and Vegetable-like Things 25 0 0.00%
Tex-mex, Burgers, Pizza, & Everything Else 28 3 10.71%
Stuff to Sip On 13 0 0.00%
Lighten Up 16 0 0.00%
Celebrations 20 0 0.00%
Total 152 4 2.63%

Homemade Chicken Pitas with Jalapeno Whipped Feta & Quick Tzatziki

Seriously Delish, page 208

The title of this one is a mouthful.  One delicious mouthful.

Prep is the name of the game here.  If you want to serve this dish in one day, you are going to need at least two hours.  I tried to plan ahead, and after dinner one night I put together the tzatziki, the whipped feta, and marinated the chicken.

The tzatziki is a winner. Quick, simple, great flavor.  Greek husband approved.

The whipped feta is a play on two recipes that I’ve seen on How Sweet Eats before, but haven’t made.  People rave about them.  We tried a new brand of feta, and we weren’t crazy about it. I don’t remember the name, but we were pretty disappointed.  Overall, the whipped feta wasn’t terrible, but it wasn’t amazing either.  Roasted garlic cures all, right?

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Cooking the chicken and putting the pitas together the next day was pretty simple.  It would be great meal for a crowd since everyone can make a pita to their liking.

Greek Pitas

The leftovers from this were awesome.  The pita pictured above was actually from a few days later.  I tossed everything on a salad twice for lunches at work.  Yum.

The only things I’d change are:

  1. The brand of feta cheese I used
  2. The recipe calls for hummus as a topping when serving, but I found that with the whipped feta and the tzatziki, hummus was really overkill.
Chapter Total Recipes Total Made Percent Complete
Breakfast (… for Dinner?) 20 1 5.00%
Snack Time 17 0 0.00%
Sandwiches & Stuff on Toast 13 0 0.00%
Salad, Soups, and Vegetable-like Things 25 0 0.00%
Tex-mex, Burgers, Pizza, & Everything Else 28 2 7.14%
Stuff to Sip On 13 0 0.00%
Lighten Up 16 0 0.00%
Celebrations 20 0 0.00%
Total 152 3 1.97%

Garlic Butter Roasted Chicken

Seriously Delish, page 198

Looking through Seriously Delish, I knew instantly where I was going to start.  I had everything on hand already and it was Sunday.  What better meal for Sunday dinner is there than a roast chicken?

This recipe was easy to make, as long as you don’t mind getting friendly with your bird, and it is absolutely killer.  Super simple too. Just get some garlicy buttery goodness up in there under the skin, and roast the sucker.  Jessica has some pretty simple guidelines on her blog if roasting a chicken scares you. (And, to be honest, it scared me for awhile, so no shame in that, in my opinion)

We demolished this chicken.  It was only a week ago, and I can’t even remember what I served with it.  We tore into it so fast, I even forgot to take a glamour shot.  Whoops.

Garlic Butter Roast Chicken

In pure engineer style, I have a spreadsheet to track my progress.  I’ll paste the summary table at the end of each post so you can play along.

Chapter Total Recipes Total Made Percent Complete
Breakfast (… for Dinner?) 20 0 0.00%
Snack Time 17 0 0.00%
Sandwiches & Stuff on Toast 13 0 0.00%
Salad, Soups, and Vegetable-like Things 25 0 0.00%
Tex-mex, Burgers, Pizza, & Everything Else 28 1 3.57%
Stuff to Sip On 13 0 0.00%
Lighten Up 16 0 0.00%
Celebrations 20 0 0.00%
Total 152 1 0.66%

 

I apologize in advance for the cell phone photos in these first few posts.  I took them before all this was fully conceptualized. I promise they won’t continue.