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Island style meatballs in sweet and sour sauce

Tired of the same old thing? Need some flavor in your meals? This dish will do it. Pretty easy to make, colorful and mouth watering. We had been doing hamburgers on the grill for the holiday and I had about a pound of meat left over. A bit bored with the meat on a bun so I looked to see what we had and thought sweet and sour meatballs. The I imagined how could I improve on the ordinary and make it extraordinary. The meat balls are packed with flavor and are very filling. The vegetables add color and nutrition. 

  • 1 pound Hamburger 
  • 1 green pepper
  • 1 yellow pepper
  • 1 orange pepper…… Or any color of your choice 
  • 1 onion
  • 1 yellow squash
  • 1/4 cup coconut flour
  • 1 egg
  • 1/3 cup teriyaki sauce
  • 2/3 cup rice
  • 1 large can chunk pineapple. Save the juice
  • 1 1/4 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon oil

Sweet and sour sauce

  • 2 tablespoon corn starch
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup apple cider vinegar 
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • Plus liquid from meat after cooking 

In a bowl mix hamburger and teriyaki sauce, egg then flour after well blended add rice and mix. Form into big walnut size meat balls. You should have about 6-9 meat balls. Fry in a heated skillet until brown on all sides. You should have grease at this point. Pour off the grease. In the same pan add pineapple juice and water. Cover and cook 45 minutes. Gently rolling the meatballs from time to time. 

About half way through the cooking time start the veggies. In an extra large skillet heat oil. Chopping all vegetables into large bite size pieces add to hot oil and stir. Do not add pinapple yet. Cook over medium heat. In a bowl mix the sweet and sour sauce together set aside. Check a rice kernel to make sure it is done or close to it. When vegetables are done to your likeness add pinapple. Stir sweet and sour mixture before pouring  on vegetables. Gently stir. Then add the remain liquid from the meatball pan to the sweet and sour mixture. Stir until it thickens. Add meatballs right before serving. 

As always we hope you enjoy

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Kale casserole 

All you need is kale….bomb bomb de bah….. So many types of kale. I am finding the flat leaf type is a bit milder than the curly leaf kind. In making this dish that is what I used but I bet the other would work just fine. This is a great potluck addition or side for a meat dish. 

  • 1 bunch kale
  • 2 can chicken broth or vegetable if vegetarian
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped onion
  • 3/4 cup short grain white rice
  • Thin cheddar or Colby cheese slices about 6
  • 11×7 baking dish

Heat oven to 350. After washing kale and chopping onion put several leaves on the bottom of baking dish. Now chop up the remaining kale into large pieces. Sprinkle 1/4 cup rice over kale leaves that are in the baking dish, then place handful of kale over the rice, sprinkle 1/4 cup rice over that and repeat again until kale is used up. Having to top layer kale. Pour the broth over the mixture and sprinkle the onions over the top. Place cheese slices in pairs, should take all 6 slices. Cover with foil and bake 30 minutes, then remove foil and bake 15 more. 
As always we hope you enjoy. 

Easy chicken and cheese with sour cream green sauce

Seems like there always needs to be a story. But after a crazy evening at home my story has left my brain. However, I could say this is an easy meal for a hard day. A few ingrediants is all you need and about 1 hour time from start to finish. 

  • 2 chicken boob halves boneless, skinless
  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 2 cans green (Hatch) enchilada sauce
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 6 flour tortillas
  • 6 cheese sticks Colby/Jack type combo
  • 1/4 cup chopped onion
  • 1 hot pepper chopped   If desired
  • 1 chopped tomato 
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 clove smashed or chopped garlic
  • 8×8 pan 
  • Skillet and a medium size sauce pan

Heat oven to 350, chop chicken into pieces heat skillet and add oil, add chicken to heated skillet. Heat 1 can of sauce in a sauce pan, add chopped onion. Have it start to boil, then simmer while preparing everything else. When chicken has touch the heat on all sides add pepper, and chopped tomato then cumin and garlic. Unwrap cheese prices. 

Take some of the heated sauce and smear on the bottom of 8×8 pan. Lay your tortillas out place one stick of cheese on each one. The chicken should be done and have juice in it. Drain the juice into the heated sauce mixture, stir. Using a slotted spoon scoop chicken into each tortilla and roll up. Placing it in the pan. Repeat until all chicken is used up. Poor sauce over the dish. Bake for 30-45 minutes until nice and bubbly. 

Heat the remaining can of green sauce. If you want you can add the sour cream to the sauce right before serving or scoop it on after the enchiladas are on your plate. Garnish with fresh cilantro if desired. 

As always we hope you enjoy. 

    Super sonic sloppy Jo’s 

    Sloppy Jo’s are one of those easy meals that just hit the spot sometimes. But why not make them super sloppy Jo’s? The flavors take an ordinary meal to a new level of yum.

    • 1 pound hamburger
    • 1 can spam finely chopped
    • 5 pieces bacon chopped into pieces 
    • Sloppy Jo mix (can or package)
    • Buns
    • 5 green onions chopped

    In a skillet start to brown hamburger meat, add  chop bacon, and finely chop spam. Brown everything together. Drain grease. Add chopped green onions and stir. Then follow your favorite sloppy Jo mix directions. Brown buns or toast slightly, pour mixture on buns and eat. 

    As always we hope you enjoy

    Baked grass….. Aka asparagus

    Spring is here and that means grass is growing. All kinds of grass, the kind you mow to the kind you pull and even the kind you eat. Commonly know as asparagus. Having a mighty fine patch of grass means picking daily. In a short time you have enough for several meals during the week. 

    I don’t know about you but I can get tired of eating something the same way over and over again. I found this recipe and tweaked it a bit. It turned out so good I could have devoured the entire pan that night. 

    • A bunch of grass rinsed and tough bottoms removed
    • 2 tablespoons lemon infused olive oil
    • 1/4 cup Italian bread crumbs
    • A shake or two of garlic salt
    • 1/2 teaspoon Italian herbs
    • 1/2 cup grated asiago cheese
    • Shallow baking dish 
    • Plastic bag or large bowl

    Heat oven to 350, place grass in bowl or bag. Add oil and close bag, mix around with hands. Open bag and add seasoning and bread crumbs, mix again. Add almost all the cheese, holding back a few tablespoons. Pour mixture into baking dish. Sprinkle remaking cheese over the top and bake for 25- 35 minutes. Depending on how crisp you like it.
    As always we hope you enjoy.

    S’moreOes

    It is close to summer, that means bonfires and roasting marshmallows. 🙂 a friend went camping last weekend and came up with another new creation. Chasity is calling them S’moreOes. So good she says you will eat the entire box of cookies with only a few mellows left. 

    • 1 box Oreo cookies
    • 1 bag marshmallows
    • Roasting sticks
    • And a good fire

    Place an Oreo on the stick carefully through the center, then spear the marshmallow and then another Oreo. Press together firmly. Roast until your marshmallow is to your liking. Carefully remove and eat! 😜

    Roasted garlic rice

    We love rice; black, red, white, wild…….you name it. Plus we love garlic. Most everyone has heard of garlic mashed potatoes but what about garlic rice? Had to think about it for a day and this is what I came up with. It takes some time to roast the garlic. I did it the day before then added it to the rice the day I cooked it. The flavor is creamy, light and surprisingly nutty in flavor. 

    • 1 cup white rice ( I would say any kind should work) 
    • 2 cup chicken broth
    • 1 head of pre roasted garlic

    Squeeze garlic out of pods. Smash garlic in a sauce pan add broth then mix well. Add rice, stir then heat to a boil. Reduce heat and cook for 40 minutes.  Fluff before serving. Yummy stuff

    Roasting garlic. You might have a garlic roasting terra cotta bowl, if not a baking dish with a lid should work. Heat oven to 350, cut top off garlic just so the cloves are exposed. Remove excess outside leaves if necessary. Drizzle good olive oil into the cavaties of the garlic sprinkle with salt and pepper. With cover on bake 30 minutes. Remove cover, drizzle some more olive oil and bake again 30 minutes. Let cool 
    As always we hope you enjoy

    Punt pizza 

    Super Bowl has come and gone….however I think back on all the crazy food we consume on this one day. From BBQ to deep frying, boiling, and baked. The world becomes obsessed with crazy good food on this one Sunday. Myself included I racked my brain for days trying to come up with something different and unique. So……this is it. Maybe you can help with a name. It is pizza, calzone, like….. but not. 

    • 2 thick canned pizza crust
    • 1 package johnsonville Italian sausage (5) I used mild flavor
    • 2 tomatoes
    • 1-2 cloves garlic chopped fine or 1 large teaspoon dried 
    • Garlic salt- some pepper not much
    • 1 teaspoon Italian herbs
    • 1 onion
    • 1 bell pepper
    • 1/2 cup sliced Klamata  olives drained
    • 4 cups grated mozzarella cheese
    • 1 cup (divided) 5 cheese Italian cheese, small package 
    • Bundt pan
    • Biscuit cutter or something to cut out dough

    Cook sausage until almost done, drain on paper towel. Grease bundt pan. Open one pizza crust package and spread out with fingers to increase size by an inch on all sides. In the center cut out hole and careful place inside bundt pan. Carefully pull dough up on sides if you can drape over just a bit. If it does not make it all the way around that is okay. The top crust will help fill in. The bottom will have a bow, it will flatten out as food is placed inside. 

    Chop sausage lengthwise and again, then chop across making quarters about bitesize pieces. Place half of the sausage on bottom crust. Cut onion in half and chop, place over sausage, cut pepper in half and chop, place over onion, chop one tomato place over pepper. Use 2 cups of cheese and layer over ingredients. Spread Klamata  olives over cheese, then garlic, some garlic salt, herbs and a little pepper. Spread 1/2 cup 5 cheese over this. Next layer do the same with sausage, onion, pepper. Use 1 cup mozzarella cheese spread over ingredients. For the tomato slice it and layer over cheese. Press down gently. Add remaining cheeses except a tablespoon or so of the 5 blend. ( you will sprinkle that on top). Open second crust and spread out just a bit. Cut center hole and lay over cheese, gently pressing down on the sides, fold extra dough over itself on edges. Sprinkle top with remaining 5 cheese blend and a little garlic salt. Let sit for 1/2 hour. This helps the dough become airy. 

    The Place on cookie sheet. Bake 300 for 1:30. It will be golden brown and yummy. 

    It sounds complicated but it was really easy. The flavors blended wonderfully. 

    As always we hope you enjoy. 

    Cabbage ball

    Yep, you read it right….cabbage ball. A whole cabbage packed with seasonings and butter BBQ’d to a soft, flavorful bunch of yum. Takes about an hour to prep and make so plan ahead. I would think this is a great camping item too.

    • 1 head of cabbage 
    • 1 stick of butter
    • Foil
    • Seasoning of your choice…..lots of them

    Pull off outer most leaves and core cabbage…..Exposing the middle, removing all the core. Start your grill, BBQ, open fire pit area.  Pull out a large piece of foil, butter the area that will touch the cabbage, sprinkle some seasoning on the butter, set aside. Pour into the hole a teaspoon at least of your favorite spices, put in a tablespoon of butter, push down with the back of a spoon or your fingers, do it again, pushing down, add spices and butter until the stick is used up. Trust me you can not over spice this. When the butter is used up take the buttered foil and wrap the cabbage up tight. Wrap the cabbage ball a few more times and place it in the fire, coals etc. turn every 15 minutes or so until cabbage is soft. You test this by squeezing with a set of tongs. 

    I cooked it for 30 minutes then but my grill on the coal fire and cooked it the other 30 on the grill. It came out great. To avoid having burnt leaves make sure there is a least three layers of foil. When the cabbage is done cut open the foil and serve. Everything is blended, tender and good. 

    As always we hope you enjoy.

    Pomegranate duck

    We not only enjoy watching wildlife we enjoy eating it. For some folks this is revolting, for others a treasure when it presents itself. The area we live in has an abundance of wild game and we have friends that love to share. I have only been duck hunting once here and blanked on that cold December morning. However, Steve was kind enough to share with us some of a successful hunt earlier in the season. He told us a few tips in preparation and most importantly do not over cook it. Now John and I had years ago watched cooking shows that serve the duck almost raw….yuck…..is what we said then. Steve confirmed it, said medium rare was the most you want to cook the breast. He also said soak them in salt water for a few days as well, to help remove the extra blood in the meat. 

    If you are not aware duck is a very red fowl meat because of the blood that is pumped for miles and miles of flight. If not properly taken care of or prepared the water fowl becomes tough and stringy. So most folks do not care for duck or geese. 

    Using Steve’s input and my creative cooking ideas plus remembering some ribs cooked this way I said let’s give this a try. Outdoor grilling is my favorite way to cook, and this is what I invisioned for this meal. But with 35 degree temps, wind from the north (the grill is on the north side of the house) and rain I changed my mind. Choosing the oven instead. This turned out perfect if I do say so myself.  Plan ahead with this meal, it takes 5 days before cooking. 

    2-3 days before:

    • 3 ducks ….. 6 breast halves cleaned
    • 1/4 cup kosher salt 
    • Good water 1-2 cups
    • 1 bottle pomegranate cherry 
    • 3 fresh jalapeño 
    • 6 slices good bacon
    • Cooking rack

    After ducks are cleaned (be sure and feel for shot left in the birds) place in a glass bowl that has a lid. Starting with one cup of water mix salt in measuring cup until dissolved. Pour over breast meat. If they are not submerged add enough water to cover. Place the lid on tight and swish around so the new water is mixed with the salted water. Refrigerate 2-3 days. You can swish this everyday or leave it sit. 

    After soaking in salted water:

    Remove from refrigerator, drain off salted water. Rinse birds well and pat dry with paper towel. Clean the same bowl to use it again. After birds are dry place back in the bowl you just took them out of. Pour enough pomegranate juice over them so they are covered. Refrigerate for 2-3 days. 

    Meal day: 

    Take birds out and set on counter for 1 hour in bowl with lid on.

    Heat oven to 475. Using a baking pan place foil on the bottom for easy clean up, then place rack on foil. Slice jalapeño long in four sections, remove seeds and some of the vien. Oh yes remove the stem too. Lay out the bacon slices, put one section of jalapeño in the middle, place a duck breast at a slight angle on the bacon strip, place another slice of jalapeño on top of the breast and gently wrap the bacon around the bird breast. No need for a tooth pick. Place on rack. Do the same for the remains breast halves. Bake for 18-20 minutes or until bacon is just starting to brown. If you would like you can put under a broil for a minute or so to brown up the bacon. 

    The duck will have a nice pink middle, the jalapeño will still have a crunch and the bacon will be just done….maybe a little underdone. 

    As always we hope you enjoy