The first day of Fall is tomorrow, and I couldn't be happier! I'll admit, I'm definitely a warm weather person, but there's something about this season that I love. From the food to the celebrations to the sweaters ... I'm sold on Fall!
Tonight, I decided to put together one of my go-to recipes for chillier weather, Swedish Meatballs. Served over mashed potatoes, they are filling (which means a little goes a long way with a crowd) and flavorful. Round this meal out with a green side, and you're set!
Start with ... Allie's Baked Meatballs
3 cloves of minced garlic
1/3c shredded parmesan cheese
3 tbsp chili sauce (or ketchup)
1 tsp salt
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
2. In a large mixing bowl (I use my stand mixer), mix everything together.
3. With the meat mixture, form meatballs (about 2 inches) and place them on a parchment-lined baking sheet.
4. Bake the meatballs for 20 minutes.
As the meatballs are baking ... Mashed Potatoes
Bag of yellow/gold potatoes (or Russet if you prefer)
1/2c heavy cream
1/4c unsalted butter
1/4c sour cream
1. Peel and cut the potatoes into quarters.
2. Put the potatoes into a large stockpot, and cover them with salted water. Allow to boil about 20 minutes, or until the potatoes are soft enough to poke with a fork and begin to fall apart.
3. Drain the potatoes, and then return to the stockpot.
4. Add the heavy cream and begin to mash the potatoes, then add the butter once the cream is mostly combined. Allow the butter to melt a minute and then continue to mash.
5. Mash in the sour cream, and then set aside.
While you're waiting for the potatoes to boil ... Swedish Meatball Gravy
7 tbsp unsalted butter
3c beef broth
3/4c sour cream
1. Melt the butter over medium heat. Once melted, slowly whisk in the flour.
2. Slowly pour the beef broth in, one cup at a time, and whisk constantly for a couple of minutes or until the mixture begins to thicken.
3. Whisk in the sour cream and add seasoning of your choice (I added a dash of garlic powder and salt).
4. When the meatballs are done cooking, add them into the pot of sauce to heat through.
Pour the Swedish Meatballs over the Mashed Potatoes, and enjoy!
On Friday night, I decided (for the first time ever) that I wanted to try making a cocktail for Dan and I from scratch. As it turns out, it's not too hard if you don't mind putting a few minutes into it! We had a bunch of blueberries left over from the week, and a fresh bottle of bourbon that we hadn't broken into (and wouldn't unless we had something to do with it), so I figured I'd do a little something to get some use out of each.
Blueberry Bourbon Cocktail
2 tablespoon fresh (grated) ginger
1 1/2c blueberries
1 1/2 shots of bourbon
Club soda (or if you're winging it like me, a dash of Sprite)
The idea of making simple syrup from scratch seemed intimidating, but as it turns out you just have to boil sugar. In a small saucepan, add the sugar, water and the grated ginger and allow it to come to a boil. Stir, and then reduce the heat. The sugar will begin to dissolve, and when it does you'll want to remove the pan from the heat and let it cool. I found that it took a really long time to cool in the pan, so I transferred it to a small mixing bowl and let it cool on the counter to shorten the waiting time.
Then, in my blender, I added the blueberries, bourbon and the cooled simple syrup. I pulsed it a few times and then poured it into a glass over ice. Add the dash or two of Sprite (or club soda if you've got a better stocked fridge than I do) to top it off.
On Sunday, Dan and I spent the day working on some things around the house (endless projects ... anyone else?) and then went to one of our favorite antique shops to peruse. We didn't find anything we loved enough to purchase, but we still enjoyed walking around treasure hunting. After that, we stopped for sandwiches at a local spot and then headed back home to our fur child, Rufus.
With temperatures hitting nearly one hundred degrees (our temperature gauge read 99 at one point in the afternoon!), I didn't want to use the oven, but I was also salivating for this delicious and super easy recipe so I did it anyway!
Behold, my Summer Veggie Quinoa - yum.
3 Medium Tomatoes
6 Bacon Slices (cooked + crumbled)
2 Handfuls of Baby Spinach
Brown Rice/Quinoa (I used two small boxes to make a heartier portion)
Mozzarella Cheese (optional)
1, Boil water for the quinoa, and follow as instructed based on the brand you purchase.
2. In a medium skillet, cook bacon and then set aside.
3. Chop tomatoes (I like to leave the guts in there too, for more flavor!) and add to the pan, then add spinach and basil. Saute about five minutes with a splash of olive oil, mixing occasionally.
4. Add the crumbled bacon to the skillet and mix into the vegetable mixture.
5. When the quinoa is done cooking, plate it and add the vegetable mixture on top.
6. Sprinkle with a bit of mozzarella cheese, if desired.
I'm all about efficiency, and if you present me with a recipe for a dinner that basically makes itself, I'm a happy camper. Do you meal plan? It's been a game changer for me, and has not only helped us to cut our grocery bill down but makes me feel so much more organized during the week and saves me time.
When I was combing through the Giant Food Store weekly circular, I saw that there was a sale on pork ribs (yum!), but if I'm being honest it's nothing I've ever made before because it looked daunting. I decided that since this sounded like a perfect summertime weekly dinner that I needed to figure it out ... and you guys ... it couldn't have been easier.
I'm sure there's plenty of recipes out there that are much more involved, and probably produce a whole other array of flavors; however, this girl doesn't have time for that on a weeknight. The crockpot had already been tucked away for the season, but I quickly realized that I could use it again for this effortless meal.
Are you ready for this?
Season both sides of the ribs with salt and garlic powder, and then put them in the crockpot standing up (laying on it's side vs laying flat on the bottom of the pot). I leaned mine against the "wall" of the crockpot. Pour the barbecue sauce along the ribs so that it falls to both sides and covers it some, and then put it on High for 4 hours.
Come back in 4 hours, and have yourself a feast. You're welcome.