Oven-Baked Meatballs…

Spaghetti and Meatballs

I don’t know how you do yours, but when I used to make meatballs, I made them in a frying pan. They sputtered like crazy, I had to turn them 4 or 5 times, then I would still worry about them being done on the inside. And when I was finished cooking all those meatballs (in batches, mind you), I had grease all over my kitchen. Not ideal. And honestly, my meatballs weren’t ever that great. They were usually pretty tough from over-cooking. Finally, I got wise! I watched Nigella Lawson bake her meatballs in the oven and the lightbulb went off! Thanks Nigella! For years now, I’ve been doing them this way. SOOOOO much better!

Oven-Baked Meatballs

1 pound lean ground beef
1/2 cup breadcrumbs
1/4 cup parmesan cheese, grated
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
1 teaspoon worcestershire sauce
1 egg

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

In a large bowl, using your hands, mix all ingredients until combined. Roll into 1 1/2 inch balls and place on a cookie sheet. Bake for about 20 minutes, until outsides are nicely browned. Serve with spaghetti, noodles, sandwiches, pizzas, soups, and more!

Recipe source: Sing For Your Supper original

**Amy’s tip: make a bunch of these and freeze them! They freeze beautifully and it’s so easy to grab a few from the freezer on a busy weeknight! Try rolling them into different sizes (mini-size for soups and pizzas and jumbo-size for spaghetti and meatball subs)!

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Baked Tacos…

Oven Baked Tacos

I don’t know about you (actually, I’m pretty sure I do), but I get most of my meal planning ideas from Pinterest. On the days I go grocery shopping, I’ll sit down and peruse my ‘Food’ board for ideas as I make my shopping list. I think I have 2 or 3 different versions of this recipe pinned. As much as we love tacos in this house, I’m shocked I haven’t made these before now. I love the idea of refried beans mixed in with the meat filling, and I love that this recipe doesn’t call for the cardboard-like, boxed pre-made taco shells. You make your own crisp shells right on the oven rack! Genius! These were soooo good topped with a little salsa and sour cream and I can’t wait to make them again!

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Baked Tacos

2 pounds lean ground beef
1 can refried beans
1/2 cup salsa
1 package taco seasoning or 2 – 3 Tablespoons of homemade taco seasoning
shredded cheese
15-18 corn tortillas

Make the taco shells: Preheat oven to 375. Place tortillas in a damp paper towel and microwave for 30 seconds. Spray each tortilla with cooking spray and carefully drape over two bars of the oven rack. Cook for about 7-10 minutes, until crispy.

Meanwhile, brown ground beef. Drain off any fat and add refried beans, salsa, and seasoning.
Spoon mixture into taco shells and place into a 9×13 pan, standing up. Sprinkle with cheese.
Bake at 400 for 10-12 minutes or until heated through and cheese is melted. Top with your favorite taco toppings (sour cream, salsa, lettuce, etc.). Serves around 5-6.

Recipe source: slightly adapted from One Good Thing by Jillee

Oven Baked Tacos 2

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Meatloaf Muffins…

Meatloaf Muffins

Ok, so these look more like meatloaf…spheres.

I make meatloaf all the time- I love it, Joel loves it, Cassidy loves it….we all love meatloaf. But sometimes it’s fun to play around with a classic. What’s more fun than having your own personal little meatloaf sphere muffin? I don’t know how it is at your house, but at my house, everyone wants the end piece of the meatloaf- it’s the piece with the most “crust” on the outside. By making muffins, every single piece is the end piece! Huzzah!

Meatloaf Muffins 2

Meatloaf Muffins

1 pound lean, ground beef
1 egg, beaten
1 15-oz. can diced tomatoes
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon worcestershire sauce
half an onion, chopped
1 green pepper, chopped
1/2 package Saltine Crackers, crushed (probably about 10 crackers or so)
ketchup for the tops, if desired

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Grease a muffin pan that holds 12. In a small skillet over medium-high heat, sauté the onion and pepper with a little butter or olive oil until soft; about 5 minutes. Set aside to cool.

In a large bowl, combine the ground beef, egg, tomatoes, salt, pepper, worcestershire, onion and pepper, and saltine cracker crumbs (I find the best way to do this is with my hands). Place some of the meat mixture in each greased muffin cup and bake for about 35 minutes, until a nice crust forms on the tops. Top with ketchup before serving, if desired. Makes about 12 muffins.

Recipe source: Sing For Your Supper original

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Goulash…

Goulash

When I was growing up, I was sort of a picky eater. Ok, not sort of. I was a total brat. I hated Mexican food (gasp!), spaghetti sauce, onions, peppers, and lots of other random things. I mean, how is it possible that I hated Mexican food?! Especially when, now, I could eat it 5 days a week! Ugh. What a weird kid. If I smelled onions and peppers cooking, I automatically knew I’d be shunning dinner that night. So naturally, when my mom or anyone else would make goulash (not that my mom ever really made goulash all that often), I’d not-so-politely refuse.

Nowadays, I love the smell of peppers and onions cooking together! Throw in some ground beef, tomatoes, and whole wheat macaroni and I’m more than thrilled to fill my plate with it! So is Cassidy! (SUCH a great eater!)

This is one of those meals that comes together really quickly and has that great comfort factor. You know, like, after surviving a tornado and your family could really use some good, comforting food? Yeah, it’s perfect for that. And chances are, you most likely have all of these ingredients in your fridge/pantry already! This is one of those perfect weeknight meals…

Goulash 2

Goulash

1 pound lean, ground beef
1 onion, chopped
1 bell pepper, chopped
1 15oz. can diced tomatoes
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1/2 cup chicken broth
salt and pepper
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon paprika
bay leaf
splash white vinegar
1 1/2 cups whole wheat macaroni pasta

In a large skillet, cook the ground beef, onions, and peppers over medium-high heat until soft. Drain any fat. Reduce heat to medium-low and add in tomatoes, tomato paste, chicken broth, salt, pepper, garlic powder, paprika, bay leaf, and vinegar. Simmer for about 10-15 minutes.

Meanwhile, bring a large pot of water to a boil and cook the pasta until al dente; about 8 minutes. Drain the pasta and stir it into the meat mixture. Simmer on low for another 5-10 minutes. Serves 4-6.

Recipe source: Sing For Your Supper original

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Beefy Noodle Bake…

Beefy Noodle Bake

I like to set goals. It’s my thing. Even if it’s tiny and insignificant, I’ll still try my hardest and do everything I can to achieve it. I’ve done it all my life, and I’m sure I’ll do it the rest of my days. Some big (really big!) goals I’ve set for myself over the years have been college (private school isn’t cheap, and my goal was to get as many scholarships as I could to help out), grad school, singing with Fort Worth Opera, Joel (probably the greatest achievement of my life!), and so many more! Nowadays, my goals tend to be more family-related, such as putting healthy, homemade meals on the table at least 5 nights a week. It’s a challenge, but it’s definitely doable! Especially with quick and easy meals like this one!

This is actually an old recipe from a few years back, but since it’s one of our favorites, I thought it could use some updating. This is as simple a dish as they come and comforting and hearty to boot. Like I said, it’s a family favorite and I make it all. the. time. Cassidy loves it.

Beefy Noodle Bake 2

Beefy Noodle Bake

1 1/2 pounds lean, ground beef
1 can diced tomatoes (14 1/2 ounces)
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 1/2 cups non-fat Greek yogurt or low-fat sour cream
3 ounces cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup onion, chopped
8 ounces egg noodles
1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Bring a large pot of water to a boil and cook the noodles until tender, about 6-8 minutes. Meanwhile, brown the beef and onion in a large skillet over medium heat; drain fat. Add tomatoes, salt, sugar and black pepper; reduce to low heat and simmer for 5-10 minutes. Combine Greek yogurt (or sour cream) and cream cheese in a bowl; mix well and stir into the beef mixture.

Place the noodles in a greased 9×13 baking dish and top with the beef mixture. Top with cheese and bake for 20-25 minutes, until bubbling. Serves 6.

Recipe source: heavily adapted from Gooseberry Patch ‘Best Ever Casseroles’

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Quinoa Stuffed Peppers…

quinoa stuffed peppers2

One of my favorite meals is my mom’s stuffed peppers; and over the past couple of years, every time I’ve made it, I’ve asked myself, “what if I used quinoa in place of the rice?”. Joel and I both love quinoa, so this was a no-brainer. Finally, I did it, and surprise, surprise- we loved it! This dish is SO full of flavor- I’m so happy with it every single time I make it, which has earned it a regular spot in our dinner rotation. The best part is, my baby girl loves it (and I feel great about giving it to her)!

Quinoa Stuffed Peppers

2 medium bell peppers
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon basil
1 15-ounce can tomato sauce
1 pound lean ground beef
1 small onion, chopped
1 1/2 cups quinoa, thoroughly rinsed and cooked
1/2 cup grated cheddar cheese

Cut peppers in half lengthwise. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil, drop the peppers in and boil for 5-6 minutes. In a small bowl, mix tomato sauce, basil, and sugar and set aside. Brown meat and onion in a large skillet; drain. Stir in the tomato sauce, salt, and cooked quinoa. Cover and simmer for 5 minutes. Spoon meat/quinoa mixture into peppers and place into skillet. Pour any remaining meat mixture around the peppers (you should have quite a bit left). Top with cheese. Cover and cook on low for another 8-10 minutes. Serves 4.

Recipe source: adapted from my mom’s recipe

**Looking for good, non-candy ideas for your baby’s Easter basket? Check out my list of helpful ideas at my family blog, A Little Something Lovely!

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Stuffed Pepper Soup…

I’m going to level with you- the reason I haven’t paid much attention to this blog lately isn’t because I have a new blog, or because it’s the holiday season, or because I’m just “soooo busy! OMG, it’s just like, crazy how busy I am, you know?!” (p.s. don’t you hate people like that?). It’s because I’ve simply been having too much fun lately. My little stinker is 10 months old now and friends, that’s a FUN age! We play, we crawl, we tickle, we “cook”…we have fun. I’m loving every second of being a mommy!

Unfortunately, that doesn’t always go hand-in-hand with being a great blogger. I wish I were one of those super moms that has time to do it all plus blog about it. Oh well. Can I make it up to you with some yummy soup?? I know the pictures are downright embarrassing, but the soup is pretty freaking awesome. We LOVE stuffed peppers, but sometimes I just don’t feel like messing with the whole process. This soup is a WINNER because you throw all your favorite components of stuffed peppers into a big pot and you’re done. We were super blown away with how easy and delicious this was!

Stuffed Pepper Soup

2 large bell peppers, roughly chopped
1 onion, chopped
4 carrots, chopped
2 celery stalks, chopped
1 can diced tomatoes (14.5 ounces)
1 small can tomato sauce (8 ounces)
salt and pepper
1 cup long-grain white rice
1 pound lean ground beef
6 cups chicken broth
1 bay leaf
1/2 teaspoon sugar

cheddar cheese, for topping

In a large stockpot, brown the ground beef with the onion, carrots, and celery. Drain off grease. Add the chicken broth, peppers, tomatoes, tomato sauce, salt, pepper, bay leaf, sugar, and rice. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium-low. Simmer for at least 15-20 minutes, until the vegetables are tender and rice is fully cooked. Top with shredded cheddar cheese and serve. Serves approximately 6-8.

Recipe source: Sing For Your Supper original

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Our anniversary (6 years, to be exact!) is coming up in the next month and we’ll be spending it in our new house! HOW exciting is that?! This will be a pretty big one- new town, new house, new baby- new life! We really prefer staying in on most special occasions- a nice, quiet evening at home, cooking together, sipping wine…it’s much better than going out to a loud, busy restaurant! Since we’ll have so much to celebrate, I think the entree of choice should be something extra special. Something like these pan-seared filets! YUM! They couldn’t be easier and they take less than 30 minutes to prepare! The end result is a tender, juicy steak with incredible flavor. A perfect meal for a perfect night at home (we may just send our little munchkin over to Pops and Mini’s house for the evening…)! ;)

Pan-Seared Filets with Mushrooms and Blue Cheese

2 8-ounce filets (this works great with ribeye too!)
vegetable oil
2 tablespoons butter
salt and pepper
1 pound button mushrooms, cleaned and sliced
olive oil
1 tablespoon worcestershire sauce
splash red wine
crumbled blue cheese (as much or as little as you’d like)

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
Heat a large cast iron skillet over high heat until very hot, 5 to 7 minutes.
Brush the steaks with the vegetable oil on each side and season with salt and pepper.
When the skillet is ready, add the steaks and sear on both sides for about 1 1/2 minutes per side.

Top each steak with a tablespoon of butter and place the skillet in the oven. Cook the steaks until cooked to desired doneness (about 10 minutes for medium and 15-20 minutes for well-done).
Remove the steaks to a platter, cover with foil, and allow to rest at room temperature for 10 minutes, while you cook the mushrooms.

To cook the mushrooms, heat 1 or 2 tablespoons olive oil in a skillet. Add mushrooms, worcestershire sauce, wine, salt, and pepper. Cook for 5-8 minutes, stirring frequently.

Top the cooked steaks with the sautéed mushrooms and a few crumbles of blue cheese. Serves 2.

Recipe source: Sing For Your Supper original

 

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Blue Cheese Mushroom Burgers…

Summertime = grilling. Period. There’s nothing better than spending all day out by the pool, drinking, snacking and grilling up juicy burgers! Joel and I have been trying new and different burger recipes lately (speaking of which, I can’t wait to try these bad boys), and these are our favorites so far. Some of my very favorite flavors are sauteed mushrooms, caramelized onions and blue cheese…so why not put them all together on a burger? YUM! We gobbled these up and couldn’t wait for leftovers the next day! Grilling is one of the best parts about summer…especially awesome burgers like these!

Blue Cheese Mushroom Burgers

4 beef patties, 1/4-1/3 pound each
4 hamburger buns
1 large yellow onion, very thinly sliced
2 cups sliced button mushrooms
2 ounces blue cheese
2 teaspoons worcestershire sauce
salt
peper
olive oil
1/4 teaspoon sugar
splash red wine
dijon mustard

Preheat the grill to high heat. Grill the patties to desired doneness (about 5 minutes on each side).
Add a little olive oil to a skillet over medium-low heat, cook the onions for about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the 1/4 teaspoon sugar, salt and pepper. Continue cooking until the onions are translucent and caramelized. Set aside.

In a skillet over medium-high heat, cook the mushrooms, worcestershire sauce, red wine, and pepper until mushrooms are softened.

To assemble: Spread the burger buns with the dijon mustard. Place the patties on the buns and top with onions, mushrooms and a generous sprinkling of blue cheese. Serves 4.

Recipe source: Sing For Your Supper

**Keep a lookout- I’ll be guest blogging this recipe over at Oven Love soon!

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Smothered Burritos…

It’s no secret that I’m a sucker for sloppy Tex-Mex. I love pretty much anything doused in enchilada sauce covered in cheese- it’s my weakness (well, one of ‘em). The other night I was craving Mexican food pretty bad (it happens a lot lately) and I decided to whip up these burritos. They took no time to make and tasted awesome. You’ll have to excuse the fact that I had to photograph them on a paper plate…we’ve been in the middle of having some renovations done and I packed all my dishes up temporarily. If you’re in need of a quick, delicious meal, try these burritos- they won’t disappoint!

Smothered Burritos

1 pound ground beef
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
1/8 teaspoon onion powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 (4.5 ounce) can diced green chiles
1 (16 ounce) can refried beans
half a (10.75 ounce) can condensed tomato soup
1 (10 ounce) can enchilada sauce
burrito-sized flour tortillas, warmed
shredded cheddar cheese

Garnishes:
shredded lettuce
chopped tomatoes
shredded cheddar cheese
chopped green onions
sliced black olives
cilantro
avocado

Brown ground beef in a skillet over medium-high heat and drain.  Stir in chili powder, cumin, garlic powder, onion powder, salt and pepper. Stir in the green chiles and turn off heat; keep warm. Warm the refried beans in a small skillet over low heat.

In a saucepan, combine the tomato soup and enchilada sauce. Mix well, and cook over medium heat until heated through.

Place a warmed tortilla on a plate and spread some of the refried beans into the center; sprinkle with cheese, then spoon some of the ground beef mixture onto the center. Tuck in the ends of the tortilla and carefully fold into a burrito. Spoon some of the enchilada sauce over the burrito and top with additional cheese and garnishes. Repeat with remaining tortillas. Serves 4-6

Recipe source: Adapted from allrecipes.com

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