Monday, August 20, 2012

Mini Meatball Tortellini Soup

I got this recipe from the September Rachael Ray Magazine. I will share the recipe from the mag, but you can also do what I did and increase the ingredients to make more meatballs and after you cook those, set the extras aside and you can have another meal (meatball sub, meatball pizza, spaghetti and meatballs, etc) I love when I'm able to do this with recipes because it helps me out after a long day at work when I don't feel like spending a long time cooking.

  • 1/4 lb ground beef
  • 1/4 lb ground veal
  • 1 cup breadcrumbs
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 tbsp finely chopped parsley
  • 1 cup grated parmesan
  • salt and pepper (to flavor meatballs)
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 6 cups chicken broth
  • 2 carrots (the recipe called for them thinly sliced, I cut them in chunks because that is what my husband prefers)
  • 1 package tortellini
  • 5 oz baby spinach leaves ( I bought a bigger package and added a little more because this is one of my favorites)

  1. In a large bowl mix together the beef, veal, breadcrumbs and 2 tbsp water till combined.
  2. Add in egg, parsley and 1/2 cup parmesan. Season with salt and pepper.
  3. Make the meatballs (try to make them uniform in size and smaller than your usual meatball) and set aside so they are ready to cook.
  4. In large nonstick skillet heat the vegetable oil over medium high heat, add meatballs in a few batches and cook till browned, about 4 minutes.
  5. Transfer to platter covered in paper towels to drain.
  6. In large dutch oven or soup pot bring chicken broth, 2 cups water and carrots to a boil over medium high heat. Lower the heat and simmer for 5 minutes.
  7. Add the meatballs and return soup to simmer. Add the tortellini and cook about 8 minutes.
  8. Stir in the spinach, cover and cook until wilted about 5 minutes.
  9. Ladle the soup into bowls and top with remaining parmesan. Serve immediately.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Chocolate Chip Mini Cheesecakes

I got this recipe from I changed it up a little, doubled the recipe, stirred in my mini chocolate chips and use a mini muffin tin and got about 36 of these. I'm posted my doubled recipe, hubby already tried these and they are a big hit. I've found some great recipes from Baking bites so if you love to bake check out her site.

Graham cracker  crust:
  • 2 cups graham cracker crumbs ( I used honey ones, but you can also try them with the chocolate or plain ones)
  • 4 tbsp brown sugar
  • pinch salt
  • 5 tbsp melted butter
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 and line muffin pan with cups of your choice
  2. Combine cracker crumbs, brown sugar and salt.
  3. Add butter and combine all ingredients completely.
  4. Add mixture to the bottom of each cup in the muffin pan and press down on mixture (I used my finger to make sure the mixture was pressed in well)

Chocolate Chip Cheesecake
  • 2 - 8oz packages of cream cheese, softened
  • 4 tbsp sour cream
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 2 lg eggs
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 1.5 cups mini chocolate chips
  1. In mixer combine cream cheese, sour cream and sugar until smooth and combined.
  2. Beat in the egg and vanilla
  3. Stir in mini chocolate chips.
  4. Evenly divide batter on top of the crust you made in each muffin cup.
  5. Bake between 10-15 minutes, keep an eye on them while they are baking.
  6. Let cool in tins for about 15 minutes, take out of tin and leave on cooling rack till completely cooled down.
  7. Store in refrigerator.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Seven Facts about Me

My amazing friend Loni who has an awesome blog was nominated for a blogger award and after listing 7 facts about her, she nominated 7 of us to do the same. Loni always posts such awesome photos and recipes on her blog and I can't wait to meet up with her again.

1. I love animals, anytime we travel I try to find a zoo, aquarium, snorkeling with animals or something to have animal interaction. I've loved animals for as long as I can remember, there are a few exceptions I'm not a fan of snakes, rats and most bugs. I even took a work break since the petco a few stores down was having the Greyhound rescue so I could see the dogs.

2. I love to travel and when I travel I love checking out local restaurants and new places to eat. If I ever win lotto after paying bills, I would book a trip around the world. I hope to one day have a little vacation home in Italy.

3. I don't like to be the center of attention, I hate if I have to give speeches or give presentions for work. I love throwing and attending parties, but I don't like if all the attention is on me.

4. I'm an emotional person, I will cry over a tv show or a commercial.

5. I love to read and have always been a quick reader. I still remember my elementary school teacher telling my parents I read too quickly and must not be comprehending, but all my test scores were A's.

6. I've always loved crafts of all kinds, I wish I learned how to make the beautiful quilts my grandma made, but I was young when she died. One day I'd love to take some classes to learn.

7. I love badminton and volleyball, I loved when we played those in school and to this day they are two of my favorite activities.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Braised Short Ribs with Polenta

This is a favorite from the Pioneer Woman blog, I added some garlic that I microplaned in while the carrots and onions were cooking.

  • 8 whole beef short ribs
  • kosher salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 6 pieces diced pancetta
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 3 carrots, diced
  • 2 shallots, finely minced
  • 2 cups red wine
  • 2 cups beef broth
  • 2 sprigs thyme
  • 2 sprigs rosemary

  1. Salt and pepper ribs, dredge in flour and set aside
  2. In a lg dutch oven cook pancetta over medium heat till crispy. Remove pancetta and set aside. Keep grease in pan.
  3. Add olive oil to pan with pancetta grease. Raise heat to high and brown ribs on all sides, remove and set aside.
  4. Put heat back to medium, add onions, shallots and carrots and cook for 2 minutes. Pour in wine and scrape up bottom of pan to increase flavor. Bring to boil and cook 2 minutes.
  5. Add broth, 1 tsp salt and pepper. Taste and add more salt and pepper if needed.
  6. Add ribs (should be submerged in liquid), pancetta, thyme and rosemary.
  7. Preheat oven to 350.
  8. Put lid on dutch oven at cook for 2 hours, reduce heat to 325 and cook 45 more minutes.
  9. Ribs should be fork tender and falling off bone.
  10. Remove pan and let sit 20 minutes.
  11. Prepare your favorite polenta (I got some at the local Italian market we have)
  12. Skim fat off top of dutch oven.
  13. Serve over polenta.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Creamy Garlic Pasta

Found this recipe on pinterest from the cheese pusher blog. Went great with the grilled chicken we had.

  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 3 cups chicken stock
  • 1/2 lb spaghetti or angel hair pasta
  • 1 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 3/4 cup heavy cream
  • 2 tbsp chopped parsley
  1. Bring olive oil to medium high heat in a pan.
  2. Add garlic and stir, let cook about 2 minutes.
  3. Mix in butter and stir till melted.
  4. Add salt, pepper and chicken stock.
  5. Raise the heat to high and let come to a boil.
  6. Once it's at a rolling boil add pasta and cook according to package directions.
  7. Reduce heat to medium and mix in parmesan stir till melted.
  8. Turn off the heat and stir in cream and parsley.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Red Velvet Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Icing and Smore Sprinkles

Red Velvet is my absolute favorite, I added smore sprinkles that I found in the store. You don't need sprinkles for these and if you can't find smore ones substitute whatever sprinkles you love.

  • 2 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 tbsp cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 cup softened butter
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 4 tbsp red food coloring
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 tsp white vinegar

  1. Preheat oven to 350.
  2. Whisk together flour, salt, cocoa and baking soda.
  3. Combine butter, sugar, eggs and food coloring in mixer.
  4. In a separate bowl combine water, vinegar and buttermilk.
  5. Add flour mixture and buttermilk extra into mixer with butter mixture. Alternate a little of each at a time while your mixer is going.
  6. Set up 24 cupcake liners. Fill 3/4 way with batter.
  7. Bake 20-25 minutes till toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.
  8. Cool Completely before frosting with your favorite cream cheese icing and add sprinkles.