Dinner

Swedish Meatballs

If anyone offered you blood pudding, sick would you try it? My answer is most definitely NO. Blood pudding? Oh my gosh who wants to eat congealed blood? Well apparently I used to when I was little. I know. I find it disturbing, visit this too.

I grew up in Sweden, the place of seafood and blood pudding, both of which I will not eat now. Seafood I just don’t like and who knows if I’d like blood pudding anymore but I am not going to try it again!

There are some Swedish foods I do love, though, and Swedish Meatballs are definitely one of them. My mom makes these for Christmas and Easter and I think they are just the most amazing thing ever. And they’re authentic Swedish Meatballs since, you know, we lived there and all. I took step-by-step photos of my mom making them this past Christmas so I would know how to make them in the future! These are tasty with anything…I enjoy them with mashed potatoes, sandwiches, or just by themselves :)

First, whisk together the cream and breadcrumbs.

In a separate bowl, whisk the eggs and then add in the seasonings.

Add the egg mixture to the ground beef.

Add the cream/breadcrumb mixture to the meat.

Umm yeah…just use your hand to mix it all together. This is why my mom makes these hehe :)

Use a cookie scoop to make the meatballs a uniform size.

Bring a large pot of water to boil. Pick up the meatballs, roll them in your hands so they become spheres, and drop them in the water, about 10 at a time. Boil them until they float. This almost completely cooks them so that when you brown them in the frying pan, you don’t dry them out trying to cook them through.

Use a slotted spoon to bring the meatballs out of the water and into the frying pan (that you’ve coated with a nice layer of butter :)

Fry them up until they’re nice and golden brown! I love eating them when they’re hot out of the pan :)

We eat the meatballs with the meal, but I know some people make meatballs for appetizers. They’re good anytime and for any occasion, in my opinion :)

What are the strangest foods you’ve eaten?

Mine would have to be the blood pudding and chocolate covered cricket. Don’t judge me. I was young and naive for the first one, and the second one was for extra credit in science…and peer pressure just might have played a huge tiny roll in that ;)

Swedish Meatballs

Ingredients:

1 lb ground beef

1/2 cup plain breadcrumbs

2/3 cup heavy cream

1/2 tsp onion powder

1/4 tsp cinnamon

1 tsp salt

1 egg

Directions:

  1. In a small bowl, whisk together the cream and breadcrumbs. Let it sit so that the breadcrumbs absorb the cream and becomes like a thick paste.
  2. In a separate small bowl, whisk the eggs. Add the spices and whisk it up a little more.
  3. Place the ground beef in a large mixing bowl. Pour in the cream and egg mixtures. Use your hand (or I suppose you could use a wooden spoon) to combine everything up.
  4. Use a medium cookie scoop to measure out the beef mixture into uniform meatballs.
  5. Bring a large pot of water to boil. When the water is boiling, pick up a meatball and roll it in your hands until it forms a nice little sphere and drop it in the water. Repeat this with about 10 meatballs and leave them in the water for a couple minutes until they float.
  6. When the meatballs are done cooking in the water, use a slotted spoon to put the meatballs in a skillet where you’ve melted a tablespoon or two of butter. Cook the meatballs in the skillet until they’re nice and brown.
  7. Transfer the done meatballs to a container and repeat with the rest of the meatballs :)

I hope you enjoy one of my favorite foods ever!

Makes about 24 meatballs.

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Most Popular Recipes of 2011 and Some of My Favorites

I started this blog in July of 2010, rx but I didn’t post regularly and certainly not about food. My first food-related post was in May of 2011…only 7 short months ago! I can’t believe how much I’ve learned about cooking, baking, food photography, and blogging in such a short time. I’m so thankful for all of you guys, my readers, who have commented and visited and made this a really fun experience. I’ve so enjoyed interacting with you and with all the other food bloggers out there. I participated in the 12 Weeks of Christmas Cookie Exchange and the Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap, both of which were great experiences! I am looking forward to this new year where I can try out new recipes and learn even more! (And yes, some healthy recipes are coming your way ;).

Here are my 10 most popular posts of this year and some of my extra favorites that didn’t make the list :)

10. Delicious Marshmallow Pie

I cannot tell you how much I love this pie. I have made it four years in a row for Thanksgiving. It’s really easy to make and super delicious with its chocolatey-coconut crust and sweet marshmallow filling.

Honorable Mention: The Incredibly Long Never Ending Mural that Took Over My Room

This post was in the top ten, but since it’s not food related I suppose it’s not “official.” I was so happy to finally be able to share this mural with others because it took me so long (almost 2 years) to complete. I’m really glad it’s done and am happy with how it turned out. If any of you have questions about anything mural-related, feel free to ask me!

9. Pumpkin Deliciousness Cake

Oooohhh goodness. This cake was gooooood. It’s quick and easy to make and ridiculously scrumptious (I like that word….scrumptious :) I loved eating it with some whipped cream….it was pure goodness! Stock up on pumpkin and make this soon!

8. Giant Peanut Butter Candy Cookie…for One.

This giant cookie was fun to make and very customizable (add whatever mix-ins you want!). I made it one night when I needed something sweet and this was the perfect thing. It makes one (giant) cookie that I ended up splitting into 4 pieces and sharing with my family.

7. Pumpkin Pie Dip

I cannot talk about this dip enough! I made it for Christmas and we had a lot leftover. Yesterday I just ate it spoonful after spoonful. It’s quick to make and you can easily use low-fat ingredients. If you’re having a New Year’s Eve Party and are making appetizers, I would definitely recommend this pumpkin pie dip!

6. Minty Kiss Brownie Bites

These brownie bites could not be simpler to make. I brought them to a party at school and they were very popular! You can use any type of kiss you want which is a good way to take advantage of any seasonal kisses!

5. Oreo Truffles

Ever since I tried these 4 years ago, my family has been making them every Christmas. They are fun and easy to make and are honestly one of the tastiest treats I have ever had. I don’t know why we only make them in December…I’ll have to change that! If you’ve never had these, you have to make them! Your life will never be the same <—possibly a slight exaggeration.

4. Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies

These cookies are very different from other cookies as they have a more cakey texture. But they have a really delicious flavor and have tons of chocolate chips. I think they get better as they age and enjoyed eating them with ice cream :)

3. Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Cookies

These cookies are incredible! I love eating cookie dough (raw eggs blah blah blah) and these cookies let me do that in cookie form! The outside of the cookie is soft and melts in your mouth while the inside is underbaked and tastes like raw cookie dough! They’re so easy to make, too, that you really have no excuse to not make these soon :)

2. Nutella Swirl Brownie Bites

I had nutella for the first time in 3rd grade at my church and I fell in love. My grandparents now keep us stocked with nutella (we get so much for Christmas every year that it’s impossible to get through it all! We now have one giant jar and 3 full normal-sized jars…not that I’m complaining ;). These brownie bites were very popular! The combination of chocolate and nutella is just too much to resist.

And drumroll please…the number one recipe of 2011 was….

1. Mini Peanut Butter and Nutella Cheesecakes

Woah! I am shocked! I posted this recipe two days ago and it’s already number one on my blog! And for good reason, too. These little cheesecakes look so cute. I made half of them nutella and half peanut butter and they were both amazing! This is the perfect treat to bring to a party or just make for yourself :)

Thank you all for making those recipes so popular! Now here are my top 5 recipes that didn’t make the list :)

5. Dreamy Apple Pie

My mom makes this for Thanksgiving and I love it- it’s the best apple pie I have ever had. The crust is perfect and there is a crumbly tasty topping…oh and the apples are good, too ;)

4. Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

I am such a chocolate lover that I never expected to love these oatmeal raisin cookies as much as I did! The texture was soft and fluffy with the perfect flavors. I want to make these again…maybe with chocolate chips instead of raisins ;)

3. Peanut Butter Pretzel Chocolate Chunk Cookies

I am slightly obsessed with combination of chocolate and pretzels and these cookies were one of my favorite things I have ever made. The cookies were soft and delicious and the chocolate and pretzel add-ins were incredible. Oh yeah! I also loved these Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Bars with a Pretzel Crust…so many recipes to share!

2. Pumpkin Donut Holes

Ok the picture for these aren’t anything impressive, but these tasted incredible. Now I really want to make them again! They’re perfect warm and rolled in lots of cinnamon and sugar.

1. Heavenly Cinnamon Rolls

These are, I think, the best thing I have ever made. I would eat these cinnamon rolls every day for every meal if I could ;) They are so buttery, fluffy, and sweet. I am positive that these are a new family favorite for birthdays and other special occasions :)

Oh goodness! I totally forgot about my real-food recipes! Ok this post is getting really long so I’ll just link to them. These dinner recipes are all really tasty. Promise.

  • Cajun Chicken Pasta– This has now become a staple in my family. It tastes better than a lot of pasta you would get in a restaurant!
  • Italian Chicken Soup– I want this soup..like now. It’s super hearty and delicious…perfect for these winter months!
  • Creamy Chicken Enchiladas– These are also a family favorite. They are really tasty and easy to make!
  • Potato Wedges and Veggies– These is a really healthy recipe! I ate it when I was on the Daniel Fast and it is really delicious.
  • Taco Pasta– Hamburger Helper on steroids…it’s so good. Trust me.

Thank you for sticking with me through this long post! Again, thank you for reading! Email me or leave me a comments with anything you’d like to see in this coming year!

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Mexican Stuffed Shells

I made these the other night, seek actually the same evening I made the Pumpkin Deliciousness Cake. This was a very tasty dish! They were very similar to the Taco Pasta I made a while back, which I love.

I’m still sick, but getting better! My sister and I both slept all day and are on the mend! I’m hoping that I can get back to baking and start on some more of my Christmas shopping and crafting. I have several crafts I’m planning on doing, including some adorable ornaments, table center piece, and knitting! I’ll be sharing those, as well as all the baking I’m doing, in the next couple of weeks. Speaking of which, tomorrow I am going to post about my experience with the Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap! I’ll explain all of that tomorrow, as well as share an amazingly tasty recipe you won’t want to miss!

But here are the stuffed shells as promised :)

Start by preparing some beef just as you would if you were making tacos (follow the directions on the taco seasoning packet).

Add some cream cheese!

Cook up some pasta shells. JUMBO pasta shells :)

Lay out the shells so they can cool.

On the bottom of a glass 8 by 11 or 9 by 13 baking dish, spread out 2 cups of salsa.

Stuff the shells with the beef/cream cheese mixture and put them in the dish with the salsa on the bottom.

I didn’t even know there was such a thing as taco sauce! But apparently there is. Pour that over the stuffed shells and bake in the oven, covered with aluminum foil.

Take the foil off and cover the shells with cheese. Cook the shells another 10-15 minutes until the cheese is all bubbly and melted.

Serve them up and enjoy!

Which did I like better, these or the Taco Pasta shells? I would say probably the taco pasta just because it’s a little faster to make and I liked how they tasted a little better. But that’s just me! These shells were really fun to stuff and eat. Try both and see which you like best :)

Mexican Stuffed Shells

Ingredients:

  • ?1 lb. ground beef
  • ?1 package low-sodium taco seasoning
  • ?4 oz. cream cheese
  • 14-16 jumbo pasta shells
  • 1.5 cup salsa
  • ?1 cup taco sauce
  • ?1 cup cheddar cheese
  • 1 cup monterey jack cheese
  • ?Optional toppings: sour cream, green onions, more salsa

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350° and boil water in a pot to cook the shells.
  2. Brown the ground beef. Add the taco seasoning and prepare according to package directions (it probably says to add some water or some such, depending on the brand of seasoning).
  3. Add the cream cheese, cover the pan and simmer until the cheese is melted. Stir together until well blended. Set aside.
  4. While the meat mixture is cooling, cook the shells in the boiling water according to package directions. Drain the shells and set out on a cutting board.
  5. pour salsa on the bottom of a 8 by 11 or 9 by 13 baking dish. Stuff each shell with the meat mixture and place them on top of the salsa, open side up. Cover the shells with taco sauce.
  6. Cover the pan with foil and cook for 30 minutes.
  7. After 3o minutes, add the shredded cheese on top of the shells and bake for 10-15 more minutes (without the foil) until the cheese is melted and bubbly.

Source: The Way to His Heart

Enjoy!

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Italian Chicken Soup

I don’t like being sick. At all.

Who does like being sick?

I don’t know…don’t ask me for witty comments right now. Cause I’m sick. If I didn’t make that clear.

I’m not dying or anything, clinic I just have a cold and and feel so wiped. I’ve been snoozing on the couch all day, cheapest watching episodes of Avatar with my middle sister (who is also sick), see and I still feel tired.

I have a lot of posts I want to get up, though, so I’m trying to get at least one up!

I made this soup a couple days ago and ohmygoodness it was good. We’re all out of it right now, and I wish I had a nice big bowl of it.

You should make this! Because it was really yummy and anyone, sick or well, would love it :)

Here’s how you make it:

That’s all the stuff you need…minus the chicken. Imagine a picture of a chicken. And put it into that picture. Yup. This is a Pioneer Woman recipe, and she starts with a whole chicken, with the bones in at all, and I didn’t do that…because I’m scared whole chickens.

Not really.

But sorta.

For the non-scary chicken, I boiled 4 chicken breasts in the chicken stock and then shredded it. Take the chicken out of the stock to shed it, but keep the stock!

My sister walked in the kitchen and said “That’s a lot of chicken.”

Yes, yes it is. <— Aren’t you glad you’re reading brilliant gems like this?

This is Ditalini pasta…it’s cute and fun!

Dice up some green onions…these looks so green they’re glowing.

Chop up some jalapenos. I took the seeds out, but I was wanting the soup to have a little more of a kick so I would leave a few in in the future.

Sorry for this less-than-inspirational picture of chopped onion. My eyes were burning and watering like crazy from the chopping which made the picture-snapping a tad difficult.

Saute those peppers/onions up with some olive oil and let them cook for about 10 minutes, until golden brown.

In the meanwhile, chop up some canned, whole tomatoes.

And saute some olive oil with oregano.

At this point, everything should be done so it’s time to add everything to the chicken stock. Add the chicken back in.

Add the cooked pasta. See how the pot’s dangerously close to overflowing? I realized there was no way this was going to turn out well so I ended up pouring the soup into a larger pot.

Add the pepper, oregano and olive oil, and heavy cream.

Mmm…this was definitely a hearty soup. And it made a ton :)

This was my dad’s bowl of soup that I started taking pictures of. He was very hungry and not-so-amused haha.

Here was my bowl of soup. I thoroughly enjoyed it!

The soup alone was delicious, but it was absolutely incredible with some french bread.

Italian Chicken Soup

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb. Ditalini Pasta (very Short Macaroni-type Pasta Noodles)
  • 1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
  • 4 chicken breasts, or a whole uncut chicken fryer. If you’re braver than I am.
  • 8 cups Low Sodium Chicken Broth
  • 1 whole Medium Onion, Diced
  • 2 whole Green Bell Peppers, Diced
  • 2 stalks Celery, Diced (I omitted this)
  • 2 whole Fresh Jalapenos, Diced
  • 1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
  • 1 can (28-ounce) Can Whole Tomatoes
  • 2 cups Heavy Cream
  • 1/3 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 4 Tablespoons Minced Fresh Oregano
  • Salt And Freshly Ground Pepper, To Taste
  • Crusty bread for serving.

Directions:

  1. Place chicken in a large pot and pour in the chicken stock. Bring to a boil, then simmer chicken, covered, for 30 minutes. Turn off heat and leave covered for 30 minutes. Remove chicken from pot and shred the meat.
  2. Meanwhile, cook pasta in a pot according to package directions, being sure not to overcook it. Drain and rinse in cold water to cool. Toss in 1 tablespoon olive oil and set aside.
  3. Dice the onion, green pepper, and jalapenos. In a new pot, saute the peppers and onion in 1 tablespoon olive oil over medium heat until tender and golden brown, about 10 minutes.
  4. Meanwhile, dice the canned tomatoes and return them to their juice.
  5. Heat a small skillet over medium high heat. Add the 1/4 cup olive oil and oregano and turn off heat, stirring over the next minute to keep oregano from burning. Set this aside.
  6. Pour the chicken broth into the pot with the done peppers and onions. Add the shredded chicken and tomatoes with their juice. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Add cooked pasta, cream, and all the oregano and olive oil from the small skillet. Stir to combine. Turn off heat.
Serve with big pieces of Italian bread and enjoy!
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Source: The Pioneer Woman :)
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