Sunday, May 8, 2011

Weekend Window

Huge post -- lots of food this weekend & a little knitting, too. The food I will share, but the knitting will have to wait a few more days because its a bit of a surprise!

We had just a quick Friday dinner that escaped posting due to a Wichita Community Children's Choir concert. Great job, kiddos! We had a great time!

This is a quick, one-pot dinner that is especially great if you have leftover hot dogs from a BBQ or cookout. You can easily change up the ingredients -- substitute broccoli or peas for the green beans, add more hot dogs, or use any kind of melty cheese you like.

Mac & Cheese with Grilled Hot Dogs & Green Beans
Serves 2

2 cups whole wheat rotini
1 + cup long green beans, frozen
3 grilled all beef hot dogs, diced
1/4 cup parmesan cheese
1/2 cup cheddar cheese
1/2 cup milk
1 t. butter

Cook pasta according to directions. When the pasta is just tender, about 2-3 minutes before its done, add in green beans & hot dogs & cook until the pasta is al dente.

Drain the pasta mix and return to pot. Add in milk & butter to melt, then add in cheeses & stir to melt & mix. Season with salt & pepper to taste.

Thanks to Liz & Ryan for giving me the excuse to make a veritable feast for dinner Saturday!

Spaghetti & Meatballs:
1/2 pound ground beef
1/2 pound ground turkey
1 egg
1 t. oregano
1 t. garlic
1/4 yellow onion, shredded
salt & pepper

Use a box grater to shred 1/2 a yellow onion, setting 1/2 aside for the spaghetti sauce. Shredding the onion will help break down the long strings inside to bring out great flavor in much less time.

In a medium bowl, mix all ingredients together. It helps to use slightly moist hands to mix the meat, handling as little as possible. Make into about 20 meatballs, rolling in your palms to shape. Refrigerate at least 1/2 an hour.

To cook, I set them on a rack above a rimmed dish & broiled at 500 degrees, about 10 minutes, until they are browned. This helps to lighten up the dish rather than frying.

Spaghetti & Sauce:
1 can crushed tomatoes
1 can petite diced tomatoes
1/4 yellow onion, shredded
1 T. garlic
1 T. oregano
1 bunch fresh oregano

In a large pot or dutch oven, heat 1 t. EVOO over medium heat. Saute onion with a pinch of salt until fragrant, just 1-2 minutes. Add garlic & dried oregano & saute another 1-2 minutes until fragrant.

Add in tomatoes & let sauce come to a simmer. The sauce will begin to thicken & needs to simmer at least 20 minutes. Add meatballs in when you start boiling the water for the spaghetti. Stir in fresh oregano just before serving.

Cook 1 pound whole wheat spaghetti according to the directions.

Spinach & Romaine Salad with homemade vinaigrette:
juice of 2 lemons
1/4-1/3 cup EVOO or grapeseed oil
1/2 t. basil
garlic to taste
salt & pepper to taste
1 bag romaine mix
2+ cups spinach

In a large bowl, whisk together lemon juice and oil to make an emulsion. Add spices in & whisk. Taste to adjust flavors if necessary. I tend to like my dressing a bit more tangy, so you can always start with less of the lemon juice.

Using your hands, toss romaine & spinach with dressing. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

When everything has come together, enjoy your dinner with crusty baguettes & some great friends!

Thanks, mom, for letting me play & experiment in the kitchen. You gave me the freedom to play & I am thankful!

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