Honey Garlic Slow-Cooker Meatballs

It is always a good feeling to see your adult children being successful out in the world. It is an especially good feeling for those of us who were home schooling moms! I remember the anxiety I felt when my children graduated from our home school and began their college careers. Would they do well in their classes? Would they participate in class discussions? How would they manage having a schedule of 6 different classes and 20-hours of part time work? Seriously, I was a nervous wreck while my kids were going to college. However, my worries were ridiculous! I have 2 that have graduated and gone on to their chosen career fields. They did well in school, even making the dean’s list several semesters. And they have done fantastic in their fields of work! I have 2 that have started college and are not yet finished, but have taken up other careers (military included) and plan to finish college at a later date. Whew! Big sigh of relief here!

Ben has recently taken up his military career and has his own apartment on base. A good friend of ours sent him off with a brand new crock pot and a pack of recipes. Ben always enjoyed fiddling around in the kitchen while he was at home, so I had no doubt that he would manage well by himself. After he moved into his apartment, he took some of the recipe cards and went grocery shopping on base. He got the ingredients for this recipe that he said is amazing. It sounds really good to me, too, so I will have to give it a try myself! It’s definitely not a THM recipe, but with a little tweaking, I could probably make it one!

1/4 cup brown sugar,

1/3 cup honey,

1/2 cup ketchup,

2 tablespoons soy sauce,

3 garlic cloves; peeled and minced,

1 (28oz.) bag of fully cooked, frozen meatballs.

In medium bowl, mix brown sugar, honey, ketchup, soy sauce, and garlic.Place frozen meatballs in crockpot and pour sauce on top. Cook on low for 4 hrs. stirring every 45 min. Serve with rice or in a sandwich.

Fried Salmon with Avocado Sauce

This particular recipe came about the other day when I realized that I still had some avocados in the fridge that had to be used. They were slightly soft when I bought them, and they had gotten pushed to the back of the fridge and almost forgotten. Does that ever happen to you? I seriously hate wasting food, so when I discovered that the avocados were still there, I knew I had to do something!

Salmon was already in the works for dinner, so I decided to make it a little different and figure out a sauce with the avocados. Normally, I coat the salmon in seasoned almond flour before frying it in coconut oil. This time I didn’t coat it at all. After heating the coconut oil, I placed the fresh salmon pieces in the skillet and sprinkled them with salt and pepper. I fried them gently on both sides and then covered the pan and removed it from the heat while I created the avocado sauce.

I totally winged it with this sauce…just created it as I went along. It actually worked! At least Ben and the hubby liked it! It is very similar to the guacamole that I make only smoother.

2 avocados

2 tbsp. sour cream

1/4 tsp salt

1/4 – 1/2 tsp. garlic powder

1/4 – 1/2 tsp. onion powder

1/4 – 1/2 tsp. ground red pepper

dash of lemon juice

Split the avocados and scoop out the flesh into a food processor. Add the remaining ingredients and blend until very smooth. Adjust seasonings to your own preference for flavor.

This makes enough for 4  medium pieces of salmon.

Suggestion for left overs: spread the avocado sauce on a low-carb wrap in place of mayo. Layer meat,cheese, lettuce and tomato and roll up the wrap for lunch!

Crack Slaw–Low Carb

Yesterday I made this amazing cooked slaw for the hubby. I had half of a large head of cabbage left after having made him the cabbage steaks the other day, and I really wanted to try this recipe.  It was a hit!

I made just a few changes in the recipe since there were a few ingredients that I didn’t have.  I used part of a red onion in place of the green onions, Truvia in place of the Splenda, and ground ginger in place of ginger paste.  If you don’t have any sriracha sauce, you can use just about any hot sauce that you happen to have.  And Hubby said that next time I can leave the sweetener out since it really isn’t needed.

 

Low-Carb Cabbage Soup

The other day the hubby asked if there were items in the fridge that needed to be used up. His question is legitimate! When the kids were growing up, I usually tried to clean out the fridge and serve left-over meals twice a week, every Wednesday and Saturday nights.  Since he and I are the only two at home right now, leftovers often do get pushed to the back and forgotten. When I told him that the main thing I had that needed to be eaten was half a head of cabbage, he replied with, “I wonder if I could make some cabbage soup?”   I was more than willing to let him try!

My hubs is down 10 lbs since he started the low-carb way of eating using mostly ideas and recipes found in the THM book and face book page. So, when he is willing to help in the kitchen to make something that is on the food plan, I am happy to let him try. It’s less work for me, right? I mean, while he’s in the kitchen, I  have time to hold my little darlin’ …

 

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and I have more time to work on crafts, like the checkerboard stockings I’ve been making for some clients. While most of them have “The Citadel” embroidered on the top, this one is a new idea and has become my favorite!

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I  can also crochet hats for my niece’s children. Aren’t they adorable? (The kids, I mean!)

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Here is his creation for low-carb cabbage soup.

1 medium onion, chopped

3 cloves garlic, pressed

1/2 stick butter

1/2 half head cabbage, cut into small wedges

1/2 lb sausage, crumbled or about 1/2 lb of kielbasa sausage cut into bite-sized pieces

1-1/2 c. chicken broth

1/2 c. whipping cream

1 c. tomato juice or sauce

8 oz cream cheese, softened

1 tsp basil

1 tsp oregano

1/2 tsp dried hot pepper flakes

salt and black pepper to taste

In a large stock pot melt the butter and gently saute the onion and garlic. Add the sausage and cabbage and cook until sausage is no longer pink. Add the chicken broth, whipping cream, and tomato juice. Mix well.  Bring to a simmer and stir in the cream cheese. Stir until it melts. Add the spices and adjust to your taste!  Add more chicken broth if the soup is too thick for your liking.

Italian Wedding Soup

I am one excited mother! In just 6 days I get to see my youngest son for the first time in over 8 weeks! He has been working very hard in basic training, and our contact with him has been limited to snail-mail and only 2 short phone calls. I’ve never been so out of touch with him in his entire life, so this has been a rough 8-1/2 weeks. I must say, that Sam has been fairly good at letter writing.  He averaged sending us one letter a week. I am impressed!  We ordered a banner for him which we will hold during the Airmen’s Run…the first time we will get to see him next week!

Proof

In addition to writing Sam every day…yes, every day, I have been crocheting for our new grandgirl scheduled to arrive in about 6 weeks! We had a shower for my DIL last night, and this is what I made for her.

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The hubby watched one of the late night cooking shows a few weeks ago and saw this recipe for Italian Wedding Soup. He doesn’t remember which show it was, but apparently there are many recipes for Italian Wedding Soup. Just do an internet search for it, and you will see what I mean!  Here is how my hubby made it. Amounts are approximations since he doesn’t remember exactly how much he used!

1 lb. ground beef, turkey or pork (or a combination of them)

1/2 c. dry rice (he said a handful!)

1/2 c. diced onions

3/4 tsp. fennel seeds

salt and pepper to taste

several gloves garlic, minced

1/2 c. Panko bread crumbs

olive oil

3-4 c. tomato sauce

3-4 c. chicken broth

2 medium tomatoes, peeled and cut up

1 can black, red or white beans, drained (more if you really like beans)

Combine the meat with the rice, onions, fennel seeds, salt, pepper, garlic and bread crumbs. Shape into about a dozen or so meatballs.  Heat olive oil in a large skillet. Brown meatballs, turning as needed. They do not need to cook completely. Once all are browned, add the remaining ingredients to the skillet. Stir and bring to a boil. Simmer gently for about an hour, or until meatballs are thoroughly cooked and rice is tender. Serves 8.

 

A Better Tomato Pie

As we’ve been harvesting more tomatoes lately, I was hungering for a good tomato pie.  Last summer I posted a recipe for tomato pie that I got from  a friend of mine.   Last week another friend shared her recipe for tomato pie over on her Face Book page.  It sounded amazing!  I did a little experimenting and ended up with a combination of the two recipes.  It was yummy!!

1 9-inch pie shell, baked

6-7 medium tomatoes, sliced thinly and patted dry (I dehydrated mine for 2 hours.)

salt and pepper to taste

8 slices of bacon, fried crisp, crumbled, and divided

7-8 slices Swiss cheese

4 tbsp chopped, fresh basil

3/4 c. grated Parmesan cheese

3/4 c. mayonnaise

1/2 c. crushed crackers (I used store-brand of Ritz.)

Place half of the dried tomato slices over the crust bottom and up the sides. sprinkle with salt and pepper. Sprinkle with about 1/3  the bacon bits and about half of the chopped basil.  Layer Swiss cheese over the bacon and basil.  Repeat layers. Combine Parmesan cheese with the mayonnaise, stirring well. Spread over the top. Sprinkle crushed crackers on top of the mayonnaise mixture. Top with remaining bacon.

Bake uncovered at 350* for about 30 minutes.  Serve hot.

Cream Cheese Shrimp Rolls

I am finally making the time to get this recipe posted!! Yay for me!  It seems like I’ve been busy doing insignificant things lately. While I do realize that I probably don’t always use my time wisely, I have been being productive!  For instance, this morning I made our first batch of fresh salsa using our own tomatoes and hot peppers!  This makes for a happy hubby since it is one of his favorite summer time foods!

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I’ve also been busy writing letters to my AB son who is just completing his 5th week of training in San Antonio. Basics are not allowed to have computers or cell phones unless authorized, so any communication with him is done the old fashioned way…hand-written letters!  He isn’t the greatest at writing back, but I must give him credit for trying. I think I have received 5 letters!  And we even got 2 phone calls last weekend!!!  Coming up with creative ways to correspond isn’t always easy. Here is one way that I did though:

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I’ve also been busy crocheting a baby blanket for our first grandbaby scheduled to arrive in early September! No picture of it yet since I don’t want my daughter-in-law seeing it until I actually give it to her!  And I’ve been making collegiate checkerboard Christmas stockings!  Here is a sample:

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Now, back to the shrimp rolls. You might have read my post about egg rolls a few weeks ago.   That night the hubby also created this recipe.  He and all four of my kiddlets love shrimp. I am the oddball here because I rarely if ever like shrimp or other types of seafood.  I know…weird, right?  These amounts are pretty much guesses since he didn’t write any of it down.

8 oz pkg of cream cheese, softened

1/2 c. sour cream

1/4 c. mayonnaise

1/8 c. ricotta cheese

salt and pepper to taste

pinch of red pepper

sesame seed oil to taste

2-3 tbsp. butter

splash of lemon or lime juice (or both)

1 c. small shrimp (can be chopped into tiny pieces)

about 6-8 egg roll wrappers

peanut oil for frying

In a large mixing bowl combine the cream cheese, sour cream, mayonnaise and ricotta cheese. Stir in salt, pepper and red pepper.  Set aside.

In a large skillet, melt butter. Add shrimp, sesame seed oil, and lemon or lime juice.  My hubby added the seasonings to the shrimp instead of the cheese mixture.  I don’t think it matters when you add them.  Stir until heated through.  Combine shrimp with cream cheese mixture.

Place a spoonful of mixture on each egg roll wrapper.  Wrap according to package directions and fry following the directions given here.   Enjoy!

Honey Fried Chicken

I take absolutely no credit for this delicious fried chicken recipe.  The hubby has always been a night owl and has in recent days taken to watching cooking shows while I am in bed alseep!  Now, we do not have cable or satellite TV, so the recipes he gets are just from the basic channels.  He has discovered different ways to roast a turkey, some fun dessert recipes, and this amazing fried chicken recipe.

Sometimes he decides to spend time in the kitchen during his wakeful  night hours. When I realized that I needed to defrost our deep-freezer last week, I discovered that we still had a frozen turkey way down in the bottom.  Not to worry…the hubby decided that he would roast it using one of the new methods he discovered. While he does enjoy being in the kitchen, and he does come up with some great recipes, he isn’t the best at cleaning up the mess that always gets created.  This is what I woke up to the other day after his night-time turkey roasting experience:

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However, I let him off the hook, because as I looked around in shock, I also noticed this:

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Apology accepted!

This honey fried chicken recipe came from America’s Test Kitchen. Since my man saw the recipe on one of the late night cooking shows, I had to do a little research to find the recipe on line.  I am not sure whether it is the double frying or the honey that makes this such a great recipe, but I do know that we loved it!  Hope you do, too!

Black Beans and Rice Skillet Dinner

The other day I had the privilege of helping out a dear friend of mine.  Our friendship goes way back to my high school days, only Gloria was not in school with me. She was one of my teachers!  As I grew into adulthood, our relationship changed from teacher/student to friends.  For the last several years I’ve driven out to her home once or twice a month to help her do some of the paperwork required for her husband’s dairy farm.  These times together are not only times of work, but also times of spiritual refreshment.  We share prayer requests, our thoughts of the previous Sunday’s sermons, and lessons we’ve learned from our own time in the Word.  It is truly a time of iron sharpening iron.

Recently Gloria had to undergo some oral surgery which left her fighting migraines day after day for several weeks.  Since I was driving out to help her this last week, I decided to share our dinner with her and her hubby.  I still have trouble cutting down on the amount I fix for a meal, so I realized it wouldn’t be a problem at all.  I just took half of what I made out to Gloria!

This recipe is not written down at all.  I just sort of ‘winged’ it while I was cooking, so any amounts given here are just approximates. Both our hubbies enjoyed it, so I hope you do too!

 

1 lb. ground beef

1 medium onion, chopped

1 tsp. minced garlic

1 can black beans, rinsed and drained

1-1/2 to 2 cups of cooked rice

3/4 cup  gravy or  1/2 can of cream of mushroom soup

about 10 cherry tomatoes, sliced in half

salt, pepper, Soy Sauce to taste

Parmesan cheese

optional ingredients: chopped bell pepper, chopped chili pepper, pimentos, mushroom pieces

In a large skillet brown ground beef with the onions and garlic until beef is cooked and onions are tender. Drain any fat. Stir in black beans, rice, gravy, tomatoes, and seasonings. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.

Serve with green leafy salad of your choice!