All Posts By:

Katie

Slow Cooker Swedish Meatballs & Potatoes

September 24, 2022

Is there a better stick-to-your-ribs comfort food than meat and potatoes? My kids love this combo in all its forms (beef stew, burgers & fries, pot roast with mashed potatoes, shepherd’s pie – all hits). So when I saw someone make this Swedish Meatballs with Potatoes on Instagram, I new it would be a great fall dinner to add to our rotation. I couldn’t find their recipe so I came up with this one and was SO good. You will seriously want to lick your plate when you are done. My kids might have even fought over the leftovers.

We needed some new crock pot meals now that fall sports are underway (4 kids in sports is no joke. Also, I can’t believe I have 2 high schoolers now!). Having a hot dinner ready when we come home is the best, and when people get home at different times crock pot dinners saves them from having to reheat dinner. We were starting to get tired of our regular standbys, so it is great to have a new one. My oldest son LOVES this dinner. Which is good, because during football season he needs a lot of food. I actually doubled this recipe to have leftovers for him (ok, fine, for me too). I’ve been trying to serve whole foods, so I love that this dinner is comforting and good for you.


This dinner is so easy – its basically just making meatballs & gravy. Once you add all the meatball ingredients and form into balls, you fry them for a few minutes in butter (yum). Then you transfer the meatballs to the slow cooker and make the gravy. You start by making a roux, and when you add the broth, scrape up all the browned bits in the pan for that yummy homemade flavor. Then add the sour cream (or cream if you want to substitute) and stir to combine. Taste gravy and add any additional salt or pepper if needed. Then pour over the meatballs and potatoes, and 4 hours later you have this:

Add some peas, and top with extra sour cream and dill, and dig in.


Bonus points if you make this on a rainy night. Who wouldn’t want tuck into a bowl of this? I know your crew will love this dinner so hope you get to try it soon!

Happy Eating, xoxo Katie

Slow Cooker Swedish Meatballs & Potatoes

1 lb. ground beef

1 lb. ground pork

1 small onion, diced

2 garlic cloves, minced

1 egg

1/2 bread crumbs

2 tsp. salt

1/2 tsp. pepper

1/4 cup chopped parsley

1/4 cup chopped dill (optional)

4 T. butter + more for frying

2 lb. small potatoes, halved

1/2 cup flour

4 cups beef stock

1 cup sour cream (or heavy cream)

2 T. Dijion mustard

 

Directions:  

Combine meat, egg, bread crumbs, salt & pepper and herbs in a bowl. Form into small balls. Heat 2 T. butter in a large frying pan. Add meatballs to pan and let brown on one side, about 3 minutes. Turn over and brown for an additional 3 minutes. Transfer to slow cooker. Put potatoes on top. In pan over medium heat melt 4 T. butter and then whisk in 1/2 cup flour, cooking the roux for 1 minute. Slowly add beef stock, stirring to combine. Cook for 1-2 minutes until thick, then add sour cream and Dijion mustard. Taste gravy for seasoning, adding salt or pepper if needed. Take gravy and pour into slow cooker on top of potatoes and meatballs. Let cook for 4 hours on high or 6 hours on low. Serve with more sour cream and dill if desired.

Balsamic Pulled Chicken

September 16, 2022

 

If your fall is anything like mine, you are looking for fast & delicious dinners and if it involves a crockpot, even better. I actually searched on my own blog for inspiration for meal planning and found this delicious Balsamic Pulled Chicken that I totally forgot all about! So it needs a replay here on THO.

I love the ease of cooking pulled pork or chicken for a crowd. Cook, shredded, mix with sauce, add some coleslaw. Done. And for the record, six kids including 2 football players + 2 field hockey players is a crowd.

When I saw this recipe for Balsamic Pulled Chicken, I instantly craved it. And as I put together the sauce, I realized it is actually very similar to the ingredient list for BBQ sauce, just with balsamic vinegar’s depth of flavor and richness, and without BBQs sticky sweetness.

Which makes it amazing.

It is a major plus that this whole thing comes together in less than 30 minutes. I made it for a family get together and it was so easy, the chicken baked away in the oven while I made the sauce. When I shredded it, it was super tasty on its own (go garlic power, salt and pepper for making baked chicken breast super yummy).  If I made this for a party I would probably make it according to these directions and then keep it warm in a crock pot.

It’s good to have options.

I served it on Ciabatta rolls but for low carb romaine lettuce or Bibb lettuce slices work or even topping a salad with the shredded sauced chicken and some blue cheese crumbles would be perfect.

Ok, lets talk cole slaw! The recipe calls for a slaw made with aioli and canned pineapple. I don’t love canned pineapple, and so I made my favorite cole slaw recipe which is mayo, milk, celery salt, celery seed, a splash of white or apple cider vinegar and  a pinch of sugar.  This coleslaw recipe from Bon Appetit is really close to how I make it, though I add some milk to thin it.

And I think it is fine to sub mayonnaise for the greek yogurt and aioli. But maybe unlike me you do have some aioli nearby.

I loved it with this coleslaw but maybe your crew would like the sweet version so it is listed below with some tweaks.

This one is definitely a keeper when you need to cook for a crowd. I tripled the recipe for leftovers and easily fed 10.

(FYI, my little kids liked it in a hotdog roll with American cheese and no slaw.)

Happy Eating! xoxo Katie

Balsamic Pulled Chicken

INGREDIENTS

CHICKEN

  • 1.5 lbs. boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp garlic powder

SAUCE

  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar 
  • 1/2 cup boiling water 
  • 1/4 cup tomato sauce/ketchup 
  • 3 Tbsp brown sugar
  • 1/2 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 beef stock cube
  • 1 tsp garlic powder

SLAW

  • 14 oz slaw mix
  • 8 oz. can pineapple pieces in juice
  • 1/2 cup plain, unsweetened yoghurt (or mayo)
  • 1/3 cup aioli (or mayo)
  • 2 Tbsp juice from canned pineapple
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard

TO SERVE

  • 4-8 rolls or burger buns
  • 4-8 slices cheese, optional

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. COOK CHICKEN

    Preheat oven to 375ºF fan bake. Place a large piece of foil on an oven tray. Place chicken on top. Drizzle with oil, sprinkle garlic powder over the top and season well with salt and pepper. Wrap up in the foil to enclose. Bake for 25 minutes, until chicken is completely cooked through.

  2. MAKE SAUCE

    While chicken cooks, place oil, vinegar, water, tomato sauce, sugar, Worcestershire sauce, mustard, crumbled stock cube and garlic powder in a small non-stick saucepan. Simmer for about 15 minutes, until thickened (should be about the same consistency as tomato sauce/ketchup). Season to taste with salt and pepper.

  3. MAKE SLAW

    Combine slaw and pineapple (reserve the pineapple juice!) in a large bowl. In a separate bowl, whisk together yoghurt, aioli, pineapple juice and mustard. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Add approximately two thirds of the dressing to the slaw and toss to combine.

  4. ASSEMBLE AND SERVE

    If you prefer the rolls warm, place in the oven for a few minutes. Remove chicken from foil, place in a shallow dish and use two forks to roughly shred. Pour balsamic sauce over the top (adjust quantity to suit your tastes) and toss to combine.

  5. Cut rolls in half, spread with remaining slaw dressing, add slices of cheese and top with slaw and chicken. Sandwich together. Serve with extra slaw on the side (the slaw is nice topped with any extra chicken too).

    Recipe adapted from yourultimatemenu.com

Sunshine Bowls with Lemon Dill Salmon and Cumin Cauliflower

September 2, 2022

I recently shared on Instagram how I was in Boston and had a ‘Sunshine Bowl’. I saw that they were so healthy (I’ve been trying to gently pay attention to macros to eat more protein and good carbs & fats) and I knew I would feel great after eating one.

Well, I did feel great, but I was bummed that the dish had very little flavor. After claiming to have marinated grilled salmon, pickled cauliflower, and sautéed greens, plus a cilantro lime yogurt dressing on top, I thought I was in for a flavor bomb.

But nope. Everything was bland and under seasoned, and the pickled cauliflowers were super tough.

I came home and started thinking about ways to increase the flavors.

  1.  I mixed a packet of dill dip seasoning mix, juice of 2 lemons and 1/4 cup of olive oil, and used half as a marinade and the other half as a creamy dressing for the top with mayo and sour cream.

I know this is unique to my local grocery store, but you can find other brands at your store or whip up your own with these ingredients:

  • 2 tsp Dried Dill
  • 1-1/2 tsp Salt
  • 1 tsp Ground Mustard
  • 1 tsp Dried Chives
  • 1 tsp Parsley
  • 1/2 tsp Dried Minced Onions
  • 1/4 tsp Garlic Powder
  • 1/4 tsp Onion Powder

2. Cumin Roasted Cauliflower – I sprinkled 1 tablespoon cumin and 1 tsp. salt on a head of cauliflower.

3. Oven roasted tomatoes – these get roasted with just a little olive oil and salt, and the flavor concentrates into a yummy tangy acidic note for the bowl.

4. Marinaded Greek Chickpeas from Trader Joes: These are amazing!

5. Edamame tossed with lemon juice, a little oil and salt.

You pile all of these yummy parts onto a bowl with quinoa and/or greens ( like both):

When you roast 3 of the main ingredients on a sheet pan, this dinner comes together in no time.

And to make it even faster or to help those people that don’t love fish, you can use your favorite marinated protein or rotisserie chicken tossed with some of the dill seasoning.

Even though there were a few skeptics in the bunch at the start, they all said it was totally delicious!

The leftovers kept so well in the fridge and make for the best lunch the next day. Hope these help keep you fueled, happy and healthy! I know what it takes to take on the knew school year, and trust me, you will need good fuel. But also, let’s make it yummy too.

Happy Eating! xoxo Katie

Sunshine Bowls with Lemon Dill Salmon and Cumin Cauliflower

Ingredients: 

1 lb. salmon

1 packet dill dip (or see recipe above to make your own)

Juice of 2 lemons, divided

olive oil

1 pint cherry tomatoes

1 head of cauliflower, cut into even sized florets

1 Tbsp. cumin

1/4 mayo

1/4 sour cream

salt + pepper

1 cup quinoa, cooked according to package

mixed greens

1 cup edamame, seasoned with salt and lemon juice

Other ideas: chickpeas, pickled onion, avocado, lentils, sautéed greens or summer squash, roasted broccoli.

Directions: 

Preheat oven to 400.

Cook quinoa according to package.

Put salmon in a zip lock bag. Mix half of the flavor packet in a bowl with juice of 1 lemon and 2 T. olive oil, then put into bag with salmon, trying to evenly coat the fish. Refrigerate for 30 min or up to 2 hours.

Put cauliflower on large cooking sheet and toss with cumin and 1-2 tablespoons of olive oil. Season with salt and pepper.

Add tomatoes and toss with olive oil and salt and pepper. Add salmon to baking sheet, and put it in oven for 20-24 min., until cauliflower is tender.

Meanwhile, mix remaining flavor packet with mayonnaise, sour cream, and juice of 1 lemon. Taste for seasoning and add any salt, pepper or water/milk to thin it to your desired consistency.

Assemble bowls by combining greens, quinoa, salmon, veggies, and dressing. Serve immediately.

 

Creamy Chicken, Corn, Tomato and Zucchini Pasta

August 16, 2022

This dinner has been on rotation ever since the corn, zucchini and tomatoes have been showing up at our local farm stand. It’s even better now that we have zucchini from the garden. I know lots of families are headed back to school all ready, and with high school sports starting already it is really back to a full schedule for our fam.

But this dinner is helping us hold on to the sweet days of summer.

This is such an easy dinner, and you can make it even faster & easier with a rotisserie chicken. The amazing flavor comes from cooking it in white wine, and using the easy & delicious secret ingredient – chive cream cheese.

I have made this dish plenty of times with just cream and it still turned out great, but when I was out of cream recently I used this instead and it was such a happy accident! It really brought this dish to the next level so I highly recommend. If you want to use regular cream cheese + fresh chives that works too.

After making this a bunch this summer, I also really like to cut the zucchini in bigger chunks so they don’t fall apart too easily. This is such a chunky pasta dish that will make you feel amazing. The fresh corn makes it so try to use it instead of frozen if you can.

You guys will love this dinner, and it is great for little fingers too since corn and tomatoes are usually a hit (they can pick around the zucchini if they have to). Hope you try it as much as you can before all these beautiful summer ingredients are just a thing to remember. Just make sure to break it out again next summer. 🙂

Happy Eating, xoxo Katie

Creamy Chicken, Corn, Tomato and Zucchini Pasta

Serves 4-6

 

1 lb. orecchiette or other small pasta shape (like penne)

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

4 shallots, thinly sliced

3 garlic cloves, minced

1 lb. chicken, cubed

4 small (or 3 large) ears of corn, kernels removed to equal about 2.5 cups

1 zucchini, chopped chunky (so they don’t fall apart)

1 pint cherry tomatoes

1 tsp. salt

½ tsp. pepper

1 cup white wine

1 cup chicken broth

1 cup chive whipped cream cheese (or more to taste)

Fresh basil or chives

 

Directions:

Boil pasta according to package directions.

Heat olive oil over medium heat in a large pan. Sautee shallots with a pinch of salt for 3-5 minutes until soft. Add garlic and cook for 1 minute. Add chicken and if raw, cook for 5-6 minutes. (If using rotisserie you can skip to next step). Add corn, zucchini, tomatoes, salt and pepper and sautee for 5 more minutes. Add wine and let it reduce for 5 minutes. Then add chicken broth and cook for 2 minutes. Stir in cream cheese until melted.

Serve over pasta immediately, garnishing with basil or chives.

 

 

 

 

 

Raspberry Cobbler

July 30, 2022

When we first bought our camp in Maine, our neighbor Bobby invited me over to her camp to get to know each other and we instantly bonded over books and food and family life. Did I mention she is 81? Her wisdom and wit are legendary at the famous school she worked at and some of my husband’s friends attended, and her laugh can be heard across the lake.

While I was visiting she offered me a raspberry cobbler and sent me home with one for the kids. The sweetest! And it was probably one of the most delicious things I’d ever tasted. Like summer sunshine in your mouth. It felt I was tasting a New England hand me down recipe, something that makes for food memories of childhood summers spent in Maine.

When raspberry season started, I finally got around to texting her for the recipe, and voila! It was so good we might have licked the pan.

There is nothing in the world like the flavor of fresh summer raspberries. And when you add some soft sweet dough and creamy vanilla ice cream it is close-your-eyes good. You’ll be dreaming about this after you try it.

Also, if you’ve been around here for a while you may notice I have a thing for fruit desserts. If you have other berries or fruit you can try this strawberry rhubarb crisp, blueberry cake, and my mom’s banana cake.

Happy Eating! xoxo Katie

Raspberry Cobbler 

Ingredients

For the filling:

  • 6 cups fresh raspberries
  • 1/2 cup flour (or you could use 2 Tbsp cornstarch)
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 3 T. cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces

For the topping:

  • 6 Tbsp butter, melted
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 cup sugar
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 tsp vanilla

For the Sugar topping:

  • 2 Tbsp melted butter
  • ¼ cup sugar

Directions

Preheat oven to 400°F. Place raspberries, flour, ½ cup sugar and cinnamon in a large bowl; gently stir to combine. Let stand 5 minutes. Spoon mixture into a 13- x 9-inch baking dish; spread in an even layer.

In a separate bowl, stir together topping ingredients. Pour this mixture over the raspberries in the baking dish. Spread as evenly as you can, then brush the top of dough with melted butter and sprinkle sugar on top.

Bake in preheated oven until topping is very golden and crisp and strawberry mixture bubbles around edges, 35 to 40 minutes. Remove from oven; let stand at least 15 minutes or up to 1 hour. Serve with ice cream.

Meme’s Banana Cake

July 1, 2022

Meme’s Banana Cake is legendary in our house. Whenever my mom offers the kids to make their birthday cake or a special treat, they always ask for this. It’s moist and rich, but also light and flavorful. My mom always uses fresh whipped cream for frosting, and so when I went to go make my son’s 16th Birthday Cake, and he asked for this, I made it just like she does.  She actually keeps the cooked cake rounds in her freezer to assemble whenever we have a get together – genius! All you have to do is whip up some whipped cream and slice some bananas and voila, you have a special dessert.

This cake would be super easy to make for the 4th of July as well – you can pour the batter into one 9 x 12 cake pan instead of the cake rounds, and decorate with strawberries and blueberries.

This recipe is a lot like banana bread, but the added buttermilk makes it light and fluffy. I love that it is so easy to make, and it comes together quickly.

I also love that this is a great way to use up ripe bananas – you can peel them and freeze them until your ready to use them.

This recipe is perfect for 2 round cake pans.

Assembly is super simple – whip up some cream with a little sugar and vanilla (taste it to be sure it is your desired level of sweetness!) and frost the first layer: 

 

 

Then add a layer of sliced bananas….

 

Then repeat on top and serve immediately – the bananas do brown so only slice and assemble this cake right before you are going to serve it.  Then bite into it and let your eyes close because it is SO good.

Hope you get to try this deliciousness soon! Happy 4th of July – hope it is filled with lots of wonderful things to eat!  xoxo Katie

Meme’s Banana Cake

Ingredients

3 large ripe bananas (about 1 and 1/2 cups mashed) + 4 yellow bananas for slicing (can’t be too brown or mushy)

3 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon salt

3/4 cup unsalted butter, softened

1 cup granulated sugar

1/2 cup packed light or dark brown sugar

3 large eggs, at room temperature

2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

1 and 1/2 cups buttermilk, at room temperature

Whipped Cream 

4 Tablespoons sugar

1 cup heavy cream

1 teaspoon vanilla

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F (177°C) and grease two round cake pans.
  2. Make the cake: Mash the bananas and set aside.
  3. Whisk the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt together. Set aside.
  4. Using a handheld or stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the butter on high speed until smooth and creamy – about 1 minute. Add both sugars and beat on high speed for 2 minutes until creamed together. Scrape down the sides and up the bottom of the bowl with a rubber spatula as needed. Add the eggs and the vanilla. Beat on medium-high speed until combined, then beat in the mashed bananas. Scrape down the sides and up the bottom of the bowl as needed. With the mixer on low speed, add the dry ingredients in three additions alternating with the buttermilk and mixing each addition just until incorporated. Do not overmix. The batter will be slightly thick and a few lumps is OK.
  5. Spread batter into the prepared pans. Bake for 45-50 minutes. Baking times vary, so keep an eye on yours. The cake is done when a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. If you find the top of the cake is browning too quickly in the oven, loosely cover it with aluminum foil.
  6. Remove the cake from the oven and set on a wire rack. Allow to cool completely. After about 45 minutes, I usually place it in the refrigerator to speed things up.
  7. Make the whipped cream: Place a metal mixing bowl and metal whisk into the freezer for 10 to 15 minutes. Place the sugar into the mixing bowl and add the whipping cream. Whisk just until the cream reaches stiff peaks. Store any unused portion in an airtight container for up to 10 hours. When ready to use, rewhisk for 10 to 15 seconds.
  8. Assemble the cake: Turn out cooked, cooled cakes on a clean service. Put one layer on serving plate or cake stand. Frost the top with a layer of whipped cream, then slice 2 bananas and arrange on top. Put second cake on top, repeat layers of whipped cream and additionally 2 sliced bananas. Serve immediately or keep chilled until serving.