The most wonderful time of the year is finally here, and one of the most wonderful parts about it is, hello, the food! Since you can never have too many Christmas party recipes, I am sharing my yummy Smokey Cranberry Sauced Meatballs, using canned cranberry sauce and chipotle peppers. This recipe was also featured in the December issue of At Home Memphis Magazine!
I love how the flavorful sauce gives them a hint of the beautiful cranberry color, very festive! Speaking of festive, these are perfect for parties, since they can be served hot or at room temperature. Stick a toothpick in each one, sprinkle them with a little fresh parsley, and arrange them on a pretty platter for the perfect holiday party food!
Smokey Cranberry Sauced Meatballs
serves 8-10 appetizer portions
For the meatballs
2 pounds extra lean ground beef
1/4 cup milk
1/2 cup dried plain breadcrumbs
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
For the sauce
1 can whole cranberry sauce
1 cup ketchup
1/2 cup barbeque sauce
2 chipotle peppers, seeded and minced (you can find these canned in the Spanish food section of the grocery store)
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
Optional: fresh parsley, to garnish
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees
Combine the beef, eggs, milk, breadcrumbs, salt, pepper, onion powder, and garlic powder in a large bowl. Mixing this with your hands is the easiest way to combine these ingredients without over mixing them.
Roll mixture into 1 1/2 inch balls and place them on a greased baking sheet.
Bake the meatballs for 15 minutes.
While the meatballs are baking, whisk together the cranberry sauce, ketchup, barbeque sauce, peppers, and Worcestershire sauce in a bowl.
Place the baked meatballs in a large skillet and then pour the sauce over them. Allow the meatballs to simmer in the sauce for 10-15 minute over low heat.
Serve the meatballs with toothpicks for entertaining.
Well, I am happy to report that almost one month postpartum, I still love to get in the kitchen! When Zach gets home and takes over baby duty, I am ready to do my thing, take a break, and get the creative juices flowing in my “office” aka kitchen. Even though I am tired and time is precious, I find myself thinking of recipes throughout the day and itching to get in the kitchen at night. So, it’s safe to say having our sweet boy around hasn’t affected my love of cooking
Last night I decided to make chili, and since I had some leftover canned pumpkin and a Pumpkin Ale in the fridge, I had my inspiration. I love thick, hearty chili, and that is exactly what this is. It’s a little spicy from the can of Fire Roasted Tomatoes, with a hint of sweetness from the pumpkin, and it gets a wonderful depth from the pumpkin ale. A big pot of this would be just perfect for Halloween entertaining or any crisp Fall night.
Give it a try and let me know you think!
Fire Roasted Pumpkin Chili
1 pound lean ground beef (or ground turkey)
1 onion, chopped
1 red bell pepper, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 teaspoons each Cumin and Chili Powder
1 teaspoon Paprika
3/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup tomato paste
1 bottle Pumpkin Ale (I used Blue Moon Harvest Pumpkin Ale)
1 cup Pure Pumpkin (NOT pumpkin pie mix)
1 (15 oz) can black beans
1 (15 oz) can pinto beans
1 (15 oz) can fire roasted tomatoes
1 (15 oz) can tomato sauce
Brown the meat in a large pot over medium high heat, while breaking it up with a wooden spoon. Once the meat is broken up, add the onion, bell pepper, and garlic.
Cook the veggies and meat for about 6-8 minutes until they begin to soften. Add the cumin, chili powder, paprika, pepper, salt, and tomato paste to the pot, stir to coat everything well.
Then add the beer, pumpkin, beans, tomatoes, and tomato sauce to the pot.
Bring the mixture to a boil, and then turn the heat down to low. Allow the chili to simmer for 20 minutes, uncovered, before serving.
Who doesn’t love a good burger on the grill? It’s definitely the perfect food to celebrate the warm weather. Instead of the usual fixins’ this year, why not change things up with some of my (easy)gourmet burger toppings! I’m also sharing 3 tips to for grilling burgers this summer, check it out!
3 Tips for Perfectly Grilled Burgers
1) Flatten the burgers with the bottom of a glass.
We have all experienced the “burger balls” that result from not flattening out your burgers correctly. My trick to even cooking patties is to divide the meat evenly, roll each section into balls, use the bottom of a glass to flatten them, and then press your thumb in the center of each patty. It’s super easy!
2) Keep it simple.
A little burger seasoning (my favorite is Bam Burgers by Emeril) goes a long way. No need to mix all kind of ingredients into the meat, the more you play with the meat the tougher it will be. Once they are flattened out, sprinkle each side liberally with your favorite seasonings.
3) Don’t over cook your burgers.
If you are in charge of grilling, be sure to watch them, and take them off the grill as soon as they are done! No one wants dried out, hockey puck burger, am I right? If you’re worried about keeping them warm, put the patties on the buns, and then place them back in the plastic bag that the buns came in, this will keep them nice and moist! …This was a trick our friends taught us, and it works wonders!
Now for those yummy toppings…
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Place a wire rack on top of a large baking sheet. Place 1/3 cup brown sugar in a shallow dish and dredge 8 slices of bacon through the sugar on both sides. Shake off the excess sugar, and place the bacon on the wire rack. Once all of the bacon is coated, sprinkle it evenly with 1/4 teaspoon of black pepper. Bake this for 20-25 minutes. The bacon will harden as it cools.
Slice up 4 sweet onions. Place 2 tablespoons of butter in a large skillet over low heat. Once the butter has melted, add the onions and 1/4 teaspoon of salt. Place the lid on the skillet and cook the onions for 45 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes. The onions will be a deep golden brown color by the end of cooking.
Garlic Grilled Shrooms
Preheat the grill to medium heat. Slice up 16 ounces of baby bella mushrooms. Place them on a large sheet of aluminum foil. Add 2 tablespoons of cubed butter and 1 minced garlic clove over the top of the shrooms. Sprinkle with a 1/4 teaspoon each of salt and pepper. Add a splash or two of red wine if desired. Wrap the mushrooms in the foil, and seal the edges. Place the “packet” on the grill for 10 minutes, flip it over, poke a hole in the top of the foil, and then grill them for another 10 minutes.
In a small bowl, mix together 1/2 cup light mayonnaise, 2 tablespoons chili sauce (or ketchup), 1 tablespoon lemon juice, 1 teaspoon dijon mustard, 2 teaspoons worcestershire, and 1 teaspoon hot sauce.
I announced this week that my husband and I are expecting a baby in early October! We are so excited, but along with this pregnancy, I ‘ve already experienced some cravings and food aversions. So this recipe is actually a product of one of my cravings, which was tacos like my mom used to make for us when we were growing up.
I recreated the recipe without a using a seasoning packet and I made a fresh guacmole topping that gives it a more grown up, fresh flavor. They turned out delicious, this will defnintely be a regular meal for us again!
Crispy Weeknight Tacos
2 teaspoons each: Chilil powder, Cumin, Paprika
1 teaspoon each: Oregano, Garlic Powder, Onion Powder, Black pepper
1 1/2 teaspoons Salt
2 tablespoon Cornstarch
2 pounds Ground Beef
1 onion, chopped
1 cup water
Crispy or Soft Taco Shells
Shredded Cheddar or Pepper Jack Cheese
For the Guacomole:
2 avocados, chopped
1 tomato, seeded and chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
1 tablespoon lime or lemon juice
Pinch of Salt
Heat the taco sheels in the oven according to package directions
Combine all of the seasonings together in a bowl along with the cornstarch.
Brown and break up the beef in a large skillet, adding the onion once the beef is broken up. Cook until the all pink is gone.
Add the seasonings to the beef and the cup of water, stir to combine. Bring the mixture to a low simmer and cover for 5 minutes, uncover and cook for another 5 minutes.
For the guacamole, mash together the avocados, tomatoes, garlic, juice, and salt until slightly chunky, refrigerate until ready to serve.
I am thrilled to announce that my first cookbook, "The Outdoor Table," published by Thomas Nelson Published is available to purchase wherever books are sold! This beautiful book includes 175 EXCLUSIVE recipes, not found on this site, perfect for all of your outdoor entertaining! Find out more and order your copy here...
Hey Y'all! Well I'm a southern gal, raised in Tennessee, where I still live with my husband and baby boy! Creating fresh and simple recipes with a southern flare, while sharing bits of my life with y'all on camera is what this site is all about. Also, my very first cookbook with Thomas Nelson Publishers will be out Spring of 2015, and I just can't wait to share it with you all! Read more about April...