Mashed Potato Casserole

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Both my husband and I are big fans of mashed potatoes, but my daughter has recently decided she doesn’t like them. I’ve been thinking of ways to get her to like them, while still satisfying the adults at the table. Seriously, is she my kid? I LOVE mashed potatoes! I didn’t want to go to far from our comfort zone, but I needed the right amount cheese/flavor combo that would get her interested. This recipe is great because while it offers the cheese and crunch factor of the crumb topping, it isn’t horrible for you. My husband and I enjoyed it, my daughter refused to try it! Apparently, next time I make this I can’t use the term “potato” at all. *sigh* You can’t win them all, but this dish will definitely go on the menu again. It’s perfect when you want something a bit different than the usual, but still a nice, simple comfort dish. You can even assemble this dish a day ahead and bake shortly before serving.

Mashed Potato Casserole

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 pounds Yukon gold potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch-thick slices
  • 1 1/2 pound baking potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch-thick slices
  • 5 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 1 1/2 tsp kosher salt, divided
  • 6 oz 1/3-less-fat cream cheese, softened (about 3/4 cup)
  • Cooking spray
  • 2 oz Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, grated (about 1/2 cup)
  • 1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs
  • 2 Tbsp thinly sliced chives

Pre-heat oven to 350F.

Place potatoes, garlic, and 1/2 teaspoon salt in a large saucepan, and cover with water. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer 15 minutes or until tender. Drain in a colander over a bowl, reserving 1/2 cup cooking liquid.

Press potato mixture in batches through a ricer into a large bowl. Stir in reserved 1/2 cup cooking liquid, remaining 3/4 teaspoon salt, and cream cheese.

Spoon potato mixture into a broiler-safe 11 x 7 -inch glass or ceramic baking dish coated with cooking spray. Bake for 20 minutes or until thoroughly heated.

Pre-heat broiler.

Combine Parmigiano-Reggiano and panko; sprinkle evenly over top of potatoes. Broil 4 minutes or until golden brown. Sprinkle with chives.

Serves 8 (about 2/3 cup)

Nutritional Information

Calories 243, Fat 6.5g, Protein 8.3g, Carbohydrate 37.9g, Fiber 2.6g, Cholesterol 20mg, Iron 1.2mg, Sodium 361mg

Source: Cooking Light, October 2013

 

 

 

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While I have no quirky April Fool’s recipe or food treat for you today, I have been switching things up in the kitchen lately. This time of year, when we’re about done with winter foods but don’t have the wonderful spring veggies in season is always a difficult time. So when I saw this recipe I thought it would be a great, easy way to play with our taste buds.

I decided to change the name of these meatballs from Barbecue Meatballs to Southwest Barbecue Meatballs. They definitely lend a more complex flavor then the image that comes to mind of simply saturating meatballs in BBQ sauce. We found the flavor and heat just perfect with these meatballs, you weren’t diving into the mashed potatoes because they were too hot. Serving with mashed potatoes also makes these flavorful meatballs seem like comfort food and is a great medium to soak up some of the gravy! These can be interchanged with ground beef or ground pork, whichever you prefer. They can also be made in advance and frozen, but they are quick enough to make on a weeknight as well.

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Southwest Barbecue Meatballs

Ingredients

  • 2 Tbsp dark brown sugar
  • 2 1/2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/4 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1/8 tsp ground cloves
  • 1 14.5oz can diced tomatoes with mild green chiles
  • 1 1/4lb ground turkey
  • 3 Tbsp Italian-seasoned dried breadcrumbs
  • 1 Tbsp chili powder
  • Cooking spray

Place the first 6 ingredients in a blender; blend until smooth. Set aside.

Combine the turkey, breadcrumbs, and chili powder in a larger bowl; using wet hands, shape into 16 meatballs.

Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Lightly coat pan with cooking spray. Add meatballs; cook 2 minutes, turning to brown on all sides. Add tomato mixture to pan; bring to a summer. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer for 6 minutes or until the meatballs are done.

Serves 4

Nutritional Information

Per serving (4 meatballs and 1/3 cup sauce)

279 Calories, 11.4g Fat, 29.5g Protein, 14.2g Carbohydrates, 2g Fiber, 98mg Cholesterol, 2.4mg Iron, 540mg Sodium, 61mg Calcium.

Source: Cooking Light April 2013

Gorgonzola Truffles

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I went to my first book club last week. I read the book, even though it cut into my sleep hours and even though I was warned that I didn’t need to read the book. We’d only talk about it for a few minutes. I’ve been so busy the past year that while my friends were “chatting about the book” I was home preparing for baby. Well, Mommy needed a night out and I thoroughly enjoyed the book club, read: enjoying great food and drinks and catching up on everything that’s been going on. Much needed!

I made these little bits because I wanted something different. Plus, I didn’t want to show up with just Prosecco. These have always been a hit, so much that when I made these for the evening I was actually a little burnt out on them myself. They were hit amongst the ladies though and that’s what matters. Plus, I had that extra room to enjoy the delicious food they brought!

These don’t take long to prepare and you can make the filling up to three days in advance. A delicious combination of cheeses and bacon, who can go wrong?

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Gorgonzola Truffles

Ingredients

  • 4oz cream cheese, softened
  • 4oz crumbled Gorgonzola cheese
  • 2tsp finely chopped onion
  • 1/2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1/2 cup cooked and crumbled bacon
  • Apple slices, pear slices, and grapes (optional)

Beat first 5 ingredients at medium speed with an electric mixer until well combined. Cover tightly and chill at least 1 hour or until firm (can chill up to 3 days).

Roll cheese mixture into 3/4-inch-round balls. Roll each ball in bacon. Serve immediately, or cover and chill until ready to serve. If chilled, let stand 30 minutes before serving. Serve with apple and pear slices and grapes.

Source: Southern Living April 2008

7

Spring is here! It may not feel like it, but it is. Even with a possible Nor’easter on the horizon I can see the difference. In wide open areas, the snow has melted and you can see the brown fields. The crocus are sprouting through the hard soil and the birds are chirping. We are almost there! To celebrate, I’ve made a wonderful side dish that is the essence of spring to me. Fresh green vegetables with a wonderful lemon aioli. If ever there was a fresh taste, it’s lemon! This is easy enough to whip up any night, but nice enough for all of those wonderful spring holidays. Easter, Mother’s day, Passover, etc. So, in just ten minute you can transform your green beans into a light and healthy side dish.

Green Beans with Lemon Aioli

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup Smart Balance mayonnaise
  • 6 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 tsp lemon zest
  • 1/4 tsp finely minced garlic
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 1/2 lb green beans, trimmed

In a bowl, whisk the mayonnaise, lemon juice, zest, garlic, salt, and pepper until well combined. Set aside.

Bring a large pot of water with a steamer basket to a boil. Add green beans and cook for 4 minutes. Transfer to serving dish and serve warm with aioli.

*The aioli can be made up to a day in advance and stored in the refrigerator. The flavor will become stronger.

Serves 8 (3oz beans per person and 1 1/2 Tbsp aioli per person)

Nutritional Information

Per serving: 104 Calories, 8g Fat, 7mg Cholesterol, 200mg Sodium, 10g Carbohydrates, 2g Fiber, 3g Sugars, 2g Protein.

Source: The Way to His Heart