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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

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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

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I know a lot of people talk about wanting to venture out when it comes to their meal planning. Maybe you want to try a different cuisine or you had something at a restaurant and you’ve never thought about making it at home. I love trying different cuisines, but there are a few that I shy away from since I don’t have a lot of experience with them. Indian is one of them since the spices are complex and out of my comfort zone. Cooking Light and David Joachim have just published a great book called “Global Kitchen” which puts together a broad recipe collection. You’ll find a lot of new dishes that you probably haven’t ever heard of, but you’ll also see ingredients that you are familiar with. It really has a nice balance and makes it easy for the home cook to get out of their comfort zone.

We’ve been on “Operation get my daughter to like potatoes” for a month or so now so naturally when I saw these cute little potato cakes that had cheese mixed in I thought we may have a winner. I was only half right, she liked them, but only if she could put sour cream on them. Then, once she realized we were happy that she liked them, she stopped liking them. Kids I tell ya! They are really simple, but have such a nice flavor. They aren’t too heavy and work well with the provided tomato salad or as a side starch for any dinner. They also reheat nicely. For an added richness, you could also add some chopped avocado to the tomato salad.

I really think you’ll enjoy this book, so Cooking Light has provided me with an extra copy to give to one of my lucky readers. I have so many recipes bookmarked and have also tried the Haitian Pork that was wonderful, albeit a little spicy for this bland girl. To enter, all you have to do is check out the Rafflecopter widget and follow the steps for several chances to win!

***Congratulations Laura!***

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Cooking Light provided me with the copy of Global Kitchen, but as always the opinions expressed here are solely my own. This giveaway is for residents of the contingent United States and will end on March 27th, 12:00 am EST. Physical address required for shipping; no PO boxes. All entries are subject to verification.

 

Ecuadorian Potato and Cheese Patties

Ingredients

  • 1 3/4 tsp kosher salt
  • 2 medium baking potatoes (about 1 1/4 lb), peeled and quartered
  • 1 1/2 oz shredded queso fresco or Monterey Jack cheese (about 6 tablespoons)
  • 2 Tbsp minced green onions
  • 1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 3/4 cup diced tomato
  • 1/2 cup julienne-cut red onion

Place 1 1/2 teaspoons salt and potatoes in a saucepan and cover with water. Bring to a boil; reduce heat, and simmer 15 minutes or until tender. Drain and mash with a potato masher until smooth. Cool.

Add cheese, green onions, remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt, and pepper to potato mixture, stirring well. Divide potato mixture into 6 balls (about 1/2 cup per ball). Flatten balls into 1/2-inch-thick patties (about 3-inch diameter). Place on a baking sheet; cover and refrigerate 20 minutes or until firm.

Heat large nonstick skiller over medium heat. Add oil to pan;swirl to coat. Place patties in a pan; cook 5 minutes or until bottoms are browned. Turn patties; cook 3 minutes. Top patties with tomato and red onion.

Serves 6

Nutritional Information

Serving size: 1 patty, 2 tablespoons tomato, and 4 teaspoons red onion

157 calories, 4.6g fat, 4.2g protein, 24.9g carbohydrate, 2.1g fiber, 6mg cholesterol, 0.6mg iron, 279mg sodium, 64mg calcium

Source: Global Kitchen by David Joachim