Tuesday, May 24, 2011

bacon and sun-dried tomato guacamole

Yummy note: So my inspiration for this recipe came from when I went to one of Rick Bayless' restaurants last year. The guacamole there was just so tasty, I wanted to make my own and find some good flavors. I didn't want just any imitation salty flavors, like when you often use one of those pre-packaged mixes you stir up with any ole avocado. So I found some guacamole recipes in the Fiesta at Rick's Cookbook http://www.rickbayless.com/cookbooks/fiestaatricks.html and decided to adapt them to a bit and make my own creation. This bacon and sun dried tomato guacamole is a mix of two of his recipes. I didn't have all the ingredients on hand for any of the recipes, so I made some variations, and it came together very nicely and quickly was able to make a delicious side dish.

Bacon and Sun-Dried Tomato Guacamole

4-5 slices of bacon (about 1/2 cup or so crumbled up)
2 ripe avocados
1/2 medium onion, diced (about 1/4 cup diced)
1/4 cup of fire-roasted red bell peppers, chopped (can find these peppers already roasted and prepared in a jar)
1/3 cup soft sun-dried tomatoes, chopped
1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
about 1/2 fresh lime


Prepare bacon and cook to desired crispiness. Let bacon cool on paper towel (if you can handle just letting the bacon sit without eating it all :). When cool, crumble up bacon.

Cut open and prepare avocados by scooping out the avocado and place in a mixing bowl. I used a potato masher here and it worked beautifully to break up the avocados well.

Next, add in diced onion, cut up sun-dried tomatoes, cilantro, bacon crumbles, and red roasted peppers.

Add in the lime juice at the end and season with salt if needed. Cover guacamole with plastic wrap directly against the guacamole so that it does not turn brown as fast. Keep in refrigerator. Can garnish with extra cilantro and bacon when ready to serve.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

beef meatballs

Yummy note: What I love about this recipe is that I can make it ahead of time and freeze it. Right after I had my little guy in February, my mom came in and helped me make a batch of these guys to keep in my freezer for those quicker no prep needed meals. With this recipe, you just pop the frozen meatballs into the oven or crockpot, pour on the sauce, and that's it. Just a little bit of prep time makes for an easy supper. You can eat these as they are, or a variation my daughter loves is to throw them on some type of bread and make a meatball sandwich! Another variation how we've used these meatballs is we have made them with a marinara sauce and served them with pasta. My family really loves this recipe, whenever we make it, there is rarely any leftovers since it is such a crow pleaser. I hope you enjoy it as much as our family does too.

Beef Meatballs


3 lbs. ground beef
1 - 12oz. can of evaporated milk
1 cup oatmeal
1 cup cracker crumbs
2 eggs
1/2 cup chopped onions or substitute with some onion flakes if you don't care for lots of onions
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper

BBQ Sauce Recipe:

Combine 2 cups catsup, 1/2 tsp garlic powder, 1/2 cup chopped onions or onion flakes, dash of Worcestershire sauce, and 1 cup brown sugar in a sauce pan. Cook and stir until sugar is dissolved.


Combine ingredients until well mixed.
Then roll mixture into balls. I used a cookie scooper to help maintain a constant size, which helps later when baking them. (This recipe makes anywhere from 60-80 meatballs, depending on size.)
Place meatballs in a single layer on a cookie sheet lined with waxed or parchment paper. If you don't have those, aluminum foil works ok, too. Freeze meatballs until solid. Then refreeze meatballs until ready to use in either a storage container or freezer bags.
When ready to cook meatballs, place them in a 9 x 13 pan and pour over BBQ sauce.
Bake at 350 degree oven for about 1 hour, really depends on the size of your meatballs. You may also cook in a crock pot on high for about 2 hours and then on low for about 3 more hours.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

double chocolate brownie bites

Yummy note: The other night I was really hungry for some brownies, but we had no box mix in the cabinet, so I went searching in my cookbooks and came across this. I think it came out of an older Pillsbury or Betty Crocker cookbook. The beauty of this recipe is that I didn't have to wait for a whole pan of brownies to be finished. Instead in just a few minutes, I had warm yummy chocolate bites that reminded me of brownies.

Double Chocolate Brownie Bites


1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup butter, softened
1/2 tsp vanilla
1 egg
1 cup all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/8 salt
1/2 cup chocolate chips

Heat oven to 375 degrees. Combine brown sugar and butter and beat until light and fluffy. Add vanilla and egg.

Next, mix in flour, cocoa, salt, and baking soda. Stir in chocolate chips until blended well.

Scoop dough out by teaspoonfuls onto an ungreased cookie sheet and bake for about 8 minutes in preheated 375 degree oven. Try not to overbake the cookies or else they will turn out very hard. For one of my batches of cookies I took them out even earlier than the 8 minute suggested time and got almost a more gooey-like fudgy brownie inside.