Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Italian Meatballs

Who doesn't love meatballs and spaghetti? We haven't had it in a couple years so I thought it was time. I came up with this recipe on the fly. I am sure they would be delicious with Parmesan cheese in the meat mixture, however I obviously can't add cheese now that I am dairy free.


  • 1lb Ground Chuck
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tablespoons Soy (SILK) milk. (Use your regular milk if you're not dairy free)
  • 1/2 cup panko bread crumbs
  • 1/2 Tablespoon dried italian herbs
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 2 teaspoons dehydrated minced onion
  • Olive Oil
  • 32 oz your favorite marinara

Place ground chuck in large bowl. Beat eggs and milk together in a little bowl before adding to the meat. Then add the bread crumbs, spices, garlic, and minced onion to the beef. Mix well with your hands. Use a medium sized cookie scoop to get uniform sized meatballs. Roll them with your hands and place on a cookie sheet.  Freeze for 5 - 10 minutes to harden.

Heat up a little olive oil in the bottom of a pan. Once the skillet is hot add half the meatballs and brown on all sides. Drain them on a paper towel while the next batch cooks. They don't need to cook on the inside at this point, but you want a nice crust to form on the meatballs. Once the meatballs are all browned, pour your favorite marinara sauce in the pan. Add the meatballs back to the pan, covering it. Stir occasionally, and let simmer for 30 minutes. Serve with pasta of choice.

Monday, March 12, 2012

The Best Pulled Pork EVER!

So I had a friend suggest this recipe when I was looking for a good pulled pork recipe. My husband had actually requested pulled pork, and its rare that he ever requests anything, so I knew I needed a killer recipe. The recipe my friend suggested was so amazing I need to share. I imagine it helped that I got the meat from our local butcher, as the quality is far superior around us then any local grocery store.

After I put the meat in the crockpot I forgot to move it to our utility room before we went out. Moose, our over grown red Irish Setter, broke the last crock pot pulling it off the counter. The crock broke clear in half. My husband remembered when we were at Starbucks, so the whole drive home I was scared dinner would not only be ruined, but so would my brand new crock pot! Luckily for Moose, and the crock pot it remained on the counter untouched. Moose is notorious for taking things off the counter, and as a result NOTHING can be left on there.

This is the original recipe: Crockpot Pulled Pork. I made very few changes to the original recipe.

Crockpot Pulled Pork

Slow Cooker Pulled Pork (spice rub from Cooks Illustrated)
Spice Rub:
2 tablespoon ground black pepper
2 teaspoons cayenne pepper
2 tablespoons chili powder
2 tablespoons ground cumin
3 tablespoons light brown sugar
1 tablespoon dried oregano
4 tablespoons paprika
2 tablespoons salt
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
1 (2 pound) boneless pork shoulder
2 cups barbecue sauce (I used Famous Daves Rich & Sassy.)
Combine all the spices and rub over the meat. The amount of spices is enough for two pork shoulders, if you use only a 2lb piece of meat. You should let the meat marinate for 3-24 hours, but I made it immediately. Place the pork shoulder in the crock pot. If the crockpot is much bigger than the meat, place it in a casserole dish, and then place that in the crock pot. Add 1/2 cup water to the bottom of the casserole dish, or crock pot, depending on where you are cooking the meat. Cook on low for 8 - 10 hours. Once the meat is fork tender take it out and shred it, while discarding any fat that the meat has. Add the meat back to the cock pot and mix in almost a cup of bbq sauce. Cook on low for half an hour. Serve it up, and drizzle more bbq sauce to taste.r 

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Sunshine Chicken

When I was younger my older sister made "sunshine chicken." I was an extremely picky kid but loved this recipe. I never had it again, but I never forgot about it. I did some googling and found this recipe for Sunshine Chicken.

I remembered my sister's recipe used honey, or at least I think it did. I decided to make some changes and try it out. It was so delicious that I need to share it. I served it with roasted broccoli and rice. Keep in mind my husband and I love garlic. Tone the garlic, or any spices down to adjust for your taste.

Sunshine chicken

6 Chicken breasts
1/2 cup ketchup
1/4 cup honey
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1/8 teaspoon ginger

Preheat the oven to 350. Mix ketchup, honey, soy sauce, garlic powder, cayenne pepper, black pepper, ginger, & minced garlic. Brush the mixture on the chicken and bake for an hour. Re-baste the chicken every 15 minutes. Enjoy!

It's Been a Long Time...

Well, as soon as I found out I was pregnant not only did my blog come to a screeching halt, but my cooking did too. We ate takeout almost nightly, which would have been pretty boring to blog about. But in the end we were blessed with the most amazing baby, so all the eating out was worth it!

At around 3 weeks of our daughter's life we found out she has a severe dairy allergy. Since she is breastfed, it meant I needed to learn to not only eat but cook 100% dairy free. It's been an adventure, and learning how many foods that you don't think have dairy in them actually do. Eating out at restaurants is a huge challenge as even cross contamination can give our daughter a severe allergic reaction.

I will not only blog about dairy free recipes, or recipes I make dairy free, but also the various dairy-free alternative products. Some of them have been okay, and some of them have flat out been bad.

But I am back! So follow along on this new adventure as I learn to cook and eat dairy free!

Friday, April 29, 2011

Bubble Pizza

So with last nights Best Meat Sauce Ever recipe I made this biscuit pizza casserole. It is similar to this recipe on Allrecipes.com, but much different.

1lb Best Meat Sauce
2 (12 ounce) packages refrigerated buttermilk biscuit dough
2 cubs shredded italian cheese blend

Preheat the oven to 350. Spray a 9x13 (glass) pan with Pam. Quarter the biscuits. Then layer the bottom of the pan with biscuit chunks. Pour or spoon meat mixture over the biscuits. Layer the cheese on next. Bake uncovered for 30 minutes.

Just Add Chocolate

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Best Meat Sauce EVER

I have a problem with tomato chunks. I don't like them one bit. Jarred spaghetti sauce tends to be full of  tomato chunks. So when I saw this recipe in my Taste of Home Prize Winning cookbook I got excited. It is AMAZING. I have made it several times. If you don't want a lot of spice tone down the crushed red pepper flakes.

1lb ground sirloin
2 tablespoons pre-minced garlic
1 can (15 ounces) tomato sauce
1 can (10 3/4 ounces) tomato soup, undiluted
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon dried parsley flakes
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1/8 teaspoon thyme
1/8 teaspoon tarragon
1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon

In a large skillet cook the beef and minced garlic. Once its finished cooking drain it. Add the remaining ingredients and simmer for 20 - 30 minutes. 

Tomorrow I will post the recipe I used this meat sauce in this week.

Till tomorrow,

Just Add Chocolate

Friday, April 15, 2011

Smoked or Charred Turkey?

How do you like your turkey? Because my dad was here we did a faux Thanksgiving, as he didn't get to celebrate with us last year. When I was a kid my dad ALWAYS, like at least monthly, grilling a turkey.  It was always amazing, and I wanted the specifics on how my husband could re-create it. I picked up just the breasts on the bone, with no legs or wings. After all, it was only three of us. Then sometime while the grill cover was on, the bird caught fire. Sadly we missed it, so I have no photos. When we went to check on the bird this is what we found:
I was ready to jump in the car to go get some chicken breasts to grill, when they decided to see if the bird was okay under the skin. Sure enough, once you pulled back the charred skin, we found the most juicy turkey EVER. This was so good that my husband declared he would grill a turkey for Thanksgiving, every year we are at our house, even in the snow.


  • Turkey - defrosted and cleaned out, can have its legs or not.
  • Garlic salt
  • Garlic powder
  • Hungarian paprika
  • grill
  • charcoal
  • hickory wood chips
  • fire
Soak your wood chips in water for an hour. Prepare your grill. We started with the charcoals getting hot in the middle, before moving them to the side. Then put a metal pan to catch the grease from the turkey in the middle. Put the soaked wood chips in a smoker box, and place on the coals. Put a little water in the bottom of the pan to help dilute the grease that will fall in it. We forgot this step, which is probably what caused our bird to go up in smoke.

Sprinkle the garlic salt on carefully so you don't over salt the bird. Use as much paprika and garlic powder as you like. I love garlic, so I might have used way too much for normal people. Put the bird right over where the metal pan is set. Cover the lid, with the vents all open. Grill for 2 1/2 - 3 1/2 hours depending on the size of your bird. Enjoy!

(More recipes coming soon from our faux Thanksgiving!)