Meatball Sliders

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One of my favorite shows on TV is The Pioneer Woman on FoodNetwork. An episode I happened to catch, had PW making mini-meatball sandwiches. I thought that that would be a great food item to go on a Super Bowl menu. Do you know that I don’t really watch Super Bowl? Most times, I don’t even know who’s playing. I’m just in it for the food and the commercials.

Shall we proceed.

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I pulled out about 2lbs of ground beef and threw in the items I had in my pantry. Using your hand, just get right in there and mix it all up.

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Roll out your meatballs on the large side, about 1 1/2 inches, slightly bigger than a golf ball.

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Normally, I just put all my meatballs in a baking dish and just cook them all that way. I decided that it would be better to have a little bit of a crust on the meatballs, so I cooked them in my pan, just browning the outside. Once the were brown on all sides, I put them in a baking dish and put them in the oven for about 20 minutes to cook all the way through. Make sure to cut a couple meatballs down the middle to make sure the middles aren’t pink.

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After the meatballs are cooked, I put my meatballs back in the pan, and threw in my favorite marinara sauce (mine is Hunts, because it cost me $1.10 a can). Is that bad?

Anyways. I turned the pan on low and let them simmer. While that’s going on, I got crazy and added some cheese —- pepperjack. You could add whatever cheese you want or have on hand. Or you could leave the cheese out all together.

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Throw on the lid and let the cheese melt.

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Ta-Da!!! Doesn’t that look yummy!!!!

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I had Hawaiian Sweet Rolls in my pantry, but let me suggest a hardier roll. These sliders can get quite saucy. You need a roll that can handle that and not get mushy. Let me just say that the slider was still DELICIOUS!!!

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There you have it. Meatball Sliders!! Add that to your Super Bowl menu, or weekday menu, or whatever menu you want.

Enjoy and may all your Super Bowl dreams come true.

MEATBALL SLIDERS

2 lbs. ground beef

1 cup bread crumbs

1 egg

2 Tbsp worcestershire sauce

1 packet dry onion soup mix

1/2 cup milk

1 can/jar of marinara sauce

2 dozen rolls

Mix all these ingredients, except the marinara sauce and rolls, together. If the mixture seems to dry, add a little more milk. If it’s too wet, add a little more bread crumbs.

Roll out ground beef mixture into 1 1/2 inch balls. Heat up 2 Tbsp of oil and brown meatball on all sides. After browning the meatballs, throw the meatballs in a baking dish and bake at 350 degrees for about 20 minutes. Check one or two meatballs when done to make sure insides are not pink.

After meatballs are cooked, put them back in the pan and simmer with favorite marinara sauce. This is when you can add in your cheese. Put lid on pan to let cheese melt. Once cheese is melted, serve meatballs on your favorite roll.

Easy Navajo Tacos

 

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My mouth is watering just looking at this picture. I was trying to make use of my Pinterest board, and came across a recipe for Navajo Tacos. I love, love, love Navajo tacos, BUT the thought of making the dough and then frying it up did not appeal to me. You will still need to fry up the dough, but you do cut out dough making part. When I found this recipe, I was soon on my to Wal-mart.

It’s so simple, that I don’t know if I would even call it a recipe. It’s more like a suggestion. The dough is just fried up Pillsbury Grand’s Biscuits.

First things first. Prep all the ingredients that will go on top of the fry bread.

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May I suggest some tomatoes, avocados, olives and lettuce.

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I just brown my ground beef and use my favorite taco seasoning. I suggest Lawry’s.

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Take one biscuit and roll it out to whatever thick or thinness that you want. When your oil is hot enough, drop it in carefully and let it brown on each side. It will cook fast so I suggest you don’t step away from the stove.

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Grab your toppings and put whatever you want. You really do need to eat these Navajo tacos when they’re nice and warm. That’s when they’re MOST delicious.

Just a suggestion ; )

Sweet-Sour Meatballs – Meatballs with an Island Flair

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So here’s a dish that I don’t make too often. It’s one of those that everyone loves, but because I don’t make it every month, no one is sick of it. You gotta have a stash of those kinds of recipes to pull out to shake things up a bit. First of all, I love meatballs. I’ll eat pretty much any kind of meatball that there is. So when I saw a few recipes for sweet sour meatballs, I decided to tackle this dish and make it my own. So here’s my version of Sweet Sour Meatballs.

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First up, start with the meatballs. You’ll need a bunch of ingredients, including meat. Very important. Don’t forget the meat. I usually just buy whatever is on sale, it’s totally up to you.

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Here are some other ingredients I throw in my meatball recipe. Once you have all these ingredients in one bowl, get your hands in there and start mixing it up.

P.S. Just realized I misspelled “worcestershire sauce”. Please don’t judge.

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Make sure you have a cute assistant to help you. They make whatever you are cooking taste better . . . or at least cuter (?) That totally doesn’t make sense, but you get what I’m saying.

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I use my cookie scooper and to get the amount I want for my meatballs, about 1 1/2 to 2 Tbsp of meat. Roll it out and cook. Some people like to cook it up on the stove in a skillet, which works. I choose to put my feet up and catch up on a show, so I put my meatballs in the oven. I bake it at 350 degrees for 40 mins. See. Enough time to catch up on the most recent episode of DWTS.

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While those are cooking, let’s work on the yummy sauce. Slice up some bell peppers and onions. Pour a little oil in a med size pan, about 2 Tbsp and cook up the onions and peppers for a few minutes. Your kitchen will smell delicious!! It doesn’t matter what color bell peppers you choose. I picked red because I thought the color would make my food at least look yummy ; ), because if all else fails with this recipe, at least it looked good. Lucky for you, I tried it and lived to tell the tale. Not only will the meatballs look good, but will taste just as good.

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After your veggies are done cooking, set them aside. Take some cornstarch and brown sugar and mix them in your skillet. Next add in your pineapple, juice and all, vinegar and soy sauce. A little note about the pineapples. It’s best to buy the pineapple tidbits. I only had pineapple chunks in my pantry. It doesn’t mess with the taste, just with the minds of a 9 year old.

Turn up the heat, and when your sauce starts boiling, it will begin to take on a clear look. Turn your heat down to low and add in your meatballs and veggies. Mix it all in there and then it is ready to serve.

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Sweet Sour Meatballs goes perfect with some nice hot rice. Have a green salad on the side and just crown yourself queen of the kitchen. Enjoy!!

 

SWEET SOUR MEATBALLS

Meatballs

1 1/2 lb of ground beef

2 Tbsp parsley

1 1/2 tsp salt

1/4 tsp pepper

1 egg

1/4 cup milk

2 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce

1 cup breadcrumbs

Mix all these ingredients together and roll out into 1 inch balls. Place on a greased pan to bake. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Bake meatballs for 40 mins. While meatballs are cooking, get sauce ready.

Sweet Sour Sauce

2 Tbsp oil

1 cup of sliced bell pepper

1/2  cup sliced onion

2 Tbsp cornstarch

3/4 cup brown sugar

2 (15 oz) cans of pineapple tidbits, include juice

1/3 cup vinegar

2 Tbsp soy sauce

Heat skillet with oil. Throw in bell peppers and onions and cook for a few minutes. Once veggies are semi-cooked, set on the side for later. Mix together cornstarch and brown sugar in heated skillet. Add in your 2 cans of pineapples with its juice, vinegar and soy sauce. Turn heat up to get sauce to boil. Once the sauce starts to boil, it will take on a clear look.  Add in your veggies and meatballs. Turn heat down to low and let everything simmer for a a few minutes.

Serve it on a plate of hot rice and enjoy!!

Beef Stew – Comfort Food for da Locals

If you go to any restaurant that sells local food here in Hawaii, you can bet your *okole that Beef Stew will be on that list —- *guarenzz.

Chicken and Dumplings is to mainland, as Beef Stew is to Hawaii. This is one of the top comfort foods any local will tell you. Just ask my husband. It’s his favorite.

It took me some time before I mastered Beef Stew. The key is to get your meat cooked just right so that it melts in your mouth. Serve it over a bowl of hot rice, and you got some *ono kine grindz. I adapted this recipe from Harry Kojima’s recipe book I found many years ago.

Whenever I make beef stew, I always chop everything up ahead of time. It just makes it easier and little less time consuming while I’m cooking. Making beef stew does take a couple of hours, but if you have all your ingredients prepped before starting, it will feel like no work at all.

Things to chop: onions, carrots, celery, potatoes, garlic, salt . . . (just kidding), and some good chuck roast.

Assuming all your ingredients are chopped, heat a pot with about 2 tbsp of oil on medium high while you dredge your beef first. For all you first time “cookers”, dredging is just sprinkling a coat of flour over your meat. Once your oil is hot, throw your garlic in and as all the TV chefs say, let the flavor infuse. This will actually only take a couple of seconds. Once you smell that garlic, throw your meat in to brown.

Now remember, we’re not fully cooking the meat at this point. If you try to do that, you will end up with *ono kine rubba. We’re just browning the beef. Stir around your beef in the hot oil. The outside of the meat should have a nice brown color. You’re meat will not look cooked enough to eat. In fact, it will look more raw than cooked. That’s how you want it at this point.

Next, throw in your onions, (I’m not sure why I’m always throwing my ingredients around. Part of my bossy nature I guess). Cook the onions with your meat for a few minutes. Pour in your water and add your bay leaves. Turn your heat to a low medium heat, enough to have the water simmer. Cover your pot with a lid, but not completely. I usually have a small opening for steam to escape, and so I can make sure my heat is not too high that the water is boiling, and not too low that the meat is just sitting there bathing. The recipe I use says to simmer your meat for about 1 1/2 hrs. I usually don’t start my dinner in time to allow my meat to simmer for that long. I usually just simmer the meat for about 30 to 45 minutes. See. Enough time to watch a Hulu episode of Team Damon or whatever floats your boat. Once you got  your fill of Team Damon, or whatever show you were watching. What? It’s not called Team Damon. Ok, nevermind. Back to the recipe. Add your vegetables at this point.

To give it color and more flavor, pour in a can of tomato sauce and some salt.

Then partially cover your pot and allow to simmer for another 30 to 45 minutes. After your stew has simmered, you will want to thicken your stew. I cheat and just use a thickener and get it to “stew thickness”.

When your beef stew has been thickened. It’s ready to be poured on top a plate (or bowl) or hot rice. Please make sure you have some hot rice on standby. You cannot eat this any other way. You just can’t. There IS no other way to eat Beef Stew when you’re in Hawaii. If you want to be called a local, you gotta have rice.

Oh my goodness, if you follow my directions, your meat should melt in your mouth when you eat this. And if this does happen for you, you may in fact pronounce yourself a beef stew master. Go ahead and take a bow.

*okole = your bootie     *guarenzz = guarentee           *ono kine grindz = really delicious food            *ono kine rubba = really delicious piece of rubber

 

BEEF STEW

Difficulty: Not that hard               Prep Time: 15 minutes                    Cook Time: 1 1/2 to 2 hours                   Servings: Feeds a Family of Six Hungry People

Ingredients

2 cloves of garlic, chopped                                       2 Tbsp oil

1 1/2 pounds of chuck roast, cubed                        1/2 of an onion, chopped

5 cups of water                                                          2 bay leaves

1 cup of chopped carrots                                         1 cup of chopped celery

1 cup of potatoes, cubed                                         1 can (8 oz) tomato sauce

2 tsp salt

Heat oil in a pot set on medium high heat. While oil is heating, dredge beef in about 1/2 cup of flour. Once oil is hot, add garlic and cook for just a few seconds, then add in your beef. Brown beef for about 2 minutes, then add in your onions and cook for a few more minutes.

Once your onions are looking a little cooked, your meat is partially brown, pour in water and throw in your bay leaves. Set your heat to medium low, partially cover your pot with a lid and let your meat simmer for about 30-45 minutes.

At this stage, pour in your chopped vegetables, can of tomato sauce, and add in your salt. Mix all your ingredients and partially cover your pot again, leaving it to simmer for another 30 to 45 minutes. When your meat and vegetables are cooked, you’ll want to thicken your stew. Once it’s thickened, it’s ready to eat. Pour over a bowl of hot rice and just enjoy this local favorite.

Aloha,

Da Beezee Coconut

Easy Grilled Shrimp – Made it up myself.

When you celebrate New Year’s in Hawaii, you gotta have seafood on the table. You can’t start the New Year without it. It’s a rule. I think. Shrimp is usually the seafood of choice for our family. It brings good luck.

I’m totally kidding. About the luck thing . . . moving on. Here’s how I did the shrimp.

Grab a two pound bag of medium sized shrimp, and if they’re not cleaned, please do your family a favor and clean them.

So here was my ingenious plan. I lined my bowl with a ziplock bag. This is where I’m dumping the shrimp.

Pour in some Italian dressing. Whatever brand you have in the fridge will be just fine.

Notice how in the photo before this, I had said my ziplock-bowl idea WAS ingenious. Now, notice in the picture above, where my ingenious plan ends. Try to follow only the good ideas that I have.

Luckily my problem was easily solved by pulling up the bag.

I poured a little olive oil in to help give the shrimp that crispiness when it grills.

I thought chopped green onions would add to the flavor we were going with these shrimp.

I thought right. After putting in the green onions, this marinade smelled soooooo delicious! At this point, seal up your bag in leave in your fridge for at least an hour. The longer, the better.

Now that your shrimp are happy, we skewer them. This will undoubtedly make you happy, because you will one step closer to having these babies cooked, except of course if you poke yourself with the skewer while prepping them. Then you’ll just be grouchy.  So, mental note, don’t poke yourself with the skewer.

Looks like a New Year’s celebration already. Once all those shrimp are ready, I just dump the marinade on top of the shrimp. If your grill is ready to go, then throw those shrimp on the bar-bie mate.

Like so.

It won’t take your shrimp long to cook. It will take on that reddish-orangey color when they’re done, and they will smell so good.

These grilled shrimp are great, not just at New Year’s, but all year round. Good thing Italian dressing is not a seasonal item. Next time shrimp’s on sale, fire up the grill.

 

GRILLED ITALIAN SHRIMP

Difficulty: easy peasy                     Prep Time: 1 hr 10 mins.                      Cook Time: 5 minutes for one skewer.        Serving Size: 8

 

Ingredients:

2 lbs. medium sized shrimp, shelled and deveined

1 cup Italian dressing

1 Tbsp olive oil

3 stalks of chopped green onion

Throw all these ingredients in a bowl, ziplock bag, big gulp cup, whatever you can find to use, to let these shrimp marinate. Put in the fridge for at least an hour. After an hour, skewer about 4 shrimp per skewer. While skewering, pre-heat grill. Once all shrimp are skewered, throw those shrimp on the bar-bie. Cook for about 3 minutes on each side. The meat will turn white, while the outside will look an orange-reddish color. Place done shrimp on a fancy platter and serve.

 

 

Caprese Pizza – Something Different

I got a little creative with my pizza today. I’ve been playing around with the idea of turning a caprese salad into a caprese pizza. It could work, right? There was only one way to find out if my vision could translate from salad bowl to pizza pan. I took my theory and applied it in the kitchen. I must say, I think I proved my hypothesis to be correct.

Let’s start out with our dough. You can find that recipe here.

Bust out the pesto. We’re using this as our base. Spread as much or as little as you want.

Next is your mozzarella cheese. Put as much or as little as you want. You should however be informed of the consequences of going either way. Too little will cause you to throw a tantrum because you’re not getting that cheesy goodness that only belongs to pizza. Too much, and you find yourself needing much fiber for days. The key is to find that delicate balance.

Here are our defining ingredients: fresh tomatoes and fresh basil. You will feel fancy as you tear up your fresh basil to put on your pizza. Once all these toppings are settled, slide your pizza into the oven to cook for a good 15 – 18 minutes.

While that’s baking, pour some balsamic vinegar in a small saucepan. If you thought tearing up fresh basil for your pizza was fancy, just wait. We’re about to reduce some vinegar to drizzle on top. For realz! Pour your desired amount in the saucepan. Keep in mind that since this process is a reduction, you’re going to be left with way less than what you started out with. No worries because you really don’t need a lot for your pizza. Heat up your pan to a medium high heat and let it simmer for about 15 – 20 minutes. Be careful! Don’t leave it because it will burn. After it’s simmered and reduced, let it cool.

When you let it cool, the vinegar thickens.

Take your pizza out of the oven, stand back, and admire the pretty colors.

Put your reduced balsamic vinegar in a squeezy bottle. If you don’t have a squeezy bottle, just use a spoon to drizzle.

Squirt it on in a linear fashion, a circular fashion, a rectanglar fashion, or whatever fashion you’re in the mood for.

Take a minute and admire your masterpiece. Now go get your pizza slicer and a plate.

My experiment worked. I measured my success by what was left on the pizza pan. Let me  tell you that the pan was empty by the end of dinner. Thebalsamic vinegar gives the  pizza a slightly sweet & slightly tangy flavor.

Try it. It just might become your favorite pizza combination yet.

 

CAPRESE PIZZA

Difficulty: Easy-Peasy                                  Prep Time: 30 minutes                            Cook Time: 18 minutes

Servings: 8

Pizza dough recipe here.

Toppings

Pesto for sauce base                                      1 cup of mozzarella cheese

slices of tomato                                              fresh basil

1/2 cup of balsamic vinegar

After preparing your pizza dough, spread on your pesto. Once your pesto been applied, sprinkle on the cheese. Take your tomato slices and fresh basil and top your pizza with it. When you’re done putting on your toppings, slide that pizza into your oven at 375 degrees for 18 minutes.

While that’s cooking,  take 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar in a small saucepan and heat over medium high heat. Simmer in your saucepan for about 20 minutes. Watch closely or it will burn. After vinegar has simmered and reduced by about half, let the sauce cool down. Once cooled, the sauce will thicken. Drizzle the sauce over your cooked caprese pizza and pat yourself  on the back for making something fun and different. Enjoy!