Meatloaf Cupcakes

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Have you noticed the cupcake craze lately? I’ve seen lasagna cupcakes, taco cupcakes, mac and cheese cupcakes, etc…. I like the idea of that, actually. It’s a nice serving size for someone like me, who always takes way too much food. Yep, I’m one of those people.

You basically can take your favorite meat loaf recipe and mashed potato recipe and combine them to make a mini meatloaf cupcake. I used the recipe from Skinny Taste for the meatloaf part and thought it was very clever adding a zucchini in there for some more veggies. The lady at the grocery store charged me for a cucumber, instead of a zucchini so I lucked out on that one. You’d think if you worked at a grocery store you should be able to tell the difference between a zucchini and a cucumber??? The meatloaf was delicious and I just kind of tossed together all my favorite things in mashed potatoes like sour cream, parmesan cheese, and butter. Try these, you’ll really like them and they’re so cute!

Ingredients adapated from Skinny Taste

1.3 lb 93% lean ground turkey
1 cup grated zucchini, all moisture squeezed dry with paper towel
2 tbsp onion, minced
1/2 cup seasoned breadcrumbs
1/4 cup ketchup
1 egg
1 tsp kosher salt

mashed potatoes

10 medium baby red potatoes
2 tablespoons of sour cream
3 tablespoons of butter
3 tablespoons of parmesan cheese
3 teaspoons of garlic powder
salt & pepper to taste
1 teaspoon of chopped chives

Directions

preheat the oven to 350°. Line a muffin tin with foil liners.

Bring potatoes a boil. Use a fork and prick them to see if they’re fork tender. If they are then they’re done. Mash the potatoes with a potato masher and mix the next 6 ingredients with the potatoes. Fill a piping bag with the potatoes.

In a large bowl, mix the turkey, zucchini, onion, breadcrumbs, ketchup, egg, and salt. Place meatloaf mixture into muffin tins filling them to the top, making sure they are flat at the top. Bake uncovered for 18-20 minutes or until cooked through. Remove from tins and place onto a baking dish. Use a piping bag to frost the “cupcakes.”

Pumpkin Cupcakes with Pumpkin fluff frosting

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The Fall season is almost here, and that’s my favorite of all seasons.:)  It really felt like Fall today with a high of only 69 and there was a light cool breeze with rain. I’ve been craving something with pumpkin a lot lately and thought of pumpkin “fluff.” You take a can of pumpkin, a box of instant vanilla pudding mix, a 1/4 teaspoon of pumpkin pie spice and mix that together. Fold in the cool whip, and it’s delicious on it’s own. It’s even better as a frosting on top of some pumpkin cupcakes.

These pumpkin cupcakes only have 2 ingredients. 1 box of cake spice mix and 1 can of pumpkin puree. Very healthy cupcakes. You can add water or egg whites if you like and I added some water to make the batter a little more moist. Ben didn’t believe me at first when I told him there was only 2 ingredients in it. He ate one and asked me, you only added a can of pumpkin to these cupcakes? I said yep. Then he said “Good, I can eat three more of them, since they’re really healthy.” He loved just the cupcake part of them and I really like them with the pumpkin fluff frosting.

Servings: 24 Cupcakes

Nutrition Info (without fluff) Calories: 102, Carbs: 17.5g, Fiber: 0.9g, Protein 1.1g

Points Plus: 3

Ingredients

1 16.5 oz box of cake mix (I like using the spice mix)

1 15 oz can of pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling)

Frosting:

1 15 oz can of pumpkin

1 box of instant vanilla pudding mix

1/4 teaspoon of pumpkin pie spice

1 container of cool whip

Directions:

Mix together cake mix and pumpkin puree. Add in about 1/4 cup of water if the consistency is too thick or if you please. Divide batter in muffin tins.

Meanwhile, mix together box of instant vanilla pudding and 1 can of pumpkin puree until the instant pudding is dissolved. Add in 1/4 teaspoon of pumpkin pie spice. Gently, fold in the whole container of cool whip. Once the cupcakes have cooled, frost the cupcakes with the pumpkin fluff frosting. Enjoy!

Bubble Up Pizza

You guys liked the bubble up enchiladas so much, that I decided to try the bubble up pizza version of it. I’ve seen it pinned so many times now, that the enchilada version has become my most popular post on my blog. Yay, thank you to everybody for making that post such a success!

The pizza version is just as good and easy as the enchilada version. I do however, like the enchilada version, best so far. Always keep a can of biscuits in your fridge and you can pull together a week night meal as easy as this, in a snap. Turkey pepperoni is actually pretty good too, and tastes just like the fatty kind. Minus the grease.  Go out and try some turkey pepperoni if you haven’t tried it yet.

Calories 378 | Fat 16.36g | Carbohydrate 34.36g | Fiber 1.3g | Protein 25.84g

Bubble Up Pizza Casserole from Weight Watcher Boards
8 servings
Points Plus = 10 per serving

1 pound 96% lean ground beef
2 teaspoons onion powder, or 1 onion, chopped
16 ounces tomato sauce
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
15 ounces refrigerated buttermilk biscuits, buttermilk
Add whatever typical pizza toppings you like, green pepper, turkey pepperoni, mushrooms, etc.
1 1/4 cups part skim milk mozzarella cheese, shredded

1. Preheat oven to 350 F. In skillet, brown meat over medium high heat until browned, stirring to crumble. Stir in onion powder, tomato sauce, basil, garlic and Italian seasoning.

2. Add quartered biscuits; stir gently until biscuits are covered with sauce. Mix in toppings of your choosing. Spoon mixture into a 9×13 inch baking dish coated with cooking spray. Bake for 25 minutes. Sprinkle with cheese; bake an additional 10 minutes or until biscuits are done. Let stand 5 minutes before serving.

Zenith Salsa

This is quite possibly the best salsa ever. My brother and I would request a jar of it, every time from my Aunt.  At my bridal shower, my aunt finally  gave me the recipe and I was so happy. I made a batch of it today, and it tasted like I remembered it, way back when I was a kid.

Most of  the time when I make salsa, I was trying to just throw together my version of it and not really going by a recipe. Half of the time, I would not be happy with the results. Maybe it was because, I didn’t use enough salt or not enough spices? Who knows?! Now, I don’t need to try coming up with my own salsa recipe anymore. This is the only one I need. I did get a lot of other recipes at my bridal shower, that I will be trying and they will be making an appearance on my blog soon. :)

I halved this recipe because I only had enough tomatoes from my garden, which was about 4 pounds. If you’re wondering 2-3 pounds of tomatoes is about 1 quart. I used my food scale to figure out how much I needed. Still waiting for all the rest of my tomatoes to turn red.

P.S. I don’t know why it’s called Zenith Salsa.

Ingredients from my Aunt Carol

4 quarts of tomatoes

2 green bell peppers

5 jalapeno peppers

3 1/2 cups of chopped yellow onion

2 tablespoons of cumin

3-4 tablespoons of garlic powder

1/4 cup of canning salt (I used kosher)

Directions.

Peel the skin off the tomatoes after they’ve boiled in water for a minute. The skin will come off very easily. Chop all the ingredients and mix them in a large pot. Cook on low for 1-2 hours. It will thicken, the longer it cooks.

Enchilada Lasagna

I never knew how easy it was to make your own enchilada sauce. Alton Brown really nailed this one I think. It’s better than the stuff you get in the can. From now on, I’ll be making my own enchilada sauce.

I found dried chipotle peppers in the produce section and not in the Ethnic aisle. Thought that was really weird.The peppers were with some spices, garlic, and shallots. You could probably use the canned chipotle peppers for this too. Just mince them up really fine. The dried peppers were really hard to dice and you have to fish them out of the sauce if you don’t want to bite down into the pepper.

I’m not sure if I like soggy corn tortillas. I actually prefer my enchiladas rolled up into a burrito so that they can get crispy on the outside. You could just as well use lasagna noodles if you don’t want to use corn tortillas for this dish. I think that’s what I’d do next time when I make it again.

Ingredients form Alton Brown

For sauce:

2 dried chipotle chiles, stems and seeds removed, diced
3 large garlic cloves, minced
2 1/2 teaspoons chili powder
1 1/2 teaspoons toasted cumin seeds, freshly ground
2 cups chicken broth
3 cups tomato sauce
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

For filling:

1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts or thighs, cubed
1 1/2 cups diced onion
Pinch kosher salt
1 large clove garlic, minced
1 teaspoon dried oregano
12 (6-inch) corn tortillas
3 cups shredded queso fresco or Monterey Jack
Nonstick cooking spray

Directions

Combine the chiles, garlic, chili powder, cumin, chicken broth, tomato sauce, salt and pepper in a medium saucepan over high heat. Bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 15 minutes or until the chiles are soft. Set aside until ready to use.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Heat the vegetable oil in a medium skillet over medium-high heat. Saute the chicken until cooked through, approximately 7 to 9 minutes. Remove the chicken from the pan and place in a medium bowl. Add the onions to the same pan along with a generous pinch of salt, decrease the heat to medium-low and sweat for 4 to 6 minutes. Add the garlic and oregano and cook until the onions are tender, 2 to 3 minutes more. Add the chicken back to the pan and remove from the heat.

Spray a 13 by 9-inch glass baking dish with non-stick spray. Place 1/2 cup of the sauce into the bottom of the dish. Dip 4 tortillas into the remaining sauce and lay them into the bottom of the dish. Cut 1 of the tortillas in half to evenly cover the bottom of the dish. Top this with half of the chicken mixture and 1 cup of the cheese. Starting with 4 more tortillas, repeat the layers, ending with the last 4 tortillas on top. Pour remaining sauce over the dish and top with remaining 1 cup of cheese.

Cover with aluminum foil and bake in the oven on the middle rack for 30 minutes. Remove the foil and bake an additional 10 minutes, or until cheese on top is bubbly.

Refrigerator Bread and Butter Pickles

I haven’t done much canning yet this year. I think canning is a stupid name for it anyway. Why do they call it canning when you’re putting all your produce in jars? Shouldn’t it be called jarring? My tomatoes are still turning color and I get some every now and then that are ripe enough to pick. I don’t really want to can just a little bit of tomatoes at time ya know?

I’m kind of still confused about the whole process of canning. What if you want to make some pickles and put them in jars? Most recipes for pickles, just require mixing your sugar vinegar and cucumbers in a bowl and storing them in a container. Do you even have to boil the jars in water then if you want to store the cucumbers in the jar? Hmph?!

We had some cucumbers in our garden and the neighbor lady across from us was nice enough to give us some of her cucumbers. Ben likes to call pickles ruined cucumbers. I like to call them delicious! I found this recipe on the tasty kitchen blog and now I can’t wait to have some burgers. These are just good to snack on too.

Ingredients from Tasty Kitchen

7 cubes Sliced, Unpeeled Cucumbers
1 cup Sliced Onion
1 cup Slice Green Peppers
1 cup Cider Vinegar
2 cups Sugar
1 Tablespoon Celery Seed
1 Tablespoon Salt

Directions

Mix everything together cold and store in covered container in refrigerator. It’s best to allow it to sit for about 5 days so the flavors can mingle. These keep for months

Pork Chops with Cherry Couscous

Pork Chops with Cherry Couscous is a dish where the flavors blend together very nicely. The lemon juice gives it a nice hint of freshness in the end. I loved the different textures and biting into the almonds and dried cherries. I’m a big fan of dried cherries. I pick up big bags of them all the time whenever I go to Sam’s Club.

Couscous is super easy to make too, and if you’ve never tried it before please do. At first, I thought that the there wouldn’t be enough liquid (3/4 cup of water) to cook the couscous all the way. That was actually plenty.

*Note

I’m trying to come up with my own logo and header for this site. I’ve been messing around a lot in Illustrator and finding a design based off a recipe card. I’m not sure why the colors are being messed with in this header image. Please bare with me while I try to figure it out.

Calories: 495 | Fat: 22.3g | Carbohydrate: 43.8g | Fiber: 5g | Protein: 29.7g

Servings: 4

Ingredients from Cooking Light

3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
4 (6-ounce) bone-in center-cut pork chops
1 teaspoon salt, divided
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Cooking spray
1 cup uncooked couscous
3/4 cup boiling water
1 cup coarsely chopped pitted cherries
1/2 cup sliced green onions
1/3 cup dry-roasted almonds, chopped
2 teaspoons grated lemon rind
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

Preparation

1. Preheat grill to medium-high heat.

2. Brush 1 tablespoon olive oil evenly over both sides of pork, and sprinkle evenly with 1/2 teaspoon salt and black pepper. Place pork on a grill rack coated with cooking spray, and grill 4 minutes on each side or until desired degree of doneness. Let pork stand for 5 minutes.

3. Place couscous in a large bowl. Add 3/4 cup boiling water; cover and let stand for 5 minutes. Uncover and fluff with a fork. Stir in remaining 2 tablespoons oil, remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt, cherries, and remaining ingredients. Serve with pork.