Orange Chicken Meatballs

from: Life Made Simple

meatball.png

My 6 year old is like most others – a picky eater. He has never, EVER liked pasta (seriously? Did they switch babies on me at the hospital?), would live off of pb&j sammies if I’d let him, and has recently started having hunger attacks at 8:07pm every night.

However, one of his favorite things in the world to eat is Chinese Orange Chicken. Yep. You heard me. SPICY Orange Chicken. Again, if he could eat it every day, he would.

So, when I found this variation, I asked him if he’d like me to make it. He said, “Yeah! Sure! That’ll be good!”

I was unsure. I’ve tried variations on other things he likes and it goes over like a lead weight.

Much to my surprise, he did love it, and wanted seconds! He is also currently eating Round 3 as an after-school snack.

For the meatballs

  • ¼ c. milk
  • ½ c. panko breadcrumbs
  • 
1½ lb. ground chicken
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 
2 tbsp. green onion, minced
  • 2 tbsp. low-sodium soy sauce
  • ¼ tsp. ground ginger
  • 
1/4 tsp. salt
  • 
1/4 tsp. black pepper

For the sauce

  • ½ c. low-sodium chicken broth
  • ½ c. freshly squeezed orange juice
  • 1 tbsp. freshly grated orange zest
  • ½ c. granulated sugar or honey
  • ⅓ c. white or rice vinegar
  • ¼ c. low-sodium soy sauce
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • ¼ tsp. ground ginger
  • ¼ tsp. black pepper
  • 1 tsp. red pepper flakes
  • 1 tbsp. cold water
  • 1 tbsp. cornstarch
  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Line a standard size baking sheet with parchment paper or a baking mat, set aside.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, combine the milk and panko breadcrumbs. Allow to soak for 5 minutes. Add the chicken, egg, garlic, green onion, soy sauce, ginger, salt and pepper. Using your hands, mix together just until combined (overworking it will cause the meatballs to be dense).
  3. Shape into meatballs and place onto the prepared baking sheet. Place in the oven and bake for about 15 minutes or until cooked throughout (internal temperature of 165).
  4. Meanwhile, in a small saucepan set over medium-low heat, combine the chicken broth, orange juice, orange zest, sugar or honey, vinegar, soy sauce, garlic, ginger, black pepper and red pepper flakes. Bring the mixture to a low simmer. In a small bowl whisk together the cold water and cornstarch, add to the saucepan. Whisk until combined, continue cooking for 5 minutes or until the sauce thickens (I usually let mine go for about 8 minutes).
  5. Place the meatballs in a large bowl and cover with sauce. Toss to coat, serve hot.

Homemade Pimento Cheese

Thank you so much to the folks over at Tabañero for sending me two free bottles of their amazing hot sauce. I use it in a lot of recipes…but this one is my favorite.

tabanero

Homemade Pimento Cheese | Sarafina's Kitchen

  • 8 oz sharp shredded cheddar
  • 4 oz diced pimento; drained
  • 4T mayo
  • 2T green onion
  • 2t garlic powder
  • 5-6 dashes Tabañero
  1. Mix together. Seriously. That’s it.
  2. Makes awesome grilled cheese or put it in a Mason jar and use a spoon and some crackers.

Ultimate Crab Dip

from Coconut & Lime

It’s summertime, which means the devouring of tons of seafood in our house.  Growing up on the Gulf Coast of Texas, I can’t imagine my life without seafood being a part of it.  I made this for the 4th of July and have been craving it since. I think another batch will be whipped up at Warncke Haus this week.

Ultimate Crab Dip | Sarafina's Kitchen

  • 16 oz blue crab claw meat
  • 8 oz cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 3/4 cup sour cream
  • 3/4 cup sharp cheddar
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons Old Bay
  • 1/2 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/4 teaspoon celery seed
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon mustard powder
  • 1 shallot, minced
  1. Preheat oven to 350. Mix all ingredients EXCEPT the cheddar cheese until they are evenly distributed. Or, if you are like me and you hate mincing yet don’t want any chunky shallot bits in the final dip or want make sure the ingredients are fully incorporated, place all of the ingredients EXCEPT the cheddar and crab in a food processor and pulse until smooth. Then stir in the crab.
  2. Spread into a 8×8 inch baking dish. Sprinkle with the cheese in an even layer. For bonus points, shake a bit of Old Bay on top of the cheese.
  3. Bake for about 15 minutes or until the cheese is melted and bubbling.

Casa Olé Green Sauce

 

Casa Olé Green Sauce | Sarafina's Kitchen

  • 4 Hass avocados
  • 1 16 ounce container sour cream
  • 1 can Rotel tomatoes
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1 4 ounce can green chilies
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 3 ounces cream cheese
  1. In a food processor combine cream cheese, avocados, lemon juice, garlic powder, salt, and sour cream, process until smooth.
  2. Add in the Rotel tomatoes, and green chilies in, and pulse several times to finish the sauce.
  3. Serve with chips.

Mini Pizza Quinoa Bites

recipe courtesy of Iowa Girl Eats

 

Mini Pizza Quinoa Bites | Sarafina's Kitchen

  • 2 cups cooked quinoa, cooled slightly or chilled (about 1/2 cup uncooked quinoa – be sure to rinse well before cooking)
  • 2 whole eggs
  • 2 egg whites
  • 2 cups chopped pizza toppings (pepperoni, black olives, pineapple, ham, onions, sausage, peppers, etc.)
  • 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • Pizza sauce, for dipping
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees, line a baking sheet with foil, then spray a 24-cup mini muffin tin VERY well with nonstick spray and set aside.
  2. Add all ingredients except pizza sauce to a large bowl then stir to combine. Fill mini muffin tin cups to the top with the mixture then place on prepared baking sheet and bake for 15-20 minutes, or until golden brown. Let cool for 5 minutes before removing from cups. Serve with warmed pizza sauce.
  3. TO FREEZE: Place baked cups on a baking sheet then freeze until solid and transfer to a freezer bag. Microwave for 20-40 seconds depending on how many you’re reheating.
  4. FOR REGULAR-SIZED MUFFIN TINS: Bake for 25-30 minutes (Note: I have not tried this myself, although several readers have left comments saying this works!)

Shrimp-Pineapple Skewers

skwere

Recipe courtesy of Ree Drummond

  • 1/2 cup thick teriyaki sauce
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 dash kosher salt
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 green onions, sliced
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 1 fresh pineapple
  • 2 pounds jumbo shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 1 pound bacon, package sliced in half
  1. Special equipment: about 30 wooden skewers, soaked in water for at least 30 minutes (up to 2 hours)
  2. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Set a roasting rack in a large baking pan.
  3. To make the marinade, pour the teriyaki sauce in a bowl and then throw in the ginger, sugar, crushed red pepper, salt, garlic, green onions and lemon juice. Stir it around and set it aside.
  4. Next, cut the pineapple into chunks by lopping off the top, slicing off the rind, cutting the pineapple into wedges, slicing off the hard inner core and then cutting the slices into chunks. Store half the chunks in the fridge for snacking.
  5. Place a chunk of pineapple on top of a shrimp and then wrap the whole thing in one of the half-slices of bacon. Stick a skewer through the whole thing so that it holds the pineapple, shrimp and bacon securely, and lay it on the rack in the pan. Continue with the remaining ingredients. Brush each skewer generously with some of the marinade.
  6. Roast the skewers for 10 minutes. Remove them from the oven and brush with a second coat of marinade. Return the pan to the oven and roast until the bacon is sizzling and the shrimp is cooked, about 15 minutes.

Holiday Roll Ups

recipe courtesy of FoodNetwork

rolls

  • 2 packages cream cheese, softened
  • 1 package ranch dressing mix
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 5 flour tortillas
  • 1/2 cup finely diced green bell peppers
  • 1/2 cup finely diced red bell peppers
  • 2 green onions, sliced
  1. Mix the cream cheese, ranch dressing mix and the black pepper together thoroughly.
  2. Spread the mixture on the tortillas, and then sprinkle over the diced bell peppers and green onions. Roll up tightly, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate until party time (for at least 1 hour).
  3. Slice into small wheels and serve.

Holiday Party Pops

from FamilyFun Magazine, December/January 2014

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Party Pops pictured on top of platter

  • 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 3/4 cup (about 3 ounces) crumbled blue cheese
  • 3/4 cup dried cranberries, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup pecans
  • Pretzel sticks
  1. Line a baking sheet with parchment or waxed paper. Use a spatula to stir together the cream cheese, blue cheese, and cranberries in a medium bowl. If needed, break up larger chunks of blue cheese so that the mixture is smooth.
  2. Use your hands to roll the mixture into heaping teaspoon-size balls and place them on the baking sheet. Tip: Dampen your hands with water to keep the mixture from sticking to them. Cover the cheese balls with plastic wrap and chill them in the refrigerator for two hours (this step can be done one day ahead).
  3. While the cheese balls are chilling, toast the pecans. Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Spread the nuts on a baking sheet and bake until they’re slightly browned and fragrant, about 8 minutes. Let them cool completely, then finely chop them. (A food chopper allows kids to complete this step.) Transfer the nuts to a sheet of parchment paper or a medium bowl.
  4. Roll each ball in the pecans and insert a pretzel stick. Keep the balls chilled until ready to serve.

Pumpkin Cheese Ball

Recipe courtesy of my friend, Jeff B.  Since he uses Falafel Chips in place of nacho cheese chips, it makes it a gluten-free treat.

cheeseball

  • 16oz cream cheese
  • 2 cups shredded chipotle cheddar
  • 3 T minced onion
  • 2 T salsa
  • 2 t ground cumin
  • Levant Original Falafel Chips
  1. With a mixer, blend 16 ounces room-temperature cream cheese with 1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar, 3 tablespoons minced onion, 2 tablespoons salsa, 2 teaspoons ground cumin and 1 teaspoon minced jalapeno.
  2. Scoop onto plastic wrap and use the wrap to form the mixture into a 5-inch pumpkin-shaped ball; chill at least 2 hours.
  3. To serve, unwrap, roll in crushed falafel chips and press a bell pepper stem into the top.
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