Archive for the ‘Main Dishes’ Category

Bacon Chicken Ranch Meatballs

We’re talking this is a meatball game changer folks!  This homemade blend of ground chicken and bacon, ranch and spices make up one SERIOUSLY DELICIOUS meatball! You cannot eat just one of these! And if you tried well, that’s just cruel!

Growing up Mom only ever made meatballs when she made spaghetti. They never were made outside of that.  Maybe if she had leftovers she made meatball subs but she never set out to intentionally have meatballs be the main dish. And never, ever were they considered an appetizer.  They were kind of like the “Plus 1” on a wedding invite.  They weren’t really invited but it was assumed they’d be there. And if I’m being honest here, Mom’s meatballs weren’t exactly on the top of my favorite foods list for 2 reasons:

  1. They had GINORMOUS chunks of onions in them. No no no no NO, never never never in my world, EVER!
  2. She used the exact same recipe for her meatballs as she did for her meatloaf… and I hated her meatloaf

Now I didn’t have my first “OMG that’s what a meatball is supposed to taste like?!?!” until I was in my mid-twenties and I was on a date pre-Mr. Fantabulous.  This guy (how terrible am I that I can’t even remember his name but I can remember the food?!) took me to this little Italian restaurant in the middle of no where for dinner. The place was old school – marinara stained red and white checkered tablecloths, old wine bottles with wax dripping down the sides and a waiter that spoke very broken English.
Take your meatballs beyond the plate of pasta!

Pressure Cooker Mexican Stuffed Peppers

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #HuntsHasHeart #CollectiveBias

No longer do you have to slave over a hot oven for hours to get seriously delicious stuffed peppers!  All you need is a pressure cooker and 10 minutes!  These Pressure Cooker Mexican Stuffed Peppers are easy, heart healthy and delicious!

Growing up stuffed peppers were a staple in my house.  Since we had a huge garden Mom would grow rows upon rows of peppers – green ones, never the good kind like red, orange or yellow. (I hate green ones). It’s a personal thing – to me they taste more bitter or it could simply just be my inner 7-year old acting up because I hated them then so I must hate them now.  Anyway, we’d pick our peppers (and now I’m literally citing ‘peter piper picked a peck of pickled peppers’ over and over in my head.. nice – and you’re welcome for it being stuck in your head now too). Yeah.. as I was saying, we’d pick the peppers and Mom would set at the kitchen table with 3-4 large roasters set up ready to do their magic.  She would stuff pepper after pepper after pepper.  There was one point she had so many we couldn’t give them away! Now where Mom’s Stuffed Peppers and mine differ is I love adding tomatoes into mine. They add such a rich flavor to filling plus seriously, all those healthy benefits are a huge bonus for me!  Tomatoes fit into my lifestyle perfectly – I want deliciousness and healthy!

Tomatoes are heart healthy. Tomatoes are low in calories, high in fiber, and have many nutrients that are good for your overall health, including: lycopene, folate, potassium and vitamins A, B, C, and E. So what’s that all mean? Lycopene is a natural occurring chemical that gives the tomatoes their red color. It’s a powerful antioxidant that, studies have shown, can help prevent cells from being damage. Additionally it’s been shown that it can help lower cholesterol.

Grab your pressure cookers and let’s get cooking!

Cucumber Cups with Creamy Chicken Whip

Easy, Healthy, Lo-Carb and Seriously Delicious are what these Cucumber Cups with Creamy Chicken Whip are all about! Cream cheese, chicken and spices whipped to a light mousse pipped into a cucumber cup.  Um HELLO!  YOU CAN EAT THE BOWL! 

*WARNING  – this post is deep and emotional* Wow, the end of January already.  I’ll be glad when this month is over because this month has sucked for me royally. The only thing that has been keeping me going is all of the healthy and delicious foods I’ve been whipping up.  With my sister’s recent passing I did something for the first time in my life – I went to food for comfort.  Food for comfort, not comfort food.  Big difference.  To me comfort foods make you feel all snuggly and hugged from the inside. They remind you of a memory, something that made you feel safe, loved, secure.

Yeah, no, food was nothing like that. I was (am still) so devastated that I literally was empty; numb. It’s like you are so sad that you can’t even cry if that makes sense. Mr. Fantabulous did everything perfect (and still does) to help me through the initial days after she passed to even now however I still felt … empty. I would just wander around the house, tissues in hand not really looking or focusing on one thing.  Even though not once did he ask for anything I would go out to the kitchen, cook/bake but it was like *I* was just going through the motions.  I had no appetite yet somehow all I did was eat.. non-stop.  So desperate to “feel” something other than sadness and pain.

…and that’s where food came into play. Food tastes good. It provides a type of satisfaction that is almost euphoric at times; it made me feel something other than pain. If it wasn’t nailed down or frozen solid I ate it. I did this for honestly about a day and that night I was sick as a dog. My body isn’t used to that.  That night I didn’t sleep much (from being so sad and from being so sick  – god my poor stomach) and started to think about what I had done.

So the next morning as I was making him his breakfast I started to reach for the jar of peanut butter and wheat bread (even though I literally ate a yogurt and protein shake like 10 minutes prior). I wasn’t hungry but it was like something my head triggered a “food = no more sadness” thought however this time I caught myself.  So I figured if I was going to eat (because honestly I cared but not really) I’d at least make healthy stuff that wouldn’t make me gain 50 pounds overnight or make me sick as a dog. Plus you know me, I firmly believe that eating healthy does not mean you have to sacrifice flavor.
Eating healthy doesn’t mean you sacrifice flavor

Pressure Cooker BBQ Jelly Drumsticks

These 15 minute BBQ Jelly drumsticks are a super easy and super delicious thanks to the pressure cooker!  You get all the great flavors of bbq’d chicken without ever having to fire up the grill. 

So please tell me you’ve joined the Pressure Cooking revolution by now. Perhaps Santa Amazon brought you one for the holidays or your birthday. I’ve been pressure cooking now for the past few years and honestly it’s changed my life and how I cook dinners.  Let’s face it, we’re busier now than ever.  We work, some times more than one job,  if you have kids they have a million and one activities.  We have the gym, school, late meetings, RIDICULOUS traffic and it just seems like more responsibilities. Free time is often a luxury rather than a given. At least that’s how my life is. Perhaps that’s why I gravitate so much towards using the pressure cooker.  It’s extremely efficient and instead of spending an hour or so on dinner I can have it all done in a quarter of the time which means that’s 45 free minutes I gained.  Plus the benefits of the flavor infusion that the pressure cooker imparts on the food – I’ve never had more tender, more flavorful foods.

Now when I post these recipes I’ll get one of 3 responses:

  1. Oh awesome! I love pressure cooking!
  2. I have a pressure cooker but am too afraid to use it.
  3. I am afraid to buy one because I’m not sure if they are safe.

Okay so let me debunk these items – well not number one as we LOVE to read the #1 responses!  Go Team Pressure Cooker!

Numbers 2 and 3 – I’m going to lump them into one response as the reason why most people are afraid to use it or are afraid to buy one is because they are unsure about how incredibly safe they are nowadays.
Join team Pressure Cooker and make free time for yourself by cooking dinner in one tonight!

Bloomin’ Loaded Baked Potatoes

Your boring baked potato just got all kinds of sexy with this Bloomin’ Loaded Baked Potatoes recipe!  Crispy skinned potato wedges all covered in melty cheese and crispy bacon.  Yeah, life just got a whole lot tastier!

For all of you newbies that found your way recently to the TKW Family, WELCOME!  Now there are a few things you need to know about me and my personality.  The way I write my posts and describe my recipes is I envision you’re sitting with me in my kitchen either watching me cook/bake or you’re helping me.  We’re chatting and laughing like we’ve been friends for decades – like the kind of friends who don’t judge you if you wear your sweats pants on inside out, your hair is a hot mess or if you trip will laugh til they cry all the while helping you up. When I write I open up my home and life as I want you guys to relate to me and to feel like you’re with me as I’m cooking or doing something. You feel at home here, even if you’re half way across the world, you still feel like family.

Something else you need to know about me – my husband is Mr. Fantabulous who has the metabolism of 967 people.  No seriously it’s unreal. I, on the other hand, have a negative metabolism (if there’s such a thing) meaning I don’t even have to eat food to gain jiggle.  I’m obsessed with pigs but I love bacon.  My logic is simply this – bacon is made from ugly pigs, not the uber cutsie ones that are dressed up.  I want a mini teacup pig, a cat and a dog but since our house is still being remodeled (9+ years now – we’re doing it ourselves) it’s not safe to have pets. I loathe anything cherries – I mean we’re talking not even cherry lip gloss. Pizza is my all time favorite food and my favorite veggie is the potato.   Thus this recipe… an ode to the glorious spud.

I’m sure at some point in your lives you’ve had some facet of a “Bloomin’ Onion” either from Outback Steakhouse or some other restaurant.  And even if you haven’t, you’ve had to have heard of them. Right? So these bloomin’ onions were cut in a way that, when batter dipped and deep fried would ‘bloom’ in the hot oil thus making the onion to look like a blooming flower.
These potatoes will dress up any dish. Turn a bland tater into something mouth watering!

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