Chicken Parmesan Meatballs…Yummmm

Taste for Adventure

Taste for Adventure

Hi!  It’s Monday morning and so I start contemplating what the dinner menu holds for this week.  If I wait until I get home to try and decide my children wallow around the house like they’re starving while sneaking handfuls of Cheese-Its.  You’ve been there.  So here we are at the Chicken Parmesan Meatballs – these look incredible; perfect for topping off a bowl of warm pasta and a nice change-up from traditional ground beef meatballs. 

via tablespoon

Ingredients

  • 1 cup panko
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1  egg
  • 1 pound ground chicken breast (or dark meat)
  • 1/2 cup diced red bell pepper
  • 1/2 cup diced white onion
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • 6 fresh basil leaves, torn
  • 1 pinch salt and pepper
  • 16 small mozzarella cubes, cut from a block
  • 2 cups Muir Glen marinara sauce
A Taste for Adventure / Tablespoon

A Taste for Adventure / Tablespoon

Directions

1.   Preheat oven to 400 F.

2.  In a small bowl, combine the panko, half of the Parmesan cheese, and the olive oil. Using your fingers, combine the mixture until it’s evenly coated. Set aside.

A Taste for Adventure / Tablespoon

A Taste for Adventure / Tablespoon

3.  In a large bowl, lightly beat the egg. Then add the chicken, red bell pepper, onion, garlic, oregano, the remaining Parmesan,     basil, and a pinch of salt and pepper. Mix well with your hands.

4.  Lightly coat a mini muffin tin with cooking spray. Place a couple of tablespoons of the chicken mixture in each well. Nestle a cube of mozzarella in the center of the mixture. Pat the chicken over the cheese to completely cover it.

Adventures in Cooking / Tablespoon

A Taste for Adventure / Tablespoon

5.  Sprinkle the panko/Parmesan mixture on top of each chicken mound, lightly pressing it into the meat.

6.  Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until the panko is golden brown and the chicken is cooked through. If needed, you may broil the panko to further brown it.

7.  Let rest 5 minutes. Then using a knife, lightly loosen each meatball from the muffin tin.

8.  In the meantime, warm the marinara sauce in a small saucepan.

Taste for Adventure / Tablespoon

Taste for Adventure / Tablespoon

9.  Serve chicken parmesan meatballs with warmed marinara.

How to Choose the Healthiest Meats…Infographic

Master In Cooking

Master In Cooking

My husband is constantly pushing me to consider the proteins and fat in our meal choices and a big part of that comes from the meat.  He’s been working out a lot lately (yay!) so I happily do my best to comply – which is why I was so excited to come across this infographic! Being that tomorrow is Father’s Day and most of the male population will be eating some form of grilled meat, this might be a great reference to bring along with you to the grocery store or to consider while you’re planning out your Father’s Day menu!

Greatist

Greatist

Transforming Mini Blinds into Chic Roman Shades…Weekend DIY

 

The Happiness of Living

The Happiness of Living

Window treatments can totally update the look and feel of a room but they can be so expensive!  Thanks to The Little Green Notebook that’s not a problem anymore.  Take your old, unflattering white blinds and use the bones of the slats and pull string to create custom roman shades – with no sewing at all!!!

via The Little Green Notebook

Supplies–
Tape measure
Scissors
Fabritac (or comparable fabric glue – NOT HOT GLUE!)
Mini blinds (like the $3 Target mini blinds)
Fabric (yardage depends on the size of your window)
Trim (optional)

1. Measure you windows carefully. Then do some math and figure out how many folds you want in your shade. I like the look of a fold every 9 inches, which meant I only needed 6 slats for my small windows.

Little Green Notebook

Little Green Notebook

2. Let out the blinds all the way, making them the longest they can be. Carefully cut away all of the thin tilting/ladder-like strings, being very careful not to cut the thicker lift cord. I simply ran my scissors along the top of the slats, cutting away the tilt strings and avoiding the lift string altogether.
3. Take out the plastic plugs from the bottom of the miniblinds and remove and put aside the thick bottom slat piece (you’ll need this later). Then simply pull off most of the slats, while leaving the few you’ll need for the folds of the shade. Like I mentioned before, I only needed six slats for my shade.

Little Green Notebook

4. Make sure the blinds are still let out all the way. Measure carefully and reinstall the thick bottom slat so that the length of your window and the full length of the shade are roughly the same. I decided to make my shade about 1″ longer than my window measurement. Just to make sure it would be long enough.

Trim the extra cord away off the bottom.

Now cut out your fabric, using the shade skeleton as your pattern and leaving a 2.5 inch (or so) border on all sides.

5. Congrats! You’re done with the hard part! You should have something that looks like this:

Little Green Notebook

Little Green Notebook

It’s time to start gluing.

6. Start with the top of the shade. Fold over and glue the fabric together to make a clean edge and glue that to the front of the big top rail mount. **NOTE: Do not glue the folded hem to the very ends of the rail mount. You need to be able to slip the rail into the wall-mounted brackets, so the fabric needs to stay unglued on the very ends.

7. Measure 9″ (or your preferred fold length) from the top of the rail. Adjust and glue a slat into place. Continue all the way down, gluing the slats to the fabric. I glued the rounded, convex side of the slat to the fabric so there was more slat-to-fabric contact. Make sure not to glue the lift cord to the slats or the fabric.

8. Glue, turn in and glue again the three other sides of the shade to finish off all the edges. Let it all dry.

9. (Optional) Glue on some trim to the bottom slat. I picked up some super, super tiny ball trim at JoAnn’s for less than $1 a yard. (only needed one yard)

Little Green Notebook

Little Green Notebook

10. Hang up the shades just like hanging up mini blinds. The cord still functions the same way and, as long as you didn’t glue the lift cord to your slats or fabric, the shade should lift and fold beautifully.

 

Spice Pairing Chart…Adding Depth and Flavor to Your Meals

Plateful

Plateful

I’m a garlic salt, pepper, parsley and occasionally if I’m feeling adventurous paprika kind of girl – when it comes to seasonings and spices I’m admittedly clueless.  That’s why I was so excited to come across this chart from Adventures in Spice!  Once you have a basic understanding of what goes well with what, you can experiment with flavors and get on your way to making tastier, healthier dishes. 

Adventures in Spice

Adventures in Spice

Emeril’s Kicked-Up Tuna Melts…

Martha Stewart

Martha Stewart

Is it just me, or does the tuna melt kind of get a bad rap as a sandwich?  Like, you don’t really want to be the only one at a table of ham and cheeses to be delving into a warm (let’s face it, kind of smelly) glob of tuna and melted cheese.  Here’s the thing though, I love them and they’re delicious.  Looking at this picture of Emeril’s Kicked-Up Tuna Melts my mouth is literally watering. Despite the stigma I will be making this recipe tonight and eating it proudly at work tomorrow…even if that means eating it outside.  So, are you a fan of the tuna melt? 

Ingredients

  • 4 cans (5 ounces each) solid white tuna packed in water, drained
  • 1/3 cup mayonnaise, plus more for spreading
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped red onion
  • 4 teaspoons capers, rinsed and drained
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano, crumbled between your fingers
  • 4 slices crusty bread
  • 8 thin slices tomato
  • 4 slices provolone

Directions

  1. Heat broiler, with rack in highest position. In a medium bowl, combine tuna, mayonnaise, onion, capers, lemon juice, salt, pepper, and oregano and stir until thoroughly combined.
  2. Arrange bread on a baking sheet and spread a little mayonnaise on each slice. Divide tuna salad evenly among slices, then top each with 2 slices tomato and 1 slice cheese. Broil until cheese is golden brown and bubbling, 3 to 4 minutes.

Affordable Updates for a Classic Kitchen…

SF Girl By Bay

SF Girl By Bay

I love the look of shiny granite counter tops and big stainless steel appliances but that’s not the only way to showcase a lovely kitchen.  If you’re in a position where remodeling doesn’t fall within your budget, consider some bright paint colors and imaginative storage and display options to revamp a retro, classic kitchen…it can be just as quaint for a fraction of the cost.

Fluxi ion Tour

Fluxi ion Tour

Look for modern signature pieces – a bold lampshade or pendant light, a contemporary piece  of art, bright dishes in interesting hues or clever decals like the LOVE emblem above.

Design Sponge

Design Sponge

This is clearly an older kitchen, but the bright tea cups and bold color choice in shelving make that an afterthought.  Despite the outdated cabinetry this looks very cute and welcoming.

Feita De Detalhes

Feita De Detalhes

Love the bursts of colors here against white board paneling.  Using light blues throughout pull in the dated tile and make it feel purposeful and unique.

Daily Dream Decor

Daily Dream Decor

An apartment kitchen can be small and boring but this one is so colorful and visually interesting that the plain white cabinets fade completely into the background.  Notice the bursts of yellow that keep things light and help pull everything together.

Here are a few more beautifully classic kitchens updated with charm…

Follow Pics

Follow Pics

We Heart It

We Heart It

Martha Stewart

Martha Stewart

Source Unknown

Source Unknown

10 Quick and Easy Dinner Side Dish Options…

Martha Stewart

Martha Stewart

Deciding on a main course is hard enough without worrying about what you’re going to serve on the side.  To make life a little easier, here are 10 side dish options to pair with your table’s main attraction this week – via Martha Stewart.

#1.  Sautéed Corn, Bacon and Scallions

Ingredients

  • 4 slices bacon, cut into 1-inch strips
  • 4 cups corn kernels
  • Coarse salt and ground black pepper
  • Pinch of red-pepper flakes
  • 2 to 3 scallions, sliced

Directions

  1. Cook bacon in a large skillet over medium-high heat, turning occasionally, until browned, 4 to 6 minutes.
  2. Add corn kernels; season with salt, pepper, and a pinch of crushed red pepper. Cook, stirring often, until corn is tender, 5 to 8 minutes. Stir in scallions. Serve immediately.
Martha Stewart

Martha Stewart

#2.  Oven-Roasted Grape Tomatoes with Chives

Ingredients

  • 2 pints grape tomatoes, halved
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed dried rosemary
  • Coarse salt and ground pepper
  • 1/4 cup coarsely chopped fresh chives

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees. On a rimmed baking sheet, toss tomatoes, oil, and rosemary. Season with salt and pepper. Roast until tomatoes are browned on bottom and begin to collapse, about 15 minutes. Toss with chives.
Martha Stewart

Martha Stewart

#3.  Zucchini and Yellow Squash Gratin

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 medium zucchini (about 7 ounces each), sliced crosswise 1/4 inch thick
  • 2 medium yellow squash (about 7 ounces each), sliced crosswise 1/4 inch thick
  • 2 shallots, minced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • Coarse salt and ground pepper
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1 cup panko
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 450. In a large skillet, melt butter over medium heat; add zucchini, yellow squash, shallots, and garlic. Season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until zucchini and squash are crisp-tender, 4 to 6 minutes.
  2. Add cream, and cook until thickened, about 5 minutes. Remove skillet from heat; stir in 1/2 cup panko and cup Parmesan.
  3. Spoon mixture into a shallow 2-quart baking dish. Sprinkle with remaining panko and Parmesan; season with salt and pepper. Bake until top is golden, 8 to 10 minutes.
Martha Stewart

Martha Stewart

#4.  Easy Creamed Spinach

Ingredients

  • coarse salt and ground pepper
  • 3 to 4 bunches (2 1/2 pounds total) flat-leaf spinach, trimmed and cleaned
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 medium onion, minced
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 4 ounces bar cream cheese, cut into pieces
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • pinch ground nutmeg

Directions

  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add spinach, and cook just until wilted, about 1 minute. Drain in a colander; rinse with cold water until cool. Squeeze spinach to remove as much liquid as possible; coarsely chop, and set aside.
  2. In a large saucepan, heat butter over medium. Add onion and garlic; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until onion softens, 3 to 5 minutes.
  3. Add cream cheese and milk; cook, stirring, until cream cheese is melted and smooth. Stir in spinach. Simmer over medium heat until mixture thickens, 8 to 10 minutes. Add nutmeg; season with salt and pepper.
Martha Stewart

Martha Stewart

#5.  Fried Green Tomatoes

Ingredients

  • 1/3 cup light mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon hot sauce
  • Coarse salt and ground pepper
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 large eggs, beaten
  • 1/2 cup cornmeal
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons seafood seasoning
  • 2 medium green tomatoes (both ends sliced off), each cut crosswise into 4 slices
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil, such as safflower

Directions

  1. In a small bowl, stir together mayonnaise, lemon juice, and hot sauce. Season with salt and pepper, and set sauce aside.
  2. Place flour, eggs, and cornmeal each in a separate bowl, and season each with 1/2 teaspoon seafood seasoning.
  3. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with paper towels. Working with a few slices at a time, dip tomatoes in flour, then eggs, and finally cornmeal.
  4. In a large saucepan, heat oil over medium. Working in two batches, fry tomatoes until golden brown, about 3 minutes per side; transfer to baking sheet, and sprinkle with salt. Serve immediately with sauce.
Martha Stewart

Martha Stewart

#6.  Honey-Glazed Carrots

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil, such as safflower
  • 2 pounds carrots, cut into 1-inch lengths, halved if thick
  • 1 cup canned reduced-sodium chicken broth or water
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 2 tablespoons red-wine vinegar
  • Coarse salt and ground pepper
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter

Directions

  1. In a large skillet, heat oil over medium-high. Add carrots; cook, stirring once, until beginning to brown, 2 minutes
  2. Add broth, honey, and vinegar; season with salt and pepper. Bring to a boil; reduce to a simmer, cover, and cook until crisp-tender, 10 minutes. Uncover, and cook over medium-high until carrots are tender and liquid is syrupy, 7 to 9 minutes more (there should be only a small amount of liquid remaining).
  3. Remove skillet from heat; add butter, and swirl skillet until melted. Season with salt and pepper
Martha Stewart

Martha Stewart

#7.  Asparagas Gruyere Tart

Ingredients

  • Flour, for work surface
  • 1 sheet frozen puff pastry
  • 5 1/2 ounces (2 cups) Gruyere cheese, shredded
  • 1 1/2 pounds medium or thick asparagus
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • Salt and pepper

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. On a floured surface, roll the puff pastry into a 16-by-10-inch rectangle. Trim uneven edges. Place pastry on a baking sheet. With a sharp knife, lightly score pastry dough 1 inch in from the edges to mark a rectangle. Using a fork, pierce dough inside the markings at 1/2-inch intervals. Bake until golden, about 15 minutes.
  2. Remove pastry shell from oven, and sprinkle with Gruyere. Trim the bottoms of the asparagus spears to fit crosswise inside the tart shell; arrange in a single layer over Gruyere, alternating ends and tips. Brush with oil, and season with salt and pepper. Bake until spears are tender, 20 to 25 minutes.

Cook’s Note

Store-bought puff pastry works well in this savory tart; thaw it according to package instructions. Emmentaler or Fontina cheese can be substituted for the Gruyere.

Martha Stewart

Martha Stewart

#8.  Potato-Chive Pancake

Ingredients

  • 1 bag (16 ounces) frozen hash brown potatoes, thawed
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh chives or scallions
  • Coarse salt and ground pepper
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil

Directions

  1. Place potatoes between paper towels; press to remove excess moisture. Transfer potatoes and chives to a medium bowl. Season with salt and pepper, and toss to combine.
  2. In a medium nonstick skillet, heat oil over medium. Add potato mixture; press with a heatproof spatula to flatten and form into one even pancake. Cook until underside is golden brown, 10 to 15 minutes. Slide pancake onto a plate; invert onto a second plate. Slide pancake (browned side up) back into skillet. Continue to cook until underside is golden brown, 10 to 15 minutes more. Slice into wedges before serving.
Martha Stewart

Martha Stewart

#9.  Cream Corn with Parmesan

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 6 cups fresh corn kernels (about 8 ears)
  • Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 3/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1/4 cup homemade or low-sodium store-bought chicken stock
  • 1 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese (about 3 ounces), plus more for sprinkling (optional)

Directions

  1. Heat oil in a large saute pan over medium-high heat until it starts to shimmer (but not smoke), about 2 minutes. Add corn, and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft and slightly browned, 7 to 8 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
  2. Add cream and stock, and cook, stirring constantly, until thickened slightly, 2 to 3 minutes.
  3. Remove pan from heat, and stir in Parmesan. Transfer to a serving dish, and sprinkle with more Parmesan if desired.
Martha Stewart

Martha Stewart

#10.  Lemony Baby Broccoli

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 bunches baby broccoli (6 to 8 ounces each), tough ends trimmed
  • 2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red-pepper flakes, (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice, plus wedges for serving
  • Coarse salt and ground pepper

Directions

  1. In a large skillet, heat oil over medium. Add broccoli, garlic, and, if using, red-pepper flakes. Cook until broccoli is bright green, about 2 minutes.
  2. Add 1/4 cup water to skillet; cover, and cook until broccoli is crisp-tender, 6 to 8 minutes. Add lemon juice, and season with salt and pepper. Toss to combine. Serve immediately, garnished with lemon wedges.

Easy Bathroom Makeovers…Before and After Pictures

Decorology

Decorology

Happy Sunday!  Yesterday morning I rolled out of bed and into the bathroom, looked around and decided it was time to do some sprucing up.  In my search for inspiration, I came across an article from Better Homes and Gardens that I had to share in case you were in your bathroom this weekend thinking the same thing!  I love these ideas because they’re cheap, practical and can be knocked out in just a couple of days.  You won’t believe the transformations…

BEFORE

BHG

BHG

I lived in Philadelphia for a few years and this reminds me of every row home bathroom I was ever in.  Crowded and with one tiny window;  the clutter and outdated tile seem a bit insurmountable.

AFTER

BHG

BHG

Amazing!  A few easy updates like paint and well-chosen accessories is all it took to turn this bathroom around.  The sandy color of the tile inspired a beach theme, brought to life by  the soft blues and greens of a new shower curtain and linens.  The clutter was moved out and replaced by a wooden coat rack (great idea!) – trendy and perfect for storing shower accessories, robes and towels.

BEFORE

BHG

BHG

The strip light fixtures and tile vanity really date this bathroom – strip lighting above the mirror is pretty standard in most homes today and can give off a really cookie cutter look.

AFTER

BHG

BHG

Paint!  It changes everything…the vanity was painted a bright white to appear more like a dresser than a standard piece of bathroom furniture.  The sink fixtures and counter top were changed out but the floor tiles were left as is.  Wall sconces and a new medicine cabinet finish off the look.

BEFORE

BHG

BHG

The monochromatic tiles running from the floors to the walls make this small bathroom feel cramped and dated – and the sink is too large for the 7 x 7.5 foot space.

AFTER

101309959.jpg.rendition.largest

BHG

It’s hard to believe this is the same bathroom!  A pedestal sink opens up floor space and solid-surfacing panels made to look like bead board wainscoting give the walls a fresh farmhouse look.  Yellow accents and a new medicine cabinet pull it all together.  The use of shelving to add more storage space is genius.

Have you done any bathroom updating lately?  Any tips for getting a great look on a budget?

How to Make Any Marinara Sauce in 5 Steps…Food 52 Love Pt. 5

Food 52

Food 52

Once again, Food 52 breaks down in 5 easy steps the how-to on putting together some of the foods we use most in the kitchen.  Today’s ‘Not Recipe’  – marinara sauce!  Once you master the base of this sauce you can infuse other ingredients in to add depth and flavor to your dishes.  I like to start with a simple marinara and add in lemon juice and a bit of zest to complement a shrimp pasta that’s a favorite around my house.  The author suggests adding anchovies to sautéed’ garlic, reducing your tomatoes and then throwing in chopped capers and chopped pitted olives to make a quick Puttanesca. Mmmmm.

So, let’s get started…

#1.  Finely chop some garlic (4 Cloves is a good baseline but let your taste buds be the guide).

Food 52

Food 52

 #2.  Prepare your tomatoes.  If your cooking during the Summer and Fall months try to use ripe, locally grown tomatoes for the freshest taste.  If you have none available, a high quality brand of canned tomatoes will do the job just fine.  If you go with canned, drain the tomatoes to avoid an overly watery sauce.  Look for tomatoes canned in their own juices, not tomato sauce  – preferably with no added salt or seasonings.  If using whole tomatoes, carefully crush them by hand.

Food 52

Food 52

#3.  Add olive oil to your pan and begin sautéing garlic over low eat.  When the chopped cloves become soft and fragrant, stir in your prepared tomatoes.

Food 52

Food 52

#4.  Turn up the heat and let the tomatoes reduce and thicken.  Add in a handful of fresh herbs like basil and parsley, stalks and all, and allow them to poach in the sauce.

Food 52

Food 52

#5.  If your marinara appears too thick, add in some pasta water or reserved tomato juices to achieve a good consistency.  Remove herb stalks and leaves – add salt and freshly ground pepper to taste.

Food 52

Food 52

Where you go from here is up to you!  Serve the sauce over pasta as is or use it to enhance a homemade pizza, eggplant or chicken parmigiana.

Key Chain for Daddy…Unique Father’s Day Gift

 Formiadesign

Formia Design

I was looking for some unique ideas for Father’s Day gifts and came across these key chains by Formia Designs, sold on their website and on Esty.  They’re a little pricey at $89 –  ranging up to $139 based on detail but they’re made of Titanium which should last many, many years.  You e-mail them your child’s drawing and they send you back the key chain!  I’m not sure how quickly they fill orders but even if it doesn’t make it by Father’s Day this year, this personalized key chain would still be a lovely belated gift. 

I have boxes and boxes of my children’s drawings that get stored away and never looked at again.  I just think these are such a precious way to appreciate their innocence and creativity every day of the week.

Formia Design

Formia Design

Formia Design

Formia Design

Formia Design

Formia Design

 
Formia Design

Formia Design

Formia Design

Formia Design