Turkey Spinach Quinoa Meatballs


Hello!  The following post was written by a loyal reader and blogger herself, Christen.  This recipe sounds ridiculous and I will be making it ASAP.  Especially because I've been searching for ways to sneak ANYTHING GREEN into my children's diets.  This might be the answer...  

Hey there, Siriously Delicious readers!  I'm Christen.  I'm a mom, wife and general crazy person living in upstate New York.  I work full time in higher education, but in my free time (ha) I love to cook and bake.  That's why I started my blog, Christen in the Kitchen.  I'm obsessed with checking out what other people are cooking on their blogs, and that's how I found Siri's.  I've been a big fan of hers for awhile, and I also love to bake any kind of cookies and bring myself to the brink of insanity trying to make my children's birthday cakes (so we have that in common). 

I, like a lot of moms, am always trying to answer the eternal question, "What's for dinner?"  The pre-parenting days of eating cheese and drinking wine for dinner are long gone, and it can be hard putting a balanced meal together in about 20 minutes a night.  

That's where these Turkey Spinach Quinoa Meatballs come in.  I literally made a quadruple batch of these and froze them into family-sized portions for later use.  The best part is, my ridiculously picky eater of a 3-year-old will actually eat them since they're in ball form and she can dip them in ketchup!  I typically serve these with a side of French fries, but you can also do a big pile of veggies or serve them on top of a salad.

Click here for the recipe!  Also, if you like this recipe, check out my blog Christen in the Kitchen, or like my Facebook page where I post updates.   

*Thank you, Christen!  

Baked Sweet Potato Skins


I looooove baked potatoes.  As a teenager, I would go to that fast food potato joint in the mall food court and order a bacon, cheese and broccoli potato that probably had 5,000 calories in it, and I would eat the entire thing.  Potato skins?  A bar food staple during my college career.  And I've craved the starchy crop during every, single pregnancy.  So when I saw this recipe for Loaded Sweet Potato Skins - a slightly healthier version of one of my favorite foods - I was so excited to try it!  The recipe promised it would yield a crispy skin, which I was skeptical of, but it delivered!  So many exclamation marks!  By baking the potato, removing the insides and then re-baking the skins (that are drizzled in olive oil), you are left with a crispy shell just begging to be stuffed.  I topped mine with a dollop of greek yogurt, crumbly bacon and chopped chives.  Going to make these all winter long, people, oh yes I will.  And what a perfect appetizer for Turkey Day!  More exclamations!    

Company Pot Roast


Now that it's officially fall, with October looming around the corner (already put up Halloween decorations, yup, can't be stopped), I have been cooking more hearty meals.  After all, it's time we start thickening up our bear fur for the long winter!  Am I right, my fellow lumberjacks?  My fellow woodsmen?  Sarah Palin?  I'll stop.  Anyway, a Pot Roast is one of my favorite cooler weather meals.  And who is the queen of PERFECT comfort food?  Ina Garten, of course.

I love the title of this recipe.  It sounds so proper.  So Ina.  I imagine her saying to her husband, Jeffrey, "Jeffrey darling, I'm going to whip up some Pot Roast for our company, go get some good wine" and then effortlessly throwing this together in her black button-up shirt.  Well, I recently had company (my sister Hannah) so naturally I had to make this.  It was delicious, for real, I can't count the number of times Carson said, "this is good, this is really good."

A few notes: instead of removing half of the sauce and blending it, I used my handheld immersion blender and lightly blended everything right in the pot, making sure to leave some of the carrots in tact.  The sauce is the best part about this meal... extremely flavorful and the perfect consistency.  I made buttery egg noodles and also roasted some vegetables on the side (butternut squash, brussel sprouts and mushrooms) and served them alongside the pot roast and on top of the noodles.          

And while this meal was prepared in a Dutch oven verses a crock pot, here are some of my favorite slow cover recipes for your weekend enjoyment...

starting top left, going clockwise...

Spaghetti Squash with Crispy Sausage and Veggies


It's squash season!  No, not the sport.  What even is the sport?  (I just googled it, it's that terrifying game where you're stuck in a small room with walls everywhere and a frantic ball ping ponging by your entire body.)  No, I'm talking about the vegetable... butternut, acorn, and my personal favorite, spaghetti squash.  I could really eat spaghetti squash as a side to every meal!  But lately, we've been having it as the main dish.  It's surprisingly hearty, even served vegetarian, but add meatballs or crispy sausage and you've got a very satisfying meal.  This time I sautéed mushrooms, brussel sprouts and broccoli (using the same skillet I had cooked the sweet italian sausage in prior)...   

...and tossed it all together with roasted spaghetti squash (cut in half lengthwise, seeds removed, sprinkled with olive oil, salt and pepper and roasted in a 400 degree oven for 30-40 minutes).  

More Spaghetti Squash recipes:

Guinness Chocolate Cookies with Sea Salt


Over the weekend, we had dinner with some friends and I was told to bring an "adult dessert."  Well, when you attach the word "adult" to food or drink, my mind goes to one place... booze.  I started to think about all the possibilities - rum, tequila, wine - but with football on in the background I settled on beer.  Specifically, my favorite beer of all the beers in the land, Guinness!  I've cooked with the dark stout before (here and here) and have always loved the results, so when I found this recipe I had a feeling it would be a hit.  You can't go wrong when you pair Guinness with chocolate, and that is a fact.  A fact!  These cookies were intensely rich with chocolate flavor, and I definitely tasted a nice hint of the dark beer as well.  The perfect "adult" treat for fall and football.  Cheers!   

Hope you tuned into The Voice last night!  I was slightly obsessed with the coach performance.  Blind Auditions continue tonight on NBC, and for old tailgate recipes, click here.

Pull-Apart Cinnamon Sugar Pumpkin Bread


I have wanted to make this bread for an entire year.  No really, see this post from one year ago.  I told you I'd get to it!  One, year, later.  But it was SO worth the wait and effort.  While it wasn't a difficult bread to make, there were definitely more steps involved than your average baked treat.  However, the "pull-apart" nature of the bread means it doesn't have to look perfect.  I had a hard time rolling out my dough into a rectangular shape but I stopped stressing about it, figuring that once it baked everything would mesh together nicely... and it did!  Instead of a buttery rum glaze, I used vanilla paste.  I'm sure rum would be delicious, but I didn't want the flavor to freak out my kids.  Everyone in the house love it - MAJOR hit!  And after the bread and these cookies, I still have more pumpkin puree left in the can, hmm... ideas??  Have super DUPER weekends!   

Find the recipe HERE.  

Slow Cooker Apple Pulled Pork


I've officially had 3 kids for 4 weeks.  Life will start to get WAY easier now, right?

Bahahahahahahaha *manic laughter* bahaha *tears* bah *face plant into computer* ha.

Actually, if I'm being honest, I've found myself adjusting more quickly to life after each birth.  I'm used to the chaos and zero sleep after one and then two kids.  So basically, I'm saying I could EASILY have 19 children like that Digger family.  Dagger?  Dugger?  Yeah, them.  

That said, I still have moments of pure insanity, like the other day when I tried to make this Slow Cooker Apple Pulled Pork.  A friend on Facebook sent me the basic recipe: cook 3 pounds of pork in a slow cooker for 6-7 hours on low with a bottle of BBQ sauce and a chopped apple.  Easy, right?!  Yeah, unless you're an idiot like me and you accidentally buy some sort of pork loin instead of a pork butt or shoulder.  A loin is lean.  A loin won't PULL apart in a delectable manner like a butt or shoulder will.  So basically this was a FAIL by me but we ate our lean pork anyway and enjoyed it.  Because what can go wrong when you put meat in a sweet Hawaiian roll and top it with cheddar?       

I can totally handle 11 more children.


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