Till next season…

After much anticipation Super Bowl Sunday has come and gone. To mark the occasion the boys wanted to have a football party.  Since bedtime coincides with halftime, I was not sure how much game watching would take place. But I knew it would be quite the celebration as the build-up has been BIG around here leading up to game day.

A typical football party for all intents and purposes would be watching the game and having some great food but not at our house. Our party was three little boys running around screaming, jumping off furniture, tackling each other, and throwing footballs. Come to think of it, this is a typical day around here … Mostly this goes on until someone starts crying or gets is a bloody nose.

And while that is exactly what occurred the boys also surprised us by expressing interest in watching the game! To hear them discuss which team was going to score, the potential to win our boxes, cheering for the coin toss was hysterical. It must be instinctual because they were talking as if they have been watching football for years; there was even some trash-talking going on as they cheered for their teams. I was half expecting them to ask me to get them a beer!

On the menu for the party were turkey sliders. I wanted to stay true to typical football party fare but come up with something a little healthier. Easy to make, fun to eat, a formula for success (hopefully) I also planned on getting a lot of vegetables into this recipe – sweet potatoes, onions, AND tomatoes.

I am dedicating this recipe to our friend Becca who has recently become a sweet potato fiend!

Sweet Potato Turkey Sliders

Ingredients:

1 sweet potato, peeled and diced

1 onion, peeled and diced

2 Tbsp olive oil, plus more for brushing

1 lb. Ground turkey, preferably dark meat

1 tsp salt

1/2 tsp cumin

Mini buns (Martin’s potato rolls are perfect)

Optional topping:

“ Ketchup “– puree can of diced tomatoes, add salt and pepper to taste

 

Directions:

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Toss sweet potato and onion with olive oil and spread in single layer on baking sheet. Sprinkle with a pinch of salt. Roast, stirring once, for approx. 30 minutes until caramelized. Set aside and let cool. Dice vegetable mixture into very small pieces before adding to turkey.

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In a large mixing bowl add turkey, sweet potato, onion, salt and cumin. Mix together, but do not overwork. Form between 12-14 small patties, about 2” in diameter. Place patties on baking sheet and brush with olive oil. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat and cook patties until browned and cooked through, about 5-6 minutes per side.

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Add the buns to the skillet during the last minute of cooking to slightly toast them. Assemble burgers with your choice of toppings.

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And the VERDICT is:

Matthew: “Mommy, I like it, but it is not your best”

Liam: “ I can’t wait to try my Crabby Patty!”

Dylan: “Real ketchup please! I am digging those orange things out….”

 

HIGHLIGHTS FROM THE GAME:

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Comfort Food

I know it is weird but sometimes I read cooking magazines to my kids. Since they love to be read to it is an excellent way to sneak in some reading of my own. To me it is hilarious that they are interested in the latest kitchen gadget or the hot new food trend. Every once in awhile a recipe catches their eye and they ask me to cook it for them.

This is Matthew’s recipe choice – meatloaf, something I usually don’t make, it just seems so old school. Which by definition is the very essence of comfort food: a traditional style of food usually having a nostalgic or sentimental appeal. And sure enough when Matthew chose this I immediately thought of my Mom’s meatloaf. She used to put in an egg “surprise” and serve it with lots of ketchup. Even my sister ate it and she was the picky eater of us two, although she might have something to say about that….

I paired it with carrots because that is what we had in the fridge that day – I figured if I added some butter they just might eat them….

Mini Cheesy Meatloaf & Buttery Carrot Chips

Ingredients:

1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs

1 tsp olive oil

1 onion, diced

2 garlic cloves, finely chopped

1/2 cup ketchup, divided

1/4 cup fresh spinach, chopped

2 Tbsp Parmesan cheese, grated

1-Tbsp horseradish (I replaced with Wasabi ginger sauce, worked just as well)

1-Tbsp Dijon mustard

3/4 teaspoon dried oregano

1/4 tsp salt

1/4 tsp pepper

3 oz white cheddar cheese, diced

1 1/2 lb ground sirloin

1 large egg, lightly beaten

 

1/2 -Tbsp butter
2 large carrots cut into 1/8in rounds
Salt & Pepper to taste

 

Directions:

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Heat a skillet over medium-high heat. Add breadcrumbs, cook 3 minutes until toasted, stirring frequently.

While breadcrumbs cook, heat olive oil in large skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion and garlic, sauté about 3 minutes. Combine onion mixture, breadcrumbs, 1/4 cup ketchup and next 10 ingredients. Using hands is best tool here to combine everything.

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Shape into 10 mini loaves and put on baking sheet. Use remaining ketchup to spoon over the loaves.

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Bake for 25 minutes.

While meatloaf is baking, heat butter in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add carrots and salt and pepper – sauté until caramelized, stirring occasionally, about 10-12 minutes.

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And the VERDICT is:

Sadly, Matthew came down with a stomach virus and couldn’t eat dinner so we froze the meatloaves and just had a mini-tasting…. (it was a fun night!)

Dylan: I love them both – Liam, those are my carrots!

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Liam: I’m gonna eat it all up.

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Stormy Dinners

Lights, power… back in the kitchen! Aaahhhh- so nice to have heat again – and an oven, and a refrigerator and TV for the kids!

Our first night with power we ordered takeout since there was nothing in the fridge except some questionable cheese and other assorted items that needed to be discarded. We really need to stock up but the supermarket is still on generator so we are cooking this week with whatever we can get. Hopefully the empty shelves will be replenished soon and I can get back to cooking for my little monsters.

We are extremely grateful to all of our friends who hosted us for delicious dinners while our power was out. I am proud to say all three boys were fairly gracious and did well at most of those meals…. Most, not all, but it was a stressful week!

One of our friends asked if her meal would “make the blog” so this one is for you, Rebecca! The boys loved her version – let’s see how mine does….

Real Chicken “Chicken Nuggets” with Honey Mustard Dipping Sauce

Ingredients:

1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breasts

(when I made this there was no chicken available yet at supermarket. I substituted thin sliced pork loin, which work well but be careful not to overcook)

2 eggs

2 tbsp ketchup

2 cup seasoned Panko breadcrumbs

1 cup flour

2 tbsp olive oil

salt & pepper

 
Dipping Sauce:
1/3 cup mayonnaise
3 tbsp honey
2 tbsp Dijon mustard
 

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper (easy clean-up)

Whisk together eggs, ketchup and 2 tbsp of water.

Make an assembly line of three shallow dishes: one with flour, one with egg mixture, last with seasoned breadcrumbs.

Cut chicken into 1” strips and season with salt and pepper. Dip first into the flour, shaking off excess. Then dip into the egg, shaking off excess. Finally, dip into the breadcrumbs.

Set the breaded chicken on the baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil. Bake approximately 8 minutes on each side depending on thickness of chicken.

While chicken is baking make dipping sauce: Mix together mayo, honey and mustard in small bowl.

And the VERDICT is:

Matthew: I love the chicken and I love love this dipping sauce!

Dylan: This sauce is too mustirry! Is there bones in this??

Liam: I will only eat the chicken – the sauce hurts my eyes.

Note: Although I did mention after they ate that the nuggets were pork not chicken, no one seemed to care, they had already moved on to dessert….