Old Fashioned Meatloaf — Freezer cooking friendly!

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Meatloaf 2

This week’s Frugal Homemade feature is Old Fashioned Meatloaf: AKA, “what I made when I realized we were out of hamburger buns and I didn’t want to go to the grocery store.” Since it feels like Fall lately, I figured my husband would be happy with a little Fall Food Teaser. And since I’d already defrosted a two pound package of Jewel pub burgers, I thought this would be a good way to start my new “Cook One, Freeze One” dinner plan. (It’s an effort to eat dinner at home more… we’ll see how long this lasts. 😉

So here goes!

Old Fashioned Meatloaf

Meatloaf ingredients

Ingredients

  • 2 lbs ground beef
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped onion
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1 can diced tomatoes (I used a 14.5 oz can of Hunt’s fire roasted tomatoes with garlic)
  • 1 cup Panko breadcrumbs
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon coarse salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper

Directions

Meatloaf prepped

Step-by-step:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and lightly grease your baking vessels. (I used two jumbo 6ct muffin tins, but you could use loaf pans if you’d prefer.)
  2. Mix all ingredients in a large bowl.
  3. Equally divide into muffin tins or pans.
  4. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. (Might take longer if you cook in a loaf pan, so be sure the internal temperature reaches 160 degrees with a meat thermometer, for food safety!

Serve with potatoes, rice, quinoa, veggies, buttered noodles, whatever you’d like!

Eat one, freeze one

Meatloaf 1

This makes two six count muffin tins or two small loaf pans, so once the second dish has cooled simply freeze it for an easy future dinner. I do desperately need to get to the store because normally I would serve this with mashed potatoes, a little gravy, and some corn. Mmm, mmm, good!

Easy print version

Old Fashioned Meatloaf
 
Author:
Recipe type: Dinner
Cuisine: Meatloaf
Serves: 4 servings
Ingredients
  • 2 lbs ground beef
  • 1½ cup chopped onion
  • 1½ cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1 can diced tomatoes (I used a 14.5 oz can of Hunt's fire roasted tomatoes with garlic)
  • 1 cup Panko breadcrumbs
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon coarse salt
  • ½ teaspoon pepper
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and lightly grease your baking vessels. (I used two jumbo 6ct muffin tins, but you could use loaf pans if you'd prefer.)
  2. Mix all ingredients in a large bowl.
  3. Equally divide into muffin tins or pans.
  4. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. (This may take longer in a loaf pan, so be sure the internal temperature reaches 160 degrees with a meat thermometer for food safety!

Chipotle Corn Burgers — A smoky spicy summer recipe

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

tower-of-la-morena-chipotle-corn-burgers

When thinking summer BBQ, chances are that many of us jump straight to thoughts of traditional backyard burgers and hot dogs. Well, those are nice… but sometimes you just want to kick things up a notch!

la-morena-on-the-shelf-at-walmart

This week I picked up a can of wonderfully smoky La Morena chipotle peppers in adobo sauce (which you can find in the Hispanic aisle at your local Walmart) to jazz up our BBQ. Just one little 7 oz can goes a long way; it added a wonderful kick to both the burgers and their sour cream topping — with a little left over. Try this one on for your next summer gathering:

Chipotle Corn Burgers (with Chipotle Lime Sour Cream)

burger-ingredients

Ingredients — for the burgers

2 lbs 80/20 or 85/15 ground beef
kernels stripped from one ear of cooked corn
3 La Morena chipotle peppers in adobo, chopped
1 Tbsp sauce from chipotle peppers in adobo

Ingredients — for the sour cream (optional)

1/2 cup sour cream
1 La Morena chipotle pepper in adobo, chopped
1 Tbsp sauce from chipotle peppers in adobo
Juice from 1/4 of a small lime
1/4 tsp Kosher salt

Directions

chipotlecornburgers

Using your hands, combine ground beef, corn, chopped chipotle peppers, and adobo sauce until just mixed. Form your mixture into half-pound sized patties (makes five). I’d recommend using a burger press for this step. Grill burgers over medium heat for 6 minutes, then flip carefully and reduce heat to medium-low. Grill another six minutes, then flip and grill another four. Heads up: The corn sounds like it’s popping while these are cooking, so don’t be alarmed — but keep the grill lid closed!

chipotle-lime-sour-cream

While burgers are grilling, make your Chipotle Lime Sour Cream… Because why would you want to top a spicy burger full of authentic Latino flavor with plain old ketchup and mustard? Chipotle Lime Sour Cream takes just a minute to whip up; it adds just the perfect accent to your Chipotle Corn Burgers, and also makes a great dipping sauce for fries and more. In a small bowl, simply combine sour cream, chopped chipotle in adobo, adobo sauce, lime juice, and salt.

tower-chipotle-corn-burgers

Serve Chipotle Corn Burgers topped with cheddar cheese, avocado slices, and prepared sour cream. (Add sliced La Morena jalapeños if you want an extra kick.)

The perfect way to jazz up your summer gathering

chipotle-corn-burger-with-sour-cream

Chipotle Corn Burgers were so good, so easy, and a great way to mix things up! Fresh summer sweet corn nicely complements the spicy, smoky chipotle, and the Chipotle Lime Sour Cream adds another layer of smoky creaminess to this fresh twist on the backyard BBQ burger.

If you’re serving a large group or eating these alongside other BBQ favorites, you could easily make little appetizer sized Chipotle Corn sliders rather than the larger half pound burgers. I love that smoky chipotle flavor and will definitely be picking up La Morena chipotles in adobo again. What are some of your favorite chipotle recipes?

Easy print version

Chipotle Corn Burgers -- A smoky spicy summer recipe
 
Author:
Recipe type: BBQ
Ingredients
For the Chipotle Corn Burgers
  • 2 lbs 80/20 or 85/15 ground beef
  • kernels stripped from one ear of cooked corn
  • 3 La Morena chipotle peppers in adobo, chopped
  • 1 Tbsp sauce from chipotle peppers in adobo
For the Chipotle Lime Sour Cream
  • ½ cup sour cream
  • 1 La Morena chipotle pepper in adobo, chopped
  • 1 Tbsp sauce from chipotle peppers in adobo
  • Juice from ¼ of a small lime
  • ¼ tsp Kosher salt
Instructions
  1. Using your hands, combine ground beef, corn, chopped chipotle peppers, and adobo sauce until just mixed.
  2. Form your mixture into half-pound sized patties (makes five). I'd recommend using a burger press for this step.
  3. Grill burgers over medium heat for 6 minutes, then flip carefully and reduce heat to medium-low.
  4. Grill another six minutes, then flip and grill another four. Heads up: The corn sounds like it's popping while these are cooking, so don't be alarmed -- but keep the grill lid closed!
  5. While burgers are grilling, make your Chipotle Lime Sour Cream
  6. In a small bowl, simply combine sour cream, chopped chipotle in adobo, adobo sauce, lime juice, and salt.
  7. Serve Chipotle Corn Burgers topped with cheddar cheese, avocado slices, and prepared sour cream. (Add sliced La Morena jalapeños if you want an extra kick.)

Cheesy Chicken Enchiladas — Choose gluten free enchiladas or low carb enchiladas!

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cheesy-chicken-enchiladas-gluten-free-or-low-carb

Welcome to the August 23, 2015 edition of Sunday Scratchups, your weekly recipe from scratch around grocery store matchups, coupons, and sales. In last week’s Homemade Enchilada Sauce recipe I promised to bring you the actual enchiladas recipe this week — and I try to keep my word! 😉 Here I used my homemade sauce and Perdue Short Cuts for an easy pre-cooked chicken shortcut (as it were); they’re gluten free, and were on sale BOGO at Jewel earlier this week.

net-carbs-in-wraps-is-7

Two variations for you

  • To make Gluten Free Cheesy Chicken Enchiladas, use gluten free corn tortillas.
  • To make Low Carb Cheesy Chicken Enchiladas, substitute a low carb wrap such as certain varieties of Flatout (and be sure to print the current coupon to save on yours!). The kind I used had 7 net carbs per wrap.

I made some of each so that low carb MashupDad could eat with the rest of us. Important: We don’t have cross-contamination concerns in this house, so if you do in yours you clearly don’t want to bake both varieties in the same oven and make them in the same area as I show here — pick one or the other as appropriate for your own family’s needs. The low carb wraps are not gluten free, and the gluten free corn tortillas are not low carb.

Cheesy Chicken Enchiladas

cheesy-chicken-enchilada-slice-7

Ingredients

3 cups cooked chicken, shredded or diced. (I used two 9 oz packs of pre-cooked Perdue Short Cuts, which worked out to 3.5 cups.)
8 oz brick cream cheese
1/2 cup sour cream
One batch homemade enchilada sauce (or one 20 oz can; be sure to choose a gluten free brand if necessary!)
4 oz can diced green chiles
8 oz shredded cheese
One pack gluten free corn tortillas or low carb wraps. (Here I used 10 small corn tortillas and 2 large low carb wraps and made two separate dishes.)

Directions

cheesy-enchilada-filling

Cut cream cheese into chunks and stir in sour cream in large pan over medium heat until melted and combined. Stir in diced green chiles and 1/2 cup prepared enchilada sauce. Stir in chicken until nicely coated, then turn off heat.

filling-all-the-tortillas

Spray a 9×13 baking dish with cooking spray. (Note: I used two smaller baking dishes here to cook up both varieties at once: One 11×7 pan and one 9×6.) Spread a little enchilada sauce at the bottom of your pan. Spoon chicken mixture down the center of each tortilla or wrap and top with a little shredded cheese. Roll up and place seam side down in baking dish. (Note: The corn tortillas will be much more pliable and easier to roll if you first warm them in the microwave for about 20 seconds.)

cooked-enchiladas

Line filled tortillas up until you’ve used all the filling and your baking dish is full. Top with the rest of the enchilada sauce and then the rest of the shredded cheese. Bake at 350 degrees for 35 minutes, or until cheese is starting to brown. Serve with sliced avocado or guacamole, and: Enjoy!

How could anything with this much cheese be bad?

low-carb-cheesy-chicken-enchilada-8

Low carb MashupDad quite enjoyed his separate dish of enchilada goodness, since he doesn’t normally get to partake. The homemade sauce and the chiles give the enchiladas a slight kick, but the cream cheese and cheese smooth things out so they’re not overly spicy. This hearty comfort food recipe fed our family of four for two nights, and I’d suggest serving your enchiladas with something light like fruit and salad.

If you like Cheesy Chicken Enchiladas

… you might also try…

easy-three-ingredient-slow-cooker-salsa-chickenSlow Cooker Salsa Chicken

slow-cooker-pork-carnitas-from-sunday-scratchupsSlow Cooker Pork Carnitas

portobello-poblano-tacosPortobello Poblano Tacos

Easy print version

Cheesy Chicken Enchiladas -- Choose gluten free enchiladas or low carb enchiladas!
 
Author:
Recipe type: dinner
Ingredients
  • 3 cups cooked chicken, shredded or diced. (I used two 9 oz packs of pre-cooked Perdue Short Cuts, which worked out to 3.5 cups.)
  • 8 oz brick cream cheese
  • ½ cup sour cream
  • One batch homemade enchilada sauce (or one 20 oz can; be sure to choose a gluten free brand if necessary!): http://www.mashupmom.com/homemade-enchilada-sauce-from-fresh-tomatoes/
  • 4 oz can diced green chiles
  • 8 oz shredded cheese
  • One pack gluten free corn tortillas or low carb wraps. (Here I used 10 small corn tortillas and 2 large low carb wraps and made two separate dishes.)
Instructions
  1. Cut cream cheese into chunks and stir in sour cream in large pan over medium heat until melted and combined.
  2. Stir in diced green chiles and ½ cup prepared enchilada sauce.
  3. Stir in chicken until nicely coated, then turn off heat.
  4. Spray a 9x13 baking dish with cooking spray. (Note: I used two smaller baking dishes here to cook up both varieties at once: One 11x7 pan and one 9x6.)
  5. Spread a little enchilada sauce at the bottom of your baking dish.
  6. Spoon chicken mixture down the center of each tortilla or wrap and top with a little shredded cheese.
  7. Roll up and place seam side down in pan. (Note: The corn tortillas will be much more pliable and easier to roll if you first warm them in the microwave for about 20 seconds.)
  8. Line filled tortillas up until you've used all the filling and your baking dish is full.
  9. Top with the rest of the enchilada sauce and then the rest of the shredded cheese.
  10. Bake at 350 degrees for 35 minutes, or until cheese is starting to brown.
  11. Serve with sliced avocado or guacamole, and: Enjoy!

Cream Cheese Butter Cookies with Lime Buttercream Frosting

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cookies

This week’s Frugal Homemade features Cream Cheese Butter Cookies with Lime Buttercream Frosting. My daughter had these a few months ago and has been raving about them — and she requested them last week, so I finally got around to making a batch. Cream Cheese Butter Cookies are based on this Secret Cream Cheese cookies recipe she found online, and I must say they are quite good! (I was a little worried the lime would be too much, but it is *perfect* with the cream cheese butter cookie flavor.)

With just six simple ingredients for the cookies and four for the frosting, this is one easy recipe!

Cream Cheese Butter Cookies with Lime Buttercream Frosting

cream cheese cookies

Ingredients for the cookies:

  • 2 cups of butter, softened
  • 6 ounces of cream cheese, softened
  • 2 cups of sugar
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 2 tablespoons vanilla extract
  • 5 cups of flour

Directions for the cookies

  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees and line two cookie sheets with parchment paper.
  2. With an electric mixer, cream butter and cream cheese until light and fluffy.
  3. Slowly add sugar and continue to beat on medium until mixture is airy.
  4. Add egg yolks and vanilla.
  5. Add flour, one cup at a time, mixing well between cups.
  6. Cover and chill dough for two hours.
  7. Once chilled, roll into 1″ balls and place on cookie sheets. (20 should fit on each sheet and this recipe makes approximately 80 cookies.)
  8. Bake for 15-18 minutes, until bottoms are slightly browned.
  9. Let cool while making the frosting.

cream cheese frosting

Ingredients for the frosting:

  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 3 tablespoons butter, softened

Directions for the frosting

  1. Combine all ingredients in a bowl and mix with a fork until smooth.
  2. Transfer to a small zip-top bag.
  3. Cut the tip off one of the corners & drizzle over cooled cookies. You can drizzle over all or just some — and they are still very good without any frosting at all!
  4. Optional — sprinkle with powdered sugar.

Enjoy!

Easy print version

Cream Cheese Butter Cookies with Lime Buttercream Frosting
 
This week's Frugal Homemade features Cream Cheese Butter Cookies with Lime Buttercream Frosting. My daughter had these a few months ago and has been raving about them -- and she requested them last week, so I finally got around to making a batch. Cream Cheese Butter Cookies are based on this Secret Cream Cheese cookies recipe she found online, and I must say they are quite good! (I was a little worried the lime would be too much, but it is *perfect* with the cream cheese butter cookie flavor.) With just six simple ingredients for the cookies and four for the frosting, this is one easy recipe!
Author:
Recipe type: Dessert
Cuisine: Cookies
Serves: 80
Ingredients
For the cookies:
  • 2 cups of butter, softened
  • 6 ounces of cream cheese, softened
  • 2 cups of sugar
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 2 tablespoons vanilla extract
  • 5 cups of flour
For the frosting:
  • ½ cup powdered sugar
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 3 tablespoons butter, softened
Instructions
For the cookies:
  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees and line two cookie sheets with parchment paper.
  2. With an electric mixer, cream butter and cream cheese until light and fluffy.
  3. Slowly add sugar and continue to beat on medium until mixture is airy.
  4. Add egg yolks and vanilla.
  5. Add flour, one cup at a time, mixing well between cups.
  6. Cover and chill dough for two hours.
  7. Once chilled, roll into 1" balls and place on cookie sheets. (20 should fit on each sheet and this recipe makes approximately 80 cookies.)
  8. Bake for 15-18 minutes, until bottoms are slightly browned.
  9. Let cool while making the frosting.
For the frosting:
  1. Combine all ingredients in a bowl and mix with a fork until smooth.
  2. Transfer to a small zip-top bag.
  3. Cut the tip off one of the corners & drizzle over cooled cookies. You can drizzle over all or just some -- and they are still very good without any frosting at all!
  4. Optional -- sprinkle with powdered sugar.

Homemade Enchilada Sauce — From Fresh Tomatoes

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homemade-enchilada-sauce-from-fresh-tomatoes

Welcome to the August 16, 2015 edition of Sunday Scratchups — your weekly recipe from scratch around grocery store matchups, coupons, and sales. Or, say, gardening! This week’s mystery recipe ingredient is again: TOMATOES, just in case your garden is also exploding with fresh tomato goodness.

old-el-paso-sauce

A lot of the more authentic red enchilada sauce recipes just use chiles as the base rather than tomatoes, but my goal here was also to use up some of these garden tomatoes — while pleasing child palates. I’ve never been too thrilled with store-bought enchilada sauce, so I looked at the ingredient lists of some canned tomato-based red enchilada sauces (Old El Paso pictured above) and figured I could definitely scratch up something fresher and tastier! Unlike the store bought varieties I looked at, my version is also gluten, corn, and soy free.

enchilada-sauce-in-food-processor

It’s also deee-licious, if I do say so myself! Seriously eat-it-with-a-spoon good, and it made for the best homemade enchiladas I’ve ever cooked. I’m going to make another batch today to freeze for homemade enchilada goodness this winter, too.

Homemade Enchilada Sauce

a-handful-of-oregano

Ingredients

20-25 small to medium Roma tomatoes
1 small jalapeño pepper
1/2 a medium yellow onion
olive oil
Handful fresh oregano
6 roasted garlic cloves — see note if using fresh
juice of 1/2 a small lime
1 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp Kosher salt
2 tsp chili powder

Directions

roast-tomatoes

Wash tomatoes, cut off stem end, and slice in half lengthwise. Place cut side down on rimmed baking sheet. Chop onion into large chunks, add to baking sheet. Cut stem off pepper, cut into chunks, add to baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and bake at 400 degrees for 35 minutes, until tomatoes are wrinkled and starting to brown.

* Note: I had roasted garlic left over from another recipe that I used in the second step below. If you don’t, just add fresh garlic cloves to the baking sheet and roast along with your tomatoes.

add-to-food-processor

Add roasted tomatoes, pepper, and onion to food processor. Add all other ingredients and blend until fairly smooth. Adjust seasonings to taste, if desired, then use in your favorite enchiladas recipe.

That’s some gorgeous sauce

homemade-enchilada-sauce-2

Plus, this homemade enchilada sauce will make your kitchen smell great from beginning to end. :)

So, about those enchiladas?

enchiladas

Stay tuned next week for my homemade chicken enchiladas recipe!

More fresh tomatoes recipes?

Try one of these to use up some more of your garden tomatoes:

caprese-nachos-pretty-plate-6Caprese Nachos

capreseCaprese Salad with Basil-Lime Vinaigrette

fire-roasted-tomatoes-for-freezingFire-Roasted Tomatoes for Freezing

What are some of your favorite recipes using fresh garden tomatoes?

Easy print version

Homemade Enchilada Sauce -- From Fresh Tomatoes
 
Author:
Recipe type: sauce
Ingredients
  • 20-25 small to medium Roma tomatoes
  • 1 small jalapeño pepper
  • ½ a medium yellow onion
  • olive oil
  • Handful fresh oregano
  • 6 roasted garlic cloves -- see note if using fresh
  • juice of ½ a small lime
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • ½ tsp Kosher salt
  • 2 tsp chili powder
Instructions
  1. Wash tomatoes, cut off stem end, and slice in half lengthwise.
  2. Place cut side down on rimmed baking sheet.
  3. Chop onion into large chunks, add to baking sheet.
  4. Cut stem off pepper, cut into chunks, add to baking sheet.
  5. Drizzle with olive oil and bake at 400 degrees for 35 minutes, until tomatoes are wrinkled and starting to brown.
  6. * Note: I had roasted garlic left over from another recipe that I used in the second step below. If you don't, just add fresh garlic cloves to the baking sheet and roast along with your tomatoes.
  7. Add roasted tomatoes, pepper, and onion to food processor.
  8. Add all other ingredients and blend until fairly smooth.
  9. Adjust seasonings to taste, if desired, then use in your favorite enchiladas recipe.

Caprese Nachos

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easy-caprese-nachos

Welcome to the August 9, 2015 edition of Sunday Scratchups — your weekly recipe from scratch around grocery store matchups, coupons, and sales. This week’s mystery sale ingredients: TOMATOES (in case your garden is exploding like mine) and mozzarella (16 oz Frigo is $3.49 after coupon at Ultra Foods this week, and 8 oz Galbani $.99 after coupon at Valli or $1.25 after coupon + rebate at Meijer).

caprese-nachos-pretty-plate-8

These are everything you might want in a nacho — cheesy, salty, crunchy, and gooey — with a fresh mix of textures and flavors throughout. Caprese Nachos also offer a different twist to the traditional Caprese salad you may already be making with your garden tomatoes, because variety is the spice of… summer! (Junior High Guy says these taste like pizza, and the pita chips are actually kind of reminiscent of a thin cracker-type crust.)

Caprese Nachos

tomatoes-2

Ingredients

For the roasted tomatoes

4 cups cherry tomatoes
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
sea salt, to taste
pepper, to taste
Several fresh basil leaves, chopped

For the reduced balsamic vinegar sauce

1 cup balsamic vinegar
1 Tbsp chili garlic sauce

For the nachos

8 oz bag of lightly salted pita chips
8 oz fresh mozzarella
roasted tomatoes
2 avocados, diced
reduced balsamic vinegar sauce
fresh basil for garnish (optional)

Directions

bursting-tomatoes

First up, roast your tomatoes. Wash tomatoes, remove stems, and toss with olive oil, salt, pepper, balsamic, and basil to coat. Roast in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet for 15 minutes at 400 degrees or until just beginning to wrinkle and burst.

sauce

While tomatoes are roasting, start reducing your balsamic vinegar. Heat vinegar in a small saucepan over medium heat until it begins to bubble. Stir in chili garlic sauce and reduce heat to medium-low. Simmer for 20-30 minutes or until thickened and reduced by about half, stirring frequently.

Note: This makes about 1/2 cup of sauce, which was plenty for the nachos + some left over. If you don’t want leftover sauce, you might want to make a bit less and reduce the ingredients proportionally.

ready-to-broil-2

When your tomatoes are done, it’s time to make the nachos! Slice your mozzarella (which is easier to do if you first freeze it for 10-15 minutes). In a metal roasting pan, layer nachos, cheese, and roasted tomatoes — I did mine in just two layers.

broiled-caprese-nachos-3

Broil for 7-8 minutes on high, until cheese is browned and bubbly.

caprese-nachos-pretty-plate-6

Top with diced avocado, then drizzle lightly with the reduced balsamic vinegar sauce (a little goes a long way!) and serve garnished with fresh basil.

That’s it

The sauce isn’t as spicy as you might think, since reduced balsamic vinegar is so sweet. If you’d like yours to have a bit more of a kick, add a little more chili garlic sauce.

caprese-nachos-pretty-plate-7

Caprese Nachos are so easy and fresh! Yet somehow warm, comforting, and homey all at the same time — and a different, flavorful way to use up some of the summer cherry tomato abundance.

Easy print version

Caprese Nachos
 
Author:
Recipe type: lunch
Ingredients
For the roasted tomatoes
  • 4 cups cherry tomatoes
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • sea salt, to taste
  • pepper, to taste
  • Several fresh basil leaves, chopped
For the reduced balsamic vinegar sauce
  • 1 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp chili garlic sauce
For the nachos
  • 8 oz bag of lightly salted pita chips
  • 8 oz fresh mozzarella
  • roasted tomatoes
  • 2 avocados, diced
  • reduced balsamic vinegar sauce
  • fresh basil for garnish (optional)
Instructions
First up, roast your tomatoes
  1. Wash tomatoes, remove stems, and toss with olive oil, salt, pepper, balsamic, and basil to coat.
  2. Roast in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet for 15 minutes at 400 degrees or until just beginning to wrinkle and burst.
Make your reduced balsamic vinegar
  1. While tomatoes are roasting, start reducing your balsamic vinegar.
  2. Heat vinegar in a small saucepan over medium heat until it begins to bubble.
  3. Stir in chili garlic sauce and reduce heat to medium-low.
  4. Simmer for 20-30 minutes or until thickened and reduced by about half, stirring frequently.
  5. Note: This makes about ½ cup of sauce, which was plenty for the nachos + some left over. If you don't want leftover sauce, you might want to make a bit less and reduce the ingredients proportionally.
Make your nachos
  1. When your tomatoes are done, it's time to make the nachos!
  2. Slice your mozzarella (which is easier to do if you first freeze it for 10-15 minutes).
  3. In a metal roasting pan, layer nachos, cheese slices, and roasted tomatoes -- I did mine in just two layers.
  4. Broil for 7-8 minutes on high, until cheese is browned and bubbly.
  5. Top with diced avocado, then drizzle lightly with the reduced balsamic vinegar sauce (a little goes a long way!) and serve garnished with fresh basil.

Tasty Turkey Meatballs

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turkey meatballs cooked

This week’s Frugal Homemade feature is… turkey meatballs! Lately we’ve been trying to eat less red meat and more lean meats and seafood. A certain carnivore in this house was sad about the lack of meatballs on our new diet, so I thought I’d see if turkey meatballs passed his test. 😉

turkey meatballs ingredients

Turkey Meatballs

Ingredients

  • 3/4 lb lean ground turkey
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 1/2 cup chopped red pepper
  • 1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/3 cup Panko breadcrumbs
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper

Directions

turkey meatballs balls

Let’s get started:

  1. Chop vegetables and measure out ingredients while oven is preheating to 350 degrees.
  2. In a medium bowl, thoroughly combine all ingredients.
  3. Roll into 12 slightly larger than golf ball sized balls.
  4. Bake for 20 minutes, or until internal temperature reaches 180 degrees.
  5. Serve with pasta and top with your favorite sauce.

While these aren’t exactly your traditional meatball, they are a tasty alternative. We all agreed that turkey meatballs are an acceptable substitute for regular ground beef meatballs, and will be making this easy recipe again!

Easy print version

Tasty Turkey Meatballs
 
Author:
Recipe type: dinner
Ingredients
  • ¾ lb lean ground turkey
  • 2 eggs
  • ½ cup chopped onion
  • ½ cup chopped red pepper
  • ⅓ cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • ⅓ cup Panko breadcrumbs
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon pepper
Instructions
  1. Chop vegetables and measure out ingredients while oven is preheating to 350 degrees.
  2. In a medium bowl, thoroughly combine all ingredients.
  3. Roll into 12 slightly larger than golf ball sized balls.
  4. Bake for 20 minutes, or until internal temperature reaches 180 degrees.
  5. Serve with pasta and top with your favorite sauce.

Well, that was tasty: Avocado Mozzarella Tomato Chicken

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mozza-chicken

Hey, this was pretty good and pretty easy — recommended! Tonight I made this Avocado Mozzarella Chicken recipe from Iowa Girl Eats. She used pre-made bruschetta sauce in hers, but instead I roasted up 3 cups of cherry tomatoes from the garden, halved, with some minced garlic, olive oil, salt, pepper, and a little fresh basil (425 for 15 minutes). I also found this balsamic glaze on clearance at ALDI so tried that instead of making the balsamic reduction — but everyone here actually preferred the chicken without the sauce. Mr. 8, however, ate all the toppings off of his and left most of the chicken over, so now I just have some naked chicken left, lol.

Peanut Butter Banana Brownies

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easy-peanut-butter-banana-brownies

Welcome to the August 2nd, 2015 edition of Sunday Scratchups — your weekly recipe from scratch (or in this case, semi-scratch) around grocery store matchups, coupons, and sales. This week’s mystery sale ingredients: Peanut butter and brownie mix! So you know how a lot of my Sunday Scratchups recipes are healthier and/or allergy friendly? Well…

This isn’t one of them.

Peanut Butter Banana Brownies are straight up doctored-box-mix comfort food, coming out more like a chocolate banana bread than a gooey brownie. The peanut butter and banana add a little something to the basic box mix, though, and these taste closer to homemade than the original box recipe.

peanut-butter-bananas-brownie-mix

On this week’s Jewel deals I picked up a jar of Smucker’s natural peanut butter for $1.49 (reallllly good, by the way) and a box of brownie mix for $.25. I also had a bunch of overripe bananas here from when family was in town earlier this week, so decided to substitute a couple of those for the oil originally called for in the box recipe, and to cook it in a smaller pan to create a thicker more cake-like brownie banana bread.

Peanut Butter Banana Brownies

gooey-brownie

Ingredients

1 box brownie mix
2 overripe bananas
2 eggs
1/4 cup water
1/4 cup chopped walnuts (optional)
1/4 cup creamy natural peanut butter
1/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips (optional)

Directions

Mix brownie mix, eggs, and water in large bowl. Slice bananas into coins, add to bowl, and whisk in until fairly smooth. Stir in walnuts. Grease an 11×7 glass pan and pour in batter. Drizzle on peanut butter, then swirl with a butter knife. (Note: If you aren’t using the goopier natural peanut butter you’ll need to warm it in the microwave for 15-20 seconds to liquify a bit before pouring on brownies.)

pb-banana-brownies-2

Scatter chocolate chips on top. Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes, or until a knife inserted in the center pulls out clean.

Yum yum comfort food

slice-of-pb-banana-brownie-3

See? How could that be bad! You can even pretend it’s healthy with the bananas and natural peanut butter and all, and I won’t tell anyone. 😉 These are rich, chocolatey, and satisfying, and the peanut butter chocolate chip topping perfectly complements the brownie & bananas combination.

Easy print version

Peanut Butter Banana Brownies
 
Author:
Recipe type: dessert
Ingredients
  • 1 box brownie mix
  • 2 overripe bananas
  • 2 eggs
  • ¼ cup water
  • ¼ cup chopped walnuts (optional)
  • ¼ cup creamy natural peanut butter
  • ¼ cup semi-sweet chocolate chips (optional)
Instructions
  1. Mix brownie mix, eggs, and water in large bowl.
  2. Slice bananas into coins, add to bowl, and whisk in until fairly smooth.
  3. Stir in walnuts.
  4. Grease an 11x7 glass pan and pour in batter.
  5. Drizzle on peanut butter, then swirl with a butter knife.
  6. (Note: If you aren't using the goopier natural peanut butter you'll need to warm it in the microwave for 15-20 seconds to liquify a bit before pouring on brownies.)
  7. Scatter chocolate chips on top.
  8. Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes, or until a knife inserted in the center pulls out clean.

Onion Flowers — An Easy + Beautiful Recipe

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bloomin-onion-flowers

Welcome to the July 26th edition of Sunday Scratchups, your weekly recipe from scratch around grocery store matchups, coupons, and sales. This week’s mystery sale ingredient is: Onions. Here I used red onions ($.99 for a 2-lb bag at ALDI earlier this week) for a prettier presentation in this bloomin’ onion sans all the breading and junk, but Vidalias would also be lovely (and darn tasty) or you could mix/match for variety.

onion-flowers-4

I originally saw these onion flowers at Once Upon a Cutting Board (easier to follow recipe at The Project Table) and simply had to give them a try! Aren’t they gorgeous? And amazingly easy to make for a side dish with this much of a visual punch. Check it out — you seriously only need five ingredients (including salt & pepper!) and a bit of oven roasting time to recreate these beautiful onion flowers in your own kitchen.

Onion Flowers

ingredients

Ingredients

Two large or four small red or Vidalia onions
3 Tbsp olive oil
2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
Sea salt, to taste
Fresh ground black pepper, to taste

Directions

score-the-onions

Chop just the stem ends off of your onions so that they stand flat. Peel onions, then cut them in eighths — but not all the way through into slices, just down to about 1/2 inch up from the now-flat bottom so that they remain in one piece.

pour-on-oil

Pour 1 Tbsp of olive oil into the bottom of a glass baking dish. Place onions stem side down in dish, pour the rest of the olive oil + balsamic vinegar over onions, then roll them around gently in the bottom of the dish until nicely coated. Sit onions stem side down in baking dish and season with salt & pepper. Cover dish tightly with foil and bake covered for 30 minutes at 425 degrees.

separating-in-pan-2

Remove foil and bake uncovered for another 10 minutes for small onions, 20 minutes for large, or until onions are softening and beginning to open up on their own.

pull-apart-petals

Use large spatula to gently remove onions to plate, then carefully separate the “petals” until they look like a pretty flower.

side-of-onion-flower

Serve whole and allow people to section off pieces for individual sides. We enjoyed ours here with Bacon-Wrapped Chicken, salad, and garlic bread, but Onion Flowers are a sweet and delicious side for grilled meat and more.

Not just a pretty face

top-down-onion-flower

Onion Flowers are not only lovely on the outside, they are darn tasty on the inside. You’ll likely have leftovers, so use everywhere from hamburger toppings to veggie paninis to side dishes throughout the week.

onion-flower-closeup-2

I hope you enjoy making these as much as I enjoyed taking photos of them! 😉

Easy print version

Onion Flowers -- An Easy + Beautiful Recipe
 
Author:
Recipe type: side dish
Ingredients
  • Two large or four small red or Vidalia onions
  • 3 Tbsp olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • Sea salt, to taste
  • Fresh ground black pepper, to taste
Instructions
  1. Chop just the stem ends off of your onions so that they stand flat.
  2. Peel onions, then cut them in eighths -- but not all the way through into slices, just down to about ½ inch up from the now-flat bottom so that they remain in one piece.
  3. Pour 1 Tbsp of olive oil into the bottom of a glass baking dish.
  4. Place onions stem side down in dish, pour the rest of the olive oil + balsamic vinegar over onions, then roll them around gently in the bottom of the dish until nicely coated.
  5. Sit onions stem side down in baking dish and season with salt & pepper.
  6. Cover dish tightly with foil and bake covered for 30 minutes at 425 degrees.
  7. Remove foil and bake uncovered for another 10 minutes for small onions, 20 minutes for large, or until onions are softening and beginning to open up on their own.
  8. Use large spatula to gently remove onions to plate, then carefully separate the "petals" until they look like a pretty flower.
  9. Serve whole and allow people to section off pieces for individual sides.