What’s for Dinner? Mini Masala Meatballs, Veggie Pizza (sorta), and cheese and Onion Pasties

Summer is almost over and for Bringing Back Dinner and many of you this means a return to routine. It has been fun, but I kind of like the predictability of September – May.  Starting in September we will get back to regular blog posts and start planning those hearty, warm meals of fall.  I’d love to hear from some of you, what is your favorite fall dish?  What is that dish that signifies the start of cool weather?  Send me the recipe and a link to share and I will be glad to review it.  Post to the comments section below.

This week’s pictures are taken using Oggl an app available for Iphone and Windows phones with customizable filters.

 

Mini Masala Meatballs – Trader Joe’s

masala meatballs

Time: 30 – 45 minutes

Ease: Simple

Review:  This recipes would be great football food!  It is sort of a sweet and sour meets Indian.  You can buy frozen meatballs for this, but I made my own.  I used ground beef and added curry, zaatar seasoning, an egg and some breadcrumbs.  rolled into small meatballs and baked at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes.  For the rest of the recipe click the title link.

My family liked this and I served it with rice.  It is nice to try different flavors sometimes and it doesn’t have to be hard.

 

Veggie Pizza (sorta) – Meatless Monday (almost)

veg pizza 2

Time: 45 Minutes

Ease: Simple to Moderate based on whether or not you make your own crust.  I don’t.

Review: This was my Meatless Monday dish.  I use the raw pizza dough already prepared from my grocery.  Lowes and Harris Teeter sell them in the bakery section.

Spread and even layer of prepared spaghetti sauce over the crust, top with chopped broccoli, slices of tomato, fresh mozzarella cut into slices, and caramelized onions; use at least 1 whole onion.  Then top with cheese.  To caramelize the onion follow the link here.  It really adds extra flavor.

I was doing great until this point, and then well there was this bacon ya see.  I mean…it’s bacon!  Soooo, I crumbled bacon all over the top of the pizza. To be honest, I blew Meatless Monday.  However,  It was a perfectly yummy veggi pizza before I defiled (blessed) it with bacon.  While I feel certain it will make a wonderful Meatless Monday dish for you, I felt  I must come clean and tell you about the bacon.  Feel free to transgress.

 

Cheese and Onion Pasties – Lavender and Lovage

pasties 2

Time: 55 Minutes

Ease: Moderate

Review: I love pasties and I’m always trying to find a yummy recipe that tastes like the pasties at the pasty stand in Windsor UK.  This is good, but not quite it.  We enjoyed these and I will probably make them again, but in the end we felt they could have had a little more flavor to them.  That said it was a very nice comfort food flavor, I mean really it is hard to go terribly wrong with potato, cheese and onion.  Do not be dissuaded and give it a try.

 

I hope you have had a great summer and thank you for your patience with the summertime inconsistencies of Bringing Back Dinner.  I hope to be back to normal by September as we stop traveling and settle into a glorious fall!

 

Relax, Just Enjoy Each Other and let the Holiday Season Begin.

What my House looks like! Titled: When Elves vomit (ok Vomit isn’t a great word for a food blog, but really…look at that mess!  But we are having fun!Photo 6It is easy to become frantic at the holidays.  I know I go crazy trying to organize everything, keep the house clean, and have food on hand for the unexpected holiday guest. Then I have to stop myself and remember it is all about the people.  Relax, Just enjoy each other.  Stop in the madness and let the holiday season begin. While you’re at it take some advice from Robert Frost:

A Time to Talk: taken from Bartleby.com

When a friend calls to me from the road
And slows his horse to a meaning walk,
I don’t stand still and look around
On all the hills I haven’t hoed,
And shout from where I am, What is it?
No, not as there is a time to talk.
I thrust my hoe in the mellow ground,
Blade-end up and five feet tall,
And plod: I go up to the stone wall
For a friendly visit.

The Process: For a full explanation visit this page

1. Sit down, relax and plan (or pick some meals from here)

2. Make a grocery list and stick to it!!!! This saves time and money

3. Do the shopping-aim for one trip

4. Bring Back Dinner and enjoy

The Meals:

Bacon, Pineapple & Spinach Pizza

Photo 2(1)

Time: 30 -45 minutes

Ease: Simple

Review: We had birthday number three this week and the request was simply “As long as it has lots of bacon and cheese…”.  So, my husband and I bounced around some ideas, I asked for help from friends and FoodieChats, via twitter, and received some great ideas.  There is one foodiechat recommendation that my husband is begging for me to make, so expect to see Poblano stuffed peppers with cheese and wrapped in bacon from @jeffriessunni at some point.  He is so excited.

I said, offhandedly, what about bacon pizza with something like pineapple and didn’t think about it again until my husband calls me from work and says “oh, I told him you were going to make pizza with bacon and pineapple and he thought it was awesome”. Ok, uhhh well. I didn’t actually know what I was going to do, but the results were great and the birthday boy was happy.

Pizza crust (I used pre-made crust from my grocery in the deli section)

Alfredo sauce

Mozzarella and Gouda cheeses

bacon, cooked and crumbled

caramelized onions (if you caramelize the onions on this day it will bump you time up to allow for good caramelization of the onions)

spinach (fresh or frozen)

pineapple bits

I made three pizzas, you will adjust the amounts based on what looks good and works for your table.  I find it is easier to just put things on the pizza until it looks right and I rarely measure.  Top your crust with a few spoonfuls of Alfredo sauce; just enough to cover, not make it saucy.  Then layer the rest of the pizza with chopped caramelized onions, crumble the bacon and cover pizza, add fresh or frozen spinach on top-amounts to taste, then add bits of pineapple across the spinach.  Top with a blend of mozzarella and Gouda and bake per the instructions of your crust.  Approximately 375 degrees for 30 minutes.  Enjoy!

Tip: Many grocery stores sell the dough they use to make in-house pizzas and it is a quick, but tasty option.

Grape Leaf Wrapped Salmon : Green Valley Grill, Greensboro NC
fish gvg

Fish, quick

Time: 30 minutes

Ease: Simple to moderate

Review:  First I’d like to say that the Green Valley Grill is one of my favorite restaurants.  It has wonderful food and you feel like you have escaped just for a while.  If you are ever in Greensboro, go!

I made this without the grape leaves this time, which does take away a bit from the dish, but still yummy.  It is easy and quick, but elegant.  I served it with creamy polenta and steamed green beans.

Sweet Potato, Black Bean, Corn Hashbeans and corn

Vegetarian, quick, Healthy

Time: 35 minutes

Ease: Simple

Review: There are a few meals I pull out when I want something quick and tasty and know everyone will like it and this is one of them.  It is hearty and healthy!  This week I was out of black beans, but didn’t know it until I started cooking-someone didn’t follow her grocery list, so I used pinto beans instead and served it with rice.  It was still tasty, but if you have it, I recommend using the black beans.

Just for Fun: Grapefruit BruleePhoto 5

This time of year it is especially fun to play with your food!  If I could recommend a useful, but totally fun kitchen tool it would be a torch! And yes, I was tempted to say “Mwahh haa haa”.  A torch can be used for so many things, like browning the top of a casserole, or crystalizing sugar on a brulee, or flambes!  It is just a great tool.  This week we used our torch to brulee the sugar on top of grapefruit.  So yummy!

I know I only put three meals out for review this week, but this week we were invited to holiday gatherings at other peoples homes where we enjoyed great food and great company.  It is what it is all about: Relax, just enjoy each other and let the the holiday season begin!

Feel free to suggest a recipe you would like to see reviewed.  Just use the contact me above and send me the link and I will see what I can do.

Photos may be used, but please link back to this blog and credit Lisa Burbach, recipes are links to existing recipes and I have no ownership of recipes other than the ones I Have created.  Thank you.