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Sweet and Spicy Meatballs

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Ah, the annual Superbowl post. The Rams (who?) sure aren’t in it this year, and being a loyal St. Louisian, I most likely won’t be cheering for them ever again, so my focus will be even more on the commericals, halftime, and the food! I didn’t think anyone could beat Katy Perry’s halftime performance last year but HELLOOO Beyoncé and Coldplay?! And Lady Gaga is singing the national anthem? It’s going to be epic. You know I’ll be dancing in front of the TV learning some new dance moves and trying to look as cool as Beyoncé, which… well… is impossible.

Last year, we made THE BEST WINGS, but if you’re looking to fly away from the wing-rut, check out this recipe that is tried and true, easy as pie, and pretty dang mindless to make.

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This is not an original recipe. You’ll find it on most BBQ sauce sites, grape jelly sites, and all over Pinterest. We added a few extra kicks of flavor, just to keep it interesting. Our version is pretty spicy, so if you don’t like the heat, don’t get near the fire (leave out the red pepper flakes).

These meatballs are crowd pleasers, perfect to bring to any shower, birthday party, potluck, or super bowl party. We hope your super bowl weekend goes well and nobody gets injured trying to dance like Beyoncé. I better start stretching now…

Sweet and Spicy Meatballs
Prep Time: 5 minutes Cook Time: 4 hours

Ingredients:

2 bags (20-oz. each) of precooked, frozen meatballs (we used turkey meatballs from Trader Joe’s)
1 bottle (18-oz.) BBQ sauce
1 jar (17-oz.) grape jelly
6 garlic cloves, smashed
1 tablespoon red pepper flakes

Preparation:

Combine all ingredients in a crockpot and turn on high for 4 hours. Discard garlic cloves and serve hot with toothpicks.

Chicken Caesar Kale Salad

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In St. Louis, we don’t know the word, “Panera.” Okay, we’ve heard it, but mostly in the context of correcting other people that move to the city and are looking for a bagel or quick lunch. Here, Panera is still known by the original name, “St. Louis Bread Company,” and all of us natives still lovingly cling to the nostalgic “Bread Co.” nickname. It’s so deeply ingrained in mind that even when we lived in North Carolina, if I asked a friend if they wanted to get lunch at “Bread Co.,” they responded with the classic I-have-no-idea-what-you’re-talking-about look.

One of my favorite items on their menu right now is the Power Kale Caesar Salad with Chicken, so I decided to try making it at home. Anne Burrell’s Eggless Caesar Dressing has come to be our favorite dressing recipe. I don’t miss the egg at all and the flavor is packed with salty, lemony, cheesy goodness. I’ve messed with the ingredients a few times to see if we’d like it any other way, but I keep going back to the original. It’s flawless. Don’t mess with a good thing, right? With the addition of tender chicken and toasted almonds, this salad is transformed into a hearty meal that makes for good leftovers, thanks to the sturdy kale leaves.

If you’re still recovering from gorging over the holidays, adding this meal in your weeknight rotation may help kick start healthier eating. Skip down to the recipe below. If you want to splurge on calories, continue reading…

…So, the best part of the Bread Co. salad are the little parmesan crisps. Giada De Laurentiis has a great recipe for these. Oh, and you’ll see in Anne’s recipe that she makes deeeeelicious homemade garlic croutons. If you’re not counting calories, go for both of those additions!

Chicken Caesar Kale Salad
Recipe Inspired By Anne Burrell, Giada De Laurentiis, and St. Louis Bread Company
Prep Time: 20 min. Cook Time: 15 min.

Ingredients:

1 cup Anne Burrell’s Eggless Caesar Dressing
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
10-oz. kale, chopped
1 lb. boneless skinless chicken breast tenders
1 cup toasted sliced almonds
Parmesan cheese

Preparation:

Preheat oven to 350°. Place chicken tenders on a sheet pan and drizzle lightly with olive oil. Sprinkle salt and pepper on chicken. Bake chicken for about 15 minutes or until cooked through. While chicken is cooking, make the dressing in a food processor (and also the optional garlic croutons and parmesan crisps).

Remove chicken from oven and place on a cutting board to rest for about 10 minutes before slicing into 1″ thick pieces. Combine chicken, kale, and almonds in a bowl and toss with the dressing to coat. Top with additional grated parmesan cheese and optional parmesan crisps and garlic croutons.

Makes 4 large entrée salads or 6-8 side salads

Top Recipes of 2015

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I made it through the entire year without being sick, but today, it hit me like a ton of bricks. Oh well. If there is one good thing that comes out of being under the weather, it’s the extra time to do nothing. There is beauty and peace in doing absolutely nothing, and since I enjoy a busy schedule, I usually don’t practice the art of being still. The year is coming to an end, and while stuck at home today I had time to reflect on 2015. I flipped through a few photos on my phone and on Facebook to help remind me of the new friends I’ve met, new places I’ve been, and all that’s happened throughout the course of the year.

Related to that, we’ve had some exciting developments with this blog over the past year. New companies to work with, a new design, and tons of new recipes. While reflecting on 2015, I compiled a list of my favorite recipes we posted this year. Drumroll please! In no particular order, they are:

  1. Grilled Pimento Cheese Sandwiches: Crispy, gooey, melty, delicious grilled cheese sandwiches with a little kick of heatDSC_0284
  2. Key Lime Meringue Pie: Zesty and light as a featherDSC_0050-745x1024
  3. Pull-Apart Pizza Bread: The perfect dish to serve at your next potluckDSC_0851
  4. Slow Cooker Tikka Masala: An easy dish to feed a crowdDSC_1299
  5. Southwestern Soup: A weeknight go-to meal with chicken, beans, peppers, and moreDSC_0792
  6. Mini Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Loaves: Chocolatey autumnal loaves that are the perfect size to give as giftsDSC_1251
  7. Red Beans and Rice: Creamy, rich beans and spicy sausage make this dish a healthy hit in our houseDSC_0867
  8. Chocolate Raspberry Whoopie Pies: Chocolate cake paired with a sweet fruity filling makes these desserts irresistible DSC_0726
  9. Candy Bar Blondies: What makes a basic blondie recipe even better? Oreos and peanut butter cups, of course. DSC_13381-1024x683

This list makes me excited to think about the recipes we’ll create in the coming new year! As always, Neil and I are thankful that you’ve stuck with us for another year. Some of you readers are our family, others we’ve never met before. No matter how long you’ve followed this blog, we hope you enjoy our posts as we continue to imagine, create, and share recipes from our corner of the world. We wish you and your family a very happy New Year! Cheers!