Part of my after work dinner rotations is “spaghetti and meatballs”. It is a quick and easy dinner to make, but there is one problem I am on a low carb diet and my husband isn’t. Solution? I guess I could just eat meatballs and marinara sauce for dinner…but that’s not going to fly for my self-proclaimed foodie self so zucchini spaghetti for me and normal spaghetti for the husband.
I start off spiraling my zucchini’s to get the spaghetti zoodles. The dog usually gets the zucchini core 🙂
If you don’t have a spiral cutter cut your zucchini’s in half length wise and then in half length wise again. Then cut them about matchstick width size.
I also do not peel my zucchini I like all the goodness, but if you don’t like the skin feel free to peel the zucchini first, but remember the zucchini will be slippery.
For a quick after work meal, I either use a jar of marinara and add some extra spices/herbs, or I take out some frozen marinara sauce I made ahead of time. I also always have a side of veggies, either sauteed green beans or broccoli.
Serves 4 (2 zucchini and 2 normal)
2 zucchini’s spiraled
Spaghetti for 2 (2 1/4″ circumference)
1 tbsp Olive Oil
~24 ounces Marinara Sauce (Either homemade and defrosted or a jar – its a weekday take it easy!)
1 lb ground beef
3 tbsp parmesan cheese
1 tbsp dried oregano
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp red pepper
1/3 cup Italian bread crumbs
1/2 yellow onion diced
What you need
Sauce pan for Marinara
Pot for spaghetti
Put your marinara sauce in a sauce pan and put it on medium-low
Mixed ground beef, egg, parmesan cheese, oregano, paprika, salt, red pepper, bread crumbs and half of the diced yellow onions together (if meat seems too moist add some more bread crumbs).
Roll between your hands to form 1 1/2-inch meatballs (~20 balls)
In a frying pan heat your olive oil, add the remainder of the onions and cook until translucent, add your meatballs and brown all over.
Put meatballs in sauce pan with warmed marinara sauce on medium low and cover.
Cook your pasta in salted water and drain and place back in the pot (normally at this point I would also cook my side veggies in the frying pan)
And your spiraled zucchini to the frying pan and sautee for about a minute on high heat
Ladle marinara sauce on your spaghetti and zoodles, add as many meatballs as you want. Cook pasta for a few more minutes and serve.
Now you have zucchini spaghetti noodles for you, pasta for someone else, and hopefully leftovers!
I’m pretty sure my blood is marinara sauce. If not it should be with the amount I grew up eating. Basically what I am saying is my family is that stereotypical Italian-American family. You know that, loud, stubborn, opinionated family with the grandma who makes the best meatballs. And I am serious about the best meatballs, she made meatballs for my wedding.
Anyways, I digress, I am throwing a little dinner party that’s all Italian food, so that means we need an Italian themed menu.
The most annoying thing is when your sugar cookies fail to keep their shape, this is my go to recipe to prevent that disaster. The key is to refrigerate the cookie, seriously don’t skip that step. Okay now for the recipe.
6 cups sifted all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups unsalted butter, (1 lb) in cubes, softened
2 cups sugar
2 large eggs (straight from refrigerator)
2 teaspoons vanilla extract (or whatever main flavor you want)
1/4 teaspoon lemon extract (if making something other than plain(vanilla cookies add vanilla instead here)
In large bowl, sift together flour and salt. Set aside.
Use an electric mixer to cream butter and sugar until fluffy then beat in eggs.
Add flour mixture slowly and mix on low speed until thoroughly combined then and in extracts.
Divide dough in half and remove one half from bowl, roll into a ball, and place on a large piece wax paper
Wrap the sides of wax paper over the ball, then press down with the palm of your hand to make a disc (2″ thick). Finish wrapping the disc and place in fridge. Repeat with 2nd half of dough.
Chill for about 45 minutes. <– DON’T SKIP THIS
Steps for cutting out and baking your sugar cookies
Preheat your oven to 350 F.
Take a disc out of the fridge and remove wax paper. Place on top of a large piece of parchment paper then add another sheet of parchment paper on top.
Roll dough to about ¼ inch thick
If dough got too soft place in fridge for about 15 minutes and cut your shapes using cookie cutters or and placing directly on cookie pan (cookie pan covered with parchment paper) <– DO THIS
This Zucchini Cauliflower Bake is a good side dish for roasted chicken breast. It’s a healthy yet somewhat cheesy bake. You can always mix up this recipe by adding yellow squash just remove one of the zucchinis and alternate the slices with the yellow squash and if you are feeling extra brave add some mushroom slices. I never complain with the addition of more veggies.
Zucchini Cauliflower Bake
Serving Size 4, Approx 122 calories per serving
1 tbsp of Olive Oil
2 tsp of Salt
1/2 a head of cauliflower
1/4 of Gruyere Cheese shredded
1 tbsp of Butter
1/4 of Parmesan Cheese shredded
Preheat Oven to 450 degrees.
Slice Zucchini approximately a 1/4 inch thick and arrange in a 8×8 baking dish. Drizzle olive oil of zucchini and sprinkle salt.
Using a food processor to pulse the cauliflower to desired texture or using a cheese grater, grate the cauliflower to a coarse texture (the goal is to make these like bread crumbs).
Mix cauliflower and shredded Gruyere cheese. Lay mixture evenly over zucchini. Dot with 1 tablespoon of butter cut into small bits and bake for 20 minutes. Then sprinkle Parmesan cheese on top and bake until melted.
I don’t know what it is about yellow cupcakes with chocolate frosting, but I love them. I think they are proof the simple is better, and of course rainbow sprinkles help too…
Makes approx. 16-18 Cupcakes
3/4 cup unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
1 3/4 cups granulated sugar
2 large eggs at room temperature
3 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 and 1/4 cups sifted all-purpose flour
2 and 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup milk, room temperature
Preheat oven to 350°F. Line cupcake pans and place aside.
In a mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together butter and sugar until creamed together. Add in egg and vanilla, mix at medium-high speed until combined. Scrape down the sides and up the bottom of the bowl with a rubber spatula as needed.
While ingredients are mixing, whisk the flour, baking powder, and salt together in a separate medium bowl.
With the mixer on a low speed, add the dry ingredients in three additions alternating with the milk, mixing each addition just until incorporated. Do not over-mix. The batter will be smooth, velvety, and slightly thick.
Spoon batter into cupcake liners filling halfway full. Bake for 18-21 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cakes comes out clean. Allow to cool in the pan for 5 minutes, then transfer to a rack to cool completely.
Milk Chocolate Frosting
1 cup unsalted butter, softened
3 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3 Tablespoons milk
In a mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter on high speed until smooth and creamy.
Turn speed to low and slowly add the confectioners’ sugar, cocoa powder, and salt. Beat until sugar/cocoa are absorbed into the butter.
Turn mixer to medium speed and add the vanilla and cream.
Pipe or spread the frosting onto cooled cupcakes. Don’t forget the Sprinkles!
I threw a little birthday tea party for some close friends. I would say it was more of a “tea” party because although we had little bites it wasn’t raise your pinky figure fancy. Below was the menu with links to some of the recipes.
Then I taped the middle of the vase and made a half circle shape for the bottom half of the Poké Ball with painters tape. Applied mod podge to the bottom half and then white glitter. Waited for this to dry then applied another coat mod pogde and white glitter and then after this coat dried applied a final coat of mod podge. This made a smoother solid finish. See first 2 pictures for end result.
I then taped to other half and had a half circle now for the top, applied mod podge the un-glittered top and then red glitter. Wait for this to dry then apply another coat mod pogde and red glitter then after this coat dries apply a final coat of mod podge. See the third image.
Then I painted with a fine brush a black line where the 2 glitter lines met. This is where I straightened out any needed areas spots.
Finally I did the middle. I applied mod podge then white glitter 2 times waiting for each coat to dry and then a final coat of modpodge.