Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Secret Meatballs

Also called Swedish Meatbals, which maybe will become a lot more correct since I am about to share the "secret" with all of you. This is one of my favorite potluck dishes for when I am out of time, or money, or both. Basically this recipe should only cost between $10 and $15 dollars if you really add alot to it. We did a 4 person serving size but you can pretty easily alter the quantities. Ok here comes the ingredients! Drum-roll please....


  • Meatballs 1 lbs
  • Grape Jelly 1/2 jar
  • Pinapple-Apricot jelly 1/2 jar
  • Hienz Chili Sauce 1/3 jar
  • Rice

Yeah you read that right JELLY. I know, I know it sounds weird but trust me it's delicious and we have been using it as a secret ingredient for years in the Albright family.  Now the first thing you are going to smell as you cook this is the chili sauce because it takes a little bit for the jelly to cook down, so don't worry if it smells really acid~y it won't be. As far as the meatballs go since this is a fast "throw together" recipe I like to buy pre-made ones.

We got this 2 lbs bag of turkey meatballs for 5.50 from our local store with a coupon, which was less than what the same weight of ground turkey cost. Plus they are way, way easier. Lastly we made some delicious brown rice to serve the meatballs and sauce on. Then just heat up some frozen or canned veggies and voila dinner. It was a huge hit, and this is one of those recipes that actually taste just as good, or even better as "leftovers." So now you know our secret, enjoy! :)

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Hawaiian Hamburgers

That is one big, delicious, burger! :) 

So as we were planning our meals this week I went through my cookbook I made before I went to college of all of my favorite recipes that my mom has. I ended up making several things from it, including Hawaiian hamburgers. Thing is we ended up following Adams idea of how to make them. I was resistant but I trusted that he would know what he was doing. And boy was I glad we did. They are so good! So good that we are thinking of making again in a few days! And that is quite crazy for Adam...he doesn't like the same thing again soon and he's the one who suggested we make it again soon! 


  • Hamburger patties
  • A can of pineapple rings (the juice in the recipe that we use is from the can)
  • Thin sliced ham
  • Kikkoman Teriyaki Sauce

  • Sweet Baby Rays Barbecue Sauce
  • Honey 
  • Onion powder
  • Garlic powder
  • pepper

How to: 

  1. Marinate Hamburgers for several hours in Kikkoman teriyaki soy sauce and barbecue sauce (your favorite flavor of Sweet Baby Ray's...ours is Sweet Vidalia Onion) 
  2. Put the hamburgers on the grill. Pour a teaspoon of pineapple juice over each hamburger. Then   coat them lightly with a shake of onion powder, a shake of garlic powder, and a shake of black pepper. Grill. When you take them off the grill put a slice of muenster cheese on top. 
  3. Take the thin sliced honey ham, lay it out one slice at a time on a skillet. We found that four fit easily in a large skillet. Sprinkle ham with two tablespoons pineapple juice for every four slices. Cook on medium heat until the ham is firm and wrinkly, but don't cook too long or it will be tough. 
  4. When hamburgers are done, take them out and place the pineapple where the hamburgers were. Splash a teaspoon of teriyaki sauce and a thin ring of honey on each of the pineapple rings and grill both sides.  

  1. Make the Hawaiian Awesome Sauce. (See recipe below). 
  2. Assemble using toasted "Sweet Hawaiian" Bread, Hawaiian Awesome Sauce, tomatoes, lettuce, ham, pineapple, and your burger. Enjoy! 

Hawaiian Awesome Sauce 

This is the star of the show in my opinion. This is the best sauce I think Adam has ever made. I loved it! It is great on fries too. :) 

  • 1/4 c pineapple juice
  • 1 T of honey
  • 2 T of ranch dressing
  • 1/3 c. mayonnaise 
  • 1/4 c barbecue sauce (We used 2T of Sweet Baby Ray's sweet vidalia onion and 2 T of Sweet Baby Ray's original)
Mix together the ingredients. Pour into a condiment bottle if desired. Add more mayo if you want a creamier and thicker texture. 

And just for fun: 
 A little picture of us eating. And it was Thirsty Thursday's! :) 

Biscuits and Gravy

Who doesn't like the classic comfort food biscuits and gravy? While Adam loves it, I actually thought I hated it. It reminded me too much of chicken and dumplings, which I find way too soggy for my taste. However, this morning, we decided to make some for brunch. We were both quite happy with how they turned out. :) The biscuits are fluffy and tall, even though they are half whole wheat. They are filling and delicious. The gravy isn't too thick or too thin. It has a very pleasant savory sausage taste.  

      Note: This is a great team recipe. I made the biscuits while Adam made the gravy and eggs. If you have the chance to cook with your spouse or even a friend, sibling, or roommate this works great. If not, I'd make the biscuits first.  This would also be a fun recipe to let you kids help with as they would probably have fun cutting the biscuits out of the dough.


Biscuits: (makes 10-12) 

(modified slightly from here) 
1 c. white flour
1 c. whole wheat (I used white whole wheat) 
4 t. baking powder
1 T. white sugar 
3/4 t. salt 
1/4 c. softened butter (use the real stuff, not margarine) 
1 c. buttermilk (1 T. vinegar poured into a liquid measuring cup. Fill the rest with milk and mix. Let rest for 5 minutes or so.) 

  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F (230 degrees C).
  2. Combine all-purpose flour, whole wheat flour, baking powder, sugar, and salt in bowl. Cut in butter with a knife, fork, or pastry blender until mixture resembles coarse crumbs; stir in buttermilk until just moistened. If you accidentally use all of the buttermilk (that would never happen to us ;), just add more flour, tastes great!) 
  3. Turn dough out on a lightly floured surface; knead gently 8 to 10 times. Roll to about 3/4-inch thickness; cut with a 2 1/2-inch biscuit cutter (or a glass turned upside down or a cookie cutter)  Place biscuits on an ungreased baking sheet (or use a stoneware pan like we did.) 
4.Bake in preheated oven until biscuits are lightly browned, 10 to 12 minutes. Brush with butter to keep the tops soft.

Gravy: (makes 3+ cups)
1 package McCormick Sausage Flavor Country Gravy
5 pre-cooked sausage links (we used Banquet Brown and Serve)
2 c. milk (we used 2%)
1 c. water
1 T. Real Bacon Bits (optional)

1. Heat sausage in the microwave for 15 seconds so that it is warm enough to cut easily. Dice into small pieces.
2. Stir all ingredients together and bring to boil while stirring.
3. Set aside and gravy will thicken.

Scrambled Eggs:
1/4 c. milk
1/4 c. grated cheese
5 eggs

Mix together in bowl. Cook on stove. Good job.

Cut biscuits in half, top with gravy, then eggs.

Or, if you'd rather have the gravy on the side, pour into a small container and dip your biscuits and eggs.


Saturday, July 6, 2013

Quick and Easy Homemade Pizza

We love pizza in this house. Who doesn't love quick, simple, and delicious? But, pizza is often expensive to purchase (never mind, kind of unhealthy) and we don't do it very often. So, we came up with our own idea that keeps our pizza cravings at bay. Ready? It's healthier, fast, cheap, and the possibilities are endless.

Here's what you need:

  • Pita bread (We buy a package of six, seven inch pitas for $1.50 at our local store. Our favorite is Papa Pita's Greek Pita Flat Bread 100% Whole Wheat) 
  • Pizza sauce (You can make your own or go for the easy/quick way which in this case we do...our favorite pizza sauce is Classico Traditional Pizza Sauce. It's perfect and tastes homemade. Again, it's still cheap...about $2 I think at our local store.) 
  • Cheese (We use mozzarella and sometimes sharp cheddar. Often times shredding it ourselves saves money. We've also been adding a little fresh mozzarella too.) 
  • Your favorite toppings: bell peppers, onions, olives, pineapple, ham, hamburger, mushrooms, you name it...:) It's up to you! :) 

Here's the simple how to: 
  • Preheat the oven to 375 F. 
  • Place the pita bread on a cookie sheet. (We use stoneware, as that gives it a crispier crust.) 
  • Smoother the bread in sauce to your liking. We find that an ice cream scoop makes it easy to spread and dispense the amount we need. 
  • Add cheese.
  • Top with your favorite toppings. 
  • Place in the oven for 20 minutes. 
  • ENJOY! 
Here's some of our favorite toppings: 
Hawaiian Pizza: Canadian Bacon or Ham cut up into small pieces and pineapple.

Supreme: Sliced olives, beef crumbles, red and green bed pepper, sharp cheddar and onion. Mushrooms are good too if you have any on hand. :)