Cooking with my Kids: “Pilgrim” Meatballs With Cranberries

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My favorite holiday is Thanksgiving, hands down. Any chance I get, I’ll find a way to  Thanksgiving-ize something. I came up with this recipe a few years ago and it’s been a favorite. I’ve since made it gluten free and simplified it for my little (big) sous chef.

These turkey meatballs are the very essence of Thanksgiving – tender sagey turkey, studded with tart cranberries. I served them (obvi) over mashed sweet potatoes and with  sweet corn.

Pilgrim Meatballs with Cranberries

1 lb ground turkey

1 egg, beaten

2/3 C corn flake crumbs

1/3 C chicken stock

Handful of dried cranberries (I used Trader Joe’s orange flavored ones and I soaked them in cooking white wine/sherry)

1/2 t sage

S&P to taste

Preheat the oven to 400F. Prepare a baking sheet with tin foil and Pam. Mix all the ingredients, except for ground turkey. Once fully combined, add the ground turkey. Form into balls and place on the baking sheet. Bake for about 25 minutes.

Gobble Gobble!

Kristin

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Thanksgiving Countdown (a “turkey lunch” and a link to Thanksgivings Past)!

I can’t wait for Thanksgiving. To me, it is equal with the joy and excitement of Christmas. I love the food, the fellowship, and the thankfulness of it all. I have been so nostalgic about my Thanksgivings growing up. I wrote a post about it last year and it captured my memories exactly. Also in that post, I shared some of my most favorite Thanksgiving recipes.

https://sprinklesinmylunchbox.wordpress.com/2013/11/15/thanksgiving-food-roundup/

Tomorrow starts the school Thanksgiving countdown for my Bigs (and Smalls). For the next two weeks, these sweet children will learn about the first Thanksgiving, Thanksgiving as a whole, and giving thanks. I love it. I can’t wait to hear what they have learned. To start the countdown, I made a turkey lunch for my big boy.

Not THAT kind of turkey. That would be sort of sad and weird – a turkey-shaped turkey sandwich. Sort of rubbing it in that poor turkey’s face that he’s being eaten.

You know?

No?

Just me?

Oh well.

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I made a PB&J and used my turkey-shaped cutter. I used my Food Writers to add details. I love that every time I make these (here and here and a few other times), they come out differently. Like real turkeys (or snowflakes if you want to get technical), they are all different. I kept the crusts and used them as sort of a hay bale (I might be the only one “getting” that). I packed seasoned corn, an orange, three little Trader Joe’s ginger cookies, and a few dried cranberries.

Have a BLESSED Tuesday!

Kristin

Hammy Time!

What a week. Seriously. I know I say that all the time, but what a week. Both boys had doctor’s follow up appointments (both better – yay!), both boys had a little kid gym class (they go each week on different days), both boys had a make up little kid gym class (on different days), Bigs had school and one on of those days, I worked in his classroom. And also Smalls got reinfected with pink eye and had another fever night (booooo). But he’s better again. But seriously. Whaaaaat? Why does this keep happening?!

I absolutely love working in Bigs’ classroom. The parents of the kids switch off days, so that every day has a helper parent. It’s a wonderful opportunity to get to know our kids’ teacher, classroom and procedures and learning itself, and classmates better. I absolutely adore Bigs’ teacher and classmates. He’s expressed that he never wants another teacher again. Just the one he has. 🙂

I showed up to class rocking my donuts. You just might recall how much my Bigs and I love donuts. It’s sort of a thing for us.

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I put on my donut sweatshirt and earrings. And then I remembered that I had a donut necklace.

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So I put that on, too. Because…you can’t just wear SOME of your donut stuff. Sure I looked like Flava Flav a bit. And maybe also a clown. But you know what? The kids (and adults) thought it was a hoot. And I did too. Love donuts. And someday, probably not too far off in the future, my Bigs will be (and I hope he isn’t!!) mortified when I show up like this. I gotta capitalize on him loving my wackiness now.

Tootsies

My feet matched. I try to do that.

It was a blast of a day, hanging out with my big buddy.

So, back when I’d posted about this sweatshirt, I sort of mentioned that it was a Christmas gift to myself and that my husband didn’t know it yet. I’d already purchased it and was going to give it to him to give to me. But sweet Husband took it upon himself to get it for me before knowing I’d already done the dirty work. It was quite a hubbub to return it. So I EXTRA appreciate it!

Besides the boys not taking naps yesterday, which by all scale-of-tiredness-accounts they should have (and I needed one!), it was a lovely day.

I also made a ham dinner. For some odd (and I DO think it’s odd), Bigs’ favorite meat is ham. I feel like kids Bigs’ age (almost 4) would rather chicken. But I’m glad he likes it! Especially because he’s having it for dinner again tonight. 🙂

Hammy Ham Ham

I glazed it with cherry preserves. I also made a cheesy hash brown casserole.

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This is from the copycat recipe for Cracker Barrel. Do you have those near where YOU live? If not, just get off on the next interstate exit and go immediately. That place is so good. For this recipe, it calls for a cream of soup and sour cream. I didn’t have enough sour cream but I DID have a tub of ricotta cheese. I threw that in, hoping it would help make up for my lacking ingredient amounts. It turned out great, you couldn’t even tell.

I also made beans.

Beans

I sautéed a mix of carrots, green beans, and wax beans in coconut oil with whatever seasoning feels right (lemon pepper this time) and freshly grated garlic. I add dried cranberries when it’s almost done. This time, I burned the lot, but it still tasted good. And, oddly enough (my life must be “odd” because I find myself saying this a lot!), this was the only thing Smalls ate last night. He literally turned down cheesy potatoes and frozen yogurt (I froze actual yogurt for the boys to have for dessert) for beans. That kid is something. But I’m glad that if he’s eating anything, it’s beans.

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It was yummy.

Dinner

And like I said, we’re having it again. I love leftovers.

Yummers

Just yes.

Oh yes ham

After such a long few weeks of sickness and not really having the energy to cook, it was really nice to have a homey, comforting meal to eat.

And I love knowing that no matter what happens today, we’ll get that same homey, comforting meal again. And I don’t have to even cook it again.

Have a wonderfully blessed Friday (seriously TGIF!!)

Kristin

More [brie] cheese with my whine? Please?

Well. I had a different post ready to be shared, but you know how life is. It do what it wants. I mentioned in my last blog post that my baby son Smalls (okay, he’s 17 months, but will always be the baby of the family, plus he’s really tiny, so extra babyish…anywayssss) wasn’t feeling well. That puny feeling, unfortunately, continued for him through the night and weekend. We ended up having to take him into an after hours pediatric urgent care. His little fever turned into a respiratory thing that caused wheezing, shortness of breath and low oxygen levels, and continued higher fevers. After some nebulizing treatments, we went home with our tired, little, sick baby. The next morning he woke with what I knew was pink eye. Poor thing. We took him to his regular pediatrician and got him some medication for that and a steroid to help with his breathing. His horrible fevers seemed to give him a break tonight, for the first time in three days. We still have to give him breathing treatments at home (we have a nebulizer from when Bigs was little), but God is good. I know he’ll take care of our little sweetie.

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So, sadly, that’s been the end of the week and the weekend (having to skip church tomorrow, but we can watch it online!). Keep my Smalls in your prayers?

Thank you.

In an effort to relax (and also reward myself for my SIX DAYS OF NO DESSERT!! <–why on Earth did I feel that deserved, not one, but TWO exclamation points? It’s so sad!) Anyways, after putting my boys in bed, I made what I currently believe is Life’s Perfect Food: Baked Brie Bites.

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You may (or may not) recall that I had them at a Christmas party thrown by my friends. They are just divine.

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Something about brie always calls my name. I could eat a whole wheel of it. The big size. There is something about the oozey, gooey way it melts, taking hostage everything in its path, like hot lava.

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Something about the crunchy, delicate richness of the phyllo dough. Something about the tart dried cranberries.

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Something about the crunchy, earthy walnuts. And then put that all together with a bit of brown sugar. Something MAGICAL happens. I’m NOT KIDDING!

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Look at that bubbly, gooey, brown sugary cheeeeeese. Those crunchy walnuts!

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I meaaannnn. Look at those now caramelized cranberries. I can’t even.

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I plopped four (for the sake of my photo shoot – I really ate about 11) on my husband’s Grams’ china and had them with my finest bottle of Sav Blanc (HAHA my finest is Trader Joe’s).

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This was a lovely reward to a long week.

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Here is the recipe, if you need it. It’s SO simple and honestly, it’s one of the best things I’ve ever eaten.

http://www.plainchicken.com/2011/09/ile-de-france-cheese-baked-brie-bites.html

Enjoy and thank you for your prayers!

Kristin