Homemade Hawaiian Meatballs

I have another “Tried & True” recipe for y’all this week! My Homemade Hawaiian Meatballs have made a regular appearance on our dinner table for at least ten years. My mother-in-law made them for us once and we all became immediate fans. My kids were toddlers at the time and they gobbled them up! I can’t leave recipes alone as you know so I have made some tweaks over the years to perfect the flavors and make the directions simpler.

If you’ve never made homemade meatballs, don’t be intimidated. They are so easy and totally worth the effort! I usually call in one of my teenagers to help scoop so I can quickly roll the meatballs and it goes really fast. The ingredients for the meatballs are simple but flavorful-breadcrumbs, milk, egg, and spices. I like to use my large electric skillet to make this dish because I can fit all the meatballs in at once. If you only have a smaller skillet that is ok. You can brown them in batches but then make the sauce and add everything back in together.

Brown the meatballs first in olive oil.
Then set aside to make the tasty sauce with pineapples and bell pepper.
The sauce comes together quickly and is so full of bold flavors!
Then just add the meatballs back in so they can cook through and the sauce thickens for about 20 minutes. This makes a lot!

Doesn’t that look so delicious? Homemade meatballs with that tangy sweet sauce full of pineapples comes together for the perfect family meal. We serve it over rice with a side of steamed broccoli for a complete meal that everyone loves. It makes enough to feed my family of five plus have at least a couple more meals as leftovers. I hope that this family favorite of mine becomes one of yours too!

Lee’s Marketplace is back in a regular sale ad rotation and I am so happy! I love trying to find recipes for the week that have as many ingredients on sale as possible. Most ingredients for my Homemade Hawaiian Meatballs are on sale!

***Items on sale the week of May 26-June 1: ground beef, breadcrumbs, milk, eggs, pineapple tidbits, sugar, red wine vinegar, soy sauce, beef bouillon, olive oil

Homemade Hawaiian Meatballs

  • Servings: Serves 6-8
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Ingredients

For the meatballs:
2 lbs ground beef
½ cup plain breadcrumbs
½ cup milk
1 egg, slightly beaten
2 teaspoons salt
½ teaspoon black pepper
½ teaspoon garlic powder
½ teaspoon onion powder
2 tablespoons olive oil

For the sauce:
1 can (20 oz) pineapple tidbits, drained but reserve juice
1 green bell pepper, diced
½ cup granulated white sugar
¼ cup red wine vinegar
2 tablespoons soy sauce
4 beef bouillon cubes (or 2 tablespoons beef base)
½ cup reserved pineapple juice
2 tablespoons cornstarch
½ teaspoon salt

Directions

Add all ingredients for the meatballs to a large mixing bowl. Mix until everything is combined well. Form into walnut sized balls.

Heat a large skillet to medium-high and add olive oil. Add meatballs to pan (in batches if necessary) and brown on all sides. Once brown, remove from pan and set aside on a plate.

Reduce heat to medium and add pineapple tidbits, bell pepper, sugar, red wine vinegar, soy sauce and beef bouillon to pan. Stir to combine.

In a small bowl, add pineapple juice and cornstarch then whisk until combined and no lumps remain.

Pour into sauce mixture and stir to combine. Add meatballs back to pan and cook on medium-low for 20 minutes. Serve over rice.

Watermelon Mint Limeade

Who is ready for summer? With all the craziness of the last few months I am very ready! Not only am I a mom but I am also a teacher so I am celebrating school being out. No more “distance learning!” When I think of summer, I think of watermelon. Fun fact-I HATED watermelon my entire childhood! It wasn’t until I was 17 and at a summer camp that I started liking it. I was helping in the kitchen and it was a sweltering Texas summer. I had to cut up buckets and buckets of watermelon for the campers. I was so hot and thirsty that I took a bite and it was like heaven! I’ve been a fan ever since! What better way to kick off summer than with my Watermelon Mint Limeade?!

Just 3 ingredients are transformed into the most refreshing summertime drink! My kids and I love this so much and drink it often during the hot summer months. We even love pouring it into popsicle molds for a yummy, icy treat!

How do you cut your watermelon? I like to cut off each end, carve the sides, then cut into big chunks.
After dicing it into big chunks, you blend 10-15 cups of the watermelon. Then you HAVE to strain it! I like to strain it right into a big measuring container so I can see when I get to 5 cups of juice.
Frozen limeade is a great, simple way to add lots of flavor!
I love the smell and taste of fresh mint! It adds so much brightness to this drink!
Ready to blend! Did you know that I have a Blendtec discount code? Just use “charsaves” on their website!

So delicious and refreshing! This is the drink that you’ll have on repeat all summer long! Cheers to life getting back to normal and happy summer days ahead!

Sponsored post for Lee’s Marketplace. Items on sale through May 25: watermelon and limeade.

Watermelon Mint Limeade

  • Servings: Serves 6-8
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Ingredients

10-15 cups fresh watermelon, cubed
1 can frozen limeade
Small handful fresh mint

Directions

Place 4-5 cups at a time of cubed watermelon in a blender. Blend until smooth. Pour into a mesh strainer that is over a bowl.

Continue blending and straining watermelon until you get 5 cups juice.

Add strained watermelon juice back to blender then add frozen limeade and mint. Blend until smooth. Serve immediately over ice.

Notes:
1. This will start to separate a little after blended which is ok. A quick stir will mix it right back up!
2. This makes for yummy popsicles! Just pour into molds and freeze.

Virtual Cooking Class

Ok here we go!!! Let’s make some Tex-Mex!
Welcome to my first Virtual Cooking Class! I am so so excited to offer this! Here’s how it will work:⁣

🍳Pay $25 to reserve your spot⁣
🍳Email me to receive the link to my Private Facebook Group⁣
🍳The group will have the ingredient and supply list⁣
🍳Recipe will be posted too!⁣
🍳At the posted time, I will go live in my Facebook group and we will cook TOGETHER!⁣
🍳I’ll walk you through the recipes step by step. ⁣
🍳The group will be available to refer back to for 3 weeks.⁣

Why didn’t I think of this 2 months ago?!? This is going to be a blast! The time posted is for Mountain Time zone.

Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter Pretzel Blondies

I think it’s about time we had another dessert around here don’t y’all think? Blondies are one of my favorite quick desserts to make. If you have a good, basic blondie recipe, it is such a blank slate for whatever flavors you want to add. I have two other blondie recipes here that are so delicious! My Loaded Pumpkin Blondies are on repeat during the fall around here. Also, remember my White Chocolate Cherry Blondies from last summer? I can’t wait to make those again! The idea for my Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter Pretzel Blondies popped into my head a few months ago and I am so happy with how they turned out!

I mean, who doesn’t love chocolate and peanut butter? Add the crunchy pretzels and that’s a trio of flavors that makes my mouth water! My two girls normally aren’t fans of peanut butter and they LOVE these! No one can resist these warm out of the oven with a glass of milk!

The cast of characters! Except pretend there’s an extra egg and some salt in that picture…

The first time I made these, they turned out very dry but were really good. Oh darn I had to make them again! Ha! The second time around I reduced the peanut butter, reduced the pretzels, and added an extra egg. Success!

They are so fun to make! Here they are ready for the oven with my real life mess in the background!
30 minutes and they are ready! I like to add some extra, larger pretzel pieces on top for fun but that’s optional.

I wish I hadn’t let my Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter Pretzel Blondies sit on my recipe idea list for so long. They are amazing and are definitely going on the regular dessert rotation around here! Hope you love them too!

Sponsored post for Lee’s Marketplace.

Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter Pretzel Blondies

  • Servings: Serves 10-12
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Ingredients

2 cups brown sugar
1 cup butter, mostly melted and slightly cooled
3 large eggs
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
¾ cup creamy peanut butter
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1 cups pretzels, broken into small 1/4-1/2 inch pieces
Baking spray

Directions

Preheat oven to 350. Prepare a 9×13 baking dish by lightly coating with nonstick baking spray.

With a stand or electric mixer, beat brown sugar and butter together until smooth. Mix in eggs and vanilla.

With mixer on low speed, slowly add flour then baking powder and salt. Continue mixing until flour is incorporated and mixture is smooth.

Add peanut butter and mix until smooth. Fold in chocolate chips and pretzels.

Pour batter into prepared pan and spread evenly (mixture will be thick).

Optional: add large pieces of pretzels to the top of the batter and lightly press.

Bake for 25-35 minutes or until edges are lightly golden and center is set.

Sheet Pan Jambalaya

Sheet pan dinners are becoming a favorite around here! A while back I made my Sheet Pan Greek Chicken & Green Beans and y’all loved it. I have been brainstorming ideas for new sheet pan dinners and came up with this easy and flavorful Sheet Pan Jambalaya. The little East Texas town I grew up in was very close to Louisiana so we had a lot of Cajun restaurants in my area. I have always loved gumbo, etouffee, jambalaya, boudin, and pretty much every classic Cajun dish. I definitely don’t cook it enough though!

Recently, a huge dream came true when I was featured on Food Network’s Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives at a Cajun restaurant in Logan, Utah called Maymoe’s. I discovered it over a year ago and fell IN LOVE! The owner, Jason, is from Louisiana so his food is the real deal! I was so honored and excited to be a part of filming and was so happy that mine and my husband’s interviews were featured on the show. If you ever want to look it up it’s “Season 32 Episode 11” titled “Hometown Inspiration.” https://www.foodnetwork.com/shows/diners-drive-ins-and-dives/episodes/hometown-inspiration

Filming at Maymoe’s!
Dream come true!
Owner Jason Davis (left) with my husband and I

I love to eat Cajun food but I really don’t cook it very often. Ever since my experience filming at Maymoe’s I have been inspired! If you’ve never had Jambalaya, it is a rice dish that usually has andouille sausage, shrimp, and/or chicken with vegetables and lots of Cajun spice. This is definitely a shortcut version but is still so full of bold flavor. The shrimp really elevates the dish and makes it seem much “fancier” than it actually is.

There is usually a good variety of andouille sausage at the grocery store. It is basically a heavily smoked sausage with lots of bold spices. It’s not spicy though!
Use your favorite Cajun seasoning. Yes I have all of these! I chose to use the Original on the left but any would be great. Just make sure to use lots!

Everyone in my family loved this! Chicken is often used in Jambalaya as well but I chose to leave it out of this one. I thought that trying to cook raw chicken with the shrimp would have been tricky with timing. As the recipe note suggests, you could add some shredded rotisserie chicken at the end and that would be a delicious addition. We loved this with a side of rice and buttermilk cornbread. Yum!

My Sheet Pan Jambalaya is a taste of HOME for me! Cajun food is hard to come by here in Utah so I’m thrilled to have a new, easy recipe that I can make when the craving hits. I know you’ll love this yummy Cajun dish too!

Sponsored post for Lee’s Marketplace.

Sheet Pan Jambalaya

  • Servings: Serves 6-8
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Ingredients

1 lb shrimp, peeled and tail removed
1 lb andouille sausage, sliced
1 red bell pepper, diced
1 green bell pepper, diced
1 yellow onion, diced
2 stalks celery, sliced
1 cup grape or cherry tomatoes
4 tablespoons butter, cut into slices
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
Cajun seasoning, generous sprinkling (1-2 tablespoons)
Green onions for garnish (optional)

Cooked rice (on the side)

Directions

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Add bell peppers, onion, celery, and tomatoes to a large sheet pan and arrange in a single layer. Drizzle with olive oil and Worcestershire sauce then place tabs of butter on top of vegetables. Sprinkle with Cajun seasoning. Place in oven and cook for 10 minutes.

Remove pan from oven and place sausage and shrimp evenly over the top of the vegetables. Sprinkle with more Cajun seasoning. Place back in oven and cook for 5-10 minutes or until shrimp is pink and cooked through.

Serve over rice.

Notes:
1. Chicken can also be added. I would suggest using pre-cooked rotisserie chicken or something similar and add it to the end. It would be easier than trying to adjust cooking times with raw chicken and shrimp.

Texas Caviar

This is the time of year that I am out on my deck enjoying the scents of spring flowers and perfect weather every chance I can get. There’s just something about the weather warming up that makes me want to eat bright, refreshing food like my Texas Caviar. I call it a salsa but you could also consider it a dip or even salad. It’s full of healthy fresh produce like bell peppers, corn, tomatoes, onions, jalapenos, and cilantro. What makes it Texan? The black-eyed peas of course! If you’ve never had them, they are sweet and have such a unique flavor. I grew up eating them in lots of different ways and this is one of my favorites! We have to have a yummy dressing so a simple Mexican flavored vinaigrette tops this Texas Caviar off perfectly.

It’s seriously so so good! I could make a meal out of just this and some tortilla chips. In fact, I have! My kids aren’t fans but I am ok with that. More for me! It will last for days in the fridge and I’m still enjoying it after four days.

I made my Texas Caviar for a TV segment on Good Things Utah. I am grateful that I still get to do my monthly segments even though we are staying home and social distancing. I am having fun filming them on my own but definitely can’t wait to be back in the studio for live segments! Watch me make it here.

Texas Caviar

  • Servings: Serves 10+
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Ingredients

2 cans black-eyed peas, rinsed and drained
1 cup corn (or 1 can drained)
1 red bell pepper, diced
1 green bell pepper, diced
1 cup tomatoes, diced
1/2 cup red onion, diced
1 jalapeño, seeded and diced small
1/2 cup cilantro, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced

For the vinaigrette:
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup fresh lime juice
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon chili powder
1 1/2 teaspoons salt

Directions

Add black-eyed peas, corn, peppers, tomatoes, red onion, jalapeño, cilantro, and garlic to a medium sized bowl. In a separate small bowl, whisk together vinaigrette ingredients. Pour over salsa. Stir to combine well. Cover and let marinate in fridge for two hours before serving. Serve with tortilla chips, over grilled chicken or fish, or as a side salad.

Notes:
1. Add diced avocado for a yummy addition if you plan on eating it quickly!