Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Veggie Meatballs

OH EMM GHEE... getting Mr.Hooah to eat veggies is as easy as trying to give Yoki (our demonic cat) medication. He scrunches his nose up like a 4 year old whose mother tells him to eat his vegetables or he won't get dessert... Me though? Oh I love vegetables. I pretty much love all veggies & fruits, well, except mangoes...I know I do not have to explain myself to you guys, but yes, yes, I do...Mangoes, for some odd awful reason, taste like the smell of armpits to me, so I refuse. LOL, please tell me I am not the only one person who thinks this! I don't know why I think that but it's what I think, I know, I probably sound like a crazy person, but it's true! I always try to find new ways to sneak in veggies & this is one awesome new way I found & thought I would share because I know there are some picky little eaters out there who are much more picky than my Mr.Hooah! I found this recipe on pinterest & wrote it down, stashed it away in my cook book (which consists of a binder full of sheet protected notebook paper recipes lol) & recently ran across it, it had a couple of other ones along with it, but I have only tried this one & the Spicy Honey one. I must say, I have never just been one of those people who eats meatballs as a "meal".. We have a friend who is a single father & he makes "porcupine meatballs" (meatballs with rice mixed in) with mashed potatoes & mac-n-cheese for his daughter & she absolutely LOVES them. I suppose you could do this, but for us, I chose to go Italian & toss them in with some pasta. Mr.Hooah had ordered a "make your own pasta bowl" from Olive Garden a few weeks ago & I can't lie, for it to have been sausage meatballs & alfredo, it was DELICIOOO! So I thought I would attempt to recreate something similar to this & added crushed red pepper into the meatball mixture to make it spicy & give it that kick that the OG meatballs had. Let's just say, for this to be a thrown together meal, Mr.Hooah LOVED it & even went as far to say that THIS (amongst all the other delicious meals that I make, he had to choose this one *le sigh* haha) is his favorite meal now! You can't even taste the veggies inside ither! And because they're made with turkey & baked, it doesn't get much healthier than that & I am positive that the calories are MUCH LESS than those of OG! So, MOVE OVER Olive Garden, there's a new Italian Chef in town & she doesn't charge an arm & leg for pasta bowls! Haha. Ok, maybe that was a little too much...
 *awkward silence
Hope you guys enjoy this & if you make it let me know how you like it!

Veggie Meatballs
 (Makes 48 Meatballs)
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16oz. lean ground turkey
1 carrot, peeled & grated
1 zucchini, peeled & grated
1/2 c. Italian seasoned bread crumbs (I personally added in more, it was about a cup rather than half)
2 TBSP. ketchup
1 egg
1 TBSP. onion powder
1 TBSP. garlic powder 
1 tsp. salt 
1 tsp. pepper
**And for those of you who like spice, add in 1tsp. or more of crushed red pepper flakes!**
  • Preheat oven to 350'.. Line baking sheet with foil & set aside.
  • In large bowl, combine all ingredients. Mix until combined but do not over mix (that will make your meatballs tough & nobody likes a tough meatball!) Using a tablespoon, scoop to portion & lightly form into balls.
  • Place on baking sheet, make sure they are not touching & bake 20 minutes or until brown. (Here is my tip...flip them half way through baking, then when the 20mins are up, I personally like to turn the broiler on HIGH & brown them a little more..just make sure to keep an eye on them so they don't burn! Also, we ate these over whole wheat penne pasta with a light alfredo sauce & it was bomb!)

Friday, September 5, 2014

The Cold Kicker Soup! (aka Mexican Chicken & Rice Soup)

The weather is in full chaotic swing...cold, mild, completely freezing! With that being said, I know it's the "time of year" that I catch some sort of cold & I want to share my secret with all of you. What can I say besides "My IMMUNE system hates me!" Lol. Usually when I get sick, it takes me forever to start feeling better because my immune system isn't exactly top of the line. Once when I was sick, my Gran-Gran told my Aunt Sherry she should grab me a cup of Chicken Soup from the Mexican restaurant in town because it always made her feel better...And she did...It was really good & seriously made me feel 10x better!!! So, from that day on, anytime I got sick, the soup did the trick. Since moving up here to NC, Mexican cuisine is good & all, but when it came to getting sick & Mr.Hooah (being THE BEST husband in the whole entire world tee-hee) going to get me the soup, only ONE place even knew what he was asking about. Sadly, the soup wasn't as good as what I had back home though. I told Mr.Hooah for $7 a cup, that I could make a whole pot for about that with what I had on hand & it'd be way better! So, not to toot my own horn or anything, but, MOVE OVER Mexican Restaurants, Chef CiCi's mastered this! Haha. This soup is AMAZING...It isn't a heavy soup but it warms you through & anytime Mr.Hooah & I, or anyone I know is feeling icky, I put on a pot of this "miracle" soup...Ok, so maybe it doesn't really have mystical powers that can cure major illnesses or make miracles happen, but it sure will make you feel better when the common cold is floating amuck, just ask Mr.Hooah(who also just got over the flu, bless him)! 
I hope that you'll try this recipe even if you aren't sick because it is just too yummy!
-XO for now! 

Mexican Chicken & Rice Soup
(aka The Cold Kicker Soup)
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1 pot of water with 3TBSP. Chicken Base Paste
(Or 3 boxes of Chicken Stock) 
3 Chicken Breasts, boneless, skinless
2-3 TBSP. minced garlic
1 onion, roughly diced
Handful of Cilantro, chopped
1 avocado, roughly chopped
Salt & Pepper to taste
1 can mild Rotel
1 1/2 c. Brown Rice, minute rice is best
1 lime sliced or lime juice 
Dash of Webster's Beer Can Chicken Seasoning
(or in my case 5! we love this stuff!)
  • Add water & chicken paste(if not using the boxed chicken stock), EVOO, garlic, chicken, & onions. Bring to a boil. Add in seasoning, salt & pepper, & Rotel. Cover with a vented lid (if you don't have a vented lid, you can just put a lid almost all the way on) & let simmer for an hour. The longer it cooks, the better it tastes though!
  • Remove the chicken from pot & shred. Add back to soup. Add in rice & cook according to package. When Rice is done, add in diced avocado & cilantro & let cook another 4-5minutes. 
  • Serve with lime wedges to squeeze over soup or sprinkle a little bottled lime juice over top. Good ither way! Eat, Enjoy, & kick that cold's butt! haha! (:

Thursday, September 4, 2014


I love baking sweets.... AND eating them! haha! I am not as active with the FRG (the Family Readiness Group, a "support/information" group at Mr.Hooah's job) as I should be, but when it comes to donating or bake sales, I always participate! I always make several batches of cookies, brownies, or cupcakes for the sale & Mr.Hooah always comes home empty handed, so I guess that means I'm doing something right huh?! I don't know where I get it from...oh wait, yes I do, my Aunt Sherry...but I LOVE to bake & I bake often! Just call me the Cupcake Queen! Haha. At one point I wanted to go on Cupcake Wars, but they probably would have laughed me off the set...I'm a Food Network Star in my own kitchen but when it comes to being a pro, I think it's safe to say they would list me as an amateur! Lol. I absolutely love this recipe I am sharing, mostly because Blondies of any sort are my absolute fav type of brownie/cookie bar! They're easy, you can throw anything & everything but the kitchen sink in those babies, & you just can't mess them up! I have been behind on the times apparently, because to my surprise, everyone these days (or per Pinterest activity) is using boxed cake mixes to "skip steps" on ingredients & to cut down on prep time...After trying a few cake mix recipes myself, I too, am now a believer! This recipe has been a good one to make especially for the bake sales on base for our battery functions... it is deliciously ooey-gooey & sweet. I honestly think they sell so well because the soldiers see the sprinkles & think it's something fancy...hmmm, maybe they are a little fancy with their ooey-gooey pretty colored sprinklie-ness haha. These are seriously fun for people of all ages & with only 6 ingredients, these are my go-to goodies for Mr.Hooah to take to work anytime! 
- ~*.*~Sprinkly X's & O's!~*.*~

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1 Box yellow cake mix
1/4 c. vegetable or canola oil
1 large egg
1/3-1/2 c. milk (less is best)
1/2 c. sprinkles
1/2 c. white chocolate chips
(I also throw in M&M's sometimes, I honestly think you can mix in whatever you want as long as it will work with the recipe!)
  • Preheat oven to 350'...spray an 11x7 baking pan with non-stick spray, set aside.
  •  Combine first 4 ingredients in large bowl, add milk slowly because you want the batter to be as dense as possible. Mix in the sprinkles & white chocolate chips.
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  • Pour into the prepped baking dish, sprinkle a handful more of the sprinkles over top & then bake for 25-30mins until edges are just turning golden-brown.
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***TIPS: Allow to cool at least 30mins so the center can set before cutting into squares. Also, do not use black sprinkles, it will turn the batter black!***

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Blueberry Barbeque Sauce

As we all know, Fall is knocking on the door! I have to say that even though I LOVE the fall, I'm kind of sad to see summer go! So, as summer continues to wind down, we've been BBQ'ing, A LOT! And I have a new BBQ sauce that I recently found over at Grilling Companion & wanted to share! This Blueberry Barbecue Sauce is not only easy peasy but DELISH too! It is something Mr.Hooah & all of our friends had never had before, & though it sounds kind of weird, we were NOT disappointed! We used it on our grilled chicken & turkey burgers, so I imagine it is good on any grilled meat. It has a little kick with the cayenne pepper (we put extra), & though it may sound like it might be super sweet, it isn't. It's the perfect amount of sweet-savory-blueberrines.. haha! I definitely say, that while blueberries are still in season & you can get them fresh, you need to try this recipe! However, if I get a craving for this in the winter months, I'm thinking it won't hurt to cheat & use frozen blueberries! It was definitely a hit at our Labor Day BBQ!
-XO! XO!
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Blueberry Barbeque Sauce
2 c. fresh blueberries
1/2 c. balsamic vinegar
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
2 TBSP. red onion, roughly chopped
1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper
3 TBSP. ketchup
3 TBSP. sugar
2 cloves garlic, roughly chopped (I used 1 TBSP. minced garlic)
1/2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp. chili powder
  • Combine all of the ingredients in a medium sauce pan & heat over medium-high heat.
  • Once you hit the boiling point, turn the heat down & simmer for about 15minutes, until sauce begins to thicken, stirring occasionally. 
  • Remove the pan from the heat & allow to cool.
  • Pour into a blender & blend until liquified. 
  • Brush the blueberry barbeque sauce over grilled chicken, pork chops, ribs, burgers...& even serve some extra sauce on the side too!

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

China Cabinet Revamp

I posted a few posts ago, about my unhealthy distressing addiction. I bought that sweet little desk off of Craigslist & the lady also had this gorgeous little china cabinet for sale too when we got there.
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 I had a fit over it, Mr.Hooah said not just no but HELL NO (haha just kidding) ONE PROJECT AT A TIME, & then I threw a fit...just kidding again. But we did tell her that if she had it by the time I was finished with my sweet little desk (see it here: Distressing Addiction), that we would be back for it! Needless to say, not only was I determined to finish the desk ASAP so that I could get it in our house, but I was also driven to finish so that I could find out if she still had the china cabinet....And JUST MY LUCK, she did! Lol. I am in a MAJOR teal phase. Our house was a brown, red, almost a rustic type of theme, but I wanted a change. (Mr.Hooah said he gives it 6 months before I decide to change it up again, lol. Insatiable I am!) Something more bright, to open up our small living room. I went with a color called Swizzle Stick. It is an awesome blue. I cannot even describe it but I LOVE it! I'll try to post pics soon, promise! Now everything is crisp & a little more rusticy-french..<---I don't even know if that is even actually a thing, but, well, you know! Haha! It took much longer on the china cabinet than the desk... but it was definitely worth it in the end! Distressing for me is all about layering the paint so that when you sand it, it shines through. I went with a golden yellow the first few coats, then I used a few swipes of this Fuchsia Flocka Pink in the areas I wanted to sand down for it to show through, then lastly was the teal color I scored on clearance at Lowe's! Woot! And I aslo must share that Hobby Lobby, had their semi-annual sale & I scored this awesome black glass china for no more than $20 total! Painting the inside grey brightened it up, the black china ties in perfectly with my grey & yellow (Lemon Italian hodgepodged cupcake themed) kitchen! I am just in love with my china cabinet & at peace that I could give this gorgeous little gem a make-over that gets so many compliments in our home! 
-XO... or Arrivederci...Ciao..& all that other good stuff!
 (^^compliments of the AristoCats movie I just watched haha^^)
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Monday, September 1, 2014

Happy Labor Day!

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 I hope every one has been having an awesome weekend! I have a couple of awesome "BBQ/Grill" recipes to share with you guys in a couple of posts to come, they do NOT disappoint!
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 Oh, & this little man sends his labor day love to you guys too! Lol.