Turkey Meatball Sandwiches on Garlic Bread

Well, after a couple month hiatus, I am finally back in the swing of things.  Between the holidays and lack of sleep, blogging went on the back burner.  My next few posts will be a few recipes I’ve done over the past month or so and failed to immediately post.  This recipe was so good, it was worth every single calorie!  The best part is this recipe made enough for two dinners, always a bonus on my end!  The first night, I bought rolls in the Safeway bakery department and night #2 I had picked up a sourdough roll at Target.  I actually liked the Target bread better!  A little trick I’ve discovered is I scoop out some of the bread on the inside so the meatballs sit better and the sandwich isn’t so “bready”.  I would love to say that this also cuts a few calories but that bread ended up becoming a snack while I prepped, whoops.  On to the good stuff, here’s the recipe..thanks to Alaska from Scratch blog!  My edits:  I added 1/2 cup plain nonfat greek yogurt to the meatball mixture, I omitted basil (mainly because I forgot it at the store) and I used pasta sauce instead of making my own (I’m sure homemade would be amazing, but it wasn’t happening).  



Turkey Meatball Subs on Toasted Garlic Bread Buns

 (Courtesy of Alaska from Scratch http://www.alaskafromscratch.com/2013/09/12/turkey-meatball-subs-on-toasted-garlic-bread-buns/)

Yield: About 6 Sandwiches

Ingredients (M2F edit – add 1/4 cup greek yogurt)

    • 1 1/2 pounds lean ground turkey
    • 2 eggs
    • 1/4 cup breadcrumbs
    • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
    • 2 tablespoons fresh basil, minced
    • 1 teaspoon cumin
    • 1 1/2 teaspoons dijon mustard
    • 1/2 teaspoon salt
    • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
    • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
    • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)
For the Sauce: (M2F edit:  buy store-bought pasta sauce)
    • 1 tablespoon olive oil
    • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
    • 1 (15oz) can plain tomato sauce
    • 1/2 teaspoon red chile flakes (or to taste)
    • 1 teaspoon sugar
    • salt to taste (my tomato sauce already includes a fair amount of salt, so I didn’t need much, maybe 1/4 teaspoon; some tomato sauces have less so you may need to add more)
    • 6 ounces mozzarella, shredded
    • 2 tablespoons fresh basil, chiffonade
For the Garlic Bread Buns:
  • 6 long sandwich rolls
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted


    1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a large baking sheet with aluminum foil or parchment.
    2. To a large bowl, add the ground turkey, eggs, breadcrumbs, oregano, basil, cumin, mustard, salt, garlic powder, pepper, and cayenne, if using. Mix together until combined. Shape mixture into 2-3 inch meatballs and place them on the prepared baking sheet. Bake for 20-25 minutes until cooked through and browned.
    3. Meanwhile, make the sauce by heating the olive oil in a 12-inch cast iron skillet over medium heat. Add garlic and pepper flakes, stirring, one minute, or until fragrant but without browning the garlic. Add tomato sauce to the pan, followed by sugar and salt. Turn heat to medium-low and allow to simmer until the meatballs are finished baking.
    4. When the meatballs are done, add them to the skillet with the sauce. Spoon the sauce over the meatballs to coat.
For the Buns:
  1. Turn the oven up to broil. In a small bowl, combine the garlic, olive oil, and butter. Brush the garlic butter mixture onto the insides of the buns and broil until toasted and browned. Remove from oven.
  2. Place 2 or 3 meatballs onto each toasted bun. Spoon some additional sauce over top of the meatballs. Top with shredded mozzarella and return the sandwiches to the broiler for another minute or two, until the cheese is melted and slightly browned. Remove from oven and sprinkle with fresh basil. Serve promptly.

Strawberry Muffins

So last week, they had an amazing deal on strawberries and of course by today, they were starting to get a little too ripe and sad looking.  After about 30 seconds of searching, I found a recipe with Greek yogurt as an ingredient, and I was sold!  I am slightly obsessed with Greek yogurt at the moment, I use it as a sour cream substitute (it fooled my husband, so it really does taste like the real thing), I used it in the turkey meatballs earlier this week (still need to post) and now I used it in muffins.  I am pretty sure it actually has magic powers, but I have yet to confirm that.  Oh and most importantly, Little Man E loves plain greek yogurt, which during this ugly teething phase, I’m happy to give him anything as long as he eats it!  Anyway, back to the muffins.  This recipe is incredibly light and airy, and the almond extract adds a delicious warmth and richness to the strawberry flavor.  I think this is the perfect toddler recipe, but if you haven’t introduced nuts, I am sure omitting the almond extract would taste great too!  This is a slightly modified recipe from http://penguinsandcupcakes.tumblr.com, and it made 12 regular sized and 18 minis total.


Strawberry Yogurt Muffins (makes 12 standard muffins, plus 18 mini)


2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
½ tap. Salt
¼ cup butter
¼ cup vegetable oil
¾ cup sugar
1 egg
1 cup plain greek yogurt
½ tsp. almond extract
1.5 cups chopped strawberries (toss in sugar if they are a bit sour)


Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream together the butter, sugar and oil until smooth.  Add the egg, yogurt and almond extract and mix until combined.

In a separate bowl, combine the first four dry ingredients. Slowly add the dry mixture into the wet mixture.

Add the strawberries and fold in, do not mix.

Place paper muffin liner in your muffin tins. Use a ¼ cup scoop to fill the liners.

Bake for 10-12 minutes or until tops are golden.

Martha’s One-Pan Pasta

I have a confession, I love Martha Stewart.  Actually, I love Martha Stewart’s brand, it is the epitome of all things food, craft and beyond.  Usually, if I come across a recipe with her name attached, it is pretty tasty but often too complicated for a weeknight meal.  During one of my many 10pm Pinterest marathons, I came across a beautiful picture of fresh tomatoes, basil, and other fresh ingredients with the title “one-pan pasta”.  When I clicked through and discovered it was Martha, I knew I had to put it on my meal plan.  This is the perfect weeknight meal, and I was able to prep everything earlier in the day, the actual cooking time is less than 10 minutes!  I added some sliced chicken for extra protein, next time I think I will add chicken sausage instead.  Oh, and I tried to photograph mine to make it very Martha, it just looks so pretty!  Below is my adapted recipe, here’s the link to the original:  http://www.marthastewart.com/978784/one-pan-pasta.


One-Pan Pasta (4 Servings)


  • 1 box long pasta (I used whole grain spaghetti)
  • 10-12 ounces cherry or grape tomatoes, halved or quartered if large
  • 1 onion, thinly sliced (about 2 cups)
  • 4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 teaspoon red-pepper flakes
  • 2 sprigs basil, plus torn leaves for garnish
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for serving
  • Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 4 1/2 cups water
  • Freshly grated Parmesan cheese, for serving


  1. STEP 1

    Combine pasta, tomatoes, onion, garlic, red-pepper flakes, basil, oil, 2 teaspoons salt, 1/4 teaspoon pepper, and water in a large straight-sided skillet. Bring to a boil over high heat. Boil mixture, stirring and turning pasta frequently with tongs, until pasta is al dente and water has nearly evaporated, about 9 minutes.

  2. STEP 2

    Season to taste with salt and pepper, divide among 4 bowls, and garnish with basil. Serve with oil and Parmesan.

Savory Toddler Biscuits

Now, don’t let the title fool you!  These biscuits can be enjoyed by anyone, but I call them toddler biscuits because they are the perfect size for those pint-sized hands.  The best part about this recipe is you can really add anything to it.  I personally added some diced ham, peas, shredded zucchini and mexican blend cheese (had it leftover from tacos).  These can really be part of any meal, or a snack too!  I made these while both little ones napped, very easy recipe!  



Savory Toddler Biscuits (makes 18 minis)


  • 1 cup plain flour
  • 1/2 tbsp baking powder
  • 1/4 cup grated cheese
  • 1 egg
  • 1/8 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup milk (cows milk/breastmilk/formula)
  • 1 cup veggies/meat (I used grated zucchini, ham and peas, but you could use grated carrots, chopped red pepper, chopped broccoli, chopped spinach etc. You could also use chicken for some extra protein)


  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Lightly spray a mini muffin pan with cooking spray. 
  2. Sift flour and baking powder together. Give it a quick stir to make sure the baking powder is evenly distributed. Stir through veggies/meat and cheese. 
  3. In a separate bowl, whisk oil, milk and egg. Make a well in the center of the dry mix and pour in the liquid. Mix until just combined, giving you a thick batter.
  4. Spoon batter into muffin tray and bake in the oven for 15 – 20 mins, until the muffins are nice and golden on top. Remove tray from oven, and cool muffins in tray for 5 mins, then turn out onto a rack to cool. 

Salmon with Lemon and Dill and Other Sunday Adventures

I love Sundays. We are all together as a family, we usually cook a fun dinner and I ignore the typical daily housework until Monday. I usually make a dinner that requires my Sous Chef (aka Husband) to help in the kitchen, as weekends are the one time I do not prep meals in the middle of the day. Tonight’s dinner was inspired by some amazing Coho Salmon we received from friends. By amazing, I mean wild caught in Alaska, then cleaned and immediately put into dry ice to travel back here for our enjoyment. I am not particularly good at cooking fish, although I absolutely love eating it! So, I believe the most important rule with good and fresh fish is keep it simple, and that is exactly what we did. My husband loves dill, so let’s say he inspired this tasty dish. For those of you following the meal plan that I am now posting weekly, the ingredients will not be on my grocery list. We had broccoli in the freezer, some red potatoes leftover from another meal and the fish was given to us. I love a free meal 🙂  The picture doesn’t do this meal justice, but we baked an entire half of the salmon, so they are not in perfect pieces.


Salmon with Lemon and Dill (4 Servings)


1 pound salmon fillets
1/4 cup butter, melted
5 tablespoons lemon juice
1 tablespoon dried dill weed
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
sea salt to taste
freshly ground black pepper to taste


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Lightly grease a medium baking dish.
Place salmon in the baking dish. Mix the butter, lemon juice, garlic powder and dill in a small bowl, and drizzle over the salmon. Season with sea salt, and pepper.
Bake 25 minutes in the preheated oven, or until salmon is easily flaked with a fork.

Whole Foods Slow Cooker Split Pea Soup and Little Man E’s “finger-friendly” meal

It is that wonderful time of the year where the nights are cooler and I always crave soup.  I’m not too picky on what kind of soup, but these days my time is very limited and usually I prep dinner during nap-time.  Tonight’s dinner is a fantastic recipe I found on http://www.wholefoodsmarket.com.  Now, I personally am not a fan of ham hocks since they tend to be fatty, so I opted for the diced ham.  I have used this recipe many times and I love how easy it is to put together and by 6pm, our house smells fantastic and this delicious soup is ready.  I hope your family enjoys this recipe as much as we do!


Whole Foods Slow Cooker Split Pea Soup
(Makes 8 Servings)
  • 1 (16 ounce) package dried green split peas, rinsed
  • 1 meaty ham bone, 2 ham hocks or 2 cups diced ham
  • 1 cup sliced baby carrots
  • 1 cup chopped yellow onion
  • 2 ribs celery plus leaves, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 6 cups chicken broth

Layer ingredients in slow cooker in the order given, adding the broth last. Do not stir ingredients. Cover and cook on high 4—5 hours or on low 8—10 hours until peas are very soft and ham falls off the bone.

Now when it is soup night in our household, my son (16mos) is enjoying other foods.  I cannot wait until this little guy masters the spoon, but if I tried this now, there would be more green decorating our walls than I’d care to think about.  So tonight, little man E gets a homemade quesadilla with ground turkey and cheese (topped with plain greek yogurt), with some cilantro brown rice, corn and black beans on the side.  



Hello, my name is..

Before I start posting like a crazy mama, I figure I should introduce myself first.  My name is Christa and I am a mother of two under two.  I love to cook, bake and spend endless hours on Pinterest finding new things to cook and bake.  Oh, and I also love to take pictures of my food and post on Facebook, which some tend to think is cruel.  I think creativity in the kitchen is something that keeps things interesting and hopefully will develop my two little cuties into foodies by the time they can see over the kitchen counter.  Have you noticed the sudden trend of kids being little chefs?  Masterchef does it, Rachael Ray and Guy Fieri did it.  Sure, maybe I dream of my two kids being there, making the best Chicken Cordon Bleu Gordon Ramsay has ever tasted, but in reality I just want my little ones to understand the importance of cooking and how fun it really can be!  This blog will not only be about food, it will also be about life as a stay-at-home mommy.  I will share my weekly menu planning ideas, recipes, budgeting ideas and possibly some pictures of my kids (a mom’s gotta brag, right?).  All for now, until next time…