Grits n’ Greens Casserole

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Today I’m sharing one of my FAVORITE recipes with you. I felt that needed to be capitalized because it is THAT GOOD. Friends, I am YELLING AT YOU because I want you to make this IMMEDIATELY. It is delicious!

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This is my most requested recipe. Every year we go to the beach with some family friends, and every year I’m asked to make this. I make it for holidays, pot lucks, gatherings… it is the perfect side.

I get the side eye a lot when I tell people what is in it. Not everyone is a fan of grits and even less people like collards. But let me tell you – even if you don’t like grits or collards (or both) you will like this. Even my cousin, who hates both collards and grits, will eat this casserole.

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Grits n’ Greens Casserole

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups heavy whipping cream
  • 6 cups chicken broth
  • 2 cups quick cooking grits (not instant)
  • 1 large can Glory brand canned collards (Margaret Holmes is a good substitute if you cannot find Glory brand)
  • 2 sticks of butter
  • 2.5 cups parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 tsp fresh ground pepper
  • 1 cup cooked and crumbled bacon

Directions:

  1. Heat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Add 2 cups heavy whipping cream and 6 cups of chicken broth to a large stock pan. Bring to a boil and then add grits, stirring constantly.
  3. Turn heat to low. Continue to stir until grits stop bubbling.
  4. Simmer grits for 5-10 minutes or until thickened.
  5. Add butter, black pepper, and parmesan cheese and stir to combine.
  6. Drain collards in a colander and then add to pan. Stir.
  7. Pour grits into a greased 13X9 casserole dish.
  8. Top with crumbled bacon.
  9. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.

Obviously this is not the healthiest dish but it sure is delicious!

I marinated the flank steak in a mixture of Dale’s and Lawry’s Lemon Pepper marinade, and then grilled. The squash was cut lengthwise, then rubbed with olive oil and sprinkled generously with McCormick’s Grill Seasoning.

What’s on your menu this week?

Mozzarella Stuffed Meatballs with Veggie Marinara

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It’s Tuesday, y’all! Time for Delish Delights. I’ve got a great recipe this week for you. Do you struggle with getting your kids to eat healthy foods? With these Mozzarella Stuffed Meatballs with Veggie Marinara it won’t be a problem. The marinara sauce is packed with healthy veggies. Your kids with think it is just a regular red sauce!

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Ingredients for the Mozzarella Stuffed Meatballs:

  • 1 pound ground turkey or ground beef
  • Fresh mozzarella balls – check the cheese case in the deli section of your grocery store.
  • 1/3 cup panko breadcrumbs
  • 2 eggs
  • Salt & pepper
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning

Ingredients for the Veggie Marinara:

  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 sweet onion, diced
  • 4 cups diced veggies (I used carrots, zucchini, and squash)
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1/2 cup red wine
  • 2 large cans of diced tomatoes
  • 8 ounces tomato sauce
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons oregano
  • 2 teaspoons dried basil
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 large bay leaf

Directions:

  1. First start on the veggie sauce as it needs to simmer (at minimum) for 2-3 hours. You could also cook the veggies on the stove and transfer to a slow cooker. Set it on low and let it simmer all day.
  2. Heat the olive oil and butter in a dutch oven over medium high heat. Add onion and cook until soft.
  3. Add veggies and cook until soft.
  4. Stir in garlic and cook until fragrant.
  5. Stir in tomato paste and red wine. Cook for about 5 minutes.
  6. Stir in the diced tomatoes, brown sugar, and spices. Add in the bay leaf.
  7. Turn burner to low and simmer for at least 2-3 hours and up to 6 hours.
  8. About an hour before you plan to serve your meal, get started on your meatballs. Preheat your oven to 425 degrees.
  9. Combine ground beef, egg, bread crumbs, and spices in a bowl and mix with your hands.
  10. Form meatballs into small balls. Grab a mozzarella ball and push into the center of the ball, pushing the meat mixture up and around the cheese.
  11. Place the meatball onto a jelly pan. Cook in the oven for 8-10 minutes. At the 8-10 minute mark, pull out the pan and turn the meatballs. Cook an additional 8-10 minutes, carefully watching to make sure the meatballs do not burn.
  12. While the meatballs are in the oven, finish your veggie sauce. Pull out the bay leaf.
  13. With an immersion blender (you could also transfer to your blender), pulse the mixture until smooth. This is the important part – you want to hide the veggies, so make sure your sauce is as smooth as possible.
  14. Add the cooked meatballs to the sauce and simmer 20-30 minutes.
  15. Serve sauce on top of the pasta of your choice.

You could also pan fry your meatballs, but I prefer to cook mine in the oven.

This makes a ton of sauce! I packed it into zip lock bags and froze for later use.

Tip: when making jarred spaghetti sauce, add a baby food container of carrots and a tablespoon of sugar for homemade taste.

The recipe for the Veggie Marinara was inspired by the Slow Simmer Vegetable Spaghetti Sauce at Elefantitas Alegres.

Delish Delights: Strawberry Bread

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It’s Tuesday, friends, and that means it is time for Delish Delights! Today I have a yummy and healthy recipe for Strawberry Bread!

I always struggle with healthy options for breakfast. Not necessarily for myself, but for my picky eater (Cooper). Too often I find myself stuck in a rut of frozen waffles and fruit. I’m trying to branch out and find breakfast foods I can freeze and reheat – perfect for mornings I am lazy lazy mornings or those mornings when we are in a rush to get somewhere on time. This strawberry bread is perfect – you can make a large loaf and freeze individual slices, make muffins or mini muffins, or try mini loaves. All are great frozen and you just need to reheat for 30-60 seconds and they are ready to eat.

I found this recipe on Mix and Match Mama, and I made a few tweaks to make it a little more healthy.

Strawberry Bread

Ingredients:

  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup of sugar
  • 3/4 cup 0% greek yogurt
  • 1 cup of chopped strawberries
  • One lemon, zested and juiced
  • 1 1/4 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Lightly spray a loaf pan (or mini loaves, muffin tin, or mini muffins… you could use this recipe to make any of them!) with cooking spray.
  3. Beat eggs until frothy. Add sugar and greek yogurt and mix until combined well.
  4. Add strawberries, lemon juice, and zest and mix until combined. Sit aside.
  5. Sift together your flour, baking soda, and salt into a second bowl.
  6. Slowly beat the flour mixture into the strawberry batter.
  7. Pour batter into your loaf pan and bake for 45-55 minutes (until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean). For mini loaves, I cooked about 35 minutes.

What is your go-to healthy breakfast?

Delish Delights: Cinnamon Roll Casserole

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It is Tuesday, and that means it is time for Delish Delights! This week’s recipe is Cinnamon Roll Casserole! This would be a perfect meal for Father’s Day breakfast or brunch.

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The recipe is courtesy of my friend Dana at The Dishy Decoraor. Thank you, Dana!

Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons of melted butter or baking spray
  • 2 cans refrigerated cinnamon rolls with icing
  • 4 eggs
  • 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 2  teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 2  teaspoons vanilla
  • 1 cup chopped Pecans
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup

Directions:

  1. Preheat your oven to 375 degrees. Grease your baking pan with the melted butter (I sprayed with Pam.)
  2. Open your cans of cinnamon rolls and remove the icing. Cut each roll into half, and each half into fourths. Spread the rolls out evenly.
  3. In a mixing bowl, beat together your eggs, whipping cream, cinnamon, and vanilla. Pour over the cinnamon rolls.
  4. Drizzle maple syrup over the top of the casserole.
  5. Sprinkle the top with pecans.
  6. Bake for 20-30 minutes.
  7. Once your remove your casserole from the oven, heat the icing in the microwave until it is thin and easy to spread (15 seconds). Drizzle over the top of the casserole and serve!

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I served with fruit skewers and the boys just ate this up!

Delish Delights: Smoky Bacon Salmon with Corn & Mushroom Succotash

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Happy Tuesday dear friends! I hope you had an amazing Memorial Day weekend. I’m glad to be back after a short break from posting!

I have an amazing recipe for you this week. This will rock your sock off. Seriously. Last Monday I was walking through Publix when the Sample Lady (we’re on first name terms) asked me if I’d care to try a sample of the featured meal. Sure, I said. And even though I had other plans for dinner that night, I immediately scratched those plans and scooped up the ingredients to make this meal.

Ingredients:

  • 4 salmon fillets
  • 4 ears of fresh corn (I used one bag of frozen sweet corn)
  • 2 portabella mushrooms (or one container baby bella mushrooms)
  • 1/4 bunch fresh cilantro
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 1 large tomato
  • Juice of one lime
  • 1 can black beans
  • 4 teaspoons molasses bacon seasoning (McCormick brand)
  • 2T + 4t unsalted butter
  • 1T olive oil
  • 1/4t hot pepper sauce
  • 3/4t salt

Prep:

  1. Rub both sides of the salmon fillet with a bit of olive oil and then coat generously with molasses bacon seasoning.
  2. Slice corn from the cob.
  3. Discard stems from portabellas. Wipe down mushrooms with a damp paper towel. Chop mushroom into small chunks.
  4. Chop garlic, tomato, cilantro.
  5. Drain and rinse black beans.

Directions:

  1. Preheat large saute on medium-high heat. Melt 2T butter in pan. Add corn and cook for 2-3 minutes until slightly browned.
  2. Stir in mushrooms, garlic, 1/2t salt. Cook 2-3 minutes until mushrooms soften.
  3. Reduce heat to low. Stir in tomatoes, beans, pepper, and remaining salt. Turn to low while you cook the salmon.
  4. Preheat a large saute pan on medium-high heat for 2-3 minutes. Place oil into pan and then add salmon. Cook for 2-3 minutes on each side. Fish should be opaque and flake easily with a fork.
  5. Remove salmon from pan and top each fillet with 1t butter.
  6. Remove succotash from heat. Squeeze lime juice over mixture, then stir in pepper sauce and cilantro.

I serve this with garlic rice. SO GOOD. If you like salmon, you will love this meal. I can see us making this a lot this summer!

Delish Delights: Pretzel Burgers

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Hello friends! What’s on your menu for this week?

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I love pretzels. During my pregnancy I’d concoct any excuse to go to the mall so I could hit up Auntie Anne’s for an original pretzel, extra mustard please. My favorite pretzel ever was the jalapeno cheddar pretzel – I was quite disappointed when they discontinued that one.

But I digress.

Recently I had a pretzel burger at Ruby Tuesday’s that was quite delicious, and I decided that with some help (thank you, Publix bakery!) I could recreate this at home.

This isn’t really a recipe. I mean, recipes give you directions, and since I didn’t make the buns this is kind of self explanatory. Sorry about that.

I purchased the pretzel buns from Publix in the bakery section. I know Trader Joe’s, Fresh Market, and Whole Foods all sell pretzel buns so try and find them there.

I have a special secret recipe for my hamburgers, and not to toot my own horn (toot toot!) everyone raves about how delicious they are. I start with 80/20 ground chuck – this isn’t the time to go lean. The fat is what makes the burgers juicy and not dry. Then I add very generous splashes of Dale’s Steak Seasoning and Worcestershire sauce. (Generous – so much that the meat changes color a bit, but not so much that the meat doesn’t absorb the liquid. I hope that makes sense!) I also generously sprinkle in McCormick Montreal Steak Seasoning. My real secret ingredient is blue cheese crumbles – I add about half a container per pound of meat. Even if you don’t like blue cheese, you will like this. I promise! It makes the burgers taste amazing. I just mix it all up and form into patties. Note: when using 80/20 you will want to make large patties because they shrink as they cook.

For the pretzel burgers you see above, I omitted the blue cheese crumbles and added some Sargento Ultra Thin cheddar cheese slices. I added bacon to make a Bacon Cheddar Pretzel Burger. It was delicious!

The salad you see in the picture is a bagged salad from Costco. I was skeptical to try Sweet Kale Vegetable Salad but it blew my husband and I away. It includes broccoli, brussel sprouts, cabbage, kale, chicory, dried cranberries, roasted pumpkin seeds, and poppyseed dressing. If you are a Costco shopper definitely pick this one up. It keep extremely well, too. I had it in the fridge for nine days before we ate it and it was just fine.

What are you cooking this week?

Disclosure: I received a coupon for the Sargento Ultra Thin cheese slices complimentary for testing purposes. I really liked it and will be purchasing it again! It is only 45 calories per slice of cheese, so it would be great for those of you who watch your calories.

Delish Delights: Copycat Alice Springs Chicken

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Welcome to week two of Delish Delights! Did you try any of the recipes from last week? What’s on your menu for this week?

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I love Outback restaurant. I usually get a steak, but every once and awhile I like to mix it up and try the Alice Springs Chicken. I decided to try my hand at creating a copycat version at home.

Copycat Alice Springs Chicken

Ingredients:

  • 3-4 chicken breasts
  • Marinade of your choice
  • 4-5 slices of bacon
  • Mushrooms
  • BBQ sauce
  • Cheddar cheese
  • Olive oil

Directions:

  1. Trim your chicken breasts of any fat. Pound the chicken breasts into a uniform thickness; this helps cut down on cooking time.
  2. Marinate your chicken for 3-4 hours or overnight. I used Lawry’s marinade but I think Italian dressing would have been great as well. (You could skip this step. I just prefer marinated chicken.)
  3. Grill your chicken (you could also cook them on top of the stove).
  4. While your chicken is cooking, you will want to cook your bacon and saute your mushrooms. Pour about a tablespoon of olive oil into a pan and saute your mushrooms on medium high heat. I cook my bacon in the microwave but you could cook the bacon first and then cook the mushrooms in some of the bacon grease.
  5. Once your chicken, bacon, and mushrooms are cooked you will want to turn your stove on to broil.
  6. Assemble the chicken. Brush a generous layer of BBQ sauce onto the chicken. Layer bacon, mushroom, and cheddar cheese on top of the chicken.
  7. Broil the chicken until the cheese has melted.
  8. Serve!

What’s on your menu this week?

Delish Delights: Cilantro Lime Chicken

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On Tuesdays we share recipes (and on Wednesday we wear pink.)

Here at Tickled Peach, Tuesdays will be known as Delish Delights aka the day I share some recipes with you. I can’t be the only mom who stresses out about cooking, can I? It isn’t cooking in and of itself; it is the planning and the grocery shopping. What should I cook? When can I go grocery shopping? Is there a time I can go grocery shopping alone? How can I fit all those groceries into the cart along with a baby carrier and Cooper?

Exhausting.

When I was working, I did a lot of mini grocery runs. I’d go to the grocery store 2-3 times a week. I’d think of something on the fly to cook, and I would swing by the grocery store on my way to daycare to pick up whatever I needed. Easy peasy! Now I shop once a week, and it is a necessity to both meal plan and shop with a grocery list.

When I broke out my planner for the first time in January, I started a list of my favorite go to meals. Whenever I cook something quick and easy that is a hit with the family, I jot it down on my list. Then when I meal plan, I pick one thing from that list to include during the week. Try it! Include simple meals – chili, spaghetti, grilled chicken, crock pot meals, etc. I promise this will help you tremendously.

Onto the recipes! This meal is definitely on my list. It’s easy to prepare and doesn’t require a ton of ingredients.

CL chicken, brown rice, roasted corn

The Cilantro Lime Chicken came from a Paula Deen magazine years ago. It’s wonderful on the grill! Note: you could substitute greek yogurt for the mayonnaise and I bet it would taste great!

Cilantro Lime Chicken

Ingredients

  • Chicken breasts, pounded thin
  • Cilantro, chopped
  • Limes or lime juice
  • Mayonaise

Directions:

  1. Combine 1/2 cup of mayo, half a head of cilantro (chopped), and the juice of 3-4 limes in a plastic resealable bag. Mix together and add chicken breasts. Marinate 3-4 hours of overnight.
  2. This can be grilled or baked – I prefer grilled!

Brown rice is a recipe passed down in my family. My aunt has made it for family gatherings for years and it has become one of my favorite sides. However… the only brown thing about this rice is its color. It’s not super healthy.

Brown Rice

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup white rice (not instant)
  • 2 cans beef consume
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • Mushrooms, sliced (optional)
  • 1/2 stick butter, sliced into pats

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Combine the rice, soup, onions, and mushrooms in a casserole dish. Stir.
  3. Dot the top of the mixture with the pats of butter.
  4. Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour and 15 minutes.

This roasted corn will change your life. It is so easy and it is absolutely delicious. It’s the only way I make corn on the cob now.

Roasted Corn

Directions:

  1. Heat your oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Place corn in the oven – still in its husk. Don’t peel it or wash it. I just lay it directly on the rack.
  3. Cook for 30 minutes.
  4. Take the corn out of the oven and let cool for 10 minutes.
  5. Peel off the husk. It comes off so easily, and you don’t have to worry about picking off the silk.
  6. Sprinkle with melted butter and salt and pepper.

What are you cooking this week?

 

Cinco de Mayo Fun!

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Happy Cinco de Mayo! Can you guys believe it is already May? I sure can’t! This year has absolutely flown by. Yesterday my baby turned 8 months old! Gosh, if you want evidence that time passes quickly you just need to raise a baby, am I right?!

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Back to Cinco de Mayo. My friends will tell you that I’m a little holiday crazy. I will use any excuse to decorate my house and throw a quick impromptu fiesta. Cinco de Mayo is no exception! My son has gotten in on the fun and he gets so excited when he comes downstairs and sees our kitchen table all decked out. He knows it means we’re doing something fun that day, and I know it means he will be on his best behavior – even if it is only for the day!

I picked up most of my supplies from the Dollar Store and Hobby Lobby. The pinatas, hats, and maracas came from Hobby Lobby. The plastic tablecloth and plates came from the Dollar Store. I do keep my party supplies and reuse them year after year – so you really get your money’s worth. (Even the pinatas – around here we play “shake the pinata” instead of “hit the pinata”.)

I always like to try and include an educational aspect to our celebrations, so we’ll be reading Mexico ABCs by Sarah Heiman. This book discusses the culture of Mexico, including people, geography, animal, plants, and history.

Then we’ll be making homemade maracas! I know we all have the supplies for this on hand. All you need is plastic eggs, plastic spoons, popcorn kernels, and tape! More instructions can be found HERE.

For dinner I’m going to try my hand at creating this Chicken Enchilada Ring. I’m sure mine won’t turn out as pretty, but it is how it tastes that counts! Find there recipe HERE.

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As a special treat for the husband and I, I think I might just whip up a batch of my Blackberry Sangria! I made this for our Easter party and it was a big hit.

Blackberry Sangria

Ingredients:

1 bottle Moscato
1.5 cups Raspberry Vodka
1 small container of pineapple juice (or the juice from one can of pineapple slices)
3.5 cups blackberries
1 cup raspberries
1 large lemon
1 green apple
1/2 cup sugar

Directions:

  1. You’ll want to start by creating your simple syrup. Combine the sugar, 2 cups of blackberries, and 1/4 cup of water in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil and boil for several minutes. Turn off the heat and smash the blackberries with a potato masher. Let this sit until it cools, and then strain the liquid into a container. I smash the blackberries against my colander as I drain; this helps you to really get all the “juice” out of the mixture.
  2. Refrigerate your mixture several hours or overnight.
  3. Prepare your fruit. Cut up your lemon and core and slice your apple. Wash the raspberries and blackberries.
  4. Add the wine, vodka, and fruit to a pitcher.
  5. Let sit for 2-3 hours.
  6. Serve!

*Next time I make this I plan to omit the vodka. The husband and I aren’t huge drinkers and this was SUPER strong.

Are you doing anything special to celebrate Cinco de Mayo?