Feta Meatballs with Spinach Couscous & Tzatziki

Baked Greek Meatballs

Baked meatballs loaded with feta cheese, roasted red peppers, Greek yogurt, onions, garlic and Parmesan cheese with a no-cook couscous freckled with spinach and a bright tzatziki sauce for serving.

The delectable meatballs come together quickly in one bowl and bake up nicely on an olive oil greased baking sheet. They brown and take on a little crispiness with tender, flavorful insides that stay moist thanks to the Greek yogurt and onion. You can’t taste the Greek yogurt in the final product and you can substitute with sour cream or milk if you like. While they’re baking you can throw together the couscous, tiny orbs of pasta that cook in mere minutes.

The couscous is one of the easiest sides in existence to make using just one-bowl and ten minutes of time to prepare including prep. It’s made by combining finely chopped baby spinach, red onions and couscous in a bowl then pouring hot water over it. Cover the bowl and five, magic minutes later you can fluff it up, mix in a little Parmesan, give it a squirt of fresh lemon and a drizzle of olive oil for a side dish that’s ready to serve with just about anything. It’s good in a pinch and tastes like you went to more trouble than you really did.

Tzatziki is a cucumber sauce traditionally made with Greek yogurt. For a richer sauce I make mine with sour cream or sometimes a mix of both, plus dill, garlic and lemon. It’s cool, creamy, tangy, and a little sweet from the dill weed. You should make the sauce first so the flavors have a little time to marry.

You can serve these layered in bowls the way I did – and loved – or stuff them into pita pockets or wraps. You can just make the meatballs (or use the leftovers) and drop them into your favorite tomato sauce to serve with pasta. They would make great appetizers too! Stick a toothpick in them with the sauce on the side for dipping and you’re good to go.

They will disappear fast no matter how you chose to serve them.

Like all tasty things it’s hard to eat just one.

Greek Meatballs with Spinach Couscous

Feta Meatballs with Spinach Couscous & Tzatziki

Rating: 51

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 18 minutes

Yield: 6 servings

Feta Meatballs with Spinach Couscous & Tzatziki

Baked meatballs loaded with feta cheese, roasted red peppers, onions, garlic and Parmesan cheese with a no-cook couscous freckled with spinach, and a bright tzatziki sauce for serving.

INGREDIENTS:

tzatziki:
1 cup sour cream or Greek yogurt
1/2 cucumber, peeled and diced, remove the seeds
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon dill weed
1 - 2 teaspoon fresh squeezed lemon juice
a couple pinches each salt and pepper
meatballs:
olive oil, for greasing pan
2 eggs
1/4 cup Greek yogurt, sour cream or milk
1 + 1/2 pounds ground beef (85% lean)
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 roasted red pepper, diced
1/3 cup minced yellow onion
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
1 teaspoon dried oregano, crushed between fingertips
1 teaspoon coarse or kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
couple pinches of nutmeg or cinnamon
1 cup crumbled feta

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Mix all the sauce ingredients together in a medium bowl. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Refrigerate.
  2. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Grease a large roasting pan or baking sheet with sides generously with olive oil.
  3. In a large mixing bowl whisk the eggs and yogurt together. Add the remaining meatball and use a fork or your hands to combine. Form into balls one to one and a half inches wide. Place on baking sheet, close together but not touching. Bake 12 - 18 minutes until cooked in the middle. Break one open to check.
  4. Meanwhile make the couscous. The recipe is below this one.

Notes:

Copyright ©2013 Cinnamon Spice and Everything Nice by Reeni Pisano All Rights Reserved

http://www.cinnamonspiceandeverythingnice.com/greek-meatballs-with-spinach-couscous-tzatziki/

Spinach Parmesan Couscous

Rating: 51

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 5 minutes

Yield: 6 servings

Spinach Parmesan Couscous

INGREDIENTS:

4 cups fresh baby spinach
2 tablespoons minced red onion
1 + 1/2 cups couscous (like this )
1 + 3/4 cups boiling water.
1/2 cup grated parmesan
1 tablespoon fresh squeezed lemon juice
1 tablespoon olive oil
coarse salt and fresh black pepper
a handful of pine nuts, sliced almonds or chopped walnuts, optional

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Make stacks of the spinach leaves and cut them into thin strips lengthwise then cut the strips across into tiny pieces.
  2. Add them to a heat safe large bowl with the onion and couscous.
  3. Pour in the boiling water, stir and cover tightly with a plate or a piece of aluminum foil. Let sit five minutes.
  4. After five minutes fluff up the couscous with a fork.
  5. Add the parmesan, lemon and oil and work it in with a fork until it's evenly combined. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  6. Garnish with nuts if desired.

Notes:

Copyright ©2013 Cinnamon Spice and Everything Nice by Reeni Pisano All Rights Reserved

http://www.cinnamonspiceandeverythingnice.com/greek-meatballs-with-spinach-couscous-tzatziki/

Parmesan Potato Puffs

Potato Puffs

Pan-fried potato puffs with my secret fry sauce for dipping. They have lightly crisp outsides that give way to soft middles that melt in your mouth. Along with Parmesan cheese, they’re lightly seasoned with paprika, garlic and onion powder.

Pan-frying is a must. See those pale, insipid looking things in the back? I baked them, because inevitably, I knew you’d ask. They came out flat, dense and unappetizing. It was hard to believe they were even made from the same mixture, so different they were from the fried ones.

Frying magically poufs them up and out giving them light and creamy interiors with beautiful browned outsides, exactly how I imagine something called a “puff” ought to be like. The insides remind me a little of tater tots, but the outsides don’t have quite the same crunch. They’re crunchy enough, just not tater tot crunchy.

Now for my favorite fry dip, my go-to that I’ve been making forever. Barbecue sauce and mayonnaise, equal parts mixed together. Nothing fancy. It’s creamy, tangy, rich and addictive. Good on fries, onion rings, crispy chicken of any kind, and burgers.

You can serve these as a side or appetizer. For appetizers make them a little ahead of time and keep them warm in a low oven.

Parmesan Potato Puffs
Parmesan Potato Puffs

Rating: 51

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Yield: serves 4 as a side

Parmesan Potato Puffs

Pan-fried potato puffs with my secret fry sauce for dipping. They have lightly crisp outsides that give way to soft middles that melt in your mouth. Along with Parmesan cheese, they're lightly seasoned with paprika, garlic and onion powder.

INGREDIENTS:

2 pounds Russet potatoes, peeled and cubed
1 egg, beaten
1 tablespoon butter
1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon sweet or smoked paprika
1/4 teaspoon onion powder
1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
coarse salt
vegetable oil, for frying
dipping sauce:
1/4 cup barbecue sauce
1/4 cup mayonnaise

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Put the potatoes in a large saucepan and cover with water, set over high heat and bring to a boil. Turn heat down and maintain a simmer until they are fork tender.
  2. Drain them and put them back in the pan, set it over the heat, cook for a minute or two to dry up the excess water on them.
  3. Mash them with a potato masher or pass them through a ricer into a large bowl. Stir in the egg, butter, Parmesan, flour, paprika, onion powder and garlic powder. Season well with salt - about a heaping teaspoon.
  4. Lightly flour your hands and roll into 1 to 1 + 1/2-inch sized balls.
  5. Heat about 1/2 inch of vegetable oil in a large nonstick skillet or Dutch oven set over medium-high heat. Once it starts to shimmer add one of the potato puffs - the oil should bubble and sizzle immediately, if it doesn't let it heat up a little longer. Cook the puffs in batches, don't crowd them because they will pouf up a little as they cook.
  6. Cook about 2 minutes a side or until golden brown, then turn and repeat, then turn and repeat again if needed so you can get all sides of the puffs nice and golden brown. Add more oil to the pan as needed.
  7. Drain on a paper towel lined plate. Sprinkle with coarse salt.
  8. Serve hot or at room temperature with fry dip (just whisk equal parts barbecue sauce and mayonnaise together) or ketchup.

Notes:

Adapted from Food & Wine

Copyright ©2013 Cinnamon Spice and Everything Nice by Reeni Pisano All Rights Reserved

http://www.cinnamonspiceandeverythingnice.com/parmesan-potato-puffs/

Spicy Cinnamon Vanilla Glazed Walnuts

Spicy Cinnamon Vanilla Glazed Walnuts

These sweet and spicy walnuts make the best snack or appetizer for New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day! The second best thing about them is they need only five minutes of hands on time for which you will be rewarded greatly. Thanks to McCormick.

The nuts are tossed in egg whites and McCormick® pure vanilla extract first then coated in sugar, salt, McCormick® ground cinnamon and ground red pepper. You spread them out on a baking sheet and roast them slowly for an hour where that sugary, spicy coating caramelizes and turns these into addictive little bundles of joy.

They’re are also great for adding flavor to your salads or vegetables!

Spicy Cinnamon Glazed Walnuts

Here are some more of my favorite ‘party’ recipes from McCormick!

Cinnamon Vanilla Glazed Walnuts

Spicy Cinnamon Vanilla Glazed Walnuts

Rating: 51

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 1 hour

Yield: 10 (3-tablespoon) servings

Spicy Cinnamon Vanilla Glazed Walnuts

These sweet and spicy walnuts make the best snack or appetizer for New Year's Eve and New Year's Day! The second best thing about them is they need only five minutes of hands on time for which you will be rewarded greatly.

INGREDIENTS:

1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 + 1/2 teaspoons McCormick® ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon McCormick® ground red pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 egg white
1 tablespoon McCormick® vanilla extract
2 cups walnut halves

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Preheat oven to 250°F. Mix sugar, cinnamon, red pepper and salt in small bowl. Set aside.
  2. Beat egg white and vanilla in a separate medium bowl until foamy. Add walnuts and toss to coat.
  3. Add spice mixture; toss to coat nuts evenly. Spread nuts in single layer on greased baking sheet.
  4. Bake 1 hour, halfway through stir the walnuts and spread back out in an even layer.
  5. Cool slightly and break apart. Cool completely and store in airtight container up to 2 weeks.

Notes:

Adapted from McCormick

Copyright ©2013 Cinnamon Spice and Everything Nice by Reeni Pisano All Rights Reserved

http://www.cinnamonspiceandeverythingnice.com/spicy-cinnamon-vanilla-glazed-walnuts/

This is a sponsored post for McCormick. All opinions are my own.

Happy New Year!

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They’re the perfect make ahead appetizers for all your December entertaining! You can assemble them ahead of time, freeze them and pop them out as needed. Just slice and bake! No need to be stuck in the kitchen all day slaving over a hot stove…. 

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Easy Garlic Knots

Flaky, golden-brown, garlic-laden, buttery knots of joy.

I love you.

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You can throw them together in less than 20 minutes and after the first time they promise to become a habit. If you’re anything like me, and I bet you are, you will find yourself craving them at crazy hours of the day and night…. 

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Jalapeño Cream Cheese Meatballs w/ Ranch Dipping Sauce

Disclosure: I have been selected by Kraft Foods to be an ambassador for PHILADELPHIA cream cheese. While I have been compensated for my time, my opinions are my own.

Spicy, little cocktail meatballs seasoned with PHILADELPHIA’s new spicy jalapeño cream cheese, cheddar cheese, bacon and spices like chile powder and oregano with a homemade ranch dressing on the side for dipping. Inspired by jalapeño poppers.

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