Beautiful Days – Recipe: BBQ Beef Slider

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We had a three-day weekend, and it was great.  The days were beautiful, my parents were in town, and the littles had so much fun.

As always, they went to the store with Nonna and Gran.  And, when they returned, they had surprises from the store.  This time they were in the form of these huge balls.  I busted out laughing and grabbed my camera when I saw them.

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They immediately made their way to the trampoline where they jumped and played with their new toys.

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I love watching the way that they can be so free with absolutely no worries in the world.  Jumping in the trampoline with huge balls definitely brings out the unicorns and rainbows.  Magic in its purest form.

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While we did not have these BBQ Beef Sliders this weekend, it would have been a perfect weekend for having sliders on the picnic table in the backyard, watching the beauty of littles jumping and playing unfold in front of us.

BBQ Beef Slider

BBQ Beef Slider

I found the inspiration for these sliders from The Pioneer Woman, and adjusted the recipe for my family.

Ingredients

2 pounds ground beef

Salt

Pepper

2 tablespoons butter

1/2 red onion, finely chopped

2 gloves garlic, minced

3/4 cup cooking sherry

1 cup BBQ sauce

1 jalapeno, sliced, optional

Sliders rolls (I made these, and they were amazing)

Instructions

  1. Add about 1 teaspoon of salt and 1 teaspoon of pepper to the ground beef. Mix the spices into the ground beef, adding more or less, depending on your family's preference for salt and pepper.
  2. Form the patties into small patties that will be sized appropriately for a slider. I was able to get 10 or 11 out of the 2 pounds of ground beef.
  3. Heat a skillet over medium-high heat, and add the patties.
  4. Cook for about 5 minutes on one side, flip, and cook for another 5 minutes on the other side. You do not want these burgers to be too done because they will cook again later in the sauce.
  5. Line a plate with paper towels, and move the patties to the plate to drain the excess grease.
  6. Reduce the burner to medium, and add the butter.
  7. Once melted, add the onions, and cook for about 4 minutes.
  8. Add the cooking sherry and BBQ sauce, and cook for another 2-3 minutes.
  9. Reduce the heat to medium low, place the hamburger patties into the sauce, and cook for another 5 minutes. You can leave the patties into the sauce for longer. Just make sure that you turn off the heat because the sauce will continue to reduce.
  10. Place a hamburger patty and some of the yummy juice into a slider roll with some fresh jalapenos (optional).
http://cookingformykids.com/2012/01/17/beautiful-days-recipe-bbq-beef-slider/

Enjoy!

I shared this recipe at 33 Shades, Blessed with Grace, Mandy’s Recipe Box, Permanent Posies, Nap Time Creations and Chef in Training.

The Things That Matter – Recipe: Meatball Sliders

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As I sit here with my littles playing in the other room, I cannot help but think of the things that really matter in life.  Yes, we often get caught up with the details, especially at this time of the year, planning how to make each day special and memorable.  And, believe me, I do the same thing…because it does matter.

But, in reality, what always matters the most to me are my children, my family.  I have known the fear of watching a child suffer, not knowing what the outcome would be.  And, while we are not exactly at that same place right now, there are still a lot of unknowns that cause our hearts to sink at times.

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As I was pulling up to Dell Children’s Hospital this morning, with Ethan smiling happily in the back seat, my heart automatically started racing.   In the past, when I have pulled into the same parking lot, it has not been for good reasons – surgery, a trip to the emergency room post-surgery, genetic specialists, and possible seizure evaluation. And, to make matters worse, the last time I was there, my van got broken into while we were inside.  Nope, the memories are not exactly good ones….hence the reason for the racing heart.

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But, you know what?  Today went smoothly, and Ethan was a champ.  Ethan’s swallow study went great, and it showed that he is not having any problems swallowing.  The great news is that we can rule swallowing out as a reason for his choking.  Yes, it still leaves us with unknowns, but that is okay.  Because, it is something else that we were able to check off of our list.

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And, to top it all off, we met a wonderful speech therapist who truly did go above and beyond her call of duty for that moment.  She spent an extra 15-20 minutes with us, doing a brief evaluation of Ethan.  She was impressed with his receptive verbal skills, and she had fun getting Ethan to do little activities for her.  She was charmed by his smile…just as we all are.  She recommended some additional things that got our wheels turning.  We definitely do not have all…or probably even half…of the answers yet. But, we have another place to look.  And, for that, we are thankful.

Yes, I went through a moment of brief frustration that we had not been given some of this information sooner.  But, then I decided that I simply had to see the unicorns and rainbows in it all.  That speech therapist was placed in our path today for a reason.  She spent the extra time with us for a reason.  And, I choose to believe that the reasons are some form of divine intervention, where these people, these events, are put into our path to help us know which directions to take.  Because, even though the journey is sometimes rocky with a lot of twists and turns, we have always found the signs that point us in the right direction.

There are so many things that matter, and that list of things is different for each person, for each family.  For me, today, the things that really matter are health, happiness, and family.  But, there are things that go along with that – food, celebrations, holidays, and memories.  They all go together to create the big, happy family picture.

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I made these meatball sliders this weekend, and they were a hit.  I wanted to have something ready when we got home from our soccer game so that we could sit down as a family and watch the football game.  I loved that my backdoor was a revolving door of children, nieces, and parents.  I have always wanted our house to be a home, a place where everyone feels welcome, because, to me, that is one of the things that really matters.

Meatball Sliders

Ingredients

3 pounds hamburger meat

2 15 ounce cans tomato sauce

1 6 ounce can tomato paste

8 ounces shredded mozzarella cheese

3 cloves garlic, minced

2 teaspoons Italian seasoning

2 teaspoons salt, divided

2 teaspoons ground black pepper, divided

1 teaspoon onion powder

1 teaspoon sugar

Slider rolls

Pepperoncini peppers

Parmesan cheese, optional

Instructions

  1. Mix together the hamburger meat, cheese, 1 teaspoon of salt, and 1 teaspoon of pepper. Form into 2-inch balls.
  2. Heat large frying pan over medium heat. Add the meatballs, one at a time.
  3. Fry for about 6-8 minutes, and then turn to fry on the other side for 6-8 minutes.
  4. Drain grease and reduce heat to low.
  5. In a separate bowl, mix together the tomato sauce, tomato paste, sugar, 1 teaspoon salt, 1 teaspoon pepper, onion powder and Italian seasoning.
  6. Pour the sauce mixture over the meatballs, and simmer on low for 15-20 minutes.
  7. Place 1 meatball inside of a slider roll, and top with pepperoncini peppers and Parmesan cheese.
http://cookingformykids.com/2011/10/18/recipe-meatball-sliders/

Enjoy!

I have shared this recipe at Miz Helen’s Country Cottage and  The King’s Court.

A Few Great Things – Recipe: Asian Lettuce Wraps

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I love a few things about Wednesdays.  The week is more than half-way over – I count the school week based on number of days that we have to wake up early.  Once we finish the wake-up process on Wednesdays, then the rough part of the school week is officially more than half-way over.

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I also love the trip to Sprouts that I usually take with my girl. Seeing all of the fresh, seasonal produce puts a smile on my face.  And, this Wednesday I was especially happy to see the apples and pumpkins everywhere, which can only mean one thing.  Fall is officially here.  Really, it is.  Based on the temperatures, it has not arrived in Texas quite yet.  But, we can still enjoy all of the flavors and pictures, while looking forward to cooler weather and Fall celebrations.

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And, another thing that I love about Wednesday is that we have Asian food.  We all love it.  We often have some form of stir-fry. But, today I decided to do lettuce wraps – beef and chicken.  They are both so good that I could not choose just one of them.  And, in case you are wondering….yes, I do have problems when it comes to favorites.  Gabriel is always asking, “What is your favorite movie?  What is your favorite song?  What is your favorite (fill in the blank)?”  I can seldom definitively answer a favorite thing because, well, there are great things about so many movies, songs, etc.  And, I can guarantee you that there are great things about both of these lettuce wraps, too.

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Beef Lettuce Wraps

Beef Lettuce Wraps

Ingredients

1 pound ground beef

3 cloves garlic, minced

1 small onion, finely chopped

1 small red bell pepper, finely chopped

1 8 oz can water chestnuts, drained and finely chopped

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon ground black pepper

1/4 cup hoisin sauce

1 tablespoon soy sauce

1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar

2 teaspoons sesame oil

Green onions, finely chopped (about 2-3 tablespoons)

Bibb lettuce leaves

Instructions

  1. Brown ground beef, draining grease as you go.
  2. When it is still slightly pink, add the bell pepper, onion, garlic, water chestnuts, salt, and pepper.
  3. Cook until no longer pink. While still cooking on medium heat, add the hoisin sauce, soy sauce, and rice wine vinegar.
  4. Cook for about 2-3 minutes. Remove from heat.
  5. Drizzle on the sesame oil, sprinkle on the green onions, and stir to combine.
  6. Add the beef mixture to the lettuce leaves, and wrap up like a taco
http://cookingformykids.com/2011/09/28/a-few-great-things-recipe-asian-lettuce-wraps/

Chicken Lettuce Wraps

Chicken Lettuce Wraps

Ingredients

2 chicken breasts, cut into small cubes

1/4 cup soy sauce

1/4 cup maple syrup

1/4 cup wing sauce

1 tablespoon corn starch

Bibb lettuce leaves

Instructions

  1. Cook chicken over medium heat until cooked through.
  2. In a separate bowl, whisk together the soy sauce, maple syrup, wing sauce, and corn starch.
  3. Add the mixture to the chicken and cook for 1-2 minutes. Once the sauce starts to thicken, remove it from the heat.
  4. Add the chicken mixture to the lettuce, and wrap like a taco.
http://cookingformykids.com/2011/09/28/a-few-great-things-recipe-asian-lettuce-wraps/

I am sharing these recipes on http://thirtyhandmadedays.com.