Stuffed Cabbage rolls

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First things first, for the people who are here for the recipe only…click on that ‘Jump to Recipe’ link above & enjoy. I see you ๐Ÿ™‚ But at the same time, how nice and cozy does this sound?

It’s a chilly, gloomy fall day. You’re in your comfy clothes, watching a movie on the couch and sipping a hot cup of apple cider slightly spiced with a cinnamon stick. And there’s no need to light that pumpkin candle on your coffee table just yet, because right now you have the best aroma filling your home from the stuffed cabbage rolls baking in the oven for dinner. The scene can be modified of course…maybe you’re actually reading a book or the newspaper. Or possibly coding or blogging on your laptop ๐Ÿ™‚ And maybe the apple cider isn’t cutting it that day and you’re enjoying a latte or hot toddy instead. Two things are certain though…the smell of that tomato juice cooking with the cabbage rolls is amazing and pairing the stuffed cabbage rolls with smashed potatoes makes the coziest fall meal.

These are also perfect for meal prepping, because they freeze exceptionally well. I know this because my grandma is known for spoiling her grandchildren with random deliveries of frozen lasagne rolls or cabbage rolls. You can even bake them without thawing first so it can make weeknight dinners really easy if you just have the time to bake! To add to the spoiling, we pour home-canned tomato juice over our cabbage rolls and that just really takes this meal from good to great. So let’s get to the details…

Quick glance at the ingredient list to start with step by step instructions to follow…

Cabbage – which you can still find locally grown at the farmer’s market for a short while even if you live in a state where it’s getting colder since this vegetable tolerates those cooler temperatures well! You can also use bell peppers with this recipe to make stuffed peppers instead of stuffed cabbage rolls.

Ground Beef – We always look for lean, organic and grass-fed. Remember too that with this recipe you won’t be draining the grease after cooking the ground beef so that’s another reason to go with a lean version here.

Tomato Sauce – The recipe calls for one (14 or 15 oz) can and to be honest it’s a bit more than you need, but if you don’t use quite the whole can and have a couple tablespoons of tomato sauce leftover I have no idea what you’re going to do with it! So just go with it, it adds such good flavor and your meat filling will not be dry!!

Quick Cook Rice – You can use whatever rice you like best here. We always use brown rice or a brown rice and quinoa mix. I usually buy the ‘Seeds of Change’ brand.

Onion – Have you ever looked up ‘onion jokes’ because you didn’t know what to say about onions in an ingredient list? You can truly find anything on Google. Except a really good onion joke. Maybe my standards are too high haha

Worcestershire Sauce – Can anyone says this properly five times fast? One time? Regardless, this is another ingredient that adds such good flavor! I tend to do a generous portion of whatever amount the recipe lists!

Eggs – For binding everything together in your meat mixture, of course. Our favorite ones are still vital farms if we don’t have any fresh eggs from my brother-in-law ๐Ÿ˜‰

Salt & Pepper – As almost always ๐Ÿ™‚

Potatoes – Highly recommend adding potatoes to complete the meal. We just cube them and throw them in the roasting pan with the cabbage rolls and then smash them like a baked potato when plating, top with a little butter, freshly cracked pepper and a drizzle of tomato juice….y.u.m.

Tomato Juice – Speaking of ๐Ÿ™‚ The icing on the cake in this scenario since ours is home canned by Grandma. I don’t have a great store recommendation, but I can tell you that canning tomato juice is a bit easier than you might think. Check out my ‘How to Can Tomato Juice’ post if you’re interested!

Step One:

Peel large leaves off a head of cabbage that can be used to roll up with the stuffing inside. Rinse well and blanch in boiling water to make rolling them up easier. Meaning they just need to be in the boiling water for a couple minutes to make the leaves more flexible, but not really cook the cabbage. Set aside while you make the meat mixture.

Step Two:

In a large bowl, mix together the ground beef, tomato sauce, rice, onion, Worcestershire sauce, beaten eggs, salt and pepper. Once well mixed, spoon the meat mixture onto each cabbage leaf. I wear disposable cooking gloves for this part and form each one into a mini meatloaf kind of shape to make them easy to rollup, if that makes sense! Next, roll up each meat filled cabbage leaf and add to a roasting pan. You can use toothpicks to keep the cabbage roll together if needed.

Step Three:

At this point, I like to peel a couple potatoes and dice them up to add to the cabbage rolls in the roasting pan. They really help to complete the meal. Plus, do you love one pan dinners? Me too.

Step Four:

Saving the best for last. Pour that tomato juice over the cabbage rolls and potatoes in the roasting pan, cover with the lid and place it in the oven to bake for an hour or so. I love meals that bake in the oven or cook in the crockpot, because then I can get other things done while dinner is being made and I feel so much more productive. Last time I made these I cleaned up the kitchen and worked out while they were cooking. And then I was rewarded with a delicious dinner. The little things haha

Full recipe details below. Stay cozy and enjoy, y’all ๐Ÿ™‚

Stuffed Cabbage Rolls

Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 15 minutes
Servings 4

Ingredients

  • 1 head green cabbage
  • 1 lb lean ground beef
  • 1 15 oz can tomato sauce
  • 1/2 cup quick cook rice uncooked
  • 2 Tbsp chopped onions
  • 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 2 eggs beaten
  • 2 – 3 large potatoes peeled and cubed
  • 1 quart tomato juice

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

  2. Peel off enough cabbage leaves from the head of cabbage to make five or six cabbage rolls. Blanch the cabbage leaves in boiling water for two to three minutes. Remove from the water, pat dry and set aside.

  3. In a large bowl, mix together the beef, tomato sauce, rice, onion, Worcestershire sauce, salt, pepper and eggs. Once combined, add spoonfuls to each cabbage roll. Roll up each one and insert a toothpick as needed to help the cabbage roll stay together.

  4. Place the cabbage rolls in a large roasting pan. Peel and cut russet potatoes, if using, and add the cubed potatoes to the roasting pan on and around the cabbage rolls.

  5. Pour tomato juice over the cabbage rolls and potatoes. Add the lid to the roasting pan and place in the oven. Bake for one hour. Be sure meat is fully cooked and cabbage is soft enough to be easily cut with a fork. Enjoy!

Have a beautiful day!


Dad’s Homemade Buffalo Wing Sauce

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Did you grow up with a traditional pizza night every week? What about a wing night? Or maybe you combined the two. Brilliant.

I definitely grew up on one favorite pizza shop (Penso’s, family owned in my home town and still our favorite to this day), but we hopped around when it came to visiting restaurants for wing night. And for some reason I remember that often being Thursdays. But while we found plenty of great spots to grab wings at a good price over the years, I’ll likely choose these baked wings tossed in homemade sauce any day….that I feel like cooking ๐Ÿ™‚ And honestly, you don’t even have to feel that motivated to make these; the effort is minimal and the sauce takes a true five minutes to make on the stove.

You’ll want to get the wings going first and make the sauce while the chicken is broiling. If you can find split wings at the grocery store, that’ll make your life easier from the start. If you can only find whole wings, you can also split them at home using a sharp knife…which I rarely attempt and in those cases just bake them as is letting down real chefs in kitchens all around the world haha

Pat the chicken wings dry as needed and place them on a foil covered baking pan. Sprinkle with black pepper, place in oven and broil on high for fifteen minutes. At fifteen minutes, turn the broiler off, flip the wings and then broil for another fifteen minutes. If a good bit of grease is already laying on the foil, feel free to move the wings to a new foil covered pan as you flip and before you broil them a second time.

While the wings are broiling, add all six sauce ingredients to a small saucepan over medium heat and stir together as the butter melts and everything mixes together. Reduce heat and allow the sauce to cook down slightly so it gets a little thicker. That’s literally it. The recipe calls for half a stick of butter (four tablespoons). I tend to keep with this amount, but you can go up to five tablespoons if you’d like (Dad does) and that helps with the sauce sticking to the wings a bit better. Set aside a small cup of sauce to use for later; you’ll toss the wings directly in the saucepan.

Back to the oven…turn the broiler off and remove the wings from the oven. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Use tongs to blot each wing on a paper towel, toss in sauce and place on a new foil covered baking pan. Once all wings have been tossed in sauce and transferred to the new baking pan, place back in oven and bake for 15 minutes or until fully cooked. Remove from oven and brush on extra sauce as desired using the sauce you reserved in a small cup earlier.

That’s all it takes for the wings! We typically like to serve them with pretty traditional sides…fries (we love the rosemary with sea salt fries by Alexa) and of course we serve carrots and celery with ranch or blue cheese dressing. Here’s the great part though. This sauce works perfectly well with shredded chicken and I suspect just as well with cauliflower too in case wings are just not your thing. I haven’t tried it with cauliflower yet, but the shredded chicken is super simple. Just slow cook chicken breasts or chicken thighs in the crockpot or oven in a little bit of broth. When the chicken is done, remove it from the crockpot or roasting pan and discard the broth & juices. Shred the chicken, add back to the crockpot or roasting pan, pour sauce over top and toss to mix. Let that sit for a little bit to marinade and then serve as sandwiches, wraps or in salads. I go for the salad option more often than not. so good!

Check out the full recipe below and let me know how you choose to use the sauce! And if you photograph your delicious creation and share on Instagram, tag me! I’d love to see! @pinch.of.parsley ๐Ÿ™‚

Print Recipe

Dad’s Homemade Wing Sauce

The perfect sauce to toss your wings, shredded chicken or cauliflower in for dinner!

Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes

Ingredients

  • 4 – 5 Tbsp butter* sliced
  • 1/2 cup Frank's Original Hot Sauce
  • 1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp Worcestershire Sauce
  • 1 Tbsp Lemon Juice freshly squeezed
  • 2 Tbsp Honey

Instructions

  1. Add all ingredients to a small saucepan over medium heat. Stir frequently as butter melts and all ingredients mix together.

  2. Reduce heat and allow the sauce to cook down slightly so it gets thicker.

  3. Remove from heat. If not quite ready to use, be sure to stir again before tossing wings or cauliflower or before pouring over shredded meat. Enjoy!

Recipe Notes

*You can use 4 or 5 tablespoons of butter depending on preference. As noted within the post, using 5 tablespoons will help the sauce stick to wings a bit better!

Have a beautiful day!


Blueberry Lemon Crumble Bars

I saw a meme today that said ‘Congratulations, you’ve made it to April. Welcome to level 4 of Jumanji!’ And isn’t that just life right now? The funny memes are a necessity to stay grounded, lighthearted and laugh a little; I for one am very appreciative of the people creating and sharing these! And then I was thinking, what can I put out there that also helps in just a small way and that’s why this post titled ‘Blueberry Lemon Crumble Bars’ is also going to be full of ideas on how to pass enjoy your time during the stay at home order your community may be following at the moment. But let’s not completely skip over these crumble bars, because making them is definitely included in the list ๐Ÿ™‚

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A few important call-outs when it comes to this breakfast, snack or dessert (you decide)! If you have Jeni’s ice cream in your freezer, the brambleberry crisp flavor, it goes so perfectly with these crumble bars. If you’ve never had any of Jeni’s ice cream, please click this link and treat yourself. I’ll wait… Did you go with the classics? Her honey vanilla bean ice cream is my absolute favorite vanilla ice cream and the darkest chocolate just makes me feel less guilty about taking an extra scoop. hello. antioxidants ๐Ÿ™‚ Or maybe you ventured out a bit…I also love the wildberry lavender and the roasted sweet corn and black raspberry, the latter of which they only offer seasonally….sometimes! We live in an unfair world, friends!

Second call-out is about the crumble crust and topping. This is actually the same recipe used in the Strawberry Rhubarb crumble bars I shared last spring! It’s just as delicious here, but the blueberry filling is more saucy/runny and the crumble doesn’t hold up as well in the fridge (gets a bit soggy) making the leftovers deliciously messy. Good news though. If you’re making these for a dinner party or small get together with friends or family, you likely won’t have leftovers ๐Ÿ™‚

So about that fussy crumble. Start by adding the oats, pecans or walnuts, almond flour, brown sugar, ground flaxseed, cinnamon and salt to a food processor to blend all together. I used almond flour from Trader Joes again this time, but have also used โ€˜Bobโ€™s Red Millโ€™ brand and both worked well!

Then add the coconut oil and water and blend once more until everything is mixed and sticks together well. Press 2/3 of the crumble into an 8ร—8 baking dish to create the crust layer. As always, I lined my baking dish with parchment paper, because it makes clean up so darn easy! Bake for 20 to 25 minutes. (I did 20 in my oven, others may vary)

Meanwhile, you can make the filling on the stove. You’ll mix fresh blueberries with brown sugar, fresh squeezed lemon juice and corn starch over low to medium heat. Just keep stirring occasionally until it looks like the photo on the right and then remove from heat and let it cool while the crust is baking and also cooling for a few minutes.

Lastly, you’ll pour the blueberry filling over the crust (I didn’t use all of it and did try to leave some of the liquid in the pan so it wasn’t too much for the bars. Pro tip – use the leftover in place of syrup over pancakes or waffles!) and then sprinkle the remaining crumble over the blueberry filling. Bake for another 20 minutes or until the topping is crisp and browned. Remove from oven and let cool almost completely before cutting and enjoying! I am really wishing I had enough blueberries to make this right now after writing about it and staring at the photos!! But trips to the store are limited these days as we’re trying to stay home as much as possible. And on that note, let me share a few ideas for how to enjoy the time at home. I’ve found it can be quite productive and it’s really not that bad of a situation at all depending how you look at it.

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Activity Recommendationsย 

  • Workout! – This is seriously the perfect time to finally get a routine going in the exercise department and an even better time to release all the endorphins! Peloton has a 90 day free trial of their app going on right now and it’s amazing! I’m loving the strength workouts. The instructors are really motivating as is the tracking and setup of your profile and they are super positive! Highly recommend! And if you keep the app after the trial, it’s just $12.99/month! I’ve also heard several people talk about how much they are enjoying Yoga with Adrienne on Youtube!
  • Bike Riding – Do you have an old bike in your basement or garage collecting dust and a nice bike path nearby? Bike paths seem to be everywhere these days and if a pandemic had to happen at some point during the year at least it’s during the springtime when the weather is turning nice and nature is coming back to life and blooming! Bike rides can truly be relaxing, no need to make it an intense workout.
  • Gardening – one of our local garden centers is taking online orders that you can pick up curbside or have delivered. Perfect time to work on some flower beds and bonus for doing this on a sunny day and getting some Vitamin D
  • Cooking & Baking – How could I not suggest this? ๐Ÿ™‚ some of my favorite recipes on my blog are potato soup, broccoli cheddar soup, superfoods soup, egg salad, banana bread, Dad’s chocolate chip cookies, the homemade honey mustard dressing and paired salad, taco stuffed peppers and creamy pasta salad!
  • Reading – I have majorly slacked in this category lately but such a great way to start or end the day with a cup of coffee or hot tea! Books I’ve loved…Yes, Please by Amy Poehler, The Dollhouse by Fiona Davis, A Magnolia Story, The Hunger Games and Harry Potter series, and The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah.
  • Board Games – When Hailey was younger especially, we did game nights pretty often but had a few favorites we always went back to…Monopoly Empire (so much quicker than traditional Monopoly), Clue and Life. Classics! If you’re looking for something to play solo on your phone that’s also good for your brain I really like the Wordscapes and Lumosity apps!
  • The things stuck on your to do list – cleaning out and organizing the basement, garage, that one closet or the junk drawer in your kitchen. Starting a blog! Putting your idea for a side business into motion. DIY projects. Learning how to paint, play piano…anything you can watch a video for on youtube really. Digitizing photo prints, making an album online.
  • Your Turn – What else? What are you doing with your extra time at home?

And in all this, for sure take advantage of the technology we have and make video calls to friends and family to stay connected, see everyone’s face and hear their voices! It really makes a difference! Oh! and if you’re on Instagram follow two accounts in particular…@tankgoodnews and @goodnews_movement. There is so much good going on in the world right now and it’s refreshing to read about that every day! I like to watch our governor’s daily press conferences, but I try not to over consume news outside of that which I also find helpful!

If you stuck with me until now, thank you!! haha Let me reward you with the full recipe for these bars and if you only make the filling and just eat it with a spoon I wouldn’t judge you at all! ๐Ÿ˜‰

Stay safe & healthy, friends!!

Blueberry Lemon Crumble Bars

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Servings 8

Ingredients

  • 2/3 cup whole rolled oats & additional for garnish
  • 2/3 cup chopped walnuts or pecans
  • 1/2 cup almond flour
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup ground flaxseed
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 2 Tbsp firm coconut oil
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp filtered water
  • 1 pound fresh blueberries
  • 1/4 cup light brown sugar
  • 1/8 - 1/4 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice I use 1/4 cup since I like the tartness
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp cornstarch

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and line an 8x8 baking dish with parchment paper.

  2. Make the crumble by mixing the oats, walnuts or pecans, almond flour, brown sugar, flaxseed, cinnamon and salt in a food processor. Once combined, add the coconut oil and pulse again. Then add the water and pulse one more time until everything is mixed well.

  3. Press 2/3 of the crumble into the baking dish to create the crust layer. Bake for 20-25 minutes and then remove from the oven and allow to cool for 10 - 15 minutes.

  4. While the crust is baking, mix up your filling. Add the blueberries, brown sugar, lemon juice and cornstarch to a sauce pan over low to medium heat and stir occasionally until berries burst and the ingredients turn into a sauce type filling. Remove from heat and allow to thicken slightly.

  5. Pour the blueberry filling over the slightly cooled crust and sprinkle with remaining crumble or as much of the crumble as your prefer. Garnish with a few more oats and return to the oven to bake another 20 minutes, until the crumble topping is crisp.

  6. Let cool completely before slicing into bars and serve immediately or store cooled bars in a tupperware container in the fridge. Enjoy with ice cream or on their own!

Have a beautiful day!!


Crab Stuffed Mushrooms

Back in the day, when it was relatively easy for everyone to get together at Grandma’s on Christmas Eve, you could show up expecting crab stuffed mushrooms, salad, lasagne and plain chicken wings for dinner and never be let down. It was our Christmas Eve tradition. Dad made the stuffed mushrooms for our appetizer and Grandma made the rest. But my brother and I live a couple hours away now and Read More


Chicken, Avocado & Pear Salad with Homemade Honey Mustard Dressing

The title of this post is a little long. I could have just titled it Homemade Honey Mustard Dressing, because that’s really the star of the show here. But then there’s this salad that turned out to be the perfect combination of ingredients to pair with the dressing and I couldn’t just choose one or two ingredients to highlight. At the same time, I didn’t want to get completely carried away…Chicken, Avocado, Pear, Walnut and Read More