Thursday, November 13, 2014

Tangy Meatballs

I know I have been posting heavily on the food end of things lately.  Even though I don't get to do many creative things while we are living in our small place temporarily, I still have to feed my family.  So, I am making an effort to post a few of our favorite recipes when I make them.

This recipe is a keeper for sure.  Everyone that I have made it for has demanded the recipe.  It is easy to make and the meatballs freeze beautifully, which allows for a quick evening meal for the family, or even a simple lunch for me and the little kids during the day.  They can easily be reheated in the microwave, stovetop, or the slow cooker.  When I freeze them I don't freeze them in the sauce, but if I am reheating them in the slow cooker or on the stove top, I make up the sauce and then reheat them slowly, simmering in the sauce.  If I am reheating them in the microwave, them they reheat well without the sauce.

We usually eat these with the sauce in the recipe, but we have tried them in other sauces as well, and even used them as meatballs with our spaghetti, and they are always delicious.  They are extremely versatile.

One last tip - - make sure that you don't overmix the meatballs one the meat is added, or your meat will bind up and your meatballs will be tough.

If you are looking for a go-to meatball recipe, give this a try.  It is a winner.

Click here for a printable version of this recipe.

1 ½ lbs. ground beef
1 egg, lightly beaten
¾ cup rolled oats
½ tsp. salt
½ tsp. garlic salt
¼ tsp. pepper
pinch sage leaves
2 T. milk
½ cup onions, finely chopped
Combine all ingredients except the beef in a large bowl.  Add the beef and mix together with hands until just evenly incorporated.  Shape into 1” – 1 ½” balls.  Place on a sheet pan and bake at 400 degrees for 25 minutes.

2 cans (8 oz.) tomato sauce
1 T. vinegar
3 T. brown sugar
1 T. Worcestershire sauce
Combine all ingredients in a large skillet, add cooked meatballs and simmer together until hot.  Serve over rice.
* We also like to serve these meatballs with a sauce made up of 1 8 oz. can of tomato sauce and an equal part sweet baby rays bbq sauce.

** These meatballs freeze really well.  When I make them, I usually double the recipe, bake them up and then put half of them in the freezer for a quick meal later on.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Tuesday's Tip - Chocolate Chip Cookies

Would you like to take your chocolate chip cookies up a notch?  It only takes one simple thing - - just cover the dough and let it chill out overnight in the refrigerator.

I read awhile ago that if you let your chocolate chip cookie dough "age" overnight that it will help take your cookies over the top.  I didn't get around to trying it for a long time because, let's face it, when I get the craving for chocolate chip cookies I am probably not going to have the patience to wait until the next day after I have mixed up the dough to bake and eat them.  Then, a few weeks ago, I decided to make a batch of chocolate chip cookies to take on a road trip we had been planning, so I decided to try out this little trick.  I made up the dough, chilled it overnight, and then baked them a few hours before we left. I did this mostly to save time and clean-up on the day that we were leaving, but I was also curious about whether or not it would make any difference.

Let me tell you - - the wait was totally worth it.  The trick works and my already beloved and delicious chocolate chip cookie recipe became even better.

Give it a try sometime.  I imagine you will be as happy as I was.

Monday, November 3, 2014

Dirty Rice - Kid Friendly Version

For those Cajun Food Purists out there, this recipe is sure to be a sacrilege.  It is not the burn your taste buds spicy that you would get in authentic Cajun Dirty Rice, but we love it this way, and it is a dish that even my tiniest boy can eat. My husband and older boys kick up the spicy factor with some hot sauce.

All of my boys love this dish - I mean love, love, love, it - scrape-the-pan clean love it.  In addition, it is super simple to make, so it makes frequent appearances at our house.  We also love eating this with oranges.  There is just something about eating an orange wedge, and then taking a bite of this stuff that takes it up another level for us.

Click here for a printable copy of this recipe.

Dirty Rice

1 to 1 1/2 lbs sausage, cooked and drained
1 cup uncooked rice
3 or 4 celery stalks
1 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
1/2 tsp. salt
2 cups chicken consomme or 2 cups water + 2 chicken bouillon cubes

Fry sausage and drain.  Add all other ingredients.  Mix together and bring to a simmer. Cover pan with lid and simmer at lowest possible heat for 45 - 60 minutes.  Stir and serve.

So, if you have ever wanted to try Dirty Rice, but were afraid of that Cajun spiciness, give this a try.  It is a hit at our house.

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