Spaghetti Sauce

When I was a child, my favorite food was spaghetti. It was a quick and easy meal for my mother to make. Although I admit to often using spaghetti sauce from a can or jar, spaghetti sauce is actually quite easy to make especially if you use the slow cooker. Be sure to make up plenty because it freezes well.

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 cans crushed tomatoes
  • 2 cans tomato paste
  • 1/2 cup vegetable or beef broth
  • 1 Tablespoon Italian seasoning
  • 3 Tablespoons sugar
  • 1/4 cup chopped onion
  • 1/2 bell pepper, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda

Put all of the ingredients in the slow cooker except the baking soda.

Spaghetti sauce ingredients in a slow cooker
Spaghetti sauce ingredients in a slow cooker

Cook on low for 4 hours. Add baking soda toward the end. This counteracts the acidity of the tomatoes. Use more or less baking soda depending on the acidity of the tomatoes and your preference.

Spaghetti and Meatball
Spaghetti and Meatball

Serve with over spaghetti noodles.

 

Swedish Meatballs

I really love Alton Brown’s knowledge of food and food chemistry, so I encourage you to use explore his website. This is one of 3 recipes that I use from him. His recipe includes directions for making the gravy. Of course, I’ve made a few adjustments, but not many. This is a recipe that you should double and freeze all your extras. Remember, meatballs can be easily thawed for a quick dinner on hectic evenings.

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 slices of white bread
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1 Tablespoon butter
  • 1/2 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped onion
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 1/2 pounds ground beef
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon allspice
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

DIRECTIONS

Place the bread in a small bowl and pour the milk over the bread.

Soaking the bread in milk
Soaking the bread in milk

Let the bread soak in the milk while you saute the onion in the butter and olive oil.

Sauteing the onions
Sauteing the onions

Mix the soaked bread until it is a mushy glob.

Bread soaked in milk
Bread soaked in milk

Add all ingredients to a large mixing bowl.

Swedish Meatball ingredients
Swedish Meatball ingredients

Knead the ingredients until everything is thoroughly mixed.

Swedish Meatball mixture
Swedish Meatball mixture

Use a small spoon to help you shape the mixture into balls about 1 1/2 inches in diameter.

Raw Swedish Meatball
Raw Swedish Meatball

Place on a baking sheet. Bake in a preheated oven at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for about 20 minutes.

Swedish meatballs
Swedish meatballs

Drain the meatballs on a paper towel. Serve with mashed potatoes, gravy and cranberry sauce or lingonberry jam.

Swedish Meatballs served with Mashed Potatoes, Gravy, Cranberry Sauce, Green Beans, and a Dinner Roll
Swedish Meatballs served with Mashed Potatoes, Gravy, Cranberry Sauce, Green Beans, and a Dinner Roll

Slow Cooker Posole

I don’t think you can have too many soup or slow cooker recipes. When searching for yet another soup to add to my repertoire, I came across a posole recipe. Since I can hardly resist Mexican food, I knew that was the next soup/slow cooker dish to attempt. I was pleased with the result. This recipe makes about 4 servings.

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 pound boneless pork
  • 1 can enchilada sauce
  • 1 can hominy, drained
  • 1 cup vegetable broth
  • 1/2 onion, chopped
  • 1 can chopped green chilies
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin

DIRECTIONS

Place all ingredients in a slow cooker.

posole ingredients
posole ingredients

Cook on low for about 8 hours. Stir to shred the meat.

red pozole
red pozole

Serve with fresh chopped cilantro, sour cream, and avocado.

Easy Clean-up Cooking

Did you know you can make aluminum foil pockets and avoid most of the after cooking clean up? This is a cool trick I like to use with fish and vegetables. Choose your favorite fish and vegetables and give it a try. I have used salmon and broccoli for my example here.

Place the salmon on a large sheet of heavy duty aluminum foil.

Salmon on heavy duty aluminum foil
Salmon on heavy duty aluminum foil

Sprinkle with your favorite all-purpose seasoning.  Fold the aluminum foil into a pocket.

aluminum foil pocket
aluminum foil pocket

Place your vegetables in the center of a large sheet of heavy duty aluminum foil.

broccoli on heavy duty aluminum foil
broccoli on heavy duty aluminum foil

Sprinkle with your favorite seasonings. Fold the aluminum foil into a pocket.

aluminum foil pocket
aluminum foil pocket

Place the aluminum pockets in an oven preheated to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Bake for 15-20 minutes. Unfold the aluminum pockets.

Salmon baked in aluminum foil
Salmon baked in aluminum foil
broccoli baked in aluminum foil
broccoli baked in aluminum foil

Serve on plates.