Meatballs are wonderful to make because if you make lots of them, you can freeze some for later use. Therefore, the reward for your effort continues for a long time. This recipe is a slight variation from Alton Brown’s recipe. Alton coats them a final time in bread crumbs before baking them. However, I decided that last step didn’t add enough pizzazz for me to put out the effort.
3 lbs ground beef
10 oz of frozen chopped spinach, thawed
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup bread crumbs
3 teaspoons dried basil
3 teaspoons dried parsley
2 teaspoons garlic powder
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Squeeze out the excess liquid from the spinach. Place all ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Knead the mixture until all ingredients are thoroughly combined.
Using a spoon, shape the meatballs about 2 to 2 1/2 inches in diameter.
Place on a baking sheet and bake for about 15 minutes.
Then turn the meatballs and bake for another 15-20 minutes until they register 165 degrees on a meat thermometer.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
Place the bread in a small bowl and pour the milk over the bread.
Let the bread soak in the milk while you saute the onion in the butter and olive oil.
Mix the soaked bread until it is a mushy glob.
Add all ingredients to a large mixing bowl.
Knead the ingredients until everything is thoroughly mixed.
Use a small spoon to help you shape the mixture into balls about 1 1/2 inches in diameter.
Place on a baking sheet. Bake in a preheated oven at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for about 20 minutes.
Drain the meatballs on a paper towel. Serve with mashed potatoes, gravy and cranberry sauce or lingonberry jam.
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.
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
Place all ingredients in a slow cooker.
Cook on low for about 8 hours. Stir to shred the meat.
Serve with fresh chopped cilantro, sour cream, and avocado.
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.
Sprinkle with your favorite all-purpose seasoning. Fold the aluminum foil into a pocket.
Place your vegetables in the center of a large sheet of heavy duty aluminum foil.
Sprinkle with your favorite seasonings. Fold the aluminum foil into a pocket.
Place the aluminum pockets in an oven preheated to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Bake for 15-20 minutes. Unfold the aluminum pockets.
The only thing I love more than potatoes is pasta. Pasta and potatoes are so versatile, how you you not love them? Lately, I stumbled on a new food blog that I love–twopeasandtheirpod.com. I recommend you explore their website. Since I had recently acquired some fresh basil from the teacher next door, I was looking for ideas for how to use pesto. This recipe is almost too easy.
I make the best chocolate chip cookies. In fact, fights have ensued over my chocolate chip cookies. That being said, sometimes I don’t want to take the time to make cookies. Therefore, I use this recipe for a quick satisfying substitute for chocolate chop cookies. This is my go-to recipe when I volunteer to bring dessert, but I’m short on time. Since these ingredients are almost always on hand in my kitchen, I don’t even have to make a stop at the grocery store. I recommend that you volunteer for dessert at your next potluck and use this recipe.
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup peanut butter (optional)
1/2 cup butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 3/4 cup all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 cup milk
1 cup chocolate chips or mini M&Ms
Cream together sugar and butter (and peanut butter if using it). Mix in the egg.
Add the remaining ingredients except the milk and chips.
Stir in the chips and the milk.
Spread the batter into a 9×13 inch greased cake pan.
Bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 20 minutes. Remove from oven. Let cool. Slice into rectangles.
I work with the best people. They make my job worth going to even on days when the lesson flops and I feel like a failure as a teacher. My next door neighbor at work has fresh basil that she shares with me on occasion. I love the smell of basil and because of her generosity I now make my own pesto. I found that it also freezes well, so I recommend that you try this recipe and freeze what you don’t use for later use.
I love Thai food and had ordered a bowl of Thai coconut soup at a restaurant when I thought. Wow! I should find a recipe for this. Well, I found a good recipe and tweaked it to my liking. Here is the result. It makes 3-4 large servings
1 Tablespoon fresh ginger
1 stalk, lemon grass, minced
2 Tablespoons red curry paste
2 cups chicken or vegetable stock
1 ½ Tablespoons fish sauce
1 Tablespoon brown sugar
¼ teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon minced onion flakes
1-13/5 ounce can coconut milk
1 pound raw medium shrimp
½ Tablespoon lime juice
¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro
Vermicelli rice noodles (I use one or two bundles depending on how many noodles I feel like having in a bowl.)
Add ginger, lemon grass, curry paste, vegetable stock, fish sauce, brown sugar, garlic powder, and onion flakes to a medium saucepan or small slow cooker. Since I often freeze my extra stock, the photo shows frozen vegetable stock.
Bring to a boil and simmer for about 15 minutes or cook in the slow cooker on low for 4 hours. Add the shrimp
and coconut milk.
Continue simmering until the shrimp turn pink. Stir in lime juice.
To cook the vermicelli rice noodles, place them in a bowl and cover them with boiling water.
Let them soak about 5-10 minutes before draining. Place noodles each bowl. Top with soup. Garnish with cilantro.