Sunday, August 30, 2009


what's for dinner tonight?

Sunday night is about the only time we can all get together for dinner. No work, no after-school activities, no sports, just a nice dinner with the whole family. So how can I say no when Miss Picky asked for her favorite... Baked Ziti. and Meatballs. and I went one further and made a garlic bread. The Griller was happy he didn't have to grill. He doesn't know tomorrow's plan for dinner yet :)

You can find the recipe for the Baked Ziti by clicking here!

The meatballs are really good, and really moist. If you don't like them so soft and squishy, use less liquid, less eggs and breadcrumbs! I use the bread, we like squishy meatballs! and I'm lazy so I use an ice cream disher!

Mama's Meatballs
adapted from a recipe by Rocco DiSpirito
Printable Recipe

1/4 cup chicken stock or water
1/4 yellow onion
1 clove garlic
a handful of fresh parsley, chopped
2 lb ground beef
4 slices white bread (soaked with a little bit water) or breadcrumbs (not soaked)
3 eggs
1/4 cup Parmigiano-Reggiano, grated
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon salt
Marinara sauce (One jar or homemade)
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil

Add the chicken stock, onion, garlic and parsley in a blender and puree.

In a large bowl, mix the stock mixture, meat, soaked bread, eggs, cheese, red pepper flakes and salt. Combine well but don't over mix.

Put a little olive oil on your hands (water on your hands work well, too!) and form a bit of the mixture into balls the size of a golf ball. You can also use a small ice cream scoop. Easy and not messy at all.

Pour about a little olive oil into a sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add the meatballs to the pan (working in batches if necessary) and brown the meatballs, then turn and brown the other side.

Heat the marinara sauce in a stockpot over medium heat. Lift the meatballs out of the sauté pan with a slotted spoon and put them in the pot with the sauce. Stir gently. Lower heat and simmer for at least one hour (I leave it simmering for a couple hours.)

Garlic Bread! Easy, get one of those soft supermarket Italian breads. Slice it the long way in half. Spread some softened butter on both sides and some finely chopped, totally minced garlic on top of the butter. Spread the garlic into the butter, and sprinkle with salt. Close the bread together. Wrap in tin foil and bake at 350 degrees F about ten minutes or so. Then unwrap the foil, open the bread a bit and broil the top until it browns. Then slice and serve!

and a perfect ending to a perfect dinner...

Chocolate Mousse Chip Italian Ices!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

More whites...

“All of us have moments in out lives that test our courage. Taking children into a house with a white carpet is one of them.” -- Erma Bombeck

I do like white, as in dishes, but definitely not carpet!

Kathleen from Cuisine Kathleen is hosting another White Event, I'm on vacation and I am not setting the table, I have no white flowers, no white dinner, no white candles and pretty much no ideas but I'm joining in anyway! I do have white flour so that is my brilliant contribution to Kathleen's event!

and I got busy today with that white flour! Made a big batch of chicken cutlets! and then a couple loaves of banana bread!

and when that was done, I threw in a load of whites...

So stop by Kathleen's to see all the others who are showing their whites today, the ones who really went all out and did such a great job :)

If you'd like a basic recipe for pan frying chicken cutlets then click here!

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Kitchen closed due to...

illness! I'm sick and tired of cooking? Nah, just busy and too it's too hot and humid outside. Be back during the week!

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Mosaic Monday and convenience in a can...

ok, I went for it. I'm admitting it, I'm easily swayed by the words NEW or IMPROVED. Well, maybe not so much improved but definitely new. and when the Seattle Times Online Food Section came into my inbox with the headlines BATTER BLASTER, I had to check it out! I did love cheese in a can. I still do. This had to be pretty good. Or so I thought.

Here's the first attempt! Starting off, I pretty much stunk at pancakes in a can. but it gets better. A little.

We're getting there. I finally figured it out, SHAKE THE CAN!

There's always the good side and the not so good side of a pancake. Why is that?

Miss Picky saw the can and said "EWWWWWWWWWW!" right from the start! She may be right this time.

So here they are good side up! They were ok. No real mess, no mixing bowl, no spoon. We'll take the mess next time. Even Miss Picky likes pancakes from scratch. Or at least a mix! and by the way, the bacon...precooked for the microwave. What can I say, sometimes easy is ok. Just not from a can. Unless it's cheese!

I wonder if they'll decide to add different flavors. Blueberries from a pressurized aerosol can would probably be a little dangerous. At least in my kitchen!

I'm joining Mosaic Monday with Mary from The Little Red House. My mosaic is Sunday Breakfast...

Be sure to stop by the Little Red House to see all the other excellent mosaics this week!

Click HERE for the original posts labeled "breakfasts" in the mosaic!

These are the printable recipes...

Chocolate French Toast

Cinnamon-Bun Filled Pancakes

Garden Frittata

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Mosaic Monday! There's always room for dessert...

No matter how stuffed I am, there's always room for dessert! So my mosaic for Monday with Mary at the Little Red House is all about the sweets!

It's been a busy day, so I'll be making this post short and sweet! Click here for dessert recipes from my blog! Check out Mosaic Monday with Mary and all the other blogs joining in this week!

Friday, August 7, 2009

Flashback Friday! Lemons and cookies!

It's still Friday, a little late but still Friday, so I'm joining Suzy at Kitchen Bouquet for a Friday Flashback! My flashback this week is a really quick and easy recipe for Lemon Curd. It's addicting stuff, good as a filling in cakes, tarts and cupcakes, on bread, muffins or scones, cookies, the uses are endless.

but perhaps my favorite way... on a spoon!

Microwave Lemon Butter

source: CollenOZ
Printable Recipe

4 oz butter (NOT margarine)
3/4 cup lemon juice (about 3 lemons' worth)
all the rind from the lemons, grated
1 cup sugar
4-5 eggs, thoroughly beaten

Put butter, sugar, lemon juice and lemon rind into a micro-safe bowl. Cook on high about 3 minutes, stirring halfway through. Butter should be melted and sugar dissolved. Beat in eggs and microwave in 30-second bursts until it thickens, about 2 minutes. Whisk after each burst. Cool and pour into sterilized jars. Cover immediately. Store in refrigerator.

Makes about 3 medium sized jars.

You can double or triple the recipe, just use a bigger bowl and adjust the times.

and sometimes a spoonful is just not enough! So...
it's also excellent on a cookie!

I fill the thumbprints with lemon curd. Nice!

Jam Thumbprint Cookies
Source: Food Network
Recipe by Ina Garten, Barefoot Contessa Family Style
Printable Recipe

3/4 pound (3 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1 egg beaten with 1 tablespoon water, for egg wash
7 ounces sweetened flaked coconut
Raspberry and/or apricot jam (I also filled them with lemon curd!)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

In an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together the butter and sugar until they are just combined and then add the vanilla. Separately, sift together the flour and salt. With the mixer on low speed, add the flour mixture to the creamed butter and sugar. Mix until the dough starts to come together. Dump on a floured board and roll together into a flat disk. Wrap in plastic and chill for 30 minutes.

Roll the dough into 1 1/4-inch balls. (If you have a scale they should each weigh 1 ounce.) Dip each ball into the egg wash and then roll it in coconut. Place the balls on an ungreased cookie sheet and press a light indentation into the top of each with your finger. Drop 1/4 teaspoon of jam into each indentation. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until the coconut is a golden brown. Cool and serve.

Suzy found another fun event so I'm also joining The Krazy Kitchen for What did you bake today? They weren't baked today, but these cookies are so good, it may be tomorrow! Try it with the curd as well as the jam! Delicious!

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

and now for something completely different!

Zesty Sweet and Sour Meatballs and Spaghetti a la Delmy!

My son has been hanging with same group of friends since grade school, adding a few here and there by the time they got to middle school. and for years they all raved about Delmy's meatballs. Delmy is his friend's housekeeper since forever. He'd beg his friend to save some whenever she made them. I never knew what they were, or what was in them, just that they were the most awesome meatballs ever! and so a few days ago, I got the recipe. Handwritten by a sweetheart of a 20 year old, step by step, how to make the most perfect meatballs!

Sounds like that sweet and sour cocktail meatball recipe you either curiously love or wrinkle your nose and say "EWWWW!" I was a little skeptical. Actually a lot skeptical. My friend, Bubbe, says it must be an acquired taste, LOL, I don't think I've totally acquired it, but it was actually pretty good, considering!

I had never tried these little wonders before, the Delmy version anyway, the bowl was always emptied as soon as it got here! This time I had all the ingredients. My kid was dying for these. Delmy took the sweet and sour recipe and added a few things. So I got started. Uh-oh, the date on the cranberry sauce can was a good 18 months past the expiration. Not sure if I should use it, the can wasn't swelled or anything but when in doubt, throw it out, so I chucked it! Grape jelly was pretty good sub. Shoot, even when I follow the recipe, I can't follow the recipe, but alls well that ends well! My kids were very happy with dinner tonight. Even Miss Picky absolutely loved this. Her taste comes from her fathers side? They didn't love my "cream sauce" phase, much happier with the canned goods!

Tomorrow we order in.

Delmy's Meatballs
Printable Recipe

1 can jellied cranberry sauce (or a jar of Grape Jelly!)
1 bottle Heinz chili sauce
1 Vidalia onion
2-3 cloves garlic, minced, chopped, whatever
1/2 jar Prego Spaghetti sauce (use whatever spaghetti sauce you like, Delmy uses Prego, so I did!)
4 carrots, sliced into coins
big handful of dried plain breadcrumbs
large package of chopped meat (2 lbs)
2 eggs
1/4 cup water
salt and pepper
couple tablespoons of ketchup
2-3 splashes Worcestershire sauce
4 carrots, washed and peeled and sliced into coins

Mix the eggs, salt and pepper, ketchup, Worcestershire sauce, water, breadcrumbs and chopped meat all together. Make very tiny little meatballs and brown them in a skillet.

Meanwhile, in a pot, heat the garlic and the onions, until the onions start to soften and turn golden. Add the cranberry sauce and mix it up until it melts, then pour in the bottle of Heinz Chili sauce and the half jar of Prego sauce. Add the sliced carrots. Stir everything together and bring to a boil, then lower heat to simmer. Add the browned meatballs and stir. Simmer for at least an hour, stir occasionally. I simmered around two hours.

We served it over spaghetti! Egg noodles would be great, too!

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Mosaic Monday! It came from the grill...

This week we're grilling! Too much rain to actually get out and grill so I may have to get creative and use the grill pan indoors! but you can get creative, check out Big Huge Labs and make a poster or a billboard! Or join Mary at the Little Red House for Mosaic Monday and make a mosaic!

Here's some of our favorite grilling recipes...

Cherry Chipotle BBQ Glaze

Cherry Cola Ribs

Roadhouse Ribs

Tequila-Glazed Chicken with Jalapeno
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