Wednesday, February 29, 2012

A Tale Of Two Dinners- Italian Meatballs & Meatloaf

You will get two good dinners from this one ground
 beef mixture. One for now and 
one for the freezer..... you choose.

Meatballs & Meatloaf

2 lbs. ground chuck
1 small Italian sausage, about 3 oz.
Place the beef in a large mixing bowl. Remove the sausage casing and add to the  bowl.
1/2 onion, cut up
1 stalk celery, cut up
1 small carrot, cut up
1 garlic clove
1/4 C parsley
2 slices white bread, torn up
In a food processor, add the onion, celery, carrot, garlic and parsley.
Chop until small.
 Then add the torn bread pieces. 
Pulse a few times to blend in.
Add to the bowl with the meat.

1/4 C ketchup
1 C bread crumbs
1/2 C Parmesan/Romano cheese
1/2 C milk
1/2 t salt
1 egg
Add these ingredients to the bowl. Using your hands, mix until well combined.
Divide the mixture in half.
 For the meatballs, roll into 12 smooth round balls.
For the meatloaf, shape into a loaf to fit a 9x5 loaf
 pan. Wrap well and freeze.
Date with a label.
Good idea to also tape on the cooking instructions. 
To cook the meatballs: Heat a large frying pan
 until hot. Add 2 T olive oil and heat 30 seconds. 
Add the prepared meatballs and brown.  
Gently turn the meatballs, using two spoons
 until browned on all sides. 
Stir in sauce and let simmer 25-30 minutes.
You can use your favorite spaghetti sauce or 
make my sauce by adding:
 2 cloves minced garlic stirred into the pan.
then add:
1- 28oz can chopped or crushed tomatoes
1 t Italian herbs
1 t sugar
1/2 t salt
1/4 t red pepper flakes.
Tonights dinner.

Another homemade dinner waiting for you 
in the freezer for when you have no time
to cook. You'll like that! 
To cook the meatloaf
Place the thawed meatloaf in a 9x5 loaf pan, cover 
the top with 1/4 C ketchup and bake @350 for 1 hour.


Tuesday, February 14, 2012

My Favorite Waffles

Make these waffles in any type of waffle maker. 
Thick Belgian-style or thinner shaped waffles, like
my heart shaped waffle maker...they are all good. 
Serve with fresh strawberries and powdered sugar
 or warmed maple syrup....or both.
 Mix up the batter and let rest.
(Warm the milk in the microwave for 1 min.
It helps to keep the  butter from congealing.? 
 Spray and preheat a waffle iron.
Pour 1/3 C batter into the center. 
(or use the amount recommended by your iron)
Close and bake until golden.
Keep waffles warm in the oven, along with your 
plates while you bake the rest.
One of the things I love about waffles is that 
unlike pancakes they freeze beautifully.
I always make the full recipe.
Then I can just pop them from the freezer
right into the toaster oven to reheat.  

My Favorite Waffles
2 C flour
2 T sugar
1 T baking powder
1/4 t salt
Whisk together in a large bowl. 
2 egg yolks
1-3/4 C milk, warmed
6 T butter, melted
Whisk together in another bowl, 
then combine with the flour mixture.
2 beaten egg whites
Fold into the combined batter. 
Let stand up to 30 minutes.

Pour 1/3 C batter in the center of sprayed and 
preheated waffle iron. Close lid and bake until
 golden, about 2-3 minutes.
Remove and keep warm on a plate in the oven, 
along with your plates while you make the
 rest. Freeze any leftover waffles and use 
a toaster oven to reheat again.
(tip: If you are in a hurry and do not want
to separate the eggs, you can just beat 
the whole eggs until frothy and proceed) 
Makes 10 waffles.
 1. Use warmed milk to keep the butter 
    emulsified in the batter.
2. Never stack the waffles. 
    The steam will make hem soggy.
3. Freeze in a single layer until solid, 
     then stack in a reused bread bag. 
4. Pop in the toaster straight from the
    freezer to reheat. 

My other waffle recipes:

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Quick Tomato Soup

You can have quick homemade tomato soup 
for lunch in 15 minutes.
 This recipe uses a 28-oz. can of crushed tomatoes.
 Serve topped with shredded Parmesan cheese.
Make yourself a grilled cheese sandwich and enjoy!

Quick Tomato Soup
1 T olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1-28 oz. can crushed tomatoes
1 C chicken broth
1 T lemon juice
1/2 t salt
1/2 t sugar
1/4 t pepper
2 T chopped fresh basil 
       or parsley
2 T butter
(optional 1/2 C cream for creamy tomato soup)
shredded Parmesan cheese for topping
Heat oil in medium saucepan and stir in the garlic. 
Heat until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
Add the remaining 6 ingredients.
Simmer for 10 minutes. 
Stir in the butter and basil until melted. 
Add the optional cream if you want a creamy soup. 
Heat thoroughly. 
Serve sprinkled with Parmesan cheese.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Cranberry Orange Muffins

This is a nice winter muffin. 
Good during Christmas thru Valentine's Day.
I had a bag of cranberries in the freezer.
 You'll need 1 cup. Cut them in half.
 I use a  microplane to get 1 T of orange zest. 
Use your 20% off coupon at BBB and get one. 
They are great. 
 Dry ingredients in one  bowl, wet in another.
 Combine the two but don't over mix.
Stir in the cranberries.
 I'm using heart shaped silicone cupcake molds.
Use your 40% coupon for these at the crafts store.
 Spray with Pam before filling. 
 Not too full (see the line) or they will lose their 
heart shape after baking. I sprinkled some of the
tops with cinnamon sugar. The pink ones.
After baking, let cool 5 minutes. 
They pop right out of the silicone hearts.
 Wash the cups in soapy water or the dishwasher
 and use over and over.
I piled mine into a milk glass bowl as
Then I will stack them and store 
in a glass container.
 The heart shapes were small so I had batter left 
to make two jumbo muffins in glass custard cups.
Store some in the freezer.
But be sure to have one still warm from the oven!

Cranberry Orange Muffins
2-1/2 C flour
1 C sugar
2 t baking soda
Combine in a medium bowl
1/2 C butter (1 stick), melted
2 eggs
3/4 C orange juice
1 T grated orange zest
Whisk together.
Stir into dry ingredients and mix just until
combined. Do not over mix.
Stir in:
1 C cranberries, cut in half
Spoon batter into paper-lined muffin tins
Sprinkle the tops of some with:
cinnamon sugar
Bake @350 for 20-25 minutes.
Makes 12-15 muffins


Sunday, February 5, 2012

Go-To Steak Marinade

When I haven't had time to find the new recipe for
marinade that I wanted to try I  rely on this one.
It's a quick and easy marinade that doesn't require
 a lot of complicated measuring.
(I'm using a Tupperware bacon keeper here)

Go-To Steak Marinade
It's just equal parts:
 olive oil, 
balsamic vinegar, 
soy sauce, 
 Worcestershire sauce.
About 1 T each is enough. 
Sometimes I add a squirt of 
Dijon mustard 
and a little garlic powder.
Mix the ingredients and pour over the steak
in a food bag or covered container .
 Seal the container and marinade in the fridge
 for 2 to 24 hours.

This works well on less expensive cuts, like this sirloin.
Before grilling I season it with a little 
pepper, garlic salt or steak seasoning.
Use your favorite here.