Now that Halloween is behind us it’s time to think about the holidays ahead. I always feel that Halloween kicks off the holiday season, it does it my house. Once trick or treating is done and the Halloween decor has been put away I turn my attention to planning our Thanksgiving dinner and getting ready for Christmas. It’s a very busy time for me!
I think the weeks leading up to the holidays are busy for everyone, we need to shop, cook, bake, clean, decorate, and more along with all the daily work that we do. One this is certain holiday planning or not we still have to eat. Cooking and planning daily meals can be challenging during this season. I know many times we end up grabbing fast food on the way home or ordering in pizza just to have something to eat for dinner, but I really hate doing this. I get tired of eating out and I really do like my home cooking! So to make my life a bit easier I like to stock my freezer with pre-made dishes that we can pop in the oven on the days I don’t have time to cook.
One of the easiest things to work with are meatballs. I know, you can buy pre-made frozen meatballs at the grocery store, but my family hates them! I don’t like the spongy consistency, I find them very unappetizing. They don’t taste too good either. So I spend about 30 minutes one day and make my own meatballs which I freeze in ziplock freezer bags. They just need re-heating when I need them. Meatballs are great because they are very versatile; you can turn them into different dishes by adding just a few ingredients. I like to make meatball subs, Swedish meatballs, teriyaki meatballs, meatball soup, and of course spaghetti and meatballs. My grandkids love them with mac n’ cheese!
1 1/2 pound ground beef – don’t use the one that’s too lean, you need a bit of fat to hold it together and also give it a good flavor. I use ground sirloin or sometimes ground chuck which is a bit fattier.
1 tbls. minced garlic
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 tbls. Italian seasoning
1 tsp. fine sea salt
1 tsp. ground black pepper
1 cup Italian style breadcrumbs
1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese – use the fresh cheese not the one in the green cardboard shaker
1. Place meat and spices in a mixing bowl.
2. Mix it all together using your hands. Make sure the spices are distributed through out the meat, but don’t over mix as it will get spongy.
3. Mix in cheese and bread crumbs.
4. Shape into ball. You can make any size ball you want, but don’t make them too big, they won’t cook in the middle. Try to make balls the same size so they cook evenly.
5. Place balls on a parchment covered baking sheet and bake in 400 degree oven for 20 minutes.
6. Remove from from oven and cool before place in ziplock freezer bags to freeze.
Are you searching for that perfect dish to impress your guests with this summer? I know you want something that looks impressive but is fairly simple to make. You just want them to think you spent hours slaving away in the kitchen; but you really just want to pop something in the oven while you snuggle up to a good book. Well I’ve go the perfect dish for you! °
Well perhaps super easy is a bit of a stretch. You do have to put some effort into making stuffed chicken breasts, but not a whole lot, really I mean it. You probably have most of the ingredients in your kitchen already. With just a little bit of prep time (before popping everything in the oven) and a few minutes to make the sauce you will have time to sit down and read a book or take a short nap while it’s cooking.
You can serve this dish with a side of pasta for a very satisfying meal. Add a tossed salad and you’ve got a great meal to serve to friends and family! Seriously your main ingredients are garlic, mushrooms, cheese, and chicken what’s not to love?
Fettuccine Alfredo was invented by Alfredo Di Lelio 1908. It was served in his mother’s restaurant in Rome. It’s fame really spread when Di Lelio opened his own restaurant in central Rome simply called “Alfredo” in 1914.
His original recipe was very simple, pasta tossed in butter and Parmesan cheese. Today if you go to most Roman trattorias or restoranti and ask for Fettuccine Alfredo they will probably have no idea what you’re talking about. The name is mostly used in other countries, mainly in the United States. In Italy it’s simply called “fettuccine al burro”.
There are many versions of this creamy white sauce, you’re almost sure to find it on the menu of many of the Italian style chain restaurants including The Old Spaghetti Factory, Olive Garden, and Macaroni Grill. They make it with shrimp, chicken, and plain with just pasta.
This version is really my son’s recipe. It’s very rich and creamy. We use it as a sauce for Chicken and Shrimp Fettuccine Alfredo and even use it as a pizza sauce. My daughter Jaime loves the sauce over steamed rice.
This recipe is pretty simple but you have to keep stirring it so that the sauce comes out smooth and creamy. Left over sauce keeps well for a week or more in the fridge. Just warm it up and pour over pasta or meats.