Tag Archives: easy meals

Slow Cooker Meatballs

Almost every country has some type of meatball.  In Romania we call them “chiftele or piftele” depending which part of the country you’re from.  We fry them and sometimes make a tomato sauce in which they are left to marinate “chiftele marinate.”

This here is a simple, no frying pan needed meatball recipe.  They are cooked in the crock pot for about 5 hours.  Boil some pasta and serve them over, turn them into meatball subs, or just eat them as they are, my personal choice.

Slow Cooker Meatballs (makes about 40, 1 inch meatballs)

  • 1 lb ground beef or turkey
  • 1 lb italian sausage mix, your choice of sweet,mild or hot
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp ground black pepper
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup freshly chopped parsley
  • 1/4 cup freshly grated parmesan
  • 1 cup breadcrumbs
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1/2 cup cold milk
  • 1 jar of your favorite spaghetti sauce

Place ground meat in large bowl, followed by the rest of the ingredients, with the exception of the spaghetti sauce.  Mix thoroughly with your hands until mixture is homogenous. Pour half jar of the spaghetti sauce in the bottom of your crock pot. Lightly wet your hands and pinch a small amount of meat from the bowl.  Roll it between your palms to form a ball, continue with the rest of the meat, placing meatballs in the crock pot as you go.  Pour the rest of the sauce over the meatballs.  Cover and cook on high for 5 hours.  When it’s time to serve, gently separate the meatballs from each other with a spoon as they stick together during cooking. Enjoy!

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Spaghetti Squash with Garlic and Burst Cherry Tomatoes

I accidentally grew a spaghetti squash.  At first I thought it was a weird looking cucumber, but it gre larger, rounder and eventually yellow.  I’m so glad we got this extra vegetable from the garden. It’s sweet, a bit crunchy, versatile and fun to make.

  • Spaghetti squash (2-3 lbs in size)
  • 1 cup Cherry tomatoes
  •  Fresh Basil, small handful chopped
  • 3 tbsp grated parmesan
  • 1 garlic clove minced
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Wash, cut the squash lengthwise and scoop out seeds.  Drizzle with 1 tbsp of the olive oil on the flesh side and season generously with salt and pepper.  Place on microwave safe dish cut side down and cook approx 10 minutes or until skin feels soft.  Remove carefully from microwave and let cool enough to handle.  In the meantime, in a small pan heat the remaining 1 tbsp olive oil, place cherry tomatoes in the pan along with the garlic.  Salt and pepper to taste.  Cook on low to medium heat until tomatoes burst gently, approx 6-8 mins. Remove from heat and set aside.  With a fork scrape the flesh from the squash into a large bowl stirring gently to break it up.  Pour the tomato mixture on top, season with more salt and pepper if needed, sprinkle with the parmesan and fresh basil.

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Back to School Pizza Rolls

I feel like I blinked and summer break has spread it’s wings and flew by in a rush.  With my youngest homeschooling again and my oldest doing independent studies, plus all the other things I’ve got going on the side, I felt an easy dinner was in order.  With the girls being able to help with this meal it made it even easier on me.  Use store bought pizza dough ( I use Trader Joe’s brand) of your choice and follow pre-cooking instructions on box before starting. I use a 12 muffin tin to cook the rolls in because it keeps them from falling apart and spreading everywhere.  Grease the muffin tin with small amount of olive oil and preheat oven to 350F

Pizza Rolls (makes 12 rolls)

  • 1lb pizza dough
  • 1/2 cup pizza sauce of your choice
  • 2 cups shredded mozzarella
  • any other toppings of your choice, just try not to over load the dough or it’ll be hard to roll

Flour your workspace and roll the dough into a rectangle approx. 13×18 in.

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Spread the sauce, cheese and choice of toppings onto the dough. Starting at the long end roll the dough away from you as tight as you can.

Cut the roll into 12 equal pieces using a large knife or bench scraper. Place rolls into the muffin tin and bake about 30 mins or until dough is golden brown and cheese is bubbly.  Serve with a garden salad for an easy back to school dinner.

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