Sunday, September 16, 2007

I lost my poor meatball...

I was humming "On Top of Spaghetti" the entire time I was making this, even though it had nothing to do wiht spaghetti and meatballs! I'm always on the lookout for "Eric Friendly" recipes. This usually involves the following: beef, minimal veggies, and basic flavoring/seasonings. I found this one the last time I was at my MIL's house flipping through a Family Circle magazine. It was good....not knock-your-socks off or anything but Eric enjoyed it. I think it needs....something. More kick or something. Maybe some red pepper flakes (that's my solution for everything!) But it's certainly a good base recipe. There's a lot of possibilities!

(Recipe Source: Family Circle Magazine)

  • 1-1/4 pound lean ground beef (I used extra lean)
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 1/3 cup unseasoned bread crumbs
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic salt
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 small onion, halved and thinly sliced
  • 1 cup sliced mushrooms
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 can (14-1/2 ounces) beef broth
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • Cooked noodles and steamed spinach for serving (I did not include the spinach)


1. Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Place a rack on a baking sheet and coat with nonstick cooking spray.

2. In a large bowl, mix ground beef, egg, bread crumbs, garlic salt, 1/2 teaspoon of the Italian seasoning and 1/4 teaspoon of the black pepper. Form into 40 meatballs, about 1 level tablespoon each. Place on prepared rack over baking sheet.

3. Bake meatballs at 350 degrees F for 20 minutes.

4. Meanwhile, heat olive oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion and mushrooms and cook 6 to 7 minutes, stirring occasionally or until lightly browned. Sprinkle flour over the mixture, stir and cook 1 minute. Gradually stir in beef broth until the flour is completely incorporated into the liquid. Bring to a simmer. Stir in the remaining 1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning, 1/4 teaspoon pepper and the nutmeg.

5. Add meatballs to the skillet and reduce heat to medium-low. Cover and simmer for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Serve with buttered egg noodles and steamed spinach.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

I guess I've been tagged

So here are 8 random things about me.

1. I miss everything about where I grew up. Iowa is NOT my home. After 2.5 years I'm still homesick and I'm just counting the days until we move back to Illinois. Hopefully by this time next year. ::Crossing Fingers::

2. We eat out every Friday night. It never fails. I don't think I've cooked on a Friday night in months. I just don't feel like cooking after a long week.

3. I have a very strong aversion to ANYTHING white and creamy. Mayo is the number offender, the thought of being in the same room with it makes me want to gag, but also included are ranch dressing, alfredo sauce, cottage cheese, cream cheese, whipped cream, even soft-serve vanilla ice cream!

4. I drive a 2005 Ford, fast, wildly impractacle...and I love every second of it.

5. If I had my way, I would be able to make a decent living freelancing....seriously, if I could spend a couple hours a week writing a column at Starbucks and the rest shopping like Carrie Bradshaw it would be the ultimate sweet life.

6. I don't floss. I know I should and everyday I tell myself that tomorrow I am going to start but I never do. I get my butt handed to me everytime I go to the dentist. I need to start!!!

7. I've got baby fever. There, I said it. Don't tell Eric, he'll flip! ;)

8. The Food Network is my ultimate weakness. Whatevers on there, I will watch. If I've seen it matter, I'll watch it again. The only shows I purposely turn off: anything with Sandra Lee (I just can't handle her) and Dinner Impossible (which is funny because that's the only show Eric actually likes!)

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

"I was born in a small town...."

Okay, that's a lie...I was born in a real big town. But Eric was born in a small town! So I'm a country gal by association.

Ah, Labor of my favorite times of the year. We always take the long weekend and spend it with Eric's family on their farm. There's a street fest, garage sales, lots of friends and lots of food! It's a great time!

I made the Texas Sheet Cake from Cooking Light to take with us and it was a huge hit! I forgot to take a picture before it was gobbled up!

(Recipe Source: Cooking Light)

  • Cooking Spray
  • 2 tsp. all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa, divided
  • 1/2 cup low-fat buttermilk (TIP: I hate buying an entire quart of buttermilk when I only need a cup or so....look for buttermilk in pints! They were about 35 cents at the grocery store!)
  • 1 tbs. vanilla extract, divided
  • 2 large eggs
  • 6 tbs. butter
  • 1/3 cup fat-free milk
  • 3 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/4 cup chopped pecans, toasted
  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees
  • Coat a 13x9 pan with cooking spray, sprinkle with 2 tsps. flour. Set aside.
  • Lightly spoon 2 cups of flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine 2 cups of flour and next 4 ingredients (through salt) in a large bowl, stir well with a whisk. Combine 3/4 cup of water, 1/2 cup of butter and 1/4 cup of the cocoa in a small saucepan; bring to a boil, stirring frequently. Add to flour mixture. Beat at medium speed with an electric mixer until well blended. Add buttermilk, 1 tsp. vanilla and eggs; beat well. Pour batter into the prepared pan. Bake at 375 for 22 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted into the center comes out clean. Place on wire rack.
  • Combine 6 tbls. butter, fat free milk and the remaining 1/4 cup of cocoa in a saucepan; bring to a boil, stiring constantly. Remove from heat. Gradually stir in powdered sugar and remaing 2 tsps. of vanilla. Spread over hot cake. Sprinkle with pecans. Cool completely on a wire rack.
Every Labor Day weekend on Main Street is a free (but donations welcome!) Chuckwagon Breakfast. It's a tradition...eating greasy sausage standing up. It cannot be missed!

Here I am chowin' down on my pork sausage patty. No knives at the Chuckwagon...forks only!

Mmmmm...Chuckwagon-y Goodness!

Some good friends of ours are getting married in November. This past weekend, the groom's sister hosted a couples shower for them in their parents backyard. What a relaxing way to spend one of the last evenings of the summer! Fried catfish, bbq pulled pork, fresh corn....YUM!

And best of all....THIS CAKE!Eric (the best man) and the groom (the best man in our wedding) work for competing large equipment manufacturing companies. It's a never ending rivarly. These machines are (ahem) the wrong color!! Heeee!!! :)

Well, the weekend went by way to fast and it was back to reality before we knew it. The end of Labor Day weekend always makes me a little sad because it means summer's over. But with fall comes apples...and pumpkins...and chili...and soups...and all sorts of other yummy warm dishes! I'm actually looking forward to it this year!