Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Italian Meatballs

My family loves nothing more than a good plate of spaghetti and meatballs. This meatball recipe is the one we enjoy!

-Ina Garten - slightly modified

1 lb. ground pork
1 lb. ground beef
1 cup fresh white bread crumbs (1 hot dog bun works well :)
1/4 cup seasoned dry bread crumbs
2 Tablespoons chopped flat leaf parsley, or 1/2 tsp. dried parsley
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 extra-large egg, beaten
Vegetable oil
Olive oil

Place the ground meats, both bread crumbs, parsley, Parmesan, salt, pepper, nutmeg and egg in a bowl. Combine very lightly with a fork. Using your hands, lightly form the mixture into 2-inch meatballs. You will have 14 to 16 meatballs. (Or about 30 1-inch meatballs)

Pour equal amounts of vegetable oil and olive oil into a large (12-inch) skillet to a depth of 1/4-inch. Heat the oil. Very carefully, in batches, place the meatballs in the oil and brown them well on all sides over medium-low heat, turning carefully with a spatula or a fork. This should take about 10 minutes for each batch. (Less for smaller meatballs) Don't crowd the meatballs. Remove the meatballs to a plate covered with paper towels. Discard the oil but don't clean the pan.

Add meatballs to your sauce, cover, and simmer on the lowest heat for 25 to 30 minutes, until the meatballs are cooked through. Serve hot on cooked spaghetti and pass the grated Parmesan.

Corned Beef & Cabbage

When our good friends the Hamptons lived up the street, they invited us over for a delicious St. Patrick's Day dinner. I've never cooked an Irish dinner myself, so Anna was gracious enough to share her recipes and this year we enjoyed a yummy dinner with Brandon's parents who were here visiting. 

-Anna Hampton

1 (3 to 4 pound) corned beef, trimmed
3 bay leaves
1 T. whole black peppercorns
1 T. whole mustard seeds
1 1/2 pounds small red potatoes (I've used small yellow as well)
1 1/2 pounds carrots, peeled and cut into thirds
1 head green cabbage cut into wedges

1.  Add the corned beef, bay leaves, peppercorns, and mustard seeds to a large Dutch oven and cover by 1/2 inch of water.  Bring to a simmer and cook, skimming off any impurities that rise to the surface, until a fork slides easily in and out of the center of the meat, 2 to 3 hours.

2.  Heat the oven to 200 degrees.  Transfer the meat to a large baking dish and ladle 1 cup of the cooking liquid over the top.  Cover with foil and keep warm in the oven.

3.  Add the potatoes and carrots to the liquid left in the pot and simmer until they begin to soften, about 10 minutes.  Add the cabbage and simmer until all the vegetables are tender, 10 to 15 minutes.

Tin Roof Chocolate Pie


This is another recipe that's been in my "to-try" file for a loooong time. It's a good one! I skipped the caramel topping since everyone was anxious to have dessert.

-Better Homes & Gardens - Nestle Toll House competition

1/3 cup chocolate chips
1 tablespoon butter
1 pastry shell (9 inches), baked

20 caramels
1/3 cup heavy whipping cream
1-1/2 cups salted peanuts

1 1/3 cups chocolate chips
1/2 cup milk
15 large marshmallows
1/4 tsp. vanilla extract
1 cup heavy whipping cream

3 caramels
5 teaspoons heavy whipping cream
1 tablespoon butter

Whipped cream and salted peanuts, optional

In a small heavy saucepan, combine the 1/3 cup chocolate chips and 1 Tbsp. butter. Cook and stir over low heat until melted and smooth. Spread onto the bottom and up the sides of crust; refrigerate until the chocolate is set.

For peanut layer, in a small saucepan, melt caramels and cream over low heat, stirring frequently until smooth. Remove from the heat; stir in peanuts. Spoon into pie shell; refrigerate.

For chocolate layer, in a medium saucepan, combine milk, 1 1/3 cups chocolate chips and the marshamllows. Cook and stir over low heat until chocolate and marshmallows are melted and mixture is smooth. Remove from heat; stir in vanilla extract; set aside until cool.

When chocolate mixture is cool; beat the 1 cup whipping cream until soft peaks form. Fold into the chocolate mixture. Spoon chocolate mixture over peanut layer in pie shell (pie will be full). Refrigerate until set, at least 3 hours. Or cover and refrigerate for up to 24 hours.

Before serving, in a small saucepan, melt caramels, cream and butter over low heat, stirring until smooth. Let cool slightly. Top each serving with caramel mixture, whipped cream and additional chocolate chips. Serve immediately. Store in the refrigerator. Yield: 10 to 12 servings

Tuesday, March 15, 2011


I've been looking for a good fajita recipe for a long time and finally found one that we all like!

-Your Homebased Mom

1 1/2 lbs flank steak
1/2 C Canola oil
1/3 C soy sauce
1/4 C balsamic vinegar
2 Tbsp fresh lime or lemon juice
1 1/2 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1 Tbsp Dijon mustard
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 tsp ground black pepper

Combination of peppers – red, yellow, orange, green and onion, sliced.
Olive oil

Using a medium bowl,combine the oil, soy sauce, vinegar, lemon or lime juice, Worcestershire sauce, mustard, garlic, and ground black pepper. Place meat in a large zip loc baggie and pour marinade over the steak. Turning meat to coat thoroughly. Refrigerate for at least 2-3 hours or overnight.

Preheat grill for medium-high heat.

Place steaks on the grill, and discard the marinade. Grill meat for 5 minutes per side, or to desired doneness. Slice meat thinly going across the grain

While meat is grilling, saute onions and peppers in olive oil and salt until tender.

Serve with meat on a tortilla. Add sour cream, guacamole and or salsa

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Black Tie Strawberries

I saw this idea in a newspaper and clipped it out to put in my "good ideas and to try" book. Here they are - 8 years later! :)

Cheese Boats

Whenever I eat these they remind me of home and family - one of those dishes that's not particularly fancy or complicated, but comforting because it reminds me of  my childhood. This one is tricky in my family because Paige and I are the only ones that like olives. I think next time, I'll just make some without olives before stirring them in for the rest. Paige calls these "volcanoes" and I think the name fits! :)

-Grandma Carling

12 French rolls
1 lb. longhorn cheese, shredded (4 cups)
1/2 can olives - sliced or chopped
3/4 cup tomato sauce
1/4 cup El Pato sauce
3 eggs, hard boiled and grated or finely chopped
garlic powder - about 1/4 tsp

Scoop the middles out of rolls. Mix all the above ingredients together in a saucepan until cheese is melted. Fill rolls with mixture. Wrap in foil and heat in 300 degree oven for 15 minutes or until heated through. (Mom always put the wrapped rolls in a muffin tin so they didn't fall over - this works great because if you don't keep them upright the cheese oozes out into the foil.)