Spaghetti & Meatballs

First you make the pomodoro sauce:

3-4 T olive oil

1 chopped yellow onion

6 chopped cloves of garlic

2 28oz cans whole peeled plum tomatoes, drained & crushed, reserving the liquid

1/4 cup fresh chopped basil

Salt & Pepper

Heat the olive oil in a large pan, add the onion & garlic & cook until soft (about 5 mins).  Add the tomatoes & 1/2 cup of the liquid.  Add salt & pepper to taste.  Simmer for about 15 minutes.  Add more liquid if desired & the basil.  Add more salt & pepper if needed.  Simmer for another 20 minutes or so until thick.  You can leave it chunky or puree it.  (I also added a pinch of italian seasoning & some cayenne pepper for extra flavor)

 

Now the meatballs:

2-4 T olive oil

1 yellow onion finely chopped

3 smashed & chopped cloves of garlic

2T fresh parsley chopped

1 cup milk

4-5 sliced of dense white bread-crust removed

1.5 lbs ground pork

1.5 lbs ground beef

1 egg lightly beaten

1/2 cup freshly grated parmigiano-reggiano

salt & pepper

1/2 lb mozzerella cheese cut into chunks

the pomodoro sauce above(or another jar of sauce)

1 lb of spaghetti

In a large skillet heat the olive oil & add the garlic & onion, cook til soft & translucent(about 10 minutes) & remove pan from heat, stir in the parsley.  soak the bread in a bowl with the milk.  While its soaking & the onion is cooling, combine the meats in a large bowl.  Add the egg & parmesan to the meat.  Season generously with salt & pepper.  Squeeze the milk out of the bread and add it to the meat.  Mix it all together with your hands until just combined.  Don’t over mix.  Return the pan to the heat as you form your meatballs(i get about 15 or so).  Preheat the oven to 350.  Brown the meatballs on all sides evenly.  Place them in an oven safe dish and pour about half the pomodoro sauce over them, kinda glazing them.  Sprinkle the mozzarella over the meat balls and bake about 20-30 mins, until cooked thoroughly.  While the meatballs are cooking boil your noodles.  When the noodles are done, drain them and mix in some of the remaining liquid & some of the pomodoro sauce to keep the noodles from drying out.  (You can test a meatball by cutting into it)  Plate it up with some noodles, a spoonful or 2 of the sauce & 2 or 3 meatballs…

(you can always save those extra meatballs for a nice meatball sandwich the next day!!  🙂

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Blueberry Bread

I make this bread different almost every time…  because i am terrible at measuring…  but this time it went like this:

1/2 cup vanilla yogurt

1/3 cup applesauce

3T melted butter

2 egg whites

1 cup sugar

1/2 tsp salt

1 tsp vanilla

2 tsp baking powder

2 1/2 cups flour

2-3 cups blueberries

 

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Grease the bread pan.

Combine all wet ingredients & add flour last.

Fold in the blueberries.

Pour in pan & bake for 65-70 minutes depending on oven until toothpick comes out clean.

Red Velvet Cupcakes (or cake)

2 1/4 cups all purpose flour

1 1/2 tsp baking soda

pinch of salt

2 T natural cocoa powder

1 cup buttermilk

1 T white vinegar

1 t vanilla extract

2 eggs

2 T red food coloring

1 1/2 sticks butter

1 1/2 cups sugar softened

preheat the oven to 350 and line your cake/cupcake pans.  combine the dry ingredients(flour, baking soda, salt, cocoa) in one bowl and the wet in a measuring cup(beat the eggs into the buttermilk, vanilla, food coloring, vinegar).  cream the butter & sugar until light & fluffy.  in portions & until almost fully incorporated add 1/3 the flour mix, then 1/2 the milk, another 1/3 flour, the last half the milk & then the last of the flour.  scrape down the sides as needed & fully incorporate the mixture.  pour about 1/3 a cup of mixture into each cupcake(should make about 22-24) or into the cake pans.  bake cupcakes for about 23-25 minutes.  the cakes take about 25-28 minutes.  test with toothpick.  remove from over & cool before frosting(about 30-45 mins).  see cream cheese frosting.

Cream Cheese Frosting

(this frosting isn’t overly cream cheese flavored.  it’s just the right amount of tang for the red velvet cupcakes & would also be a great cinnamon roll frosting.  see sticky bun recipe to make cinnamon rolls.  just omit the butter & brown sugar topping & you will have cinnamon rolls!)

1 1/2 sticks butter softened

4 cups powdered sugar

2 tsp vanilla

8 oz of light cream cheese

cream the butter & sugar until completely combined & fluffy, adding the sugar in portions so it doesn’t fly everywhere.  add the vanilla.  add the cream cheese in 6-8 portions allowing each to fully incorporate.  beat until smooth & fluffy.  chill if not using immediately.

Macaroni & Cheese

1 box of elbow macaroni

1/2 stick of butter

1/2 cups flour

4-6 cups low fat milk

2 cups shredded extra sharp cheddar

2 cups shredded colby jack

1 tsp salt

3 sliced of bread

boil the noodles in salted water until about 1 minute before aldente, preheat oven to 350 degrees.  melt the butter in a big pot or dutch oven.  add the flour and make a paste(roux). add the salt.  add the milk slowly-about a cup at a time, stirring frequently, allowing the milk to come to a bubble or slight boil so that you know your roux as thickened completely.   add the cheese and melt it.  i like to use a hand blender to make sure everything is really smooth.  you can also use all cheddar if you want but the colby jack gives it a much creamier texture and it still tastes really cheesy.  add the noodles.  you want it to be pretty soupy because the noodles absorb the sauce and it’s better left over as well.  It will dry out if you don’t have enough milk.  place the sliced bread(sourdough, white, wheat…  all are good) in a food processor to turn it into a crumb topping.  spread the topping evenly over the top of the macaroni.  bake about 30 minutes until hot & maybe bubble and then broil just to brown the crumbs to your liking.  (usually about 3-4 minutes)

Sticky Buns

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies