I was convinced that I had a genius idea. Healthify meatballs. I decided on my own that I would add frozen spinach, use lean meat, and bake them. Really good idea, right?
Yep, it was a good idea! The meatballs had enough veggies to make me happy and enough meat to make Jeremy happy.
The only problem is that some guy named Alton Brown thought of it first. After I put the meatballs in the oven, I Googled to see how long they should cook. Up popped Alton’s recipe. I used chopped onion and fresh chopped garlic. I only used beef and can’t bare the idea of eating lamb.
- 1/2 pound ground pork
- 1/2 pound ground lamb
- 1/2 pound ground round
- 5 ounces frozen spinach thawed and drained thoroughly
- 1/2 cup finely grated parmesan
- 1 whole egg
- 1 1/2 teaspoons dried basil
- 1 1/2 teaspoons dried parsley
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1/2 cup bread crumbs, divided
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
- In a large mixing bowl, combine everything with your hands.
- Roll into small balls, place on an oiled baking sheet. Bake for 15 – 20 minutes
I feel like people always think of the good ideas before me. C’est la vie. You should still use the recipe because they tasted great.
It is rare that I go to the grocery store without a plan, but after five hours of grading I didn’t even have a clue what to make for dinner. I knew I wanted to make something that Jeremy would really like. This week one of Jeremy’s papers got accepted to a journal. It’s a pretty big deal! We like to celebrate success around here.
One thing that Jeremy really likes is shrimp. I, however, know next to nothing about shrimp. So what’s a girl to do. I texted my brother who is a foodie himself. He suggested shrimp scampi. I Googled it and was on my way.
I roughly used this recipe. I tweaked the sauce so that we could use it for pasta.
I basically just upped all of the liquid.
This is a pretty straight forward meal.
Parsley, garlic, shrimp, lemon, and vermouth. You really can’t go wrong with those ingredients. Everything gets cooked in butter. Oh how I love Cabot butter.
The recipe says that it takes 30 minutes, but I would say you could do it in 20. I can’t believe how good this dinner was. There were lots of “mmm’s” and “this is so good’s” during this meal. We will be eating it again.
While my brother suggested a Moscato, I went with Vignoles from Flag Hill Winery.
I love this wine. I know I tasted it at Flag Hill, but it is so much better than I remembered. This will be a new staple around here. If you haven’t been to a tasting at Flag Hill, you should go.
Any successes in your world lately?
Tuesday night was just one of those nights. My afternoon class went horribly. People always talk about students bullying other students, but rarely talk about how teachers get bullied by students all the time. Yesterday after my class, I felt like I had no recourse, I was totally frustrated and ready to scream. Of course,we had a faculty meeting after school. While no one really enjoys faculty meetings, I find them particularly onerous when I’ve had a difficult day with my students.
By the time I made it home, I was tearful and cranky. I laid down on the floor and pouted. This may not seem like acceptable behavior for an adult, but it was precisely what I needed. After a few minutes of simply wallowing in my own annoyance and frustration, I popped in Breakfast at Tiffany’s and watched the first ten minutes. For those of you familiar this is the “mean reds” scene.
After watching Holly Golightly get ready to go to Sing Sing, my attitude was greatly improved, and I made dinner.
I don’t know how many variations of veggie pasta bake I have, but this one was really quite good.
Spicy Veggie Pasta Bake
- 2 cups chopped broccoli
2 cloves garlic smashed
1 cup shredded carrots
1/2 red onion chopped
10 oz of pasta (farfalle) cooked al-dente
1 jar of pasta sauce, I used Wegman’s Vodka Sauce which was nice and creamy
1/2 cup shredded cheese
basic casserole dish
- Cook Pasta
- Pre-heat oven 400
- Mix raw carrots and 1 cup sauce together spread on the bottom of dish
- Quickly sauté onion, garlic, and broccoli until onion and garlic are fragrant
- Spring veggies with red pepper flakes and a pinch of salt
- Mix veggies and the rest of sauce together, add to pan
- Cover mixture and bake until cheese is brown and melted about 12 minutes.
There’s no picture because my camera battery was dead. But trust me, this is good. The red pepper adds some kick.
Yesterday proved to be a much better. C’est la vie.
Tonight, Clarice is sick with a cold and so I (Jeremy) took on dinner and posting duties. Over the weekend, we picked up some eggplant fully intending to make eggplant casserole, similar to eggplant parm. I have never made this before and was planning to be a “helper.” Typically this means I shred some cheese, pick at it and praise the true chef in the family…but not tonight.
Clarice has been fighting a cold for the past few days and figured that we would just have to postpone the eggplant casserole on the menu to another day. Like a brave boy, I stepped up to the plate and said I would give it go. The recipe/procedure comes from a Wegmans magazine and seemed simple enough. It can be found online here.
Now, I’m not going to lie…I have a tendency to be terribly imprecise about measuring ingredients (though I’m not usually too concerned about a little extra cheese). If you were to compare the number of dishes used by Clarice and myself to cook the same meal my pile would be twice as high. Tonight went pretty well though (besides forgetting to start the pasta till after the eggplant was done and getting cheese on the burner)!
Don’t get me wrong, if I were choosing teams I would pick chicken over eggplant every time. But the eggplant was really great. Some fresh Italian bread that I picked up at the market next to school was a nice touch.
Now that dinner is over it’s time to make sure Clarice gets better. I’m sure she’ll be posting in full health soon.
I don’t know what it’s like at your house, but here we have a couple of go to meals. These are the meals you cook when you don’t feel like eating anything else or you don’t have very many ingredients on hand. We have several go to meals, but one of our favorites is Garlic Pasta.
I don’t really know how this recipe came to be, but I know it’s a staple in our house. There are lots of variations, but I will give you the basic outline.
- Chop 2 – 3 cups broccoli
- Dice 3 – 4 large cloves of garlic
- Boil water for the pasta of your choice
- Add garlic to 1/4 cup EVOO and sauté until the oil is flavored, then add the broccoli and cook but leave it crisp. I like to add a spoonful of the pasta water and put a top on the pan to let it steam a bit.
- When your pasta is cooked, top pasta with the broccoli garlic mixture, drizzle with olive oil and add fresh shredded parmesan or other hard cheese.
Crunchy broccoli and salty parmesan on a bed of noodles, dinner in five simple steps. We’ve substituted other veggies in and out. Last night, I added cherry tomatoes and some leftover bacon crumbled on top. It always turns out well, and it’s just so quick and easy.
What are the go to meals at your house?