A fresh take on homemade meatballs

WE ALL HAVE THOSE FOODS THAT HAVE BEEN MADE BY OUR mothers and grandmothers for years. Macaroni and sauce with meatballs is just one of those comfort dishes that a lot of people grew up with. Today, I’m offering a fresh yet still family-friendly meatball recipe that tastes like a burger and is super easy to make. Ketchup and Dijon mustard lend great consistency and tangy flavor, while fresh parsley keeps the flavor bright. Use these meatballs to make sandwiches, or as an addition to your favorite pasta and sauce. You can even serve them on their own with whatever vegetables you like if you want to mix things up a little. This recipe has all the tradition of the homemade meatball but the flavors just might surprise you. Another great variation would be for “Cheeseburger Meatballs.” When you throw everything in the bowl and mix it all together, add some shredded cheese to the mix – whatever variety you like. It’s yet another way to mix things up for your family if you want to take a step away from the “old same old.” Experiment and enjoy.
~Sam~

Ketchup and Mustard Meatballs

Ingredients:

– 2 pounds ground meatloaf mixture
– 1 cup bread crumbs (I use panko)
– 2 eggs
– 1/3 cup chopped fresh parsley
– 1/2 cup ketchup
– 1/2 cup dijon mustard
– Salt and black pepper, to taste
– 1/2 tbsp garlic powder

Directions:

1) Heat oven to 350°. Combine the ground meat, bread crumbs, egg, parsley, ketchup, mustard, salt, black pepper and garlic powder in a large bowl. Mix together with hands.

2) Using about 2 tbsp of mixture at a time, roll into golf ball-sized balls. Place balls on a parchment-paper lined baking sheet. Leave about 1-1 1/2″ between balls.

3) Bake meatballs for 18-20 minutes. Serve immediately with your favorite pasta and sauce or vegetables.

*** Variation: Cheeseburger Meatballs
Add 3/4 cup of your favorite shredded cheese to the bowl before mixing all the ingredients together.

A slow cake that’s worth waiting for

WELL WE HAVE BOTH BEEN AWAY from blog-land for quite some time. Life has gotten crazy for the both of us! Sarah just recently moved into a new house, and I have had the pleasure of experiencing my two and a half year old getting her molars in (not pretty). I finally return triumphant with a recipe that I have wanted to share on here since the first time I made it. That first taste was absolutely pure heaven. Add this to the list of recipes for which a small serving goes a long way – this cake is extremely rich and decadent. If it weren’t, would I love it so much?? I think not. 😉 It is a cake that cooks in the slow cooker, and let me say, before I actually made it, I was extremely skeptical that it would even work. A cake from the slow cooker? Isn’t it going to be too moist in there for it to cook properly? By the time it had been in for a couple of hours, I had completely changed my mind. What a great idea! And how fabulous to do this to make a cake in the summer time without having to fire up the oven when it’s ninety degrees outside. Don’t be fooled by the title; the “pudding” part refers to the gooey texture of the cake when its done (there’s no pudding in the recipe at all). This is definitely for all those cream cheese brownie lovers in your life. Give it a whirl and you will be as amazed as I was!

Enjoy! ~Sam~

Cream Cheese Brownie Pudding Cake

Ingredients:
– 1 18 oz package brownie mix
– 4 large eggs
– 1/4 cup canola oil
– 2 tablespoons water
– 1 8 oz package cream cheese, softened
– 1/2 stick unsalted butter, softened
– 1/2 cup granulated sugar
– 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
– 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
– 3/4 cup milk chocolate chips

Directions:

1) In a medium bowl, stir together brownie mix, oil, 2 eggs and water until batter is smooth. Spoon half of brownie batter into a lightly greased 3-quart slow cooker.

2) Using the stand mixer, beat together the cream cheese and butter on medium speed until creamy; gradually add sugar, beating well. Add 2 eggs, 1 at a time, beating until blended. Stir in vanilla. Fold in flour and chocolate chips.

3) Pour cream cheese mixture over brownie batter in slow cooker. Dollop remaining brownie batter over cream cheese mixture; swirl mixture gently with a knife.

4) Cover and cook for 6 hours. Carefully remove slow cooker insert from heat element; let stand at least 45 minutes before serving.

Note: to store leftovers, I just stick the entire slow cooker bowl in the fridge. This cake reheats beautifully in the microwave.

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