Category: Beef


Baked Meatballs

baked meatballs

I know, it’s been a few months. But I’m back! And I’ve got a bunch of new recipes that I’ve tried and loved. This one has been sitting here for a little bit but I’ve had to fight the urge to become a puddle on the floor, which is all I feel like doing in the summer.

Anyway, I know it goes against everything I complain about in the summer, but this recipe for Baked Meatballs is worth turning on the oven. It’s easy and delicious, and the cooked meatballs freeze beautifully. I make a double batch and use half of it for spaghetti, and the other half for meatball sandwiches.

The original recipe came from Alton Brown, but I’ve adapted it to fit what I like to work with — and also because I’m too cheap to buy lamb and ground pork. This works really well with all-beef, or half beef and half ground turkey.

baked meatballsThe first couple of times I made this, I patted the mixture down onto a cutting board and cut the meatballs out with a knife to make sure they were all the right size. I then realized my 1 tablespoon scoop would do a much better and less messy job, and I haven’t looked back.

Don’t skip the bread crumbs on the outside — it adds crunch and a little extra flavor.

Baked Meatballs
adapted from Alton Brown

2 lbs ground beef
1/2 cup finely grated Parmesan
1 whole egg
2 teaspoons dried basil
2 teaspoons dried parsley
1-1/2 teaspoons garlic powder
1-1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/2 cup Italian bread crumbs, divided

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

In a large mixing bowl, combine the beef, cheese, egg, basil, parsley, garlic powder, salt, red pepper flakes, and 1/4 cup of the bread crumbs. Mix all ingredients until well incorporated.

Place the remaining 1/4 cup of bread crumbs into a small bowl. Scoop meatballs using a 1 tablespoon cookie scoop. Roll each ball in the remaining bread crumbs and place the meatballs on a parchment lined baking pan. Bake for 20 minutes or until golden and cooked through.

Try not to eat them all before they make it into the spaghetti.

baked meatballs

I dump everything but the meat into a bowl first, it makes for easier mixing and makes sure everything is distributed evenly.

baked meatballs

baked meatballs

Roll each meatball in bread crumbs — it gives it really great texture.

baked meatballs

I still love my pan-lining parchment/foil stuff!


The Easiest Pot Roast Ever

Crockpot Pot Roast

I’m so glad it’s September! The last-minute rush-iness of August with the first day of school and school shopping and school registrations and stir-craziness is over and everyone is settled into the new routines, and I can take a breath.

In honor of it finally being September, I’ve made one of my favorite cold weather meals: pot roast. I know, I’m laughing too. We’re still hitting the low 100s here but that doesn’t matter! I’m really itching for the fall feeling so it works for me.

I came across the original recipe for this pot roast years ago on Allrecipes. The original was good, and everyone loved it. Over the years I’ve added and tweaked, as you do, and came up with this one, which is so amazingly delicious that there are rarely leftovers.

Give it a try and let me know what you think!

Crockpot Pot Roast

The Easiest Pot Roast Ever

1 5-lb pot roast
2 cans Cream of Mushroom Soup with Roasted Garlic
1 packet onion soup mix
1 14oz can beef broth
baby carrots (optional)
diced potatoes (optional)

Place carrots and potatoes on the bottom of the crockpot and place pot roast on top (salt and pepper if desired).

Crockpot Pot Roast

I don’t usually do the potatoes because we prefer mashed potatoes, but either way is good.

In the past I’ve also added chopped onion and/or sliced mushrooms. It all works! This time I kept it to a minimum because I had to be out the door.

Crockpot Pot Roast

In a bowl, mix the two cans of soup, the can of broth and the packet of onion soup mix together until creamy. Pour on top of the roast and vegetables.

Cook on low for 8 hours.

Crockpot Pot Roast

so photogenic

That’s it! The roast will practically be falling apart, the carrots and potatoes cooked to perfection, and the soup mixture makes the most amazing gravy ever.

Crockpot Pot Roast

I don’t like to use the condensed soups for a lot of cooking, but there are really no substitutes for this one.

Crockpot Pot Roast

What are your favorite cold weather meals? Do you save them for actual cold weather or make them year-round?


Sloppy Gino Sandwiches

Sloppy Gino Sandwiches

With the summer heat in full swing, I like to keep oven use to a minimum. I use my crockpot a lot more often, as well as the toaster oven and the stove top.

This sloppy joe spin-off is perfect for a summer dinner since it’s done completely on the stove. The recipe comes from Nadia G from Bitchin’ Kitchen (who bugged me at first but she’s grown on me — I’m not alone, right?), and I’ve tweaked it a bit. Her original can be found here, and mine is below.

I did add pancetta the first time I made it, but honestly I couldn’t tell it was even in there, and since it’s not exactly cheap, I’ve left it out since and can’t tell the difference.

The original says it makes only four servings, but I’m able to easily get enough for the 5 of us plus leftovers.

Sloppy Gino Sandwiches
adapted from Nadia G

1 pound ground beef
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 onion, minced
1 red or green bell pepper, diced
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 cups/1 large can pureed San Marzano tomatoes
1/2 cup Parmigiano-Reggiano, grated
1/2 cup chili sauce
2 tablespoons smoked paprika
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
Pinch cayenne pepper
A couple fresh thyme sprigs, minced
1 jalapeno pepper, minced
6 hamburger buns

Brown the beef in a large skillet until golden brown, about 5 minutes.

Stir in the garlic, onions and bell peppers and sprinkle with salt and black pepper. Add the tomatoes, cheese, chili sauce, paprika, sugar, vinegar, Worcestershire, cayenne, thyme and jalapeno and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook, covered, 15 minutes. Taste and adjust the seasoning.

Toast the buns in a grill pan or toaster and lightly spread with mayo. Divide the beef between the buns and garnish with more cheese if desired.