Meatball Sandwiches just in time for the Superbowl…

It’s so easy it’s almost like cheating… in fact, it is cheating. I have to admit. There is nothing fancy about these meatball sandwiches.

However, they are so yummy they’ll be gone before halftime!

That’s right… frozen meatballs and marinara sauce. I said “easy”, right?!

Dump the marinara in the crockpot and turn it on high…

Toss in the frozen meatballs and pour more marinara over the top…

Put a lid on it and walk away. Come back in about two hours and toss the meatballs and marinara to make sure they are all covered with sauce. These will need to cook on high for another 2-3 hours (depending on your crockpot).

For the bread? Another frozen shortcut… I’m telling you, high-class baby!

But if you believe ANYTHING I tell you… believe this, your friends and family will be convinced that you kneaded the dough on these rolls yourself! So easy and so good!

I followed the instructions on the back of the bag to do a quick thaw (warm your oven to it’s lowest temp, or about 170 degrees F and then turn it off). Brush melted butter on the top of each of them and let them sit in the warmed oven for about 1 – 2 hours.

Once they’ve thawed and risen properly… then they get baked. Follow the instructions on the back of the bag. It’s that easy.

Disclaimer – as you can tell, this is only a partial blog…

With all the excitement of the Superbowl (and the endless amounts of food on the table… and the counter… and the tv trays… and the… ) I forgot to take a picture of the final product.

But I’m sure you can imagine what meatball sandwiches look like…

Cut the golden roll in half, shove in as many meatballs as possible (ladling some marinara sauce over the top) and add a slice of provolone or mozzarella. Enjoy…

enjoy your time in the kitchen…


RECIPE: Quick Turkey Bolognese with Tagliatelle

Bolognese… a style of sauce from the region of Bologna, Italy. Granted, my version isn’t all that traditional. There are some shortcuts made and some ingredients substituted… but it’s darn tasty!!!

So all you authentic italians out there… don’t throw darts. You don’t have to like my version. But we do… it’s a quick dinner, having substituted ground turkey it’s a bit healthier, and it’s sure a hit in our household.

So, join me in the kitchen for a quick and uber-tasty dinner!!!

This is where I started… ground turkey, your choice of marinara sauce, red wine, milk, olive oil, diced onions/garlic/mushrooms (mushrooms not pictured), red pepper flakes, salt/pepper and parmesan cheese.

In a heavy bottom pan, here I’m using my favorite Dutch Oven, brown the ground meat in the oil. Once most of the pink is gone add your diced veg (onions, garlic and mushrooms).

Saute over medium-high heat for a few minutes… and then…

Add your vino and marinara…

Give it a good stir… lower the heat and simmer for several minutes. Taste it… if you think it needs it (and we do) add some kosher salt and red pepper flakes, to taste.

Allow it so simmer a little longer and then add the milk and parmesan cheese… once the pasta is al dente add it to the sauce and give ‘er a toss!

Call the family to wash their hands and come to the table… dinner’s on!!!

From prep to plate, it takes about 30-45 minutes. And most of that is cooking time. What a heart-warming dish… you can serve it by itself, or with a panini or a whole mess of garlic breadsticks (yeah – that’s what we did).

Enjoy it… we do!

Quick Turkey Bolognese
Recipe courtesy Lori Tisdale

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 lb ground turkey (or ground hamburger, if you prefer)
3-4 cloves garlic, diced
½ cup diced onion
½ cup diced crimini mushrooms
2 cups of your favorite marinara
1/8 – 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 cup red wine
½ cup milk
¼ grated parmesan cheese, plus some
Kosher salt/pepper

Brown ground meat in heavy bottom pan; over medium-high heat. Once almost all the pink is gone add diced onions, garlic and mushrooms. Sauté and stir for about 5 minutes, until vegetables have softened. Add wine, marinara and red pepper flakes (to taste); stir well. Bring to a simmer, stirring occasionally. Simmer for about 15 minutes; over medium-low heat. Taste to see if you want to add any salt/pepper. Stir in milk and grated parmesan. Simmer for another 5 minutes or so. In the meantime, prepare tagliatelle noodles according to package. When the pasta is al dente drain transfer to sauce; toss until all pasta is coated with sauce. When plating add another sprinkle of parmesan.

enjoy your time in the kitchen…

The BEST Chicken Pot Pie I’ve ever made!!!

Thank you to Cook’s Illustrated for this… Chicken Pot Pie with Savory Crumble Topping. Well-written recipe… full of flavor, some serious flavor!!!

For just me and my hubby I cut the recipe in half and it was plenty… but we sure were wanting more! Wow… words CANNOT explain how yummy this was. I guess you’re going to have to make it for yourself to find out!

Here’s where I started… the” mise en place”. I chopped, diced, measured, poured and got all the ingredients ready for the process. (I have an affinity for mise en place… what can I say?! I’m an organized person and this process is just so much fun for me.)

Chicken stock, canola oil, cream, butter, mushrooms, onions, peas, carrots, flour, soy sauce, tomato paste and lemon juice.

I’ve never used soy sauce, tomato paste or lemon juice in a chicken pot pie. I would consider these to be the “secret weapons” of this dish. THANK YOU to Cook’s Illustrated for these secrets! (This idea opens a whole new set of ideas for me… when it comes to other dishes that might need a kick of flavor. Seriously – love it!)

In a Dutch oven I boiled the chicken until cooked…

And while the chicken cooked I worked on the savory crumble topping… which is good enough to just bake up and eat as a Friday afternoon snack! The topping is made of flour, baking powder, salt/pepper, cayenne pepper, butter, parmesan cheese and cream. Watch this…

Mix the dry ingredients together and added cubed/chilled butter… then with your hands (the best tools in the kitchen) rub the butter into the flour until it resembles a coarse cornmeal. Stir in the cheese until well mixed and then add the cream.

Mix it with a spoon and crumble the topping into uneven globs of goodness onto a baking sheet… fun, huh?!

Bake off the topping in a hot oven while you start assembling the rest of your pot pie. (The pot below is the same Dutch oven I boiled the chicken in – no need to wash it. I transferred the chicken to a cutting board so I could chop it up… and I strained the broth and set it aside to use it later in this process.)

From here on it comes together pretty quickly. Saute the carrots, onion, celery in a little bit of veg oil and some salt/pepper, until soft… once done transfer the vegetables to a bowl.

Add a bit more veg oil to the Dutch oven and do the same with the mushrooms…

They will lose their moisture in about 5 minutes… then add the tomate paste and soy sauce and cook just a tad (until the moisture evaporates).

About now it will be time to remove the crumble topping from the oven… try not to snack on all of it… there IS another purpose for it!

Back to the Dutch oven… this is what has been left behind by the mushrooms, soy sauce and tomato paste process. That “brown stuff” on the bottom of the pan is pure gold in this dish!!! It’s called FOND… and I’m very fond of fond. (My apologies… that was super cheesy!)

When you add moisture to fond it comes off the bottom of the Dutch oven nicely and imparts some amazing flavor to your dish.

As you can see I’ve removed the mushrooms from the Dutch oven. They are now in the bowl with the other vegetables, waiting for their next task.

We will now start building the sauce, starting with butter and flour. Stir the butter and flour together, allowing it to cook for a minute or so… otherwise the sauce will taste “flour-y”.

Next pour in the reserved chicken stock and milk (or cream) and while stirring scrape the fond off the bottom and sides of the Dutch oven.

In the picture below, see the wall of the Dutch oven? And how easily that fond scrapes off? It will then just melt into the sauce mixture and that’s where a lot of the amazing flavor of this dish comes from. Thank you Mr Fond! Give the sauce a little taste. If it needs a little more salt/pepper add it now.

Remove the Dutch oven from the heat and add the lemon juice, shredded chicken and vegetables (including frozen peas)…

Stir together a few times and transfer mixture to baking dish… since it’s just the two of us I used a small round casserole (but the recipe from Cook’s Illustrated calls for a 9″ x 13″ baking dish). Then add the crumble topping and place it on the middle rack in the oven.

About 15-20 mins later you TOO will be saying this is the best chicken pot pie you’ve ever made!!! You can do it… and you’re loved ones will thank you for it!!!

A few tips from Lori:

– Always read through a new recipe completely before making it the first time. I’ve made this mistake so many times and am still learning it. So take it from me…. read it first, then get to it!

– Even if you don’t like to, go through the mise en place process for this dish. Have all of your ingredients pre-measured, set aside and waiting for you to grab them. Just trust me…

But most importantly… …

enjoy your time in the kitchen…

RECIPE: Tequila Lime Chicken

Let me introduce you to a specialty from Sammy’s California Woodfired Pizza… from the first bite I knew this was quickly going to become a regular in our household. The sauce is TO DIE FOR! From the pasta and chicken soaking up all that flavor to the fresh, crunchy vegetables… oh boy! This really is a treat..

Around our house we also call it “Chicken Tequila Fettuccine” or “the best rockin’ pasta dish this side of the Atlantic”… and lastly, our “summer go-to dish”… it’s an easy recipe to cut in half for a small dinner or GO BIG and serve at a dinner party with salad and bread and whatever else you simply can’t resist!!!

But when I realized I hadn’t posted about this yet I almost fell over… so I quickly made a “date” of it. I called My Friend Debbie over to enjoy the process with me. She’s a great sous chef!!! Plus, she and I have history over this dish… LOTS of history over this dish. So we made a “date” of it… and planned it out for a beautiful evening on the patio, lots of laughter and had the perfect chance to catch up on life. It’s unseasonably warm this time of year… I know, I know… we have perfect weather year round here in Southern California. So, we have to enjoy it, right?!

Before we start I’d like to show you a scan of the original recipe we found years ago… you can tell it was used, and reused and um… dripped on…

So, here’s where we started… tequila, soy sauce, red/green bell peppers, red onion, garlic, limes, chicken and fettuccine.

Might as well start it off with the good stuff, right?! Measure out equal parts of tequila and soy sauce…

Then prep the rest of the ingredients… you know, the “mise en place”. The coking starts by sauteing the veggies (2-4 minutes), then add the garlic (1 minute or so), then add the chicken…

Cook the chicken until no pink remains… tossing every minute or so to make sure it all cooks evenly.

Next add the mixture of tequila/soy sauce, stir in and bring to a simmer… allow it to simmer and reduce for about 5-8 minutes…

Oh, and add the lime juice too…

Bring it to a simmer… and while you’re doing that…

… start the boiling process on the fettuccine… it all comes together pretty quickly from here on out…

The sauce will simmer and reduce… then add the heavy cream.

Here I used 1 cup of cream… but only use as much cream as you’d like. So, add a few ounces, stir it up and check out the sauce. You’ll know when you find the combination you like the best.

Reduce heat to low and allow to sit until the pasta is done, the bread is ready (aka “torn into smaller pieces”, aka “perfect size for dipping”) and enjoy your evening!

And yes, if some of the bread accidentally “falls” into the sauce you’ll certainly have to retrieve it… won’t you?!

Lastly, toss the drained pasta into the sauce/veggie/chicken mixture until all of the pasta is coated with sauce and serve immediately! But don’t forget to garnish… I used fresh cilantro here.

The My Friend Debbie and I headed to the patio… ‘cuz we just couldn’t help ourselves!

Enjoy… with spring and summer just around the corner you’ll want to plan for this dish!

Tequila Lime Chicken
Recipe courtesy Chef Jeff Novak, Sammy’s California Woodfired Pizza

2 ounces butter
2 ounces olive oil
10-12 chicken tenders, boneless and skinless (or 4 chicken breasts)
1 red bell pepper, sliced
1 green bell pepper, sliced
1 red onion, sliced
5 garlic cloves, minced
8 ounces gold tequila
8 ounces soy sauce
1 cup heavy cream
Juice of 3 limes
Optional: 1 teaspoon diced jalapenos
kosher salt/pepper to taste
1 package fettuccine, cooked to directions on box
garnish with 1 tablespoon cilantro, diced

In a large sauté pan over medium-high heat, sauté peppers and red onion in butter and oil until softened, 3-5 minutes. Sprinkle pinch of salt on vegetables to help pull moisture out and so they cook faster. (If you are using jalapeno add to sauted vegetables.) In the last minute stir in the diced garlic. Add chicken to vegetables and cook until no more pink remains, approximately 5-7 minutes.

Cook fettuccine according to directions on package. Drain and set aside.

Pour in the tequila/soy sauce mixture and lime juice. Allow the sauce to simmer and reduce for 5-7 minutes. Add heavy cream; stir in well. Toss pasta with sauce and serve immediately. Garnish with cilantro.

Serves 4-6.

enjoy your time in the kitchen…

RECIPE: Homemade Flour Tortillas

When I was about 6 years old I had a babysitter named Ms. Ramirez. She was my favorite babysitter EVER! She was an adult, she was a cool adult, she was happy and bubbly all the time… and her mama made homemade tortillas!!! One day Ms. Ramirez sent us home with some fresh tortillas tightly bundled in foil… and the rest is history.

A few years later we moved out of town. But when we would go back for a summer camping trip we got to stop by and pick up some more homemade tortillas to rewarm over the campfire! Oh … those camping memories… full of great food, laughter, good people… more than anything, our family camping trips built into me a sense of adventure (that now scares some people… mainly my Mom and my Husband). But let’s get back to the kitchen…

For the tortillas this is all you need… flour, kosher salt, vegetable shortening, vegetable oil and warm water.

But first let’s take a step back and see what my workspace looks like today: flat board, ingredients and trusty cell phone. Most of the time I work off of the recipes in my email…. is that funny or just down right weird?

Mix together flour and salt… cut in the shortening (or lard) and mix well until the mix is like a coarse sandy texture.

Then add the vegetable oil… and slowly drizzle in the water, stirring with a fork until it all forms a dough.

Turn the dough out onto a very lightly floured surface and begin to knead…

Knead it about 30-40 times. With the palm of your hand press the dough into the board and push it away from you. Fold the dough over on top of itself… and repeat.

Continue to knead until the dough comes together and turns into a smooth ball of dough.

Set the dough aside and cover with plastic wrap, for about an hour.

Next, let’s talk about the griddle for a hot minute…

You can use a large flat skillet (no oil or butter or anything) or an electric griddle or a cast iron skillet/griddle. Here? I have a cast iron griddle that my hero-of-a-hubby bought me several years ago (our first Christmas together).

My life wouldn’t be the same without it (or him). ::: grin :::

Let’s turn our attention back to the dough… when you’re ready to cook them cut it into 12 equal size pieces and work the dough a bit more by squeezing it into your palm a few times and rolling it into a ball. Then they need some time to rest again… another 10 minutes or so. (While you’re waiting you can set the griddle to just a tad over low heat.)

And for the rolling…

Just barely sprinkle flour on the flat surface and prepare to roll…

I have found that by flattening the dough ball with heel of my hand it helps to keep the circular shape once you start rolling.

And then once the dough starts sticking to the rolling pin then I add just a light layer of flour to the rolling pin itself (not to the dough – because you don’t want too much flour ont he outside of these tortillas).

Continue to roll until the dough is very, very thin… thinner than you think it should be. Aim for a 7 inch round… it will be slightly mishapen. If you’re ok with imperfect tortillas then great… if not, roll it out a bit more and then cut off the rough edges.

Transfer the dough to the hot griddle… and watch the first one closely. Within about 30 seconds it will start to bubble and rise – this is when it will start to brown. Cook time for the first side will be about 55-75 seconds. When it’s done to your likeness flip it over. It will cook for slightly less time on the second side.

Remove from heat and start a pile on a dish towel… and repeat…

And repeat by transferring to the pile… oh wait… what happened to the “pile”? Well, anyway…

(ahem) again, what happened to that “pile”? the previous tortilla keeps disappearing somehow!

repeat the above steps… what can i say?

continue to repeat… the cooking part, that is… afterall, you will eventually want to share these with the ones you love tonight.

But grant me one more minute for another glance back to the campfire memories… my favorite way to enjoy these is with some butter and salt. Thank you Ms. Ramirez… you left quite an impression on my life. While my tortillas don’t taste QUITE like your mom’s … they’ll have to do…

Homemade Flour Tortillas
Recipe courtesy Lori Tisdale

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 ½ teaspoons kosher salt
¼ cup vegetable shortening (or lard)
1 tablespoon vegetable oil (or butter)
½ cup warm water

OPTIONAL: 2 teaspoons baking powder
(Note – if you prefer thicker/plumper tortillas then add baking powder to the dry mixture.)

In a large bowl, stir together flour and salt. Cut in shortening (or lard) with a pastry blender or your fingertips until the mixture resembles meal. Drizzle vegetable oil over flour and slowly stir in warm water with a fork until a dough forms. Turn dough out onto very lightly floured surface. Knead dough 30-40 times until dough becomes smooth. If dough is sticky, lightly dust hands with flour while kneading.

Form dough into a ball, return to bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Allow the dough to rest for at least 1 hour. Heat a dry well-seasoned cast-iron griddle, or skillet, over medium-low heat until hot. Turn dough onto flat surface and cut into 12 equal pieces. Knead each piece a few times and roll into a ball. Allow balls to rest for about 10 minutes.

Very lightly sprinkle flour on a flat surface and roll out the first ball. Use a standard rolling pin or wooden dowel (tip: use a 1 1/4 inch diameter wooden dowel cut to a 14 inch length. Use just enough flour to prevent dough from sticking. (Too much dough will make tortillas taste more dry.) Roll out each ball into a very thin round. (Thinner than you think you want it.) While rolling the tortilla turn it in quarter turns until you have rolled the tortilla flat, near to 6-7 inch rounds. Attempt to keep the thickness the same as you roll. Cook 1 tortilla on the griddle while you roll the next one. Within 25-30 seconds the tortilla will start to bubble and puff. The bottom will start to brown in spots in 45 seconds. Cook time on each side will be between 55 – 75 seconds. Using tongs or a flat spatula, turn tortilla once browned to your liking. Cook second side in same way. Remove to dish towel to cool. Stack and cover tortillas while cooking the rest.

Homemade tortillas are best enjoyed fresh. If you will be using them later that day wrap them in aluminum foil. But they can also be frozen (after cooling thoroughly). Warm thawed tortillas on griddle before using.

enjoy your time in the kitchen…

Pork Roast with Mushroom Gravy… recipe from America’s Test Kitchen

This is a yummy pork, roasted low and slow. It’s encrusted with dried herbs and cooked with some aromatics. Then topped with THE most velvety-rich mushroom gravy you ever did have.

I would like to thank America’s Test Kitchen for sharing this recipe… thank you for making our lives just a little bit better by testing this recipe and then sharing it with the rest of us.

Today I used a pork leg… once the roast is done the bone slides out nice and easy. For flavor the roast got encrusted with a dry rub of dried thyme and sage and kosher salt and black pepper.

I tied it up nice and tight… and cooked it in a 300 degree F oven for about 3 hours.

After 3 hours of cooking it was time to add more flavor. So I added sliced crimini mushrooms, quartered onion pieces, some bay leaves and chicken stock/water mixture (about 1 cup of each)… oh yeah, and some more of the dry rub seasoning.

Once a fork inserted into the largest meaty part of the roast inserts and comes out easily… then it’s just about ready. Take the roast out, transfer to another platter, cover with foil and set aside. It needs to rest for about a half hour and then it can be sliced.

In the meantime discard the onions and bay leaves and through a fine mesh strainer strain the juices, setting aside the mushrooms. From the strained juices, use a few tablespoons of fat to start the gravy with a couple tablespoons of flour. Then slowly add the rest of juices and whisk until nice and velvety. Add the mushrooms back to the pan and reduce the heat until you’re ready to use it. Before ladeling over your meat and fixings taste to see if needs any more salt/pepper.

Now it should be time to slice the roast and plate your fabulous dinner.

Be prepared to be kissed… or better. It’s that good… again, a big thank you to America’s Test Kitchen! Love ya for it! Really, I do!

enjoy your time in the kitchen…

Perfect for a rainy weekend…

Well, with a broken camera it’s difficult to take pictures of food and complete blog posts. And I doubt you only want to READ about what I’ve been making – the succulent pork roast served with an amazing mushroom gravy or the crunchy mashed potatoes or the nice mushroom ravioli I stumbled upon.

So, I’ll get working on getting that camera problem figured out… and keep you posted. I can’t go through Christmas with a broken camera. Now can I?!

It’s raining this weekend… so of course I’ll be making this:

YUM!!! I can taste it already… so simple, buttery-rich and warms you to the bone!

And if you and I are lucky (aka, I can get that camera fixed) and find another great deal on a pork roast maybe I’ll do that again this weekend… just in time for you to check it out and make it for Christmas!

Cross your fingers and toes… I’ll go get working on that camera problem.

enjoy your time in the kitchen…

RECIPE: Lori’s (award-winning) White Chili

Award-winning?! Yeah, it’s THAT good! And it’s not that difficult…

OK – so I’ve submitted it a few times into an annual party at my work. But I’ve only ever won 2nd and 3rd place. (Does that count?)

Here’s where I start… tonight I cut my recipe in half.

Afterall, it’s just the two of us…

But first let me show you this beautiful chicken … this is one of the fine rotisserie chickens from CostCo. I’ve used my own chicken for this from time to time, but you do have to admit… their chickens are amazing!

So for the half-recipe I used just one half of the chicken… (the other half of the chicken is going in the fridge for tomorrow night’s dinner).

But before I did anything with the chicken packaging I made sure to get all of this… good stuff!

Then I got to dicing and slicing… starting w/ the garlic…

I set the garlic aside. And diced up the onion. Into the pan go the onions…

Saute, stir, season…

I added the spices to the transluscent onions and allowed them to toast up a bit before adding the garlic…

Next I added the garlic…

And then the chicken and stock… bringing it to a boil…

Followed by the diced green chiles…

And the run-off juices from the rotisserie chicken… stir, simmer for a little bit. Add the beans…

It really IS that quick and easy…

A couple minutes before you serve, toss in the diced green onions and cilantro. This fresh addition at the very add just brightens up the flavor a bit… a tiny little scrumptious bit.

As you’ll note, this is kind of a “soupy” chili. So if you prefer a thicker chili, check out the note below for a tip on thickening the chili.

You can thank me later…

Chicken Chili
Recipe courtesy Lori Tisdale

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 whole chicken, pulled from bones (CostCo rotisserie chicken is my personal favorite!)
1 medium onion, diced
6-8 cups chicken broth
8 ounces diced green chiles
3-4 cloves garlic, minced
3 – 15 oz. each cans cannellini beans, drained
Salt/pepper to taste
1 teaspoon ground cumin
½ teaspoon oregano
¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
Pinch cayenne pepper
scant ¼ cup finely chopped cilantro
4 green onions, diced

Heat oil in large stock pot over medium heat. Sauté onions until translucent. Salt slightly while sautéing. (Note: If you are using uncooked chicken, add now. Continue to stir until all pink is gone from chicken.) Add garlic in the last minute of cooking and saute until soft.

Add cumin, red pepper flakes, oregano and cayenne. Stir spices in with onions. Let them hang out for a few minutes. This will allow them to roast just slightly and bring out more flavor.

Stir in broth, and bring to a simmer. (Note: If you are using already cooked chicken, add it now.) Simmer 10-15 min. Stir in beans and simmer 5 min. This can be eaten now, but the longer you cook it the better it tastes. Reduce heat and cover.

About 5 mins before serving add about half of the cilantro and green onions, stir well. Dish up and garnish with some of the remaining cilantro/green onions.

Optional toppings: grated monterey jack cheese, tortilla chips, etc.

Serves 6-8

And here’s a tip from Lori…
For a thicker consistency, dissolve 2 large handfuls of corn tortilla chips in some of the chicken broth (about 2 cups). Bring to a boil, stir well until most of the chips dissolve. Add mixture to pot with the rest of the chili.

enjoy your time in the kitchen…

RECIPE: Spaghetti Squash and Meatballs…

So, my hero-of-a-hubby has decided to join me in the attempt to eat healthier, make better food choices and take the overall step to be healthier and lose some unnecessary weight.

We’re taking small steps… by introducing ourselves to healthier alternatives. Tonight we did ground turkey meatballs, instead of ground beef. And we also did spaghetti squash instead of pasta noodles.

We know this is going to be an acquired taste… because it isn’t truly an easy change to make.

However, we ate everything in front of us…

So, here we have it… a spaghetti squash.

It’s easy enough to prepare… in fact, the roasted instructions can fit on the small label slapped on the face of this puppy. See?

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F… and then cut the squash in half, length-wise. (Get the BIG knife. Trust me.)

Then scoop out the seeds and other “goop” from inside. (Yes, that’s the technical term.)

Sprinkle a little salt inside and roast it up… flat side down, for about 45 minutes.

And for the sauce… I used part roasted tomatoes (I had one more scrumptious container in the freezer) and part leftover sauce from a Halloween party (thanks Dawn!).

And I made my “Go To Meatballs” to give it all some heft. (My hero-of-a-hubby requires heft!) (See recipe below.) But like I said, tonight I used ground turkey instead of ground beef.

These meatballs are baked, and not fried. Another healthier choice!

When the 45 mins is up, turn the squash over and roast it for another 15 or 20 mins (or until the flesh is tender, a fork slides in and out of it easily). I added a small pat of butter and some more salt/pepper for some additional taste.

And here comes the fun part…

And like I said, it’s all pretty easy. Take a fork, and pull the fork towards you, pulling the flesh of the squash through the tines. And have fun while you’re doing it…

Scrape out all of the meat of the squash, down to the outer skin of the squash.

Stir it up well to combine the seasonings and butter… and dish up like you would spaghetti.

Top the squash with sauce and meatballs… top with a little freshly grated parmesan cheese and serve up to a happy home. It really is good…

But my hero-of-a-hubby said it might still take some time to get used to it. However, let it be known (here I am – sending it out into the blog universe and sharing it with the whole world) he ate it all and he said it was better than he expected.

I think we may have a winner here…

So here is the recipe for the yummy meatballs, like I promised…

Lori Jean’s “Go To” Meatballs

1 pound lean ground beef (or turkey)
½ medium yellow onion, finely diced
1 egg
½ tablespoon kosher salt
¼ teaspoon pepper
pinch ground nutmeg
¼ teaspoon allspice
¼ cup heavy cream
1 ½ cups Panko bread crumbs

In a large bowl combine beef, onion, egg, allspice, nutmeg, salt/pepper and heavy cream. Mix until well combined. With wet hand, shape mixture into 1″ balls. Roll balls in panko bread crumbs & place side by side in a shallow baking pan; cover & chill for at least 2 hours. You should have about 20-25 meatballs.

Bake at 375 for 30-35 min., or until brown – turn the meatballs after 15 min.

enjoy your time in the kitchen…

RECIPE: Spaetzle and Dill Sauce

Not that you asked for it, but here’s another way to use that amazing dill sauce…

Here’s the OTHER way I use it… Swedish Meatballs ( < —- oh yum! )

Find some good quality spaetzle … spaetzle is typically considered a German food. But can also be found in other countries. Check out the link for more info…

I bought this spaetzle at World Market. If your grocery store doesn’t carry this in the pasta section then check in a food specialty store in your area. Cook it according to the instructions on the back… and then drain and toss it into the large pan with the sauce. Toss well until all of the spaetzle is covered with sauce.

Dill Sauce
Recipe courtesy Lori Tisdale

½ cup butter
1/8 cup flour
1 cup chicken broth
1 cups sour cream
1 tablespoon fresh dill, chopped
Pinch ground nutmeg
Kosher salt/pepper to taste

Melt half stick of butter in a large pan; stir in flour; gradually stir in broth. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly until sauce bubbles & thickens. Stir in sour cream, ground nutmeg and dill. Add kosher salt/pepper to taste.

Drain spaetzle and add to sauce. Toss until spaetzle is covered with sauce. Serve immediately.

enjoy your time in the kitchen…