Monday, January 2, 2012
People often ask me how I find time to cook and bake. I think the same thing about people who read, work-out, and go back to school. Each one of us finds the time we need, when we need it by prioritizing. We decide what is most important to us and we carve out that time. I am well-known as a procrastinator. Some procrastinators just sit on their butts, avoiding tasks. I, on the other hand, am productive in OTHER ways to avoid a certain task. I cook and bake because my family needs to eat, because I enjoy it, because I can usually do it while simultaneously watching my kids, and because the end result can be shared, joyfully, with friends and family. I find time to cook because it is downright fun for me, not a chore like it is for some people.
However, I can't cook my way out of doing other things. I can't use it as an excuse to not accomplish other tasks. For instance, writing my thesis. I have been avoiding this task for a few years!! I have decided to complete my thesis this year. No more excuses. No more procrastinating.
Each year Jason and I set forth goals - NOT resolutions - for the upcoming year. My thesis is #1 on my list. Somewhere, further down on my list, is creating my own cookbook. I want to compile all the recipes that Jason and I love - that we eat all the time. I also want to discover "unbeatable" recipes. The perfect pasta sauce, the perfect chocolate cake, the perfect wheat bread. I am well on my way, especially with the help of my new friends/neighbors, the Taylors as guinea pigs.
Here is the 1st of many unbeatable recipes.
Rebecca's Unbeatable Italian Meatballs
1# ground sirloin (not too lean, 90/10 is good)
1/4 cup dried unseasoned breadcrumbs
1/4 cup rolled oats - finely ground
1/4 cup onion - shredded with cheese shredder, excessive juices drained out
1/4 cup shredded mozzarella
1/4 cup shredded Parmesan
2 garlic cloves - minced
1/2 tsp. dried oregano
1/4 - 1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
Heat oven to 400 degrees. Mix all ingredients together. Shape into 1 1/2" balls, makes about 24. Place on broiler pan (for easy clean-up, line inside of broiler pan with aluminum foil). Bake for 18-22 minutes, or until no longer pink and juices run clear.
To pair with spaghetti: Put water on to boil when meatballs go in the oven. When water boils, season heavily (I mean like a Tbsp. of salt) and cook pasta according to directions. Warm your favorite jar pasta sauce - preferably a traditional marinara or tomato/cheese sauce. Serve with Caesar salad.
To make meatballs subs: Remove meatballs from oven and kick temperature up to 450. Place hoagie rolls open-face on a parchment lined baking sheet. Butter one side of roll, place 4-5 meatballs on other side, spoon 1/4 cup warm sauce over meatballs, then top with 2 slices of provolone. Bake for 4-6 minutes, or until cheese melts and buttered side gets golden brown. Serve with roasted potatoes and onions.
To make BOTH meals: If cooking for two people, there is enough two dinners. If you are cooking for 4 - just double recipe for meatballs. If you serve sauce sparingly with spaghetti, one 28 oz. jar will suffice for both meals. You'll have two nights of dinners knocked out!
next time I'll take photos!!