Sunday, December 28, 2014

Mozzarella Stuffed Homemade Meatballs

Again, I wanted try try some new hearty recipes when I came across this one for Mozzarella Stuffed Meatballs.
I thought this was perfect for one of those cold days! 
When it came time to make supper, the guys were really giving me some grief! They could not imagine me going to all this trouble for meatballs when you can just buy frozen at the store ....on and on this went.
Besides using a lot of bowls and pans the recipe was pretty easy. I always tweek the recipes to what flavors we like and don't like.
For the most part I followed this recipe. I did leave out the minced onions ( that's my bad, I totally hate onions), left out the Tabasco sauce ( heartburn) , used garlic powder instead of garlic salt ( have to watch sodium intake), and used the mozzarella sticks you find in all the stores instead of the mozzarella balls. I cut the sticks into approximately one inch squares and used two squares per meatball.
I shaped the first round of meatballs going in the pan. I liked them pan seared before they are put in the oven. Worked out great!
My husband actually joined me in the kitchen, and started shaping the rest while I did the pan searing and placed the finished ones in the glass baking dish that was to go into the oven. It was really nice chatting and spending time together while preparing a hot meal.
While that was baking in the oven I had Prego Traditional Italian Sauce warming in another pan, I added some of my own spices to it 
and next time I want to add some sliced mushrooms. ( Any brand you like will work for this.)
Not to deviate from the subject at hand, but I just wanted to say that all spaghetti sauce has " Italian Style " some where on the label .
To make a long story short, my husband ran to the store for me. I noticed he was gone a while, but didn't think any thing of it. 
When he got home, he he says ..." You set me up! ". I'm like whaaaat?  He was looking for some thing that said "Italian style" sauce in big letters on the label like it does for all the different flavors of sauce. He went to several different stores before he realized they all say Italian style in tiny letters on the label, you just choose what you like. Of coarse, I thought this was hilarious ! After he thought about it for a bit he joined in our laughter.
Back to dinner...I just made regular spaghetti noodles and garlic bread to go with our supper.
To my surprise, after all the grief the guys gave me, they loved it! They said we should never have regular spaghetti again. It was so hearty my big eaters couldn't even finish their plates, and no one touched the garlic bread either. They were to full lol.
So I think this went over with the guys quite well! 
Oh and just a note: the recipe roughly calls for a pound of lean ground beef. When I first saw how small it was I didn't think there would be enough for all four of us. It made a total of 12 large meat balls which was plenty and we even had a few for left overs.
( I used a 1/4 cup to measure out the meat to roll into balls.)

Monday, December 8, 2014

Christmas in Chicago 2014

Had a great time with my daughter! We enjoyed all the Christmas lights and holiday decorations. It was so freezing out with all the wind ...made my eyes water. Great weekend though.

Below: Street Music  

Above: Christkindlmarket- Chicago Daley Plaza (German Christmas Festival ) 

We stood in line for an hour just to get the mugs, they came filled with hot spiced red wine, 
which sounds like heaven when your freezing.
The lines were very long, you couldn't even tell where they started. The place was so packed we didn't 
really get a chance to look at all the little shops, but the tree was beautiful . We were glad we stopped
by there.

Zoo Lights - Lincoln Park Zoo

The trees flashed their colorful lights to the beat of music...

Ice sculptures

The view from my daughter's kitchen window. 
You can't really see it, but there are a lot of Christmas lights going on at the top of all these tall buildings.
( The tallest one in the middle is Sear's Tower )

My daughter made me breakfast so we could just hang out and enjoy the view.

St Patrick's ...beautiful church!

 Merry Christmas !!

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Holiday Scarf

Finished it in plenty of time to give to my mom on Thanksgiving Day. We usually start decorating for Christmas the day after, so I wanted her to have time to enjoy it during the holiday season. I think it knit up a little fuller than some of the other brands I use, maybe it is just the look of the Pom poms 
that make a difference. These are pretty quick to knit or crochet up. There are free patterns for both on the net and tutorials on youtube.

My mom liked her scarf!  She looks so pretty!  

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Bargain Find

Over the years dishes have gotten broken and has left me with odds and ends. It's most noticeable to me when we have company over for supper. I actually have two good complete sets of dishes, but at the time I acquired them we had a lot going on and needed to store them until I could make room in the cabinets. So, of coarse, both sets are misplaced in my moms garage some where. Oh well, we will run into them some time. In the mean time, I found a whole set of dishes on sale for one dollar. Yep, $1.00. What a lucky find. I was thrilled. It wasn't a pattern that I would have originally picked out, but I do like them. Not bad hu? Works for me:)

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Holiday Knitting

I have no problems starting new projects, but for some reason I didn't even get a start on this one last year. 
Just in case things get busy again, I thought I would start and finish this one early. 
These scarves aren't really made for warmth, but I thought my mom would like it to wear to church
during the Christmas season. Thought it would look great with her dress coat.
The yarn is made by Ice...and I loved it the minute I saw it. Not sure if I was just a lucky one or 
if all the skeins are like this , but working with it has been a total pain. It was wound into a regular skein, which was fine,
but it was also twisted the whole length. When working with the netting type of yarn you have to open it up as you go
to knit it. Really hard to do while it's twisted. I think it will be worth it though. I put my guys to work holding the yarn 
as I untwisted and rewound it to make it easier to work with. Lol my guys are manly men so one holding the yarn while the other 
manned our cat Khloe was entertaining in itself. Just call it karma!

Fall ..

There is so much do for fall and winter I feel like I barely get half my list done. I'm not gonna stress it though.. 
I did manage to dig my decorations out of the basement and work on the front porch. I swear I had a full pretty fall wreath to 
go on our front door and couldn't find it any where. What I did find stored in all my stuff was a pitiful straw wreath that looked 
more bedraggled than any thing. So I headed to the dollar store and bought a couple bunches of their fall flowers. Didn't spend much 
as I'm on a budget for that sort of thing. Recycled it is.... same wreath with some new accents. I didn't think to stop and take a photo 
of what it looked like before, but I was happy with the results.

Khloe playing in all the flowers...had to watch my fingers when grabbing them to add them to the wreath. 
For a while there, I didn't think she was going to let me have any. LOL she was rolling in them like 
a pile of leaves.

These little gems are made out of small terra cotta pots.. The scare crow is still my favorite. I haven't made these 
in a long time. The faces are hand painted and the material for the scare crow was modge podged around the pot.
Then just add whatever accents to decorate. 

Friday, August 22, 2014

More Chicago...

There are so many interesting nooks and crannies to finding interesting and beautiful things in each individual neighborhood. There's always some thing new to see while your exploring. 

This is a small park in the area where my daughter lives...

Pretty all lit up!

 My daughter texted me this photo...she found this place while trying to find her way to an appointment 
And thought of me, since my name is Dee! Aww that was so sweet ...

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Zucchini-oatmeal chocolate chip cookies

I've been given a lot of zucchini lately. I'm not complaining though, I love it. Mostly, I've been fixing suppers and zucchini bread with it, but I've run across some new recipes that sound pretty good so I'm trying those out on my family and neighbor. My neighbor grew a huge organic zucchini plant this year and has gotten 14 fairly large zucchinis off of it. This is so great, cause the ones I was seeing in the stores were pretty small.
Tonight I baked zucchini-oatmeal chocolate chip cookies ....
(Once the batter was mixed according to the directions, I noticed it was a little runny, but I let it set for a few minutes ,remixed and it seemed to thicken up just fine.)

 Found this recipe on Pinterest : 
Zucchini-Oat Chocolate Chip Cookies
Im just waiting to get every ones opinion ....

As you can see, I finally figured out how to post pictures on my blog posts again, but I haven't figured out how to size them. So, for now they will just be bigger. I haven't found any sizing options on the app I'm using..but I will keep messing with it:) Crazy I know , right? Oh well, I have missed blogging , and am just glad things are working out however slow.

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Pasta Fajioli (crockpot recipe)

I found this recipe on Pinterest and decided to give it a try. It was a big hit with my family, and it's now on my husbands list of favorites. 
I get bored making the same things all the time. This is one thing that technology has made easier for me.  I tweeked the recipe a bit, using what I already had on hand or more to our liking.

I substituted sliced (drained ) carrots instead of corn , added sliced and drained mushrooms & used large butter beans instead of white kidney beans ...which I could not find here. Turned out wonderful. 
The meat and pasta are added just before I kept the noodle separate. I didn't like them in mine but everyone else did. So they added what they wanted to their own serving. Worked out good for everyone. I also wasn't sure how noodles would freeze so I left them out of the portions to be frozen.

I also made homemade garlic butter and toasted some kieser rolls. Way better than saltine crackers with the soup!

Hopefully I have this technology thing figured out...I need to add the posts I have saved up while figuring it all out. Thanks for being patient .