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 !!