No Mess Italian Meatballs

My cute little five foot tall italian grandma introduced me to the art of homemade meatball making. I have a horrible habbit of cooking and never writing down the ingredients, so I had to come up with my own meatball cause I never wrote down what grandma would put in. Here’s what I’ve come up with and the bonus is that you mix all of the ingredients in a ziploc freezer bag and then form each meatball with an icecream scoop! No mess…no stress! This is one of the two recipes I made on my “The Next Food Network Star” audition video!

No Mess Italian Meatballs

1 red onion, chopped

2 pounds ground round

2 eggs

1 1/4 cup italian bread crumbs

2 cloves garlic, minced

8-10 fresh basil leaves, chopped

salt and pepper

extra virgin olive oil

Saute red onion in a bit of olive oil, seasoned with salt and pepper over medium- high heat for five mimutes. Take off the heat and set aside to cool.

Place all of the remaining ingredients in a 1 gallon size, very sturdy freezer bag, and add cooled sautéed onion. Mush and mash the bag vigorously for about 3-4 minutes until all the ingredients are thoroughly mixed and have come together. Place a large skillet over medium high heat. Coat the pan in olive oil. Get an ice cream scoop and form balls. Using the scoop helps keep your portions unified. Make sure the meat is packed tight into balls, you may need to use your hand to help it along and then place into skillet. Cook meatballs for 2-3 minutes and then flip.(It’s easiest to use cooking tongs as your utensil of choice for this) You should see a nice crusty caramelization happening. Place your favorite tomato sauce in your crock pot on low. Transfer the meatballs from skillet to crock pot to let them finish cooking through in the middle. They are ready within 30 minutes and are there at your leisure for a crowd to enjoy!

Advertisements

Funky Flat What’s Up With That?

As far as cookie baking goes we’ve all carefully placed out the ingredients checked our measurements twice and went at it; only to find that our little masterpieces come out of the oven flat as a board. What happened you may ask? Here’s a few tips to avoid that flat mess!

1. When a recipe calls for room temperature butter it means room temp! If you zap it in the microwave and even part of the butter has melted you may be in for sabotage!
2. This is important with some cookie recipes….do not over-mix your dough!
3. Check that you were EXACT with your baking soda or baking powder measument!

Ok, fix these things and see if you can’t get your puffy goodness back!

The Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookie

The Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookie

This recipe for a traditional cookie offers crunchy edges with a perfectly gooey center. Make sure you pour that glass of milk and enjoy them fresh out of the oven. We’ve had so many fun nights with our friends, The Newells’ and their boys over these cookies fresh out of the oven. Make a batch and hang with friends!

The Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookie


3/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup dark brown sugar
2 sticks butter, room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 large eggs
2 1/2 cup all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1-12oz package of semi-sweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Using a stand-type mixer is easiest but you can get a large bowl and use a hand mixer as well. Add both sugars to bowl, add butter in small gobblets,mixing first on low speed then on high till light and fluffy.
Add in vanilla and beat for a few second more. Add in the eggs one at a time start on low speed then put to high speed. At this point take a rubber spatula and scrape down the sides of your bowl. Add in half of the flour, and all of the baking soda and salt, then mix until combined. Add in the other half of the flour and mix until combined then finish off by pouring in your chocolate chips and combine.

I love to use silpats for all of my cookie baking but if you do not have those then use parchment paper for these cookies on your cookie sheets.

Place tablespoons of dough onto your silpat or parchment paper on your cookie sheet. (You should fit 12 cookies on one sheet)

Bake for 10-11 minutes, until cookies are very light brown on the top. Take out of oven, let cool on cookie sheets for 2 minutes, then transfer to wire rack to cool.

Makes about 40 medium size cookies

Perfect Dough!
Perfect Dough!
Ready for the oven.
Ready for the oven.

Fancy Chicken BLT Pizza

Fancy Chicken BLT Pizza
This pizza dough recipe was given to me by my grandma…it’s the same recipe that I used at my 5th birthday party and I’m still using it today! You can’t mess this up…it ‘s so easy and you can feel good about it being 100% homemade. *TIP* make an extra batch of the pizza dough and save for homemade cheesy breadsticks!

Fancy Chicken BLT Pizza

For Crust:
1 tablespoon dry yeast (or 1 packet)
1 cup warm water
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon sugar
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 1/2 cups all purpose flour

Dissolve yeast in warm water…stir in the rest of the ingredients. Beat 20 strokes or in your electric mixer with the dough hook attachment on medium high.Let dough rise for 15 minutes, top with pizza ingredients and bake at 400 degrees for 20-25 minutes until crust is browned on the edges and cheese is melted.

Toppings:

5 slices of bacon, cooked,chopped (or 1/2 cup real bacon bits)

2 large cooked chicken breasts, chopped

1 tablespoon EVOO

4 ounces softened cream cheese

1 teaspoon garlic salt

1 medium tomato, chopped

3 cups shredded mozzarella cheese

3 cups arugula, garnish

Cook bacon, chop and set aside. Boil two large chicken breasts until cooked through, let cool and season with salt and pepper, set aside. After dough has risen…place on a floured surface and roll out. Place dough onto a greased pizza pan. Spread olive oil over unbaked crust. Take the softened cream cheese and spread over the crust as well, sprinkle with garlic salt. Top with mozzarella cheese. Scatter the cooked and chopped chicken and bacon over pizza, then the tomatoes. Bake at 425 degrees for 20 minutes. Let pizza set for about 5 minutes once out of oven and then top with chopped arugula and drizzle with EVOO for garnish. Then, serve it up!

Happy Cooking!

I love to cook and bake! This new cooking blog is my way of making myself write down things I create in the kitchen. Too many times in our home, we’ve eaten something we loved and I couldn’t remember exactly what I put in it or how much! Well that madness will now stop as I will be cooking with one hand, while typing with the other! Can’t wait to embark on this journey with all of you.

I want to be a cook who highly endorses the home kitchen. After a long day hard at work, a bit of sad news, a crossroads in life…our kitchen is the place we can create, express and ponder. It’s the place in our home that gives us a warm hug and gives us a place to be confident and belong. It’s a gathering place and happy place. It’s a place I hope you’ll be running to more often after trying new recipes from this blog! Happy kitchens…happy families..happy cooking!

Happy Food…Happy Kitchens