Monday, June 21, 2010

A Day of Cooking

I have decided to try a new recipe in the slow cooker today. The thing is, I like to doctor things up a bit. Here is the original recipe.

Slow cooker meatballs
1 1/2 pounds ground beef
1 1/4 cups Italian seasoned bread crumbs
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
1 egg, beaten
1 (28 ounce) jar spaghetti saucee
1 (16 ounce) can crushed tomatoes
1 (14.25 ounce) can tomato puree
1. In a bowl, mix the ground beef, bread crumbs, parsley, garlic, onion, and
egg. Shape the mixture into 16 meatballs.
2. In a slow cooker, mix the spaghetti sauce, crushed tomatoes, and tomato
puree. Place the meatballs into the sauce mixture. Cook on Low for 6 to 8

Now, here's how I'm doing it.

I didn't have parsley, fresh or dried, so left it out. I didn't have Italian bread crums, so in to the 1 1/4 cup of them, I added:

a generous amount of garlic powder

a generous amount of dried minced onion

a handful of fresh onion finely chopped

a pinch of dried oregano

a pinch of dried italian seasoning
salt and pepper

I mixed this in the bowl before adding the thawed hamburger and egg, which I did not beat. When it was mixed up as well as I could get it, I formed it in to meatballs. It made 16, but they were kind of big ones.

As for the sauce, I had a 26 ounce can of hunts 4 cheese, a 15 ounce can of tomato sauce and a can of crushed tomatoes, either 14 15 or 16 ounces, I'm not sure. I poured them all in to my slow cooker, which btw is different than a crock pot and I just learned this fact. So, anyway, I added to this tomato concoction the following:

a generous handful of garlic powder

a generous handful of dried minced onion

a handful of fresh onion chopped

3 fresh minced cloves of garlic

and will add salt and pepper to taste, later.

I put the meatballs in the sauce and swirled a spoon around to cover them with the sauce. Then, I put on the lid and washed up my dishes. :)

What am I going to eat with it? Why, spaghetti, of course. When the hubby gets home, I'll put a pot of water on to heat. I'll probably add to it a generous spoon of margerin, and 4 cups of whole grain spaghetti that I'll break before cooking. Breaking the spaghetti noodles up until they are about 4 to 6 inches long each, keeps my hubby from having to cut it up. (We aren't good noodle twirlers). Anyway, I'll cook the pasta for about 10 minutes and serve with the sauce. My 2 girls won't eat meat in their spaghetti, so I thought the meatballs would be perfect. My hubby and I can have as much as we like and the girls don't even have to eat around the meat. Hopefully, watching us eat meat and knowing we do not die from it will eventually teach them that meat is ok. :)

I'm considering making bread sticks to go with dinner, but haven't made up my mind yet. I'll use my pizza dough recipe, if I make them, but we'll see.

What I should do is sweep and mop my house...but this post is entitled "A Day of Cooking", so we'll talk about cleaning another day. :D

What I will tell you is how, as a blind person I mince garlic. I'm not exactly the safest person when it comes to knives, so I won't go in to great detail about how I chop and all. No, I'll let you read my friend's blog for that.

But, here are some tips of my own that I learned from my husband.

Take your head of garlic with the papery stuff still on it and holding it, bang it against your cutting board. You can role it in your hands as well to get the skin off. Those little things inside are called cloves, something I didn't know until a few months ago. ::D Anyway, I place a clove on my cutting boardand hold my knife, a wide bladed thing, in my right hand. I hold it so that the blade's sides are facing up and down. Then, centering it over the clove of garlic, I smash it down. Yes, I missed most of the time in the beginning, but practice makes perfect, and eventually, the clove is smashed in to submission and the papery skin comes right off. Then, I cut the smashed clove in to tiny pieces and put it in my sauce or whatever is cooking. Sometimes, I keep a paper towel beside me to place garlic skins on and to wipe my fingers on as I go. If I'm mincing a lot of garlic, I get aggravated and rinse my hands under the fosset.

So, because the 4-year-old is needing her mommy's attention, and because I need to put lotion on my hands, I'll end this cooking lesson for today. Y'all have a good monday!

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