Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Meatballs and Creamy Marinara

I love homemade meatballs. We were always having them in one form or the other as a kid. When I make spaghetti and meatballs I usually make the meatballs and used canned sauce. All of which is good. But this time to make it a little more homemade and bring it up a notch, I added Panko (Japanese bread crumbs) to the meatballs and Heavy Cream to the canned sauce. It definitely made a difference. The family loved it, but who wouldn't it's got Cream in it!


1 1/2 lb of ground beef ( or a mixture of beef and sausage)
2 eggs
1/2 cup parmesan cheese
1/2 cup Panko
1 T Italian seasoning
salt and pepper
your favorite jar of spaghetti sauce

Mix together with your hands. Then roll into balls ( however big or small you want)

Pour some olive oil into a pan and brown them in a single layer. Making sure not to turn them over till they are completely brown or they will tear. When they have been browned on both sides. Pour sauce into the pan and let them simmer together till cooked through (about 15-20 min) . To add some extra flavor pour about 1/2 cup of cream into the sauce, and some fresh basil strips.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Cowboy Dinner

I saw this on Mels Kitchen Cafe, and since everything she makes rocks and the fact that cornbread is my one true love. I immediately made it and of course LOVED it! It's like a Mexican Shepherds' Pie. So quick ,tasty and a complete all in one meal. Full props to this meal that will become a new staple in the Cummard household.

Cowboy Dinner
Printable Version with Picture
Printable Version

*Serves 6-8

Beef Mixture:
2 pounds lean ground beef
1 medium yellow onion, diced
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 cup frozen corn kernels
1 1/2 cups salsa (jarred or homemade)
1 can (15 ounce) black, pinto or white beans, rinsed and drained
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese

Cornbread Topping:
½ cup cornmeal
1 ½ cup flour
1/3 cup sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
1/3 cup oil
2 eggs, beaten
1 ¼ cup milk

Preheat the oven to 375. Lightly grease a 9X13-inch pan and set aside.

In a large 12-inch skillet, brown the ground beef and onion, adding the salt and pepper, over medium-high heat until the beef is no longer pink. Drain the grease from the pan. Stir in the corn, salsa, and beans. Pour the beef mixture into the prepared 9X13-inch baking pan and set aside.

For the cornbread, combine the cornmeal, flour, sugar, baking powder and salt in a medium bowl. Make a well in the center and add the oil, beaten eggs and milk. Whisk together until just moistened and no dry spots remain.

Sprinkle the cheese over the beef mixture and pour the cornbread batter over the cheese and beef mixture. Gently spread the cornbread to the edges of the pan, evening it out over the top of the casserole.

Bake for 40-45 minutes until the edges are bubbly and a toothpick inserted into the center of the cornbread comes out clean or with a few moist crumbs. Let the casserole stand for 10 minutes before serving.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

How to Eat an Artichoke

Before I met Stephen I had never eaten a Whole Artichoke before. I loved artichoke hearts in things so I wasn't scared at all. The process can take awhile but it is totally worth it. Plus it is Super Fun to eat, especially for kids. So if you have yet to ever eat a whole artichoke give it a try. I would wait till they go on sale and then buy one for each member of your family.

First the artichokes must be steamed.
- cute off most of them stem until there is only about 1/2 left
-place in a steamer pot and let go for a good 1/2 hour to 45 min depending on how many you have.
-check to see if they are done by pushing a fork into the stem and if it goes in smooth and easy it is done.
- you can also pull off some of the small leaves on the bottom around the stem, which are not very good
-next make some little dishes of either melted butter or mayo ( with a splash of balsamic vinegar) for dipping.
( I know mayo sounds kinda nasty, it did to me so it took me forever to try it but it goes so well with it I now only use mayo)
Start peeling off the leaves one at a time
dipping them in
and then scraping the bottom part off with your teeth
(this is where the "meat" of the artichoke is)
eventually you will get to here

which is where you get to pull off multiple ones at a time
these ones aren't as good but can still be eaten
when you get to the purple ones just discard

Then you will reach the "hair"
in which you will need to take a spoon and shave it all off
till you have reached this the grand finale!
The heart, my husband thinks this is the best part, where as I like pulling off the individual leaves to eat.
The heart can be eaten with a fork and cut up in small bites, dipped in whatever you like.

I hope you enjoyed this tutorial and that you will give this a try, at least once.
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