Monday, July 11, 2011

Barbecued Meatballs

Yield 80 Meatballs

We got this recipe years ago from Country Woman Magazine.  I am not even sure if that magazine is still in publication, but this recipe is alive and kicking among women every where I have lived.  Each place I go, this is a go to recipe for at least one of my friends. 
I remember my momma making this for Sunday Dinners where we would have these (what seemed to be) massive church potlucks.  Because our church had Sooooooo many college students in it who would not be bringing food, and who had not had a good home-cooked meal in a while; my Mom and Grandmother would cook for an army. Im sure many women did but when mom would make this huge batch of meatballs everyone knew Lorraine's food was gonna be good, and they went fast.
When I make it for us now, I save half of the meatballs for another meal in the freezer.

Here is what you need for the meatballs:

3 pounds lean ground beef
1 12 oz can evaporated milk - (milnot)
1 cup oatmeal
1 cup cracker crumbs
2 eggs
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
2 teaspoons chili powder

To make the meatballs, combine all ingredients.  Mixture will be soft.  I use gloves for this job and just use my hands.  Shape into walnut sized balls.  (I use a small cookie scoop for this).  Place meatballs in a single layer on wax paper lined cookie sheets; freeze until solid.  Store frozen meatballs in freezer bags until ready to cook.

Sauce Ingredients: (original recipe)
2 cups ketchup
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon liquid smoke
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 cup FINELY chopped onion

To make sauce combine all ingredients and stir until sugar is dissolved, place frozen meatballs in a 13 X 9 baking pan; pour on the sauce and coat the meatballs evenly.  Bake for 1 hour @ 350.  Test one meatball by cutting it open to make sure it is completely done.  Enjoy them with Mac & Cheese, and Mashed Potatoes - Delicious!  Unhealthy but just get over it and live a little - you will thank the ladies at Country Living later! :)

I have modified the sauce because it is a bit too sweet for my liking - being that it has a whole cup of brown sugar.  I cut that down by at least half and replace some of the ketchup with my husbands' secret BBQ sauce.  So just choose your favorite bbq sauce and play around with it until you get it the way you want. Be creative with your food, I know - its risky but one of these days your gonna get a dead ringer and we are all going to be talking about how much we love your spin on it!

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Couponing and Cooking Ahead

A few years ago I took a stab at couponing.  After having a baby I resorted to the big box stores and went out as little as possible!  As the baby gets older, the easier life becomes and normal is slow in coming - but still it's coming.  I have been back at couponing again the past two weeks and I am amazed at how much we have stocked up, as well as how much money I have saved.  It's crazy! I have been following The Krazy Coupon Lady and have made the whole coupon book and everything!  I am posting a link to their book here.  Be sure and check out their awesome site. Go to the Beginner's section and dive in!
Around any holiday is a great time to stock up on meat. So over the fourth my husband went a little crazy and truly stocked up.  My little freezer is full and the one in the garage is starting to get a few meals as well!
Here is what I did.
Upon bringing home loads of Chicken Tenderloin, I prefer to repackage before I freeze it.  I made up several different marinade's.  Searching out all my favorite recipe's and then trying some new ones as well I froze the chicken in portions for my family of 5 in the marinade.  Once it has unthawed in the refrigerator - it will be ready to go onto the grill or into the oven!  Main Entree - DONE!
With all the extra lean ground beef, I made up BBQ meatballs that require being frozen before baking anyway, as well as some chili.  Both of these recipes make enough for two meals for my family.  I chose to cook them after all the kids were in bed the other night - and it was fairly quick and easy. 
There is a book out there available that tells you how to do all the cooking ahead in like a two day stint.  It comes complete with grocery list and everything.  I followed this once with the lady I used to work for growing up.  We had a ton of fun doing it and she even had meals to give away to new momma's and daddy's or anyone you just wanted to share with! If you don't have an entire full two days to devote to this, just do it as you find things on sale.  Save money, and cook ahead, it makes for a less stressful day, and LET ME TELL YOU - Im all about that! I hope that some of these tips really help you out!
From one Hungry Momma to another!

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Madras Curry Chicken

 I have always been skeptic when it comes to curry.  Mainly because of a yellow concoction I ate at a missions convention when I was a kid - however; a very dear friend of mine grew up as a Missionary kid in Africa.  They had a guy that was from India who cooked for them that made this delicious curry dish.  She taught me this "by taste" recipe a couple months ago. I have been shy to share it just because - I don't have exact measurements and I want it to turn out for you and for you to love it! I have to  share it though because this is the most comforting dish, it is wonderfully delicious and my 7 year old will eat it with no argument.  It wouldn't be right not to share!
What You Need:
2-3 pounds of chicken
chicken broth
3 large yellow *sweet onions
madras curry seasoning
corn starch
olive oil or butter

 You start this dish with 3 large onions and slice them paper thin.  Caramelize them in butter or some olive oil.  While your onions are working, either boil, or saute your chicken.  I usually do a couple pounds.  If you boil your chicken, reserve some of the broth, however if you saute your chicken, you will need to have some on hand.
Giving your onions the time to caramelize is what takes the longest, it is also what gives this curry part of its amazing flavor.  Be patient! While your waiting, chop as many carrots and potatoes as you want to put in.  (remember I told you this was all to taste).
While doing your chopping, keep your eye on the onions, and stir every now and then.  Once they start turning Carmel in color they are ready.
In a stock pot, combine, your chopped cooked chicken, caramelized onions,  potatoes, carrots, a tiny bit of ketchup (about a teaspoon) and 3 Tablespoons of Madras Curry Powder.  Pour in enough chicken stock to just cover.  After your stew comes to a boil reduce to a simmer.
Start your rice at this point.  I have a small little rice cooker that I absolutely love and would highly recommend that you find one to add to your kitchen tools/appliances.  They are great!

This is the specific curry you are looking for.

Once your veggies cook to tender, you will want to possibly thicken your stew with some cornstarch.  Follow the directions on the side of the cornstarch box dissolving some in a bit of cold water.  Add this to your curry and stir it well.
Once it thickens you are ready to eat.  I enjoy this just over rice.  It is so delicious just the way it is.  However, if you were in Africa, there would be an array of toppings to choose from to add to the top; such as: Peanuts, Cashews, Cilantro, Tomatoes, Pineapple, Hot Peppers, Cucumbers...let your creative genius take over here and just go for it.