Meatballs and a video!

People have been giving me great feedback (suggestions, tips, etc.) on what they’d like to see more of, less of, and how I can improve my photography shots and recipes.  Without an audience, you kind of have nothing, so I much appreciate the notes.  I also consider the blog sort of like a column, something I would read myself; trying to keep it mainstream for people like me, who just like something really good.  The pictures are intended to draw you in, the recipes are supposed to be easy to follow and the #1 goal is to have you try a recipe or hit a spot I recommend!  That’s the ultimate.

My friend got me a tripod this week (ok, last night) and despite the 30 second tutorial and lack of experience (or inch of perfectionism), I did it!  I even figured out how to set it to music.  I will say – it’s way easier to just cook, take a picture and blog about; hard (but still fun), to shoot video, edit, upload and publish!  Check out my YouTube Channel, My Simple Table, featuring Meatloaf Meatballs and let me know what you think!  More to come on these…how to’s, interviews and more!

But back to dinner.  Meatloaf has been staring at me all week in the fridge.  I didn’t really want the ‘loaf this week, so I avoided it daily.  I googled around a little to see what other alternatives there might be to make with this and I just couldn’t get into sweet meatloaf, barbecue meatloaf or even buffalo meatloaf sliders.  So I just figured, let’s do a simple meatball and simmer in some sauce.

INGREDIENTS:

2 carrots (peeled)
2 garlic cloves
1/2 onion
bunch of parsley
3/4 cup bread crumbs
1/4 cup Parmesean Cheese
salt & pepper
1 egg
Meatloaf Mix

Take your carrots, onion, parsley and garlic and toss in a food processor/blender and mix.
Remove and put in a bowl, add breadcrumbs and cheese and mix together.  I like to fold in my ingredients instead of using my hands in general, so typically, I just beat up the egg separately, and then mix that into the chopped veggies and fold into the meatloaf mix.  The less you touch the mix, the better/easier it will be to work with.

Make 1-1.5 inch meatballs and lay into a cast iron (best for browning & baking, collecting cooking greases) and pop in oven at 400 degree’s for about 20-30 minutes; you want them to be browned on the outside but not overcooked, so turn them halfway through.

Sometimes I make Simple Sunday Sauce, and sometimes – like today – I just buy a ready made sauce, add some water and a few things like; olive oil, onion, dried oregano, dried basil, salt & pepper and some red wine and parmesan cheese, just to thicken up the sauce.

When the meatballs are done, just drop them into your sauce and let set for a few hours. Sometimes I drizzle in the grease from the cast iron into the sauce for extra flavor (especially if nobody is looking)

I’m serving this tonight with whole wheat pasta, toasted bread and a caesar salad; my stomach is grumbling as we speak…

ENJOY!

LATKE’S, SLIDERS & SALAD

Sweet Potatoes are…full of antioxidants, which is good for you in general.  A Latke is basically a pancake, typically made with grated potato, flour, egg, garlic & onion and shallow fried.   The blend of the two are a perfect little side to lots of meals, like meatloaf sliders and a simple citrus salad.

INGREDIENTS: (Latke’s)

Streit’s Potato Pancake mix
1 sweet potato (peeled & grated)
1/4 red pepper (chopped)
big slice red onion (minced)
paprika
salt & pepper

I’m a huge fan of Latke’s and you can make these easily by hand, but midweek I take the easy route and go with Streit’s; the box comes with 2 pouches for 2 separate servings. Genius!  Follow directions for the mix and set aside in a bowl.  Take sweet potato – peel – throw in a Cuisinart/blender to shred, then add pepper & onion in a microwaveable dish with some water and cook until soft; add to the latke mix, add in some paprika, salt & pepper and let set for 5 minutes.  Take out a saucepan, drizzle some olive oil, put a dollop of latke mix into the pan and press down with a spatula, or form a little pancake and drop in.  Let brown on both sides and set aside on a paper towel.

INGREDIENTS: (meatloaf sliders)

Meatloaf mix – 1 lb.
dried onion
Worcestershire sauce
salt & pepper
dried thyme

I figured a small slider is a welcome addition every once in a while.  Make small patties, add in some dried onion, Worcestershire sauce, salt/pepper and thyme; thyme is the key ingredient here.  Pan fry (I love a good cast iron), 5-7 minutes per side; melt some cheese over top & add some ketchup for flavor.  I don’t typically serve this with a bun, there’s no need.  But you could heat up some potato rolls and smoosh these in one and it’s always going to be pretty darn good.

INGREDIENTS: (citrus salad)

Romaine lettuce or arugula (depending on who’s eating)
mandarin orange
raspberries
pear balsamic vinegar

I like salad pretty basic; when you add citrus to salad it just gives it more depth and is kind of refreshing, something you can eat last on your plate.  I take a sleeve of romaine and slice up, or a bunch of arugula (the kids don’t love arugula so – options).  Add a handful of oranges and raspberries – drizzle with any flavored balsamic you like.

This took me maybe 20 minutes to make…easy.  ENJOY!