Monday, August 8, 2016

Pioneer Woman Spaghetti and Meatballs

This is the best spaghetti and meatballs recipe I have ever tried so it totally makes sense that it came from Pioneer Woman. I swear, her recipes are just so great! This recipe actually came from the back of one of her "Charlie" children's books, but I also think it's on her website. The meatballs are moist and flavorful and the sauce it super yummy. We have spaghetti all the time - which is why I have so many spaghetti recipes on my blog - and I think this spaghetti will go in to our regular rotation. I served it with Caesar salad and garlic bread and it was a fabulous dinner.

Pioneer Woman Spaghetti & Meatballs

Meatball Ingredients:
1 1/2 lbs ground beef
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup bread crumbs (about 2 pieces of thick bread processed in a food processor)
1/2 cup grated Parmesan
2 eggs
1/4 teaspoon salt
pepper, to taste
1/4 cup chopped Italian parsley
splash milk

Sauce Ingredients:
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1, 28 oz can whole tomatoes
1, 28 oz can crushed tomatoes
1/4 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
pepper, to taste
1 tablespoon sugar
1/4 cup chopped Italian parsley
8 whole basil leaves, chopped finely

To make meatballs combine meat, garlic, bread crumbs, Parmesan, eggs, salt, pepper, parsley, and a splash of milk. Mix together well. Roll into 1 1/2 inch balls and place on a foil-lined, non-stick sprayed cookie sheet. Bake at 350 for 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a heavy pot. Add onion and cook for a few minutes or until translucent. Add garlic and cook another minute. Pour in whole tomatoes and crushed tomatoes. Add salt, Italian seasoning, pepper, sugar, and parsley. Stir to combine and cook over medium heat for 20 minutes. At this point I used an immersion blender to blend up some of the bigger chunks of tomatoes. Add meatballs and stir gently. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook for 30 minutes, stirring gently a few times during the simmer. Just before serving, stir in finely chopped basil. Serve over cooked spaghetti with grated Parmesan on individual servings.

Monday, August 1, 2016

Chicken Salad for a Crowd

I recently helped out with the food at my good friend's daughter's wedding. They had this chicken salad on croissants and I made two big batches of it. It was so yummy! It's a very simple chicken salad, but that's what makes it so good. You could add in some halved grapes or Craisins for a little sweetness, but just like this it is delicious. Thanks Kimberly for a great recipe!!

Chicken Salad for a Crowd

5 lbs chicken breasts, cooked* and chopped
4 cups diced celery
2 cups chopped green onions
1 cup slivered almonds
2 cups mayonnaise (or more)
salt & pepper, to taste

Combine chopped chicken with celery, green onions, and almonds. Add enough mayonnaise to moistened but not make too mushy. Season with salt and pepper to taste (I used probably 1/2 - 3/4 teaspoon of salt). Serve in croissants or prepared puff pastries.

*To Cook Chicken Breasts:
Place chicken breasts in a 5 quart crockpot and add about 1 cup chicken broth. Cover and cook on high for 4 hours. Remove chicken, cool, and then chop/dice the chicken.