Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Parmesan Meatballs

Over the last couple of weeks I have been trying to perfect my meatball recipe.  And I don't mean meatballs with pasta  or sauce involved.  I mean meatballs you eat all by themselves as a meal or an appetizer.

I have fine tuned the recipe and I think they are perfect and my husband totally agrees.  They are tender with tons of flavor and of course rolled in freshly grated Parmesan can't hurt.  Hopefully you will give them a try and let me know what you think.
Here's what you need:

1 Lb. ground beef (I use an 80/20 ratio for the most flavor and moistness)
1 Lb. ground pork
1 large egg
1 Tbs. Italian Seasoning
1/2 tsp. granulated garlic
1/4 tsp. onion powder
2 tsp. Kosher salt
1 tsp. pepper
1/3 cup Italian Seasoned bread crumbs
1/4 cup milk
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, freshly grated (I always use Trader Joe's brand)
1 cup Parmesan cheese, freshly grated, for rolling the cooked meatballs in

Set ground beef and pork out 30 minutes before making meatballs so they can come to room temperature.  It is easier to cook evenly when meat is not ice cold.

Place 1 cup of Parmesan in a bowl and set aside.
In a large bowl place the ground beef and ground pork.  Add all the rest of the ingredients and mix lightly but completely.  I find it easiest to use my clean hands so I can feel how the mixing is going.  Preheat a 12" skillet on med-hi.
Using a metal scoop, form the meatballs and roll in your hands a couple of times to form without over-rolling the meat.  I find it easier to form all the meatballs and set aside before I start cooking.
 
Place about 14 meatballs in the pan at a time making sure to not over-crowd the pan.
Cook a few minutes per side (and meatballs have more than two sides, lol) for a total of 12 - 14 minutes per batch.  

*Note - Not all stoves don't cook the same and the time may need to be adjusted by a few minutes plus or minus.  I use a gas stove so it is very accurate on temperature).
 
When they are done they will be nicely browned on the outside and slightly firm to the touch.  Do not overcook.  Remove from pan and roll in the Parmesan to coat.
 
Serve as an appetizer or as a dinner.
 
AMAZING!

Serves - 32 approximately

Enjoy!
~Hugs~
Michelle

Here's the handy printable - Parmesan Meatballs

Linking up with Fusion Friday at Jennifer Cooks.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Turkey, Avocado, Bacon Sandwich

What's your favorite sandwich to eat?  Mine is a Turkey, Avocado, Bacon sandwich.  I got the idea from Rachael over at All Kinds of Yumm, to post ordinary recipes in case you are having one of those days where you can't think of what to make or even if you don't know how to make some of life's simpler recipes.  So please let me know what your favorite sandwich is.  Enjoy your week!
 Here's what you need:

2 slices honey wheat berry bread (or whatever your favorite is)
2 tsp. mayonnaise
1/2 squirt of mustard
2-3 Tbl. homemade or store bought guacamole or 1/3 of an Avocado sliced
2 slices bacon, crispy cooked and cut in half
2 thick slices oil browned turkey breast from Bel Air (or your favorite turkey)
1 slice Swiss cheese
salt and pepper to taste

Here's how I put this together today.

First I like my sandwiches toasted to give it extra texture, but if you don't like toasted sandwiches by all means skip the toasting.
Next, I spread mayonnaise (only Best Foods) and a half squirt of mustard on one half and my homemade guacamole on the other half.
 
Next is the bacon, then the turkey, then salt and pepper, because you can't have turkey without a little seasoning.
 
Next, place a slice of Swiss cheese on the turkey and close the sandwich.  Slice in half and serve.
 
Nom, nom, nom, nom, nom...............What did you have for lunch today?

Enjoy!

~Hugs~
Michelle

Here's the handy printable - Turkey, Avocado, Bacon Sandwich



Make-up Brush Jar

I found this idea on Pinterest the other day and thought it would be a great gift for my daughter.  I was super fun and easy to make and I only needed three things.

Here's what you need:
1 - jar 3-1/2" x 4-1/4" (I bought this at Michael's)
1- 8 - 12 ounce bag of acrylic discs any color I picked clear because that's what they had
1 - 18 - 20" piece of ribbon (If you use a bigger jar just add a couple of inches to the ribbon)

Wash and dry the jar
 
Pour the discs into the jar filling it 3/4 of the way full.
Tie the ribbon around the jar and either tie it in a knot or a bow and trim the ends.  I chose a knot.
 
Front and back view.
Fill with as many or a few brushes as you like.
  
Here's a few.....................Here's my daughters

This was a super fast and easy gift.  I will be making more of these to give in the future.

Enjoy!
~Hugs~
Michelle

Linking up with Fusion Friday's at Jennifer Cooks


Fleece Tied Blanket

Lately I haven't been posting any crafts because I've been cooking and baking up a storm.  I did actually make some crafts over the holidays and I thought I would show you what I made.  I got the directions for this Fleece Tied Blanket, which is the first one I have ever made, from my friend Teresa after seeing the one she made my cousin.  It was way easier than I thought and I have made a total of 6 since October.  I will be making more of these for Birthday's and Holiday's this year because they are a wonderful gift to receive.  My husband even made one for his brother for his birthday too.

Here's what you need:
For an adult :
2-1/2 yards of two different fabrics (or the same fabric works too)
a pair of REALLY sharp fabric scissors
a large enough space to lay the fabric out flat

For a child under 4 feet tall:
1-1/2 yards of fabric


First lay the fabric out with the pattern sides facing out on both sides (the way the blanket with look after it is tied) If you aren't sure which side is up check the selvage edge for the writing and just make sure you can read it facing you.
Make sure you have no wrinkles in either fabric.  I used my bed to lay this on, but I trusted myself NOT to cut my blanket.  You might want to use the floor or even a large table.  The trick is to NOT have to move the fabric once you start cutting.
Next, cut and trim (through both fabrics at the same time) all four sides so that both pieces of fabric are the same length and width.  
 
Cut a piece of paper in a 4 x 4 inch square and place on the corner of the fabric and trim around it.  This is what gives the blanket the rounded edges once it is tied.
Next start cutting the fringe.  I made my cuts 1" to 1-1/4 inches wide and approximately 3-1/2 inches long.  You will do this for all four sides.
I am showing this side because the yellow was easier to see the cuts.
Once you are done with cutting the whole blanket you can start your tying.  It doesn't matter which side you start with just pick one corner and go around the whole blanket one way.
 
The pattern I use will end the blanket with the opposite color fabric sticking up on the ties.

Take the top fabric and cross over the back piece and pull the top fabric through and up.  Now, to knot it take the bottom fabric and cross over the top and pull it through and up giving it a little tug but not too much as it will continue to rip the fabric where the cuts are made.  You want a firm knot but not really tight where it pulls on the blanket.  This should end with the bottom piece of fabric at the top.  It took me a couple of times to get the hang of doing this.  Practice, practice, practice.
 
Once you get the flow it will go pretty fast.  It usually takes between 1-2 hours from start to finish.
 
Here is the blanket after it was completed.  The second one is the one I gave a friend for her birthday.

I hope you'll give Fleece Tied Blanket making a try it was fun and everyone loves their blankies!

Enjoy!

~Hugs~
Michelle

Linking up with Fusion Friday's at Jennifer Cooks


Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Sugar Cookies

I know I'm a little late with this recipe but I wanted to let you know of a super simple but totally delicious Sugar Cookie recipe.  I have been making this recipe for years and probably got it from my Mom who probably got it from her Mom.  I make these cookies for most of the holidays because all you have to do is change the color of the frosting and sprinkles and you have wonderful holiday cookies.  These are the ones I made for Valentine's Day.
Here's what you need:

3/4 cup margarine
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2-3/4 cup flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  In a medium bowl mix flour, baking powder and salt.  Set aside.
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.

In the bowl of a stand mixer or a large bowl cream margarine and sugar until smooth.
Add eggs and vanilla and mix well.
Add in the flour mixture and mix well.
This dough is very soft.  At this point if you are going to make cut out sugar cookies, use a piece of parchment on the counter.  Use up to 1/4 cup of extra flour to get the dough smooth and not as sticky so you can roll it out into 1/4 inch thickness; it will still be very soft dough.
 
Flour a metal spatula and slide it under the cutouts to lift and place on the parchment lined baking sheet. This takes a few times to get the hang of it.  Don't get discouraged!  They will turn out beautifully.
 
Bake for 8 - 10 minutes.  Cookies will not brown.  Cool on baking sheet for 2 minutes then remove to cooling rack.

If you are not making cutout cookies use a medium cookie scoop or a walnut sized ball of dough and place on baking sheet and bake for 8 - 10 minutes.  Cool on baking sheet 2 minutes then move to cooling rack or paper towels.
 
Frost with this Vanilla Buttercream and use cute sprinkles for added flair!

 
The best (and easiest) Sugar Cookies!  You gotta try this recipe.

Serves - 36 approx.

Enjoy!

~Hugs~
Michelle

Here's the handy printable - Sugar Cookies
Here's the handy printable - Vanilla Buttercream