Sunday, March 8, 2009

Meatballs, veggies and my first chocolate cake!


1 pkg of prepared meatball or make your own!

  • Ground beef
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tbsp worcester sauce
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp onion salt
  • bread crumbs (start with 1/2 a cup)
  • Salt and pepper

Preheat the oven to 350 F. Crack your egg and beat it. Add the rest of the ingredients and mix it together. I prefer to use my hands. Start with 1/2 a cup of breadcrumbs and add more until you get the right consistency to make the meatballs stick together. Roll up your meatballs (I like them pretty small, around a walnut) and put them on a greased baking sheet. Pop them in the over for a few minutes, just to brown them, otherwise they can crumble in the crockpot. I made enough meatballs to fill the crock. I made up about 3lbs worth of beef into balls. We had 10 adults and 2 babies, a few people had seconds and there were still some leftovers.

Sweet and Sour Sauce:

  • 1 can cranberry sauce
  • 2 jars chili sauce
  • 1/4 c. brown sugar
  • 1/3 c. ketchup
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • salt and pepper

Mix the sauce up and pour over the meatballs in the crockpot. Stir it up so the meatballs are coated. Cook on low for 4-6 hrs, stirring every couple of hours. Serve over egg noodles.

COMMENTS: These were delicious! I know the ingredients sound a bit strange, but the cranberry sauce gives the chili sauce the perfect sweet taste without actually tasting like cranberries. Everyone loved these, even the little ones. I would definitely make these again, 2 thumbs up, 5 stars!


  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 4 stalks of celery, chopped
  • 1 lb of mushrooms, quartered
  • 3 cups chopped carrots
  • 1 large head or two small heads of broccoli, cut into bit size pieces
  • 1/2 c. chicken broth
  • Shredded cheddar cheese (the recipe called from 1 1/2 cups I think, but I just covered it in cheese... after all, you can never really have too much cheese!)
  • butter
  • spices (garlic, onion salt, parsley, Mrs. Dash, veggie spice salt, pepper or whatever seasoning or combination of seasoning you like!)

Preheat the oven to 350 F. Melt some butter in a large skillet. Add whatever seasoning you like. I used garlic salt, onion salt and parsley. Soften onion, celery, carrots and mushrooms. Remember, you are going to bake this concoction later, so the veggies should still be a bit firm (unless you like veggiemush, of course!) Once the veggies have reached their desired consistency, put them in a greased casserole dish. I used a rectangular lasagna-type pan. Cover with shredded cheddar. Now, soften the broccoli. Put broccoli on top of cheese. Pour chicken broth over. Bake for 25 mins, remove and sprinkle with more cheddar and a little parm. Bake 5 more minutes, or until cheese melts.

COMMENTS: This was OK. It wasn't like an out of the park homerun hit, but it is a good way to use up some veggies on hand and sneak a serving of vegetables into the fussy. I mean, cheese makes everything better! I will probably make this again when I am lacking a veggie side. I think I would add more seasoning to spice it up a bit.

Source: Better Homes and Gardens New Baking Book

This was my first ever homemade, not from a box chocolate cake. I was afraid. Afraid the box cake would be better than my homemade cake and I would feel like a huge failure. While I did make a cake from scratch, I cheaped out and used icing from a container. Baby steps, right?

  • 2/3 c. butter
  • 1 3/4 c. sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 3 oz unsweetened chocolate
  • 2 1/4 c. flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 3/4 tsp. baking soda
  • a pinch of salt
  • 1 1/4 c. water

-Preheat oven to 350 F. Grease one large cake pan or two small layer cake pans.
-Mix flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
-Beat butter for 30 seconds, until softened.
-Add sugar and beat until mixed in.
-Add eggs one at a time and mix in before adding the other.
-Melt chocolate squares in the micro. Heat for about a minute, then stir every 20 seconds until smooth. Probably will take around a minute and a half, maybe more.
-Add vanilla and melted chocolate. Mix.
-Add the flour mixture and water in quarters, fully mixing each time, before adding more flour and/or water.
-Pour into cake pans and bake. The recipe said 30-35 mins, mine took more like 45 mins for a wooden toothpick to come out clean. I just kept checking them every 5 mins or so.
-Cool for 10-15 minutes before taking out of the pan to cool on wire wrack.
-Frost and enjoy!

COMMENTS: Thankfully, the cake did not disappoint. It was great! I frosted it with creamy chocolate icing. It was fluffy, light and had a nice chocolate taste, not too sweet. I will be making this recipe again and again. Definitely a classic.

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