Barbecued Meatballs for Football Weekend

I don’t know why I haven’t made these in so long.  Could it be because I don’t eat them?   Why I have deprived hubby of them on Football Weekend is beyond me.  When I make these and he remembers these he may never forgive me.  Maybe Old Timer’s Disease will set in and he will say, “boy these are good, you need to make them more often!” and won’t realize I have made them before….a while before…..a very long while before.   The good thing about these meatballs is that you can make them, freeze them and fix later.   Make a double batch.   You won’t regret it.  

These are a good, easy, saucy, great tailgate, hors d’oeurve type food.   They would also make a good meatball sub or a great meatball slider.   Go for it.  Make them this weekend and enjoy the leftovers…..if there are any!  If you decide to make these and 

Barbecued Meatballs


3 pounds ground beef

1 can (12 ounces) evaporated milk

1 cup oatmeal

1 cup cracker crumbs

2 eggs

1/2 cup chopped onion

1/2 teaspoon garlic powder 

2 teaspoons salt

1/2 teaspoon pepper

2 teaspoons chili powder


2 cups catsup

1 cup brown sugar

1/2 teaspoon liquid smoke or to taste

1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

1/4 cup chopped onion

To make meatballs, combine all ingredients (mixture will be soft) and shape into walnut size balls.  Place meatballs in a single layer on a wax paper-lined cookie sheet(s); freeze until solid.  Store frozen meatballs in freezer bags until ready to cook.  To make sauce, combine all ingredients and stir until sugar is dissolved.  Place frozen meatballs in a 13 x 9 inch baking pan; pour on the sauce.  Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour.  If you make these and bake fresh without freezing, decrease the baking time to approx. 30 minutes, or until the meatballs are cooked through.  This will depend on the size you make them.  Makes about 80 meatballs (unless you decide to go bigger!)


Spaghetti Cooker…

Ok winner…. when are you inviting us all over to serve a HUGE pot of spaghetti???


(sorry if the picture is larger than usual-for some reason it’s not letting me downsize)

# 1 was selected!  Sometimes it pays to be the first to comment and this time it did! selected #1 –

Caro Louise!  Congrats and I will get your All-Clad Multi-Cooker to you!   More recipes, more give-aways coming – I have until December 31, 2014!  And then it’s retirement time!!! So stay tuned.

Spaghetti…..or veggies….or both!

With this…………


you can make your favorite spaghetti…….

or you can steam your favorite veggies……

or you can make both!


This wonderful all-Clad Gourmet 12-Qt. multi-cooker will let you cook a lot of pasta, lift out the basket, drain, and you are ready for your favorite sauce.   

You can steam your favorite veggies in the smaller basket, add to your spaghetti or just add your favorite sauce (some melted butter, garlic, herbs sounds good to me) and enjoy.   

Want it?    Just leave a comment and tell me which team you will be pulling for this weekend. Or if your team isn’t playing (they have the weekend off) just shout which team you are pulling for any other time!   A winner will be selected next Tuesday, September 17th.   Have a great football weekend!

Jalapeno-Lime Slaw

My new best friend…. My new favorite slaw….. sorry honey!  Your slaw is a favorite of the family, and others, but when I made this for the work eats yesterday, it has now become my favorite and has maybe converted a few of them.   

Oh me…. make this….eat it by itself….serve it on a slider whether it is the Slow Cooker Mexican Pulled Pork, or a Smoked Butt, or a Beef Brisket sandwich, or a burger or a hot dog or a panini.  The possibilities are endless!  Just make it and eat it.   Yes, it’s that good. By the way – I also like to add a little cumin in mine – it makes it oh so good – but you decide for yourself whether you do.


Jalapeno-Lime Slaw

2 Tbsp lime zest (zest before juicing)

1 tsp sugar

1/3 cup fresh lime juice

3/4 tsp kosher salt

1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper

3 Tbsp olive oil

1/2 cup thinly sliced red onion (or you can chop if you like smaller bits)

1/2 cup coarsely chopped fresh cilantro 

1 (16-ounce) package cabbage-and carrot coleslaw

4 jalapeno peppers, (de-seed three and chop, and keep seeds in one and chop – this keeps some heat but not too much- if you like more heat, do 2 and 2)

Combine first 5 ingredients in a large bowl, stirring with a whisk.   Gradually add olive oil, stirring constantly with a whisk.   Add onion, cilantro, and coleslaw.   Add Jalapenos and toss well to coat.  Cover and chill at least one hour before serving.  

Mexican Rice

If you haven’t made Pioneer Woman’s Mexican Rice recipe, you should.  It has become a necessary when we have anything Mexican at a family gathering.   And we just had one at work which included this wonderful dish.  The co-workers had never had it.   Now they have and want it again.   It is easy and it is delicious.   Make it and you will find that it will be one you crave over and over.


Mexican Rice


2 Tbsp canola oil

1 large onion, chopped

3 garlic cloves, minced

2 cups long-grain rice

One 10-ounce can Rotel Diced

    Tomatoes and Green Chiles

One 14-.5 ounce can of either

   Whole tomatoes or diced tomatoes  ( I use Fire Roasted Diced Tomatoes – yum!)

1 tsp ground cumin, or more to taste

½ tsp cayenne pepper

1 tsp kosher salt

2 1/2 cups chicken broth

   (I use the fat free)

Chopped fresh cilantro for

    garnish  (optional)


  1.  Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.  Add the onion and garlic and cook for 3 to 4 minutes, stirring constantly.  Reduce the heat to low and add the rice.  Cook over low heat for 3 minutes, stirring constantly so rice doesn’t burn.  Add the Rotel, the whole or diced tomatoes cumin, cayenne, and salt.   Stir to combine and cook for 2 minutes.   Add 2 cups of broth and bring to a boil.  Reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer for 15 more minutes or until the rice is done and liquid is absorbed.  Add more liquid if needed so that the rice isn’t sticky.
  2. Just before serving, sprinkle lots of freshly chopped cilantro over the top. 


Homemade Taco Seasoning….Yum!

I don’t buy those packets of “taco seasoning mix” anymore…not since I found this wonderful mix to prepare and ALWAYS keep in a mason jar in the cabinet!   I ran out this past weekend… I cried…I stomped my feet…..then I came to my senses and made more.   I always keep the ingredients on hand so I can make more.   Follow my example.  Once you make your own, you won’t go back to the other.   Let me warn you, though, it has a kick.  If you want less heat, I suggest you use less cayenne and red pepper flakes.  These are used for heat and flavor so I wouldn’t totally leave them out.  Just use less.  In fact, I usually double the recipe to make sure I have enough for a while.  We like to use it in our ground beef (for hubby) and ground turkey (for me) and then we use it for taco salads, nachos, and other delectable dishes.

Homemade Taco Seasoning

1 Tbsp Chili Powder 

1 tsp. cayenne (more or less for heat)

1 tsp. garlic powder

1 tsp dried minced onion

1 tsp red pepper flakes

1 tsp oregano

2 tsps. paprika

2 Tbsps cumin

1 Tbsp sea salt (kosher works fine)

1 Tbsp ground black pepper 

1 Tbsp onion powder


Pour all of the ingredients in to a bowl and mix.  I like to put mine in a mason jar and put the top on and shake.   Remember that the amounts above are guidelines.  Play with the flavors.  Add more of one seasoning and less of another if you wish.   It’s a great seasoning that you can certainly flavor to your liking. 

Wild Rice Soup

My sister and my family tries to get together as often as possible, but it doesn’t happen often enough as the kiddos and the nieces have a full schedule with their kiddos, jobs, church, etc.  You know, life stuff!  So when we do, it’s usually over Thanksgiving holiday, when the air is crisp, and it’s Alabama-Auburn football.  We usually have a great time, and good football watching food.  One of the menu choices is always a crock pot full of chili, and for those who do not eat meat, a bit pot of this Wild Rice Soup.  I am ready for some soup weather.  And when it cools off a little, this will be one of the first recipes I will make.   It is also a recipe you can make your own, add a little of this, add a little of that.  Change up the seasoning or vegetables a bit, or add a little more.   Make this recipe your own, but whatever you do, give it a try. 



Wild Rice Soup


1 box of Uncle Ben’s White and

    Wild rice mix

3 Tbsp unsalted butter

1 medium onion, chopped

3 carrots, peeled and chopped

½ cup chopped celery

¼ cup chopped green bell pepper

1/2 of an  8-oz pkg mushrooms or use all of the package if you want-I do (any kind you want-regular or protobello)

½ cup all purpose flour

3 cans (14/12 ounce each) chicken broth

1 Tbsp minced fresh chives

1 cup half and half

½ tsp garlic powder (or to taste)

Salt and pepper to taste

 (If you like meat in your soup, add 1 slice ham -1 inch thick, cubed and saute with vegetables)

Cook rice according to package.  Set aside.  Melt butter in a large saucepan.  Add onion, carrots, celery, bell pepper, and mushrooms (and  ham cubes if you are using them).   Saute until vegetables are tender.  Add flour and stir until liquid has evaporated.  Slowly add chicken broth, whisking to blend thoroughly.  Add wild rice and chives.    Slowly add half and half.  Do not allow to boil.  


**The original recipe calls for ½ cup wild rice, rinsed and 2 cups water. Bring rice and water to a boil in a medium saucepan. Boil 45 minutes and set aside.  Then continue with the rest of the instructions.  I have found by using the box of the mixed rice and spices in Uncle Ben’s, it not only speeds up the soup process, but adds a ton of additional flavor to the soup.  Just thought I would share so you could decide which way you want to make yours.

Fish fry extraordinaire!

We had a fish fry for Labor Day!  There was no rest on Labor Day for us……we cooked fish, hush puppies, french fries, and a new concoction…..jalapeno bites.  That’s another story in itself.   We also had chicken fingers for those who don’t eat fish.  Oh, and hubby’s cole slaw.  It’s good.   He makes mine without onions.   I’m special!  And we would be remiss if we left off the ice Cream bar – with all the the toppings.  It was my favorite time, especially since it was hot and this helped to cool us off.

We always have plenty of ketchup to go with the fish and fries, but I make homemade tartar sauce…..none of that jarred stuff for our gang!    Make your won’t go back to the store bought stuff.   I even kicked ours up a notch.  I had one bowl of the regular home made and another bowl I added chopped jalapenos to and boy did it make it good!   

Next time you have some fish, whether fried, grilled, baked, whether it’s shrimp, or whatever, make some homemade tartar sauce.  There’s not turning back.  Kick yours up a notch, too!  It’ll make your skirt fly up!  (or your pants leg flutter)


Homemade Tartar Sauce

1 cup mayonnaise

2 dill pickles (unless they are large, then one)

(I also use dill relish, drained, about 2 Tbsp if that’s what I have or a little more – really its to your taste)

1/4 onion, (or less, to taste) diced small

4 olives (green) chopped (again, to your taste)

Mix all the above, refrigerate, and serve with fish.

(Add one jalapeno, seeded and chopped, or leaved some of the seeds in for more heat to add some more flavor and kit it up to another level – you will be glad you did).


it’s going to take all week to rest up after that day!   Have a good week, everyone!


Roasted Root Vegetables

Look at these……don’t they look tasty?  


I guess you have to like root vegetables, but even if you think you don’t, give them a try.  It just may change your mind!   I love cooking with rosemary, and this recipe uses the herb so beautifully.   


Roasted Root Vegetables (use the below or any combination of them)

1 small rutabega, peeled and diced

1 sweet potato, peeled and diced

1 butternut squash, peeled and diced

1 onion, cut in quarters and separated

salt and pepper, to taste

several sprigs of rosemary, stripped off stems

Olive oil

1.  Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Peel and dice into about the same size cube size all vegetables. (don’t forget that you can add parsnip or turnip roots if you like those).  Place on a rimmed baking sheet.

2.  salt and pepper to taste, drizzle with enough olive oil ( use olive oil for this dish as it adds so much flavor to the vegetables) to moisten the veggies – you don’t want the veggies swimming in oil – just lightly coated for flavor.  Sprinkle rosemary sprigs on veggies.

3.  Mix veggies, salt , pepper, rosemary, olive oil, together until coated.  Roast in oven until veggies are soft, about 30-40 minutes.  (depends on your oven so just watch and check with a fork -should be fork-tender but not mushy.

I like to take left-overs and make a soup – so good! Add a little cream, butter, puree with my emulsion blender, leaving some chunky, shave some parmesan cheese on top,  really good!