Sunday, December 27, 2009

Two Houses

Well hello there!
Remember me? You may think that I've fallen off the planet, but in reality life just got a little too busy and I had to let something go for a while. So what's been going on? Well, I just finished another observation class where I was teaching 11th and 12th graders at a rural school. That was interesting and demanding. So yeah, I had some lesson plans and papers to write and I managed to keep the 4.0 GPA going after a successful final evaluation. (I realize grade point averages in graduate school are pretty unimportant, but I've never been a good student before and I'm pretty stoked about it.)

Also, I got a part time job at an Ostermann Jeweler's in the mall. It's got your standard baloney that goes along with a part time retail job in the mall, but for the most part I'm really enjoying it. There's some big honking blingy rings that it's fairly interesting to see who will buy them.

SO school and work, that's not too bad right? Well then we moved. This is one of the really cool things about living in a small town. We moved to the other, much nicer side of town and the only thing in our address that changed was the street name! We definitely upgraded too! I've got the library painted a lovely indigo and am still contemplating color choices for the guest room...

Yeah, that's what's been happening here. It's been pretty fun. And when I saw this month's Daring Baker challenge I decided that perhaps I'd give it a shot. After last time's disastrous results, I was curious to see if the new house had a humidity problem...

It didn't. (Sorry about the photos, my camera is in Michigan.)

Here's the fine print:
The December 2009 Daring Bakers’ challenge was brought to you by Anna of Very Small Anna and Y of Lemonpi. They chose to challenge Daring Bakers’ everywhere to bake and assemble a gingerbread house from scratch. They chose recipes from Good Housekeeping and from The Great Scandinavian Baking Book as the challenge recipes.

Except I used my own gingerbread recipe. And my house is not free standing. I am a firm believer in gluing the heck out of the house with royal icing. It is definitely all edible though. Even my naughty dog got a taste of the fence. I used the gingerbread house plans from Bob Villa too. I figure he knows how to build houses.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Potage Veloute aux Champignons

SO, I know I didn't post last week. See, because I don't work during the day at the jewelry store I mostly end up working on Sundays. Although last Sunday I was in Michigan for a wedding reception for a wonderful cousin of mine. No problem you could say, why not cook these Julia Child recipes during the week? Well, I'm still in school. So two days a week I'm observing and sometimes teaching. This week, I'll be subbing for two and a half days. And really, if I just make the soup on Sunday night, if I were to make the next recipe on Monday I'd have multitudes of leftovers. Oh who am I kidding. I made the french onion soup on Monday. see? I did it anyway.

In the spirit of being in school, let me give you the cliff notes version of me making the soup.

Me: So what's the next recipe?
Super G: I've been eyeing the cream of mushroom soup for a long time so I pick that one.
Me: Hmmm. okay. That sounds good.

Me: Crap. My course advisor wants to come observe me teach again. Okay, let's do it next Tuesday.

Naughty Obnoxious Boy! You are getting a detention!

Secretary #1: So you know, Naughty Obnoxious Boy came in to speak to the principal about how you pick on him.

Me: (poof brain exploded!)

observe observe observe

Sell big piece of jewelry. Sell another big piece of jewelry. Yay!

Think maybe I should get started on this soup.

Bake cake for teacher I'm observing. Think about getting that soup started. Finish the french onion soup leftovers. yum!

Stomach flu and dizziness hits. Whhhheee.

Still recovering from the Friday fun. Sleep most of the day. No desire for cooking.

Yay! feel human again! Work a full day selling a little bit of jewelry. Race through Meijer on the way home and pick up some mushrooms and heavy cream. Throw some tequila marinated pork kabobs on the grill. Eat dinner with the Brain. Chop mushrooms and get the Cream of Mushroom soup started. CRAP!!!! I'm out of eggs (and to be discovered later, cash). Race through WalMart. Grab eggs. Count out a ridiculous amount of change and make mental note to stop at the bank tomorrow. Get back home just as the 20 minutes of simmering is done. Finish the soup.

And yes. There are two kinds of cream of mushroom soup. There's the kind you make tuna noodle casserole out of. And there's this kind. Silky, decadent, delicious. If only I didn't have a mountain of dishes to do before I get to go to bed....
And I welcome any tips on getting soup made lade at night to photograph well!
Check out how Tracy and Super G did!

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Soupe á l’Oeuf, Provençale

So I picked this weeks Mastering the Art of French Cooking recipe, Soupe á l’Oeuf, Provençale or Garlic Soup with Poached Eggs. I guess I felt the potato leek soup was a little too easy in a book I have always pictured in my mind as tres difficile (very difficult). So yesterday, I strapped on my pearls and my very girliest of aprons and tackled this recipe.

Really it is two recipes in the same challenge. In order to complete the Garlic Soup with Poached Eggs, I figured I probably needed to learn how to poach some eggs first. Well really simultaneously as I was making the garlic soup/ broth and making these oh so delicious apple cardamom cupcakes with the carmel frosting.

The cupcakes turned out delicious.

The eggs that I simply poached in water following the directions on page 116 were the best poached eggs I've ever had. Really. I've been a lifelong, hard-core dieter, and I can tell you poached eggs tend to be fairly watery and gross. These poached eggs were different though. They were downright decadent.

As for the soup, it's made from garlic, water, and your standard pantry herbs, thyme sage, bay leaf, etc. In the introduction, Julia says, " Enjoying your first bowl of garlic soup, you might never suspect what it is made of. Because the garlic is boiled, its after-effects are at a minimum, and its flavor becomes exquisite, aromatic, and almost undefinable." She is 100% spot on. I don't know how to describe the flavor of this soup. It's delicious. It's savory.

Trying to describe what it tastes like though is like trying to describe the color orange. Maybe Tracy or Super G will have a better description.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Potage Parmentier

So like many many people I saw the movie Julie and Julia. And I liked it. And I was happily surprised (although it wasn't really a big surprise) to see a girl I went to elementary school with was in several scenes with Meryl Streep.

I also have a long standing love affair with the idea of Julia Child. She was a bigger and not terribly dainty woman (like me). She smoked (like I used to). She was madly in love with her husband (like I am). She was close, as an adult, with her sister (as I am with mine). Who happened to be taller than her (I'm the only family member nowhere close to 6 foot tall). And when asked by her husband what it is that she really like to do, she responded "eat" (ok the parallel here is obvious).

And she had such joy in her life. I want that.

So, when my much taller sister Super G, approached me and asked me if I would cook my way through Mastering the Art of French Cooking (volume 1 although I have both), the first thing I said was "not in one year." She explained that she had heard that this was how good cooks got to be great was cooking their way through Julia's cookbook. I think it sounds like fun so I hopped aboard.

This week Super G picked the very first recipe in the book: Potage Parmentier or Potato Leek Soup. It was delicious! Boiling it for 50 minutes seemed like an eternity, but I was stunned that potatoes, leeks, water, salt and some butter could taste so absolutely delicious! I'm not going to be posting the recipes because we're going to cook all of them and it wouldn't be right. But Super G, her friend Tracy, and I are going to rotate picking a recipe every week and blogging about our results on Sundays.

If this first recipe was an indicator, this will be a very fun and delicious experience.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Daring Bakers' Dobos Torte!

The August 2009 Daring Bakers' challenge was hosted by Angela of A Spoonfulof Sugar and Lorraine of Not Quite Nigella. They chose the spectacular DobosTorte based on a recipe from Rick Rodgers' cookbook Kaffeehaus: ExquisiteDesserts from the Classic Caffés of Vienna, Budapest, and Prague.

This torte turned out to be pretty tasty. As usual, I cannot be trusted with an entire chocolate cake in the fridge, so I took some to the Brain's office, took some into the jewelry store (did I mention I got a job? I work in a jewelry store! I like it.) and I have a chunk to give to my friend A if she ever gets back from vacation! The general consensus however, is that the caramel layer is too lemony. The ladies at the jewelry store think that a salted caramel would have been much tastier. They really liked the chocolate buttercream though.

There are thousands of Dobos Tortes floating around the internet today. Go check out the rest of the Daring Bakers! Also take a peek at the Daring Store!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Beef Tamales!

So look at me! Two posts in one week! Wheeeeeee! And to top it off these were dinner tonight. Wow am I on top of it!

Let me start at the beginning. I love tamales. I mean I LOVE tamales. I had my first tamale in 1993 when I was flunking out of the University of Michigan and fairly lost as to who I wanted to be. My very good friend and I decided to take a massive road trip from Ann Arbor to Texas. One of our mothers told us we had to pick a direction we were going and the other told us we had to narrow it down to a state. So four days later, when after a beautiful trip down the Natchez Trace Parkway, my friend L and I were sitting down having lunch in San Antonio. I had my first tamale and I. was. hooked.

From then on, if I could find a tamale on the menu I was likely to order it. My aunt mentioned at one point that she got together with her husband's family every year at Christmas to make tamales. We had a lovely swap for several years where I would trade her an enormous box of Christmas cookies for a homemade tamale lunch.

Then I moved to Kansas. Besides having a hard time adjusting from the big city life of Chicago (where I finally got my degree at Loyola and would have stayed if I could have found a job), I suddenly found myself tamale-less. Yikes! While I consoled myself with a far more than healthy dosing of barbecue, occasionally I would find myself wishing I could find a tamale.

Courtney, over at Coco Cooks, had an event last March called the Tamale Open and I seriously thought about entering, but I was chicken. Tamales seemed to go together like magic and I am really no good at magic. So don't ask me why last month, when I was wandering around Detroit's Mexican Village with my family, listening to my sister M explain how the I-75 improvements were being built (she works for M-Dot) I decided I would bite the bullet and make my own tamales. Call me inspired by the delicious food, but I was determined to do it. I even picked up some masa harina.

I learned a whole bunch of things too. First- there is a reason that tamales are made to celebrate All Saints Day (Nov. 1) or Christmas Eve. My cozy little house is now a toasty 700 degrees inside from running the oven for an hour and a half and then steaming for an hour. Second- tamales are traditionally made with groups of women. I imagine they end up doing this assembly line style because I only made these with my good friend Two Buck Chuck and I ended up with dough and filling all over the place. Third- It is a good idea to read the entire recipe before starting. Dinner at 9:30pm is running a little late for me. And I don't think I would have made them the hottest week of the year so far if I had read about the cooking times. and Finally- It is important to check and make sure you have all the ingredients you need. I simply assumed we had another packet of beef stew meat in the freezer of meat. But we've been working hard to empty it (the fair is next week) and I had to substitute round steak.

So with all this learning. I was seriously doubting my wisdom in making these tamales. I even felt that it would be a good idea for me to taste one when they were done before calling the Brain and either offering to bring him some or order him a pizza. I was sure of failure. But hey these were pretty good! So good I'm not sure there's any point in sticking the leftovers in the freezer.

Beef Tamales
adapted from Cooking Light

Cooking spray
1 1/2 cups chopped onion
2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1 pound round steak cut into 2 inch pieces
1 cup water
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons cayenne pepper
14 large dried corn husks
3 cups masa harina
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon butter, melted
2 teaspoons canola oil
1 cup fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
1 cup water

Remaining ingredients:
aluminum foil
Preheat oven to 350°.

To prepare filling, heat a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add onion and garlic to pan; sauté 4 minutes or until onion is tender. Add beef; sauté 5 minutes, turning to brown on all sides. Stir in 1 cup water and 1/2 teaspoon salt; bring mixture to a boil. Cover and bake 1 1/2 hours or until beef is tender.

Transfer beef to a bowl with a slotted spoon. Pour drippings into a glass measure. Add enough water to drippings to equal 1 cup. Shred beef into bite-sized pieces. Heat pan over medium-high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Return beef to pan; sprinkle with flour. Cook 1 minute, stirring constantly. Stir in cayenne pepper; stir in drippings mixture. Reduce heat, and cook 7 minutes or until liquid almost evaporates, stirring often. Remove from heat; cool to room temperature.

Place whole corn husks in a large bowl; cover with water. Weight husks down with a can; soak 30 minutes. Drain husks.

To prepare dough, combine masa and 1 teaspoon salt in a large bowl. Add butter and oil; stir well. Add broth and 1 cup water; stir until a soft dough forms.

Working with one husk at a time, place about 1/4 cup masa dough in the center of the husk; press dough into a 4 x 3-inch rectangle. Spoon about 2 tablespoons beef mixture down one side of the dough. Using the corn husk as your guide, roll tamale up, jelly-roll style; fold bottom ends of the husk under. Wrap each tamale tightly with foil to hold closed; stand upright in a vegetable steamer. Repeat procedure with the remaining whole corn husks, masa dough, beef mixture, and corn husk strips. Steam tamales, covered, 50 minutes, or until the dough is firm, checking water level periodically. Remove tamales from steamer; let stand 5 minutes. Serve with salsa.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Deep Dark Chocolate Sorbet

Hello. So much for frequent blogging.

I have finally returned from our annual "Family Vacation" with my husband's family. We left the unusually nice and cool summer up here in rural Ohio and headed for Hilton Head Island. There was a lot of golf, swimming in the ocean and the pool, happy kids running around, some wine, and general family enjoyment. Other than a minor jelly fish sting on my foot, and leaving my purse in a dive restaurant in West Virginia it was a really pleasant week. (The foot was just fine by the next day and we recovered the purse about 3 hours later after driving through West Virginia again to get it. Nothing was stolen and my credit cards were untouched. Whew!)

But now that we're back home, we've made the unhappy discovery that the lovely cool summer we were enjoying blossomed into a sweltering hot one. This is not fun. There's no ocean in rural Ohio. And we don't have a pool. I could drink wine, but that would be counterproductive. It's so hot that I've been cooking without turning on the heat in the house. Yeah for the grill! But before I get to any of those recipes (and really the camera needs new batteries so who knows how long that will take me!) let's enjoy a scoop of this rich, chocolaty sorbet. It's easy, delicious, and totally refreshing.

Deep Dark Chocolate Sorbet

2 cups water
1 cup sugar
1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

Combine the water and sugar in a heavy saucepan and place over medium heat. Stir until the sugar dissolves. Whisk in the cocoa and bring the mixture to a simmer. Simmer for 3 minutes, stirring constantly.

Remove from the heat and chill in the refrigerator for 2 hours. Stir the cool mixture and then freeze in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer's instructions.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Daring Bakers' Mallows and Milanos

The July Daring Bakers' challenge was hosted by Nicole at Sweet Tooth. She chose Chocolate Covered Marshmallow Cookies and Milan Cookies from pastry chef Gale Gand of the Food Network.

I did the challenge with my sister. And I'm glad I did. The Milan cookies were really easy to make and the batter went together in a snap. But apparently, I'm super bad at sticking them together with chocolate. I personally prefer the smaller and crunchier cookies, but I ate the bigger chewier cookies too because they were also delicious.
Then we did the Mallows. The recipe said 10 minutes of prep time, 5 minutes of inactive prep time, and 10 minutes baking time yields 2 dozen. I think that's wrong. We spent the entire day making these cookies. Trying to roll the cookies out was like trying to roll out chocolate chip cookie dough. We solved the problem by splitting the dough in thirds and continuously rotating pieces we weren't using into the freezer. And I think you can see we got a LOT more than 2 dozen. We got 2 gross. Super G and I are math geeks and when we finally counted the cookies we had 200 and we had been sampling cookies all day. So we figured 244 was probably not a bad estimate. I think if the base cookie had been tastier these would have been excellent cookies. But to me, the base cookie just tasted like pie crust. blech.
Photos curtesy of Super G. I forgot my camera.
You can find the recipes here and check out the rest of the Daring Bakers and see what they did!

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Cheap Pork and Pea Pods

Um, okay, so if you haven't noticed, we're in a recession. The unemployment in my county just dropped down to 15.0% from a high of 18.3%. I think we can come to one or two conclusions here. 1) the economy is getting a teensy bit better and/or 2) recessions are not good in rural areas that depend on the automotive industry. Either way, it pays to be cheap.

I'm very very blessed that my garden is flourishing and that we have a chunk of pig and lamb to eat up before the county fair next month where we will most likely be buying a new pig and lamb to eat. We also have what seems like 30 pounds of green beans in the fridge. Anyone know something good to do with green beans?

Last month, while hunting for a job (which I've pretty much been doing all summer), I just happened to be wandering through the Borders ( fyi- you need to apply to them online) and found this book Eat Cheap but Eat Well by Charles Mattocks. Charles Mattocks is apparently "TV's The Poor Chef" but I'm sorry to say I've never heard of him. Anyhow, I've made a couple recipes from the book and they are tasty! He has a recipe for Stuffed Pepper Jack Peppers that's worth the cost of the book, but we ate those so fast I didn't have time to take a photo.

On the next page is a recipe for Beef with Pea Pods. Now, we do have a bunch of beef in the freezer also, but we don't buy a cow at the fair. And remember that chunk of pork? Well that's what I used instead. I believe it was a fresh ham steak package. The peas in my garden had become home to a family of rabbits by this point so I bought the peas. I have to tell you that this was delicious, cheap, and really fast to make. And I really like Mr. Mattocks' idea that just because you are eating cheap, it doesn't mean you have to eat crap (like a certain TV "chef" who decorates her kitchen to match her "tablescape" and uses prepackaged processed garbage instead of just chopping a vegetable).

Cheap Pork and Pea Pods
as adapted from Eat Cheap but Eat Well

1 pound pork (I used a fresh ham steak, but I think any cut would work)
2 tsp cornstarch
1 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
2 Tbsp soy sauce
3 Tbsp canola oil
1 clove of garlic, minced
1 tsp grated fresh ginger
2 pounds fresh snow peas, stemmed
1 8-ounce can sliced water chestnuts, drained
2 cups hot cooked white rice

Cut the pork into bite size slices about 1/4 inch thick. Set aside

In a small bowl, mix together the cornstarch, sugar, salt, and pepper. Blend in the soy sauce and 1/4 cup water. Mix well with a wire whisk to remove any lumps.

Heat 2 Tbsp of the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat until a sprinkle of water causes it to "pop". Add the garlic and ginger and stir-fry until they begin to release fragrance, about 30 seconds. Add the snow peas and water chestnuts and cook, stirring until the pea pods are crisp tender. 1 to 2 minutes. Pour the mixture into a bowl and set aside.

Add another 1 or 2 Tbsp of oil to the skillet and then add the pork. Cook, stirring, until the pork is done, about 3 minutes. Pour the soy sauce mixture into the pan, stir with a whisk, and then add the cooked vegetables. Cook, stirring, until the sauce thickens slightly, about 1 minute.

Serve with the rice.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Faux Creamsicles

I'm at a baseball game today, but if you don't live in the Northeast, and you are living somewhere where the temperature might actually be scorching, try a popsicle. These tasty and delicious popsicles are way more healthy than those delicious orange and ice cream popsicles. The recipe is super easy, super delicious, super cheap, and pretty much made from stuff I had on hand. If you don't have popsicle molds, you could try just freezing the popsicles in dixie cups for about an hour or two and then sticking a popsicle stick in until it freezes solid.

yum yum yum!

Vanilla-Orange Freezer Pops

1 1/2 cups orange juice
1 1/2 cups nonfat vanilla yogurt
2 Tbsp sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Mix the ingredients together in a bowl. Pour among 6 popsicle molds and freeze until solid.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Steamed Clams and Tomatoes with Angel Hair Pasta

So, I've had a couple exciting days since I posted last. I had another interview for a teaching position teaching 7th and 8th grades (which I would LOVE to teach), but I didn't get it. Sigh. I found out that I passed my Praxis II PLT (which was a really hard and huge test). Yay! I got to spend some time with my baby sister. My mom made me an awesome sundress for the annual Family Vacation with the in-laws. The Brain and I spent a day boating and I almost went overboard (don't worry, I'm fine) and then at a baseball game. I also purchased some fun stuff this week that hopefully I'll be blogging about fairly soon. Hooray for summer!

Today was no less exciting. Today I got to meet Lisa.

You know. THE Lisa. Co-creator of the Daring Bakers. The extraordinary talent behind La Mia Cucina. Yeah. HER. Wow. And you know what? She's awesome! After a moment of fear that I was going to miss my exit and end up in Pennsylvania, I arrived way over on the other side of Cleveland and met Lisa, her terrific husband, and 6 of her good friends for breakfast. We then spent the day shopping at the West Side Market and Trader Joes and we ate lunch at this neat little Polish restaurant.

I took advantage of being around Lisa and picked her brain pretty thoroughly on how to steam clams. See, if I am going to buy seafood, I want good seafood. And pretty much, I don't think I'm going to find good seafood in rural North Central Ohio. (If you know of a place, please fill me in!) So I decided to take the West Side Market and meeting Lisa opportunity to be daring and make clams. I should also interject that I don't think I've ever had a clam before. I mean, I've had clam chowder and those battered fried ones that taste like rubber bands. But I've never actually had a steamed clam before. So I was a teensy bit nervous. Okay, nervous isn't the right word. Scared would be a better word. Teensy probably isn't right either.

But after much reassurance from Lisa, helpful hints from her husband, constant ice, and a friendly fishmonger, I'm happy to report that these were not hard at all. Yay! The fishmonger gave me some pretty clean clams. Lisa let me know that I should scrub the clams before cooking them. Her husband reminded me that if a clam is open before cooking it (and doesn't shut after tapping it) that I should throw it out, and if it is closed after cooking to also throw it out. And then I sort of followed the Cooking Light recipe that I had. They were not hard at all and super delicious! Yay!
Steamed Clams and Tomatoes with Angel Hair Pasta
inspired by Cooking Light

8 oz. uncooked angel hair pasta
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 cup chopped tomatoes
3 cloves of garlic thinly sliced
1/4 tsp crushed red pepper
1/3 cup dry white wine
1 cup water
2 dozen littleneck clams, scrubbed
1 Tbsp butter

Cook pasta according to package directions, omitting salt and fat. Drain and keep warm.

Heat oil in large nonstick pot over medium high heat. Add tomato, garlic, and pepper to pan; saute for 1 minute. Add wine and water and bring to a boil. Add the clams and cover. Cook for 7 minutes or until shells open. Remove the clams from the pot with a slotted spoon. Add the butter to the cooking liquid and stir until it melts.

Combine the cooking liquid, pasta and clams and serve.
Oh and I also have FINALLY managed to mail out those prizes that I owed people. I am so sorry it took me so long.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Baked Shrimp with Tomatoes and Feta

Let me let you in on a little secret. I generally don't like seafood. I realize this makes me an odd duck, so to speak, but really if seafood is on the menu I'll usually only eat enough to be polite. The Brain loves when we go to a wedding or a benefit or some function like that and a surf and turf platter is served. He somehow always ends up with extra surf. Crab legs, lobster, blecch. Sometimes I will actually enjoy a bi-valve. I do find mussels fairly delicious.

Because I am a nice and loving wife though, I will occasionally make shrimp. I can stomach shrimp. I don't need to worry about overeating it at least. And it falls massively in the Acts of Love category (from this fairly silly book). And I can see the nutritional benefits of shrimp. It's very low in calories and fat and yet it's super high in protein, selenium, and zinc.

So imagine my surprise (and the Brain's) when I ate the leftovers for lunch the next day! This Baked Shrimp with Tomatoes and Feta is really good! It's the yummy dinner I made before making the Daring Bakers' Bakewell Tart. The recipe comes from a magazine I found while waiting in line at Walmart called EatSmart with Ellie Krieger. (I'm starting to really like her and her book just got added to my Amazon wish list!) The tomatoes, feta and parsley give make it warm and comforting and yet somehow fresh tasting at the same time. It's the kind of meal that I could imagine eating on some Mediterranean island maybe.

Baked Shrimp with Tomatoes and Feta
From EatSmart with Ellie Krieger

1 Tbsp olive oil
1 medium onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
Two 14.5 ounce cans no salt added diced tomatoes, with their juices
1/4 cup finely minced fresh flat leaf parsley
1 Tbsp finely minced fresh dill
1 1/4 pounds peeled deveined medium shrimp
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp fresh ground black pepper
2/3 cup crumbled reduced fat feta

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.

Heat the oil in an ovenproof skillet over medium high heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring, until softened, about 3 minutes, then add the garlic and cook for 1 minute. Add the tomatoes and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low and let simmer for about 5 minutes.

Remove from the heat. Stir in the parsley, dill, and shrimp and season with salt and pepper. Sprinkle the feta over the top. Bake until the shrimp are cooked through and the cheese melts, about 12 minutes.
Serve over rice or orzo.

On a side note, I'm sorry I've been sporadic to say the least in my blogging. Downright negligent really. I was going through a bit of a dark moment. But I've realized that I miss blogging. I miss being involved with the food blogging community. So I plan on doing a bit more blogging in the future. Thank you for continuing to read.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Daring Bakers Blackwell Tart

So, yes, it's posting day for the Daring Bakers and after I spent the whole day with the Brain and made a super yummy dinner which I'll be posting on later, I decided I better get to it and make the Blackwell Tart. The hesitation comes in because the base of the tart is pie crust. They can make it sound all fancy and call it a shortcrust pastry and put egg yolks and sugar in it, but it's still a pie crust. And frankly, pie crust makes me nervous. So does the price of almond meal. But I really don't have a good excuse for missing the challenge and I already had some of this yummy plum-ginger jam in the pantry, so I rolled up my sleeves (or really changed into a tank top- turning on the oven in the summer turns our cozy little house into a sauna) and got down to it.

This was not a difficult challenge. I did have to grind up some almonds, but that wasn't as bad as I thought it would be. I have been reminded of how yummy my jam is. I also made an emergency substitution of vanilla extract for almond extract. The almond extract seems to be on vacation from my pantry. Grating frozen butter into a flour mixture in a really warm kitchen was a bit trying. Unfortunately, I blindly followed the instructions for the baking portion. The recipe says to pop it in the oven for 30 minutes and to add 5 minutes if you ground your own nuts. So that's what I did. And as you can see, my tart is a little teeny bit on the well done side of life.
So what's the verdict? This tart is delicious! And I'm totally going to make it again!

Here's the fine print! The June Daring Bakers' challenge was hosted by Jasmine of Confessions of a Cardamom Addict and Annemarie of Ambrosia and Nectar. They chose a Traditional (UK) Bakewell Tart.. er.. pudding that was inspired by a rich baking history dating back to the 1800's in England. Make sure you check out the rest of the Daring Bakers. If you haven't already.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Bacon Waffles

Sometimes I can be not so bright. Yes, I managed to pull off all A's for the whole year in school despite my busy schedule. But that's books. When it comes to life I can be a complete moron. Sorry, I'm not going to go into the details on my silly little blog that I would be surprised if anyone still reads.

One fairly stupid thing I managed to do recently was place a whole stick of butter in the butter dish. This would not be stupid in and of itself, but see, I've been dealing with some personal problems by cleaning. And so I was soft-scrubbing the counters and rearranging everything and I moved the butter dish to the opposite counter. Still not stupid per se. But then I agreed to work the rummage sale at church(so much fun!) and decided to make these pork chops. Which wouldn't have been stupid if I hadn't put the crock pot right in front of the butter dish. D'Oh!

Three days later I noticed that my nice stick of butter had turned into a melty ball of nonuseableness. I don't think that's a word, but you get my drift.

Now because I've been kind of blue lately and dealing with some not so nice people, the first thing I thought to do with my melted stick of butter was to turn it into some comfort food. And comfort food it was. I pulled out my little waffle maker, thawed some slices of bacon, tweaked a recipe from the Joy of Cooking and did my best Paula Deen impression. The furry sous chef was hopping up and down waiting for the drippy edges that I would throw at her. And there are now 6 waffles in the freezer waiting for another day that I might need them.

Bacon Waffles
adapted from the Joy of Cooking

1 3/4 cups all purpose-flour
1 Tbsp baking powder
1 Tbsp sugar
1/2 tsp salt
3 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled
1 Tbsp melted bacon fat
3 eggs
1/3 cup melted butter
1 1/2 cups milk

Preheat waffle iron. Mix together the flour, baking powder, sugar and salt in a large bowl. In a small bowl combine bacon fat, eggs, butter, and milk. Pour wet ingredients into dry ingredients and stir to combine. Stir in crumbled bacon and cook waffles according to your waffle irons specifications. Serve warm with maple syrup.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Daring Bakers do Strudel!

I gotta tell you I loved this month's challenge. Surprising as that might be for a person who doesn't like fruit or pie. And the whole time I was making it I imagined various grandmothers and great grandmothers in my family making it exactly the same way. But let's get the fine print out of the way...

The May Daring Bakers’ challenge was hosted by Linda of make life sweeter! and Courtney of Coco Cooks. They chose Apple Strudel from the recipe book Kaffeehaus: Exquisite Desserts from the Classic Cafés of Vienna, Budapest and Prague by Rick Rodgers.

This strudel was really not hard to make. I cut the recipe in half and it went together as easily as some people throw together a pie. And I have to tell you. The walnuts make the apple filling just that much better. I think they were my favorite part! Although I think the pastry was lovely and flaky and I really enjoyed the Cinnamon and sugar and rum traditional apple raisin filling too!

Thanks Courtney and Linda for such a fun challenge!
Please check out the rest of the Daring Bakers.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Spicy Honey-Brushed Chicken Thighs

Sometimes things work out beautifully. Take for example this quick, easy and supremely delicious recipe for chicken thighs. Beautiful. Spicy. Quick. Perfect.

Sometimes things do not work out perfectly. Like, say sitting behind a woman at the opera who's hair was eerily reminiscent of the Weight Watcher muppet for Hungry.
(image curtesy of
Things didn't work out so well for Carmen and Don Jose either.

Or say, that I just got clearance to work out because the whole Wilma situation was a year old last month. That worked out beautifully. That I then managed to break my fibular sesamoid bone in my foot is not so beautiful. And it's a nice hearty break. Hello crutches. We'll be spending a lot of time together for the next 3 weeks. grrrr.

Spicy Honey-Brushed Chicken Thighs

2 teaspoons garlic powder
2 teaspoons chili powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon ground red pepper
8 skinless, boneless chicken thighs
Cooking spray
6 tablespoons honey
2 teaspoons cider vinegar

Preheat broiler.

Combine first 6 ingredients in a large bowl. Add chicken to bowl; toss to coat. Place chicken on a broiler pan coated with cooking spray. Broil chicken 5 minutes on each side.
Combine honey and vinegar in a small bowl, stirring well. Remove chicken from oven; brush 1/4 cup honey mixture on chicken. Broil 1 minute. Remove chicken from oven and turn over. Brush chicken with remaining honey mixture. Broil 1 additional minute or until chicken is done.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Flattened Chicken Breasts with Piquant Basil Sauce

Oh my. Yet again I have disappeared from the bloggosphere. But I can for sure say that I am now back for good. How can I say this? Well, my semester ended and I earned another 4.0 GPA. And I no longer have to stress about last minute deadlines and PowerPoint presentations and reading philosophies. I actually even cooked tonight. And I'm not talking spaghetti. But I'll get to that in a minute.

First, let me point you in the direction of the lovely Susan over at Not Quite June Cleaver. I won her April Spring giveaway and she sent me the cutest apron ever!! My wonderful friend A is modeling it for me because unfortunately my physique trends more towards Julia Child's than Giada De Laurentis. But it's a beautiful apron and my friend A loves it tremendously and I have a wee bit of apron envy. I also received a neat vintage pie tin, a recipe booklet, and some very cool heirloom seeds. Thanks Susan!
The other neat thing Susan did was to post this delicious pie recipe. See the Brain's friend Mac just opened a pizza joint and bakery called The Pie Factory (which if you're ever in Sandusky you should check out because it's seriously delicious and won second place in the Sandusky Pizza Bake Off!) Anywho, Mac has a delicious raspberry cream pie. And I keep wanting to go buy it, even though I don't like pie typically. So I was telling Susan about it and she gave out a recipe that's similar. The crust on Mac's pie is a shortbread crust, but I like Susan's too. Her recipe is here.
Ok, so today has been all about 7th grade. Remember 7th grade? Awkward. Uncomfortable. Hormones running amok. Still a kid, but not really. Well, today one of the 7th graders I taught took his rifle (hunting is very big here and all the kids seem to have rifles) and stole the neighbor's truck and last it was on the news he's driven to Kentucky. This kid is a good kid. He had a little trouble focusing in class, but the other kids seemed to like him and he seemed to enjoy them too. Unfortunately they searched his locker and found his diary and there are 31 students and faculty that he "threatened" in this diary. Now the media is calling this a "hit list". I challenge you to look at any 13 year old kid's diary and not find scribbles about how they don't like people. I'm fairly certain that my entire diary in 7th grade was filled with ramblings about how much I loved Chris S. and Brian B. and multiple pages on how John M. was a big fat jerk. And Mrs. Juntenan was a horrible teacher. (I lost touch with Brian, Chris and John by 9th grade and I'll still tell you that Mrs. Juntenan was the very worst teacher I've ever had.) And besides the boy asked a family member to watch after his pet turtle. He's not the twitchy could-be-killer the media is making him out to be. So I'm worried about the kid and I'm starting to get annoyed at stupid hillbilly people making ignorant comments on the local newspaper website.

Then, my best friend T. is going through a divorce. Her hopefully soon to be ex husband is a real jerk and she's having a hard time. So by the time I got off the phone with her and had heard about the 7th grade boy, I needed to pound something. I chose chicken breasts. I was spending some serious time searching through my plethora of cookbooks and I wasn't finding anything good until I remembered this recipe my friend Scott made for me when we both worked at Victoria's Secret in Chicago. We had both picked up Celebrating the Midwestern Table by Abby Mandel on clearance at Borders and he invited me to his apartment for dinner. It was common back then for him and I to invite each other over for dinner. It was always good company and good food, and the best cheap wine we could afford. We were poor college kids after all.

So flattening these chicken breasts had dual purpose. I got my worry and frustration out and it took me back to the happy days of college in Chicago. And the chicken was exactly as good as I remembered it. Tomorrow will be a better day, it has to be, I still have one breast left over for lunch!

Flattened Chicken Breasts with Piquant Basil Sauce

4 boneless skinless chicken breast halves
2 tsp honey
2 Tbsp Dijon mustard
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
6 Tbsp chicken broth
cooking spray
salt and pepper to taste
2 Tbsp julienned basil leaves

One at a time, place a chicken breast half between two pieces of plastic wrap and pound it to about 1/8 inch thinness. Repeat with the remaining breasts. Place on a plate and set aside.

Combine the honey, mustard, vinegar, and chicken broth in a small dish and set aside.

Spray a large nonstick skillet with cooking spray and sprinkle the chicken breasts with salt and pepper. Place the breasts seasoned side down in the hot skillet two at a time. Cook for 2 1/2 minutes. Sprinkle salt and pepper on the top (uncooked) side and gently flip over. Cook for 2 1/2 more minutes until done. Transfer the cooked breasts to a platter and tent with foil. Repeat with the remaining two breasts.

Once all the breasts are cooked and on the platter, add the honey mixture to the hot skillet. Cook for about 20 seconds until slightly thickened. Return the breasts to the skillet, spooning the sauce over them. As soon as they are warmed through, transfer them to a warm serving platter and garnish with the julienned basil. Serve hot.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Sorry, no cheesecake.

Well, yet again I have become overwhelmed and did not participate in the Daring Bakers challenge. The cheesecakes that are springing up all over the net are lovely, but there won't be one here. Go check out all those people who did participate.

The good news is that this is my last week of classes for grad school. I am doing another full-time substitute teaching gig, but I'm pretty sure after this week my schedule will lighten up considerably!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Spicy Meatloaf

Two years ago today, on a cold and snowy afternoon, I married the love of my life. Yes, the Brain and I have been married two years ago today. To celebrate we're having lunch because tonight I have to give a presentation on alternate methods of finding trigonometric identities using the unit circle and the Brain has a golf outing. I think he gets to have more fun. So, as I run off to lunch, I leave you with this delicious and comforting meatloaf that is good for your body and super comforting. I even romanticized the photo... (meatloaf isn't the most photogenic.)

Spicy Meatloaf
adapted from the Weight Watchers New Complete Cookbook

2 tsp olive oil
8 oz. package of baby portabella mushrooms finely chopped
1 onion finely chopped
1 carrot finely chopped
1 celery stalk finely chopped
1 pound lean ground beef
1/2 cup quick cooking oats
1 large egg
2 Tbsp tomato paste
1 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
5 garlic cloves
1/2 tsp dried rosemary
1/2 tsp dried thyme
pinch dried sage
1/2 tsp sirracha sauce
1/4 cup tomato sauce

Preheat the oven to 350°F; spray a 9-inch square baking dish with cooking spray. In a large nonstick skillet, heat the oil and saute the vegetables for 5 minutes or until softened.

In a large bowl, combine the sauteed vegetables, beef, oats, egg, tomato paste, Worcestershire, garlic, rosemary, sage, thyme, and sirracha sauce. Place in the pan and shape into a loaf about 7x5x2 inches. Bake 30 minutes. Top with the tomato sauce and bake another 30 to 45 minutes. Cut into 8 slices and serve.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Cheerio Bars

Pretty much my standard breakfast is cereal and milk. For a little bit in college I went with Apple Jacks. And for about a year I became a fan of Kix. And I've toyed with Post Raisin Bran (for the fiber). But for the most part, I am a Cheerios girl. I'm not even talking about all those fancy Cheerioses that are out on the market now. I'm talking about good old fashioned regular cheerios. And no, I don't put fruit or sugar on my cereal. I don't mix anything in. I pretty consistently just eat my regular cheerios with some skim milk and call it breakfast and I'm perfectly happy. (I do sometimes shout CHEEERRIIIOOOOOOOOEEEOOOOOOSSSS! but that only happens when I'm alone and it freaks out the furry sous chef.)

This information about me loving Cheerios becomes important to know because my grandmother recently passed down her cookbook of clippings and little handwritten recipes to me. She's 91 and lives in a retirement community and doesn't really cook that much anymore. In the middle of the binder, was a love note from my grandpa which was short and very sweet. There also was a handwritten recipe with no title. This recipe contained Cheerios, marshmallows, and peanut butter. I think that may be considered the trifecta of yummy.

I'm always looking for a reasonably healthy snack that will keep me filled up as I run around rural Ohio keeping my life together. These most definitely fit the bill. Yes, there are marshmallows and butter in them so they cannot be considered "health food". But really, Cheerios are good for you. People feed them to babies so they can't be horrible. The Brain said he didn't care either way about them, but then chipped away at the pan and ate almost half of them in the first night. I think he likes them too.

I'm also submitting this to Laura over at The Spiced Life. She's having a blog event about recipes handed down from our grandmothers.
Cheerio Bars
from Grandma Shazamer

3 Tbsp butter
1 1/2 cups creamy peanut butter (I used Jiff)
one 10.5 ounce bag of mini marshmallows
6 cups Cheerios

Melt the butter and peanut butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Stir in the marshmallows until everything is a gooey and consistent mass. Remove from heat. Stir in the Cheerios and make sure the peanut butter marshmallow mass evenly coats the cereal. Press into a greased 13"x9" pan. Chill to set.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Rhubarb Ginger Muffins

I've been asked a couple times last week about what foods mean springtime to me. I drew a blank. And then after thinking about it while driving back and forth to school, I came up with the short list of asparagus and fiddleheads. So really it's only a list of one. Because honestly, I have no idea where I could get fiddleheads out here in downtown Nowhere, Ohio. And then, on Wednesday, I was up in the next county running errands and had to run into Meijers to pick up a few groceries. That's when I saw them. Ruby red stalks of rhubarb. Rhubarb is so definitely spring that I forget about it at other times of the year. Or, it's definitely not a plant you can find while firmly in the icy grip of winter.Elated, I grabbed a couple stalks.

Then I got home and wondered what the hell I was going to make with them (which apparently happens every time I buy rhubarb.) I should have checked my blog because apparently I had blogged about rhubarb muffins before. Instead I looked through a pile of cookbooks and finally dragged out the massive Mary Margaret McBride Encyclopedia of Cooking. There's a basic muffin recipe in there. There's also a variation on the basic recipe that tells how to make them with buttermilk (and I have buttermilk to use up!) And I figured I have some crystallized ginger I could throw in there too. Really it was an experiment.

A darn tasty and quick experiment that I found perfectly satisfying as an after-school or before school or late-night-whew-I'm-home snack.

Oh and if you love aprons, like me, you should check out Not Quite June Cleaver. She has a really fun blog and has monthly apron giveaways. This month's apron is all about spring.

Rhubarb Ginger Muffins
an original Shazamer recipe with help from Mary Margaret McBride

2 cups flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
3 Tbsp sugar
1 egg, well beaten
1 cup buttermilk
3 Tbsp melted butter
1 stalk rhubarb, minced
1/4 cup minced crystallized ginger

Whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and sugar. Combine the buttermilk, melted butter, and egg in a separate bowl and then add to the dry ingredients stirring just until combined. Fold in the rhubarb and ginger.
Line a muffin tin with papers and spray briefly with cooking spray. Divide the dough between 12 muffin cups. Bake in a hot oven at 425 degrees F. for 20 minutes, or until golden brown.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Daring Bakers Bake Lasagna?

The March 2009 challenge is hosted by Mary of Beans and Caviar, Melinda of Melbourne Larder and Enza of Io Da Grande. They have chosen Lasagne of Emilia-Romagna from The Splendid Table by Lynne Rossetto Kasper as the challenge.

This was a difficult assignment for me. Partly because I had to add an egg and some extra water to make a coherant pasta dough. Partly because I have really very little time. A lot because I just don't like a bechamel sauce and we have a lactose intollerance problem. (Yes, I probably could have figured out how to make a bechamel with soy milk, except there's an even bigger soy intollerance problem). And I let more curse words fly in the hand rolling of the dough than I have all year. At one point I was ready to give up and quit the Daring Bakers. But then I decided that the purpose of the Daring Bakers was to stretch myself and that I was being a sissy for lack of a better word.

I also think the person who wrote the recipe didn't have this hungry little helper watching her every move. Otherwise the suggestion of draping the rolled out pasta over the back of chairs would have never been encouraged. I skipped that step. That's why there was some for me and the Brain to eat.

And I didn't use the three meat Country Ragu recipe either. I used this. The busy woman's fairly good pasta sauce.

I had such a rough time making the lasagna that I cooked it and left it on the counter to cool and drove through the Taco Bell drive through for dinner. (To be fair, I was on my way to school.) When I got home the Brain had had a hefty portion. And I decided to have a nibble.

Oh it's good. Really good. I'm not sure if I'll make it again because lasagna is a very rare treat in our house.

Go check out the rest of the Daring Bakers. And make sure you check out the new Daring Kitchen website!

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Broccoli Pie

Last weekend I had a couple of my girl friends over for a candle party/ Sunday brunch. Mostly it was an excuse to hang out with my lady friends with no husbands or kids allowed. As a single woman I was pretty familiar with how to throw a dinner party. Or a cocktail party. I could gather people together in the evening and I knew what to make. I gotta admit though. The idea of Sunday brunch intimidated the crap out of me. All I could think of was Ina Garten saying that the first time she entertained she made omelets and it turned out horribly because omelets are hard to keep warm and serve everyone at the same time.

Oh the anxiety.

So I called my mom. Zucchini pie is always good she said. I called my sister Super G and asked her what to make. Zucchini Pie, she responded. I'd only barely even heard of Zucchini Pie. So Super G talked me through the ingredient list as I wandered through Meier. First major trauma came in the produce department. The zucchini were small and shriveled and far from fresh and tasty looking. Super G suggested broccoli. But she said if I went with broccoli I needed to change the cheese to cheddar too. Oh boy. So the next major trauma happened when I realized I'd never actually bought crescent rolls before. I had no idea what they looked like or where to find them. I'm a freak. I know this. Super G talked me off that cliff and then I went home and discovered another trauma. I didn't have the recipe for Zucchini Pie. Crap.

Remember I mentioned how my mom had given us all cookbooks she had written out good recipes in? Well the Brain has a problem with lactose and although it was in everyone else's cookbook, Mom figured something laden with cheese was probably not something I'd be making and she left it out of my cookbook. Fortunately, I called Mom and she quick emailed it to me. Whew. I then took a long nap.

Sunday came around and I have to say, Zucchini Pie, er Broccoli Pie is one easy and delicious recipe to make. It's not horrible bad for you, but it's apparently no fail and it's really very delicious. And now if I invite people over for brunch I know of at least one thing I can make and have it all go smoothly!
Broccoli Pie
an adaptation of a family recipe

1 8oz package of Crescent Rolls (use the Pillsbury type)
4 cups chopped broccoli
1 cup diced onion
2 Tbsp butter
2 eggs well beaten
8oz package shredded cheddar cheese
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1/4 tsp basil
1/4 tsp oregano
1/4 tsp garlic powder
2 tsp Dijon mustard

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

Over medium-high heat saute vegetables and onion in butter until tender, approximately 8 minutes. Add spices except mustard and stir well. In a large bowl combine eggs and cheese. Add vegetables to cheese mixture and combine thoroughly. Separate crescents into triangles. Smoosh dough into bottom and up sides of ungreased 10 inch pie pan. Press seams to seal completely. Spread mustard on bottom of crust. Fold in vegetables and cheese mixture. Cook for 18-20 minutes or until knife inserted in center comes out clean.

Note: cover edge of crust with tin foil strips the last 5 minutes of baking if crust becomes too brown.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Grape Jelly Meatballs

Well, I'm going to try this again. I really am going to put more of an effort into staying up and current on the blog. I've at least started taking photos of what I've actually cooked. If, say, I've actually cooked. So yes, more of an effort coming your way.

So how was your week? My week was interesting. And it flew by. Last weekend I was up in Michigan doing a four mile race walk with my mom. I came in third in my age group and she came in fourth in hers. Mom and I have done a couple of these type of races. I'm not supposed to run and Mom hates to exercise. It was a beautiful sunny day and we were going along pretty good until about 20 yards from the finish when a 90 year old man started to pick up speed and gain on us. I put in a final burst of speed and Mom wanted the guy to feel good about himself. I crossed the line seconds before him and then waited for Mom to cross seconds later.

The race drama was then followed by a nasty bought of bubonic plague, or the cold that just won't die. Fevers were abounding in the Shazam household. But I'm tired of being sick so I didn't call the doctor. Instead I substitute taught some very dull English classes and attended my university classes at night. I make a really bad English teacher. I just don't know how to make a class interesting when the lesson plan is read pages 160-176. hmmmm.

I also discovered that I'm turning into a fast food junkie. I have a funny feeling that maybe stopping at Taco Bell twice in one week might be contributing to not feeling so well (but those silly beef meximelts are so yummy.) Just a thought. I've decided Wendy's needs a rest because they keep screwing up my order. Who eats a baked potato with nothing at all on it? I did. After I asked the girl to make sure there was a fork in the bag and she didn't check to see if there was any butter or sour cream or anything in there too.

The Brain had a poker night since the last time I blogged. Centuries ago. And poker night always means fun food. This time I sent him over with a crock pot full of Grape Jelly Meatballs. They sound weird, I know. But really they are super delicious. The recipe is from a cookbook my mom gave me for Christmas several years back that she had hand written some of her good old recipes. She has written this recipe comes from Cooking Light, but I really really doubt it. And it's not on their website. She's been making these meatballs forever and they're a family favorite. They're now a poker night favorite too!

Grape Jelly Meatballs
from my mom ala "Cooking Light"

2 pounds ground beef
1 cup breadcrumbs
2/3 cup skim milk
1/2 cup minced fresh onion
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
2 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/8 tsp pepper
1 large egg, lightly beaten
cooking spray
1 cup ketchup
1 cup grape jelly

Preheat oven to 350°F.

Combine first 9 ingredients in a bowl; shape mixture into 54 (1-inch) meatballs. Place half of the meatballs on a broiler pan coated with cooking spray. Bake for 20 minutes or until done. Set aside. Repeat procedure with remaining meatballs.

Combine ketchup and jelly in a large nonstick skillet. Bring to a boil over medium heat, cook until well blended- stirring frequently. Once sauce is smooth pour the sauce into a crock pot. Add the meatballs and keep warm in the slow cooker.

My mom uses her fondue pot to keep the meatballs warm.