Game Changer: Sunday Sauce

Growing up in an Italian household, a pot of meatballs and sauce simmering on the stovetop was an almost weekly occurrence. Meatballs cooked directly in the tomato sauce are insanely delicious and super tender, but having to babysit and constantly stir the pot for 4 hours can be quite time consuming.

So when I saw this Skinny Taste recipe for meatballs and sauce made in the crockpot, I knew I had to try it. My own version has a few slight modifications to fit our tastes, and I have to say I was pleasantly surprised on how it all turned out. Even my parents loved it and that’s saying a lot! I’ll definitely continue making the old-school stovetop version, but this crockpot one is great for when you just want to “set it and forget it” (with a few quick stirs along the way). Serve over your favorite pasta with a salad and some crusty bread. Enjoy!

Crockpot Sunday Sauce

For the sauce:
2 cans crushed tomatoes

1 tbsp olive oil

2 cloves crushed garlic

1 small onion finely chopped

Crushed red pepper and Italian seasoning to taste

Pinch of sugar (to offset acidity of tomatoes)

For the meatballs:
1.5-2 lbs ground turkey or beef

1/2 cup plain Panko breadcrumbs

1-2 cloves crushed garlic

1 egg

Italian seasoning to taste

Sauté onion and garlic in oil until browned – about 5 minutes

Add onion mixture and tomatoes into pot

Add seasonings and stir well

Mix together meat, breadcrumbs, garlic, egg and seasonings

Form golf ball-sized meatballs and gently place in sauce

Cover and cook on high for one hour
Turn down to low and cook 4-5 hours stirring occasionally

Serve with your favorite pasta
Makes 4-6 servings


Mom’s Chicken and Rice

Well I think I may be getting the hang of this cooking thing after all!  The Husband and I usually try to cook together but if one of us can’t be there, go it on our own.  And last night I made my mom’s chicken and rice recipe – and it came out great!  (If I do say so myself)  😉

She got the recipe from a co-worker about 30 years ago!  When I called her for it, she gave me a lot of “approximate” measurements.  Gotta love those old-school Italians! But I followed it and viola – chicken and rice!  Here’s the “recipe” if you’d like to try it yourself!

1.5 pounds boneless chicken thighs (she uses bone-in thighs and legs but I figured this was a bit simpler)
1 medium onion rough chopped
garlic powder (I like this one )
olive oil
1 cup uncooked rice (recipe to follow)
chicken bullion cubes (or chicken stock)

Pre-heat oven to 400

Season chicken with sprinkling of garlic and paprika on both sides

Place chicken into lightly oiled baking pan and sprinkle with half of the chopped onion and a drizzle of oil to keep moist
Cook on 400 for 30 minutes – turning over after 20 minutes
Lower heat to 350 and cook for another 20 minutes – adding the rest of the onion
While the chicken is cooking, boil the rice with a few bullion cubes in the water or a water/stock mixture (about 2 cups of liquid)

When the rice and chicken are both done, remove chicken from pan and add rice to pan, mixing it with the onions and drippings

Place chicken on top of rice mixture and cook for 10 more minutes

Serve and enjoy!

Five for Friday

Happy Friday!  I didn’t do my Five for Friday last week, so I’m back to it today!  This week I’m looking forward to:

Dinner Tonight
Going out for date night with The Husband.  He likes Mexican food and I don’t particularly care for it, but we found a nice place in town called Vega that has some good choices on the menu – including tableside-prepared guacomole!  Yum!
My gym recently added a Sunday morning class that I really like so I’m going to drag myself out of bed and go again this weekend. It’s really a great way to start the day.

Jr. League Meeting
My local Jr. League is having a coffee for potential members.  I think I’ll go check it out as I’ve been interested in learning about them for some time.
Relaxing Sunday
After the gym, I plan to do some shopping, do some reading and maybe watch a movie. Lazy Sunday!
New Recipe
I think we’re going to try making my mom’s chicken and rice recipe this week.  It’s so flavorful and a perfect dish for a cold night.  Yum again!
Have a great weekend!