Friday, November 2, 2012

Back to the 1950's

You can call me Little Susie Jennie Homemaker. Want to know why? Because I wear pearls in the kitchen. Yes, you read that right. Pearls in the kitchen baby. How awesome am I?

In the above picture I was cutting peppers for our second batch of salsa. I was feeling pretty confident and excited for some more amazing salsa. We even remembered to use gloves for the jalapenos. But alas, being awesome isn't always so easy. I don't want you guys to think I'm perfect all the time so I'm sharing my failures as well as my successes on this blog. See below for an explanation.

Burnt salsa

So sad
We burnt it. Not enough to ruin the whole thing and have to throw it away but enough to make me want to cry. Oh, and enough to make it taste like bland stewed tomatoes. Enough to not want to give it away as gifts. I put it in the fridge for a few days and finally pulled it out on Tuesday to can it and call it "sort of spicy stewed tomatoes". We'll use it in sauces and on pasta, no point in wasting it all. As for the salsa, we MIGHT do another attempt at it this weekend. We'll see.

Enough talk about failure. Let's move right along to some positive kitchen experiences, like meatballs! Growing up my mom always used one meatball recipe. It is to die for and has been passed down from my great great Aunt. I love it. The only problem with it is that it's awfully time consuming. The recipe tells you to fry your meatballs before putting them in the oven with the sauce. Have you ever fried a meatball? It doesn't keep its shape, it falls apart, pieces of onion burn and it makes a mess of the pan. But that's what the recipe says to do so that's what we have always done. Always. Until little miss lazy pants here decided that was enough of that. Thanks to Pinterest, I found a meatball recipe that told me to bake the meatbals. So I did. All I can say is "Why the heck have we been frying them all these years???". They are so much easier to do in the oven. They keep their shape and are easy to clean up. Once they were cooked all the way through, I put them in the pan and used the sauce that we have always used. Easy peasy. Well, as easy peasy as meatballs can be.

Meatballs floating in their heavenly sauce

So so good!
I followed a recipe from South Your Mouth blog for the meatballs and then used my family recipe for the sauce. Here is the link for the meatballs and see recipe below for the sauce.

Aunt Jen's Meatballs
1/4 c. soya sauce
1/4 c. vinegar
1/2 c. ketchup
1/2 c. sugar
1/2 c. coffee (I use water)
Dash of Worcestershire sauce
Add all ingredients to a pot, bring to a boil, stirring frequently. Simmer for one minute. Place meatballs in baking dish and pour sauce over them. Bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 1/2 hour. Serve over rice with a side of veggies.

While the meatballs were cooking, I decided to whip up some muffins using the leftover cranberries from Thanksgiving. I had to make the cranberry sauce and bought extra cranberries just to be on the safe side, but then I was left with a whole extra bag.

They sat in my fridge for a couple weeks and late last week I noticed some were starting to go bad. Since my new goal is to not waste food, I quickly googled some cranberry muffin recipes. I made two different kinds because they both sounded so good. Plus, if we didn't like them, we'd only have a dozen to eat instead of two! I chose Oatmeal Cranberry Muffins and Lemon Cranberry Muffins. The only thing I did differently was not add the slivered almonds to the top of the lemon cranberry muffins, but only because I didn't have any. I think it would be a great addition to them.

They turned out fabulous and are really tasty. We love muffins in this house! An added bonus, is that they freeze so easily and are such a convenient snack.

Lemon Cranberry

Oatmeal Cranberry
 I had extra lemon cranberry batter so I made two of these cute little "cakes". Or you can call them giant muffins, whatever you choose.

It's now time for me to leave the computer and return to the kitchen. To eat this time though, not to cook or bake. Lunch is calling my name!


  1. You're too cute!

    I'm going to have to try out those recipes. Like you, I've always used a family recipe for meatballs and the frying is a huge pain.

  2. Julia Child! You are following a great pearl-wearing-in-the-kitchen footsteps!