Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Introductions and a Recipe...

Just me- posting stuff about me! Showcasing puzzles I've done, artwork I've drawn, plushies I've sewn, stuff I've cooked, books I've read. Stories about me and my family and friends. And probably lots of pictures of strange things I've seen on my outings.

I started a blog a while back for just such a purpose, and it got consumed by my World of Warcraft stories (I play a dwarf hunter). I changed it to be a WoW blog, but always missed having somewhere to post 'just me' stuff. So Puzzles and Things it is!

Now then, onward to last nights dinner! My fiance and I are in the process of moving to a new apartment, so I've been trying to use up stuff in the kitchen when cooking. Less to move, right? Yesterday I'd bought a package of ground beef, intending to make hamburger helper for a few nights. Slowly that idea shifted over meatloaf instead, and then to meat balls... And didn't I have a can of diced tomatoes as well, I thought? Now thoroughly excited to try and make a fresh spaghetti sauce I dashed to the pantry- and stood crestfallen looking at lots of canned goods, but no tomatoes. Drat!

So off I went to IGA, and I picked up a bell pepper too!

Chunky Spaghetti Sauce with Meatballs
Warning! This is by no means a refined recipe! This is a first attempt only! Also, I cook by feel and taste and less by measurement- amounts are not exact in many cases!

  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 bell pepper, chopped
  • 2ish celery stalks, diced
  • 4-5 garlic cloves, diced
  • 1 small can of sliced mushrooms (Next time will use fresh)
  • 1 can petite diced tomatoes
  • 1 and 1/2 small cans of tomato sauce
  • basil, oregano, salt and pepper to taste.
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • Vegetable or Olive oil, enough to coat bottom of large, deep skillet
  • 2.25 pounds ground beef (I like leftover meatballs, so I made a ton :3)
  • 2 eggs
  • About 1/2 small can of tomato sauce
  • Italian bread crumbs (Or crushed saltine crackers)
  • Salt, pepper, oregano, garlic powder
In large skillet, heat cooking oil over medium-high heat. Add onion and garlic and cook until onion starts to get tender. Mind the garlic- It gets bitter if it burns! Add bell pepper and celery and sautee around 5 minutes until it too starts to get tender. Add in the tomatoes and mushrooms, season with oregano, basil, salt and pepper to taste and let it simmer 3-4 minutes. Add in the tomato sauce, sugar and water, give it a good stir, stick a lid on it and let it simmer.

Don't worry too much if it seems very acidic and a little bitter. As it simmers it'll mellow and smooth out as the flavors combine!

Start making the meatballs (My sauce had been simmering for about 20 minutes by now). I'm afraid I'm little help with making meatballs. I don't use exact measurements for anything. I just mix the ingredients in until it feels right! I learned to make meatloaf as well as meatballs from my mum- meatballs are essentially just small, fried meatloafs! So if you've made a meatloaf, you'll be okay. If not, get your meat and seasonings, eggs and sauce mixed together and start adding in the bread crumbs. The consistency should be somewhat sticky and hold together well when you roll them into balls. Roll the meat into small balls (Not too big, or it's a pain to get them to cook through) and set them into a hot skillet. Brown them on all sides (I like mine pretty done) and then set them into the sauce.

By now my sauce had been cooking about an hour and ten minutes- it should be starting to thicken by the time you get the meatballs in. If it's still very watery, let it simmer longer. Add in the meatballs and simmer another ten to thirty minutes while you sort out pasta and bread.

And Voila! Sorry about the poor quality photo- I was more more concerned with eating the spaghetti then it's artistic nature. About 2 to 2 1/2 hours cooking time, but very good. Much different from other spaghetti sauces, and a lot chunkier, but tasty! I think next time I'll add in more sauce and tomatoes in comparison to the amount of other veggies, try and get a more saucy consistency. 

I'll definately be having spaghetti the next few meals too O.o It made a lot!


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