Friday, August 27, 2010

Almost Like Thanksgiving

I've had a couple of cravings lately. The saying in my house is, "If Mama has a craving, everyone benefits." Every now and then I would love to have a Whataburger, but I can't get one of those. Trust me, if I could, I would buy one for everyone. One of my hankerings got me thinking, and a blog post was born. Today's topic: meatballs.

One of the easiest things to do is make meatballs. You throw some stuff together with some ground meat and there you go. You can use ground beef, pork, chicken or turkey. You could even mix them. You could use chicken, which can be dry, and add a little ground pork or ground beef. Or not. If you don't make meatballs, find a frozen brand you like. I would prefer you didn't, but that's just me. The recipes today are turkey, but you could change them to anything. These both came out of a recipe magazine that I do not know the name of. They came to me already cut out so I don't have any info. If you know where they came from, I would love to share.

Turkey Meatballs with Cranberry Sauce:

1 lb turkey meatballs, cooked
1/2 cup BBQ sauce
1 can (16 oz.) jellied cranberry sauce
1 tsp soy sauce

Cut cranberry sauce into slices. Place into bottom of crockpot. Add BBQ sauce and soy sauce. Top with meatballs. Cook on low 4-6 hours or high 2-4.

It really is that easy. I don't precook my meatballs. If the crockpot is going to run for 4-6 hours, it can cook those, too. If you want to cook them, place them in a shallow baking dish in a 350 degree oven for about 20-25 minutes. They may not be done all the way, depending on the size of the meatball, but it will finish in the crockpot. You can use any meat for this. I like the turkey, but I have a feeling ground pork, or a mix of both would be good with this. Use your favorite BBQ sauce or make your own. As I write this, I realize that I should post a recipe for the meatballs. I will post a link to this site that is great and free. I have never had a bad recipe from here.

This one we really like when the weather gets cool. It tastes sort of like fall. The turkey with apples and dried fruit just sort of sets the mood. It is good any time of the year, though.

Apple Cheddar Turkey Meatballs

1 1/2 lbs ground turkey
1 egg
1 tsp kosher salt, ground black pepper, and onion powder
1/2 cup shredded sharp cheddar
1/2 cup dried, unsweetened cranberries

Mix ground turkey with all ingredients. Make golf ball size meatballs and drop into crockpot. Cover and cook on high for 4-5 hours, 5-9 hours on low.

I have to admit that I change this one quite a bit. Each time we've had this, I've had to tweak it a little more. The last time was good, though. First of all, use a flavorful apple. If you like a granny smith, that's a great one. I'm not a big fan, but I like them in this. Second, if you can invest in some really good kosher or sea salt, please do. It really makes a difference in taste. And you need more seasoning than that. 1/2 tsp for that much ground turkey leaves you with blandness. I add at least 2 tsp of each. I add 2 finely chopped garlic cloves. You don't have to cut them too fine, just not big hunks. It helps with the flavor. I would suggest the addition of some onion as well. Up the cheese to 3/4 cup if you like. I don't like cranberries, which I discovered when I made this the first time. You could substitute raisins, golden raisins, craisins, anything like that. Golden raisins are yummy. You could use this with the previous recipe.

Please make sure that before you cook either of these that you oil you crockpot. It helps prevent too much stickage. The cranberry and BBQ sauce can get quite messy. Enjoy!

Have a great day.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Ice Skating

This is our youth group. This isn't everyone, but it's quite a few of them. We had a great time. It was cold in there. It felt so good compared to the 105 degree heat index going on outside. We may have to go again just because it was a really good time.
This is hubby with the boy and the baby. Everybody, including me, got on the ice. Of course, I turned around as soon as both feet were on the ice, but I got on. Hubby took off like he was born on the ice and not in the Florida heat. The baby hugged the wall most of the time, but she eventually made it hands free. And the boy skated with one foot pushing like he was riding his scooter, but like the baby, he made it hands free as well.

This is the big girl with two of her friends. They had a blast. The girl in the middle is this side of a professional, but still she hung in there with the big girl. The big girl spent some time on her butt, but so did all of my family. The only reason I didn't was because I took my skates off.
I have blogged about Kyle before. It should not surprise you that he was awesome. He looked like he was born with skates. Yeah, I could have smacked him, too. I am just not athletic like that. Give me some key ingredients and I can make you a meal, but don't ask me to run while I do it.

You should see the bruises, hear the moaning and groaning. You would think we had been to battle and not the local ice rink. We are so going again.

The boy.

The baby. She still doesn't have her front, top two teeth, She looked like she had been playing hockey with some of the kids that were there. Too funny.

Have a great day.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Pea Pickin', The End

Crazy kids. Man, I love them.
Have a great day.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Pea Pickin', The Pics

You don't get a pic of me very often, so there you go.

This is the garden we picked. It isn't very big, but we got a lot from it. And we had a great time.

This is hubby playing around. Guess where the boy gets it from?

This is a nasty mass of ugly bugs. Look closely. They were everywhere and they are yucky. There were wasps, flies, dragon flies, ladybugs, and things I have no clue what they are. No wonder the big girl didn't want to pick.
We didn't realize that the camera was on the wrong setting. The sun was big and bright and HOT. So ready for a little cool front.
Have a great day.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Pea Pickin'

We went pea picking today. It was an impromptu field trip that led to a really cool time. Hubby's friend was getting ready to tear down his conch peas and his black eyed peas, but still had pods on the plants. He wanted to know if hubby wanted to go by and pick them. Hubby called me and a field trip was born. Once we saw the incredible amounts of bugs that the pea plants had attracted, the big girl decided she was not picking. I'll post the bug picture we got and you really won't blame her. She was then in charge of picture taking. I look up after a few minutes of picking and this is what she's taking pictures of-herself. I love her.
This is just one of the many we got. The boy always has to play around. He is pretty cute.

The baby was actually very brave around the bugs. She is scared of dragon flies of all things. I tell her as long as she isn't a mosquito or small fish, she was ok. The dragon flies won't eat her. It doesn't work, but I keep trying. But today she went into the midddle of the garden where all the scary looking bugs are and picked away. Go on with it, baby.
I'll go pick up a ham and some Dr. Pepper to cook it with and throw it into the crockpot with our peas. We had a great time. We've been blueberry picking and now pea picking. If we could only find that money orchard, we'd be set.
Have a great day.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Another Year Begins

Tomorrow is the day. We start school. I am so looking forward to this year. The big girl is really in middle school now, I can't deny it any longer. The baby is a first grader and is excited to use her cool, new math book. The boy is just hoping he doesn't have to take too many spelling tests. And with the beginning of school comes all the rest.

We have our dance schedule. We have been missing it all summer. The big girl and I were going to dance this summer while the other two were in VBS. That didn't happen. Our finances wouldn't allow the summer classes and the kids never made it to VBS. We are three days in town this year. The big girl is taking jazz for a change. The boy has decided he wants to take hip hop. It's nice to have that scheduled, ready to go in the lesson plans.

Co-op will be starting soon as well. We have our schedule through September, so I can mark those in the lesson plan and on the calendar. We may have a couple of newcomers this year. We have a couple of ladies that may join our little group. They are going to observe for the first couple of co-ops, then decide if it's right for them. Co-op is one of the best things that we have ever done. It is yet another resource for education, but more importantly friends. It is a blessing and a relief when I get to be with this special group.

We already have ideas and info on field trips. We are going to a chocolate factory, possible a sky diving school, and a museum in a nearby college town. A friend and I were talking about the mass transit busses that we have and decided that we want to take a field trip on one to a nearby shopping area. It's only a dollar to ride, and I've never been on a bus like that. So if any of my locals wants to go, just give me a holler. It could be an adventure.

I sat down with the kids and let them see the lesson plan and how everything plots out so far. Everybody seems to be happy with their curriculum and their plans. I hope this will be the best year yet.

Have a great day.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Toothless, In Pictures

There she is in all her toothless glory. That's my baby. Isn't she cute? I am so glad those teeth are finally out. So is she.
Have a great day.