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Monday, October 29, 2012

Mawmaw's Meatballs

My husband's grandma can cook! She's the stereotypical Southern woman: gets her hair done every Thursday, goes to church every Sunday, spoils her grandkids (and their kids too), and has the accent to boot! My own grandmas passed away a long time ago and I tend to think of her as my third grandma. Everyone who knows her calls her Mawmaw. In fact, I was told to call her that the first time I met her. She's been "Mawmaw" to me for 9 years now.
Back to the fact she can cook--and I mean cook! There's a difference in the South: you can cook. Or, you can cook! The difference is one means you have the ability--you can follow a recipe, your food tastes decent, and people ask you to bring "something" to a potluck. If you can cook! you know recipes by heart, people go back for seconds and thirds, and people ask you to bring a certain dish (for my mom it's her banana pudding, for my aunt it's her potato salad) to the potluck.

These are Mawmaw's meatballs:

You'll need:
1/2lb ground beef
1 onion, diced
1tsp diced garlic
1/2 sleeve of saltines
1/2 jar chili sauce
1/2 jar grape jelly
2Tbsp butter
1 egg yolk
3Tbsp oil

Brown the onion and garlic in the butter until nice and brown. Meanwhile, put the saltines in a food processor until they're just crumbs. Put the beef, onions, garlic, and egg yolk in the food processor. Pulse until all mixed together. Form the meat into balls and place in a pan with oil.

Cook the meatballs on each side until brown, but not done. Pour in the chili sauce & jelly.

Cover and cook on med-low for 20 mins, stirring occasionally to make sure the jelly breaks up.

We serve it over rice with the sauce poured over it.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Lemon "Brownies"

Do you know how hard it is to find corn-free foods? Trust me, it's hard. The first time we went grocery shopping after our "discovery" we were there for 3 hours! Obscene. Finding snacks I can eat is even harder. Desserts? Fugitaboutit.

All of that being said, I have a serious love affair with brownies. I could eat them all day, ya know, if they didn't have all that corn syrup in them. I did find a recipe though that caught my attention at Becky Charms. Worth a shot.

You'll need:
3/4c AP flour
3/4c granulated sugar
1/4tsp salt
1/2c softened butter (preferably unsalted, but I didn't have it on hand & they were still delicious)
2 eggs
6Tbsp lemon juice, divided-2 for the brownies & 4 for the glaze
1c powdered sugar (powdered sugar can contain cornstarch if you're not careful)
10tsp lemon zest, divided-2 for the brownies & 8 for the glaze

Preheat oven to 350 and grease an 8x8 pan.
Beat the flour, granulated sugar, salt, and butter until combined. (A paddle attachment works better, but I don't have one.)
In a separate bowl, whisk the eggs with 2Tbsp lemon juice & 2tsp lemon zest.
Pour the flour mixture in with the eggs and beat for about 2 minutes until smooth.

Pour into pan and bake 20-25 minutes, or until the edges turn golden and a toothpick comes clean. Take care not to overcook or they will be dry. Allow to cool completely.
Whisk the remaining powdered sugar, juice, and zest. Once brownies have cooled pour half of the glaze and let set before spreading remaining glaze.
I took a bite :)

Monday, October 15, 2012

DIY Carpet Shake

I have this neurotic need to make sure my apartment smells clean. I'm sure it stems from some traumatic experience as a child that I subconsciously block from recalling, but the fact remains that I have a need to make sure my place doesn't stink. Also, I hate smelling food that I cooked 2 days before. Gross.

In the spirit of over-sharing, I go through carpet shake like crazy! I recently found out that most of the contents of a regular can of that stuff is basically baking soda. So I'm paying for something I already have in my house just to put it on the floor? Yeah, didn't make sense to me either.

You'll need:
2c baking soda
20-ish drops of essential oil

Mix it. Seriously, that's it. You do want to make sure that it's thoroughly mixed so you don't have clumps & the oil is evenly dispersed. Put it in a shaker or some other container you can use to sprinkle it about.
This is what was left after 1 application to my
carpet. You'll have much more than this.

Put it on your carpet & let sit for 15 minutes then vacuum up. You can vary the smell by changing the oil. I use peppermint for 2 reasons: 1) it helps get rid of food smells easier and 2) ants & spiders & a myriad of other insects hate peppermint. I intend to make my home bug-free.

Happy shaking!

Monday, October 8, 2012

Product Test: Resolve Easy Clean

Before we moved from our old apartment, we had to do a deep cleaning. You know, we needed to get our deposit back! There were a few spots on the carpet that were really kind of gross. After 2 years of snow and rain being tracked in, it's really no surprise. I decided to try out the Resolve Easy Clean carpet cleaning system:
Courtesy: Resolve website
This is what our carpet looked like before:

And this is what it looked like after:

I thought it was worth it! I know it's hard to tell in photos, but there really was a HUGE difference! Your can just refill it with Resolve High Traffic cleaner so you don't have to buy the whole system every time. It saved me from having to get on my hands and knees too, which was an added bonus for someone with bad knees.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Forgotten Chicken

I think by now you guys understand the love I have for my slow cooker. I've made this dish many, many times, but I tweaked it to accommodate my new allergy. I call it "Forgotten Chicken" for 2 reasons: 1) I can cook this when I forgot to take something out the night before to thaw for dinner and 2) it cooks unattended for a long time, like all day, so you can forget about it until it's time to eat.

2 boneless, skinless frozen chicken breasts
1 can Rotel
1 can diced tomatoes
1 can black beans, drained & rinsed
1/4c taco seasoning
(I used to also add a can of white corn, drained)

Add everything to the slow cooker & stir to mix as well as you can. Set cooker to low for 8 hours.

Once you're back home from a long day at work, grab a couple of forks & shred the chicken. Stir again and eat. We used to serve it over tortilla chips. Now we eat it on flour tortillas with a little sour cream.

Now watch reruns of How I Met Your Mother on Netflix.