Sunday, July 2, 2017

Pioneer Meatballs

Well, yesterday was my birthday.  Never mind which one.  I am one of those people who DOES NOT obsess about her birthday. Many years, it's actually snuck up on me.  I'll be going through all my usual shenanigans and then, DOH!, tomorrow is my birthday.  Really? And, of course, as we get to a certain age, the birthday festivities become even less important.  When someone asks me what I want for my birthday, I have no idea.  No well-thought out list.  Just crickets and tumbleweeds.  

But, the two people who know me best hit the nail on the head yesterday.  They presented me with not one, but THREE, Pioneer Woman cookbooks.  

 I can't even remember the last time I bought a cookbook.  This tells you what incredible self-restraint I have achieved!  Consequently, my birthday turned out to be pretty darn awesome.  Neil took Viv to the movies so I went to the nail shop and got my nails done, pedicure and had 2 mimosas while they worked their magic on me.  Then, I returned home and read my new cookbooks all afternoon.  

One thing I love about Ree Drummond is her talent for creating "freezer meals."  This is particularly of interest to me these days because I like to make dishes for my parents that can just be taken out of the freezer and popped in the oven or crockpot, so they don't have to stress about what to have for dinner. I also serve on the "Gracious Goodness" committee (that's really not the right word) at church. We make meals and freeze them to distribute to church members and spouses when someone is hospitalized, just home from the hospital, not able to get out much, etc.  I really love cooking for other people, so this is right up my alley.

ANYWAY...I had 2 1/2 lbs of hamburger sitting my fridge waiting for me to come up with something brilliant to do with it and along came the Pioneer Woman.  I turned it into her "ready to go freezer meatballs."  

I cut her recipe in half because of the amount of meat I had on hand, yet, I ended up with 3 batches of approximately 25 meatballs each.  We used one tonight for dinner and the other 2 are in the freezer. The cookbook gives 3 ideas for preparation of the meatballs. I had all the ingredients for the BBQ recipe on hand, so that's what we had tonight.  

Very simple ingredients: bread crumbs, eggs, salt, pepper, mustard

You go ahead and cook 'em then freeze for later
 Ree's recipe takes store-bought barbeque sauce and jacks it up.  You put it on the stove just to a gentle boil, add some vinegar, brown sugar, Tabasco and Worchestershire.  Add your meatballs back in, cover and simmer on low heat for about 10 minutes and then, it's dinnertime.  

I can't even begin to tell you how insanely easy this was and how fast you can have it on the table. Thank you Pioneer Woman.  I want to come hang out on your ranch sometime.  Whaddya say?

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