Tag Archive: chicken

Chicken Parmesan Meat Balls

One of the joys of Facebook is seeing great recipes that you are never quite sure will work.

This weekend I made a new dish from a recipe I saw on Facebook called Chicken Parmesan Meatballs. It was a cool video that showed a pair of hands dumping in ingredients and mixing it all together before cooking it all.

chicken-meatballs-ingredientsI can’t say that the video gave exact measurements but the ingredient list was easy to follow. And let’s be honest, those of us who cook a lot can make meatballs from scratch without a measuring cup.

So first I had to make the ground chicken. That took two and 1/3 lbs. of skinless, boneless chicken breast which I put through my food processor. After that I mixed in in mozzarella cheese, Parmesan cheese, panko, and two eggs. You can put in spices such as garlic or Italian seasoning.  I added some garlic but I could have done more. I wish I had but at least I did not over salt it. I hate overly salted food.
After rolling up the meatballs I put them in a 13×9 baking pan chicken-meatballs-before-bakingthat had been sprayed with Pam. I actually had to use a 8×8 for some extra meatballs. Those went into a 350 degree oven for about 20 minutes to cook. I know that most people like to fry their meatballs but I don’t. I prefer to bake them and that is what I did.

During this time I simmered tomato sauce starter (that my husband made with his bounteous tomato harvest) and a small can of tomato paste, adding small basil leaves from our herb pots. Because I did not grab enough of the starter from our freezer, I added a jar of marinara. This is when I also got the water for the pasta going.

chicken-meatballs-coveredOnce the chicken meatballs were done in the oven, I transferred them to a different 13×9 pan, squishing in all 39 meatballs. I covered the meat balls with sauce, covered that with mozzarella cheese and put back in the oven until the cheese was fully melted.

Now during this time I forced asked my daughter to set the table. I put the small green beans in the microwave, put the pasta in the water, and waited for it all to finish. During the waiting I chopped some parsley in case anyone wanted to sprinkle it over their meal. Yep, just me and the husband did that.

Now, you eagle eyed readers might note that I used an organic paste that is supposed to be better for you. I did have to cook it a little longer than the package said and I prefer a slightly softer pasta anyway.

chicken-meatballs-platedIt looked pretty on the plate and tasted good too. In fact, the left overs were gone by the following lunch time. You might be wondering why there is so little pasta on the plate. As some of you know I have been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. Smaller pasta portions keep my body happy.

Yep, this is a recipe I will probably make again. I hope no one asks for exact amounts on the ingredients.

What are you making for supper?




The Smells of Life

Picture by Click

It was a wintry afternoon and I was walking the dog. There was snow on the ground, no breeze, just the right amount of light when I smelled it.

A sweet fresh clean smell. Not too flowery, not too perfume-y but welcoming. I felt as if I was being wrapped in something wonderful.

 Then it hit me – dryer sheets. Someone was running their dryer and the exhaust was sweetening the air outside. If you are not a fan of perfumes or have allergies to various scents, I can see how the scent might be offensive. But for that moment I was enjoying the lightness of the perfume, the sweetness that was not overwhelming and the memories of home it brings out.

It is similar to when I recognize an older lotion from Mary Kay. It is as if I am back in my grandmother’s bathroom and I can smell her favorite cream. I get the feeling she is nearby and that if I turn around at the right moment I can talk to her once more.

Picture by MNP

I feel happy and comforted all at once in the same way I do when I smell pipe smoke. It can be one of those rich, woodsy-sweet smelling varieties and I am in my grandparent’s living room while Grandpa is enjoying his pipe. Maybe we are playing war or slap jack. He could be explaining how two bits equals a quarter and making us better mathematicians than fate had allowed.

Smells take us to the past and new smells imbed themselves, creating future memories. When we make a new dish, I love smelling the new smell. I am trying to recognize it and place it.

Last night I did that as I was making Chicken Riggies. I found the recipe at Happy When Not Hungry’s blog. It is Chicken in a tomato-cream sauce mixed with Rigatoni. Apparently, the dish is a favorite in the Ithaca area of Upstate New York. I had to make some adjustments as I do not keep Vermouth at the house.

 When I would take the lid off of the sauce pan to smell everything, I could not recognize it. Slowly, the tomato sauce furled out as did the onion. The cream did not come to me straight away. I was not sure if it smelled good and asked my husband for his opinion.

He thought it was tremendous. I had him pour the Rigatoni into the pasta bowl and then I poured in the sauce with the chicken. I began noticing the interplay of flavors as I mixed it all together with a bit of mozzarella cheese. In our excitement and hunger, we did not take a picture of the dish. There is none left to do so after the fact.

Picture by Mimiliz

Perhaps what my kids will remember is not a specific smell but simply the smell of something cooking that will make them feel at home and comforted. The smell of life all around them. Or maybe what they will remember is my perfume as they cuddled to me at the end of the day.

 Once I pass and can no longer give soothing words, perhaps this will remind them of me and wonder if they turn at the right moment they can talk to me once more.

Do you have a smell that transport you to a memory?