Failure – BBQ Meatballs

B will eagerly tell you that sometimes I make bad meals. The flavors aren’t right, it wasn’t to our liking, it was too spicy, etc. But rarely do I ever BURN our dinner to a point that it’s inedible. I did just that last night.

I have made BBQ meatballs in the crock pot several times with no major problems. But last night’s were completely black. Disgusting. Yuck! I am about 100% sure it was the fault of the BBQ sauce I used. I’m not going to call out which BBQ sauce it was, but do know it was a store brand. I was disappointed with this same brand, different flavor, that I used in some BBQ chicken I made for myself in the crock pot for lunch a couple weeks ago. Definitely not going to use it in the slow cooker again.

I’m not convinced the flavor was that good before it was burnt, anyway. I’ll go back to Kraft (or as B would prefer, KC Masterpiece) BBQ sauce from now on.

So I’m not providing you with the recipe because it was a failure, and because I plan eventually I will redo it and I will provide you with the recipe then.

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Pita Pizzas

Despite the potential for disaster, last night’s dinner went OK.

I didn’t get the beef and noodles we were supposed to have made.

I forgot to pull the pitas out of the freezer before work.

I didn’t cook up a pound of spicy sausage as I had anticipated doing.

Once I thawed the pitas and had them on the pizza oven covered in sauce, I found out that B had eaten all the leftover pepperoni from when his sister and brother-in-law had visited earlier this month.

So we had cheese pita pizzas instead of pepperoni ones. But I thought they were pretty good. G ate several slices of hers, B and I each ate two. Definitely something I plan on doing again!

Please note that I own a Presto Pizzazz Pizza Oven that I bought B for his birthday a couple years ago. This thing is SO fun! I love watching and smelling my pizza bake! If you’re going to do this in an oven, I have no idea at what temperature you should cook these. Since you’re not baking the dough, all you’re needing to do is crisp up the pita and melt the cheese. 350-degrees should work, no?

Pita Pizzas

1 pkg whole pitas (bought on sale for $1/pkg)
8 oz mozzarella cheese
1 jar pizza sauce
(Should have also had pepperoni, but you can top these with any of your favorite pizza toppings.)

Arrange three pitas on Pizzazz tray. Spread two tablespoons of sauce on each pita. Top with cheese and toppings (I added some crushed red pepper flakes to mine. B and G just had cheese.)

Set Pizzazz to cook both top and bottom for about 12 minutes, or until pita is crisp and cheese begins to brown.

Serve 3 pitas to everyone. I cut G’s into 6 slices, and the grownups got 4 slices each.

Repeat with remaining two pitas. By the time B and I ate our first pizza, the second ones were almost finished. It worked out well.

Stir Fry Recipe

So this is my basic recipe for Stir Fry. Remember, I’m all about the easy!

Stir Fry
serves 4-6 (we always have leftovers for B to munch on)

1 lb steak, cubed, or stew meat (when I buy this from the store, I go over to the Manager’s Special section and buy the cheapest meat they have.)
1/2 bag Birds Eye Oriental Stir Fry Veggies (in the frozen veggie section)
sauces to accompany (we have a bottle of stir fry sauce, sweet & sour sauce, teriyaki sauce, soy sauce and some really hot stuff. All purchased at Walmart, in the oriental section)
2-3 cups dry rice (depends on how much rice you want to eat)

1. Start rice, according to directions on bag (different rices have different water:rice ratios).
2. Brown steak in wok. (You can also use a large skillet.)
3. Add frozen veggies and one packet of sauce from veggie bag. Stir often to distribute sauce and heat up veggies. Cover with lid while not stirring.
4. Cook rice until all water is gone (directions on bag give you a rough estimate).
5. Serve stir fry over rice. Add sauces to taste.

Steak

So in true form, I’ve already had to deviate from my meal plan. Luckily, I had deviated from it this weekend, so I had something to make!

My husband is a carnivore. He loves meat. Plain and simple. The best way for me to satisfy that urge for him is to have steaks. But pulling out the grill for two measly steaks is just such a waste. Which is why I love my George Foreman countertop grill! In about 10 minutes, we can have a steak cooked the way we want sitting on our table.

I have several different dry rubs sitting in my pantry. I simply throw the frozen steaks into the fridge in the morning before I head to work, then pull them out and put a little dry rub on them and cook them on George.

Along with the steaks, I had corn and a baked potato. I know, I know. Two starches. Bad me! But it’s what happened last night. So here’s what I needed:

2 T-bone steaks, thawed if frozen
1 Russet potato (B did not want one, and I shared mine with G)
1 pre-cooked chicken tenderloin, thawed & reheated (for G, who can’t quite do steak yet)
1 bag frozen corn

1. Preheat George. Rub steaks with dry rub.
2. Throw a washed, poked potato into the microwave and cook. My microwave has a button for baked potatoes. I just hit it. I think it’s for 6 or 7 minutes.
3. Throw steaks onto George when it beeps. Close lid and cook for 5 minutes. Check steak done-ness and continue cooking if you want yours more cooked. (I do… I like my steak well done.)
4.  Put corn in microwave-safe dish with lid. Add a couple tablespoons of water and a dollop of butter. Microwave for about 2 minutes. Shake/stir and repeat if corn is still cold.
5. Serve steaks with corn and baked potato.

Basic Taco Recipe

There is NOTHING complicated about this recipe. It’s easy to make on a busy night or do a couple batches at once and freeze for later. Then you can have dinner on the table in LITERALLY five minutes.

1 lb hamburger
1 packet taco seasoning (I use Great Value or Kroger)
amount of water called for on packet
tortillas or hard taco shells
shredded cheese, sour cream, refried beans, guacamole, salsa (or whatever you want on YOUR taco!)

1. Brown hamburger.

2. Add taco seasoning and water as per directions on packet and simmer until water is all gone.

3. Serve on taco shell or tortilla with your choice of toppings.

We always do a “taco bar” kind of thing, where we each make our own plate. G gets a bowl or plate with a scoop of meat, a scoop of each of the toppings I feel like giving her, and a handful of tortilla chips or a small tortilla. B is happy eating one or two burrito-sized tortillas every time we eat this. I mix it up by having small flour tortillas, hard taco shells, and sometimes even corn tortillas or tostada shells.

For batch cooking: 1. Brown two or three pounds of hamburger in the same (big) skillet.

2. Add the corresponding number of packets of seasoning and water (I usually use slightly less water than instructed so I don’t have to wait as long).

3. Let the water simmer away.

4. Allow the meat to cool, then divide it into 2 or 3 freezer bags, labelled with the name of the recipe (Taco Meat) and the date you made it.

5. When you’re ready to eat it, pull it out of the freezer, crack open one corner of the bag, and throw it in the microwave for 2 minutes. Check to see if it’s heated through, and reheat if necessary. Pull out the tortillas/shells and toppings while the meat is nuking. You will seriously have dinner on the table in 5 minutes if you do that.