Meals for the Week: Countdown Edition

We're heading out on August 11 for a long visit with the extended family, so meal planning will go on hiatus for about a month after this post. Good for me, sad for you...

I made meatballs again this past Sunday. Ugh. I just can't seem to nail down a good recipe for Italian-flavored meatballs. I can make a decent meatball that's meatloaf-like and I can make nice dumpling-like soup meatballs, but it's hard to master making the sort you expect with spaghetti.

They should be solid enough to hold their round shape and offer a good bite, but still tender, not chewy. They should taste of lightly of garlic and parmesan, not ketchup.

I'm giving up. I liked those sacks of frozen meatballs I used to buy at Bratislava's Ikea. I'm going that route next time.

If you're interested, the recipe I attempted was the one that won the Throwdown episode on meatballs. Clearly this was a recipe scaled down from a commercial kitchen, as all the measurements were by weight.

I'm fine with using my kitchen scale, but I wasn't able to anticipate exactly how much of each ingredient that I usually measure volumetrically that I would need. Turns out that 2 ounces of chopped garlic is more than one full head -- I had to run up to the store for more.

I didn't bother getting the extra half-ounce each of basil and parsley called for, but I don't think that was the reason my meatballs turned out flat and loose compared to the ones I saw on TV. Again -- ugh.

Meatball subs
Corn on the cob
Tomato salad

Grilled pizzas

Beef fried rice

Country-fried steaks
Mashed potatoes

Grilled sandwiches

Slow-cooked country-style pork ribs with pineapple and ginger
Baked beans
Mac and cheese

Fettucine alfredo

Turkey burgers
Baked fries



  1. I'll try to remember to write down the amounts next time I make Italian meatballs and send it to you. Everybody says they are the best (but I don't have a recipe. I just make'em.)

    My basic tips/guidlines-

    2 pounds of ground beef
    medium onion, minced and saute'd in olive oil until tender
    either some pesto or Italian seasoning
    garlic powder
    black pepper
    a good amount of grated parmesan cheese (likem I said-- next time I'll measure)
    about 1/4 c. finely chopped parsley
    2 eggs
    Italian or seasoned bread crumbs (enough to lightly bind, but not too much)
    (splash of red wine- optional)

    Mix meat well to combine. Shape into meatballs, rolling between palms until well rounded and smooth. I use a approx. 1/4 cup measure. (This rolling action helps keep the meatballs together, even with a very moist meat mixture).

    Method 1- Preheat oven at 400 to 450 degrees. Place meatballs on a greased broiling pan and bake until almost done. Remove from pan and place in sauce. Finish cooking in gently simmering sauce.

    Method 2- Add a little olive oil to a large frying pan and cook meatballs on medium high heat, turning as they brown to cook alll sides. Remove from pan and place in gently simmering sauce.

    The meatballs taste best if allowed to cool in the sauce, then gently reheat.


  2. oops- I forgot to mention

    add salt too.