Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Easy Italian Meatballs

Easy Italian MeatballsIt’s the time of year when you want something comforting and hearty for dinner. That usually means meat in my house. I could make meatloaf, but I wanted something a little different. So I decided on meatballs. After all, they’re almost like mini meatloaves.

But this recipe didn’t taste like any meatloaf I’ve ever eaten. Each meatball was packed with flavor from parmesan, garlic and spices.

Easy Italian Meatballs

I wasn’t really sure how to make meatballs, but it turns out they are really easy. I just thoroughly mixed all the ingredients in a big bowl with a spoon. Then I used my hands to roll medium-sized balls and laid them on a foil-lined cookie sheet.

The smell from the oven was great, so I hoped they would taste just as good. And sure enough, they were awesome. They would be a great addition to pasta or especially a meatball sandwich.

  • 2 lbs ground beef
  • 1 large egg, slightly beaten
  • 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 1/3 cup breadcrumbs (or use enough to hold the meat together)
  • 2 large cloves of garlic, minced (or use 1 teaspoon garlic powder or to taste)
  • 1 teaspoon salt 
  • 1 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley (or 2 tablespoons dried parsley)
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Mix all ingredients together in a large bowl.

  2. Shape into medium-sized meatballs (at this point you can place on a baking sheet and freeze to use later, or cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate up to 24 hours before using).

  3. Bake the meatballs at 350 degrees F for 25 minutes or until cooked through.

  4. Add to your favorite, simmering pot of pasta sauce.

Easy Italian Meatballs
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Monday, January 4, 2010

fastfood@home: Homemade Twinkies Snack Cakes

Homemade Clone TwinkiesSome people think Twinkies aren’t actually food. While others believe only cockroaches and Twinkies will survive Armageddon. And I believe Twinkies are sort of, kind of food, if you’re starving.

But trust me when I say you can make a Twinkie clone that tastes a whole lot better than those sitting on supermarket shelves.

Homemade Clone TwinkiesThese lovely little cakes taste just like the real deal according to one taste tester. The cream filling really gives it that Twinkie taste. The cakes are ever-so slightly more dense than a Twinkie, but more moist. In my opinion these taste way better than a store-bought Twinkie. Click ‘Read More’ below, to get the recipe.

Homemade Clone TwinkiesHomemade Clone Twinkies

Homemade Clone TwinkiesHomemade Clone TwinkiesSupplies:

  • 1 round spice bottle, the size of a Twinkie
  • 12 (12 x 14-inches each) pieces non-stick aluminum foil
  • Pastry bag
  • Toothpick
  • Vegetable oil spray

    You can avoid making your own molds with foil and the spice bottle if you happen to have a snack cake pan, as pictured. If not, fold each piece of foil in half with the nonstick side out. Then fold in half again. Roll foil pieces around the spice bottle to form a tube. Fold down edges to seal, leaving one end of the tube open to be filled with the batter. Remove the spice bottle. Spray the insides with vegetable oil and set each tube open-end-up in a muffin tray.



  • 16-ounce box golden pound cake mix
  • 4 egg whites, beaten until stiff
  • 2/3 cup water
  • Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.

  • Beat cake mix, whipped egg whites, and water on medium speed until completely blended, about 2 minutes.

  • Carefully fill the foil tubes or pans, leaving 3/4-inch headspace.

  • Bake about 25-30 minutes until golden and toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

  • Let cakes cool slightly, then remove foil or remove from pan and brush heavily with simple syrup. Allow to cool.

  • Use a chop stick or small end of a spoon to hollow out 3 holes along the length of each cake. Wiggle the toothpick around the center to make room for the filling, taking care not to poke through to the other side.

  • Use a pastry bag or cake decorator with a long tip and carefully fill each hole with cream filling.


    Cream Filling:
  • 2 teaspoons very hot water

    1/4 teaspoon salt

    1 (7 ounce) jar marshmallow cream

    1/2 cup shortening

    1/2 cup powdered sugar

    1/2 teaspoon vanilla

    1/2 teaspoon lemon juice

  • With a hand mixer, combine marshmallow cream, shortening, powdered sugar, and vanilla in medium bowl; mix on high until fluffy.

  • Add the cooled salt water and mix well.


    Simple Syrup:

    1/2 c. water

    1/2 c. sugar


    Combine sugar and water in a large saucepan. Set over high heat and bring to a boil. At the boil, remove from heat and cool completely. Store in the refrigerator.


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