Recipe: Meatball Parmigiana Subs

Meatball Parmigiana Subs.... sooo yummy... and sooo  easy to make.   A terrific leftover meal... or even just a made ahead meal... perfect for a weeknight... perfect for watching the game...
No need to spend forever standing in front of a hot stove frying meatballs... there IS a better way.... I bake my meatballs... yes.. in the oven... not only is it easy... and fast... it cuts the fat enormously... and trust me.. you will never miss the fat.
I use lean ground beef... have all the taste and lower fat... the best way to go.
My Italian meatball recipe uses Italian seasoning... I use McCormick... if you rather not use the seasoning mix.. you can substitute herbs... use whatever mix you prefer.
I make my meatballs about an inch in diameter.
Make a batch of meatballs, let them cool and then lay them on a non-stick foil lined cookie sheet and cover them loosely with foil and freeze them for about 20 minutes or until they are firm.  Then remove them from the freezer and put them in airtight freezer bags and keep them in the freezer.  Defrost what you need when you need them... a quick way to make supper!
Freezing the cooked meatballs ... you can make so many recipes in a snap... and no additives found in those frozen meatballs you buy at the store... you know exactly what are in your meatballs and they have the best ingredients.
Use whatever tomato (spaghetti) sauce you prefer... store bought or homemade.
Make sure you use fresh parsley... the dried stuff just doesn't add flavor like the fresh.
Use thick shredded mozzarella cheese.. the kind pizzerias use... I found Walmart sells a large bag of it.. it's perfect for pizzas and recipes like this.
When you put the subs in the oven... keep an eye out on them.. if the bread starts to get too brown around the edges.. loosely lay a piece of foil over it.
Serve this with a side of pasta salad.. and you have one terrific AND easy meal!

Recipe:  Meatball Parmigiana Subs
All you need:
For the Meatballs:
1 pound lean ground sirloin
1 egg, beaten (you can also use egg beaters if you want to cut the fat even more)
1/4 cup milk (I use fat free milk, any type of milk will work)
1 medium onion finely chopped
3 teaspoons garlic powder
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh parsley (I use curly parsley, but flat leaf works just as well)
2 tsp Italian Seasoning
3/4 cup Italian bread crumbs
1/4 cup grated Parmesan or Romano cheese
Salt and pepper
Other ingredients:

Tomato Sauce
Thick shredded mozzarella cheese
Sub rolls
All you need to do:
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Mix beef and egg, milk, onion, garlic, parsley, Italian Seasoning, bread crumbs, Parmesan cheese, salt and pepper.
Roll meat into about 1 inch medium-sized meatballs and place on nonstick cookie sheet or a cookie sheet sprayed with olive oil cooking spray.
Bake balls 20-25 minutes until no longer pink.
Add the cooked meatballs to your favorite tomato sauce in a large pot… cook on low for about 20 minutes. (just to have the sauce flavor absorbed into the meatballs).
Turn the oven temperature up to 400 degrees F.
Slice the sub rolls open but keep the two pieces attached to each other.  Lightly spread some sauce on the cut sides, add some meatballs (you may have to cut them in half, depending on how big your sub rolls are) and place on a non-stick foil lined baking sheet. 
Sprinkle with shredded mozzarella.
Bake for about 5-10 minutes or until cheese has melted.. *do not leave them unattended... keep an eye on the bread ... if it gets too dark on the edges.. loosely lay a piece of foil over the sandwich.

More Super Bowl 2013 Party Ideas

Planning on watching the Super Bowl with friends and family this year? It's time to be thinking about foods to serve... after all... that's about as important as the big game itself....

Make it Italian!

So here are some Italian Themed ideas….

Pizza… is an obvious choice… but buying pizza can get expensive… and most pizza places are overwhelmed with orders for that day… can you be sure it will be ready when you want it? Making your own pizza is easy… whether you use pre-made dough you purchase or make your own... it's economical and easy..

Things to think about.... make sure you have enough for your party guests… if you can only fit one pizza at a time in your oven… then you might have to re-think your plans…

Things to consider.... how many guests you have and how many slices are coming out of the oven at one time…

Options.... you could make a large rectangle pizza and cut it into squares… it feeds a lot of people and you will have other foods for them to eat… you can prepare two… and when one comes out… put the other in… or you can include other foods as well...

Here are other ideas to consider.....

Stromboli…. is a perfect choice…. you can prepare one or more ahead… slice it and serve at room temperature… you can vary the ingredients between the different Strombolis.

Fried Ravioli…. These can be made ahead and frozen…. then re-heated in the oven… again you will need the use of an oven… you could use a toaster oven… but I would lower the temperature and use a lower rack in the toaster oven …. Keep an eye on them to prevent over-cooking and incinerating them ( I did that with a batch on New Year’s Eve… luckily I had more in the freezer).

Quick and Easy Salami and Provolone Pasta Salad… a perfect choice too… can be totally made ahead … is pretty versatile and goes really with most other menu choices.

Mini Calzones….. these can be assembled quite a bit ahead…. then baked ahead also….say an hour or so ahead…. they can be warm or room temperature… keep in mind this will require oven time…. so do a timetable to ensure everything goes smoothly. Serve with tomato sauce they can ladle on their plates.

Antipasto Salad…. another food item that can be totally assembled ahead…. make a large platter, put out tongs and let your guest take a serving….

Italian Meatballs…. make them ahead…. I mean really ahead… a week ahead… freeze them fully cooked… then defrost them and put them in a crock pot with Italian tomato (spaghetti) sauce and you’re done…. and no other work is required….party perfect!.....I have the perfect recipe….I’d make them a bit smaller than usual…. If you do make them smaller … remember to cut back on the baking time (my recipe doesn’t fry them … instead you bake them in the oven).

Garlic Bread... always a winner.. and so easy to prepare!

Baked Ziti…. If you want to serve something substantial… this dish can fit the bill…. It’s easy to serve can be assembled ahead and baked…. goes well with Antipasto Salad… Garlic Bread… Breadsticks… Meatballs…. Stromboli… Fried Ravioli…. Just an all around terrific choice if you want something hearty… and not expensive to make.

Italian Mini Subs…. You can purchase sub rolls… and make subs in advance and cut them in half…. I sometimes use small sized sub rolls... my local grocery store calls them Vienna Rolls... found in the bakery department... make a platter and you’re good to go….  or just keep them as regular sized subs... either way they go well with other finger foods…

Desserts… as with the Mexican themed party… my advice is the same… you need them… but keep it pretty simple… Brownies or other bar cookie…. cupcakes are always fun... decorate them with a football theme...

I hope this helps you start thinking about your menu plans…


Recipe: Crock Pot French Dip

Another fabulous Crock Pot recipe here.... 5 minutes prep... at the absolute most.... and 7 hours later you have wonderfully tender beef for your sandwiches.. you can't beat that!
Have you considered French Dip sandwiches for your next gathering?  Perfect for watching the big game... easy and delicious!
I like flavor with my beef... so I highly recommend you follow the ingredients and don't cut back... in fact... you could easily add more onion and garlic powder.
I used Guinness Draught for the beer... Newcastle would also be a good choice... you want a dark beer... not a light beer... you want a robust flavor.
I also wouldn't recommend substituting beef broth for the beef consomme... it has a richer flavor.
A lot of recipes trim the fat off the beef before cooking, I do the trimming after cooking... I find the meat more tender that way.
Cooking time is 7 hours plus another hour after slicing the beef... make sure to cook it on LOW .. you want this to cook slowly... the beef will be very tender.. this is not a dish to rush. 
Putting the beef back after slicing truly adds tons of flavor... another no skip step.
The buttering of the rolls and heating them before serving the sandwiches is a really nice touch.. adds a smooth flavor.. I used margarine... you can use either butter or margarine.
Leftovers are perfect for a number of recipes... assuming you have anything left.
This will make about 8 servings.
Add some oven fries.. and some coleslaw... and dinner is served!

Recipe:  Crock Pot French Dip
All you need:
3-4 pound rump roast
1 can Campbell's Beef Consomme Soup
1 can Campbells French Onion Soup
1 bottle Guinness Draught beer
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
Garlic powder
Onion powder
1-2 large garlic cloves, minced
Sub rolls
butter or margarine
All you have to do:
Sprinkle the rump roast generously with the onion powder, garlic powder, salt and pepper.  place it in the crock pot.  Add the cans of soup, beer, Worcestershire sauce and minced garlic.
Set the crock pot on LOW for 7 hours.  Remove the roast and let it stand for about 10 minutes.  Trim the fat off and slice it very thin or shred.  Add the slices back into the crock pot and cook on low for about an hour.
Heat an oven to 400 F.  Split the rolls open and butter the insides.  Spread them open so the butter sides are exposed.  Place on a baking sheet and heat in the oven until butter has melted through the bread and the outside has crisped... about 5 minutes.
Load beef slices on each sandwich and serve with a small ramekin of sauce from the pot.

Great Dips for Game Day

The BIG game will soon be upon us.. and whether you're planning a family day or a party with friends ... nothing stretches budget better than Dips. 

Most can be made completely in advance.. which frees you up to finish up other menu items or... even better... frees you up to enjoy all the festivities yourself!

From healthy to sinfully good... there are many Dips and Dippers to choose from.... so here are just a few great recipes to consider..

Chili Cheese Dip - quick and easy and goes with so many foods

Onion Dip - a classic... served with veggies or chips.. always a hit

Spinach and Artichoke Dip - a quick and easy recipe

Baked Cheddar and Bacon Dip - fabulous flavors in a hot dip served with crackers ...yummmm!

Corned Beef Bread Dip - an unlikely combination that will surprise you.. just delicious!

PiƱa Colada Dip for Fruit - a refreshing and healthy alternative to consider

Easy Crockpot Recipes Perfect for a Super Bowl Party...

I love my crockpot... it is truly a best friend... reliable... helpful... it makes my life infinitely easier ... especially when entertaining.

So what better way to help prepare foods for a Super Bowl party than using a crockpot. Easy to prepare.. easy to serve and keep warm.

It allows you to spend minimal time in the kitchen... easy clean up ... and you get to enjoy the game as much as your guests!

There are so many options... here are 3 great menu options using a crockpot.  

Plan your other menu items around your main food that's made in a crockpot... now how easy is that?...

Well, read on and you will see... just click the links for the recipes.

BBQ Sandwiches.... Coleslaw.... Oven Fries... quick.. easy.. and delicious!

You can make this with Beef, Chicken or Pork... and this meal will easily go with any number of finger foods and snacks.

Baked Ziti .... Meatballs.... Green Salad .... Fresh bread or Garlic Bread... a delicious meal you can prepare ahead.... make the Baked Ziti meatless for those who don't care for meat...and have a side of meatballs... problem solved! 

Note:  Make the meatballs in the oven.. no need to stand there frying them... no fatty grease... just great taste.. click the link for the recipe.

Chili.... Tostitos .... Cornbread......... another completely "prepare ahead meal".... for a beefier Chili... try Chuck Wagon Chili.... always a favorite!

Great Finger Foods for a Super Bowl Party

Looking for great Super Bowl Party Foods??? You've come to the right place... great recipes and tips to make your party a success!

So let's start here …

Munchies... here are a few to get you started thinking..

Lil Smokies in a Blanket

Mini Loaded Potato Empanadas

Mexican Layered Dip


Corned Beef Bread Dip

Ranch Spinach Dip

Want more substantial food?... here are some ideas:

Mini Grilled Reuben Sandwiches

Mini Ham and Swiss Party Sandwiches…. They’re quick and easy and can be made completely ahead… and won’t break the bank…

Don’t like Ham and Swiss? … make any combinations of meats and cheeses you want…. salami and provolone… turkey and pepper jack cheese….you can even make tuna melts… just make the tuna salad and use whatever cheese you want … be creative!

Wings… make them ahead or buy those in the freezer section of the grocery store… heating them up is a snap

Burgers… for those of you in a warmer climate… put your man to work!... let him barbeque burgers… you take care of the rest… on a tight budget?....don’t want to make full size burgers … make mini ones (sliders)… set out fixin’s such as lettuce, tomato, onions, etc…. and condiments

Chicken Dippers…. Make your own ahead or buy the frozen ones and heat them up on game day… put out sauces to dip…

TIP: put spoons out in your sauces… gives them a hint to put the sauce on their plates and not dip in the bowl… helps prevent double dipping.

Make salads … they’re fairly cheap to make… make them completely ahead and they go with a number of terrific foods…. terrific with sandwiches, wings, burgers, or chicken dippers

Salads to go with your sandwiches, wings, burgers and chicken dippers:

Egg Potato Salad Fit for a Party…. the name says it all… a perfect go-together for a sandwich.


German Potato Salad...

New York Deli Style Potato Salad...

Classic Macaroni Salad...

Tuna Macaroni Salad...

Quick and Easy Salami and Provolone Pasta Salad...

Three Bean Salad...

Don’t forget Desserts…. cookies and bar cookies go well… lots to choose from… pick a couple and you’re good to go!


Chewy Blondies

Caramel Oatmeal Chewies

Chocolate Chip Cheesecake Bars

Neiman Marcus Urban Legend Chocolate Chip Cookies

Oatmeal Scotchies

Looking for More Recipes?

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What's more comforting on a cold day than Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup? .. and it's so easy to make!

Chicken Noodle Soup