Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Easy Summer Meal: Spaghetti & Meatballs



This is a simple meal to make. If it's hot in your area, put the crockpot on the porch to keep the house cool. I use a few cheats to make this meal painless to throw together. Like pre-made frozen meatballs. I buy them in a 6 pound bag from Costco. It's nice to have them in the freezer for easy meals.



Complete recipes are at the bottom of the post.


Start by putting the meatballs in the crockpot and covering with spaghetti sauce....




Let cook on low for 4 to 5 hours until everything is well heated.  When ready to serve, cook pasta, drain and mix into meatballs and sauce...



Serve....


 
This meal also calls for a jar of spaghetti sauce. But if you are like me and forgot to pick some up at the grocery store ~smile~ or you just prefer your own sauce than you may like my super easy sauce that is made in the blender..

My super easy spaghetti sauce...

Open diced tomatoes and put in blender
 



Add spices... and mix until smooth....
 



Taste and adjust seasons and you are ready to go!!





Spaghetti & Meatballs

2 ½ (or so) pounds of frozen pre cooked meatballs
1 jar of spaghetti sauce (around 24 to 28oz) (you can also use homemade spaghetti sauce... below I share a super easy simple sauce that takes just minutes to whip up)
10 to 12oz of spaghetti noodles (I use angle hair pasta for quick cooking and minimal heat to the kitchen)

Put the meatballs in the crockpot. Cover with sauce. Cook on low for about 4 to 5 hours until hot and heated through. Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain. Mix in with meatballs and sauce, serve.



Super Fast and Easy Spaghetti Sauce

2 14oz cans of diced tomatoes
1T Italian seasonings
2 to 3t salt, according to taste
1t pepper
2t granulated garlic (or garlic powder equivalent to 2 cloves of garlic)
2T (more or less, according to taste) sugar

Combine ingredients in a blender, blend until smooth. Taste and adjust seasonings to your liking.


 

Monday, June 29, 2015

Menu Monday!


Summer is here pretty early for our area. So I'm focusing on quick meals, easy meals.. and meals that can be prepared outside such as grilling or putting the crockpot or roaster oven on the deck to cook instead of heating up the house and perhaps a little more use of the deli! Ha, ha!!


Monday
Spaghetti & meatballs, french bread, salad

Tuesday
Crockpot orange & garlic chicken, buttered pasta, salad

Wednesday
BBQ (still planning)

Thursday
Leftovers

Friday
Crockpot tater tot casserole, fruit platter

Saturday
4th of July BBQ & party at our home: burgers, hotdogs, potato salad, watermelon, s'mores

Sunday
Leftovers

 
 

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Tragedy...


On Saturday evening last week I was in the garden planting my corn starts. I heard the siren of the local fire department going off. I always wonder what is happening when I hear it. Typically I never learn what happened. But, a bit after I heard the siren I heard emergency vehicles like crazy. Shortly after that I saw the life flight helicopter landing at the local school yard. It is the only flat place in our area for it to land. I knew at that moment it was bad.

I learned later that evening from friends that live in the area that it had been a head on collision right down at the end of my road on the main highway. A truck went over the center line and collided with a minivan. A family. They had been in our area on vacation. Had just spent a fun day in the area taking a boat tour and heading back home, near Seattle Wa. The father and 3 of his children died in the accident. The driver of the truck that crossed over the center line died at the scene.

It really hurt me to hear about this happening so close to my house. A horrible tragedy to a family I did not even know. It could have been anyone. It could have been my family. My children and husband drive this highway every single day to and from work. This stretch of highway is known as one of the most dangerous stretches of highway in Washington state. It shook me up.

I hugged my kids and my hubby and said.. please be careful. It is a frustrating highway to drive on. There are semi trucks and tourists (especially in the summer) and they don't know the roads. There are lots of twists and turns. If you drive it every day.. you know all the twists and turns.. if you don't.. you drive slow. And the frustration levels can rise high for those that commute the road. Drive safely.. literally your life may depend on it...

I realize that bad things happen everywhere, every single day... but this was just so close to home. It left me feeling this.. hug your children everyday. Hug your hubby everyday... Life is short, even if you live a “long” life.. it's still short. Heaven is our homeward destination. Don't take a single day for granted. Love and give love to those around you. We never really know how many days any of us have here. Leave a legacy of a love for God and a life lived for Him.





Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Garden Update!!


My garden has been growing like crazy.. but so have the weeds!! This evening my hubby and son Jacob helped to get all under control again.. they string trimmed around it and rototilled the areas where I don't have anything planted... and between a few rows.. I still need to do a lot of weeding by hand.. but at least the major part of it all is looking neat and clean again. My son Isaac and I got it all watered.. takes a bit as some of it is still watered by hand.


Here are a few pics.. really the sun was totally in the wrong place for pic taking.. but what can I say.. that was when I was down there!

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Monday, June 22, 2015

Menu Monday!




Sorry for the lack of blogging last week. It was a busy week. Hubby and I were working on projects around the house, there was garden work, and my kids had friends over the weekend which made for lots of activity and not a lot of time for blogging.

Hoping this week to share some garden updates and share about my walking and my new toy (smile)!!

For now, here is my menu for the week.....



Monday
Tuna patties (actually leftovers from Sunday when I finally got them made from last weeks menu. I made a double batch), rice pilaf, salad

Tuesday
Polish sausage, fried cabbage & onions, watermelon

Wednesday
BBQ burgers w/trimmings, chips, fruit platter

Thursday
Ham, crockpot potatoes, green beans, coleslaw

Friday
Leftovers

Saturday
Ham noodle stir fry, salad


Sunday
Leftovers

 
 

Monday, June 15, 2015

Menu Monday!




It's Monday! Time to bring in the groceries today. I'm finding menu planning a challenge lately. I plan and sometimes make the meal and then find out my kids have other plans for that night. If I made the meal, then it's unplanned leftovers. And the meal I'd planned for the next night does not get made. I've had meatball subs on my menu for 3 weeks now and still have not made them. Hopefully, they'll get made this week!! :)



Monday
Sausage gravy over biscuits, strawberries & grapes


Tuesday
Meatball subs, coleslaw, chips


Wednesday
Crockpot peach bbq chicken, rice, salad


Thursday
Leftovers


Friday
Tuna patties, mac & cheese, watermelon


Saturday
Summer pasta (made w/chicken), salad


Sunday
Leftovers


 
 
 

Friday, June 12, 2015

Garden Update


We've had some beautiful hot summer days and my garden is really taking off. The green beans are up, the squash is up, and many of the flowers are starting to peek through as well.

I water my garden with the “ditch irrigation” method. I have a small spring pond that has a pipe that runs underground from the pond to the garden. The elevation is so small that it would be impossible to run sprinklers. The pond has bits of algae and such that end up plugging up soaker hoses. So the best method we came up was to run PVC pipe to each row, make a ditch and let the water run down the ditch. When it gets to the bottom of the row, I put the next pipe on and continue until all the rows are watered. This method has worked great for the many years of gardening I've done.

Below are the updated pics....