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Do It Yourself Dinner… $10 & 15 Minutes!

“Miracles are like meatballs, because nobody can exactly agree on what they are made of, where they come from, or how often they should appear.”

― Lemony Snicket, The Carnivorous Carnival

Your quick dinner solution…

 

I  was talking to an old friend the other day. She is a Full time Stay at Home Mom for the FIRST time… she too has kids in high school, middle school and elementary school.

Wait. What?

She was one part of a two working parent fantastic  team. Those two are great! Always volunteering, on time and their kids look like they stepped right out of The Gap. That was until recently… she seemed to have lost her mojo. I asked her how she was doing. She melted all to pieces and told me about how everything seemed to be spinning wildly out of her control, like she had no place in her own family anymore, and it all started when she was laid off. Another victim of the economic times, but they chose to look at it as a beautiful opportunity to take on another role of the stay at home mom. They adjusted their budget, did away with a lot of extras and plunged into doing it yourself for all things life has to toss ya. He, thankfully has a very good job and he continued to go to work. She grew disgusting in her PJ’s that she hadn’t taken off in who knows how long. I think if you really needed to know how long those threads had been worn, you could always try counting the different ice cream stain flavors like rings on a tree.

She can do a lot of things, very well but stay at home mom required a set of skills she did not posses much of.

Her biggest complaint… cooking.

She had been blessed to have a 2 income home so they ate out and frozen meals mostly. Holidays, she’d call her local market or deli to cater. They had wonderful warm memories and their home has always been a place that oozes love and joy. She just couldn’t get the hang of this cooking thing and their budget could not longer afford their bad take out habits. She felt like a failure. Everything felt off. She needed to stay on track and get out of the funk quick.

Save Her Dinner!!!

I told her the trick to doing it all is admitting that we can’t do it all by ourselves, all of the time.

Yes, there are some that can ignite a Popsicle to a blackened crisp. Most people can learn. I taught myself how to cook. Practice, patience, persistence and it helps if you have people willing to be your Guinea Pig People, nibble and report back their thoughts. I used to HATE cooking but out of necessity, I began to explore, learn, understand and suddenly I went from a total kitchen flop to making dishes friends have to have the recipe for.

She is a blackened Popsicle lady and has always bought, than frosted herself. I’ve tasted her coffee hockey puck, I mean cake… the world thanks you for coming over to learn a thing or two. ;) Love ya Sister! Keep Trying, we’ll get you fixed up. xoxo

I told her the secret busy Mom’s have been using for years, prepared or short cut foods! We found Aidells Chicken Meatballs  as we noshed our way through Costco one day. When I encounter something that ALL of my people give an enthusiastic 2 thumbs up to, I’m interested instantly. It’s such a bonus that it can be tossed into the freezer as well! I like freezer happy food! :) Plus it’s CHICKEN and has NO PORK so it’s a great appetizer for a party. Many people are getting away from beef so having chicken, fish and vegan dishes is almost necessary now days for a larger get together.

They are already cooked. Aidells has other flavors of meatballs according to their website http://www.aidells.com/product/21. I have not seen or tried the other flavors but we LOVE the Teriyaki & Pineapple Flavor. It’s got a wonderful light and tangy garlic, ginger and pineapple flavor that tastes fantastic over white rice with a little touch of soy sauce, if I don’t say so myself. Yum!

You can pop them in the microwave but we like to put them in the oven for 8-10 minutes.

I grabbed the glass pie pan that my Handsome Prince’s Bubbie gave us. I love cooking in our kitchen… every piece we have has a memory. So it’s like cooking with all the memories of the people that I love and miss so much. Our everyday dishes are twice as old as our oldest daughter. That’s part cheap, part resourceful and part oh, it just doen’t really matter as we have kids that do dishes regularly. Seriously, would you hand a kid a $100 plate to wash? I didn’t think so. I’d rather have kids that pitch in and older than dirt, they don’t make ‘em like that any more dinner wear than Oh don’t touch that for fear of breaking it, perfection. I’ll never be known for being perfect! :)

 I like to add a can of pineapple to this dish before I put it in the oven at 350 degrees for 8 minutes or until they are heated through. I seem to get good Del Monte fruit http://www.delmonte.com/ coupons so they have become the staple brand in our house. Open your can of pineapple and drain out 90% of the juice. I added some of our pineapple in whole rings and then cut up the last 2 or 3 slices into smaller bite sized chunks. Pour any remaining juice from you can all over your meatballs. Remember, it’s just there to add a little tang. If you want to get really exciting you could add some chopped bell peppers into the mix. I’d LOVE that but peppers are not super popular around here, yet. :)

Pop it in the oven and take it out in 8 minutes! Super easy!

Put a pot of water on your stove to boil. You could use a Rice a Roni Ricehttp://www.ricearoni.com/ if you have it on had but I chose a white rice.

Success Rice http://www.successrice.com/ is awesome. I often find sales and can coupon to get it on the super cheap. White Rice is so versatile. Never hurts to have some on hand. For the 6 of us I make all 4 of the bags inside the box. When my chickens leave the nest, I’ll be grateful for the fact that you can make just the amount that you desire.

10 minutes and it’s done!

 

If you keep the lid on your heavy cast iron pot, your rice will stay warm and ready for a good length of time if need be.

Give a great big warm welcome to my dear old friend and soon to be yours… My Blue Pot. Hello Old Friend, it’s only been a few hours but I miss you already! If you have not read about my blue pot… you may do so here http://justalittlenutty.com/the-chronicles-of-the-blue-pot/. It is truly earth shattering, world altering stuff my friends. Thank you again my blue pot friend. Your a trusted and coveted member of our crazy clan!

 

My peeps like salad so I paired this dish with a crisp salad with balsamic vinaigrette dressing.

From the time I started until it was finished, it took only 12 minutes! That even with me picturing and messing around with stuff.

I told my girlfriend what to get and she tried it out on her crew. After dinner, she son came into the kitchen and gave her a hug. He said, “I knew you could do it and it was GOOD!”

It was the best, cheapest, easy, quick and delicious meals!

She’s realized since that all things are possible and if you try hard enough you’ll improve. You don’t have to be Super Mom, Dyno Dad, Grand Granny,Outstanding Uncle… OK you caught my drift, right? Short cuts are available, tastes great, can be tweaked to suit your taste and wont bust your budget to feed even a large group. I hope you know the group your feeding well… fighting can bust out after the last chicken meatball is gone. It can get dicey to give people weapons (forks and knives) and then not make enough for the masses. My people eat 3-4 each. My Prince could eat 4-6. Make enough and avoid Uncle Ned Nibbling on Cousin Thelma’s ankle bone out of starvation.

If that happens, email me IMEDIATLY and take video/pics for later mocking enjoyment! :) Poor Thelma… she had such nice little chicken ankles. Good enough to peck!

Dinner for 6 + to your table in under 15 minutes and for less than $10!

Thank you, thank you makers of those wonderful products that make our lives easier and we can’t do without!

Works for us! Everyone I’ve suggested this to, had nothing but great reviews for the products!

I’m looking forward to trying some of the other flavor as we find them in our local markets or unless the Adiell’s truck turns over and spills out all over my driveway. Shhhh, don’t burst my bubble… free chicken meatballs for the freezer is a very happy thing indeed. :)

Issues.

I know. You all just hang out with me because I make you look normal. I’m OK with that. Who wants to be boring ol’ normal anywho!

Enjoy your dinner and remember home cooking comes in many forms, so start where your comfortable and learn from there. Boxed and prepared count too as long as you put a heaping dose of LOVE to it as well. You’ll be shining in the kitchen in no time! I believe in you. We learn we grow, we cook so we can eat yummy foods. You’ll be there in no time!

Meatballs are just plain awesome!

Wishing you confident and delicious dishes,

Meg xoxo

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5 comments

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  1. Sierra

    We absolutely love these meatballs too! I like your pineapple idea. I’ll have to try that next time. We usually cook ours in a big skillet and pour in a bunch of Yoshida’s Gourmet Sauce. We serve it with noodles lightly tossed with Alfredo sauce. I also have left them out in a crock pot for party appetizers. I have family that comes to visit and request my amazing meatballs… lol

  2. Meg

    I love it when someone calls and requests a recipe in hushed tones as though it was some big secret. Even better when it’s one that only requires opening a box, a can, and bake! :) Mini would LOVE your alfredo idea!

  3. Glo @ Off The Grid At -30

    Wonderful! Would love for you to share this on my first ever blog hop! http://offthegridat-30.blogspot.ca/2012/07/frugal-i-made-it-tuesday-1.html

    1. Meg

      Sure thing! I’m a day late but I made it to the party! :)
      Looking forward to joining you each Tuesday!

  4. Twisted Cinderella

    I don’t remember the last time I bought meatballs, but I think I might buy them next grocery day as a fun quick supper.

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