Saucy BBQ Meatballs


Oven BBQ Meatballs

800g ground meat (extra lean beef, turkey or chicken)

1 cup panko

scant 1 tsp salt

1 tsp fresh ground pepper, or to taste

2-3 tsp onion powder

1/3- 1/2  cup milk

Crumble meat into large bowl. Sprinkle with panko crumbs, salt, pepper and onion powder. Pour in milk. Mix all together. Mix thoroughly just until ingredients are combined (over-mixing will make the meatballs tough). Form meat mixture into 2” balls. Spray baking sheet with vegetable oil spray, place meatballs on pan and bake at 375° F for 15 minutes till browned.

Easy BBQ Sauce

1 1/2 cup ketchup

1/3 cup BBQ sauce (we like Bull’s-eye Chicken and Rib)

1 tbsp vinegar

¾ cup brown sugar

1/2 cup finely minced onion

1/2 tsp garlic powder

1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce

1 1/2 tbsp yellow mustard

1/2 cup water

In mixing bowl, combine all ingredients thoroughly.  Place browned meatballs and minced onion in oven-proof dish.  Pour sauce over all.   Bake at 375° F for about 30 minutes, or until sauce is bubbling and meatballs are heated through.  Serve over rice.


Chili Mac


This is a nice, mild version of chili, with the surprising addition of elbow macaroni.  It got the thumbs up at dinner.  (I’m anticipating the leftovers to taste even better!).  You could certainly ramp up the heat with the addition of more chili paste/powder, cayenne pepper, red pepper flakes, etc, but we don’t mind if our foreheads don’t break out into a sweat while we’re eating 🙂  I used 1 1/2 pounds of ground beef and 1/2 pound of sausage meat, just because that’s what I had on hand.  It was a good ratio and I would stick with it when I make the recipe again.  You can check out the original recipe here.

Chili Mac(aroni)

500g (1 lb) ground beef

500g (1 lb) spicy sausage meat (Italian, andouille, or similar)

1 medium onion, chopped

2 ribs of celery, diced

1 540ml (19 oz) can diced tomatoes

1 398ml (14 oz) can tomato sauce

1 398ml can kidney beans

1 1/2 cup elbow macaroni, uncooked

Seasonings:  1/2 tsp salt, pepper to taste, 2 tbsp chili powder, 2 tsp minced garlic, 1 tsp red chili paste

grated Cheddar cheese and sour cream

In a large saute pan, saute chopped onion and celery until tender-crisp, add minced garlic and red chili paste, saute for another minute or so.  Remove to a bowl.  In the hot pan, brown ground beef and sausage meat until pink is all gone, seasoning as it is browning with 1/2 tsp salt,  freshly ground pepper to taste, and 2 tablespoons of chili powder.  Drain if necessary and place meat back in pan.  Stir in sauteed onions, celery, diced tomatoes, tomato sauce and kidney beans.  Over medium heat, bring mixture to a high simmer, and continue to simmer over low heat about 20-30 minutes, stirring often.  Taste for seasoning, adding more chili powder as desired.  While chili is simmering, cook macaroni according to package directions.  Drain.  When chili is ready to serve, stir in macaroni.  If pasta has cooled, let the chili come back to a simmer before serving.  Top individual servings with grated cheese and a dollop of (no-fat) sour cream.

Three-Cheese Pasta


Thank you, Aunty Janet for this great recipe;  it has definitely been on our favorites list for a long time!  It’s a good make-ahead  or make-and-take dish and can easily be doubled to feed a larger crowd.  We add a bit of red chili paste or hot sauce for a hit of heat.   Also, the leftovers improve with a night in the fridge to really let the flavors develop.  What more could you ask for in a pasta dish?

Three Cheese Pasta

3 cups penne  (or fusilli or rotini)

700g (1 1/2 lb)  extra-lean ground beef

½ large onion,  chopped

1 tbsp minced garlic (more or less to taste)

2 1/2 cups  marinara sauce

1/2 tin (generous cup) petite-cut stewed tomatoes, garlic & olive oil or similar flavor

2-3 cups grated cheese (use some of each of colby, cheddar, monterey jack)

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 tsp freshly ground pepper (more or less to taste)

1/2 tsp dried, crushed oregano

Crumble ground beef into hot frying pan.  Sprinkle with  salt, pepper and oregano.  Add chopped onion and stir and and fry beef until no or very little pink remains.  Add garlic and cook for a minute more.   If necessary, drain meat.  In a large pot, stir together cooked meat,  marinara sauce and canned tomatoes.  Simmer sauce about 15 minutes.  While the meat sauce is cooking,  make pasta according to package directions.  Drain and keep pasta warm. Taste the meat sauce and adjust seasonings if necessary.  Remove from heat.   Stir in drained pasta and  1 ½ -2 cups of the mixed, grated cheese.  Pour into a 9″x13″ greased baking dish or casserole.  Top with remaining cheese, cover lightly with foil and bake for about ½ hour at 375 degrees F, till mixture is hot and bubbly and cheese is melted.  Remove foil for the last 5 minutes or so if necessary to melt the cheese sufficiently.  Allow pasta to stand  5-10 minutes before serving.


Beef and Broccoli

Beef and Broccoli

1 lb beef tenderloin or sirloin, thinly sliced

2 bunches broccoli, cut into florets

3 tbsp soya sauce

3 tbsp teriyaki or oyster sauce

3 tbsp sake or dry white wine

3 cloves garlic, crushed

1 tsp sugar

1 tbsp cornstarch

1 tsp sesame oil

canola oil for stir-frying

salt and pepper

1/3 -1/2 cup beef broth

400 grams udon noodles

Stir together soy sauce, teriyaki sauce and wine.  Add sugar and sesame oil,  mix well.  Stir in cornstarch and whisk until smooth.  Add beef strips and crushed garlic, stirring to coat each piece.  Marinate about 20 minutes.  Heat about a tablespoon of canola oil in skillet or wok.  Add beef to pan (reserve marinade) and stir-fry until beef is tender and browned, 2-3 minutes.  Transfer to a bowl.  Add more oil to the pan if necessary and add broccoli.  Stir-fry 3-4 minutes, season with salt and pepper.  Return beef to pan and stir in about 1/3 cup beef broth and reserved marinade.  Cooked noodles can be added at this point and stir-fried until everything is hot, adding more broth if necessary.  Makes about 3 servings.


This is not a recipe for the faint-of-heart, it’s quite a bit of work, but for a special occasion, worth the effort!  In our family, it’s Joel’s  favorite birthday dish, and has also become  a tradition for Christmas Eve supper.  Its origins are German; if you google, you will find all sorts of recipes and youtube videos both in German and English, with all sorts of variations.  Here is mine, not video, but variation:).


One slice rouladen  per person, plus some extra for hearty appetites and leftovers.  Although you can slice and pound the meat yourself to the appropriate thickness, the easiest thing to do is ask the butcher to slice the meat for you.  It’s round steak, cut into large, very thin pieces.  It’s an art form to be able to slice good slices!

Bacon, one slice per rouladen,  if it’s thinly sliced you can leave it whole, but if it’s a bit thick, chop the bacon into smaller pieces

onion, thinly sliced 

mustard, German to be authentic, but prepared is fine

String to tie the rolls

Butter for browning

Wine to deglaze the pan

For the sauce/gravy:

1 can mushroom soup

3/4 can water

1 pkg. mushroom gravy

On a large cutting board, lay out the slices.  I like to cut them in half, that’s the way my mom does it, but for quicker prep, leave them whole.  Generously spread each slice with mustard and  sprinkle with a bit of salt and pepper.  Lay the bacon strip down the middle and add some onion slices.  Starting at the shorter end, roll into a tight roll and tie with string.  When you have several tied, brown them quickly on all sides and then place in a casserole or roaster.  To the make the sauce, I mix the gravy mix into the mushroom soup and then whisk in the water.  Pour over the rolls and cover.  Bake at a low heat, 300-325 F, for about 1 1/2 – 2 hours, stirring occasionally and testing for tenderness.  Serve alongside mashed potatoes, corn and salad.  Yum!

Here are some alternate suggestions:

Add a quarter dill pickle to each slice before rolling.  The dill pickle gives the gravy a subtle layer of taste dimension that I like, but the boys were always grossed by the idea, so I’ve stopped adding it, but now that they’re all grown up, I bet I could go back including it, and they wouldn’t mind!  The other thing I used to do (when life was seemed less complicated), was cook to the rolls in the drippings from the deglazed pan and a cup or two of beef stock, and then thicken the gravy just before serving.  But now, the mushroom soup trick eliminates that extra gravy step.  Sides of cooked red cabbage and potato dumplings or spaetzle are also very tasty (and more authentic).

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