Meatballs in Mushroom Sauce

Tonight’s dinner is one of our favorites: beef/lamb meatballs smothered in a creamy mushroom white wine sauce. My husband begs for this meal, especially smothered over a mound of mashed potatoes. This recipe makes roughly two dozen one-inch meatballs. Since the two of us could never eat that many meatballs in one sitting, I always freeze half of them for another dinner. Since they’re already baked, I just have to make a new batch of sauce, add the frozen meatballs to the skillet to reheat, and serve once they’re hot. So easy! Finally, a tip: bake your meatballs in cupcake tins; they’re the perfect size!


Meatballs in Mushroom Sauce
(Original recipe: Jo Cooks)

1 lb ground beef
1 lb ground lamb
1 onion, chopped
3 tbsp fresh dill, chopped
2 eggs
¾ cup breadcrumbs
¼ cup buttermilk
Salt and pepper

Preheat the oven to 400°F.
Add all the meatball ingredients to a large bowl, mix well using your hands.
Shape into 1 inch meatballs and bake for 20 minutes.

½ lb cremini mushrooms, sliced
4 TBSP unsalted butter
3 TBSP all-purpose flour
¼ cup dry white wine
½ cup heavy cream
1 cup chicken broth
1 tsp garlic powder
½ tsp parsley
Salt and pepper to taste

Melt better in a skillet. Add the mushrooms, sauté until soft.
Sprinkle the flour over the mushrooms; cook off flour taste.
Add the white wine, cook off alcohol.
Add heavy cream, chicken broth, and spices. Simmer until thickened.
Add meatballs to the skillet, toss in the sauce. Serve hot.


Chili con Carne


Confession: I love Wendy’s chili. It’s one of the things I missed after cutting out fast food. So I started digging through copy cat recipes online. I’ve been making it so long, I don’t remember the original recipe author. I might have even tweaked it repeatedly over the years. But this is the one in my current recipe book, and I must say, it tastes just like the real deal! It’s great on its own or topped with cheese and sour cream, it makes excellent chili dogs, and it freezes really well for meal planning purposes.

Chili con Carne

1 pound fresh ground beef
16 oz tomato juice
14.5 oz can tomato puree
7 oz red beans, drained
7 oz pinto beans, drained
¾ cup chopped white onion
1/4 cup celery, diced
1/4 cup green pepper, diced
2 TBSP chili powder
1/2 teaspoon cumin
3/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon oregano
Salt and pepper to taste

In a large pot, brown the ground beef; drain. Return the drained beef to the pot and add all remaining ingredients. Cover the pot; let it simmer for 90 minutes, stirring every 15 minutes.

Slow cooker applesauce

Applesauce is one of those recipes you don’t realize the ease of until you try it. And when you toss it all in the slow cooker, it gets even easier. The most time-consuming part is preparing the apples, but if you have one of these handy-dandy gadgets, even that part is easy! I think homemade applesauce gets better after a day or two in the fridge. Also, applesauce freezes well, so go ahead and double the recipe.

applesauceProcessed with VSCO

Slow cooker applesauce

6 large Honeycrisp apples, peeled/cored/chopped
¼ cup white sugar
2 TBSP water
½ tsp cinnamon

As you are peeling and chopping your apples, toss the pieces lightly in lemon juice to keep them from browning.

Combine all ingredients in a slow cooker, cook on high for 4-5 hours. Mash with a masher. Tweak seasonings to taste.

Frosted pumpkin cookies


This is the result of combining two recipes on a whim, and the combination has become one of my favorite parts of fall. The cookie itself is soft, almost cake-like. And the frosting is pretty much life. Both dough and frosting freeze well, in case, like me, you get a hankering for pumpkin cookies in the middle of the summer.

Soft pumpkin cookies
(Original recipe:

1 cup butter, room temperature
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1 cup canned pumpkin
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
In a large mixing bowl, cream butter and the sugars together until light and fluffy.
Blend in pumpkin, egg and vanilla extract.
In separate bowl, stir together flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon and salt.
Mix flour mixture into butter-sugar mixture.
Drop tablespoonfuls 3 inches apart on ungreased baking sheets.
Bake the cookies for 10-12 minutes until golden around the edges.


Cream cheese frosting
(Original recipe:

2 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup butter, softened
2 cups sifted confectioners’ sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Let cookies cool completely before frosting.
In a medium bowl, cream together the cream cheese and butter until creamy.
Mix in the vanilla, then gradually stir in the confectioners’ sugar.