Easter Sunday Happiness

Happy Easter! We don’t celebrate this holiday so this is just a nice Sunday of a long weekend for us. My little one woke up early, and after playing for a little while snuck into our bedroom, poked me in the shoulder, and said “Can you get up now? I’m hungry.” Of course, I drag myself out of bed, even though I was not prepared to start my day. My little one loves being in the kitchen with me, and as I start to prep pancakes for breakfast he pulls up a chair and asks to help me cook. Together we make pancakes for breakfast, and he is so proud to call his big brother to the breakfast he helped prepare.

Now that the boys are dressed and fed, I am feeling productive. I decide to get started on making tonight’s dinner. I figure that if I have the time consuming part finished then I can throw the rest of dinner together quickly when we all get hungry. Dinner tonight is meatballs and sauce. I start by grinding the beef, this has made a huge difference in my food, and is worth the effort if you have the opportinity to grind your own meat. I get the meatballs and sauce made, and take the boys to the playground to play. It’s a beautiful day and getting my dinner made early means I get to spend some quality time having fun with the kids. 

Then my sister asks me to go to Manhattan with her to hang out for the afternoon. I quickly get ready and off I go for some sister time in the city. When I get home we have dinner ready quickly and now the boys are watching Harry Potter before bed. One decision, to make dinner early, changed my day entirely. I didn’t procrastinate, and my family was taken care of, and I had some time for myself as well. Lazy Sundays are special in their own way, but days like today remind me how full and fulfilling my life can be. 

  
MEATBALLS AND SAUCE (adapted from Ina Garten http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/ina-garten/real-meatballs-and-spaghetti-recipe.html )

  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1/2 lb ground pork
  • 1/2 lb ground veal
  • 1 cup plain breadcrumbs
  • 1/4 cup seasoned breadcrumbs 
  • 1/2 cup fresh grated Parmesan 
  • 1 large egg
  • 3/4 cup warm water
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 28oz can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 yellow onion, chopped
  • 4-6 cloves of garlic minced 
  • 1/2 cup chicken stock 
  • Olive oil, and vegetable oil

Combine the meat, breadcrumbs, Parmesan cheese, egg, water, salt, pepper, and nutmeg in a large bowl. Heat equal amounts of olive oil and vegetable oil in a large, heavy skillet over medium high heat. Make meatballs, approximately 2″, and brown on all sides in the skillet. Set them aside when they are done. Discard oil, do not wipe pan clean. Add some olive oil, and heat over medium heat. Add onions, and sauté until translucent. Add the garlic and sauté for one minute. Add chicken stock, and scrape browned bits off bottom of pan. Bring to a simmer. Add crushed tomatoes and stir in 1 1/2 tsp salt and 1/2 tsp pepper. Return meatballs to skillet, cover and simmer on low for 30 minutes. 

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