Homemade Meatballs and Tomato Sauce

 

My Gramma Ginger is one of the best conversationalists in the world, in my opinion (she’s also one of the namesakes to this blog). This is probably due to the fact that she never sits down with a group of people without a list of prepared questions for any lull in the dialogue. Although she has never asked me this specific question, it came up during a recent get-together with friends. This certainly seems like a question that is quintessentially Ginger-esque – “what would you cook for the president if they came over for dinner?”

While I’m not 100% sure this my go-to presidential dish, it’s definitely in my top 5 contenders. I got the idea to add raisins from eating at Frankie’s Sputino in Brooklyn a few years ago, and their inclusion has been the only change to my recipe in the past 8 years. I make this dish at least once a month, and I consider these the perfect potluck or impromptu dinner party food.

You gotta get your hands a wee bit dirty here and allow yourself the time to let the flavors sit, but how long has it been since you’ve played with a big bowl of tomato chunks? C’mon, it’s fun.  Keep in mind – this takes a full 3 hours to make the sauce, but I promise you, the result is worth the wait.

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Jan & Robin – Home Fries

Being from the southern US, I grew up eating home fries almost every morning, and I still like to make them on weekends topped with an egg for an easy hash. I actually have a scar on my left hand from a grease fire caused by getting the oil too hot whilst making home fries for a class breakfast at 15; I’ve gotten a little better since then. I still have an aversion to frying, and now I put them in the oven. It also helps to use less oil and makes them a little less calorie-heavy.

So: less scarring and healthier. Everybody wins.

Jan & Robins are simply yummy things to look at. 

Just in case you aren’t familiar with how to make home fries there is a recipe after the break.

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Baked Macaroni and Cheese

One strange thing since I’ve been in Spain is that I will have moments where I realize that I’m just plain starving. Maybe my body is adjusting to a different diet, but all I know is that I randomly get hit with a thought of – man, I’m really freaking hungry. Davis arrived a bit after I did and sure enough, he goes through the same thing, a random and sudden realization that you are just ravenous.

It’s not for lack of eating; my pet philosophy is it has to do with the times that we’re eating and the types of foods just aren’t what we’ve come to know as being “filling.” I wonder if everyone has a similar adjustment when moving to a foreign country?

That said, I have been craving, and I mean, craving macaroni and cheese lately. It’s normally a fall/winter food, but for some reason I couldn’t get it out of my mind. It’s super dense and almost everyone’s version of comfort food. I can say definitively that it hit the spot.

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Carrot Soup and Stuffed Tomatoes

My husband and I used to have a system in our house where we would try to eat one vegetarian, one vegan, and one fish dish a week. This way, we were reducing our meat consumption each week by just a bit. When we started prepping for our move overseas, any kind of routine became pretty difficult and we sort of lost track of our old system. As we’re settling into a routine again, its time to get back to business, and I figured this was a good week to start.

I had eaten some Crema de Zanahoria at a local favorite restaurant recently and thought to myself, “there is no way I can’t make this at home.” After making a point to revisit the Fannie Farmer Cookbook this week, I went to do some recipe digging and as fate would have it, I found that it included a quite tasty-sounding recipe for carrot soup. I couldn’t be happier with the results; as Davis said, “this one is going into heavy rotation.”

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