organized by my son. What can I say. About 5 pm the door bell rand and it was a friend of DS's stopping by to see how Clara and I were doing. About 10 minutes later the door bell again rang and it was several more friends. By the time the door bell stopped ringing there were 8 people here! It turns out that before he left yesterday he'd gotten in touch with his friends and asked them to stop by and visit.
I couldn't believe it! So there were John's 8 friends, Clara and I . . . all starving! So . . . what to do. Well, the answer to that is cook simple, cook sparky style. Did it!
I cannot tell you how much it meant to Clara and I that all these friends stopped by! And to think my son organized this . . . verklempt! Jason was still out of town (he finally got home after midnight). It meant so much to sit around and share a meal and some laughs with John's friends. Made things a little better.
I was lucky that I had done some big batch cooking, so I had meatballs and spaghetti with sausage in the freezer, so got them all I had to do was microwave to heat. We were able to enjoy a meal together. While some were working on getting the spaghetti togehter, another friend, Clara and I worked on making a quick dessert, sparky inspired.
Hmmmmm....lots of things learned sitting around talking with your kids' friends! LOL We shared lots of laughs, which we all needed.
1 can San Marzano tomatoes (1 lb.)
1 jar of your favorite pasta sauce (I use Prego chunky garden combo)
1/4 lb. Italian sausage (I use turkey sausage)
2 - 3 cloves of garlic crushed
1 cup sliced or diced mushrooms (love creminis -- baby portabellas)
1 lb. whole wheat pasta
Start a large pot of water to boiling. Be sure to add salt to the water. Taht's your only chance to flavor the spaghetti. When the water is at a rolling boil, add the spaghetti. Cook per package directions.
When they're done (usually like mine al dente, so that takes 10-12 minutes, depending on the pasta you use). Drain noodles and return them to the pot to stay warm.
Sauce: Start by browning your sausage in a large skillet till browned. Drain and add garlic to the pot. Add the mushrooms and cook till they're tender. Drain and add your tomatoes until the sauce thickens. Add your spaghetti sauce. When the sausage is cool enough to handle, cut it into bite size pieces adn add to the sauce.
**If you like your spaghetti sauce more chunky style, add 1 medium chopped onion, green and red pepper and you add lots of nutrition and fiber.**
Serves: 6 people
calories 135.3 calories
fat 6.5 gm.
carbs 16.5 gm.
protein 5.6 gm.
***If you want this as a vegitarian dish, of course, you could skip the sausage, which will also decrease your fat and calories.***
***I had made this when I did big batch cooking, so the sausage and spaghetti sauce were good-to-go. All I did was microwave to heat and added some parmaseano reggiano on top. ***
Turkey Sausage Meat Balls
1 lb. ground turkey
1/2 cup grated parmasean cheese
1/4 cup egg whites
1 tsp. oregano, garlic powder, onion powder, basil and thyme
pinch of nutmeg
preheat oven to 350 degrees
Mix all ingredients in a large bowl. The meat mixture should be sticky enough to roll into approximately 1 oz. balls of meat (a small ice cream scoop is the perfect tool to get nicely shaped meat balls). Put the meat balls on a lined cookie sheet with parchment paper. Bake for 25 minutes.
Serves: 18 people (approx. 1 oz. each meat ball)
calories 42.8 calories per meatball
fat 1.6 gm.
protein 7.6 gm.
**Since I had this frozen, all I had to do was microwave to warm. I sprinkle a bit of real parmaseano reggiano on top and put it in a serving dish so people can just help themselves to as many meatballs as desired.**
I wanted something quick and easy as a dessert and STILL have massive quantities of peaches (bought a LOT while at Costco)! So, this is what I made (the only thing that had to be made from scratch).
Peacn and Coconut Muffins
3 cups of almond flour
1 Tablespoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup EVOO (you could use vegetable or canola oil)
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup flaked unsweetened coconut
2 cups of chopped peaches
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Gently beat eggs together with a wish or fork. Add sugar, flour, cinnamon, coconut, soda and salt into the egg. Stir in oil and peaches.
Divide the batter into two muffin pans (sprayed with cooking spray!) --- 24 total. Bake till golden about 25 minutes. Check for doneness with a tooth pick. If the toothpick comes out clean, they're done.
***NOTE: this recipe has sugar in it. You CAN substitute Splenda (same amount), which will decrease the calorie count and the nutrition information). This batch I made with regular sugar, since I didn't have an intent to have one.)
Serves 24 people
calories 177 calories
fat 9.7 gm.
carbs 21.6 gm.
protein 2.7 gm.
These freeze well. I had enough to send everyone home with some as I made a double batch.
So, I guess this weekend was impromptu! I was glad for the fellowship yesterday, that's for sure. I was very glad to have had the big batch freezer meals! It was a particularly fitting meal, because pasta of any kind is John's favorite meal.