preservings

exploring, preserving: past, present


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More Comfort Food – Slow Cooker Meatballs Plus Two Bonus #Recipes!

This extremely cold weather is so dry, and the windchills and blowing snow for the past two weeks have triggered the hibernation instinct in me. That can be either good or bad: bad if I’m curling up under a blanket and eating a lot or … good if I’m curling up under a blanket and eating yummy things. (grin)

I’ve heard for a few years now how friends of ours use grape jelly in their tomato sauce for meatballs. Never tried it before, but then the other day while on Pinterest I saw this incredibly easy recipe for sweet and tangy meatball appetizers. That, plus seeing the really easy recipe for caprese bites and caramel apple dessert shots (oh my!), convinced me I had to invite people over and have a good time with food and friends.

The meatball recipe is so simple, takes five minutes of prep (unless you’re making your own meatballs, then add another 20 minutes). The caprese bites and caramel dessert shots are just as easy, but not as quick (it’s just the “build time” that makes it about 20 minutes for each to complete). But… if you try all three of these appetizer-sized items, it’s about an hour of effort for some very yummy food that makes a complete meal!

Sweet and Tangy Meatballs
One box of approximately 40 frozen meatballs
One jar of grape jelly (8 oz)
One jar of Heinz chili sauce (16 oz)

Place frozen meatballs into saucepan and warm up/brown quickly (no more than 5 minutes). Meatballs, jelly, and sauce all go into the crockpot. Give it all a good stir, let it sit on low for 6 hours (stirring once or twice in between).

So easy, so quick, so yummy!

So easy, so quick, so yummy!

Caprese Bites
Grape tomatoes
Fresh basil leaves
Mini bocconcini
Balsamic vinegar
Toothpicks

Place tomatoes, leaves, and bocconcini on toothpicks. Drizzle with balsamic vinegar and serve!

Easy Caprese Bites!

Easy Caprese Bites!

Caramel Apple Dessert Shots
(recipe makes 12)
One Spartan apple, diced (tiny pieces!)
Whipping Cream
Caramel Sauce
Granola

Layer the ingredients in the following order into small shot glasses or espresso cups: caramel, whipping cream, granola, caramel, diced apple, whipping cream, and a tiny bit of caramel and granola drizzled over top. Takes about half an hour to make one dozen shots, but it is oh so yummy!

caramel apple dessert shots (the mini mugs were found at the dollar store - 12 for $2)

caramel apple dessert shots (the mini mugs were found at the dollar store – 12 for $2)

Join Bonnie at Recipes Happen and others every Saturday, finding the Upside in life!

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Saturday Upside – After the Storm, Comfort Food

The past two Saturdays have had our area see a lot of snow, wind, and very cold temperatures. That, plus a bout of stomach flu, has me inspired to dig up tried and true comfort food. Time for soup and pie…

Homemade green bean soup with farmer sausage.

Homemade green bean soup with farmer sausage.

Oh the decadence of syrupy good saskatoon pie!

Oh the decadence of syrupy good saskatoon pie!

Now if only I could get rid of the flu so I could enjoy the meal! At least my two dogs are more cuddly out of sympathy for me and my illness.

What are your tried and true comfort foods in the wintertime?


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Saturday Upside – Cleaning House

I don’t tend to be one of those people who make New Year’s resolutions. I do, however, take time during my holidays (which are two weeks during the Christmas and New Year because I’m an educator and we always have those two weeks break) to reflect on the past year, the past portion of the school year completed, and to contemplate what the new year will bring. This year, we were lucky enough to be able to travel to Cancun Mexico for one week of rest, relaxation, and contemplation time.

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I begin a new position on Monday. Contemplating the past year and the past portion of the school year completed, I know I am leaving a wonderful group of people behind. Looking ahead to what the new year will bring, I will be looking forward to a few things….

Because my new position is closer to home, I will have more time for family. My previous position, though one I dearly loved and one I wish I lived closer to, kept me away from home many evenings. It also involved almost an hour of commuting (one way). Just the addition of almost two hours to my home time because of less commuting will bring precious connection time for me and my husband in particular.

Because my new position is so close to home, I will have the opportunity to walk (1/2 hour) or bike (10 minutes) to work. How’s that for healthy living added in? That is something I am looking forward to, since I previously used my commuting time for contemplation and mental preparation rather than physical activity.

Because my new position is so close to home, I will have more time to invite people to our home – something we had in mind when we purchased our home in the first place. Our home is one we chose because it has so much space for entertaining, and this past week I have already been getting into the entertaining mood by having four nights of gatherings. I know this will be something I will continue to look forward to, as I love to host people and love to make and share food with guests. (Have you noticed that many of my postings are recipes?!)

The biggest upside I am looking forward to will probably sound strange – cleaning house. I’m looking forward to getting back into the routine of cleaning cupboards (spring cleaning), getting to the baseboards (dusting), and polishing woodwork. This is something both physical (exercise!) as well as visually satisfying for me.

I love that I will continue to connect with my colleagues from my previous job through social media and other get-togethers. I am looking forward to the reshuffling of how I use my time with my new job.

Happy New Year! and happy house cleaning! 🙂

Join Bonnie at Recipes Happen and others every Saturday to find the upsides in life.