I haven’t always loved to cook, honestly I didn’t really start enjoying it until after I married Jason. Before I met him my version of cooking was pulling something frozen out of the freezer and throwing it in the
microwave oven. I never really had the opportunity to learn how to cook other then sometimes helping out with holiday meals at my grandparents house. Once I got over the fear of the kitchen, oven, stove basically anything in the kitchen & realized I could create anything I wanted things started to be easier & definitely more fun. As I said in a previous blog post our financial situation the last year was very tight. Every time Jason needed to have surgery on his foot he needed to take 2-4 weeks off for not only the procedure but recovery/healing time. He was getting paid short term disability but that wasn’t even close to what he would have been making if he had been at work his normal hours. We had to cut expenses somewhere so I needed to start getting creative when it came to meal times. I needed to find ways to spend less money on groceries but still get the same amount of meals out of what we did buy. I spent many hours searching the internet and with the help of Google and Pinterest I was able to find some tasty ideas for meals.
One meal that has been a hit since the very first time I made it was homemade meatball & marinara sandwiches. I didn’t really follow any particular recipe for the meatballs or the marinara sauce I sort of just winged it but they turned out so good I had to quickly think about what I used to make everything so I wouldn’t forget. Then I figured what better place to keep my recipe then on my blog.
I started by preparing the meatball mixture. I took 1lb of hamburger meat and placed it in a bowl with some garlic salt, garlic powder, pepper, Italian seasoning, parsley, an egg and some crusted up crackers. I didn’t measure out any of the spices I just used my best judgement and crossed my fingers that they were seasoned enough. After mixing all the ingredients together I rolled them out into roughly the size of golf balls and placed them in a Pyrex dish that I had sprayed with some nonstick spray. Then placed them in a 350* oven for about 25 minutes.
While the meatballs were in the oven I preheated a skillet then added a roughly chopped white onion, some minced garlic & sliced mushrooms. I waited until the onion started to caramelize, the garlic became very fragrant and the mushrooms started to cook down before adding a can of stewed tomatoes into the skillet. I covered the pan and turned the heat down to low and let all the flavors blend together.
A little twist to this sandwich is it is made on garlic bread. A little trick I learned from watching a friends video on youtube is to melt some butter, olive oil and minced garlic in a pan until the garlic become very fragrant and everything is incorporated. I took the bread out of the package, cut them open using a serrated knife and placed them on a pizza pan.
The garlic mixture was separated between the rolls and once the meatballs were cooked to perfection I added them to the marinara sauce to simmer while the garlic bread was placed under the broiler until they were golden brown. Let me just tell you my house smells amazing every single time I make this recipe. The smells of garlic, onion, meatballs & homemade marinara filled the air so much so Jason could smell it all the way down the hallway when he got home from running some errands. The sandwiches taste just as amazing now as they did the very first time I made them. It also makes me happy to know what my family is putting into their mouths and I don’t have to worry about any chemicals or additives that I can’t pronounce. This has been added to our meal time rotation and has been made many, many times since I first made them in October last year. I’m so glad I took that creative leap in the kitchen and I can’t wait to try new recipes.