Friday, July 12, 2013

Remember the abominable snowman from Bugs Bunny?

I had a not so happy time making dinner last night. 

It has nothing to do with the way the food turned out; it was delicious! It was just the process of making it, mostly due to my own lack of observation, left me a bit frazzled.

I made the Mamma's Meatballs and Marinara Sauce from I had all of the ingredients, I got everything out, started chopping and dicing. Part of the directions say to put the tomatoes, including juice, in the food processor with some basil. I did that, but did not pay attention to capacity and overfilled it. Next thing I know, I have tomato juice leaking all over my counter. So I hurry and try to clean it up, leaving the water running (oops), which quickly fills the pan sitting in it and starts to overflow ... all over the other counter. So as I'm cleaning up these two messes, I turn around and see that the sauce, which is now on the stove, is boiling and popping up and out and all over onto everything in reach. It was just one of those moments where there is some disaster (slightly dramatic, I know) waiting every time you turn around. Whew!

Did I also mention that it was during the "Kill All Things" part of the Whole30 Challenge that I thought I had managed to avoid? So, I was a bit on edge already, lol.

As I was telling my friend about all of this, she told me I should have just gone and cuddled with our bunny, Gus, for a while. Instantly, Bugs Bunny popped into my head:

"Just what I always wanted. My own little bunny rabbit. I will name him George, and I will hug him and pet him and squeeze him..."

Anyone remember that? In case you don't, or never saw it, or want to see it again... here's the link to the video courtesy of Todd S. on YouTube.

I'm pretty sure my little Gus-bunny would not appreciate that kind of handling, lol. Probably best to just simmer down on my own. Hubby did come in and give me a hug though and helped me take a breath and start again.

From there, things went much more smoothly. Today is the last day of the "Kill All Things" stage and then I get to move on to Days 6-7: "I just want a nap!" ... At least that one is over the weekend, and I don't really have much to do, so it might be a little easier for me. We'll see and I'll let you know!

Now for the recipe!

This recipe just sounded delicious from the moment I laid eyes on it. I always loved pasta and all of the creamy sauces that it comes with. So to find a way to get to eat "spaghetti" again, it's great! I did use spaghetti squash instead of actual spaghetti, by the way.

Marinara Sauce Ingredients (recipe inspired by Giada De Laurentiis, but tweaked a bit)

  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion-diced
  • 4 cloves garlic-crushed, diced, chopped…however you like it
  • Bunch of basil
  • 2 28 0z. cans of whole organic tomatoes with their juice
  • 1 tablespoon oregano
  • salt and pepper to taste


Sauce bath...
  1. Combine both cans of whole tomatoes with their juice and the bunch of basil in a food processor or blender.
  2. Pulse until smooth and set aside.  Place olive oil, onions and garlic in a saute pan and cook over medium heat until translucent and soft…about 10 minutes….
  3. Add tomato sauce, oregano, and salt and pepper to taste and bring to a boil over medium high heat. 
  4. Once boiling, let the sauce simmer on low  for about an hour.

I find the longer you simmer, the better it tastes…if I am home I will just let it sit for a couple hours on low, stirring occasionally.  If you don’t have time, it’s still delicious after 30 minutes! It makes a lot.

Meatball Ingredients

  • 1 lb. ground beef
  • 1 lb. ground pork (feel free to use ground turkey or chicken…whatever you feel like I am sure will work)
  • 1/2 onion – diced
  • 1/2 cup fresh basil
  • 1/2 cup parsley
  • 1 cup loose-leaf spinach
  • 4 eggs
  • 1/2 cup almond meal
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 cup tomato/marinara sauce
  • 4 cloves crushed garlic
  • salt and pepper to taste


  1. Place basil, parsley, and spinach in food processor…give it a couple pulses to chop and mix it up…
  2. Place all ingredients in mixing bowl and mix together…I use my hands…I find it is the best way to get everything mixed evenly. 
  3. Next I use my scoop to make golf ball sized meatballs. 
  4. Cook at 350 degrees for about 20 minutes.  I then place them in the sauce for another 30-60 minutes, but if you don’t want to do that, cook them for 25 minutes.

This recipe makes about 3 dozen.

It took me a little while to make, probably mostly because of all of my bloopers, but I just baked a spaghetti squash while I was cooking up the sauce and meatballs. The sauce and meatballs are to die for and the spaghetti squash is a great substitute for real spaghetti pasta. You won't be disappointed! I hope you have a better time cooking it than I did, lol.

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