Make-Ahead Meatballs

I love baking and trying out new recipes, but I don’t like the preparation and cleaning up part. Seriously. Peeling, chopping, slicing, dicing, cleaning and whatnot. It’s too much of a hassle.

But you know what’s even worse? When you’re being interrupted while doing all that. Happens to me ALL the time.

I was cleaning the chicken – removing the skin and trimming the fats – when Raina suddenly came downstairs crying, “Mama mama MAMAAA! Doooorrr!!” and showed me the door of her dollhouse that came off and needed fixing. If it’s not the dollhouse door, it would be either Tinkerbell’s shoes fell off, or Polly Pocket’s head came off, or My Little Pony hair got tangled up, or she just wanted to watch Barney DVD. GAHHH.

It was cute at first, but after like the 10th time, it was driving me nuts. I had to stop whatever I was doing, wash my hands with soap and go upstairs to fix the problem. And then I’d go downstairs, wash my hands with soap again, and continue cleaning the chicken or chopping the onion or whatever I was doing earlier. I’d be lucky if she only interrupts me once. Usually it’s 2 or 3 times. And by the time I finished cooking, my hands felt sooo rough from over washing with soap. Imagine having to face this every time I cook. -_____-

Don’t get me wrong. I love my kids. Of course I do. But can’t I just cook dinner in peace? It just ruined my cooking mood, ya know. And when I’m not in the mood, my dishes won’t turn out good.

My husband came up with an idea, that I only cook once a month. I have to say I was shocked at first because he always wanted to eat home-cooked meal every day. And now he’s suggesting that I only cook once a month? Is he serious?

He later explained that I just need to spend one day cooking large portion of meals for a month’s supply. In other words, cook in advance! (He got the idea from onceamonthmom.com by the way). It’s actually a brilliant idea! Why haven’t I thought of that before??

And so last week we started our “once a month mom” trial, except ours is “once a week mom”. I just think 1 month is a bit too long; plus, I don’t think our freezer is big enough to store 30 days worth of food. So once a week it is.

I started preparing for a week’s meal last Monday and I made 3 types of meals – pita pizza, marinated chicken and meatballs. Senang sekali harung cuci ayam, chop onions and other ingredients. So far so good. It makes my life so much easier and I don’t have to think what to cook every day!

Anyway, my favorite meal from last week was meatballs. We had them 2 days in a row (my husband actually wanted more, but there were none left in the freezer).

 

I was actually craving for Ikea meatballs last week. We went to Ikea but as usual the food court was so jam-packed with people, I just had to forget about it. But I didn’t – I couldn’t! I decided to make my own meatballs instead. That was the first time I made meatballs and they turned out so good, just like Ikea’s – at least my husband thinks so. Haha. And it’s not that hard to make. Just mix and roll!

This is the meatball recipe that I used, which I found on food.com. The recipe claimed to be authentic Italian meatballs. Not sure how true that is, but they sure are yummy!

450 g ground beef
1 egg
1/4 cup milk
1/2 cup breadcrumbs
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp oregano
1 tbsp fresh parsley
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

(makes 20 meatballs)

 

Dump in all of the ingredients in a big bowl and mix them with your hand (or hands, if you must).

 

Roll the meatballs to about the size of a golf ball
(I doubled the recipe above by the way)

 

Now if you’re making this in advance, you need to put them on a tray lined with baking paper as pictured above, and place them in the freezer for about 30-45 minutes to flash-freeze them. This is to prevent the meatballs from sticking to one another. Once they are frozen, remove from the tray and place them in a zippered freezer bag before keeping them in the freezer (frozen meatballs can last up to 3 months).

 

I just made these again recently!

 

If you want to cook the meatballs, only take the amount that you want to cook (say, 5 for each person), place them in a different zippered bag or a container and thaw them in the fridge overnight.

You can eat meatballs with cream sauce, tomato sauce, as pizza topping, add them in spaghetti, or even in sandwiches.

I made creamy meat gravy with sour cream for my meatballs last week, using this recipe (yes, all my recipes are mostly Google-d).

 

 

 Meatballs with potato gratin and steamed broccoli on the sides.

And I ate my meatballs with jam! I don’t have Lingonberry jam so I ate with strawberry jam instead. Haha.
I don’t know how, but strawberry jam and meatballs actually worked! Sweet, tangy, juicy, salty. Oh my.



Comments

  1. brilliant ideas! why haven’t I thought about this too. Because I joined the homemade meals for toddlers group and we mummies did this way for preparing our kids’ meals. Cook, leftovers keep in the freezer, can be used for the next 2 weeks! Should’ve done that on the adults foods as well! Awesome =)nthanks Iza! couldn’t wait to try the meatballs recipe too btw. Feeling hungry already :)

  2. Boleh I tahu, lepas u set aside for 30mins the meatballs. How did you cook them, in the sauce straight or bake them in the oven? Resipi untuk sauce pon from the link you provide ke?

  3. Iza@ThePinkStilettos says:

    I cook them first halfway, and then remove them from the pan and start making the sauce. Then masukkan balik meatballs dlm sauce tu and cook for another 10 minutes. Cara to cook the meatballs and the sauce ada kat link recipe in this post.

  4. hi iza.. where to get the sour cream?

  5. Iza@ThePinkStilettos says:

    Most supermarkets ada jual, usually kat bahagian yogurt. I bought mine from Giant btw.

  6. kenapa colour sauce u lain.

  7. hi..nnParmesan is not vegetarian..so not halal..just to let you know.. Can always substitute with cheddar

  8. I pun baru baca tentang konsep OAMC ni. Seronok juga, tapi kena tekun juga. The key is preparing!n

  9. Iza@ThePinkStilettos says:

    I use Floridia Cheese parmesan and there is halal logo. It even stated the rennet is halal certified.

  10. Iza@ThePinkStilettos says:

    Yes, kena pilih satu hari yg kita boleh spend time to cook. Usually on weekend la kan. Tapi doesn’t take much time pun. I actually enjoyed preparing them. I think this once-a-month/week-mom is great for working and busy moms!

  11. Iza@ThePinkStilettos says:

    I think sbb my beef stock tak sepekat macam dlm recipe tu (I guna vegetarian style beef stock btw)n

  12. Iza@ThePinkStilettos says:

    Ya, I did that too when my girls were infants (frozen carrots, peas, pumpkin, etc.. even bubur!). huhu. Tak terfikir nak buat for our food kan

  13. Nampak sangat yummy!…do we have lingonberry jam tu kt sini?

  14. Iza@ThePinkStilettos says:

    I’m not sure. Tak pernah cari pulak. If i do find it, i will definitely share it!

  15. Iza… mind to share what brand of the ingredients (parmesan / stock / cream) that you usually used?

  16. Iza@ThePinkStilettos says:

    Parmesan: Floridia Cheese, Stock: Massel, sour cream: Sunglo

  17. Haaa…maybe kt Ikea ada jual Lingonberry tu…heheh

  18. Hi Iza, boleh tanya, the original recipe u bagi link tu, guna ground nutmeg and ground cardamom…tapi you tak pakai, boleh tau if i guna recipe you pun it still taste the same ker? thanks and tq for the ideas!

  19. Iza@ThePinkStilettos says:

    I only follow the sauce recipe. The meatball recipe is from food.com.

  20. assalam iza…nnthanks for the great2 recipe… skrg mau gi beli all the ingredients.. hehe…nnmimie-the-wahm.blogspot.com

  21. Hi iza, mind to share vegetarian beef stock tu buat mcm mane? U bli siap ke?

  22. Iza@ThePinkStilettos says:

    Beli siap, brand Massel. Ada jual kat Jaya Grocer

  23. Iza, boleh Kasi resepi creamy meat SOS Dia tak?

  24. Iza@ThePinkStilettos says:

    I already put the link in my post. Just click on it.

  25. suterakasihyann.com says:

    nak try la nti, sebab ramai sgt ckp meatball ikea sedap melampau2 hehe maklumla blm ada kt sabah lg ^^

  26. thank you so much for sharing this iza. dont know how to express my gratitude to you for all your recipies.. somehow you make cooking a little less scary for me- sbb i m pemasakpenakut. thank you so much.

  27. Iza@ThePinkStilettos says:

    you’re most welcome! Happy to hear that :)

  28. just nk request you to share more on halal products too ya, as much as you can la hehehhe, i just discover your blog and find it sooo interesting, keep it up :))

  29. Iza@ThePinkStilettos says:

    Thank you! :)

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