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
1/4 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)
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).
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.