Slow-Cooker Meatball Sandwiches

Meatball Sandwich | The Kitten Kitchen

On top of my hoagy,
All covered with cheese,
I lost my poor meatball,
When somebody sneezed.

Okay, so it’s “spaghetti” and not “hoagy,” but I had to get “On Top of Spaghetti” stuck in your head while you contemplate the delicious dinner that is about to come out of your slow cooker if you make this recipe. I also didn’t lose my meatball when someone sneezed, though that would be okay because if someone sneezed on my meatball, go ahead and let that thing roll away, and give me a new one. Yuck.

Chris loved these meat-ah-ballz-ah, and he thinks meatballs are normally dry and boring. Not these. These meatballs, oh my gosh, they were so good–juicy, tender and flavorful. And you don’t have to use them on hoagies, grinders, subs, sandwiches (whatever your part of the world calls them)–slap those pups on some spaghetti, and you’re still in for a treat.

Cook some meat-ah-balls-ah after the jump

Simple Pasta Caprese

Pasta Caprese | The Kitten Kitchen

I’m sitting on my couch sipping some white wine, wishing I had more mozzarella cheese because I really want to make this dish again. It was so quick and simple, which has been great this week because I’m dealing with a sick kitty cat. I feel this topic is relevant because the blog is titled, “The Kitten Kitchen,” and I have many “kittens.” Four to be exact. And Miss Eleanor RigbyCat is the queen bee in this humble abode.

It was always just the two of us. Two peas in a pod. Best friends forever. Then I got a boyfriend, Chris, now my husband. Then we adopted three more boy kitties. Needless to say, she wasn’t thrilled, but she has nothing to complain about. She basically has her own apartment upstairs with her own litter box, special food and huge king-sized bed. Don’t feel too sorry for her.

But seriously, she’s one of my soul mates.

I found Ellie in my backyard when I lived in old apartment in Newport, Kentucky. I thought she was pregnant, but it turned out she had a huge hernia in her belly area. There was a tear in the area where she was spayed, and all her organs leaked through that tear. I’m sure I’m not explaining this with medical precision, but I remember that was the gist. She was almost put to sleep during the surgery because it was so extensive, but she ended up coming out of it with flying colors.

A few years later, I found out that she was having pain in her chest, and when I casually brought up the hernia thing, the doctor said she was probably hit by a car at one point, broke her ribs, and they eventually healed improperly, leading to chest pain. He said the force of the car hitting her probably also caused the internal tear that led to the hernia. Other problems she’s had include having her two front fangs pulled because of infections, anemia and arthritis. And, earlier this year she was diagnosed with kidney disease. So, she has to take two pills, two times a day, and we give her fluids once a day through a needle in the  back of her scruff. She just sits there and stares at you. Such a lovely, good girl she is.

The lady that used to live next door to me in Newport said that she thinks Ellie lived outside by herself for almost 1o years. That means she’s probably about a teenager now. Time for me to worry. She was lying down in her litter box the other day, chillin’ (and not peeing), so I assumed the worst. She got some blood work done, and we found out today that she is now severely anemic, and not producing enough of a hormone (erythropoietin), so we are going to have to start giving her some shots three times a week or so. She’s not suffering though. That’s what I was worried about. She’s still lovey, purring and all up in my face, so those are all good signs. Send some good vibes her way, if you’re so inclined.

This was a long-winded way of telling you that I really needed something quick to make for dinner the other night. I was stressed, worried and tired. And this dish delivered. It was warm when I served it, and the next day I ate the leftovers cold, which means it’d be a great dish to bring to a picnic!

Make the simplest pasta dish ever…after the jump

Italian Meatloaf

Italian Meatloaf
Meatloaf, double beatloaf, I hate meatloaf. Sorry, Randy, but I think I have a recipe that might change your mind.

Also, I think I’ve mentioned this before, but I hate the word “loaf.” What a dumb word. It sounds so floofy and gross and sloppy. LOAAAFFFFF. Say it out loud. See? Isn’t it stupid? Ugh.

If you don’t like Italian-inspired foods, get out of my kitchen. Just kidding. Sort of. But really, if you don’t, try my other meatloaf recipe — the one that convinced me that meatloaf wasn’t just a block of ground beef with chunks of gross weird stuff in it.

Alright, while I’d love to continue on this discombobulated rant, I need you to go ahead and read how to make the best meatloaf I’ve ever tasted in my life. And I made it up. And I cooked it. And I’m always a little proud of myself during those moments.

Meatloaf will make you…JUMP! JUMP!

Pasta Bake

Pasta BakeIt has been cold and snowy in Cincinnati, and you know what that means. Comfort food! There are a quite a few dishes that fit into this realm of culinary goodness–soups, grilled cheese, stews, macaroni and cheese, lasagna and…wait for it…pasta bake. My dad always called it goulash, so you can call it that if you’d like, though I’m pretty sure it’s not goulash.

I’ve made a couple different versions of pasta bake, always just kind of throwing things into the mix, but this time I hit the jackpot. The pesto might just be the secret ingredient that was missing before.

Oh, and while I was preparing dinner, I turned around to witness Chris’s stroke of genius–use a giant stemmed wine glass votive as…uh, well…a wine glass! Seemed like an awesome idea at first. We realized that after sipping, when the wine hits the little divot where the tea light goes, it splashes up into your face. Maybe that’s not entirely a bad thing. Yeah. After two seconds of pondering, it’s not. Just wear a bib and drink up.

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Alright, enough rambling. Let’s make some pasta bake

Calzones

Calzone

This is so easy. Seriously. So. Easy.

I bought some ready-made pizza dough (cheating, I know) at the grocery store and happened upon this link the other day. It didn’t give very many instructions for making it the best calzone ever, so I took that upon myself. I think I did a pretty good job.

I should also stress that this is a very easy recipe that can be tailored to the many things one loves about pizza.

Make a calzone after the jump