Meatball Marinara Sub


My family likes to go to a popular sub sandwich shop for lunch on the weekends.  For as long as we have been going to this home of the $5 foot long, my daughter only orders the meatball sub.  With all the different options of sandwich fillings, I cannot get her to try anything else but that.  So, that’s what gave me the idea to make them myself.  My daughter did say that mine tastes better……….smart girl!


Start with the combo of beef and pork.


This is the best way I’ve found to make uniform meatballs.  My secret weapon is the ice cream scoop.  I use it for ice cream, cookie batter and of course meatballs.


Roll each meatball  into little balls.


Baking makes for a little healthier meatballs and it’s a lot faster than cooking on the stove top.  Really, it’s because I’m just too lazy to stand at the stove and turn each of these little meatballs.


When they come out of the oven, place them into a pan with marinara sauce.  Of course you can use these with spaghetti, but my daughter insisted on meatball subs this night.

Meatball Marinara Sub


1 ½ pounds ground beef (80/20)

1 ½ pounds ground pork

2 eggs, beaten

¼ cup milk

½ cup breadcrumbs

1 tsp garlic salt

½ tsp pepper

½ tsp garlic powder

½ tsp onion powder

½ tsp dried basil

¼ tsp paprika


1 jar marinara sauce

Bread rolls

2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese

Combine all ingredients into a large bowl and mix until well incorporated.  Scoop with ice cream scoop onto baking pan.  Roll between your hands to make them into a ball.  Drizzle some olive oil over each meatball.

Bake at 375 degrees for about 35 minutes.

Place the meatballs into a pan and pour in your favorite jar pasta sauce until sauce is warmed through and the meatballs soak in the sauce.  Slice and toast the rolls in the oven until a little crisp.  Fill each roll with meatballs and sauce on top, then sprinkle on some mozzarella cheese.

Makes 35 large meatballs.

Stuffed Beef Roll

My great friend, Valeria is an amazing cook!  She is also the queen of making up great recipes with what she has on hand in her fridge and pantry. This is one of her creations and I had to steal it for myself.

Unfortunately, my picture of this tasty stuffed beef roll does not do her recipe justice.  (sorry V!)

Just imagine a meatloaf with salty ham and creamy cheese oozing out of the middle.  Yup, I’m drooling too!!

Use three pounds of good ground beef.

Put all the beef ingredients into a large bowl and combine.

Once everything is combined, split the mixture in half.

Spread one half of the beef mixture onto a sheet of aluminum foil into a square.

Layer on the ham, leaving about 2 inches on the bottom and 3 inches on the top.

Place the slices of cheese on top.

The is the most fun part!  Start by folding up from the bottom.

Keep it rollin’!

Rollin’, rollin’, rollin’…………

Towards the end, fold down the top and smooth the seam out.

Make sure the ends are nicely sealed up too.

I don’t have pics of the rest of the cooking steps, but I have to imagine it’s because I had a hungry family in the background crying, “Mommy, stop taking pictures and let us eat it already!”  So, there you go.

Stuffed Beef Roll


3 pounds ground beef

1 egg

½ cup Italian bread crumbs

¼ cup milk

½ tsp onion powder

½ tsp garlic powder

1 tsp dried basil

1 tsp dried parsley

1 tsp salt

½ tsp pepper



8 slices black forest ham

6 slices cheese (muenster, provolone)

Fresh basil (optional)

Place all the beef ingredients into a bowl and combine well.  Divide in half and spread one half onto a large sheet of aluminum foil, into a 12 inch by 12 inch square.  Layer on the ham and cheese, leaving at least 3 inches at the top of the square.  Fold the bottom edge of the foil up and keep rolling to the top, then fold the top down to seal.  Use your fingers to smooth out the seam and ends.  Repeat the same thing with the second half of the ground beef mixture.

Lay both beef rolls on a sheet pan and bake at 350 degrees for about 45 minutes or until done.

Pot Roast, It’s What’s For Dinner

I must admit, this is not the prettiest plate of food I’ve ever made, but comfort food doesn’t have to look good.  It tastes so good, it doesn’t even matter.  I’m sure a French culinary chef would disagree with me, but I’m not French or a chef so there you go…….

This is the kind of meal you wanna come home to when you’re cold, tired and just want some good down-home food in your belly.

Start with salt and peppering your hunka meat (chuck roast in layman’s terms) and then browning it in a dutch oven.

Throw in the onions and get a good char on them.

Pull our your onions and throw in your cut carrots.

When all the vegetable are done, pour in your liquids and give your pot a good whisking.  Make sure to release all the crusty goodness on the bottom of the pot.  I actually used chicken stock because I didn’t have beef broth on hand.  Look at the color the chicken stock turned just from the whisking!

Put your hunka meat back in the pot and throw the vegetables on top.  Place your fresh rosemary and thyme on top and bring the whole thing to a boil.  Put the lid on the pot and place the whole thing in the oven.  The key to really amazing pot roast is “low and slow.”  This will cook at 275 degrees for about 3-4 hours.  You’ll want to check on it half way through to move some of the veggies around.

In that 3-4 hours time, your whole house will be perfumed with the tantalizing smell of the most amazing pot roast you’ll ever have.  Don’t be surprised if you get a few dogs showing up at your door too!  They follow their noses, ya know.

Pot Roast

From Pioneer Woman

1 whole (4 To 5 Pounds) Chuck Roast

2 Tablespoons Olive Oil

2 whole Onions

6 whole Carrots (Up To 8 Carrots)

Salt To Taste

Pepper To Taste

1 cup Red Wine

2 cups Beef Stock

3 sprigs Fresh Thyme, or more to taste

3 sprigs Fresh Rosemary, or more to taste

First and foremost, choose a nicely marbled piece of meat. This will enhance the flavor of your pot roast like nothing else. Generously salt and pepper your chuck roast.

Heat a large pot or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Then add 2 to 3 tablespoons of olive oil (or you can do a butter/olive oil split).

Cut two onions in half and cut 6 to 8 carrots into 2-inch slices (you can peel them, but you don’t have to). When the oil in the pot is very hot (but not smoking), add in the halved onions, browning them on one side and then the other. Remove the onions to a plate.

Throw the carrots into the same very hot pan and toss them around a bit until slightly browned, about a minute or so.

If needed, add a bit more olive oil to the very hot pan. Place the meat in the pan and sear it for about a minute on all sides until it is nice and brown all over. Remove the roast to a plate.

With the burner still on high, use either red wine or beef broth (about 1 cup) to deglaze the pan, scraping the bottom with a whisk to get all of that wonderful flavor up.

When the bottom of the pan is sufficiently deglazed, place the roast back into the pan and add enough beef stock to cover the meat halfway (about 2 to 3 cups). Add in the onion and the carrots, as well as 3 or 4 sprigs of fresh rosemary and about 3 sprigs of fresh thyme.

Put the lid on, then roast in a 275F oven for 3 hours (for a 3-pound roast). For a 4 to 5-pound roast, plan on 4 hours.

The Ultimate Steak Sandwich

I was pretty sure that I loved steak the good old-fashioned way…medium rare and a big slab of it.  That is, until I had this sandwich.  I was happily surprised that I could still taste the steak in this sandwich, and it was good!  Of course caramelized onions, peppers, and succulent mushrooms on a crusty deli roll didn’t hurt either.

I know it’s good when my hubby says, “This may be my new favorite.”  Not just any sort of food makes it onto his “new favorite” list ya know.

For you girls out there who’ve heard the term, “The way to a man’s heart is through his stomach,” this would be the dish they’re talking about.

Of course we gotta start with the mise en place, just a French term which means to have everything in its place, ready to cook.  In a restaurant kitchen, this would be the job of the sous chef, but seeing that mine is a little 7-year old girl, I wasn’t about to hand over my chef’s knife.

Make rings out of your peppers.

Slice the onion and try not to let your tears drip onto the pile.

One package of button mushrooms.  They are cute as a button!

Let me introduce you to the humble cube steak.  It is cut in a way that if you were to pull on two ends of this, you would see little holes cut all over.  It definitely serves to tenderize the meat and also allow lots of flavor to penetrate it.

Slice the 4 filets of cube steak into thin strips.

Red meat cooking in butter……enough said!

Put it aside on a plate, while you start the veggies.

Saute the vegetables in the same pan.

Add in the liquids and seasoning and cook until everything is softened.

Add your meat back in and allow the liquid to reduce by half, to concentrate the flavor.

Lay your meat and veggies on a toasted deli roll with a slice of provolone cheese and make sure you ladle on some of those cooking juices.  Now take your first bite.  I would suggest you close your eyes as you chew so that you can concentrate all your senses on the flavors of this amazing sandwich.

You can thank me later!

Okay, now open your eyes.  It’s kinda creepy to eat with your eyes closed.

The Ultimate Steak Sandwich

From The Pioneer Woman


4 Tablespoons Butter

2 pounds Cube Steak (round Steak That’s Been Extra Tenderized)

Kosher Salt

Freshly Ground Pepper

1 whole Large Yellow Onion, Halved And Sliced Thick

2 whole Green Bell Peppers, Sliced Into Rings

2 whole Red Bell Peppers, Sliced Into Rings

3 cloves Garlic, Minced

16 ounces, weight White Mushrooms, Sliced

1-1/2 cup Sherry (regular Or Cooking Sherry Is Fine)

4 Tablespoons Worcestershire Sauce

4 dashes Tabasco (more To Taste)

8 whole Deli Rolls (the Crustier The Better)

2 Tablespoons (additional) Butter

8 slices Cheese (Provolone, Swiss, Pepper Jack)


Cut cube steak into strips against the grain. Season with salt and pepper. Set aside.

Heat 4 tablespoons butter in a large skillet over high heat. As soon as it’s melted (but before it burns) brown strips of cube steak in two or three batches, about 1 1/2 minutes per side. Remove meat to a clean plate when brown. Set aside.

Reduce heat to medium-high. Add onions, garlic, mushrooms, green peppers, and red peppers and cook for 3 to 5 minutes, or until relatively soft (but not flimsy.)

Pour in sherry, then add Worcestershire and Tabasco. Cook over medium-high heat for five minutes, or until liquid has reduced by about a third.

Add in meat, stirring to combine. Cook for just a few minutes to heat everything up, adding more sherry and Worcestershire (and Tabasco) as needed. Stir in 2 tablespoons butter at the end. Keep hot.

Toast halved deli rolls in plenty of butter until golden brown and crisp. Spoon meat/veggie mixture on the lower half of the bun, then spoon one or two tablespoons of pan sauce over the meat (it will soak into the bun.) Drizzle a little sauce on the underside of the top bun, too, for extra flavor and moisture. Top with cheese and broil for a minute or two, until the cheese is melted.

Serve immediately.

Lion Head Meatballs

Don’t let the name of this dish scare you. There is no lion meat in this recipe! Lions head refers to the look of this dish. As you can see here in my wok, the meatball would be the head of the lion and the napa cabbage, the mane. Do you see it?

These flavorful meatballs are about the size of baseballs, swimming in a rich meaty broth with the cabbage.  The broth is great over steamed rice and it’s basically a one pot dish. There’s just something really homey about one pot dishes, don’t you think?

This is definitely a comfort food for me.  My mom wouldn’t make it often because we really didn’t eat much ground beef, so it was always a treat.  And, if you eat these meatballs, you ‘ll be as strong as a lion………….maybe!

Lion Head Meatballs

from Ching-He Huang


1 pound 2 ounces ground beef

2 ounces Shaohsing rice wine or dry sherry

4 cloves garlic, finely chopped

2 spring onions, finely chopped

1 egg, beaten

2 tablespoons freshly grated ginger

2 tablespoons light soy sauce

1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil

1 tablespoon cornstarch

1/2 teaspoon salt

Pinch white pepper


3 1/2 ounces oil

2 1/2 cups vegetable stock

11 ounces Chinese cabbage, quartered lengthwise from leaf to stem end

3 dried shiitake mushrooms

1 tablespoon light soy sauce

1 tablespoon cornstarch, blended with 2 tablespoons cold water, optional

salt and white pepper

2 large green onions, sliced

For the meatballs:

Put the ground beef, rice wine, garlic, spring onions, egg, ginger, soy sauce, sesame oil, cornstarch, salt, and white pepper into a large bowl to combine, stirring in the same direction.

Using wet hands, scoop a large mound of the ground meat mixture, and mold it into a ball. Transfer the meatball to a plate and repeat with the remaining mixture.

For the assembly:

Pour the oil into a large deep pan, and heat over a high heat. Using a metal ladle, carefully lower each meatball into the oil, and spoon some of the oil over the meatballs. Cook for 4 to 5 minutes, or until browned.

Pour all but 2 tablespoons of oil into a heat-proof bowl. Add the vegetable stock to the pan. Arrange the quarters of Chinese cabbage around the meatballs, curving them lengthwise around the sides of the pan, then add the mushrooms, and soy sauce. Bring everything to a boil. Cover the pan, reduce its heat, and cook gently for 15 minutes. Add the blended cornstarch slurry, if using, and stir until the sauce thickens.

Remove the pan from the heat, and season with salt, and white pepper, to taste, and sprinkle over the spring onion slices. Transfer the dish to a warm serving platter, and serve immediately.