Dreams, Randoms, and Comfort Food

Ok, I have to warn you upfront.  This will probably be one of the most random posts of my life, but that’s kind of where my brain is right now….all over the place!

Anyways, I had the STRANGEST dream this past weekend.  I dreamed that I had scored a job washing dishes for the Food Network.  Now, I need to be honest.  I HATE washing dishes….so much!  In fact, if I could land myself a boyfriend or a husband that I could cook for all the time, but they would wash every dish, I’d sign on the dotted line!  Anyway, I landed this job washing dishes in the Food Network kitchens.  It was totally sketchy though.  I could only come in after hours, and tackle the piles of dishes from the day.  Alone.  They would not allow me to interact with anyone, especially not any of the talent.  BUT, after the dishes were done, if I finished them with enough time left before the first person came in in the morning……I GOT TO COOK!!!! On ALL of their equipment, using their pantries and products!?!?!  WHAAAAAT? Seriously.  It was completely bizarre.  And completely stupid, because all of my cooking adventures only ended up making more dishes for me to wash…..I think the moral of the story with this one is, I need some new kitchen stuff.  Like cookie/baking sheets.  Mine are a disaster.  I mean, I cover them with either foil or parchment for EVERY single thing that gets baked on them……because they are SO BAD!  I would also kill for some donut pans, an immersion blender, and an ice cream maker.  Maybe with tax money……or maybe my parents are sharking this right now and need ideas for me COUGHbirthday coming up in MayCOUGH!

Wow, now that that is over…..I’ve been craving sweets like crazy lately.  This is very strange for me.  Pretty sure I’m doing some baking late in the week or this weekend and it’s going to take a personal triumph to not go face-first into the goodies!  Ugh…..sugar DEMONS!!!

Lately, I’ve been feeling off.  I’ve been fighting a battle with my voice.  It’s been going in and out for probably upwards of 6 weeks or so.  I hate it.  I’m kind of known for having this loud, bellowing voice that carries….I mean, I AM a Meister after all.  It’s one of our finest genetic gifts.  So this is severely cramping my style at school.  I don’t have anywhere near the power or pull in the hallways during passing period or in the cafeteria at breakfast duty.  I go to announce that it’s time to finish up and pick up all of your trash, and my voice squeaks or cuts out or breaks.  It’s completely embarrassing……..I guess I’m adopting one of the beautiful facets of puberty, again.  In addition to that, my legs are feeling like they have appropriately taken the beating I’ve given them over the past couple of days with workouts.  My quads are rocks….and my hamstrings are strung up super tight!  Why does all of this matter?  Because when I feel crummy, I want comfort food, which generally equates to warm and tomato-y.  Hence the reason I made Spaghetti Squash with Homemade Meatballs and Tomato Sauce tonight!  So as I sit here, sipping on some herbal tea, hoping and praying my voice comes back, I gift you this recipe.  I figure it’s the least I could do after having you sit through my rambling 🙂

PS:  This dish cooks best when rocking out to a Whitney Houston, “I Wanna Dance With Somebody” Pandora station in your kitchen.  Also, I would not recommend wearing a white shirt while cooking this…..because only idiots do that.  Note to self: find Bleach pen. Stat.

spaghetti and meatballs

Spaghetti and Meatballs

  • 2 small or 1 large spaghetti squash
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 2 red peppers, cored and cut into large chunks
  • 1 package of mushrooms (any variety works!)
  • 1 large yellow onion, 3/4 of it diced, 1/4 set aside
  • 8 cloves garlic, 4 minced, 4 left whole
  • 1 can diced tomatoes
  • 1 can tomato paste
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 tablespoon dried parsley
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  1. Preheat your oven to 425 degrees.
  2. Cut your spaghetti squash lengthwise and remove all seeds and inner strings with a spoon.
  3. Place cut side down on a baking sheet and put into your oven, bake for 30 minutes.
  4. Chop red peppers into large chunks. Drizzle with a bit of olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
  5. Arrange them on a small baking sheet and toss it in the oven with your squash for the last 20-25 ish minutes.
  6. While your veggies are roasting, get our your food processor! Gettin’ crazy!
  7. Toss in 1/4 of your onion (cut into a couple of chunks), 4 cloves of garlic, and about 1/3 of the package of mushrooms. Pulse until all of the veggies are teeny tiny pieces!
  8. In a large bowl, crumble your ground beef.  Add the pulverized veggie mix to the meat.  Add in the cumin, the parsley, and a bit of salt and pepper.
  9. Mix that shiz with your hands!  Get all sorts of dirty! Only mix until the veggies and spices are well incorporated into the meat.  Don’t go crazy on it. WASH YOUR HANDS!!
  10. Heat a bit (like 1 tablespoon) of oil in a deep skillet, keep it over medium high heat.
  11. Roll your mixture into balls, make them whatever size your heart desires.  I made mine about the size of a golfball, and I got about 16 delicious little beauties!
  12. Drop the meatballs into the oil and brown them on 2 sides.  It will take 3-4 minutes on each side.
  13. PAY ATTENTION to your roasting veggies!!!  Pull them out of the oven when they are done!!! But leave your oven on….it ain’t finished!
  14. Once meatballs have browned, remove them and place them on a baking sheet.  I used the SAME sheet my red peppers roasted on…..which are not on the baking sheet anymore, but waiting in the food processor to be pulsed into almost a paste.  Didn’t wash it or nothing!
  15. Put your sheet of meatballs into your 425 degree oven for about 10 minutes.
  16. While those are baking, we are going to build the sauce!!
  17. In the skillet, with drippings left behind by the meatballs, dump in your chopped onion, minced garlic cloves, and the remainder of your mushrooms.  Saute these veggies for about 5 minutes on high heat.
  18. Add in your red pepper puree.  Stir it all up!!
  19. Dump in your cans of diced tomatoes (juice and all) and tomato paste.  Also toss in your oregano.  At this point, turn your heat back to medium low.  Things will start bubbling and splattering pretty quickly if you don’t…..bad times.
  20. At this point, I filled the tomato paste can with water and added it to my sauce….to thin it out! Add as much as you want until it is the thickness you dig!
  21. When your meatballs are done baking, add them into your sauce and cover them with sauce.  Simmer on low heat for about 10 minutes.  It may be a good idea to slightly cover your pan with a lid….again, splatters are the devil!!
  22. When you can’t STAND it anymore, fork shred your spaghetti squash into “noodles” and top with your sauce and meatballs.
  23. SMASH and feel all warm and cozy inside!!

I realize this recipe takes a bit of time…..but trust me, it’s WORTH IT!  Not to mention, it makes leftovers that are even better than the original product…..I can’t wait to eat them for the rest of the week!  Here’s to crazy dreams, random ramblings, and really REALLY delicious eats! Comfort food love.

-Meister

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