Grandma’s Italian Meatballs

Grandma's Meatballs

Grandma's Meatballs

So yesterday, you (hopefully) made the sauce now today you make the meatballs! We may not be Italian by blood, but we think that we could definitely make any Italian Grandma happy with these deliciously moist meatballs.

Now, a little history on the meatball. In Italy, meatballs aren’t actually called meatballs. In Italy they’re called polpettes,  and are normally eaten by themselves as a full meal or in soups and are made with any kind of meat ranging from fish to turkey. If you see spaghetti and meatballs on a Italian menu, it’s likely there to cater towards American tourists.

Come to think of it, neither of us can actually remember encountering spaghetti and meatballs on our Italian trip last year!

Pellegrino Artusi who was a Florentine silk merchant in his early days and retired and followed his passion for food, cooking, recipes and travel. In 1891 Pellegrino published the first modern Italian cookbook and was dubbed the father of Italian Cuisine’. His cookbook which was titled (in English) ‘The Science of Cooking and the Art of Eating Well: A Practical Manual for Families.”

In this book he brought together a lot of regional Italian cuisines and made them accessible for all. He was also the first to write for the home chef and make cooking easy for all. He talks about the Polpettes in the book and said “Don’t think I’m pretentious enough to teach you how to make meatballs. This is a dish that everybody can make, starting with the donkey.”

So how did Polpettes become what we know as meatballs? The Italians came to America and were able to spend more money on food. They went from spending 75 % of their income on food to only 25%, and meat which went from being a rare luxury, to a every day staple.


Ingredients

  • 1 pound ground pork
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1/2 cup finely grated Parmesan
  • 1 whole egg
  • 1 small red onion, minced
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons dried basil
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons dried parsley
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 cup bread crumbs, divided into half cups

Step 1:

Preheat the oven to 400°F.

Step 2:

In a medium bowl mix together onions, basil, parsley, garlic powder, salt red pepper flakes and 1/2 cup of bread crumbs. Grate in the parmesan and mix together.

Step 3: 

In a large bowl, mix together both meats gently, hehe. Add the breadcrumbs mixture and again gently incorporate the meat and breadcrumb mixtures.

Step 4: 

Put the remaining 1/2 cup of breadcrumbs into a bowl. Weigh out 1.5 oz balls and then coat them with breadcrumbs in the bowl. Place on mini muffin pan holes. hehe.

Step 5:

Bake for about 20 minutes, more if they are still pink in the center. If you want to finish the meatballs in the sauce for a few minutes afterwards. EAT THEM!

Grandma's Meatballs


We dedicate this post to our Grandmas who are no longer with us, but we think about all the time. Especially when we’re in the Kitchen .

Grandmas
Christie with her Mom and Grandma Prieto
grandma 2

Christie and Marlee with Grandma Alyce Hunka in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.

grandma 3Marlee with her Grandma Parrish in Texas.

Velvety Marinara Sauce

It’s Saturday and you know what you should make? Our classic and delicious marinara sauce. We know traditionally, most Italian’s make their sauce (or gravy) on Sundays but here at TYL, we’re a little non traditional so Saturdays are marinara day!

Besides, any good chef (or home cook) knows that a sauce, gravy, chili, stew, etc. tastes better the next day…so break out of the norm and make this sauce today!

There are many theories as to the origins of marinara sauce.  Most people would just assume that the moment Italy was formed BAM! there was marinara sauce, but no! It first appeared in an Italian cookbook in 1692.  Apparently the tomato was a fruit of the New World, and according to some theories, were brought over by Spanish explorers to Naples, a major port city.  Marinara means mariner or sailor, so some believe that tomato sauce was something that the sailor’s wives made when their husbands returned from sea to feed them.

Others believe that the sailors themselves made the sauce to bring with them to sea because the high acid content kept the food edible longer. One last theory is that tomatoes were used in place of a different fruit that might have been previously used in a pasta sauce, such as figs or apricots. Weird to think that tomato sauce is actually a savory fruit sauce!

Also, one possibility as to why some people call it tomato gravy, is because of the mother sauce tomate, where a roux is used to start the sauce.  A roux is traditionally used to make a gravy, hence, tomato gravy! Soon we’ll do an entire post just about the mother sauces, so stay tuned for that!

Velvety Marinara Sauce

Ingredients

  • 4 roma tomatoes
  • olive oil
  • garlic salt
  • pepper
  • 1 small red onion, mined
  • 1-28 oz can of crushed tomatoes
  • 1 cup of red wine
  • dried basil
  • dried oregano
  • 3 tbsp of tomato paste
  • 3 cloves of garlic, smashed
  • Grated Parmesan

Step 1: 

Pre-heat oven to 400°F.  Cut Roma tomatoes in half and place them in a bowl together, pour some olive oil on top and season with garlic salt and pepper. Toss them around until all the tomatoes are coated. Place them on a baking sheet and place them in the oven for 20 to 30 minutes.

Step 2:

Heat olive oil in a heavy bottom pot. Put smashed garlic into the oil until you can smell it, about 2 minutes. Then take it out of the oil and keep it until later. Add the onions and season with salt, dried basil and dried oregano. (add some rosemary salt if you want! Let it simmer for 5 minutes.

Step 3:

Open the can of crushed tomatoes and add it to the pot with the onions. Use a swish of red wine to clean out everything in the can. Let it simmer for 10 minutes.

Step 4:

Add 1 cup of red wine, but we always follow Queen Ina’s philosophy of there could never be enough wine! But if you aren’t as big of a fan of wine as Ina Garten, then feel free to omit it, and add more tomato paste in it’s place. Let it simmer again for 10 minutes.

Step 5:

Now that the Roma tomatoes are out of the oven, with a spatula transfer the tomatoes to the pot. Also, add the smashed garlic that you save from the beginning. Let them all party in the hot tub for another 10-15 minutes.

Step 6:

Turn off the heat and let it cool for 5 minutes. Grab the blender, and blend the sauce mixture in batches. Return to the pot, taste, add grated parmesan to your liking and any seasonings you feel need to be there. Enjoy!

Velvety Marinara Sauce

Perfect Rice (Every Single Time!)

We feel one of the most difficult dishes to make correctly is rice. Unless you have a rice cooker, cooking rice on the stove can be an incredibly difficult task.

One night, we were watching Alton Brown’s Good Eats and we saw this method of cooking rice that we had to share. It’s so simple and makes perfect rice. Every. Single. Time.

Now, you can use water but let us tell you, chicken broth adds waaaaaaay more flavor. But using chicken broth adds salt, so unless you’re using a low sodium broth, be cautious when adding salt.

Perfect Rice

Perfect Rice (Every Time) 

Ingredients 

  • 1 Cup Jasmine Rice
  • 2 Cup Chicken Broth (Or Water)
  • 1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
  • Salt
  • Pepper

Step 1: 

In a small sauce pan, bring your water or broth to a boil. Just before it starts to boil, start step two!

Step 2: 

In another sauce pan, heat your olive oil and then saute your rice for about a minute.

Step 3: 

Right before you put the boiling water/broth combo into the rice, we always season the rice with a little extra salt (kosher, season salt, garlic salt, or truffle sauce*). Add the boiling water and raise the heat so that everything boils together for a few seconds.

Lower the heat, cover and cook for 13 to 17 minutes.

*Not that this needs to be said, but maybe it does, you don’t need all those salts, just pick one!

Perfect Rice

Pickled Red Onions

So apparently anything can be a pickle if it’s soaked in a vinegar solution. Just thought we’d share our grand observation for this lovely Thursday morning.

Today’s recipe is dedicated to our wonderful friend Julie, who also runs a blog/website called The Fashion Law. It’s really a wonderful site, run by an even more wonderful person.

We met Julie and her mom and sister (Sue and Megan) on our tour of Italy last year. After being paired together for a Pizza making night, we realized we should have been hanging out together from the start.

A couple of weeks ago, we asked Julie if there was anything she wanted us to make and she asked for pickled red onions, so here it is, delicious red pickled onions. Pickling is really easy, like we said at the beginning of the post, you can pickle just about anything if you put it in a vinegar solution.

You don’t have to pickle red onions, you can choose any onion you like, but here we really like red onions because of the beautiful color that results. They have a nice bite to them and a wonderful natural sweetness to them.

Pickled Red Onions

Ingredients

  • 1 cup of apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 cup of rice vinegar
  • 1/4 cup of sugar
  • 1 tablespoon of honey
  • 1 tablespoon of salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon of red pepper flakes
  • 1/8 teaspoon of black pepper.
  • 1 large red onion

Step 1:

In a medium pan, put apple cider vinegar, rice vinegar, sugar, honey, salt, red pepper flakes, and black pepper. Heat until the sugar dissolves, remember DON’T breathe in the vinegar steam, it’s horrible. Let it simmer for 5 minutes.

Step 2:

Take the vinegar mixture off the stove to cool. While that’s cooling, cut the onion into thin slices, or if you’re experienced use a mandolin, no not the tiny guitar-like thing.

Step 3:

Stuff the sliced onions into a mason jar.  Once the vinegar mixture has come to room temperature, pour it into the jar with the onions. Close it up and shake. Let it refrigerate for 24 hours before consuming.

If you pour the vinegar mixture on the onions when they’re still hot, they will lose  that wonderful red color they have!

Enjoy on sandwiches, burgers, salad, or by themselves.

Pickled Red Onions

Meet our TYL Mascot

This is Peaches the Boxer, she’s our honorary 3rd lady here at Two Young Ladies. She loves watching us cook and, of course, eating our scraps.

She enjoys attempting to get up close and personal with the food we make, and eating cheeseburgers.

Cheeseburger Love

She’s a dignified lady. Foodie

She’s happiest when hunks of meat are involved and she taste tests everything we make.Happy Girl

Banana Walnut Chocolate Chip Bread

Banana bread is considered a quick bread, meaning that it forced to rise, opposed to naturally rising yeast breads.

Baking powder was invented in the mid 1800’s in England by a chemist, Alfred Bird, who was trying to find an alternative for his wife who was allergic to yeast and eggs.

Anyways, fast forward a little bit to 1933, after the “rise” (haha) of baking powder, one of the first known banana bread recipes appeared in a Pillsbury cook book called Balanced Recipes. After this publication, banana bread took off and included many variations, from raisins, nuts, chocolate or even bacon if you’re feeling a little non-traditional today.

Our recipe includes walnuts for a crunch and added bonus of chocolate chips. Enjoy and stay tuned for future variations of banana bread! 🙂

Banana Chocolate Chip Bread

Banana Chocolate Chip Bread

Banana Walnut Chocolate Chip Bread

Ingredients 

  • 1 Stick of Salted Butter (1/2 Cup)
  • 1 Cup Bakers Sugar
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Salt
  • 2 Large Eggs (Beaten)
  • 3 Ripe Bananas (1 Cup/Mashed)
  • 1/2 Cup Sour Cream
  • 1 Teaspoon Baking Soda
  • 2 Cups Flour (Sifted)
  • 1 Teaspoon Cinnamon
  • 1 Cup Walnuts (Chopped)
  • 1 Cup Dark Chocolate Chips
  • Pam

Step 1: 

Preheat the oven to 350°F and grease a 9-inch loaf pan with Pam.

Step 2: 

In a small saute pan, toast your walnuts for three minutes of a low temperature. Set aside.

Step 3: 

In a stand mixer or using a hand mixer, cream together your butter and sugar until smooth and creamy.

Step 4: 

Next add the salt, eggs, mashed bananas, sour cream, and baking soda. Mix together.

Step 5: 

Fold in the flour and then mix in the walnuts and chocolate. Pour into the prepared loaf pan.

Step 6: 

Place loaf pan in oven and cook for about an hour or until a toothpick comes out clean. Let cool in a pan for ten minutes before transferring to a cooling rack.

Banana Chocolate Chip Bread

Banana Chocolate Chip Bread

Pro Baking Tip #3

We’ve been getting a lot of questions about why we use such dark bananas when we make banana centric desserts. Dark Bananas

Yeah, they look hideous and they’re kind of mushy but the blacker the banana, the more banana flavor you’re going to get! The worst thing about some banana desserts is that artificial banana flavor, but if you use real bananas and let them get black the possibility are endless!

So remember, just because the bananas get dark, no need to throw them out! Make a banana bread,  muffins,  ice cream, or pie!

“The darker the berry the sweeter the juice”–Seaweed, Hairspray (Obviously, this quote also applies to bananas too!)

Red, White, and Blue Mess

In a pinch and need a quick, simple dessert for your 4th of July BBQ? Try our take on a tradition Eton Mess and make it all ‘Murican!

Fresh cream and fruit with the crunch of the meringues make this dish a real winner. No need to suffer in a hot kitchen, this dessert is no bake and made for last minute preparation.

Red, White, and Blue Mess

Red, White, and Blue Mess 

Ingredients 

  • 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon lemon extract (or zest)
  • 2 cups meringues (crushed)**
  • 1 cup strawberries (sliced)
  • 1 cup blueberries
  • 1 cup raspberries

**No need to make your own meringues, just buy them from Trader Joe’s (or whatever store you have near you!)

Step 1: 

In a medium bowl, begin to whip your heavy cream. As it starts to thicken add, the sugar and both extracts. If you’re using a stabilizer, add that before you add the sugars and extract.

* If you’re not going to serve right away, place the cream in the fridge until you’re ready to use.

Step 2: 

Right before you’re ready to serve, mix in the berries and crushed meringues. Stir until combined and enjoy.

Red, White, and Blue Mess

Banana Pudding Ice Cream

Banana pudding is considered a Southern staple, but apparently it was created in New York and adopted by the south! Bananas started becoming a star at fruit stands only after the Civil War, when goods were capable of being transported from the Caribbean and Central America much faster.

The first printed recipe of Banana Pudding was actually in the New England magazine, Good Housekeeping, and was compared to an English trifle. Like trifles, they originally used sponge cake, but in 1920 a more affordable option was used: Vanilla wafers, or as most know them as Nilla wafers.

So today we give you our Southern (California) Banana Pudding ICE CREAM! Yeah, you heard right, we made a dish that was already devilishly delicious into something truly diabolical! You feel compelled to have more and more, especially after some salty, savory, succulent BBQ food. It’s the perfect companion to anybody’s 4th of July BBQ extravaganza, so get started people!

Banana Pudding Pie Ice Cream

Banana Pudding Pie Ice Cream

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 Cups Half and Half
  • 1/2 Brown Sugar (Packed)
  • 1/2 Cup Sugar
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Salt
  • 2 Eggs (Beaten)
  • 1 Cup Heavy Cream
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract
  • 1 Tablespoon Vanilla Bean Paste**
  • 3 Ripe Bananas (Mashed)
  • 2 Cups Crushed Vanilla Wafers

**If you don’t have Vanilla Bean Paste, extract can be used in its place.

Step 1:

In a saucepan, combine half and half, sugars, salt and vanilla; turn on the heat to medium-low and stir occasionally until the sugar is completely dissolved (about five minutes).

Step 2: 

In a medium bowl, beat the eggs using an electric mixer until they are a pale yellow. We like to beat them until they achieve the “ribbon stage”.

Step 3: 

When the sugar has dissolved, very slowly pour half of the cream and sugar mixture into the eggs; whisking constantly so the eggs don’t curdle. Transfer the egg mixture back to the sauce pan with remaining cream mixture.

Step 4: 

At this point, mix in the heavy cream and the vanilla paste. Cook the mixture of a medium-low heat until the mixture thickens and is able to coat the back of a wooden spoon; about five to ten minutes.

Step 5: 

If needed, pour the mixture through a fine wire sieve. Cool the mixture to room temperature.

Step 6: 

While your base mixture is cooling, take your very ripe bananas (the darker the better) and mash them well. Set aside.

Step 7: 

When the base mixture is cool, stir in the banana mixture and pour into your ice cream maker. Freeze according to the manufactures setting.

While the ice cream is freezing, gently crush your vanilla wafers. During the last five to minutes of the freezing process, mix in most of the wafer cookies. When the mixture is finished, transfer to a freezer safe container. Top with leftover crushed cookies. Freeze until firm and serve.

Banana Pudding Pie Ice Cream

Throwback Thursday…

Happy Throwback Thursday!

We loved our Canadian Maple Bourbon Bacon Jam SO MUCH, we wanted to share it with you again!

If you haven’t already click on the link above and check it out!

Bacon Jam!

How good does that look? It’s savory, it’s sweet, and a little spicy. You honestly can’t go wrong, bacon, maple, bourbon, red onions, and chipotle? Mouthwatering.

Also, if you haven’t already followed us, FOLLOW US HERE, on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram….pick your poison and do it! We promise tons of delicious recipes and embarrassing photos like this one.

Awkward TBT

This is us, fresh out of high school. (Christie in red and Marlee in Eggplant). We’re like a good cheese, we only get better with age. 😉