Nothing says romance quite like an Italian dinner. Nothing kills romance quite like cooking one… at least when I’m the chef.
I envy the pretty, little cook who dances about the kitchen with such grace and ease. The cook who can make even a kitchen apron look sexy, and who — with just a wave of her hand — can prepare a romantic dinner for two. Her kitchen is spotless, her table set perfectly with candle-light, and she sits down to dinner and laughs with her husband with such calm and poise. No one would believe she had just been slaving over a hot stove.
Yeah, you know who you are!
I, on the other hand, am a cooking hurricane. No matter how hard I try, I end up with flour up and down my pant legs (the real mystery is how that happens when I’m not cooking with flour), scraps of food hanging off the fridge door, and boiling-over messes. The end result is usually yummy and makes my husband quite happy. But there is very little romance left when I sit down at the table, looking disheveled and exhausted.
So I came up with two options to better the situation. Option #1 was to hire a maid who also cooks. I really like that idea, but I suppose it’s not the most practical, financial move for us right now. That and it would be admitting that I need help, which I don’t. I just need an apron large enough to cover myself and the entire kitchen. Option # 2 was to make recipes my own. To make them streamlined.
Below is a recipe that I’ve concocted for meatballs. There is no dicing, slicing, or cutting involved. You pour all the ingredients together and bake. Because it’s so fast, I almost don’t have time to make a mess… and if I do, there’s still time to pick it up before dinner. So I can put together a nice spread, a romantic dinner, and still look good. 🙂
Nicole’s Streamlined Meatballs
1 lb. Ground Beef
1/4 cup unseasoned dry bread crumbs
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1. In a medium bowl, combine all the ingredients. Shake into 1 1/2 to 2-inch meatballs and place on a cookie sheet. Bake at 400 degrees for 15 minutes. Meanwhile, boil spaghetti, drain, and mix with an all-natural, bottled spaghetti sauce. (My personal choice is Francesco Rinaldi tomato sauces). When the meatballs are done, put half of them in the pot of spaghetti. (Freeze the other half if you don’t need them). Heat up the spaghetti and sauce until hot and serve with a bit of freshly grated parmesan cheese.