Thursday, August 28, 2008

♪ That's Amore ♪

Now that I am able to do a little bit more around the house, I wanted to cook a special dinner for Shannon to show him how much I appreciate all he has done for me over the last few months with all of my travel and back surgery nonsense going on.

I also wanted to try to use some of the food we had purchased from Angel Food Ministries to make the dinner with. (Click here if you would like to know more about this program. It has really helped us stretch our "food" dollars.)

After going over all of my choices, I decided to make him an Italian meal of pasta and meatballs. (Oh, how I do love meatballs!)


Now, please keep in mind, I am no chef. I do not even remotely pretend to be a good cook; I am just a housewife trying to do something nice for my man. Mmmkay?

So, with that being said, here is everything I used to make this meal. Well, with the exception of the secret ingredient, but we will get to that later.

The spaghetti sauce, macaroni noodles, and meatballs were all from our Angel Food Menu order last month.

Now, these next two items, you don't necessarily need to make a delicious Italian meal, but they absolutely don't hurt a thing to have. These are handmade dishes that I purchased in Positano, Italy. Sigh.

Aren't they beautiful?


Okay, where was I?.....

Oh yes, I was cooking. Sorry.

The first thing that I did was start opening the cans and dumping them into the pan.

Here I am dumping the spaghetti sauce, like so.

Now it's time to dump the can of petite diced tomatoes.

The last (but not least) can to be dumped in is the little can of tomato sauce.

Next up are the spices. I never measure them; I just shake the containers until I feel like I've added enough.

I started with parsley flakes; I love to have a lot of parsley. Mostly because I think it makes the sauce look prettier.

The next spice I added was garlic. I have to go easy on the garlic, because Shannon wouldn't like it if I added too much. Not that I have ever done that though. Ever.

I threw in a dash or two of basil.

Every time I add a dash or two of oregano, I try to say oregano in my best Italian accent. I love how Italians say, "oregano." Sigh.

I threw in just a dash of salt. (But let's just keep this one between you and me, okay? Shannon worries about his sodium intake.)

Although I went light on the salt, I went very heavy on the pepper. We like lots of pepper here in Crazyville.

This next ingredient is my "secret" ingredient, so I would really appreciate it if you did not tell anyone about this one. It is Sweet~n~Low, two packets to be exact. The Sweet~n~Low helps to keep the sauce from tasting too bitter.
(But remember, you never heard about this ingredient, Mmmkay?)

After I added all the spices, it was time to add the meatballs. (Oh, how I do love meatballs!) I just added them still frozen straight from the bag; they were already fully cooked and would thaw out as the sauce simmered.

I cut the bell pepper into small pieces, like so.

Then I scraped them all into the pan, and only one piece or seven fell onto the floor.

After chopping the bell pepper, I had to chop the onion up into little pieces.


(I only used about half of the large onion; I was trying to be romantic after all.)


After I was finished chopping, I scraped all of the onion onto the floor into the pan.

Once I was finished adding all of the ingredients, it was time to stir them all together.

Then I put a lid on the pan and turned the heat on low. I let it simmer, stirring occasionally for several hours.

After about an hour of simmering, since the meatballs were ginormous, I cut them into fourths. And obviously, I was very careful not to drop my knife into the boiling spaghetti sauce.

And I definitely did not get sauce all over my white tee shirt.

When it was getting close to the time that Shannon gets home from work, I boiled the water for the pasta. Once the water was boiling, I dumped the entire bag of pasta into the boiling water.

I let the pasta cook until it was "Al Dente," about 7 minutes.

When the timer went off, I drained all of the water from the pasta.

Then I dumped all of those "Al Dente" noodles into the spaghetti sauce.

And I mixed all of the ingredients together, like so.

Once I was done mixing everything together, I put some of that yummy stuff into my beautiful bowls that were handmade in Positano, Italy.


I then sprinkled some Parmesan cheese on top of each serving.

Followed by some freshly ground pepper.


With just one whiff of this delicious Italian meal, that was served up in my beautiful handmade dishes from Positano, Italy, I started dreaming of romance with my husband. I instantly got carried away with romantic visions of Lady and the Tramp.


And then I started to hear Dean Martin singing so softly in my ears.......

In Napoli where love is King,
When boy meets girl, here's what they say:

When the moon hits your eye like a big-a pizza pie,
That's amore;
When the world seems to shine like you've had too much wine,
That's amore.

Bells will ring ting-a-ling-a-ling, ting-a-ling-a-ling
And you'll sing "Vita bella."
Hearts'll play tippi-tippi-tay, tippi-tippi-tay
Like a gay tarantella.

When the stars make you drool joost-a like pasta fazool,
That's amore;
When you dance down the street with a cloud at your feet,
You're in love;
When you walk in a dream but you know you're not dreamin', signore,
'Scusa me, but you see, back in old Napoli, that's amore.


Of course, I can't promise you that bells will ring ting-a-ling-a-ling if you cook this meal for your husband, but the bells were definitely ting-a-ling-a-linging at my house.

I'm just saying is all. ;)

Philemon 1:6
"I pray that you may be active in sharing your faith, so that you will have a full understanding of every good thing we have in Christ."


Tracey said...

I ABSOLUTELY LOVE THOSE DISHES FROM ITALY!! Great job....your onion chopping and sauce flinging skills need some work, but good job!

Kysha said...

mmmm! And you even posted pics for the slow folks like me. LOL

hulagirlatheart said...

Well, the dinner looks great, and those dishes are divine. The Hula-gen's like lots of pepper, too. And Dean Martin. Ring a ding ding!

Dianne said...

Fantastic! I love love love italian food, I'm so gonna try that.

Your italian dishes are lovely and I'm glad to see you use them instead of putting them away in a cupboard somewhere.

I have to say, I am suitably impressed with your onion and pepper chopping skills!

Kristen said...

I have a t-shirt just like yours! ha ha

Love those dishes from Italy... what a nice dinner you had!

Bless you sister!

valerie said...

Yummy! It's only 8:30 a.m. and that dish is sounding mighty good!

Love the dishes...

So glad you're getting around and feeling better...

Thanks for sharing about the Angel Food ministry. I've heard of it and know we have that available in my town but never really knew how it worked. I work in our church office and people are always in need of food. Even though we have a small food pantry there in the office, this is something I can definitely pass on. What a great program.

Have a blessed day!

Glamorous Life of a House Wife said...

YUMMY! Thanks for sharing that delightful recipe. I will definitely make it soon. It looks divine. I love Italian food.

But more than I love Italian FOOD, I love Italian THINGS - like your DISHES! Wowwww!! I want them now.

Michele said...

Yummmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm! I'm now very hungry! Oh those dishes are just beautiful! :)

Mia said...

I am SO GLAD you are feeling up to cooking AND being romantic! heehee ;)
Now if you could just make some canoli. What is plural for canoli?
Have a great day!

Beandip71 said...

That looks so yummy!! I never would have thought to put sweet n low in spaghetti sauce, very clever. You are a better cook than I am. I use sauce in a jar to make spaghetti. What can I say, I'm mexican, not italian. :)

Nicole said...

So glad you are feeling well enough to be up and cooking and being romatic.:) Loved the play by play of pictures! Looks yummy.


Kenny said...

Ok, next time I get this instead of chicken strips. Not that I am complaining about them. I also forgot to look at the plates while I was there or was it you new I would take them over the nice fragile one of a kind chicken toy ornament thing.

My home - My life said...

MMM that looks and sounds so delicious! Thanks for sharing. I brought Spag for lunch today and now I am VERY excited to eat it!

Paula (SweetPea) said...

You're a hoot. I love the pic with your hand and knife covered in sauce and then your perty white shirt.

Okay, so did the babes have to fend for themselves. I mean you only had two plates so I'm wondering if you sent them fellers out for burgers. haha. I know you didn't.

That Angel Food ministries is awesome. I cannot believe the list of for all for $30. A family for four for a week. That means only $120 a month in groceries, if they allow you to buy more than one week. Of course, I guess that would mean the same meals for all four weeks since they only offer one box combination per month.
Love ya,

Doran & Jody said...

Just three words.....DO YOU DELIVER???

Mari said...

Okay lady when are you coming to Raleigh to cook dinner for me and my peeps? That looked absolutely delicious.

My Goodness said...

That dinner looks really great...minus the veggies, I'm just saying. :)

I'm sure it made you feel good to cook dinner for your sweet family...

Have a great day! :)

Laura said...

Do you think Shannon would mind if I joined you for dinner? Looks so yummy! And, mums the word on the secret ingredient!
luv you,

elaine @ peace for the journey said...

OK...You you've got my attention with this post. I love Italian food (pasta of all varieties) and this looks fabulous, almost doable. That's saying something for me. I'm not a great cook. A baker I am, but when it comes to cooking meals, well it's a stretch.

I'm getting a new over tomorrow. Maybe that will aid in my desire, and I might even try this recipe. I love the helpful photos. Don't think I won't be referring to them throughout the process.


Stonefox (otherwise known as Heidi) said...

Mmmm...that looks delicious! And I could use some bells whistling around here. Now if only I can find those frozen meatballs around here where I live...

Sweetie said...

I LOVED your description of your meal preparation! I collect beautiful dishes and your bowls are gorgeous. Also, it's great that you promote Angel Ministries. Angel Ministries has really helped a lot of families in our area. It is promoted by the local churches.


The Boyds Family said...

Wonderful looking meal (minus the onions and bell peppers....I'm just sayin' is all) Beautiful plates!! (Can we eat our pizza on them next time I come over....that's Italian, right??)

I'm so glad that romantic meal had the desired effects for you and Shannon. I don't think me cooking a meal would have that same effect on my husband. If I ever cooked a meal, he would prolly fall out. tee-hee!

Nikowa said...

Oh my! I'm DEFINITELY going to make this! Thanks for sharing.

Jamie @ Purposeful Pursuit said...

Looks like you're a good cook to me. Love those dishes too.

Joanne said...

I've already had dinner and I am having this strange craving for spaghetti and meatballs!

My first time by...I enjoyed myself. I will be back!

Blessings, Joanne

cwi3 said...

can you teach
Michel how to cook this for me---:)