Monday, September 26

Around the Family Table

My friends all know that Sunday night is spaghetti and meatballs night with my family -- where ever we are that night and who ever is with us.  It's a tradition that we started years ago, one that brings us all together no matter what we are up to.  Last night was no exception.

That's why I so fell in love with Family Foodie (an amazing cook and food blogger).  I love her take on not just meatballs, but the family table in general.  And that's why I was so excited when Isabel agreed to be a guest blogger today.  You've got to try her Portugese meatballs, we made them last night and they are fantastic!

Family Foodie, what's your experience?  Jim. (and thanks for the recipe!)

The table has been set for our family...

Before my oldest left for college,  I asked her, "How did I get so lucky to get such a great kid?  I just hope I get as lucky three more times."  She said the words that every mother could only hope to hear: "Mom, you don't have to worry. Our family is so close because of all the time we spend Around the Family Table.  All our talks, great meals, card games and even lectures have all taken place in our kitchen.  This is what I will miss the most when I am away at college."

We all have those moments in our family life that seem so routine but say so much.  When my daughter said these words to me, it took some time for it to sink in but I realized how precious our time Around the Family Table has been over the last 18 years.

The Family Table is the heart of the home and the time we spend together will ultimately shape the future of our children.  I realized that day that my children are listening ... even when they say "Oh Mom, don't be ridiculous" ... time with great food and family had become as important to my daughter as it is to me.

My four children, will tell you that  I am the best Cook in the World!  I kid you not.  Not only do they think so, but so do all their friends!  I did not attend culinary school, I am not a trained chef, believe it or not, I've never even worked in a restaurant.

I am a Mom who loves to cook for her family and nurtures a love for Food and Conversation in our home.  Somehow, I have brainwashed my family into believing that I AM the best cook in the world!

Being a great cook is not about the most expensive ingredients or the most complicated recipes.  The only ingredient that you need to create a memorable meal is Love!  Food is Love and there is no better way to show it than to spend time Around the Family Table.

We find ourselves still setting our table for six and realizing how much we miss Alexandra.  The morning before her first visit back home, I got a text that said:  "I can't wait for a Family Foodie meal!"  And that's when I realized, the more things change, the more they stay the same ... the girl we still think of as our baby is figuring out the world on her own but her heart remains Around the Family Table!
Family Foodie Portuguese Meatballs 

2 lbs. Ground Pork
1 Small Onion 
1 tsp Paprika
1/2 cup Flour
1/2 cup Olive Oil (Portuguese if you can get it)
3 oz. Chorizo (2 small links)
2 small garlic cloves finely chopped
2 Bay leaves
2 Cups Red Wine
2 TBS butter
Sea Salt to taste

-Finely chop the onion in a food processor
-Finely chop the the chorizo in a food processor
-Combine the Pork, Onion, Paprika, 2 eggs and half of the chopped chorizo
-Form into balls
-Add Olive Oil to large frying pan on medium heat
-Dip meatballs into beaten eggs
-Flour the Meatballs
-Brown Meatballs on all sides in batches
-When all Meatballs are well browned, don't worry about them being cooked all the way, remove from frying pan and sprinkle lightly with Sea Salt
-Remove Olive Oil from pan but do not wipe clean
-Add garlic and chorizo and brown
-Add Bay Leaves, Meatballs and wine
-Simmer on low until sauce is reduced in half
-Remove Bay leaf 
Cook Portuguese Rice and serve Meatball and Chorizo Sauce over the Rice
A Green Salad is perfect with this meal

Wait till you see how amazing your house smells...

Portuguese Sangria or Vinho Verde is the perfect wine for this meal

Family Foodie Kids Ratings: Alexandra 10, Ronnie 8.5, Reis 9.5, Riley 10

- Isabel aka Family Foodie

1 comment:

  1. That sounds delicious! Thank you for the recipe, Isabel. I will put it on my Must Cook List for sure! Meatballs are great because they are so versatile. I should change mine up more often.