Big British Meatballs

We took a stab at Jamie Oliver's "Big British Meatballs" from his new cookbook Comfort Food. And comfort food it was.

Lena was all over this and declared it the best Sunday dinner ever. She started by plucking the leaves of 2 sticks of rosemary.

Then she cut up 1 1/2 big onions. (The recipe asks for 2, but we truly believe that these North Carolina onions are just humongous).

We looked for Worcestshire Sauce and

started frying up the onions in a little olive oil.

Lena added 2 tablespoons of the sauce and a splash of water. We cooked it all for 20 minutes.

Then we let the onions cool and spiked them up with a little salt and pepper.

Lena got 1 pound of ground beef and 1 pound of ground pork in a bowl.

Then we whizzed up a few slices of stale bread in a food processor and

added a handful of breadcrumbs and the onions to the beef.

Lena mixed it all up and 



equally sized


Next we cut up 3 oz of cheddar cheese into 16 chunks.

Then Lena pushed little holes into the meat balls and 

stuck the cheese into their centers.

Yum. We popped them into the fridge.

(Lena said to make sure to write in the blog that you want to make nice big holes in the meatballs with two fingers and just let the cheese fall in. So there. Consider it written.)

Meanwhile, for the gravy, we fried up 7 oz of more ground beef in a little olive oil.

While the meat was browning we sliced up about a 3/4 onion and the leaves of 2 more sticks of rosemary.

We added them to the meat and cooked them for about five minutes.

Next we rummaged for an Indian Pale Ale, a veggie broth cube (we couldn't find a decent beef bullion that wasn't full of ingredients we couldn't decipher), English Mustard (Well honestly, we had no idea what exactly English Mustard was. We grabbed one that was  called "Sir Kensington", which sounded English enough, but turned out to have a French flag emblazoned on it.), blueberry jam (It was supposed to be black currant jam; we tried, but couldn't find any.), flour, and malt vinegar.

Lena added the broth cube and 3/4 cups of the beer to the meat and gave the rest to Papa for good luck.

We let it all cook in for a while and then added the rest.

2 tablespoons flour, 1 tablespoon jam, 2 teaspoons mustard, and 2 tablespoons vinegar. Then we added 3 cups of water and let the whole kit and kaboodle simmer for 30 minutes. Next we turned the oven to 475F and placed into it an empty roasting pan to warm up.

When the oven was ready we added the meatballs over a drizzle of olive oil, leaving some space around each.

After 20 minutes in the oven we smothered them in our gravy and put the gooey goodness back in for another 5 minutes.

In the meantime we prepped for our favorite mashed potatoes by peeling and chopping up a bunch of potatoes.

We covered them with water and cooked them with a little salt.

When they were soft we chucked in a few pieces of butter, some grated nutmeg, and a good bit of heavy cream.

Lena mashed it all up.

To round up the affair we also sliced a handful of carrots, cooked them in butter and salt until they started to get soft, caramelized them with a little sugar, and finsihed it all off with a bit of ground coriander seeds.

Bam! Look at it. Absolute delicious scrumptiousness. It doesn't get much better than this when you are asking for a little snug comfort. Thank you Jamie Oliver.

Apple Pie

For Thanksgiving we tried out the "Amazing Apple Pie" from Jamie Oliver's new cookbook Comfort Food. It was out of this world and just fun to make.

#comfortfood #jamieoliver

baking with kids
First we cut up 17 tablespoons of unsalted butter into 1/2 inch chunks and popped them in the freezer to get them stone cold in a jiffy.

recipe for home made apple pie

cooking with kids
When they were ready, we tossed them into a food processor with 2 1/2 cups of all-purpose flour, a pinch of sea salt, and 1 tablespoon of super fine castor sugar. We whizzed it all up, keeping it on the chunky side and then added 2/3 of a cup ice cold water pulsing it some more, trying to get it all into a rough dough.

real apple pie made from scratch

organic cooking blog
Then we finished the dough up by hand, forming

cooking blog for kids
2 flat patties. We wrapped them up in plastic wrap and stuck them into the fridge for an hour.

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healthy organic food blog
Next we peeled, cored and cut up a 4 1/2 lb medley of various organic apples. We made two equal piles; one with small 1/2" pieces, the other with big meaty chunks.

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Along the way we doused the apples with the juice of 1 lemon to keep them from browning. (Of course that also extended an open invitation to the girls' nibbling fingers.)

apple pie baking blog
We melted 4 tablespoons of unsalted butter and 1/2 cup of light brown sugar (we could not drum up any muscovado sugar specifically as the recipe suggested) and then added a good pinch of ground cinnamon.

how to bake an apple pie
Then Lily added the big apple chunks and cooked them for about 8 minutes. When they were halfway to semi-soft we added the small pieces for another 4 minutes or so until we liked their consistency. We wanted them to still have a little soft bite to them.

fruit pie recipes
We took the apples off the stove and spread them on baking trays to let them cool completely.

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Now we turned the oven to 375F and rolled out the first dough patty with plenty of flour, flipping it around occasionally.

organic, real healthy whole food
When we got it to about 1/8 of an inch we wrapped the dough around the rolling pin and unloaded it over a 10" baking dish.

recipe apple pie bake
We filled it with the apples, tucking them in nice and tight, and dapped the edges with a little bit of 1 whisked egg, using it as a sort of glue.

girl scouts apple pie recipe
Then we rolled out the second pieced of dough, cut out a few hearts (apparently the pie needs a hole to let off some steam), and draped it over the apples, pressing down the edges. With a knife we cut around the side of the dish, discarding any extra dough.

We found a fork and pressed down the edges.

healthy homemade baking tips
Almost done.

apple pie how to
All that was left was to use the remaining eggwash to cover the pie and

baking with girls
for Lily to drizzle on 2 tablespoons of demerara sugar from a distance.

apple pie crust
We baked the yumminess for 50 minutes.

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Just gorgeous.

apple pie
To eat we whipped up some heavy cream adding a little of the castor sugar to convince the crowd. Personally we thought that vanilla ice cream might work well with it too. But then again, the pie was so rich of fine flavors it would do it quite an injustice to mess around with other sideshows. It was an absolute delight. We devoured it while it was still steaming.