Veggie Cream Cheese

Homemade veggie cream cheese will beat the pants off any store brand!

Veggie Cream Cheese

1 container of Cream Cheese
2 Tbsp each Shredded Carrot
                   Red Onion
                   Bell Pepper
                   Broccoli  - all veggies diced
1 tsp Ranch Dressing mix (from pouch)

Empty the container of cream cheese into a bowl. Mix in finely diced veggies and ranch powder, stirring thoroughly to combine. Replace in the original container and keep refrigerated.

Notes/Substitutions: My biggest tip; get your veggies from the salad bar at the grocery store! That way you can get exactly what you want, pre-cut (though I dice them finely at home, it's really up to your preferred mouthfeel), and in small ammounts. I also use this short-cut on MYO pizza, it saves so much time and money! Neufchatel cheese can be substituted for cream cheese, and the ranch dressing mix can be omitted completely.

Mini Meat Balls

This recipe is reminiscent of my grandmother's famous home-made meatballs (sorry, I won't post THAT recipe here - family secret!). This whips up fast and makes great leftovers.

Mini Meatballs

1 lb Ground Beef
1 large Egg
3/4 c Italian Bread Crumbs
1/2 tsp both Onion Powder and Garlic Salt
Black Pepper to Taste

Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and use your hands to mix into a thick, oatmeal-like viscosity. I like to add the bread crumbs a bit little at a time to make sure I achieve the right consistency.Meanwhile, pour your choice of cooking oil in a frying pan to about half an inch deep and heat over a medium flame.

Shape the meatball mixture into ping-pong sized balls by rolling it in the palm of your hand. Arrange the meatballs around the frying pan and cook for 3-5 minutes. Flip the meatballs over and cook a further 3-5 minutes (or until you can cut a meatball in half and it is completely cooked inside). Remove the meatballs from the oil and place them on a cookie sheet lined with a paper bag. Add meatballs to any sauce of your choice to heat and serve over any pasta!

Notes/Substitutions: People who don't usually make meatballs from scratch are often put off by their reputation as being a very labor intensive and time consuming recipe. This is true of some of the more traditional recipes, but I think that this one gives you a simple, quick way to make meatballs from scratch! Substitutions are almost endless depending on the flavor you want to get, I like to supplement the bread crumbs with some parmesan cheese.