Happiness Project#71: Cheesy Meatballs!

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Another year. Another birthday. And today, my 38th birthday, was surprisingly very special. Most of those who know me well, understand how apathetic I’ve always been about my past birthdays. Yes, turning another year older IS a very momentous occasion, since too many in this war torn, disease fraught world never make it to their next birthday. But considering how creature-of-comfort I am, I’ve rarely felt the desire to do anything out of the ordinary for it. Until today. Because my husband took the day off work to be with my daughter and I. Which made today truly special. Not only did we go to my favorite local cupcakery (where I purchased lovely new wooden cooking utensils), and browsed through this FANTASTIC new hat store (where I found a BEAUTIFUL wide brim sun hat, with a lovely black bow), but we also ventured to one of our favorite playgrounds. To well…play. With an awesome wooden play train and a giant, full-size aircraft and many twirly slides. And even though my lungs and head were screaming at me because of the horrid surrounding trees and flowers that I’m near deathly allergic to, watching my Toddler “command” my husband to ride the train with her and play hide & seek among the many lovely trees, was quite honestly, magical to me. Since the 3 of us being out and about together doesn’t happen very often because of my health. So this birthday, because of it’s abnormal normality, was VERY special. One of which I will always cherish and hold dear. Yes, thanks be for birthdays.

To share in such a happy day for my little family, I decided to whip up this super-easy, super-versatile Cheesey Meatball recipe! Easy because it’s done in a slow cooker! Yes, I DID just say a slow cooker! Rejoice, my friends! Versatile because you can pair this wonderfully mild (but juicy) meatball with just about any dip or sauce of your liking! Truth! Trust me. So who’s ready for some meatball lovin??

1-1/2 pounds hamburger meat, thawed correctly

1 egg plus 1 egg yolk

1-1/2 cups panko bread crumbs

2 tablespoons mustard

2 tablespoons ketchup

1/2 tablespoon garlic powder

1 tablespoon onion flakes

pinch black pepper

pinch kosher salt

6 full size string cheese logs, cut up in 1 inch square pieces per string cheese log

Firstly, cut up each length of string cheese, into 4 to 5 one inch squares per string cheese. Set aside in a small bowl.

Now the messy (& kinda fun) part. Combine all of the meatball ingredients into a large bowl and mix together, with your hands, until every ingredient is fully combined. See? Messy. But kinda fun too!

Now roll about 2 tablespoons of the meatball mixture into nice sized balls. Once you’ve lined up all of the meatballs, gently press a piece of cheese into the center of each meatball, rolling them up (again) into a slightly larger sized meatball. Make sure that each piece of cheese is fully rolled up into each meatball (so that there is no cheese visible).

Lightly butter or spray the bottom of your slow cooker, before placing each cheesy meatball within it. Depending on the size of your slow cooker, you’ll be able to line up roughly 18-24 meatballs. Slow cook on low heat for 1 hour, turning each meatball over at the half hour mark. Now slow cook on high heat for another hour, until each meatball is a lovely darkened brown, with the cheese center starting to bubble up from within.

And serve warm! On a yummy bed of sticky rice, which is my family’s favorite way to eat. Or dip each meatball in your favorite pasta sauce or cheese dip! Because dinner options are ALWAYS welcome. Especially in a family with toddlers involved. We all know how toddlers can be with dinner, after all. Ha.

To all of my many fellow bloggers and readers, thank you for making this blogging experience of mine a truly happy one. From one birthday to the next! Onwards to another year of babies, baking and books!

 

 

 

 

 

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