DANG! This morning we woke up COLD! We left all of the windows open for some sweet summer fresh air, not realizing that it was going to drop into the 50's at night. So this morning everyone is running around wrapped up in warm cuddling blankets and hoodies and it is just downright sad!
So instead of hamburgers on the grill, Mama's making meatballs today! And not just any meatballs, but Porcupine Meatballs! We've got a variety of fresh tomatoes from the garden, lots of fresh basil, and a crop of kids that love mashed potatoes or sticky white rice. I haven't made these in a long time, but everyone is pretty excited for dinner tonight!
Back when I was a kid my Mom used to make these all the time, switching between mushroom gravy and tomato gravy, depending on her mood. They are fabulous either way, but with basil and tomatoes taking over the garden, this just seemed like the right thing to do today. Ground beef, uncooked rice and sweet chopped onion and green pepper is simply seasoned with salt and pepper. The magic in this is the sauce! The rice plumps up as these bake in the thick and rich tomato sauce. A few secret spices and everything bakes up moist and flavorful! All that's left is to get some potatoes peeled for mashing, and dinner will be ready before you know it!
If you have fresh tomatoes available, you can chop up a few in your food processor or blender - about two cups worth, instead of using canned tomatoes. I actually added a few handfuls of sweet cherry tomatoes and the sweetest little orange cherry tomatoes ever, and it added such a sweet fresh flavor to the sauce! I just love cooking from my garden whenever I can!
I always forget how good these are...until the recipe pops up again and my kiddos are begging for a meatball and mashed potato dinner. And if you have any leftover, they are actually pretty good loaded into a fresh sub bun and topped with shredded mozzarella cheese and melted up, nice and hot.
I'm only dreaming about those sub sandwiches now - these Porcupine Meatballs disappeared as fast as I could put them on the table! Hopefully we'll get back to summer days again tomorrow - but in the meantime, dinner is served!