Chris Cooks

Ch-ch-changes with a side of Spaghetti (Squash) and (Turkey) Meatballs

June 27, 2012

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Befores, afters, mood boards, plans, failures, wins. We’ve done a lot of projects, and they’re all here. 

We have a long-standing relationship with DIY, and love rolling our sleeves up and making it happen. 

Even when you don’t want to rip down a wall, you can make that space in your home better. Right now.

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It’s no secret we are doers ’round here.  Every day, in our list of things that needs to get done, we also have a slightly shorter list of projects that we would like to get done.  Checking these things off has not only fed us with non-stop daily blogging material to feed your DIY eyes, but has also helped us slowly and steadily fix up this house of ours for the past 14 months.  Breathe easy–we aren’t even close to being done so you can count on more projects and renovations for a long, long time.  That said, we are also going to start slowly renovating our virtual home.  With these cleaner visual changes, we would also like to reintroduce more of us–the non-power-tool side.  Hello, we’re deeper than DIY.  And when I say “deeper” I mean funnier–and that really only applies to Chris. Basically, we can’t wait to share more of what we do when we aren’t doing projects.  

So while the remodeling will still be coming in strong (we still have close to an entire house to renovate, yeesh), look forward to more “where we goin’, what we seein’, who we with” posts and photos, too.  Mixed with plain sweetness, like this:

Awww, that’s when Chris climbed in Greta’s crib this past weekend and they chilled for 20 minutes while I snapped an infinite amount of pictures (see more over on her blog).  Those twoooooo.
And while we are discussing putting the power tools aside, I wanted to share with you my DIY feat last night–dinner.  Me!  I made dinner!  Which is especially blog worthy because of its rarity (Chris cooks 9.95 times out of 10), but it also turned out good… surprisingly.

You can’t call spaghetti and meatballs groundbreaking, guilt-free or healthy, but you can eat as much spaghetti squash and turkey meatballs as you want without a carb coma and it is still gonna taste amazing. Really, really good.

Get the sauce going first.  This is Chris’s top-secret really good red sauce recipe that he told me I could “do whatever  I want with.”  I hope that includes sharing it on our blog.

1/2 yellow onion-diced
1-2 garlic cloves (depending on how big they are)
Large can of diced tomatoes (do NOT drain the liquid)
Small can of tomato paste
1/2 tsp oregano
1/4 tsp dried basil
1/4 tsp fennel seed
1/2 tsp dried parsley
The juice of 1 orange
Salt and Pepper
Fresh chopped basil and parsley

Grind spices together (excluding salt and pepper) in a mortar and pestle and set aside. Put a sauce pan on medium low heat. Once the pan is heated, saute the onions (add a pinch of salt) in cooking oil until starting to brown a bit, but not totally caramelized. Add the garlic (put it through a press) and saute for literally 15 seconds, then add half your jar of tomato paste and saute for a couple minutes or so, stirring frequently. Add your ground spices in the middle of this process and let them cook a bit too.
Add the orange juice and cook for about a minute
Add the diced tomatoes, along with their liquid. Stir to incorporate and let simmer on medium low heat for 30 minutes or so, uncovered.
During the last 5 minutes of cooking, add fresh chopped basil and parsley (more basil than parsley). Salt and pepper to taste.

The meatballs (the ones my grandma has made for decades and decades) break down like this:

1 lb ground meat (I used turkey)
1/2 cup bread crumbs
1/4 cup parmesan cheese
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1 egg
fresh parsley
T of olive oil

Mix with hands and roll into balls.  Bake at 350 for 15-20 minutes, then plop them in your sauce to soak up the flavor and finish cooking.

So really the only part of this meal I had to figure out on my own was cooking the spaghetti squash.  What did I do? Microwave it. Sliced it in half lengthwise, took out the seeds and goo, placed both halves flesh-side down in a dish with 1/2 inch of water and nuked it for 7 minutes.  Quickety quick quick.  The whole meal took me 35 minutes to put together, which to be honest is about 20 minutes longer than I like it to, but it was tasty and healthy.  I’ll give it that. Spaghettisquashandturkeymeatballs.  It’s what’s for dinner. … not the same ring, huh.

You can follow more of what is on my culinary mind (spoiler alert: it is mostly really healthy–although I did just pin that s’mores bar recipe that is going around for eye candy) on our “Good Eats” Pinterest board.  

What do you think?

  1. You crack me up. I wish Logan and I cooked more. We both work so much and get home so late, so we usually have separate meals. It’s sad, really.

  2. Jessie McKinley says:

    YUMM!!!! That looks delicious. I pinned this and I am definitely going to be trying it out soon. I love spaghetti squash…such a great alternative!

  3. Me? Lighting a cooking fire under you? Go onnnn! Meatballs are one of the only 3 things I make. Meatballs, salad and pancakes. Hahaha!

    Greta had a little bit of spaghetti squash because she thought it was cheese. Hahaha. But she is also a little sick right now so she had an english muffin for dinner. Eh well.

  4. meaganbriggs3 says:

    stooooooooop it right now. Go girl for cooking this totally gorgeous meal! Holy cow!! I ate spaghetti squash a bunch in college but haven’t made one yet since we’ve been married! Question, did Greta eat the squash? I wonder how Brinley would react. She usually complains that things “smell weird” and won’t touch it until we force a bite.

    I MUST try making homemade meat balls. My first attempt was pathetic and sad. You’ve lit the fire under my cooking bum!

  5. Janecmetcalf says:

    i love spaghetti squash. such a great alternative. i’ll have to try turkey meatballs sometime. I crave spaghetti and sauce sometimes.

  6. Christie says:

    Ok, you have totally convinced me to give spaghetti squash a try. It looks delish! :-)

  7. Peanut butter holds the key to my heart. Good call! Looks delicious.

  8. Michelle Hein says:

    Those meatballs look SOOO good. I’ll have to give them a try soon, and hopefully I’ll be able to convince my boyfriend to go for the spaghetti squash though we are two carb lovers for sure.

    I recently made those s’mores bars but with Reese’s cups instead. I’m a firm believer that peanut butter makes almost every dessert better.
    Here’s what I did:

  9. We eat spaghetti at least once a week. We may have to try the spaghetti squash so we can cut back on our carbs!

    And that picture of Chris and Greta is too adorable!

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We believe we should all love where we live.

We’re a couple of homebodies, working to uncover the home our home wants to be. And we’re so happy to have you here. 

HI! We're Chris + Julia

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