Vickey’s Slow Cooker Meatballs

This is the easiest meatball recipe imaginable. And despite using frozen meatballs, they have a homemade taste.

1 large bag Italian-style frozen meatballs
1 can of pineapple tidbits
1 bottle any brand of honey-flavored BBQ sauce
3/4 cup brown sugar

Pour meatballs into a large slow cooker. Pour pineapple and BBQ sauce over the meatballs. Sprinkle brown sugar on top. Cover and cook on low heat for 6 hours. Stir halfway through cooking time.

Wanpen’s Egg Rolls

A friend named, Wanpen, from Thailand gave me this recipe over 20 years ago. The amounts of the ingredients are estimates, because I guesstimated while she showed me how to make them in my kitchen one afternoon.

2 packages ground beef (approx. 3 lbs)
2-3 large carrots, peeled and grated
1 large onion
2 packages of bean sprouts (not sure exact size – let’s say approx. 8 oz bags)
1 large head of cabbage, grated (or use 2 large bags of cabbage for coleslaw)
MSG definitely optional, but it really does enhance the flavor
2 T soy sauce
2 T sugar
spring roll wrappers (50)

Thoroughly mix all ingredients, except spring roll wrappers. For instruction on how to roll up egg rolls, here is a link with pictures that clearly show how (here). Use approx 2 tablespoons of mixture per egg roll and line up your wrapped egg rolls on a parchment paper lined cookie sheet. If you stack more than one layer high, put another piece of parchment paper between the layers. Heat about 1 1/2 inches of vegetable oil or peanut oil in a large deep frying pan and begin frying until golden brown on all sides. Do not overcrowd the frying pan. Drain on lots of paper towels. This recipe makes about 50 egg rolls. Once cool, freeze extras by individually wrapping tightly in aluminum foil. Egg rolls may be taken out of foil and placed on a plate lined paper towels and heated in the microwave. Do not thaw first – just place frozen into the microwave and heat like you would a frozen burrito. High power a minute or two. They can also be reheated on a parchment paper lined cookie sheet in the oven – try 375 degrees like you would for frozen french fries and watch closely so they don’t get too brown. Drizzle on more soy sauce as you eat.

PA Dutch Pickled Eggs

Pickled eggs are an acquired taste and due to my PA Dutch heritage, I acquired the taste early on. I used to keep a jar of pickled eggs going almost year-round, but haven’t made any in a few years. Recipes vary on the ratio of sugar to vinegar, so it’s best to taste your beet liquid and adjust it until you find the right taste for you. The pickling spices is something I started adding and I’ve never seen it in another pickled egg recipe – I like it, because it gives the eggs a bit of a spicy flavor.

2 cans sliced red beets or 2 jars of pickled red beets (15-16 oz size cans and jars – size has gotten smaller over the years)
1 cup sugar
3/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1-2 cinnamon sticks
2T pickling spice tied in cheesecloth or just loose, optional (I do it both ways – doesn’t matter. except in cheesecloth there’s no loose spices on the eggs to pick off)
1-2 bay leaves
1 large onion, sliced
18 hard-boiled eggs (peeled)

1 large gallon jar (wash in lots of hot soapy water and rinse thoroughly)

Mix all ingredients, except eggs in a small saucepan. Heat until boiling and stir until sugar is dissolved. Do a quick taste test to see if you like the sweet/sour ratio. Adjust by adding more sugar or vinegar. Remove from stove and let cool. Place the hard-boiled eggs in the gallon jar and carefully pour the beet mixture over the eggs. Stir and then screw on lid tightly. Place in the refrigerator. Eggs will be ready to eat the next day, but last for weeks and the longer they “pickle”, the better they get. Stir daily