It’s that time of year! Back to School!

school bus

Some folks cheer as they send their little ones back to school–others cry.

I do a little of both. I am glad to have some routine back in our lives. However, I miss my kids when they go back.

When I dropped them off on the first day, I told them it was a very sad day for me–no one to talk to–no one to eat lunch with. My oldest felt really sad for me and sent me a text on her lunch break. THEN the tears came!!!

With regularly scheduled chaos back in play, I decided to do a little preparedness cooking.

This meatball recipe comes from a good old Taste of Home magazine.

Taste of Home

I picked up a large package of hamburger patties from the clearance bin last week. It seems like the patties go on sale more often than the by-the-pound packages. Nobody said I had to keep them as patties though! I didn’t really have a plan for 4 pounds of meat at the time. I just couldn’t resist the $2.97/pound bargain!

bargain meat

As the “best by” date approached, I figured I had better do something with all this meat–either cook it or freeze it. I gathered the rest of the ingredients and went to town! I just so happened that my meatball recipe called for 4 pounds of lean ground beef. You can easily cut this recipe in half if you don’t wan to make as many as I made.

meatball ingredients

Beat 4 eggs in a large bowl. LARGE BOWL. You are dealing with 4 pounds of meat here!

four eggs

I have a large bag of bread crumbs that I keep in my freezer. These are actually left over from this event. When I have leftover bread from dinner or heals that nobody wants to eat, etc. I dry them out in the oven. Then I whirr them around in the food processor. I leave them unseasoned so that they can be used in anything. Seasoning can always be added later.

You will need 2 cups.

breadcrumbs

Add the breadcrumbs, onion, salt, pepper, and Worcestershire sauce to the eggs. Mix it all around really well.

breading mixture

Add your meat.

meatball mixtures

This is where it gets messy, at least it did for me. Pull off your rings and start squishing everything together. I guess you could use a spoon. It just seems that hands do better for me. I can feel where the breadcrumb mixture is still in a clump. Squishing the meatball mixture together was rather therapeutic. It reminded me of making mud pies when I was little.

Once everything was mixed up, it was time to make the meatballs.

recycled styrofoam

I had what I thought was a good idea. Reuse the meat tray as my prep board! One less thing to wash!

I took half of the meat mixture on pressed it evenly into the tray.

tray of meat

Then, using a knife, I scored the meat into 36 equal portions. (I wish I could take credit for that idea. It came from the Taste of Home folks.) Roll each portion into a ball. Of course you could use a kitchen scoop if you would rather.

scored meat

rolled meatballs

After rolling a few meatballs, I decided they were too big. I went back and divided them in two.

Repeat the process with other half of the mixture.

My “equal” radar must have been a little off. I ended up with 153 meatballs.

prepared meatballs

At this point you can either cook them or freeze them.

I chose to cook them all. (400˚ for 10-15 minutes) You are supposed to cook them in batches so they aren’t so crowded on the pan. My crowded pan took a little longer than the pan with more space.

cooked meatballs

Use about 30 meatballs to make something yummy like Sweet and Sour Meatballs. Enjoy your dish while the rest of the meatballs cool completely.

Sweet and Sour Meatballs

After dinner, package up the rest of the meatballs and put them in the freezer. Now when that school schedule gets a little on the crazy side, you have something easy to fix for dinner. (Meatball Subs, Spaghetti and Meatballs, party appetizers, the list goes on and on!)

freezer meatballs

I ended up with 9 dozen meatballs for the freezer!

Keep your eyes on the clearance bin and have a great school year!

Back to School Meatballs

4 eggs

2 cups dry bread crumbs

1/2 cup finely chopped onion

2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce

1/2 teaspoon white pepper

4 pounds lean ground beef

-Beat eggs

-Add everything but the meat

-Add the meat

-Shape into meatballs

-Bake on an ungreased baking sheet with sides at 400˚ for 10-15 minutes, turning often,  until no longer pink.

-Drain

-Cool before freezing.

A School Spirit Wreath is not my original idea. There is nothing new under the sun! I was inspired to make one after seeing the one Amanda Jane Brown made. Amanda is a fellow member of the Arkansas Women Bloggers group. I have not met Amanda in real life but I hope to soon. I am going to the AWBU conference next month! I am beyond excited!!!! Check back mid-September to hear about it.

On to the Spirit Wreath…

music themed spirit wreath

Too cute, huh?

I enjoy going to the high school football games. However, as a mother of two band students, it’s all about half-time to me!

My oldest recently was bestowed the honor of drum major! That was when I decided to make our spirit wreath have a musical theme.

Our school colors are purple and white, so the purple and white were obvious choices for fabric. When I came across the black fabric with PURPLE TREBLE CLEFS I gasped and snatched it up before anyone else could get to it. I’m sure that is right where everyone in Joann’s was headed. HA! What can I say, I was excited!

Black and white check is one of my all-time favorite prints, plus it went well with the others. Since Amanda used fancy ribbon on her wreath, I figured I could, too. The wire wreath was already hanging in my garage.

spirit wreath supplies

Amanda said to get a yard of each fabric, so I did. However, I had quite a bit left when I was finished. You be the judge of if you want to buy a little less than a yard.

cutting fabric

She cut her strips to be 10″ x 1.25″. Mine ended up being 10″ x 1.5″.

spirit wreath fabric

I got a little crazy with the cutting wheel. Wanting to get on with my project, I stacked my fabric too thick. It was a chore to cut through. I ended up with a numb finger for several days!

spirit wreath supplies cut

Once all the fabric is cut and orderly, you are ready to start tying.

spirit wreath ties

Figure out your pattern and start tying the strips onto the wire wreath. I have to admit, I was somewhat skeptical about the instructions to only tie onto the first and third rows. I was afraid the wire would end up showing. I tied accordingly, and it turned out great! No wire showing!

music themed spirit wreath

I just love the way it looks all finished. I really wanted to find a trumpet and a flute to hang on the wreath, since those are the instruments my girls play. None could be found that weren’t $20! I found the glittery, black musical ornaments at Hobby Lobby for 99¢ each. Much better! They were also available in gold or red. They do not, however, come in silver, which was my first choice. I wanted silver to match with the musical fabric. Oh, well, I like it anyway.

music themed fabric

musical ornament

musical ornament glitter

musical ornament treble clef

Thanks, Amanda Jane, for the great idea!

Go, Jackrabbits! (and Jackrabbit Band)