Monday Night Kick-Off

by Cate on September 20, 2005

The Husband and The Neighbor’s Husband went to the Giants vs. New Orleans Saints game tonight. Since it’s after 11:30 pm, and I’ve seen hide nor hare of them, I’m guessing it was a good game. President Clinton and President Bush were going to be there, along with the Red Cross collecting donations, Three Doors Down doing the half-time show and Harry Connick, Jr. doing the National Anthem. I’m sure they had a blast. I saw Harry in concert years ago and he puts on an amazing show … I wish he’d go on tour again.

Since the “women and kids” were alone tonight, we all ate together, which, of course, pleased Nicholas and The Girlfriend to no end. I kept it real simple tonight with Spaghetti and Meatballs. I also made Spinach Parmesan Balls.

If you’re an avid FoodTV Network watcher (me! me!), you might have seen the contest over the summer for The Next FoodTV Network Star. Dan and Steve won the contest, getting their very own show on the network, Party Line with Dan and Steve, which premiered the other day. They have had their own catering business for over 10 years, and their show will be geared towards “entertaining” type recipes, complete with helpful tips on how many appetizers to figure on per person, how to pass them, etc. I caught the first episode, and one of the recipes they made were the Spinach Parmesan Balls I made tonight. It was Dan’s mother’s recipe, and a favorite of their catering clients. Very simple to make, I was hoping it would look like something fun for the kids to eat, thereby hiding the fact that there was spinach in it. No such luck – thwarted by the preschool set, who didn’t even try it!

Anyways, the recipe was good and I really liked it. Just two notes, in case you try them yourself. First, they suggest using an ice cream scoop to make nice little balls out of them. If you do, use a mini ice cream scoop, because a regular size one is too large (in my opinion); the cooking time might need to be adjusted a bit if you make the balls smaller. Second, they taste even better with some sort of sauce to dip them in. We used Dijon mustard, and that worked great.

Thanks to everyone who joined me on WDB#1. We had one more last minute addition, Dale, so do check the round-up, if you haven’t already. One of our cats, Callie, loves to sit and wash Eli’s face and massive paws, which she was doing after dinner tonight. Of course, every time she does this, the camera is nowhere near me. I’m hoping to catch them in the act for WDB#2.

The Mrs. Potato Head Potatoes recipe from last night is posted below. I hope you try it – I don’t think you’ll be disappointed. Until tomorrow…

Spinach Parmesan Balls
1 pound package frozen chopped spinach, thawed
5 eggs
1 large onion, minced
10 tablespoons margarine, melted (they specified to not use butter as a sub)
1 cup shredded Parmesan
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
1/2 teaspoon cayenne
1 3/4 cups Italian-style bread crumbs

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Squeeze the excess water from the spinach and put it in a large mixing bowl. Add the remaining ingredients and mix well by hand. Form the mixture into 1-inch balls, either by hand or with a small ice cream scoop. Place the balls closely together on a baking sheet. Cook in the top half of the oven until firm to the touch, about 20 to 25 minutes. Let cool 5 minutes, and then transfer to a platter and serve immediately.

Mrs. Potato Head Potatoes
2 pounds small new potatoes, quartered
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1/3 cup olive oil
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1/4 cup minced shallots
2 teaspoons minced fresh rosemary
1/2 cup diced sweet red bell pepper
Paprika for sprinkling
Juice of 1/2 lemon
freshly ground black pepper

Preheat the oven to 375. Place the potatoes in a roasting pan and toss with the salt, then with the olive oil. Set the pan on a burner over medium-high heat. Cook, stirring frequently, until the potatoes are just beginning to soften, but not brown, about 10 minutes. Transfer the pan to the oven. Bake uncovered for 15 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes with a spatula, pushing under the potatoes each time to make sure they don’t stick to the pan. Stir in the garlic, shallots and rosemary. Cook another 15 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes. Stir in the bell pepper and sprinkle with enough paprika to make a light coating. Bake until nicely browned, about 15 minutes longer, stirring every 5 minutes. Remove from the oven. Cool to room temperature. Sprinkle the lemon juice over the top. Add a few grinds of pepper and serve. *Sweetnicks note: once in the oven, I didn’t do the umpteen “stir every 5 minutes,” but kept an eye on them to make sure they weren’t sticking, stirring about every 10 minutes.

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{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

Paz September 20, 2005 at 4:23 am

Hi there!

Is that Nicholas in the banner? So cute!

I’m an avid Food Network watcher (although I’ve missed a couple of shows lately). I did see the Network Star show and I wanted to watch Dan and Steve’s debut. Too bad I’ve missed that too, but I hope to catch a rerun.

The spinach parmesan balls sound great! I love spinach (even as a child!) I’m going to try it.

I’m so glad you’ve started a WDB. I was wondering about that, since I saw the cute cats. Except that I only have dogs. Once I figure out how to take that glare out of their eyes, I’ll submit a photo. ;-)

Mrs. Potato Head potatoes look good too. I trust that Nicholas and The Girlfriend liked that better. ;-)



Mona September 20, 2005 at 4:01 pm

Wow, I’ve never seen spinach parmesan balls before. Sounds like a great one, I’ll need to try that.


mrs d September 20, 2005 at 4:48 pm

Oh foo! I missed the Dan & Steve debut! I keep telling myself to check foodnetwork for listings and Chopper kept assuring me it hadn’t started yet. Ah well, it’s not as if the don’t rerun things on that channel a bazillion times!


Nupur September 21, 2005 at 1:39 am

Thanks for putting up Dale…next time I will be on time I promise :) Your puppies are adorable!


Jeff September 21, 2005 at 2:40 am

Thanks for the birthday wishes yesterday :)


Cate September 21, 2005 at 3:23 am

Jeff – You’re quite welcome; hope it was a wonderful one!

Nupur – no problem at all. Everybody has pretty gorgeous dogs – happy to include another.

Mona – try ’em, you’ll like ’em. They reheat well too – had another one tonight.

Mrs D – you’re right. They’ll definitely repeat the episode a zillion times, if not more.

Hey Paz! Yup, that’s Nicholas in the banner, and he and The Girlfriend DID like the potatoes much better. ;) I can’t help with the dogs’ eye glare, but for regular picture clean-up, Picasa2 (a free download from works wonderfully. Hope this helps.


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