What’s for Dinner? Mini Masala Meatballs, Veggie Pizza (sorta), and cheese and Onion Pasties

Summer is almost over and for Bringing Back Dinner and many of you this means a return to routine. It has been fun, but I kind of like the predictability of September – May.  Starting in September we will get back to regular blog posts and start planning those hearty, warm meals of fall.  I’d love to hear from some of you, what is your favorite fall dish?  What is that dish that signifies the start of cool weather?  Send me the recipe and a link to share and I will be glad to review it.  Post to the comments section below.

This week’s pictures are taken using Oggl an app available for Iphone and Windows phones with customizable filters.


Mini Masala Meatballs – Trader Joe’s

masala meatballs

Time: 30 – 45 minutes

Ease: Simple

Review:  This recipes would be great football food!  It is sort of a sweet and sour meets Indian.  You can buy frozen meatballs for this, but I made my own.  I used ground beef and added curry, zaatar seasoning, an egg and some breadcrumbs.  rolled into small meatballs and baked at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes.  For the rest of the recipe click the title link.

My family liked this and I served it with rice.  It is nice to try different flavors sometimes and it doesn’t have to be hard.


Veggie Pizza (sorta) – Meatless Monday (almost)

veg pizza 2

Time: 45 Minutes

Ease: Simple to Moderate based on whether or not you make your own crust.  I don’t.

Review: This was my Meatless Monday dish.  I use the raw pizza dough already prepared from my grocery.  Lowes and Harris Teeter sell them in the bakery section.

Spread and even layer of prepared spaghetti sauce over the crust, top with chopped broccoli, slices of tomato, fresh mozzarella cut into slices, and caramelized onions; use at least 1 whole onion.  Then top with cheese.  To caramelize the onion follow the link here.  It really adds extra flavor.

I was doing great until this point, and then well there was this bacon ya see.  I mean…it’s bacon!  Soooo, I crumbled bacon all over the top of the pizza. To be honest, I blew Meatless Monday.  However,  It was a perfectly yummy veggi pizza before I defiled (blessed) it with bacon.  While I feel certain it will make a wonderful Meatless Monday dish for you, I felt  I must come clean and tell you about the bacon.  Feel free to transgress.


Cheese and Onion Pasties – Lavender and Lovage

pasties 2

Time: 55 Minutes

Ease: Moderate

Review: I love pasties and I’m always trying to find a yummy recipe that tastes like the pasties at the pasty stand in Windsor UK.  This is good, but not quite it.  We enjoyed these and I will probably make them again, but in the end we felt they could have had a little more flavor to them.  That said it was a very nice comfort food flavor, I mean really it is hard to go terribly wrong with potato, cheese and onion.  Do not be dissuaded and give it a try.


I hope you have had a great summer and thank you for your patience with the summertime inconsistencies of Bringing Back Dinner.  I hope to be back to normal by September as we stop traveling and settle into a glorious fall!


Hey, Wait…Did you know we have a Crockpot?

IMG_6037I own a crockpot/slow cooker, but it is something that I forget I own and every once in a while I say “Hey, wait…did you know we have a crockpot?”  Then I will be inspired to make a crockpot meal that week.  I’m not sure why I don’t then go crockpot crazy, but for some reason one meal seems good for me. I mean let’s not get carried away and use it frequently.  That might make life easier-we can’t have that! Maybe I need crockpot aversion therapy.  Hmmm are there appliance therapists?  I mean I do love my crockpot (once in a while).  After all; imagine walking in the door to the wonderful smell of dinner, just waiting for you!  The house seems warm and cozy, stress slides away and you all sit down to a meal that magically appears, ready to eat.  So, why don’t I do this more often?  I have no idea.  Maybe I’ll be inspired by writing this blog and have my own magically prepared meals waiting for me night after night.  OK, probably not; but you can use your crockpot and use it often then you can inspire me.  Let me know how it goes for you.

Seriously, the slowcooker (crockpot) is a great device and I encourage you to use it.  This is a way to get hot meals on the table in just a matter of minutes, because the cooking was done while you were doing other things.  So, pull that baby out, dust it off and get cooking-sloooowly.

So this week there is one, yep one crockpot recipe.  Maybe next week I’ll make one more, it could happen.

The Process

1. Sit down, relax and plan (or pick some meals from here)

2. Make a grocery list and stick to it!!!! This saves time and money

3. Do the shopping-aim for one trip

4. Bring Back Dinner and enjoy

The Meals:

minestrone collageCrockpot Meal!!  Minestrone:

The Food Network   Chef: Robin Miller

Time:  Prep 15 minutes/ 4-8 hours in crockpot

Ease: Easy

Review: This recipe worked great just the way it is, was easy to make and tasted great.  My husband said it was perhaps the best Minestrone he has every had and made wonderful yummy noises throughout the whole meal!  FYI: I live for yummy noises.  It is how I know I’ve hit the mark and moved from filling the whole to touching the heart!  Cook with love.  To make this vegetarian use vegetable stock.

pork loin collagePork Loin in Jalapeño Mustard Sauce 

Time: 1 hour (depending on size of pork loin)

Ease: Easy to moderate

Review:  This is not a review of an existing recipe, but one I “threw together” this week.  My family enjoyed it and it was easy to pull together. I used a sauce from MeadowCroft Farms, but think you could improvise.

Scrambled hamburger collageScrambled Hamburger 

Time: 20 minutes

Ease: Easy

Review: This recipe is a family favorite for 3 generations.  While it isn’t a meal you may picture a Norman Rockwell family eating it is a modern day meal.  Easy, yummy, and quick.  NOTE:  This dish sounds like nothing great, but is! Whenever I make this for someone for the first time they tell me “oh my gosh, I had no ideas this would be so good, can I make it at home?”  Sometime minimal works best.  Try it!  Leave a comment, I’d love to know what you think.

steaks collageSteak and Potatoes 

Time: 8-15 minutes for steak and 50 minutes for potatoes

Ease: Easy, but you may feel intimidated by the steak.  Don’t worry, you will be fine.  Do invest in a nice thermometer for meat!

Review: While steak is great on the grill sometimes it is raining, too cold, or we don’t have a grill.  This doesn’t mean you can’t have steak.  With practice you will be making juicy, melt in your mouth steaks in no time!  This is a great dish to google. Search what others do and find what works for you.

taco collageCrispy Taco Picadillo  MarthaStewart.com

Time: 30-45 minutes

Ease: Easy to moderate (if you use store bought shells this dish is very easy)

Review:  You will never go back to salt filled packets again!  This dish is fresh, easy, and homemade.  Your friends and family will love it. For an adventure try making your own crispy shells too.  Chicken can be used instead of ground beef.

Photos may be used, but please link back to this blog and credit Lisa Burbach, recipes are links to existing recipes and I have no ownership of recipes other than the ones of Have created.  Thank you.