Mertile and I have been trying to get together all summer. But between our two schedules, it just wasn't happening. And then of course, it wasn't summer anymore.
Undeterred by the cooler weather and the early sunsets, we made plans to meet up at a park for a picnic. We got there first, and set up.
And then the rest of the crew showed up and we spread out our food, and got to munching and talking. Picnics are a fabulous way to catch up. Especially ones beside playgrounds.
Except this one, where the playground was some sort of death trap. Thatbaby and I have the scabs to prove it! So us parents did a lot more running around with the munchkins than talking.
And then it got dark. Luckily dark meant the kids weren't able to play on the playground, and instead played some sort of game that involved catch and throwing (and searching) for balls in the dark. And this gave us time to sit around and chat.
Picnic dinners are some of my most favorite. It makes simple meals like sandwiches and pretzels taste better. It's fun when something little can make such a difference.
Such was my though about this next entry. Two simple meal ideas - meatballs and mashed potatoes. Two little additions - taco seasoning and cheddar. The result is something that is definitely not ordinary.
Spicy Taco Meatballs with Cheddar Mashed Potatoes and Avocado (From Sarah's Cucina Bella)
1 1/4 lbs ground beef
1 large egg
1/2 cup breadcrumbs
1 packageTaco Seasoning
4 large Yukon gold potatoes (about 1 lb), peeled and cubed
1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1/2 cup milk
Salt and pepper, to taste
1 ripe avocado, pitted, peeled and sliced
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. In a large mixing bowl, stir together the ground beef, egg, breadcrumbs and taco seasoning. Form into 1-inch meatballs and arrange in a rectangular glass baking dish.
- Bake for 20-25 minutes, flipping once, until golden and cooked through.
- Meanwhile, bring a salted pot of water to a boil on the stove. Add the potatoes to the pot and boil for 15-20 minutes, until soft. Drain well, transfer back to the pot and mash.
- Add the cheddar cheese and stir well to combine.
- Stir in the milk and season with salt and pepper.
- Top the mashed potatoes with salsa and serve.