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Spaghetti & Meatballs, Texas Style

May 9, 2010

Happy Mother’s Day to all of you Moms out there!  We only have kitty-babies and turtle-babies, so we don’t celebrate.  😉

(Actually, I was at the grocery store on Friday night and the cashier told me to have a great Mother’s day, and then proceeded to complain that Mother’s Day was the only day “we” Mothers get appreciated.  Sorry lady, I’m not part of the Mommy-club.)

Yesterday, we went to the Fort Worth Zoo with my parents.   The zoo is ranked #5 in the nation, although I don’t know exactly how zoos are rated (offering of animals? special events?).  I hadn’t been there in at least 10 years.

While all of the animals were kinda cool, I have a special place in my heart for these guys.


(Alpaca tortoise)

And these.


(Spider tortoise, I believe)

And these guys.


(No clue what kind of turtle.  Funny-shell-shape turtle, maybe?)

There were a lot of turtles, but unfortunately, my battery decided to drain itself of life.  It does that at the most inopportune times. 


There was an entire section dedicated to Texas critters…. which, frighteningly, includes a lot of creepy scorpions, rattlesnakes, and spiders.  Oh joy. 


I have a lot of state pride. 

One of the coolest things we saw were the elephants, two of which were clearly mates.  They were nuzzling and playfully squirting water at each other.  And then there was another elephant that was dancing, as if he could hear some music that was inaudible to the rest of us.  Either that or his mother dropped him on his head when he was little.  😉

Last but not least was this guy:


I’m always amazed by how similar our little cats seem to the really big cats.

All in all, a nice trip.  Great time with family.

This morning, I woke up bright grey and early to get in my ride before the day flew away from me.  See, I made a big mistake last week.  The partnership & corporatate tax class I’m taking is about to end and I thought that the final exam was next Wednesday.  So imagine my surprise when I logged onto my school email last night to work on it and realized it was due on Friday (it’s an online class).  Ooops.

I went ahead and finished the exam and submitted it with a note to the professor explaining what had happened.  I really, really hope he accepts my exam and doesn’t dock me many late points. 

Anyway, I did 50 miles in 3:35, which is the longest distance I’ve ridden before.  It had rained while I was drinking coffee and eating breakfast, so it was very cold (for May) and cloudy out – I actually wore a cycling jacket (more like a windbreaker – did you guys have one of those in elementary school, too?), which is unheard of for May in Texas. 

I stopped at miles 20, 30, and 40 for fuel and water (I had raisins, then a PB&J sandwich, then more raisins) and felt pretty good except for miles 33-39 when I hit a mental roadblock.  Fortunately, that quickly passed and I finished strong.  I even passed some other cyclists on the road home.

After a (much needed) shower, I plopped down on the couch and worked on my exam for a couple hours while Matt cooked.  Have I mentioned before how lucky I am to have a husband that likes experimenting in the kitchen?  We’re a perfect match.  🙂

For dinner tonight, he whipped up a Tex-Mex version of Spaghetti & Meatballs.


Doesn’t it look like the Mario & Luigi version?


Meatballs in Almond Sauce


  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp Mexican oregeno
  • 2-4 tblsp fresh cilantro
  • 2 tsp salt
  • Fresh ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 4-5 slices toasted gluten free bread


Place eggs into large mixing bowl and beat. In food processor, combine the rest.

Blend until consistency of bread crumbs. Add mixture to eggs and mix

thoroughly. Then add:

  • 1 lb ground turkey (Honeysuckle White)
  • 1 lb ground turkey breakfast sausage (Honeysuckle White)


Mix thoroughly with hands, then use a scooper to form mixture into meatballs. (If going for 1 inch meatballs, this will make about 50)

In a nonstick skillet, brown exterior of meatballs, 30 – 60 seconds per side over medium high heat.

Place meatballs in 9×13 baking dish and cover with Almond Sauce.  Cover and place in 350 degree oven for 45 minutes, or until meatballs are cooked through.


Almond Sauce

  • 2 29 oz cans tomato sauce
  • 2-3 dried chiles de arbol
  • 2.5 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp vegetable oil
  • 1 1/3 cup almonds (slivered or whole)
  • 1 medium white onion, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp salt, or to taste
  • 1 cup water


Heat oil in skillet over medium heat. Toast the chiles for 1 minute, then remove chiles, cut off stems, and let cool.

Add almonds to pan and reduce heat to medium low, then toast for 5-6 minutes, stirring constantly. Remove with a slotted spoon and allow to cool.

Add onion and cumin seeds to pan and cook until onion starts to brown, about 4-5 minutes.

Combine all ingredients in food processor and blend until consistency is smooth.


We served our meatballs and sauce over Tinkyada brown rice penne with fresh cilantro on top, but rice would work, too.


I also whipped up some grain-free brownies, which are cooling on the rack now.  If they turn out (which is an “if”), I’ll post my makeshift recipe. 😉

Hope you all had a nice weekend – Friday is only 5 days away!

8 Comments leave one →
  1. May 10, 2010 5:29 AM

    hahah- I got something similar from someone about Mother’s day too. Made me feel like hmmm maybe I should have kids…is it weird that I don’t (yet) ;). Love zoos…animals are so awesome. The pasta looks great. I’ve made a cashew cream sauce, but not almond- I want to try this!

  2. May 10, 2010 7:30 AM

    What an interesting sauce recipe, I need to give that a try!

  3. tastyeatsathome permalink
    May 10, 2010 8:32 AM

    It is funny how people wish every woman a happy mother’s day, when not every woman is a mother. Weird. This pasta looks good, and oh, how I want to visit the zoo now! And you ALWAYS amaze me with your cycling. 50 miles? In my mind, that seems like a lot of distance to DRIVE, much less ride. 🙂 Good job!

  4. Heather @ For The Health Of It! permalink
    May 10, 2010 8:56 AM

    Love LOve LOVE the zoo! I had that run at the FW zoo a couple of weeks ago, but the only animal I saw was 1 elephant. lol. Must go back to see all of them.
    Awesome ride!
    Those meatballs look yummm.

  5. Kay permalink
    September 13, 2010 5:40 AM

    Nice to see you back on the blog!

  6. February 6, 2012 8:53 AM

    Tried this last night and got raves from the fmliay. Such an easy recipe and so full of flavor! Please create more recipes like this one!

  7. February 7, 2012 3:03 AM

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