I participated in an Influencer Activation Program on behalf of Mom Central Consulting for the Beef Checkoff. I received products to facilitate this review and a promotional item to thank me for participating.
With the fall season approaching all too quickly, one thing that I’m excited for is comfort foods. We all have our favorite go-to meals and, for us, that’s beef. In one form or another, we always find ways to fit it into our weekly meal plans. To be completely honest, we actually have it multiple times per week. Whether we’re opting for the thicker cuts in a perfect steak form or opting to create a delicious something with the basic package of ground beef, we make it work. And we love it!
I always joke that I’m a “steak and potatoes kind of girl” but, in reality, yes, I really am. Sure, I love a good salad and the cliché apple a day but when the day boils down, beef is my own kind of comfort food. I’ve never been one to follow fads… well, except for some 80’s fashion choices but we won’t go there. Different trends of what is in and what is out in regard to food are forever coming and going. Some things that we once thought were good for us turned out to be bad for us, vice versa, and sometimes even back again. Much like diet fads always seem to come back to the basic “eat well and exercise,” great food always seems to come back to one thing – beef.
How many of you remember that Beef, it’s what’s for Dinner commercial from a few years back? More often than not, that is my day – err, dinner. Oddly enough, the campaign behind that commercial still resonates today. After all, that is why we’re here right now. The Beef Checkoff was the driving force behind that commercial and, today, it’s what has me talking to you.
Established as part of the 1985 Farm Bill, Beef Checkoff is a national marketing campaign and research program that is funded by America’s cattle farmers and ranchers. Directed by cattle farmers, ranchers, and importers, funds are used toward furthering their research and on promotion efforts thus increasing the demand for beef.
What many don’t realize these days is how truly good for you beef actually is. With such things as vitamins B6 and B12 to help maintain brain function, iron to help give your body the power to better use oxygen, and protein to help build and preserve that all important muscle, beef is a fantastic addition to one’s diet.
In the summertime, one of my most favorite ways to prepare a meal is on the grill. Who doesn’t love a great summer day with the sun shining and the grill fired up smoking a savory meal? I don’t know about you, but that right there is my kind of day! In three simple steps you can create the perfect meal for you and your family with nothing more than a grill and some beef – it’s sheer “grilliance!”
Now, as much as I am that summertime slap-a-burger-on-the-grill kind of girl, I also love the transition into fall. The slightly cooler weather, leaving the windows open all day and letting that perfect breeze flow through your house, and cooking up a great comfort foods kind of meal just sounds amazing. That is exactly what I am looking forward to and exactly what I did.
Just the other night, with Beef Checkoff in mind, I prepared one of my family’s most favorite fall meals – spaghetti and meatballs!
Now, my spaghetti and meatballs isn’t your spaghetti and meatballs. It’s not your mom’s, or you sister’s, or your neighbor’s. It’s mine. Greedy? Not at all. Picky? You bet! My spaghetti and meatballs suits my family to a t and, well, that is exactly the way that I like it. Just take a look at all of these goodies!
One of my favorite things about this particular meal is that it is about so much more than just the food. I absolutely love that I can provide my family with a delicious meal but add to that the fact that we can have fun preparing the dish together as a family and it’s that kind of meal that will take the cake any day. My boys are always thrilled to jump in to help and get their hands dirty.
Another favorite part of this particular meal is how simple the recipe is. And yes, for those of you who were wondering, I am going to share it with you!
- 1lb of ground beef
- 1 box of Ronzoni Garden Delight spaghetti
- 24-ounce jar of Francesco Rinaldi Original Traditional Pasta Sauce
- 1 tbsp. Hormel Real Bacon Bits
- ½ tbsp. McCormick Grill Mates Worcestershire Pub Burger Seasoning
- 1 tsp. Old Bay Seasoning
Mix it! Seriously! The kids are the perfect helpers for this part. Toss everything except for the spaghetti and sauce into a bowl and have at it!
While the kids are having fun with the beef mixture, warm the sauce in a small pot over a low simmer. Cook the spaghetti according to the package directions.
Once the beef mixture is thoroughly mixed, roll it into meatballs of your size preference. Here, we prefer to go a bit smaller so that they are easier to eat for the children. Once you have the meatballs prepped, simply place them into a large skillet over a medium-high heat turning them occasionally until they are cooked evenly and thoroughly. Depending on your meatball size of choice, this will take you anywhere from 10 to 15 minutes.
After the meatballs are cooked, remove them from the pan and place them in your warmed sauce pot to allow the flavors to mesh.
Drain your spaghetti and combine with the meatball and sauce mixture.
Give it a good stir and serve up a plate of amazing deliciousness! We decided to top ours with some shredded mozzarella cheese for a little added pizzazz but feel free to add your own choice of a little something extra. I assure you, it will taste wonderful!
No matter how you decide to prepare your beef dish – a great burger, a savory streak, or even just a classic plate of spaghetti and meatballs – check off beef on your next shopping list and remember to take advantage of all the wonderful things that beef has to offer.