A Day on the Lake

Ever wonder what it would be like to live on a lake? Awaking each morning to a picturesque view out your bedroom window would probably feel like being on a perpetual vacation. To celebrate the end of summer we spent the day at our friends’ lake house and it definitely felt like a mini holiday.

The first thing the boys did when they saw the canoe was run full speed ahead with their fishing gear and jump in. With Brian as captain they headed out, their little heads peaking up from oversized life jackets. From afar it looked like a Norman Rockwell painting. But I knew better. I strongly suspected Brian was dodging fishing hooks, swatting mosquitoes, and screaming at them not to rock the boat.

But sitting on the deck, drink in hand, enjoying the incredible view, it was a very sweet scene. Just as the boys made a b-line to the canoe, I made a b-line to the food. What can I say? We all have our priorities. My friend’s mother had made her delicious meatballs that were ready and waiting for the boys the minute their boat was docked. Legend has it the first time Matthew tried these meatballs he ate 7 in 7 minutes.

Six fish were caught that day and Brian only got one hook in his hand!

Asian Meatballs w/Carrot Noodles (recipe inspired by Lyn’s Mom)

Ingredients

For the meatballs:

2-3 cloves of garlic, minced

1 Tbsp ginger, grated

¼ cup scallions, finely chopped

2 Tbsp soy sauce, low sodium

2 Tbsp brown sugar

1 egg

1 tsp sesame oil

¼ tsp salt

½ cup Panko breadcrumbs

1 lb. ground turkey (or chicken, or beef)

Teriyaki sauce, for drizzling

Sesame seeds, optional

For the carrots:

4 large carrots, peeled

2 tsp sesame oil

Salt & pepper

1 Tbsp teriyaki sauce

Method:

For the meatballs:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper for easy clean-up, or lightly brush the baking sheet with cooking oil.

In a large mixing bowl combine the first eight ingredients.

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Add in the breadcrumbs and mix well. Then add the turkey to the breadcrumb mixture and mix until just combined. Using your hands is the best method for this step. Be careful not to over mix the meat.

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Form into small meatballs, about 1” diameter. Place on baking sheet and bake for approximately 20 minutes until cooked through.

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For the carrots:

Using a vegetable peeler, peel the carrots into long ribbons. Place on a baking sheet and toss with the sesame oil. Lightly season with salt and pepper.

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Place in oven for approximately 15 minutes until carrots lose some of their moisture. Remove from oven and toss with the teriyaki sauce.

Top the carrot noodles with meatballs. Drizzle with teriyaki sauce, sprinkle with sesame seeds and break out the chop sticks.

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And the VERDICT is:

Matthew (age 7): “Not the same, but it’s super good”

Liam (age 5): “It’s a little medium. At least I tried a carrot”

Dylan (age 5): “Eh, the flavor doesn’t taste good but I tried a carrot too”

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For more glimpses of life on the lake read my friend Lyn’s blog, PinotbyLyn

Bean Olympics

Not sure exactly who threw the gauntlet down first but the other night at dinner the boys had a serious string bean showdown. Someone dared Liam to eat a bean and it took off from there. Facing the peer pressure of both brothers he choked down a string bean to the cheers of the crowd. Not to be undone Matthew quickly raised the bar and ate two string beans. Well, Dylan, the major underdog surprised us all by eating five string beans at once. The crowd went wild!

Being of a competitive nature, Matthew couldn’t let his gold medal slip away to a younger, unseasoned, competitor. He ate another five and added the longest bean on his plate to make it an even six. Dylan was determined to defend his title and even the score so he, too, ate six beans! It was one of the most exciting sporting events I have ever witnessed.

Matthew and Dylan each walked away with a gold medal and Liam took the bronze! I claimed the silver for eating all the beans they left on their plates.

Peanut Butter Beans

1 pound of green beans, edges trimmed

1 Tbsp low-sodium soy sauce

1 Tbsp fresh lime juice, about 1/2 a small lime

1/2 Tbsp peanut butter

1/2 Tbsp sesame oil

Sesame seeds (optional)

 

In a large saucepan bring some lightly salted water to a boil. Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, mix the soy sauce, lime juice, peanut butter, and sesame oil until combined. Drop the beans into the boiling water for about two minutes until they turn bright green.Drain well.

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Add the hot green beans to the soy mixture and toss to coat.

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Sprinkle with sesame seeds and double dare your kids to eat them!

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And the VERDICT is:

Matthew (age 6): “Oooh, yum, wow”

Liam (age 4): “I like the peanut butter best”

Dylan (age 4): “Better than the peanut butter is the salt – I am the champion right?”

Although not an Irish dish, we made this recipe in the spirit of St. Patrick’s Day – green is green after all!

Happy St. Patrick’s Day from House of Bedlam!