I don't know exactly what it is about food, but it seems to be the glue that brings my family together. Whether it be the time we spend around the kitchen counter at home or choosing a favorite restaurant to share a special meal, somehow our best memories seem to involve some sort of eating. Since it seems a majority of the time these days everyone is running in different directions just trying to keep up with the "must do's" we have decided to be even more deliberate in planning some family outings so that we don't lose sight of what's important. And I just love how simple ideas can come together and turn into such a great day. And include lots of great food :).
Since Lawrence, Kansas is literally only a few minutes from our door and we've never really actually been we headed out to stroll the downtown this last Saturday. The weather was perfect and there were plenty of crowds, presumably lots of people with the same idea.
After taking care of the first order of business, lunch, we strolled around checking out all the local businesses. So many really cool shops! Found a couple I definitely want to go back to now that I know they exist! We somehow managed to avoid making any major purchases but with two kids along there was no doubt we obviously stopped for ice cream.
After that we decided to head on home to catch some college football on the TV, especially since our Wildcats were playing. I had already put my Mozzarella Stuffed Chicken Meatballs in the slow cooker before we left the house, so we stopped at Dillon's to pick up a few extra things to finish off our dinner. I love it when the whole family is at the grocery store and everyone has their say as to what is going to be a part of our dinner!! Right now, Kroger (and Dillon's as well as all their other banner stores, just FYI depending on where you live) are sponsoring a Taste of Italy program to help YOU find a simple way to use great Tuscan-Inspired items like Bertolli Sauces to make a simple but amazing family dinner!
As you can see, my little princess took charge of picking out a flavor that would go perfectly with the meatballs we already had simmering at home! The Tomato Basil flavor was perfect! I can't think of many meals that bring us to the table quicker than a feast of Tuscan inspired flavors. And it was so easy! The meatballs came together quickly in the slow cooker before we ever left the house and adding the sauce took them to a whole new level. Add a little side salad and bread and that's what I call a family dinner.
Need some ideas of products that can take your next dinner to a whole new level of inspiration? Make sure you check out the Taste of Italy promotion and Bertolli products and then pack up your family and head to the store!
Chicken Meatballs in Tomato Basil Sauce + Thoughts on Family Time
- ½ cup panko bread crumbs
- ½ cup milk
- 1 ½ pounds ground chicken
- 1 egg
- 2 teaspoons dried parsley
- 1 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning
- 1 teaspoon jarred minced garlic
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon pepper
- 4 oz fresh mozzarella pearls
- 24 oz jar Bertolli Tomato & Basil sauce (or your favorite flavor)
- Fresh grated Parmesan cheese optional
- Fresh chopped parsley optional
- Stir together panko and milk and let soak for 5 minutes
- Add panko mixture to chicken, egg, garlic and seasonings in bowl
- Mix by hand until well blended then form into 8-10 meatballs
- Use your thumb to make a small hole in the meatball and place 2-3 mozzarella pearls inside
- Wrap the meatball back around and seal well so that none of the mozzarella is exposed
- Place meatballs on foil lined cookie sheet and place under broiler on high for 5-10 minutes or until lightly browned on top (watch closely)
- Transfer to slow cooker
- Cover and cook on high for 3-4 hours or low for 6-8
- Heat sauce and serve over meatballs or add sauce to slow cooker with meatballs on high for the last hour of cooking
- Garnish with fresh Parmesan cheese and parsley or as desired
This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Bertolli®. The opinions and text are all mine.