Surprise meatballs, Slow cooker beef and potato au gratin, Apple pie bars

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Here are two slow cooker recipes and one for my new favorite apple bars!
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Surprise meatballs
1 lb. ground beef
1 lb. hot Italian sausage
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. black pepper
1 C bread crumbs
1/4 C parmesan cheese
2 eggs
1/2 C whole milk
1/2 C chopped parsley
8 oz. low moisture mozzarella cheese cut into 3/4 inch cubes
1 large jar spaghetti sauce
In a large bowl, mix all ingredients except cheese. Roll golf ball sized balls with meat mixture. Squish mozzarella cube into center and pull edges of meatball around it until it’s a new ball again. Arrange meatballs in slow cooker and cover in spaghetti sauce. Cook on high for 2 hours.
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Slow cooker beef and potato au gratin
1 lb. ground beef plus a touch of salt and pepper to season
3 lbs. peeled russet potatoes, sliced ¼-inch thick (about 7 C total after being sliced)
1 C thinly sliced white onion
1 tsp. paprika
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. parsley
1 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
3 C shredded sharp cheese
1/2 C chicken broth (or beef broth)
Slow Cooker Size:
5-quart or larger
Brown ground beef on stove top. Add a touch of salt and pepper to season.
In a small bowl, combine paprika, garlic powder, parsley, salt and pepper. Add half of potatoes to slow cooker. Sprinkle over half of onions, half of seasonings, half of meat, and half of cheese. Repeat layers again.
Drizzle broth evenly over layers. Cover and cook on high for 4 hours. Do not open lid during cooking time or potatoes will not get soft.
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Apple pie bars
Shortbread crust:
1/2 C unsalted butter, melted
1/4 C granulated sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/4 tsp. salt
1 C all-purpose flour
Apple filling:
2 large apples, peeled and thinly sliced
2 tbsp. all-purpose flour
2 tbsp. granulated sugar
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/8 tsp. ground nutmeg
Streusel:
1/2 C old-fashioned oats
1/3 C light or dark brown sugar
1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/4 C all-purpose flour
1/4 C unsalted butter, cold and cubed
salted caramel sauce
Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Line an 8-inch baking pan with aluminum foil, leaving an overhang on all sides. Set aside.
Crust: Stir melted butter, granulated sugar, vanilla, and salt together in a medium bowl. Add flour and stir until combined. Press mixture evenly into prepared baking pan. Bake for 15 minutes.
Filling: Combine sliced apples, flour, granulated sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg together in a large bowl until all apples are evenly coated. Set aside.
Mix together oats, brown sugar, cinnamon, and flour together in a medium bowl. Cut in chilled butter with a pastry blender or two knives (or even with your hands) until mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
Set aside. Remove crust from oven, and turn oven up to 350 degrees. Evenly layer apples on top of warm crust. Layer them tightly and press down to fit. Sprinkle apple layer with streusel and bake for 30–35 minutes or until streusel is golden brown.
Remove from oven and allow to cool for at least 20 minutes at room temperature, then chill in refrigerator for at least 2 hours. Lift foil out of pan using overhang on sides and cut into bars.
Once cut, pour salted caramel sauce on top. Enjoy these apple pie bars warm or cold. Bars will stay fresh in an airtight container in refrigerator for 3 days or frozen up to 3 months – thaw overnight in fridge, then drizzle with salted caramel before serving.
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She said, “I might wake up early and go running. I might wake up also and win the lottery. The odds are about the same!”
If you would like to share a recipe with me, just send it to the J-T or email it to me.
(Melanie Behrens – melb@marysvillejt.com)



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