Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Freezer Meatballs and Wedding Appetizers


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Bill and I did Wedding Appetizers for Logan and Erin's Wedding a few weekends ago.

The wedding was held outside on a farm and the reception was held in a beautiful barn.  The only issue with the barn was there was not a kitchen or a prep area.  Bill and I had the hot food in roasters and all the cold food in coolers outside the barn on tables.  Not having refrigeration available was a bit of a challenge but it all worked out and everything turned out great.

 We served fruit from these gorgeous glass tiered stands with classic fruit dip

One of the hot dishes we served was Spinach Artichoke Dip with pita chips

3 different cheese balls were served with crackers... Classic Cheese Ball, Hawaiian Cheese Ball and Bacon Ranch Cheese Ball. 

I fell in love with these cheese ball stands I found at Bed Bath and Beyond! They worked perfect!

Our Veggie trays consisted of 5 different veggies and served with Dill Dip

Here is another picture of the fruit stand and dip.  All the colors on the fruit stand were really pretty, I especially like the reds!

We started setting out the food as soon as the wedding began.  We were a little bit rushed as we had to put together the fruit and veggies as quick as possible so that it would be ready when the guest walked over from the ceremony.  Without refrigeration we were unable to have these prepared before hand.  Everything was kept in the coolers until we could assemble it.  We got done just in the nick of time :)

We served the hot food in chafing dishes that I borrowed from my Aunt Colleen and Mom.  They were the bomb for serving the hot food and also made for a good impression.  Everything looked very elegant!

I found a tip online for when you are making meatballs for a crowd.  After mixing my meatball mixture up, I pressed it into a large cookie sheet then took my pizza cutter and cut the meatballs into portions.  Scoop each portion out and roll into balls.  It went so much faster once I figured this trick out!

I spent Memorial Day weekend making meatballs.  These are freezer meatballs so they could be made and baked before hand and placed in the freezer.  On Saturday morning, I took the meatballs out of the freezer and let them thaw.  The wedding was at 4:30 so around 12:00 we put the grape jelly/chili sauce into the roaster to get good and hot.  About 12:30 we place all the meatballs into the roaster to get all saucy and warm.

We traveled to the venue with our meatballs and spinach artichoke dip in the roasters then once we arrived we found outlets and plugged them in until it was time to fill the chafing dishes. 

It all went off without a hitch and turned out beautiful for our first time doing food for a wedding.

This is a pretty large recipe.  Since I was making 300 meatballs for the wedding I mixed up enough to make 50-60 meatballs per batch.

Freezer Meatballs

3 pounds ground beef
1/2 onion, diced
3 eggs
3/4 cup Parmesan cheese
1 cup bread crumbs
4 tablespoons tomato paste
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 1/2 teaspoons pepper
1 1/2 teaspoons garlic powder
1 1/2 tablespoons dried basil
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

Combine all ingredients in a large bowl, mix well with hands (this is what I did with gloves on) or with a spoon.

I pat my meatball mixture into a sheet cake pan and then used my pizza cutter to make 48 portions... however when I rolled them some portions seemed a little larger than others because my mixture was thicker in spots, so on some I would pinch a little off and set aside, after I rolled the 48 I used the left over mixture and I ended up with about 60 meatballs per batch.

Bake on a cookie sheet with sides (because grease will bake off the meatballs) in a 375 degree oven for 30 minutes.

Cool completely, place in freezer bags and store in freezer until ready to use or of course you can use them right away if you like.

Cocktail Meatball Sauce

12 ounce chili sauce
18 ounce jar grape jam

Place both ingredients into a slow cooker (or on stove if you prefer) and melt together.  Toss in warm meatballs and serve.  I usually do mine in the slow cooker and that way they stay warm to be munched on.