Tuesday, August 15, 2017

If You Cook It, They Will Come

Five years ago, to the day as a matter of fact, when I had been blogging for just 2 months, I posted a piece about my favorite holiday, B-T-S (back to school). At the time I was a young(er) stay-at-home mom frazzled by having just (barely) survived another school-less summer of amusing my two sons. They were both in high school, too old for summer camp, dammit. One had his driver's license just for a year and the other just barely had his learner's permit. Curfews were broken, the house was always full of kids coming and going through the front door and sneaking in and out of the basement slider. You see where I'm going here? Yes, back to school was a holiday in my book. In fact, it was a favorite.

School Starts picture used with the permission of FunnySigns.net | Presented on www.BakingInATornado.com |
 I found this picture used in my B-T-S post on FunnySigns.net. I contacted them and was given permission to use it with attribution.

During those years back to school was a whole big production. New wardrobes were bought, backpacks chosen, lunches paid for, supplies purchased. Through it all, anything I picked out was summarily rejected, as far as I could tell just because I'd picked it. And, of course, cars were fought over. It was pretty clear I was about to stop sharing mine and just plain lose it. I'd have to go shopping for me, if there were ever a spare minute. You and I both know there wouldn't be until school started again.

Just before school started as the level of excitement (me) and dread (them) grew, we also continued a long standing family tradition, something we've been doing since the boys started school. The entire week leading up to their first day, I'd cook all their favorite dinners and bake all their favorite treats. The last night would be saved for their number one favorite meal.

From the time they were little there was always a bit of an argument about what that last supper (so to speak) would be. They were kids so their favorites were pretty basic. College Boy always loved spaghetti with homemade sauce. PurDude generally just wanted a grilled sirloin burger. We'd have to take turns, burger one year and spaghetti another.

I need to mention here that College Boy is my favorite recipe muse. He gives me lots of ideas and even, when I only have a partial recipe in my head, comes up with what it's missing. Which is actually pretty amazing since the only thing he knows how to cook is frozen pizza. And he doesn't even do that right. Don't ask.

Anyway, my muse has been stuck lately. Every time I ask him for an idea for a new recipe, his answer is "spaghetti burgers". Spaghetti burgers? What is that? A burger with spaghetti in the middle? He says a burger with spaghetti as the bun. That wouldn't work, it would fall apart. But the details are my problem, he's stuck asking for a spaghetti burger. I'm stuck on who the hell would eat that (well, my kid would, but besides him)?

Yesterday was the first day of school. And although my boys are older and one of them isn't even here {{sob}}, old habits die hard, I decided to make their favorite dinner. But which one? Spaghetti? Or burger?

College Boy: "Spaghetti Burger!"

And that's when it hit me. A bit (OK quite a bit) of a crazy idea, but I was actually going to make a spaghetti burger. Well, spaghetti and meatball sliders, but I called them spaghetti burgers when I served them so shhhh don't tell. Challenge met, I did my part, I figured it out, the question is whether the family would actually eat them.

Spaghetti and Meatball Sliders, for an appetizer or a meal, these little hand held sandwiches have all the flavors of a spaghetti and meatball dinner | Recipe developed by www.BakingInATornado.com | #recipe #appetizer #sliders

Spaghetti and Meatball Sliders
Spaghetti and Meatball Sliders, for an appetizer or a meal, these little hand held sandwiches have all the flavors of a spaghetti and meatball dinner | Recipe developed by www.BakingInATornado.com | #recipe #appetizer #sliders

Turns out, when it comes to spaghetti and burgers, if you cook it, they will come.

And when dinner was over there was nary a leftover crumb.

Baking In A Tornado signature | www.BakingInATornado.com | #MyGraphics

Spaghetti and Meatball Sliders         
Printable Recipe
1 package slider rolls
1#lean ground beef
1/2# sausage (I use hot sausage)
1 egg
2 TBSP seasoned bread crumbs
3 TBSP grated parmesan, divided
1/2 tsp minced garlic
2 TBSP minced dried onion
1/2 tsp seasoned salt
6 oz spaghetti
1/2 cup plus 1/3 cup Homemade Marinara, divided
1 cup shredded mozzarella
2 TBSP melted butter
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp dried parsley

*Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease a 9 X 13 glass baking dish.
*Add together the ground beef, sausage, egg, bread crumbs, 2 TBSP parmesan, minced garlic, dried onion and seasoned salt and mix just until incorporated. Place into prepared dish and bake for 15 minutes. Remove from oven but leave oven on.
*While the meat is cooking, break the spaghetti into about 2 inch pieces. Cook al dente. Mix with 1/2 cup of the marinara and the remaining parmesan. Set aside.
*Using a large spatula, lift one corner of the meat, slide a long platter or a long thin cutting board underneath and remove. Try to keep it in one piece. Carefully, using paper towels, remove the grease from the baking pan and grease with non-stick spray. Blot the meat well.
*Slice the rolls, keeping them attached. Place the bottoms into the baking dish. Keep attached where you can but detach to cover the bottom of the dish. Top with the meat, the remaining marinara and the spaghetti. Sprinkle with the mozzarella, press the tops of the buns onto the cheese.
*Mix together the melted butter, garlic powder and parsley. Brush onto the tops of the rolls. 
*Bake for about 25 minutes until hot and the cheese has melted. Cut into individual sandwiches and serve.


  1. I'm impressed! When I cook it, they run away. :)

  2. I have actually died and gone to heaven! Give College Boy a kiss for me! My two favorite meals in one!

  3. You are so in, I see all the trendy burger places have added things under the bun like french fries, eggs, fried chicken breast, and fried tofu!What a sweet tradition!

  4. When I cook two out of three daughters turn up

    1. Wonder what it would take to get the third. Maybe Spaghetti Burgers?

  5. Well, why not? I would make one change, which might make a lot of people blanch, but I would use ketchup instead of the marinara sauce. Believe it or not, growing up, one of my girlfriend's mothers would make us lunch - mararoni and ketchup. And I loved it! It would be more "burgery", too. Just saying...of course, keep in mind I am not a cook. Alana ramblinwitham.blogspot.com

    1. I'm a big fan of starting with a recipe and then making it your own. If ketchup makes you happy, that's what you should have.

  6. Spaghetti burgers, yum. these days I'm lucky if I get a burger much less spaghetti on it. so cool u can do this for your family.

    1. It gets a lot easier to be creative when the kids are older and I'm not monitoring them every minute for sure.

  7. Desperation is also the mother of invention! Pure genius. Everyone's happy!

    1. Mothers are the mothers of desperation which is the mother of invention!


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