Tuesday, April 19, 2016

"Tip Tuesday" Is All About "Garlic"..."Grandma’s Marinara Tomato Sauce" & "Grandma’s Meatballs"

Welcome, to my blog and Tip Tuesday! Come on in have a glass of wine! If you would like to share some tips that have helped you out just let me know by posting below or by an email to angellite13(at)optimum(dot)net and I will post them with your name in a future blog post. I think this will be fun and “Tips” are always a time saver. 

Today happens to be “National Garlic Day!” Garlic is used in many households for wonderful tasty dishes. You can NEVER be without garlic cloves in an Italian house. Garlic is called "the stinking rose" or “the fragrant pearl." Its pungent flavor is used as a seasoning or condiment. Garlic cloves can be eaten raw or cooked. They may also be dried or powdered. According to Ron Engeland, author of “Growing Great Garlic” there may well be over 450 identifiable strains of garlic.

Did you know that garlic, is a species in the onion family. Its close relatives include the onion, shallot, and leek. Garlic has been used throughout recorded history for both culinary and medicinal purposes. Here’s some “Garlic” trivia and “Tips” that you may enjoy reading.
  • Central European folk beliefs - considered garlic a powerful ward against demons, werewolves, and vampires. To ward off vampires, garlic could be worn or hung in windows etc.
  •  Egyptians worshiped garlic - and placed clay models of garlic bulbs in the tomb of Tutankhamen.
  • How Can You Get Rid of Garlic Odor on Your Hands after cooking? After exposure, scrub your hands with salt and lemon juice, using cold water. Then rinse off with soapy warm water. Another way is to rub your hands on the stainless steel sink. Then wash your hands and the odor should be gone.
  • It is said that if you carry a garlic clove with you when traveling over water, it will prevent you from drowning.
  • Soldiers throughout history have used it for these properties when going into battle.
  • Garlic Tea - For sore throat, make a garlic tea by steeping several cloves of garlic in half a cup of water overnight. Hold your nose and drink it.
  • Garlic is also used for hair growth.
  • Alliumphobia is what the fear of garlic is called. Garlic only contains 4 calories per clove.
  • Chicago was named after the American Indian word for the wild garlic that grew around Lake Michigan, chicagaoua.
There are many Garlic Festivals throughout the country. One is called “The Hudson Valley Garlic Festival,” in Saugerties, New York (Oct 1 & 2,  2016)


Making a great tomato sauce is something you can be proud of once you get it right. No store bought pasta or spaghetti sauce can compare with the taste of a sauce that you make from scratch. You can use this sauce on a variety of pasta including spaghetti, macaroni, and it is also a good base for lasagna and meatballs. My recipe this week is two fold, one is my mom’s “Marinara Sauce” and the other is her “Meatball” recipe. Of course these two dishes contain garlic. The recipe for this sauce was passed down from my family, and now to you. Buon Appetto! 

Grandma’s Marinara Tomato Sauce

2 cans of 28 oz. crushed tomatoes
2 cans of tomato paste
Olive Oil or Canola Oil
5 large garlic cloves
Salt to taste
2 1/2 tablespoons of Oregano flakes
2 1/2 tablespoons of Parsley flakes
2 1/2 tablespoons of Basil flakes
2 dried Bay leaves

On medium heat sauté olive oil to thinly cover bottom of pot. Add garlic. Then add crushed tomatoes and paste.  Add 1/2 can of water (use paste can).  Put in salt, parsley, basil, oregano to taste and add 2 dried bay leaves.  Stir while cooking on low simmer (after starts to boil) for 1 hour. You can add a small amount of sugar if desired (optional). Cover on or slightly off to thicken sauce. Enjoy with pasta of your choice and meatballs.


Grandma’s Meatballs
Yields: 30 meatballs-(10 meatballs per pound)

2 cups of bread crumbs (if too stiff add a sprinkle of water)
3 lbs of beef chuck chopped meat (80% lean, but not too lean, you need a little fat for moisture)
1 1/2 teaspoons of minced garlic
3/4 cup of Pecorino Romano cheese

6 eggs
1/2 teaspoon of salt
1/2 teaspoon of freshly ground pepper
3 fistfuls of fresh parsley-chopped
Vegetable oil or Canola oil 
Place oil about 1/4 to 1/2 inches in frying pan. Heat oil before placing the meatballs in pan. Put the beef chuck in a med-sized bowl and add all ingredients except the oil. Gently combine the meat using your hands until evenly mixed. The mixture should be slightly wet and workable, not too sticky. Using your hands, gently shape meat into balls. Don’t worry if they are not perfectly round, but try to make them all uniform for even cooking. Don’t roll them over and over, be gentle. Add the meatballs to the pan and fry them until they are brown on one side then turn. Keep turning with tongs until they are completely and evenly browned. Transfer the cooked meatballs to a paper towel to drain. Now it is time to place your meatballs into your sauce to cook for a while and then serve with pasta of your choice.

Tip: In place of bread crumbs, take chunks of stale Italian bread and soak in a bowl with water or milk. As it softens remove crust and squeeze water or milk out of bread chunks. Separate into small pieces and add to chopped meat mixture.

Don’t forget to pair your meal with some delicious red wine……

Don’t forget to drink responsibly!

Till Next Time………………………………..

Copyright © 2016 “Family Plus Food Equals Love” All Rights Reserved


  1. I grew up eating garlic. My dad particularly loves it. Sometimes I have used it as a natural antiseptic to treat minor yeast and fungus infections. I agree with you it is an amazing food!
    I love your grandma's marinara sauce and meatball recipe. They look easy and tasty recipes and we know that grandmas recipes are always the best! Much better than any fancy chef!
    Dear Dottie I am pleased you are back blogging. Have a good rest of the week. Ciao!

    1. Dear Alida,
      Yes, I love garlic too, I remember on Sundays the aroma of garlic cooking in the olive oil as my mom would be making sauce for our dinner after church. It always made me feel like home. But as you said it is so amazing to use for natural treatments for what ails you. Thank you for your lovely words and for stopping by. You are correct grandma's and mom's recipes are the best! I am so happy that you enjoyed this post and yes, I am glad that I am back blogging too. I missed writing and also missed everyone. Enjoy the rest of the week as well dear friend..
      Hugs Dottie :)

  2. Hi Dottie, Happy Garlic Day!!!
    I was just out in the garden taking a look around and noticed one stray garlic plant growing quite vigorously. I don't know how I could have missed it on my daily, "let's see what's new in the garden" visits but indeed I did. I love when strays surprise me, lol...(I forgot to plant bulbs in the fall:)

    Believe it or not, when I was younger I use to LOVE raw garlic! I know, what the heck was I doing. No wonder I never had any boyfriends, lol...(not that my father would have allowed it anyway:)

    I think it's so special of you to share your Grandmother's cherieshed recipes with us for Garlic Day. I don't make sauce as often as I use to but when I do, you can be certain there is always enough garlic in it. (don't tell Marion though she doesn't like garlic, so she says, lol:)

    When I use to make meatballs with my grandmother, I would always ask her to keep the garlic whole. Of course she wouldn't but every once in a while she would let me roll one meatball that had whole cloves of garlic in it just for me. I can still remember the taste of the garlic melting into the polpetta in each and every bite. Good stuff!!!

    Thank you so much for sharing Dottie, Happy Garlic Day! It's wonderful to have you back!!!

    1. Dear Louise,
      Thanks for stopping by and Happy Garlic Day to you as well. I always think about you and your garden. Funny how you found a garlic bulb...perfect for today.
      I love garlic too but I don't think I have ever had it raw..cooked is my choice. but that is funny what you said about boyfriends. Now my dad used to say if the other person had garlic too then you canceled each other out. So it was ok. Marion, God bless her is so funny.
      I love your story about your grandmother making the garlic whole and putting them in the polpetta melting with each bite. Sure is good stuff. So glad that you enjoyed this post and it brought back a memory for you. I am glad to be back...and thank you again dear friend...Enjoy the rest of the week...looking forward to your post on Wednesday!
      Hugs Dottie :)

  3. Love garlic! Something we always have on hand. Love its "stinking rose" name, too! There's a restaurant by that name in San Francisco which, as you can imagine, serves only dishes that contain garlic. Even ice cream. :-) Anyway, great recipes! I keep going back and forth on tomato sauces whether I want to use crushed tomatoes, whole tomatoes that I crush, diced tomatoes, or a mix. They all have good and bad points. But when in doubt, I use crushed! Fun post -- thanks.

    1. Hi John,
      Thanks for visiting and your comment. That restaurant in San Francisco must be awesome. I can just imagine the aroma as you enter it's doors. Now I have never heard of Garlic Ice Cream, but whatever floats your boat as they say. Thanks, I am so glad that you enjoyed these recipes, the old standby in my house. Like you said the tomatoes are whatever your taste buds prefer. Crushed are great! Hope that your rest of the week is a very tasty one.
      Hugs Dottie :)

  4. Dear Dottie, Garlic is blessing from above!!
    It is delicious, healthy and available!
    I think it is the top essential in the kitchen!
    I hope you are feeling much better and my best to your mom.
    xoxo Catherine

    1. Dear Catherine,
      Thank you for your visit. I agree garlic is an essential part of any kitchen, especially an Italian kitchen. It is so good and adds to so many foods for such aromatic and flavorful foods. Yes, dear friend I am doing better and my mom is holding her own..still very slow going, she makes some strides and then falls again and goes back a few strides. But all we can do is make her comfortable and say prayers. Thanks for asking and your thoughts..
      Hugs, Dottie :)

  5. Love this post and the family recipes.

    1. Hi Theresa,
      Thank you for your visit. I am so thrilled that you enjoyed this post and the recipes. My family recipes that have been passed down from my great-grandmothers are what it is all about. It is so important to have memories of our families past as we go into the future. Especially for my nieces and nephews. Thanks again..have a great week...PS: I love your posts, sorry I don't always comment, as you know we food bloggers are so busy.
      Hugs Dottie :)