When my son was small, getting him to sit still long enough to eat took skill and, let's face it, magic. I used to call him my little jumping bean, because he never stopped moving! He would literally run laps around the dinner table. So, I had to come up with fun foods that would grab his interest. One thing that I did was form his mashed potatoes into the shape of a volcano. Then, I'd poke a hole down the center and fill it with "gravy lava". He had so much fun using his fork to make the lava spew down the volcano. Silly, I know, but it caught his attention long enough to make him eat. Those days of mashed potato volcanoes and gravy lava were my inspiration for this recipe. Even though my son's a teenager now, he still likes it when a meal is fun and different, and he loved this one.
CHEESY VOLCANO MEATBALLS
1 lb. ground beef
1/2 cup bread crumbs (I like to make my own by zipping day old bread in the food processor)
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
1/2 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp dried oregano
1 - 2 TBS water
15 small cubes of mozarella cheese (you can even cut up string cheese, if you like)
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In a large bowl, mix bread crumbs, parmesan cheese, onion & garlic powders, oregano, and salt & pepper to taste. Add egg. Stir to combine. Add ground beef. Mix together thoroughly, but don't over mix. If mixture is too dry, add 1 - 2 TBS of water. Once mixed, use a 1/8 cup measuring cup (or a small ice cream scoop) to divide out the meatballs. It should make about 15 meatballs. Place 1 cube of mozarella cheese inside each meatball and roll so meat completely covers the cheese. Place meatballs in a greased baking dish and bake at 400 degrees for about 20 minutes. Serve with your favorite spaghetti sauce. (I like to let them simmer in the sauce for a bit)
These make great poboys (subs, hoagies, whatever you call them. I guess that depends on where you live).
Or, you could serve them with "Octopus Legs" (spaghetti) or any other fun-shaped pasta you want.
So, have a side of fun with your supper tonight. Whether your a kid, or a kid-at-heart, you'll love these volcano meatballs!