Since I was lucky enough to have Thanksgiving off this year, I drew the short straw and had to work Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. My awesome co-workers had decided that we should bring in side dishes to accompany the Honey Baked Ham (from the Honey Baked Ham store mmmm) that the hospital graciously provided for us. I knew I would be exhausted and wouldn’t have too much time after work to prepare a dish, so quick and simple was a prerequisite.
I knew I wanted meatballs. We’ve all had them. The delicious, tender meatballs mixed with bread crumbs and seasonings and then covered in a delicious sauce to give them that perfect taste that we all know and love. I can still taste them now just writing about them!
Oftentimes it seems as if the go-to cocktail meatball sauce is one that uses only two simple ingredients: Sweet Baby Ray’s BBQ sauce and grape jelly. I do enjoy the taste of those two ingredients mixed together, but as you may remember from previous posts, I’m a little on the picky side when it comes to BBQ sauce. STAY WITH ME…I like BBQ sauce, I just prefer certain types over others.
That being said, I wanted to try something a little different. As per usual, I took to the internet. I looked all over for a simple-ish recipe that didn’t involve the two aforementioned recipes. I stumbled across these Honey Garlic Crock-pot Meatballs posted by Corey from Family Fresh Meals.
The thought of honey and garlic together totally peaked my interest. I browsed through the ingredients listed and realized I had them all on hand…MAJOR WIN!
I used a large bag of frozen meatballs (64 count), so I doubled her recipe to make sure I had plenty of sauce (recipe is doubled for you below). Also, I knew that this recipe would be slightly sweet. To satisfy my sweet tooth, I added some red pepper flakes and cayenne pepper. Boy did it take these meatballs to the next level! Sweet and Spicy oh my, oh my! I made my sauce the night before and refrigerated it so I could just pour it over the meatballs in the crock pot the next morning.
I awoke Christmas morning bright and early to prepare for my 12 hour shift. After working a 12 the day before and three 8-hour shifts the days before that, I was slightly tired but very excited to say the least! After all, it was Christmas morning! Of course I wasn’t thrilled to leave my sleeping husband and puppy, but who can be in a bad mood on Christmas? Not this chick! You gotta’ roll with the punches and make the best of the time you have, right? I pulled the frozen meatballs out of the freezer and put them into my crock pot. Next, I poured my pre-made sauce over top. My crock-pot is a travel pot that has latches on the lid that make travelling a breeze. If you are in the market for one, I suggest purchasing one like mine! Dressed in my festive red scrubs, I headed off to work.
Upon arrival, I set my crock pot on medium heat and stirred them a few times over the next few hours. By lunch time (around 4.5 hours later), they were perfect!
My co-workers raved about these meatballs! The majority of them were eaten and the few that were left over were hi-jacked by a friend that wanted to share them with her husband! She loved them that much! They were such a hit at work that I made them again the next day for my husband’s family who were just as impressed 🙂
I’d have to say that of all the Christmases I’ve worked since employed in the medical field, this one was one of my favorites. I’m so honored and privileged to work with some of the most amazing, talented, loving, compassionate, funny, and professional people. That being said, a very thoughtful friend/co-worker surprised me with a very treasured gift. She was overflowing with excitement when she handed me the gift she had made. As I opened it, I never could have guessed how much this hand-painted, personalized gift would touch my heart. It truly means the world to me to have people in my corner encouraging me to follow my dreams and to reach for the stars. Tears filled my eyes and I was overwhelmed by the feeling of love and friendship. God brings people into our lives for a reason. Surround yourself with people that will encourage you and inspire you to reach for the stars because life is too short to be lived any other way.
Honey Garlic Sweet n Spicy Meatballs
*adapted from Corey @ Family Fresh Meals
- 64-count bag of Frozen Meatballs
- 1/2 cup light brown sugar
- 2/3 cup of honey
- 1 cup ketchup
- 4 tablespoons of soy sauce
- 1 overflowing tablespoon of minced garlic
- 1/2 teaspoon of red pepper flakes
- 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper (you can add more/less if you’d like)
- Mix all ingredients (except meatballs) in a large bowl
- Place frozen meatballs into crock pot
- Pour sauce mixture over meatballs and stir to coat
- Cover and place on medium heat and cook for 4 hours (or until meatballs are warm though out)