Summer recipes

Joe and Petal met up with Cablecar Gal at the Hungry Bear BBQ, where they thanked her for her patience and competence, to say nothing of her excellent recipes. They are happy to announce that she will continue to provide recipes as the Virtual Spoon, as Joe continues his travelling to collect more exotic and delicious recipes.

Virtual Spoon

The dog days of summer may be here for us here in the United States, but this does not mean for a second that we can't still enjoy quick and easy dinners. I hope you will enjoy these. I surely do, and I want to hear from all of you. Hope your Summer has been great and you're having fun with your family & friends. It's time to celebrate the joys of summer. If some of your family members are heading back to school it is still nice to come home from a hard day of work & school to a healthy, easy to prepare meal. Get the other family members involved. There is no time like now to start them out learning how to cook.


The Recipes


Spicy Italian Meatballs


  • 1 pound of lean ground beef
  • 1 pound of Italian Sausage bulk or with the casing removed
  • 1/3c. Chopped onion finely chopped
  • 1/3c. Red bell pepper finely chopped
  • 2-3 cloves of garlic finely chopped
  • 3/4c. Italian dry bread crumbs
  • 2 Tsp. Italian seasoning herb blend
  • 1 extra large egg
  • 4 Tsp. Olive oil
Italian meatballs


1. In a large bowl, combine beef & pork sausages & add onion, bell pepper, garlic bread crumbs and herb seasoning. If you decide to add some kick to it add some red pepper flakes to this mixture. [ed note: to make it really zappy, put in 1tsp chilli powder, preferably birds eye chillis.]

2. Mix with your hands until well combined. Add egg and stir to combine.

3. Here's a tip. If you have a melon ball tool use this to scoop up the meat mixture that you have just combined. This will make your meat balls all the same size and the same shape and will make a great presentation on a platter. You can also use a cookie scoop as well that will make a little bigger meat ball. If you do not have one of these I suggest you shop around for one of these tools make it so much easier on yourself. For bigger meat balls you can use a ice cream scope as well.

4. In a frying pan add about 2 tablespoons olive oil add half of the meat balls to the frying pan and cover with a splash guard, which is another good item to get when you are looking for gadgets for your kitchen. Fry the meat balls for 3-4 minutes and rotate them around to get even browning on all sides. Continue to cook for approx 12 minutes. Continue until all of the meat balls are cooked set aside. This will make approx. 24 meat balls depending on the size of the balls you make.

5. In a sauce pan pour in 28 oz can of crushed tomatoes, 1 medium onion chopped, 1/3 Teaspoon balsamic vinegar, 2 garlic cloves 1/2 Teaspoon oregano ( to taste). Add some chili flakes if you wish to taste. Stir to combine, and let cook over medium high heat.

6. Add your meat balls to the sauce and cover with the sauce. Serve with some Garlic bread and a tossed green salad.

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Grilled Chicken Parmesan


  • 1 10 -inch piece baguette
  • 1 1/2 pounds tomatoes (about 5), quartered
  • Kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 cloves of garlic , thinly sliced
  • Pinch of red pepper flakes
  • 4 6 -ounce skinless, boneless chicken breasts
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 4 ounces part-skim mozzarella cheese , thinly sliced
  • 3 tablespoons shredded Parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
  • Total Time: 30 min
  • Prep: 10 min
  • Cook: 20 min
  • Yield: 4 servings
  • Level: Easy


1. Cut off a 1 1/2-inch piece of the baguette and pulse in a food processor to make breadcrumbs. Add the tomatoes and 1/4 teaspoon salt and pulse until the tomatoes are finely chopped but not pureed.

2. Heat 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil in a medium skillet over medium heat; add the garlic and cook until just golden, about 1 minute. Add the red pepper flakes and tomato mixture and bring to a simmer; cook until the sauce thickens slightly, 8 to 10 minutes.

3. Meanwhile, preheat a grill to medium high. Toss the chicken with the remaining 1/2 tablespoon olive oil, the oregano and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Split the remaining baguette in half lengthwise and then cut in half to make 4 pieces.

4. Grill the bread, cut-side down, until lightly toasted. Grill the chicken until cooked through, about 5 minutes per side, topping with the mozzarella and covering during the last 2 minutes.

5. Spoon some tomato sauce onto the bread pieces and top with half of the Parmesan. Top each with a chicken breast, then the remaining sauce. Sprinkle with basil and the remaining Parmesan.

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Mexican Street Corn

I do not know any one who does not like corn on the cob. Here is a new twist. I really like the taste of grilled corn and it is easier then you think.


1. Grill ears until slightly charred and serve with lime wedges and a sprinkle of cayenne for a zippy alternative to corn and butter.

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Peanut Butter Whoopie Pies

A dead simple dessert:

  • Yield: 4 servings
  • Level: Easy


Fold 3/4 cup marshmallow creme into 3/4 cup crunchy peanut butter until marbled. Sandwich between soft chocolate cookies.

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Banana Foster


  • 1 stick butter
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 4 bananas peeled, halved, and cut lengthwise
  • 1/4 cup dark rum
  • Ice cream optional
  • Pound cake, optional


1. In a large skillet, melt butter. Using a wooden spoon, add brown sugar and stir together.

2. Add the bananas and cook until caramelized on both sides, over medium-high heat.

3. Move pan off heat, add the rum and return to the stove to catch a flame from the gas stove or a long lighter. Stand back when ignited and flambe the bananas. Be careful! A flame will shoot up above the pan. Let flame die down and the alcohol cook out. Serve bananas over vanilla ice cream ice cream and/or a slice of pound cake.

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Joe and Petal are looking for new recipes. Do you have a recipe you would like to share with our readers? Just mail your recipe to the Yellow Gazette, care of Joe. If you have a nice picture of the finished recipe, send us that too. And thanks to Cablecar Gal for her great recipes over these past several issues.