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I honestly had no idea about this wonderful day, as I had already made these Cheez-It turkey meatballs last night. I’m so happy we have leftovers to celebrate with, not to mention that it’s easy enough to whip up a whole new batch for the family.
Meatballs are a crowd-pleaser around here. Cassidy likes them, I’m more than in love with them, Des agrees with me, and even Scarlet – the pickiest of the bunch – likes meatballs, mostly as long as they are made with chicken or turkey. There was that time she devoured some Irish Wedding stew in New Hampshire, and that was beef and pork meatballs. I also find that when we have parties here – dinner parties or big birthday parties – meatballs are the first appetizer to go. We never have any left over. You can just put these babies on toothpicks, serve them, and watch them disappear rapidly. Every single time.
I also have a deep love for Cheez-It Crackers that I’ve had since childhood. I was happy to learn recently that Scarlet knew all about Cheez-It Crackers too. I decided to go to Target and pick up some new flavors to see if they’d be a hit at home.
For the most part, we can do hot & spicy foods in this house. Des has had a taste for spice since he was a baby. Last year we discovered that we ALL four have not only a taste for meatballs, but a taste for the college basketball series. Who knew?? It’s ever since our favorite team won. Cassidy has the games on every year, and I’ve grown fond of the sounds – the squeak of the sneakers on the stadium floors, the cheering, the applause.. With Scarlet’s new obsession with Cheez-It Crackers, and wanting to kick up a recipe a notch because of the college basketball season, I decided to make Cheez-It Hot & Spicy Turkey Meatballs.
What You Need:
1/2 cup of Cheez-It Hot & Spicy Grooves – pulverized into a bread crumbs consistency (or something like it. I preferred cracker chunks in mine!)
1 pound ground turkey
1/4 cup onion, finely chopped
1 egg, beated
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/2 teaspoon oregano
1/4 cup parsley
What You Do:
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees
2. Combine turkey, Cheez-It Hot & Spicy Grooves, egg, onion, garlic, salt and pepper, oregano, parsley, and whatever else you want in terms of herbs, spices and vegetables, together in a bowl.
3. Roll meatballs into desired size and place two inches apart on a lightly coated baking sheet.
4. Bake in the oven until they are no longer pink in the inside, and the outside is browned. It was about 15-20 minutes here.
5. An instant-read thermometer inserted into the center should read 165 degrees or more for safety.
6. Serve with toothpicks and a dipping sauce, or even eat with your starch and vegetables of choice:
1. Snacks! Cheez-It Hot & Spicy Grooves pair well with many foods in recipes, and also stands alone as a perfect party snack. What’s another great college basketball watching snack? Cheez-It Sriracha Snack Mix!
2. Decorate with what you have – kids love balloons! You can have everyone wear the team colors or team jerseys/hats.
3. Break out the kiddie basketball hoop to have a shoot-off before the game!
4. Consider making your party a potluck.
5. And Scarlet’s personal favorite – have a novelty dessert shaped like a basketball or basketballs. This can be a cake, cookies, cupcakes, brownies, and more! Remember, food is a big part of a college basketball series party, and that’s the fun part too!