Slam dunk recipes including "meatball dunkers" for basketball to - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Slam dunk recipes including "meatball dunkers" for basketball tournament time

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) --  It's the time of year when hoop dreams take over for basketball fans watching the NCAA tournament games.  So Cloverfields Farm & Kitchen's Janine Washle is using a little hoop inspiration to create a party menu that includes everything from beer cheese to "meatball dunkers." 

Following is your guide to understanding the phenomena that takes over Kentucky in March. For a non-sports minded person, this basic 101 will demystify the thrill, and agony that will overtake most of the Commonwealth the rest of the month.

The NCAA tournaments are an American tradition that sends millions of fans into a synchronized frenzy each year when 68 teams compete for college basketball's biggest prize. It's the last-second, buzzer-beating baskets, the euphoria of winning to play another day and the agony of losing and going home.

What is the NCAA?

A single governing body, known as the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), is charged with overseeing the almost 1,300 voluntary college and university members that comprise the association. Volunteers from the association's member schools manage the organization and make rules to ensure fairness among all intercollegiate athletics.

What is "The Big Dance?" a.k.a. "The Dance?"

This is actually a NCAA trademarked term as of 2002. It is another name for the NCAA tournament.  Invitations to The Dance are made on Selection Sunday.  From there a few other alliterative two word names have arose to describe the narrowing of the field, Sweet Sixteen, Elite Eight, and Final Four.

What is a Bracket Buster?  

This term refers to a low seeded team who upsets a highly ranked team. Friday's U of L, and UK match ups were an example of bracket busters. To fully explain, when the low seed wins against the highly ranked team, they have busted the bracket.

What does Cinderella mean?  

Cinderella refers to a team who is considered a low seed or rank and they take advantage of opportunities to get further in the tournament. Everybody loves a good Cinderella story.

If this overview of basic basketball tournament terminology isn't gearing you up for a little basketball watching, then maybe you want to put your talents to use in the kitchen fixing snacks and appetizers. The number one rule when making snacks for watching sports is not to make anything that will stain upholstery or carpet,  if it gets dropped. The following recipe for slow cooker meatballs will give you a slam dunk at your March Madness get together.

Slow Cooker Meatballs with Three Sauces

Makes: 48 meatballs (easily doubled)


1 lb ground beef
1 lb ground pork
1/3 cup dry breadcrumbs
1/4 cup milk or water
2 tsp onion powder or granulated onion
1 tsp garlic powder or granulated garlic
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper


Make the meatball mixture by mixing together beef, pork, breadcrumbs, milk, onion powder, garlic powder, salt and pepper in a large bowl. Form 48 meatballs by scooping with a cookie scoop which aids in uniformity, or patting out the meat mixture on a piece of wax paper into a rectangle that is 1" high. Cut into squares 8 across, and 6 down. Take each meat square and firmly form into a meatball. 

Meatballs can be placed on a baking sheet and baked for 15 minutes at 425 degrees in a preheated oven to set them and brown them a little. They can be layered directly into a large slow cooker insert too. Do not crowd them give a little space around each, and layer them once the bottom is full. 

Prepare the one of the sauces below, and pour over top of the meatballs. Turn slow cooker to LOW and cook for 3-4 hours. Internal temperature of meatballs should be 165 degrees. Depending on the strength of the slow cooker, this may be reached in less time than 3-4 hours. Keep meatballs warm on the WARM setting for 1-2 hours after cooking time has elapsed. 

NOTE:  If you want meatballs without sauce, add 3 cups beef broth after meatballs are layered into insert. Proceed with recipe. 

Midwestern Sweet n Sour Sauce:

1 10 oz (1-1/4 cups) jar grape jelly
1 12 oz (1-1/2 cups) bottle chili sauce
1/4 cup yellow or dijon mustard

Drunken Sauce:

1 28 oz (3-1/2 cups) bottle ketchup 
1 cup light brown sugar 
1/2 to 2/3 cup bourbon or whiskey (adjust to your taste)
1 TB ground mustard

Barbecue Sauce:

2 cups prepared barbecue sauce
1 cup ketchup
1/2 cup water
1 TB Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp sweet or smoked paprika


Cloverfields Farm and Kitchen also has a special Basketball Tournament Recipe Booklet available by email. To ask for a complimentary copy, just email Janine Washle at

Janine Washle's CloverFields Farm & Kitchen
Hardin Springs Area
Big Clifty, KY 42712 

Connect with Janine and Cloverfields Farm & Kitchen on the website, Facebook, Youtube and Pinterest

About Janine Washle: 

CloverFields Farm & Kitchen is primarily an on-line destination.  They are not open to drop-in visitors as it is a private residence. 

"Authentically from Farm to Table"

CloverFields Kitchen researches and reinterprets many traditional recipes using local produce, much from their own gardens, and adding a global perspective.

"Exploring Global Tastes through Local Foods"

Janine is working on her first cookbook, but she also has a long resume developing recipes for several companies. She has also won several contests and cook-offs with her original recipes. 

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