Weeknight Dinner: Meatball Slippery Sliders! (with spicy jalapeno cilantro sauce) and How I Met Josh Hartnett

Ok party people. It's about to get real delicious up in here. Mr. G and I got our BEEP together and finally went grocery shopping for the first time in like… a month? A few hundred bucks later… and I'm in weeknight dinner heaven.

Tonight I'm serving up meatball sliders with spicy jalapeno cilantro sauce. You think they're called sliders because they're on tiny buns, right? WRONG. They're called sliders because once you get them on that bun, they're going to slide all over the place until they go into your belly. So hurry up – let's get cooking.


I have adapted this recipe from one of Mr. G's favorite cookbooks – The Feed Zone Cookbook. If you are big at the whole working out thing and staying in shape – this is such a great cookbook. Lots of protein and energy packed recipes to get you from breakfast to dinner (and maybe even to dessert, if you're not too full). 

What You'll Need:

  • 1 lb ground beef (I used the 85-15 kind because they were out of everything else)
  • 1 lb italian chicken sausage
  • 3 slices fresh bread, cut into cubes (we LOVE the light oatmeal bread from Pepperidge Farm)
  • 1 tsp garlic salt
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1 jar of tomato sauce (we used a can of arrabiatta sauce)
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 2 soft hoagie buns, toasted
  • 1/2 bundle of cilantro, chopped (about 5 tbsp)
  • 1/2 jalepeno, seeded and chopped
  • 2/3 cup plain greek yogurt 
  • 1 1/2 tbsp honey
  • 1/3 tsp ground cumin
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • EVOO (extra virgin olive oil)
  • 75 paper towels (slightly kidding)


Combine beef, chicken sausage, bread, garlic salt and egg in a large mixing bowl. Get in there and MIX IT WITH YOUR HANDS (it's really the only way). Once it's mixed, let it sit for a few minutes so the egg can soak into the bread. Then, roll the meatballs into round balls – about 2" round. It should make about 20 meatballs.


Line a baking sheet with a paper towel and set that near your stove (trust me, you'll thank me later for this). Take a pan, and cover the bottom in oil. Let that heat over medium-high heat for about 2 minutes. Then, place about six meatballs in a circle on the pan (don't put too many on at once!). Brown them on each side (this will happen fast. You want it to have a nice, dark brown crust on the meatball) about 2-3 minutes for the entire meatball (not each side). Place the browned meatballs on the baking sheet. Repeat this until each meatball is browned (the meat on the inside will still be rare. This is totes my plan, so stick with me). 

Next, once all your meatballs are browned, place them into a large sauce pot gently. Add the jar of sauce and 1/3 cup of water. Cover it with a lid, and let that simmer for about 20 minutes on medium to medium-high heat.

Now, let's make us some spicy sauce! Ok, take out your blender or food processor. Blend yogurt, jalapeno, cilantro, cumin and honey until it's a soft liquid. If it doesn't taste spicey enough, feel free to add in more jalapeno, you brave, brave person. Don't say you weren't warned. 

Once your meatballs have simmered for 20 minutes, you're ready to compile your slider sammies. Toast your bun if you'd like, then place the jalapeno cilantro sauce on the bottom layer. Put three meatballs across the bun – top with whatever you'd like (we used lettuce, tomato and monterey jack cheese), and get your chap stick ready. This baby is a spicy one. 

Note: Only 5 paper towels were harmed in the making of this slippery slider… Sorry.

Now.. onto more important updates on my life. If you're wondering where I was last week, I took a quick business trip to LA with my colleague Megan (her blog is pretty cool too – check it out here at My 3D Life). Of course, we got into some shenanigans, including sneaking into Chateau Monmart through the back door… and sitting right next to Josh Hartnett at lunch. Yes I said right next to Josh Hartnett. At the same table*. Now, if you know anything about me, you know that I may or may not have created a secret notebook when I was 12 completely dedicated to Josh Hartnett, and my love for him. I may or may not have also wrote Josh Hartnett a letter after some really outstanding internet stalking (especially outstanding considering we still thought AOL Instant Messenger was cool) and found his home address. Upon discovering that Josh Harnett was at the Chateau, I texted my mom. The conversation went as follows:

  • Suzie Q to Cari: Megan?
  • Cari to Suzie Q: Obviously, Mom. NO … JOSH HARTNETT!!!!!! 
  • Suzie Q to Cari: Ask him if he ever got your letter!!!!
  • Cari to Suzie Q: I think it's best we don't mention that…

Needless to say Joshy Poo was extremely pleased to receive my phone number, and Mr. G understood of course. He's one of my five celebrity passes. Mr. G claims he doesn't HAVE one, but I know better, so I don't feel ashamed.  

*This may be a bit of an exaggeration, but all you need to know is that YOU were much farther away than I was from him, ok? Especially when I was walking past the men's bathroom (not because I was stalking it or anything) and Josh Hartnett came OUT of the men's bathroom and for a moment, we locked eyes, and well… the rest is history (in which my voice became extremely high and panicky and Megan laughed uncontrollably and blacked out for a moment). Then we took this picture:


That pretty much topped the trip, even though I also saw Ted Dansen… and claimed that I saw Ryan Gosling, which probably didn't happen as this dude had a really ugly leather man bag. 

Alright, that's all for now. Stay tuned for my first attempt at tilapia baja tacos, some St. Patty's Day baking and my most anticipated visit from Erin, my sister, for St. Pat's in the C-L-E (we're pretty good at celebrating it, if I do say so myself).  


2 thoughts on “Weeknight Dinner: Meatball Slippery Sliders! (with spicy jalapeno cilantro sauce) and How I Met Josh Hartnett

  1. Heather says:

    Cari! You were in LA for 5 minutes and basically had lunch with Josh Hartnett and I’ve been here 7 months and have not had any cool celeb experiences! (Though, I did hang out with Jack from Dawson’s Creek, but that was mostly exciting to me). Jealous! Hope you loved LA, and next time you’re here, let’s meet up. Glad everything is going well with you, and I admittedly creep on your blog to stay updated 🙂



  2. Cari Jeanne says:

    Oh man! You need to sneak into the back door of Chateau Monmart and I guarantee you’ll be seeing celebs in no time. We kept our sunglasses on so everyone thought we were celebs though so that may make a difference. 🙂 I did love LA – I will let you know next time I’m back so we can meet up! And keep on creepin’ lady! So excited to hear from you!


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