Yay, April! As the first (and only) to respond, you have earned yourself a prize! Email me with your mailing address, and I'll get it out to you right away!
Okay, so April suggested I post the recipe for BBQ Cola Smokies, which I'll be making for Super Bowl Sunday. I first came upon this recipe when looking for family-friendly appetizers to serve at Judah's First Birthday party. The original recipe was actually for BBQ Cola meatballs, and included a recipe for those as well. Opting for ease, I used pre-made frozen meatballs instead. Let me tell you--these little babies, which simmered away unattended all morning in the crock pot, were by far the biggest hit of the party. People were practically drinking the sauce on its own.
Of course, tomorrow's appetizer will be a bit different; I'll be using Hillshire Farms Li'l Smokies, because they were BOGO this week at the grocery store. And I am out of regular cola, so I'll be using cherry cola instead. I'm sure they'll still turn out to be yummy. Even so, here's the original recipe for you, including the from-scratch meatballs.
BBQ Cola Meatballs
adapted from allrecipes.com
1 1/2 lbs. ground beef
1 1/4 c. dry bread crumbs
1 egg, lightly beaten
3 Tbsp. grated onion
1 (1 oz.) pkg. dry Ranch dressing mix
1/2 c. chopped onion
1 Tbsp. butter
1 cup ketchup
2 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar
3/4 cup cola
1 tsp. seasoning salt (such as Lawry's)
1/2 tsp. ground black pepper
1 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Mix together the ground beef, bread crumbs, egg, grated onion, and ranch dressing mix. Shape into 1-in. meatballs, and place on a pan with sides. Bake for 30 minutes, turning halfway through.
In the meantime, prepare the sauce: saute the onion in the butter until translucent. In the bowl of a slow cooker, combine the ketchup, vinegar, cola, seasoning salt, pepper, and Worcestershire sauce. Add the onions, and stir to combine.
Add meatballs to sauce, stirring gently to coat all of the meatballs. Cover and cook on Low for 3 hours. Remove the lid, and allow to cook for a while longer (30 min-however long you'll be serving them) so the sauce can thicken a bit.