Diners, Drive-ins and Dives has inspired me to create some solid comfort food lately. When I watch those chefs make their amazing and so often simple dishes, it sends me right to the kitchen.

I believe that meatballs are one of the best spherically shaped meat formations out there. It is truly difficult to find any ball of anything that pays more in delicious dividends, and honestly, they are pretty easy to create. The key is to use more than one type of ground meat. For sweet meatballs, add ground sweet sausage. For spicier fare, find some good loose hot Italian sausage. For wild-game-balls, consider ground elk or venison. Obviously, a good butcher is going to be key to the flavor. My favorite butcher in Fort Collins is at Beavers Market, for a few reasons. The main reason is quality. They have some of the best loose sausage in town (including good chorizo, very hard to find!). Another, honestly, is vicinity. It's in my neighborhood. The third thing is price. So, here is my simple recipe. Add your own flair, perhaps a special seasoning and call them your own!

1 package lean ground beef

1 package ground something else

3 cloves garlic

1 small onion

1 tsp garlic salt

1 tsp basil

1 tsp chili powder

1/2 tsp cayenne pepper

2 tsp black pepper

1 egg

1/2 cup Parmesan cheese

bread crumbs

Mix egg and all the dry spices. This insures the flavor will permeate each meatball. Mince the garlic and add. Grate the onion and add. This is a great way to avoid crunchy onion pieces for those who don't like that. Add the meats and mix together with your hands. Get in there! Add parmesan cheese and some bread crumbs. Before you add them, the meat mixture will be almost slimy. Add bread crumbs until the mixture has just a bit of moisture throughout. Form into desired size meatballs. Fry briefly to brown the outside of the meatball and then bake at 350° for the magic number of about 25 minutes. Add to your sauce and simmer for another 15 minutes to have the meatball flavor permeate the sauce.