Italian Meatballs

As I sit here writing this post listening to my husband’s sneeze attack, I hear the childhood song ringing in my head…on top of spaghetti, all covered in cheese, I lost my poor meatball when somebody sneezed! Can’t tell you the last time I even thought of that song. Of course, when I made these for our New Year’s Eve party, we didn’t lose a single one to anyone’s sneezes.

Meatballs 3

Often times, I make things for our get togethers or for dinner and they are just okay, not blog worthy or even worth making again…but then there are those that get cleared off the plate faster than the time it took to plate the food. These meatballs are an example of the later so naturally I want to share with all of you as well so you too can enjoy them or share them with your friends.

Serve these with toothpicks as an appetizer, on hoagie rolls topped with mozzarella cheese for a delicious meatball sub, or on top of a bowl of spaghetti…just don’t let anyone sneeze around it!

Meatballs - Pinterest

Italian Meatballs

Ingredients:

Sauce:

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 large cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1/2 red onion, finely diced
  • 2-14.5 ounce cans of diced tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon basil
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper

Meatballs

  • 2 cups bread, crust removed and chopped into 1/4 inch cubes
  • 1/2 cup of milk
  • 1/2 kilo or 1 pound of ground beef
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2/3 cup of grated parmesan cheese
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/2 teaspoon oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon rosemary
  • 1/4 teaspoon thyme
  • 3 tablespoons fresh parsley, minced
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper

Instructions:

Sauce:

  • In a shallow, wide skillet pan, heat oil over medium heat, add garlic and onion and cook until softened. Add tomatoes, vinegar, and sugar. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for 3-5 minutes.
  • Transfer to a blender and puree the ingredients.
  • Return to stove and add remaining ingredients. Simmer on low heat while you make the meatballs.

Meatballs:

  • In a small mixing bowl, add bread cubes and milk. Let it sit until the bread has absorbed all the milk.
  • Meanwhile, in the bowl of a standing mixer add beef, eggs, cheese, garlic, herbs, salt and pepper. Mix using the dough attachment. Add bread cubes and continue mixing until it is combined for about 5-7 minutes.
  • Wet your hands or apply olive oil to keep the meatballs from sticking as you roll. Roll meatballs into 1 inch balls. Gently put into pan with sauce simmering.
  • Once all meatballs are in the pan, cook for about 12 minutes or until cooked through.

Meatballs - Appetizer

 

Blue Cheese & Pecan Spread

A crowd favorite for the blue cheese lovers in your family at your next holiday meal or get-together. Pair with french bread, apples, or celery for a unique appetizer spread.

Over the years as all the nieces of my family got older and feel in love with cooking or baking or trying recipes they found on Pinterest, we have inspired new traditions in our family and brought new flavors and ingredients to the mix. Our family get-togethers have since turned into foodie events, whether brunches for mothers day or an “appetizers only” New Year’s Day gathering where we ended up with enough food to feed twice as many people as were there. We also take the opportunity to share new favorite dishes and recipes and share secrets of what we’ve found work and don’t work with each of them.

Continue reading “Blue Cheese & Pecan Spread”

Homemade Salsa with Shamrock Tortilla Chips | Festive Fun

Homemade Salsa and Shamrock Tortilla Chips - Dipping.jpg

I am a H.U.G.E. fan of Pinterest and spend lots of free time perusing for decorating ideas, DIY crafts and projects, inspiring quotes, and for recipes to try for work potlucks, weeknight dinners, or holiday get togethers. With two upcoming get togethers, a celebration with my family for the birthdays of two of my cousins and a Saint Patrick’s Day potluck at work, I had my eye out for recipes I’d want to try, including festive ones. I came across Spiced’s blog post for making shamrock tortilla chips. It made me think…{How have I not thought of this myself!?} and {I have to make these!} These are simple and easy and will be very popular at your Saint Patrick’s Day themed potluck. The possibilities are endless. You could make Christmas trees, hearts for Valentine’s Day, stars for the Fourth of July and the list goes on and on.

Shamrock Tortilla Chips

Equipment:

  • Parchment paper
  • Baking sheets
  • Shamrock shaped cookie cutter
  • Cutting board
  • Small ramekin
  • Pastry brush

Ingredients:

  • Spinach wraps
  • Olive oil
  • Salt and pepper

Instructions:

  • Pre-heat oven to 350º.
  • Place spinach wraps on cutting board and use shamrock cookie cutter to cut out shapes. I found that I was able to get about 10 to 12 shamrocks out of each wrap.
  • Place onto parchment paper lined baking sheets.
  • Lightly brush each chip with olive oil and sprinkle with salt.
  • Bake for 5 minutes, until the chips crisp up and just barely begin to brown.
  • Let cool and enjoy!

{A Hint of Ginger | Recommended Tricks for Shamrock Tortilla Chips}: I also found that using a book or something similar was useful to help push down and cut out the shamrock shapes without killing my hand. Also, after doing numerous wraps one at a time, I discovered that it was much easier and faster to do two at a time. 

{Recipe found on: Spiced}

Homemade Salsa

Homemade Salsa - Ingredients.jpg

Equipment:

  • Knife and cutting board
  • Large mixing bowl
  • Can opener

Ingredients:

  • Can of Rotel Tomatoes (I used Diced Tomatoes and Green Chilies)
  • Can of Black Beans
  • Can of corn
  • 2 cups peppers, chopped into small pieces
  • 1/4 to 1/3 cup of red onion, chopped
  • Juice of one lime
  • 1/4 cup of cilantro, chopped
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

Instructions:

  • In a large mixing bowl, combine together all of the ingredients.
  • The benefit of this recipe is that you can adjust the amounts of the ingredients to your liking. You can also add other ingredients such as avocados, if you so desire.
  • Serve with Shamrock Tortilla Chips and Enjoy!

Homemade Salsa and Shamrock Tortilla Chips.jpg

 

Butternut Squash Tart with Fried Sage and Parmesan | Ladies Night Treat

Butternut Squash Tart

Recipe from {Diane, A Broad}.

Ingredients:

  • 1 sheet puff pastry, thawed
  • 1 egg, beaten with 1 tablespoon of water
  • 14 rounds of peeled butternut squash, about 1/8 inch thickness (cut from the neck of squash)
  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 12 fresh sage leaves
  • Shaved parmesan

Butternut Squash

Equipment:

  • Parchment paper
  • Baking sheet
  • Rolling pin
  • Pastry brush
  • Knife and cutting board
  • Aluminum foil
  • Small saucepan
  • Small skillet
  • Paper towel
  • Serving platter or plate

Instructions:

  • Preheat the oven to 375º  and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • Use the rolling pin to lightly roll out the thawed puff pastry to even it out and then put on parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Brush beaten egg and water mixture on top of the puff pastry.
  • Arrange the squash slices on top of pastry making sure to leave about a 1/2 inch border. Brush olive oil on top of squash and then season with salt and pepper.
  • Cover tart with aluminum foil and bake for 10 minutes. Remove the aluminum foil and bake for another 25-30 minutes, or until the squash is tender and the tart is golden brown.
  • While the tart is baking, combine honey and 2 tablespoons of water in a small saucepan and simmer over medium-low heat for about 5 minutes or until syrupy.
  • In a small skillet over medium heat, heat 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil. Add sage leaves, only a few at a time. Fry until crisp, about 20-30 seconds, and then remove and place on paper towel to absorb the oil.
  • Once the tart is done, brush it with honey syrup, top with sage leaves and shaved parmesan, and then cut into squares or wedges.
  • Serve and enjoy!

Butternut Squash Tart with Fried Sage and Shave Parmesan

Stuffed Endive Spears | Ladies Night Treat

As promised in my {Ladies Night} post, here is the recipe for the stuffed endive spears I served up that night. These treats are packed full of pecans, dried cranberries, apples, blue cheese crumbles and drizzled with a balsamic, honey, and orange juice reduction. These are great to grab and munch and it won’t even disturb all the girl talk going on.EndivesIngredients:

  • 2/3 cup coarsely chopped pecans
  • 2 tablespoons honey, divided
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons orange juice
  • 16 endive leaves (about 2 heads)
  • 2/3 cup chopped apples, very small cubes
  • 1/4 cup dried cranberries
  • Blue cheese crumbles

Equipment:

  • 2 small mixing bowls
  • Cooking spray
  • Baking sheet
  • Small saucepan
  • Serving platter

Instructions:

  • Preheat the oven to 350º and spray baking sheet with cooking spray.
  • In a small mixing bowl, combine pecans and one tablespoon of honey and then spread out on baking sheet. Bake for about 6 minutes, stirring halfway through.
  • In a small saucepan, combine 1 tablespoon of honey, balsamic vinegar, and orange juice. Bring to a boil over high heat until the mixture has reduced to 3 tablespoons, about 5 minutes.
  • In a small mixing bowl, combine roasted pecans, apple cubes, dried cranberries, and blue cheese crumbles.
  • Assemble endive spears on a serving platter. Fill each spear with about a tablespoon of the pecan mixture. Lastly, drizzle balsamic reduction over the top of the assembled spears.
  • Enjoy!

{A Hint of Ginger | Vegetarian versus Meat Lovers Version}: These are great appetizers for little get togethers and even better they are vegetarian friendly; Devon loved these! But for meat lovers, chicken chunks or bacon crumbles could be added, if you so desire. Lots of options with these.

Recipe adapted from {Attica}.