Amazing Homemade Meatballs

I've been searching for a good meatball recipe, and I recently came across Anne Burrell's recipe which was titled "Excellent Meatballs."  I figured, how can you go wrong with something that has "excellent" in the title?  So I figured I'd give it a try...and they came out awesome!  Of course I made some modifications to fit what I had on hand, so enjoy this recipe for classic homemade meatballs!


Extra virgin olive oil
1 large onion, diced
2 cloves chopped garlic (I cheated with pre-chopped)
Pinch of crushed red pepper
Meatloaf mix (between 1 and 2 pounds)
2 large eggs
1 cup grated parmesan cheese
1 cup breadcrumbs
1/2 cup water
Marinara or tomato sauce
Spaghetti or fettuccine
 You can also use individual products of ground beef, pork, and veal! (1/2 pound each approx.)


 Coat a large skillet with olive oil and saute onions for about 5-7 minutes until soft.  Season with salt.

 Add in garlic and crushed red pepper and saute for another 2 minutes.  Once finished, turn off heat and allow onions/garlic to cool.
 Mix together meat, parmesan, bread crumbs, and eggs.  Squish together with your hands until well combined.  Add in onion mixture once it is cooled and season with salt.  
 Form meatballs (any size) and preheat oven to 350.  Coat a skillet with olive oil and brown meatballs on all sides.  The meatballs may flatten a bit, but that's okay...they are still delicious!  Once all sides are slightly browned (as pictured above), place the meatballs on a baking sheet and put them in the oven for about 15 minutes, or until cooked through (you may need to cut into one just to make sure!).

 Post-oven meatballs...ready for some sauce!
 Let the meatballs simmer in the sauce of your choice for at least 10 minutes so they can heat up and soak up the saucy flavor.  When ready, serve over your favorite pasta.

Topped with parmesan cheese and ready to eat.  Delicious!


Friday, December 21, 2012

Christmas Chocolate Covered Pretzels!

At Joann's Fabric the other day, I came across a sale on chocolate/vanilla candy melts in all sorts of colors and some adorable tree and candy cane molds to make chocolate covered pretzel rods!!  So adorable...and so easy!  I'm bringing them to work tomorrow :)  Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays everyone!  Enjoy!

Here are the molds I adorable!  There was also a North Pole sign which is not pictured.

I broke these in half in order to make smaller rods, though you can use the whole one to make a stick to hold!

My assortment of chocolate and vanilla candy melts!

For smaller detailing, I dumped out some of the candy melts into a tuperware to keep from melting and just microwaved what I needed at the time in order to keep the melted candy from hardening if I didn't use it quick enough!

One melted for about 60-90 seconds, pour into a ziplock bag and clip the edge to make a small hole for smaller details.

Do the detailing first, and let candy harden (I put it in the freezer to quicken the process...only needs a few minutes!)  Once hardened, pour other melted chocolate over it and insert the pretzel rod.  Turn the pretzel so all sides are coated in the chocolate.  Let harden and eat!!

The backs of my Christmas trees!

So awesome!

My candy cane!

Ready to eat!


Merry Christmas!! 

Vanilla Almond Sugar Christmas Cookies

Every year my mom and her friends have a get together before Christmas to exchange cookies, gifts, and laughs.  This "cookie exchange" is the baking highlight of my mom's year (as in, the one day she decides to set a day aside to bake dozens of cookies).  When my mom comes home with a tin full of other women's cookies, I still always reach for the ones she made.  Her "cookie exchange" recipe is unlike any cookie I've ever had, but they are absolutely delicious.  She got the recipe from an old family relative who has since passed on.  Here is the recipe to:

Vanilla Almond Sugar Christmas Cookies


2 c. flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1/8 tsp. salt
1 c. soft butter

¾ c. sugar
1 egg yolk, unbeaten
½ tsp. almond extract
½ tsp. vanilla extract

colored sugar sprinkles (optional)
colored food coloring (optional) 


In one bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, and salt.
In a large bowl, cream (with mixer) butter.  Gradually add sugar and beat until fluffy.   Then, add yolk, almond and vanilla extract, and beat until well blended.

 Gradually add flour mixture and continue to mix.  Also add in food coloring if you are using it!

This is my green dough all mixed up!

Time to whip out this bad boy.  The Cookie Pro U
ltra Pro II.  Get it from Amazon!

Use cookie press to create the shape of your choice on an ungreased baking sheet.  Add sprinkles and other decorations of your choice!

This is what we used to decorate them (the cupcake gems go on the top of the trees and the red sprinkles go on the body of the tree)

Bake at 350 for about 8-10 minutes.  Keep a close eye on them in the oven because they can burn quickly!

Here are my red cookies!


Pin this!

Monday, December 10, 2012

Online Shop Profile: Flirt Catalog

I recently got a shipment of some new clothes from Flirt Catalog and I am so excited to have found another inexpensive website that has a HUGE selection of women's clothing.  Flirt Catalog has everything from club dresses to plus size clothing to office clothes to amazing costumes.  The selection is so broad, and the site will keep you browsing for hours until you realize that your cart has 25 items waiting to be purchased. 
All of the clothes I received were of great quality, fit true to size, and were shipped in a timely manner. You can see me wearing my favorite top from Flirt Catalog here.

image via  Get this dress here (in lime also)

image via Get this dress here (perfect for the winter months)
 These were two of my absolute favorite purchases from Flirt Catalog.  They are cute, stylish, and show you off in all the right places (they are also inexpensive...major plus!).  Don't wait until December 31st to get the perfect dress to ring in the New Year.  Flirt Catalog has exactly what you'll need!


The Perfect Solution to a Cold Winter Night...Vegetable Noodle Soup

What could be better on a brisk winter night than a bowl of warm and savory soup?  This recipe  is the answer to all winter weather problems (and it's healthy too!).

Vegetable Noodle Soup


Here's what you'll need:


2 boxes College Inn chicken broth (or any kind, College Inn is just my favorite)
Extra virgin olive oil
1 1/2 onions
3 cloves garlic
Green cabbage
(All veggie amounts are up to you!  I used quite a bit of everything!
2 tsp italian seasoning
1 tsp chicken bouillion seasoning
1 tsp rosemary leaves
Garlic salt to taste
Salt and pepper to taste
**Add cooked chicken to this recipe to make a savory chicken noodle soup!


Coat the bottom of your pot with extra virgin olive oil.  Be sure not to add too one likes oily soup!  Just enough to coat the bottom.  Add in minced onions and sautee.  Enjoy the smell that overwhelms your house (in a good way).

Add the garlic once the onions are translucent.  I used about 1 1/2 tsps of the pre-chopped, which equals about 3 cloves of fresh garlic.  Allow that to sautee with the onions for a few minutes.  Don't let it burn!  Keep stirring the mixture.

Next add the veggies.  I added carrots, zucchini, celery, and cabbage.  I usually allow the harder vegetables more time in the mixture in order to soften them up a bit.  I put the carrots and celery in first, then I added the zucchini and cabbage.

It's broth time!

Once broth is added, add 2 tsp italian seasoning and stir.

Next, add one 1sp of chicken instant bouillon seasoning (you can add a bit more if you'd like). 

Then, add 1 tsp of rosemary leaves (this can also be more if you like a stronger rosemary flavor).

Now time to add the garlic salt, salt, and pepper.  I really use all of these seasonings to taste, so there's no set measurement.  Sprinkle, stir, taste is the best method to see how much of these seasonings you'd like to add!  I was a bit generous with it all...I love salt.

Stir everything together and let it all simmer for 30 minutes.  Prepare the noodles in a separate pot (or eat the soup alone).

Time to eat!  So delicious!  Enjoy and leave feedback of what you think!
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