Tag Archives: Dinner

Italian Meatballs

Last Sunday my daughter and I had “Craft day” which comprised of staying in our PJ’s the entire day and making a complete mess of the kitchen island. A few years back I started making place cards for Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners. I generally have the same core people each year for both meals so you would think I would be able to reuse from year to year. My mother-in-law always thinks they are “so cute” “can I take ours home”? I have no idea what she does with them but whatever. This year I KNOW she is going to want them; I think Abbi and I out did ourselves; they are super cute, or at least we think so.

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Before hot glue

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After hot glue

I had seen a Christmas wreath made out of wine corks and having a few (wink wink) on hand I wanted to try and make it. Then I also saw someone online made a Christmas tree out of corks. I was like how hard could it be. Hot glue, corks and a frame; they really were that easy! Though I won’t be able to finish the wreath until maybe after the holidays; I need a few more corks to finish it off, nothing a bow can’t fix for now.

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My Dad had stopped over the weekend before and bragged about having sauce and meatballs cooking on his stove, then one of my co-workers bragged about hers. OK maybe they were bragging I just took it that way because it sounded awesome. So between some crafts I made meatballs and had my own; well technically it wasn’t OWN sauce though I add diced onions, crushed garlic and fresh basil and some oregano and let it simmer the day away. This is one of those times when I can, and do make my own sauce, but if I can add a few ingredients to theirs and create something new and delicious why not. Leaves me more time to hot glue something!

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Italian Meatballs – I used close to 3 pounds of beef so I adjusted my measurements to what  I was using but here is a simple batch recipe to use if you don’t want a have a lot of left overs.  

1 lb. ground beef
½c bread crumbs
¼c milk
1 Tbs. fresh parsley
½ tsp kosher salt
½ tsp cracked black pepper
2 Eggs
1 tsp. garlic salt
½c fresh grated Parmesan cheese

Put everything in the bowl mix just to incorporate; best if mixed by hand. At this point you really should test a small one out by cooking it in a fry pan to make sure if tastes the way you want it to; there is no adjusting once all rolled and cooked.

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Roll into golf ball size; I tend to stir my sauce too much and some of meatballs don’t make it so I like cooking most of my meatballs in the oven; added benefit is the crust that forms on them YUM and then I add them to the sauce. Another added benefit is you can freeze them individually then pack them up in a gallon bag and save for another time.

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This batch was eaten all in the form of meatball grinders. Never even got to make pasta!

Maple-roasted chicken and acorn squash

I found another one-pan dinner that I think you need to try; super easy and very tasty and did I mention only one dish? Over the last couple of weeks, I have attended a couple of events where I have run into some blasts from the past if you will. I am finding it very humbling when they come up to me and the first words are “I love your blog, or “I am enjoying reading and seeing all your food” “I want to come to a class or can I just come to dinner” “I made this weeks and it was awesome; thank you” I am enjoying writing and sharing my love of food and new recipes that I don’t even think of who is actually reading my words so I am just very grateful when someone I know mentions they read and enjoy I truly thank you!


One such compliment was from my sister-in-law who came to visit a couple of weeks ago. I love when she comes up; she is smart, funny and loves food AND wine. Some of my favorite attributes in company; well she is family she’s not company.

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I love that she would much rather cook in than go out to dinner; she watches me, takes home recipes and notes and  I know she goes home and makes what she takes with her because I have gotten a few texts with minor questions. I love it!

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This is one dish that I threw together kind of last minute as I wasn’t sure if we were staying in or going out. My girlfriend KP can attest to this indecisiveness. She was here one night when the wine was flowing and we still needed to eat, going out was not going to be an option, I mentioned the wine right? So we threw together a delicious meal and a phrase we still kind of use today “my sous chef sucks” long story short, the veggies were not cut into uniformed pieces.

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I need to admit that acorn squash was never on my radar; I bet it has to do with it being green. I know the inside is not but the outside is DARK green. I know I am evolving as an adult and green is no longer an issue but I never really knew what to do with it. I have already bought it twice in a month so I could make this dish. From making it a couple of times, I want to mention to leave the squash I larger pieces, when I made it chopped up it got too mushy.

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Maple-roasted chicken and acorn squash

1 medium Acorn squash
4 Carrots, chopped
1 medium Onion
6 Chicken thighs bone in skin on
½ cup Maple syrup
1+ tsp Kosher salt
½+ tsp freshly cracked black pepper
sprig of fresh Rosemary stem removed and chopped

Preheat oven to 450’F

Cut squash lengthwise in half; remove seeds, cut each half crosswise into ½ inch slices; throwaway ends.

Place squash, carrots and onions sprinkle with some of the rosemary, salt and pepper in greased 13×9 baking pan. Season both sides of the chicken with remaining rosemary, salt and pepper place skin side down over the vegetables. Roast for 10 minutes.

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Turn chicken over; drizzle with maple syrup; roast another 25-30 minutes or until the internal temperature of the chicken is 170’-175’ and the vegetables are tender.  If you find that the vegetables could use a little more time, remove the chicken to a plate cover loosely with foil and return the pan to the oven while the chicken rests.

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Adapted from taste of home magazine