Happy New Year

New Years Photo Booth Backdrop - The EGGWell it has been a hot second or two and a lot has happened since the last time we spoke… For one it is now 2014, so Happy New Year! For two, we sold our house and moved into a swanky downtown loft. Fancy schmancy I know. It is so not me, but then again so me all at the same time. There has been lots of decorating, cooking, entertaining, traveling and creating in the mean time, and I have definitely deserted you all in the process. Some may not have noticed at all, others may not have even cared, but that’s ok either way I am back… For the time being.

I got the urge to write again, because I was inspired to cook something new. I was watching the Food Network yesterday and one of my faves came on, Barefoot Contessa. When she is cooking Italian, as she often does, it’s pretty much guaranteed I am going to like it. I have a couple of staples on the Food Network that rarely steer me in the wrong direction. Between Ina Garten, Ree Drummond (The Pioneer Woman), and Giada De Laurentiis my husband will never go hungry. Now if I could just convince one of them to move in and do all the cooking. Anyway, Ina was making Spaghetti and Meatballs and it looked delicious. I know it sounds very basic, and it is, but it inspired me to want to cook so it is worthy of a blog post in my opinion. Check out the recipe below and I will let you know how it goes. I think this might be a Pasta Sunday dish. I also posted below some pics of what I have been up to for the past 5 months or so.

The EGG Projects
3DENT Logo Wall Decal // Thanksgiving Invitation // Painted Mirror
Pumpkin Whoopie Pies // Engagement Party Favor Stickers // CranCherry Cocktail
Jute Wrapped Bottles // Holiday Card // Glitter Champagne Bottles

Ingredients

FOR THE MEATBALLS:
  • 1/2 pound ground veal
  • 1/2 pound ground pork
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 cup fresh white bread crumbs (4 slices, crusts removed)
  • 1/4 cup seasoned dry bread crumbs
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 extra-large egg, beaten
  • Vegetable oil
  • Olive oil
FOR THE SAUCE:
  • 1 tablespoon good olive oil
  • 1 cup chopped yellow onion (1 onion)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 1/2 cup good red wine, such as Chianti
  • 1 (28-ounce) can crushed tomatoes, or plum tomatoes in puree, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • For serving:
  • 1 1/2 pounds spaghetti, cooked according to package directions
  • Freshly grated Parmesan

Directions

  1. Place the ground meats, both bread crumbs, parsley, Parmesan, salt, pepper, nutmeg, egg, and 3/4 cup warm water in a bowl. Combine very lightly with a fork. Using your hands, lightly form the mixture into 2-inch meatballs. You will have 14 to 16 meatballs.
  2. Pour equal amounts of vegetable oil and olive oil into a large (12-inch) skillet to a depth of 1/4-inch. Heat the oil. Very carefully, in batches, place the meatballs in the oil and brown them well on all sides over medium-low heat, turning carefully with a spatula or a fork. This should take about 10 minutes for each batch. Don’t crowd the meatballs. Remove the meatballs to a plate covered with paper towels. Discard the oil but don’t clean the pan.
  3. For the sauce, heat the olive oil in the same pan. Add the onion and saute over medium heat until translucent, 5 to 10 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 1 more minute. Add the wine and cook on high heat, scraping up all the brown bits in the pan, until almost all the liquid evaporates, about 3 minutes. Stir in the tomatoes, parsley, salt, and pepper.
  4. Return the meatballs to the sauce, cover, and simmer on the lowest heat for 25 to 30 minutes, until the meatballs are cooked through. Serve hot on cooked spaghetti.

Pink Lemonade Margarita

Ingredients

  • 1 (12 ounce) can of frozen pink lemonade concentrate, thawed
  • 3 (12  ounce) cans of cold water – (just use the empty pink lemonade can)
  • 1 (12 ounce) can of tequila
  • ½ (12 ounce) can of Grand Marnier
  • Ice cubes – (I like to use crushed ice)
  • Salt to rim the glasses
  • 1 lime, wedged

Directions

  1. Pour the (thawed) frozen lemonade concentrate into a pitcher, and fill the can with cold water.
  2. Pour into the pitcher and repeat twice for a total of 3 cans of water.
  3. Fill the can with tequila, and pour that into the pitcher.
  4. Fill about half of the can with Grand Marnier, and pour it into the pitcher.
  5. Chill in the fridge for at least an hour before serving. Or blend mixture with ice to make a frozen version.
  6. Serve over ice in salt-rimmed glasses with a lime wedge!

Notes: You can also get the same delowcious looking effect with a grapefruit version from The Barefoot Contessa via There Goes My Cupcake. So whichever way your taste buds pull you, your drink will still look amazing!

How-To Make Flavored Butter: Cinnamon Honey

This is so easy to do, but really says a lot to your guests about what kind of entertainer you are. Or maybe you are making it just for you and your Wifey or Hubby… That is okay too and she/he will really appreciate you going the extra mile. Shhh, you don’t have to tell them how easy it is.

Ingredients

  • ¼ pound unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 3 tablespoons good honey
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ⅛ teaspoon kosher salt

Directions

Combine the butter, honey, cinnamon, and salt in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Serve at room temperature.

Notes: Get creative and alter the recipe to make your own flavor. Try mixing raspberry jam or maybe Italian herbs and garlic. The possibilities are endless.

  • Source: Ina Garten
  • Total Time: 10min
  • Recipe Yields: ¾ cup

Very Berry Fruit Salad

This picture does not do this recipe justice. I just saw Ina Garten make this on TV, and it looked spectacular! Plus she served it in adorable martini glasses, which made it look that much better. You know, when the Hubby and I were registering for wedding gifts, I thought to myself, “What the hell do we need 12 martini glasses for? I don’t even like martinis. Plus the glasses suck, because liquid spills out of them so easy. Whoever invented them is an idiot” Well, this recipe right here makes up for it. This recipe gives purpose to the 12 martini glasses collecting dust in my garage. Someday I am going to have a party (with 12 people or less), and I am going to serve them Very Berry Fruit Salad in a perfect little martini glass. BTW, Sorry to the person who bought us our martini glasses. It is not your fault that we registered for them. Thank you very much though and we love them… Now.

Ingredients

  • 1 pint strawberries, hulled and cut in half, or smaller if preferred
  • 1 pint blueberries
  • 1 pint raspberries
  • 1 tablespoon good balsamic vinegar
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • Fresh mint, for garnish

Directions

Place 6 glasses in the refrigerator.

In a large bowl, combine the berries, vinegar and sugar. Stir gently. Cover securely with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes to 1 hour.

Spoon the berries into chilled glasses. Garnish with a sprig of fresh mint.

Notes: Can be used as breakfast or dessert. Ina says not to wash your raspberries, because it makes them tough. Also, try serving the fruit salad in a fun martini glass for the ultimate presentation!

  • Source: Ina Garten
  • Prep Time: 5min
  • Cook Time: 30min
  • Total Time: 35min
  • Recipe Yields: 6 servings