Thursday, March 27, 2014

Overthinking, Undersleeping, and Meatballs. Lots of Meatballs.

The blog has taken a hit this year – I haven’t been writing nearly as much and there are several factors at play.  First, I’ve been thinking a lot about my next moves for Bakeri.  The trademark should (knock-on-wood) be going through any day now, and there is potential for my products to be sold at a venue I frequent on the regular, so that would be really cool.  But more details on all of that as I know more…

Next, I’ve been thinking about how I’m going to survive this race.  Ha.  I’ll make it through, of course, but this is definitely one of the biggest physical challenges I've placed on myself, possibly ever.  Well, there was this moment in New Zealand a couple years ago:

But that was quick – it was like, “Ok, are you going to do this or no?  What the f*@!, just do it – it’s New Zealand!!”  And it was amaazzzing.  I’m sure the relay will be as well and I really can’t wait for it, but it has definitely been at least a partial cause of my lack of sleep.  I wake up early and run, then come home from work and go to pilates.  Of course then I still try to be out and about having fun as much as possible – I mean, a lady needs a social life, right?!  And oh yeah, time to cook and bake too.  It’s been rough!  Assuming I manage to keep it all in check, it’s worth every minute of stress and exhaustion. 

All excuses aside though – let’s get to the cooking I did manage to do last weekend…

So who doesn’t love a big tender meatball?  I know this girl certainly does.  And ahem, I’m talking about chicken, people!

Summer’s coming (someday), and like it or not, that means less clothing, which means I start looking for more lean protein, low(er) carb meals.  I’ve made these meatballs a few times now and they have yet to get old.  First you sear them for a good crust, then you bake them in a basic marinara sauce topped with cheese.  The flavor comes mainly from the seasonings in the meatballs themselves, rather than the sauce, and that isn’t always the case with meatball recipes.  It means they taste great when they are first served.  However, the next day when you go back for more, the sauce has seeped into them and added even more flavor…basically you just can’t go wrong with this recipe.

You could definitely use whatever type of ground meat you like, or a mixture, but so far I’ve only used turkey and chicken and I like that they aren’t as heavy as beef.  Also, for added lightness, you could follow my lead and just omit the cream from the sauce altogether.  Sure, it adds richness and mellows out the acidity of the tomatoes, but in my opinion it’s just unnecessary fat and calories.  Other than that, I pretty much stuck to the recipe on this one, with the exception of increasing the herbs and crushed pepper a bit, as well as adding about 1 tsp. of dried oregano to the sauce. 

Of course you can serve these over pasta or as a sub, but if you wish to keep it a “light” meal, I often either eat the meatballs on their own, or over some spaghetti squash, which is a great low carb alternative.   Pick your poison and enjoy! 

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Oatmeal Triple Chocolate Cookies - Baking GALS Round 28

After almost 2 ½ years of sending baked goods overseas, it’s difficult to come up with something I know will be delicious, but that I haven’t already sent.  I flag tons of recipes to try out, but a lot of them likely wouldn’t survive the shipping (those brownies last month were definitely a risk!).  This time I decided to go with my old trusty White Chocolate Cranberry cookies (Road Cookies) , but with a twist to make them new again…

I omitted the cranberries and instead added both milk and dark chocolate chips to the white.  I left out the nutmeg, but included ¼ tsp of the cinnamon for that warm “Mexican chocolate” touch.  I think they turned out great….in fact, I may make them a new staple on  I just hope my guy this month likes chocolate!

I have a couple new scone recipes churning in my head – next month I may have to go that route – stay tuned….

*Also, if you feel so inclined, I have a feeling some chopped up bacon would taste absolutely amazing in these!