Tag Archives: bacon

NYEE and a meatball bar

Last night was the tenth anniversary of New Years Eve Eve. It was also my fourth one to attend/host, which seems crazy. Perhaps it’s a sign you married the right person when it seems like there’s no way possible you’ve been together for four years already? We had a small crowd this year, just eight of us, but it was nice and low key for a Monday night when half the crowd had to work on Tuesday. For the first time ever, a baby attended NYEE. We also added a white elephant exchange this year and it was pretty hilarious. It was definitely a different party than previous years and I’m sure it will continue to evolve as the years go on.


This is a terribly fuzzy and dark photo, but the only proof I have that humans attended our party.IMG_7671_edited-1

I had a fun idea to make a meatball bar. Seemed perfect since they are bite-sized snack foods that are easy to make ahead of time and reheat for the party. I made then on Sunday then followed the reheating directions before the party; they tasted fine room temp as well. I picked four of the fifteen meatball recipes from Well Fed 2 (bringing my total to six so far); I did switch up some of the meat suggestions to ensure we had a good mix for people’s preferences.


I made beef Thai Curry balls with curry sauce; beef Cuban balls with Lizard Sauce; pork Japanese gyoza balls with an Asian dipping sauce; and turkey Greek balls with a kebab sauce. Just realized it’s kind of funny I make Greek balls with Turkey, not always known as a loving combination. Perhaps the way to world peace is through balls? Everything was tasty (minus the Cuban balls but that is because they had olives and we all know I think olives are the devil’s food).

The meatball recipes are all in the cookbook only as far as I can tell, but try out a few of Mel’s other meatball recipes that are available on her site.

I clearly went way overboard for just eight guests who mostly had already eaten dinner, but now we have a stash of meatballs in the freezer for next week. I also made sweet potato with bacon soup and have a ton leftover so my breakfasts will be something to look forward to the first week of January.

IMG_7666_edited-2Champagne corks + Project Life cards made for cute and free food labels.

Our hosting is done for 2013! Tonight it’s a quiet night on the couch with our yearly take-out of homemade chow mien noodles from Snappy Dragon with a fancy bottle of champagne my parents sent for our first anniversary. I’m sure it will involve (almost finishing) The West Wing, knitting, a sleepy doodle, and probably some coding. What more could you want from NYE? (answer: absolutely nothing)

Happy New Year’s Eve, friends!

early thanksgiving

We won’t be cooking our own Thanksgiving meal this year, but I wanted to tinker in the kitchen with holiday food. Last week, Melissa (I’m just going to pretend we’re friends as I work through her cookbook) posted a handful of Well Fed 2 holiday recipes on her website. IMG_7219_edited-1

First up is Turkey & Cranberry Meatballs. Well Fed 2 has a whole section on meatballs, burgers, and bangers – definitely looking forward to making my way through all the variations. These were pretty good. It’s not my typical go-to flavor combination but Greg loved them. I liked them well enough to eat them for dinner and lunch the next day, so I’d say success. IMG_7220_edited-2Next time I make a meatball recipe from the book I think I’ll make 12 or so larger meatballs, unlike the 20 – 30 the recipe calls for. The smaller balls would be perfect for a party with toothpicks. Superbowl party with a meatball bar?
IMG_7227_edited-1With the meatballs we ate Sweet Potato Soup with Bacon. I’m having leftovers right now as I type this. I also happen to be home alone. Not gonna lie, I just licked the bowl. This soup was awesome.  I’ve been eating it for breakfast every day with two hard boiled eggs. Sometimes it’s nice to switch things up – I finally ate my breakfast casserole one too many weeks in a row. And an added bonus – this was soup three of five from my Fall bucket list.

the week in food: one pot/pan/crockpot recipes

Another 7 days of my Whole30 are down! I’m feeling great. Seriously. This morning Greg asked me why I was so chipper as I bounced around our room forcing him out of bed so we could take Alfred on a long walk. Benefits this week are clear skin and more energy. I also feel like my jeans are looser, but maybe that’s just wishful thinking. Tomorrow is half way and I’m feeling pretty good about things. There’s no possible way to do this without being prepared, but I probably spent less than two hours this weekend and have all my food ready for the week.

This week I made a bunch of recipes that all happened to only use one pot (or pan or crockpot) for the most part. It’s a very busy week both at work and after work, so I went the easy route. Our fridge is full of containers in one meal portions. No real plan for when to eat what, other than to grab what I need for the day on my way out in the morning and that something will be ready to be nuked when I get home. IMG_3461_edited-1

Here’s what I made this weekend and will be chowing down on all week.

Asian ground beef, mushroom, and broccoli slaw ‘stir fry’. I didn’t make it in lettuce cups like the recipe suggested (because I forgot to add lettuce to my grocery list), so I just ate it as a stir fry. One pot, easy clean up, buy sliced mushrooms, shredded carrots, and pre-made broccoli slaw to make this quick and easy. It was incredibly good fresh and decent as leftovers. I recommend making it when you’ll eat most of it in one sitting, but I’ll still happily be having it for lunch a few days this week. Under thirty minute meal, probably even under twenty, I just didn’t pay attention. I made it with turkey because I’m out of ground beef. Until my quarter cow arrives on 11/12. Hell yes.

IMG_3440_edited-1It’s hard to go wrong with these three in one recipe.

IMG_3437_edited-1Next up is my second soup for the fall bucket list, a sweet potato and beef chili (how fun is that recipe graphic? Currently obsessed with this site.). Holy cow this was good. We had it for dinner tonight with a side salad and it got excellent reviews from our friends who were over to watch the Sounders game with us. For the record, Greg changed out of his pajamas, I did not. Good friends who don’t mind if you stay in your pajamas while you make them dinner are one of life’s true blessings. It’s a crockpot recipe, though not great for weekday because you need to put sweet potatoes in with four hours left of cook time. Perfect for a weekend. I forgot to take a picture after it cooled down, but this is a real winner. We ate ours with a few avocado slices and chopped cilantro. IMG_7026_edited-1I didn’t feel like making a breakfast casserole this week and had some frozen cooked chicken that I wanted to use from the freezer. I threw together this hash, minus the eggs, as best as I could recall from memory, then mixed in the few cups of cooked chicken. Breakfast for the week done in about ten minutes.

I made eggs and bacon (sugar free bacon at PCC! whole30 win!) for breakfast this morning and we might have eaten all the bacon. My excuse is that it was our breakfast and lunch and after an hour long walk with the pup. Orange egg yolks are delicious. And nutritious.

IMG_3457_edited-1The other items in my ready-to-go containers are chicken apple sausages (read your labels – you can find clean ones that aren’t super pricey – I was surprised by what I found at Safeway last week) with roasted delicata squash. If you haven’t tried delicatas, pick one up at the store. They make two servings each and are so easy to prepare because you don’t have to peel them. I’ve linked to my new favorite recipe, which I’ve made probably four times in the last two weeks.

We had another pretty quiet weekend. Alfred is pretty much loving how much we’ve been home the last two weeks and being our little shadow. It’s been very much needed weekend down time, but I’m ready for a fun adventure next weekend as one of my favorite ladies ties the knot. Have a lovely week, friends! And happy birthday, mama! xoxo IMG_3424

Bacon on My Mind

I’ve thought about bacon more this week than ever before it seems.

On Saturday morning the love and I went to Trader Joe’s in Ballard (Seattle neighborhood). We were slightly caffeinated and ready for food. We stared at the shelves for a minute or two, spotting the turkey bacon, the beef bacon, the fully cooked bacon. No bacon bacon. We called over a Hawaiian shirt clad worker who confirmed our suspicions with the aide of another worker: TJs was out of pork bacon.

We bought the beef bacon and went our merry way. Turns out, beef bacon is not bacon. It is very thin strips of beef. It tastes like beef. It is not crunchy. It is not salty. It is not bacon. (It was slightly less disappointing on Sunday morning when I chopped it up in a scramble.)

On Sunday the love needed a haircut so I enjoyed some time at the Farmers Market. I checked it out and found three suppliers of meat/eggs. I picked one at random, Skagit Vally Ranch, and purchased a dozen large pastured eggs and a package of (humanely raise natural pork) bacon. I got home, thinking about trying my new items next week, when I realized the bacon was not uncured AND had added sugar. Sigh.

Later that night I landed back in SFO and headed to Trader Joe’s to stock up for the week. Somehow, it appears to be a Paleo epidemic on the West Coast – out of bacon in CA, too! Not willing to fall for any of the substitutes, I went across the street to Safeway. I found one option for uncured (nitrate free) bacon, but it had sugar and a few other items.

When there is not a bacon famine at TJs, they offer two uncured options with no additional flavors. One is TJs brand and one is Niman Ranch. The Niman Ranch I know is 100% natural and humanely raised. I wonder about the TJs, as it’s a fraction cheaper.

I’m trying not to be too legalistic in my Paleo quest, but I also want to make the best food choices I can (given other $ priorities in my life) as well as support farmers who are sustainable and treat their animals with respect.

Here’s to crossing my fingers my bacon is back on the shelves next week. And in the meantime, I’ll enjoy my sugar added but humanely raised bacon this weekend!

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