Monday, October 3, 2011

Friendship Meatballs

My very dear friend, KM introduced me to a version of these delectable meatballs a few years back after a particularly rough day.  We shared this meal with her family, and I witnessed what will quite possibly go down in history as the most hilarious dinner conversation to date.  Between her little sister crying hysterically fretting over the orange peppers in the sauce and her mother bantering about how her eldest daughter never cooks and of course, the amazing was just the medicine I needed at the time.

I have attempted to recreate this meal a few times.  I am overwhelmed with joy that last night, I succeeded.  I have officially decided to dub them Friendship Meatballs.

When I'm buying the ingredients at the grocery store,
when I'm delightedly mixing them together with my bare hands,
when I'm boiling the bowtie pasta because any other shape just isn't the same,
when I'm adding orange pepper to vodka sauce which plays on the sweetness of the meatballs [& friends]
I am reminded of the blessings of friendship.
And it warms my heart.

I only wish I had written down measurements... I will do my best to guess if you please, pretty please, do yourself a favor and cook these up to share with your dearest friends.  You won't be disappointed!

Friendship Meatballs
3 string cheese sticks
2 eggs
1/4 cup (ish) Catalina dressing
1 tbsp. sugar
1 lb. ground turkey
1 tsp. crushed garlic
1 1/2 - 2 cups breadcrumbs (maybe?)
oil for pan
box of bowtie pasta
jar of vodka sauce
1 orange pepper

Set out ground turkey so it has time to warm up (15 minutes??).  Your fingers will thank you.

Cut up the cheese sticks into about 6 chunks per stick.  Put in freezer.

Beat eggs and mix in Catalina dressing, sugar and garlic.  Set aside.

Mix (with your hands!) ground turkey, gradually adding breadcrumbs.  I kept mixing until it felt "right," like it is saturated with the breadcrumbs.  Helpful, I know.

Get really dirty by mixing in the Catalina/egg mixture.  Squishy!

Wash hands, retrieve cheese chunks from freezer.  Form meatballs around the cheese.  I shot for about 1 1/2in - 2in diameter.  Big meatballs.  Arrange on plate;  I made 13 meatballs, but you can switch that up depending on size.  Put meatballs in fridge.

Cut up orange pepper and add it to vodka sauce; start warming on stove.  Also, start boiling pot of water.  {I trust you know how to boil pasta...}

Put oil in the largest pan you have and warm it up on medium-low heat.  Add meatballs, cover and rotate every 4ish minutes, until you've browned 4-5 "sides."

Pasta, meatballs, sauce, serve, enjoy, call your best friend & tell her you love her!  Then, pack up leftovers to share with your favorite coworker at lunch the following day. :-)

PS - next time, I'll remember to take a picture!

Monday, June 6, 2011

It hasn't been thaaaat long...

I'm back in the game. :-)

Since I last blogged, I fit in not just one 5k, but two!

First was a run in West Chester, benefiting Safe Harbor of Chester County.  It was very hilly...and I was not prepared for the hills!  I finished at just over 33 minutes, which included a short pit-stop due to some malfunctioning shoelaces.  I'll take it!

Then, this past weekend, we ran in the e-race epilepsy run at the Philadelphia Zoo, benefiting the KARE Foundation.  This was really neat because as we turned corners, we got to see different animals along the way!  I was able to knock off over 2 minutes and finished at about 30:40.  Woo!

Possibly my favorite thing about doing these runs is that when B finishes, he runs back through the course, finds me, and runs with me until the finish (again).  He pushes and encourages me to finish strong and it is wonderful to have that support--not just in the races, but in life.  I guess you could say we make a good team!

What has been keeping you busy lately?

Friday, May 6, 2011

5k Challenge!

For a while now, I've been contemplating different goals as it pertains to my running.  [Originally I really hoped to do the Broad Street Run, but registration was closed by the time I hopped onto a computer.]  My brainstorming for a reasonable goal is likely due to a combination of the following:

     a) B is a cross country coach in the fall and a track coach in the spring
     b) I may or may not be shedding for the wedding, or at least trying to
     c) I really enjoy running, but sometimes lack the motivation required to get off my tush

This is where you, my loyal readers, come in!

Goal: I will run at least ten six 5k runs before our November nuptuals.  Maybe I'll even through in an 8 or 10k run or two in the mix.

Your job: Suggest some good races [in the Greater Philadelphia/Wilmington area] for good causes for me to support.  Tell me about the cause and why it means so much to you.  If it fits into my schedule, I will be there.

I am currently booked for a June 4 run at the Philadelphia Zoo.  All proceeds raised will help fund research and support for families dealing with Epilepsy.  Information can be found here!  Thank you, KZ for sharing this opportunity!

Beyond that, I'm really counting on you to make recommendations and perhaps even join me for a race or two!  Thank you in advance. :-)

Have a wonderful weekend celebrating with the mothers in your life!

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Just under 2 (with varying amounts of 0's)

I noticed an interesting trend today.  There are...

Just under 200 days remaining until I marry my best friend.

Just under 2 working days left this week.

Just under 20 things on my to-do list for the up coming weekend. (yikes!)

Just under 2 months until my dear friend, K, walks down the aisle.

Just under 200 items on our registry. (that I cannot stop tweaking!)

Just under 20 things on my grocery list.

Just under 20,000 smackaroos owed to the fine lenders who helped me pay for my education.

Just under $20 left in my wallet.

Just under 2 minutes until I head to the gym for my lunch break.

Random, I know, but I thought I'd share.  What are you up to on this fine Thursday that I earlier today mistook for a Manic Monday? :-)

Friday, April 29, 2011


The past few days have been filled with several reminders that spring is stay this time!

    1) Shorts and flip flops
    2) Football 7:30PM
    3) Painted toenails
    4) Sipping on lemonade
    5) Thunderstorms & pouring rain
    6) First Phillies baseball game of the season (tomorrow)
    7) The smells of mulch & budding trees
    8) A fresh coat of pollen on my car...everytime I get in it
    9) Burgers and corn on the cob
  10) Cool grass between my toes

What are you favorite things about this beautiful season?

Thursday, April 28, 2011

I wish I may, I wish I might...

...find a decent pair of simple, black pumps that are not crazy high stiletto-platforms!
My trip to the mall yesterday was devastatingly unsuccessful in finding shoes fit for...walking?  Is that so much to ask??

Monday, April 25, 2011

Reality Check

At the conclusion of an incredibly fun mini-vacation to St. Louis, MO (more on that later), B and I found ourselves in quite a pickle.

If you've been paying any attention to the news, you've likely heard about the level EF4 tornado that blew through the St. Louis airport on Friday evening.  Our original flight home was scheduled for early Saturday morning, so we were awoken by an even earlier phone call indicating that the airport had been shut down and our flight canceled.

And thus commenced one final and unexpected adventure for our trip: getting home for Easter.

We quickly got ourselves ready and packed, called the airline to reschedule our flight out of a nearby airport (a mere 250 miles away), and made our way to the concierge to find a rental car.  This step proved to be nearly impossible.  We went through the list of nearby rental companies, all of whom said they had no cars available...until the very last name on the list.

Next, we hopped into a cab and were on our way to a car rental place near the airport.  And we stood in line for over an hour, knowing we needed to be on the road 5 minutes ago, in order to make our flight out of Indianapolis.

Finally on the road, we made the realization that Indianapolis is an hour ahead of St. Louis.  Meaning we just lost another hour.  Not to mention the downpours we faced for the first hour or so of the journey across Illinois.

After stopping for lunch, and basically admitting defeat, we called the airline to see if there were any later flights as it was looking very unlikely that we would make the flight.  There were no seats left, so we set out to make this flight with all deliberate speed.

In record time, we pulled into the airport parking lot with 15 minutes until take-off.  I called the airline once more to check if the flight was still scheduled for an on-time departure.  It was.

B grabbed both suitcases, and we made a mad dash for security, and again to the gate (Home Alone style).  There were approximately 3-4 people sitting in the seats, and no airplane to be seen.

The very nice ladies at the counter informed us that our plane had just left Philadelphia, it's origin.  The flight back to Philly was delayed for another 2 hours.

Taking a breath for probably the second or third time all day, B and I found our way to a bench at the gate.  Yes, we had made it, but I was fuming.  How could the airline not have known that this flight would be delayed?  I called more than once to check it's status, and I was not pleased.

Just then, a man dressed head-to-toe in camo, walked by.  He was on the phone with his wife explaining that as long as the plane takes off by X time, he would still make his layover so he can spend the next 4 days at home before going overseas later this week.

That really helped put things in perspective, and actually made me feel quite grateful for how well the day was going.

Regardless of everything else, we had a really fun trip.  We were not hurt in the storm.  We were able to find open seats on a flight home.  We were blessed with one of the last cars in St. Louis.  We received countless texts from family and friends, making sure we were safe.  We made the flight.  And we would make it home in time for Easter.

What are you grateful for on this gorgeous Monday afternoon?