Happy National Meatball Day!

Today is National Meatball Day, a day set aside to celebrate meatballs in all their incarnations: Spaghetti and meatballs, Swedish Meatballs, Meatball Sub, Meatball Pizza, Turkey Meatballs, Lamb Meatballs, Porcupine Meatballs…

I’m sharing a family-favorite recipe. While I prefer to use lean ground beef, any combination of veal, pork, and regular beef will work. I usually eat the meatballs with pasta, but they can be thrown into a soup or eaten on their own with an accompanying side dish or salad.

Ingredients

1 kilogram lean ground beef
2 tablespoons canola oil
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon parsley
1/2 cup Romano cheese
1 cup bread crumbs
1/2 cup milk
1 garlic clove, minced
1 onion, finely chopped

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

2. Grease two large baking sheets with canola oil.

3. Combine all ingredients in a large bowl.

4. If the mixture is too soft, add more bread crumbs.

5. If the mixture is too hard, add more milk.

6. Form into balls and place 1″ apart on the baking sheet.

7. Bake for 10 minutes on each side.

Yield: Makes 35 to 40 meatballs.

Buon appetito!

Warming Up with Avgolemeno

Today is National Homemade Soup Day, a day devoted to celebrating those warm bowls of comfort that nourish our bodies and souls. Take some time to make your favorite soup or experiment with a new recipe.

If you’re open to experimenting, try Avgolemeno, a Greek lemon chicken soup that releases endorphins while warming up our insides. Packed with protein and Vitamin C, this soup is a staple in many Greek homes throughout the winter months. (Pronunciation Guide for Avgolemeno here)

You don’t have to limit yourself to one season. Avgolemono is a great go-to dish whenever you are feeling under the weather and need a quick pick-me-upper.

Here’s a tried-and-true recipe from my mother’s kitchen:

Ingredients

5 cups chicken broth
2/3 cup Italian arborio rice*
1 lemon, juiced
2 large eggs
Salt and pepper, to taste

* Feel free to substitute orzo or any small shaped pasta.

Directions

1. Pour the chicken broth into a saucepan and bring it to a boil.

2. Add the rice and cook until chewy, but soft. Italian arborio rice will take about 20 minutes.

3. Take the saucepan off the heat and set aside. Let it sit for five minutes. If the rice mixture is too hot, it will curdle the eggs.

4.In a separate bowl, beat the eggs until frothy and then add the lemon juice.

5. Add the rice mixture, a spoonful at a time, to the egg mixture. Stir well.

6. Season with salt and pepper.

Servings: 3-4

More Soup Recipes…

Broccoli | Celery | Asparagus | Lazy Woman’s Soup | Vegetable Quinoa | Watercress | Zucchini and Watercress

Free…and One by Me!

Help yourself to one (or more) of our Christmas cookie recipes–bar, drop, gluten-free, no-bake, refrigerator, rolled, shaped, and pressed–all from the kitchens of The Wild Rose Press authors.

I’m happy to share a family-favorite recipe for Francesca’s Chocolate Snowballs on page 122.

Happy Holidays!



Release Day: The Quarantine Cookbook by Beth Carter

Blurb

Romance author Beth Carter created THE QUARANTINE COOKBOOK during the unbelievable 2020 Coronavirus pandemic. Nearly 200 easy, delicious recipes will provide a much-needed distraction while sheltering in place—and your family will thank you! Included are the author’s favorite five-ingredient recipes, plus plenty of comfort food, meatless meals, appetizers, salads, sides, soups, and desserts.

And when you don’t feel like cooking, Carter included a generous dollop of almost 60 Non-Stir Crazy Activities, a sprinkling of unique Six-Word Memoirs on Quarantine Life, and a pinch of hilarious food quotes that are sure to bring a smile during these trying times.

Recipes include Quarantine Balls, Bacon Asparagus Quiche, Stuffed Pasta Shells, French Dip Sandwiches, Asian Salmon, Rosemary Pork Chops, Parmesan Chicken, Strawberry Yogurt Cake, Brownie Pie, and Chocolate-Covered Cashew Clusters, to name a few.

Easy on the pantry—and budget—these family favorite recipes using common ingredients are sure to become yours too. Since we’re homebound, let’s cook! Stay healthy, and happy eating.

During the crisis, proceeds will benefit: Tunnel2Towers.org which is providing housing for fallen COVID-19 healthcare workers and first responders with young children.

buynow

Author Bio

At a certain mid-life crisis, er, age, multi-award-winning author Beth Carter shed her corporate bank suits and heels to pen novels and children’s books. She much prefers afternoon writing at Starbucks to 8 o’clock board meetings.

Carter’s novels include: THURSDAYS AT COCONUTS (Book 1), CHAOS AT COCONUTS (Book 2), BABIES AT COCONUTS (Book 3), SLEEPING WITH ELVIS, MIRACLE ON AISLE TWO, and SANTA BABY, a novelette. There will be six books in the Coconuts series, and all may be read as a standalone.

Voted Favorite Contemporary Runner-up in the 2018 & 2017 Raven Awards, winner of a 2015 RONE Award, and named Best Debut Author in 2015, the author pens romantic women’s fiction contemporary romance, and romantic comedy in what she calls rollercoaster romance. The author infuses plenty of humor, suspense, heartwarming romance, and page-turning plot twists.

Also a children’s picture book author, Carter has four children’s books published: WHAT DO YOU WANT TO BE?, SOUR POWER, SANTA’S SECRET, and THE MISSING KEY. All have been well received by kids, parents, teachers, and counselors.

You’ll likely find Beth Carter sipping a skinny vanilla latte while writing. That is, if she isn’t on a boat or at T.J. Maxx.

Where to find Beth Carter…

Website | Goodreads | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

Happy National Homemade Soup Day!

A piping hot bowl of soup is my favorite way to incorporate vegetables into my diet. I especially like puréed, low-starch vegetable soups that are quick and easy-to prepare.

Today, I’m sharing my recipe for Zucchini and Watercress Soup.

Diagnosed with hypothyroidism in 2006, I make every effort to incorporate thyroid-nourishing foods into my diet. I enjoy eating most of the iodine-rich foods, but I struggle with watercress. Its pungency doesn’t sit well with my fussy taste buds. While experimenting, I discovered that adding zucchini and almond butter to watercress results in a creamy alternative that hits my sweet spot.

Ingredients

2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 yellow onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1½ cups chopped carrots
1½ cups chopped celery
4 cups of zucchini, diced
4 cups of vegetable broth
¼ cup unsweetened almond butter
2 cups watercress, chopped
Handful of parsley
2 teaspoons lemon juice
Salt and pepper to taste

Directions

1. Heat the vegetable oil and sauté the onion and garlic in a large soup pot.

2. Add the celery and cook until translucent.

3. Add the carrots and zucchini and sauté for three to five minutes.

4. Add the vegetable broth and stir in the almond butter until well combined.

5. Increase the heat and bring to a boil.

6. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes or until the zucchini is tender.

7. Add the watercress and parsley. Simmer for about five minutes.

8. Turn off the heat and let the soup cool.

9. Stir in the lemon juice.

10. Remove from heat and purée the soup in batches using a hand or immersion blender.

Makes 6 servings, about one cup each.

More Soup Recipes…

Broccoli | Celery | Asparagus | Lazy Woman’s Soup | Easy Avgolemeno | Vegetable Quinoa

Free…And One By Me!

Help yourself to one (or more) of our favorite recipes–Beverages, Breads and Rolls, Desserts, Meat and Main Dishes, Salads and Soups, Side Dishes and Appetizers–all from the kitchens of The Wild Rose Press authors.

I’m happy to share my recipe for “A Lazy Woman’s Soup” on page 131.

Happy Holidays!



Chia Seed Power!

From the start, I loved the sound of the Mayan word “chia” and its meaning: strength. Originally grown in Mexico, these seeds were valued for their nutritional and medicinal properties. Runners and warriors used chia seeds as fuel while running long distances or during battles. Aztec warriors claimed that one spoonful of chia seeds could sustain them for 24 hours.

Recent research has found even more benefits. An excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids, fiber, protein, and antioxidants, chia seeds support the heart and digestive system, build stronger bones and muscles, promote healthy skin, and can help reverse diabetes.

Definitely a superfood and one that can be easily incorporated into our daily diets. A reassuring fact for non-foodies who don’t like to cook.

Continue reading on the Soul Mate Authors blog.

Tiramisù: A Dessert with a Wicked Past

Several myths and legends surround this delectable dessert that has become a staple in Italian (and many non-Italian) restaurants worldwide.

Here’s my favorite legend…

In the late nineteenth century, the competition among the bordellos in Venice was extremely fierce. Hoping to attract more customers, one bordello offered espresso coffee as a complimentary beverage. Other bordellos followed suit.

As the competition escalated, so did the treats. Savoiardi Cookies (similar to lady fingers) and sweet liqueurs were added as further enticements. An enterprising Madam decided to combine all these ingredients—espresso coffee, savoiardi cookies, sweet liqueurs—with eggs and Mascarpone cheese.

Continue reading on Brenda Whiteside’s blog.

Warming Up to Watercress Soup

Diagnosed with hypothyroidism in 2006, I make every effort to incorporate thyroid-nourishing foods into my diet.

I enjoy eating most of the iodine-rich foods, but I struggle with watercress. Its pungency doesn't sit well with my fussy taste buds.

While stocking up on spinach and parsley last week, I noticed the watercress. On a whim, I picked up one of the bunches and some sweet potatoes. I experimented and came up with the following recipe.

Ingredients

1 onion, chopped
2 cloves of garlic, chopped
2 tablespoons of butter
2 sweet potatoes, chopped
4 cups of chicken/vegetable stock
1.5 cups of watercress
1/4 cup of parsley
1 tablespoon of lemon juice
Salt and pepper (to taste)
Hemp hearts (optional)

Directions

1. Heat the butter in a large pot over medium-high heat. Sauté the onions and garlic until soft.

2. Add the sweet potatoes and stock. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer.

3. Simmer for 15 minutes or until the sweet potatoes are tender.

4. Add the watercress and parsley. Stir and let the mixture simmer for about one minute or until the greens have wilted.

5. Remove from heat and purée the soup in batches using a hand or immersion blender.

6. Add the lemon juice and salt and pepper (to taste).

7. Sprinkle hemp hearts into the individual bowls.

Makes 4 servings, about one cup each.

Buon appetito!