There are some sporting events which will always have me glued to the television. Tennis is the top of the list, particularly Wimbledon and The U.S. Open which are two of my favorite tournaments to watch. But the Super Bowl, despite the number of times our local team, The Patriots has participated, I’m lukewarm on. For me, it’s about gathering with friends or family, putting out a feast and waiting for the best commercials, rather than the game. Sometimes the half-time show is worth the wait, other times not so much. It was thirty years ago in Tampa, where this Sunday’s Super Bowl will take place, that Whitney Houston sung the national anthem which was one of the best versions ever in history, hands down. Here’s a video of that performance to refresh your memory. What a voice she had.
So last year, I was actually pretty excited to watch the Super Bowl because, and this is not a surprise to the hubs, I had a little crush on Jimmy G., our former back up quarterback who played for San Fran. I was disappointed he lost, but it took the sting out of our Patriots not being there to have someone to root for. And once again, I am actually really excited for this year’s Super Bowl because Tom, the GOAT, Brady is once again going to the Super Bowl. I mean, love him or hate him but good gracious that is an amazing feat and I am so excited to see if he wins once again, on his new home turf, at the age of 43. Even the most skeptical of fans have to hand it to the “old guy” that he is amazing. If only it wasn’t the younger phenom, Patrick Mahomes on the other end of the field. Then again wouldn’t that make victory for Tom that much sweeter? We shall see!
Before we get to what I am thinking you might want to serve on Sunday, is anyone focused on Valentine’s Day yet? It is one of my favorite holidays of the year. And while I usually default to making a special meal for my husband as his “present”, I do have a lot of fun trying to come up with something clever for our two daughters. If you have some young women you may like to buy something for, or want to drop a hint to your significant other or just buy a gift for a galentine, here are just a few suggestions based on personal experience.
Super soft and oh so comfy, I bought this Moonlight Dream Sleep Shirt for myself. It runs true to size and I love the burgundy color. My girls were both thrilled with these Moonlight Pajamas I got them for Christmas. Also super soft and comfy and so far everything is washing well and not shrinking! And I’ve mentioned how much I like my Pima Robe from Lake Pajamas, but also asked for a matching Long-Short set of pajamas which works for me.
A little less expensive are these slippers that my daughter got me for Christmas that I absolutely adore. No sweaty feet and you can pretend you’re in a warm climate, sort of. I’m ordering them in a second color I like them so much.
These silk pillowcases are awesome and come in lots of colors. You only need one and it’s great for your skin and hair (Read here).
And who can resist a modestly priced pair of stud earrings? I got these adorable Mother-of-Pearl studs for one of our girls for Christmas, but how cute are these Tiny Heart Studs? Erin makes all her own jewelry and I’ve always been pleased with my purchases from her site.
Oh and one last inspirational link. I’m not a huge fan of roses personally, but how decadent are these arrangements? I think an early trip to Costco or Trader Joe’s and some DIY ingenuity could produce a similar result at a fraction of the cost. Who’s in?
So while we may not be gathering in big groups, or little groups for that matter for the Super Bowl this weekend, we do have to eat and I’m sure if you follow any food bloggers on your social you are being inundated with all the ideas. Well, here’s another, although it may not inspire you like an enormous, Instagram worthy cheese pull. However, this dish is easy to prepare and can be an appetizer, meal or served as part of a larger spread.
I originally made a version of these while on the Whole 30 and got a lot of yum responses on my Instagram stories. I wanted to wait to make this when my Whole 30 was over as honestly, breading up meatballs with almond flour is good, but not great. And for 1 pound of meat here, I am only using 1/3 cup of panko breadcrumbs so there is not that much gluten in them, especially if you use GF panko I suppose. Anyway, I love making meatballs because you can adapt them to almost any cuisine and this time it’s taking on a Mexican vibe.
Ground chicken (not breast meat as that will dry out) is mixed with lots of dried herbs and some tomato paste which I always include in my meatballs, and baked in the oven until just done. You don’t want them to dry out. They are then tossed in some warmed enchilada sauce and topped with cheese. Easy. You can make your own enchilada sauce which is also very easy or use store-bought. For homemade, I really like this recipe on Cookie & Kate’s website. For a jarred sauce, I like Siete which has no added sugar.
I hope you have a chance to make this dish soon, for the Superbowl or just an easy weeknight dinner. Scale up and freeze some of the meatballs for later if you want. Always a good thing!
I am trying to get a Le Creuset white cast iron pan for my photos but the size I want is out of stock! So I pulled out this vintage Le Creuset pan from my Mom (note the wood handle) to mix things up!
Just a little bit of cheese on ours but you do you…
Until next time!
Some other Super Bowl appropriate recipes…
Amy’s Smoked Chicken and Wild Rice Soup
Bacon Wrapped Brussels Sprouts
Meatballs are so fun to prepare because you can adapt them for almost any cuisine. Here the meat mixture is seasoned with lots of dried seasonings before cooking and then nestled in a warm enchilada sauce and topped with cheese. Super easy to make using ground chicken or turkey. You could even try pork here. Take the dish up a notch but putting a tiny piece of cheese inside the meatball for a little surprise in each bite. Completely optional of course. I like to bake the meatballs but make sure not to overcook them as the lighter meats can dry out. And if you want to make your own enchilada sauce, I love this recipe on Cookie & Kate's website. For a jarred sauce, I think Siete is really tasty and does not have added sugar. Enjoy!
- 1 1b. ground chicken, preferably not chicken breast. Ground turkey or pork can work too
- 1/3 cup panko breadcrumbs
- 1 large egg
- 1 Tablespoon tomato paste
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 3/4 teaspoon dried oregano
- 3/4 teaspoon onion powder
- 3/4 teaspoon paprika
- 3/4 teaspoon cumin
- Zest of 1 lime (1 teaspoon)
- 15 ounces enchilada sauce, canned, jarred or homemade
- Shredded Monterey Jack or Mexican Cheese Blend
- Chopped fresh cilantro for garnish
- Optional: block monterey or pepper jack cut into mini cheese squares
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees with rack in the middle. Line a large sheet pan with parchment.
- In a large mixing bowl, combine the panko breadcrumbs, egg, tomato paste, spices and lime zest and whisk together until you achieve a uniform mixture.
- Add the ground chicken to the bowl and using a fork, mix everything together until well combined.
- Form the mixture into meatballs about the size of golf balls. I use a 3/4 ounce (1 1/2 Tablespoon) cookie scoop to achieve a uniform size, yielding about 21-22 meatballs. Optional - place a tiny cube of monterey or pepper jack cheese into the center of the meatballs and enclose with the meat mixture.
- Place the meatballs on the sheet pan, evenly spaced. Drizzle the meatballs with a little bit of olive oil or oil spray and place in the oven for roughly 15 minutes until just cooked through.
- While the meatballs are in the oven, warm the enchilada sauce in a pan big enough to fit the them on the stove. When the meatballs have finished cooking, place them in the sauce and give them a stir to coat.
- Top the meatballs with as much shredded cheese as your heart desires and cover the pan so it can melt.
- Garnish the dish with some chopped fresh cilantro and serve with some rice and avocado slices.