Cheeseburger Meatballs

This is a simple recipe inspired by a small plate we had at a Japanese restaurant. They had all sorts of things on skewers: tomatoes, cheese, beef, chicken, and more. One of our favorite bites were these tiny meatballs with some melted cheese on top. I believe the cheese was American, and I was not entirely certain of the seasonings…but we really wanted to try it at home. What was interesting was the meat was ground chicken, and K liked it! Usually if it’s an item that is normally made with ground beef, he sees anything else as second rate. I was surprised he liked these so much, considering how they were a bit healthy.





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Orange Ricotta Pancakes

After making a pizza with some ricotta cheese, I needed a way to use up the extra ricotta. I had time to make breakfast (yay for weekends!) and thought it could be fine to try ricotta pancakes. Now, I only have ever tried them once. Maybe. My husband and I always celebrated our anniversary at a particular restaurant. We were unable to make it for dinner, so decided to go for brunch. I ordered some ricotta pancakes after hearing great things about what ricotta can do for the fluffiness. Well, you may or may not know my opinion on goat cheese/blue cheese/things that are sour…I am not a fan. They just make me think of rotting milk. So, when I tasted the pancakes and got a strong blue cheese kind of flavor, I asked the waiter what was in them. I figured that they may have done a substitution or changed the item without updating the menu. He insisted it was ricotta cheese in them, and I didn’t want to fuss so I left it at that. Of course, I only had a bite or two (and so did K). After that, I was a bit disappointed in them, and in the idea of ricotta pancakes.


I’m still not sure what was in those pancakes, because these pancakes…well. They were truly awesome. I said before that I am not the pancake flipper, but even I was able to have luck with these. I added some orange zest just because, so you can certainly leave it out. Or, feel free to add lemon for a different flavor.

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Pizza with Ricotta and Bacon or Mushrooms and Sausage

Are you a pizza lover? We love pizza. It was our first date, after all! So, it is even a reason for romance with us to celebrate anniversaries. This is a great recipe for a thinner crust, although it is not the thinnest crust I have ever had. It is crunchy and suitable for many toppings. You can double the recipe, but generally one pizza is enough for us, and we still have leftovers.


For pizza sauce, I generally just use the food processor and pulse together a jar of tomatoes with some seasoning (garlic powder, red pepper flakes, basil, etc.). Sometimes I keep the chunks. To thicken the sauce, cooking it on low in a saucepan for about 5-10 minutes helps. You can also stir in some tomato paste for extra flavor. I linked to a tomato sauce recipe I use, but you can feel free to use store-bought or make something else.



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Chicken and Onion Crackers

After growing up loving Chicken in a Bisket crackers, I introduced my husband to them recently. Unfortunately, we noticed that they had MSG in them, which might explain why they are so addictive. He loved them as much as I did, so he tried looking for an off-brand that might not have MSG. There wasn’t one we could find, so I decided to try to make some crackers with a similar flavor. These were not exact, but are inspired. I played around with thicknesses and baking times. Basically, you want them to be a bit thin to cook up extra crispy. My thicker ones were not as successful. I also decided the salt and onion was a bit much, so I have adjusted the recipe below accordingly.


You can feel free to make these crackers with any seasoning you like. In place of the chicken broth, you can also use water to have a non-chicken cracker. I thought about sprinkling cheese on top, but that did not match the original flavoring. If you have celery salt, I would recommend adding that in place of the salt. I don’t have it, and did not want to buy it for just this, but it is an ingredient in the original crackers.

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Spicy Spaghetti with Hazelnuts and Cauliflower

Thanks to my Aunt V who clipped an article for me from the Washington Post (a while ago), I found a version of this recipe which inspired me. I had cauliflower, but that was about it. Most of the rest of the ingredients were random things that I wanted to change. So, here is an easy weeknight all-in-one meal which still manages to be healthy. (More so if you use whole wheat pasta.)


Even though I used cauliflower, I could see using broccoli instead. You could probably even use other veggies, but that would be the easiest swap. Likewise, you could use a different nut instead of hazelnuts. But, my hazelnuts were (technically) expired–I had been using whole ones and forgot about these chopped ones. They were still fine, and this way I got to use them and not waste them.


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Cheese and Onion Bread

Even though I did not list it on my yearly goal list, making bread is definitely a goal. I always like to find new recipes, especially for bread I can eat with dinner. Plain sandwich bread is nice, but I am the only one who would eat it. This recipe paired well with a few meals we had, and I caramelized a little extra onion to help for a pizza I made. (Yay for time-saving tricks!) The onions make this bread sweet and who doesn’t like cheese and bread together? The original recipe used Gruyere, which is all well and good, but I wanted this to be a recipe I could make any ole day. The substitution worked just fine.



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Almond and Citrus Tea Cake

This was a celebration cake, as I announced on Twitter, because there was some good news found out the day before I made this! Now, you might have figured out what it was, but because I am superstitious, I am not announcing it just yet…soon, though. Really soon. In the meantime, you should find your occasion to celebrate and make this cake. I had wanted to make it for a while because it looked so elegant. I added raspberries and a few other special touches to make it even more awesome. You can likewise jazz it up. One easy add-in is vanilla sugar for the granulated sugar. It adds pretty vanilla beans throughout the cake, which just enhances all of the flavor in this super moist cake.



Vanilla sugar with regular sugar

Vanilla sugar with regular sugar

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