Food & Drink · Uncategorized

My big fat Greek Christmas.

Alright,  I should start by saying that I am in fact, not Greek. I should also admit that I am not hosting Christmas this year. However, while I have you here, I want to share my Greek style meatballs with you which are perfect for those Greek or not Greek and those hosting Christmas and those not hosting Christmas! Basically, I just love these meatballs and I want you to also!

I have talked about meatballs before here and although I am the biggest fan of them, my boyfriend – not so much. That being said, I constantly try and come up with new meatball recipes that he will eat and love as much as I do. Lamb isn’t a meat that I cook with often so I really wasn’t too sure on how this was going to come together but luckily for everyone involved, it was a huge hit! We tried these with ground lamb because it is leaner than ground beef and around the holiday season, I’ll do what I can to keep healthy in between stuffing my face with holiday cookies! They look sophisticated and elevated but really, they take close to 45 minutes from start to finish.

lamb meatballs.jpg

If you are looking for that perfect dish to serve this holiday season or you’re invited to a potluck and bored of the traditional options, read on!

I would love to hear if you make these and how they turn out. Also, let me know if you have any good meatball recipes I can test out at my house and turn my boyfriend to the dark side!

lamb meatballs 2

Here is what you will need:

♥ 1 container (about 9oz) of frozen chopped spinach

3/4lb ground lamb

2 teaspoons of Italian speasoning

2 teaspoons of onion powder

1/2 cup of crumbled feta cheese

1 roll of Pillsbury classic pizza crust

1/3 cup of tzatziki sauce

lamb meatballs 3

Here is what you will need to do:

♥ Preheat the oven to 400F and spray a mini muffin pan with non-stick cooking spray. Thaw the frozen spinach in the microwave as direction on the box (about 3-4 minutes should do the trick). Drain well, squeeze dry with paper towels.

In a large bowl, mix together the ground lamb, Italian seasoning, onion powder, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon of pepper. Add the spinach and feta cheese, mix with either a spoon on your hands until well combined.

On a lightly floured surface, unroll the pizza dough. Cutting in half crosswise, press and roll each each to about a 10×8 rectangle. Using a 2inch round cutter, cut 18 rounds from each dough rectangle. Press 1 dough round into the bottom and up one of the sides of each muffin cup. Spoon 1 tablespoon of the lamb mixture into each cup.

Bake for 12-15 minute or until the crust is a golden brown and the lamb is no longer pink. If you have a meat thermometer, it should reach 160F. Allow the pan to cool for about 5 minutes before topping each cup with 1/2 teaspoon of tzatziki sauce. Serve warm.

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XOXO.

B.

Decor · Food & Drink · Uncategorized

The best hostess gifts to give – to make sure you’re always invited back.

Happy Holiday Month!!

If you’re calender’s are looking anything like mine does right now for December, I am amazed. I am amazed that you found a few minutes in the holiday chaos to join me in my little corner of the internet.

With this being a very busy holiday season, I wanted to talk about something important… hostess gifts! Do you always bring one or do you feel your presence is enough? I think they are great and I always bring one to a party and it warms my heart when people bring them to ours. If the answer to “Can I bring something” is the expected “no”, that does not mean you should go empty handed! Ever! Take a couple minutes and come out with a thoughtful and even inexpensive hostess gift to bring! Or, read below for some great options!

You can never, and I mean never, go wrong with bringing wine! Or really, just any type of alcohol in general. However, I was getting pretty tired and rather embarrassed of tossing my wine bottle into a gift bag and away I go. So, I started doing some research and I came across Furoshiki – which is basically the art of fabric gift wrapping. Naturally, I got right into the car and headed over to Marhsalls to load up on some tea towels to use this holiday season. It’s the perfect gift combination – wine and a tea towel. I think it turned out pretty awesome and I’m really proud of myself! I’ll never purchase another wine bottle gift bag again. It just gives a little extra oompf to a simple hostess gift. Plus, less waste in our landfills!wine wrapping 2

wine wrapping 3

The holidays for me just have a certain smell. Do you know what I mean? It’s a very distinct smell and it just floods my brain with childhood memories and give me all the feels which is why I really love holiday simmering pots. These are the easiest gifts to put together and everyone loves them. I like to do a mixture of orange slices, fresh cranberries, fresh rosemary, cinnamon sticks, fresh cloves, lemon, lime and pear slices. You can swap out the pear for apple if you’d like but because I am allergic I use pear. Toss everything into jar and cover with water before sealing it tightly. Attach a cute little tag and you’re all set.

simmer jars.jpg

A few years ago I really wanted to do something special and totally personalized for a few of my closest girlfriends and their families. I wanted something that would be loved, shown off and something they would keep for a very long time. It was a complete success and I just love seeing their boards used at their parties and sitting on their countertops. These do need to be done in advance so it’s not something you can put together the day of a party obviously, but something you should look into right away to make sure you get them on time. You could also package these with some cute cheese knives, some cured meats, nuts etc. I cannot remember the company I used when I did these but I know an amazing wood burner, Tanya from Burned Out By Tanya that I would totally recommend you get in touch with. You can click here to see some of her work and reach out.

cutting board

 

I know the I labeled this post three hostess gifts but, when in doubt don’t over holiday baking! Bonus points for adorable packaging. While you’re at it, don’t forget about the fluffy four legged family members whose house you are going to also. These are not just for Thanksgiving but can be made any time of year. I make them every holiday season and Winston and I drop them off to the furry friends in our neighborhood on our walk. Lastly, if you’re in a pinch for time – flowers! Flowers are always a good idea!O Oh, and lavender plants!

What is your go-to hostess gift? What has been the best hostess gift you have ever received?

Don’t forget to subscribe to LiveLaughLearn.blog to stay up to date and follow on Instagram @LiveLaughLearn.blog

XOXO.

B.