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.

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

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.

 

Food & Drink · Uncategorized

If we were having tea…

I have to admit, I have been having tea without you for the last little while and it just feels wrong! I’m sorry!

It has been such a busy summer for me and it doesn’t look like fall is going to be giving me a break either. If you weren’t around the last time we had tea, jump over here and catch up and then come right back!

Before I go put the kettle on and grab us some cute mugs, I want to take a hot minute to introduce you to Preserve Co.

Growing up and even now as an adult, I split my time between my hometown in Bradford, Ontario and visiting my family on the Canadian east coast in Prince Edward Island. People say that Canadian’s are the nicest people and that may be true but I think a large amount of that compliment comes from the east coast residents. If you’ve never been over there, I would defiantly suggest looking into a vacation for next summer! I know that island like the back of my hands so if you need any travel tips, get at me!

One of the things I adore about PEI is that there are so many successful and amazing local businesses there that are thriving without living in the shadow of big box stores. One of my all time favorite spots to visit whenever I am on the island is Preserve Co. I stock up on their teas, honey and jams every time I’m there.

On that note, sit tight for a second while I put on the kettle and make us a pot of my favorite – black vanilla tea.

the preserve co 1

There, now let’s catch up!

If we were having tea I would tell you that I have been having a bit of a hard time lately. My friends are amazing but are probably sick of my depressing texts and urgent calls lately pleading for them to calm me down. The truth is, I do this every year at the end of September and start of October. My birthday. I love the idea of my birthday and a whole day dedicated just to me but, it freaks me out! I feel like my life clock is just ticking away while I stand still and watch it go by. I know once the days passes and the mess from the party is cleaned up, I’ll wake up and be back to normal but it’s getting there that is the hard thing.

If we were having tea I would tell you that besides being in my October funk – there are things happening that I am super exited about! My boyfriend and I are hosting our 4th annual Thanksgiving dinner at our place. There is something about having family over (both human and 4 legged) that just warms my heart. Plus, being in the kitchen is my happy place! Which remind me, I should probably wrap up the rest of my shopping list this evening!

If we were having tea I would also tell you that I have a girls trip to New York coming up in a few weeks that I am really excited about! I have never been away with only my stepmother and my sister before but I already know it is going to be amazing! I love New York so much and plan on running my debit and credit card until it melts! Also, on the vacation topic – my boyfriend and I have booked our winter get away now and decided on Cuba this year!

I would probably refill my mug at this point, a touch of sugar and a fair amount of milk.

If we were having tea I would tell you that I had a liberating moment in my personal life lately and I feel I really evolved. Without oversharing the details, I learnt the value in forgiveness and that sometimes we need to forgive someone or their actions more for ourselves than for the other person. Instead of carrying that anger and burden from being wronged, I was able to shake it off and understand that their blunder has nothing to do with me or who I am, so why should it bother me? If you want to read more on that, click over here.

If we were having tea I would ask you how you were doing. I would say I hope everything is going well and that if things weren’t I am here to listen to you too. I would ask you if you needed anything, if there was any way I could help and I would hope you would tell me if there was.

I would ask you if you have any travel tips for me and my trip to either New York or Cayo Caco, Cuba. I would drink the last of my tea, the sugary part that collects art the bottom. I would thank you for the chat and tell you this was really nice. I would tell you to have a good day and a great rest of the week. I would say we should get together like this more often. I would walk you out and wish you good luck.

Oh, before you leave! Even if we weren’t having tea, I would also tell you that Preserve Co. and I have put together a promo code for you! Use the code LiveLaughLearn at check out and automatically receive 10% your purchase of $50.00 or more. Honestly, their products would make the perfect hostess gift for Thanksgiving or that special someone on your Christmas gift – believe it or not, the holidays will be here sooner than you think!

If we were having tea, what would you tell me?

Until next time!

the preserve co 2

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

XOXO.

B.