This week I got lucky.  It was my pick in both my cooking groups.  For Wednesdays with Donna Hay I chose her Italian Tomato and Basil Bread Soup.  For Eating with Ellie I went with more Italian style with her Meatballs and Marinara.


I don’t make meatballs very often.  I think now I will.  These were different than the usual meatballs I make.  They contained Parm cheese and shredded carrots.  Something I would NEVER think to put in them.  There was also dried oregano, dried basil, quick cooking oats, and garlic in the mix.  Boy!  they were good!

And while I usually brown them before I use them Ellie had us place the formed balls directly into the sauce to cook.

The recipe says to make 8 meatballs but I made 12 instead.  The smaller meatballs just were easier to work with.  I also used 1/2 ground beef and some ground venison.  It is really lean meat so I knew the balls would not be greasy.

I loved the flavor of the whole dish but I did think the sauce was a little watery.  I would recommend cooking it down just a smidgen.  I served it with some pasta.

For more of Ellie’s meatballs and marinara visit Eating with Ellie.

The recipe is on page 107 of Ellie’s newest book – Weeknight Wonders.

My pick this week and evidently I am in an Italian mode because my pick for Wednesdays with Donna Hay this week also had lots of oregano, basil, and tomatoes.


I loved the ingredients in these meatballs: carrots, oats, Parm. I make meatballs often but never thought to put in a few shredded carrots. Such an easy way to get some extra veggies in. While I liked the meatballs, I thought the marinara was a little thin. The flavor was great but I like my sauces to be a little thicker.

You can find more meatballs and sauce on Eating with Ellie

You can find the recipe in Ellie’s Weeknight Wonders on page 107.

Several years ago I marked a recipe for this soup that I really wanted to make.  And never did.  In fact I completely forgot about it.  Until I was looking thru Donna’s modern classics.


Admittedly it’s not the original recipe I found but it was quite tasty.  And filling.  I was so afraid it would be rather bland since the only flavors added were sliced garlic, pepper, and basil leaves but I worried for nothing.

Donna called for wood fired bread, not gonna happen unless I build an outdoor oven, and over ripe tomatoes.  I had some good crusty bread in the freezer and some canned tomatoes.  Since the tomatoes had already been peeled and canned they worked out perfectly.

I only made 1/2 of the recipe but that was enough for 3 nice servings.  Next time I will make more.

Want to see more soup – visit Wednesdays with Donna Hay to see how the others liked my pick for this week.

The recipe is on page 24 of modern classics.  I also found it online if you want to try it out, too.

I have to admit I am not a fresh pear person.  There is something about the texture.  But put them in a pie, or in ice cream or in a tart and I am all over it.  Lucky for me this tart came around.  A silky dough filled with sweet pears and tart cranberries.


And with a scoop of vanilla bean ice cream on top – PERFECT!  And it was gone in no time. The Galette Dough that Dorie recommends (page 420) is soft and silky.  It can be difficult to work with but it’s pliability is also a plus for tarts or the Apple Pielets we made in October.  The only change I made was to use some pears I canned this summer from the trees.  They didn’t soften which I was glad of.  Nothing worse than mushy pears.

The tart baked up beautiful and brown.  I had sprinkled some Turbinado sugar on top and it just added to the flavor.


Want more tarts, then  visit Tuesdays with Dorie/Baking Chez Moi.

The recip is on page 132 of Dorie’s Baking Chez Moi

Last night when I baked pork chops I needed a different side. I had forgotten that the next week, this week, the Krieger theme for I Heart Cooking Clubs was SIDES. Lucky me when I just happened to pick this dish from Ellie’s The Food You Crave


These are super simple to make and done in about 40 – 60 minutes. (Depending on how thick you cut the ‘fries’.)

Peel and slice some medium sized sweet potatoes into ‘fries’, about 2 pounds or so. Toss with 2 Tbl EVOO, 2 Tbl honey, 1 tsp lemon juice and 1/2 tsp of salt. Make sure you mix the slices well with the ingredients. Bake at 400 for about 30 – 40 minutes. {Ellie says 350 for 60 minutes but I had mine in with the Pork Chops.}. The potatoes should be tender when they are done. Season with the salt to taste.

Check with the other ‘Clubbers” to see what Ellie Side they chose this week.

Quick? Yes! Simple? Yes! Tasty? Yes, yes, yes!


Small corn tortillas covered with refried beans {well, not here, but in the recipe} topped with browned ground turkey,corn, green onions, lots of cheese and tons of flavor from the chili powder, cumin, cayenne, and oregano. YES, PLEASE!!

This is definitely a repeat! Thanks, Kayte, for this one.

For more pizzas visit Eating with Ellie.

    ..of luck…

you get assigned to a blog for Secret Recipe Club that has lots of simple, and tasty, recipes. And that is what happened this month when my Secret Assignment was A Little Bit of Everything which is written by Julie WAY up in the plains Nebraska. And I mean way way up because I am WAY down in the Deep South of Louisiana. She has been blogging since 2009 and has a collection of recipes to prove it.

As usual, and we are all in the same boat each month, it was hard to find JUST ONE recipe for SRC so I tried several. And they were all good. And all simple.

It has FINALLY turned cool here which means I could enjoy a nice bowl of oatmeal {I don’t like oatmeal, or soup, in the summer. Just too hot! I know, I’m weird.} and lucky for me Julie had a Pumpkin Oatmeal on the blog.


It is full of all those wonderful pumpkin pie spices, pecans, and maple syrup. It was just right. I wish I had made more than just 1/2 of the recipe.

There was also a recipe for Butterscotch Pumpkin Muffins


Talk about tasty. Ditto on the pumpkin spices and then add in the butterscotch chips and it was a definite winner.

    1 3/4 cup flour, sifted
    1/2 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
    1/2 cup sugar
    1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
    1 teaspoon cinnamon
    1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
    1 teaspoon baking soda
    1/4 teaspoon baking powder
    1/4 teaspoon salt
    2 large eggs
    1 cup canned pumpkin
    1/2 cup butter, melted
    1 cup butterscotch chips

Preheat oven to 350.
In a large bowl, combine flour, sugars, ginger, cinnamon, cloves, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Create a well in the middle of the mixture.
In another bowl, whisk together eggs, pumpkin and butter. Stir in the butterscotch chips. Pour into the well of the dry ingredients. Fold together just until dry ingredients are moistened. Do not ove rmix.
Spoon batter into greased muffin tins. Spoon batter evenly into muffin tins.
Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean.

Place on a rack to cool.

    Oh, yeah, and then I drizzled some with caramel. MAYBE a little over the top, but hey….

We eat a lot of ice cream year round. Or at least The Hubs does. So I had to make Julie’s Cake Batter Ice Cream.


Okay, it wasn’t completely her recipe. I have fallen in love with the No Churn ice cream so I used her amount of cake batter {3/4 cup} in the no churn. What a great Idea!!! You can have your cake and ice cream at the same time. Add some sprinkles and it’s a party in a bowl!!

So here it is the weekend before the reveal and I still have about 10 items on my list from Julie’s recipes:

Which just happen to be the next three on my list. I cannot put my whole list so you bettr just jump on over to A Little Bit of Everything and check them out your self. AND, when you click on her lists they come up in PINTEREST!! Now why didn’t I think of that?

And for the rest of the SRC delights you can find them by clicking below:


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