Spaghetti & Meatballs

This recipe doesn't make many appearances in my house, so it's a real treat for us. I rarely make these meatballs because, besides the tomato sauce and protein, this isn't exactly a "healthy" meal. Sure, you can make them healthy by using leaner meats like ground turkey, but what's the fun in that? I don't like substitutes, and have always been one to just stick with the real thing. These traditional meatballs were a blast to make. Sitting down to eat this comfort filled meal transported me to an italian home complete with "grandma's meatballs"...even though I made the meatballs :) You must try these meatballs. If you follow the directions, you are guaranteed the most fabulous, tender, mouth watering meatball. The secret lies in not overmixing or overpacking your meat. Also, I added milk-soaked bread to make them extra moist. I didn't add too many spices/herbs to the meatball mixture itself, because I wanted the natural flavors of the meat to shine, but play around with it as you wish. However, I can't stress enough, be very gentle with the meat. Overworking it will result in tough/dry meatballs. These freeze well too. I froze them and Neil ate very well during our massive snowstorms, chowing down on hearty meatball subs. I told him to make the most of them now because it'll be another year before he sees these again :)

See Recipe!


Chocolate Chocolate Cake

So after all my complaining of seeing no snow in No. Va for the last few years, we get slammed! This most recent snowstorm brought down two trees in my backyard, and Neil measured about 25 inches on our deck! But we got really lucky, because several people we know were out of power for the weekend, which is horrible. Despite our cabin fever, I must admit that the snow was a pleasant experience for us. Our neighborhood looked absolutely gorgeous, and being stuck inside with fully functional power, heat, water, and food was a blessing. That said, I won't run my mouth anymore, and I'm finally ready for an end to winter snow. However, mother nature has other ideas and we have more snow headed our way on Tuesday that could be an additional 10-20 inches!!!

Going back to the wkd storm...Neil even got us out of our neighborhood to make it to our friend's superbowl party on Sunday. The "party" turned out to be only 4 people, but hey, I was just happy to be out and about. We bought groceries early last week, so I had everything I needed to make this decadent cake. My last cake was strawberry, so I wanted to make chocolate this time...ALL chocolate. Hands down, my favorite chocolate cake recipe is an adaptation of Hershey's. This recipe yields the most incredible chocolate flavor with a wonderful moist, fluffy texture. To ice it, I found a luscious chocolate buttercream that has a unique taste due to the secret addition of ovaltine. I know it sounds weird, especially for me, because my memory of ovaltine is my mom forcing it down my throat and me refusing it. I hated anything deemed "healthy" when I was little. But don't knock this creamy, dreamy perfection till you've tried it! It's definitely the only chocolate buttercream recipe I'll use from now on, and the sole reason I have ovaltine in my pantry. I also threw in some homemade chocolate pastry cream and mini chocolate chips to fill/ice the cake. Is that enough chocolate in a cake? I thought it was sinfully perfect :)
At least I have leftovers to dig into as we anticipate the next big snow!