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*sigh* Never fails. I decide to revive the blog, my laptop dies. Spectacularly. And very suddenly. Let’s hope that Best Buy can fix it, because it won’t even turn on! So in the meantime, I’m commandeering my son’s laptop. No idea what I’ll do this weekend after he leaves for his father’s house though…

I was impressed by how many comments I got on the last entry! It’s my record so far! Five whole people read this blog!!! (My mom isn’t one of them… *sob*) Don’t worry – I’m exaggerating slightly for comedic effect. One of my goals for this incarnation of “the blog” is to stop using emoticons as punctuation. SO HARD NOT TO ADD A WINKY FACE!!!!

There has been knitting, and there has been cooking, and there has been… well, there’s been a lot of napping and avoiding housework too.

On the cooking front… there have been a couple of occasions for me to try new recipes recently, and even though I have a cookbook collection that would make a professional chef cry, most of my inspiration has been coming from the internet. There are so many amazing food blogs out there, who has time to peruse books? Seriously though, I do intend to start taking my cookbooks off the shelf a bit more often. But it’s easier to share links with you guys – See? I’m just thinking of you! Okay, most of the time, I’ve been cooking at houses that aren’t mine, and therefore, my extensive cookbook collection hasn’t been at hand. I’ll just share a couple for today.

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Rob decided to throw himself a birthday party when we traveled back to Chicago from my house for New Year’s Eve. Little did I know he was going to use this as a ruse to propose to me in front of all his friends, but this meant I had to prepare food for a dozen or so people with 30 hours of prep time! (we arrived in Chicago around noon on Dec 30th, the party was at 8pm on the 31st, and there had to be a trip to the grocery store in there somewhere!)

I made these Sweet Potato Turkey Meatballs from the Jo Cooks blog, which were SO delicious and easy to make! (They’re also mostly Paleo and Whole 30 friendly, if you care about that sort of thing… you could always omit the breadcrumbs.) I’ll confess that I completely forgot to add the maple syrup, and opted not to add the hot sauce. They were still amazing! I also made some regular beef meatballs (I made those up as I went along – they’re meatballs, it’s not hard) because I wasn’t sure how well the sweet potato thing was going to go over with Rob – turns out, I needn’t have worried. He loved these too! Served the meatballs with three dipping sauces – some Honey Dijon I mixed up, Sweet Baby Ray’s BBQ sauce, and a homemade marinara that we used to make meatball subs with the next day!

I also made these Vegetarian Stuffed Mushrooms (oddly enough, also from Jo Cooks – I guess I should subscribe to her blog.) These were so good, I can’t wait to have an excuse to make them again! I had way too much stuffing for the number of mushrooms I had bought, but fortunately, I had also decided to stuff little baby bell peppers (which I couldn’t even TRY, but by all reports, they were pretty good, too). I omitted the bell peppers from the stuffing recipe, because I wouldn’t have been able to eat the mushrooms either. I will say that if you’re going to make the recipe, take the extra time and buy and chop FRESH parsley, as the recipe recommends. Dried just will not cut it here. And her tip about pre-baking the mushrooms before stuffing was spot on!

The last recipe I tried was for Cheese Balls. I ultimately ended up going with Martha Stewart’s recipe because it was simple and it made a lot (no kidding! TONS! Rob was eating it for weeks afterward!) I rolled one of the cheese balls in chopped pecans, and rolled the other in a mixture of shredded Asiago and Parmesan cheeses. They were a big hit served with crackers, pretzel chips and veggies – and very good folded into scrambled eggs the next morning! Am I the only one who feels slightly dirty when I say “cheese balls” repeatedly? Cheese balls. Cheese balls. Cheese balls. Sounds like I’m describing a medical condition or something.

I kind of wish I’d thought to take a picture of the table before we all attacked it, but sadly, I was too busy trying to get everything ready, and I haven’t yet trained Rob in the fine art of backing up the crazed hostess. (OMG I want to put a winky face there!!! Just one? No? oh fine…)

One final food blog to share with you before I go… this blog is written by a lady I know from Ravelry. Her cooking is legen…… wait for it… DARY! It’s called the One Girl Cooks blog and it’s written by Shelby Armitage – you need to go check her out (her dog is adorable too!) Next post will likely be picture-heavy and deal mostly with knitting, unless I get a job, in which case it will likely be several pages of me simply typing, “SQUEEEEEEEE”… but we’ll see!

(featured image borrowed from http://southbrucetourism.org/fall-2015-cooking-classes-in-teeswater/)

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