Party…Meatballs…Party Meatballs!


Who doesn’t love a game night? My girlfriends & I decided last minute to throw together a game night with the boys- Apples to Apples, charades, a bunch of grub & plenty of booze.

In terms of the grub, I decided to make party meatballs!  I am sure you have all tasted these succulent lil balls of joy – these babies are packed with flavor & are so quick to make & easy to take anywhere for an appetizer.

My mom made these all the time while we were growing up – they even made a cameo in her Christmas gift cookbook . So when I got to the grocery store I knew what to buy. However, after picking up the three original ingredients I decided to also make a clean, healthy batch of meatballs to see how they would stand up to the original recipe.

Original Dirty Cocktail Meatballs (unhealthy):

  • 1 bag of frozen Italian meatballs (32count)
  • 1 jar of concord grape jelly
  • 1 container of chili sauce

Clean Cocktail Meatballs (healthy):

  • 1 bag of frozen turkey meatballs (28count) 
  • 1 14oz jar of unsweetened ketchup
  • 1/4C of A1 sauce
  • 1T minced garlic
  • 1t dijon mustard

Both of the recipes are simple – dump all the ingredients into a crockpot or stovetop pot and cook until warm.  If you pick stovetop it will take around 30minutes & crockpot on low could take a few hours. Choose whatever method your lil’ heart desires.

Both batches of meatballs were a hit! Especially to my husband who claims he ate 30 (he also was drinking my peanut infused vodka so who knows the truth, hehe).  The healthier meatballs definitely went faster than the dirty ones. Next time I think I will prepare them as sliders – the original meatballs would get cinnamon raisin buns & the clean meatballs would get multigrain buns. Both toasted, mmmm mmm!  This recipe might make another appearance sooner rather than later!

Note: the below nutritional info includes ALL the sauce, a lot of which was left in the bowls after the meatballs were gone.

Nutritional Info Per Dirty Ball (Makes 32 Meatballs): 150 calories – 6 grams of fat – 18 carbs – 5 grams of protein
Nutritional Info Per Clean Ball (Makes 28 Meatballs): 50 calories – 3 grams of fat – 3 carbs – 5 grams of protein

made from love…momma love


Christmas present of the year award goes to…Momma Lehrian! Seriously, she hit it out of the ballpark!

Weeks before Christmas my mom was being major sneaky about a “top secret” project she was working on for us kids as a holiday gift…always had to hang up the phone to run an errand for it or call us back cause she was busy with it. Nosy me thought of everything possible she could be doing – my bro was having a something with that? all three girls in the family got married in 2012…was that it? Maybe a trip?  Nope. None of it. She trumped all of my ideas!

On Christmas morning she was handing out gifts – sweaters, socks – really typical presents. Then she passed around a bag to each kids wife/hub – a bag full of legit WS  kitchen supplies – measuring cups, timers, hot pads, spatulas, slotted spoons..the list goes on.  We all looked at my mom, thanked her for the goodies, she said your welcome & began tearing up.  All of us confused, she placed three boxes on her kids laps – we opened it up at the same time…

It was a recipe binder. Not just any recipes – all of them hand written by our mom. Family recipes that we grew up with. Recipes from her dearest friends, my mom’s egg casserole that she makes every Christmas Eve, my stepdad’s coconut fish he makes during the summer & even my grandma’s meatloaf she always made when she was still here.


All kids cried. My mom cried. A very emotional way to end our Christmas morning, but honestly the best way & I will never forget it.

I will no doubt be doing this for my kids (when I have them) & I can only say that any mother out there should do the same! It will always be cherished in our home.

Now I have to get to some cookin’ – there is a binder of mouth-watering recipes waiting for me!

Merry Christmas & Happy New Year!

Pumpkin Gingerbread Cupcakes with Spiced Buttercream Icing

gingerbread cupcake

Yum in the tum for real. This is one heck of a tasty recipe that I made for the holidays – brought to our families Thanksgiving dinner & my hubs office for treats before Christmas break. Let me tell you…I was a hit, on both occasions! Next holiday season I will take a better picture – this one doesn’t even do it justice!

  • Preheat oven to 350degrees
  • Toast 1/2C walnuts for 10minutes or until golden – set aside
  • In large bowl mix:  1 & 2/3C all purpose flour, 1 & 1/4t baking soda, 2t pumpkin pie spice, 1t salt, 1t baking powder & 1/8t ground cloves
  • In a medium bowl add: 1 can pumpkin (NOT canned pumpkin pie), 3T maple syrup, 3/4C sugar, 1/3C softened coconut oil, 1/4C molasses & a chia egg (1T chia seeds/3T water)
  • Add wet mixture into dry bowl & blend all together – fold in walnuts
  • Line pan with baking cups & place in oven for 50-60minutes or until toothpick comes out clean – set cupcakes on wire rack to cool

While cupcakes are baking away make the ever so tasty buttercream! Watch out, if you taste test you won’t stop tasting!

  • In food processor blend 1/2C softened Earth Balance original, 1 & 3/4C confectioners sugar, 1t vanilla extract, 1T pumpkin pie spice & 1T almond milk
  • Scrape sides when needed – add more almond milk if necessary
  • Set aside & wait for the cupcakes to cool before icing

This is def a higher calories dessert…cause you all know I am going in for seconds with this one. However, it is the holidays & this is such a scrumptious treat – INDULGE!

Find original recipe here.

Nutritional Info Per Cupcake w Icing (16 Cupcakes): 290 calories – 13 grams of fat – 40 carbs – 3 grams of protein
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