Our Favorite Italian Meatballs

On top of spaghetti all covered with cheese
I lost my poor meatball when somebody sneezed.
It rolled off the table, it rolled on the floor.
And then my poor meatball rolled out of the door.

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Actually, I’m not a fan of spaghetti and meatballs (though those with whom I reside are).  Eek! What?! Huh?! you say.  Nope.  I do, however, love a tomato sauce-simmered meatball on a crusty roll (highly recommend you make King Arthur Flour’s Crusty European-Style Hard Rolls) with melted provolone and fontina to hold it all together.  [Swoon]  Or a singular beauty right out of the pot with a soopa-big spoon.  [Kerplunk]  To each their own but nobody is every disappointed.

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Aiden’s Key Lime Pie Ice Cream Birthday Cake

 

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In our house, like many I guess, the tradition is that the birthday person gets to pick his or her birthday cake and I create it.  Some years ago, we went from my go-to domed ice cream cake creations (molded in the yellow Pyrex bowl) which were pretty easy to assemble and accommodated all sorts of flavor combos, to requests which were a bit elaborate for my skill level (read: patience with fiddly things).  For some reason – my bull-headedness perhaps – I would accept each challenge with generally reasonable success.  Quadruple chocolate ice cream layer cake?  Done!  Forty-seven-fruit-flavors-in-one ice cream layer cake? Done.  Banoffee pie as ice cream layer cake? Uh… Anyway.

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Dark Ale Chocolate Cake with Dark Ale Ganache

Deep rich chocolate cake with the subtle bitterness of a dark beer, hints of coffee and caramel, and covered in a thick dark ale ganache.

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I am in awe of – and look for – anyone who can take a dream, combine it with hard work, a lot of sweat and tears (hoping no blood) and turn it into a thriving business.  This is how we found New District Brewing.  It’s within walking (a stretch) and biking distance of our house.  It was born of a home-brewing business (I have a soft spot given BD’s foray into esophogeal-charring jalapeno beer which turned into our Christmas Eve traditional beer cheddar soup) and is now a brick-and-mortar business putting out some fine beers.  We’ve been going there since they opened in 2017 and are thoroughly enjoying the evolution of their beers. Altruistically, we support local.  Selfishly, we like good beers! Read More


Choco-Colada Cheesecake

Sitting atop an intensely chocolate cookie base is the creamiest coconut cheesecake swirled with dark chocolate throughout.  An indulgent crowd-pleaser of a dessert.

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I’ve been baking since I was a kid.  For a long time my repertoire was limited to cookies, brownies and sheet cakes. Nothing to sneeze at but I felt the need to expand my horizons.  My mother is queen of the layer cake so a phone call in that direction could always get her world-famous (or at least anyone-who’s-ever-tried-it famous) chocolate cake whipped up if’n you were in her good graces; so why bake when you could get delivery?!  It’s like DiGiorno only better.  And chocolate.  I decided my foray in a new direction would be “fancy” cakes and I would start with cheesecake.  Et viola!  The choco-colada cheesecake came to be in my life. Read More