The Kitchn Cure: Cure My Kitchen| Days 9 & 10

Meatballs in Tomato Sauce

The Kitchn Cure | Days Nine & Ten:

Cook yourself a meal/Plan a dinner party


This is my last post for The Kitchn Cure! Yup. It took me almost 3 months to finish a week-long project, but hey, hey — I did it! I’m actually not planning a party for the day 10 part, but I am throwing myself a little party for not bailing out after two months. Hehe.

The project itself really wasn’t hard, it’s just that it took me a long time to get things done because of the baby and a lack of motivation.

Anyway — On to day nine: cook yourself a meal!

I cook a lot in this here kitchen, but to wrap up this series of posts, I wanted to cook something extra special and share the recipe with you. This is one of my all time favorite recipes and a favorite in our home. Are you ready?

It’s meatballs!

Not just any old meatballs though, these are absolutely delicious! They are melt in your mouth-are there any more meatballs left, because I’ve been dreaming of them all night long-meatballs.

Meatballs in Tomato Sauce

They are a bit pricy to shop for, so they are good for special occasions, but be warned — you’ll be making up special occasions just to have an excuse to make these tasty things. These meatballs don’t get served with pasta. There’s no law that says you couldn’t make pasta with them, but really it isn’t necessary, so why waste your time. Throw together a simple salad, buy a fresh baguette, or make some garlic bread, but really, the meatballs are the prize.

Meatballs in Tomato Sauce – Makes Four Servings (about 32 meatballs)
adapted from Williams-Sonoma Essentials of Slow Cooking


For the meatballs:
2 pounds mixed ground beef, pork and veal
1 egg
1 small yellow onion (finely chopped)
1/2 cup fresh bread crumbs or panko
1/4 cup pine nuts (toasted)
1/4 cup grated Parmesan (or Romano) cheese
2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano
1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

For the sauce:
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 yellow onion (chopped)
3 cloves garlic (minced)
1 28 oz can diced tomatoes
1/2 cup dry white wine
2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil


Meatballs — Add all ingredients to a large bowl and use your hands to gently, but thoroughly, blend together. Form the mixture into meatballs 2 inches in diameter and set aside.

Sauce — Add the oil to a Dutch oven set over medium heat. Add the onion and sauté until softened, 4-5 minutes. Add the garlic and sauté for 30 seconds longer. Stir in the diced tomatoes and wine then bring to a boil.

Marry them together — Carefully drop the meatballs into the sauce and gently spoon the sauce over them. Bring the sauce to a simmer, reduce the heat to medium low, cover, and cook until meatballs are firm and cooked through, 20-30 minutes. Remove the Dutch oven from the heat and let stand for 5 minutes before stirring in the basil. Transfer to a serving platter or divide meatballs among plates.


As for the party planning.. Tonight I will be having a glass of wine, admiring my now functioning kitchen, and wondering just how long it will actually take me to tackle the January Cure that Apartment Therapy announced today. That’s right folks, I’ll be attempting another cure to start the New Year 🙂

The Kitchn Cure: Cure My Kitchen| Day Eight

calla lillies

Hurray! The day is finally here. This is the day I’ve been waiting for folks, the day where the task was to buy flowers! I haven’t bought fresh flowers for my home in a ridiculously long time. Too long, but with the cure I HAD to do it. Oh darn.

The Kitchn Cure | Day Eight:

Bring fresh flowers or a plant into the kitchen

I decided on calla lillies because they were inexpensive and looked more exotic than the other choices at my local market. I would have liked to get a money tree at Ikea, but that will need to wait until I’m in the area. For now, I’m perfectly happy with these pretty flowers 🙂

Only two tasks left to go and I will be done with the cure. It’s seriously taken me just under two months. Sheesh, I’m glad that I’ve stuck with it though! I have a big dinner planned for tomorrow, hopefully it will finish up this project for good!

Do you buy fresh flowers for your home frequently? When you do, what kinds do you like to buy?

We Hate Steak!


I used to complain about my mom always making chicken or steak for dinner when I was growing up. “It’s always chicken or steak! I hate steak! We had chicken the other day!” I wonder how many of the below conversations my mom had with me about the menu.

“Mom, what’s for dinner?”

“Pot roast and mashed potatoes but they won’t be ready for a few hours.”

“URGHHH. Why do you keep making stuff I don’t want?!”

“Well, what would you want?”

“We had steak yesterday. And. You know I hate steak.”

“You love steak. What would you like to eat?”

“You are always making stuff that I don’t like!”

“Well, what would you like to eat?”

“What is there?”

“Pot roast but it won’t be ready for a few hours.”


“I can make what you like to eat tomorrow. What would you like?”

“I’m ordering food from Golden Crust.”

“If you want to waste your money, then fine. But, what would you like for dinner tomorrow?”

“Yeah, I don’t want to waste my money. Can I get a sandwich at Wawa?”

“No, I’m not spending money. I made pot roast. You’ll like it. It’s good. What would you like tomorrow?!”

{he orders fries and mozzarella sticks; then eats dinner with us anyway}

“This is really good and I love the potatoes! It’s like roast beef!”

“That’s what pot roast is. Did you decide what you want tomorrow?”



“Mom, what’s for dinner?”

“Sandwiches from Wawa.”

“URGHH! You said it was my turn to pick!”

“You never answered me and I’m not going to the market now.”

“But I want hamburgers!”

I was one of four kids. Did my sister, brothers, or dad gave her lip about what she was cooking, too? How she didn’t give up making dinner every night of week, I’ll never know. She must have wanted to strangle me.

I’m sorry for being such a brat, Mom. I hope it brings a smile to your face knowing that karma has come back two-fold to bite me in my ass.

The Kitchn Cure: Cure My Kitchen| Day Seven

The Kitchn Cure | Day Seven:

Special Project

I really want to finish up the Kitchn Cure, so to speed things along, today’s post is a plan for the special project. We haven’t worked on it at all and don’t plan to for a few weeks. Or months. But, hammering down a plan is always a good start!

Click Image for Hardware Resource
Click Image for Hardware Resource

We plan on lightning up the room by putting a beautiful light grey color on the walls and a medium grey color on the cabinets. Once they are done we will be updating the cabinet and drawer pulls, as well as getting new invisible hinges.

We still are debating on the table and chairs I posted in the last wish list post, because now we are considering an island and then converting the attached room into a dining room. Big ideas. We will see if we have the guts to do any of it.

We will paint though hopefully someday soon! I can’t wait to get this Cure behind me! I can finally see the finish line ahead. As always, if you are working on the cure, link up! And don’t forget to click over and check out NaughteeBits progress below!

Live Blogging From Our Kitchen: He Don’t Need No Stinkin Recipe!

Tonight I’ve decided to try something different.. Live blogging, from the kitchen, while BF makes a yummy dinner.

Yumy chef

He’s trying something new tonight and so far I’m loving the ingredients..

These are the babysitters while we work..

They won't change no stinkin diaper!
They won’t change no stinkin diaper!

So what BF has done so far was finely chop mint, thyme, and rosemary and added them to a small container of riccota and then stirred in a palm-full of each Romano and Asiago cheese.

And I’ve been summoned to change poop…

Be right back!

False alarm! He just wants to eat. How awkward.


Now back to the food!!

Then he washed and rough cut carrots and snap peas — why, I don’t know yet..

While I was gone he :

  • pounded down some chicken breasts (with a rolling pin, need that meat tenderizer)
  • rolled some of the cheese mixture up into the breasts and tied with twine
  • poured some butter over each (need that pastry brush)
  • ground black pepper and fancy pink Himalayan salt (OOOh lala) over chicken


And I took a few more pictures but the battery on my camera died.

So, we will just let that charge

while the chicken bakes
at 400 degrees
for about 25ish minutes.

 Okay! Camera is back! Here is the chicken before it went in the oven:

not cooked yet

And here are the mysterious snap peas and carrots:


He just sauteed them with garlic, butter, salt and pepper.

Isaac is home in time to eat!

all i said was i love you that time!

It smells so good in here! Yay! Chicken is done!

Oh this smells and looks great!

This was such a great meal and a lot of fun to do!
So delicious!

The Kitchn Cure: Cure My Kitchen| Day Six

The Kitchn Cure | Day Six:

Consider appliances, gadgets and tools Day Six of the kitchen cure has been a lot of fun to get together. It was the easiest task I’ve done so far and only took as long as putting this post together. This is the day where you can either choose to buy items that will help you out in the kitchen (spend option) or make a wish-list of items you’d eventually like to purchase (no spend option). I chose the “no-spend” option and created a wish-list. I had such a great time coming up with this list, I hope you’ll enjoy looking through it!

Food Canisters

Food Canisters
The Container Store – $99.99

When we realized we needed new containers for dry food storage we decided on these Good Grips POP canisters. I didn’t want a whole set because I didn’t know what the small ones would be used for. Instead, we bought some large ones for flour, sugar, and cereals. These containers are really nice! What I like the most about them is the way they feel — solid but not heavy. The lid is fun, easy to use, and simple to clean. They are nice to look at and hardly take up any space in the cabinet. Now that I’ve had some time to think about it, I’d like to get the set. The little ones will be great for baking goodies like chocolate chips and toffee pieces! The other ones will be used for pasta, rice, nuts, our other flours and sugars.

Butter Crock

Butter Crock
Williams Sonoma – $35.00

Not exactly sure of what a butter crock is? Well, I’ll tell you! A butter crock is a ceramic container that allows you to store butter outside of the fridge. The butter stays soft and spreadable for 30 days! All you have to do is add a little cold water to the bottom of the canister and then press a softened stick of butter into the top. Cool right? We’ve been looking for one for quite a while but they aren’t usually stocked in the stores. I really love the color of this Le Creuset crock. I normally don’t like the ombre effect they use on their products now, but I do like it on this. It’s so cheerful that I wouldn’t mind seeing it out on the counter.

Basting Brush

Basting Brush
Sur La Table – $11.00

This is one of those tools that I never remember I need.. Until I need it! A basting brush isn’t used all that often here but when a recipe requires one I sure do have a hard time coming up with an alternative! I usually resort to dipping a paper towel in my liquid and attempt it brush it on. Or, I’ll use a small measuring cup to drizzle the liquid on. Neither method works well so this is definitely a tool we could use! What I really like about this Le Creuset brush is the color! The basting tip also feels very nice and I know it will be easier and more effective to use than my makeshift techniques.

Meat Tenderizer

Meat Tenderizer
Crate and Barrel – $16.95

I like to flatten my chicken breasts before pan frying them; I really love thin and crispy chicken! Normally when I need to pound the chicken I use a small sauce pan because I don’t have a tenderizer. This method works out okay but it is a little awkward and can be tiring. I also always wonder if I am damaging the handle on on my pot. This OXO Meat Tenderizer has a nice weight to it and fits comfortably in my hands. It offers two non-stick sides – one for tenderizing and the other for flattening.

The Kitchn Cure: Cure My Kitchen| Day Five


Day five of the Kitchn Cure was easy breezy as I didn’t really have anything to do. I had taken so long to get days 1-4 done that I had no choice but to go to the market during those days so we would have food to eat!

The Kitchn Cure | Day Five:

Restock Ingredients

I ended up throwing away a ton of spices on day 2 of the cure. Unfortunately spices are effing expensive. I couldn’t justify blowing my food budget for the month so I’ll be buying what I need, as I need it. I’ve already picked a few up, but I still need plenty more.

No worries! Tossing my collection of expired spices wasn’t something to cry over.

There were plenty of foods left in my pantry that didn’t need restocking. Aside from the random spices I’ve needed, I ended up only having to buy flours, sugars, and some canned items. I also picked up things that I normally stock up on like meats, snacks and produce.

I didn’t take pictures of my groceries because I wasn’t thinking ahead to day 5. Instead here are some pictures I took while using the groceries I bought to make butternut squash soup and a Quiche.

Well, this wraps up day 5. I’m really looking forward to the next post. It will be highlighting some things that we’ve either already purchased or items I’ve added to my wish list. I’ve never done a post like that before so I’m excited!

If you decide to do the Kitchn Cure let me know; I will happily link up to your progress! is linked up! Check out B’s Kitchn Cure Day Four post here

The Kitchn Cure: Cure My Kitchen| Day Four

Kitchn Cure: Day Four

Day four of the Kitchn Cure has certainly been the most rewarding (albeit time-consuming) part of the project. I’ve cleaned things that I never knew could be cleaned and if I didn’t know any better I’d think my kitchen was brand new.

The Kitchn Cure | Day Task Four: 

Deep clean every part of your kitchen.

Like days one, two, and three of the Kitchn Cure, this task was supposed to take 1-2 hours. At this point, I can’t help but to laugh. Who are these people? Either they have housekeepers that come in once a week, no children, no jobs, and are just super tidy neat freaks or they have ridiculous amounts of energy. I kid, I kid. (Sort of.)

If it took only 1-2 hours to deep clean every nook and cranny of your kitchen, well, my hat’s off to you. If you are like me (and the other 95% of the population) this task took at least 6 hours. We deserve high five’s AND a chest bump!

I didn’t want to burn myself out so I took the drag it out as long as you can approach. I worked on a big task most mornings and then did smaller things through out the days.

The big tasks were cleaning:

  • the outside of all the cabinets
  • baseboards
  • walls
  • behind the refrigerator — including vacuuming the coil & front grill
  • under the cooking range
  • oven

The small tasks were cleaning:

  • sink — shining it too!
  • under the sink
  • windows
  • dishwasher
  • utensil crocks
  • vases
  • furniture
  • coffee machine
  • back door
  • trash can/recycle bin
  • other things that I forget 😛

I was really worried about cleaning the inside of the oven but it wasn’t difficult at all. I confess to cheating by using Easy Off instead of the healthier alternative of baking soda, but hey, it’s clean. And now that I’ve found the easier way to do it, it’ll get done more than once every 5 years!

The hardest part was cleaning under the range. It was DISGUSTING. I was worried about the gas lines so I was super careful and took my time. The grease and gunk that had collected underneath the stove top were intimidating but I crossed my fingers then sprayed it good with Method all-purpose cleaner and let it sit for a few minutes. Let me tell you something — Method is the best cleaner I’ve ever used. Ever. We have all of their cleaning products, and I love all of them, but the all-purpose on is my absolute favorite! If you haven’t tried it, I highly recommend you do, you won’t be disappointed!

I’m looking forward to days 5-10, mostly because I am pretty much done all of them already! Since it was taking me such a long time to get days 1-4 done, I was accomplishing days 5 and 6 without intending to! Day 7 is a project “day” which inspired us to work on a few big projects. I know we won’t get them done in a day (maybe not even a week), but I’ll post about the master plan and then move on with the cure. Lastly, days 8-10 are all fun things (I am really looking forward to buying some flowers!) Yay!

I’m still super excited about the Kitchn Cure and I have no regrets. I have to say that I am impressed with myself for not throwing in the towel. If you decide to do the Kitchn Cure let me know; I will happily link up to your progress! is linked up! Check out B’s Kitchn Cure Day Four post here

The Kitchn Cure: Cure My Kitchen| Day Three

Kitcn Cure: Day Three

Day three of the Kitchn Cure has been a royal pain in my ass challenge. The assignment was to go thru tools, appliances and gadgets (including dishes, etc.) Easy enough, right? Wrong!

The Kitchn Cure | Day Task Three: 

Declutter appliances, gadgets and tools.

Like days one and two of the Kitchn Cure, this task was supposed to take 1-2 hours. That time frame just didn’t cut it for me. It probably could have, but I got all gun-ho during the first hour.


It took me a week annnnd I’m still not quite finished.

It’s all good though! I haven’t given up and while it felt like I was getting nowhere, I can see that I was getting somewhere.

The first hour of the cure was going well; I had moved all the glassware into one cabinet. I took a picture of the pretty new cabinet and feeling inspired, moved on to the bigger cabinet.

This cabinet had bugged me ever since 2011. Back when I re-painted the cabinets, I never got around to finishing all the insides. Since it was driving me crazy I decided that it was now or never.

I pulled everything out and got to cleaning and then painting but very quickly the project came to a 5 day halt because:

  • the baby woke up
  • I was exhausted
  • it was raining
  • I was overwhelmed
  • we had a wedding to attend
  • I had a hang-over

By Monday I couldn’t stand looking at the half done project anymore and quickly finished up the painting and shelf lining. A few hours later I finally put everything away.

Then I took another break.

Yesterday I wrapped up “day” 3 by rearranging some of our pots and pans. They aren’t staying where they are for too long though! We are picking out a pot rack to hang in the pantry area. I can’t wait to get that done.

It may take until December.

While rearranging the whole damn room I created a pile of things to donate. Once I drop everything off at Good Will our house will be roughly 150 pounds lighter. Okay, that’s an exaggeration.

I think.

I’m terrified to move on to Day Four: deep clean. I think the only thing to really worry about is the oven but the top of the cabinets are pretty gross, so we will see!

By the way, it feels really good to get all of this done! It’s almost as if I am creating a new kitchen. I already have a ton of freed up space and far less clutter! If you decide to do the Kitchn Cure let me know; I will happily link up to your progress! is linked up! Check out B’s Kitchn Cure Day Three post here

The Kitchn Cure: Cure My Kitchen| Day Two

Kitcn Cure: Day Two

After completing day two’s assignment of the Kitchn Cure our kitchen gained much-needed storage and counter space. I also have better insight on what might make the room function better. While working, I created two lists: one of foods that would need restocking and another of containers/organizing items we should buy.

The Kitchn Cure | Day Two: 

Declutter and clean your pantry and food storage areas.

Like day one, this task is also supposed to take 1-2 hours. I turned the assignment into somewhat of an event though. BF took little El to visit his parents, so as I cleared out all of our dry storage (baby-free!) I had a few beers. This slowed me down a bit, but none the less, I got my task done and had a good time doing it 😉

Believe it or not, I found only two ingredients in dry storage that had expired: spices and vinegar. THERE WAS A LARGE ASSORTMENT OF EACH! I even posted a picture on tumblr of the spice collection that was past its prime. Naughty cook! I never knew those two items could expire, but they do! And they did, some as far back as in 2006!

If you learn anything from this series of posts, let it be this: Check your spices for expiration!

Aside from the expired items tossed were many almost-empty packages and foods I knew we’d never eat. Again, my line of thinking was this: if I wouldn’t eat it this week then I won’t eat it ever and it was trashed.

Cleaning out the cabinets and pantry wasn’t hard at all. I just sprayed them with some Mrs. Myers and easily wiped them out. After the shelves were clean, the pantry floor got steam mopped and the flour, sugar, and rice canisters were washed. Lastly, shelf liner was added to the spice cabinet and the remaining food was put away.

I thought day two of the Kitchn Cure would be much harder than day one but it really it wasn’t! The process was quite enjoyable; there is something refreshing about getting rid of things that we won’t (or shouldn’t) eat!

If you decide to do the Kitchn Cure let me know; I will happily link up to your progress! is linked up! Check out B’s Kitchn Cure Day Two post here