Rainy Day Recipe (Daily December #7)

Today’s assignment was “Outdoor Lights.” I was all set to blog about December Nights – My husband managed to finagle a rare Saturday off, and we were prepared to brave the crowds and bring the boys.

Except then it was pouring.

Before children, rain (especially San Diego rain) was a thing of wonder and joy. It happens so rarely that I love to be outside in it. After children, however… Rain means traffic. And idiot drivers. And wet children. And attempting to locate dry surfaces for diaper changes. And worrying about the kids getting a chill. And… you get the picture. So instead of braving December Nights, we stayed in and made Italian Wedding Soup. It was a MUCH better choice, let me tell you. We followed this recipe from Whole Foods, with just a few changes. We let the boys run around in the kitchen while we prepped and cooked, and everyone had a blast. Every piece of tupperware we owned ended up on the floor but it was delightful.

italian wedding soup


1 pound organic ground beef
1/3 cup dried bread crumbs
3 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley
3 tablespoons grated Parmesan
2 tablespoons fresh chopped garlic
2 teaspoons dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 egg, beaten
pinch of cumin

2 tablespoons butter
healthy splash of olive oil
3/4 cup chopped yello2 onions
3/4 cup chopped carrots
2 tablespoons chopped garlic
1/2 teaspoon salt
Ground black pepper, to taste
4 cups chicken broth
1/2 can whole tomatoes, drained and halved
1/2 can diced tomatoes
1 cup uncooked orzo
2 cups shredded kale

Place beef, bread crumbs, parsley, Parmesan, garlic, oregano, salt, pepper, egg, and cumin into a large bowl and mix well using your hands. Use a teaspoon to measure out meat for even sized meatballs. With damp hands, shape them into 1-inch balls and transfer them to a large plate. Cover and refrigerate until ready to cook.

For the soup, melt butter in a large soup pot over medium heat. Add onions, carrots, garlic, a healthy splash of olive oil, salt and pepper and cook until translucent and fragrant, about 4 minutes. Stir in broth, tomatoes, and 2 cups water. Cover and cook 10 minutes over medium heat or until soup comes to a boil.

Add meatballs and orzo to the boiling soup and stir to make sure they are fully submerged. Cover and simmer for another 15 minutes over medium heat. Stir in kale. Test a meatball and a piece of orzo to ensure that they are fully cooked. Taste and adjust seasoning. Serve immediately.
(Modified from recipe originally posted here.)

Everyone enjoyed the soup, including the boys!

A Christmas Treat (Daily December #2)

Today I offer you a delicious cookie recipe, borrowed from a dear friend who Instagrammed these delicious morsels and made me drool. The recipe is originally from Taste of Home and comes with the tagline:
“Chock-full of cranberries, chocolate chips and nuts, these cookies are fun to eat. They offer a change of pace from traditional Christmas cookies…but don’t wait until December to make them. My family requests them all year-round.”

I don’t know about you, but I hate nuts in my cookies. I do, however, love a good white chocolate chip (and that was the modification suggested by said friend) so I was sold. Here’s hoping you love this slightly altered recipe as much as I did. (And a big thanks to my cookie co-cooker, Lindsay).

TOTAL TIME: Prep/Total Time: 25 min.
MAKES: 72 servings (this part is a huge lie. It made maybe 30. No one likes small cookies.)

1 cup butter, softened
1 cup sugar
2 Eggland’s Best Eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2-1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1-1/2 cups white chocolate chips
1-1/2 cups dried cranberries

In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar. Add eggs and vanilla; mix well. Combine the flour, baking powder and salt; gradually add to the creamed mixture and mix well. Stir in white chocolate chips and cranberries. Drop by rounded tablespoonfuls 2 in. apart onto ungreased baking sheets. Flatten slightly. Bake at 350° for 11-14 minutes or until set and edges are lightly browned. Cool for 2 minutes before removing to wire racks.

I don’t have any pictures of the cookies because we ate them all, so please accept this artificially Winterized photo of my adorable children instead. boys fake snow