October 14, 2016

Ready, Set, Weekend with Simply Beautiful Eating

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Everyone has a signature recipe right?  I’ve tinkered with a bunch of meatball concoctions and still circle back to this one each year when we make our high holiday meal. In fact, this is one recipe that can be made anytime because frankly? They are sooooo yummy!

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So, these are aptly referred to as Aunt Debi’s meatballs. Why? Because my niece AKA Little Miss Party gave them that handle and ever since I’ve passed along the recipe to her, she has shared it with others. Now, if memory serves me right, I think it was this meatball recipe that was given to a close male friend of hers. He wanted to make an easy meal to impress the lady he was starting to date.

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(Note: it was either these or my casserole that he made. I can’t remember and this story works better by adding the word “balls” into the equation so just ignore my babbling and read on)


They are married now so clearly his balls (my balls?) (these meatballs?) were cupid’s catalyst for love.

Okay, so what’s in them? Not really anything so secretive.

I start with the basics: ground chicken, eggs, seasonings and breadcrumbs. Oh, but wait. Not just any breadcrumbs…..they have to be fresh Challah crumbs. This was something my mom taught me. A meatball or a burger is really nothing spectacular until you add the noteworthy Challah crumb. Challah (or egg bread) is light, moist and literally bounces air into any ground meat mixture. Next time you try it let me know if my mom was right.


She’s always right.

Moving on to the sauce. It’s easy.  A jar of store bought spaghetti sauce. One tin of tomato sauce, one tin of tomato paste, some brown sugar and then once they have cooked for an hour, throw in a can of whole cranberry sauce and 1 can of ginger ale or sprite. Ya, you heard me. There’s soda pop in DEEZE balls. Most likely why they taste so good.

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Keep in mind, these are special occasion balls. You are not going to be eating a sugary main dish every day (even though the thought has crossed my mind over and over again).


2 – 3 packages ground chicken (about 3 – 4 lbs)
3 eggs (rule of thumb, use 1 egg for each pound of chicken)
3-4 pieces of challah, processed into fine crumbs ( same rule of thumb, one slice for each pound of meat)
pinch of kosher salt and a few grinds of fresh pepper
¼ cup regular dry breadcrumbs
Sauce #1:
1 jar plain spaghetti sauce
1 small tin tomato sauce
1 small tin tomato paste
3 tablespoons dark brown sugar
Sauce #2:
1 tin whole cranberry sauce
1 small can ginger ale, sprite or 7 up

1. Mix all ingredients for the meatballs and set aside.
2. In a large pot or dutch oven, bring ingredients for sauce #1 to a slow boil.
3. With wet hands, form a golf ball size meatball and drop into simmering sauce. Once all your meatballs are in the pot, DO NOT STIR. In fact, step away from the pot for at least 10-15 minutes. This is the trick to ensure that your meatballs don’t transform into a MEAT sauce.
4. Give the pot a good shake once you see the meatballs look lightly cooked. Cover and simmer for one hour.
5. For the second hour, add sauce #2 ingredients into the pot. Continue simmering for another 60 minutes covered. Can be made ahead and frozen or served hot.

P.S. I completely forgot to add in the tomato paste when I made these last week because I dunno why. No one knew the difference and there were absolutely NO leftovers in sight. But you can be darn sure that next time, I’m stashing a few extra balls for myself.

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See ya next week!


xx, Debi
Party conversation
  1. mandala tapestry

    Very nice thanks for sharing……..

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October 13, 2016

Mandy’s Meals & More


The December Holidays are a big deal around here at Little Miss Party. We love any excuse to get the whole family together. Making healthy food that the kids will eat is always a challenge. This seasonal salad has crispy, flavorful chicken tenders and sweet cranberry dressing. Chicken fingers in a salad? That should seal the deal. Happy kids, happy parents. Enjoy the holidays, xx  


Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cooking Time: 16 Minutes

Serves 2 as a Main/4 as an Appetizer

Winter Spinach Salad

3/4 cup sliced almonds
3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1/3 cup olive oil
1/4 cup fresh cranberries
1 1/2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon chopped garlic
Pinch Salt & Pepper to taste
1 can mandarin oranges, drained or 2 fresh mandarins peeled & segmented
1 pound spinach

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Arrange almonds in a single layer on a baking sheet. Toast in oven for 5 minutes, or until nuts begin to brown. Watch carefully to avoid burning
In a food processor, combine the vinegar, oil, cranberries, mustard, garlic, salt, and pepper. Blend until smooth.
In a salad bowl, toss the almonds, mandarin and spinach with the vinaigrette
Note: salad dressing would make a beautiful dip for the tenders if you prefer not to mix! 


Chex Rosemary Dijon Chicken Tenders

3 cups Rice Chex™ cereal, crushed
2 tablespoon fresh rosemary chopped
1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 cup dijon mustard
1 lb boneless skinless chicken tenders

Preheat oven to 400F on cover with parchment paper
Meanwhile, crush cereal in zip top bag using a rolling pin and chop rosemary
Mix crushed Chex™, rosemary and garlic powder in bowl
Cover tenders with dijon on both sides
Place each tender in Chex™ mixture covering each side, pressing mixture into mustard
Bake 8 minutes on one side, flip tenders over and bake for another 8 minutes









Looking for more delicious, Chex-inspired DIY recipes? Head on over to Chex.com for plenty of simple and healthy ideas!

xx, Seri
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October 7, 2016

Ready, Set, Weekend with Simply Beautiful Eating

What’s wrong with me? I think the reason I can’t sleep lately is partly due to the fact that I’m too busy creating my own dictionary.

Ya, that’s right. When I hit the pillow at night you would think that I would just simply drift off into la la land, but NO, my mind has words that “flitter” through my head like fairy dust. By the way, flitter is one I just made up right now.

One that I recently conjured up (while tossing, turning and listening to Steve snore) is CRIE. A cross between a crisp and a pie. Remember my Scobbler  last year? Uh huh….that was a good one too.

My colleague at work has been buying local peaches for the past month. I’ve seen them, but walked by and then regretted it.

Well folks, this was the last of the local peaches in this neck of the woods for the season. I have to say, I’m not a big peach lover. I think it’s the fuzz. One way to mask that furry exterior is to bake em’ in a pie or throw them into a crisp or crumble. I think my idea was a good one. A nutty, sweet and sticky peach crisp with the addition of pie crust leaves and flowers.


This really looks quite nice, don’tcha think?

Wait. I almost forgot to tell you something. One of the only reasons I made this CRIE was because I had a set of 100 fondant cutters in my studio that I had yet to play with.

As you can see, I didn’t let up with just a few……..I went a bit cutter crazy.

But then again, it’s my party and I’ll CRIE if I want to.

(I bet you knew that was coming, right?)

Deep Dish Peach Crie

The Filling:
-6-7 cups thinly sliced peaches (about 7-8 medium peaches)
-¼ cup all-purpose flour
-¼ cup brown sugar, loosely measured
-½ cup white sugar
-1 package vanilla sugar or ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
-¼ teaspoon kosher salt

The Topping:
-¾ cup brown sugar
-⅔ cup all-purpose flour
-⅔ cup old-fashioned rolled oats (large flake)
-1 tsp ground cinnamon
-¼ teaspoon kosher salt
-1 cup chopped pecans, walnuts or almonds, unsalted
-½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted

Pie Crust Topping:
-1 recipe pie crust dough, cut into pretty shapes if desired (store bought or homemade is fine)
-1 egg beaten
-coarse sugar

1) Preheat oven to 350F. Lightly grease a deep baking dish and set aside.
2) Make your filling by combining the peaches, flour, both sugars, salt, and vanilla in a large bowl. Toss gently until combined. Spoon into prepared baking dish.
3) Make your topping by whisking brown sugar, flour, rolled oats, cinnamon, salt & pecans together. Using a fork or spatula pour in melted butter and toss until you have a nice crumbly mixture.
4) Sprinkle topping over the peaches evenly and press it down lightly with your hands. Take your pie crust shapes and evenly distribute over the top of the crisp, leaving spaces in between. Brush pie crust shapes with beaten egg and sprinkle coarse sugar over top.
5) Bake for 50 to 55 minutes or until evenly browned on top. Serve warm with ice cream if desired.

xx, Debi
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September 30, 2016

Ready, Set, Weekend with Simply Beautiful Eating

I have to be honest. The amount of cooking that I actually do lately during the week has drastically dwindled. Now, that’s not withstanding the shoots that are part of Simply Beautiful Eating. Those are created during the weekends, take an entire day and we have loads of leftovers afterwards.

The reason for my lack of cooking is twofold:

1) It’s just the two of us now, so we don’t care if we eat straight out of a pot and;
2) I like going to my yoga class after work.

This would never be possible if I wasn’t married to a great husband who is a wiz in the kitchen. Steve prepares the full meal and all the trimmings and I’m in charge of setting the table, a truly daunting task, wink wink.

So I bet you’re wondering why I’m telling you all of this.


The other night, I made a salad. Aren’t you impressed?

This is what happens when I’m in charge.

Kale, Fig & Plum Salad with Goat Cheese

-1 bag of kale salad mix or 5 cups of fresh kale
-2 cups shredded nappa cabbage
-3 – 4 fresh figs, sliced in half
-2 red plums, sliced
-¼ cup goat feta cheese (if you can’t find goat/feta use either one)
-2 tablespoons pine nuts
-2 tablespoons dried fruit, cranberries, raisins or apricots
-Creamy Avocado Poppyseed dressing (recipe below)

Place kale and cabbage on a platter or in a salad bowl. Arrange sliced plums over the top, sprinkle with cheese, nuts and dried fruit. When ready to serve, toss with salad dressing.

Vegan Poppyseed Dressing
-2 tbsp avocado mayonnaise (for this one I used Chosen Foods avocado mayo)
-2 tsp Kozliks balsamic fig & date mustard (if you can’t find this, dijon mustard will do)
-1½ tbsp avocado or olive oil
-2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
-1 tsp lemon juice
-1 tbsp maple syrup or honey
-1 tbsp poppy seeds
-1 garlic glove, peeled and smashed
-dash of kosher salt & pepper

Mix all ingredients well in a blender or food processor. Serve over salad. Can be stored in fridge for up to one week.

See you next week!

debi @simplybeautifuleating

xx, Debi
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September 23, 2016

Ready, Set, Weekend with Simply Beautiful Eating

I know this is news that you don’t want to hear, but yes folks, summer is almost over! WAAAAAAAAAAAA!

Only a couple more days until the next season begins, leaves turn from a green to a variety of vibrant fall colours and then drop to the ground. Why is it that my favourite season seems to fly by so quickly? WHY!!!

I’m truly a summer kinda gal and love using all the fresh provisions from our garden (which by the way, I have nothing to do with when it comes to planting, growing and tending).

This year we had a tenant take up space in the garden. A tiny bunny who I aptly named Alice. You may have followed Alice’s adventures on my snapchat and fell in love with her like I did. Steve didn’t care for her too much but I have caught him talking to her in this very high sweet voice on occasion. I wish you could have witnessed that, so heartwarming to hear him bond with Miss Alice Hippityhop.

Now listen. Although Alice looked innocent and cute, she completely had no shame and moved in the second she saw Steve planting the first seeds in the garden. His intent, as it is every year, was to grow a variety of beautiful tomatoes, summer squash, herbs and other vegetables.

It made no difference to Alice that we set up a high energy sprinkler system that works on a sensor. The second something passes by it shoots water out to supposedly deter the culprit from remaining in the garden area.

Well, guess what? Nine times out of ten, it was ME who got soaked by that stupid contraption, while Alice sat there snuggled amongst half eaten squash and tomatoes…… laughing. Ya that’s right. After all, this was her garden now.

So as we near the end of this beautiful season, the remnants of our crops were few and far between (BECAUSE OF ALICE). I gathered as much as I could before Alice had a chance to consume her three square meals a day.

I decided to make this late summer flatbread before it was too late. It’s a compilation of  berries, blue grapes, tomatoes, edamame, basil, corn all topped with combo of fresh ricotta and bocconcini cheese.

Total yum factor = 10+.

Welcome to the family Alice!

Late Summer Flatbread

-1 large flatbread
-¼ cup edamame pesto – recipe below
-½ cup sliced bocconcini cheese balls
-¼ cup fresh ricotta cheese
-¼ cup fresh grilled corn salad (mix corn with 1 tbls dried cranberries 1 tsp avocado oil & a sprinkle of salt & pepper)
-¼ cup each sliced yellow zucchini & baby eggplant, steamed
-¼ cup sliced peaches
-¼ cup fresh raspberries
-¼ cup seedless blue grapes
-¼ cup yellow cherry tomatoes
-fresh basil for garnish

1) Preheat oven to 400F.
2) Place one flatbread on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
3) Spread with edamame pesto and top with all remaining ingredients.
4) Bake for 15 minutes or until nice and bubbly. Garnish with fresh basil and serve warm.

Edamame Pesto

-1 bag frozen edamame (about 3½ cups)
-1 cup chopped fresh basil
-1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
-2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
-1 small garlic clove, finely minced
-1/2 cup pine nuts, walnuts or almonds
-½ teaspoon salt
-¼ teaspoon pepper
-¼ cup avocado oil (or extra virgin olive oil)
-¼ cup water or vegetable broth

1) Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add edamame and cook until slightly tender (about 3 minutes).
2) Drain and let cool to room temperature.
3) In food processor, pulse together edamame, basil, lemon zest, lemon juice, garlic, nuts, salt and pepper until roughly chopped. Drizzle in oil and ¼ cup water or vegetable broth; pulse until you get a thick paste.
4) Makes about 2 cups. Can be stored in fridge for up to a week.

xx, Debi
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