how to stress yourself in the kitchen

For my birthday, I decided to do little celebrations here and there with different people so that I would get to enjoy it little by little and not get stressed out at all.

So on Wednesday I was supposed to make dinner for my parents and my brother: Since they usually take me out to dinner (and pay) and unfortunately they know I cook all the time and have a food blog, they started teasing me about how I never cook for them and yada yada.

Which ended up with me in the kitchen in the very day of my birthday, but unable to enjoy myself all that much because I had procrastinated all afternoon and went a bit overboard with the planning of the menu. You see, I had decided all on my own in my crazy little head that I was going to make: spicy meatballs, a dipping sauce, humus and a quinoa salad. Not only that, I was also planning to bake a fancy dessert.

spicy mealballs

Someone was trying to help me or the universe loves me, because my mom called and said she would take care of dessert… otherwise, I would have been even more buried up to my head in the kitchen.

So I started to prepare everything at 7.30 pm (they were supposed to arrive at 9… nice timing). The meatballs were pretty easy… though there was a tiny problem, I didn´t have any eggs, not a single one, so I had to call up a friend to bring me an egg, yep, you don´t wanna be friends with me haha

That problem solved, I just stuck the meatballs in the fridge while I took care of the rest of my menu. Luckily, I had been sensible enough this time around and bought canned kidney beans for the humus… for some reason I think that boiling kidney beans for an hour wouldn´t have been all that plausible at that particular moment.

The quinoa preparation went smoothly, though by the time I was done, my family had arrived and I really needed to take a shower, so off I went while my mom shaped the meatballs (yes, I know, I am an awesome hostess).

I didn´t fry the meatballs because they were too many and it would have been even more stress. I just put them in the oven for 30 minutes or so with a bit of oil and that was it.

spicy meatballs, humus, soy-sesame dipping sauce, quinoa salad

Luckily, the stress was worth it because everything was delicious. And my mom made me a great cake (she even managed to find strawberries by the end of summer), so it was the perfect ending to the day.

birthday cake

But please remind me to take it easy next time, otherwise, I´m going to start wrinkling from all that frowning over the stove!

(Recipe after the jump)

Spicy meatballs (adapted and translated from La Cocina de Mauricio y Eduardo)

ground beef or ground lamb, 1 kilo (2 pounds)

scallions, 3

garlic, 2 cloves

egg, 1

bread crumb, 80 g

milk, 2 tablespoons

paprika, 2 tablespoons

tomato extract, 1 tablespoon

chopped cilantro, 2 tablespoons

salt and pepper

oil for frying

Sesame dip

soy sauce, 100cc (make sure it´s not too salty)

rice wine, 50cc (I used rice vinegar for sushi and it worked fine)

sesame oil, 1 tablespoon

scallion, 1 (finely chopped)

toasted sesame seeds, 1 teaspoon

grated ginger, 1 teaspoon

1. Place the meat, the chopped scallions and garlic, the egg, the bread crumb (previously soaked in the milk, bread crumb as in the inside part of the bread), the paprika, the tomato extract, the chopped cilantro and the salt and pepper in a bowl.

2. Mix everything together (being a tough mix, your best bet is to use your hands). Let it rest so that all the flavors meld together.

3. Form meatballs the size of a nut. Let them rest in the fridge for 1 hour.

4. Fry them in an abundant amount of oil and dry them in paper towels. (I cooked them in the oven in a pan with some oil and they turned out great as well).



Filed under food, savory

7 responses to “how to stress yourself in the kitchen

  1. Awww Happy belated Birthday, Marce!! Although you were stressed in the kitchen, it still sounds like you had a really nice evening, am happy to hear that =)

    Did Phoebe get her mom a good birthday present?

    The lil meatballs look sooooooooo good! Kinda like major drool-worthy good! 😀

  2. Happy birthday to you.
    Your birthday dinner looks amazing. Especially those meatballs. I’m in love and now starving.

  3. moveablefeast

    What a great meal. Your combination of spicy meatball with the “asian” dip is genius!

    Phil @

  4. I’m sure your meal was better than you’d get in a restaurant anyways!

    I just tried quinoa for the first time last week and I really like it.

  5. Happy belated birthday!
    Love the recipe for the meatballs. I like it so much, I have already printed it out for tomorrow’s dinner.

  6. HAPPY BELATED BIRTHDAY MARCE! Hope you had a great day… well, it most certainly looks like you have a great birthday dinner 😉

    Hope Phoebe is doing well. More picture of your little puppy, please! 🙂

  7. Lisa- Thanks. Nope, Phoebe didn´t get me any presents, but she is behaving quite well lately, so that´s a good enough present in my book! I´m gonna have to post most pics of her soon, at almost 3 months, she´s waiting in at 25 pounds, so it won´t be long before she´s no longer this cute little bear.

    Kristen- Thanks. The meatballs are even easy to make and I was left with plenty of leftovers because I doubled the recipe, so I froze them and today I had a meatball taco with some humus, delicious!

    Phil- Thanks, though I can´t take credit for that idea since it was suggested in the book 😉

    Brilynn- Yeah, true, more stressful but better than what you get at many restaurants. And I agree about quinoa, it has a lovely flavor, and when toasted, it gets a nutty flavor that is highly interesting.

    Helen- Do let me know how tonight´s dinner goes, though I´m sure it´ll be perfect because this is one of those recipes when you can substitute a few ingredients to suit your own tastes and it works perfectly anyway.

    yue-li- Thanks. Yep, Phoebe is doing great, and luckily in just a month I´ll be able to take her out for walks, which will do wonders for me and especially for her, that energy needs to be burnt! haha

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s