Tiny Test Meatballs & Bring on the Snow!

For days, they’d been hyping a big winter storm for us this weekend. Colorado is in the bullseye, but the system is so large it was expected to spread copious amounts of snow our way, too.

With this in mind, we took the necessary precautions. I brought my laptop home from work just in case, took the snowblower out of storage, and hit the grocery store a little earlier than usual in order to avoid the crowds.

That was a fail.

Jeeze, you’d think these people had never seen snow before. Then again, I was at the tail end of said line, so I really can’t be throwing shade, can I?

We woke up bright and (too) early (damn you, Daylight Saving Time), but there was nary a flake to be found. As the hours ticked by and the radar showed that band of snow remaining stubbornly to the south, I was beginning to think we were going to get the shaft. I went for a hike in the Skyline Wilderness Area, just for something to do. Aside from a few flurries, nothing much was happening.

This was early afternoon.

And then, bam. Just two hours later, the scenery looked dramatically different.

We’ve now had heavy, wet snow falling for several hours and there is at least 3″ on the ground. They’re predicting 6-12″ before it’s all over. Which is actually great, because we’re in the midst of a drought and really need the moisture. And if roads are terrible in the morning, I’ve got my laptop, so I’m set.

With wintry weather in full swing, it seemed like a good day for spaghetti. I have a family recipe that’s been passed down through the ages, and it’s a bit labor intensive but so worth the effort. I’ve got a pot of that going on the stove and the house smells amazing.

I know people start longing for summer weather this time of year, but there’s a lot to be said for a cozy house full of delicious smells.

BTW, I finally figured out the secret to perfect meatballs. Whenever I’ve made them in the past, they’re hit or miss. Sometimes they end up perfectly seasoned, other times they are bland. A few months ago, Tara mentioned she’d read an article that suggested you make a tiny test meatball, cook it up, and taste it. Then, you adjust the seasonings as needed. This seems so obvious in retrospect, but I never would have thought to do it before. Genius!

Now, I’ve got perfect meatballs every time.

Got any practical cooking tips you’d like to share? Let me know in the comments!

31 thoughts on “Tiny Test Meatballs & Bring on the Snow!

  1. I’ve never understood the rush to the store thing here. I mean, who doesn’t have enough food in their house to last them 2-3 days?

    My tip is to use a butter knife to cut open an avocado. I always used a sharp knife and found it to be hazardous before I figured out that a regular silverware knife works just as well. Also, ALWAYS use the lasagna noodles that don’t need boiled first. It’s the real trick to delicious lasagna.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Saturday morning is my usual grocery day anyway. I actually didn’t think there might be people stocking up for snow until I got there.

      I agree: I always use a butter knife for the avocado. I value my fingers too much.


  2. Mmm. Tiny meatballs.

    My biggest cooking hack is that if I dont feel like draining ground beef, I just add some breadcrumbs. Soaks it up, don’t have to drain it.

    You can keep your snow. Im good.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Glad you got back from your hike before the snow hit. And I agree, if you’ve got everything you need at home, why not stay there and be cozy?

    My problem withe the test meatball is that you’ll have heated the oven and then used all that energy for one tiny ball. Then the oven will stay heated while you perfect and roll up the rest of the meatballs. That inefficiency would bother me. I’d rather take note of how much of each spice I use, then adjust as necessary each time until I have the perfect proportions written down for posterity.


    1. Ahh, but I didn’t heat the oven…it was just a small pan over one burner for, like, two minutes. I’m all about saving the earth and all that hippie shit, but that doesn’t use too much energy!

      Plus, my problem is, I don’t measure out seasonings. I totally eyeball them. I suppose if I adopted your method I wouldn’t have to make the test meatball, but where’s the fun in that?

      Liked by 1 person

  4. A test meatball! That’s genius. Of course I’d never think of that. I agree about the cozy cooking odors inside the house in the winter. It’s relaxing in a different way than lazing on the deck in the summer breeze. Both are lovely, but it’s easy to forget that.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Meataballz for the win! My tips would include ground veal and pecorino!:P I agree, one of winter’s joys is the smell of long-simmering yummies. Really adds to the cozy house vibe 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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