Irish Stew Meatballs (Gluten Free)

Ready for another of my “round food that is at least vaguely Irish themed” recipes from our St. Pi-trick’s Day Party?

I love Irish Stew. When done properly, it’s such a simple dish, but with a lot of good, “clean” flavor. It’s a hearty meal that really lets the individual flavors take the spotlight: Perfectly cooked carrots and parsnips, at just the right level of tenderness… fresh parsley, good meat. Yum!

As Irish stew may be, well, Irish, there’s nothing “round” about it, aside from the bowl it’s served in. I decided I’d create a meatball, themed around the flavors of Irish stew.

Oh, these were fabulous… and pretty much flew out of the crock pot they were served from! The carrots, parsnips, and parsley added a ton of flavor to the meatballs, the texture was great, and it all came together perfectly.

While these were specifically designed to be gluten free (though you’d NEVER know it, to taste them!), feel free to substitute “normal” crackers and flour, if gluten isn’t a concern.

Enjoy!
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How to Custom Design and Install a Nerdy Granite Tile Backsplash

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My tornado memoir – “Twisted” was released on 05/22/12! click here for more details, or to purchase!
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So, I know it’s not EXACTLY food related… but tiling an awesome back splash is KITCHEN related, and tutorials are *almost* recipes, right? I swear this is actually a food blog…!

Remember back when I debuted the photos of our finished bathroom renovation, with Fibonacci sequence tiled into the main wall, and a few digits of pi tiled behind the toilet? It was a last minute design idea, and it was to be a subtle, small nod to our nerdiness.

Well, one thing led to another… and now we have 159 digits of pi tiled into our kitchen backsplash. If you follow me on Twitter, you’re probably sick of hearing about it by now… but I not only have the final photos, I have a tutorial on how to do it yourself!

Now, I know we went sort of nuts with the pi day celebrations last year… but this really takes it to a whole new level. We’re happy to have this in place in time for this year’s party, but… damn. No idea how we’ll top this for Pi day 2013. Or, you know, 2015, when we should really go all out! (3/14/15!)

I guess the one good thing about getting your house destroyed by a tornado is that it forces you to get off your butt, make a bunch of design decisions and actually DO renovations on the house, rather than just talk about “someday, it would be cool if…”.

We still have quite a ways to go, but the house really is looking great. We won’t have cabinet faces and doors for a WHILE – still waiting for the lumber we had milled to be properly dried, so we can build all that. Oh well. I think the fact that the black walnut that destroyed our kitchen is being used to rebuild it is badass enough to be worth the wait! Anyway…

Now, I realize that the odds of anyone else tiling pi into their kitchen is fairly slim… but this tutorial is also good for anyone who wants to put in a new backsplash, but with a personal twist. The photos and specifics here are for pi, but the principles can apply to any design you can think up, with 2″ x 2″ tiles.

For instance..

– Using two favorite colors to create a custom checkerboard design, should you not be happy with the small amount of pre-fab options out there.

– If you look at the tiles as “pixels”, you can do pretty much anything you can come up with that is 9-10 squares tall, by however long you want.

– Tetris!

– Music fans or musicians could make an amazing “equalizer” type design!

I can’t tell you how rewarding it is to look at a finished, completely custom backsplash, and know that it is YOURS… and it wasn’t the difficult! On to the tutorial….

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Peppermint Patties Recipe

When I was a kid, my mom used to make peppermint patties… out of mashed potatoes. I thought it was the weirdest thing in the world, but they sure were tasty! I don’t know what got me thinking of this recently, but I decided to use that information, and come up with my own peppermint patties recipe.

Knowing that I’d only need a small amount of potato, I got a bit lazy .. Err.. CREATIVE, and picked up a couple “sour cream and chive” baked potatoes at Wendy’s!

It only took a minute to scrape off the chives, and voila! Tons of time saved. Suck it, Martha Stewart!

Knowing that my husband hasn’t been fond of peppermint patties – but was willing to have his opinion changed over homemade ones! – I picked up some good dark chocolate to dip these in. You can dip them in whatever chocolate you want – chocolate chips, a few good chocolate bars, or baking chocolate. Also, feel free to play with the flavoring in this! If you’re not a fan of mint, ANY extract can be used! Add a little food coloring, and you can make an assortment of cherry, orange, maple… whatever fillings you can imagine!

This recipe works up quickly. It only takes about 5 minutes to mix it up, another 5 or so to roll/flatten, and probably 10-15 to dip them. SO worth it.

Enjoy!

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