#wherefoodmeetslife - life stories & more
Football widows your days of getting to maybe go to a Sunday movie are just around the corner. Super Bowl Sunday is this Sunday and it is time to break out the party platters, grazing boards or your favorite dips and chips.
I decided to test out one of my favorite easy party appetizers today on my co-workers. I call them #meatball Bruschetta. They are cute, fun to make, and simply delicious. For a bonus, they are actually very filling. I served them with some chips and gave them some of my homemade salted caramel chocolate chip cookies for a dessert.
Meatballs are easy to do in the #crockpot so you don't have to spend all of your time in the kitchen. You can put them on and they are ready in about three hours.
To make them extra special for a party I serve them on sliced french toast bread. You just spread a little margarine on top of the bread (or olive oil) top with shredded mozzarella cheese, shredded cheddar and Parmesan cheese. Place them on a large cookie sheet covered with parchment paper and place in the oven at 375 degrees for about five minutes. Take the toast out of the oven and spoon about three meatballs on top of melted toast. Top with a few more sprinkles of the mozzarella cheese. Place back in the oven for an additional 10-12 minutes until the cheese is melted and the bread is toasted.
Take out of oven and top with fresh baby spinach and serve! These are always a big hit at my office and at home. One or two is usually enough for most. However, some of the guys can eat 3-4 each.
For the meatballs I use the ever delicious #cookedperfect frozen Italian Meatballs. Kroger has a bag of 160 meatballs and that was plenty (with a little left over) for our office party of 12.
Place all of the bag of meatballs in a large Crockpot. This is a really large bag so I use two large jars of the Bertolli Sauces. However, use one (1) Organic Tomato & Basil and one (1) Marinara. (This gives the meatballs and great flavor). Add 3-4 Teaspoons of the Lowry's garlic pepper and sprinkle throughout the meatballs and stir. You will want to add in 1/4 cup of water. If you need them done in three hours - place Crockpot on high. I stir mine occasionally and after I stir them (about every hour) I add more of the Lowry's garlic pepper. I also add black pepper (a few shakes throughout as I stir)
Here's the deal. To take some of the "tartness" out - sprinkle in 1/4 cup of sugar and stir throughout. This gives you that sweet tomato garlic & basil flavor.
To sum it up these are the Ingredients you will need:
1 large bag of Cooked Perfect Italian Frozen Meatballs - (if you can't find the 160 count - 3 of the 52 count (that is if you have a group of 10-12)
1 jar of Organic Bertolli Tomato Basil Sauce (you can use regular if you can't find organic)
1 jar of Bertolli Marinara Sauce
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup water
Lowry's garlic pepper
1 loaf of sliced French Bread
Margarine - (just enough to spread on toast) or you can use olive oil
Baby Spinach (for garnish)
1-2 cups or a small Bag of Mozzarella Cheese (Shredded)
1 cup or small bag of Shredded Cheddar Cheese
1/2 cup - cup of Shredded Parmesan Cheese
Note: If you want them to have a little "kick" or heat to them. Simply add a couple of pinches of red pepper flakes.
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I am in love once again with my new Tote Bags from #scoutbags. (sponsored) These great bags are wet/dry bags so you can take them to the pool, shopping, out on the boat or even at a nice luncheon or dinner. The best part....if you spill something inside it you can just wipe it down. These cute bags are perfect to take anywhere or even carry snacks to work.
I love to #craft! I have recently become interested in bringing back the love for calligraphy and beautiful lettering. I think hand-lettered cards and notes are so memorable. I needed a great bag that I could tote my supplies and #scoutbags #weekender was the perfect bag for me. It is large enough to hold all my supplies and easy to tote around. The best thing is that it is wet/dry so it keeps my supplies safe.
The #Tourista bag is perfect to hold the gel pens. This versatile little pouch is deep enough to hold two of my cameras and is wet/dry so they are protected from water or spills. I can use it for a clutch as well to carry make-up, needed medications, and necessary essentials to work or anywhere. There are so many patterns and colors to choose from. You can easily have one to match all your outfits.
The #Weekender bag would make a perfect carry-on for travel. It's super lightweight, slides under seats or overhead bins easily. The bag is wet/dry and can be used once you land at the beach. You can store your personal items inside with your #Tourista pouch and you are ready to go shopping or grab a bite.
If you are planning a Cruise this Spring or Summer, these adorable bags would be perfect to take out on those island excursions.
I #pickedmypattern and received this beautiful bright blue #Weekender and I chose this adorable pink gingham #Tourista pouch to carry my necessities in for a getaway lunch. I can't wait until Summer gets here so I can carry back and forth to the pool.
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I had the pleasure last month to sit down for a chat with Arkansas's own Impressionist. A native Arkansan, Barry Thomas played football for the Arkansas Razorbacks with the legendary Lou Holtz. Lou would go on to encourage Barry to pursue his dream. Read the full article at Only In Arkansas. -- onlyinark.com/homegrown/barry-thomas-arkansass-impressionist/
Only In Arkansas is a great publication and website that features stories, culture, food, events and much more for Arkansas or that have an Arkansas connection. To read my other published articles: https://onlyinark.com/author/pat-downs/
I was so excited to get my little collection of Color The World lipsticks in the mail. #ad The best part of researching these lipsticks is to find out that some of the collections and individual lipsticks are designed to protect various causes and bring awareness.
For instance there are some to protect kittens, help disabled veterans, bring safe water and the list goes on. You can see all of the collections via this link:
I hand picked three of my favorites. The little cases are precious and come in so many choices of patterns and shades of colors. These lipsticks are 100% Cruelty Free. They are made with organic products and are hand poured. Their goal is to "color the world" and bring awareness. Each lipstick color is exclusive to a different charity around the world, and with each tube of lipstick color sold, 10% of profits goes to a cause. Be sure and join the "W" movement and check out these wonderful lipsticks and future products. What a perfect Valentine's Day gift this would make for your friends and be sure and get one for yourself! I can't think of a better "little luxury" to splurge on.
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I am a part of a small group of Christian people who meet every other Sunday for dinner, conversations around the table, prayer and devotion.
One of the my friends is the leader of the group along with her husband. This particular friend always makes comfort food, fine desserts and the table is always stunning. We both have something in common, the gift of giving.
I like to bring her a little something for hosting. Sometimes, I bring my homemade granola, cute note cards or pads, pretty little dishes, etc. This last Sunday I brought one of my favorite things -----linen spray. Not only do I use linen sprays on the linens, furniture, etc. I often use it just to make the rooms smell fresh. I am allergic to most scents so I have to test it out in the store before I purchase and sit with it for a spell to see if my asthma kicks in.
I gave her the linen spray and not longer after she texted and said that was one of her favorite "little luxuries." This got me thinking..........what are some of the top favorite "little luxuries?"
I conducted a little pole and the results were not as surprising as I thought. It appears most of the women (ranging in ages 21-65) like to get their nails done as one of their "me times." Others like to treat themselves periodically to Starbucks, Organic Teas and Coffees, while others might enjoy special food treats including Wendy's famous Frosty.
I like handbags! I like to switch out my handbags so I am always looking for a economical tote bag of sorts. I am not big on the expensive designer bags. I like to switch often and I don't see the point on spending more than a living room sofa on a handbag. My daughter, on the other hand, loves her Louis Vuitton.
As far as "little luxuries," I like pretty little dishes, linen sprays and towels. I love the feel of a new bath or kitchen towel. I love gifting these items as well.
Whatever your "little luxury" might be, it is important to treat yourself periodically. Research shows it helps release stress and depression if we just invest in ourselves. Valentine's Day is vast approaching, treat yourself to a little "luxury" as well as your spouse or partner. It doesn't have to be anything big or fancy.
Painted Tree Marketplace is definitely my "happy place." I love to go and browse down all the aisles and look for great bargains and unique pieces. I am especially excited that the West Little Rock location has opened! I have been frequenting the Sherwood and Bryant locations for sometime.
If you like Joanna Gaines unique style then you will definitely like Painted Tree Marketplace. Why drive all the way to Waco when we have beautiful designs right here in our own backyard. If you are interested in boutique clothing, this will be your "happy place" as well. There are a variety of vendors who have beautiful clothing items and great accessories. I picked up several pairs of earrings at various booths.
One of my favorite home decor booths is definitely my friends Lark & Jill. They give old furniture a new life and the pieces are stunning. Larkin paints some fun pieces that are available for purchase as well.
Painted Tree is definitely a place that you could stop in daily and see new items. If you need a gift for a friend or a shower, you will find it here. Check out their website at www.paintedtreemarketplace.com/.
Painted Tree Market Place - West Little Rock is located at: : 15400 Chenal Pkwy, Little Rock, AR 72211. Phone: (501) 205-1330
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