Date night in Venice- Part 1

Delicious recipes for the curious cook!

Venetian meatballs

For a very long time, my fiance and I wanted to take a cooking class to learn more techniques, further our skills in the kitchen and just indulge in some really good quality food.  We finally had the chance last month when I surprised him with cooking classes at a local cooking school.  Thanks to a happy accident, the class we originally registered for was cancelled and we were able to join a Venetian Nights themed cooking class, and we were so happy we did!

I’m a firm believer of the thought that you can always know more and that was proven true during this class. I realized I’ve been slicing onions and garlic incorrectly for my entire life, learned some insider tips regarding dessert ingredients and what to use to form the best shaped meatballs.  At the end of the night, our bellies were full and satisfied thanks to a wonderful, entirely hands-on cooked-by-us meal of Venetian favorites.  

I’ll be sharing one recipe from the class each week.  First up are meatballs in a pancetta tomato sauce.  Trust me, they’re good.  So good, in fact, that I temporarily broke from my no red-meat rule to try them and I didn’t regret it one bit.  

MEATBALLS WITH PANCETTA TOMATO SAUCE

Yield: About 2 dozen meatballs
Active time: 30 minutes
Start to finish: 45 minutes

For the meatballs:
1/2 pound ground chuck
1/2 pound ground pork
1 egg, well beaten
1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon red chili flakes
3 tablespoons fresh parsley, rough chopped
1/3 cup ricotta cheese
1/4 cup parmesan cheese, grated
Salt and pepper to taste

For the sauce:
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1/4 pound pancetta, small dice
1/2 onion, medium dice
2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
1/2 cup red wine
One 28-ounce can crushed San Marzano tomatoes
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
2 tablespoons fresh basil, leaves torn
Salt and pepper to taste
Pinch of granulated sugar, if desired


  1. Preheat the oven to 375° and line a sheet tray with parchment paper.
    2. In a medium-size bowl, gently mix together the ground meat, egg, breadcrumbs, oregano, chili
    flakes, parsley, ricotta, parmesan cheese, salt and pepper. Form the mixture into 1-inch
    meatballs, and set them on the prepared tray.
    3. Bake the meatballs until slightly firm and browned on the bottoms, about 15 minutes.
    4. While the meatballs are baking, prepare the sauce. Heat a wide, heavy pan over medium-low
    heat, and add the olive oil. Gently sauté the pancetta until just crispy.
    5. Stir in the onion and sauté until lightly caramelized around the edges, 5 to 6 minutes. Stir in the
    garlic and cook an additional minute, or until aromatic.
    6. Deglaze the pan with the red wine, and reduce until almost dry.

 

Recipe courtesy of The Chopping Block.

Late summer workout gear

Motivation to get you through hump day!

OV summer

I’m a huge fan of everything from Outdoor Voices.  I don’t normally endorse doing anything but exercising in workout gear, but we all have days when post-yoga errands turn into an entire day spent in our leggings.  But who says you can’t at least look cute in those leggings? That’s why I love OV and their workout gear.  Everything is functional and stylish, so it’s the perfect option for both class and post-class errands.  

Unlike so many activewear brands, which are either functional but lack style or are cute but lack the durability you need to sustain a class, Outdoor Voices options offer both.  They’re made with the technical fabric you need to absorb sweat and allow you to go from class to brunch without needing an outfit change.  The latest hues like the one featured above are unique and are the perfect options for the end of summer and into fall when outside workouts followed by outdoor drinks are in full swing!

Image via.

Summer Suit

Inspiration for the new week!

summer suit2

I love a good suit- a pantsuit, jumpsuit, and playsuit are all good options to me.  Anything that creates an effortless, easy and streamlined look is okay in my wardrobe.  It’s no surprise then that I took this approach when putting together my latest version of a suit- a summer suit.  I paired one of my favorite classic jackets with my favorite denim shorts and sneakers for a simple, comfortable, yet playful and put together, summer look.  This is the perfect outfit for a summer work-from-home Friday, providing both the structure and the fun needed for the end of the work week.  After all, nothing says “summer” like gingham and cutoffs!

summer suit1

Fashion note: I’m wearing a J.Crew blazer (similar here), Madewell denim shorts (here), and Converse sneakers (similar here).