ll Cibo é L'essenza Della Vita....

"The rooms that you use on a daily basis are the rooms people will always want to sit in, because they have soul." --Bunny Williams


"If you want to live forever and ever, drink wine and eat maccheroni." ~~~Sicilian Proverb

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Superbowl Week- Day 3!! Healthy Meatballs and Italian Sesame Cookies!

Happy Superbowl Day 3!!

     Today will be a very quick post, but a delicious, healthy- YES! Healthy Superbowl food!! Woo Hoo!- and easy appetizer. It's been an incredibly busy day what with finishing a design job and planning an upcoming dessert party for a former client's 25th Anniversary celebration. Such fun! But lots of work left to do.

       Now, I must admit I am not normally a huge follower or fan of many of the Food Network shows. I always love to browse and tweak recipes, but have generally found that the cooking I grew up with and the teachers I have had over the last 30 years far surpass what I see on a 30 minute TV show. That being said, sometimes I do come across a winner and today's appetizer recipe is one of them. This recipe is based on Rachel Ray's Greek Spanakopita meatballs and will absolutely score you a Superbowl touchdown! I have made these as appetizer meatballs and also as patties which can be served on toasted sandwich buns with thinly sliced onion, lettuce, and tomato.  I have also served these small meatballs as a light lunch served on a bed of colorful mixed greens with tomato, red onion, and Feta. They are just as good made ahead and reheated or served at room temperature. 
    I'm throwing in the Sesame cookie recipe just because :)  I almost always have some in the cookie jar as it's a particular favorite of mine and my Dad's. I've had quite a difficult time since we moved to NC finding the necessary anise extract or oil, but the extra effort is so worth it. Enjoy!!
Gather your ingredients- this couldn't be easier!

Mix everything together.

Remember, the best meatballs are mixed with your hands. FEEL the love!



Chicken Feta Meatballs with Greek Yogurt Sauce
based on a recipe by Rachel Ray

1 pound ground chicken
2 10 ounce boxes frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
3/4 cup crumbled Feta cheese
1/2 large or 1 small onion, finely minced ** (see note)
1/2 red bell pepper, finely minced
2 cloves garlic, crushed in garlic press and minced
1 tablespoon Montreal Steak Seasoning
Splash of extra virgin olive oil

     Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Spray a broiler pan with drain holes with Pam. Mix all together till well blended. Form small meatballs or bun-sized patties. Place on prepared pan and bake for 10-11 minutes. Serve with Yogurt Sauce.
** NOTE- these meatballs only bake for about 10 minutes. Make sure ingredients are finely minced so you don't find yourself biting into a chunk of raw garlic. I always use a mezzaluna- this is an indispensable tool in my kitchen
Yogurt Sauce

1 1/2 cups Greek yogurt
1/2 cucumber, chopped
2-4 tablespoons chopped fresh dill
juice of 1/2 lemon
zest of 1/2 lemon
1/2 tablespoon cumin
1/2 tablespoon ground coriander
salt and pepper

Combine in a bowl and blend well. Serve with meatballs or patties.

Pattie's Italian Sesame Cookies

2 cup butter
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 egg, room temperature
3 teaspoons anise extract or 2 teaspoons anise oil
5 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup milk, or as needed
1-2 cups sesame seeds
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees 
In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until smooth. Beat in the egg and anise extract until well blended. Beat in the flour, baking powder and salt mixture until well incorporated. Mix for another minute or two to lighten. The dough will be firm enough to roll into balls or logs by hand
Pinch off walnut sized or smaller pieces of dough and roll them into small logs. Dip in milk, then roll in sesame seeds. Place cookies one inch apart on a cookie sheet. 
Bake for 17 -18 minutes in the preheated oven, or until set. Don't overbake. Remove from cookie sheets to cool on wire racks. Store in an airtight container at room temperature

As Always,

Buon Alimento, Buon Amici,

Allie and Pattie


  1. Excellent recipes... the cookies in particular sound phenomenal.


  2. Too delicious-sounding recipes and I'm adding both of them to my recipe file! Happy Superbowl weekend!


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