The Best Meatballs


Recipe & Photo credit:


  • 1 pound ground beef


  1. Combine beef, veal, and pork in a large bowl. Add garlic, eggs, cheese, parsley, salt and pepper.
  2. Blend bread crumbs into meat mixture. Slowly add the water 1/2 cup at a time. The mixture should be very moist but still hold its shape if rolled into meatballs. (I usually use about 1 1/4 cups of water). Shape into meatballs.
  3. Heat olive oil in a large skillet. Fry meatballs in batches. When the meatball is very brown and slightly crisp remove from the heat and drain on a paper towel. (If your mixture is too wet, cover the meatballs while they are cooking so that they hold their shape better.)


Cookies and Cream Cupcakes


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  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 egg plus 1 yolk, lightly beaten
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 24 cream-filled chocolate sandwich cookies, plus more, finely crushed, for sprinkling
  • Cookies and Cream Buttercream


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line two 12-cup muffin tins with paper liners. In a large bowl, combine flour, cocoa, sugar, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Add eggs, melted butter, buttermilk, vanilla and 1/2 cup hot water; whisk until smooth.
  2. Spoon 1 tablespoon batter into each muffin tin and press a cookie firmly into each cup until batter comes up sides of cookies. Divide remaining batter evenly among cups. Bake, rotating pans halfway through, until cupcakes are puffed and set, 15 to 17 minutes. Let cool completely in pan on wire rack.
  3. Put the buttercream in a large piping bag fitted with a 1/2-inch plain round tip (such as Ateco #808). Pipe onto cupcakes and sprinkle with crushed crumbs.

How to Make a Moscow Mule

moscow mule

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1/2 oz. lime juice
2 oz. vodka
6 oz. ginger beer

  1. Squeeze lime juice into a Collins glass (or Moscow Mule mug) and drop in the spent shell.
  2. Add 2 or 3 ice cubes, then pour in the vodka and fill with cold ginger beer (not ginger ale, although what the hell).
  3. Serve with a stirring rod.

Almond-Crusted Tilapia


Recipe & Photo Credit:


  • 1 cup sliced almonds, divided
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 4 (6-oz.) tilapia fillets
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

How to Make It

Step 1

Process 1/2 cup almonds in a food processor until finely chopped, and combine with 1/4 cup flour in a shallow bowl.


Step 2

Sprinkle fish evenly with salt; dredge in almond mixture.


Step 3

Melt butter with olive oil in a large heavy skillet over medium heat; add fish, and cook 4 minutes on each side or until golden. Remove fillets to a serving plate.


Step 4

Add remaining 1/2 cup almonds to skillet, and cook, stirring often, 1 minute or until golden. Remove almonds with a slotted spoon, and sprinkle over fish.



Recipe & Photo Credit:


  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1-1/2 cups fat-free milk
  • 1/2 cup shredded reduced-fat cheddar cheese
  • 2 pounds red potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced (about 4 cups)
  • 1 cup thinly sliced onions, divided


1. Preheat oven to 350°. In a small saucepan, melt butter; stir in flour, salt and pepper until smooth. Gradually whisk in milk. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly; cook and stir until thickened, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat; stir in cheese until melted.
2. Place half of the potatoes in a 8-in. square baking dish coated with cooking spray; layer with 1/2 cup onion and half of the cheese sauce. Repeat layers.
3. Bake, covered, 50 minutes. Uncover; bake until bubbly and potatoes are tender, 10-15 minutes.
Yield: 6 servings.
Originally published as Never-Fail Scalloped Potatoes in Healthy Cooking February/March 2009, p51

Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup


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1 Whole Chicken
3 qt. low-sodium chicken broth
6 carrots
4 stalk celery
3 medium onions
5 black peppercorns
1 clove garlic
10 sprig parsley
2 sprig thyme
1 bay leaf
2 tbsp. unsalted butter
4 leeks
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. fresh-ground pepper
3 c. medium egg noodles
  1. Make the stock: Place the chicken and chicken broth in a large stockpot and set it over medium heat. Roughly chop 2 carrots, 2 celery ribs, and 1 onion and add to the broth. Add the peppercorns, garlic, 2 sprigs of parsley, thyme, bay leaf, and enough water to just cover the chicken. Bring the broth to a boil, reduce heat to a simmer, and cook until the chicken is very tender—about 1 1/4 hours—skimming the surface periodically. Remove the chicken and place in a large bowl. Strain the broth through a very fine sieve into a large, clean bowl or stockpot. Discard the vegetables.
  2. Make the soup: Skim any fat off the top of the strained broth and discard. Slice the remaining carrots, celery, onions, and leeks into 1/4-inch-thick pieces and set aside. Remove and discard the skin and bones from the chicken, cut meat into 1/2-inch pieces, and set aside. Chop the remaining parsley leaves and set aside. Melt the butter in a large Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the vegetables and cook until the onions are translucent—about 7 minutes. Add the chicken, the reserved broth, salt, and pepper. Simmer the soup until the vegetables are tender—about 1 hour. Stir in the egg noodles and parsley and cook until the noodles are tender—about 10 more minutes. Serve hot.

Birthday Sheet Cake

Recipe and photo credit:


For the cake:
  • 18 tablespoons (2 1/4 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 3 cups sugar
  • 6 extra-large eggs, at room temperature
  • 8 ounces (about 1 cup) sour cream, at room temperature
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1 lemon, zested
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
For the frosting:
  • 24 ounces semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoons light corn syrup
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • Chocolate candies for decorating (recommended: M&M’s)