Holiday Cooking with CALYgirl

Hi Friends!

With the new “Stay at Home orders” let’s just say I am cooking, baking and yep…drinking a little more. So of course I want to share all the yummy recipes with you. I’ve got two to share with you this week. Yummy meatballs and a holiday dessert, courtesy of my friend from college, Stephanie who started a food blog and has some of the BEST recipes I love!

Have you ever eaten at The Meatball Shop in NYC? Years ago Jim got me their cookbook for Christmas and we both benefit from this because they have the yummiest recipes. My favorite are the Classic Beef Meatballs. Yummy and super easy to make. My kids love them too!  Let me know what you think!


Classic Beef Meatballs

The Meatball Shop Cookbook


– 2 tbsp olive oil
– 2 pounds 80% lean ground beef
– 1 cup ricotta cheese
– 2 large eggs
– 1/2 cup of bread crumbs
– 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
– 1 tbsp chopped fresh oregano
– 2 tsp salt
– 1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
– 1/2 tsp ground fennel
– 4 cups classic tomato/marinara sauce


1. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Drizzle the olive oil into a 9×13 inch baking dish and use your hand to evenly coat the entire surface. Then set aside.

2. Combine the ground beef, ricotta, eggs, bread crumbs, parsley, oregano, salt, red pepper flakes and fennel in a large mixing bowl and mix by hand until thoroughly incorporated.

3. Roll the mixture into round, golf ball-size meatballs. Place the balls in the baking dish, careful to line them up snugly and in even rows vertically and horizontally to form a grid. The meatballs should be touching each other. 

4. Roast for 20 minutes.

5. While the meatballs are roasting, heat the tomato sauce over medium-low heat.

6. When the meatballs are done cooking. Remove them from the oven, drain the excess grease from the pan (if possible). Pour the tomato sauce over them. Return meatballs to the oven to cook for another 15 minutes. 

I like to pair the meatballs with an al dente spaghetti, garden salad and garlic bread/toast. 

Bon Appetit!

Recipe and photo courtesy of the Meatball Shop Cookbook.

Meet My Friend Steph!

Let me introduce you to my dear friend Steph from college. If you aren’t following her on IG you need to because she’s HILARIOUS @awholelottaoven

She is a food blogger and Beautycounter Director and we were sorority sisters at the University of Arizona (good times were had). I wanted to share one of her fav holiday sweet treats with you all. Grab your ingredients and tag Steph and I when you make them! 

Rummy Tum-Tum Balls

These Rummy Tum Tum Balls are simply divine and even better, no-bake! Super simple to put together and full of rum flavor. This one is for sure adults only!


– 1 (12 ounce) box of Nilla Wafers
– 1 cup powdered sugar, plus 1 cup for rolling
– 1 cup brown sugar
– 2 1/4 tablespoons cocoa powder
– 1/3 teaspoon salt
– 3 tablespoons light corn syrup
– 1/2-3/4 cup rum
– 1/2 cup chopped pecans, optional


1. Grind up the entire box of Nilla Wafers in a food processor, finely ground

2. In a large mixing bowl, combine ground up wafers, powdered sugar, brown sugar, cocoa powder, salt and pecans (optional)

3. Use a fork or clean fingers to break up any chunks. Brown sugar can be clumpy!

4. Add corn syrup

5. Slowly add the rum. I find 3/4 cup of rum is perfect because you really want to be able to taste the rum!

6. I mean….they are called rum balls after all

7. Add rum in 1/4 batches and check your consistency. I was able to do 3/4 cups rum with perfect consistency for rolling balls

8. Cover dough in plastic wrap and chill in fridge for a couple hours or overnight

9. Scoop out dough, I used a spoon, and roll into a ball

10. You want these to be bite sized!

11. Next, roll the balls in powdered sugar and tap the balls of dough with a fork to shake off any excess sugar

12. Serve up at your next party! Recipe yields 20.


These do not freeze solid but keep well in the freezer. Ours live there for the time being, but keep somehow showing up in my mouth:/ These are great hostess gifts!

Recipe and photo courtesy of A Whole Lotta Oven.

Please tag @calygirlstyld and #what’scookingwithcalygirl when you make yours!

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