That means in a month – give or take a day or two – I’m gonna be a baby mamma.
The Husband and I wanted to give thanks to our parents and my very special Aunt Lorraine and Uncle Frank for all of their help in getting ready for the arrival of the Jersey Bambino. So we had them over for din din. Well, it was really a very special Happy Hour featuring plenty of food and booze.
(Can I just say I’m really looking forward to saying “Cheers” with a glass of red rather than a tall drink of water?)
The event was most likely my last hosting gig before the arrival of our bundle of awesome joy.
So, what did these amazing peeps do to deserve our thanks?
First off, my Moms painted like my entire house. Well, four rooms, but still. It was a lot. One of course was our baby’s Bachelor Pad. Pics are below.
Aunt Lorraine helped me pimp out the nursery with awesome decorations, one of which will not be revealed because it includes the babe’s name. And the baby's name, dear readers, is confidential and top secret to all (except for parents, siblings and a few friends who broke me down during a moment of gleeful weakness.)
Uncle Frank helped The Husband put together the baby furniture. Although, The Husband does get props for hooking up the glider all by his lonesome. You taught him everything he knows, Uncle Frank! So super big thanks!
My mother-in-law hosted a fabulous baby shower for me. It was so awesome. My girlfriend Lauren claims it was the best shower she’s ever been to. Yay!
And that leaves our Dads, who totally rock and have been doling out advice and their fatherly two cents since we announced our pregnancy a minute after it occurred back in the winter. My Dad loves to bear gifts of Phillies swag; The Husband’s Dad loves to offer gifts of the fishing variety.
So, it thrills me to present to you our baby’s abode:
A crib fit for a king or a Phillies all-star or a world famous concert pianist/genius.
The Jersey Girl's baby will listen to soothing music and stories
from the fab glider put together by Daddy.
The perfect toy trunk for all of baby's treasures.
Whenever I walk into the nursery, I just bust out into big smiles. The Husband wants me to point out that the sports theme was totally my doing. He had no say at all. (But the truth is he was my inspiration.)
Have no fear. Music of course will be a major part of the Jersey Baby’s world. When he doesn’t hear his Momma playing Mozart and Beethoven sonatas or Chopin nocturnes, waltzes and mazurkas or a little ragtime, he totally hears my students rockin’ out their greatest hits. And I have a whole slew of music toys stashed away for him! And me and his Daddy love to listen to music all day and night long.
And I can't wait to get my little one involved in my culinary activities.
For our soiree, I made these yum yum Tiny Spiced Meatballs with Tomatoes. The recipe comes from a really cool cookbook I bought a few years ago at Sur la Table. It is called “From Tapas to Meze” by Joanne Weir. I love the cookbook. The pics are gorgeous. It features small plate recipes from Mediterranean countries. Love it.
I followed the recipe to the T, but I did add two eggs to the meat mixture. When I started combining the meatball ingredients, I thought it was looking way too dry for my liking. So, two extra large eggs immediately went in. Let’s face it, dry meatballs are ick nast.
I also mixed up the meat with the seasonings about two hours before baking them. That way, all the flavors really get into the meat.
The recipe makes a good-sized portion, so I recommend serving the meatballs at your next cocktail or tapas party. They were super delish!
Tiny Spiced Meatballs with Tomatoes
From “From Tapas to Meze”
By Joanne Weir
½ lb. ground pork
½ lb. ground beef
½ lb. ground veal
1 cup dry bread crumbs
6 cloves garlic, minced
2 Tbsp. chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1 ½ tsp. ground coriander seeds
½ tsp. freshly grated nutmeg
½ tsp. ground cumin
Pinch of cayenne
½ tsp. salt
Freshly ground black pepper
3 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
1 medium yellow onion, minced
1 cup dry white wine
3 cups Italian plum tomatoes, peeled, seeded and chopped, fresh or canned
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. In a bowl, combine the pork, beef, veal, bread crumbs, half of the garlic, the parsley, ground coriander, nutmeg, cumin, cayenne, ¾ tsp. salt and ¼ tsp. pepper. Form the mixture into 32 one-inch meatballs and place on an oiled baking sheet. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes. Remove from the oven and reserve.
Heat the olive oil in a frying pan over medium heat. Add the onion and the remaining garlic, and cook stirring occasionally until soft, 7 minutes. Add the wine and the tomatoes and simmer slowly for 15 minutes. Add the meatballs, the salt and pepper to taste and continue to simmer for 10 minutes.
Serve immediately or at room temperature.
Please note: The Jersey Girl added two extra large eggs to the meat mixture before combining. She also prepared the meat mixture two hours before cooking.