I just had the most productive weekend ever. For the first time in a very, very long time, I actually stayed home the entire weekend and worked around my house. That literally NEVER happens!!!

There’s a reason I got so much accomplished – and I’m sure all my female readers with spouses can relate: Mr. FIL worked overtime all weekend. Which means he was gone before I got up, and didn’t get home till 5ish. That meant I literally had 2 whole days to myself to get stuff done, without any distractions. Would you agree that we get more done around the house when the spouse isn’t there? I sure do.

Saturday I baked some goodies for my hard working man, cooked all day, took my puppy for a walk because the weather was so nice, did some laundry, and put it all away.

Isn’t he the cutest in his little boots?! He’s not crazy about them, but it protects his feet from all the salt on the sidewalks.

I always get teased about being an early riser, but honestly, I’m way more productive in the mornings. This morning I got up, worked out, had coffee and breakfast, and my whole house cleaned by 10 am. It was awesome. Cooked myself a super delicious lunch, then prepped dinner. This quinoa bowl is literally my favourite lunch. I’m an avocado and sweet potato fiend.

The only time I left my house was to go get some fresh cheese curd… cause that is definitely one of my guity pleasures. One of the biggest cheese curd suppliers in the area is only a 15 minute drive from my house. When we moved here I was very excited because we literally could have an endless supply of cheese curd, all the time. But funny enough, we only get it about once a month!

It’s one of those things that the novelty wears off after a while. You take advantage of it at the beginning, and now we’re just used to having it there. But, it’s still an absolutely delicious treat. Yesterday I picked it up and it was still warm in the bag. So fresh, and so squeaky.

I’m also loving that the days are getting longer! It’s getting brighter in the morning, and staying lighter longer at night. It definitely help the productivity meter, and when the sun is shining, I’ve got some extra pep in my step.

This winter I’ve been on a meatball kick. I don’t know what it is, but I’ve made more meatballs in the last 2 months, than I ever have in the past. Italian meatballs, pork meatballs, chicken meatballs, low carb cheesy meatballs. You name it, I’ve probably made it. But the thing is, they are SO delicious, and extremely versatile. You can serve them as appetizers, or cook up some pasta and have them as a meal.

Two other reasons why I love meatballs:

1- They are easy to make, and very quick to prepare.

2- Meatballs always taste better the next day.

Which means, when I’m making them to serve as appetizers, I always make them the day before and let them sit overnight.

I am loving meatballs so much, we ate them twice this weekend. And we’ve had them for dinner the last two Sundays.

Geez… Mr. FIL and I are going to turn into meatballs soon if this keeps up! 😉

Saturday nights are usually appetizer night in the FIL household. We LOVE appetizers. We also love wine… and they happen to pair very nicely together 😉

Last night I made these super delicious Chipotle Honey Meatballs with a creamy cilantro-lime dipping sauce. I made them with a beef and pork mixture, and they were awesome. A tad spicy, but the dipping sauce helped cut the heat.

These turned out so good I feel like they deserve their own blog post… maybe in the future. I’m still tweaking, but recipe will definitely be up for these soon… stay tuned.

So what meatballs am I writing about today?

Last weekend I had made chicken parm meatballs. It was supposed to be an appetizer, but then I ended up making something else, so when I went in the fridge to look for ideas for dinner, these chicken meatballs were right in my face. Then the wheels started turning. I always have marinara sauce stashed in my cupboard, and this turned into a quick, easy dinner. And man was it ever good.

Mr. FIL and I were both drooling over this dish when it came out of the oven.

Can you see why? All that cheesy, saucy goodness in the pan.

I had a brick of provolone cheese in the fridge from a recipe I made a few weeks ago, and man was I ever thankful I did. It finished the meatballs off perfectly. You could use any cheese you want, mozzarella, parmesan, asiago, but honestly, the creaminess and sharpness of the provolone was perfect.

This dinner can be made in 35 minutes. And, it’s super good leftover, so it’s a win-win.

I am lucky enough to have a meat grinder, but I used to buy ground chicken all the time at my local butcher, and I’ve seen it in the grocery stores.

Pretty much everything you’ll need for this recipe is in this bowl, minus the provolone cheese, pasta noodles and the marinara sauce.

What you’ll need:

  • ground chicken
  • shredded carrot
  • 1 egg
  • parmesan cheese
  • basil
  • chopped spinach
  • shredded carrot (keeps meatballs moist)
  • breadcrumbs
  • salt and pepper
  • provolone cheese (or whatever you have on hand)
  • 1 jar marinara sauce
  • pasta (your choice)

The meatballs cook in the oven super quick. Pop them on a greased baking sheet, place them in a preheated 400 degree oven for 15 minutes. They’ll come out nice golden brown, and perfectly cooked.

Like I said, you can make these ahead of time, and put them in the fridge for a few days until you’re ready to use them.

For dishes like this one, I’m super thankful for my cast-iron pan. It’s so handy, and if you don’t have one, you should buy one. They’re awesome. Also, if you don’t have one, a casserole dish will work just fine.

This is the easy part. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Place pan on the stove on a medium heat. Add the marinara sauce, and slowly warm it up until it’s hot and bubbling. Add the chicken meatballs to the pan, then put grated provolone cheese on top of each one. Put in the oven for 12 minutes. To finish them off, broil for a minute or two until the cheese is bubbly and brown. Serve with a side of pasta, and you have a delicious, healthy dinner!

These are so good, that we’re having them for dinner again tonight. I couldn’t resist!!!

We are cheese fiends, so we garnished with more parmesan cheese, because in this house, there’s no such thing as too much cheese.

Mr. FIL got spoiled this weekend, because I made him a variation of one of his favourite desserts. These are currently still in the testing process, but I can assure you the recipe will be up soon, and you definitely don’t want to miss it…

Because a sweet treat once in a while is always a good thing!

As always, happy eating 🙂

Chicken Parmesan Meatballs

A twist on the classic chicken parmesan! These meatballs make an absolutely delicious appetizer or dinner. Baked in a marinara sauce and finished with provolone cheese, serve alongside some fresh pasta and you have the perfect dinner. Or, pop some toothpicks in them and serve as an appetizer.

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Servings 10 meatballs

Ingredients

  • 1 lb ground chicken
  • 1/4 cup parmesan cheese grated
  • 1 cup spinach chopped
  • 1 clove garlic minced
  • 2 tbsp fresh basil finely chopped
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup breadcrumbs
  • salt and pepper
  • 2 jars marinara your choice
  • 1 cup provolone cheese grated
  • 1 1/2 cups cooked pasta your choice

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees

  2. In a large mixing bowl, combine the first 8 ingredients. Mix until well combined. Roll the chicken mixture into golf ball sized meatballs, and place on a greased baking pan. Bake in the oven for 15 minutes.

  3. Remove the meatballs from the oven and set aside. In an oven proof pan (I use cast iron) place on the stove-top and set to medium heat. Add the marinara sauce, and bring it to a bubble.

  4. Once the marinara is hot, add the meatballs into the pan, and place grated provolone cheese on top of each one. Bake in the oven for 12 minutes.

  5. Once everything is hot and bubbling, turn on the broil setting for 1-2 minutes until the cheese is starting to brown on the top. Remove from the oven.

  6. Serve with your favourite cooked pasta, and garnish with parmesan cheese.

Recipe Notes

If you're feeding more than two or three, this recipe is super easy to double up.

These would also be a great appetizer. Serve them on a platter with toothpicks!

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