Saturday, January 16, 2016

Mozzarella Stuffed Meatballs and Ice Festivals

Hello, everybody!! The Fresh Pioneer is back and I have a fun recipe for you, but first, I just have to reminisce a little. I used to think I loved all seasons, but I'm beginning to realize that I have a strong preference for summer. Not because I like to stay warm (which I DO), but because we're so spoiled with delicious fruit, grown right here in our backyard garden and the local farms.
 Our seedless champagne grapes. We share them with everyone who wants any because they turn ripe all at once and we get close to 100 lbs a year. They make great raisins, too!
 I get a little teary-eyed looking at this. But July is coming soon and, God willing, the weather will cooperate for a wonderful blueberry harvest!
 Mulberries from our tree turned into amazing home made yoghurt with local honey. *sobs quietly*
(All photos from the official page.)
But even though I miss summer oh-so-much, there are wonderful things to enjoy during winter, too. I'm having a little trouble uploading our photos so I can't share our most recent travels, but I can show you what we're up to this weekend.
Leavenworth, Washington is about four hours from us. A younger me scoffed at the idea of traipsing around such a touristy spot. I mean, really... a whole town built to look like Bavaria? UGH!
But the older me is suddenly appreciative of skipping another flight and just plunking the kids in the car and driving over for the weekend.
Yes, it's a bit overdone and of course nobody really runs around in those costumes 24/7 in Germany, but it hits the spot! (Oh, here's there official link if you want to peek at the town. It's a very fun concept.
The busiest time is right near Christmas, with the Kinder market filled with toys. The ice festival is more for the sporty types and there are all sorts of activities the tourists can sign up for, including sledding contests and cross country skiing sprints. My boys have their eyes set on a prize but I'm reminding them that there are professionals competing and we get a few inches of snow a year. LOL
So, on to the recipes that will keep us warm and fuel our ice and snow sprinting! You'll need several lbs of hamburger, garlic, oregano, salt, and mozzarella.

Flatten a small disk of the hamburger after seasoning it.

Wrap a small (1 inch) cube of cheese inside the meat.

Fry in a pan until completely browned and cooked through.

This was the tricky part, as the cheese wanted to ooze out.

I tried to roll them around as little as possible. Still, we had leakage.

The final product! The kids all agree they liked this kind of meatball best, but hubby and I are too traditional, I guess. We preferred the cheese-less batch.

One more shot of the ooey, gooey, cheesey goodness! Keep warm everybody!
Feel free to stop by my author page at Mary Jane Hathaway, my blog at The Things That Last, and my blog at HuffingtonPost Books page. Until next time!


  1. Yours came out so much better than mine! Mine oozed like crazy, I was probably impatient (SHOCKER!!!!) but these look awesome Mary-of-Many-Names!!!!

    I'd get a kick out of Leavenworth, the whole concept would make me smile! Go them!!!!!!

    I love it when a whole town or community gets behind an idea and runs with it. I'm grinning, just thinking about it (and the back-and-forths of committee members, LOL!)

    That makes me think of Stars Hollow in Gilmore Girls.

    And that makes me think of quirky characters!!!!!

    I love 'em so much!

    1. I've never seen Gilmore Girls and I'm afraid to start because I have such high expectations, hahaha.

      The people are lovely. I've never been before and it's really nice to walk into a very busy touristy town and have such nice interactions.

  2. Hi MIss Pioneer, You need to get south and enjoy the citrus we have at this time of year. But that summer fruit does look divine. And I miss it too.

    Leavenworth is a hoot. Glad you could get over there. It is an odd concept but hey, I'm all for having fun and enjoying whatever someone thinks up.

    1. My mother has a house in Arizona and sends me picture of the citrus just HANGING AROUND. lolol

  3. oh yes, the meatballs look really good. Made me hungry even though it is still morning. Yes, we could eat spaghetti and meatballs for breakfast.

    1. I'm not a big fan of spaghetti but my kids crave it about once a week. Weird, right??

  4. Oh, these look yummy!! But I'm with you. I want to cry over seeing all that fresh produce. Of course, I always want to cry over it, even when it's summer here--because I don't have access to all that. I want those blueberries and grapes!!

    1. They're available for such a short time, only a few weeks, that we look forward to it all year and then cry when it's gone! Believe me, we enjoy them while they're available. :)

  5. Mildly whimpering over that glimpse of summer produce. Nothing like fresh -- winter fresh produce up here is just plain blech.

    Leavenworth is gorgeous...though why do I think of prison when I hear that name? Hope you have a fun weekend.

    1. We try to eat and buy locally, so that cuts out imported fruits. Which is fine because winter/imported fruit is like you said... BLECH. Winter tomatoes are the worst. LOL

      You know, Leavenworth reminds me of a prison because it's the name of a US penitentiary in Kansas, lol. So, we do have a joke about people going to Leavenworth for a vacation.

  6. Whimpering with you about the blueberries. I bought some in the supermarket yesterday and I was SO disappointed. They were so mushy and tasted like mildew. I hate to waste, but into the trash they went.

    The meatballs look AMAZING!

    1. Right?? My kids beg for the blackberries at the store, or for the raspberries. First of all, they're 8.99 for 4. oz. which is just robbery. Secondly, they only LOOK like fruit. There's really no flavor.
      We have a local strawberry farm and get spoiled on those, but strawberries imported still do taste a bit like strawberries. The other berries? Nope.