Sweet and Spicy Korean Cocktail Meatballs

Sweet and Spicy Korean-Style Cocktail Meatballs
Sweet and Spicy Korean-Style Cocktail Meatballs

These Korean cocktail meatballs, sweet and spicy, are so tiny and cute and delicious you might forget there’s even a game on. 

It’s no secret that I’m not really a sports person. I’m the type of nerd who avoids sports bars at all costs. And if I was forced to go to one, I would probably hide in a corner with a book and a set of earplugs.

Luckily for me I married a man that hates watching sports even more than I do. Other than the World Cup and the occasional Wimbledon match, our house is a strictly sports-free zone (unless you consider marathon-watching season 2 of Fargo a sport, which I do).

But there’s one aspect of Superbowl madness I can unequivocally get behind. Game day snacks.

Sweet and Spicy Korean-Style Cocktail Meatballs

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Spicy Chili Stuffed Sweet Potatoes

Spicy Chili Stuffed Sweet Potatoes

Chili sweet potatoes are our go-to for a rainy fall weekend – we give you a few meat and meat-free options, but they’re all tasty.

I’m a film editor and several times over the span of my career, I’ve thought about moving from New York City where I was born, to Los Angeles. Many of my friends and colleagues have done it, and most of them love it there.

It’s so beautiful, they say. True, I’ve been and it’s very pretty. There’s a lot more work and for the price of a Brooklyn studio, you can buy a three bedroom house with an avocado tree in the back! All true and, yes, this makes me jealous. And the best part? It’s warm all the time and it never rains! Aaaaaand you’ve lost me. 

For me, one of the great joys of life is feeling the crisp, cool air of Fall. When the weather turns it feels like a shock, every time. Even better if that cool air comes with a blustery rain storm. The type of weather that practically forces you to cook something warm and comforting. To stay home and watch movies or play video games all day. (Nerd note: Matt and I are re-playing “The Last of Us” and, oh my god, it’s so good).

When I heard it was going to turn cold and rainy last weekend, I knew right away what I wanted to make; spicy chili with all sorts of yummy toppings stuffed inside a baked sweet potato.

Chili Spices
The chili is flavored with cumin, two types of chili powder, jalapeños, garlic and dark chocolate. Also maple syrup and beer, not shown.

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Pasta with Sausage, Broccoli Rabe and White Beans


Pasta with sausage, broccoli rabe and white beans is a classic combination that needs its own name. While you’re thinking of one, check out our recipe.

Neither one of us grew up in an Italian family. We didn’t have childhoods where there was always a lasagne baking away in the kitchen, twenty people crammed into a dining room, cheerfully shouting at one another to pass the meatballs, Dad sitting at the head of the table with his slicked-back hair, pencil moustache, eating slices of orange, two bodyguards at the door … you know what, I’m thinking of “The Godfather” there, that’s what that is.

Of course, it’s easy to get inspiration from Italian cuisine – there are are a handful of classic pasta dishes that we fall back on for dinner parties or quick weeknight meals, and I think this might be one of our favorites – it’s cheap, easy and phenomenally delicious. We make it all the time.

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Make Ahead Turkey Gravy with Calvados (Apple Brandy)

Make Ahead Turkey Gravy with Calvados (Apple Brandy)

For the last few years, my Thanksgiving philosophy has been “Everything that CAN be made ahead SHALL be made ahead”. I developed this philosophy (religion?) several years ago when Matt and I decided to make Thanksgiving for 13 people in our teeny, tiny Brooklyn kitchen. Our oven could barely fit a normal-sized turkey, let alone anything else at the same time.  We made just about everything we could possibly make days ahead and heated things up while the turkey was resting.

Now we have a normal (ginormous, for us) kitchen, but the make-ahead strategy is still as useful as ever. That is what I love about this gravy (besides its heavenly flavor). I don’t know about you, but for me, the 10 minutes before serving Thanksgiving dinner are the most chaotic and I really don’t want to be measuring flour and reducing stock right at the last minute.

That’s why I really like this method. A few days ahead (or even a week or two), I make stock and from that stock, I make the gravy “base”. Then on Thanksgiving day, I reheat it (the longer it simmers, the better) and when the turkey’s done, I deglaze the roasting pan with some wine and add it to the already simmering gravy. Done! So much easier, seriously.

This gravy has a delicious touch of apple-y sweetness from the Calvados and apple cider. You could substitute Apple Jack, which is a really nice American equivalent and is a lot more affordable. I adapted a Barefoot Contessa recipe which has finely chopped onions in the base. Obviously this will give the gravy some texture so if you like it perfectly smooth, just use an immersion blender (or a regular blender) to puree it.

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Turkey Stock for Gravy

Ultimate Turkey Stock for GravyAsk me what my favorite Thanksgiving recipe is. Go on, ask. Fine, I’ll tell you anyway, but it might just blow your mind (not really, but just go with me here). It’s home-made turkey stock. Well, it’s really the gravy that is made with that stock but I’ll get to that soon.

I know it’s not gorgeously colorful like Mashed Butternut Squash. It’s not a crowd-pleaser like Sausage Stuffing With Apples and Sage, but it really does make everything it goes into taste so much better.

I wish I could say I was one of those people who always has a freezer full of home made stock ready for any culinary adventure, but the truth is I use boxed chicken stock all the time. It’s so convenient and the decent ones taste pretty good.

But for Thanksgiving I always go the extra mile and, funnily enough, it really kicks off the holiday season for me. It’s always the first recipe I make (often a week or even two before Thanksgiving) because I can make it on a weekend and freeze it until it’s needed. Honestly, I think it’s what makes this Make Ahead Turkey Gravy with Calvados (Apple Brandy) so irresistible.

Ultimate Turkey Stock for Gravy