Monday, February 3, 2014

Meatballs, Pong Balls, and Footballs, Oh My!

After the brittle temperatures that came to Raleigh last week, I was happy to have a chance to open our balcony door on Sunday and let a little bit of fresh air in. Good news is - we made it through January!

Later in the evening we bundled up and headed downtown to meet a few friends for dinner and drinks at a new restaurant, Oak City Meatball Shoppe. Aaron and I had tried to get a table for dinner earlier in January, but the wait was too long. This time we made it to a table with only a short wait.

The Oak City Meatball experience is great for MTO (made to order) lovers. Begin by selecting one of the five meatball offerings: traditional beef, chicken, veggie, spicy pork, and the ball of the day. Step 2 is picking on of the sauce selections, which include classic tomato, parm cream, pesto, meat sauce, mushroom gravy, and the sauce of the day.

Time to eat? Nope - you're not done yet! The last decision you can make is what side or salad you want to try with your. With around 30 combinations of meatballs, sauces, and sides, this menu will never get boring.

For our first time dining at the meatball shoppe, I knew that I wanted to stick to the basics and see if their classic Italian offerings would hold up. I decided to try the traditional beef meatballs with classic tomato sauce over risotto.

The result? Two thumbs up on the whole dish! The meatballs were flavorful, the sauce tasted fresh, and the risotto was perfectly creamy and mixed in with the sauce very well. I almost forgot to take a photo because I was so excited to dig in! Actually... that happens a lot...

Everyone at our table ordered a different meatball combination, so we had fun trying each others dishes. Family style! The mac and cheese was voted best side dish among our group. Also, the meatballs are fork and knife size, not toothpick size, so I had plenty of left overs to enjoy for lunch on Saturday.

After dinner Aaron and I hugged our friends goodbye and then headed home for the night to rest up after a long week.

Saturday morning started with bagel sandwiched at Bruegger's and a few errands around town. After breakfast we made a quick trip to Harris Teeter to pick up Superbowl food supplies and then I took my car to at the new Take 5 location on Creedmoor Rd.

The big event of the day was the 2014 Winter Beer Olympics at our friends house in Durham. We got together into 4 teams of 3 to compete for the championship! We had representation from Ireland, Jamaica, Ohio (not a county, but we allowed it), and my team, Georgia (the country?). We played through 7 out of 8 events before we called it a day and in the end team Ohio earned the gold medal.

February 2nd, also known as Ground Day, also know as the 8th anniversary of when Aaron and I first started dating. Last year we celebrated with dinner at The Angus Barn, but this year we haven't decided what we will do to celebrate.

After the games on Saturday we needed a bit of recovery time so we decided that it was finally a good time to watch the new Discovery mini-series, Klondike, that has been sitting on the DVR for a few weeks.

As we were watching Klondike, we read the news of Philip Seymour Hoffman's unexpected death. I found the news first on Buzzfeed, but it quickly spread across all of the social media and news channels. It is very sad to hear of his passing.

Finally, our weekend wrapped up with Superbowl XLVIII. I'm sure that anyone who is reading this post knows all about the game, the halftime show, and most importantly, the commercials, so I won't go into any of that. I will tell you that Aaron and I whipped up a delicious spread and the star of the evening was not my annual go-to dish, Hot Pink Salsa, but a batch of Frank's Redhot Buffalo Chicken Dip that Aaron picked.

Below is the recipe that we used. If you click through the source link, there are recipe variations.

Frank's Redhot Buffalo Chicken Dip
1 pkg. (8 oz.) cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup Frank's Redhot® Original Cayenne Pepper Sauce
1/2 cup ranch dressing
20 oz. cooked chicken, shredded
1/2 cup 4 Cheese Mexican cheese, shredded

Preheat oven to 350°F
Combine all ingredients in a 1-quart baking dish
Bake for 20 minutes or until mixture is heated through
Serve with crackers, chips or chopped vegetables

Recipe Source:

What adventures did you find this weekend?

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