Best Italian Meatballs

Best Italian Meatballs

We went to Rome and stayed in a wonderful apartment for two weeks. One day we took an Italian Cooking Class in Trastevere, one of the oldest parts of Rome.

The main lesson was on how to make Italian meatballs. This is the best meatball recipe I have every tried. This is a very easy meatball recipe because of how the meat is cooked. These amazing meatballs are juicy and flavorful. Once you see how they are made you will understand how these are deliciously different meatballs.

There are two things that make these the most flavorful and delicious meatballs. One is the combination of meats. Adding pork and veal to the beef add multiple flavors. Second, cooking the meatballs in a marinara sauce allows the wonderful tomato flavor to soak into the meatball and breadcrumb mix.

Preparing it this way enables you to skip a step and cook your meatballs and heat your marinara sauce at the same time.


1 LB. Meatloaf mixture prepared by your grocery store:

1/3 ground beef

1/3 ground pork

1/3 ground veal

1 ½ C. Italian breadcrumbs

½ cup marinara sauce

¼ C chopped onion

1 tsp salt

½ tsp pepper

1 tsp basil

1 egg

1 C water to use as needed later.


Put all the ingredients except the water into a bowl. Mix with your fingers until all the ingredients are well mixed.

Roll into small balls about the size of golf balls.

Pour the remainder of the marinara sauce in a large pan. Add ½ C water to make the sauce thinner. It will be cooking for 20 minutes and the sauce gets thicker as they cook, and liquid evaporates. Simmer for 20 minutes on medium so the sauce bubbles slightly, turning them every five minutes. Cut one open to be sure they are cooked through. They will be tender.

Make your spaghetti and serve the meatballs and sauce from the pan over the pasta. I love to put some freshly grated parmesan cheese on top! You can add our

You can put the remaining meatballs in a zip lock bag and freeze for another meal. I usually separate them into serving sizes and I get a few more meals from this.

If you like your meatballs larger be sure to cook them longer and check them before you take them out of the sauce.



Artisan Bread

Artisan Bread

This Artisan Bread is so easy to make! With only 4 ingredients and a few minutes you can have delicious bread that is beautiful and healthy. You will want to make it often!

3 cups all purpose flour

1 tsp. salt

1.5 tsp. yeast

1.5 cups warm water

In a bowl, stir the flour, salt, yeast and water until combined. Cover with plastic wrap and rest at room temperature for 12 hours.

Turn the dough onto a well floured surface with your hands floured, as it is sticky. Form a ball by turning the sides up over each other like an envelope. Cut an x on top with a sharp knife. Rest for 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, heat the oven to 450 degrees. Spray cooking oil into a Dutch oven and put the Dutch oven in the oven while it is heating. Take it out and put the dough into it. Cover and bake for 35 minutes. Uncover and bake for 10 minutes. Depending upon your over it may be ready after 35 minutes. When you take the top off you will see if it is golden brown on top.  Cool before slicing. Delicious!

Artisan Bread

Serve it with our meatball recipe!


DIY Decorating Ideas

A Simple Rule of Decorating

Simple Rule of Decorating

The fun of decorating a room is like listening to classical music. There is a pace and harmony that is pleasing to the eye, and this simple rule of decorating will make you more confident in choosing your fabrics and accessories for your room, even for a beginner. There is a Simple Rule of Decorating that can help.

The simple rule of the 60-30-10 guide is this:

  • Make the main color in the room take about 60% of the color in the room. This can be the color of the walls or if the walls are a basic white, you can use this proportion for curtains, and a bed skirt.
  • The second proportion should be about 30%, and if you think of it as half of the main color. This might be accent chairs, linens, or a painted chest.
  • The last 10% should be another color which could be used for pillows accessories, art, lamps, and baskets.

This will help set a tone and atmosphere for your room, so whether it is a family room, bedroom or living room these rules can help.

pink fabric coordinates

How to Decide on Colors


Choosing the colors is important as well. In past years, many furniture stores and interior decorators have promoted decorator monotones in rooms. All the furnishings in many stores have the fabric on the sofas, the chairs, the curtains and even rugs in tan, beige or grey. This can create a soothing effect, but it is not very personal and is duplicated in too many spots. In these cases, they do not follow the rules of decorating that makes a room interesting.

Benjamin Moore paint company has been clever in marketing by promoting their “Color of The Year”. You go to paint stores that carry Benjamin Moore and they will display a banner with the color they have chosen. Like magic, magazines start to show this color in rooms and even in clothing. Very clever marketing and it seems to work to bring attention to their product, which I really like. Yet, I prefer to choose colors that I personally like. There are colors that are soothing to me.

My very bright mother always told me her simple rule of decorating, “Choose colors from nature and you will never tire of them.” This is something that is valuable when making color decisions.

How do you know what colors you would like the most? How do you use colors that go together?

A Few Ideas to Help You Get Started Choosing Colors

  1. Go to a fabric store and find a fabric you like with several colors in it. Do you think they work well together? Isn’t that why you chose it? Have someone give you a cutting of the fabric and take it home and decide which colors would work well in your room.
  2. Find a room in a decorating magazine that draws your attention. Domino Magazine often tell you how much a product costs so you can stay within your budget. Analyze what colors were used in the room How were the colors used? What was the predominant color? Do you think you would be relaxed in a room with that color? If it is a dark color, would you have enough light in the room for that color?
  3. A store that sells house paint will have paint chips. Now they offer larger individual chips that you can take away. Home Depot offers these larger samples. Put different paint chips together. How do they look together? Choose colors that harmonize like music.
  4. Visit a clothing store to see how cloth designers are putting colors together. Their expert eyes that enabled them to design clothes can also help you choose fabrics and wallpapers.


At there are together fabrics and patterns and colors that coordinate. If you want to try the rules of decorating these fabric designs will help because the coordinated colors and patterns make it easier to design a room. You can also find other decorating ideas and concepts here.










DIY Decorating Ideas

The “Do’s and Don’ts” of DIY Decorating

DIY Design Series

Do you want your home to be creative and reflect your personality, your passion, your pizzaz?

Read on for “The Dos & Don’ts” of DIY decorating. Embrace your style!

                1. Don’t Shop at one upscale home furnishing chain store!

It’s safe to say we all love the look of Pottery Barn, Boston Interiors, West Elm, and upscale home furnishing stores. The style, selection, availability, and convenience all make these easy options to decorate your entire home with. If everything in your home replicates what is in the store, it does not show who you are and how you want your family and friends to feel when they come to sit with you and enjoy time together. As a designer, decorator, stager, I choose not to buy furniture at any one store.

                 2.   Do Embark on a design exploration.

Too many young families rely on someone else’s taste to decorate their home. With some education and exploration, you can design your own room from several sources.

First gather your information. It takes time to gather a collection of furnishings for a room when you go to several sources. But don’t rush! Try not to get into a comfort zone feeling the need to have your home decorated quickly. If you want your house to look different from everyone else’s home, make it personal, make it yours by furnishing it with furniture, lamps and accessories that says who you are. Be creative.

                   3. Do Start with Ideas

How do I get started with designing my own space? “But I don’t know how”, you might say. Well, I will give you a few simple ideas to create your own space that shows your personality and separates you from your friends and neighbors.  There are some guidelines that can offer ideas. One is the 60-30-10 Rule which you can see here.

Showing your own style does not mean you need to spend a lot of money on the most revered interior designer. Their creative and unique styles can be seen and studied in magazines. I love decorating magazines. It is one of my treasured pastimes. It is where I find the decorating ideas that work for me.

Some of my favorites range from Veranda and Architectural Digest to Domino, Elle Décor, House Beautiful, House and Garden, English Home, Traditional Home and Country Home.

I enjoy walking though Renovation Hardware and Ikea. I love Ethan Allan and Pottery Barn (yes, I look!). West Elm and Johnathan Adler have fun, contemporary ideas. Anthropologie has some of the most eclectic and fun furnishings. One of my favorite stores is Home Goods. And I might mix and match from each store. But I will not buy a set of anything except for dining chairs. Yet, even dining chairs do not need to match to create a great look!

Everything need not be the same style or period.  That does not necessarily make for good design. Good design is more like a piece of music. One goal is to have a harmony that you decide on, with your budget and with your colors.

                  4. Do Embrace Your Style & Taste

John Rosselli and Bunny Williams have become famous for their design. They are high on my list of fabulous designers.  But what makes them famous is that they introduced ideas on how to create your own style and story. They explain the thought process is behind their design. Their rooms are inviting, handsome and comfortable. You want to be in that room for a reason. It might be the fabric or painting or windows that makes it special or the combination of all the decorating elements. offers combinations of fabrics and wallpapers that are coordinated to create a look within one company.

Sister Parish also had the same philosophy. She had a unique style and tried to bring great design without a huge decorating budget. Yet her style was so revered, she went on to design the White House for Jackie Kennedy. Her granddaughter and great granddaughter follow in her footsteps with a unique and beautiful line of fabrics and wallpapers under the name of Sister Parish.

Another wonderful example of designers with a flair is a design company called Madcap Cottage. They say they are full of whimsy and fun design. They create their own fabrics and have a special flair for adding unique touches to a room. I especially love their painted floors!

                      5. Don’t Spend A Fortune

Find unique accessories that show who you are. You can go to thrift shops and find great things online as well to bring something unique and different to your home that shows who you are and what your interests are presently. I love thrift shops. Many churches have them. I think they are often the best! I find old plates that I often hang on the wall, fun paintings in great frames, old serving dishes from around the world, bird cages and baskets too. These will make your home warm and inviting.

                      6. Do Take Sage Advice

Years ago, I was a home stager. I redecorated homes that were going on the market for sale. About half of the homes I redecorated to bring them to a more sophisticated level by replacing a few pieces of furniture or a rug. Sometimes they were builder’s homes that were large and needed furnishings to help people understand the perspective and size of the room.  Some of the finds from the thrift shops, whether they were antiques or pretty plates enhanced the rooms. It was a lot of work and took a lot of inventory, but it was a great business.

I will do a separate piece on staging a home.

Look at some of the websites below and see the difference in the styles. These companies present great style. Your budget can be small to large. Make it as you wish!