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Want to Eat Healthier & Make it Easier?

You all know that I love meal planning, but I also think it is a lot of work! All that planning is tiresome and I often need inspiration not just from Pinterest, but also from other bloggers! I need someone else to do the work!

Enter, Healthy Eating Made Easy  a new E-course by one of my favorite bloggers, Jessica from Life as Mom…and YES- this is the same author of the book that I own and love, Good, Cheap, Eats. If you remember, way back when, I told you about this great new cookbook that I had just bought, and why I loved it, and since then I have dog-eared more than a few recipes that my family loves. And now, Jessica just launched this course full of tips, tricks, strategies, and recipes to help the average home cook eat well on a budget without a lot of hassle. Like no-hassle. She does most of the planning for you!!

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Healthy Eating Made Easy

I just bought herProtein Power Meal Plans, (not available right now) that included one month of dairy-free, gluten-free, protein packed recipes, a grocery list for each week, and lots of tips on making my menu planning go super easy and healthy for the month. So I knew this e-course would be nothing short of awesome too. It INCLUDES the Protein Power Meals Plan, which does all the meal-planning for you!!!!, but it also has a Healthy Eating Made Easy Workbook & a separate recipe book and video tutorials!

And the price is a short $27.

Can I just tell you, the workbook is full of printables that I want to have all year around- I just may make copies and stick them in my planner! There is a ton of goodies in there, but a couple of my faves:

  • Daily Checklist: which has a food-log of menus for the day, a water-to-drink spot, and exercise spot. I love this!
  • Weekly menu planner template
  • Month-long tracker for all your eating healthy goals
  • So much more!

I have to say, even if you are following another eating-clean type of program, this just checks off all the boxes for me: keeping organized is half the battle for any plan, and this has the recipes, checklists, and plans for you to stay on track!

If you need to stay motivated, organized and get great recipes that suit lots of healthy eating plans (Whole 30, Advocare, 21-Day Fix, Weight-Watchers), than Healthy Eating Made Easy is your guy!

CLICK HERE to buy!

Healthy Eating Made Easy

This post may contain affiliate links- see my full disclosure page.

Italian Wedding Soup #SundaySupper

Upon request of my friend, Marianne, I am making my best (echem), well- first version of Italian wedding soup for you all today! And I have to say…It is awesome! I make soup all the time, and there is always a simple strategy once you start making it: veggies, broth, meat, and maybe pasta or beans. Italian Wedding Soup is no different. Basically Italian Wedding Soup has some main components that you can change up:

  • green vegetables: kale, spinach, cabbage, endive, or escarole
  • meat: meatballs made with chicken, beef, or pork
  • broth: chicken or vegetable
  • pasta: small stars, mini-tubes, balls, or orzo
  • optional add ins: shredded chicken, lentils, parmesan cheese

Italian Wedding Soup | Hardly A Goddess
Of course, never having made it before, I looked up the short-list of the best italian cook’s recipes that I could think of: Lidia Bastianich, Giada De Laurentiis, Mary Ann Esposito, and Mario Batali. To say these inspired my recipe is kind of an understatement. They are so different  as some use turkey, prociutto, or escarole, while others add basil, kale, and sausage.Italian Wedding Soup | Hardly A Goddess

Inspired to make a few new variations in search of the best version of this staple soup, I am starting with a beef meatball version that is pared down to be able to make easily any night after work. You can use any other substituions to ramp up your meatballs, like adding prociutto, or sausage, or using your own homemade stock if you happen to have it on hand. I am sharing with you a quicker, weeknight-meal kind of version here, using chicken stock from the carton (or can), a one pound package of ground grass-fed lean beef, and dried ditalini pasta.

Italian Wedding Soup #SundaySupper

Italian Wedding Soup #SundaySupper

This is a comforting and easy soup to make for a great weeknight meal. It gets better after a day, so make it ahead and serve with a crusty loaf of bread~ yum!


    For the meatballs
  • 16oz package of ground beef
  • 1 cup of seasoned bread crumb
  • 1/4 cup of milk
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 cup fresh grated parmesean or romano
  • 1 Tbsp fresh lemon zest
  • 1 salt
  • 2 Tbsp. minced fresh parsely
  • 1/2 grated onion
  • For the soup
  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 2 carrots peeled and diced
  • 2 ribs of celery diced
  • 1/2 an onion diced
  • 2 cartons (8 cups) of chicken stock or broth
  • 8 cups of chopped kale


  1. You need one large stock pot, and two smaller pots (one for pasta, one for meatballs)
  2. To make the meatballs
  3. Mix the ingredients in a large bowl until thoroughly combined.
  4. Scoop 1/2 tsp.of the meat mixture and roll into round balls. Continue rolling until all the meat is rolled.
  5. Drop the balls into rolling, boiling, salted water. Do this in stages to avoid over crowding. The meatballs will sink at first and then float. Once they float, continue to cook for 3 minutes and then remove with a slotted spoon to a separate bowl.Set aside.
  6. Make the pasta
  7. Make according to package directions. Strain and set aside.
  8. Make the soup
  9. To a large pot, heat the oil until hot. Add the onion, celery, and carrot and cook until translucent.
  10. Add the broth and kale and simmer for 15 minutes.
  11. Add the meatballs to the soup.
  12. To serve
  13. Add cooked pasta to individual bowls before ladling the soup over the top.
  14. Garnish with fresh grated parmesan and parsley.


I boiled (poached) the meatballs separately from the soup, as I do this with matzo balls as well- it helps keep the broth clear and makes more of it- I like adding the pasta separately too, so it doesn't absorb the broth as it sits and get mushy. If you are eating this right away, you can poach the meatballs and the pasta directly in the soup, making this a one pot meal- easily!

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Italian Wedding Soup | Hardly A GoddessThanks to our host for this week’s link-up, Sarah from Chef Next Door!

Appetizers, Soups, and Salads

Lean Ground Beef Recipes


Sandwiches and Wraps


Sunday Supper MovementJoin the #SundaySupper conversation on twitter on Sunday! We tweet throughout the day and share recipes from all over the world. Our weekly chat starts at 7:00 pm ET. Follow the #SundaySupper hashtag and remember to include it in your tweets to join in the chat. To get more great Sunday Supper Recipes, visit our website or check out our Pinterest board. Would you like to join the Sunday Supper Movement? It’s easy. You can sign up by clicking here: Sunday Supper Movement.

White-Chocolate Peppermint Crunch Popcorn #FoodieExtravaganza

peppermint-crunch-popcornGot some leftover peppermint stick candy canes lying around? Me too! My kids love popcorn, and this white-chocolate covered version is a favorite of theirs. It is both salty and sweet. I am doing a peppermint version, with a touch of salt. If peppermint is not your thing, this recipe is so customizable and great for using up leftover candy (like my White Chocolate Salty-Sweet Popcorn with M&Ms). Or you can try some other great popcorn ideas from the #FoodieExtravaganza bloggers at the end of the post!

white chocolate peppermint crunch popcorn

White-Chocolate Peppermint Crunch Popcorn #FoodieExtravaganza

White-Chocolate Peppermint Crunch Popcorn #FoodieExtravaganza


  • 8 cups popped corn
  • 6 oz. white chocolate chips (half a big bag)
  • 1 cup of crushed corn chips (like Fritos or Bugles, not tortilla!)
  • 1/2 cup crushed candycanes, mint flavored.


  1. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment or waxed paper.
  2. Pour your popcorn on the sheet in an even layer.
  3. Add the crushed chips over all.
  4. Melt your white-chocolate chips on a 50% power setting, stirring every 30 seconds until smooth.Drizzle over the popcorn and chips.
  5. Sprinkle the crushed peppermint sticks.
  6. Let sit for about 30 minutes or until the white chocolate has hardened.
  7. Break into chunks and serve!
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Foodie Extravaganza is where we celebrate obscure food holidays or cook and bake together with the same ingredient or theme each month. This month we celebrate National Popcorn Day (which is January 19th) by serving up popcorn as creatively as we can.

Camilla from Culinary Adventures with Camilla is hosting and here’s the challenge she shared with the crew…

“National Popcorn Day is celebrated annually January 19th. It can be sweet, savory, buttered, plain, and even shaped into balls. So, bring your most fun, creative – or just your favorite – twist to eating popcorn.”

Posting day for #FoodieExtravaganza is always the first Wednesday of each month. If you are a blogger and would like to join our group and blog along with us, come join our Facebook page Foodie Extravaganza. We would love to have you! If you’re a spectator looking for delicious tid-bits check out our Foodie Extravaganza Pinterest Board! Looking for our previous parties? Check them out HERE.

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