It’s been a while since I’ve touched a basketball. My athletic career peaked in middle school, back when the number of sweatbands you wore was just as important as your skill level. While I never learned to spin the ball on one finger, my ball-handling skills have managed to improve since then—in the kitchen, that is. And if you think ball hogs only exist on the basketball courts, you haven’t seen my party guests when I bring out the cheese ball. Here’s my winning roster for the best ball-shaped recipes.
There’s a lot of attention on the action on the field these days—but if I’m honest, I’m more interested in the action in the kitchen. And trust me, the pride and preparation that goes into planning an awesome game-day spread can be every bit as intense as anything that’s happening in the game. When everyone’s focus is on the play-by-play and the funny commercials, I want my meatballs and slow-cooker rib sandwiches to be so incredible that guests break out of their football trance to say, “Hey, these are amazing. You made them?”
I can still remember the very first dinner party I hosted in my very first apartment like it was yesterday. Moments before the first guest arrived, I was standing over my stove paralyzed with anxiety. I had thrown all my efforts into creating the perfect atmosphere (purchasing new plates, lighting candles, creating centerpieces and cleaning the place from top to bottom) but had neglected the most integral part of the night’s success. The star of the show was to be spaghetti and meatballs served with a homemade arrabbiata sauce. Everything seemed to be going well until it was time to roll the meat and I realized I had no idea how to make meatballs. Continue reading