Monday, April 16, 2012

Rural Women Rock the Kitchen Meet Mommas Meals

The whole thing wouldn't be worth a WOOP if it weren't for you women.  So thank you Tammi.  I love that you googled Rural.  We call it The Rural Spirit and it has more to do with a state of mind than location.  We welcome you no matter the size of your village:)

We have food today. Our first feature with a recipe. I’m loving it! You'll want to try this one. 

Within the last 24 hours I have visited with two women who suffered with postpartum depression. I’m not sure we can fully realize how much we help each other when we share our stories. Postpartum is such a common thing, but it can feel like you are alone on the planet. Thank you for sharing your story Tammi. Have a wonderful Tuesday ladies- I am! ~ Kasse D.
I came across RWR in a way that was probably much like you. When I asked Kasse what the guidelines of being featured were, what would she like me to include, etc  etc, I knew I found a great website when she replied back to me later that night with “
We really have no rules.  Each woman has taken her own unique approach. I think this is what makes it so fun.”  So thank you Kasse for the opportunity to share my story and introducing me to your wonderful website.
I truly believe that everyone has a story and that story is what makes you who you are.  I may be a thirty something year old wife, mother, daughter, sister, cousin and best friend but what made me Tammi are the experiences that earned me each of those titles.  I’ve read a lot of the touching stories on RWR and when I first came across the website I had to actually Google the meaning of “Rural” I didn’t know if where I lived and if my life was considered “Rural” but then as I read the stories I realized I’m just like all of you. I have my unique story, I have a beginning.
I grew up in small town called Dracut, MA. Now a lot of people may think well is that a large town, a city like town, a cow town? Mmmm well all of the above I guess! I grew up down the street from a farm, graduated with a class of 199, and for fun we went to the mall or the movies. Let me go back even further because I’m pretty proud that my parents met when they were 16 at the campground where I now raise my own family. Here is a picture of me and my father at our camp and me and my husband on our wedding night by the same tree at our camp. This was the cake a friend of mine had made for my baby shower (Yes I cried!) It was sweet, yes sweet of her and sweet tasting!
Now here is a picture of my baby girl on that same beach. (look at those legs!)
So as you can see this campground started it all for me and we are still their enjoying it. I had a great childhood; my mom was a SAHM and was able to devote a lot of herself to my older sister and me. I was the typical teenager for the most part got into trouble but stayed away from the “bad” crowd. Life was good until I was a month away from turning 21 when I lost someone I loved for over 3 years in a motorcycle accident. I lost a lot of myself through that experience. I had no idea that I was in for even more heartache not even 2 years later when my father was diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer. I learnt more about my father in those next nine months than I ever could have learnt in a lifetime. How could the best time of my life really be the worst time of my life because I was slowly losing my father but also getting to know him in a way that I probably never would have? I questioned a lot at that point in my life; I was 23 going on 53.
That time in my life taught me so much, I was stronger than I thought I was, I was as stubborn as they came, I grew anxiety and didn’t even know it, and I became cold-hearted with the hopes of someday being able to feel again.
I lost relationship after relationship, all I ever wanted was the love that my mother and father had, and I wanted the family I always longed for. The years went by and I made the best I could out of my career in finance when in reality all I wanted to do was be a mother. I had just about lost hope in those dreams when I met my husband in 2005. We met on a dating website believe it or not, he was my second blind date I was his last he said because he was almost ready to give up! We hit it off, but I was still confused and broken after many years of trying to make something out of myself, after years of trying to love again, years of missing the father that would never walk me down the aisle. I often ask my husband why he stuck around so long dealing with a “damaged” me. He said “Because I knew you would be worth the wait.” I still get teary eyed when I think of that response to this day. I thank God every day for giving my husband the patience and heart that he has because if it weren’t for that, well who knows where I’d be…….
We married in 2009, and we both immediately wanted to start a family. My heart broke month after month when it didn’t happen. However Valentine’s Day of 2010 we found out we were expecting. We couldn’t have been happier. I had a fantastic pregnancy. I felt great, I had none of those horrible symptoms so many woman get, I was really lucky. We spent the next 9 months getting ready for our new little baby girl.
I had no idea what I was in for, I remember saying not that long ago “I finally have everything I’ve ever wanted, but I’m still not happy……” WHY?? I had no idea that the day that I became a mother was going to be the day when God tested me the most. Being a mother isn’t always fun, games and pretty bows. I felt as if everything I had worked so hard on was slowly slipping away.  I’m not a fan of change, I like things to be the way I plan them, I like a clutter free home, I knew that when I became a mother those things would change, I just had no idea that I as a person,  wasn’t going to be able to deal with the change within myself.  I didn’t realize that being a SAHM was going to be something that my family and I could afford so when it presented itself to be an option, I was more than thrilled. However, months into being a mother I longed to go back to work. I longed for my old life back; with an ache in my heart I wanted my husband back. I loved my daughter more than life itself, the day I brought her into this world I didn’t think I could love a human being as much as I loved her that very moment. I still felt incomplete. I finally went to my doctor and told her about the way I was feeling, about the anxiety I felt going into crowded areas. I never wanted an antidepressant. I had been through so much in my life I just kept thinking that I can get through this too. I had no idea that I had Postpartum Depression. I knew what depression was, I had seen it before, however when it consumed me I had no idea.
That was just six short months ago. Since then I’ve discovered a love in the kitchen that I had never known before. Being a SAHM my job was now caring for my family, taking care of my home and raising my daughter.  I didn’t realize that whenever my husband said “Wow this is good” when we sat down for dinner I felt a sense of pride. I felt good again. I then realized that the more time and feeling I put into my dishes the better they came out. I want to teach my daughter to eat healthy and make good decisions about the things she puts in her mouth. I enjoy taking the “really unhealthy” recipes and make them healthier. It’s still a work in process because I have yet to lose my baby weight! I then started I started this blog as a way to share my recipes with my loved ones and it turned into a lot more. I write about the days with my daughter which is a great way for my family to stay in touch with us. My mother and Mother-in-Law love seeing what we do every day.
I bought a book not too long ago written by a couple of mothers who talk about reclaiming your identity, learning to love the “new” you. I feel as if that’s what I’m finally doing now that I have found a medication that works for me and an outlet for my feelings. Writing gives me strength; cooking makes me happy and now that I can finally “feel” happy I’m working on being happy.
Life is all about the journey that we experience, the roads with all of the forks that force us to choose a way, learning to live with those life choices we make along the way.  Now that I had the joy of giving life, I feel as if life it is so very precious.
Now that you know my journey let me share with you what I do best! Cook!! I tried this recipe last week and I amazed myself because I had no idea homemade meatballs could taste so good!!  Don’t forget to check out some other great recipes or if you just want to listen to a mom brag or complain stop on by at  

                Ok so here we go……here are the  ingredients:

2 pounds lean ground beef (I have ground turkey breast)
1 egg
2 tablespoons olive oil
2/3 cup romano cheese
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 teaspoons dried basil
2 teaspoons dried parsley
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/3 cup panko bread crumbs
4 ounces of mozzarella cheese, cut into cubes + more for topping
3 cups of your favorite pasta sauce
12-15 slider buns (or dinner rolls if you cannot find them)                 
basil for garnish/topping

I started by combining the meat (I used ground turkey breast), egg, oil, bread crumbs, parmesan cheese, salt, pepper, basil and parsley into a meatloaf mixture.
    Don’t be afraid to get in there! But don’t over mix that could be 
                      bad! For once I did my mixing perfect!

 Then I formed meatballs using 3 tbsp of the mixture for each one. I
      got my mozzarella cheese ready to stuff into each meatball. I
        used the cheese sticks because I thought it would be easiest, however next time I’ll use fresh just to make it that much more ewy
             I took a piece a of mozzarella and stuck it in the middle of 
                                          each meatball.
           I pushed the piece of cheese into each meatball and
                       reformed the meatball around the cheese.

         I then poured 2 cups of the pasta sauce on the bottom of a  
    greased baking dish (another pampered chef pan I LOVE!) and
   placed all of the meatballs into the dish. I also poured the last of
       the sauce around the balls, sprinkled some more bread crumbs
                                 and parmesan cheese on top.

I baked it in a preheated oven of 400F for 30-35 minutes. It smelled
              up my whole kitchen! Smelt like an Italian restaurant!!

              I cut my dinner rolls and assembled each meatball.
          I even had to cut one open to see the cheese inside! This is where I would use fresh next time instead of the sticks!! (Thank you
             boo for letting me have a few cheese sticks LOL!!)

       My husband gave it an 8 out of 10, hmmmmmmmm wonder if I’ll
          ever cook a 10!!!! I have leftovers and I’m pretty sure boo will
             eat some!! How can you not, LOOK at the yumminess…….I
                          surrendered into having three of them!!



  1. Hi Tammie! This is reality huh girl? I am so grateful that you have shared your story. Life is difficult and can be a struggle. Being a mom can be hard, really hard sometimes. I believe it is very important to do something that you enjoy!!!

    I can't wait to try this recipe and to check out your site!!

    God bless you!!! You are an encouragement to so many women!!!

    1. Hi Candy, thank you so much for reading my story....I've just learnt that talking about it makes me feel better and if it can help anyone feel better...I'm all for it! Thanks for visiting and feel free to browse my recipes, I swear by them!!
      Take Care!

    2. It really does help to get those feelings out! It also helps others realize they are not alone!

      I am going to try the meatballs tonight :))

      btw...your baby girl is Precious...I'm sure she takes after her momma!!!

  2. What a great story! Thank you for sharing your experiences. God Bless!

    1. Hi Elizabeth, thank you so much for means a lot to me, this was a big step for me!
      Take Care,

    2. I just made the meatballs- Yum! An entire family pleaser, and that doesn't happen often.

      Thank you Tammi!

  3. Oh that is fantastic! So glad they enjoyed! Next time I'm making them with an actual pasta dish!! YUM! :)

    1. I need to find a really good recipe for Alfredo sauce (that tastes like Olive Garden's), so if you ever come up with one or across one...let me know (;

      Sounds like the meatballs might be good with Alfredo and some kind of pasta?

    2. We had them on buns. It was different for us and we loved it, but pasta and Alfredo(especially Olive Garden's) sounds fantastic. This just makes me think we need to be sharing recipies.

    3. OMG your a genius! Those meatballs would be fabulous in a good Alfredo sauce, I usally stay away from it because it's like the "death" sauce as far as high in fat, but you know me I'll reduce it and still make it yummy!! I'm on it! I have a lighted up version of Alfredo on my site I may try adding that to the meatballs next time....we are for sure trading recipes!