Cocktail Meatballs with Spicy Blueberry Sauce for #TripleSBites

Today is the day to officially kick off February (the month of romance) and #TripleSBites.   #TripleSBites is a group of food bloggers who will focus on the spiciness, sauciness, and sexiness of this special romantic month.


Romance here at the Eliot’s Eats is simple.   It’s all about finger foods.

Yep, a romantic dinner in this household means appetizers and perhaps a cocktail or two.

Appetizers lend themselves to romance because most of the time they can be prepared ahead and presented without a lot of immediate prep time.

Case in point:  this cocktail meatball recipe.

The original recipe for these comes from Sounds Delicious, a 1986 fundraising cookbook from the Volunteer Council of the Tulsa Philharmonic Society.   The recipe was entitled “Aunt Helen’s Special Meatballs” and I have tweaked it so much that it barely resembles the original.

Sometimes the sauce is a homemade BBQ sauce, sometimes from a bottle and sometimes these get plopped into our favorite spaghetti sauce.

The sauce this time around is extra special because I used Not Ketchup’s Blueberry White Pepper dipping sauce as a base. This dish is also appropriate for #TripleSBites because I used three of our sponsors’ products.   Besides Not Ketchup’s Blueberry White Pepper dipping sauce, I also used Gourmet Garden’s garlic paste and Italian blend.   And, I used the very handy V-Etched Spice Grater to grate the nutmeg for the meatballs.   Triple threat!

meatball products

We have had these meatballs on many a Christmas Eve Buffet and for countless pot lucks.   But, my favorite way to experience them is for a quiet cocktail hour with The Hubs.

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Cocktail Meatballs with Spicy Blueberry Sauce

1 1/2 lbs.  ground beef (75% lean)
1/2 lb. lean sausage
1 egg, beaten
3/4 c. seasoned bread crumbs
1 t. fine sea salt
1/2 t. Gourmet Garden garlic paste
1/2 t. Gourmet Garden Italian blend
1/2 t. fresh ground pepper
1/4 t. fresh ground nutmeg
2 T. whipping cream
1/4 c. minced onion

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Combine all ingredients in a large mixing bowl.  Form into 1″ balls.  (Using a cookie scoop is ideal for this.)  Place in a foil lined baking pan and bake 20-25 minutes.

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This recipe makes about 60 one-inch meatballs.

Drain and place in a baking dish.  Prepare sauce (recipe below).

Place meatballs in a baking dash, cover with the sauce and bake for 30 minutes.


Spicy Blueberry Sauce

14 oz. Not Ketchup Blueberry White Pepper Sauce
1 c. chicken stock
2 T. white wine vinegar
2 T. Worcestershire sauce
2 T. low sodium soy sauce
1/2 t. fine sea salt
1/2 c. brown sugar, firmly packed

Combine all sauce ingredients  in a small sauce pan and heat to a simmer, whisking to dissolve sugar.   Simmer for 25 minutes.

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I don’t know which sponsor’s gift to rave about first.

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(Disclaimer:   I did receive a complimentary bottle of Not Ketchup’s Blueberry White Pepper dipping sauce, a boatload of Gourmet Garden products and the handy spice grater from Kitchen !Q for participating in #TripleSBites.  I have received no additional compensation for this post and the opinions expressed here are solely my own.   My recipe shared in the review of this product was not sponsored.)

So, here goes in the order of their use in my recipe:

  1. Using Gourmet Garden‘s products is the best way to have a fresh herb taste in the dead of winter.   I purchase them often so we can have the taste of summer outside of the growing season.
  2. I love to use fresh nutmeg and cinnamon in recipes, but it takes some time to grate these ingredients and it is a bit messy.   I love that Kitchen !Q‘s grater has a vessel to keep the spices contained while grating.
  3. And, Not Ketchup, what can I say?  The Blueberry White Pepper made the best sauce ever (to date) for these meatballs.   I had previously used the Cherry Chipotle sauce and I plan to purchase the Spiced Fig. (Hmmm….that would make a great meatball sauce, too, I bet.)

Make sure that you enter the #TripleSBites giveaway.   Click  here to read the announcement post and to enter.   You could win a great Not Ketchup prize package, Gourmet Garden prize package which includes some new products, or the V-Etched Spice Grater.    Good luck and make sure you enter!


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