Tuesday, May 31, 2011

In my Kitchen: Christina from Full House

The incredible fantastic, the one and only Christina from Full House is sharing her beautiful kitchen and her cooking secrets with all of us today. I'm very very excited, because all the glimpses Christina has shared of her home have made me go all nuts, so having her kitchen today here is to me a privilege. Plus Christina is my hero, mom to 5 little kids, incredibly beautiful and stylish and a sweetness.

Eat in or out: Both.  It is still a bit of a novelty at this time in life to get away from home so I very much welcome any opportunity to go out to eat.
Take away or restaurant:  It is hard to turn away an opportunity to be waited on, so I am going with restaurant.  I do have to say though that there certainly is a time and a place for good take-out..like when you don't want to cook or get ready. 
I cook for ... My husband and five darling little children.

Healthy food: Lentils, spinach and quinoa.
Indulgence:  Quality dark chocolate, european style whole milk yogurt, nuts, olives, crab & lobster, 
Weekend Meal:  Thin crust pizza.  I had to carry on the tradition of my parents..pizza at least once a weekend.
Date Dinner:  Something that includes a flavorful piece of seafood.  I would never turn down crab, lobster or sea bass....now if only it wasn't so darn pricey.  If it were up to my husband it would include sushi.
Quick fix:  Salmon and steamed veggies.  Can't forget that good old macaroni & cheese out of a box. 
My kitchen is:  open, cozy and a place where I spend the majority of my time at home.  Also next on the list for a little facelift. 
Favorite gadget(s):  Simple steam basket & my vita-mix (fancy blender).
In the kitchen, I couldn't live without:  Garbage disposal or dishawasher..because I did for a year one time and it sucked but then again it made me appreciate it that much more when we had those things again.
My cooking bible:  epicurious.com, 101 cookbooks, or the Vance family cookbook (I had to throw that one in my Grandma;-)

My must ingredients:  garlic, lemon, honey, butter, sea salt and LOVE (the secret ingredient, ha)
Spicy or Mild:  Bring on the spice.

My recipe: Turkey Meatballs with homemade sauce
1 small onion, grated
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 large egg
1/4 cup dried bread crumbs
3 tablespoons ketchup
1/4 cup chopped fresh Italian parsley leaves
1/4 cup grated Parmesan
1/4 cup grated Pecorino Romano
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 pound ground dark turkey meat
3 tablespoons olive oil
26 ounces Simple Tomato Sauce, recipe follows, or store-bought marinara sauce


Add the onion, garlic, egg, bread crumbs, ketchup, parsley, Parmesan, Pecorino, salt and pepper to a large bowl and blend. Mix in the turkey. Shape the turkey mixture into 1 1/4-inch-diameter meatballs. Place on a large plate or baking sheet.
Heat the oil in a heavy large frying pan over medium-high heat. Add the meatballs and saute until browned on all sides, about 5 minutes. Turn off heat. Transfer the meatballs to a plate. Pour off any excess oil. Add the marinara sauce, about 3 cups. Return all the meatballs to the pan. Turn the heat to medium-low and simmeruntil the sauce thickens slightly and the flavors blend, 15 to 20 minutes. Season the sauce, to taste, with salt and pepper.
Transfer the meatball mixture to a serving bowl. Serve with toothpicks.

Simple Tomato Sauce:
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 small onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 stalk celery, chopped
1 carrot, chopped
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 (32-ounce) cans crushed tomatoes
4 to 6 basil leaves
2 dried bay leaves
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, optional
In a large casserole pot, heat oil over medium high heat. Add onion and garlic and saute until soft and translucent, about 2 minutes. Add celery and carrots and season with salt and pepper. Saute until all the vegetables are soft, about 5 minutes. Add tomatoes, basil, and bay leaves and simmer covered on low heat for 1 hour or until thick. Remove bay leaves and check for seasoning. If sauce still tastes acidic, add unsalted butter, 1 tablespoon at a time to round out the flavors.
Add half the tomato sauce into the bowl of a food processor. Process until smooth. Continue with remaining tomato sauce.
If not using all the sauce, allow it to cool completely and pour 1 to 2 cup portions into freezer plastic bags. This will freeze up to 6 months.
Have you seen the past post in the series? 
Check out these ladies' kitchens:
Sue, Debby, Christine and Beth 


  1. Such a chic kitchen with the black and white accents. Christina is one stylish mamma all the while managing her busy and adorable family.
    Thanks for sharing her kitchen and the yummy recipe!

  2. Oooooh these meatballs sound great... and Christina's kitchen is equally as divine. Loving this series Helena! It's a delight to see two of my faves in one spot. xoxo

  3. Oh I adore Christina and her kitchen is beyond gorgeous- love the ginger jars with the pretty agate adornments and that mirror...oh and the chairs! Couldn't agree more about the seafood, olives, weekly pizze and European yogurt. The turkey meatballs sound soo good- love this series!!

  4. oh my, I would be inspired cooking in that kitchen for sure.

  5. I love her style, and her kitchen is gorgeous! What a fun series! Very excited to try out her recipe, thanks for sharing!

  6. Liking Christina's lovely black and white stripe runner!

  7. I absolutely love this serious, it's as addictive as an open packet of roasted almonds.

  8. Sigh, series! I loathe predictive text.

  9. Thank you so much for having me Helena AND thank you for all of the very nice words.

    xx - Christina

  10. If that was my kitchen then I would be cooking all the time.


  11. Beautiful kitchen! Love these posts so much! Thanks for sharing!! xx Nina

  12. The design is appealing and I love how contrasting they are.

  13. What a beautiful kitchen! And the recipes sound yummy :) xoxo

  14. What a gorgeous kitchen! Love the striped rug!

  15. Wow girl. Beautiful kitchen. Five kids. Eats quinoa. Is this humanly possible?

  16. I love this design of this kitchen is so elegant and beautiful like it has to be because is the most important part of every house


Thanks for your comments and for taking the time to read A Diary of Lovely. I hope you will be coming again soon.

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