When I was 13 years old I could not WAIT to turn 18. It took forever, but as you may have noticed, I made it. Now that I feel like setting the brakes on time, days pass flying by, turn into weeks, months, so here we are at the end of May, and I find myself with quite a few years added to those eighteen. Unreal. Anyway, the last Monday of May brings with it the formidable joy of Reveal Day from The Secret Recipe Club.  If you don’t already know about it, a food blogger is paired with another one in secret, has about a month to pick a recipe and cook from it, then the whole group blogs about their chosen dish at the exact same time.  Nothing is cooler than this, you must admit. I was paired this month with Life on Food, hosted by Emily, a 31-year-old woman with stunning blue eyes and a food blog that is a stalker’s dream! She’s been blogging since 2008, and her index of recipes is quite extensive. At first I decided to make something sweet, and almost settled on her Blackberry Oat  Muffins.  But then, I flirted with Carrot Cake Pancakes and with Pistachio Dark Chocolate Toffee.  Not sure what happened to my sweet tooth, but the outcome was nevertheless perfect:  a fantastic dish of juicy meatballs laying on top of toasted orzo. Life on Food means life is good!


(slightly modified from Life on Food)

1 quart chicken stock
2 slices white bread, crusts trimmed
Milk, for soaking
1 pound ground lamb
1 egg, lightly beaten
1/2 cup finely chopped fresh parsley
1 tablespoon grated onion
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
1 lemon, juiced, plus 2 tsp zest
1 teaspoon dried oregano
Salt and pepper
olive oil, for drizzling
3 tablespoons butter
1 cup orzo
3 cups fresh baby spinach, coarsely chopped
1/2 cup crumbled feta

Heat the oven to 400 degrees . In a medium saucepan, heat the chicken stock over low heat; keep warm. In a small bowl, soak the bread in the milk.

In a large bowl, combine the lamb and egg. Wring out any excess milk from the soaked bread and crumble the bread into the meat. Stir in 1/4 cup parsley, onion, garlic, lemon zest, oregano, 1/2 tsp salt and 1/4 tsp pepper. Drizzle with olive oil; mix. Roll the mixture into 20 meatballs and arrange on a nonstick or parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake until browned, 15 to 18 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the orzo and cook until golden, about 5 minutes. Stir in a few ladles of the warm stock and allow it to absorb before adding more. Keep adding stock a little at a time and cook until the orzo is al dente.

Stir in the spinach to heat through in the last-minute of cooking. Remove from the heat. Stir in the lemon juice and feta. Serve the orzo in shallow bowls. Top with the meatballs and remaining 1/4 cup parsley.


to print the recipe, click here


Comments: In the opening paragraph of her post on this recipe, Emily says… I plan my meals, snacks, grocery lists days in advance.  I don’t want to be unprepared. Currently I have only about 2 cups worth of flour. I want to make muffins that require 3 cups. I am stressed.  That gave me such a big smile, because I am exactly the same way. With the added quirk of often forgetting what I have hidden deep inside in the pantry, so I “think” I have only a cup of flour, but two unopened bags will be found when I bring yet another from the store. I never fail to amaze myself.

This was a great meal, my main change was to use a gluten-free bread which I had in the freezer begging to be used up. The bread was made with almond flour and some ground nuts, I thought it would go nicely with the lamb meatballs, and indeed it worked well.  The toasted orzo was super creamy, more like a risotto with all the starch of the pasta as part of the sauce.  It did not take that long to cook, we like our orzo very al dente. 

Emily, I hope you had a great time with your assignment!  And, as usual, I invite my readers to go poke a blue frog. Said frog will take you to a collection of goodies made by my fellow friends on The Secret Recipe Club for today’s reveal day…

ONE YEAR AGO: Dulce de Leche Cheesecake Bars

TWO YEARS AGO: Penne with Trapanese Pesto


FOUR YEARS AGO: Spring Pasta

FIVE YEARS AGO: Ice Cream Melts for Mango


    • Honestly, I don’t miss being 18 at all… tough years, insecurities, fears, anxiety. Much much better now. Only anxiety and a few fears, mostly in the realm of insects 😉 Ok, I am cake-o-phobic too. Still, life is much better now than it was in 1978 😉


  1. Happy Reveal Day and Happy Memorial Day~ Love the meatballs and the orzo looks great~ Lynn @ Turnips 2 Tangerines


  2. Hush – let’s keep these delicious meatballs secret : ) !! Methinks I was a little older than you when I wanted to be SO much more mature !! GROWN UP !! ‘Course it did happen and now would so want matters to reverse🙂 !! Thank God many things no longer ‘stress’!! One of the benefits . . . like the Greek influence . . .


  3. I wondered how the secret recipe club works, and now I know, very cool!!! Love the toasted orzo🙂
    Ah, the passing of time…someone from my past recently popped back up in my life, and memories and thoughts of 20 years ago have been playing round my mind for the past few days. All I can say is, thank goodness for the passing of time!!! I’m much happier now🙂 x


  4. Really good explanation on how the secret recipe club works. I had wondered! The orzo sounds delicious – very much like Greek spanakorizo (made with rice). I think I prefer your orzo version. Oh…and the meatballs are brilliant, too!


  5. Wow, those meatballs look amazing, and I am totally intrigued by that method of making orzo – can’t wait to try that. Lucky you being assigned to Emily’s blog – I had her blog a few months back and know how much you must have enjoyed your assignment.


    • Sorry… your comment for some reason ended up in my spam folder! THE NERVE! Glad I checked it, so I could recover it… Yes, try this method to make orzo, it is totally different, producing a much more substantial end result… very good!


  6. OH YES Sally, that is JUST my sort of recipe and I adore lamb, so those meatballs would be very welcome on my table! Have a wonderful bank holiday weekend, Karen xxxx


  7. I am constantly forgetting what baking staples I have in my pantry. I either forget I have 3 bags of unopened whatevers…or I forget that I ran out and need to buy more. These meatballs have my stomach grumbling – they look so good! Happy Reveal Day!


  8. We have a lady that comes to clean the house and keep us organized every week. And every week she says, “Why do you have two open bottles of bbq sauce in the fridge? That takes up too much space,” or something similar. She also complains about organizing the pantry every single week because I don’t put things back in their proper spot.🙂

    I would love these lamb meatballs and toasted orzo sounds really good.


  9. Oh my goodness! I do that with my pantry all the time! I think I have something and find out I don’t. Or am convinced I don’t have something and after I buy it, it turns out I did. I’m really curious about the toasted orzo. I’ve never cooked it like that. It does sound a bit like risotto – and delicious!


    • Kristy, just today I was about to bake some bread and needed sesame seeds to sprinkle on top – of course, I only had black sesame seeds, which would be ok, if it wasn’t for Peter Reinhart, in one class I had with him, mention that he thinks black sesame seeds look like mouse droppings…. I simply stopped sprinkling those on top of bread…. Soooo, there I went, quick drive to the grocery store while the bread proofed… (sigh)

      Liked by 1 person

    • meatballs are always nice – a bit like a meatloaf, but cooking so much faster… I never fry them, baking works well for us, and I don’t have to deal with the leftover oil, which I find a bit unpleasant anyway… 😉


    • Makes all the difference, doesn’t it? I love new ways to prepare an ingredient, the little unexpected twist that changes it all

      hope you are doing great 😉


  10. These posts always make me remember old recipes that need to happen again. I am glad you liked this dish! Happy reveal day!!


    • Indeed, a salad would be perfect to round up the meal…. I don’t remember if we had one with it, as I made this recipe a few weeks ago… time passes…. 😉


  11. It is crazy how quickly time is flying! I would happily slow it down…especially since my boss wants me to hand him a first draft of a paper by next Friday while simultaneously doing ALL THE EXPERIMENTS. Sigh. Breathing. Love this comfort meal!


    • Hummmm, that sounds pretty challenging – I have a hard time dividing between writing and working at the bench – it seems there is some inertia associated with changing from one frame of mind to another, so….. best of luck with it all… soon you will be on your honeymoon, though… that should compensate for all the grievances!


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