Having a best friend who is always a few steps ahead of you in life has its perks. Sarah and I have been walking through life together for over a year now & I'm always picking her brain and copying her ways. She's the best kind of friend because she will answer any question I ask and teach me anything I need to know. (And if you know anything about me, I ask LOTS of questions, God bless her.) Living vicariously through people is one thing, but I am so lucky that one of my favorite people is experiencing all of the hard & important things in life before me and then prepping me with everything I need to know. (i.e. jobs, dating, marriage, finances, buying a house, starting a family, planting a garden, cooking DEER meat, etc.) I haven't even begun to touch half of what she has jumped head-first into this year — but when she told me about these meatballs I knew this was a special recipe I wanted to get my hands on and learn firsthand. Now, listen to Sarah who will teach you everything you need to know & so much more: 

"2015 is going to be a really hard year to beat. It was a year full of love and adventure, learning and challenges. I think sometimes we let the challenges overshadow all the good that happens, whether it be in day to day life or looking back over a season of our lives. But one of the sweetest things I have come to realize, is that those challenges actually teach us so much about ourselves. There is a special kind of joy that is discovered when you embrace challenges versus ignoring them or tossing them to the side and letting them defeat you. 2015 brought me a new kind of joy, but to tap into that joy, I had to face many challenges and learn a lot about myself through the process.

One of my greatest challenges, and still something I’m learning my way through daily, was learning to cook for more than just myself. As a new wife (whoa, still so surreal to say/type that word!), learning to cook not only for myself and my likes and dislikes — I now have to feed two bellies and I want to be creative with the meals I prepare for us so that this cooking experience is something new and exciting for us both."

"Now, add in the fact that my husband, Luke, is a forester, a hunter, and a gatherer. This means: 1. He works up a pretty hefty appetite throughout his work day, because he’s literally working and walking through the woods for miles upon miles every day. 2. He hunts. I don’t know the first thing about hunting, other than it makes me sad to know that Bambi or Thumper may on the dinner menu next week. 3. He forages some really incredible and beautiful foods from the forest that I haven’t the faintest idea how to prepare and serve in a yummy dish.

See my challenge?

Learning to prepare what Luke hunts or forages has been such an interesting adventure, but the realest thing about this lesson is that the food he brings home is keeping our bellies full and prevents us from having to spend so much money elsewhere. That’s what humbles me and excites me to be creative in the kitchen."

"These venison meatballs were a reward to us after a long Saturday spent cleaning, weighing and packaging venison after one of Luke's hunts. I had never worked with venison before, or even made meatballs for that matter, so the whole dinner was a fun experiment. These are the times when I'm super grateful for a husband who encourages me to try new things.

The challenges that 2015 brought to light have been blessings in disguise for this newly married couple. We have worked our way through new food challenges, worked really hard to grow our own garden and preserve our own food, and prepared some really delicious meals. And because of it all, we are creating a home that we love to be in, cook in, and learn together in."

Serves 8+ (22 meatballs) Prep time: 20 min. Cook time: 20-30 min. 

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Add bacon to ground venison & mix together. (OR you can use any combination of ground beef/pork/or veal as a substitute for venison!)
  3. Add parsley, oregano, basil, garlic powder, bread crumbs, salt, pepper & eggs — combine. (I use seasoned bread crumbs, if you use plain, add a tad more salt.)
  4. Roll mixture into 1-2" balls. Place on a greased baking sheet or oiled cast iron skillet — lay meatballs in one layer, evenly spaced so they aren't touching.
  5. Bake 20-30 min. or until no longer pink.
  • Serve with pasta or make meatball sandwiches. 
  • Bacon is easier to chop if partially frozen.
  • You could brown meatballs in oil over medium-high heat & then bake for 10 min or until no longer pink.
  • Remember, you can use any combination of ground beef, pork, or veal as a substitute for venison!