Category: Food

Beyoncé and The Best Spaghetti and Meatballs

Good afternoon! How are you doing today? Have you been following everything my sister Beyoncé is doing? Well, I actually had a craving for some spaghetti and meatballs, came across this Beyoncé post and decided to make the best spaghetti I’ve ever had from the Kitchenista’s (Angela Davis’) recipe

The meatballs are made with beef, pork and veal and the tomato sauce is homemade with fresh basil and italian seasoning. My Aunt Martha taught me to put a little brown sugar in tomato sauce to take away some of the tanginess. I made this recipe this past weekend and have been enjoying ever since. When was the last time you made spaghetti and meatballs?

So, here goes! Happy cooking!
Some notes on the recipe and substitutions, before we get down to business:
  • If you buy your ground meat from the counter, it’s easier to ask for the exact amount you need. Otherwise, you’re typically stuck with buying 1 pound or more at a time, pre-packaged. (When I’m in that predicament I just freeze my extra ground meat, or make more meatballs.)
  • If you can’t find veal, use additional beef or pork. But they’re so much better with veal!
  • If you don’t eat pork at all, try ground lamb or ground turkey. Please get ground turkey thigh, and don’t try to make meatballs with super lean white meat. You can find it at Whole Foods. Turkey meatballs are not as succulent as the pork version, to me, but I do make them often for clients who enjoy them.
  • Gluten-free bread crumbs behave completely differently when soaked with milk or stock, as this recipe calls for. The last time I attempted was disastrous and I wasn’t able to completely break up the clumps of breadcrumbs that formed. I’ve used ground oats in a pinch, which was moderately successful. I welcome your gluten-free modifications in the comments if you try my recipe out! (For a good gluten-free pasta, my clients like the Jovial brand.)
  • San Marzano tomatoes are usually worth the extra couple dollars to me in sauces, but lately I’ve been trying domestic tomatoes. I liked San Merican’s tomato puree, despite their questionable marketing which tricked me into thinking I was buying San Marzanos.
  • I do use a tomato puree here, because I liked the consistency of the finished sauce. If you want a chunkier sauce, by all means, start with whole tomatoes and just crush them in the pot.
  • Use real parm, not the green can. A small wedge of Parmigiano Reggiano will set you back around $8, but lasts through several recipes. You can also save the rinds and simmer them in stocks, soups, and pasta sauces for more flavor.
  • Practice smart food safety. Make sure to wash your hands immediately after any steps involving raw meat, and be extra vigilant cleaning up afterward.
Spaghetti & Meatballs

Ingredients for the spaghetti sauce:
Extra virgin olive oil, as needed
1 large onion, finely diced
Kosher salt, to taste
2 tbsp grated garlic (about 10 cloves)
1/2 tsp crushed red pepper
2 tbsp tomato paste
2 28-oz cans of tomato puree
2 tsp Italian herb seasoning
2 bay leaves
Several sprigs of fresh basil, divided
1/2 cup grated Parmigiano Reggiano
1 to 2 tsp sugar (optional)

Ingredients for the meatballs:
1 cup panko bread crumbs
1/2 cup buttermilk, milk, or stock
2 eggs
6 cloves garlic, grated
1 small onion, shredded on a box grater
1/4 cup minced Italian parsley
2 tsp Italian herb seasoning
2 tsp Kosher salt
1 tsp cracked black pepper
1 tsp crushed fennel seeds
2 tbsp tomato paste
1/2 cup gratedParmigiano Reggiano
3/4 lb ground beef (80/20 or 85/15)
3/4 lb ground pork
1/2 lb ground veal

Other ingredients:
1 lb dried spaghetti

Active Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour, 30 minutes
Yield:Makes about 3 dozen meatballs. Serves 6 to 8.
Special Equipment: You’ll need a Dutch oven or other heavy bottomed pot, another large pot for boiling pasta, a colanderheavy duty sheet panfine grater, and a box grater.

Part One: Spaghetti Sauce

I like to start the sauce first so that it can simmer away while I make the meatballs. To get started, warm your Dutch oven pot over medium heat. Coat the bottom of your pot with a generous amount of olive oil. When the oil shimmers, add the diced onions and a pinch of salt. Cook the onions until they are soft and starting to turn golden, about 10 minutes. Lower the heat if the onions start to brown too fast.
Stir in the grated garlic, red pepper, and tomato paste.
Cook this gorgeous mixture for a couple minutes, until the tomato paste has darkened.
Then pour in the tomato puree.
Throw in the bay leaves, a couple basil sprigs, the Italian seasoning, and a good pinch of salt.
Let the sauce simmer on low heat for twenty to thirty minutes, until it’s thickened slightly and flavors meld. Discard the bay leaves and basil. Tear up the rest of the basil and fold that in – I like the punch of freshness it adds. Stir in the grated parm. Season to taste with Kosher salt – just keep in mind you’ll be adding some of the salted pasta water later. If your sauce is too tangy, add a teaspoon or so of sugar to balance the acidity.
Cover the sauce and keep warm until needed. Give it a stir occasionally to prevent scorching.

Part Two: Meatballs

In a small dish, moisten the bread crumbs with milk or stock. You may not need all the liquid; use only what the bread crumbs absorb easily. Give it a stir and set aside.
In a larger bowl, measure out all the other meatball ingredients, except for the meat. (I’ve got an extra egg in my photo because I made a larger batch here.) For the fennel seeds, you can crush them in a mortar & pestle, or in a spice grinder with the peppercorns. If you have none of that, you could crush them with a heavy can.

Stir all these ingredients together and then incorporate the bread crumbs. You want to mix this up really well so that no clumps of bread remain.

Then add your meat.

The next step might make some folks squeamish but you’ll survive. Use your hands to mix the meatball mixture. Really get in there and squeeze the meat through your fingers as you incorporate it with the breading. You want the three types of meat to be evenly blended with no pockets of bread crumbs.

Note: If you’d like, you can pinch some of this meatball mixture off and cook in a pan to test it out before proceeding. I do this if I’m changing my recipe up, to check the seasonings.

Aim for 1″ meatballs when you roll them out. They should hold their shape — if you find that the mixture is too wet, add additional dry bread crumbs. Keep a small dish filled with water nearby so that you can wet the palms of your hands periodically, to prevent the meat from sticking. Arrange meatballs on a lined sheet pan with just enough space in between so that they don’t touch.
Heat your oven to 375F. Cook the meatballs until they are browned, about 25 minutes. You can cut one in half to check that it is cooked through or to be super safe just prick a few with a meat thermometer to confirm that the internal temperature is at least 165F.
Transfer the cooked meatballs to a clean bowl and ladle in some of the sauce; toss to coat. (I actually just re-use the pot after draining my pasta, because it’s less to clean up later.)
Note – this is also how I control the final amount of sauce that will be tossed with the pasta in the next step. If you’re afraid of it being too saucy, reserve more of the sauce here. You can always add it back to the pot if you need more.
Part Three: Spaghetti & Meatballs
Now it’s time to bring this all together. Bring a large pot of water to boil and add a tablespoon or so of salt; enough that you can taste it in the water. Cook the spaghetti for two minutes shy of the package directions for al dente – usually this will mean around 10 minutes.
Before you drain the pasta, scoop out a half cup of the starchy water and add it to your sauce. Then toss the cooked spaghetti and sauce together for a couple minutes, until the sauce clings to the pasta.
Finally, add the sauced meatballs back to the pot. Finish with lots of grated parm.
“The Dutchess” pot by Great Jones is one of my favorite things in the kitchen right now.
I also like to drizzle some good olive oil over the top when plating the spaghetti & meatballs. Serve with more grated parm, of course!
Malinda F. Knowles

Black Milk Bubble Tea

 One of my favorite drinks that I stumbled upon while living in New York is Black Milk Bubble Tea… It has tapioca balls at the bottom to help when you take a gulp. It’s kind of sweet and has a bit of caffeine to pep you up. Did a little business today in my blue Zara suit and stopped by to grab a bubble tea. In the city, my favorite place for bubble tea is Vivi Bubble Tea but this spot here in West Palm Beach is called Art of Boba. They also sell an amazing green waffle. Go grab one today!



Malinda F. Knowles

NYC Restaurant Week: Top 3 Must-Try Favorites

Estiatorio Milos’ Milos Special

Hey there! So it’s been a little bit of time since I was in the city but I just had to share some of my favorite restaurants participating in New York Restaurant Week from January 16 to February 4th. If you’re not familiar with the week, restaurants provide discounts and prix-fixe menus so that you can have a somewhat less expensive dining experience. 

So, here are my top three favorite restaurants in New York that are participating in Restaurant Week.

Estiatorio Milos – has some of the city’s best Greek food, some of the fish and other produce are flown in on a daily basis from the Mediterranean

Estiatorio Milos’ Loup de mer
Philippe Chow Chicken Satays

Phillippe Chow – upscale Chinese restaurant with some of the best chicken satays and peking duck I’ve ever had

Red Rooster Fried Yardbird

Red Rooster Marcus Samuelsson created a Harlem staple some time ago and I just love Red Rooster. Forget the decor and the music, the Southern American food is just delicious. The deviled eggs, fried chicken, collard greens and cornbread are some of my fave dishes.

Are you going anywhere for New York Restaurant Week? 



Malinda F. Knowles

El Camino Restaurant on Las Olas Boulevard

So this past Taco Tuesday I was in Ft. Lauderdale and enjoyed happy hour at El Camino Restaturant on Las Olas Boulevard. The street was full of traffic and bustling with shops and restaurants. I stopped in Celebrity of Las Olas women’s clothing boutique which had some really cute apparel and accessories. In any case, they advised me that the food at El Camino was really good.

So, I went by and it just so happened to be Happy Hour. I had a carnitas and “gringo” (beef) taco, each were only three dollars. I also paired it with a kale salad and was quite full. They also had one of my favorite wine brands Decoy. They have a few locations in South Florida and I definitely recommend this one on Las Olas Boulevard!



Malinda F. Knowles

Christmas Sweater Happy Hour at The Office


Happy Thursday and Happy Holidays everyone! I have been working a lot recently but was able to catch a Holiday Happy Hour at the office. The theme of course-ugly Christmas Sweaters! Everyone had on their favorite overdone Christmas sweater and we had fun. They had shots of Peppermint Smirnoff and Godiva Chocolate Liquer with whipped cream. I didn’t try one but I heard they were good. They also had a charcuterie tray, chips and cookies too. If you are invited to one of these, there’s a few sweaters below that will make you the star of the party (below). 



Malinda F. Knowles


NYC Restaurant Week


So happy New York city restaurant week! I recently stopped by Eataly in Flatiron and of course had to get some food. Unfortunately, a lot of my go-to restaurants in the city have permanently closed due to all the COVID problems. But, I think the city is ready for a comeback and with everything these restaurants had to go through during this pandemic, it’s great to show some support. So why not book your next lunch or dinner? You can check out which restaurants are participating in New York restaurant week here. 

Grilled ceaser salad
Grilled octopus



Malinda F. Knowles

The Best Macaroni and Cheese Recipe

Hey everyone! I know you all are thinking about Thanksgiving next week. Well, I am planning to make the best baked macaroni and cheese for dinner. I hardly ever make it because I’m always dieting but for Thanksgiving, it’s a must. Now this is not my recipe, this is Chef Resha’s recipe. She has some great recipes but this macaroni and cheese recipe is banging!


Chef Resha’s version of baked macaroni and cheese.


  • 4 tbsp all-purpose flour
  • 4 tbsp butter
  • 4½ cups whole milk, or half & half
  • 1 tbsp kosher salt
  • 1 tsp granulated garlic
  • ½ tsp onion powder
  • ½ tsp black pepper
  • ¼ tsp cayenne pepper
  • ½ tsp dry mustard (optional)
  • pinch of ground nutmeg
  • ½ cup seasoned Italian or Japanese breadcrumbs (optional)
  • 1 lb dried pasta of your choice (see note below)
  • kosher salt (for the pasta water)


  • 1 cup grated parmigiano-reggiano cheese
  • ½ cup pecorino-romano cheese (optional)
  • 1 cup shredded gruyere cheese
  • 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
  • 2 cups shredded fontina cheese, plus a few pieces cut into cubes


  1. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Butter a 9×13 or 8×11 baking dish and set to the side. You can use cooking spray instead.
  3. Boil your pasta in water seasoned with plenty of salt (about a tablespoon) for about 4 to 5 minutes. You want it undercooked because it will continue cooking in the oven when you bake it. Reserve 1 cup of the pasta water and drain the macaroni and quickly rinse with cool water to stop the cooking process. Let it sit and drain while you make the cheese sauce. You may not need the reserved pasta water, but it’s good to have just in case your cheese mixture gets a little too thick and gloopy.
  4. In one heavy bottom pot or large sauce pan, melt the butter over medium heat. When it starts to foam and bubble, add the flour and immediately whisk so that it forms a paste. Allow this to cook for about 1 minute to get the “raw” flour taste out, whisking frequently.
  5. SLOWLY add 2 cups of the milk (or half & half) while whisking constantly to remove any large lumps. Continue to whisk until smooth and thick, about 20 seconds. Add the remaining 2½ cups of milk (or half & half) and continue to whisk until smooth. Increase the heat to medium-high to allow the mixture to simmer and thicken, about 5 minutes. Season the mixture while it thickens and taste as you go. If the sauce is yummy alone, just imagine how incredible it will be once you add the cheese.
  6. Once your mixture is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon, add in the parmigiano-reggiano, pecorino and gruyere cheese and remove from the heat. Taste it again, season if you need to.
  7. Toss the cheese sauce with the pasta, and taste to season if need be. Don’t panic if there’s more sauce than pasta, you’re going to spoon it into the baking dish, so you’ll be able to control the cheese sauce/pasta ratio. As you’re layering, it’ll start to thicken up even more. On the flipside, if your mixture is too thick, add a bit of the reserved pasta water to the sauce coated pasta to thin it out. You want it smooth and creamy, but not incredibly soupy and watery.
  8. Ladle a layer of the coated pasta into your prepared baking dish, then sprinkle a layer of the remaining cheeses and repeat until all of the pasta and cheese is used up — lasagna style. This is where you can “eyeball” your cheese portions. Use more or less, it’s totally up to you. Too much cheese can be a problem because it’ll make it too oily and clumpy, so don’t go too nuts with the cheese.
  9. Run a spoon thru the entire mixture just to lightly mix in the cheese throughout the entire dish. Smooth the mixture with the back of a spoon just until its relatively even on top, and sprinkle a thin layer of seasoned bread crumbs on top for an amazing and tasty crunch, if you’d like. The breadcrumb crust also acts as a barrier to keep the cheese from drying out by helping to keep it moist. But again, you don’t have to use it if you don’t want to.
  10. Bake on the center rack of your oven for about 20 to 35 minutes or until the center is bubbly and the entire dish is golden brown.
  11. Let it cool for about 10 minutes before you dive into it.
  12. Enjoy, and make this again and again until you nail it 😉



Malinda F. Knowles

Stopped By Le Macaron

Hey there everyone! Just wanted to share a post today, I went by Le Macaron in Rosemary Square here in West Palm Beach, Florida. I just love supporting French businesses and thought I would try some of their macarons. These are the flavors I picked up: vanilla, lemon cream, strawberry key lime and passion fruit. They were quite tasty after having lunch. One of these days I will have to try making some. Sometimes you just have to indulge in your favorite sweets.

Anyway, check out more photos below. Have you had any macarons lately?




Malinda F. Knowles

Don’t Forget about Dad

Good morning! I can’t believe it’s mid-June but Father’s Day is coming up and well, don’t forget about Dad! I’ve always been a daddy’s girl and I can’t wait to spend time with my father on Father’s Day. From playing with my dad’s belt (as pictured above) to attending my father’s non-profit Inner City Youth Golfers, Inc. (ICYG) events, I am still my father’s little girl. What are you planning to do for the holiday?

Nordstrom has a great Father’s Day gift guide and some of the items are on sale. I came across some great Luigi Bormioli tumblers that your Dad can use for his favorite drink for only $30 as well as a great Brixton hat that is currently 40% off. Walmart also has some great gifts that include grills, exercise equipment and more. Check out some of the gifts below and enjoy the day!



Malinda F. Knowles

Mango Season: Mango Daiquiri Recipe

Greetings from sunny Florida! Due to the coronavirus pandemic, I’ve been spending a lot of time at the house and truly enjoying our backyard. My great grandmother (who I never knew) planted several mango trees (in addition to avocado and orange) in the backyard and they have grown to be huge. They also have been bearing a LOT of mangoes in recent years and well, I am mango-d out. We have more mangoes that I know what to do with. So, I’ve been giving some to family and friends and soon I plan on making a few dishes with these mangoes.

I came across The Great Mango Book by Allen Susser and it has plenty of fabulous savory and sweet mango recipes. I’ve tried the shrimp and mango curry recipe, mango cobbler and mango daiquiri recipes. And they have all come out great! So I definitely recommend this book if you have some mangoes. I especially like the mango daiquiri recipe and wanted to share it with you. Check it out below and enjoy mango season!

Mango Daiquiri

Serves 2

1 scoop crushed ice

1/4 large ripe mango, peeled, cut from the pit and diced

2 tablespoons freshly squeezed juice of key lime, or persian lime

1 teaspoon superfine sugar

1/2 cup dark rum

Blend all ingredients in a blender and puree until smooth. Serve in daiquiri glasses.



Malinda F. Knowles