Slow Cooker Meatballs with Orange Marmalade Recipe


When I was a little girl, whenever we went to pot luck get-togethers, I always loved my mom’s meatballs. They were delicious, but most importantly to this sugar-aholic, they were sweet. They were my first savory-sweet food love. Years later, I asked my mom to make meatballs for a get-together, and she wasn’t sure exactly which meatball recipe I was talking about. I asked for the “sweet one”, and she asked if I was talking about the “jelly-meatballs.” Jelly meatballs? That was crazy talk. Surely she remembered the ones she made over and over seemingly every time. And surely they weren’t made with flippin grape jelly! After going back and forth, I was horrified to learn that the meatballs I so loved were, in fact, made with jelly. Grape jelly? How was it possible that grape jelly could be mixed with meatballs to be edible let alone delicious? I didn’t understand it. I wanted to fight it. But, as it turns out, some things are better off not fighting. Sometimes things that shouldn’t go together do to create something wonderful. And that’s ok.

Slow Cooker Meatballs with Orange Marmalade Recipe

Recently, I decided to do a play on the famous grape jelly meatball recipe.

Slow Cooker Meatballs with Orange Marmalade Recipe

The main ingredients of the original recipe are grape jelly, meatballs, and …wait for it…chili sauce.

Slow Cooker Meatballs with Orange Marmalade Recipe

I know. Random! But, hey, it works.

Slow Cooker Meatballs with Orange Marmalade Recipe

Anywho, I wanted to do something similar (still using jelly), but with a new flavor twist. I decided on using orange marmalade for a tangy twist on this pot luck classic to make a Slow Cooker Meatballs with Orange Marmalade Recipe.

Slow Cooker Meatballs with Orange Marmalade Recipe

I also decided, since I had the time, to make the meatballs from scratch, but you can use frozen ones if you’re short on time.

Slow Cooker Meatballs with Orange Marmalade Recipe

The result – a sweet meatball 10 year old me would have loved.

Slow Cooker Meatballs with Orange Marmalade Recipe

This Slow Cooker Meatballs with Orange Marmalade Recipe would be great to make when you’re entertaining or if you need to take something to a pot luck. They’re a great appetizer but could also work well for a more tapas or small-bite kinda meal.


Slow Cooker Meatballs with Orange Marmalade Recipe
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
This recipe is a fun twist on the classic grape-jelly meatball recipe that most people have had at one pot luck or another. The orange marmalade gives the meatballs a lovely tangy flavor that still keeps the sweetness of the original version. And if you’re short on time, don’t worry about making the meatballs, just buy some frozen (and check out the alternate preparation directions below the recipe).
Recipe type: Appetiser
Cuisine: American
Serves: 6
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • ½ cup plain bread crumbs
  • ¼ cup finely chopped onion
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon fresh ground pepper
  • 1 13-ounce jar orange marmalade (I used Bonne Maman, which is very tangy – use brand of choice)
  • ½ cup ketchup
  • 1 teaspoon soy sauce
  • ¼ teaspoon fresh ground pepper
  • non-stick spray
  1. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees F. Prepare a baking sheet with parchment paper (or non-stick spray/aluminum foil)
  2. Combine beef, bread crumbs, onion, egg, garlic, salt and pepper. Using your hands mix until evenly combined, but try to not overmix. Form into 1 inch meatballs and place prepared baking sheet (use non-stick spray or parchment paper). Bake 10 minutes, turn, bake 10 additional minutes.
  3. In a large bowl, add marmalade, ketchup, soy sauce, and pepper. Stir till mixed well.
  4. Prepare slow cooker with non-stick spray. Add baked meatballs and sauce. Stir to coat meatballs. Cook on high one hour.
Alternate Directions for frozen meatballs
  1. Add frozen meatballs (no need to defrost!) to the slow cooker with the sauce from Step #3 above. Cook till meat is completely cooked/warmed through – on high for about 2 hours or low for about 6.
Note: 1 hour (cook time in slow cooker for from-scratch meatballs) / 2 hours (cook time in slow cooker for frozen meatballs).

Note: Save prep time by using frozen meatballs, but do note – they will take longer to cook.


What do you think of jelly meatballs? Love them or hate them?

PS Who’s ready for the 3rd annual Eat in Month? It’s headed your way…tomorrow! :)

Poker & Chili Night


Hubby and I spent most of today cleaning up the house and prepping food for company. I made things more fun with my Lady Gaga iTunes playlist and the Dance channel on my Pandora. Good music makes almost everything better, right?


We had friends over tonight for Poker Night!

I managed to squeeze in a Zumba class beforehand thanks to getting most of baking done earlier in the day and utilizing my slow cooker for the main event.


The spread.


I was planning to make chili and corn muffins for the main eats, so I asked hubby to find something we could just throw in the oven for appetizers. He found a Tex-mex mix of 3 appetizers at Costco, and they came in quite handy. The boys loved them!


And I was really impressed hubby made this veggie platter all on his own. It was his suggestion, and he even bought the veggies individually and chopped them himself. I realize that’s not a big deal to most people, but I thought it was awesome.


I made my slow cooker chili recipe for the main eats.





And I also made these corn muffins (and turned one batch into bread).


And I made about a hundred of these oatmeal chocolate chip cookies. Not really. But I usually bake in smaller batches, so when this recipe said it would make 3-4 dozen, it seemed like I had so many more cookies than I’m used to baking. I had to do them on 3 pans (2 in one round and 1 in another) with about 6 turns in the oven.


We had games on…


…but poker was the main event.


In fact, they’re still playing as I type.



I’m just glad we got all of our cleaning done today so I can relax tomorrow. I’m planning to take things easy for most of the day. I never seem to have much down time, so I’m trying to enjoy it while I still can! :) As for tomorrow night…we’re having a low key night at our neighbor’s house to celebrate New Year’s Eve.

What are you doing for New Year’s Eve?

Our Christmas


Brie. Baguette. Vino.

That was my Facebook update after I finished my last (crazy-stressful-busy) work day of 2011. Phew! It’s also what I was enjoying immediately after shutting down my work laptop.

After enjoying one Christmas with my family and one with hubby’s, hubby and I celebrated our Christmas tonight.


I experimented with a new risotto recipe that I’m hoping to share with you guys soon. It was inspired by a visit to Olive Garden a couple years ago where I ordered the shrimp and asparagus risotto. I enjoyed the mindless stirring after staring at 6 databases and roughly 25 excel spreadsheets all day during work. lol


Hubby decided that since I was in charge of dinner, he’d be in charge of dessert.


He brought home two caramel apples from Rocky Mountain Chocolate, and we dug into the pecan-chocolate one tonight.


And tonight’s Riesling tasted extra-delicious in the new wine glasses my MIL gave us for Christmas. I’ve been wanting stemless wine glasses for years, and I’m really excited to serve wine to guests using them!


I’m feeling very blessed to have enjoyed three beautiful Christmases this year. I hope your holidays were lovely, too.

What was your favorite Christmas, Hanukkah, or other holiday gift and/or memory from this year?

Tinsel & Tree Toppling


In hubby’s family, Santa brings not only the presents, but the tree, too! So, we spent Christmas Eve decorating their Christmas tree for hubby’s sister’s kiddos.



I caught hubby’s bro’s dog sitting still for once.


Normally, she wags from head to toe and looks more like this. :lol:


Many of the ornaments on the tree were handmade by hubby, his brother, and his sister from when they were kids. It was fun to see their creations from the past.


And the finishing touch – tinsel!


Lots and lots of gold tinsel.

And with the tree decorated, we hit the sack. Zzzzzzzzzz…



By the time we got up on Christmas morning, the kids had already opened their stockings and were playing with the new toys Santa brought them.


And Santa’s sleigh must have been really heavy last night with all of these presents!


After a couple photos in front of the tree…


…it was time to start opening presents.


Someone especially loved their new Wii. So cute!

The only thing I didn’t capture on my camera was when the whole Christmas tree toppled over while we were in the middle of opening presents! It was scary at first, but luckily, no one was hurt, and nothing major was broken. The fall broke a couple ornaments, but most of them survived, which was great since many are sentimental and one-of-a-kind. No doubt, this will turn into a long-lasting family story. I can hear it now…”Remember that time our Christmas tree fell over?” Yup, making memories I tell ya!

Anywho, after a quick clean-up, we continued the present-opening party.


Someone else was pretty excited about their gifts. Bailey ripped right through his gift bag to get to the contents: a retractable leash with a flashlight, a new “baby” (wonder how long this one will last lol), and treats!


Happy corgi.


…especially after enjoying one of his new peanut butter treats!


By the way, I know I’ve been a bit MIA, but things have just been really crazy lately. It’s been much easier for me to post on Facebook, twitter, and Instagram (username: thechiclife), so be sure to follow me there! I’m currently loving Instagram because it’s so fun to share my life in photos!


Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!

Garland & Sprout Converts


Since we spent Thanksgiving with my family, we planned to spend Christmas with hubby’s. Luckily, we had enough vacation days left for 2011 to mostly work out our plans. I was hoping to take the week between Christmas and New Year’s off, but the numbers didn’t quite line up for me, though, I won’t have to work, too much (yay!). That’s the downside. The upside? We had enough to squeeze in a quick trip to see my family before Christmas!


{Mom, dad, sis}



{Christmas tree bokeh}


Mom was really proud of the garland she put together this year, so I’m sure she’ll love me sharing some photos with you guys. You won’t see this featured in a magazine or anything, but she’s only recently gotten into doing crafty things. I think it looks fantastic!

12-23-GreenvilleXmas-0231-1.jpg 12-23-GreenvilleXmas-0199-1.jpg

{Bailey Claus & the Christmas tree; Dad carving the turkey}


My parents opted for a turkey breast this year. I don’t really like the wings or legs, so it worked for me!

We had a good family effort for the dinner. Mom made the turkey and gravy…


…dad made the mashed potatoes (and stuffing)…


…sis made the cranberry sauce and sweet potato fries with 2 dipping sauces (maple syrup & nuts and herbed sour cream – inspired by Emeril}…


….and I made something my family reluctantly agreed to try – brussels sprouts! Even my health-freak dad was hesitant to try the brussels sprouts. My sister told me later that they were the only vegetable he didn’t like (and all this time I didn’t think there was a vegetable he didn’t like). Apparently, he hadn’t had them since he was a youngster at the boys school where they likely served over-cooked, mushy sprouts. Ew! I was hoping to convert him (and the rest of my fam) with my Simple Brussels Sprouts recipe (shredded and sauteed and not mushy at all). And convert them I did. Even Sis (who is opposite of my dad and pretty much hates all vegetables) liked them.


{My plate}


And I had to save room for one of the oatmeal, butterscotch, chocolate chip bars my sis loves baking. They’re a Pampered Chef recipe and deeeeeeeelish. I enjoyed mine with some milk in one of Sis’ s cool Asian mugs.



And along with some Christmas gifts, my parents sent us home with some of their old furniture they don’t want any more. Woohoo! Our empty living room is going to be looking much better after this! I’ll have to share some updated living room photos once we get things set up.

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays everyone! :)



Ahh…it’s the most wonderful time of the year…the Christmas season. This is one of the times of the year I feel most like a failure. While normal people plan ahead, make Christmas lists, finalize their shopping and wrap presents, I run around like a crazy person just trying to keep up with my normal schedule. I’m guessing my tendency to procrastinate doesn’t help me much here either.

Not only have I not finished my Christmas shopping, nor have I wrapped a single present, I haven’t blogged in almost a week. Fail!

But, I do have good news in the being-productive arena…I did spend most of Sunday actually tackling my Christmas shopping list. I have almost all of the people on my list set on gifts…now I just need to wrap them. And hopefully, I don’t wait till the last minute like I often do.


And this Sunday, after letting our Christmas tree sit undecorated since Tuesday, we finally got around to putting up some decorations. You’d think I’d be super early doing this since I love Christmas and Christmas decorations so much, but…I just wasn’t.

But yes, Sunday evening, hubby and I turned on some Christmas tunes and sipped hot carob-soy drinks with whipped soy milk and a sprinkle of cinnamon (ok maybe I was the only one enjoying the carob drink).


We got our decorations out of storage and put them up.


We don’t have a lot in the way of Christmas decorations, but I’m really pleased with our growing collection of ornaments. We’ve enjoyed adding one or two special new ones every year.


And this year, our mantel is really coming together. These white vases stay here year-round, but I’ve added a sparkly garland that matches the tree tinsel, as well as new Christmas lights and the star stocking holders we got last year. And my mom even gave me some of my childhood stockings, which we’ll be using now.

I wanted to make a wreath for the front door, but all the wreath supplies were sold out at Michaels. Doh!

But hey, I feel like I’m doing ok this year so far!


So yup…the Chic house is Christmas-fied. Yessssss! Doesn’t Bailey look thrilled in his Bailey-Claus costume? ;)

Now, about that gift wrapping…

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