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German Butterballs

When cold weather hits like it did this last weekend, I pull my big soup pot to make some homemade chicken noodle soup. In our family we add German Butterballs to the soup to make it even heartier. German Butterballs are like dumplings or Jewish Motzo Balls. 

These butterballs have been a staple of our chicken noodle soup for generations. Learning to make these little balls of goodness is a right of passage for most german cooks. I remember learning to make them and going through several containers of bread crumbs in trying to find the right consistency. I finally found the best recipe and I wanted to share it with you today!

The recipe below is an adaptation of recipes from KUCHE KOCHEN , published by The American Historical Society of Germans from Russia, first printing 1973.  

(Butterballs) for noodle soup

  • 1 loaf old dry bread (or you may toast it in the oven).  4-5 cups
  • 1 cup melted butter
  • 2 tpsn. allspice
  • 1 tspn. salt
  • 1 cup half and half
  • 2 slices of white bread
  • 5 beaten eggs


To make bread crumbs put in food processor or do it the old fashioned way.  Place slices between two dishtowels and crush with a rolling pin.  Add salt and allspice to bread crumbs.  

Heat half and half and once simmering break up white bread slices into small pieces and mush into half and half. Add melted butter, and half and half to crumbs.  Mix well.  Let cool and add beaten eggs.  Roll one into a ball.  


Boil a small pot of water to test butterballs for consistency. Try it in boiling water to make sure it doesn’t fall apart.  If you want it firmer, add another egg and more butter. Once consistency is reached, roll all the butterballs out.

Make your chicken soup and put butterballs in hot chicken broth. When they rise to the top they are cooked through, add noodles.

NOTE:  Butterballs may be made ahead.  Store them in the refrigerator until you want to use them.  You can also double the recipe and  freeze for another cold night.

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Family Halloween Costumes


Yes, we are that crazy family who likes to dressing up for halloween in theme costumes! It all started when we were married and decided to try out some couples costumes and them morphed into family costumes when the girls were born. Our poor dog and cat even were game for a costume.

Each year in August/September we start thinking up funny ideas. We’d think about what had happened in our life that year or a funny show or movie we like. After narrowing down our ideas, I hit the internet and see if there are any pre-made options for costumes. I also look at Pinterest to see if there are any ideas that I can hand make. Several of our costumes we bought (Matrix, geeky prom, wizard of oz, star trek) but several of the costumes I made (50’s poodle skirts, star wars leia and han solo pants, avengers girl costumes) or we pulled from our closet (cheerleader, tacky tourist, farmer.)

Some ideas to brainstorm for costume ideas:

  • Favorite movies (Star Wars, Star Trek, Disney movies)
  • Favorite tv show or cartoon
  • Favorite book (think Alice in Wonderland, Harry Potter, Wizard of Oz, etc.)
  • Favorite sports team
  • A dream job (scientist, space person, etc.)
  • Favorite Decade (70’s, 80’s, 50’s, etc.)
Parent tip: If your kiddos are at the dress up stage and love playing pretend–go to the store the day after Halloween to score some awesome deals on costumes, wigs, accessories. I filled our dress-up bin one year for less than $100 and the girls still play with their younger cousins when they come over.
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Tween & Teen Girl Boredom Busters

Now that summer is fast approaching my mind turns to fun activities we can do to fight the boredom once the summer doldrums set in. I’m trying to avoid anything to do with slime and glitter, while trying to keep the attention span of my tween girls. 

I also like to add a bit of education in all of the activities we do, so you’ll notice a STEM theme running throughout most of these boredom busters.

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