I must be jinxed or something (OR I just didn't look at the weather report for today)... here I was, (somewhat) bragging about our beautiful AZ weather yesterday... then here we are today.  Rainy and cold!  But here's the deal, peeps... I. LOVE. IT! 

I was talking about this with my coworkers the other day.  I kinda like when it's overcast, rainy, or even freezing cold here.  Because we never get that.  It's like the opposite of Seattle.  Sometimes, I would appreciate a cloudy day!  And the smell of the desert after a good rain is the BEST!  Nothin' like it.   

So here we are, supposed to head to the Scottsdale Culinary Festival today, and it's rainy.  I have been pondering the idea of going to Target and buying some rain boots (with my child-sized feet I'm sure I would end up with these). 

I can't help but want some soup (yes, even at 8:30am on a Saturday morning)... there's just something about the weather that influences what I want to eat.  And if you're not in the mood for this one, check out the Tortilla Soup.  It's always a hit!

And what better than ALBONDIGAS?! I have adapted this recipe from a family friend, Bada... she seriously makes the BEST albondigas I've ever had!  So here ya have it....

Here's whatcha need:
(tomato sauce, diced onion, diced pickles, diced tomatoes, minute rice, ground beef, and chicken stock) oh, and (not pictured)... celery!

Let's talk about something real quick.  Pickles.  Yes, pickles!  I know it sounds bizarre, but it's fabulous.  Don't knock it 'til ya try it!  I PROMISE the pickles are what makes this recipe so FAB!

Throw your beef, sauce, pickles, and onions in a bowl...

Whisk up your egg... 

Throw it in your beef mixture.

Along with the rice...

And mix it up with your hands!

Roll it into little balls...

Throw 'em on a jelly roll pan in the freezer for about 5 minutes or so.

In the meantime, chop up some celery...

Pour your chicken stock and rice in a stock pot.

Add the diced tomatoes.

And the celery...

And once your meatballs have firmed up in the freezer for about 5, drop them into the pot, one-by-one.

Let it sit on the stove for a bit...

And there ya have it!

Serve the soup with a tortilla.

Take a bite, it's so tasty!

And... the recipe!  Let me know if you make it!

Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Makes: Approx 12 cups

10 Cups (2.5 Boxes) of Chicken Stock
1 Tsp salt
2 lbs. Ground Beef
1 White Onion, finely diced
2 Cups White Minute Rice
3 Medium Dill Pickles, finely diced
2 Eggs, beaten
1 Small (4 oz.) Can Tomato Sauce
2 Tomatoes, diced small
2 Celery Stalks, chopped as desired
Optional: 4 Cups Potatoes (if you use potatoes, you only need 1.5 Cups Rice)

Mix together ground beef, onion, pickles, 1 ½ cups uncooked rice, eggs, and tomato sauce.  Make into 1-inch balls.  Place in refrigerator or freezer for 5 minutes.  Optional: Dice potatoes.  Place chicken stock and salt in a stock pot on medium.  If you’re not using potatoes, place the remaining ½ cup rice in the stock along with the diced tomatoes and celery.  If you’re using potatoes, place in stock pot along with the tomatoes and celery.  Slowly drop meatballs into chicken broth and continue cooking on medium heat until done, approximately 20 to 30 minutes.