Sticky Cocktail Meatballs and #GatheringsBook tour

The office potluck - it can either be a fear filled experience, or if you work with serious foodies, you know that you'll be eating some seriously good food.

I work with some serious foodies, who can taste a dish at a restaurant, breakdown the ingredients and recreate it at home. So when I'm cooking for them I keep it really simple. Not that I'm not a great cook but to us, a tried and true recipe can be kicked up a notch but changing one or two ingredients. In the almost 5 years that I’ve worked with them I’ve shared some incredible meals with them. Many hours have been spent talking about food, sharing tips and recipes, and trading holiday menu meal plans. Our quarterly potlucks have certainly turned into some truly epic gatherings. 

So when the opportunity was presented to review Gatherings by Julie van Rosendaal and Jan Scott, I knew that this would be a book for me. 

Whether it’s a Kid’s Birthday Party, a Casual weekend get together or a Big Family Gathering, Julie and Jan cover it all. In 20 chapters Julie and Jan have provided helpful recipes and tips for planning, décor and presentation to make the event a success. The book is brilliant, and the concept - priceless!

Gatherings cookbook cover

We recently held our end of year potluck, and I made the sticky cocktail meatballs which Julie and Jan feature on page 289 of their book. This saucy update on the classic 1970s-style sweet and sour meatballs was a BIG hit at the potluck and several people asked for the recipe.    

Sticky Cocktail Meatballs (c)

I’ve been a silent lurker on both of these ladies blogs ever since meeting them at the first annual Food Bloggers of Canada conference. Julie is a bona fide Rockstar. She can also add world famous cookbook author, editor and awesome brains behind the blog Dinner with Julie, she is the MOST down to earth and approachable person that you’ll meet. She is so cool that you just want to glom yourself onto her, and follow her around like a best friend – in a totally non-stalkerish way of course!

I feel like I’ve known Jan for a while because I lurk on her blog regularly. I had the opportunity to spend some time with her at one of our local blogger meetups and it was all I could do not to ask questions that would tip her off to my lurkish behaviour. If you have a chance check her out on her blog Family Bites and be warned you might become a closet lurker and Jan shares some incredible meals with us and bits of her life.

Sticky Cocktail Meatballs (c)

This week I joined a group of bloggers who have all shared stories of their gatherings and receipes that they made from the book so feel free to drop by and check out their stories.



  • Amy from Family Feedbag is hosting a giveaway of Gatherings
  • Jennifer from Seasons and Suppers did a gorgeous pork tenderloin that's gonna make it onto my table sometime over the holidays
  • Heather from The Tasty Gardener made some savoury Parmesan Thyme Puffs and she talked about the importance of Date Night


  • Isabelle from Crumb Blog made a Nenshi pie which Isabelle aptly describes as the oh-so-delicious lovechild of a French-Canadian tourtiere and a gently spiced beef samosa.I mean with a description like that I'm not surprised that this is the dish she chose to make. 
  • The Brunette Baker Jenny made a Pear and Cardamom Cream Cheese Tart
  • Stephanie from Clockwork Lemon talks about tree trimming Gatherings and makes the Sweet and Spicy Mixed Nuts
  • Valerie from A Canadian Foodie made Cheese Stuffed Medjool dates wrapped in bacon aka Man Candy. Do I really need to say anything else?



Disclosure: I received a copy of this book to review from Whitecap publishing and no other compensation. The opinions/review of the book are entirely my own (Rhonda of Olive & Ruby).

Copyright © 2014, Olive & Ruby. All rights reserved.


Mardi (eat. live. travel. write.)'s picture

Rhonda, these were also on my list of "to make" (let's face it, most of the recipes are!!) - and they are PERFECT for holiday entertaining! Thanks so much for participating in the virtual blog tour :)

A Canadian Foodie's picture

Glad to see you made these meatballs. Never found a homemade one I didn't love!
Happy Holidays!

A Canadian Foodie's picture

Glad to see you made these meatballs. Never found a homemade one I didn't love!
Happy Holidays!

Jan @ Family Bites's picture

Thank you, thank you, Rhonda! We so appreciate that you all took the time to review the book and share it with your readers. Don't be a lurker anymore! Feel free to stop by and say hi anytime....xo

Libby's picture

Looks scrumptious!

Charmian @TheMessyBaker's picture

These look almost too pretty to eat. What a lovely way to serve potentially messy food! I’m coming to your next party -- whether or not I’m invited!

Robyn's picture

We eat Sweet & Sour Meatballs as part of our post-church Christmas Eve feast and I look forward to it every year! Maybe I'll try this recipe this year - they look great!!

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