The recipe for the meatballs called for garlic. I really have never worked with garlic before. If a recipe calls for garlic I normally just sprinkle some garlic powder on it- so this next cheat was actually a step-up for me. Premium Peeled Garlic! It's a small cheat, but for me this pre-packaged garlic was less intimidating than a fresh clove of garlic.
I ended up not needing to use the garlic cheat, because I found my biggest cheat of all- Frozen Meatballs! I know the soup didn't come out as well as it could have with Stephanie's homemade meatballs, but without these frozen meatballs the soup wouldn't have been made at all! Sadly, the idea of making my own meatballs was a bit too much for this novice chef. These served their purpose and were actually very, very yummy.