Cake Pops

My daughter and I have tried (and loved) cake pops from Starbucks.  Yummy.  But at $1.99 a crack, there has to be an easier way to make them at home.  Right??   So when we were dubbed with the task of dessert for Christmas we decided to make Cake Pops.  Not the kind where you use the fancy little machine and essentially just make mini cake spheres.  Like authentic, Starbucks copy cat, Cake Pops.   It starts out with your basic boxed cake mix, prepare and bake as directed.   After the cake is totally cooled, then the fun starts.

Waiting for cake to cool takes forever!

Crumble the cake, we used a food processor for convenience.

Whirrrrrrrr!

Perfect

You’ll need something to bind this all together.  2 Tablespoons of pre-made frosting is perfect. Yeah, just 2.  It doesn’t sound like it will be enough but magically it all comes together. A good ole wooden spoon works great for the job.

Roll the cake/frosting mixture out into balls and freeze for at least 30 min.  Or longer if you get busy and distracted like me.

Time to add the lollipop sticks.  As a disclaimer, use lollipop sticks.  Don’t try to substitute skewers because that’s what you happen to have on hand, it doesn’t work well.  I like to use the Ghirardelli melting wafers.  This stuff is awesome.  It melts so smoothly and stays in the melted state for quite awhile.   Start out by melting just a few wafers.  Dip the end of the lollipop stick into the chocolate and then insert it into the cake ball. Repeat until done and back into the freezer for 30 minutes.

Lollipop sticks add to the fun.

Back into the freezer

We decided to be tricking and used white chocolate on the chocolate cake pops and dark chocolate on the white cake pops.

Coat each cake pop thoroughly.

Once all the pops are covered in chocolate back into the freezer for a bit.  Store them in an air tight container in the fridge.  I have no clue how long these will last in the fridge since ours only made it a couple days before they were all gone.

Waiting for one last chill in the freezer.

Everything is better with sprinkles.

These are fun and delicious.  Sprinkles are about as fancy as we get.  If you try them and go all out decorating them, please share a picture!

5th of July Salad

I made a Bacon Pea Salad for Easter and since I got pretty good reviews from the family on it I’ve decided its good to serve to friends. I’m taking it to a party on the 5th. I’m sharing it with you now just in case you’re looking for an idea to take the the BBQ this weekend. A salad with peas, cashews and bacon. You really can’t go wrong when you add bacon.

Cast of Characters

Cast of Characters

I started by chopping the bacon and cooking it low and slow to help render all the fat out. Patience is the key here, no rushing. (AKA-plan ahead) While the bacon was working its magic I chopped up the green onions and gave the cashews a rough chop. For the dressing I added all the ingredients into a mason jar and gave it a good shake.

The dressing looked so pretty in the jar. Its something about mason jars.

Once the bacon was done I drained it on paper towels and allowed it to cool. Never mind I had to practically stand guard over the bacon to make sure none of my kids would steal pieces. But there was more than enough left for the salad. At this point I bagged everything up and put in the fridge what needed to be chilled. Because I didn’t want the bacon or the cashews to get soggy I waited until the day of to assemble the actual salad. At that point I just dumped everything into a bowl, (don’t forget the green onions & Craisins) give the dressing one last good shake and pour it on.

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A nice stir and…..

Ta-Da! Bacon Pea Salad

Ta-Da! Bacon Pea Salad

Here’s a nice link to the original recipe I used. Of course it came from Pinterest.  You’ll notice the recipe calls for regular peanuts, I opted for cashews, just because I like them.  I also went the worcestershire sauce route because I have no clue where to find Maggie sauce.  Enjoy and I hope you have a wonderful 4th with your friends & family.

Enchilada Pasta

If you by chance follow me on Pinterest you’ll see that I like food, alot, one of the main reasons I must keep running. I test out a new recipe at least once every 1-2 weeks. My family is very tolerant of my experiments, it might have something to do with the gallon of ice cream I keep on hand just in case supper is a flop.  They are also really good about telling me if its a keeper or not. No worries, if a recipe is a total flop with no hope for tweaking it to an acceptable edible level, I delete it off my board.

Last night I tried out a new recipe that I found on Pinterest, One-Pan Enchilada Pasta. Super simple and quick. Its really a one pan hotdish.  Translation=less pots to wash. After browning & draining the hamburger the rest of the ingredients (minus the cheese & olives) get dumped in the pan.  Allow it to simmer and mingle for the next 15-20 minutes. Add cheese & olives and supper is served.

I choose a mild enchilada sauce, next time I’m going with a medium.  Needed a bit more zing in my opinion. Most of the family topped it with a bit of sour cream. Paired with some sweet corn I froze, it was a complete meal.

The Finished Product

Give it a try, let me know what you think.  What did you add to amp up the flavor?  I’d love to hear from you.

Here’s a link to the original recipe.