Game Day Oreo Truffles

26 Jan

This recipe is actually not my own and has been passed around many times, but I thought the idea was too fun not to share.  Pulse one package of Oreos in a food processor until it’s nothing but a pile of Oreo “dirt,” as my son calls it.  Next, add one block of cream cheese and pulse everything together until it just starts to come together, forming a dough.  If you don’t have a food processor, you can combine the cream cheese and finely crushed Oreo pieces in a bowl by mixing together with a good ‘ole wooden spoon or just your hands.  (Your tailgating friends will appreciate it if you wash your hands first!)  Once the cream cheese and Oreo dough is formed, shape the dough into balls, chill, then dip into candy melts of one of your team colors.  Once they have hardened, drizzle the contrasting team color over the top of each truffle.  They are so much fun to look at, and everyone loves Oreos!  (These would also be perfect with red pink and white melts for Valentines Day)

Game day Oreo Truffles


  • 1 –  14 ounce package of Oreo cookies
  • 1 – 8 ounce package of cream cheese, softened
  • Candy melts or white chocolate and food coloring for dipping


In a food processor, pulse Oreos until they are a fine crumb texture. Add in cream cheese and continue to pulse until the mixture comes together into one ball.  Remove from the processor and place in a bowl.  Roll into 1.5 inch balls and place on a sheet tray in the freezer for 30 minutes (or overnight if you want to make them the next day).

Melt candy melts in the microwave by cooking for 30 seconds at a time, stirring each time you restart the microwave until the mixture is smooth and creamy.

Dip the Oreo cream cheese balls into the candy melts and place on a cooling rack to let the excess chocolate drip off.  Place the contrasting color of chocolate into a Ziplock bag, seal it, snip the corner of the bag, and use it to pipe a strip pattern over the top.

Let chocolate harden and serve.
Makes 24 Oreo truffles.


Fireball Chicken Lollipops

25 Jan

Many of you will be tuning into the Superbowl next weekend, and whether or not you are watching it at home with friends or family, for the game or for the commercials, you will also be looking for some tasty game day recipes.  Today, I am going to share with you a recipe for chicken drummies that is far from ordinary.  Fireball Chicken Lollipops is a quick and easy recipe that combines your usual buffalo sauce with Fireball Whiskey.  This combination sounds strange, but it gets really addicting after the first bite or two.  The warmth from the cinnamon adds a whole new dimension of flavor to your basic buffalo wing, but the newness doesn’t stop there.  A refreshing Cilantro Chutney is a nice change from the endless amounts of ranch or blue cheese dressing that are popular sides with wings.

To make the lollipops, I found the largest pack of drummies I could find.  You can use a smaller batch, but in my house full of boys, I find that chicken wings or dummies disappear just about as quickly as I can make them!  The drummies are turned into “Lollipops” by using a technique called “Frenching”.  To french the chicken, stand the drummie on its larger end by holding the narrow top and use a small sharp knife or a pair of kitchen shears to scrape and push the skin and meat down to make a plump “lollipop” while exposing the bone.  It takes a little extra effort than just going with regular drummies, but they keep hands clean and look so cute!  Once the drumettes are frenched, season them then fry in peanut oil for seven to eight minutes or until they are golden brown.  Remove them from the oil, let drain, and then bake in the oven until all meat has reached the proper chicken cooking temperature of 165 degrees.  While they are baking, prepare the amazing Fireball Buffalo Sauce.  To make the sauce, combine Franks Red Hot with Fireball whiskey and a touch of fresh grated ginger; then, bring it to a boil.  That’s it!  After removing the lollipops from the oven, roll them in the sauce.  You will also have time to prepare the Cilantro Chutney because it is just a dump, blend, and serve recipe.  My favorite.   Simply place all the ingredients into a food processor or blender, pulse so that it stays on the chunky side, and pour into your serving dish.  It can be made a few days ahead, but the color won’t stay as vibrant.

The flavors of the cinnamon whiskey buffalo sauce and the fresh herbs might not be what you originally had in mind for wings on game day, but this is sure to keep both foodies and football fans happy!


Fireball Chicken Lollipops

  • 3lbs chicken drummettes, frenched
  • 6 cups peanut oil
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon cracked black pepper


Fireball Buffalo Sauce

  • 2 cups Franks Red hot sauce
  • 1 cup Fireball whiskey
  • ½ teaspoon fresh grated ginger


Cilantro Chutney

  • 1.5 cups parsley leaves
  • 1 cup cilantro leaves
  • 3 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons fresh grated ginger
  • ¼ cup water



Preheat peanut oil in a dutch oven on the stovetop over high heat to 375 degrees.  In a small bowl, combine ground ginger, garlic powder, kosher salt and cracked pepper  Season frenched chicken drummettes with mixture and gently place in hot oil, being sure to tip the chicken away from you to avoid splashing hot oil on yourself. Gently turn over occasionally to brown on all sides.  After about 7 minutes, the lollipops should have a nice color on them.  Remove them from the oil and drain on paper towels.  Preheat oven to 425 and place wings on baking sheet. Bake for an additional 10-20 minutes or until thermometer reaches 165 when placed in the thickest part of the meat but not touching the bone.

While lollipops are baking, prepare the Fireball buffalo Sauce and the Cilantro Chutney.  In a small sauce pan on the stove combine the sauce ingredients and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat to low and let simmer until ready to serve.  For the chutney, combine the ingredients in a blender or a food processor, and blend until combined and only slightly chunky.


To serve:

Remove the wings from the oven and dip and roll in the buffalo sauce.  Be sure to leave the ends clean and only dip the meat portion.  Serve with dipping cups of chutney or drizzle chutney over the top or bottom of serving platter.


Roasted Tomato & Chorizo Nachos

20 Jan

My Super Bowl spread has changed a bit over the years, but there are a few dishes that have managed to stick around through thick and thin.  (That is fully intended to be a reference to my waistline! Ha!)  One of those dishes is nachos.  In one form or another, those crisp, salty, cheese-covered chips are always a crowd pleaser.  They are also the enemy of my new year’s fitness goals and my jeans the next day.  This year, I found a way to make them a little more of a waist pleaser with my Roasted Tomato and Chorizo Nachos.

Chorizo sausage is a delicious Spanish, Portuguese, or Mexican flavored fresh sausage.  Fresh Mexican chorizo is a type of sausage that needs to be cooked before eating as opposed to the more traditional European Spanish and Portuguese sausages that are fermented, cured, or smoked.  The Chorizo gets its distinctive red color and smoky flavor from smoked paprika in Spain or Portugal and from smoked chili peppers if it is made in the Mexican style.

No, sausage is not my trick to making these nachos more New Year’s Resolution friendly, but it is the trick to making me want to eat them.  After crisp frying the chorizo and setting it aside to drain, I add it to a lightly pureed blend of oven-roasted plum tomatoes, onions, bell peppers, and garlic.  Then the mixture is simmered for 20 minutes to make a delicious vegetable/meat sauce to pour over crisp, oven-baked (and lightly salted) corn tortillas.  The nachos are garnished with fresh guacamole, sliced jalapenos, black olives, and crumbled cotija cheese in place of the usual crock-pot of yellow gold.  This way I can still get my chips and queso, just a healthier version.  The sauce has been replaced mostly with vegetables, and the cheese is limited to a few sprinkles instead of an entire cup full.  Not only are the results are fantastic enough to make their way to more menus than just the Super Bowl, but my jeans can also rest easy!

Roasted Tomato and Chorizo Nachos

  • 4 cups Baked Tortilla Chips
  • 12 ounces chorizo sausage, removed from casing
  • 2 pounds plum or roma tomatoes
  • 1 small yellow onion, diced large
  • 2 red, yellow, or orange bell peppers, diced large
  • 5 cloves garlic
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon cracked black pepper
  • 1/3 cup guacamole
  • ½ cup cotija cheese, crumbled
  • ¼ cup sliced black olives
  • 1-2 jalapenos, fresh, sliced
  • ¼ cup cilantro, fresh chopped
  • Light sour cream, optional
  • 1 diced avocado, optional (or Easy Guacamole)


 Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Cut tomatoes in half lengthwise and place in a re-sealable plastic bag along with the onion, garlic, bell pepper, olive oil, salt and pepper.  Spread out on rimmed baking sheet.  Bake for 30-40 minutes or until tomatoes have started to turn dark brown areas.

 Remove the pan from the oven and place all ingredients into a food processor.  Pulse until mixture is slightly chunky.

While the vegetable are roasting, use a small sauté pan over medium-high heat to cook the chorizo sausage until browned and slightly crispy.  Break the sausage apart as it cooks.  Removed the sausage from the pan and drain on a paper towel for 5 minutes.

Using a medium sauce pot, combine the roasted vegetables and chorizo and cook together over medium low heat for 20 minutes.  Season with additional salt and pepper if desired.  Remove the pan from heat.

Using a serving platter spread out tortilla chips.  Spoon the sauce over the chips and sprinkle with cotija cheese, jalapenos, and olives.  Add dollops of guacamole and sour cream as desired.  Garnish with fresh chopped cilantro.


Easy Guacamole

  • 3 ripe avocados
  • 1 cup salsa verde (green salsa)


Combine ingredients and smash ingredients with a fork until desired texture. Store in refrigerator until ready to serve.


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Posted in Dips, Meat, Snacks


Bacon Cheeseburger Dip

18 Jan

If you’re looking for some game day snacks, this one is perfect!  Warm, melty, cheesy, meaty Bacon Cheeseburger Dip is great for a night on the couch with the family and some football!  The only thing this dip is missing is the ice cold beverage of your choice!


Bacon Cheeseburger Dip

  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon cracked black pepper
  • 3 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 3/4 cup chopped bacon bits (cooked until crispy)
  • 16 ounces light cream cheese
  • 1/3 cup yellow mustard
  • 1/3 cup ketchup
  • 1 – 11 ounce can Rotel
  • 1/2 cup half and half



In a saute pan, brown hamburger with onion powder, garlic powder, salt and pepper.  Add Worcestershire sauce and cook until evaporated.  Add beef and all remaining ingredients to your slowcooker.  Cook on high, stirring occasionally for 2 hours.  Reduce heat to low or warm and serve with crackers and tortilla chips.

This recipe can also be made right in the frying pan, just turn the heat to low and stir until all  the cheese is melted.

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Posted in Dips


Coconut Almond Protein Fudge

16 Nov

So it’s been quite awhile since my last blog post, but it’s been a crazy last couple months!  I changed jobs, traveled nearly 1 month over the summer for work, moved houses, and, oh yeah…….I am getting married in less than a week!  I gotta keep this short because, of course, I still have a million things to do, but I wanted to share one of my healthier recipes that has been getting me through the last couple months and will for sure be making more appearances in the future!  This Coconut Almond Protein Fudge uses avocados to ensure the rich taste without all of the guilt that is in typical fudge.  This fudge is meant to be served frozen because it won’t “set” otherwise, so just whip this up in the food processor and pop it into the freezer for 2-4 hours.  Word to the wise:  Use a hot knife to cut it, and don’t let it sit on the counter too long.  (I don’t have a problem with that in my house!)


Coconut Almond Protein Fudge

  • 3 ripe Avocados
  • 1 cup unsweetened coconut flavored almond milk (or milk of choice)
  • 6 scoops (or 3 packages) IsaLean Protein Powder in Dutch Chocolate
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 cup unsweetened coconut flakes
  • 1/2 cup crushed almonds (I lightly roasted them in the oven first for added crunch and depth of flavor)
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 3 tablespoons honey or agave nectar.  (I have tried stevia, but it does leave an aftertaste)



Place the avocado flesh, cocoa powder, chocolate protein powder, agave, and sea salt in the food processor and blend until smooth.  Add the coconut flake and almonds.  Pulse just until combined.  Pour into freezer safe glass dish.  Freeze for 2-4 hours or until set.  To serve, cut with a hot knife.  Keep frozen.




“Fried” Green Beans

15 Apr

Last night I decided to do a little experimenting in making one of my favorite appetizers….Fried Green Beans!  I love the idea of eating green beans as a snack, but I feel a little guilty because they are fried.  It leaves me a little conflicted.  Does it count as a vegetable if it is dripping in grease?  My baked version still has the bread-like coating, but they are so much crunchier than their fried counter parts.  Serve them with a little pizza sauce and it’s a sure way to sneak a serving of vegetables in for the day!





“Fried” Green Beans

  • 24 green beans, washed and trimmed
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup Bisquick baking mix
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 2 cups Italian Seasoned Panko Bread Crumbs
  • 1/2 cup pizza sauce


Preheat oven to 425 degrees.  In a small bowl, combine egg, milk, Bisquick, and garlic powder.  Whisk with a fork until smooth.  Pour bread crumbs into a shallow bowl.  Dip each bean into the Bisquick mixture, let the excess drip off and then roll in the bread crumbs.  Lay beans onto a sprayed baking sheet and bake for 15 minute or until golden brown.  Serve with pizza sauce.




Sweet & Spicy Braised Kale

13 Apr

Kale has become a favorite in my house.  Most of the time it’s served in the form of kale chips for a guilt free late night snack,  but lately I have been adding this incredibly easy and good for you side dish to our menus.  I love the combination of sweet & spicy and the contrast of the tender kale with crunchy almonds.  Occasionally, I have even been lucky enough to find bags of pre-cleaned and torn kale to make this dish even quicker!






Sweet & Spicy Braised Kale

  • 6 cups fresh kale, washed and torn, tough stems removed
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil (or olive oil)
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1.5 tablespoons garlic, fresh grated
  • 1/4 cup white wine
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons agave nectar (or honey)
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/3 cup sliced almonds, toasted



In a large saute pan using high heat, saute coconut oil, garlic, and red pepper flakes until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add white wine, water, vinegar, agave and kale.  Let braise, stirring occasionally until all the liquid is dissolved and kale is desired level of doneness. (about 2-3 minutes)  Season with kosher salt, using more if needed.  Sprinkle with toasted almonds

Serves 4.


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Posted in Sides


(Almost)Guiltless Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Bars!

09 Mar

It’s been a few years since I posted my black bean brownie recipe, so I thought I would finally get around to testing out another idea I had.  What if I used pinto or white beans to make a delicious base for cookie dough bars?!

I have always been fond of beans.  My father and brother are bean farmers, so it was something that we have always used in our cooking.  More recently, I have become more aware of food allergens because several family members have discovered they are allergic to gluten and a future nephew (and possibly myself) with egg allergies.  The beans in this recipe serve as an alternative to flour without having to use on of those fancy baking mixes.  They also have many health benefits because they are high in protein, fiber, B vitamins, folate, and potassium.  The chia seeds, or flax seed if you prefer, also have many health benefits and are a great substitute for eggs in baked goods.   I have been using them for that off and on for a few years and haven’t run into a single problem with it.  The ratio to use is 1 tablespoon finely ground chia or flax seeds to 3 tablespoons of water.  They can easily be ground in a coffee grinder, but a blender will work too.  In this recipe, I do use a lesser amount, but that is accounted for by adding extra moisture elsewhere.

Alright….enough of the healthy stuff.  How do they taste?  The answer is DELICIOUS, but that was the tricky part.  I found a balance for the fat, by using 1/2 applesauce and coconut oil instead of the usual butter that found in all of the great cookie doughs.  I did have a slight worry that it wouldn’t taste enough like cookie dough, so I added 1/4 teaspoon of imitation butter flavoring, but this ingredient can easily be left out.  Quick oats (which can be found gluten free) where used for texture and as a binder for the bars and vanilla, dark brown sugar, and semi sweet chocolate chips were added because they are the best parts of cookie dough bars!

We ate these warm out of the oven with whipped cream as a bedtime snack.  They were not able to be pickup up like a true bar, but my son and I were both very pleased with the results and I hope you are too! Warm, gooey, chocolate goodness!

(Almost) Guiltless Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Bars

  • 2-15 cans pinto or white beans, drained, rinsed really well
  • 1/4 cup chia seeds, finely ground and mixed with 3/4 cup water
  • 1/3 cup coconut oil
  • 1/3 cup applesauce, unsweetened
  • 1.5 cups dark brown sugar
  • 1 tablespooon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups quick oats
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon iodized salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon imitation butter flavor
  • 2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips


Place all ingredients except the chocolate chips in a food processor.  Blend until smooth.  (about 1 minute) Scrap down the bowl and blend for 15 seconds.  Remove from the processor bowl and place in a medium  sized mixing bowl.  Stir in chocolate chips.  Place in a greased 9×13 pan. Bake for 45 minutes or until the edges look darkened and start to pull away from the sides of the pan.  Let stand for 15 minutes before serving.  (can remain in pan longer if you like….it’s just to help the bars set before serving)


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Posted in Desserts


Pizza Potato Skins

01 Mar

Today I made this genius little creation for the kids at lunch.  There is one food the kids can all agree they like….pizza.  Ok….that’s not even always true.  In reality, they all like pizza, there is just no guarantee that they will all like it at the same meal!  Ha.

Now…back to the recipe.  This is a twist on classic potato skins. Instead of topping with bacon and sour cream, we topped the red potato halves with a veggie packed pizza sauce, light cheese and a few small pieces of pepperoni.  This meal is a win for me because it has all of the nutrition from the potatoes and pizza sauce, and the cheese and pepperoni that help to ensure they are delicious!

I will try and snap a better picture the next time we make these, but today I just had my cell phone and a few anxious eaters!


Pizza Potato Skins

  • 6 medium red potatoes
  • 2 cups pizza sauce
  • 1 cup shredded pizza cheese
  • Italian seasoning
  • 16-20 pepperoni (can use turkey pepperoni if you like)
  • any other toppings


Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Brush potatoes with oil and puncture several times with a fork.  Bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour.  Remove from oven and cut in half.  Scoop potato out of the centers to make a hole for the fillings.  Lay each skin on a baking cheese with the open side up.  Fill with 1-2 tablespoons of pizza sauce, sprinkle with cheese, Italian seasoning and 4-5 pepperoni pieces.

Bake for 15-20 minutes or until cheese is melted and starting to turn golden brown.  Remove from the oven and serve with additional pizza sauce for dipping.

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Posted in Snacks


Spinach & Ricotta Ravioli with Diavolo Sauce

14 Feb

Looking for a last minute dinner that’s sure to impress?  Try this pasta!  Making homemade ravioli doesn’t have to be difficult.  Of course, I love a true homemade pasta, but if you don’t have the time, patience, or equipment, use wonton wrappers!  This is a fun project for kids to help with too and the filling combinations are endless.  I like to add the spinach because, not only is it colorful, but it’s also an easy and delicious way to get your leafy greens in for the day.

The Diavolo sauce, although the meaning is brother devil, it’s a great way to spice up Valentine’s day!  It’s also really easy because your oven does most of the work for you.  You will able to spend more time with your loved ones, young or old, and enjoy the night.  This recipe is sure to be a keeper!  (even if your date isn’t!)

Spinach & Ricotta Ravioli with Diavolo Sauce (for 4)

For the Pasta

  • 32 wonton wrappers
  • 1 cup ricotta cheese
  • 1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
  • 1 egg
  • 7 ounces spinach, fresh, cooked until wilted,  cooled and chopped
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder (or more to taste)
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon cracked black pepper

For the Sauce

  • 2 – 8 ounce packages of grape tomatoes
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 cup red wine
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes (more if desired, but let it simmer first)


To make the sauce:  Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  In a 9×13 baking pan, combine grape tomatoes, bell pepper pieces and olive oil.  Stir to coat the vegetables.  Season with garlic powder, 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, 1/2 teaspoon cracked black pepper.  Roast in oven for 30 minutes.  Remove from the oven and let cool to the touch.  Place the vegetables in the food processor or blender.  Puree until sauce is desired texture.  (I usually do about 5 seconds because I like mine with a little texture).  In a medium sauce pan using high heat, reduce 1 cup of red wine in half.  Add tomato mixture and reduce heat to medium low.  Add red pepper flakes and cook until heated through.  Let simmer until pasta is ready.

To make the pasta:  In a medium size mixing bowl, combine once cup ricotta cheese, parmesan cheese, 1 egg, fresh garlic, salt, and pepper.  Set aside.  In a small bowl, combine egg and 1/2 cup water.  whisk until combined.  Set aside.  Bring salted water to boil in pasta pot.  Place one wonton wrapper cutting board and place 1 tablespoon of filling in the center of the wrapper.  Using a pastry brush, brush the edges with egg wash.  Place another wrapper over the top and press firmly to seal.  Repeat as many times as needed.

Once the water comes to a boil, reduce the heat slightly.  Place the filled ravioli, one at a time, into the boiling water.  Do not over crowd the pot and cook in batches if needed.  The ravioli will initially sink to the bottom of the pot.  When it comes to the surface and the pasta appears to pucker around the filling and become translucent, it is done.  (about 3 minutes)

Remove the ravioli with a slotted spoon, top with warm pasta sauce and serve.



Posted in Pasta