A’Tempting’ Tuesday – Red Velvet Cheesecake Ball

It’s A’Tempting’ Tuesday!

I am always trying out new recipes and searching for something new to make, so each Tuesday I will share a new recipe. I will share the good, the bad and the ugly, being honest about my successes and failures (there are many of those).

I love to make desserts and bake, so it’s fitting I share a dessert today. (I also sometimes need quick and easy and this recipe fits that bill too.) This is the time of the year we are constantly invited to get-togethers, so I use these opportunities to try new recipes and share a few old favorites. It works out well for me. I get to “feed” my joy of making desserts and baking. I don’t do it often unless I have somewhere to take my efforts, as hubby is a diabetic (a diabetic with a sweet tooth so I try not to have too many temptations around the house) and I really don’t need the calories.

Today, I am sharing a recipe that was new to me. I prepared this Red Velvet Cheesecake Ball for a little get-together with several friends I had not seen in a while. It was a hit, so I know I will definitely prepare this one again! In fact, I’ve already promised my daughter one when she is home from school in a couple of weeks.  Red Velvet cupcakes are her fave, so I know she will like this.

I also acquired a new dip recipe that night that I will share with you soon. It was quite yummy. It was a great night of good food, friends and wine.

I found this recipe on a Facebook page – $5-10 Meals – Cheap Eats. This site fills another need – CHEAP – and I have found several good recipes here.  Check it out.

I will tell you, I often “tweak” recipes and am not known for always following a recipe to the tee, so I will make note of any changes I’ve made. Added ingredients will be marked in bold.

Sorry about the quality of this picture.

Sorry about the quality of this picture.

Red Velvet Cheesecake Ball
Makes about 16 servings

Ingredients:
8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
1/2 cup butter, room temperature
1-1/2 cups red velvet cake mix, dry
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons powdered sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla (I used pure vanilla)
1/2 cup mini chocolate chips (I am sure I used more as I didn’t measure these)
Assorted cookies (I used vanilla wafers)

Directions:

In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the cream cheese, vanilla and butter until smooth.
Add in the red velvet cake mix, brown sugar and powdered sugar. Beat until smooth and combined.
Turn the mixture out onto a piece of plastic wrap. Wrap up into a ball and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.
Put the chocolate chips on a plate or in a shallow dish. Remove the cheese ball from the refrigerator and unwrap.
Roll in the chocolate chips.
Place on a serving plate and serve with cookies.

Cook’s Notes:

  • I added the vanilla because this recipe made me think of an icebox cheesecake recipe my mom always loved. That recipe used vanilla. I love vanilla paired with cream cheese, so I thought it would be a good addition here. I was right. In turn, I added a couple of extra tablespoons of powdered sugar to make up for the added liquid of the vanilla.
  • To aid in the shaping of the “ball,” I place the wrapped mixture in a small bowl with a very rounded bottom.
  • Here’s where I failed slightly.  It was a busy week and I was running behind as usual.  I didn’t allow enough chilling time for the mixture.  It was a little soft and hard to “roll” in the chocolate chips.  I wound up just patting them onto the surface of the ball.  Despite it’s softness, it still tasted great and everyone loved it.  Next time, I will make sure I allow at least two hours or more for chilling.

All and all, this will definitely be a dish I repeat in the future.  It was super easy, inexpensive and tasty.  As a bonus, I already had all the ingredients in my pantry.

If you try it out, I hope you enjoy.

Until next time ….

NEXT WEEK:  A Pampered Chef favorite.

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Don’t cry over … an empty milk container

photo
Me and the kids

Here’s some milk, mommy … I bought it,

my 10-year-old said as he handed me a container of milk bought at the gas station.

The look on his face almost broke my heart.  I know he’s 10 (actually almost 11) and growing up very quickly.  He only calls me mommy when he’s upset.  He’s grown up in many ways,  but he will always be my baby, just as much as my daughter who is approaching 20.

Sometimes the simple actions of a child who has not yet really had to “face the world” can teach us so much.  Such a small gesture – stopping with his dad on the way to school to buy me some milk; but it taught me, actually reminded me of a lot.  As you see, I have already learned and apparently forgotten this lesson.  I just needed a review.

I shouldn’t let problems at home, fights with my husband, money issues and such be visible to my children. Period. Never!  As a parent, I have been trusted with these two wonderful treasures and it is my job to make sure they grow up happy, healthy and as equipped as I can possibly make them to face the world.  I failed that morning.  I think our roles were slightly reversed.

I was stressed over lack of time, lack of money and plethora of other things.  I was making my breakfast/lunch to take to work and we were out of milk.  I made some offhanded, grumpy comment to the effect of  “I don’t know how I’ll continue to keep food on the table at this rate.”  There’s some truth to that, but we aren’t destitute.  I can buy milk.  However, my son took those comments to heart.  He wanted to help in his own way and make his mom happy.  So, he took his own money earned from watching the neighbor’s dog and asked his dad to stop to buy me milk.  It not only made my day, but taught me a lesson.

It should not be my child’s responsibility to worry about what’s wrong at home.  I should also not cry over an empty milk container.

So, now as I continue this journey I started with last week’s blog, I will add remembering to always remain positive in front of my son to my bucket list of things I want to accomplish.

Until next time ….

Coming tommorrow:  A’Tempting’ Tuesday — My attempt at a new recipe each week.

Confessions of a “Martha wanna-be.” This will be my journey ….

Wow.  It has been a long time since I last blogged, years in fact.  That’s hard to believe because I love to write.  More so, I love to create anything, but life gets in the way…. thus my long hiatus.

I have decided that now is the time to start doing something I want to do…this will be my journey to be the organized, creative and entertaining person I know is inside of me.  I, as is my home, am a work in progress.

I’ve set some goals for myself, some things I want to do in the coming days, weeks, months and even years.  I may be a little old to start with this kind of  venture, but hey… why not??   My children are older (10 and 19), my life has slowed down somewhat and my current career doesn’t require me to exhaust my creative juices during the work week.  I now have the time — and more importantly — the determination to do this.

Let’s start by explaining my title …. Cooking, Crafting and Chaos.  That is my life.  Better yet, maybe my title should just simply be Chaos.  There’s no better way to explain it.  I spend a lot of time taking care of my home and family, going to my son’s baseball tournaments, sending goody boxes to my daughter at college, cooking, trying new recipes, testing the waters of selling Pampered Chef products and playing in my very disorganized craft room.  All wrapped up in one package it is CHAOS.  Chaos is served daily at my house.

I confess, I am somewhat of a “Martha Stewart Wanna Be,” I know with all the negative publicity around her of late, I should probably not admit this. Yes, I want to be like her in some ways. But, I don’t want to be her.  I’d love to have her talent, her drive to do what she enjoys doing and be able to make a living doing that. (Her money wouldn’t hurt either). Although I respect what she has accomplished, I want to be like her minus the jail time and the famed, hardened personality.  So maybe I just want to be my own version of her.  Just call me Martha Shelly 🙂

I’m starting with this blog.  For those of you who know me, you know it will be filled with cooking, crafts and lots of talk about my husband and beautiful children —  All the things I love and yes, lots of just plain chatter.  I’ve spent the last few weeks browsing blogs and YouTube channels and enjoying what so many other people out there have to offer.  I’ve even spent some time revisiting my past blog posts (now posted here).  It has reignited my inner creativity that I could never find time to use.  I can do this.  I’m starting small with goal of posting here at least once a week, and eventually three to four times a week.  Hopefully, making this public will keep me committed. Hopefully, I will also find some readers.

Then, on to harder goals.  I’d love to do a video blog.  This is a big fear, especially for someone self-conscious about everything from her accent (yes I have one) to her graying hair, to the disarray of my home.  It’s so much easier to hide behind your words; to share without being seen. But becoming what I want to be includes conquering some fears.  So, here goes.

I’m looking forward to sharing my journey — including successes and failures — with you.  Let’s do this together.  I have a lot to learn, so be patient. There will be lots of recipes and crafty projects, lots and lots of time spent organizing and beautifying my home and, I’m sure, lots of rambling.  I like to talk.

Until next time…

Thoughts to ponder….

I was just thinking today ….

With the economy the way it is these days and the day-to-day struggles of just getting by, it is very easy to get caught up in the “why me’s?”  and quickly throw a huge pity party.

The rising costs of fuel and food are taking its toll on everyone.  My husband and I feel it.  We feel the struggle more than we ever have.

I work in the nonprofit world with families of very low income.  Any issue I’m feeling affects them tenfold.  I’m learning very quickly not to focus on the pay that I don’t get, and focus on what my job does give me.

What does it give me?  It gives me the chance to use my skills and go home at the end of the day feeling like I’ve done something important.  It definitely gives me a great appreciation for what I do have.  And if the stories of the families we work with don’t do it, then one quick peruse through the newspaper or a quick listen to the morning news surely will.

Not to sound cliché, but I think I may be finally learning to “not sweat the small stuff” and really focus on what I HAVE and what’s important.

What do I have?

  1. I have a home … it’s not just a roof over my head, it is a home.
  2. I have a husband who provides for his family and comes home every night.
  3. I have a best friend.
  4. I have a little boy who still tells me he loves me every morning.  In fact, this morning he loved me “a lot, a lot, a lot.”
  5. I have a teenage daughter who trusts me enough to come to me when she has a problem, even when her teenage hormones are telling her I’m a freak of nature.
  6. I have an education.
  7. I’m alive.
  8. I have a God and the freedom to worship him.
  9. I have a car to put that expensive gas in and a job to drive it to.
  10. I have a kitchen and the ability to cook the food we constantly gripe about the cost of.
  11. I have luxuries that 100% of the families I work with do not have.
  12. I’m healthy.
  13. I’ve made mistakes and have been able to learn from them.
  14. I’m finally gaining the maturity to appreciate numbers 1 though 13.

I could sit here and continue this list all night long.  It’s amazing how many things to be thankful for you can come up with if you only take the time to try.  The list could go on and on.  What do I have to gripe about?

Enough mushiness for now. Night!