Monday, August 29, 2011

Oreo Cake Balls

I first discovered cake balls a few years ago when my good friend Larissa used to make them and bring them to our office. She made all different kinds of flavors. So far the only ones I've tried myself are chocolate cake, vanilla cake, and the oreo balls....which are my favorite (and the easiest). I made these for Hannah and Hunters birthday party at school last week and they were a hit. You can coat them in chocolate or vanilla candy coating, I opted for vanilla because I had never tried it. This time I discovered the best way to dip is with a small toothpick, instead of a fork, or your fingers...I've tried both:) I opted for chocolate sprinkles, which were great because they covered up any imperfections that the toothpick left in the top of the ball. You can drizzle chocolate over the top, coat with sprinkles or just leave alone. The most important part to remember is to make sure the balls are chilled prior to dipping them in the chocolate (I stick mine in the freezer for about an hour prior to dipping). This will keep them from breaking apart when you dip them. Enjoy!

You will need:

-1 full package of oreo cookies

-8 0z softened cream cheese

-1 package vanilla or chocolate bark candy coating

*sprinkles if desired

*Put the entire package of oreos into a food processor (go ahead and steal a few to snack on first)

*Grind oreos in the food processor until they are fine crumbs

*Mix in SOFTENED cream cheese with the oreo crumbs (I have to use my hands and a large spoon to smash it all together

*Stick the oreo/cream cheese mixture in the fridge for 15-30 minutes to chill

*Take out chilled oreo mixture and form into small balls

*Stick balls in the freezer for about an hour on a cookie sheet to harden up before dipping

*Heat chocolate bark according to directions and dip oreo balls into chocolate to coat...chocolate will set after just a few minutes so if you are doing sprinkles now is the time!

*Let cool for a few minutes on a cookie sheet (I line with non-stick foil), then store in fridge

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

"Quicker than Takeout" Orange Chicken

I made this orange chicken recipe last week and it was awesome! I'm not really sure if it's "quicker than take-out", but it sure wasn't hard. My friend Bridget told me about this awesome cookbook called Eat What You Love recently, the whole book is filled with low carb/low fat recipes. I highly recommended checking this out if you are trying to eat healthy, or like us...a little healthier:) This was my first time to cook with Splenda, and for some reason I am fascinated by this stuff. When I went to Krogers to buy it, I kept picking up all the Splenda boxes on the shelf and shaking them. Kevin asked me what the heck I was doing, and I told him that all the Splenda boxes were empty. Total blonde moment. Apparently Splenda is so light, it has very little weight. Seriously, if you're not familiar with Splenda, stop by the sugar isle the next time you are in a grocery store and shake a box.....just for fun:)

On to the recipe, the total calories for one serving of this stuff is 290 calories...that's pretty good! I also served it with a Knorr's rice package (chicken fried rice flavor), so I'm sure that added quite a bit more to the calorie count, but still pretty light! Hope you enjoy!

You will need:

For sauce:

-1/2 cup water

-1/3 cup light orange juice (I used minute maid, light)

-1/2 cup Splenda

-2 tablespoons brown sugar (dark or light)

-3 tablespoons rice vinegar (found it on salad dressing isle)

-2 tablespoons soy sauce, reduced sodium

-3 tablespoons lemon juice, I also used a little lemon zest

-1/4 teaspoon ground ginger

-1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes, I used a bit more

-2 tablespoons cornstarch

For Chicken:

-3 to 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into cubes

-1 large egg, beaten

-1/4 cup all purpose flour

-2 tablespoons canola oil

-1 small red pepper, chopped

-1 small onion, chopped

*To make the sauce: In a medium saucepan whisk together the first nine ingredients (water through pepper flakes). Place pan over medium -high heat and bring to a low simmer

*In a small bowl, mix 2 tbsp of water and the 2 tbsp cornstarch to create a slurry. Whisk the slurry into the sauce (this will thicken the sauce). Bring the sauce to a low boil and cook for 1 minute, or until thickened. Reduce heat to low and allow to simmer.

*Roll chicken pieces in the egg, then toss with the flour to coat.

*Heat 2 Tbsp canola oil (I also used a little olive oil), in a large non-stick skillet over med-high heat. Cook chicken 4-5 minutes or until well browned on all sides and cooked through. Transfer the chicken to a bowl and cover. Add red pepper and onion to pan and cook for 4-5 minutes or until slightly softened. Add chicken back into the pan and pour on orange sauce. Stir to coat and serve over fried rice.