Buffalo Chicken Meatballs ~ An easy and make ahead appetizer!

I wanted an easy, make ahead appetizer that I could freeze for the Holidays.  This little recipe fit the bill for me and they were a big hit too!  What I really liked about this recipe, is you get all of that great buffalo chicken wing flavor, without the mess with the wings!

I made the meatballs one evening, put them on the cookie sheet and froze them.  When they were frozen, I transferred them to plastic containers and sealed them for two weeks before I was planning on serving them.  I took them out of the freezer 1/2 hr. prior to baking.  So, so easy to do and have on hand!

I found it on, in case you want her recipe as I adapted it just a bit!

Buffalo Chicken Meatballs
1 pound lean ground chicken
1 egg
1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs
1 carrot (medium)
1 stalk celery (medium)
2 green onion
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 ounce crumbled blue cheese
1/2 cup Frank's Hot Sauce (or your favorite), divided
1 tablespoon butter

Step by step
  1. Preheat the oven to 350F. (If making the same day) 
  2. Line a cookie sheet with parchment 
  3. Cut the celery, carrot and green onion into large chunks and throw into a food processor.
  4. Pulse to chop into small bits.
  5. In a large bowl, combine the vegetable mixture, chicken, egg, breadcrumbs, garlic powder, salt, 1/2 the hot sauce and the blue cheese.
  6. Gently fold together to combine, but don't overmix.  *Regrigerate the mixture for at least an hour, before making the meatballs, they are too soft and sticky otherwise.
  7. Form the mixture into small meatballs - you should get about 28 small meatballs. *I used a teaspoon to measure the size, as I wanted small ones. 
  8. Place the meatballs on the cookie sheet.
  9. Bake for 18 minutes.
  10. While the meatballs are baking, put the rest of the hot sauce and the butter into a microwave safe dish.
  11. Microwave about 30 seconds, until butter melts.
  12. Stir well to combine.
  13. Remove the meatballs from the oven and allow to cool for a few minutes.
  14. Place the meatballs onto a serving dish and drizzle with butter/hot sauce mixture. *Or to be on the safe side, in case you have guests who don't like things too spicy, serve the hot sauce as a dipping sauce on the side.
WW PP 4; Calories 157; Total Fat 8.7g; Saturated Fat 3.5g; Trans Fat 0.0g; Cholesterol 87mg; Sodium 741mg; Total Carbohydrates 5.8g; Dietary Fiber 0.6g; Sugars 0.8g; Protein 13.8g


Chocolate Peppermint Ice Cream Cake ~

I love making ice cream cakes, they are so easy to make and are always a big hit for any holiday or get together you may have.  Kids especially love these and my grands will ask me to make them one for their birthday, with their favorite ice cream flavor and mix- ins.

These cakes take about 15 minutes to make, but it look like it takes you hours to do.  Each Christmas I make this one, because it's the only time I can find peppermint ice cream at the grocery stores.  And what kid or adult for that matter doesn't love peppermint or candy canes.

I came up with this recipe years ago, after I bought one at the grocery store.  I thought to myself, "how hard can this be? " And how terribly expensive it is to buy them too.  They have been a real favorite of my family and friends and I love knowing that I am giving them something home made.


1 half gallon of  softened Peppermint Stick Ice Cream (I buy mine at Whole Foods)
1 package of Mint Oreos, crushed in food processor
1 bag of Andes Mints, chopped
1/4 cup of crushed candy canes
1   8" inch spring form pan
1/2 cup chocolate sauce
1 can of Real Whip cream (optional)

Take one cup of crushed oreos and press into the bottom of your springform pan.  By tablespoons, spoon 1/2 of your ice cream to make a layer of ice cream.   Sprinkle 1/4 cup of oreos over ice cream.  Drizzle 1/4 cup chocolate sauce over top.  Next, sprinkle 1/2 of thecrushed candy canes over top.  Then repeat with the ice cream, starting at the center and working outwards.  You don't have to fill in every spot, because on the edges you can add extra crushed oreos.  Nothing needs to be perfect at all!  :)  With the back of your spoon, spread the ice cream layer to smooth out the top a little.  By the spoonful, make an outer edge filled with the oreos and add some crumbs in the center to make a circle. Drizzle chocolate over top (I go easy on this part).  Then sprinkle the top with more crushed candy canes and andes mints.  Cover with plastic wrap and aluminum foil, place in freezer until ready to serve.  Take out of freezer 15 minutes before serving.  Release the spring form pan sides and smooth sides with a knife if needed (I don't bother).  Add crushed candy canes to side if you would like.  Place on cake platter and decorate with the around the edge of cake with canned whip cream if you would like.

They are so easy to do, I made two ~  I have two places to go for the Holidays and thought each house would like one!


Snowbaking ~ Chcolate chip, coconut, oatmeal cookies....

Yes, it's a new word, at least for me.  We were snowed in today, so I decided to bake... so yep, it's snowbaking!

These cookies are chunky, chewy with chocolate chips, oatmeal and coconut in them.  And I made them for gifts for Christmas, for a few friends.  They are pretty low in sugar and fairly healthy too (no butter at all).

Here's the recipe:  (Adapted from Ambitious Kitchen)

  • 2-½ cups All-purpose Flour
  • 2-½ cups Quick Oats
  • 2 teaspoons Baking Soda
  • ½ teaspoons Salt
  • 1-½ cups Walnut Oil
  • 1-½ cups Dark Brown Sugar
  • 2  Egg
  • 4 teaspoon coconut milk
  • 3 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
  • 1 teaspoon coconut extract
  • 2 cups shredded Coconut
  • 6 ounces, Semi-sweet Chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 350ºF.
In large bowl whisk together flour, oats, baking soda, and salt; set aside.
In bowl of an electric mixer, beat together oil and brown sugar until smooth. Add in egg, milk and vanilla and coconut extract. Beat again for 2 minutes or until smooth.
Add in flour and oat mixture to the wet ingredients; mixing until well combined. Slowly add in coconut and chocolate chunks.
Drop dough with cookie scoop or by large rounded tablespoonfuls onto ungreased cookie sheet. Bake 10-13 minutes or until edges just being to turn a golden brown.  Remove from oven and let cool a few minutes on baking sheet. Transfer to wire rack to finish cooling
Makes 4 dozen cookies.




Chocolate Peppermint Snowflake Candies ~

Want an adorably delicious and easy homemade chocolate gift for someone special this year?  Look no further.  Have I found the perfect gift for you.

I saw these on a blog last year, Baked by Rachel and I thought they looked so intricate that I could never possibley make them. But after reading how easy they were I wanted to give them a try.  I'm all about easy, so if I can do them, you can do them.  Promise.  So, I bought one of the silicone snowflake molds that Rachel suggested.   If you don't have them at your local stores, then they are available on Amazon.

Snowflake Peppermint Bark - adapted


5oz or dark chocolate
 5oz white chocolate
1 tsp vegetable oil, divided
1/3 tsp peppermint extract, divided
2 crushed candy canes


In a small to medium sized bowl add milk or dark chocolate and 1/2 tsp vegetable oil. Melt in the microwave in 30 second intervals at 50% power. Stir well after each 30 seconds. When fully melted, add 1/4 tsp peppermint extract. Stir well.
Using a small spoon, divide chocolate among mold cavities. Sprinkle with crushed candies, making sure the powdered and small pieces are used for bottom layer.  Drag melted chocolate into outer edges of mold with a toothpick, getting into crevices .

Repeat process with white chocolate. Remove from molds after fully hardened. Store in the fridge.

*Makes 6 snowflake peppermint bark pieces, if using this mold. Double ingredients for thicker (like pictured) or for 12 snowflakes.

I'll paraphase it here for you though.  I tweaked mine a bit also.

Mine took all of 1 minute to finish.

Take a tablespoon and pour the dark chocolate in the center of each snowflake mold and then tip the mold gently from side to side.  With a toothpick, drag some of the melted chocolate into the outer edges.  Sprinkle some of the finer pieces of candy cane pieces over each snowflake and place in the refrigerator for about 1/2 hour.


I bought my snowflake mold on Amazon.  I used good chocolate because these were for a gift, I think that is the key in this recipe.

 They look amazingly adorable for so little work, don't you think?


Roasted, carmelized fennel steaks ~

I don't love the winter.  I am such a warm weather person, that often I wonder why I don't live down South.  However, I was born here and it's been the only home I have known.  And in my book, "home is where the heart is".  So Boston is where I'll stay, happily so.... most of the time. 

There are a few things I do love about the winter though and one of them is it's a time for cooking and baking.  I love having roasted root vegetables every night for dinner.   Some wonderful aromatic food gets prepared in my house during this season and one of my very favorites is roasted vegetables.

I do all of my root vegetables the same way, just roast at a high temperature in the oven and they caramelize on their own.  Other than pre-heating your oven, cutting your vegetables uniformly and sprinkling with a little salt, pepper and olive oil, there is nothing else to do.  And they taste heavenly too.  Just place all of your cut vegetables a little bit apart, so they will roast and not steam, turn your oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit.   Place a half sheet pan on the middle of your oven and put the timer on for 15 minutes and remove the sheet from the oven, turn the vegetables over for another 10-15 minutes.  Serve one, maybe two steaks per person.

This week, I started slicing my fennel from top to bottom in 1/2" slices instead of wedges and they look so amazing and the taste is out of this world.  No coring them, no waste at all!  Fabulous tasting, easy to make.  How great is that?  Just look at these beauties right from the oven.  Place a slice on each person's plate as one serving and that's it!  And what a gorgeous presentation they make for a side dish too.

Another way I serve fennel, is roasted with Yukon gold potatoes.  It's a marriage made in heaven, trust me.  The flavors are exceptional together.  I wedged both the potato and fennel and placed them in the oven to roast at the same temperature and time.   Don't they look amazing too?

So, while it may be winter and it may be cold and dreary here.  These two dishes warm my heart.  Did I mention that they are low calorie and good for you too?

A big yum for me!

I'm joining Michael Lee on Foodie Friday at Rattlebridge Farm this week.


Flour's Famous Banana Bread Muffins (adapted)

Flour's Famous Banana Bread (Adapted)

Recipe courtesy Chef Joanne Chang of Flour Bakery in Boston

I have been meaning to make this bread for a long time, it comes from a very famous chef from a wonderful bakery here in Boston, Flour Bakery.  I always have ripe bananas stored in my freezer, peels on, just waiting to be used.  Don't worry that they turn all black, their heavy skins protect the delicious banana inside.  And let them sit outside of the freezer at room temperature, before removing the skins.  And you may need a knife to cut the top of the stem from the frozen banana, but then they peel easily.

This recipe calls for 3&1/2 bananas and I never understood why.  I mean, what do you do with the other half?  And I hate waste, so I decided to try upping the sour cream a bit to supplement the extra moisture with just using 3 bananas.  And it worked wonderfully in this recipe.  I also like to bake muffins, because I can share with friends instead of bringing the entire loaf.   So, I just baked them for 20-22 minutes and they came out moist and fluffy.
I also changed out the amount of nuts to only 1/2 cup, but added 1/2 cup of chocolate chips.  Just because I think a little hint of chocolate with bananas and nuts is nice.


  • 1 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup oil
  • 3 very ripe, mashed
  • 1/4 cup sour cream 
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup walnuts, toasted and chopped
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips


Set oven to 350 degrees F. Line the bottom of a loaf pan with parchment paper.

Sift together the flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt. Beat sugar and eggs with a whisk until light and fluffy, about 10 minutes. Drizzle in oil. Add mashed bananas, creme fraiche, and vanilla. Fold in dry ingredients and nuts. Pour into a lined loaf pan and bake for about 45 minutes to 1 hour.

Spray and line 3 regular sized muffin tins.  I use a regular ice cream scoop and pour 1 scoopful into each.  Place in a 350 degree (F.), oven, middle rack for 20-22 minutes.  Let cool 5 minutes and invert onto a plate.  Put muffins on cooling rack for 15 minutes, seal in an airtight container.


Just a side note, if you care to know!  My cutting board was made by my youngest son in high school.  He is now 34, and I still love it as much as the first day he gave it to me.  He is a gifted woodworker and has even made some furniture.  But, this board was one of his first pieces and I cherish it!