Making Cake Balls For Valentine Dinner

Making cake balls is super easy.

If you can bake a cake from a mix, you’re in business. If not, seek help.

Back to the cake balls.

This week, I’m making red velvet cake with cream cheese frosting and vanilla confectioners coating, and also funfetti cake with funfetti frosting and the same confectioner’s coating.

My 9×13 pan is still in use, so I decided to pull out my Bundt pan. Here’s what my cakes looked like as they cooled:

red-velvet-

funfetti-cake

Once I made sure the cakes were completely cool, I used the mixer to crumble each cake. Wheee!

blend-velvet

Then I blended 3/4 of a tub of frosting into the cakes to make a pasty kind of cakey dough. Not sure how else to explain that…

funfetti-frosting

Forgive me, but this next photo looks pretty gross.

velvet-frosting

After I blended the cake and frosting, I put the mixture into the freezer for 30 minutes to chill out.

Then I used a mini ice cream scoop to dip out even portions of dough, rolled them into balls and placed them on a wax-paper-lined cookie sheet.

scoop-funfetti

Funfetti cake balls!

funfetti-balls

Red velvet cake balls!

velvet-balls

I put both pans of cake balls in the freezer to hang out for at least 6 hours.

The next step

Dipping the balls into confectioner’s coating. Subscribe to Night Owl Chronicles near the top of the right column and I’ll send you a notice when I post the rest of the story…

Apple And Sage Pork Chops

Apple and Sage Pork Chops Close-up

Steve and I were shopping for groceries the other day and I found a packet of spices for Apple And Sage Pork Chops. Usually, I don’t notice those little packets, but this one caught my attention.

You can see what I’m talking about at the McCormick recipes website.

So, I brought the spices open, thawed out some pork chops — and realized that I needed to double the recipe to feed everyone in the family. Fortunately, I already had all the spices the recipe called for.

This is what I ended up using:

  • 3 tsp. rubbed sage
  • 2 tsp. minced garlic
  • 2 tsp. thyme leaves
  • 1 tsp. ground allspice
  • 1 tsp. paprika
  • 1 tsp. flour
  • 2 tsp. salt
  • 8 boneless pork chops, 1 inch thick (I used think ones)
  • 4 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 med. onion, chopped
  • 2 red apples, thinly sliced
  • 1 cup apple juice
  • 2 tbsp. brown sugar

Directions:

1. I mixed the flour, spices and salt in small bowl. Then sprinkled each sides of pork chops with a pinch of the seasoned flour.

2. Then I cooked the pork chops in hot olive oil in large skillet on medium high heat until they were browned on both sides. I removed the chops from the skillet and put them on a plate to rest. I then added the onion to the skillet, cooked and stirred for 3 minutes or until tender. Then I added the apples and cooked and stirred them for three minutes.

3. Once I completed those steps, I stirred in the juice, sugar and the rest of the flour/seasoning mix, until they were well blended. Then I returned the pork chops to the skillet and brought the mixture to a boil. I reduced the heat to low and simmered for 10 minutes.

And here is what it looked like:

Apple and Sage Pork Chops

My Testimony: The Smallest Actions Make The Biggest Difference

I accepted Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior when I was 11 years old.

Since then, I’ve struggled with knowing whether or not I was truly saved and with understanding whether or not God is actively involved in my daily life.

Pastor Greg helped answer the first question: I know that I’m saved because God saved me. It has nothing to do with what I’ve done or how I feel. God sent His son to die on the cross for me and I have repented of my sins and accepted Him as my Lord and Savior. It’s a done deal.

But I continued to struggle with knowing that God is interested in the details of my life – until He opened my eyes one day and reminded me of how I got where I am.<

My first awareness of God acting in my life is through a woman named Norma Clark.

She worked at Westinghouse with my Dad. That’s the place that is York now. Incidentally, some dude named David Mason worked there with Dad, too.  Small world…

Anyway, Norma attended Calvary Baptist Church in Moore. It’s on the East side of town. Twelfth Street is here, I-35 is here and if you go all the way to the East side of town, Norma lived a couple of blocks north of Twelfth Street and the church was a couple of blocks south of Twelfth Street. It didn’t take her any time at all to get to church.

So, the church had planned a Pack a Pew Sunday night and whoever brought the most people would win a Ryrie New Testament Study Bible. Norma wanted to win this Bible, so she asked Dad if he would bring his family to church that Sunday.

So, Mom, Dad, my brother and sister and I all went to church that Sunday. But then, the Sunday after that, Norma drove all the way across town, from her house, to our house to pick me up and take me back to church.

Now let’s think about this. Norma lived all the way over on the East side of town. She had to get on Twelfth Street, drive all the way past the railroad tracks and the Interstate to Janeway and then all the way up to Northwest 23rd Street – and then all the way back to Calvary on the other side of town.

Norma kept doing this every Sunday until Mom and Dad decided to start taking the family to church themselves.

My Mom accepted Christ on April 23, 1983. A few months later, the church held a revival and I accepted Christ on the last day — Friday, January 13, 1984, just a few days before my birthday.

My brother and sister soon accepted Christ as well, and then later, my grandmother.

Norma’s willingness to go out of her way, to do a small thing like take me to church every Sunday, has impacted for Christ FOUR GENERATIONS of our family.

You can’t tell me that God isn’t working in my life.

Oh – remember that study Bible that Norma wanted to win?

She did.

And she gave it to my mom.

Great Balls of Cake!

Don’t these cake balls look delicious? Sorry about the photo quality — I took the picture using my iPhone in a fairly dim dining room.

That said, I have never had case so moist and decadent as these cake balls.

Are you drooling yet?

They’re terribly easy to make. Just checkout these links that I used to make my creations:

Here is the exact recipe I used:

  • 1 Devil’s food cake mix
  • 1 can chocolate fudge frosting
  • 1 package chocolate candy coating

Bake the cake just like you normally would. I ended up using two 9? round pans because my 9×13 has peach dump cake in it.

Let the cake cool completely. Then break up the cake and put it in your mixer on low speed. Low speed is important, because if you have the old style mixer like mine, you’ll throw crumbs everywhere. Keep mixing until the cake is completely crumbled up — no large pieces left.

Scoop the frosting into the bowl. I used the whole can, but I’ve seen some recipes recommend 3/4 of a can. Guess that’s up to you… Mix until the frosting is completely blended into the crumbs.

Put the bowl of cake/frosting mixture into the freezer for a couple of hours. This is important so that the mixture will hold together while you’re making your balls.

Pull out a couple of cookie sheets and line them with waxed paper. Then scoop out some cake and start making balls. I used a handy-dandy mini ice cream scoop to make my balls nice and uniform. I was able to make 57 balls. I only had room for 56 on my cookie sheets, so I fed the extra one to my husband at this point. It can be given to a random child as well.

Once you have your cake balls in nice, neat rows on your cookie sheets — stash them in the freezer for at least 6 hours. I ended up leaving mine in overnight so I could do the dipping later.

When you’re ready, melt your candy coating. I thought about melting it in the microwave, but figured it would be tough to keep the chocolate warm while dipping 57 56 balls. I didn’t want to melt it in a saucepan because I’ve had bad experiences with burned chocolate. Yuck! So I created my own little double boiler, using a saucepan and a glass bowl I already had. I was able to melt all the chocolate, then turn the heat down and keep it melted throughout the dipping process. Perfect!

Hold the presses! When the chocolate is ready, you can dip the cake balls. There is a trick to this though. I had two spoons, one a table spoon, to aid in the dipping process. I dropped a ball into the chocolate, spooned chocolate over it and then scooped it up with the tablespoon. The cake ball instructions I read suggested that I tap the spoon on the rim of the bowl — but there were people in my house asleep (after all, I carried this process out in the middle of the night). So I just used the tapping motion, without the actual tapping. I also scrapped the bottom of the spoon on the side of the other spoon.

I also found that if I rolled the cake ball to the back of the spoon first, let the extra chocolate drip off and then rolled the cake ball to the front of the spoon, I could carefully drop the ball on to the cookie sheet without too much of a mess.

WARNING! I did have some issues with the spoon scraping chocolate off the side of the ball. So I’ll have to work on that next time.

Once I dipped all the balls and they had set — which happened in just a few seconds! — I put them in a display container for safe keeping.

Check out my favorite cake ball videos on Youtube!

Our Secret To A Happy Marriage?

My husband — heretofore known as DH — and I will have been married 14 years in March.

First marriages that end in divorce last about 8 years, on average, according to Census.gov http://www.census.gov/prod/2005pubs/p70-97.pdf

So we’ve got that beat.What’s our secret?

Well, I guess you could say that we’re both stubborn, we do care about one another, we attend church and study the Bible together and we don’t consider divorce an option.

Now, that doesn’t mean that everything is happy flower kitty land over here. We have our moments. There are times when I’m steaming mad at him and he’s steaming mad at me.

I don’t like his communication style. He doesn’t like mine.

But we’re starting to learn to appreciate those differences, understand them, respect them and work with them.

I figure in another 14 years, I’ll have him almost completely trained.

How ’bout you? How long have you been married and what’s your secret?