Archive for the ‘Finger Foods’ Category

Bacon Chicken Ranch Meatballs

We’re talking this is a meatball game changer folks!  This homemade blend of ground chicken and bacon, ranch and spices make up one SERIOUSLY DELICIOUS meatball! You cannot eat just one of these! And if you tried well, that’s just cruel!

Growing up Mom only ever made meatballs when she made spaghetti. They never were made outside of that.  Maybe if she had leftovers she made meatball subs but she never set out to intentionally have meatballs be the main dish. And never, ever were they considered an appetizer.  They were kind of like the “Plus 1” on a wedding invite.  They weren’t really invited but it was assumed they’d be there. And if I’m being honest here, Mom’s meatballs weren’t exactly on the top of my favorite foods list for 2 reasons:

  1. They had GINORMOUS chunks of onions in them. No no no no NO, never never never in my world, EVER!
  2. She used the exact same recipe for her meatballs as she did for her meatloaf… and I hated her meatloaf

Now I didn’t have my first “OMG that’s what a meatball is supposed to taste like?!?!” until I was in my mid-twenties and I was on a date pre-Mr. Fantabulous.  This guy (how terrible am I that I can’t even remember his name but I can remember the food?!) took me to this little Italian restaurant in the middle of no where for dinner. The place was old school – marinara stained red and white checkered tablecloths, old wine bottles with wax dripping down the sides and a waiter that spoke very broken English.
Take your meatballs beyond the plate of pasta!

Cucumber Cups with Creamy Chicken Whip

Easy, Healthy, Lo-Carb and Seriously Delicious are what these Cucumber Cups with Creamy Chicken Whip are all about! Cream cheese, chicken and spices whipped to a light mousse pipped into a cucumber cup.  Um HELLO!  YOU CAN EAT THE BOWL! 

*WARNING  – this post is deep and emotional* Wow, the end of January already.  I’ll be glad when this month is over because this month has sucked for me royally. The only thing that has been keeping me going is all of the healthy and delicious foods I’ve been whipping up.  With my sister’s recent passing I did something for the first time in my life – I went to food for comfort.  Food for comfort, not comfort food.  Big difference.  To me comfort foods make you feel all snuggly and hugged from the inside. They remind you of a memory, something that made you feel safe, loved, secure.

Yeah, no, food was nothing like that. I was (am still) so devastated that I literally was empty; numb. It’s like you are so sad that you can’t even cry if that makes sense. Mr. Fantabulous did everything perfect (and still does) to help me through the initial days after she passed to even now however I still felt … empty. I would just wander around the house, tissues in hand not really looking or focusing on one thing.  Even though not once did he ask for anything I would go out to the kitchen, cook/bake but it was like *I* was just going through the motions.  I had no appetite yet somehow all I did was eat.. non-stop.  So desperate to “feel” something other than sadness and pain.

…and that’s where food came into play. Food tastes good. It provides a type of satisfaction that is almost euphoric at times; it made me feel something other than pain. If it wasn’t nailed down or frozen solid I ate it. I did this for honestly about a day and that night I was sick as a dog. My body isn’t used to that.  That night I didn’t sleep much (from being so sad and from being so sick  – god my poor stomach) and started to think about what I had done.

So the next morning as I was making him his breakfast I started to reach for the jar of peanut butter and wheat bread (even though I literally ate a yogurt and protein shake like 10 minutes prior). I wasn’t hungry but it was like something my head triggered a “food = no more sadness” thought however this time I caught myself.  So I figured if I was going to eat (because honestly I cared but not really) I’d at least make healthy stuff that wouldn’t make me gain 50 pounds overnight or make me sick as a dog. Plus you know me, I firmly believe that eating healthy does not mean you have to sacrifice flavor.
Eating healthy doesn’t mean you sacrifice flavor

Bloomin’ Loaded Baked Potatoes

Your boring baked potato just got all kinds of sexy with this Bloomin’ Loaded Baked Potatoes recipe!  Crispy skinned potato wedges all covered in melty cheese and crispy bacon.  Yeah, life just got a whole lot tastier!

For all of you newbies that found your way recently to the TKW Family, WELCOME!  Now there are a few things you need to know about me and my personality.  The way I write my posts and describe my recipes is I envision you’re sitting with me in my kitchen either watching me cook/bake or you’re helping me.  We’re chatting and laughing like we’ve been friends for decades – like the kind of friends who don’t judge you if you wear your sweats pants on inside out, your hair is a hot mess or if you trip will laugh til they cry all the while helping you up. When I write I open up my home and life as I want you guys to relate to me and to feel like you’re with me as I’m cooking or doing something. You feel at home here, even if you’re half way across the world, you still feel like family.

Something else you need to know about me – my husband is Mr. Fantabulous who has the metabolism of 967 people.  No seriously it’s unreal. I, on the other hand, have a negative metabolism (if there’s such a thing) meaning I don’t even have to eat food to gain jiggle.  I’m obsessed with pigs but I love bacon.  My logic is simply this – bacon is made from ugly pigs, not the uber cutsie ones that are dressed up.  I want a mini teacup pig, a cat and a dog but since our house is still being remodeled (9+ years now – we’re doing it ourselves) it’s not safe to have pets. I loathe anything cherries – I mean we’re talking not even cherry lip gloss. Pizza is my all time favorite food and my favorite veggie is the potato.   Thus this recipe… an ode to the glorious spud.

I’m sure at some point in your lives you’ve had some facet of a “Bloomin’ Onion” either from Outback Steakhouse or some other restaurant.  And even if you haven’t, you’ve had to have heard of them. Right? So these bloomin’ onions were cut in a way that, when batter dipped and deep fried would ‘bloom’ in the hot oil thus making the onion to look like a blooming flower.
These potatoes will dress up any dish. Turn a bland tater into something mouth watering!

The Ultimate Easy Creamy Chocolate Fudge

This is truly the Ultimate Easy Creamy No Fail Chocolate Fudge.  I took Mom’s classic fudge recipe and modernized it – no more standing at the stove putting in a workout just to stir it. Just a few minutes is all it takes to make this seriously delicious, super creamy, no fail fudge!

Growing up there pretty much wasn’t anything my Mom couldn’t bake.  She wasn’t a professionally trained chef but she could produce meals that were flawless and truly delicious. Now any chef, albeit home or professionally trained has their specialty area. Some are rock stars at making steaks, others crush it in the pie world.  Mom, yeah she owned the fudge realm.  Mom made all types though her most requested was plain chocolate and toasted walnut.  Now I’ll be honest, I was never a huge fan of fudge.  If given the choice between fudge and a cookie, the cookies won out every single time.  For me it was just too rich.  However my Dad… oh my darling sweet father was a Fudge Fanatic!  No people you don’t understand!  My Mom would have to hide the fudge from him, even the ones she had orders for because that man loved it THAT MUCH!

easy-ultimate-fudge4

I can remember her hiding containers of fudge in my baby doll stroller, underneath the blankets and then it got so bad that she start stashing containers of it in my Barbie Doll case, underneath my clothes in my closet waaaaaaaaaaaaaaay back in the corner and in pretty much any thing that could act as a hiding spot in my room.  Well Dad got wise to this and well…let me tell you a little story about fudge and my Dad.

This no fail fudge is easy, delicious and seriously addictive!

Spinach & Cheese Puff Tarts

With the holidays in full swing now, these simple but elegant spinach & cheese puff tarts are the perfect recipe to WOW your guests and family!  These can be made in advance, kept in the fridge or freezer! Just reheat and serve!

So wow it’s like *counts on her fingers* 12 days til Thanksgiving!  However if you’re in any store or mall now we’ve apparently already had Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Years and are ready for Valentine’s day. I get the whole being ready for the holidays and all but come on, let me enjoy my holiday AT the time of my holiday!  I shouldn’t have to buy Halloween candy in July, my turkey in September and my Christmas tree in October.  However that seems to be acceptable thing now so I might as well go along with the flow; well that is food-wise at least *wink*

Okay seriously I’m ALL about holiday parties, get-togethers and the foods.  That’s when I think houses look the prettiest – the lights, decorations and stuff. Plus the food is just so much ….more. Sure during the warmer months we all have great food but for me, there’s just something a tad more special about holidays foods.

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I think for me it all started as a kid.  Every party we had Mom made it a big deal.  To this day I honestly have no idea where the foods came from as we were really poor; no seriously like REALLY poor but yet Mom would put out a spread that would rival any restaurant.  Starting right before Thanksgiving until the day after New Year’s Day the cooking, baking and holiday festivities were never ending.
Such a simple recipe but with an impressive end result!

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