Friday Fun With Bloggers!

12 12 2011

Yes, I know it’s Monday, but since I don’t blog on the weekend, I thought I’d catch you up!

On Friday night, I went to a blogger meetup at Lauriol Plaza. Lauriol is a must-visit when in DC, especially in the summer and you can sit outside,  sip frozen margaritas, and watch people stumble up the hill to Adam’s Morgan.

Well, it’s not summer, but Lauriol is still perfect for yummy margaritas, especially when you’re surrounded by some of your sweaty friends and you’re celebrating a new Ironman!  (All people pics courtesy of Sarah – thanks girl!)

Carly, Sarah, Rachel, the other Sarah

Me and Erin

Ironman, Ironman, Soon to be Ironman, Marathoner (soon to be a “Goofy Marathoner“)

It’s so fun to hang out with these ladies! They are good peeps. And they enjoy delicious food too, which may or may not be something I look for in my friendships…(kidding! but it doesn’t hurt…)

I ordered the crab and shrimp quesadilla.

It had the perfect amount of seafood and cheese. I ate it all up!

And you can’t go to a blogger event with these ladies without some sweet treats, especially when one of them is the District Chocoholic. Victoria brought us some cookies that were stuffed with chocolate, which I unfortunately ate too quickly to take a picture. She also brought some sample chocolates from a local chocolate company for us to taste and give feedback. I’d like to say may palette is refined enough to give specific thoughts on the flavors, but unfortunately my descriptions were limited to “Yum” or “I like this one better than that one.” Probably not so helpful…

Lauren brought some deee-liscious toffee, which she’ll hopefully be putting up the recipe for soon!


Apparently my camera thought I wanted to focus on the salsa bowl 😦 Regardless, I was stuffed, but still popped a few of these babies in my mouth. YUM!

And, I brought some gingerbread cake balls, dipped in white,

or dark chocolate.

ooh baby!

I love me some holiday cake balls, but I didn’t mind pawning them off on my friends. They’re so tasty, but not quite the healthiest dessert. I needed to get them out of the house! I actually health-ified these cake balls a smidge, by swapping out some of the oil in the cake recipe with some Greek Yogurt, and by using low-fat cream cheese in the frosting. I guess they also have some extra protein in them, but I still can’t classify them as “healthy.” Still, no one complained or said they tasted like I tried to make them a bit healthier, so I’ll count that as a success!

Gingerbread Cake Balls

Ingredients:

1 box gingerbread cake mix, prepared as directed on the box (you can also make the cake from scratch if you choose!)

Cream cheese frosting (homemade or store-bought)

Chocolate chips (dark, white, your choice!)

How to:

Bake the Gingerbread cake, as directed on the box. You may want to do this the night before, so the cake has time to cool completely.

(This mix called for 1/3 cup oil, which I swapped with the same amount of Greek Yogurt)

When the cake is completely cooled, crumble the cake into small pieces. Then dump about a cup (maybe more?) of frosting into the cake crumbs.

Stir it in completely, and then roll the cake into balls. Place the balls onto a lined baking sheet.

Place the cookie sheet in the freezer or refrigerator for a few hours so they can harden a little.

When you’re ready, melt the chocolate in a double boiler. Dip the cold cake balls in the chocolate, and then place back on the cookie sheet. When you’ve dipped everything, place the tray into the fridge or freezer until the chocolate hardens.

Dig in!

They’re really rich, but oh so tasty!





Pumpkin Cake Balls

19 10 2011

So remember when I promised these?

Well friends, here you go!

A few weeks ago, I was craving something pumpkiny, and something chocolately. I  knew exactly what I wanted- pumpkin cake balls! Unfortunately, I was at work with no way of satisfying this craving. And, after work, I was headed home to NJ so I couldn’t even make them in the evening! Dah!

About a week after the craving hit, I finally had the time to make these babies. And let me tell you, they were perfect.

They’re really sweet, so one is plenty to satisfy a craving (But I often ate more than one in a sitting. It’s so easy to pop them in your mouth!)

These would be great to bring to a party, especially if you don’t want to eat them all yourself (but then again, you’ll probably want to).

Pumpkin Cake Balls

What you’ll need:

1 box butter cake mix (you could probably use yellow or vanilla too)
1 stick of butter
2/3 Cup Water
3 Large Eggs
(or whatever the box calls for to make the cake)
1 can pumpkin
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground ginger
1/8 tsp nutmeg
Cream cheese icing (Store bought, or homemade)
1 bag of chocolate chips

Prepare the cake batter as directed on the box. Then, blend in the pumpkin and the spices.

Bake as directed, until a toothpick comes out clean.

Let cool completely.

Prepare a cookie sheet, covering it with wax paper.

Then, crumble the cake into small pieces.

Prepare the icing.

Stir the icing into the crumbled cake, enough so that the cake is completely covered by the icing, but its not too icing-y. Note: I didn’t use the entire bowl. When you’ve reached the appropriate consistency, start rolling the cake into balls. Place the balls onto the cookie sheet and refrigerate for a few hours.

When you’re ready to dip them in chocolate, melt the bag of chocolate chips in a double boiler. (Or in a small pot on top of a slightly bigger pot, like I did.)

Pull the balls out of the fridge, and begin dipping in the melted chocolate. Warning, this part is messy! I dipped using two forks. It may be easier to make these as cake pops, using the stick to help you dip.

Place the dipped balls back on the cookie sheet and into the fridge, so the chocolate hardens. Or, eat them right away, if you don’t want to wait.

These are really rich, but REALLY good!

Enjoy!

Question of the day: What kind of cake ball should I try making next?