Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Tasty Tuesday: Red Velvet Cheeseball!

This past weekend, I attended a baby shower for a good friend. She's expecting her first baby, a boy, in April. Her mother is over the moon about becoming a grandmother for the first time, and is doubly excited, because not only is my friend having a baby in April, her younger sister recently announced that she's expecting a baby too, in August! So exciting.

As always when going to an event, I asked if I could bring anything and when told yes, I found this recipe (pinterest...natch!) for a red velvet cheeseball and it seemed to be just perfect. Who doesn't like red velvet? Not this girl!

This is an easy thing to whip up and trust me, your friends will be beyond impressed. I loosely followed this recipe.

Red velvet cheeseball

8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
1/2 cup butter, at room temperature
1 1/2 cups red velvet cake mix, dry
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1/2 cup mini chocolate chips

In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the cream cheese and butter until smooth. Add in the red velvet cake mix, the brown sugar and the powdered sugar. Beat until smooth and combined.

Turn the mixture out onto a piece of plastic wrap.

Wrap up into a ball and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.

Put the chocolate chips on a plate or in a shallow dish. Remove the cheese ball from the refrigerator and unwrap. Roll in the chocolate chips. (This might get messy!)

Place on a serving plate and serve with cookies or graham crackers.

My notes-

Believe it or not, but I don't own a stand mixer, so I used a hand mixer. Also, I didn't read the directions well apparently, because I added the entire package of red velvet cake mix before realizing I was only supposed to use about half of it! It was VERY dry, and I managed to break my hand mixer. Yes, you read that correctly. Something in the moter snapped. Whooops.

I added a bit of vanilla in order to make it easier to blend! I do love vanilla anyway, and was rather generous there, adding several tablespoons! Also, I left in in the fridge overnight, and it was rock solid when I took it out the next morning, but an hour or so on the counter softened it up for the rolling in the chocolate chips.

I served it with vanilla wafers and graham crackers and it was well loved by everyone there! This is definitely something that I will make again and again!

What is your go-to dish to bring to a shower?

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Ravioli with Vodka Cream Sauce

Just in time for Valentine's Day, Holly of One Spicy Dish is sharing this fabulous recipe with us. Aren't we lucky?? She has guest blogged before on Tasty Tuesday and when she does, we are assured of a dish packed with flavor! This is no exception.

Doesn't this picture look so professional? I feel somewhat ashamed of my own presentation, when I see the way foodies like Holly serve their friends and family!


1 package won ton wrappers

Small carton ricotta cheese
sprinkle of garlic and onion powder
finely grated mozzarella cheese
finely grated Parmesan cheese
roasted onion **
1 package frozen spinach-thawed and squeezed
salt and pepper
2 separately beated eggs (one for filling, one for ravioli egg wash..aka..glue)

3 Tbs EVOO
minced garlic to taste
crushed red pepper
2 8 oz cans of tomato sauce
2 tbs vodka
1/4 cup heavy cream
Torn basil leaves

So that I don't steal too much of Holly's thunder, I'm going to direct you straight to her blog post to see the step by step. You really can see the step by step because she includes plenty of pictures along the way!

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Tasty Tuesday: Gnocchi and Sweet Potatoes

In the midst of this recession, we are making a monumental effort to eat in more! I think that the Scarlet Threads online community is probably the biggest beneficiary of this new year resolution. So far, we are doing quite a bit better than last year.

After our 5 mile run today, we were looking for dinner options in the fridge and I remembered this fabulous recipe that I saw in my triathlon magazine. Unfortunately, I lost my magazine and I was forced to resort to finding a somewhat similar recipe online and then filling in the gaps based on what I think I remember.

Well here goes our experimental recipe, which we think turned out pretty well!


2 tbsp butter
2 sweet potatoes (1/2 in pieces)
1/2 onion (roughly chopped)

1 tbsp sage
3 tbsp chopped garlic
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
1 tsp salt

1 1/4 cup chicken stock

1 bunch of kale (roughly chopped)
16 oz (or more!) gnocchi
1 cup of grated parmesan


Melt 1 tbsp of butter in a oven-safe pan. Add sweet potatoes and onion. Cook over medium heat 8 minutes. Add sage, garlic, pepper flakes, and salt. Cook 3 minutes so the flavors meld.

Pour in the chicken stock and bring to a simmer. Drop in the kale and stir until just wilted.

Now it is time to add my favorite part, the gnocchi!! Cover and cook 5 min. Stir in 1/4 cup of parmesan and drizzle the remainder on top.

Place under the broiler for 5 min until bubbly and browned.