Friday, July 5, 2013

Food Waste Friday and True Food Confessions

It's time for Food Waste Friday, when the Frugalgirl encourages us to post pictures from the previous week of wasted food from our household. This accountability hopefully will help us to be more careful with our food and maybe save some money. Also, I am using this public forum to encourage us to eat out less which includes better meal planning. You can follow how we are doing in this endeavor by reading True Food Confessions.

This Week's Food Waste

This Week's True Food Confessions

When I was in the kitchen this week, instead of taking pictures of food, I took pictures of what I saw out my kitchen window.

For the first few days of the week, I was totally unmotivated to do any cooking. Luckily we went to a cookout one of these nights, and we had Subway another one. We also got a  rotisserie chicken from Costco that served us well. One night we had sandwiches, another night we had chicken with with baked potatoes and roasted broccoli, and yet another night we had chicken soup and homemade bread.  I consider it a pretty good week especially since I was not interested in going into the kitchen during most of it.

However, I was highly motivated to try a new recipe--Cake Balls. A coworker brought them to work a couple of times and they were really good although very rich. One person said they were so good that they rolled your eyes back in your head.

The concept for cake balls is very simple. Bake a cake, crumble it, mix it with icing, roll into balls and dip into chocolate. However, once I started to read about them, there were many, many variations on the best way to make them and many variations of success and failure stories. And there seemed to be little consistencies in the stories. I consulted with my coworker to get her tips for making them. Then I gave them a try.

Cake Balls

I'm a little short on pictures here, but you can get the idea.

The combinations are almost endless of flavor combinations you can make these with, but here's what I did.

Makes 4 dozen or so depending on size of balls.

--One yellow cake mix. (Dense cakes don't work as well as light ones.)
--6-8 ounces (1/2-2/3 cup) of plain cream cheese icing.

--One six ounce container of whipped cream cheese.  (I added this instead of all icing so they wouldn't be quite as sweet.)  

 --Andes Mints broken into small pieces. I actually had baking ones that were already broken. Use as many or as few as you like. I used about 3 ounces for half the batch.

--Dipping dark chocolate

Mix and bake cake. Shape of pan does not matter. When cool, crumble into large mixing bowl. 

Mix icing and cream cheese into crumb mixture. When the individual crumbs start to disappear, it is probably good a consistency to roll into balls. If adding liquid for flavoring such as liqueur or orange juice, add it before you add the icing. 

Mix in mint candies.

Roll into balls. (I made ~1 1/4" balls and they were a little too big because these are so rich. I think 3/4" would be better.)

Freeze or cool for a couple of hours in the fridge.

Melt dipping chocolate.

Take balls out of fridge or freezer. If frozen, wait just a couple minutes until they thaw a little.

Make a hole in the middle of a ball with a toothpick. Take another toothpick, dip it chocolate and insert into hole. (This helps cement the toothpick into the ball so it doesn't slide off while dipping.)

Put balls back into freezer to cool for 1/2 hour. Take balls out of freezer in batches and get ready to dip.

Remelt chocolate and then dip balls into melted chocolate and put on sheet lined with was paper to harden.


This seems like a lot of steps (hope I didn't leave any out) especially for me. I think the key to success in making these, is to keep the balls cold while working with them. I did half of these plain and half of these with Andes Mints and both were good although I preferred the mint ones. I already have several other flavor combinations that I want to try. Too bad these wouldn't make a good supper food. :)