Fall is simply my favorite season. Winter is a close second though. That being said, I always look forward to the special limited edition seasonal candies that debut and/or return this time of year. I just love the Fall themed M&M’s. So much more fun to eat than regular ones. Needless to say when I went grocery shopping last, I stocked up (with several packs).
Yesterday was a crazy day that also included an impromtu visit from friends. I ended up making this delicious cheeseball to serve before dinner. While I was wrapped up in visiting, I didn’t get an immediate picture. FYI, the color on M&M’s runs when you let them sit for a few. Don’t let the looks fool you though. This was delicious. The perfect appetizer to serve for friends visiting in Fall. The perfect treat for any Fall occasion or event. Even an impromptu dessert.
Did I forget to mention how much I love the Fall themed M&M’s?!
M&M Apple Caramel Cheese Ball
recipe adapted from Will Cook For Smiles
- 8 oz cream cheese, softened
- 1 tbs vanilla Greek yogurt
- 3/4 cup of peeled, cored, and finely diced apples (we used sweet Crispins, but you could also use a tart Granny Smith)
- 1/2 cup of Kraft caramel baking bits
- 1 tbs light brown sugar
- 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
- About a cup of fall M&Ms for rolling the cheese ball
- In a mixing bowl, combine cream cheese, yogurt, apple, caramel, brown sugar, and vanilla until evenly mixed.
- Using your hands (remember to wash first!), form the mixture into a nice round ball.
- Wrap the cheese ball in saran wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
- Remember, the colors on the M&M’s will bleed so don’t roll your cheeseball in the candy until just before serving. If ready to serve roll the ball around in M&M’s until completely covered.
- Serve with pretzels, apple slices, or non-salted cracker crisps.
My kids always count on fries with their burgers. I mean it’s like a burger staple for them. Serve them a burger without a side of fries and they’d probably look at me like I had just sprouted a second head, or antennae. They’re actually really good sports because burger night, which only falls once a month (maybe twice a month on a leap year) is the only night they get fries with dinner. Despite knowing that it was in fact burger night, I forgot to check to make sure I had potatoes. I also had a gaggle of kids at our house that day and no way to get to the store. What I did have? Several pounds of fresh green beans! Green bean fries came to my rescue. These were so good that it actually took me several minutes to convince my husband that I hadn’t gotten them carry-out from a restaurant or from the frozen food section of the grocery store. Every son raved about them. I mean a vegetable turned french fry? It was awe-inspiring. I’ve got to admit the way their jaws dropped and the awe-struck looks on their faces…it was pretty magical. Next time though I think I will try baking them instead of frying.
Green Bean Fries
recipe from Six Sisters’ Stuff
- Vegetable oil, for frying
- 1 pound fresh green beans, trimmed
- 2 cups chicken broth
- 2 eggs
- 1 cup of milk
- 1 cup flour
- 1 cup breadcrumbs
- 1/2 tsp onion powder
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- Heat a few cups of vegetable oil in a deep pot or fryer over medium-high heat.
- Meanwhile, pour chicken broth into a saucepan and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Add the green beans and let boil for 5 minutes. Remove beans from broth with a slotted spoon and set in a bowl of cold water.
- After beans are cooled down, pat dry with a paper towel.
- Whisk the egg and milk together in a shallow bowl.
- In another shallow bowl, combine flour, breadcrumbs, onion powder, garlic powder, salt and pepper.
- Dip the beans into the egg mixture, followed by the flour mixture and place in hot oil, a few beans at a time. Cook for 2-3 minutes or until golden brown.
- Serve with ranch dressing or other dipping sauces. Add a few drops of wasabi to ranch dressing and mix thoroughly for a wasabi-ranch dipping sauce
Over the years, I’ve come to find that, in the summer, there’s nothing better for a light lunch or snack than some garden-fresh veggies. This Delicious Dill Dip is the perfect refreshing compliment for them. Even better, I like the sneaky little way it has of getting my kids to eat every last nutritious bite of good-for-them ‘green-stuff.’ I’m not sure who is more surprised, myself or my boys, when we discover a veggie plate can be emptied, and left without even a stray crumb of broccoli, quite that quickly. Never ceases to amaze us. However, even if you’re on the fence about how tasty raw, fresh veggies actually might be, could be… they do make the perfect edible spoon to get dip from bowl to mouth. Technically, you don’t even have to eat the veggies, but it might be more ‘socially acceptable’ than just digging into said dip with a spoon. And it’s that good. You’ll consider it. I’ve just got to make sure I keep that tid-bit under-wraps. You know, in the interest of trying to teach good-manners, and all those other sorts of life-lessons Moms must met out.
Delicious Dill Dip
- 1 cup sour cream
- 1 cup mayonnaise
- 2 tsp dried dill weed
- 1 tsp onion powder
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- 1/2 tsp salt
- In a medium bowl, combine all ingredients. Mix well.
- Chill for at least one hour before serving.
- Serve with fresh veggies, slices of crusty bread, crackers, or pretzels.
Being that we have all these boys and seeing as how I am cheap, I try to buy in bulk whenever possible. Notice I said cheap. I’m not even going to try and dress it up and label myself as frugal, thrifty, etc. I’m just cheap. As part of my cost-cutting, we have a membership to Costco and that’s where the majority of our groceries come from. That being said, almost every trip to Costco my kids manage to convince me to buy them lunch, a snack, an ‘I’m going to die right this very minute if I don’t eat’ something from the food court. Their favorite thing to order is the Chicken Bake. So when I came across this recipe for Buffalo Chicken Garbage Bread, I knew they would love it.
I altered the recipe to the satisfaction of my tastes and those of my cheese-aholics. Notice I also changed the name. I could just imagine if I answered their ‘what’s for dinner’ question with something that included ‘garbage’ in its name. So I didn’t.
Buffalo Chicken Bake
2 cups cooked chicken, shredded or diced
1 tsp. olive oil
1 pizza dough (we used homemade and let it defrost in the refrigerator overnight)
8 oz. of shredded mozzarella cheese
8 oz. of shredded cheddar cheese
1/2 cup of buffalo wing sauce, divided
1/4 cup of ranch
1. Pre-heat oven to 425°F. Toss chicken with 1/4 cup of your wing sauce. You can add more or less depending on your desired spiciness. Stir to combine, the ranch dressing and remaining 1/4 cup wing sauce.
2. On a floured surface, or counter top, roll out dough into a long rectangular shape. Spread buffalo ranch sauce evenly across the dough. Add chicken and then top with both cheeses.
3. Pick a side and roll the dough up to form a log. Seal both ends (prevents ‘oozing’ while baking) and place seam side down on a non-stick or greased baking sheet.
4. Bake for 30 minutes. Let sit and ‘rest’ for 5-10 minutes before cutting into slices, then serve!