Keri's Cookie Dough Cheese Ball

Today's recipe comes from TAA reader Keri. Her Cookie Dough Cheese Ball with Cinnamon Chips looks absolutely mouthwatering and it couldn't be easier...check it out...

I found this recipe and I had to share it with you. It's quick, easy, and absolutely delish! People cannot get enough of this dessert. Every time I make it - it's gone in a matter of minutes!!! I tend to not roll it into a ball, but shape it in a bowl and refrigerate over night. The next day I slide it onto a pretty plate and combine with homemade cinnamon chips (which are "heavenly" according to one of my customers!) I've attached a few before pictures. I was not able to get any after pictures bc there was nothing left to photograph!!! -Keri K.

Cookie Dough Cheese Ball
8 oz pkg cream cheese (softened)
1/2 C butter
1/4 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 C powered sugar
3 tbsp brown sugar (packed)
1 C mini semi sweet chocolate chips
1 C pecans (finely chopped)

Blend together the first 3 ingredients until creamy; add powered sugar and brown sugar, blending well.  Fold in chocolate chips; cover and refrigerate 3 to 4 hours. Shape dough into a ball, wrap in plastic wrap and refridgerate again until firm.  Roll in/pack on pecans before serving.
Cinnamon Chips
1 C sugar
1 to 2 tsp cinnamon
10 (10 inch) uncooked flour tortillas (I use the 8 in uncooked tortillas - if you cannot find uncooked, you can use cooked tortillas, but they will not be as crispy)
Butter flavored non stick spray
Butter spray tortillas (both sides) and use pizza cutter to slice in wedges.
Mix sugar & cinnamon together. Dip coated wedges into cinnamon sugar mixture and place on baking sheet in a single layer. Bake at 350 for 8 - 10 minutes. They will not be crispy at first. Store in airtight container after cooling (about 15 minutes).

Didn't Keri do an amazing job? This recipe is good enough to eat and I love her super chic presentation and photos. I have a picnic next week and I can't wait to bring this dessert to share! Oh, and in case you want more of Keri's creations, check out her Easter Chick Cake Pops!

Jen's Chicken Saute with Escarole

Today's recipe comes from TAA reader and friend, Jen. Here's here note:

I've attached my recipe for Chicken Saute with Escarole. I love this recipe because, as you have said, any recipe that requires white wine as an ingredient is destined to be a star.  Also, I love the taste of the chicken and mushrooms combined with the bitterness of the escarole. Escarole does not appeal to everyone, but I'd be curious to see what you think. To me, it's a delicious balance and a real palate pleaser.  (Side note: It's a Weight Watchers recipe, so I love it even more!) - Jen C.

Chicken Saute with Escarole
*Adapted from Weight Watchers
3 tbsp all-purpose flour
1 tbsp grated Parmesan cheese
¼ tsp ground white pepper
Four 4-ounce skinless boneless chicken breasts
4 tsp olive oil
2 C sliced mushrooms
6 scallions, sliced
¼ C dry white wine
1 bunch escarole, cleaned and coarsely chopped

On a sheet of wax paper, combine flour, cheese and pepper.  Dredge the chicken in the flour mixture, coating both sides. In a large skillet, heat 2 teaspoons of the oil. Cook the chicken until golden and cooked through, 4-5 minutes on each side. Transfer to platter. In the skillet, heat the remaining 2 teaspoons of oil.  Sauté the mushrooms and scallions, stirring constantly, 2-3 minutes. Pour in the wine; cook until the liquid evaporates, 1-2 minutes. Add the escarole; cook until the escarole is tender, about 2 minutes. Once the escarole starts to cook, you should add some salt (to taste).  The first time I tried this recipe, it was very bland. The second time I made it, I added a little salt while the escarole was cooking, and it was MUCH better. Spoon over the chicken.

Some notes:
I made the dish for 4 people that LOVE to eat, so I had to double the recipe and actually use two pots.  If you're making this for only 2-3 people, one pot should be good. I also used Chardonnay, (not Chablis or Sauvignon blanc) simply because it was the only wine I had in the house, and I was too lazy to run to the store.  It still came out great!

So what do you think? Didn't Jen do an amazing job on this dish? I love that not only did she put her own spin on it to fit her needs, but that it incorporates some new, adventurous ingredients (I, for one, am completely unfamiliar with escarole). Take note of that deliciously crispy looking chicken on the bottom! And the fact that it's healthy is just the icing on I cannot wait to try it!

PS - Do you have a recipe or restaurant review to share? Tell us about it (including photos!) and we'll feature it on The Avid Appetite!

Chick Cake Pops

I hope you all had a fabulous holiday (if you were celebrating yesterday!). I ate Peeps, glazed ham and coconut cupcakes until I couldn't move (more on that later...) Moving on, today's recipe comes from TAA reader, Keri Campagna Klingman. Her truly adorable cake pops caught my eye and I just had to find out the recipe and steps to make it happen myself. Keri generously shared the recipe, providing step-by-step instructions and photos that are super sweet and tasty-looking to boot. Check it out...

Chick Cake Pops
Cake Mix
Frosting (one container)
Yellow Candy Melts
Milk or Dark Chocolate Candy Melts
Lollipop Sticks
Candy Coated Chips (for beak)
Sprinkles (hearts, flowers, circles, moons, anything to resemble wings and feet - my favorite are the hearts)
Styrofoam block
To make the pop:
1. Bake cake mix (any flavor desired) as directed and allow to cool.
2. When cool, take the cake and crumble it into a big bowl.
3. Take the cake crumbs and thoroughly mix in a container of frosting (any flavor desired) - you can use a hand mixer, spoon, or make it even more fun and get messy by using your hands!
4.Refrigerate this mixture for 2-3 hours.
5. After chilling, I use a cookie scoop and scoop out portions to shape into balls. (Size will vary depending on how big you want pop to be. I make them about the size of a small meatball - makes between 30 to 40 pops.)
6. Push lollipop sticks into cake balls and place on wax papered baking sheet. I refrigerate or freeze overnight for maximum firmness for dipping.
7. Melt yellow candy melts according to package (heat in microwave in 30 second intervals - make sure to stir melts between heating) I melt them in a deep narrow bowl to make it easier for dipping.
8. Dip pops into yellow chocolate. Once the cake ball is covered remove and softly tap and rotate until the excess chocolate falls off. Don’t tap too hard or the cake ball will fall off, too.
9. Place into styrofoam block to dry.
10. Once dry, use excess yellow chocolate and put into squeeze bottle. Use this chocolate to "glue" on sprinkles and candy coatings to make face. Use Milk/dark chocolate in another squeeze bottle to dab on eyes or you can use an edible ink pen to draw. (I like the chocolate look better)
11. Let dry & refrigerate.
It's a long process, but the outcome is so cute you really don't mind!! Plus, everyone raves about them - taste and cuteness! Everyone has their cake preference - my husband chooses devil's food cake with triple chocolate fudge chip icing. For these, I got seven orders for French Vanilla cake with vanilla icing. That combo made it easier to coat in the lighter color chocolate! Hope you enjoy!!!

Didn't Keri do an amazing job? Aren't these chick cake pops just about the cutest thing you've ever seen? Though Easter has come and gone, I might just need to find a reason to whip up these little chickies... you have a favorite recipe? Snapped a mouthwatering photo? Ate in a fun restaurant? Share your Avid Appetite by emailing theavidappetite [at] gmail [dot] com or visit the Contact page.