Monday, February 8, 2016

See, I CAN cook.

I CAN cook. I don't like to cook. I don't choose to cook, when there are other options available.

Take tonight, for instance. The hubs was gone on a bro date to the movies (he dates this particular bro with far more intensity than he's dated me in years, likely because said date always ends with Buffalo Wild Wings whereas I prefer a little more variety) so it was just me and the girls. Meatloaf was on the menu, but none of us were feeling it. We weren't feeling any of the other $160 worth of groceries that I bought last week either, from chicken all the way down to Pop Tarts.

The youngest - being the youngest - eventually piped up that she wanted McDonald's. The oldest - being a still fairly newly-licensed driver - offered to go and procure said McDonald's. And I - not having to cook or leave the house - did manage to wait until Dots had gotten out of the door before doing a happy dance around the kitchen.

I just don't understand people who enjoy cooking. I mean, you can spend hours in the kitchen, slicing and dicing and chopping, and what you end up with is a messy kitchen and a creation that's going to be eaten and gone. Nothing to show for your work except more work.

I mean, maybe your family would be happy that you cooked something yummy for them. But my family is happy with pizza rolls, and they take 12 minutes in the oven with zero prep time. Just sayin'.

There are certain occasions when I don't mind cooking, though.

  • Thanksgiving
  • Christmas (this is more baking than actual "cooking", though)
  • birthdays (baking again, although certain weirdos in my family prefer pies to cake)
  • Super Bowl (again, not so much "cooking" as "mashing ingredients together in a bowl")
This past weekend presented several occasions for me to make the foods, with a jewelry party that I hosted for a friend, my mom's birthday, and of course, the Super Bowl.

Since I actually MADE FOOD this weekend, I thought, why not be a good little mommy blogger and actually share a recipe or two on the ol' blog? So here are two for your consideration (with two more to follow later in another post), beginning with the...

Let me start by telling you - I do not like cheese balls. Like, before discovering this little sphere of heaven, I would actually shudder and gag a little at the very mention of a cheese ball. Especially the ones that were bright yellow and had little pieces of ick inside and were all covered in nuts - who does that?!

And then I started dating the now-hubby and met his lovely sister, and one of the first things she ever said to me was, "hey, try some of this cheese ball!"

I immediately started planning my escape from this family, but she reassured me that it was actually good, and not like all of those other cheese balls, so I very begrudgingly smeared a little bit of cheese ball onto a cracker and shoved the whole thing in my mouth, hoping that the cracker would cancel out the little tad of cheese ball.

And HOLY COW, IT WAS GOOD. GOOD. As my sweet friend Hayley at The Taxidermist Wife would say, it was smack yo' mama good.

I decided to keep this family after all. I also ate about half of that cheese ball before we left.

Tawni's Chicken Cheese Ball

(2) 8-ounce packages cream cheese
large can of chicken
packet of dry ranch dressing mix
shredded cheddar cheese

So here's what you do. Drain the can of chicken and dump it into a mixing bowl. Use a fork to chop it up a little. Then toss in the cream cheese and ranch mix.

Wash your hands really well, and remove any rings that you don't want encrusted with cream cheese - and then dig right in there and mash everything together. Make sure it's mixed really well, and then form it into a ball. It'll look something like this:

Now dump about half the bag of shredded cheddar on top, and mash it in all around the ball. Really cover that thing, because cheese.

Voila! You could eat it just like this, although I always wrap mine in cling wrap and refrigerate for a couple of hours first, just to make sure the chicken is chilled, etc. Serve with crackers of your choice - our go-to's are Ritz, Club, and Triscuits.

I would show you a picture of the finished product, if I had thought to take one. And um, these things don't last very long around here, so pretty soon, that ship had sailed. Sorry. It's not a bad looking cheese ball, though, as far as cheese balls go. And it is so, so yummy.

* * * * *

The second recipe I had to share is my husband's favorite - there can absolutely, positively not be a Super Bowl without it. Most of you have probably tried this before, especially if you like buffalo sauce and/or spicy things.

Frank's Buffalo Dip

2 cups cooked chicken, shredded
8-ounce package cream cheese
1/2 cup Frank's Red Hot Buffalo sauce
1/2 cup ranch dressing (or blue cheese, if you'd rather)
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese

YES, all of my favorite recipes include copious amounts of cheese. Now that we have that out of the way...

Preheat your oven to 350. Throw everything into a shallow @ 1-quart baking dish. Mix well and give it a taste test. Sometimes I'll add more Frank's sauce to make it a little more spicy, but if you're not into the spicy, you may want to add more ranch. Then bake for 20 minutes or until heated through. Stir well before serving with tortilla chips.

Alternative: If you happen to have the Pampered Chef covered baker (like I do), then you can mix everything in the baker, microwave for about five minutes, stir, microwave another minute or two, and you're done. That's my kind of cooking!

I don't have a picture of this dip either, and I'll confess that it looks like an orange, bubbly mess, but it is oh so tasty.

There. Proof that I do, indeed, create edible concoctions from time to time. Let me know if you give either of these a try - I'd love to hear what you think!

This post is linked up at Strangers & Pilgrims on Earth, Tidbits of Experience, and DIY Adulation - stop by any of these for tons of awesome links!


  1. These are the only two recipes you need to know. I think I could alternate eating one of these every day for maybe 3 years and not get tired of it.

  2. Girl, I so relate about the cooking! Ugh, I do it because my family loves homemade meals, but I don't enjoy it in the sense that I don't want it to be my full time job. I hate cleaning after too.. I would have to say crafts are much more fun! Thanks so much for mentioning me in the post, And so I will have to check out this cheese ball and slide it into the smack your mama list!!!

  3. Yes, yes, yes! You weren't kidding about cheesy goodness, and for someone who doesn't love cooking, you scored big wins on these. Delicious!

  4. I don't even know what a cheese ball is! It sounds like a very unflattering name. Can we call it something else?