Oreo Cake Balls


oreo cake ball goodies

If you’re looking for a delicious chocolate treat for the holidays, I have just what you need.  Oreo Cake Balls!

Oreo cake balls

I personally don’t like most store-bought cookies.  If I’m going to waste my calories on a cookie, I’d much rather bake a batch of homemade cookies instead of a store-bought cookie.  However, Double Stuffed Oreos are my weakness.  Give me a big glass of milk and a plate of Double Stuf Oreos and I’m in heaven!  Hmm!

If you’re like me about Double Stuf Oreos, then you’re going to love these Oreo Cake Balls!  They taste just like Double Stuf Oreos.

I dipped the Oreo Cake Balls in melted Almond Bark but you can use any melting chocolate for this recipe.  I dipped most of the cake balls in the Chocolate Flavored Almond Bark but I also dipped a few in Vanilla Flavored Almond Bark to give them a different look.  They taste the same either way.  I only dipped a couple of cake balls at a time because I sprinkled each cake ball with Christmas sprinkles for an extra festive appearance.  The chocolate can’t dry before you add the sprinkles to the cake balls because then the sprinkles won’t stick.

oreo cake balls2

Oreo Cake Balls

Servings:  About 60 – 70 cake balls

1 package Double Stuf Oreos, crushed/chopped

1 8 oz. package cream cheese, softened

36 oz. Almond Bark, melted (I used 24 oz. melted Chocolate Flavored and 12 oz. melted Vanilla Flavored)

Place the Oreos in the food processor and chop until fine.  Pour the chopped Oreos into a large bowl and add the cream cheese and combine.  I used my hands to combine them together.

Use a small ice cream scoop to measure each cake ball and roll each cake ball with your hands to form them into balls.  Place the cake balls on a cookie sheet lined with wax paper and place in the freezer for 10 – 15 minutes.

Place the Almond Bark into a large microwave-safe bowl and microwave for 45 minute increments.  Remove from microwave and stir.  Continue to do this until the chocolate is completely melted.  Dip the cake balls in the melted chocolate (only a couple at a time) and place the cake balls onto wax paper to dry.  If you’re using sprinkles, sprinkle each cake ball as soon as you place it on the wax paper so the sprinkles will stick.


Busy, Busy, Busy

Christmas nut crackers

This time of year is always so busy.  I think I need another weekend to relax!  The weekends just fly by especially since the weekends are all I have to get anything done.  On Saturday, Izzy and I had our “beautifying” appointments.  She went to the groomer and I went to my hair stylist.  Then I spent the rest of the morning running from one store to the next.  Then I came home and cooked a few Christmas goodies.

Saturday evening we went to the Christmas program at church and then went to dinner.  On the way home, we stopped at Cookout for milkshakes.  If you’ve never tried one of their milkshakes, you’re truly missing out!

On Sunday, I spent the morning wrapping presents.  Izzy didn’t seem to be a fan of the mess I made in “her” den floor while I was wrapping the presents.

Sunday afternoon, I made more Christmas goodies that afternoon.  I’ll share one of those recipes with you later this week.

Christmas goodies

In the meantime, since I haven’t had much time to cook or bake lately, I decided I’d share a few pictures of our Christmas decorated house.

Christmas Santa table

Christmas table


Christmas ornament table

Christmas stockings

Christmas tree with Izzy present


Everyone needs an Izzy under the tree!  Isn’t she the cutest little dog you’ve ever seen?  I love that little cutie!

I’ll be back later this week to share a recipe for one of the Christmas goodies I made over the weekend.

Vegetables and Dumplings

veggie and dumplings serving

Luke and I had some work done to the house a couple of weeks ago and the builder sanded and painted almost every room in our house which means our house was covered in that very fine dust from the sanding.  When I say our house was covered, I mean covered.  The dust was even in all of the closets.  It was terrible.  Plus, the builder’s cleaning crew didn’t come clean the mess until the next day so Luke and I had to sleep in our dust filled house.  By midnight that night, both of us had sore throats and the next day we were congested and miserable.  We’re still a little congested and that was about 2 weeks ago.  Luke has decided they didn’t clean as thoroughly as we thought they had because our baseboards were still covered in the dust when the cleaning crew left.

veggie and dumplings

I’m all about comfort food when my sinuses are acting up.  After days of eating soup, I decided I wanted something a little different.  I was craving chicken and dumplings (minus the chicken) but I also wanted chicken pot pie (again minus the chicken) so I decided to make veggies and dumplings but instead of it being soupy, I made it thicker like the filling in a chicken pot pie.  I have to say it was delicious and it really hit the spot.  This doesn’t have to be a vegetarian meal.  You can add diced or shredded cooked chicken to the mixture if you prefer and you can also use chicken broth instead of vegetable broth.

Vegetables and Dumplings

Servings:  8 – 10

2 tbsp extra virgin oil

3 carrots, diced

3 celery sticks, diced

1 small onion, diced

4 russet potatoes

1 garlic clove, grated

1 15 oz. can sweet green peas (no salt added)

1 – 1 1/4 tsp kosher salt

1/2 tsp pepper

1/4 cup all-purpose flour

3 1/2 – 4 cups vegetable broth

1/2 cup half & half

1 16.3 oz can Homestyle Butter Tastin’ Grands biscuits


Dice the carrots, celery and onion.  Then slice the potatoes into bit size pieces.  Pour the extra virgin olive oil into a large soup pot or Dutch oven over medium heat.  Add the carrots, celery, onion and potato to the pot and stir.  Cook for about 10 – 15 minutes.  Stirring periodically.

Grate the garlic clove over the veggies and stir to combine.  Cook for about a minute or two.  Add salt and pepper.

Sprinkle the flour over the veggies and stir.  Continue to cook for another minute.  Then add the vegetable broth and half & half.  Stir until combined.  Turn the heat down to low and cover and cook for about 15 – 20 minutes.  Stirring periodically.

Quarter the biscuits and drop them into the vegetable mixture.  Stir to coat the biscuits with the sauce.  Cover and cook for 10 – 15 minutes or until the biscuits are cooked.  Stir and serve.

If you reheat your leftovers and it seems too thick, you can add  little extra vegetable broth to thin it out.

veggie and dumplings serving1

Pumpkin Cake Balls


pumpkin cake pops


I hope you all had a very happy Thanksgiving!  Luke and I had a wonderful Thanksgiving weekend.  It was actually the best Thanksgiving I can remember ever having.  It wasn’t rushed or chaotic like it usually is.  We were able to sit and enjoy spending time with everyone.  I wish I could go back and do it all over again (including the Thanksgiving meal, of course)!

My mom came across a pumpkin cake ball recipe and she decided to recreate it for Thanksgiving.  They were so moist and so delicious.  I highly recommend giving this recipe a try during the holidays.

pumpkin cake pops cut


Pumpkin Cake Balls

Servings:  Approximately 60 cake balls

1 box Pillsbury Moist Supreme Perfectly Pumpkin Premium cake mix (bake according to the package directions)

1 8 oz. package cream cheese, softened

1/2 cup canned pumpkin

1 package Almond Bark (or white chocolate), melted


1.  Bake the pumpkin cake according to the package directions in a 9 x 13 pan.  Allow to cool.

2.  Cut the edges of the cake leaving the moist, softer center.  Discard the edges.

3.  In a large bowl, use your hands to combine the cake, cream cheese and pumpkin.  Once combined, take pieces of the cake mixture and form into 1 inch balls.  Place each cake ball on a cookie sheet lined with wax paper.  Once all of the cake balls are formed, you should have about 60 cake balls.  Place the cookie sheet with the cake balls into the freeze and freeze for about 2 hours.

4.  In a medium bowl, melt the Almond Bark/white chocolate according to the package directions.  Once melted, dip the cake balls into the melt chocolate and place the cake pops onto a cookie sheet lined with wax paper so the chocolate can harden.

5.  Serve and enjoy!

Hot Apple Cider

apple cider

This has been an unusually cold November for us this year but it’s made us get in the holiday spirit earlier than usual.  Plus, some of the radio stations started playing Christmas music the first week of November which also helped get us in the holiday spirit.  The holidays come and go so quickly so it’s nice to get in the holiday spirit early because it makes the season last a little longer.  A mug filled with hot cinnamon flavored apple cider also puts me in the holiday spirit…actually holiday heaven.

One of my favorite holiday drinks in hot apple cider.  The smell and the taste give you the warm and cozy feeling of the holidays.  I don’t think you should go through the holidays without a hot mug of apple cider.

apple cider with steam

I’ve had hot apple cider every evening for the past week.  If you like bourbon, you can add a splash to your hot apple cider.  I personally prefer my apple cider without it but I know a lot of people love apple cider with bourbon.

This recipe is incredible easy and very delicious.  I hope you enjoy it as much as I do!

Hot Apple Cider:

1 gallon store bought apple cider

5 cinnamon sticks

2 tsp cloves

1/4 cup brown sugar

Pour the apple cider into a large cooking pot over high heat.  Add the cinnamon sticks, cloves and brown sugar.  Stir to combine.  Bring to a boil. Turn down to low heat and cover.  Cook for at least 1 – 2 hours.

apple cider cooking

Remove the cloves and serve the hot apple cider with the cinnamon sticks.

apple cider1


Brrrrrr: It’s time for some Chipotle Chorizo Chili

These last few days have been rather chilly for most of the US.  Well its quite frigid in most parts of the country right now so I think this is the perfect time for some homemade chili.

I like many different types of chili. I like the traditional beef chili, beef and sausage chili and chicken chili.  I just like chili period.  Today, I’m sharing my chorizo style chili.  Chorizo is a Spanish pork sausage and I use it a bunch in recipes.  The only kind I could find in the store was the casing style so I’m just going to roll the recipe out there with what I was working with.

chorizo chili


1/2 lb of ground beef

1 lb of chorizo sausage, diced

1 green bell pepper, diced

1 medium onion, diced

2 cans regular rotel tomatoes

1 can diced tomatoes

1 can spicy chili beans

1 can kidney beans, rinsed

1 can green chilis

1 tablespoon of chipotle adobe sauce

2 tablespoons or more of chili powder

1 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)

salt and pepper to taste


In a large cooking pot or dutch oven, brown the ground beef.  Dice the chorizo into small pieces and add to the ground beef.  Cook until the ground beef is browned.  Drain the meat and set aside in a separate bowl or plate.  Leave just a little grease in the bottom of the cooking pot and cook the onion and peppers until tender.  Once tender, add the meat back to the cooking pot.  Then add all the canned ingredients and spices and stir until combined.  Cook for about 10 to 15 minutes and give it a little taste.  At this point, you can determine if any more chili powder, salt, pepper or cayenne pepper is needed.   Cover and stir occasionally.  Let simmer for 30 minutes or longer.

Ladle into bowls and top with a little cheese.  Enjoy!

chorizo chili serving




Cheesecake Craving

cheesecake and slice

One of my favorite desserts is cheesecake.  I don’t need any fruity toppings or a cheesecake flavor, like chocolate or pumpkin cheesecake.  Just give me a plain ole cheesecake and I’m in heaven.  Even if I order a cheesecake in a restaurant and it comes with strawberries or a strawberry syrup, I ask if I can just have the plain cheesecake with no toppings.

Last week, I started craving cheesecake.  I have no idea where the craving came from.  I was driving home from work and out of nowhere, I started thinking about cheesecake and how long it had been since I’d eaten a plain cheesecake, and the next thing I know, all I can think about is making a cheesecake.  So over the weekend, I made one.

I didn’t create my own recipe because I didn’t want to have to think that hard.  I just wanted cheesecake!  So I found the “Original Cheesecake Factory Cheesecake” recipe or at least the recipe claims to be the copycat version of it.  Either way, it’s delicious.

cheesecake slice

I did come up with my own cheesecake crust.  The recipe calls for Graham Crack Crumbs and 1/4 teaspoon of cinnamon but I decided to get the Cinnamon Graham Crackers and chop them in the food processor to make my own cinnamon graham cracker crumbs.

This crust would be delicious with other types of cheesecake as well.  It would be perfect for a pumpkin cheesecake!

Cheesecake Crust:

2 sleeves of Cinnamon Graham Crackers

1 stick of butter/margarine, melted

Pulse the Graham Crackers in a food processor until they are completely chopped into crumbs.  Then pour the melted butter/margarine into the food processor and pulse until the mixture is combined.  Then pour the mixture into a greased springform pan.  Then place in the freezer while you make the cheesecake filling.  Then bake according to the copycat “Original Cheesecake Factory Cheesecake” recipe.

cheesecake and slice1


TBT: Banana Split Cake


banana split cake

One of my favorite desserts of all time is my mom’s banana split cake.  It is insanely good!  It’s also one of my dad’s favorite desserts. My mom used to make this for my dad for Father’s Day, but for some reason, she hasn’t made it the last few years.

Until I made the banana split cake last weekend, it’d been years since I’d eaten it.  I swear it’s even better than I remember it being.  I could honestly eat the entire 9 x 13 pan of it by myself in one sitting.

banana split cake1

I told my mom I made her banana split cake and took some to work for my co-workers to try.  They all LOVED it.  They were oohing and ahhing the whole time they were eating it.  My mom said, “your dad is going to be so jealous when I tell him that.”

banana split cake3

Luke has been eating this every morning for breakfast.  I asked him if he was going to take some to work for his co-workers to try but he said, “no, I’m keeping it here for myself!”

I think it’s the crust and the filling that make it taste so incredible.  I can’t even begin to tell you how delicious this banana split cake is!  You’re just going to have to make it so you can taste the deliciousness yourself. ;)

banana split cake2

Banana Split Cake:

The crust:

1 1/2 cup all purpose flour

1 stick of butter, softened

The filling:

1 box powdered sugar

1 stick of butter, softened

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 tbsp milk

4 ripe bananas, sliced

1 8 oz. can crushed pineapples, drained

1 16 oz. container of cool whip

maraschino cherries (enough to top each serving)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and spray 9 x 13 baking dish with cooking spray.

For the crust, mix flour and 1 stick of butter together and press into bottom of the greased 9 x 13 pan.  My mom’s recipe says to bake for 8 – 10 minutes or until very light golden brown.  I actually had to bake mine for about 14 minutes because the center still looked like raw dough after 10 minutes.  Once it’s baked, the crust resembles a cookie crust.  Set aside the baked crust and let cool.

For the filling, cream 1 stick of butter and add the powdered sugar and milk a little at a time until blended together.  Add vanilla extract and beat until light and fluffy.  Spread over cooled crust.  Place in refrigerator until filling is set (about 30 – 40 minutes).

Once the filling is set, layer the sliced bananas and crushed pineapples on top of the filling.  Top with cool whip and cherries.  Keep in refrigerator until ready to serve.

banana split cake4


My Surprising Weekend


Izzy and I were on our own this past weekend because Luke went to the Georgia vs. Florida game with his parents.  The weather was supposed to be cold and rainy on Saturday so Friday night I went by the grocery store to buy a few ingredients for my vegetarian chili.  I’d decided I would just stay home on Saturday and stay warm.  It’s a good thing I didn’t have any plans for Saturday because I woke up to a huge surprise that morning!

Saturday morning, Izzy and I got out of bed (she sleeps in the bed with me when Luke’s not home) and I opened the blinds like I do every morning and there was snow on the ground!  And it was still snowing!  It wasn’t just little flurries.  Really big snowflakes were coming down.  I was completely shocked so I can only imagine the look on my face.

I opened the backdoor and let Izzy out and I stepped out onto the patio (still stunned) and sent Luke a text message.  My exact text was, “Ummm, I woke up to snow!!!!”  I immediately started taking pictures and videoing Izzy because I wanted proof that it had really snowed.

I was able to get a brief video of Izzy nose diving into the snow.  She was so excited!  She loves snow!

Later that morning, I took Izzy for a walk around the neighborhood and continued to take pictures.  I think I was still in shock.  Izzy and I saw a couple of neighborhood kids running around the neighborhood throwing snowballs at each other.  When they saw Izzy they said, “there’s a snow dog.”  I started laughing and agreed she’s definitely a snow dog.

I’ve decided Izzy is our snow charm.  We’ve had snow 3 out of the 4 years we’ve had Izzy.  If you know anything about South Carolina, you know it doesn’t snow here very often so having snow 3 out of 4 years in A LOT for us!

November snow from patio


This is what I saw when I opened the blinds Saturday morning!

November snow during walk


The view of our house as Izzy and I started our walk around the neighborhood.

November snow view on walk


Another picture of our neighborhood.  Isn’t it crazy to think there was this much snow in SC the first day of November???!!!

I hope you had a great weekend!


TBT: My Mom’s Hornet’s Nest Cake

hornets nest cakes

You know how certain smells take you back to another time in your life and old memories coming rushing back?  Like walking by someone and you smell their perfume or cologne and it reminds you of someone else because it’s the same perfume or cologne they used to wear.  Foods also brings back memories.  I love recreating my family’s recipes because those foods take me back to my childhood.

Several years ago, I asked my mom to make a family cookbook for me so I could recreate my favorite childhood recipes at home.  Family is very important to me and when I cook my family recipes, I feel like my family is close by…even though their over an hour away.

Recently, my mom’s Hornet’s Nest Cake has been on my mind.  My mom made this cake almost weekly the summer I turned 11 years old.  It was the same summer my grandparents took my cousin, Emily and me to England.  We were there for a month.  My grandparents wanted all of us grandchildren to go to England so we could see where my grandmother grew up and meet all of our family over there.  It was such a special experience and a time I’ll never forget.  Luke is about to have a fit to go to England and I’m hoping he and I can go at some point.

That same summer my brother was on a very good baseball team so baseball games went on almost the entire summer because they won tournament after tournament.  During that baseball season, my parents became best friends with another couple, Mary Lynn and Johnny who’s son was also on the baseball team and who was also good friends with my brother.  After most of the baseball games, Mary Lynn and Johnny and their son would come over to our house.  The adults would eat snacks and drink wine (or wine coolers) and Todd and his friends would play ping pong.  My mom always wanted to have a dessert to serve so she started making a Hornet’s Nest Cake.  It is incredibly easy to make and it’s absolutely delicious.

Mary Lynn and Johnny and their sons also went to Santee with my family that summer.  I remember walking out onto the dock one morning when Mr. Johnny was fishing.  He went to cast the line and accidentally “hooked” my ear.  He was so sweet and so worried about it.  It didn’t feel too good but it was actually kind of funny that it happened.  To this day though, I stand as far back as I can from people when their fishing because I’d prefer not to get “hooked” again.

Mr. Johnny passed away a couple of weeks ago so I’ve been thinking a lot about that summer which also made me think of my mom’s hornet’s nest cake since I associate that cake with that wonderful summer.  That summer is truly one of the happiest summers from my childhood.  I think it was a very happy and special summer for all of us.

hornets nest batter

You just cook some vanilla pudding according to the package instructions.  The box says to stir the pudding constantly and you really do have to stir it constantly.  I thought I could stop for about 30 seconds to check on dinner (I’m constantly multitasking), and I went back to stir it and it had burnt to the bottom of the cooking pot so don’t stop stirring!  Once it’s cooked, let it cool and then stir in a box of yellow cake mix until combined.

hornets nest cake before baking edited

Then pour the pudding mixture into a greased 9 x 13 pan and pour an entire bag of butterscotch chips on top.

hornets nest cake baked

Bake at 350 degrees for 35 – 40 minutes.

hornets nest cake


hornets nest cake and cakes


Hornet’s Nest Cake:

1 box yellow cake mix

1 2.75oz. box vanilla pudding

1 11 oz. bag butterscotch chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Cook pudding according to package instructions (my mom’s uses evaporated milk).  Once cooked and cooled, stir the cake mix into the pudding until combined.  Pour into a greased 9 x 13 baking dish and sprinkle the top with the butterscotch chips.  Bake at 350 degrees for 35 – 40 minutes.

Simply Gloria