Chocolate Chipotle BBQ Chicken Balls Appetizer Recipe!

Quick and Easy Appetizer Recipe Featuring Dove Chocolate Discoveries!

Chocolate chipotle BBQ Chicken Balls

Chocolate Chipotle BBQ Chicken Balls  are a delicious appetizer recipe that features Dove Chocolate Chipotle BBQ Sauce and Dove Sweet and Spicy Cocoa Rub.

I recently did a cooking demonstration for a group of Dove Chocolatiers and several of the Chocolatiers agreed to contribute their special recipes featuring Dove Chocolate…some are sweet, some are savory.

 This recipe was  contributed  to Make Life Special by  Pam Reimann with Dove Chocolate Discoveries.

 The Dove Chocolate Chipotle BBQ Sauce and Dove Sweet and Spicy Cocoa Rub can be ordered from Dove Chocolate Discoveries.  You can find a Dove Chocolate Discoveries Consultant here:  Dove Chocolate Discoveries.

 

Pam Reimann, DCD Chocolatier pictured with Vickie at recent cooking demonstration.

Vickie and Pam Reimann, DCD Chocolatier

Here is Pam’s recipe:

Chocolate Chipotle BBQ Chicken Balls
 
Author:
Ingredients
  • 1 pound ground chicken
  • 1 egg
  • 4 oz gorgonzola cheese
  • ½ t cumin
  • ½ t garlic salt
  • 1 bottle Dove Chocolate Chipotle BBQ Sauce
  • 1 T Dove Sweet and Spicy Cocoa Rub
  • 2 medium fresh mushrooms, diced
  • 1 cup Italian bread crumbs
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Combine chicken, cheese, egg, cumin, garlic salt, mushrooms, and bread crumbs in mixing bowl. Add ½ cup of the Dove Chipotle BBQ Sauce and mix thoroughly with hands until well blended. Roll mixture into 16 golf ball size balls and place on cookie sheet. Dust each ball with the Cocoa Rub.
  3. Bake for 45 minutes.
  4. Heat remaining BBQ sauce and pour over the Chicken Balls.
  5. Serve hot.
  6. Makes 16 meatballs.

These are DELISH!!!

Be sure to check out some other Make Life Special Appetizer Recipes!

Get Ready to Make a Bloomin Onion”

Mediterranean Appetizer Platter”

“Hummus Recipe

Appetizers are a great way to start any gathering!  I like to begin every dinner party in my kitchen with casual drinks and appetizers.  This really seems to put people at ease as they watch me cook and the conversation and laughter becomes so enjoyable.  Entertaining is truly a gift from the heart and learning how to entertain successfully will make your parties and gatherings a pleasure for both you and your guests.


Crock Pot Recipe for Vegetables …Easy!

Looking For an Easy Crock Pot Recipe for Vegetables ???

Crock Pot Roasted Vegetables

I love oven roasted vegetables and now I’m going to show you how to make an easy crockpot recipe for roasted vegetables.  The secret ingredient is one packet of Hidden Valley Ranch Salad Dressing Mix.  

Here is the Crockpot Recipe for Roasted Vegetables

Crock Pot Roasted Veggies
 
Author:
Ingredients
  • 6 cups fresh vegetables ( broccoli, baby carrots, cauliflower, etc)
  • 1 packet of Hidden Valley Ranch Salad Dressing Mix
  • ¼ cup water
Instructions
  1. Spray the crock pot with cooking spray. (I used my 2 quart insert)
  2. Wash and trim the vegetables and put them into the crock pot.
  3. Sprinkle with the dry ranch salad dressing mix
  4. sprinkle with the water.
  5. Cover and cook on low for 2½ to 3 hours.

You can watch my Video Tutorial for this easy crockpot recipe here:

 

Here are the ingredients for this easy crockpot recipe…Only 2 main ingredients…Easy!

Crock Pot Roasted Vegetables Ingredients

 

You can use any combination of fresh vegetables that you like.I like the combination of broccoli, carrots and cauliflower.  

Fresh Vegetables for Crock Pot Roasted Vegetables

Add all of the vegetables to the crock pot.  Sprinkle with the dry mix.  Sprinkle the water over all.  Stir, cover and cook on low for 2 1/2 to 3 hours.

There are many advantages of crockpot cooking.

  1. Crockpot cooking is convenient!  Crockpot recipes allow you to throw everything in the crockpot in the morning and come home to a delicious home cooked meal in the evening.
  2. A crockpot does not heat up the kitchen the way the oven does and that is especially important during the hot summer months.
  3. Crockpots are portable so they are great to take to potlucks and parties.  Just plug the crockpot in when you get there and it will keep the food warm for hours!

What would be your favorite vegetables for this easy crockpot recipe?  Share your ideas in the comments section below. 

Be Sure to Try These Other Make Life Special Crockpot Recipes!

Vickie’s Mom’s Sunday Pot Roast Dinner

Cooker Chops – Great for Easy Entertaining!

Vickie’s Italian Beef Recipe

Remember, “Let’s make life special by sharing great food with our family and friends!  Enjoy!”

 

 

Video: Crock Pot Roasted Veggies


Crock Pot Roasted Veggies are quick, easy and healthy!


Potato Smashers for Easy Potato Recipes

Looking for some easy potato recipes?

Potato Smashers are like Potato Skins, covered with crisp bacon and sharp cheddar cheese…but on a grander scale!  You can make these in about 15 minutes and your family and friends will rave!

Print the recipe here:

Potato Smashers
 
Cook time
Total time
 
Recipe type: Side Dish
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • 8 small new red potatoes, about 2 inches in diameter
  • ½ cup water
  • 4 slices bacon
  • 2 tablespoons Zesty Italian Salad Dressing
  • ½ to 1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
Instructions
  1. Place potatoes and water in 2 quart microwavable bowl. Microwave, uncovered, om HIGH for 10 minutes or until potatoes are tender. Let stand a couple of minutes to cool slightly.
  2. Meanwhile, cook bacon in large skillet 8 minutes or so..until crisp, turning frequently. Drain on paper towels, leaving the grease in the skillet.
  3. Drain the potatoes, press each potato with the bottom of a small bowl or saucer to flatten to ½ inch thickness.
  4. Heat Italian dressing in the skillet with the bacon grease. Add potatoes; cook 4 minutes or until bottoms are golden brown.
  5. Meanwhile, crumble bacon. Turn the potatoes over; sprinkle with the cheese and bacon.
  6. Cover skillet with lid and cook an additional 2 minutes or until the cheese is melted.

Potato Smashers Ingredients 

Place potatoes and water in 2 quart microwavable dish.  Microwave, uncovered on HIGH for 10 minutes…

Microwave Potatoes

Cook the bacon…and save the grease!  You are going to brown the cooked potatoes in that grease in a few minutes!

Cook Bacon

 

Drain the potatoes and “smash” each one with the bottom of a small bowl or saucer..

Smash Potatoes

 

Heat the dressing in a large skillet with the bacon grease..add the potatoes. 

Add Italian Dressing to Potato Smashers

 

Use kitchen scissors to crumble the crisp bacon.

Crumble Bacon with Kitchen Scissors

 

Cook the potatoes 4  minutes or until the bottoms are golden brown.  Turn the potatoes over.

Flip Potato Smashers

 

Top with bacon and cheese.

Top Potato Smashers with Bacon and cheddar Cheese

 

Serve….

Potato Smashers

This is one of my favorite potato recipes!

Video: Potato Smashers

Potato Smashers are loaded with bacon and cheddar cheese.

You Have To Make These Little Cheese Bread Bites!

Little Cheese Bread Bites are hard to resist!

I always make a double batch of Little Cheese Bread Bites because 10 of these is just not enough at our house!  These are great as an appetizer or to serve with soup or a salad.  Watch the Make Life Special YouTube video and see just how easy these are to make!  

 

Little Cheese Bread  Bites are great to serve as a appetizer or with your meal. Only 3 main ingredients…what could be easier?  Enjoy!

Little Cheesy Bites
 
Recipe type: appetizer, bread
Ingredients
  • 5 oz jar Old English Cheese Spread
  • ¼ cup butter, melted
  • ½ cup flour
  • dash of salt (optional)
Instructions
  1. Combine the cheese spread and melted butter in a bowl and mix well.
  2. Add flour and a dash of salt. Mix well.
  3. Roll into small balls and refrigerate for one hour or longer.
  4. When ready to bake, preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place balls on a greased baking sheet.
  5. Bake for 10 minutes. Balls will flatten as they cook. Serve hot.
  6. Makes about 10 Little Cheesy Bites.

 

Note:  The Kraft Old English Cheese Spread is found in the pasta section or the deli section of your grocery.

Here is another Make Life Special Cheese Bread recipe that is a rustic bread.  Easy Cheese Bread 

 

 

VitaTops Carrot Cake Is a Healthy and Tasty Snack!

VitaTops are yummy and low calorie!

We tried a box of the VitaTops Carrot Cakes.  Now, we all know that the muffin tops are the best part of a muffin!  The great folks at VitaTops know that too and they have created lighter versions of almost every muffin you could crave.  

VitaTops

VitaTops carrot Cake

Are you trying to lose weight but you still have a sweet tooth?  

Want to have your cake and eat it too?

Are you looking for a sweet and delicious snack that isn’t packed with calories?

Don’t let your cravings side track you from your goal!

Vitalicious can help you make your resolution of losing weight a reality.  Vitalicious has introduced alternatives to your favorite comfort foods so you can enjoy what you love without all of the guilt.

Each VitaTop  Carrot Cake has 100 calories and is packed with nutrition.

How is this for the line-up?

All Natural

High Fiber

Low Fat

15 Vitamins and Minerals

4 grams Protein

Their slogan is ”  Minimum calories for Maximum Nutrition and Pleasure”

VitaTops Nutrition Facts  

I liked several things about VitaTops! 

  • First, the Vitamins, Protein and Fiber numbers are impressive because of the Nutrition Facts above.  If you are going to eat a snack, VitaTops certainly offer you a guilt free option. 
  • They are amazingly filling.  I  enjoyed them for breakfast with yogurt and I was satisfied until lunchtime.  
  • They are convenient to carry and eat on the run.  You can easily pop the VitaTops into your purse, briefcase or bag and they can be just what you need to satisfy that mid-day urge for sweets.
  • The VitaTops Carrot Cakes tasted very good. I preferred them toasted and they are delicious with fat-free cream cheese spread on them.  I enjoyed them with yogurt and even made a yogurt parfait with them. 

Vitalicious offers VitaTops ( which I tried) , VitaBrownies, VitaCakes and VitaMuffins.  Check out their website for all the great information about the Vitalicious products: Vitalicious Website

Where can you buy these?

You can find VitaTops in the freezer section of your grocery store or order online.

I’m just wondering….Have you tried these yet?   What are your favorites?

I received a box of VitaTops Carrot Cake to review for this post and I did not receive compensation for this post.  These are my true and honest opinions.



Parsley Sage Rosemary Thyme Baked Chicken Breast

I couldn’t resist listening to Simon & Garfunkel songs while I was cooking this baked chicken breast !

Baked chicken breast  is an absolute classic and is both incredibly good and easy for even the beginner cook.  

The combination of parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme is absolutely irresistible when combined with garlic and butter and baked with chicken.  

Parsley, Sage, Rosemary and Thyme Baked Chicken Breasts

 

I am so excited to share this recipe with you!  It is delicious!  The preparation is easy and with these step-by-step photos — you can’t miss.  So, get set to hear your family and friends sing your praises when you share this great dish with them!  Enjoy!

"Parsley, Sage, Rosemary and Thyme" Roasted Chicken Breasts
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • 1 tablespoon fresh parsley, finely chopped (or 1 teaspoon dried)
  • 1 tablespoon fresh sage, finely chopped (or 1 teaspoon dried)
  • 1 tablespoon fresh rosemary, finely chopped (or 1 teaspoon dried)
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme, finely chopped (or 1 teaspoon dried)
  • 4 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
  • 2 lemons, each cut in half
  • 1½ sticks of butter, room temperature
  • 4 split chicken breasts, with the skin and bone ( about 1¼ pounds each)
  • Seasoned salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Olive oil
  • Fresh sprigs of parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme for garnish
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees
  2. Rinse the chicken breasts under cold running water and pat dry with paper towels. Place on a rimmed baking sheet.
  3. Use a fork to mash the butter. Finely chop the fresh herbs. Chop the garlic. Mix the fresh herbs and the garlic into the softened butter. Divide the butter mixture into 4 equal parts.
  4. Carefully run your fingers between the chicken skin and breast meat, separating the two from each other to create a pocket.
  5. Using your hands, smear the herb butter mixture underneath the skin, making sure the butter mixture is evenly distributed on the chicken meat under the skin.
  6. Drizzle each stuffed breast with the juice from ½ of a lemon. Place the ½ lemon under each breast in the baking sheet.
  7. Drizzle each stuffed breast with olive oil.
  8. Sprinkle with seasoned salt and freshly ground black pepper.
  9. Bake at 375 degrees for 45 minutes. Then move the baking sheet closer to the top of the oven and broil for just a minute or two to finish crisping the chicken skin.
  10. Let the chicken rest for 10 minutes before serving.
  11. Garnish with fresh springs of parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme.
  12. Enjoy!

Ingredients:

Ingredients for Parsley Sage Rosemary and Thyme Roasted Chicken Breasts

Cleaned chicken…ready to go…

Cleaned Chicken Breasts

Mash the softened butter with a fork

Butter for Parsley Sage Rosemary and Thyme Roasted Chicken Breasts

 

 

If possible, use fresh herbs and fresh lemons in this recipe.  They really ramp up the flavor!

Fresh Herbs and Lemon

Chop the fresh herbs and garlic cloves and add them to the softened butter.  (You may want to check out my Success Secret for Chopping Fresh Herbs;  my Success Secret for Chopping Fresh Thyme;  and my Success Secret for Chopping Fresh Rosemary)

Butter and Herb Mixture

 

Using your fingers, make a pocket between the skin and meat on the chicken breast…

Make Pocket Under Skin of Chicken Breast

 

Stuff each pocket with 1/4 of the butter and herb mixture.

Butter and Herb Mixture Under Skin of Chicken Breast

 

Drizzle each chicken breast with the juice from 1/2 lemon.  Place each 1/2 lemon under each chicken breast.

Drizzle With Lemon Juice

Lemon Half Under Each Chicken Breast

 

Drizzle with olive oil.  Sprinkle with seasoned salt and freshly ground black pepper.

Drizzle With Olive Oil

Sprinkle with Seasoned Salt and Pepper

 

Ready for the oven……

Ready for the Oven

 

Bake at 375 degrees for about 45 minutes.  Then finish under the broiler for a minute or two to add extra crispness to the skin.

Let the chicken rest for 10 minutes before serving.  Garnish with fresh sprigs of parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme.

 Enjoy!!!

Parsley, Sage, Rosemary and Thyme Baked Chicken Breasts

Giveaway Winner

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 And the giveaway winner is

Make Life Special hosts many giveaways and each giveaway winner is posted here.

If you are a  giveaway winner, please email your mailing information to MakeLifeSpecial@gmail.com   Thanks!

 

GIVEAWAY                                                                              WINNER / WINNERS

Secrets of Longevity Cookbook                                            Lynette Williams             

                                                                                                                     

                                                                                                              

 

Meet Kacy With Make Life Special!

Meet Kacy

The Make Life Special Team!

Meet Kacy!  Kacy is my youngest daughter and she has been working behind the camera at Make Life Special.  This really is a family affair!

Kacy is a Midwestern girl who is Southern at heart…..

Her smile will warm you down to your toes……and her laughter fills the air like a warm summer breeze…

She is as strong as steel…..but as soft as a flower petal……

She is small town born and raised…..but loves the big city…….

She loves high heel shoes……..and pick-up trucks……

She loves the theater……but is just as comfortable lifting weights with the guys….

Kacy is a full time nursing student at University of Southern Indiana and is planning on becoming a CRNA.  Her hobby is cooking and she LOVES working with Make Life Special.  Kacy is also very talented with Social Media and she assists with that promotional area as well.   She would like to join Vickie in front of the camera and start doing YouTube videos for Make Life Special.

You Make My Life Special!

Thank you Kacy,  for helping me with Make Life Special.  I have truly been blessed to have two wonderful daughters who are strong and independent women!   You and Nicole really do “Make My Life Special”!  Mom   

Meet The Make Life Special Dogs!

Meet Our Make Life Special Dogs!

Make Life Special features recipes that are quick and easy for busy cooks.  We work to bring you quality YouTube videos with how-to recipes as well as blog posts with step by step by step photos.  We have made a lot of friends through the blog and people often ask about our other hobbies and interests.

I thought you might like to meet the other two Make Life Special dogs!  Harley is a 4 year old Chocolate Lab and Nala is a 2 year old Yellow Lab.  These dogs are seldom apart.  Some of you have caught glimpses of them scampering outside my kitchen window while I’m doing YouTube videos and I have had readers ask about the dogs so I thought I would share a picture of them.  They certainly keep us entertained!

Make Life Special!

Be sure to check out these recipes:

Fresh Strawberry Dessert Flower

Fresh Strawberry Dessert

Strawberry Dessert Flower

Fresh Peach Cobbler

Fresh Peach Cobbler

I like to bake my Fresh Peach Cobbler in my Lodge Cast Iron Skillet.  Check out the post for other great tips on how to serve this delicious dessert!

 

 

 

 

Let’s Make Chunky Beef Stew in The Crock Pot!

Savory Chunky Beef Stew for a Winter’s Night!

Provencal Beef Stew in Bread Bowl

My Chunky Beef Stew goes together in a snap and your crock pot does the rest of the work!  This stew is full of hearty beef chunks, bacon, potatoes, baby carrots, whole pearl onions and mushrooms and cooks up in a tomato and brown gravy sauce.  This is sure to warm you up on a cold winter day!  

Homemade Bread Bowls!

Here, I’ve served Chunky Beef Stew in my “Homemade” Bread Bowls that are made with frozen bread dough.  Check out that recipe too!

Chunky Beef Stew Recipe:

Chunky Beef Stew in the Crock Pot
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Serves: 8
Ingredients
  • 2 pounds beef stew meat
  • 4 bacon slices, cut in 1 inch pieces
  • 2 12 oz jars brown gravy
  • 14.5 oz can diced peeled tomatoes with the juice
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
  • ½ teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 pound fresh whole baby carrots
  • 8 new red potatoes, quartered
  • 10 oz bag pearl onions OR 2 small onions, cut into eights
  • 8 oz whole fresh mushrooms
  • 1 cup red wine ( optional - but I always add it)
Instructions
  1. In medium skillet, cook the bacon ( I use kitchen scissors to cut it up quickly) and the beef stew meat until browned. Do not drain.
  2. Combine the beef stew meat, bacon and liquid in the crock pot along with the rest of the ingredients.
  3. Cook on low for 8 to 10 hours.

Ingredients..( The only thing I added was the optional 1 cup of red wine because I really like the depth of flavor the wine adds to this stew)

Provencal Beef Stew Ingredients

Success Secret:  Use kitchen scissors to easily cut the meat into pieces!

Use kitchen scissors to cut the bacon into pieces and then brown the bacon and stew meat in a skillet.

Provencal Beef Stew Cut Bacon with Kitchen Scissors

Add the browned meat along with the liquid from the skillet to a sprayed crock pot and add the remaining ingredients.  Note:  If you are using the pearl onions, boil them separately for about 3 minutes, cut off the ends and the skins should slide right off.  The other option is to use 2 small onions and cut them into eights , however I really like the look of the pearl onions best.

Adding Carrots to Provencal Beef Stew

Adding Tomatoes to Provencal Beef Stew

Adding Beef and Bacon to Provencal Beef Stew

Now just set the crock pot on low and let it simmer away for 8 to 10 hours.  You won’t believe the aroma that will fill your kitchen as this stew cooks!  If you don’t have 8 to 10 hours to let this cook on low…no worries!  You can let it cook on high for 3 hours and then turn it to low for another 3 hours and that will work just fine.  

Here you see the finished beef stew in the crock pot…

Provencal Beef Stew in Crockpot  

I made my EASY “Homemade” Bread Bowls to serve this stew in.   

 

Try this crock pot recipe too!

Vickie’s Mom’s Sunday Pot Roast Dinner

 

 

Remember….Let’s make life special by sharing great food with our family and friends!  Enjoy!

Make Life Special
2 Cypress Rd Litchfield, IL 62056 US
Phone: 217-556-8297 Website: http://www.makelifespecial.com