Menu Plan Monday ~ June 18/12

It’s officially summer this week, woohoo!  As you can see we’ve got a slightly updated banner for summer to celebrate 🙂

I have to share with you what happened to me yesterday although anyone who has spent any amount of time here won’t be surprised when I tell you I had ANOTHER baking mishap.  Seriously!

It all started when I saw on my in-real life friend Angie’s blog these beautiful cake pops she had made with her new cake pop maker:

Are those not stunning? I tried making cake pops last year using the regular way and they were a terrible flop.  It just didn’t make sense to me to make a cake and then crumble it all up in order to get cake balls.  Way too much work for me!  So when I saw that Angie recommended this cake pop maker because you simply make the batter and pour it in eliminating the crumbling of the cake process altogether, I couldn’t help but run out and buy one for myself.  I’m nothing if not a copycat.

I got it home, whipped up my cake mix (from a box) and ended up with these:

Ummm those do not look like balls to me, good grief!  Turns out you can’t use a cake mix (and no it doesn’t tell you that in the instructions, I read them twice!).  Nope you have to make your cake from scratch (using recipes provided).  Darn.  So since it was Father’s Day my daughter and I persevered and came up with these beautiful babies:

Now that’s better!  Here let me give you a better picture of the difference:

One of these is not like the other.

Unfortunately the painful saga doesn’t end there though because these balls needed some type of icing.  How hard can it be to melt some candy chocolate melts anyway?  Don’t answer that.

I only had white candy melts, so I thought I could just add some food coloring to it to change colors.  Ummm, wrong again.  Apparently when you do that it becomes so thick not even shortening can rescue it.  Blah!

There was no dunking it in the chocolate, oh no it was more like clump it on and hope for the best.  Then we tried again with another batch of the white and I’m sorry but there has just got to be an easier way to do this.

So after icing a few of them we gave up (the chocolate makes them way to sweet for me anyway) and ate them plain instead.  Why do I continue to torture myself this way?  Anyone know a better (read easier) way to frost the balls?  Help!  A directional video would be good, who’s up for the challenge? lol

At least I managed to put together a yummy dinner for my man:

Recipe Highlight:

The winner from my menu last week was the Taco Biscuit Bake.  I know it’s not exactly diet friendly but gosh was it ever easy to throw together and I think it would be great for a potluck as well.   You never want to bring anything low fat to a potluck, trust me I know! 🙂


Menu Plan Resource:

6 Simple Strategies for Pleasing the Whole Family at Dinnertime ~ @ Raise Healthy Eaters

My Weekly Menu Plan:

I’ve got a hectic week this week with swim lessons right at dinnertime so I’m breaking out the slow cooker to help me out.

Monday:  Pizza Quesadillas

Tuesday:  Slow Cooker Creamy Black Bean Salsa Chicken served over rice

Wednesday:  Slow Cooker Honey Mustard Short Ribs served with perogies and corn

Thursday:  Leftover buffet

Friday:  Slow Cooker Hawaiian Meatloaf served with green salad

Saturday:  Zucchini Sausage Pasta

Sunday:  YOYO (you’re on your own!)

I hope you have a fun filled organized week ahead, with NO recipe disasters 🙂


Menu Plan Guidelines, banner selections and recipe helpers are here.

More family favorite recipes here.

One of my favorite menu planning resources:

Simple Meal Planning - Plan to Eat

Filed under: Menu Plan Monday


36 Responses to Menu Plan Monday ~ June 18/12

  1. 1
    Susieqtpies says

    I wondered how that machine really worked. I make cake balls all the time. My girls wanted to get the machine, which we haven’t, yet. lol Maybe I’ll but it for the twins when they graduate high school next year.

  2. 2
    Crystal & Co says

    I have a sister-in-law that makes cake balls all the time. I have no idea how she frosts them…. we just eat them.

    Yours look lovely though. 🙂

  3. 3
    Angela says

    Awww…I’ve often thought of trying cake pops, but they look too labor-intensive for me. I’ll stick with cupcakes. 😉
    Love the new banner!

  4. 4
    April @ Angel's Homestead says

    Oh wow I feel for you on the cake pop flop. I have wanted to try and make those things for forever, but was always afraid they would be a failure. (Yours is not the first horror story I have heard about) lol At least you were able to serve a great supper for Father’s Day! : ) Have a great week Laura.

  5. 5
    Pary Moppins says

    Your menu looks great and I can’t wait to check out the taco biscuit bake. Thanks for hosting!

  6. 6
    Queen of the House says

    I’m with you…cake balls seem like too much work! Give yourself a pat on the back for trying though! LOL! 🙂

  7. 7
    Jenn says

    I melt the candy melts really well in the microwave so the icing is nice and runny. Then I use a skewer to hold the cake ball. I dip it in, then let the extra run off. Sometimes you have to dip twice, but usually that method works pretty well. The skewer hole can be covered by dipping by hand once the icing has dried a bit on the cake ball. I agree though, the icing makes them a little too sweet.

    • 7.1
      Lisa @ Cheap Thrills says

      This technique is how I do it, too. It does take several tries to get the hang of it. Instead of candy melts, I use chocolate bark, which melts nice and isn’t as sweet. I found a little shortening helps keep it runny longer. Try using brownies — just scoop and roll for yummy goodness.

      • Laura says

        Great tips, thank you!!

  8. 8
    Julieann says

    Thank you so much Laura, for all your wonderful ideas on your blog 🙂 It inspires me to be a better homemaker. The Taco Bake looks wonderful, I may have to change up my menu…LOL.

    Have a wonderful Monday!


    • 8.1
      Laura says

      Thanks Julieann!!

  9. 9
    Carolyn Bennett says

    You could probably make a powdered sugar glaze like what you use for donuts or cinnamon rolls. What about melting a tub of cake frosting? That might work…and as it cools heat again!

    • 10.1
      Laura says

      Thanks Joyce!

  10. 11
    Christy C says

    I decorate cakes for wedding, birthday’s and such, but I refuse to do cake balls. Way to much work and so hard to make perfect. I would much rather make a 3 tiered cake than make cake balls!

  11. 12
    [email protected] of Laughter says

    You are so funny! I had no idea that you couldn’t you a cake mix either! I think your cake ball in white chocolate candy melts look awesome! Kudos to you and your daughter for persevering though….I think your cakes from scratch turned out great! Angie xo

    • 12.1
      Laura says

      Thanks Angie! Can’t wait to see what “we” do next LOL

  12. 13
    Danielle says

    Aw, I like how you kept on trying with the cakeballs! And I think the white & blue look yummy & lovely! They can be very temperamental, but my best and only advice: Bakerella’s tips and directions makes a world of difference! Everything she says worked and made sense (I was so intimidated). We have such fun making themed cake pops these days, but NOT when it’s humid. The melts just refuse to stick. Thank you for great menu ideas-I’m putting lots of ideas in my favorites bar:)

  13. 14
    Andrea says

    Wow, that is some perseverance =)
    You’re a brave woman!
    lol, thanks for the friendly laugh.

  14. 15
    Milehimama says

    Oh your problem with the food coloring is you used the drops (water based) and that made your chocolate seize up! If you add water to any melted chocolate that will happen!

    To color chocolate you need powdered or oil food coloring.

    • 15.1
      Laura says

      I had no idea, thanks for letting me know!

  15. 16
    Janet @ Frugal & Focused says

    I would have assumed you could use cake batter as well. Interesting that it doesn’t work. Coating the cake balls is tricky. Last Christmas I made some for my daughter’s class party. I melted the candy melts really well then stirred in a little oil to the melts to thin it out even more. It helped the coating go on more smoothly. I’ve made them several times and while mine are looking better, they’re still far from professional looking.

  16. 17
    Diana B says

    Ooh, there is a HUGE difference between using the cake pop maker and doing them the “real” way. The first one is just small bites of cake with frosting on the outside. The “real” way has cream cheese icing mixed in, AND it’s dipped in chocolate!!! They are a pain in the rear to make, but they are sooooo worth it!!!

  17. 18
    Remmi says

    I use a DH cake mix all the time with my babycakes cake pop machine and they always turn out just fine. I also do as a previous poster suggested and make a powder sugar glaze and drizzle it over my cake balls. I too find that dipping them in chocolate is too sweet for my family.

    • 18.1
      Laura says

      Oh tell me more. We used a DH mix too but it was too runny. When we used the cake recipe they provide it was much thicker. Also could you tell me how you make your powder sugar glaze, that sounds much better.


  18. 19
    Annette {Simple Mom} says

    What about using paraffin wax and chocolate chips? That is what I did with some PB balls. 🙂

    • 19.1
      Laura says

      Where do you find paraffin wax?

      • Annette {Simple Mom} says

        I bought it years ago…and it doesn’t go bad. I either bought it in the canning section of the grocery store or in the crafty (candle making) section of a craft store like Michael’s. I bought a one pound box (size of a pound of butter), and I have used it a few times for chocolatey things. 🙂

        • Laura says

          And it’s safe to eat then?

          • Annette {Simple Mom} says

            It was called for in the recipes I had used…it hardened the chocolate. You couldn’t taste it, either. Weird, I know! I’d be curious to know if any candy companies use it!

  19. 20
    LB says

    Thanks for the pizza quesedilla link! I have been looking for something different to do with quesedillas 🙂

  20. 21
    Kelly @ Dysfunctionally Functional says

    I’m late this week…but my niece was visiting today, so the computer never made it out of my bedroom, LOL!

    Have a great week, everyone!

  21. 22
    Michelle @Special Mom Space says

    I’m trying to get away from eating baked goods. I can’t control myself!

    Tonight is taco night though! We’re also having lentil veggie soup and a grilled chicken salad that has everything in it (strawberries, black olives, onions, more…)

  22. 23
    Lora says

    How do you convert the Hawaiian Meatloaf recipe linked in your menu listing to be an actual slow-cooker recipe? I couldn’t figure it out. Thanks!

    • 23.1
      Laura says

      Good question! I’m just going to throw it all into the crock pot and hope for the best 🙂

  23. 24
    Craftyp says

    Someone mentioned that using the food coloring drops was your problem with the candy melts and I can attest that using the paste will give you the same problems!
    I tried making orange cake balls at Halloween and thought I could use my paste food coloring with the candy melts but NO! It was just as you described. A big clumpy hot mess!
    Guess that’s why they make candy melts in so many colors! Lol

    I ended up making cake bite ghosts and making little faces on them with my food safe black pen!


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