Side Dish: Bite-size food (April 19, 2010)

Kevin is not the only man I love. This is really hard to admit, but there is someone else in my life. Someone named Mr. Goodbar.

Yes, I have recently become addicted to those “fun size” Mr. Goodbar candies. In fact, I’ve really become obsessed with bite-size food in general. Looking at what has come out of our kitchen lately you’d think I’d built a shrinking machine: bite-size grilled cheese (perfect with tomato soup!), tiny Reuben sandwiches, and mini red velvet cupcakes this week alone. Small food elicits an emotional response in people. When I showed Kevin the tiny chicken pot pies I made, he ooh-ed and ahh-ed over them. I kept waiting for the sarcastic comment or the witty one-liner, but Kevin’s characteristic gruff had melted away; he acted like he had just seen a puppy.

I guess good things DO come in small packages. Whether that’s a fun-size Mr. Goodbar, a tiny Reuben sandwich or a teeny playful puppy, we like seeing small versions of things we know and love. Walking through the grocery store the other day I saw these new little cans of soda and I found myself picking one up and saying (to no one in particular): “How cute are these?” The rolling eyes of a nearby employee restocking the shelves let me know that in the age of Super Sizing not everyone appreciates the trend towards tiny.

I wanted to leave you with a recipe for an easy bite-sized snack that you could do at home. Given that it was Kevin’s birthday this week I remembered a recipe Michelle our surrogate gave us a few years back for Mini Cake Balls she had made for Kevin. The recipe is based on a cake mix and store-bought frosting, but you can feel free to do these from scratch. Either way they are simple and delicious.

And if you have any Justin Walkers in your life, they will appreciate the chance to make a joke that gets old quick: “Cake balls? I didn’t realize cakes had balls!” Fair warning.

MICHELLE’S MINI CAKE BALLS
1 box funfetti cake mix (cook as directed on box)
1 can of cream cheese frosting (16 oz.)
1 package white and/or milk chocolate bark (or you can use chips if you have them) wax paper
1. After cake is cooked and cooled completely, crumble it into a bowl.
2. Mix completely with cream cheese frosting. (Use your fingers: it’s messy and fun!)
3. Roll mixture into quarter size balls (sort of like Donut Holes) and lay onto a cookie sheet. (Should make almost 50.)
4. Chill for several hours in the refrigerator. (You can also use the freezer if you’re in a rush.)
5. Melt chocolate in microwave per package directions.
6. Roll balls in chocolate and lay on wax paper until firm. (A spoon makes this easier…as does working with only a few a time. The chocolate is easiest to work with when it’s hot.)