Full Belly Sisters: December 2016

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Cinnamon Cream Cheese Cake Mix Cookies

Cinnamon Cream Cheese Cake Mix Cookies taste like bites of delicious coffee cake! Plus, they're made with cake mix and just a few simple ingredients, so they're perfect for an easy, last-minute dessert.

You all know by now that I love when my Degustabox subscription box shows up. I never know what deliciousness I'm getting but I always discover some great ingredients! This time my foodie box included the Purely Simple cake mix from Pillsbury; it's got no colors, preservatives, or artificial flavors. I knew I had to try it. 

Are you following us on Instagram yet?

I decided to bake something that I've seen on Pinterest, but never actually tried: making cookies with cake mix. And, boy, did these Cinnamon Cream Cheese Cake Mix Cookies turn out great! They're just lightly-sweet and taste like little bites of coffee cake. And they're super easy because of the yummy Purely Simple Pillsbury Cake Mix. Thanks, Degustabox, this ingredient was a great find.

yields about 36 cookies
  • 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1 egg
  • 1 box white cake mix
Cinnamon sugar coating
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2-3 Tablespoons cinnamon

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

In a medium bowl, beat together the cream cheese and butter until well blended. Stir in vanilla, cinnamon, and egg. Add the cake mix and stir again until well combined. The dough will be thick and sticky.

Shape the dough into balls about 1" in diameter. Gently roll balls in the sugar and cinnamon mixture to coat. Place 1" apart (they don't spread too much) on a parchment paper-covered baking sheet. 

Bake 12-14 minutes or until set. Remove the cookies to cool on cooling racks.

These seem to me like very "grown-up" cookies—the kind you'd have with tea or coffee. Then again, I brought them to my cub scouts den and the boys absolutely devoured them!

For more of my recipes inspired by Degustabox, check out:

Saucy Hot and Sweet Crockpot Meatballs

Chipotle Fried Egg Avocado Toast


This post contains affiliate links, so I make a small commission if you purchase through my links—which helps to keep this blog running.Thanks for your support!

Monday, December 19, 2016

Italian Panini

Italian Panini is an easy, gourmet grilled cheese sandwich full of delicious ingredients! It's packed with prosciutto, mozzarella, marinated artichokes, and arugula. Serve this Italian Panini with marinara for dipping and it's the perfect quick dinner.  


This fantastic recipe came from my friend, Michelle, the blogger behind A Dish of Daily Life.  Michelle specializes in fabulous—but easy-to-make!—healthy recipes, helpful how-to’s, travel adventures, and glimpses of her family’s daily life. She is a busy wife and mom, as well as an avid runner and sports fan.

Michelle recently had to undergo a major surgery, and she will be recuperating for a while. For a blogger who blogs as a source of income for her family, time off from work means loss of traffic (and income).  So, a bunch of her blogger friends decided that we wanted to help her keep up her traffic while getting the rest she needs. We would love for our readers to head over to Michelle's blog and check out all her delicious recipeslike this Italian Panini!

I adapted Michelle's recipe ever so slightly, just to suit my personal tastes. In my version, I used a little less prosciutto and I added some drained, marinated artichoke hearts. Whether you follow my recipe or the original, I'm sure you will dig this fabulous sandwich.

makes one sandwich

Olive oil mixture
  • 2T extra virgin olive oil 
  • dash of red pepper flakes
  • dash of dried basil
  • dash of dried oregano
  • 2 slices Tuscan or peasant-style bread
  • 5 thin slices of fresh mozzarella
  • 2-3 slices of prosciutto
  • generous handful of arugula
  • about 4 quartered, marinated artichoke hearts (drained)
  • marinara sauce for dipping   

Combine herbs with olive oil. Brush outside of bread slices with olive oil mixture.

Place three slices of mozzarella on one of the bread slices. Top with prosciutto, arugula, and marinated artichokes. Top with two more slices of mozzarella, then top with second slice of bread.

Cook on panini maker until bread turns golden and cheese melts. If you're like me and don't have a panini maker, just use a stove-top grill pan and press it down with a heavy pan while it's cooking.

Warm the sauce while the sandwich cooks.

Serve the sandwich immediately after cooking, with warm marinara on the side for dipping.

This was a big, rich, satisfying sandwich! I actually ate one half, then saved the second half to warm up and eat the next day. It's super delicious and very filling!

I'm not the only blogger making a recipe from Michelle’s collection—here are all the participants:

December Recipes

January Recipes

This post contains affiliate links, so I make a small commission if you purchase through my links—which helps to keep this blog running.Thanks for your support!

Thursday, December 15, 2016

Saucy Hot and Sweet Crockpot Meatballs

Saucy Hot and Sweet Crockpot Meatballs are a classic for entertaining because they're so delicious and easy. Just a few ingredients in your slow cooker—including Strawberry Jalapeno jam—and you've got perfect party food!

You all know by now that I love when my Degustabox subscription box shows up. I never know what deliciousness I'm getting but I always discover some great ingredients! In this month's box, I got this fabulous Smucker's Strawberry Jalapeno Fruit & Honey Spread. It's sweet and fruity with a nice kick of heat at the end. It would go great over a log of goat cheese or a block of cream cheese. but I decided to go for another fun and easy recipe: cocktail meatballs made in a slow cooker.

If you've never had spicy and sweet cocktail meatballs, this combination of ingredients might sound weird. I totally get that! It sounded weird to me, too, the first time. But just trust me that they come out delicious and they go fast at a party!


  • 1 to 1 1/2 pounds frozen cocktail meatballs or homemade mini meatballs
  • 1 jar (9 ounce) Strawberry Jalapeno Fruit & Honey Spread
  • 1 jar (12 ounce) bottle of chili sauce
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, seeded (optional, if you want it spicier)

Pour the Strawberry Jalapeno spread and the cocktail sauce into the bowl of your slow cooker, then add the meatballs—you can put them in frozen, no need to thaw. Give it a quick stir so that the sauce coats the meatballs. Set your Crockpot to low and cook until the sauce and meatballs are hot, about 3 to 4 hours on low.

You can also make these easy Saucy Hot and Sweet Crockpot Meatballs ahead of time: just reheat them in the slow cooker, or on the stove if you’re in a rush. If you're making them for a party,
keep them warm in your slow cooker—guests can help themselves and the meatballs stay hot!

For more of my recipes inspired by Degustabox, check out:

Chipotle Fried Egg Avocado Toast


This post contains affiliate links, so I make a small commission if you purchase through my links—which helps to keep this blog running.Thanks for your support!

Monday, December 12, 2016

Everything Bagel Goat Cheese Truffles

Everything Bagel Goat Cheese Truffles are a unique, easy, and beautiful addition to any cheese platter this holiday season. Each one is like a delicious bite of your favorite bagel!

I know, I know, we're all super busy this time of year. Baking cookies, volunteering at your kids' school, going to holiday parties, shopping for gifts. It can get stressful! So, I'm here to give you a chance to exhale a bit. Wouldn't you like a super easy appetizer to bring to your next party? Something no one has ever had before, something super pretty? Of course you would, you're not insane.

Everything Bagel Goat Cheese Truffles are what you need to make. They're ridiculously easy and versatile. They're grain-free and gluten-free; serve them with apple, radish, or cucumber slices for people on restricted diets. Or serve them with crackers or baguette, for a more traditional presentation. Just make sure to serve them!

All you need is my homemade Everything Bagel Spice Blend—made with delicious ingredients like sesame, poppy, and fennel seeds; garlic; onion—and some goat cheese.


I told you these pretty little guys were easy! They're so easy, in fact, that there's not even much of a recipe I can give you; I'm just going to explain the technique. You can use as much goat cheese as you want: an 8-ounce log will yield about 16-20 truffles, depending on what size balls you roll. You can add some cream cheese to your goat cheese, for a budget-friendly way to stretch your cheese out.


Pour the Everything Bagel Spice Blend into a bowl or deep plate.

Roll the goat cheese into balls about 1/2" to 1" in diameter, depending on your preference. (I like to scoop about a tablespoon of the cheese to roll into each ball.) Each ball will be a little sticky.

Drop the ball into the bowl containing the spice blend. Gently roll the goat cheese ball around in the mixture until the cheese is fully coated in the seeds and spices.

Continue until all the balls are coated in the spice blend. Place the Everything Bagel Goat Cheese Truffles on a plate covered in wax paper and refrigerate until you are ready to serve them. So easy, right?

These are also easy to play around with: try using flavored goat cheese, or adding chopped scallion greens or dried cranberries to your goat cheese before rolling in the spice blend. The possibilities are endless! And all of them are easy, pretty, and so delicious.

This post contains affiliate links, so I make a small commission if you purchase through my links—which helps to keep this blog running.Thanks for your support!

Saturday, December 3, 2016

Breakfast Bruschetta Bar for the Holidays

Hosting family and friends can be a lot of work, but this Breakfast Bruschetta Bar for the Holidays will make your life much easier! A simple and delicious way to entertain your guests this season.


The holiday season is wonderful but, boy, can it be stressful. Baking cookies, making hostess gifts, cooking multi-course meals for family and friends—some of whom are even staying at your home—it's A LOT. So how do you keep the season special and wonderful, while still being able to have time with your loved ones? With this easy Breakfast Bruschetta Bar! 

Picture it: Christmas morning and you've got a day of food prep and cooking ahead of you. You've also got a houseful of kids on break from school, plus visiting family and friends who are crashing at your place. The last thing you want to do is cook everyone breakfast, right? So just throw together this fun, colorful, and easy bruschetta bar and everyone can make their own breakfasts!

Assembling this beautiful bar of fabulous ingredients is easy with a trip to my local Stop and Shop! It's got freshly-baked breads, delicious cheeses and meats, gourmet jams, nuts and nut butters, as well as fresh organic and conventional produce. Talk about one-stop shopping!

Of course, the holidays can also get expensive, so why not save some money while you're buying groceries?
New online customers at Stop and Shop can get $5 off now! 

Assembling your Breakfast Bruschetta Bar for the holidays is incredibly easy. Put all your toppings in various bowls and plates—they don't all have to match! Remember, this is a fabulous meal but, more importantly, it's casual. Go for a combination of sweet and savory, crunchy and creamy choices. Toast a bunch of baguette slices and let everyone make their own delicious little toasts.


Here's what I put out on my breakfast bruschetta bar: black grapes, raspberries, jam, nutella, peanut butter, hard-boiled eggs, ricotta, crumbled goat cheese, grape tomatoes, guacamole (I bought Stop and Shop's yummy prepared version!), garlic herb cheese spread, my homemade Crazy Easy Whole Cranberry Sauce, chopped fresh chives, candied pecans.

Here are some of the combinations I made:


Have you ever had peanut butter with bacon? You should, trust me...

Nutella swirled with peanut butter is heaven...

How about guacamole with tomatoes and bacon? Or Nutella with candied pecans? Ricotta with my homemade whole cranberry sauce is amazing. Herbed cheese spread with egg, bacon and chives is totally delish. And a candied pecan takes PB&J to a whole new level...

So, how can you put together your own breakfast bruschetta bar this holiday season? Try choosing a few ingredients from each of these categories:

Spreads: soft cheeses like ricotta, goat cheese, or brie; prepared cheese spreads; guacamole; hummus; jam; nut butters

Pre-cooked toppings: bacon, sausage, deli ham, salami, prosciutto, sliced hard-boiled eggs

Fruits and veggies: grapes, berries, figs, tomatoes, fresh herbs, whole cranberry sauce, leftover roasted or grilled veggies

Nuts and dried fruits: candied or salted nuts (pecans, peanuts, walnuts), dried fruits (cranberries, dates, apricots)

Use your $5 off at Stop and Shop to buy a wonderful selection of ingredients that your friends and family would love, put them out on the table, and just let everyone mix and match. It's that simple! Such an easy and interactive way for loved ones to gather, talk, create delicious food together, and  spend time with each other during the wonderful—but oh-so-busy—holiday season. Have fun with it and happy holidays!

Don't forget to head on over to Stop and Shop now for all your holiday dishes—new online customers can get $5 off now!

What toppings would you use on your breakfast bruschetta bar?

Creative Commons License
Full Belly Sisters Blog by Full Belly Sisters is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License