Holiday Pot Luck with Meatballs and Oreo truffels

     Our potluck was ...filling, far-ranging, international, filling, delicious, fattening, merry, and filling. We had sooo much food - yet the 8 of us ate most of the food. We were good, though, and we saved plates full for the midnight shift! The 3 varieties of meatballs I brought, however, did not make it to that shift - we ate all (72) of them. I guess they were good. And for any cook, that's what we want.
     This time of year, our pathologist, reference lab,  and the local doctors always  send fruits and cookies. It really would be nice to hear a thank you throughout the year, rather than everything coming at once. But hey, at least we get a thank you.
     My primary job is Microbiology, and because I had been out of that discipline for several years, I am still playing catch up in refreshing my knowledge of antibiotics, organisms means of resistance to those antibiotics, and how to test for that resistance.I think it is fascinating, learning how such "invisible" organisms cause such trouble. MRSA is the number one wound pathogen we see, but we have also seen the "flesh eating bacteria" Group A Strep. That patient very nearly died - and it was the only time I have ever had a doctor tell me that what we found was directly responsible for saving a patients life. In the lab, we don't hear about our patients very often unless we have a good working relationship with the doctors. Our hospital is small, so we know all the doc's and they know us - by sight and name. I think that's important.
     Anyway - this all has nothing to do with food.
     A sales rep brought truffels in yesterday.
                                          OREO TRUFFELS - flavored or not
They were made with crushed oreos mixed with cream cheese and dipped in melted white almond bark. Chocolate almond bark was drizzeled over them as a decoration. They were VERY good and fattening.
A bit of vanilla, almond extract or mint flavoring can be added to give a slightly different flavor. And the chocolate bark could be the main coating with the white as decoration. A truly versatile treat.

These pictures will shoe how I made these truffels without the aid of a food processor - which would really be faster and easier. Above, I separated the chocolate cookie and scraped the filling into a separate bowl. I then put the cookies in a plastic bag and crushed them by rolling them with a rolling pin.

Next I beat the cream cheese with the filling. Then added the crushed cookies. Here is where th processor would be a huge help. The mixture was too thick to beat with a hand mixer. It was much easier to mix by hand!

    Roll into balls about 1tsp mix. Place on wax paper and let sit approximately 45 minutes.

    After cooling, melt your almond bark in a double boiler. Stir while melting. Don't let the bark get too hot and don't let any moisture get into the bark.

A photo of how NOT to melt chocolate. This is a formless STIFF mass of chocolate that tasted great - I had a bit of mint in it, but was not "dippable"                     
     The finished product tasted wonderful and incredibly rich. My help may have gotten a few garnishes of chocolate too thick, but the flavor was there!

     From today on, I will be posting on Wednesday and Saturdays or Sundays. Hopefully more, but we are working overtime more and I feel I can do a better job here by posting twice weekly. That way you'll know when to check for new material. And maybe be surprised when there is more. This will also allow me more time to catch up on blogs I enjoy. A winning scenario, I think.

     See you Sunday.  Good cooking.