Wow, the end of the month sure does sneak up on a Challenger doesn’t it?

If you’re new to these parts, I’ve been participating in the Foodie Pen Pals program sponsored by The Lean Green Bean pretty much since I started blogging.  Okay, so that means it has only been three times so far, but they’ve been three really good times.  Fourth time’s a charm too, right?

Foodie Pen Pals works something like this:

1) I send a foodie package to a new randomly assigned friend.  Hi Angela!

2) A new randomly assigned friend sends me a foodie package.  Hi April!

3) I do something super awesome with the ingredients, like creating and winning the Chopped Challenge (Glazed Chocolate Bunny Cinnamon Pancake Bread on a Cliff), winning again in the rematch (Pita Encrusted BBQ Gnocchi, Gnocchi Spaghetti BBQ Meatloaf w/ Breadsticks, Chocolate-dipped Pretzel Sandwiches) and oh yeah, winning for the third time in the Copy Cat Challenge (Homemade Caramel Apple Butter). Then I post about my triumphs on the last day of the month.  Hey, It’s my blog, I can win against myself if I want to.

4) You all love me forever.

Number four is optional, but my fragile ego highly recommends it.  Right then, let’s get this party, er Challenge, started.

1) Did everybody say Hi to Angela over at Happy Fit Mama?  Go on, don’t be shy.  Please come back though because I’m not done here yet.  If all goes according to plan, you should find a post on her blog highlighting what I sent her.  My ego would like you to tell her she clearly had the BEST Foodie Pen Pal ever this month.

2) April from April’s Mooseathon sent me a package.  Much like I like goats, apparently she likes moose. She indulged me in my gluten-free month and sent me the following fabulous package:

Tangy Pineapple Chips – they were oh so tangy so yay for truth in advertising

Gin-Gins – also quite tangy, like chewing on a quick burst of fire (this is funny later if you keep on reading and you like AC/DC)

Cheesy Poofs – !!!!!! (in case you can’t decode that, it means I love cheesy poofs)

Cocoa Power Cookie – that’s some powerful cocoa

Pumpkin Ginger NRG Bar – less pumpkin, more ginger, all bar

Honey Nut Rice Cakes – probably the best rice cakes I’ve ever had


Thanks April, you rock the party that rocks the party!  Seriously, I couldn’t have done it without ya.


3) I do something super awesome with the ingredients.  Normally this means I embark upon the Chopped Challenge and endeavor to use all the ingredients in one dish or meal.  This month is no exception.  I accept the Challenge.  Not only do I accept the Challenge, but I’m going to whip it, whip it good.

I’m really sorry for this people, but I just couldn’t help myself so without further adieu, I’d like to present this month’s Chopped Challenge . . .

My apologies to AC/DC for this.

Well I’m ever upper-class high blog society
God’s gift to Foodie Pen Pals notoriety
And I always fill my blog up
The post is never small
The blog love awards say I’ve got
The biggest balls of all

I’ve got big balls
I’ve got big balls
They’re such big balls
And they’re gluten-free big balls
And Sadie’s got big balls
And Snoops’ got big balls
But we’ve got the biggest balls of them all

And my balls are always tasty
And my kitchen always full
And everybody eats and eats again
If your name is on the guest list
Then you’re a winner
Cause everybody says I’ve got
Great balls of ginger

I’ve got big balls
Oh, I’ve got big balls
And they’re such big balls
Gluten-free big balls
And Sadie’s got big balls
And Snoops’ got big balls
But we’ve got the biggest balls of them all

Some balls are made for protein
And some for this contest
When they’re made for Foodie Pen Pals
They’re the balls that I like best
My balls are always crunchy
Pineapple, ginger or cocoa in every bite
It’s my belief that my big balls
Should be eaten every night

Oh, we’ve got big balls
We’ve got big balls
We’ve got big balls
Gluten-free big balls
Sadie’s got big balls
Snoops’  got big balls
But we’ve got the biggest balls of them all

Oh, we’ve got big balls
We’ve got big balls
We’ve got big balls – And I’m just drooling to tell you about them
Gluten-free big balls – Oh I had such wonderful fun
Sadie’s got big balls – Pineapple
Snoops’ got big balls – Ginger
But we’ve got the biggest balls of them all – Cocoa

Would you like your own Big Balls?  Now you can have your Big Balls and eat them too.


Big Balls Recipe

Collect your ingredients:

2 Rice Cakes, riced

handful of Cheesy Poofs, ground

1 heaping tablespoon crunchy dried Pineapple, coarsely ground

1 Ginger Chew, diced

1/4 cup Pumpkin Ginger NRG Bar, diced

1/4 cup Cocoa Power Cookie, diced

4.5 tablespoons Brown Rice Syrup

1.5 tablespoons Coconut Oil, slightly chilled

Process your Balls:

Rice two rice cakes and divide between two bowls

To the bowl on the left add 1/4 cup diced Cocoa Power Cookie, 1.5 tablespoons Coconut Oil and 1.5 tablespoons Brown Rice Syrup.

To the bowl on the right add 1/4 cup diced Pumpkin Ginger NRG bar, 1 coarsely ground heaping tablespoon crunchy dried Pineapple, 1 diced Ginger Chew and 3 tablespoons Brown Rice Syrup.

Mix ’em up.  Use a mini food processor if it floats your boat.  Shape ’em into balls.  Big Balls.  One per bowl.

Roll the Cocoa Ball in ground Cheesy Poof.  I know chocolate and cheese together sounds weird, but just do it.  If it’s good enough for Ween, it’s good enough for us.  Besides, I always crave cheese after eating chocolate and vice versa so this just simplifies things.

Pick some cherry tomatoes to photograph your Balls with.

For size reference.  To prove they are Big.  Big Balls.

Then go ahead and eat them.  I did.  The Husband did.  We both agreed they were great.  The Ginger Ball was sweet, spicy, sticky and crunchy.  This Ball is best eaten fresh.  If you refrigerate for tomorrow’s breakfast the ginger chewy candy becomes more of a ginger hard candy.  The Cocoa Ball was very chocolatey, barely sweet and had just the perfect hint of cheesy poof.  This Ball is best refrigerated and eaten for tomorrow’s breakfast.  It holds together best when chilled.

4) Does this post still make me a loveable winner?  I think so.

– Joanna

P.S. This post was inspired by my husband and his taste in music so blame him.

P.P.S.  If you are interested in joining Foodie Pen Pals, here are the details:

Question of the Day:  What’s your favorite band?  Somebody please say AC/DC.


  1. Hilarious post and I love your Chopped perspective on FPP!

  2. I’m so pleased to be your inspiration for this post! Wait….. it wasn’t JUST my taste in music… right???

  3. This is probably one of the most hilarious posts that I’ve read about Foodie Pen Pals. I love the idea of doing some kind of chopped with the box, although I would have ended up with a big ball of nut butter. And I’m ok with that.

  4. This song will now be in my head ALL DAY. As it so often is… No, they’re not my favourite band, but props to any band who can have a crowd chanting ‘AN-GUS AN-GUS ‘. You wouldn’t imagine it to be a rock and roll name, but somehow…

    Excellent parcel, excellent post, cheesy balls and all.

    • Thanks much. This song has been in my head for a week while I’ve been writing this post. And then I giggle randomly. Hee hee. Hee hee hee.

  5. SERIOUSLY send me these. I can’t believe how creative this is. I was going to say at first that I love everything you got, pirates booty… drool…. rice cakes…. drool more…. ginger chews… do I need to go on? I love this approach you do. I look forward to it each month.

  6. Bahahahahahahaa. Great post, girl! And … pineapple chips?! YUM!

    • Thanks girl! I was so excited to try the chips . . . I’ve seen them before at the grocery store but the price tag always deterred me. Free is way better 😉

  7. This is awesome and those look really tasty!

    Forget AC/DC! The fact that you referenced Ween in your post made it all the more delightful. As I read the words Chocolate and Cheese, I immediately had a visual of the album cover flash in my mind (thanks for that). And now I am trying to decide if I should allow Roses are Free or What Deaner Was Talkin’ About to be the song that runs through my head on auto-repeat today. Oh hell, maybe I’ll just roll with Mister Would You Please Help My Pony. Lula and I are going to pull out that album to enjoy on our next outing. 😀

    Seriously, you are very talented and Midwestern Bite is quickly becoming one of my favorite blogs to visit.

  8. Those balls look yummy!

  9. Bahaha! Love this post! And I totally want to try the honey nut rice cakes. Yum!

    • I don’t normally go out of my way to buy rice cakes, but these were really good. LOVED them in Ball form; it gave them a slightly softer texture so they were easier to munch.

  10. Girl, this post is hilarious!! Love it! Now I think I am inspired to try my own Chopped challenge next month with my box, lol! 😉

  11. You are too freakin’ funny! The song, the picture. Bahhahahaha!

    Thanks for a great Foodie PenPal package! You’ve got good taste!

  12. OMG you are the best. I can’t believe you just used that entire song! I am laughing my ass off over here.

    PS I am helping Lindsay w/ a new FPP graphic and I should make you your OWN chopped challenge one so I don’t cringe every time I see you bastardize mine. 😉

    • YES PLEASE!!! I would freak out over my own Chopped graphic. Sorry about “bastardizing” the old one, but when all you have to work with is a degree in English Literature, the Paint program and a limited amount of time that’s what ya get. I am really interested in a spruce for my blog too (maybe a logo), but it is going to have to wait till the stress of this move is over. I’ll let ya know…

  13. I love it! The chocolate and cheese sounds odd, but I’m sure I would love them. 🙂

  14. You are so creative and hilarious. I do not want to eat your balls though, but I do like to read your blog.

  15. Sheila Steinberg

    Thanks, this is the best laugh I’ve had in days!

  16. HA!! Utterly amazing. Best Foodie Penpal post. You slayed it. Thanks for entertaining me!

  17. I love what you do with foodie pen pals so much! So much fun!

  18. This post makes clear that you have bigger balls than I do. David says, “She’s funny. I like her balls.”

    • Awesome. Hearing that someone said “She’s funny. I like her balls” soooooo makes all the ridiculous spam comments I have gotten from publishing this post all worth it. BTW, I totally noticed you were gone on Monday and was a little huffy about it.

  19. This is awesome! I love that you do a challenge every time!

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  22. I for real want to comment 20 times on this post so you hit 65 comments!!! 🙂

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  28. Haha I love this! Also, with your FPP picture that says “Chopped” I read it as “Wanna be on Chopped?” This only works if you read it in the same tune as America’s Next Top Model’s “Wanna be on top?”

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