Friday, December 30, 2011

Two Delicious Cheese Ball Recipes

Update: Be sure to also check out my newest cheese ball recipe-- Chipotle Bacon Cheddar Cheese Ball.


This is fast becoming my favorite thing to make for just about any occasion. And from people's reaction to it, I think it's safe to say it's a crowd favorite.

My husband requested I make this for New Year's Eve, so I'm jumping at the chance to share it with you all this time. If you still need a last minute appetizer or snack for tomorrow's festivities, I highly recommend you consider making this. It'll only take about 10 minutes of your time.

Today I'm making two different cheese balls: the original and my own adaptation.

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The original, crowd-pleasing, cheese ball

You will need:
  • 8 ounces cream cheese
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1/4 cup shredded parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped onion
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 pinch cayenne
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 cup toasted, chopped pecans
Serves 6-8.

First, dump in all the cheeses into a bowl.

Then add the chopped onion. You might be hesitant about putting raw onion into the cheese ball. Don't be. You're not adding much, just be sure that it's chopped nice and small, so no one gets a big chunk of onion in one bite.

Now add in all the rest of the ingredient except the pecans.

Mix it all up.

Get out some plastic wrap and lay a square of it on the counter. Scrape all that cheesy goodness out of the bowl and plop it in the middle of the plastic. You may be tempted to get a little taste test.

Go ahead. Just know that if you let this chill for a while, it becomes ten times better.

Wrap it up and smoosh it into a ball.  Stick it in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes. I like to make it the night before.

Just before serving, roll it in the pecans. This step is optional, however. At Christmas I forgot the pecans and no one complained. You could serve it up on an elegant cheese board and no one will know how effortless this really is.

And for my adaptation . . .

I used the same cheese ball recipe, except I subbed in chopped green onion for the white onion.

and instead of rolling it in pecans, I rolled in . . .

. . . bacon!

After tasting both recipes, my favorite is the one with the bacon. Hands down.

Have a happy New Year, my friends!

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Christmas Highlights and Handmade Envelope DIY

Hello, friends!

I had a wonderful Christmas and I hope you did too.

A few of my favorite highlights:

  • On Christmas Eve, Josh and I enjoyed a quiet evening with chili and cinnamon rolls and snuggling to Home Alone 2. 
  • Christmas morning I made monkey bread for breakfast. Can't recommend it enough. Delicious and easy.
  • Christmas evening we went to my younger sister's home for the family dinner. I made a couple cheese balls for an appetizer-- amazing! I'm planning to share the recipe with you later on the week, since I'll make them again for New Year's Eve.
  • The women of our family also had a cookie exchange this year. I brought snickerdoodles and fudge, but my absolute favorite for years has been my mom's easy bars. That recipe will be coming to you later this week too.

The past few days I've been perusing Pinterest obsessively. Apparently I'm not the only one because there's been some unusually good stuff floating around there.

I found this handmade envelope idea on Pinterest and while it's not a brand new idea, it inspired me to get off the couch and try my hand at a few.

Martha suggests taking apart an envelope and tracing it directly onto your paper of choice to make the envelope. I wanted to make an envelope template on cardboard that I could use repeatedly without taking apart real envelopes over and over. I know there are places that you can buy pre-made templates, but I thought it would be easy enough (and free!) to make my own.

I took apart an A6 envelope and traced it onto a cut-up cereal box.

I drew dashed lines for where the folds should be and added numbers to indicate which sides should be folded in first. While I was at it, I created a few different envelope templates.

For my first envelope, I used some gift wrap I had on hand. Traced the outline of the template onto the paper, folded it up, and glued it with a glue stick.

If the paper has a significant sheen, it might be difficult to write on. When I wrote on the metallic stripes on this paper, the ink would bead up and smudge. Adding a tag solves this problem.

You'll need to keep the glue stick handy for when you plan to seal the envelope too.

I'm planning on trying this out on some magazine pages and paper bags I have around the house.

Until next time,

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