Almost two years ago I first published my favorite cheese ball recipe. Below is one of the photos that I proudly displayed. Ha!
We have continued to make the recipe as originally written. It’s one of our favorite snacks.
Check out my guest post on the Tasty Kitchen Blog for new step-by-step photos & instructions.
It is Dad’s philosophy that when you find the perfect recipe for a particular dish you should stick with it. We believe we have found the perfect guacamole recipe. I can’t remember the last time we used a different recipe. It was in the far past.
This recipe has a wonderful blend of flavors – creamy avocados, spicy jalapeno pepper, tasty cumin, tangy lime…
One recipe isn’t nearly enough for us. We usually double it.
- 3 medium, ripe avocados, preferably Haas
- 2 tablespoons finely minced onion
- 1 medium garlic clove, minced
- 1 small jalapeno chile, stemmed, seeded, and minced
- 2 tablespoons – 1/4 cup fresh cilantro leaves, chopped
- 1/4 – 3/4 teaspoon sea salt, or to taste
- 1/2 – 3/4 teaspoon ground cumin, or to taste
- 1 – 2 tablespoons lime juice, or to taste
1) Cut the avocados in half, remove the pits, and score with a knife in several places both lengthwise and crosswise. Use a spoon to remove the flesh into a medium-sized bowl.
2) Add the remaining ingredients to the avocados. Mash lightly with a potato masher or fork and stir until well combined. Taste and adjust seasonings if necessary. For best flavor, allow the ingredients to meld: press a piece of plastic wrap onto the guacamole and place in the refrigerator for 1 hour. Serve cold or at room temperature.
A few years ago, my sisters and I were asked to bring a cheese ball to a bridal shower. We threw a few things together, tasting as we went along, until the flavors were just right. It was a great success, and to our pleasure, a lady asked for our recipe.
We have tried other cheese ball recipes, but none can compare to this one. Simple, yet very tasty. Dad complains if we try any other recipe.
The original recipe contained cranberries. We generally leave these out, but it is quite good with them. We have also tried it with a few drops of liquid smoke with excellent results. If you prefer a spicier cheese ball, simply increase the amount of cayenne, pepper, or onion. Or decrease the amounts if you like your cheese ball mild.
:: Favorite Cheese Ball ::
- 1 8-ounce package of cream cheese
- 1/4 cup sour cream
- 1 cup finely shredded cheddar cheese
- 1/4 cup shredded parmesan cheese
- 1/4 cup finely chopped onion
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- a pinch of cayenne powder
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1/3 cup dried cranberries, optional
- 1/2 cup toasted pecans, chopped coarse, optional
1) Place all ingredients except pecans in a large bowl. Beat with a hand mixer on medium-low speed until well combines.
2) Scrape the mixture onto a piece of plastic wrap. Cover with the plastic wrap and shape into a ball or log. Put the cheese ball on a plate and place in the refrigerator to harden, about 30 minutes – 1 hour.
3) Roll the cheese ball in the chopped pecans and place on a serving plate. Serve with crackers.
Note: This cheese is best if allowed to sit for at least 1 hour in the refrigerator to allow the flavors to blend. The flavors are best if it is allowed to sit at room temperature for 15-20 minutes before serving.
. . .
: : Sweet Onion Dip : :
Skip the prefab dips in the market; this cooked Vidalia dip is beyond better. The onions are subdued to begin with; cooking them concentrates their sugars for extra sweetness.
Adapted from Martha Stewart
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 2 Vidalia onions (1 pound total), finely chopped
- Sea salt and ground pepper
- 1 cup Sour Cream
- 2 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
- 1 1/2 teaspoons white-wine vinegar
- 1/4 cup finely chopped chives
- Potato chips, bagel chips, or crackers, for serving
- In a large skillet, heat oil over medium. Add onions; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring frequently, until golden brown, 12 to 15 minutes. Let cool to room temperature.
- In a medium bowl, combine onions, sour cream, cream cheese, vinegar, and chives; season with salt and pepper. Chill dip until slightly thickened, about 1 hour; or cover and refrigerate up to 2 days. Serve with your choice of potato chips, bagel chips, or crackers.
Makes about 2 cups
:: Graham Crackers ::
Adapted from King Arthur Flour
- 2 cups (8 ounces) Whole Wheat Pastry Flour
- 1/4 cup Sucanat
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 large egg
- 1/4 cup butter or coconut oil, melted
- 1/4 cup (3 ounces) honey
- 2 to 3 tablespoons (1 to 1 1/2 ounces) milk (approx.)
- additional milk for glaze
- cinnamon-sugar (optional)
In a mixing bowl, combine whole wheat flour, sucanat, salt, cinnamon and baking powder. In a separate bowl, beat egg till light, then add butter, honey and 2 tablespoons milk. Stir into dry ingredients until you have a fairly stiff dough, adding additional milk if necessary. Wrap dough in waxed paper and chill until firm, about 1 hour (or longer, if it’s more convenient).
Turn the dough onto a floured surface and knead gently until it holds together. Roll dough out till it’s about 1/16-inch thick; make sure rolling surface is well-floured, or you’ll have trouble transferring crackers to baking sheet. Alternately, you can use a pasta machine to roll out your crackers. This makes the whole process a lot easier.
Preheat your oven to 375°F. Cut dough into 3-inch squares, or use a cookie cutter to cut into any shape you please. Prick each square several times with a fork, and place on lightly greased cookie sheets. Brush the tops with milk, sprinkle with cinnamon-sugar if you’re so inclined, and bake for 15 to 20 minutes, or until crackers are lightly browned. Remove crackers from oven, transfer to a wire cooling rack, and cool completely. Store in an airtight container. Makes about 2 dozen graham crackers.