• _DSC0882 This One

    Most definitely the most looked forward to appetizer growing up…and we still get very excited when one is offered up!  Now that the kids also squeal when they see one, I figured it was time to make them…this is all Deanna.  The trick to these is to use a food grinder, or in my case, an old food processor where you’re not fussed if you burn out the motor!  Everything gets grated – ingredients like Velveeta will gum up any machine, but if it’s followed with a chunk of onion, it should keep on working.  Below is a Deanna recipe, doubled, and probably the most manageable amount to make (if you also consider how cheese is packaged).  What’s listed below will make 6, softball-sized cheese balls, but they can be rolled into any size that works for you.  They also freeze marvelously so you can always have them on hand – enjoy!

    Deanna’s Cheese Ball

    2 c. pecans

    1 lb. old cheddar

    1 lb. Velveeta

    1 package(230 g) MacLaren’s cheese

    1 package (8 oz/250 g) cream cheese

    1 medium onion, peeled AND 2 t. Worcestershire sauce

    1/2 t. EACH garlic powder AND salt

    paprika for garnish

    Keep in mind, you can grate all by hand – I used my OLD food processor and wasn’t worried about it burning out.  Begin by prepping all ingredients – cheese out of packages and in chunks that will fit through the food processor feed, peel and quarter the onion, and have a large bowl set aside.  Pulse the pecans and add to the bowl, then grate the cheeses, alternating with onion chunks (to ‘clean’ the food processor) and then scrape everything in batches into the bowl you’ve set aside as it’s all grated.  I prefer to alternate ingredients put through the processor as it makes for less mixing at the end.

    When everything is grated, make sure all spices are in and give it a good mix to combine.  Try to work quickly as the cheese will get gooey sitting out for too long.  Once mixed, form the cheese ball mix into balls, shapes or containers that you’ll be freezing it in – I had Brock form the balls for me, he set them into a shallow bowl, I sprinkled each with paprika and rolled them each separately into a sheet of plastic wrap.  These should then go into a freezer Ziploc before going into the freezer.  We’ve always eaten this on crackers (Triscuits!), but it’s tasty dolloped onto vegetables as a dip too.

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  • Hummus (Dr. Laffa's)

    Pick your favorite hummus – (Garlic Hummus, Roasted Beet Hummus, Roasted Carrot and Garlic Hummus – or just use a tasty store bought version!), and add Dr. Laffa’s beef for a hearty appetizer.  I saw this on the Food Network and wish that I’d thought of it myself…we’ve actually had it for dinner a couple of times!

    Hummus (Dr. Laffa’s)

    3 c. of your favorite prepared hummus


    1/2 white onion, finely diced

    1 clove of garlic, minced

    1 lb. beef chuck, coarsely ground

    salt and pepper to taste

    1/4 t. EACH sweet paprika AND spicy paprika

    1 T. olive oil

    2 T. toasted pine nuts + more for garnish (optional)

    freshly chopped parsley for garnish

    tortilla chips, crackers, cucumber slices and carrot rounds for serving

    Add a bit of oil to your favorite skillet and cook the onion until it’s golden, then add in the garlic and beef and cook, stirring to break it up until the beef is no longer pink.  Season the meat with salt and pepper and both paprikas as it cooks.  If using the pine nuts, stir them in at the end of cooking.

    To serve, loosely line a medium-sized, shallow, round dish with the hummus and scrape all of the warm beef into the middle.  Garnish with more pine nuts and parsley and enjoy!

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March 2015
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