Spotlight on: Junior League of Tampa + Bunco Jumble Recipe

Hi everyone, I hope you all are doing well! My oh my I am getting so excited for Christmas next week and all the festivities that go along with the joyous holiday. I love all the gatherings of friends and family that occur during the holiday season, and I’m looking forward to several get-togethers with friends, both after work this week and this coming weekend!

As you may have read on the blog before, I’m a provisional member of the Tampa chapter of The Junior League. Joining The Junior League this year has given me so many opportunities to volunteer in the community in ways that I didn’t know were available to me, as well as meet some wonderful young women. The Junior League of Tampa’s mission is to “promote volunteerism, develop the potential of women, and improve communities through effective action and leadership of trained volunteers”.

One way in which the Junior League mission is funded is through sales of our award-winning cookbooks. In addition to the classics, The Gasparilla Cookbook and Tampa Treasures, JLT released a Culinary Collection featuring 4 unique volumes. I found the following recipe in Volume 1 – Life of the Party, and absolutely LOVED this mostly sweet, and a little bit salty, party treat! I prepared it for a Junior League holiday party that took place last week, and plan to make it again this holiday season.

photo 4 (7)

Ingredients

1 box of mini Ritz peanut butter sandwiches

1 cup dry roasted peanuts

1 bag mini pretzel sticks (12 oz.)

1 cup sugar

1/2 cup butter (1 stick)

1/2 cup light corn syrup

2 tsp vanilla extract

1 tsp baking soda

1 bag mini or regular M&M’s

Mix the sandwich crackers, peanuts and pretzels in a large roasting pan. heat the sugar, butter and corn syrup in a pan over medium high heat. Bring to a boil and cook for 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Stir in vanilla and baking soda. Pour over cracker mixture, stirring to coat well. Bake at 250 for 45 minutes, stirring mixture every 15 minutes. Remove to waxed paper to let cool completely. Add the chocolate candies. Break up the mixture into small pieces as needed.

Makes handfuls of fun”

photo 4 (10)

photo 2 (11)

Nutty Pimiento Cheese Balls because I’m a Nut!

G’day fellow cheese lovers! Remember how I told you how excited I was to attend a “Friendsgiving”  the other weekend? Well, obviously there was no way I was showing up empty handed to the party, and when the hostess with the mostess asked me to bring an appetizer, I had NO idea what I wanted to bring!

A couple of google searches led me to the following Nutty Pimiento Cheese Balls appetizer from Eating Well. This featured recipe on Eating Well is actually a recipe from Jamie and Bobby Deen, and it came together like this:

ppp

Ingredients

  • 2 ounces reduced-fat cream cheese (Neufchâtel), softened (generous 1/4 cup)
  • 8 ounces shredded sharp Cheddar cheese (about 2 cups)
  • 8 ounces shredded Monterey Jack cheese (about 2 cups)
  • 3 tablespoons low-fat mayonnaise
  • 3 tablespoons drained chopped pimientos
  • 1 teaspoon grated onion
  • 1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
  • Pinch of salt
  • Pinch of freshly ground pepper
  • 1 1/2 cups finely chopped toasted pecans

Directions

Process cream cheese in a food processor until smooth. Add Cheddar, Monterey Jack, mayonnaise, pimientos, onion, garlic powder, salt and pepper and pulse to combine. Scrape into a bowl, cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes or up to 2 days.

Toast pecans at 350 in oven about 7 minutes, or until fragrant, stirring once during the baking period.

Place pecans in a medium bowl. Roll the cheese mixture into 1-inch balls and coat each ball evenly with pecans.

pppp

Serve the cheese balls at room temperature or chilled!

bbbbbbbbb

I’m glad to say that there were hardly any pimiento cheese balls left when the party was over! Thanks Jamie and Bobby ; )

P.S. – How cute are the Ritz snowflake crackers I served with the cheese? I am obsessed.

Happy Hump Day!