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:

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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.

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Serve the cheese balls at room temperature or chilled!

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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!

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Sin in a Trifle Dish

I try not to make this dessert too often, as I honestly feel like it may be a heart attack waiting to happen. I’m really surprised the recipe isn’t accompanied by the Surgeon General’s warning. Luckily, no one has yet perished on my watch, and therefore I feel safe in passing on the recipe.

Paula Deen’s Turtle Trifle is BY FAR the richest thing I’ve ever put in my mouth. Literally, just thinking about it is causing those spots on the sides of my mouth to tingle and salivate. The Turtle Trifle is definitely a special occasions dessert, which is just perfect as it has all the flavors of Christmas and the holidays. Every bite is more indulgent and satisfying than the last, and I must recommend everyone try this at least once – you haven’t truly lived until you do.

Ingredients
2 cups sugar[For a healthier option try substituting Domino Light: Sugar & Stevia Blend]
1 1/3 cups light corn syrup
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
2/3 cup butter, melted
4 large eggs
3 cups chopped pecans
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups toasted whole pecans, (1 cup chopped, 1 cup whole) divided, plus more for garnish
Brownies, recipe follows
Whipped Cream, recipe follows
Caramel syrup
DIRECTIONS

In a large saucepan, add the sugar, corn syrup, salt and melted butter. Stir to combine well. Add the eggs and 1 cup chopped pecans. Bring to a boil over medium heat. Reduce the heat, and simmer stirring frequently for 10 minutes. Add the vanilla and remove from the heat to cool completely. Set aside.

Brownies: (NOTE: I always used packaged brownies, as this part isn’t the star of the show and I’m usually looking to save time around the holidays. Feel free to use packaged and follow instructions on package, or make from scratch if you’re cooler than me)
3 sticks butter, melted
5 (1-ounce) squares unsweetened baking chocolate
2 1/2 cups granulated sugar
6 eggs, whisked
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Pinch salt
1 cup milk chocolate morsels
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 9 by 9-inch baking pan with aluminum foil.

In a saucepan, over low heat, melt the butter and unsweetened chocolate, constantly stirring to incorporate. Set aside.

In a large bowl, add the sugar and the eggs. Using a hand-held mixer, beat together until well combined. Add the flour, vanilla, and the salt. Fold in the milk chocolate morsels.

Add the butter and chocolate mixture that was set aside. Mix together with a spatula while folding in 1 cup of whole toasted pecans. Pour into the prepared pan and bake until the brownies are done, about 35 minutes Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely before assembling.

Whipped Cream:
3 cups heavy cream
3/4 cup sugar
In a large bowl add the cream and the sugar and whisk together until soft peaks form.

Assembly:

In a trifle dish, layer the brownies, pecan mixture, whipped cream, caramel syrup, and toasted whole pecans, as desired.

Cook’s Note: It is recommended that the trifle be chilled for 2 hours before serving.

Read more at: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/paula-deen/turtle-trifle-recipe/index.html?oc=linkback

 

I hope you all give this a try at a special occasion – it’s decadent as anything, but it truly is a culinary experience!