Georgia Cocktail Meatballs Make a Perfect Party Appetizer

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Some Kinda Good Georgia Cocktail Meatballs

Grape jelly combined with apple hickory BBQ sauce and hot pepper jelly is an unlikely combination, but when paired together with perfectly seasoned meatballs, they make the most decadent and savory bite. Continue reading “Georgia Cocktail Meatballs Make a Perfect Party Appetizer”

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Holiday Cheese Ball with Sweet Heat

imageThe cheese ball. What a great concept…a ball of cheese. Who wouldn’t want to eat that?

It’s one of those appetizers that’s always present at family gatherings in the South, especially around the holidays. I’ve seen savory cheese balls and sweet cheese balls. There’s a variety of different recipes out there, but this one comes from Mama with a few of my own touches. I contributed this cheese ball to my office Christmas party and it was a hit! It has pops of red and green color for the holidays, and it’s versatile. You can add or take away whatever flavors you like. Spreadable and creamy, this cheese ball has crunch and sweet heat. It’s cold and satisfying.

The cheese ball comes together quickly and is edible right away, but has a more firm texture when chilled. I recommend making it a day ahead and letting it set up in the fridge overnight. If you’re short on time, 30 minutes to an hour will do.

Ingredients

  • 1 8-oz block of cream cheese, softened
  • 1 cup of sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 1 cup of pepper jack cheese, shredded
  • A few jarred jalapeno peppers, chopped
  • A tablespoon of jarred jalapeno pepper juice
  • A handful of maraschino cherries, stems removed and chopped
  • 1/2 of a green bell pepper, chopped
  • 1/4 cup of chopped onion (I used purple for the color, but a sweet Vidalia onion would be great too)
  • Dash of Worcestershire Sauce
  • 1 tablespoon of Braswell’s Green Pepper Jelly
  • 1/4 cup of pepitas (Pumpkin seeds)
  • Seasoned salt
  • Pepper
  • 1/2 – 3/4 cup Georgia pecans, toasted and chopped

Directions
Dry roast pecans in a saute pan over medium heat, flipping occasionally until fragrant and golden (5-10 minutes). Set aside. Using a hand mixer, blend the cheeses together until incorporated. Add in remaining ingredients, reserving the pecans for the outside, and season with seasoned salt and pepper. Blend on low-speed until everything is incorporated. Turn the mixture out onto plastic wrap and form it into a ball. Remove the plastic wrap and roll the ball in the chopped pecans until covered. Let chill. Serve with buttery crackers, like Ritz, toasted bread or even Scoops tortilla chips.

Note: If you’re using a food processor to chop your onion and bell pepper, be sure to drain any natural water from the vegetables before adding them to the mixture. Additional water will make your cheese ball runny, and you wouldn’t want that.  

Presentation
Serve the cheese ball on a round dish if you have one! It enhances the natural shape of the appetizer and is fun to surround with crackers. Presentation is everything! I served the cheese ball with snowflake-shaped crackers for a little Christmas cheer, but this recipe is wonderful year around with whatever kind of crackers you like. Enjoy!

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Happy Blog-iversary to Me: Year Two!

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Some Kinda Good is two. Happy Blog-iversay to me! The year 2013 has been filled with amazing opportunities, complete with my local TV debut on Statesboro Cooks, lots of feature writing, live cooking demonstrations, volunteering and more. What a year!

To celebrate Some Kinda Good’s second birthday, my friends at Braswell Food Company have graciously donated a Gourmet Holiday Gift Set to one of YOU, my lucky readers! How awesome is that? Before we get to that, I’d like to take a look back at a few of my favorite moments from 2013, highlighting some pretty major accomplishments:

Urbanspoon Recognition

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Some Kinda Good has held the #2 ranked spot on Urbanspoon’s Leaderboard of Top Georgia Food Blogs since April 2013.

Freelance Work

I became a guest blogger for Visit Savannah, and my local work is also featured on the Visit Statesboro website. 

MomentsI got to write the November Cover Story for Moments Magazine, featuring Hunter Cattle Company’s Kristan Fretwell. 

Newspaper Food Columnist

May 19, 2013 - A proud day. My first published food column.
May 19, 2013 – A proud day. My first published food column.

I became a food columnist for the Statesboro Herald in May 2013.

TV Appearances

I had the opportunity to co-produce and host two episodes of Statesboro Cooks, a local, cable TV cooking program in June and November this year.

Live Cooking Demonstrations

I was invited to be the Celebrity Chef at the Statesboro Mainstreet Farmers' Market on August 17, 2013. What a blast!
I was invited to be the Celebrity Chef at the Statesboro Main Street Farmers’ Market on August 17, 2013. What a blast!

In August, I appeared as the Celebrity Chef at my local farmers’ market, where I performed a live cooking demonstration serving up Summer Bruschetta.

Future Happenings

wpid-IMG_20131122_152547.jpgPerhaps the most exciting adventure this year has been auditioning for The Taste on ABC in L.A., Calif. Premiering on Jan. 2, 2014 at 8 p.m., the cooking competition reality show is sure to be entertaining. I hope you’ll tune in to see how my Hollywood experience plays out!

Thank You
Since its inception in Nov. 2011, Some Kinda Good has reached nearly 37,000 hits. Though it’s a lot of hard work, blogging has proved to be a wonderful, creative outlet and platform for me. My success wouldn’t be possible without you, and my dishes wouldn’t be as delicious without Georgia Farmers! I sincerely thank you, my blog followers, for reading and sharing my little piece of the World Wide Web with your friends and family. Thanks for your encouraging comments, and all your “likes” and re-tweets. Not a single one has gone unnoticed. To my farmer friends, chefs and restaurant owners, thank you for making Southeast Georgia the finest place to exist.

I especially thank Julia Child who said, “Find something your passionate about and keep tremendously interested in it.” As it turns out, that philosophy has served me well.

Giveaway Information

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Braswell’s Gourmet Holiday Gift Set includes pumpkin, apple and sweet potato fruit butters, and Balsamic Sweet Onion Jam and Red Pepper Jelly. Some Kinda Good approved!

I couldn’t think of a better way to show my appreciation for your support than to share with you food products from one of Statesboro’s own gourmet businesses. Braswell’s has been making specialty preserves, condiments and sauces for almost 70 years. Valued at $35, the set includes an assortment of Braswell’s most popular fruit butters and hors d’oeuvre jellies, perfect for entertaining this time of year! For your chance to win, choose from the options below. You do not have to be local to participate, but must reside in the United States.

1) Comment on this blog post with your favorite and most memorable Some Kinda Good post, explaining why you chose it. If you’re new to Some Kinda Good, tell me how you came across my blog.

2)  Follow me on Twitter @SKGfoodBlog and tweet “Win a Braswell’s Gourmet Gift Set from @SKGFoodBlog! wp.me/s20PUE-4197 .”

3)  Like and share Some Kinda Good on Facebook (or just tell me you already do if that’s the case)!

Contest ends on Friday, Nov. 29 at 11 a.m. EST. I’ll email the winner and announce the recipient on the Some Kinda Good Facebook page. The gift set will be mailed directly to your home.

Disclosure: I received one Braswell’s Gourmet Holiday Gift Set valued at $35 to celebrate Some Kinda Good’s 2nd Birthday.

Update: 11/26/13: In addition to the Braswell’s Gourmet Gift set, the winner will also receive one fresh baked loaf of bread from Sugar Magnolia Bakery & Cafe!