Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter Dip for the Win

Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter Dip
Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter Dip makes a sweet snack for enjoying with pretzels, vanilla wafers, fresh strawberries and ginger snaps.

Twas the day after the Super Bowl and all through the house, not a creature was stirring, not even an Atlanta Falcons fan. Continue reading “Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter Dip for the Win”

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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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The Buffalo Chicken Dip That Never Disappoints

You need only five ingredients to make this delicious Buffalo Chicken Dip. The dip really packs a flavorful punch and is awesome with salty tortilla chips. Easy to put together, this dip makes an appearance at most of the gatherings I host, and there are never any leftovers.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 8 oz cream cheese
  • 10 oz can of chicken
  • 1/2 cup ranch salad dressing
  • 1/2 cup buffalo sauce
  • Tortilla chips and celery for dipping

Soften an 8 oz block of cream cheese in the microwave, then spread evenly into an oven safe dish. Drain the canned chicken and shred it using two forks. Top the softened cream cheese with the chicken. You can always use fresh chicken instead of canned, but I find the canned chicken to be a time saver and just as tasty.

Pour a 1/2 cup of ranch salad dressing over the chicken spreading evenly, then pour a 1/2 cup of buffalo sauce over the chicken and spread evenly.

Top with cheese. I recommend sharp cheddar.

Bake in a 425 degree oven for about 20 minutes until the cheese is bubbling hot. Serve with tortilla chips and vegetables for dipping. This dip is also good at room temperature.

Hot Pepper BBQ Pork Sliders


Hot Pepper BBQ Pork Sliders

I don’t use my slow cooker nearly enough, but when I do, I always enjoy it. To make Hot Pepper BBQ Pork Sliders, purchase a 3 pound pork shoulder, trim the fat and place it in your Crock Pot with chopped bell and jalapeno pepper. Season with 2 tablespoons of fajita seasoning.

Pour two 10 oz. cans of enchilada sauce over the seasoned meat and peppers. You can find the sauce in the international section of your grocery store. Put the lid on and let that puppy cook!

How easy is that? Eleven hours on low and this is the result…

The meat will be fork tender and oh so easy to shred. Plus, it’s fun. I find shredding pork to be a stress reliever too. HA! No pun intended. (Working out, shredding pork…get it?)

Add the meat back into the sauce.

Get a pack of those small dinner rolls from the bread aisle in your grocery store. Slice them open, use a slotted spoon to fill them with meat and top with pickles. The soft bread will soak up all that juice. Just for fun, seal with a toothpick. What you talkin’ ’bout?! Warning: You can’t eat just one. Upon the first bite, one of my guests said, “I’m in love with this sandwich!”

Entertaining tip: Dishes that provide height variation always enhance your food display.

Superbowl Party Food

I love an excuse to throw a party, and sometimes you don’t even need one! Invite some friends over and make your favorites with a few new recipes thrown in the mix. Continue reading “Superbowl Party Food”