Showing posts with label cheddar. Show all posts
Showing posts with label cheddar. Show all posts

Sunday, October 29, 2017

Sincere Pumpkin Patch Spicy Cheese Ball

Extra sharp cheddar and cream cheese can be flavored with a variety of herbs and spices and rolled up ball- or log-shaped for a savory appetizer that will be a welcome addition to any party table. For added interest, roll your cheese ball in chopped pecans or walnuts.

Food Lust People Love: This pumpkin-shaped spicy cheese ball is a great addition to any Halloween or Thanksgiving party table.

If you’ve been reading along for a while, you might have noticed something.  I didn’t have a single Halloween post until last week’s Muffin Monday.  It’s not that I don’t enjoy Halloween.  In fact, as I mentioned a few weeks ago, when my girls were little, I was chief organizer and instigator of Halloween celebrations in our little neighborhood in the small oilfield town of Macaé, Brazil.

When we lived in Kuala Lumpur, we took part in trick-or-treating by joining another neighborhood’s festivities since no one went door-to-door in our mostly local area.  We parked on the route, decorated the trunk of our car and gave out candy.  But since the girls left home for university and I started the blog, my Halloween decorating and baking has dropped off significantly, although I still join my friends to give out candy if I happen to be in KL for Halloween.  It’s such fun to see the children in costumes.

Trunk-or-Treat - Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia circa 2010

This week’s Sunday Supper theme is Halloween Finger Foods and since I don’t have little ones at home, I decided to go savory instead of sweet by making a spicy cheese ball that would be a great addition to any Halloween party table.  Goodness knows there will be enough candy already.

Like Linus from the comic strip Peanuts, I like to think that the Great Pumpkin will come to the most sincere pumpkin patch (or buffet table) and bring gifts for everyone.  He might even be tempted by this cheese ball.  It is most sincerely cheesy.

13 1/4 oz or 375g extra-sharp orange cheddar cheese
8 oz or about 225g cream cheese, at room temperature
1 small bunch chives (Mine was about 1/2 oz or 15g)
1 jalapeño (Mine was about 3/4 oz or 20g)
1 clove garlic
1 teaspoon smoked paprika plus extra for decorating, if desired
2 tablespoons plain yogurt

For decoration: One broccoli stalk - with leaves, if possible
To serve: Crackers of your choice or bread

Grate your cheddar cheese into a large mixing bowl. Finely mince your chives and garlic. Cut the stem end off of the jalapeño and remove the seeds, if you want to add just a little spice. If you like spicy food, by all means, leave the seeds in. Mince the jalapeño finely.

Add the softened cream cheese, the chives, garlic, jalapeño, smoked paprika and plain yogurt to the cheddar cheese.

Mix thoroughly with a wooden spoon.

Line a small round bowl with cling film and heap the cheese mixture in it.  Press down with a spatula so the cheese fills the bottom of the lined bowl completely. Cover with the cling film and round out the top with your hands.  It’s like playing with Play-Do again.

Set the covered cheese ball in the refrigerator for several hours so it will stiffen back up.  I ended up leaving mine overnight because I got busy with other projects.

Remove the cheese ball from the bowl but leave it covered with the cling film.  Press the ball into a pumpkin-like shape.  Remember that pumpkins come in all shapes and sizes so don’t get too hung up on complete roundness or perfection.

Use your thumb to make grooves in the ball from top to bottom.

When you are satisfied that it looks like the best pumpkin you can manage, unwrap the cling film and use a soft paint brush to brush a little smoked paprika in the grooves to enhance the look.

Cut the stem off your broccoli, keeping a couple of leaves attached, if possible.  Cut what will be the top of your pumpkin stem at an angle.  Set the stem on top of your cheese pumpkin ball and push it in just a little.   Is that not the cutest thing!?

Serve with crackers or bread, and don’t forget to put out a knife so that folks can cut a piece off and spread the cheese ball.

Food Lust People Love: This pumpkin-shaped spicy cheese ball is a great addition to any Halloween or Thanksgiving party table.


Still wondering what to make for your Halloween party? Sunday Supper is here to help with a great list of finger food recipes!

Spooky Snacks and Starters

Tasty Trick-or-Treats

Pin it! 

Food Lust People Love: This pumpkin-shaped spicy cheese ball is a great addition to any Halloween or Thanksgiving party table.

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Cauliflower Cheese Waffles #WaffleWeek2015

Lots of strong and bitey cheddar and tender cauliflower florets make a savory waffle that is delicious for breakfast, lunch or dinner.

I am a sucker for an enthusiastic invitation and folks who are organized. Way back in July, I read a Facebook post from Kim of Feed Me, Seymour proclaiming her love of waffles and inviting bloggers to join her for a celebration of those fluffy squares in far away September. That's what I call planning ahead! (Thanks, Kim!) I had been ruminating already about the possibility of cauliflower cheese waffles ever since I created the loaded baked potato waffles for National Waffle Week last year so Kim’s invitation was just the push I needed. If you love waffles like we love waffles, make sure to scroll down after my recipe to see all the creative variations we are sharing today!

My friend, Jane, has kindly invited me to share a Thanksgiving feast with her dear family twice in the last few years. First when I was all alone and lonely, just before we moved from Kuala Lumpur to Cairo and then again last year when my visit in KL happened to overlap with the holiday. I was delighted to accept because 1. I love her and her family and 2. She makes the best cauliflower cheese. It’s an essential dish in her Thanksgiving line up with its thick, cheesy sauce poured over cauliflower then baked to golden perfection. I could eat just that and be happy forever. I was channeling Jane’s dish when I created these savory waffles.

Ingredients for six or seven square Belgian waffles
Florets from 1/2 small cauliflower (Approximate weight 7 1/2 oz or 220g)
1 cup or 125g flour
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon mustard powder – I use Coleman’s.
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
Fresh black pepper
3/4 cup or 90g grated extra sharp cheddar cheese, plus more to serve, if desired
1/2 cup plain thick Greek-style yogurt
3/4 cup or 180ml milk
1 egg
Canola or other light oil for greasing waffle iron

To garnish: a sprinkle of chopped green onion tops

Steam the cauliflower florets for about 5-7 minutes or until fork tender. Remove from the pot and allow to cool in the steamer or in a colander so any excess moisture will drain off. Transfer to some paper towels to dry further.

Once the florets are completely cool and dry, chop them up roughly. You want them in pieces that will show up in the waffles without being so big that they stop the waffle iron from closing.

Combine the flour, sugar, mustard powder, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and a few generous grinds of fresh black pepper in a large mixing bowl.

Pretend the pepper is there, okay? I did add it after the photo.

Tip the cauliflower pieces into the flour mixture and stir well so they are coated with flour.

Now add in the grated cheese and stir well.

Whisk the egg, yogurt and milk together in a smaller mixing bowl.

Preheat your waffle maker as per manufacturer’s instructions.

Now fold the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients. Do not overmix!

Using a pastry brush, grease your waffle maker with a little canola oil.

Spoon the manufacturer’s recommended amount of batter into the center of the lower half of the waffle maker, being careful to leave room for when the batter spreads out as you lower the lid and also for when the waffle starts to rise when baking.

Close the lid and watch for the signal that your waffle is cooking. On my waffle maker, the light goes green when it is ready for batter, red when it is cooking and then green again when the waffle is ready. I leave the waffle in just a little bit longer after the light turns green the second time so the waffles are nice and crispy. But if you like them less crunchy, by all means take them out earlier.

Serve topped with a little extra grated cheese and some green onions, if desired.

If you have any batter left over, go ahead and baked the waffles and store them, wrapped in cling film, in the refrigerator or freezer. These reheat beautifully in the toaster.


#WaffleWeek2015 Hosted by Kim @ Feed Me, Seymour
Special thanks to Christie of A Kitchen Hoor's Adventures for our lovely graphic!

Are you ready for Waffle Week 2015? Whether you like ‘em sweet or savory, we’ve got you covered!

Dessert Dish-affles


Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Cheddar Mielie Bread with Sun-Dried Tomatoes #BreadBakers

Celebrate the bounty of summer with sweet corn and sun-dried tomatoes in a cheddar loaf with a hit of spicy chilies. This rich bread is fabulous toasted until crunchy, bringing out its extra cheesiness. 

You’ve heard me wax lyrical about summer cherries when we were living in France and how they are my favorite treat when in the States each summer, but I’ve been holding out on you about my love affair with sweet corn, the cobs of early summer, their tender pale yellow kernels bursting with milk and sugar, cooked ever so briefly and delicious just as is. They don't even need butter or salt. I could eat my not inconsiderable weight in those as well.

As I searched online for inspiration for this month’s BreadBakers challenge to use summer’s bounty in bread, I was looking for something that would celebrate my love of sweet corn. But I didn’t want cornbread. I wanted corn bread, that is to say, bread with corn, if you know what I mean. It was quite a challenge to make The Google separate the two.

Corn. Maize. Maíz. Jagung. Maïs. Milho. These I knew from living in various countries but mielie, pronounced mealy, was new to me. (Even better: Suikermielies which means sweet corn, or literally, sugar corn.). I kept coming across recipes for mielie bread or mealy bread, both of which intrigued me. The first because I was unfamiliar with the Afrikaans word for corn and the second because my immediate thought was, Who the heck wants to bake mealy bread? It didn’t sound like a nice thing. Mealy is not a desirable quality. It also put me in mind of mealy bugs. Shudder. Turns out that mielie bread and mealy bread are one and the same and there is no actual mealiness or bugs involved. Some have cornmeal as well as corn, others are quick bread with corn kernels. Exactly what I was looking for!

My lovely cheesy loaf was adapted from this recipe on Simply Delicious Food.

2 1/2 cups or 315g flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
3 large eggs
1/3 cup or 75g butter, melted and cooled
1 cup or 240ml buttermilk
 1 large fresh corn on the cob
1 small can (8 .5 oz or 241g) cream style sweet corn
8 oz or 227g cheddar cheese, grated
1 oz or 30g sun-dried tomatoes (store bought or make your own!)
2 hot red chili peppers

Boil your corn on the cob for about 3-5 minutes in lightly salted water. Drain and rinse with cool water. Leave until cool enough to handle and then slice the golden kernels off the cob with a sharp knife.

I cut the cob in two to make it easier to hold.

Meanwhile, pour some boiling water over your sun-dried tomatoes and leave them to rehydrate.

Once plumped, drain the water and squeeze any excess out. If you are using tomatoes packed in oil, dry them off thoroughly between some paper towels.

Chop the tomatoes roughly with a sharp knife and mince your red chilies.

Divide your grated cheddar into two relatively even piles and add a small handful of the chopped tomatoes to one of them. Mix thoroughly.

Preheat the oven to 350°F or 180°C and grease a standard size loaf pan.

Meanwhile, sift all of your dry ingredients into a large mixing bowl and then add the fresh corn kernels and the tomato-less pile of cheddar to the bowl and mix well to make sure all the kernels are coated with flour. This will help ensure they stay suspended in the bread batter, rather than sinking to the bottom.

In another mixing bowl, beat together the eggs, butter, buttermilk and creamed corn. Add in the minced chilies and the chopped sun-dried tomatoes. Whisk again.

Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and fold until just combined.

Pour the thick batter into your greased loaf pan.

Cover the top of the batter with the cheddar/sun-dried tomato mixture and place the pan in your preheated oven.

Bake for 55-65 minutes or until the loaf is golden brown and a skewer inserted comes out clean. If the loaf is browning too fast, cover the top with aluminum foil.

Remove from the oven and allow to cool down for 10 minutes before removing the loaf from the bread pan.

Cool completely on a wire rack before slicing to serve.


Have you ever baked bread with corn that wasn’t cornbread? What’s your favorite summer fruit or vegetable? Here to encourage you to bake some bread with the bounty of summer is our talented host Pavani of Cook's Hideout and the rest of my Bread Bakers group.


#BreadBakers is a group of bread loving bakers who get together once a month to bake bread with a common ingredient or theme.

Follow our Pinterest board right here. Links are also updated each month on this home page. We take turns hosting each month and choosing the theme/ingredient.

If you are a food blogger and would like to join us, just send me an email with your blog URL to


Monday, April 27, 2015

Chipotle Cheddar Sweet Potato Muffins #MuffinMonday

Chipotle peppers in adobo sauce add a lovely smoky spiciness to these sharp cheddar muffins made with roasted sweet potatoes.

Chipotle peppers in adobe sauce are a great ingredient for adding flavor and spice to many dishes but though they come packed in small cans, I never seem to use the whole can for any recipe. So I pour the leftovers in a plastic bag and roll it up like a tube and pop it in the freezer. Then it’s easy to slice off however much you need for the next recipe. We loved these muffins so much that I'd open another can just to make them again.

1 whole roasted sweet potato (about 8oz or 225g)
1/4 cup or 60ml canola or other light oil
2 cups or 250g flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
2 tablespoons chipotle peppers in adobo sauce
5 1/3 oz or 150g extra sharp cheddar, grated
1 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
3/4 cup or 180ml milk

Preheat your oven to 350°F or 180°C and prepare your muffin pan by greasing it or lining it paper muffin cups.

Peel your sweet potato and mash it with a fork.

Add in the eggs, milk and oil and whisk to combine.

In a large bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder and salt. Add in all but a generous handful of the cheddar and mix thoroughly.

Pour your wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and fold them together until just mixed.

Divide the batter evenly among the muffin cups.  Top with the remaining grated cheddar.

Bake in your preheated oven for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean and the muffins are golden.

Allow to cool for a couple of minutes then remove to a wire rack to cool completely.


Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Beer Cheddar Fondue #BeerMonth

Beer Cheddar Fondue is made with sharp cheddar cheese mixed and melted with beer. You won't be able to stop dipping in till it's gone. Serve with lightly steamed vegetables and/or crusty bread. A great snack or, indeed, meal!

Food Lust People Love: Beer Cheddar Fondue is made with sharp cheddar cheese mixed and melted with beer. You won't be able to stop dipping in till it's gone. Serve with lightly steamed vegetables and/or crusty bread. A great snack or, indeed, meal!

The brewing of beer is one of the oldest arts of civilization. In fact, according to archaeologist Brian Hayden at Simon Fraser University in Canada, beer might well have been the motivating factor behind the sowing of grain which was the beginning of the end of our largely nomadic hunter-gatherer societies. And not a few millennia later, beer was being used as partial payment for workers building the pyramids. And, yet, here I am, for the very first time, taking part in the celebration of Beer Month, organized by Sophia of NYFoodgasm. What took me so long? After all, I’ve been a fan since way back.

One of my earliest memories of beer is sipping the foam, just the foam, mind you, off the top of my father’s freshly poured lager. The bubbles tickled my nose and the slightly hoppy taste was endured for the tickle, and because it was a privilege to be allowed that tiny sip of foam in the first place. My mother says that when she first met my father, he did not drink, but by the time I came along, or became conscious of such things, I do remember him manning the grill or a fishing pole or a crab net, not always with a beer in hand, but often.

Daddy taught me how to pour one properly, down the side of the glass, until almost the end of the bottle, to keep the foam from overflowing. No one wants a big head on his beer, says he. And he passed on his policy of drinking locally brewed beer, wherever he lives, a guideline that has proved valuable to me too. (Although I did draw the line at banana beer in Uganda. - It's a thing! - But the Bell Lager's not bad.) I take that a step farther and try to order what’s on tap when we are out as well. And I often incorporate beer into both sweet and savory recipes. With so many great beers out there, it seems a shame not to take advantage, doesn’t it?

Check out this map of the most popular beers of the world – I’ve supped 29 of these and many others not on the Most Popular list. (Most popular doesn't always mean the best.)

How are you celebrating Beer Month? Scroll down to the bottom of this post for some great recipes from my fellow bloggers and then some suggestions from my archives. But meanwhile, melt some cheese for fondue!

Beer Cheddar Fondue

The only thing better than a slice or two of extra sharp cheddar to nibble while you sip a cold beer, is extra sharp cheddar melted with that beer (and another for sipping!) in a cheesy fondue.

For the fondue:
8 3/4 oz or 250g extra sharp cheddar
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2/3 cup or ml beer, plus possibly more to get to dipping consistency
3 teaspoons dry mustard
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper (We like things spicy. Reduce, if you must.)
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce

For garnish:
2-3 teaspoons chopped green onions

To serve:
Mixture of fresh vegetables and/or loaf of crusty bread

Depending on your vegetable, steam according to this chart on the lower end of the scale. If the veggies are too soft, they’ll likely fall off the fondue fork and get lost in the cheese. I set my timer and put the trimmed Brussels sprouts in first and added the rest as needed until finally the snow peas went in for barely any time at all.

Remove the steamer and immediately plunge into cool water. Drain.

If you aren’t serving immediately, you can refrigerate the vegetables but take them out in time for them to get to room temperature before serving. Or take the chill off in the microwave but do not overcook!

Grate your cheese and then toss it with the flour in a bowl.

Put about two inches or five centimeters of water in the bottom of a double boiler or in a pot with a metal bowl set on top. Bring the water to a boil and then turn the fire down to medium. Add the beer to the top of the double boiler or the metal bowl, then whisk in the dry mustard, cayenne and Worcestershire sauce. Cook for about one minute.

Add half the cheese to the beer mixture and cook until the cheese is melted, stirring constantly.

Add the remaining cheese a small amount at a time, stirring after each addition until the cheese is melted.

Add more beer, just a little at a time, if the mixture becomes too thick for dipping. If you finished off that first can thinking you wouldn't need the rest for the recipe, open another. It's Beer Month. Live large.

Pour into a warm fondue pot, garnish with chopped green onion tops, and keep warm over low heat.

Serve with your lightly steamed vegetables and/or cubes of crusty bread for dipping. And, of course, your favorite beer for drinking.

Food Lust People Love: Beer Cheddar Fondue is made with sharp cheddar cheese mixed and melted with beer. You won't be able to stop dipping in till it's gone. Serve with lightly steamed vegetables and/or crusty bread. A great snack or, indeed, meal!


#BeerMonth participants and MORE beer recipes!! Sending out a huge thank you to Sophia, chief Beer Month cheerleader and organizer extraordinaire!

Pin this Beer Cheddar Fondue!

Food Lust People Love: Beer Cheddar Fondue is made with sharp cheddar cheese mixed and melted with beer. You won't be able to stop dipping in till it's gone. Serve with lightly steamed vegetables and/or crusty bread. A great snack or, indeed, meal!

From my archives - click on titles to open recipe post

My recipes with beer in them

Slow Cooker Beef and Guinness Pie

Tangzhong Rye Bread
Mocha Porter Quinoa Loaf

London Porter Cake with Lemon Glaze

The Post Bender (Hangover Cure)

Spicy Cashew and Feta Beer Muffins

Best recipes to eat while eat while drinking beer

Spicy Georgia Sugared Peanuts

Cheese Stuffed Soft Pretzels

Spicy Keema Naan

Bak Kwa or Grilled Chili Pork Jerky

Ploughman's Lunch Muffins

Spicy Roasted Corn Shrimp Dip
Snorker and Spicy Slaw Sandwiches

Spicy Sticky Wings

And if you've scrolled down this far, pull up a chair and let my father pour you a cold one. This one's Pilsener on the beach near Salinas, Ecuador, brewed in nearby Guayaquil. And it's delicious.