Showing posts with label partyfood. Show all posts
Showing posts with label partyfood. 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.

Sunday, April 21, 2013


Chewy caramel insides are covered with chocolate sprinkles to make these sweets, essential at any Brazilian party. They are so easy to make too!

This week, #SundaySupper is celebrating celebrating.  What I mean is, we are sharing recipes that are perfect for showers.  Baby showers, bridal showers or whatever lovely gathering you are planning this month.  Our host is Brandie from Home Cooking Memories, so I think she will appreciate that I reached back to one of my favorite times to share this party favorite. 

Brigadeiros are an easy sweet treat that make an essential appearance at every celebration in Brazil.  We lived there for almost six years when our daughters were little.  In fact, both of them started school (a couple of years apart, of course) at the Omega School, which was a few blocks from our house, in the small neighborhood of Macaé called Vivendas da Lagoa.  It was a tiny operation with fewer than 30 students ranging from the three-year-olds to one sixth grader, with most children falling on the younger end of the chart.  Enrollment was so small most years that when one child celebrated a birthday, the whole crowd was invited. The best part was that they all played well together, regardless of age or grade level.  We missed that interaction later, in bigger schools. 

In those days, Macaé was a small oilfield town, short on amenities.  (I’ve been told it has progressed greatly since then, although I haven’t been back.)  Grocery shopping was limited and it was a challenge to do it all in one day, especially with at least one small child in tow.  Chicken was only purchased at the chicken shop, beef, pork and sausages at the butcher. If you wanted fresh vegetables, the best place was Hortifruti, the covered market.  Fresh milk was in limited supply so we bought UHT (ultra high temperature) milk that came in Tetrapaks.

For cheese, there were a couple of places you might get lucky, just don’t expect anything fancy.  But one thing that every shop had, even the little corner store in our neighborhood, were cans of the sweet sticky paste used for making brigadeiros.  When we left Brazil (and the supply I had brought in our shipment was exhausted) we had to learn how to make them without it.  Because, as I am sure you will agree once you try one, life is too short to go without brigadeiros. Fortunately, it isn’t that hard since you start with sticky condensed milk, available everywhere. 

3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa 
1 tablespoon butter plus a little extra for buttering your hands when you are rolling the little balls 
1 (14 ounce or 397g) can sweetened condensed milk (not evaporated milk) 
10.5 oz or 298g packet chocolate rice or sprinkles (You may not use them all.)
60-70 tiny paper muffin liners

In a medium saucepan over medium heat, pour in the condensed milk, then sift in the cocoa and add in the butter.

Cook over a medium heat, stirring gently to make sure it is well combined.

Keep stirring and cooking until it is quite thick, about 10-15 minutes.

Remove from the heat and let rest until cool enough to handle.  It will stiffen up even more as it cools. 

Put your chocolate sprinkles in a small bowl or other deep container. 

Rub a little butter into both of your palms.  Using a small spoon, scoop up a little of the sweet paste and roll it into small balls between your palms.

Use one spoon to scrape it off into your buttered palm. 

Roll it between your buttered palms to get a smooth ball. 

Drop it gently into the small bowl of chocolate sprinkles and roll it around until coated. Place each covered ball in a paper muffin liner. Place on a serving tray.

Continue until all the paste is finished.  Keep in a cool, dry place until ready to serve.

Do not share these with your helper, not matter how much he begs.  Chokit, noooo!

These little balls of sticky chocolatey caramel awesomeness are perfect for any party!  Invite the whole crowd and see if they can play nice.


And while you are at it, why not make a couple of special dishes from the rest of the #SundaySupper line up of April Shower recipes? 

Starters, Appetizers & Snacks
Soups, Salads & Sandwiches
Main Dishes
Cookies, Brownies & Dessert Bars
Sweet Treats
Drink Recipes