Sometimes I crave cheese balls outside of parties and gatherings, but to make an entire cheese ball for one person is just insane. Then it finally occurred to me – why not make a smaller version? And that’s exactly what I did. This little guy is smaller than my fist and only requires 4 ingredients. A mixture of goat cheese, cream cheese and cranberries all rolled up in chopped pistachios making for one very festive cheese ball. It was actually inspired by the farro salad I just made.
This mini cheese ball is actually enough for two servings so I am straying slightly for Single Serving Sunday. But I’d like to see anyone admit that they only eat one serving of a cheese ball. Admit it, you know you want to eat this as a side dish to your meal tonight. Or maybe the entree . You may need to double or quadruple the recipe for the times when you crave a cheese ball in the company of others. Otherwise you will be fighting everyone off!
One year ago: Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup Ice Cream
Twas the night before my defense, when all through the house, a creature was stirring, and it was me freaking out! Yes, tomorrow I defend 6.5 years of graduate work in order to acquire my PhD. You could say that I am slightly anxious over the whole thing. I was calm for a couple days last week once I finished writing and finalized my presentation slides, but now it’s really about to happen. Thank goodness Liz agreed to guest post for me today (who by the way is yet another food blogger in graduate school).
Liz of Little Bitty Bakes likes to use Greek yogurt in many unique ways and has more than once inspired me in my own Greek yogurt adventures. Heck, she’s used it in her bacon wrapped dates with mustard-greek yogurt filling, and even made CHOreos. Speaking of Oreos, can we please discuss her Oreo cake batter bars? I could easily eat the entire pan without a drop of guilt today. She also likes to play with granola and granola bar recipes. Most recently I’ve had my eyes on the salted caramel pretzel granola. IDK why but I have had a huge craving for pretzels.
Hello Spiffy Cookie readers! I’m Liz from Little Bitty Bakes filling in for Erin for the day. I’ve been a reader of Erin’s blog for quite awhile now — I think we’ve done our fair share of bonding over cookies and all-things-upstate NY over the years. As a doctoral student myself, I don’t envy Erin right now as she preparers to defend her dissertation. Erin, you’ll guest post for me when I’m suffering dissertation woes, right?
Anyway, on to this post! Even though most recipes on my blog are baking/sweets related, I actually enjoy making savory dishes just as much, so I thought I’d share this corn salsa recipe with you today!
Let’s talk salsa. My sister recently asked me to brainstorm a corn salsa recipe for her, and my mind immediately went to Chipotle-land. Is there anyone out there who doesn’t love Chipotle’s corn salsa?! I don’t even know how that’d be possible. Anyway, with corn salsa on the brain, I set out to make one that was even better than Chipotle’s. Big ambitions, I know.
Besides chopping up the assorted ingredients, this salsa recipe is so easy to assemble. I made a big batch and brought most of it to a tailgate, but saved myself a little bit for a single serving snack of chips and salsa. How’s that for a single serving Sunday, huh Erin?
In addition to the corn, the salsa is loaded with lots of fresh, flavorful ingredients… poblano pepper, red onion, cilantro, lime, and the secret ingredient: roasted red peppers! The red peppers lend a smoky flavor to the salsa, which I believe is what puts this corn salsa on top of Chipotle’s.
Try out the recipe and let me know how you like it! Thanks again for the opportunity to guest post, Erin!
Originally I hadn’t planned on posting the recipes for the veggie dip cups that I also made for my cousin’s shower, but they were such a hit I decided to after all. I actually made two different kinds of dip: green goddess and roasted red pepper. I think the green goddess disappeared first, but both were devoured with satisfaction. Having them prepared in individual cups also made it easy to carry around and socialize without needing to balance a plate full of food.
Unfortunately due to last minute grocery shopping we didn’t have the diverse array of veggies we had originally wanted, but in all honesty these could have been served with celery alone and would’ve been just as good. All you really need is a vehicle for the dip! A healthy vehicle of course.
In other news, do you recall the Bestowed review I did recently? Well right now they are offering your first box for only $10 (normally $19), using the code HELLOYUM. Sign up by clicking HERE. This deal ends today!
My cousin’s shower the day before her wedding had a spa theme. We put on face masks, make our own lip gloss, and enjoyed veggie dip cups and fruit skewers with dip. But of course no event is complete without dessert! Since I was in charge of the edible portion of the event, I naturally had a difficult time narrowing down my options. In the end I decided upon recreating the white chocolate cookie dough fondue I shared recently, continuing the dip theme for the day. But this time I made it with a healthier spin so as to not bust anyone out of their dresses the next day!
For starters, the cookie doughs contain zero butter. Instead I used coconut oil and then added a little butter extract so that no one would miss that buttery taste necessary for cookie dough. Then I cut back on the caloric intake of sugar by substituting the regular sugar for the only zero-calorie sugar sweetener I have ever liked (Swerve). However, I did keep the regular brown sugar and peanut butter – couldn’t bring myself to modify those. Then I used white whole wheat flour and finally almond milk instead of regular milk.
Then there is the fondue. Last time I made it with store-bought sweetened condensed milk. This time I made my own out of almond milk and honey. I also used dark chocolate for half the chocolate and again substituted the butter for coconut oil, as in the cookie dough. Wait, I forgot to tell you the best part. I didn’t use just any honey, but CHOCOLATE honey. I bet you have never heard of that before, have you? It just so happens my family runs their very own honey company called Winter Park Honey and they sell it! My aunt and uncle gave me some to use since they know how much I love to bake and thought this fondue was a great way to use it, especially since I was going to be able to share my creation with them in person!
Cheese balls are great party dips because not only are they delicious, they look fun! Today I am sharing a rare breed of cheese balls – avocado. I served this along with the taco bar I talked about yesterday, and it tastes like a creamier version of guacamole due to the use of cream cheese. But it wasn’t just any old guacamole ball because I threw in corn, cotija cheese and chipotle peppers. This cheese ball also made an appearance at my friend’s bachelorette party/weekend in Toronto and everyone was hovering around it until it was all gone. Would definitely be great for the upcoming July 4 holiday as well!
Speaking of bachelorette parties, I actually attended two on back to back weekends which is why I’ve been a bit MIA from social media. The first was in Columbus, OH. We went swimming/diving/water sliding at an Olympic size pool because it was a gorgeous day to be outside and hot enough to find a large bowl of water very appealing (it was like I carried the heat of Memphis up with me), then afterwards had a casual dinner and a fun night out just like the old days in our undergrad years. Yet somehow I failed miserably at getting many photos – so unlike me .
The following weekend was a bit more involved. I hauled myself up even further north to Toronto where we toured a distillery, learned Bollywood dancing, shopped around some markets, flew on a trapeze (video on FB), and finished the weekend off with a nice dinner out and a VIP table at a club downtown. Then I got to drive allll the way back down to Memphis to my attention-deprived cat.
If that wasn’t enough, the week in between those two weekends I started writing the into to my dissertation. Talk about lots of work that needs to be done. After the past week and a half, I think I could sit down in front of this cheese ball and eat just that for dinner. Then again, I may never fit into those bridesmaid dresses if I keep eating like I have this past week!
One year ago: Red, White & Berry Shortcakes
For The Secret Recipe Club this month, I had Nicole of I am a Honey Bee. She actually had my blog in February and made my Slow Cooker Honey Sesame Chicken so it was fun to return the favor, especially since I read her blog already and always like what I see. She also does Thirsty Thursdays posts with Amanda of Fake Ginger and I almost made her Red, White, and Blue Sangria, because it would be the perfect Fourth of July drink.
That was until I saw the recipe for these Everything Bagel Bites. I love making homemade bagels but shaping them is sometimes a pain. This recipe avoids that by cutting them into nuggets. However, it also results in a dangerously poppable treat as I downed 6 before I even knew what happened. I was just standing in my kitchen testing them out before photographing and could not stop! Pairing them with a bacon-scallion cream cheese dip just enhances this effect.
As a side note: I have discovered one benefit to the summer heat – letting dough rise outside! Yup, I set the dough for these bagel bites outside to rise, covered and in the shade. I am a genius.
For The Secret Recipe Club this month, I was assigned to Baking and Creating with Avril. She actually had my blog in March of 2012 and she made my Fluffernutter Blondies, so I was excited to explore her blog this time. Initially I was drawn to her Crescent Chicken Packages and Chunky Monkey Oatmeal Cookies, but with Cinco de Mayo coming up in combination with the spring weather, I had to make this salsa.
This salsa was incredibly easy to throw together and disappeared even faster. If you are serving this to more than 2-3 people you might want to consider doubling it. My friend Maggie and I nearly killed the entire thing while watching Hustle and Flow (figured we should watch it since we live in Memphis).
Welcome to day #4 of Christmas Week, a multi-blogger event co-hosted by Kim of Cravings of a Lunatic and Jen of Juanita’s Cocina. Today’s theme for Christmas Week is “Gingerbread Surprise”. Make sure you visit all the participating bloggers today to see what special dish they whipped up for you.
- Ginger Horse Cookies from Kim of Cravings of a Lunatic
- Mini Gingerbread Donuts from Jen of Juanita’s Cocina
- Gingerbread Biscotti from Liz of That Skinny Chick Can Bake
- Chocolate Gingerbread Bundt Cake with Bourbon Cream Cheese Drizzle from Anuradha of Baker Street
- Gingerbread Donuts with Lemon Glaze from Kristen of Frugal Antics of a Harried Homemaker
- Mini Holiday Gingerbread Loaves from Isabelle of Crumb
- Gingerbread Biscoff Truffles from Erin of Dinners, Dishes and Desserts
- Gingerbread Dip from Erin of The Spiffy Cookie
- Gingerbread Milkshake from Ramona of Curry and Comfort
- Gingerbread Pumpkin Bars from Heather of Girlichef
- Gingerbread Cinnamon Rolls from Cathy of The Dutch Baker’s Daughter
- Gingerbread Whoopie Pies with Lemon Cream Cheese Filling from Chung-Ah of Damn Delicious
Last year I discovered my love for chocolate and gingerbreadtogether, and I had originally planned on another chocolate and gingerbread recipe for today but once I found a recipe for gingerbread cookie dough dip those plans flew right out the window. I changed it up a little bit by adding my favorite dip ingredient, Greek yogurt, and reduced the butter which together changed the consistency to be creamier than your average cookie dough dip, so I dubbed this just plain ol’ Gingerbread Dip. It’s amazing and a tiny bit better for you too. Just eat it with apples instead of crackers if you need to keep your conscience clear.
As I write this post, it just now occurred to me that I could’ve fulfilled my chocolate and gingerbread fantasy with this dip by using miniature chocolate chips instead of toffee bits. Darn, guess I have to make another batch O:-).
One year ago: Apple Butter Chewy Cinnamon M&M Cookies
It’s a surprise virtual baby shower for Rachel of Rachel Cooks! She is expecting her second little joy and to celebrate Brandy (Nutmeg Nanny) & Brandi (Bran Appetit) put together this awesome baby shower full of great food bloggers and delicious food. Congrats Rachel!!
I decided to make a seasonally appropriate dip with one of my dip ingredients – Chobani Greek yogurt! Combined with pureed sweet potato, brown sugar, maple syrup, spices, pecans and little pieces of pie crust to dunk into it, this dip tastes just like sweet potato pie.