Prosciutto and Green Onion Cheeseball #Sponsored by @carnivoreclub

Earlier this year I made an off-handed comment to my Grandmother that I wish I had more family recipes to cook from. I have the handful that she was willing to write down, but things like my great-aunt’s cheeseball or the taco salad I loved so much when I was a kid were doomed to be nothing but distant memories since the family members who made them had already passed on.

In a moment of clarity, which is rare these days considering that my Grandmother is in the advanced stages of Alzheimer’s, I received a much-needed little tidbit—she had a copy of the cheeseball recipe. It was on a notecard, in a folder, in the back of a cabinet, near the fridge.

The downside is that it's been several years now since her house was sold, I couldn't just pop over and start digging through her kitchen. Then I remembered that I had taken two mementos when she moved: a set of framed photos of my grandparents in their younger days and a stack of papers in a crumbling manilla folder which I'd found in that exact spot.

It was full of recipes clippings that looked interesting, so I took it home to dig through later and had yet to take a closer look. Knowing it was still siting in my old bedroom six hours away I called my mom to set her on the enormous task of searching for the missing notecard. She found the long-lost cheeseball recipe and in a stroke of luck I had several packages of prosciutto sitting in my fridge which had been part of the December Carnivore Club box. 

This may have been a rough year, but the final few days brought me my favorite recipe from my childhood and a box of meat to help me recreate it. I couldn't have asked for a better end to 2016. Happy New Years everyone!

Today's recipe was sponsored by Carnivore Club who has provided me a box of incredibly tasty meats from LA QUERCIA in Norwalk, IA. No other compensation was given for this post, but it does contain affiliate links.

Today's recipe was sponsored by Carnivore Club who has provided me a box of incredibly tasty meats from LA QUERCIA in Norwalk, IA. No other compensation was given for this post, but it does contain affiliate links.

Great-Aunt Helen's Prosciutto and Green Onion Cheeseball
makes 8 servings

Ingredients

¾ cup chopped walnuts, toasted
16 ounces cream cheese, softened
3 green onions (6 - 8 shoots, green part only), diced
3 ounces prosciutto, finely chopped
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce

Directions

  • In a skillet, set over medium-high heat, toast the walnuts until they have darkened slightly (approximately five minutes.) Stir the nuts frequently so they don't burn, then set the toasted nuts aside to cool. 
  • In a mixing bowl combine cream cheese, green onions, prosciutto, and Worcestershire sauce. Mix well (you can use a stand mixer to speed things up), then turn the cream cheese mixture out into a plastic wrap lined bowl. Cover the cream cheese mixture with plastic wrap, then shape into a ball.
  • Before refrigerating roll the ball in toasted walnuts, re-wrap in plastic wrap, and allow to chill for at least two hours (but preferably over night.) 

Notes

In case you were wondering we used LA QUERCIA's Berkshire Prosciutto in our cheeseball. It has a mild flavor, which makes it a great choice for a cheeseball.

This recipe is flexible, so feel free to double it or cut it in half as needed. It's the perfect quick and easy treat to bring along to a party or family gathering.

Make sure to keep reading for a full review of the December Carnivore Club box

Today's recipe was sponsored by Carnivore Club who has provided me a box of incredibly tasty meats from LA QUERCIA in Norwalk, IA. No other compensation was given for this post, but it does contain affiliate links.

Today's recipe was sponsored by Carnivore Club who has provided me a box of incredibly tasty meats from LA QUERCIA in Norwalk, IA. No other compensation was given for this post, but it does contain affiliate links.

What's in the Box?


The December box included five delicious offerings from LA CUERCIA in Norwalk, IA

Berkshire Prosciutto
Speck Americano (applewood smoked prosciutto)
Prosciutto Picante (with fennel and red chili)
'Nduja (spicy prosciutto spread)
Spicy Borsellino Salami (with pimenton and red chili)


Review

 

Some days the stars align and meat magically appears on your doorstep. It's a wonderful feeling, even more-so when that meat happens to be the one ingredient your mother recently told you she remembered from a long-lost recipe you'd been lamenting over. This is how I felt when I opened the December Carnivore Club box and saw it was filled mostly with prosciutto from my go-to meat company LA QUERCIA. When I put together an antipasto plate or charcuterie board it's usually with coppa, prosciutto, and salami from LA QUERCIA (by way of our local Hy-Vee Supermarket.)

Fortunately the box was made up of a number of options our local store doesn't stock, so I got to munch happily on some new-to-me varieties as I set about recreating the cheeseball of my childhood memories using the Berkshire Prosciutto. It has a very mild flavor, which makes it a perfect for times you don't want your meat to be the dominant flavor. The Speck Americano, which is smoked and Prosciutto Picante, which is rubbed with fennel and red chili have a more pronounced flavor, so I used them on a cheeseboard alongside a selection of local cheddars and potter's crackers. Sometimes the best advice to putting together a winning cheeseboard is K.I.S.S (keep it simple stupid).

As my husband says, those are sound words to live by.

I was excited to see some 'Nduja included in the box as well. It's a spicy sausage spread that I'm only familiar with because of Carnivore Club. It tasty on top of a fresh baguette or crackers, but I've been used it several times to create a spicy tomato sauce to top some fresh pasta. I've been told it's also excellent as a pizza topping so if we have any left that's next on my list of things to try.

Last but not least was the Spicy Borsellino Salami. It's flavored with pimenton and red chili, which gives it a nice kick without being overly spicy. It's another meat I feel that the K.I.S.S principle applies, it's perfect with a slice of baguette, a bit of cheddar, or even on its own.

Would I order this again? Absolutely! I was excited to see my go-to brand featured in the box this month. It gave me a chance to try a few things our local stores don't carry.
 

Price


Pay as little as $50/month with a recurring subscription (monthly, bi-monthly, and quarterly plans available) with a three month minimum or purchase a single box for $55. 
 

Where to Subscribe

For a limited time you can Save 10% off your order from Carnivore Club using coupon code EATMEAT Offer valid through 1/31/17

Disclosure


Today's recipe was sponsored by Carnivore Club who has provided me a box of incredibly tasty meats from LA QUERCIA in Norwalk, IA. No other compensation was given for this post, but it does contain affiliate links.

 

 

 

Philly Cheesesteak Pizza #Unprocessed

As I mentioned before, we love pizza, which is why I've recently declared Friday night homemade pizza night. I generally stick to pepperoni, which is one of those foods that should probably be considered a food group all of its own. Much like bacon it makes everything taste better. Since we go through so much of it I made a half-hearted attempted to find an unprocessed pepperoni we could eat during October #Unprocessed, but after a fruitless search I gave up. When I stumbled across a package of roast beef deli meat instead inspiration struck— I decided to make cheesesteak pizza. 

Picture this... thin slices of beef, gooey mozzarella and provolone, caramelized onions, bell peppers, and a little bit of sauce. Are you drooling yet? I promise it tastes as delicious as it sounds. We ended up eating it every Friday in October (so much for creativity, but can you blame me?) Every week I fiddled with the ingredients until I found the perfect balance of cheese, meat, and veggies. Feel free to try it out the next time you decide to have a pizza night, you won't regret it one bit.
Philly Cheesesteak Pizza
makes 1 medium pizza

Ingredients

½ White Whole Wheat Pizza Crust recipe
1 Tablespoon salted butter
½ cup yellow onion, diced
 cup pizza sauce
4 ounces provolone cheese
4 ounces fresh mozzarella cheese
½ cup red bell pepper, diced
3 ounces sliced roast beef 

Directions

  • Follow the directions for White Whole Wheat Pizza Crust recipe. You'll need half of the dough for a medium pizza. If you plan on making a large you'll need to double the amounts listed above for the toppings.
  • Preheat the oven to 425°F. If you are using a pizza stone you will want to preheat the stone for 20 minutes before you are ready to make your pizza.
  • In a cast iron skillet set over medium-low heat, melt butter, add diced onions, and cook until they are translucent.
  • Remove the pizza stone from the oven, place the rolled out crust on the stone, and add sauce, provolone cheese, mozzarella cheese, onions, red bell pepper, and roast beef. Work quickly so the stone does not cool off, it is best if you have your ingredients laid out and ready to go.
  • Bake for 18 - 20 minutes, until the cheese and crust start to turn golden brown. Let the pizza rest for several minutes before slicing. Enjoy!

Notes

The pizza in the photo is made with mozzarella only. I didn't realize I had run out of provolone cheese until the last minute (which is why you always lay your ingredients out before you begin a recipe.) I highly recommend a mixture of provolone and mozzarella, but you could use all provolone or all mozzarella. I've tried this all three ways and each one was delicious, although I prefer equal parts provolone and mozzarella. 

Lucky Mix aka White Trash

White trash mix... what a terrible name for such a delicious party snack. I've had it made various ways over the years, but my favorite incarnation is made with Lucky Charms cereal. Whoever decided on this change is an absolute genius! I still remember the Saint Patrick's Day party in elementary school when some enterprising room mother brought it in. In fact, it's the only thing I remember about that party, but my love for Lucky Mix was cemented that day. Now any time I need a quick sugary snack to bring along somewhere this is it.  

The first time I busted this out for poker night I was surprised how many people had never had it. Now when it's our turn to host it's the first thing I make, my husband insists on it. I will admit that I messed up a bit last time we hosted poker night. I forgot to make it, but in my defense I was in the middle of a crazy mission to make 7 different hot dips in an attempt to use all my crock-pots at once. What can I say, we're an odd bunch and I do have a somewhat excessive amount of crock-pots. I'm also pretty sure my husband had a bet going with someone that I wouldn't be able to pull it off.

Just let me warn anyone who tries to issue a food related challenge. You are going down, end of story. I'm just stubborn like that. Besides, food is kind of in my wheel house.

And now for a quick word of warning in case you decide to try this recipe out for your next party or poker night, it's highly addictive. If you've got a large group coming over make sure to double the recipe, this is always the first thing to disappear.

LuckyMix.jpg

Lucky Mix
makes approximately 12 servings

Ingredients

1 box Lucky Charms Cereal (11.5 oz)
1 bag white chocolate chips (12 oz)*
2 cups M&Ms
2 cups pretzels
2 cup honey roasted peanuts 

Special Equipment

Double boiler, for melting the white chocolate

If you don't have access to a double boiler you can construct one using a mixing bowl over a pot of simmering water. Just make sure the pot doesn't come in to contact with the water.

Directions

  • Fill the bottom of a sauce pan or double boiler with several inches of water. Do not allow the water to touch the bottom of mixing bowl or double boiler.
  • Bring water to a simmer and add white chocolate to the double boiler. Stir occasionally until there are no lumps and chocolate is smooth.
  • While chocolate is melting separate the marshmallows from the lucky charms cereal and set aside.
  • In a mixing bowl combine peanuts, pretzels, and lucky charms cereal (but not the marshmallows, the warm chocolate will melt them.)
  • Once chocolate has melted pour over the contents of the mixing bowl and stir until well coated.
  • Spread the coated cereal on a baking sheet to cool for several minutes before adding marshmallows and m&m's.
  • Let stand for 20 - 30 minutes while chocolate hardens, break pieces up, then enjoy!

Notes

If you happen to have an Easter bunny or two lying around uneaten melt those babies down! They make a great coating for lucky mix.

BunnyMelt.jpg

You thought I was kidding, didn't you? Didn't I just warn you that we're a weird bunch?

If you're having trouble getting the chocolate to set up, stick your Lucky Mix in a gallon sized ziploc bag and place it in the fridge for 30 minutes. I've noticed that on hot or humid days my chocolate doesn't always want to behave.

Inspiration

This tasty treat has been around since I was a kid, although I'm not sure where the recipe originated. It could have been the back of a cereal box or a recipe belonging to a very ingenuous room mother. Those ladies have quite a bit of talent when it comes to making fun treats for holiday parties.

Guacamole

I love this time of year, mostly because the weather has finally started to warm up and I can ditch my winter wardrobe, but also because avocados are inexpensive and plentiful. They're great as a meal itself, served unadorned and uncomplicated, or as an addition to salads and sandwiches. As much as I love to enjoy them on their own, I could probably eat my weight in guacamole. It's no secret, I have a bit of an addiction and love to slather it on burgers, sandwiches, or eat it with tortilla chips. 

There are a number of ways to make guacamole, but I like to keep things fairly straightforward. It doesn't need to be complicated to taste good, but success in preparing it lies in the small details. You need perfect avocados, ripe but not too ripe, a fresh off the vine tomato (a hot house grown tomato just will not do,) a shallot, salt, and a few herbs and spices. Oh, and don’t forget the lime juice, to help keep it from browning. This small handful of ingredients turns a simple avocado into something extraordinary and because it's quick and easy to make it's the perfect dip to make for parties or last minute guests.

Guacamole.jpg

Guacamole
makes approximately 6 servings

Ingredients:

3 medium-sized avocados
1 whole lime
1 large-sized shallot
1 small vine-ripened tomato
¼ teaspoon cumin
¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
⅛ teaspoon salt
⅛ teaspoon ground black pepper 

optional:

jalapeño pepper, seeded 

Directions:

  • Cut the avocados in half and remove the pits and skin with a spoon. Dice into chunks, sprinkle with lime juice, and mash with a fork.
  • Mince the shallot, dice the tomato and optional jalapeño, then combine with the mashed avocado.
  • Add cumin, cayenne pepper, sea salt, and ground black pepper, then stir to incorporate.
  • Chill the guacamole for 30 minutes before serving. 

Notes:

Guacamole doesn't store well, so try to eat it immediately. Any leftovers can be stored in an airtight container for up to 2 days, but you'll notice heavy browning where the avocado has begun to oxidize. To slow this down place a layer of plastic wrap directly on top of the guacamole before storing and scrape away any brown spots before serving.