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


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


  • 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.) 


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)



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.


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


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.




Quick & Easy Sugar Coated Pecans

There are a handful of recipes that I've made for years that are so easy I've never bothered to write them down. I think everyone has a recipe or two like that, but I've been making an effort to post them to the blog as I think of them, that way after I'm gone my friends and family can still enjoy them. There is nothing that makes me more sad around the holidays than knowing that my favorite relative has departed and not left behind the recipe for their signature dish.

Case in point: It's been over ten years since my Great Aunt decided to join the giant cocktail party in the sky and I'm still trying to recreate her cheeseball. It was a staple at family gatherings and I still can't figure out what I'm doing different.

This recipe for sugar coated pecans is one of those quick and easy things I've always tossed together when I need something to bring to a party or family gathering, it's my equivalent of Aunt Helen's cheeseball. This recipe takes less than 10 minutes to make, only uses three ingredients, can be made days in advance, travels well, and is always one of the first things to disappear. In my mind this makes it the perfect party food (or last minute holiday gift.)

Quick & Easy Sugar Coated Pecans | Not Starving Yet

Sugar Coated Pecans

makes 6 - 8 servings



1 pound pecan halves
2 tablespoons salted butter
3 tablespoons granulated sugar


  • In a large skillet set over medium heat, melt butter. Add pecans, then continue cooking until the pecans are lightly toasted and have been throughly covered with butter (approximately 5 minutes.) 
  • Remove pecans from the skillet and allow them to cool slightly before tossing them with sugar. Once cool the pecans can be stored on the counter in a sealed container and should stay fresh for at least a week.


These pecans are tasty on their own, but you can jazz them up a bit by adding a teaspoon of pumpkin pie spice or another seasoning of your choice.


Kid Safe Multi-Purpose Kitchen Spray and Ant Deterrent

We had our last snow a few weeks ago and since then the temperatures have been hovering in the mid-sixties. That means it's time to shut off the heat, open the house up, and start on my annual spring cleaning. I'm not much of a housekeeper, so it's a bit of a dreaded chore and with a busy little boy running around nothing every stays clean long anyway. 

This year, instead of trying to do everything at once I've made up a room-by-room plan. I'll start with the easiest room first so I can ease my way into it, then tackle the most difficult room last. The first item on my list, before I can even start cleaning, is to make a huge batch of multi-purpose spray from vinegar and oranges. I usually stock up on the necessary supplies around Easter when vinegar is on sale, then buy a case of Cuties for my son's Easter basket. Every time I peel an orange for a snack I drop the leftover peel in my repurposed 1-gallon glass jug and top it off with vinegar. After a couple of weeks I have enough cleaning solution to last the better part of a year. The best part is that it only costs pennies to make— I don't have to spend $10 or more on so-called natural cleaning products. 

Kid Safe Multi-Purpose Kitchen Spray and Ant Deterrent

Multi-Purpose Kitchen Spray and Ant Deterrent
makes 32 ounces


32 ounces white vinegar
1 large orange (see notes)
spray bottle


  • Remove a ½ cup of vinegar from the bottle and reserve for later. Pack bottle with orange peels, top with reserved vinegar, then reseal the bottle.
  • Set aside for several weeks in a cool dark place, then transfer the infused vinegar to spray bottles.
  • You can use the mixture straight or dilute it with 50% water to make it last longer. 


Did you know that oranges are a natural ant deterrent? Just spray your floor or countertop along the trail where you see ants coming in. It will mask the scent trail left behind for other ants to follow.

You can use any type of citrus peel for this recipe, you don't need to limit yourself to orange (although other citrus fruits may not work as well as an ant deterrent.) 

If you have hard water you may want to consider using distilled water to dilute the spray, otherwise it may leave white spots on the areas you've cleaned.


Great Grandma Bessie's Peanut Butter Cookies

When I first got married I asked my mother if she would turn loose of the church cookbook that I learned to cook with. She said NO. Not the lowercase kind of no, but the capital letter you'll have to pry it out of my cold dead fingers kind of no. She's pretty attached to it and no amount of badgering would get her to part with it. I tried my hardest, but you know how mothers are when they have their minds made up. Hi Mom!

While she did say no, she did take the time to scan the whole thing for me so I could continue to make my favorite cookies. It's no secret among my friends and family that I love peanut butter cookies and in my mind nothing will ever measure up to this cookie recipe. It was one of the first cookies I learned how to make and year after year it continues to be my most requested holiday cookie.

As my grandmother noted on her copy of this recipe, these cookies are a favorite with all kids from 2 to 102. Although she never got the chance to make them for me, she passed away when I was six months old, she was absolutely correct. These will always remain one of my favorites and I hope that they will soon become one of yours.


Peanut Butter Cookies

makes approximately 2 dozen cookies


½ cup vegetable shortening (Crisco)
½ cup peanut butter
½ cup packed brown sugar
½ cup white sugar
1 large egg
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon baking powder
¾ teaspoon baking soda
1 ¼ cups all-purpose white flour 


  • Cream together shortening and peanut butter. Gradually add brown sugar, white sugar, and egg.
  • In a sifter add salt, baking powder, baking soda, and flour. Slowly add to the creamed mixture.
  • Roll dough into 1 inch balls, place on a parchment lined cookie sheet, and make "railroad tracks" on the tops with a fork.
  • Put cookies in the fridge to chill for at least 1 hour before baking. This will help them hold their shape better.
  • Preheat oven to 375°F and transfer cookies straight from the fridge to the oven. Bake for 10 - 12 minutes, or until cookies are a very light golden brown.

Recipe Inspiration:

This recipe belonged to my Great Grandma Bessie. It was also published in the St. Louis Memorial Boulevard Christian Church Cookbook: Our Favorite Recipes, a collection by the Topnotcher Class.