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.

 

 

 

The Perfect Fall Inspired Charcuterie and Cheese Board #Sponsored by @carnivoreclub

Thanksgiving is over and my parents are already back home, which means it's safe to crack in to this month's box from Carnivore Club. I know this is supposed to be the season of giving, so try not to judge me too harshly, but I had a feeling that I'd barely get a bite if I opened it up while I had company.

Sometimes it's ok to be stingy, especially when it comes to tasty, handcrafted meats.

If you missed our previous post this year and aren't familiar with Carnivore Club, they're a subscription service dedicated to delivering handcrafted, meaty goodness to your door. This is the ultimate meat club for discerning individuals and let me tell you, they don't mess around when it comes to providing you with quality meat. If you're looking for a gift idea for your meat-loving friends and family, then look no further, you could even pick up a box for yourself (I won't tell if you're not into sharing.)

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

What's in the Box?


The November box included four delicious offerings from Angel's Salumi of Carlsbad, CA

Nostrano  (Salami w/ Black Peppercorn and Red Wine) 
Toscano (Salami w/ Black Peppercorn, White Wine, and Fresh Garlic)
French Rosette (Salami w/ Clove, Nutmeg, Garlic, and White Wine)
Duck Breast Prosciutto


Review


Most of the selections included this month were new-to-me, only the Nostrano was a style that I have tried in the past (in fact, it was one of my favorites in the April box.) I find that the flavor profile of Nostrano is very similar to Toscano which was also included this month. They're both mildly flavored, making them perfect to pair with a variety of things, but the Toscano receives a little flavor-boost from the fresh garlic, making it my favorite of the two. But the true stand-out among the salami in this box was the French Rosette—the flavor from the cloves and nutmeg really were out of this world, I've not tasted a salami quite like it before.

Full Disclosure: i'm absolutely nuts for anything made with cloves, I feel like they're really underutilized in cooking these days, so I was really excited to try this salami and may be a little biased, but as long as you don't loath cloves (and really, how could you?) then I think you'll enjoy this one. 

Now as much as I enjoyed sampling the various salami offered this month I'll admit it was all a bit overshadowed by the fact that the box contained Duck Breast Prosciutto. I love duck, in all its many forms, so this is the one I was most excited to try. Let me just say that it didn't disappoint, it absolutely melts in your mouth. I put a small amount on our Fall Inspired Cheese Board (recipe at the end of this post), but I've held the bulk of it in reserve for a open-faced sandwich I've had in mind that's topped with a soft-set duck egg, layers of duck prosciutto, and who knows what else. I'm going to enjoy experimenting with this once I have some spare time. If I had to pick a favorite this month, the Duck Breast Prosciutto would be it.

Would I order this again? Absolutely! Carnivore Club is always a winner in our house, especially when we're hit with a case of the munchies, but I love having a selection of meats on hand to pull out when I need something to bring to a party (what little bit I have left will be following me to our first holiday party of the season in just a few days.)
 

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


Carnivore Club - The Ultimate Meat Club for Discerning Individuals

For a limited time Save 10% off your order using coupon code EATMEAT Offer valid through 11/30/16

Deadline for the December box is November 30th (it will arrive in early December, just in time for gift-giving!) This box will feature a selection of meats from Wisconsin River Meats including elk and bison summer sausage!

Make sure to keep reading for our tips for putting together the perfect Fall-Inspired Charcuterie and Cheese board.

Fall-Inspired Charcuterie and Cheese Board + Carnivore Club Review

Fall Charcuterie and Cheese Board


There really is no right or wrong way when it comes to putting together a cheese board, but a good variety is the key to ensuring all of your guests find something to enjoy. It's important to know your audience. If there is something one of your guests loathe (like olives) don't include them on the board. You can always keep these types of things in a dish off to the side if you really want to serve them.

Keep your selection simple, in most cases I pick out one cheese per meat, although this time I opted to pair things down and go with two cheeses that were long-standing favorites: cheddar and bread-cheese, or Brun-uusto. Bread cheese is always a hit, but it is best served warm, so I let guests know to pop it in the microwave for a few seconds before eating, that way it's warm and melty.

Cheese

Brun-uusto (a Wisconsin-made 'Bread Cheese') - Brunkow Cheese
Goat Milk Cheddar - MontChevré 

Meat

Nostrano  (Salami w/ Black Peppercorn and Red Wine) 
Toscano (Salami w/ Black Peppercorn, White Wine, and Fresh Garlic)
French Rosette (Salami w/ Clove, Nutmeg, Garlic, and White Wine)
Duck Breast Prosciutto

Crackers, Bread, and other things...

Potter's Crackers - Garlic and Baby Onion Crackers and Caramelize Onion Crisps
Fresh Baguette
Sweetened Dried Cranberries
Sugar-rubbed Whole Pecans

Other important things to remember:

Don't forget to add condiments! I like to include something sweet, something savory, and a variety of mustards. In the fall things like fig jam, caramelized onion preserves, and pepper jelly are great choices to liven up your cheese board.

Always buy twice as many crackers as you think you'll need. Even after everything else is long gone people always enjoy nibbling on them.
 

Disclosure


Today's recipe was sponsored by Carnivore Club who has provided me a box of incredibly tasty meats from Angel's Salumi of Carlsbad, CA. No other compensation was given for this post, but it does contain affiliate links.

 

Spring Charcuterie and Cheese Board #Sponsored by Carnivore Club

Those of you who are meat lovers are really in for a treat today, I'm going to give you a sneak peak inside the April Carnivore Club box. For those of you who haven't heard of Carnivore Club, they're a subscription service dedicated to bringing you tasty, handcrafted meats from around the world. That's right, with the push of a button you can now get all of the meat delivered to your door and you don't even need to put pants on. This is the ultimate meat club for discerning individuals and let me tell you, they don't mess around when it comes to providing you with quality meat.

Vegetarians, I apologize, this box may tempt you away from your healthy lifestyle. If Carnivore Club had been around while I was still shunning meat I would have quit that nasty... er... healthy habit cold turkey. Don't worry, you can still send it to mom and dad (Mother's Day and Father's Day are coming up you know) and perhaps they'll at least let you smell the empty box. 

Today is not a good day to be a Vegetarian.

Make sure to keep reading for our tips on putting together the perfect Spring Charcuterie and Cheese board with the selections from the April box.

For a limited time you can Save 10% off your order from Carnivore Club using coupon code EATMEAT Offer valid through 5/31/16

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

What's in the Box?


The April box included five delicious offerings from 'Nduja Artisans of Chicago, IL

Salame Di Manzo (Waygu Beef Salami)
'Nduja (Spreadable Salami)
Nostrano  (Pink Peppercorn Salami) 
Finocchiona (Fennel Pollen Salami)
Cacciatorini Piccanti (Spicy Hunters Sausage)
 


Review

 

First let me start by saying that there isn't a single thing in this box I wouldn't want to chow down on again. In fact, I'm trying to figure out how to stretch my meager grocery budget to allow for a reorder of some of my favorites from the box. I could absolutely live off of the Finocchiona and I could see the Cacciatorini Piccanti becoming my new favorite pizza topping.

Want to know what I thought about each of these tasty treats individually, don't worry, you're about to find out.

I've never had the opportunity to try Waygu Beef before, so I was incredibly curious about the Salame Di Manzo. The flavor and texture reminded me a bit of summer sausage because it's so heavily spiced with peppercorn and a little bit dry. Surprisingly this ended up being my least favorite, mostly because of the dry texture (I'm not a huge fan of summer sausage either), but my husband said I was crazy and proceeded to finish it all off himself.

The 'Nduja immediately caught my eye when I first opened the box as it's the largest of the five offerings, but I'll admit they had me at the words spreadable sausage—I couldn't wait to cut into it. It's made from a combination of Calabrian Peppers and 100% Berkshire Pork which gives it the perfect blend of sweet, spicy, and smoke. It's also the most versatile of this months offerings as you can slather it on crackers, make a spicy vinaigrette, or stir it in to eggs (which I highly recommend.)  I can't wait to experiment with the leftovers.

I'm not even sure where to begin with the Nostrano, it's not like anything I've ever had the pleasure of tasting before. At first the flavor is mild; I can pick out the garlic and a hint of something slightly sweet (perhaps the wine) before finally tasting the pink peppercorns. I'm really surprised how much the flavor changes from start to finish.

The Cacciatorini Piccanti really packs a punch, so those of you who love things hot and spicy will really enjoy this one. I like to think of this one as pepperoni on steroids, it has a similar flavor profile, but a much more bold flavor. I can't wait to try this out on a pizza, I think it would be delicious.

My favorite out of all the offerings this month was the Finocchiona, a salami made with fennel pollen, fennel seeds, chianti, and black pepper. It absolutely melts in your mouth and was a clear favorite on our cheese board (it was one of the first to disappear, although I may have helped things along significantly.) 

Would I order this again? Absolutely! This box sent me into a meat coma that lasted the whole weekend. I really need more of this in my life.
 

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

Carnivore Club - The Ultimate Meat Club for Discerning Individuals

For a limited time Save 10% off your order using coupon code EATMEAT Offer valid through 6/30/16

Deadline for Father's Day orders is June 30th


The July box features features a selection of meats from Wisconsin River Meats including elk and bison summer sausage!

Make sure to keep reading for our tips for putting together the perfect Spring Charcuterie and Cheese board

Spring Charcuterie and Cheese Board + Carnivore Club Review

My rules for putting together a first-class charcuterie and cheese board are fairly simple: select one type of cheese for every type of meat you'll be offering, making sure at least one of them is a good aged cheddar so it doesn't compete with the flavors of the meat you select. If you're offering something spicy, balance it out with something sweet. I've noticed that if I put fresh fruit out on the board it often gets overlooked, so I like to offer at least one cheese with fruit in it. This time it was white stilton, one with blueberries and the other with apricots—it's the perfect addition and adds a little color to make things more visually appealing. I also like to include something soft, but flavorful. Lately I've been leaning towards herbed Havarti; it's a great addition for the non-meat lovers since it's really tasty on crackers or eaten alone. The last choice is always a wild card, something that jumps out at me while I'm shopping—in this case it was a mustard seed white cheddar, which adds a little zip to some of the more mild meat selections. 

Other important things to remember:

Always buy twice as many crackers you think you'll need. Even after the meat and cheese is long gone people always enjoy nibbling on them, so it's important to have extras.

And finally, remember there is no right or wrong to putting together your board. As long as you choose a good selection of meats and cheeses to accommodate a variety of tastes you'll be in good hands. But don't forget, for the best flavor you should always serve your selections at room temperature.
 

Spring Charcuterie and Cheese Board

Cheese

3 Year Aged Sharp Cheddar - Hooks
Blueberry Fayre (White Stilton with Blueberries) - Long Clawson
Sunburst (White Stilton with Dried Apricots) - Long Clawson
Havarti with Herbs & Spices - Castello
Red Dragon (Mustard Seed White Cheddar) - Somordale

Meat

Cacciatorini Piccanti (Spicy Hunters Sausage) - 'Nduja Artisans
Nostrano
(Pink Peppercorn Salami) - 'Nduja Artisans
Finocchiona
(Fennel Pollen Salami) - 'Nduja Artisans
Salame Di Manzo
(Waygu Beef Salami) - 'Nduja Artisans
'Nduja
- 'Nduja Artisans

Crackers

Potter's Crackers - Winter Wheat Crackers and Caramelize Onion Crisps

Here's an up close look at the 'Nduya and Salame Di Manzo made from Wagyu beef

Here's an up close look at the 'Nduya and Salame Di Manzo made from Wagyu beef

Disclosure


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

Tuesday Tea - Jan/Feb Subscription Box - Curious Tea

Last month Curious Tea offered a peek at their new subscription service which ships out of the UK. Of course, I was out of town when this happened and by the time I responded they were all out of the monthly box. Instead they allowed me to choose from a list of teas they still had on hand from previous months. Today I'll be sharing a light tea from the January Box and a Dark tea from the February box so you can get a feel for this new subscription service. They ship internationally, at reasonable prices, so this tea is available worldwide.

Snow Bud (Xue Ya) - from the January 2015 Light Box

Snow Bud (Xue Ya) - from the January 2015 Light Box

Suggested Brewing Tips:

Serving Size: 2 teaspoons (5g) per 16oz serving

Water Temp: 176°F/80°C

Steep Time: 4 - 5 minutes

Review:

I don't even know where to begin with this tea, except to say that I could drink a lot of it. The mild flavor and light sweetness pair well with almost any meal, or can be enjoyed on its own. I managed to drink the entire 50g (1.76oz) package in under a week. It's unusual for me to stick with the same tea for so long, I tend to get bored with it, but this seemed to fit all of my moods.

Because our weather is alternating between warm and cold I've switching back and forth between hot and iced tea. As it turns out, this makes a fabulous iced tea that doesn't need a sweetener. Those are my favorite kinds of tea because I'm still desperately trying to defeat my sweet tooth (with varying degrees of success.)

Pro Tip: If you find you're having unpredictable results brewing large leaf white or green tea try measuring by weight instead of using a teaspoon.

My Rating: 85/100

Would I order this again? Yes. This is great hot or iced and doesn't need to be sweetened making a it a great tea to cool off with once the weather heats up.

Darjeeling Castleton - from the February 2015 Dark Box

Darjeeling Castleton - from the February 2015 Dark Box

Suggested Brewing Tips:

Serving Size: 2 teaspoons (5g) per 16oz serving

Water Temp: 212°F/100°C

Steep Time: 3 - 5 minutes

Review:

Before I review the second tea in the box I want to take a moment to talk about some of the language used to describe Darjeeling teas. This particular tea was described as chalky, muscatel, with a hint of spice. Most of those words are easily recognized, but muscatel isn't a word that comes up in daily conversation for most people. So what is muscatel you ask? To put it simply, it's a flavor reminiscent of grapes or wine. You'll often see Darjeeling teas described as having this flavor and it is considered a very desirable trait.

Now that we've cleared that up, lets take a look at the tea itself.

The first thing I noticed about this tea is that it is very dry, with a wine-like, or muscatel flavor. When I hear Darjeeling tea referred to as the champagne of teas, this is exactly the type of tea I picture. It has many of the same characteristics of a quality champagne.

That said, I have to be in a very specific mood to enjoy this type of tea. I avoid them at all costs during the hot summer months when I'm already parched. I think they're better suited to cooler weather. Oftentimes you'll find me drinking this type of Darjeeling after a meal when I need something to clear my pallet, or when I have company that enjoys drinking wine. Often times wine drinkers love the characteristics of this type of tea. 

My Rating: 81/100

Would I order this again? Yes. This is a great tea for sharing with friends, but isn't something I would drink every day.

Box Summary

I was impressed with this box from Curious Tea, they definitely paid attention to detail. My teas arrived in under ten days and when I opened the box I found my teas wrapped in blue art paper. I know I'll be repurposing this at some point, it's gorgeous! On the lid of the box were cards with steeping instructions, a brief description of the tea, as well as space for taking tasting notes. All of the information I needed was easily found, but I did have to hop online to convert the temperature from ˚C to ˚F since I never can remember the formula, even though I know it's simple.

I never have and never will have a math-brain. That gene skipped over me and went to my little brother. I on the other hand got the good looks in the family (but don't tell him I said that ::grins::)

As for the tea, the quality was top-notch. Both selections were teas I would consider ordering again, but unfortunately Curious Tea doesn't currently offer an option for reordering the teas I enjoy. That is the only negative thing I found with this box, but according to the FAQ they are working to make reorders possible in the near future.

Overall Box Rating: 83/100 - I'd definitely order it again!

Where to Purchase

Plan Description:

When you buy one of our monthly tea subscriptions you will receive on a monthly basis a box containing two types of high-grade premium loose tea. The pouches contain 50g each (not just the small amount in the bowl pictured!), which is enough tea for 40 cups minimum in total. The contents of the box are different each month, so that way you will be able to experience a wider variety of tea. This is perfect for broadening your tea knowledge and for trying out new types of tea.

When you start your subscription with Curious Tea you choose between light, dark, or mixed teas.

Light teas include green, white, yellow, lightly oxidized oolong and other similar types.

Dark teas include black, red, pu-erh, heavily oxidized oolong and other similar types.

Mixed teas offer a wide variety of tea: 1 tea from the light box and 1 from the dark box.

You also choose your subscription length:

Monthly £16.95 / $25 USD or Quarterly £44.85 / $66.00 USD
shipping is free to the UK, but there is an additional charge for international shipping

Disclosure:

In an effort to be open with my readers I want to let you know that Curious Tea has provided me with a free month of their subscription service. As always, all opinions are my own.