Sunday, December 18, 2011

December Tapas Night with Cheese Balls

We had our monthly Tapas night last night and as usual it was fun.   But it's been a busy week for me so I really didn't do anything major this time.   I did make Klejner, but I'll post about those later, and just let you wonder what they are.
Getting set up


Table's ready.
And as usual, our guests outdid themselves.   I love doing this Tapa's night, I get to taste and experience so many different dishes.  Just one thing, I really should be rude and take pictures right up front, maybe next month I will.  In the meantime, here are some pictures of the decimated plates of goodies.  
Cream Cheese with preserves, Tapenade and Cheese Balls

Artichoke Spinach Dip, sliced meat, chips and salsa, Pinwheels, Egg salad
And then there were these plates...

Biloxi butter, really yummy shrimp spread.

Chips and Salsa, homemade salsa no less.
And...
Sliced veggies, some more egg salad, (Klejner hiding behind the wine glass).

Some...
Marinated Shrimp
I know I say this every month, but it bears repeating at least that often, the incredible variety of foods that people make and bring are wonderful.  (and I wonder why I can't lose weight?).    At any rate, I made the cheese balls and the Tapenade which I've made in the past, and seems to be well received as well.  You can follow this link for the recipe if you like, Tapenade.   And I tried something new with the Cheese balls.
I made my usual cheese ball, but then divided it in half and took some pointers from the Homesick Texan website for her Bacon-jalapeno Cheese ball  and added some bacon and jalapeno's and cilantro to half of the cheese ball.   I didn't have any pecans in the house, so didn't roll it in the pecans as she suggested, but the whole effect of the cheese ball was very festive looking.   And since there is some left over, I'm going to try it melted on some chips later on or even swirled into some pasta as a kind of sauce?   I'll let you know how that one flies.

Cheese Ball ala Sid (with a nod to Homesick Texan)

8 oz. package Cream Cheese
8 oz. grated Sharp Cheddar Cheese
2 teaspoons Worcestershire Sauce
1/2 tsp. Cumin
3 or 4 shakes of Pepper Sauce. (I used Frank's Red Hot Sauce)
4 green onions, diced

For half the cheese ball:
1 whole jalapeno, seeded and diced fine
3 slices crisp cooked bacon, diced fine
1-2 tablespoons chopped cilantro

Mix all together and let sit for a bit, taste for seasonings, adding more pepper sauce or other spices if you like.   Then divide the cheese into halves.  Shape one half as you like and refrigerate it.  This is for the vegetarians or those who don't eat meat.    With the second half, add the diced jalapeno, bacon and cilantro and mix it well.   Taste for seasonings, if you want to add more of anything, do it here.   Shape into a ball, refrigerate for a while so that the flavors can meld and marry.    Serve with crackers or good bread.   

We also had some fun doing a Grinch Christmas Gift exchange, but since that's not really food related, I won't bore you with the details, just know we had fun.
So, I'm going to go and relax today.  This has been a busy week, starting with Boat Club last Monday, then we had a do on Wednesday at the Grill, dinner with friends on Friday, culminating with Tapas last night, whew, no wonder I'm tired.      We always enjoy getting together with friends, sharing a meal, some laughs and good times.
And I hope for the same for all of you.   
Sid Munkholm
Sid Munkholm

Sid loves to cook, feed people and have fun in the kitchen. She shares her successes and the involuntary offerings she sometimes gives the kitchen goddess as well. And she's still looking for the mythical fairy to help her clean the kitchen after a marathon cooking session. Currently working on a cookbook showcasing the recipes from her Danish heritage.

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