Thursday, April 21, 2011

Fisher Nutty Bacon Cheese Ball, Honey Basil Grilled Cheese and Red Velvet Cupcakes

It is really saying something when you are too full to write.  Lately, if it is food and it close enough for me to reach without making much effort, I’m going to eat it.  This particular party needs to come to an end soon.  I keep imagining myself as the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man on Ghostbusters. I gotta take a food break, which is pretty hard when you LOVE food.  Somehow I’ll find a way, but before I do I should share these recipes with you.  Mmmmm food.
Fisher Nutty Bacon Cheese Ball (courtesy Paula Deen)
1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened
½ cup of milk
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
¼ cup (1 ounce) blue cheese
¼ cup finely, minced green onions (white part only)
1 jar diced pimento, drained
¾ cup pecans, divided
10  slices of bacon, cooked, drained, finely crumbled and divided
Salt and pepper
¼ cup minced parsley
1 tablespoon poppy seeds

Place cream cheese in mixer bowl.  Attach bowl and flat beater to mixer.  Turn to speed two and mix 1 minute.  Stop and scrape bowl.  Turn to speed two and gradually add milk, mixing until well blended about 1 minute.  Stop and scrape bowl.  Add cheese, onions, pimentos, half of the bacon and half of the pecans.  Turn to speed four and beat until well blended, about 1 minute.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.  Transfer mixture to a large piece of plastic wrap.  Form into ball and wrap tightly.  Refrigerate at least two hours.  Combine remaining bacon and remaining pecans, parsley and poppy seeds in a pie plate.  Then, remove the plastic wrap and roll the cheese ball lightly in the bacon/nut mixture until evenly coated.  Wrap it back up in plastic wrap and refrigerate again until ready to use.

Honey-Basil Grilled Cheese (from

Multigrain bread
Strawberry tomatoes, thinly sliced
Part-skim mozzarella cheese, thinly sliced
Fontina cheese
Basil leaves
Honey to taste

Spread one side of each slice of bread with desired amount of butter.  On the opposite side of the slices, spread a generous amount of honey, just enough to cover the surface.  Layer tomatoes, mozzarella, fontina and basil and fry sandwich evenly on each side.

Red Velvet Cupcakes (courtesy Paula Deen)

2 ½ cups all purpose flour
1 ½ cups sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cocoa powder
1 ½ cups vegetable oil
1 cup buttermilk, room temperature
2 large eggs, room temperature
2 tablespoons red food coloring
1 teaspoon white distilled vinegar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
For the Cream Cheese Frosting:

1 pound cream cheese, softened
2 sticks butter, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 cups sifted confectioners sugar

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Line 2 (12 cup) muffin pans with cupcake papers.  In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, sugar, baking soda, salt, and cocoa powder.  In a large bowl gently beat together the oil, buttermilk, eggs, food coloring, vinegar, and vanilla with a handheld electric mixer.  Add the sifted dry ingredients to the wet and mix until smooth and thoroughly combined.  Divide the batter evenly among the cupcake tins about 2/3 filled.  Bake in oven for about 20 minutes, turning the pans once, half way through.  Test the cupcakes with a toothpick for doneness.  Remove from oven and cool completely before frosting.

For the cream cheese frosting

In a large mixing bowl, beat the cream cheese, butter and vanilla together until smooth.  Add the sugar and on low speed, beat until incorporated.  Increase the speed to high and mix until very light and fluffy.


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