turkey

Gobble It Up Cheeseball

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I was cruising the internet 'tother day looking for some holiday party inspiration and crashed into a rendition of this fine not-so-feathered fella.

He's so cheesy! And completely nuts! In fact, he's gone crackers! (And that is how I humor myself friends...) So if you find this appetizer funny, and clever, and aren't worried about your teenagers groaning and rolling their eyes when you present him with a proud-as-a peacock (er, turkey) flourish. Then get your nutty cheese on!

Ingredients:

  • Your favorite cheese ball recipe (I've included a recipe below if you don’t have one. Don’t be afraid to improvise and add/subtract spices and ingredients.)

  • Red, yellow, and orange bell pepper slices (the mini's do the trick!)

  • Pecan Halves

  • Almond Slices

  • Pumpkin Seeds

  • Crackers for tail feathers - oblong work best

  • Pepper Corns (or other edible "eyes".)


Directions:

  1. Make your cheese ball, wrap in plastic wrap, and refrigerate until firm.

  2. Remove from fridge, place on center of serving plate.

  3. Insert "tail feathers" in a wide fan - I placed a smaller number in front and in back of the wide row.

  4. Press Pecans in at the "shoulders" working down and toward the back.

  5. Press the sliced almonds in near the tail feathers.

  6. Press the pumpkin seeds in in front of the almonds.

  7. Cut a slice of the Orange Bell Pepper to form a "head and neck (experiment with this) an press into the front of the cheese ball.

  8. Cut a "wiggly" slice of Red Bell Pepper and "glue" to the neck with a bit of the cream cheese.

  9. Cut a tiny bit of Yellow Bell Pepper for the beak. I used the tip of a paring knife to poke a hole in the "head" and inserted the bit for the beak.

  10. Find some "eyes." I used a bit of cracker, but I thought later that pepper corns would have been perfect! Glue the eyes on with another little bit of cream cheese.

  11. Now, present that proud fine "bird" with a bowl of crackers and shake your tail feathers!!!

Cheese Ball Recipe

Ingredients:

  • 1 (8 oz) packages cream cheese, room temperature.

  • 3/4 cups finely shredded sharp cheddar cheese.

  • 1/2 cup shredded parmesan cheese

  • 1 tablespoon bacon bits.

  • 1 tablespoon chives, chopped.

  • 1/2 teaspoon seasoning salt

  • Pinch cayenne pepper

  • 1/2 teaspoon liquid smoke

Directions:

  1. Mix together all ingredients by hand, or using a mixer, in large bowl until well blended and an even consistency.

  2. Form into a ball inside the bowl.

  3. Wrap the ball in plastic wrap.

  4. Place in the refrigerator until firm (about 2-3 hours.) Use the freezer for 30 minutes if you rarely think ahead (like me.)

  5. Decorate your bird! OR

  6. Roll in almond slices and serve with a basket of crackers.

I 'Eight' It All! Chili

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Today is my older brother, Matthew’s birthday.

If he were still with us, he’d be turning 60 years old today. Instead, he’ll forever be a young, goofy but brilliant, 26 year old engineer, unafflicted with the arthritis, declining eye sight, and other maladies of age I’m beginning to experience.

I’m posting this recipe in honor of him, because of his love of chili and cornbread, both of which he could put down in extraordinary quantities (6’5” after all…)

And after consumption, I swear he could have provided enough natural gas to fuel a third world country! With 8 cans of beans, I’m sure this is one recipe he would both find fulfilling and get immense devilish glee from!

Make it with ground beef or turkey, or leave the meat out all-together and have a delicious, yet still quite musical, vegan meal.

Ingredients:

  • 2 cans White Beans (drained)

  • 2 cans Chili Beans (seasoned pintos, not drained)

  • 2 cans Pinto Beans (unseasoned, drained)

  • 2 cans Kidney Beans (drained)

  • 2 tablespoons of cooking oil - your choice

  • 1 Red Bell Pepper, diced

  • 1 large Yellow Onion, diced

  • 2 cans Ro*Tel Diced Tomatoes

  • 2 cans Diced Tomatoes (w/green pepper & onion)

  • 2 cans Diced Tomatoes

  • 2 pkgs dry Chili Seasoning (to taste)

  • 1-2 cups of Water

  • 3-4 tablespoons granulated Sugar

  • 1 ½ pounds of Ground beef or Turkey, browned and fat drained

  • Salt & Pepper (to taste)

  • Red Pepper Flakes (to taste)

Directions:

  1. Sauté pepper and onion in large stock pot until onions are tender and translucent.

  2. Add ground meat to pepper/onion and cook until brown.

  3. Open Everything! That’s the most difficult part of this recipe (all that thumb exercise!)

  4. Add everything on the ingredient list to the large stock pot.

  5. Stir together, cook at a simmer for 2-4 hours, just enough to let all the flavors combine; stirring occasionally.

  6. If desired, top with shredded cheddar cheese, sour cream & green onion.

  7. Serve with a nice chunk of cornbread with butter and honey!

  • This also a very good crockpot recipe, but you’ll want to cut the recipe in half to make everything fit!

Happy Birthday Matt! Thanks for taking care of my boys up there in heaven. I’m sure you’re eating chili, watching Blazing Saddles, and laughing your heads off together!