Friday, November 22, 2013

Beef and Onion Cheese ball

This time of year I truly like to indulge on various types of cheese balls. It is one of my favorite go to snacks. Do you have a favorite cheese ball, cheese spread or topping for crackers or veggies? If so share your recipe.

A friend of mine Toni Summers started bringing in beef and onion cheese ball for food pitch ins at work. She had tweaked her recipe a few times and knowing that I liked horseradish she started incorporating that into the recipe as well. Cheese ball recipes are nice because you can tweak them to your own preferences. I switch out the type of onion I use in recipes. Sometimes I use green spring onions other times I might use a sweet or just a plain yellow or white onion. That is the beauty of cooking...the sky is the limit! Here is the recipe I currently use when making a beef and onion cheese ball.

Beef and Onion Cheese Ball


8 ozs cream cheese, soften ( I use reduced fat)
4 ozs chipped beef I use Buddig (chopped into small pieces)
1 tsp Seasoned salt
1 tbsp worcestershire sauce
1/2 bunch green onion (chopped tops too)-This is where you
switch out your onions for different taste profile
1/4 c shredded cheddar cheese - optional
1 T horseradish (prepared)- optional

Mix all ingredients together. Shape into a ball or you can just leave in covered container. Refrigerate for an hour at least.

Serve with your favorite cracker or veggies.


Stuffed Cabbage Rolls

Stuffed Cabbage Rolls...A favorite in this house.

Many recipes that I have come across in the last couple of years of making cabbage rolls vary just a tiny bit on the ingredients that are utilized. You can use ground beef, veal, Italian sausage. I am guessing you could use game meat too like venison. I haven't personally tried making them with venison but I wouldn't mind giving it a try if I got my hands on some.

There are many ways you can cook them too. You can put them in a crock pot, simmer on the stove, or you could bake them. I prefer to bake them.

Below is my basic recipe for making cabbage rolls.

Stuffed Cabbage Rolls


1 head of Savoy Cabbage
2 lbs of ground meat (I use Italian Sausage)
1/2 c. of uncooked instant white rice
1/4 c bread crumbs (seasoned or unseasoned)
1 medium finely diced onion
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp dried basil
1 tsp dried thyme
1 1/4 tsp kosher salt
1 tsp ground pepper (freshly ground)
2 large eggs slightly beaten

1 - 2 jars of your favorite Tomato sauce (homemade or store bought)


Bring a large pot of water to a boil.

Remove the entire core of the cabbage. A paring knife does a good job of this. Immerse the head of cabbage in the boiling water for a few minutes, peeling off each leaf with tongs as soon as it s flexible. Set the leaves aside. You will need at least 14 leaves depending on their size.

In a large bowl you will make the filling. Combine the ground meat, eggs, onion, breadcrumbs, rice, oregano, basil, thyme, salt, and pepper.

If you want your rolls to have more of a tomato taste you can add 1 cup of the tomato sauce to the meat mixture and mix lightly with a fork. I don't do this regularly , but it does help if your meat mixture appears to be a bit drier than normal as well.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

To assemble, place 1 cup of the sauce in the bottom of a 9 x 13 baking dish (or crock pot if you decide to go that route of cooking).

Remove the hard triangular rib from the base of each cabbage leaf using that handy paring knife. Place 1/3 cup of filling in an oval shape (small cigar shape) near the rib edge of each leaf and roll up toward the outer edge, tucking the sides in as you roll (kind of like a burrito). Place half the cabbage rolls, seam sides down, over the sauce. Add more sauce and more cabbage rolls alternately until you have placed all the cabbage rolls in the baking dish or crockpot. Pour the remaining sauce over the cabbage rolls. Cover the dish with foil or just put the lid on your crock pot and bake for 1 hour or until the meat is cooked and the rice is tender. If using crock pot, cook on low for 6-7 hour. Internal temp should be 160 degrees F. Serve hot.

I must confess, I find these very addictive.


Monday, November 11, 2013

Cinnamon Yeast Rolls

Saturday I made homemade cinnamon rolls for the first time. Happy to say they turned out wonderfully.

The recipe was shared with me from one of my direct reports on my configuration audit team at work. Thank you Sheryl Rounds. It was passed to her from a friend. I encourage you to try this recipe. Delicious and very easy.

Cinnamon yeast rolls

1 box yellow or white cake mix
4 1/2 c flour (all purpose)
7 tsp yeast (4 pkgs)
1 tsp cinnamon more for sprinkling
2 1/2 c water @ 120 degrees F
1 c brown sugar

Whisk together cake mix, flour, yeast and cinnamon. Add water.

Mix until combined.
Flour counter top knead until soft.
Put back in greased bowl, cover and let rise for 1/2 hour.

A great hint to use less bench flour when rolling out dough, spray your counter with cooking spray then dust with flour and smooth out flour.

Roll dough out to about 1/2 inch thick. Sprinkle with brown sugar and cinnamon. Roll up dough then cut into 2 to 2 1/2 inch pieces.

Set in greased 9 x 13 cake pan.
Let rise 15 minutes.
Bake at 350 degrees F for 20-25 min.

I made a maple cream cheese icing for mine.

I used: 2 T milk, 4 T maple syrup, 4 oz cream cheese (softened) and 1 1/2 c confectioners sugar. Blended until smooth then drizzled over warm rolls.

I can't believe I am saying this but I confess that they were so decadent that I could only eat one and I was full!