February 2013

Delish Dish Editor

Party Time: Our Favorite Cheese Balls

Cheese balls. Even the words evoke a party. Katie here, prompting you to consider this season of get-togethers as an opportunity to try out a few of our best cheese ball recipes. We’ve gathered them all here, and recently I gave a few a test-run for a work party. I’ll tell you our favorite (and our favorite dippers) at the end!

I made these three:

The recipes are available here:

Bacon-Cheddar Cheese Balls

Chutney Cheese Balls

Dilled Onion Cheese Balls

Since I’m likely to forget an ingredient unless I plan, I printed each recipe and laid out the supplies. (Not a necessary step, I know, but it made me feel better as I chopped, measured, mixed, and poured.):

 

Each of these recipes makes a party-size portion (think 30 or so servings), so I cut the recipes into thirds since our party was smaller and I was making three cheese balls.

 

Mixing was fun; each cheese ball took on a life of its own with its savory, sweet, or spicy add-ins:

 

Ensure you have lots of chill time before the party; each cheese ball needs to bank a few hours in the fridge before you roll them (don’t worry, each recipe explains more).

 

My hands were too gooey to take pics, but you get the idea from the finished products:

 

Next, I wanted party-goers to know what they’re eating so I doodled on scrapbook paper and taped a toothpick to the back to make these handy guides:

And what’s a cheese ball without yummy dippers? I recommend crunchy veggies and, the party’s favorite, Melba crackers:

What fun! Each party-goer weighed in on their favorite. The results? Bacon Cheddar emerged victorious. C’mon, why would you ever bet against bacon?


Naomi Robinson

Hot Fudge Stout Floats

Let’s keep it simple this Monday with a three ingredient treat that takes less than five minutes to put together. It’s a classic childhood treat turned adult with a little stout to float the ice cream and hot fudge sauce.

I know this  Hot Chocolate-Stout Float has your inner child gleefully high-fiving you with excitement. With that, I won’t delay you with a bunch of writing. Grab your bottle opener and let’s do this. Cheers to childhood nostalgia turned adult reality.

Get the recipe here and enjoy!


Erin Gleeson

Better Cook: Sipping Chocolate for 2

 

Happy Valentine’s Day! It’s been chilly out here in the woods so tonight I am making this Sipping Chocolate for my sweetheart. Making hot cocoa from scratch is really simple- you basically just melt bits of chocolate and a dab of honey in milk over medium heat and stir until they are all melted together and smooth. I topped mine with whip cream, chocolate shavings and a pinch of cayenne pepper (for a hot kick!). My favorite technique for making curly chocolate shavings is to use a potato peeler. Save a couple squares out of the chocolate bar for this and just swipe the peeler along the edge of the bar to create the shaving. (*tip: milk chocolate has more wax in it than dark chocolate which makes the shavings curl better and less likely to break). I have found it’s easiest to create the shavings right over the whipped cream since picking them up often causes them to break. Enjoy!

 

Sipping Chocolate for 2

(Recipe is adapted from this Double Hot Chocolate recipe. I used honey instead of corn syrup and just one type of chocolate )

Ingredients:

2c milk

1 chocolate bar (milk or dark, approx 1.5 oz., save a couple squares for shaving)

1t honey

topping: whipped cream, chocolate shavings and a pinch of cayenne pepper

Directions:

1. In a 2-quart heavy saucepan combine milk, chocolate, and honey. Cook and stir over medium heat until chocolate is melted and mixture is smooth.

2. Serve in warmed latte mugs or bowls. If desired, top with sweetened whipped cream and sprinkle with grated bittersweet chocolate and a pinch of cayenne pepper.

 

The Forest Feast is a blog by Erin Gleeson full of simple, colorful vegetable based recipes with photos and watercolor illustration. After working for many years as a food photographer in NYC, Erin moved to a cabin in the woods where she is currently working on The Forest Feast Cookbook. Follow Erin on Twitter and  Instagram, @theforestfeast.


Kristin Porter

Easy, Last-Minute Valentine’s Day Dessert

Valentine’s Day is tomorrow and in addition to the heart-clad boxer shorts and bag of Skittles I usually give my husband for the holiday (I know, I really go all out…) is a sweet, homemade dessert.

It’s our tradition – he makes the dinner plans, and I provide a sweet treat to enjoy afterwards. Past favorites include these Red Velvet Whoopie Pies, and homemade cupcakes are always a popular option, but this year I’m keeping it easy yet dazzling with Individual Brownie Trifles with fresh berries and homemade whipped cream. It was love at first sight when I first saw this recipe, and much to my surprise one of my fellow Delish Dish bloggers must have fallen in love with it too! She featured it last week in tall shooters with raspberries, but I like it with strawberries in martini glasses. No matter which way you prefer, it really is the perfect dessert for Valentine’s Day.

Trifles made from layers of crumbled brownie, fresh strawberries, and homemade whipped cream topped with cocoa powder look and taste like they came from a restaurant, but only you and I will know that they take less than 15 minutes to prepare, and can be assembled hours in advance, too!

Start by making the homemade whipped cream. There are few things in life as wonderful and luxurious as homemade whipped cream, and it’s so simple to make! Just chill the bowl of your electric mixer, or a large glass bowl if you have a hand-held mixer, in the freezer for 10 minutes then add 2/3 cup heavy whipping cream, 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract, and 1 Tablespoon powdered sugar.

Whip the cream for 3-5 minutes, or until it reaches medium-peak stage. Be careful not to over-whip the cream or it could turn into butter, and Individual Brownie Trifles with fresh berries and homemade butter doesn’t quite have the same ring to it.

Once the whipped cream is prepared, layer 1/4 cup crumbled brownie (could use store-bought or homemade) into the bottom of a serving dish, or martini glass for a fun presentation, followed by a dallop of the whipped cream, and fresh berries. I used sliced strawberries, but raspberries or cherries would be divine!

Repeat the layers once more then top with a dusting of cocoa powder.

Cheers to you and your sweetie this Valentine’s Day!

Click here for the Individual Brownie Trifles Recipe >

*Note: I used powdered sugar instead of regular sugar in the whipped cream, and fresh strawberries instead of raspberries. I also omitted the chocolate sauce. 


Delish Dish Editor

Gooey Chocolate Pudding Cakes

Hi, Beth here, assistant digital editor for bhg.com. There aren’t too many down sides of being a food editor. I get to taste test the recipes that are featured in Better Homes and Gardens. I get to try out new food products that are delivered to the office. And I stare at (and write about) beautiful recipes all day. The only downside? Sometimes, I just have to go home and try a particularly delicious-looking recipe. So after weeks of staring at our Gooey Chocolate Pudding Cake, I couldn’t take it any longer. I had try these little gems for myself.

Chocolate lava cakes are amazing. Not only are they better than regular chocolate cake thanks to their gooey molten center, but they’re baked in elegant little ramekins so they’re perfect for a dinner party or a special Valentine’s Day dessert. Heck, these pudding cakes are so easy and delicious, that I’m planning on keeping the recipe for when I just need a bowl of chocolate goodness after a long, tiring day.

I loved how easy these little chocolate cakes were to make. I did have to watch them as they were cooking though. The center stays gooey, but you know the cakes are done when the sides start to pull away from ramekin a bit.

Oh, and did I mention that these gooey pots of chocolate bliss also include Nutella? For those of you not familiar with Nutella, it’s a hazelnut chocolate spread that’s extremely popular in Europe and Australia. It’s adds a hint of nutty flavor and even more chocolate goodness to this dessert. I love Nutella so much I could eat it with a spoon, but I also love dipping pretzels into it for a guilty pleasure snack.

I topped the cakes with some strawberries and vanilla frozen yogurt (since my mom can’t have dairy), put on a pot of coffee, and invited the neighbors over to enjoy this decadent winter dessert. Not surprisingly, the neighbors gobbled their cakes right up! I can’t wait to try the recipe again for my annual Galentine’s Day celebration with my girlfriends on Thursday. Except next time, I’m going to try them with raspberries and coffee ice cream. Yum!

Some keys to success for this post:

  • You definitely want to bake the dessert in ramekins. A lot of desserts are baked in ramekins, and they’re perfect for special occasions. I didn’t own any, so I found a fairly inexpensive set at Target. You can also buy ramekins here.
  • Though the recipe calls for 6 servings, I used all the batter and it only amounted to 4 ramekins, but it depends on how big you like your cakes.
  • When testing for doneness, stick your toothpick in the outer edges of the cakes. Unlike normal cake, for this pudding cake you want to middle to remain gooey.
  • Don’t skip on topping the cake with fruit and ice cream. Strawberries were great, but I might try it again with blueberries or raspberries, too. Also, the recipe calls for coffee ice cream, but any flavor of ice cream will do.
  • You want to eat the cakes right after baking them. While chocolate lava cakes don’t go bad, they are at their best when eaten 10-20 minutes after they’re done baking.
  • Get the recipe here.

 

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Lauren Brennan

In-Season Eats: Goat Cheese Toasts

You’re probably wondering why the first picture you’re seeing is a grapefruit, huh? You clicked a link for Goat Cheese Toasts and you see grapefruit? What’s the deal?

Well, when I ventured out to right this In-Season Eats article this month, the first food that popped into my head was grapefruit because {1} I’m pregnant and crave grapefruit 24/7 {2} it’s in season –shocking I know–and {3} it is so amazingly sweet and delicious this time of year!

But instead of just eating it plain or throwing it into a dessert, I wanted to use this in a savory and different way than you’d expect. After a quick search on bhg.com, I found the perfect appetizer, snack or light lunch using grapefruit: Goat Cheese Toasts. It’s a creamy, cheesy, salty, sweet, spicy and juicy bite. Seriously delicious and completely out of the box!

To prep for this recipe, start by segmenting some grapefruit. How juicy and yummy do these look?

Once your grapefruit is ready to go, it’s just a matter of spreading and stacking. Start out with some slices of baguette and spread with goat cheese. Top with salami, some grapefruit and coarse ground black pepper. I love the color of the pepper on the grapefruit! So pretty!

Then drizzle the whole thing with a little honey and serve! Feel free to omit the honey, the salami or the pepper. Make these how you like them and enjoy!

Believe it or not, my 4 year old loved these and tried to hog them all to herself! Next time I make them, I’ll make sure she’s down for her nap.

Print this Goat Cheese Toasts recipe here.