Friday, October 15, 2010

Appetizer Anyone?

Rachel: It's Friday and that has me thinking weekend, which often means getting together with friends. Your dad and I are blessed with more good friends than I ever imagined I would have, and getting together regularly with them for dinner, drinks, games and laughs is one of my absolute favorite weekend activities.

Anyway, I really recommend this date and walnut cheese ball once you and John get to the point where you can think about actually cooking dinner for anyone besides yourselves and sitting down to a table and eating it with both hands. (Your post yesterday flooded me with memories. I remember so well trying to juggle getting food to my mouth with you or G or S squirming in my arms. The part I really hated was asking your father to cut something up for me; it just seemed so childish and here I was being a mother. But I digress.) This can be made ahead, which I try to do as much as possible when having people over so I can actually enjoy the company I want to be with, and it's delicious. This recipe is from Skinny Dips by Diane Morgan, a cookbook that I highly recommend for people who want tasty dips with fewer calories.

Hope you, John and M have a good weekend.


Date and Blue Cheese Walnut Ball

8 ounces low-fat cream cheese at room temperature
1 cup crumbled blue cheese at room temperature
1 tablespoon reduced fat buttermilk
3 tablespoons minced dates
1 tablespoon minced shallots
1 teaspoon lemon zest
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 tablespoons minced fresh flat-leaf parsley
2 1/2 tablespoons finely chopped toasted walnuts

Mix together the cream cheese, blue cheese and buttermilk on medium speed until smooth and creamy, about 2 minutes. Add the dates, shallots, lemon zest, salt and pepper and beat until well combined

Transfer the cheese mixture to a large sheet of plastic wrap and form it into a ball. Wrap the ball in the wrap and refrigerate until well chilled, at least 2 hours or overnight.

Toast the walnuts in the oven at 350 for about 5 minutes. Let cool. On a plate mix the walnuts and parsley. Remove the cheese ball from the fridge. With the wrap still on, form into a ball. Unwrap the cheese mixture and roll it gently in the nut mixture until all the sides are covered. Serve immediately or cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.

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