February is a month made for small get togethers in the
warmth of our homes, maybe around a fireplace or in
front of the TV. From the celebration of Candlemas honoring
the Goddess Brigid and the home hearth to Valentine's day
honoring things of the heart to the mighty Super Bowl in the
US honoring all things football, warm comfort food abounds.
Cheese Ball for a Crowd
This recipe makes a large cheese ball. It can be divided into 3
2 8 oz. pkg cream cheese, softened
1 8 oz. pkz shredded cheddar cheese (sharper the better)
1 Tbsp. finely chopped onion
1 Tbsp. chopped red pepper OR roasted red pepper OR sundried
2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce OR Pick a Pepper sauce
1 tsp. lemon juice
dash or two of ground red pepper
dash of salt
1 cup finely chopped pecans or peanuts
Beat cream cheese and shredded cheese until blended. Add
remaining ingredients except nuts and mix until evenly
distributed. Chill for several hours. Shape into a ball or log
and roll in nuts. Wrap in plastic wrap until ready to serve.
Serve with crackers of choice, apple slices and celery sticks.
Warm Bean Dip
1 8 oz. pkg cream cheese, softened
1 cup sour cream
2 16 oz. refried beans
1/2 pkg (1 oz.) taco seasoning
1/2 cup finely chopped onion or green onions
1/2 cup finely chopped green pepper
several drops hot pepper sauce (to taste)
1 8 oz. pkg shredded Cheddar cheese
1 8 oz. pkg shredded Jack cheese or shred an 8 oz. block of
Pepper Jack cheese for a hotter version
Blend cream cheese and sour cream with electric mixer on
medium. Mix in beans, seasonings and vegetables. Add half
of each shredded cheese saving the other half to top the bean
dip. Transfer mixture to a 8x12 baking dish and top with
remaining cheese. Bake in preheated oven for 20-30 minutes.
Serve hot with favorite dippers.