Roasted Red Pepper Cheese Ball

February 12th, 2019



It would appear that I am on a roll with recipes with “ball” in the title.  While searching for a new appetizer to serve to company, I found this tasty cheese ball recipe on Cafe Sucre Farine’s website.  Chris always has terrific ideas for what to serve.  When I made it for friends everyone said it was a winner.  I have a confession to make.  Not sure if I have mentioned it before but I am not a cheese lover.  I love melted cheese but usually avoid cheese boards.


But that doesn’t mean I don’t serve cheese to my guests.  This cheese ball is filled with goat cheese, cheddar, cream cheese, roasted red peppers and garlic.  The pecan and rosemary coating makes it interesting.  It is easy to mix all of the ingredients by hand if you don’t have a food processor. But I do miss my stand mixer here in Florida.


We have many occasions for get togethers while in the Sunshine State.  High School friends from Michigan are in New Smyrna Beach for Race Week.  The beginning of Nascar’s Daytona Five Hundred is coming up this weekend.  After that New Smyrna Beach celebrates Mardi Gras with a parade on Fat Tuesday.  Then in March, Bike Week will bring our motorcycle group to our house for the event.  Lots of entertaining is in our future.  Glad I have this cheese ball recipe in my repertoire.


For the cheese filling:
  • 4 ounces cream cheese regular or lower fat, not fat-free)
  • 4 ounces goat cheese
  • 1 ½ cups shredded medium cheddar cheese
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 4 ounce jar roasted red peppers
For the pecan coating:
  • 2 teaspoons butter
  • 1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 4 ounces fairly finely chopped pecans or pecan chips
  • 2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh rosemary
  1. Drain roasted red pepper well and then roll in several thicknesses of paper toweling to remove any excess liquid.

  2. Combine cream cheese, goat cheese, cheddar cheese, roasted red peppers, Worcestershire sauce, garlic powder and crushed red pepper in the bowl of a food processor. Blend until smooth and creamy.
  3. Line a medium-size bowl with plastic wrap then add the cheese mixture and pull plastic wrap over the top of the cheese. Refrigerate for 2-3 hours or place in the freezer for 30-45 minutes.
  4. While the cheeseball is chilling, prepare the pecan coating by melting butter in a small non-sticking sauté pan until bubbly and beginning to brown a bit. It will have a nutty aroma. Add olive oil and pecans and stir to coat pecans. Cook, stirring frequently, for 4-6 minutes until pecans turn golden. Remove from heat and set aside to cool then add the 2 teaspoons chopped rosemary and stir to combine.

  5. Pull the cheese out of the bowl with the plastic wrap and use the wrap to help you shape the cheese mixture into a ball. Roll the ball in the pecan mixture and shape again by gently pushing the sides to form a rounded ball. Place on a serving tray and sprinkle with a bit more chopped fresh rosemary, for garnish, if desired. Serve with crackers and/or celery.

Printable Recipe

Appetizer Cheese and Jalapeno Bites

March 25th, 2014

Appetizer cheese and jalapeno bites 3


Bike week in Daytona Beach is an annual motorcycle invasion.  Bikers gather from all over the country to show-off their rides and participate in such activities as coleslaw wrestling and wet tee-shirt contests.  Our biking buddies always come to visit us during bike week.  But our antics are a little tamer.  The most outrageous thing that we did was to attend a David Allan Coe concert at The Iron Horse Saloon.

Motorcycle Gang


Pictured above are Ron (biker name, Pittstop), Jackie, Jim (biker name Diamond Jim), Barbara and Me.  David (biker name Snake) and I love having them visit.  We have a long history together with bike trips, visits to each others’ homes, lots of laughs and the enjoyment of good food.  Both Jackie and Barbara are good cooks.  While we were in the grocery store one day, Barbara picked up bags of shredded cheese and other ingredients and made this simple appetizer for one of our evening cocktail hours.  You can always count on her to turn simple ingredients into marvelous tasty treats.

Appetizer cheese and jalapeno bites 4


This is such an easy appetizer to pull together.  The only complication is that it should be done ahead of time.  Letting it rest for two hours after baking is recommended.  I like it even better refrigerated for a while after baking and then cut into precise squares before reheating.

Appetizer cheese and jalapeno squares 1


Simply dump half of the shredded cheese into casserole, top with jalapeno slices, top with remainder of the cheese and pour the flour, milk and egg mixture over it.  Bake until nicely browned.

Appetizer cheese and jalapeno bites 2

The hardest part is waiting to dig in.  This makes a lot of appetizer bites, so it is great for a crowd.  I am linking this to Tasty Tuesday at the The Comforts of Home.  Enjoy.


2 (8 oz.) packages shredded mild cheddar cheese
2 (8 oz.) packages shredded Monterey Jack cheese
1 (8 oz.) package shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1 (12 oz.) jar Jalapeno peppers, drained
1 (12 oz) can evaporated milk
2 eggs
1 cup self-rising flour

Mix 1 package of mild cheddar, 1 package of Monterey Jack and 1/2 of a package of sharp cheddar and spread evenly in a 9 x 13 inch baking dish.

Spread jalapeno peppers over cheese.

Top with a mixture of the remaining cheeses.

In a mixing bowl slowly add the flour to the evaporated milk, blending well.  Add the two eggs and mix all together.  Pour mixture over the casserole.

Bake in a 350 degree preheated oven for about an hour until lightly browned on top.  Let cool for two hours and cut into squares.

Printable recipe

Chipotle Cheddar Cranberry Nut Wafers

November 4th, 2013

I am always looking for interesting appetizers to serve during the holiday season starting with Thanksgiving.  This wafer or savory cookie recipe is perfect because of the cranberries and walnuts studded throughout the cheese dough.  But before I look forward to the holiday season I would like to share with you two pictures of our Halloween festivities with the Grandchildren.

Our Grandson was an adorable gnome.  Our Granddaughter was a leaf fairy.  Her creative Mother made her costume.

Rachel took her role very seriously.  The kids were out with their parents trick or treating while Mimi and Gampy passed out treats at their house.  It has become a tradition since the time that Rachel was 6 months old on her first Halloween.  She was dressed up like a hot chili pepper then.

But back to the Chipotle Cheddar Cranberry Nut Wafers.  Help yourself.  The above picture is almost life size.  I think the key to these wafers is finding the chipotle cheddar.  I could not find it.  So I substituted regular sharp cheddar with 1/2 teaspoon chipotle chile powder.  They did not have quite the kick I wanted.  But I am on the right track here and if you can find that chipotle cheddar, I think that you will be glad that you had these logs ready to go in the fridge or freezer for holiday entertaining.  Let the season begin.


2 sticks (1 cup) softened butter
8 ounces chipotle cheddar cheese, shredded
1/2 cup chopped toasted walnuts
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 1/4 cups flour

Place butter in a stand mixer and beat until light and fluffy.  Add cheese, stirring to combine.  Add walnuts and cranberries and stir well.  Add flour and beat until incorporated.  Divide dough in half and form into 2 logs about 1 1/2-inch thick.  Roll in plastic wrap and refrigerate until firm, at least 4 hours.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Place parchment paper on baking sheet.  Cut the logs into 1/4-inch slices,place on baking sheet and bake for 10 to 12 minutes. Keep reserved dough in fridge until ready to bake.  Makes about 3 dozen wafers.

Printable recipe

Pumpkin Cheese Ball

September 24th, 2012

This was a fun idea that I picked up from Food Network Magazine.  Simply flavor cream cheese with shredded cheddar, salsa,  and nacho flavorings and then roll into a ball and refrigerate.

When it is firm, roll it in crushed nacho flavored chips to give it a pumpkin color.  The hardest part was finding a bell pepper stem to use on the top.  If you have peppers in your garden, this should not an issue, but my supermarket did not have a lot of pretty stems to choose from.  I was happy with the festive look anyway.

Happy Fall!


16 ounces room-temperature cream cheese
1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar
3 tablespoons minced onion
2 tablespoons salsa
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon minced jalapeno

Nacho-flavored tortilla chips, crushed
Bell pepper stem

With a mixer, blend the first 6 ingredients together.  Scoop into plastic wrap and use the wrap to form the mixture into a 5-inch pumpkin-shaped ball; chill at least 2 hours.  To serve, unwrap, roll in crushed nacho-flavored tortilla chips and press a bell pepper stem into the top.

Printable recipe

Dinner with Old Friends

April 29th, 2012

I am always on the lookout for unusual appetizers when we have company.  I like the idea of a savory cheesecake.  I also like the idea of an appetizer-size cheesecake.  Giada De Laurentiis provided just the thing.  My blogging friend “the other” Penny of The Comforts of Home and her husband came for dinner last night.  I wanted to try something a little more complicated than cheese and crackers.

The hardest part of this cheesecake was finding a 4 1/2-inch spring form pan.  I did find one at a kitchen store for $3.99 but did not measure it until I got home.  It turned out to be 4 inches and did not hold all of the ingredients in the recipe.  The cheesecake can also be made in a ramekin if you don’t want to bother with finding a small spring form pan.  I put the overflow in a small ramekin.  It is a mixture of ricotta cheese, cream cheese, and goat cheese to which roasted red peppers are added.  The cheese cake is then baked.  The recommended topping is apricot jam, but I used a pepper and onion relish.

The weather was beautiful on Saturday so we were able to eat dinner on the porch.  There is something so special about dining al fresco with friends.

The menu was Zinfandel Beef Ribs, Rice Pilaf with roasted almonds and orange soaked dried cranberries, Roasted Asparagus with Parmesan, and homemade yeast rolls.

Dessert was Apple Crostata  with ice cream and coffee.  But the best part of the meal was the company,   the conversation, and the laughter.  A beautiful Spring evening on the porch was the icing on the cake.  Thanks Penny and K for traveling over the mountain to spend time with us.  Good friends just make the food taste better.



1/2 cup ricotta cheese (4 ounces)
1/2 cup cream cheese (4 ounces)
1/4 cup goat cheese (2 ounces)
1 tablespoon sugar
1 egg
Pinch of kosher salt
1/2 cup thin strips or roasted red bell peppers (blotted dry)
1/4 cup apricot jam (Can substitute hot pepper jelly, other jams or onion, pepper relish)
1 to 2 teaspoons hot water

Special equipment:  1 (4 1/2-inch diameter spring form (cheesecake) pan

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Wrap the outside of the cheesecake pan with 2 layers of heavy-duty foil.  Place the ricotta, cream cheese, and goat cheese in a food processor.  Pulse to mix.  Add the sugar, egg, and salt and pulse a few times until well mixed.  Stir in the red pepper strips.

Pour the cheese mixture into the cheesecake pan.  Place the cheesecake pan in a small roasting pan.  Pour enough hot water in the roasting pan to come halfway up the sides of the cheesecake pan.  Bake until the cheesecake is golden at the edges and the center of the cake moves slightly when the pan is gently shaken. about 45 minutes (the cake will become firm when it is cold).

Transfer the cake to a wire rack to cool for 1 hour.  Refrigerate until the cheesecake is cold.

Combine the jam and the water in a small bowl and stir until the jam is liquefied.  Remove the cheesecake from the spring form pan.  Place on a serving plate.  Drizzle the jam mixture over the top of the cheesecake.  Serve with pita chips or crackers.

Printable recipe  

© Penny Klett, Lake Lure Cottage Kitchen. All rights reserved.