‘Tis the season for cheese! (Remember Nuts About Cheese http://wp.me/p57UhS-8w ,those two quick pecan and cheese appetizers?) The season for cheese balls; the appetizer that is socially accepted during the holiday season, but can get sneers and jeers other times of the year. How many parties have you been to this year where a cheese ball has made an appearance? How many parties were left with the mighty cheese ball still standing? At parties, I notice that no one wants to be the first to dive into the giant cheese ball. It sits on the table as if it is for decoration only! If you insist on serving a cheese ball, think small individual one-bite ones. I guarantee they will be eaten much more quickly. But, let’s face it, a cheese ball is a quick “go to” in the holiday season and I want to share another one with you–mini griddle cakes. They also can make those last bites of cheese ball much more inviting!
Cheese Ball Bites: Simply put a dab of leftover cheese ball on each griddle cake and bake for 10 minutes at 350 degrees. Oh, and that little teaser on the side, was my snack. Ham on sliced French bread, topped with leftover pecan cheese ball and baked, too! Prefer a cold appetizer? Simply top griddle cake with dab of leftover cheese ball and top with pepper jelly.
Mini Griddle Cakes: This time of year, I always have a container ready in the refrigerator . They are the absolute best for holiday makeover my leftovers. A secret weapon to use to create WOW appetizers. They can be served hot or cold. They are a great alternative to a cracker, too.
It is a basic griddle cake recipe, but sharing just in case you don’t have one!
Put your TO COOK IS TO CREATE thinking cap on: Think about how changing the seasonings can change the griddle cake. Change the seasonings to match your preferred topping. Bean dip? Add chili powder and jalapenos instead of herbs. Smoked salmon? Change to dill weed and onion powder or grated onion, top with a slice of hard-boiled egg, salmon, and capers. What other leftovers do you have? Spinach artichoke dip? Add crumbled cooked bacon and pepper in place of herbs, top cakes with dip, heat or enjoy cold. Cream cheese? Whip in some brandy, blue cheese, pecans, and chopped fruit (apples or pears) and top cold griddle cake. The griddle cakes can be made sweet, too. Have eggnog, add it instead of milk and top griddle cakes with whipped cream, nutmeg, and sliced walnut. Think about your favorite pancakes and toppings. The same can be done for dessert griddle cakes.
FOOD FUN: No fun, but a fact. There was a recently released study revealing on average, 20 POUNDS OF FOOD, PER PERSON, PER MONTH IS WASTED! So if you don’t know what to bring to a holiday gathering or know there is already too much food, consider bringing to-go containers. I recently brought 25 to-go containers to a party. This was the best dish because everyone got to take food home, so there was no food waste. Even better, many people were taking a to-go container to others who were not able to attend the party.