Alex and Ian. Sylvia thinks it is all about her celebrating Halloween (well, she says she knows what her brothers would like). We had lots of fun making spooky food to share with a small group of family and friends. Perhaps the most impressive looking savoury food was a spider cheese ball.
I had seen a spider cheeseball on Lorraine's Not Quite Nigella blog where she has amazing posts on her annual Halloween party. By the time I had looked around to get ideas on cheeseballs, I had forgotten to return to her recipe, which in hindsight actually looks wonderfully simple. She has lots of fantastic Halloween recipes and ideas.
The Kitchn post on cheeseball's because I liked the way they give lots of ideas as well as step by step information. Once I had blitzed it in the food processor and wrapped it in a ball it seemed soft and not anything like a ball. I was not confident.
years ago when I could not find it and used Swiss cheese). All I did to help her was cut the spring leeks from the garden.
The roses were blooming and the sun shining while we enjoyed lunch. Once we had filled out plates we sat and talked politics and travel and work. Sylvia had fun with a school friend and her cousin. My nephew was able to sit and chat with the adults. My mum gave me some gardening advice that my friends were taking on board too. Then everyone went home and Sylvia put away her Halloween decorations for another year. But I will have some more Halloween posts on our lunch soon!
More cheesy entertaining on Green Gourmet Giraffe:
Baked brie with cranberry sauce and walnuts (gf)
Cheesey corn dip
Pepper-crusted cashew goat cheese (gf, v)
Smoked cheese spread (gf)
Veganzola cheeseball (gf, v)
Spider Cheese Ball
Adapted from The Kitchn and Land O'Lakes
250g cream cheese
250g vintage cheddar cheese
2 tbsp lemon juice
1 garlic clove, crushed
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp seeded mustard
dash of pepper
2-4 tbsp poppyseeds, for coating
pretzel sticks, for legs
pimento stuffed olives, for mouth
Leave out cream cheese and cheddar cheese at room temperature about 2 hours. Blend cream cheese in blender til creamy (30-45 seconds). Grate cheddar cheese and add to cream cheese. Mix until incorporated (30-60 seconds). (Mine was not quite creamy - just a bit grainy but not pieces of grated cheese.) Add in remaining ingredients and blend until combined.
Scoop 4/5 of the mixture into a pile on a large piece of clingfilm. Bring corners together and twist to make a ball. Wrap in foil. Don't worry if it is not quite a perfect ball. Repeat with remaining cheese mixture to make a smaller ball. Refridgerate both balls overnight or up to 6 days.
When you are ready to use, remove balls from fridge an hour or two beforehand. Unwrap foil and clingfilm. They will not be quite perfect but you can use your hands to mould into shape. (Take out a little cheese to set aside for legs.) Tip some poppyseeds into a shallow bowl (eg a pasta bowl) and roll cheese balls in them to coat.
Arrange on tray next to each other. Break pretzel sticks to have 8 lots of one short and one longer leg. Stick shorter piece in the spider body, place little blob of set aside cheese mixture on edge and stick on larger stick to rest on plate. Repeat so you have 4 each side. Place olives on face for eyes and a little stick below for a mouth. Dig in. Or keep in the fridge up to a week (including the time you have left it in the fridge before starting.
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