Southern Cooking with Andy Bedwell

When I think of New Year’s Eve, I think of all the wonderful appetizers that I have loved to prepare through the years.  My two favorites are a Pineapple Cheese Ball and Sausage Balls.

Pineapple Cheese Ball

2 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese

2 cups finely chopped pecans (use food processor)

2 tablespoons chopped onion

1/2 cup finely chopped bell pepper

1 (8 1/4 -ounce) can crushed pineapple, drained

1 tablespoon seasoned salt

Mix altogether and refrigerate a couple of hours or overnight. Roll ball in a mixture of flaked dried parsley and some extra pecans. Always place a cherry on top. This recipe will make one large ball or two small ones. I always use wheat thins.

Andy’s Note:  

I could never say enough about this recipe. I will have to admit, that of all my recipes, this one is my favorite. I have made this in different colors, different shapes, as a sandwich filler and also as a dip. I have never served this anywhere that I was not asked for the recipe. When I use it as a spread for a finger sandwich or as a dip, I add a large can of crushed pineapple. During the Christmas holidays, I add chopped red cherries. It looks so festive! This one you must try!

Sausage Balls

1 pound Dean’s mild sausage, room temperature

8 ounce package extra-sharp cheese, grated (not the package grated)

2 cups Bisquick

Mix altogether and bake on a greased cookie sheet. The balls will come off easier if sprayed with Pam. Also loosen them with your spatula as soon as you take them out of the oven. Roll your balls larger than a quarter. This makes the sausage ball real moist. I bake on 375 degrees for about 25 minutes or until they begin to brown a little on top. You can freeze these on a cookie sheet before you bake them and then bag them in a gallon zip lock. You will always have breakfast in your freezer.

Andy’s Note:

I know you think I am “nuts” for including this recipe. I had a friend that told me that she loved the way I made my sausage balls. She said that she did not realize how different they can be. For one thing, I ball them larger than most and that way they seem to stay real moist. I ALWAYS grate my own cheese. You know sausage balls are not real attractive, so for special occasions, I use a crystal chip and dip dish with homemade strawberry jam in the center surrounded by those large sausage balls. Did you know that nearly everyone loves a sausage ball?

Happy Cooking and Happy New Year!

Andy Bedwell

Southern Cooking with Andy Bedwell can be purchased at Alabama Gift Shop, Little Faces Doll Shop and the Messenger office on Broad.

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