Tag Archives: Cheese

The Great Goetz cheeseball and our wonderful beach friends

So last summer we went to the beach. It was a wonderful vacation and we made so many great memories. We also made some good friends. Yeah, you heard me. We went to Florida and made friends with a family from Kentucky. Naturally we spent most of our days on the beach. My youngest is a friendly fellow and he started playing with a kid who was around his age. Big Daddy and I started talking to his parents who were sitting nearby and it just snowballed from the there.

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our sweet boys

They were actually staying in the condos next door to us but we managed to meet up at the beach every day. L and N became fast friends and the rest of our families followed suit. Sometimes in life, I believe, some things are just meant to be. Us meeting the Goetz family is one of those predestined meetings that is just a blessing. The mama, Kari, is the sweetest woman with the prettiest smile and we instantly hit it off. Their other son, J, and their daddy, Marty also followed suit with the rest of the family. We just really hit it off. My sweet baby turned 6 while we were there and the Goetz family came to our condo for cake.

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I usually would not just take to people like that, but something about them just drew us to them. Seriously the sweetest family we have come across in a long time. So Kari and I became friends on Facebook and she started following my Cajun Mama Cooks Facebook page. It’s so nice that we are able to be a part of one another’s life and share day to day stuff when we can. Kari, being the sweet lady she is, was kind enough to send me a few of her favorite recipes and this cheeseball was one of them.

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me and my sweet friend

Last night while I was in Kroger picking up sliced mushrooms for the other cheeseball, I decided to go on and get the fixins for the Great Goetz cheeseball and boy am I glad. It is 10 kind of delicious and though I already had many reasons to be glad to be friends with Kari, that cheeseball just seals the deal. It is sweet and tangy and oh so easy to prepare. It really such a yummy treat!!! I cannot wait to bring it to the Christmas Eve soiree we are going to tonight (with another friend who God blessed me with).

So thank you, sweet friend, for blessing me with your friendship and for this recipe. Our meeting at the beach was no accident and I am so blessed to call you my friend.

To all of my readers out there, you reading this post is a blessing as well. Wherever you are, you continue to bless me by tuning in to read what I write. I look forward to getting to know each of you better in the coming year and sharing more recipes with you. I don’t believe in accidents and most situations are predestined for all of us, there is a reason for it all. I hope your Christmas is magical, filled with happy memories, beautiful friends, and delicious treats. Merry Christmas from my family to yours.

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one of our recent family pictures. Photo courtesy of Heather Wilkinson photography. http://www.heatherwilkinsonphotography.com

The Great Goetz cheeseball recipe

makes 2 cheeseballs

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Stuff you need~

4 cups finely shredded cheese
2 cups mayo (Recipe called for Hellman’s but I am a Duke’s girl)
1 bunch of green onions, finely chopped
1 teaspoon Kosher salt
1 jar of Major Grey’s chutney *
1 pound bacon, fried until crispy and then broken up into smaller pieces

*the chutney is usually found on the top shelf in the condiments aisle. Now the major grey kind was in that section of Kroger’s. They also had another brand on the jelly aisle. Just a little FYI.

what to do with the stuff~

THE DAY BEFORE YOU WILL SERVE IT, mix together in a large mixing bowl, the shredded cheese, mayo, salt and green onion.

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Divide the mixture into two balls. What I did was just shape it into a ball as best I could (it held its shape fairly well)

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Now I just spread the chutney over the top and sides of the cheeseballs. Next, just sprinkle the crispy fried bacon all over the balls. Let it sit overnight. I am sure you could wait until right before you are serving the cheeseballs to do that last part. I went on and did it so I could get a photo. Serve with Ritz crackers.

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have cheeseball, will travel

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beach friends are some of the best friends

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Wheezie’s easy mac and cheese

I have told ya’ll before that I am the oldest of 4 girls.  There is me, then Jenny, Lisa and Claire.  I am considerably older than all of them but as we have gotten older that has mattered less and less.  They have all grown up to be beautiful, smart, talented and great women.  For a few, all too short years, my sister Lisa aka Wheezie and her hubby lived in Shreveport.  It was during the time that I was having babies and she was in grad school, but our love of finding yummy recipes and trying them out is something that we shared.  It was a time when I didn’t have much time to cook as I was in survival mode, just trying to keep my head above water, but she would try new recipes and sometimes have us over or bring over something for me to try.  She actually started blogging long before I did.  She is a teacher but is an excellent blogger…check her out at http://www.makeitlikemomou.blogspot.com!!  This recipe I am giving you today is one of those. Though we all love Momou’s mac and cheese, Wheezie is probably the biggest fan.  She is a notorious mac and cheese fanatic.  This past Friday evening, Big Daddy was dead set on grilling steaks.  I didn’t get to the grocery store, so decided to make do with what I had.  The fantastic thing about this mac and cheese recipe is that it uses ingredients that you most likely have at home already.  Plus, this is a kid friendly recipe.  That is always a bonus.  Since now I am past the baby hanging off of me stage (consequently, Lisa is in her baby stage with a one year old.  My sweet niece CC…ahh the circle of life), I am experimenting more and unafraid to try new things.  I am out of survival mode and in thrive mode.  It feels pretty dang good!!!  I called Lisa all excited that I had dubbed this Wheezie’s mac and cheese and about the changes I had made.  I left her a message and I am sure she will hear it and think I am nuts.    Anyway, I dusted this recipe off and kind of gave it a Cajun Mama twist and boy was it good!!!  I am pretty sure ya’ll will LOVE this one.  It would be fantabulous with barbecue in the summer time and be great along side a recipe I am blogging tomorrow…grape salad.  So, if you are looking for a quick and easy mac and cheese, give this one a go!!!~AMB

ImageMy mermaid with her Godmother…Wheezie.  Fellow mac and cheese lovers!

ImageShe is a great cook and obviously very funny…she is cracking Pappy up!

Wheezie’s easy mac and cheese (adapted from the kitchen of Lisa Welch…www.makeitlikemomou.blogspot.com)

Stuff you need:

12 ounces farfalle pasta (that is bowtie pasta)

1 1/2 can cream of mushroom soup

1 cup of mayo

1 tsp.  smoked paprika

salt and pepper

2 cups shredded cheese blend (I used half cheddar jack blend and half italian cheese blend with cream cheese in it and it was awesome!!!)

What to do with the stuff:

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.  Lightly spray a 9 x 13 inch dish or 11 x 7 dish with cooking spray.  Boil your pasta according to package directions and drain.  Return pasta back to the pot.  Stir in the cream of mushroom, mayo, paprika, good ole salt and pepper to taste, and 1 1/2 cups of the cheese into the pasta.  Stir to combine.  Pour this into the prepared baking dish.  Sprinkle with the remaining cheese (plus a little extra..go on…I won’t tell).  Cover with foil and pop into preheated oven.  Bake for about 20-25 minutes.  Remove foil and inhale that wonderful smell.  Spoon into a bowl and devour accordingly.  YUM!!!  Thank you Wheezie!!!

ImageOh devilishly good concoction…please get in my belly.  Wheezie would approve!!

Cheddar Cheese Grits Casserole and (im)perfect moments

Grits.  You either love them or you hate them.  There is typically no in between ground there.  No gray area where someone is a little iffy and be swayed one way or another.  I am definitely a grits lover.  I like them with a good bit of salt, pepper and a ridiculous amount of butter.  This year I discovered something surprising…grits are so delicious with garlic and cheese in them.  I mean really, really delicious. Creamy, cheesy with just a hint of garlic to them.  Topped with more cheese…they are a wonderful accompaniment to any brunch.  I told ya’ll this week I was doing “blog about brunch”…I will say again…I am a fool for some brunch.  This grits casserole can find a home on any brunch table.  I have so many brunch recipes that I am not sure I could share them all with you over the course of a week or two…but I will round up some of my faves.  The other day I gave ya’ll the breakfast danish casserole.  Score one for Cajun Mama cause that baby is a winner.   Anyway, this is another excellent addition to your brunch recipe repertoire (say THAT 3 times fast!).

Like anyone, I tend to reflect as one year comes to a close and we usher in another.  I guess the time for reflection and taking stock comes for all of us at this time.  I hate to put too much emphasis on these days because for some it is such a hard time to get around and most of us are ready to move on to another year.  I don’t know what kind of year it has been for many of you.  For me, it has been good and fast paced but also has brought many things to light.  Some good and happy.  Others not so much.  But I do know this..and I hope you do too…I am where I am for a reason.  It is part of my path.  Just like finding these cheesy garlic grits are part of my destiny (I am not kidding…they are that good!), so is whatever you are doing or where you are at this moment.  I will not get all deep because I know ya’ll probably don’t get on here to listen to my insights about life..also because we have some family coming in for New Years Eve.  I have cooking to do.  Shocking…I know.   I will only say this…my in laws came in the other day to celebrate our Christmas.  They wanted to take pictures in front of the tree.  I took some of them and the kids.  They wanted me to get in there.  I had no makeup on.  My hair was not really fixed.  I didn’t know how my outfit would look.  I don’t consider myself a vain woman, but I am a woman.  Taking an ugly picture is not really ever my goal.  But I decided to be grateful for the moment to take pictures with my precious family.  To BE in the moment, instead of wishing to be somewhere else or look another way.  I ended up loving the picture because it captures our joy as a family.  The fun we always (ok…well usually) have together.  Being in the moment is not easy for me.  I tend to want to jump ahead or look behind.  But the good stuff, however not perfect it may seem, for me, is usually right where I am.  Even if I cannot see it or appreciate it at that moment.  So today, I hope you can look around and see the beauty in where you are.  In this moment, or the day, or of your life.  Every moment has something to offer and teach.  Even the imperfections (and mine are so many) can be beautiful.  Anyway, enough of that.  The focus here is cheesy, garlic, yummy, creamy grits.  Make them.  You will be oh so happy you did.  Much love and many blessings to all of you.

Watermarked Photo (8)

 

We may not have it all together…but together we have it all (that should be our family motto)

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Garlicky cheesy goodness…so perfectly Southern and perfect 

Southern Living Cheddar Cheese Grits Casserole (Southern Living magazine December 2010)

Stuff you need:

4 cups milk (I use 3 cups whole and 1 cup half and half for extra creaminess but the other way is great too)

1/4 cup butter \1 cup uncooked quick-cooking grits

1 large egg, lightly beaten

2 cups shredded sharp Cheddar cheese (that Kraft kind with Philidelphia cream cheese added is amazing in this)

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon pepper

1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped

What to do with the stuff:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Lightly grease a 11 x 7 inch baking dish.  Bring milk just to a boil in a large saucepan over medium high heat.  Whisk in butter and grits a little bit at a time.  Reduce heat and simmer, whisking mixture constantly for 5 to 7 minutes, or until grits are cooked.  Remove from heat. Stir in lightly beaten egg followed cheddar cheese, salt and pepper.  Add in finely chopped garlic if desired at this time.  Pour into prepared dish.  Sprinkle with grated Parm.  Bake at 350 for 35 to 40 minutes or until mixture is set.  Serve immediately.  Yummmmm!!!!  The epitome of southern dishes, right on your kitchen table or brunch buffet table.  Be sure to take a nice long whiff of the garlicky aroma before digging in.  I also sprinkle some Tony’s on it before serving.  Adds just a hint of spice and a nice kick of color.