I hope everyone had a fantastic Christmas. This was the first year I’ve ever spent the holiday away from my mom, and it was definitely hard for me. BUT, I did get to spend it with my fiance for the second year in a row, and his family was marvelously welcoming. I’m still adjusting to the sacrifices that come with having a significant other. Though it seems tough at times, I know all of the amazing benefits are so so worth it! Even though I missed out on Christmas day with my mom, I was lucky enough to be able to take a quick trip home before New Year’s, and it has been very enjoyable so far.
As usual, a large chunk of my Christmas list this year involved kitchen items. I received a ravioli press, a pasta drying rack, and a gnocchi board, so expect some pasta posts in the near future. I also received the Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving, and have already found so many recipes in it that I want to try!
I am in love with this cheese ball. It is just so darn pretty! The jeweled look the pomegranate arils produce is nice and festive, and the taste is quite wonderful. I haven’t made too many cheese balls in my life, but I know this is one that I will make time and time again. First of all, creamy mascarpone in addition to cream cheese?? I never would have thought of it, but the result is amazing. Also, sharp cheddar. I just can’t get enough of it. I totally admit to shredding the entire bar and eating the remainder as a snack while the cheese ball was chilling. Equal to the awesomeness of the cheese combo is the sweet pomegranate coating. It couples beautifully with the strong flavor of the cheeses and (did I say this already?) is gorgeous!
2 Tbsp. unsalted butter
½ tsp. rubbed sage
1 package (8 oz.) cream cheese, softened
4 oz. mascarpone, softened
6 oz. sharp white cheddar, grated
½ cup sliced almonds, toasted
¼ tsp. salt
¼ tsp. pepper
1 cup pomegranate arils
1. Heat a skillet over medium heat and add butter. Once melted, toss in sage. Cook and stir for 30 seconds, then remove from heat and set aside.
2. Beat together cream cheese, mascarpone, and cheddar. Add in almonds, buttered sage, salt, and pepper. Mix on low speed until combined, about 1 minute. Turn mixture out onto plastic wrap and shape into a ball. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour or overnight.
3. Remove cheese ball from fridge and allow the outer surface to warm up and become sticky. Meanwhile, place the arils on a paper towel and pat dry. Let them sit out while the cheese is warming to remove as much liquid from them as possible.
4. After about 15 minutes, gently press arils onto the cheese ball. Serve immediately or keep in the fridge until ready to use.
(Recipe slightly adapted from How Sweet It Is)