Are your holiday affairs in order? Have you checked off everything on your list, except the gatherings and “bring a dish if you wish” evenings? I feel under pressure to whip up something as opposed to grabbing that tub of dip at Sam’s Club. And don’t think I didn’t consider it. I, too, get wrapped up in the hustle and bustle, clean the house for company, buy and wrap gifts, manage a project load solo at work, laundry from two college kids — you feel my pain yet? It’s life, right? Who is going to judge if that cheesy store-bought tub is in your pretty dish? Okay, honestly I can hear the murmurs before they start; doesn’t she like to cook? She has a food blog, right? Umm, yes, you got me there. But I digress; I can give you a list of all my quick shop go-to’s if you want, or I can draft this lovely child of mine to sous-chef for me today (for pay, and yes, the bacon recipe cinched the deal).
This year I am going to dub this the trifecta of the holiday season. The dish that keeps on giving. In the right way, of course, not the gross way. If you followed me back in September, I had a basil bush three feet tall. I made pesto, of course, the recipe offered here. I am lock stocked in pesto for one of these recipes. If you don’t want to make it because (I am not going to lie, this time of year fresh basil is pricey) it is OKIE DOKEY to get the jar stuff. Yes, I said it, premade — kind of lost the whole vibe of this post but, whatever. I am rolling with it.
Okay, so #1 of this trifecta is Red Pepper Pesto Potatoes. One thing I have to say is this is easy and festive looking and tastes fantastic.
The second recipe is an old standby that I tweaked with goat cheese. I love a good cheese ball, but this one is full of fresh herbs and crunchy pecans smeared on red pepper spears or cukes (because we need a healthy alternative to the toasts.) I could honestly eat this for lunch. Speaking of that, I have chopped up the leftovers of this and sprinkled them over a roasted beet arugula salad.
The third recipe brings home the bacon. I adapted it with bourbon instead — who knew bacon and bourbon and brittle would be a match made in heaven? I mean, I LOVE homemade peanut brittle, the thinner the better. Adding bacon into the mix might make me a believer that all things could be good with bacon. Of course, everything in moderation.Print
I love a good cheese ball, but this one is full of fresh herbs and crunchy pecans smeared on red pepper spears or cukes (because we need a healthy alternative to the toasts.)
- 8 ounces goat cheese
- 4 tablespoons fresh herbs: basil, parsley, oregano, chives (reserve 1 tablespoon for coating)
- 1/2 cup chopped pecans
- 2 teaspoons lemon zest
- 1 clove of garlic, minced
- salt and pepper to taste
Chop herbs and place in a medium bowl. Reserve one tablespoon of the herbs in a separate bowl.
Add soften goat cheese to the medium bowl with herbs. Add the garlic, lemon zest, salt and pepper. Mix till combined.
Line counter with about a letter size piece of parchment paper. Place mixture in a long 8-9 inch log along long side of paper. Slowly roll and form the mixture in a log shape while wrapping in the paper. Twist ends and place in freezer for 30 minutes.
Mix 1/2 cup chopped pecans with the reserved herbs in a small bowl.
Spread the counter now with plastic wrap. Pour nut/herbs into a long line.
Remove cheese from freezer and wrapper. Lay on top of the nut mixture. Press and roll till covered.
You can serve the log now with cucumbers, red pepper slices and toasts or keep log wrapped in plastic wrap for a few hours. Just know, this will go quickly so be sure to get your bite!
If you have any left, its great crumbled on a salad too.