Recipe: Salami Cheese Ball

One of my all-time favorite holiday appetizers is the ubiquitous cheese ball. I’m not talking about the store-bought ones, but rather the irresistible homemade versions that taste a million times better. I have a couple of cheese ball recipes I love, and this easy one from my beloved Nana is among them. Back in the 80s, my grandma made a little cookbook to give to her children filled with all of her go-to holiday recipes, including her favorite Christmas fudge, the herb bread she makes every holiday season, and this tasty cheese ball. A few years ago, she reprinted the cookbook and gave all of us grandkids our own copies. It’s really fun to read through it and think about our family’s holiday food traditions.

cheese ball with salami, ranch, and green onions

cheese ball with salami, ranch, and green onions

This cheese ball is as easy to make as it is delicious. It takes about 10 minutes to put together from start to finish, and you can make it ahead of time and keep it in the fridge until party time. It tastes great with all kinds of crackers and breads, looks pretty on a serving plate, and gets rave reviews from everyone who tastes it. I’m excited that cheese ball season is here again and can’t wait to take this to one of my holiday parties this year!

Click through for the ingredients and instructions…

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Minted x Sweet Paul Holiday Recipes

Coming up with a unique, personalized holiday gift year after year is no easy feat. Why not start a new tradition by gifting yummy home baked goods from around the world? Minted has partnered with Sweet Paul Magazine to offer you three delicious easy curated recipes to whip up this holiday.

Before you bake, don’t forget Pin your favorite Minted x Sweet Paul Holiday Recipe to win $200 in prizes from Minted. Contest runs between 12/5-12/11.

1. Norwegian Berlinerkranser Cookies

Don’t let the name fool you, Berlinerkranser, “Berlin Wreaths”, are a traditional Norwegian cookie! Seen here paired with Minted’s Custom Recipe as Art Print, these delicate morsels are a must-have for any Scandinavian-inspired holiday cookie plate. Perfect for holiday gift giving, the Berlinerkranser recipe makes 40+ cookies, can be prepared ahead of time and frozen until needed.

To make Sweet Paul’s Norwegian Berlinerkranser, you’ll need:

  • 2 hard-boiled egg yolks
  • 2 raw egg yolks
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • 2 sticks butter, room temperature
  • 2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 egg white
  • ½ cup sugar or pearl sugar decorating

Baking Directions:

  1. Place hard-boiled and raw yolks into the bowl of a stand mixer and mix together with a fork.
  2. Add the sugar and mix well on medium.
  3. With the mixer on low, add butter and flour a little at a time and mix until smooth.
  4. Form dough into a ball, cover with plastic wrap, and rest in the fridge for 2 hours.
  5. Heat oven to 350F.
  6. Roll the dough out into 3/8 inch thick “snakes” about 4” inches long. Twist each one into an overlapped wreath shape and place on a parchment lined baking tray.
  7. Lightly brush with egg whites and sprinkle each with a little sugar.
  8. Bake until light golden, about 10 min.
  9. Cool on a wire rack, then box wrap with your favorite Minted Holiday Gift Tags + Holiday Cards.

 

2. Pizzelle Cookies from Italy

A crisp texture with lightly sweetened taste, these traditional Italian cookies are as easy to make as they are to gift for the holidays. Seen here paired with Minted artist GeekInk’s Merry Little Lines Christmas Card, Pizzelle can be served flat or folded into cone shapes that are filled with ice cream and other sweets. Recipes makes 12.

To make Sweet Paul’s Italian Pizzelle, you’ll need:

  •  3 large eggs
  • 1 /2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • few drops of vanilla extract

Baking Directions:

  1. In a large bowl mix eggs and sugar and beat until light and creamy.
  2. Mix in oil and beat until well incorporated.
  3. Add flour, baking powder and vanilla and stir until you have a smooth batter.
  4. Heat your Pizzelle iron and bake the cookies using about 1 heaping tablespoon of batter at a time.
  5. Bake until golden and let them cool on a wire rack.
  6. Enjoy!

 

3. Nanaimo Bars – British Colombia, Canada

Saving the most decadent holiday recipe for last, Nanaimo Bars (pronounced nah-NIGH-moe), hail from a city on Vancouver Island in British Columbia. These no-bake 3 layered bars start with a crumb base, followed by a layer of light custard buttercream, and finish off with a smooth layer of semi sweet chocolate. See what makes Nanaimo Bars a famous Canadian treat by making your own now.
To make Sweet Paul’s Nanaimo Bars, you’ll need:
BOTTOM LAYER:
  • Melt in top of double boiler:
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 5 tbsp. cocoa powder
  • 1 beaten egg
  • 1 1/4 cups graham cracker crumbs
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped almonds
  • 1 cup coconut

SECOND LAYER:

  • 1/2 cup softened unsalted butter
  • 2 Tbsp. plus 2 tsp. cream
  • 2 Tbsp. vanilla custard powder
  • 2 cups icing sugar

THIRD LAYER (Melted over low heat):

  • 6 oz. semi-sweet chocolate
  • 3 Tbsp. unsalted butter

Baking Directions:

  1. For the bottom layer, melt the butter, sugar, and cocoa in a double boiler.
  2. Add the beaten egg and stir until everything thickens.  Remove from heat.
  3. Stir in graham cracker crumbs, almonds, and coconut. (if you want you can first pulse all three of these items together in a food processor to get them very finely chopped up!)
  4. Press firmly into ungreased 8 X 8 inch pan.
  5. For the second layer cream together all ingredients and beat on medium until light and fluffy.
  6. Spread evenly over the bottom layer and put in the refrigerator or freezer to set for at least 20 minutes.
  7. For the third layer, melt chocolate chips and butter over low heat.  Allow to cool until it’s just warm and still spreadable. If it’s too hot it will melt the custard layer when you try to spread it.
  8. Spread chocolate evenly over the second layer and refrigerate until totally cold and set.
  9. To serve, have a large knife soaking in HOT water, wipe it dry, and make each cut, heating up the knife between each cut. They’re VERY rich, so you might want to cut them on the small side.
Happy Holiday Gifting! Don’t forget to enter the Minted x Sweet Paul Holiday Recipes Pin to Win contest here.
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DIY: Felt Holly Garland

When it comes to holiday decorating, I like to come up with a fresh, new take on last year’s decorations—it’s a fun way to repurpose embellishments you already own. For this project, I turned my strand of red and white felt balls from last year’s Christmas tree into a festive garland of holly to drape over a mantel or wall.

My DIY felt holly garland pictured with Minted art print “A Deer Friend” by Andrew McClintock

Click through for the step-by-step instructions

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DIY: Colorful Wood-Block Ornaments

Written by Sara Albers and Melissa Fenlon of  Alice & Lois

Every holiday season we love to make ornaments. Last year we shared a few faves: a personalized initial ornament and our fabric-covered tree ornament. Today we’re excited to share the latest addition to our DIY ornament obsession, these modern and colorful tree adornments made from one-inch wood blocks. We chose bright, unexpected colors to add some fun and flair to the tree—choose your favorite color combinations to match your holiday decor.


Click through for the step-by-step instructions…

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DIY: Gem Christmas Ornaments

Written by Kathleen Ballos of  Snowdrop & Co

Even though we haven’t set up our Christmas tree yet, that hasn’t stopped me from crafting some ornaments ahead of time! These gem ornaments are super simple to make— plus, they have a secret compartment for candies and holiday treats! Check local packaging stores (or jewelry-packaging sites online) to track down plastic boxes and keep reading to see how to turn them into colorful ornaments for the holidays!

DIY Gem Christmas Ornaments | Julep DIY Gem Christmas Ornaments | Julep

Click through for step-by-step instructions … 

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DIY: Wooden Village Advent Calendar

On my to-do list this week: Find bits and bobs to fill my advent calendar with. That and eat leftover pie, of course. Here’s an advent you can put together in a couple of hours and enjoy all of December.

diy advent calendar
diy advent calendar

Click through for the step-by-step instructions

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DIY: Cork Tile Christmas Card Display

Written by Melanie Blodgett of  You Are My Fave

The annual flurry of Christmas cards and holiday cards is getting underway, and if you’re looking for a clean and modern way to display the season’s greetings, check out this easy DIY project using painted cork tiles.


DIY Christmas Card Display: Painted Cork Tiles

Click through for the step-by-step instructions

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10 Holiday Cards and Christmas Cards That Inspire Hope

The holidays are usually chock-full of cheerful celebrations, joyous occasions, and festive spirit — but what if not everyone on your mailing list is feeling very merry this year? After a contentious presidential election year in the United States, some people are opting to send Christmas cards and family photo holiday cards that focus on messages of hope, peace, and warmth. These messages will be welcomed by all friends and family, including those who are elated by the recent election and those who feel less celebratory. Here are 10 Minted Christmas cards and other holiday cards that celebrate togetherness and humble compassion.

Fanciful Pheasant” Holiday Card by Erin McManness of Atlanta, Georgia

Erin McManness says her design aesthetic tends to focus on florals, but for “Fanciful Pheasant,” she aimed to experiment with drawing simple, more geometric shapes. “Birds are a beautiful symbol of peace around the holidays, so I felt it was appropriate to incorporate them as well,” she says of her holiday card design. “I love Scandinavian-inspired design, and have been trying to infuse the ‘beauty in simplicity’ idea into my work lately. The principles of balance, unity, and symmetry were especially important in this design, as it focuses on a message of hope and peace.”


Together” Letterpress Holiday Photo Card by Kelly Nasuta of Cape Coral, Florida

Kelly Nasuta designed “Together” with her large, close-knit family in mind. “I wanted that message of togetherness to shine through because it’s really what makes this time of year so special and memorable,” she says. “My family is loud, rowdy, chaotic, and crazy, but there’s no one else I’d rather be with at the holidays.”


Lettered Peace” Foil-Pressed Holiday Card by Makewells of Fort Lauderdale, Florida

A modern take on a classic message, “Lettered Peace” is by Megan Wells, the artist and illustrator behind Makewells.


Floral Peace” Holiday Card by Baumbirdy of Chicago, Illinois

Sarah Baumgardner and Carolyn Doogan are best friends who look like sisters, and the duo behind Baumbirdy, the design team that specializes in bold, dramatic design. How do they keep their own peace, working side by side? Read their advice for creative collaboration.


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