Sunday, November 22, 2009

Monday, Monday....

Or should I say Sunday, Sunday, because I never sleep well Sunday nights. No matter how many cups of Sleepy Time tea I drink, or warm baths I take, the anticipation of the start of another week keeps me up most of the night.

Since I am trying -- desperately at times -- not to beat myself up about bad food choices, I thought I would try it with my Sunday-night insomnia. So last night, as soon as I turned out my light, I began repeating over and over: "You will sleep through the night."

And I did. I turned the light out at 9:30, and next thing I knew, it was 5:20. That's almost 8 hours of sleep, an unheard of amount for me even on a good night. I'm not analyzing why this worked, and I pray it will work again -- over and over.

Thanksgiving dinner

We are guests-with-a-list-0f-foods to prepare this Thanksgiving, and although I am trying to lighten things up a bit, there is nothing light about the hors d'oeuvre I am bringing -- a Cranberry cheese ball. The recipe is a take on one my mom used to make every Thanksgiving, so it's obviously been around for years. She called hers Raisin Walnut Cheese Ball, because dried cranberries had yet to make the culinary scene. I made the dried cranberry substitution years ago, simply because I like them so much better than raisins. The cranberry chutney was added a few years ago: I had a jar, and thought, why not? I promise it adds terrific punch to this cheese ball.

I make the cheese ball with light cream cheese and reduced-fat Cheddar, so there is a bit of calorie savings there. In addition to crackers, I put out celery slices. There -- I've done my part, but honestly....! Oh, the mind games we play.

By the way, I am making the cheese ball tonight, but will roll the ball in the walnuts and cranberries Thanksgiving morning. This is one big cheese ball, but don't worry. Leftovers make great sandwiches, especially on date nut or pumpernickel bread.

Cranberry Walnut Cheese Ball
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, at room temperature
3 pkgs. (8-oz. each) light cream cheese, softened
8 oz. finely shredded reduced-fat sharp Cheddar cheese
2 Tblsp. cranberry chutney
2 Tblsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 tsp. finely diced lemon zest
1/2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
1/4 tsp. pepper
1 1/2 cups dried cranberries, finely chopped
1 1/2 cups finely chopped walnuts
  • Place butter and cream cheese in a bowl and beat on medium speed until well blended.
  • Beat in Cheddar.
  • Beat in chutney, lemon juice, lemon zest, Worcestershire and pepper.
  • Form into a ball.
  • Mix together cranberries and walnuts. Roll cheese ball in cranberries and walnuts. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate three or four days or freeze. Serve with a plain cracker, such as a water biscuit, and don't forget the celery!

1 comment:

  1. The best thing about old family recipies is how they morph a little and take on new life with each generation. I think I'll be trying your recipe, but I'm going to swap out the walnuts for my favorite - toasted pecans!