June 4, 2015

Spicy Pepper Jack Cheese Truffles

Well, summer is officially on here in Texas. I always look forward to having my kids at home and getting out to have some fun and adventure on our own schedule.  And believe me, the use of the words "fun and adventure" in the previous sentence are meant to the letter!  Even when it's not required, we are a family of folks that like to stay busy.  Seriously, we're a pretty naturally energetic bunch, so we may actually need to stay busy to survive.

During the hectic school year, we have a fairly regimented schedule when it comes to dealing with homework, extra-curriculars, dinnertime, bathtime, and bedtime.  Even though school is out, our summer day schedule still starts early and our active eight-year-old boy will be participating in several day camps, lots of swimming, swim team training, and soccer.  My little girl is a tireless two-year-old at the moment and her general life mode setting is stuck on "GO" anyway.  She loves to be outside with her splashpool and fingerpaints.  On the days when we're out and about, she's just generally happy to tag along.  (And on the days when she's not so happy to tag along, I bribe with ice cream.  Oh, yes I do.)

During the summer months, food tends to become about small bites for me. On a pretty regular basis, I serve a sort of small buffet of easy, appetizer-size dishes. Sometimes, just having a bunch of little finger foods is good for keeping things light and stress free.  Of course, we love to all sit down together for dinner when we can, but when it's warm and bright outside, we are definitely backyard people.  I firmly believe that, every once in a while, it's just good for the soul to toss routines to the wind.  Really, just grab a quick bite and keep on keepin' on. 

This is my take on a big, family-style homemade cheese ball, but smaller and with an extra spicy kick. These savory cheese truffles are easy enough to prepare as a snack on regular weeknight, but I know from experience that they are great for a party table too.  I usually serve them with celery sticks or extra chips and crackers on the side. 

I sure hope you enjoy these saucy, small bites as much as we do.

Spicy Pepper Jack Truffles
  • 8 oz cream cheese, softened
  • 2 tbsp sour cream
  • 2 green onions, finely sliced
  • 2 tbsp cilantro, finely chopped
  • 1 cup pepper jack cheese, finely shredded
  • 1/2 cup sharp cheddar cheese, finely shredded
  • 3 pieces of crispy bacon, finely chopped
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 3 tsp lime juice
  • 1 heaping tbsp of your favorite salsa
  • 1 1/2 cup lightly seasoned tortilla chips, crushed. (I used Santitas brand)
  • pretzel sticks (optional)

1.  In a medium-sized bowl, mix all ingredients together.  Mix well, cover and chill for at least an hour or longer.

2.  Spread your crushed tortilla chips on a plate.

3. Using a teaspoon, scoop and form 1-inch balls of the cheese mixture and then roll in the crushed tortilla chips.

4.  Insert a pretzel stick, if you use them, and put on a serving platter.  

5.  Enjoy!

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