Friday, October 11, 2013

Book Club: A Time for Cheese

Motherhood is a study in constants: there is always something to clean, someone to feed, laundry to fold, counters to wipe, diapers to change and the ever consuming development of a little person into an adult person. It's hard, it's more rewarding than anything I've ever done but with that comes the desire to constantly be "on" for my family. The consequence: I forget about "me time".  Everyone desires that time, that little slice of self involvement where your singular concern is you. That time is sacred, it's necessary and without it, we just can't love others the way we want to.

Being involved in a book club is my "me time". Once a month, I join with other ladies for good reads, great laughs and a small window of time that reminds me what it is to be "just me". I love these meet ups! The ladies in this group are completely unique, utterly fabulous, God loving, self giving and hilarious. The stories they tell ALWAYS outshine the plot of whatever book we are reading and my life is so much richer because they are in it.

I hosted this month and I was beyond excited to make Halloween themed treats for the gals. Celebrating Halloween is one of my favorite traditions so I've amassed quite a collection of ghoulish goods over the years. I created a tablescape with spooky looking books, a faux tombstone, a black crow and a glitter skull I found at the Dollar Tree. For the food I focused on Fall flavored treats: spiced cupcakes with cream cheese frosting, salted caramel apple slices and a homemade cheese ball I shaped to look like a pumpkin.

Pumpkin Cheese Ball:
(2) 8 oz packages cream cheese, softened
4 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tbs Dijon mustard
1 tbs steak sauce
a few splashes of Worcestershire sauce 

To form the spread I mixed the ingredients in my Cuisinart using the paddle attachment. You can certainly use a hand mixer or simply mash the ingredients together in a large bowl by hand-just use what you've got! Once you've tasted and adjusted for flavor as needed, form the mixture into a pumpkin shape and use a knife to slice ridges around the "pumpkin". I lucked out and had saved the stem from a spaghetti squash I made earlier in the day to add an authentic looking stem but you could easily use a piece of broccoli stem or even a cinnamon stick as a stem in a pinch. I also dusted parsley flakes on alternating sections of the pumpkin for more visual interest and lightly dusted the bottom of the ball with bread crumbs to prevent it from sticking to the serving tray.

Happy Cheese Time!

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