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Fantastic New Year's!

How was your year? How was your decade? We're ending it with a recipe that could be the centerpiece of any New Year's Eve party - Ronette's Fantastic Cheeseball. It's fantastic!

I understand many of you seek good fortune in the upcoming year. In Texas, we eat black-eyed peas. As an adult, I have come to love black-eyed peas. Keep in mind that it's always best to cook the peas yourself. Avoid just getting them out of a can.

Good recipes for black-eyed peas: Texas Caviar, Plain & Simple Black-Eyed Peas, Spicy Black-Eyed Peas. Enjoy!

Did you see last week's newsletter Bourbon Balls?

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Enjoy this Texas Cooking recipe and have a great week!

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Ronette's Fantastic Cheese Ball

This is a really good cheese ball. Simple and quick to put together, you can dress it up or down, depending upon your gathering. Just remember to make it ahead of time.

Ingredients:
  • 3 ounces blue cheese, at room temperature
  • 2 3-ounce jars Old English processed cheese spread, at room temperature
  • 12 ounces cream cheese (regular, not whipped), at room temperature
  • 2 tablespoons grated white onion (fresh, not dehydrated)
  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 3/4 cup finely chopped fresh parsley, divided
  • 1 cup finely chopped pecans
  1. Mix together the softened cheeses, add the grated onion, Worcestershire sauce and 1/2 cup of the parsley. Knead everything together until thoroughly combined. Cover and chill in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.
  2. Mix the remaining 1/4 cup of parsley with the chopped pecans and spread evenly on a flat surface. Mold the cheese into whatever shape you desire -- ball, loaf, log -- and press it into the chopped pecan mixture, coating evenly on all sides. Cover and refrigerate at least overnight.

Note: Garlic lovers might want to add 1/4 teaspoon or so of garlic powder to the mix.

Kitchen tools you'll need: Food Processors, Mixing Bowls, Baking Sheet

More cool party recipes: Albondigas Meatballs Appetizer, Cocktail Smokey Links, Red Salmon Dip.

Lone Star List

Here are some things that caught my eye this week!

  1. Terrific Party Appetizers, The Black-Eyed Bird of Happiness
  2. Big World Small Girl: Things to do in Marble Falls, Texas, Austinot: Austin Speakeasy Secrets
  3. NYT Food: How to Cook a Pig - There is no other dish on the traditional holiday table that you can cook so beautifully this easily.
  4. Inspired By Charm: Tortilla Roll-Up with Salsa for a party
  5. South Austin Foodie reviews the new Shore Raw Bar & Grill in Oak Hill Southwest Austin .
  6. Texas Highways: You Say You’ve Never Been to a Rodeo? - The new Dickies Arena means there is no reason to miss this year’s Fort Worth Stock Show and Rodeo
  7. Marfa Public Radio: Traffickers Are Selling Black Market Cacti For Their 'Rugged' Look
  8. Texas Standard: What Elvis Presley Owed West Texas - In the early years of his career, Elvis played places like Midland and Sweetwater, and met other soon-to-be music legends on the rise. (This is especially good when you listen to the audio)
  9. New in the Book Pile!
    Smokelore: A Short History of Barbecue in America by Jim Auchmutey.

New Cookbooks We're Reading

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