How To Make Pimento Cheese

When Anne and I took our Southern U.S. road trip in March, we ate a whole slew of fantastic foods.  Southern comfort seriously lived up to its name in all four of our destinations (Durham, NC; Charleston, SC; Savannah, GA; and Asheville, NC).  One of our favorite eats that kept popping up was pimento cheese.

Pimento, we learned, is a sweet, heart-shaped chili pepper.  This cheese spread is popularly known as “the caviar of the South.”  The beauty of pimento cheese is its versatility.  It can be served on crackers, with celery, deviled eggs, grits, or even hamburgers.  Mmm, hamburgers.

Last weekend, Anne and I hosted a cocktail party for some of our friends.  I decided to make pimento cheese for the occasion, and served it with honey-wheat pretzel sticks.  Boy, was it delicious!  This recipe, via Plain Chicken, was quick and simple — just what I needed during our party preparations!

Pimento Cheese (via Plain Chicken)

Prep time: 10 minutes | Chill time: 30+ minutes | Yields: 2 1/2 cups

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp minced dried onion
  • 2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 cup shredded parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 cup diced pimentos

In a medium bowl, whip cream cheese with a fork until smooth (i.e. no clumps).  Add in mayonnaise, sour cream, salt, and minced dried onion.  Whip again with a fork until smooth.  Fold in shredded cheeses and diced pimentos, and stir until fully blended in.

Transfer pimento cheese to an appropriately-sized serving bowl.  Cover and refrigerate for 30+ minutes, or until ready to serve.

It’s that simple!  And while you may seem skeptical of this odd-sounding or odd-looking cheese, you’ve got to try it before you knock it.  It might just be the wow factor you’ve been looking for!  My pimento cheese was a big success at our cocktail party.  I only wish I doubled the batch so that it didn’t vanish so quickly!

From Scissors & Sage

PS) I snapped these pictures on my phone right before our friends arrived.  Apologies for quickly taken photographs!

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Protein Bites

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Last week, Anne and I went on a road trip to The South.  Stops included: Durham, Charleston, Savannah, and Asheville (city guides to come!).  Now, I love road trips.  I would probably choose them over flying.  I love them for the playlists, the beautiful scenery, the license plate game, the old-timey feel, and the snacks.  For this trip, I decided to make a healthy snack option for the car ride.  These little fellows are tasty and chock full of good-for-you ingredients, and they will fill you until your next meal.  Protein bites are a no-bake snack that could even work at home.  Just keep them in the fridge (up to two weeks), and enjoy one during that dangerous pre-dinnertime window.

Protein Bites

Prep time: 15 minutes | Inactive time: 30 minutes | Yields: 15 bites

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup whole almonds
  • 1/2 cup quick oats
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries
  • 5 dried apricots
  • 1 tbs honey
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter
  • 1/4 cup mini chocolate chips
  • 1 cup shredded coconut

In a food processor, grind the shredded coconut until powdery.  Set aside in a small bowl.  Grind almonds in the food processor.  Add in the oats and pulse together.  Then, add cranberries and apricots.  Grind these ingredients together and transfer to a medium bowl.

In the same medium bowl, add in honey, peanut butter, and chocolate chips.  Combine these ingredients by hand until blended.

Roll the dough into bite-sized balls and place on a cookie sheet.  Transfer into the freezer for 30 minutes.

Remove bites from the freezer and roll balls in  the powdered coconut until covered.  Place protein bites in a plastic container, separating them from one another with paper muffin cups.  Keep refrigerated while home, or in a cooler bag while on the road.

*These ingredients can be altered for dietary restrictions or personal taste.  Some examples: different types of dried fruit, almond butter, whey protein powder, etc.  They will be delicious regardless!  Enjoy!

From Scissors & Sage

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