I’m having a bit of a day. It started out just fine. Just fine indeed, and then suddenly it was not and if underneath my bed wasn’t stuffed with boxes and boxes of wrapping paper, champagne flutes and other random flotsam I would peace out under there right now and see you all in the morning. I would knit the dust bunnies that inhabit the space into a blanket to keep myself warm.
But alas, just because I feel (in my own head) like I can’t do anything right today does not mean I have time to wallow in the corner of my pity party with my sad balloon. But you know what it does mean?
Cheeseballs always make me happy.
How could they not? Have you ever had them? No? You really should. They’re so, so very good. Addictive, really. This batch here I made a little while back for a buddy of mine as a reward for him having to stand up in his friend’s wedding. Because listen, as a Major Bridesmaid (eight, count ‘em EIGHT under my belt, thank you very much, and yes ha ha funny, no I’ve never been compared to that movie 27 Dresses with Katherine Heigel, you’re so original, ha ha, etc etc) I can tell you something no one else in your wedding party is going to tell you, but most are thinking, and I mean this in the nicest way possible: Being In Your Wedding Can Be Like Work and Sometimes A Pain In My Ass. Therefore, standing up in a wedding deserves a reward. And that reward is cheeseballs. In my opinion, anyway.
I announced on the Facebook that I was going to make these, and one FB Friend immediately commented on the Midwestern-ness of this treat, to which I agreed. It is essentially cheese and pork sausage rolled together like a meatball. It is baked meat and cheese. There are no health-redeeming qualities about these munchies whatsoever. They are delicious.
I take that back. I did make them kind of healthy.
See? It even says so on the box.
These are pretty easy to make. Just throw some shredded cheese in a bowl.
Maybe test the cheese to make sure it tastes okay. Maybe have a second bag of cheese on hand in case you eat too much of the first.
Then chop up some onion, some celery, and throw all that together with the cheese, some raw pork sausage, the Bisquick (healthy!) and some other stuff.
Don’t be afraid to get your hands dirty. In fact, it’s essential if you want to make these right. And it will take some work to get it all together. You can do it. Put your back into it. Listen to Ice Cube. He knows of what he speaks. Raps. Floats on a rhyme. Whatevs.
And then it should look like this.
Then just take a portion – maybe about a tablespoonful or so? Hard to say. I’m not so much on the measuring. Just depends on how big you want your balls.
I said balls.
Line ‘em up on a baking sheet and throw them in the oven.
Okay, maybe don’t throw them, so much as you should gently place them in the oven. You don’t want your balls going all over the place.
And then, some minutes later, TA-DAAAA!
Sausage cheeseballs! Try not to eat them all in one sitting. Though you may not be able to refrain. And that’s okay. There’s no judging here. My judgment pants are at the cleaners.
Were I in the Midwest right now, I might make these for a party I would hold in my garage.** But I’m not, so I won’t. Besides, like I said, I made these for a friend of mine, and he’s from Seattle, so instead of a party in a garage these little tigers got packed up in some Tupperware and shipped down the street to meet there delicious demise. I like sharing a little piece of the Midwest to those from other parts of the country. It’s proof that we’re not just a bunch of flyover states.
Sausage Cheeseballs recipe courtesy of Jimmydean.com. (With some of my own notes as well.)
- 2 pkgs. (16 oz. each) pork sausage (to kick it up a notch, you can use one pkg of hot or zesty flavored sausage, because who doesn’t like spicy balls?)
- 1-1/2 cups all-purpose baking mix
- 16 oz. (4 cups) shredded sharp Cheddar cheese
- 1/2 cup finely chopped onion
- 1/2 cup finely chopped celery
- 2 teaspoons black pepper
- 2 teaspoons minced garlic (optional)
Preheat oven to 375 F. Combine all ingredients in a large mixing bowl; stir well. (Use your hands. It’s much, much easier. Like you’re making meatloaf or something.) Form into 1” balls. Place on ungreased baking sheet; bake 18-20 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from oven; cool 5 minutes before removing from pan. Serve with cocktail forks or toothpicks. (Or just use your damn hands. Pick them up with your fingers, for chrissake. Just make sure they’re washed first. Otherwise, ew. That’s gross.)
May be prepared ahead and frozen uncooked. To bake from frozen: thaw on baking sheet 15 minutes; bake in preheated oven 20-25 minutes or until golden brown. Variation: for firmer texture, add 3 cups baking mix and 2 cups shredded cheese to the ingredients listed above. (YEAH, IF YOU WANT FIRMER BALLS, DO THIS! HA! I SAID BALLS!)
*Yes, I said “y’all.” Yes, I realize I’m from Chicago, where we do not say “y’all.” However, I have lived in DC for four years now, which is muchly populated with southerners who do, indeed, say “y’all.” And apparently I’ve picked it up.
**If you understand that reference, then I love you, because you obviously understand my true heart.