Charred Corn Salsa

Charred Corn Salsa
It felt like spring the latter half of this week. The sun was shining, the last of the snow that has persisted in our street for weeks has melted, and it was nice enough to wander about without a jacket. The thrill of the weather finally breaking is one of my favorite moments each season!

Perhaps associated with the first burst of warm-ish weather, I tend to also get an itch to vacation at this time of year. It might also be years of Spring Break indoctrination, but I suddenly yearn to pack my bags for some tropical adventure! Not that I actually did a lot of that growing up, but the once or twice that we did vacation somewhere warm over Spring Break were enough to permanently spark anticipation every February. Unfortunately, we have no imminent vacation plans for this spring. So! To ease my wanderlust, I’ve settled by making some charred corn salsa.


Pile o’ Presents Cheeseballs

Party presents of cheese
Last Sunday, I threw a big ol’ festive holiday party. You may not be entirely surprised to learn that parties at my house tend to be more about the food than anything else. I decorate, sure, and put on some appropriately celebratory Pandora tunes, but mostly a party offers me a moderately justifiable excuse to try out as many recipes for fancy-pants finger food, seasonal desserts, and standard snacky favorites as I can possibly cram into the 2-3 days prior to the first guest knocking on the door. One might suspect that I throw parties primarily for my own curiosity (and, of course, my little food blog) and invite over friends merely to vacuum up the copious amounts of food I typically prepare. (Of course, dear friends, this is not the case, but when one is awake and cooking at 6am the morning of a party, one must question one’s motives.)

And there is no better time of year for party food. Whether it’s an office bash or a neighborhood block party or simply a gathering of friends and family, you can never go wrong with a table filled with edible holiday splendor. Many of the posts in the coming weeks will focus on party-ready treats that make worthy contributions to any festive spread. And what classic shall we feature today? The cheeseball!

Cheesy gifts

This isn’t just a cheeseball. This is THREE cheeseballs.  Better still: this is three cheesePRESENTS. We’re taking an already-classic holiday favorite and raising it to the tenth Christmas power. Plus, this way you don’t have to choose between your favorite cheeseball flavors… you can make them ALL!


Caramelized Onion Dip

A shift in the weather has finally come to North Carolina.  After a disgustingly hot Labor Day weekend, the last few days have been gloriously cool. I’m thrilled for fall to arrive, but sometimes, I think the transition into the season is almost more exhilarating than the heart of the season itself. Just a few months ago, I ached for the warmth of summer. I couldn’t wait to shed my scarves, jeans, and sweaters and swap them out for flip flops and tank tops. But now, as we teeter on the outer edge of a long, hot summer, I can’t wait to don my long-sleeved tees, comfy socks, and tall, brown boots.

Buuuut it’s still a bit warm for that. But there are still plenty of ways to get ready for fall. One of them is to add this rockin’ dip to your TO MAKE IMMEDIATELY list. Take it to your next football tailgate, Halloween party, or movie night. Seriously, I urge you to find any excuse.

I’ve “made” onion dip before. A packet of onion soup mix and a tub of sour cream and shazam! Chip & dip time! But this is unlike any onion dip I’ve ever had. probably because it actually features the fine, fine flavors of real onion. A LOT of onion. This recipe yields about three cups, but it starts with four full cups of raw onion. Then, aided by the deep and sultry additions of balsamic vinegar and brown sugar, those crisp raw onions transform until their decadent, caramelized selves.