appetizers & recipes: men and cheese balls

Cheese Balls

This is the time of year where football fans are either disheartened and disgusted or elated. Unfortunately, I fall into the disheartened and disgusted category, which I should be used to by now. You see, I come from a long line of New York Jets fans. Having admitted that let me add humiliated to disheartened and disgusted. The last time the NY Jets won a super bowl was the year I was born. Humiliated, disheartened, disgusted and not getting any younger, I often wonder if they might win a super bowl during my lifetime.

The other set of football fans are those that are elated. They fall into two categories: (a) confident and elated (Green Bay Packer fans) or (b) finger nail biting elated (New York Giants fans). I have a friend who is a Packer’s fan and while he doesn’t brag for that would be bad luck, the air of confidence is there. I have a husband who is going to be praying and screaming the next time the Giants play, hoping they can pull off a win that keeps propelling them closer to the super bowl so that he can scream at the TV and pray again the next week.

For those of us in the category of disillusioned fan the only thing for us to cheer about now is the fun food we get to eat during playoffs and then the super bowl. There is plenty of this food available as the true fans of the teams playing are usually too tense to eat, leaving more for the rest of us. There is a method to our madness. Our teams are out of the running so we can eat without the threat of heartburn.

I love, love, love, football season food. There are hot wings, sliders, chips, dips, cheesy, gooey, yummy comfort foods in miniature, bite sized portions. What’s not to love! This past week I tried out a recipe as an alternative to jalapeno poppers. I made Paula Deen’s “Sizzlin’ Jalapeno Sausage Balls” (which happen to be 4 words that my husband feels should not be said in the same breath). Despite the name the recipe was well received which was good because it produced a lot of jalapeno sausage balls (about 60). If you have extra they do freeze well and reheat in the oven nicely.

Cheese Balls

Sizzlin’ Jalapeno Sausage Balls

Ingredients

1 pound spicy Italian sausage, casings removed
3 cups Bisquick
2 ½ cups grated sharp Cheddar
3 tablespoons cold butter, cut into small bits
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded, finely chopped

Dip:
1 cup mayonnaise
1 tablespoon mustard

Directions

1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Spray a baking sheet with vegetable oil cooking spray or line with parchment.

2. Combine all ingredients in a large glass bowl. Mix well with your fingers. If the mixture feels too crumbly add 1 to 2 tablespoons water as needed to bring the mixture together. Form mixture into 1 inch balls, squeezing the mixture so it holds together, then rolling it between the palms of your hands to form balls.

3. Place the balls on the baking sheet. Bake for 18 to 20 minutes or until golden brown.

4. To make the dip, combine the mayonnaise and mustard. Serve with sausage balls.

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16 comments

  • January 8, 2012 at 9:30 pm //

    I was just thinking of a similar recipe that I acquired while living in Cape Carteret! The ladies made these naughty treats (minus the jalapeño) for brunch at church. I think I threw out the recipe once during our vegetarian stint, so thanks for posting! I will be making these soon, and the jalapeno along with the dip will make them so yummy!

    • January 9, 2012 at 8:23 am //

      Hi Julie! You must have been the topic of conversation that day, huh? Oooo, please let us know if you try the recipe = )

  • January 8, 2012 at 11:10 pm //

    Aww, I’m sorry. I can relate a little, as a) I live in Cleveland, and the last time any Cleveland team won anything has been a good while and b) I’ve been a Red Sox fan since before the curse of Babe Ruth was broken.

    • January 9, 2012 at 8:25 am //

      That’s right Kiri, the Babe Ruth Curse… yai yai yai!

  • January 8, 2012 at 11:41 pm //

    You’re talking to a Sea-chicken fan….thank goodness there is the food. I think my favorite part of the Superbowl is the commercials and food!

    • January 9, 2012 at 8:23 am //

      OH yes, I totally agree Rhonda, Commercials and Food!

  • January 9, 2012 at 3:34 am //

    Hi! ( waving ) I am right next to you in the disheartened and disgusted category. The chick in KC Chiefs jersey is me! :) I am bookmarking the recipe, for two reasons: love the football season food too and at least that’s something to be excited about.

    • January 9, 2012 at 8:24 am //

      We are “waving” back atcha Anna = ) It if weren’t for football appetizers… I just don’t know!

  • January 9, 2012 at 9:30 pm //

    Hi, I love the sound of these & think so would my husband watching rugby (fanatic). What is bisquick? Is there a substitute I could use over here. Thanks in advance.
    Sheelagh.

    • January 10, 2012 at 12:01 pm //

      Hi Sheelagh, here is a great substitute: Ingredients:

      6 cups all-purpose flour, sifted
      3 tablespoons baking powder
      1 tablespoon salt
      1/2 cup cold butter
      Directions:

      Measure the sifted flour, baking powder and salt into a large bowl. Use a wire whisk to blend thoroughly.

      Cut in cold butter using a pastry cutter until thoroughly incorporated.
      Store refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 4 months.

  • January 10, 2012 at 3:35 pm //

    Those look great! We don’t really watch football anymore because when we can catch the games, they are at like 4 in the morning. However, my husband loves UFC, so he will get up to watch. I’ve been thinking of some snacks he could have at that time to go with the game. I think I will try this, but with breakfast sausage. Thanks for the idea!

    • January 11, 2012 at 8:49 am //

      Hi Alyssa! 4 am? Eeek, now that’s early!!!!

    • January 12, 2012 at 10:05 am //

      Thank you Jason! Okay… Jason, that is totally new to me, Swamp Venom, I quite like the sound of it, it sounds like your cheese balsa have quite a kick (or shall I sat bite to them)?

  • January 12, 2012 at 4:17 am //

    I’m not too into football unless it’s my university team playing. And my Hubs is into hockey, which people aren’t as crazy about here in the U.S., which is fine by me, makes things less crazy and less yelling at the tv! These sausage balls look awesome!

    • January 12, 2012 at 10:04 am //

      Thank you Stephanie!!! My partner is partial to Tennis and Beach Volley ball, she’s not a fan of football either!