Meat, Cheese and Crackers

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As you may or may not know, my family and I celebrated my wife’s Birthday this last weekend.  I received such a good response from some of you on Facebook, wishing my wife a Happy Birthday, that I decided to share one of the things I did for her.  And since it pertains to food I thought you might enjoy this.

As you can see in the photo above, I’ve got 2 plates covered with Cured Meats, Crackers and Cheese.  Which in most places around the world, it can really eat a hole in your wallet.  I mean, it’s no secret that cured meats and cheese can be very pricey.  Especially if you start getting exotic.  Where I live, for example, I can buy 4 oz. of Prosciutto for about $10 bucks.  But, that’s virtually $40 dollars a pound!  Are you kidding me?

So am I telling you that’s what I spent for each one of these cured meats?  No, I’m not and I didn’t even come close to that kind of expense.  The Great thing about food is nobody wants it to go to waste.  So if you hit the markets when they’re in rotation, you’re going to save your self a ton of money.

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Another example, in the above photo I have two different Salami’s; Genoa and Boars Head Black Pepper Salami.  Both are a half pound each and were marked down 50%.  The Prosciutto was only 2 dollars for 3 oz.  But at full price, on any other day, I would’ve spent $20 bucks just for what you see on the plate and when it was all said and done, I walked out the door paying only 1/3 that price.

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Now when it comes to these Cheese’s the price continues to soar. That is, unless you can pick these up on rotation too, and you can.  The funny thing about cheese, however, is you can’t really tell when it goes bad because it stinks when you buy it.  So you’re completely at the mercy of the attendants that swapping out the prices to keep up with the expiration dates.

Between these five cheese’s alone one could spend $40 to $50 dollars all together.  Some of these slices normally range between $8 and $13 bucks a piece.  There’s a Fromager D’affinois Cheese that is very mild and Creamy(top left), a Port Salute(Orange Label) that is mild and creamy as well just a slighly different taste.  The Blue Cheese is obvious, you either like it or you don’t.  The English White Stilton with Blueberry interesting because it’s very sweet and similar to the taste of cheese cake.  And last but not least, the Jarlsberg lite, which is just a fancy way of saying “Deli Swiss”.  And if you’re wondering what’s in the middle, those are my Marinated and Roasted Cherry Tomatoes!

So the night before my wife’s Birthday, we started celebrating each others company with the peace and quiet of the house(after we put the kids to bed), the widescreen with Netflix, a cheap box of wine and some very expensive Meats and Cheese’s that I bought for practically nothing.  And just so you know, I’m not a cheap bastard, I just know how to live and moments like these are priceless! 😉

Hickory Farms Celebration Collection


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Boudin Balls – Fried Rice Pudding Blood Sausage

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Classic Boudin Balls Recipe

This Boudin Balls recipe is a classic recipe that has been spun into a fun appetizer that is starting to make a heavy appearance on menus in the South. Whether you pronounce it Boudin or Boudain, this Cajun recipe has got Balls.  I’m talking heat, flavor, crunch and it just so happens that they are rolled up all sphere like.  Hence the recipe name, Boudin Balls.  But make no mistake.  This Boudain Balls recipe is perfect for stuffing links if that’s what you prefer.  I’m telling you that this Boudin recipe is hands down as good as it gets and I’m betting that it’s even better than you’re moms recipe too!

If you don’t know what Boudin Balls are or even what Boudin is, let’s talk about it for a minute.  Most Americans think it originated in the South but the truth is there are all forms of Boudin throughout Europe.  Some people call it rice pudding or blood sausage.  Both are fairly accurate descriptions but for the most part, it’s generally a very potent rice pudding blood sausage with a concentrated spicy taste.  It’s normally twisted up in stuffed hog casings that can be smoked, grilled, baked or even pan fried.  And now, with this Boudin Balls recipe, it can be deep fried.

If you’re interested in learning how to stuff Boudin or more Cajun and Southern recipes, Check out the links below.

CLICK HERE for Boudin
CLICK HERE for Crawfish Etouffee

CLICK HERE for Jambalaya

Boudin Balls Ingredients:

4 cups white rice, cooked
1 lbs Ground Andouille Sausage
1/2 lbs Chicken liver
1 Celery stalk, chopped
1/2 Red Onion, chopped
3 Garlic Cloves, chopped
1 Jalapenos, chopped
1 Bell Pepper, chopped
1/2 cup Fresh Parsley, chopped
1/2 cup Scallions

2 Cups Chicken Broth
1 Cup Clam Juice
2 tbs Butter
1 tbs kosher salt (or to taste)
2 tbs freshly ground black pepper
1 tbs Worcestershire
1 tsp cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp chili powder
1/4 cup Red Wine

1 cup Seasoned Flour, Salt/Pepper/Paprika to taste
3 eggs, beaten
1 cup Panko/Seasoned Bread Crumbs/Corn Meal (equal parts)
Oil for frying

Fry Boudin Balls for 2 to 3 minutes at 375 degrees f or until golden brown.

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Boudin Balls
Boudin Balls

Broccoli and Cheese Dip with Marinated Artichoke Hearts

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I love this Broccoli and Cheese Dip and so does my family.  I think this is something you’re bound to fall in love with yourself.  Make no mistake about it.  This will become one of your regular party, snack or appetizer favorites.  It’s quick, easy and a solid crowd pleaser.  You can serve this hot with chips, or a toasted sliced baguette, or serve it cold and use it as a spread.  I’m half tempted to even try this over Chicken or stuffed inside a Cordon Bleu, it’s that good!  But don’t take my word for it.

If you are interested in another recipe idea for a dip or something with Broccoli, take a look at these two below.

Spinach and Artichoke Dip CLICK HERE!

Cream of Broccoli Soup CLICK HERE!

Broccoli and Cheese Dip Ingredients:

2 cups Velveta Cheese
1 cup Heavy Whipping Cream
1 cup Fresh Broccoli, chopped
1 cup Marinated Artichoke Hearts, chopped
1/2 tsp Black Pepper (optional)