Saturday, October 1, 2011

Simplicity At It's Best (Cherry Pistachio Goat Cheese Balls)

There are few things better than a relaxing week at the beach amidst the heat of summer. And if it's with a family that knows how to have fun and enjoys good food and drink as much as I do, then so much the better! Of course I'm referring to my beach week in Emerald Isle, NC back in August with P's Dad's family. Though I'd met almost everyone there before, this was actually the first opportunity I'd had to really get to know them.

Not only did I learn more about them, but they also got to know more about me. Including, surprisingly enough, my love of cooking and baking. Since the house they rented came with a fully stocked kitchen, I made them a bevy of treats including Oreo brownies, guacamole, tomato vodka pasta, and cheddar scallion biscuits.

Cherry Pistachio Goat Cheese Balls
In return they impressed me with an assortment of delights such as shrimp ceviche, fish tacos, apple pear and blueberry pie (using fruits straight from Uncle R's farm!), and a cranberry pistachio goat cheese log. The cheese log idea from P's awesome cousins, K and L, especially stuck with me with its ease of preparation and impressive presentation and taste. Sadly I can't bring the beach (or this wonderful family) to you, but I'm convinced this simple, elegant, and very tasty appetizer is the next best thing 8).

P.S. - If you're a US resident, don't forget to enter my giveaway of 100 custom-designed postcards (can also be used as invitations/holiday cards)! Only one more day to enter.

Cherry Pistachio Goat Cheese Balls [Printable Recipe]
Serves 6 to 10

6 oz. goat cheese, cool room temperature
3/4 cup tart dried cherries OR cranberries, finely chopped
1/2 cup shelled pistachios, lightly toasted and finely chopped
Large pinch of salt, optional
8 to 10 toothpicks, optional
Crackers, to serve

Add 3 tablespoons of chopped dried cherries to the goat cheese and mix in just until incorporated. Combine the remaining cherries and chopped pistachios in a medium-sized shallow bowl or deep plate. If pistachios aren't already salted, add a large pinch of salt to the mixture to taste. Divide goat cheese cherry mixture into 8 to 10 evenly-sized balls. Roll each ball in cherry pistachio mixture until well covered, and transfer to serving plate. Put a pick into the center of each ball, if desired. Serve immediately with your favorite crackers or refrigerate until ready to serve (up to 1 day).

38 comments:

  1. So simple, elegant and colourful! You have inspired me to try some melon, mango and ricotta balls that I have been toying around with in my head! Happy weekend!

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  2. Simple, but so delicious and refined loking!

    Cheers,

    Rosa

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  3. Love this. So simple and cute! I need to try these soon :)

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  4. These look gorgeous and so adorable. What a wonderful idea as appetizer for parties and celebrations. :)

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  5. Mmm, wonderful combination of flavours, and really pretty too! Would make a fantastic summer Christmas treat too (I'm in the Southern hemisphere)! Would be cool to have a little wide jar of drizzling honey to dip these in too

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  6. Love the simplicity and how the colors make this so gorgeous!

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  7. I'm sure P's family fell just as much in love with you as the rest of us have! These little cheese balls look so yummy! I'm definitely serving them at my next party/family get-together!

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  8. Beautiful, so jealous of your very talented picture taking skills.
    Take care...

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  9. These look gorgeous! Thanks for sharing!

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  10. I love this combination of ingredients. So simple and delicious!

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  11. simple, colorful and elegant. This would make for such a great appetizer at any party.

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  12. These are lovely and work for any season.

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  13. these are so sweet! i love goat cheese, pistachios, AND cherries...what a pretty presentation too!

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  14. Love the idea of using cherry and pistachio with goat cheese balls! Pretty!

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  15. Love this recipe! what a great flavor combo and it looks so simple and elegant :-). This will be an appetizer at our next party!

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  16. oh how I love these. LOOOOOOVE them!!!!

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  17. These sound delicious and look beautiful! Great combination of flavors and textures :).

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  18. I must say those look very simple and cute!!

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  19. Great combination of flavours there Xiaolu. It sounds like you had a truly wonderful time on holiday and it's great both families got to share through food :) I love that these are finger food friendly being on sticks.

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  20. Gosh these look and sound fantastic! We have an engagement party coming up that I am helping cater for and I think these might just have to be on the menu.xx

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  21. These are beautiful! I love the colors.

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  22. I too long for the lazy hazy days I enjoyed in North Carolina this summer, all the way back in May already. Wow. I love wearing my down vests and sweaters and all, but there's something about hot and sticky summer that I adore and can't get enough of:)

    I'm glad you had such a terrific time with all of those welcoming individuals, it sounds dreamy. This cheese sounds pretty enticing too;)

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  23. Sips and SpoonfulsOctober 4, 2011 at 3:15 AM

    I have had goat milk before but never goat cheese! Must try this for a party- it looks like the perfect appetiser!

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  24. Oh yes, it's simple yet looks cute and delicious!

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  25. Simple can be best, and these are just perfect.

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  26. Such a great appetizer! I made a log version of this for the holidays last year and it was a hit.

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  27. Mmm! Don't you love recipes like that. So simple and yet so good!

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  28. I have these exact ingredients waiting to be used. Thank you for saving me that endless recipe hunt which multiplies itself into other projects.

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  29. Love how simple & fun these are :)

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  30. everytime I pop by I see the prettiest desserts here ... they look fun to eat :)

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  31. Simple is most times the way to go if you ask me. The flavor combination in these balls is to die for. Absolutely love them.

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  32. WOW what a wonderful threesome! Love the idea and love it how simple and easy they are to roll up. These would not last too long in our home :)

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  33. Yumm so simple but so delicious looking!

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  34. I made these (with cranberries) for a baby shower last weekend. They were quite a hit! Thanks for sharing the recipe!

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  35. Thanks for letting me know! I'm so glad they worked out well =D.

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  36. This sounds incredible! And I'm imagining it ramped up with a little sweetness into a cheesecake variation, too :D

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  37. Wow just stumbled on this post and your blog and I LOVE IT. You have tasty, beautiful recipes. Will be following. :D

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