Everything Bagel Cheeseball

Everything Bagels are always a favorite at the Cheese Shop.  Here we carried the same wonderful combination of flavors to a cheese ball.  I served this to a group of teenagers who devoured it and begged for more!




Cheeseball Ingredients

  • 8 ounces Appel Farms Quark, room temperature
  • 6 ounces Appel Farms Black Pepper Cheddar, coarsely shredded
  • 1 ounce Appel Farms Extra Sharp Cheddar, coarsely shredded
  • 8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
  • 2 Tbsp chopped green onions
  • 6 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled

Topping Ingredients

  • 2 Tbsp dehydrated onion
  • 2 Tbsp dry minced garlic
  • 2 Tbsp poppy seeds
  • 2 Tbsp sesame seeds
  • Salt to taste


In a mixing bowl, mix together Quark, Cheddars, cream cheese, green onions, and bacon.

Form the cheese mixture into a ball and wrap it tightly in plastic wrap; chill in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours to let it harden a bit and the flavors to come together.  Even better, the cheeseball can be made the day before.

In another small bowl, mix together the topping ingredients.

Once cheeseball is set, roll it the topping mixture to completely cover.  Serve it with some bagel chips, crackers, pretzels, or fresh veggies.


Cheese Crackers

A customer recently requested this recipe. I first posted it in 2010 and she loved it.  She told me that she brought these crackers to parties and they were always a hit, but she lost the recipe somewhere along the way.

When I first posted it, I used a little cookie cutter in the shape of an alligator that my mother had given to me.  The woman who called told me that she searched for months to find an alligator cutter because she thought it was so cute.  She couldn’t find an alligator, but she did find a mouse.  Then I, of course, had to search for a  cookie cutter in the shape of a mouse.  I didn’t find a mouse, but I did find a rat from a Halloween set.  His tail didn’t stay on very well, but he turned out pretty cute…if you think rodents are cute.

cheese crackers (26 of 45)

cheese rat mouse

Cheese Crackers

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ¼ cup cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
  • 8 ounces grated Appel Farms Jalapeno Gouda, or flavor of your choice
  • 3 – 4 Tbsp ice water

Place the flour, salt, and butter in a food processor.  Pulse until the mixture resembles coarse meal.  Add the cheese a little at a time, pulsing after each addition, until the mixture again resembles coarse meal.

Add the water, one tablespoon at a time, until the dough forms a ball.  Pulse between each addition and be careful not to add too much water.

Form the dough into two balls and wrap each in plastic wrap.  Chill for at least one hour or up to 24 hours.

Using one dough ball at a time, roll the dough to about 1/8 inch thick.  Cut the dough into small shapes, with whatever method you prefer and transfer to a baking sheet.

Roll dough really thin

Cut into fun shapes
Stores with baking supplies have fun mini cutters

Bake the crackers


Bake at 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes or until golden brown, keep an eye on them after 10 minutes, they can overcook quickly.

When all the crackers are done, turn off the oven and pile the crackers onto a baking sheet.  Put the crackers back into the warm oven for anywhere from an hour to overnight, this will make them crispy.  The time it takes varies depending on how big and how thick the crackers are.

Alligator cheese cracker
My alligator cracker from six years ago

Feta Dip

Feta Dip

Our neighbor Shyla has a secret garden at her house.  It’s a wondrous thing.  The entrance is by the driveway between massive rhododendron bushes.  You wouldn’t see it if you didn’t know it was there and when she invited me to it, there was a gargantuan spider guarding the entrance.  The spider sits just above eye level for me so I almost didn’t see it.  At the last moment, I performed an awkward and embarrassing dodging movement, but I successfully made it into the secret garden.  I have no doubt that my moves would have looked hilarious to anyone watching.


Shyla grows vegetables in her secret garden, more than they can eat, so she shared her bounty with me.  She and her whole family are some of the most generous people I have ever met.  Living next to a dairy farm is not always pleasant.  We are noisy, we are messy, and we are smelly, but they shrug it off and bring over pounds of rhubarb and tomatoes.



I served some of Shyla’s tomatoes with a Feta Dip and it was very popular.  I also picked up some carrots, celery, cucumber, broccoli, and kohlrabi from Small’s garden.  Vegetables fresh from the garden have wonderful flavor and the mellow dip compliments the flavors without overpowering them.

Feta Dip

Feta Dip

  • 1 cup Appel Farms Yogurt
  • 3 ounces Appel Farms Basil Tomato Feta (or flavor of your choice)
  • 1 small garlic clove, minced

Combine and chill 1-2 hours before serving.  Can be made a day ahead.

Fried Cheese Bites

Eating the Beast Mode Bite

The kids in our area are headed back to school this week.  Even without young kids, you can feel the excitement electrifying the air.  Moments like this bring back so many memories, so many first days, so many changes, so much growth.  The time flits by so quickly that suddenly those days are gone.  We are in a new phase with adult children living their own lives.  I am so proud to see their growth and maturity, at the same time, I miss those special moments and exciting changes.

I get to have some fun moments with my friend’s children though.  I invited a friend over to help me with a recipe for Fried Cheese Bites.  This appetizer is so fun to make that I knew her kids would love to help, and they certainly did.Big brother is helping little sister with cutting the dough

Even the youngest, Grace, got into the mix with the help of her big brother Michael.  They used a pizza cutter and my quilting ruler to cut the dough into even squares.

Casey is wrapping the cheese in dough

Peyton and Casey working together

Casey and Peyton took pieces of cheese and carefully wrapped them in dough.  It’s important to make sure that the cheese is completely covered with no openings so the cheese doesn’t ooze out into the oil during frying.

Michael and Grace working together

These kids have the biggest appetites that I have ever seen and the energy to match.  We make lots and lots of bites, and none of them went to waste.

Fried Cheese Bites

  • 4 cups vegetable oil
  • 1 can (8 oz) Pillsbury™ refrigerated Crescent Dough Sheet
  • 8 oz Jalapeno Gouda, cut in 1/2 to 3/4 inch cubes
  • Condiments, if desired.

In deep fryer or 3-quart heavy saucepan, heat oil over medium heat to 350°F.

Unroll dough, and cut lengthwise into 4 strips, then cut crosswise into 8 rows, making 32 squares.

Roll piece of dough around each Gouda Cube; stretch dough, and press to seal edges and completely cover the cheese.

Fry cheese bites a few at a time for about 1 minute, turning occasionally until dough is completely cooked through and deep golden brown. Drain on paper towels, and keep warm.

Serve warm with condiments.  We used pizza sauce and the kids loved it!

Grace serving the cheese

Recipe adapted from Pillsbury