Here we have one of those gems from the library sale shelves. The Sunset Appetizer Book, first published in 1965. For those of you who do not live on the west coast of the United States, Sunset magazine, "The magazine of western living", has been a staple since it began publishing in 1898. Sunset began publishing books in 1946 and I have collected a number of them through the years. They are thin, inexpensive, trendy, and always contain at least three recipes you will use for years to come.
Just look at the cover! The sliced, canned, black olive and cream cheese celery is not something I would ever serve, but Prosciutto Wrapped Melon, or Lox Stuffed with Cream Cheese and Onions, disappear in a hurry when put out for a party. This book holds enough really good recipes to keep your family and party guests fed until the end of time. One of my very favorites is Olive-filled Cheese Balls. Cheesy and almost spicy with a soft salty center and a warm crisp outside. At our last party they lasted about 15 minutes. I have never made too many.
Old, and sometimes tattered copies of the book can be found everywhere. Amazon has a few for sale starting at .48. Another edition was published in 1976. I promise the pictures of the Nut-studded Appetizer Cheeses are worth the price of admission.
Olive-filled Cheese Balls
1 cup (1/4 pound) shredded sharp cheddar cheese
2 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup flour (gluten free works great)
Dash of cayenne
25 medium-large green olives, well drained*
Preheat oven to 400F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. If you have a mini food processor, this is the place to use it.
Put all ingredients into the bowl of a food processor and run until the mixture is well blended and smooth. Remove the blade from the bowl before proceeding. I know you think you will be able to work around the blade, you won't and the resulting cut really hurts.
Wrap about a teaspoon of dough around the olive, covering completely, and set on baking sheet. When all olives have received their cheesy jackets, place the tray in the oven and bake for 15 minutes, until the olives just begin to brown. Serve warm.
Makes about 25 balls. Easy to double or triple.
*I like to use the unstuffed martini olives from the deli's olive bar. You can also use jarred martini olives, Santa Barbara Olive Company makes good ones, but are much pricier than the deli option.