These green cheese turtles are one of my all-time favorite food creations. I loved the more realistic look these little guys wound up with when I substituted melted mozzarella for caramel and a spinach leaf for melted chocolate.
But until last night, I’d never made a second attempt because my kids just weren’t that into them. Gooey mozzarella wasn’t enough to entice the conservative eaters, while the cute little critters were simply too bland for those with bolder palettes.
With Colleen attending school for the first time next week, though, I’m looking for vegetarian lunch-box fodder. I thought upgrading the mozzarella to Grandma Decker’s cheese ball recipe* might make them more appealing.
And they were — to just about everybody except Colleen. So these won’t be going in her lunchbox after all. But thanks to the upgrade, I probably will put these guys on my list of fun party appetizers.
1. Make or buy cheese ball (recipe below).
2. Arrange pecans in groups of three to represent turtles’ head and two legs.
3. Scoop about a teaspoon of cheese ball onto each pecan trio.
4. Cover with a fresh spinach leaf.
*This test batch was actually a much simplified version of the following recipe in an attempt to not freak out Colleen. In future batches, I’ll just go ahead and use the full-blown version below.
Grandma Decker’s cheese ball
8 ounces Philly cream cheese
8 ounces cream cheese with chives
½ cup soft English cheese
2-3 ounces blue cheese
1/3 cup parsley flakes
1/3 cup English walnuts
Mix half the parsley flakes and walnuts with everything else. When mixed and shaped into a ball, roll in the remaining parsley and walnuts.
Note: This makes a fairly large cheese ball, as I recall. When I’ve made this in the past, I’ve often made it into two separate balls.