Saturday, October 25, 2014


He didn't want anything over the top, he proposed in the early morning and then gave her warning...he had invited over 100 of their closest family and friends over for an engagement party that evening!  Well, a little chaos ensued, all the girl wanted was to go out and shop for a nice outfit and to have fresh flowers in all of the bathrooms! 

I bought this cake at the grocery store I go to, it has a fabulous bakery.  I didn't plan it, I was actually going to just get an assortment of sweets.  Red Velvet.  Sigh.

I offered to make an appetizer and saw that I had Pinned this recently.  And lucky for you, its not too late to make it in time for Halloween.  I'm going to give you the recipe as I fiddled a bit with it.  But it's here.  And it's very simple.

~~~~Cheese Ball Pumpkin~~~~

8 oz. cream cheese
10 oz. fine sharp cheddar
1/4 c. blue cheese crumbles
2 t. Worcestershire sauce 
1/4 t. celery salt
1/4 t. onion salt

A mixture of finely chopped walnuts (about 1/2 cup) and 1 t. paprika. 

Mix the first 6 ingredients well,  I used my KitchenAid mixer.  Mold into a pumpkin shape.  This was a little weird, and yes, I did it with one hand so I know you can do it, too!  It was like shaping a meatloaf and I was doing it on parchment paper.  It just wasn't looking right so I gathered the paper around it and rolled it around to make it a ball shape.  Voila!  Press the top down a bit if you want a "fatter" pumpkin!

I put the chopped walnuts in a gallon freezer bag and crushed them for the most part with a mallet.  I would definitely crush them more the next time, perhaps on pulse in a food processor? Just looks better without the larger pieces.  Then you can run a butter knife down vertically spaced every few inches to make the natural lines in the pumpkin.  For the stem I used a real one from one of my pumpkins on the porch.  I rinsed it well and then wrapped the bottom portion in plastic wrap so it wouldn't come in contact with the cheese ball.  And though this all sounds like a huge process, it took about 15 minutes.  Note***  I doubled the recipe to get the size you see in the picture.  It would be one tiny pumpkin if you followed the amounts above!  And it was delicious with Triscuit crackers.

So this was one exciting night and I'm glad it all went down as Jeffrey wanted it to.  He was walking on air for the days before and channeling all his nervous energy into this.  He said that they had vaguely discussed marriage, but it was never a "plan".  The Husband and I are so happy that our son found such a great girl and he's embarking on a whole different stage of life.  And we love Deirdre already.  Mary Clare, Kevin's wife,  fit seamlessly into our lives.  She and her family are wonderful people and I'm so close to them.  And...another surprise, in the midst of the engagement party, MC got a call to go to the hospital, her sister Katie was in full on labor! 

Welcome Margot Brennan, born at 3:10 a.m.!  Healthy and cute and her parent are bowled over.  You have read about Katie and Kevin's love story here.  Oh, I can't wait to hold that bundle of cuteness!  Again. MC's family is like family to us.  I love each and every one of them.

The Husband and I also met Deirdre's family for the first time last night.  Her father, mother and sister are just the nicest people, very Irish (just love brogues!).  How I love these people already!  I think we will be great friends.  What is with all those horror stories of in laws?  We are loving it.  Maeve and I will be friends and future grandmother's together!  I am so lucky!

These are a pair of shoes I've been longing for that I recently purchased on Zappo's.  I love the cutout on the sides.  And the ankle strap makes for a flat that fits perfectly.  If they are too tight, ugh.  Too loose, they flop off at the heel.  Love them with skinny jeans rolled up a bit.  Oh, I love vacations and the excuse to shop beforehand!!  :)

That's it for now.  I will be back again later in the week!

Joining Cindy at Amazing Mondays!  Please visit to see so many amazing things!!

Jane xx 


Shirley said...

Hi Jane, So much is happening at your house. Congratulations to your son and his bride to be. Her ring is beautiful. I have enjoyed catching up with you. I will be glad when we get our first hard freeze. I am tired of allergies. I like your new stove and the pumpkin looked yummy. I will look forward to pictures of your trip hopefully. Have a great weekend. Hugs and Prayers from your Missouri Fried.

Bluebird49 said...

Wow! That ring s gorgeous, and the "diamond ring" cookies were just precious.
I wonder if I can blend the cheese ball with my hand mixer--it's a Kitchen Aide--but not a standing one. Yours was so cute, Jane!
I think you will need sweaters in Asheville in November--but who ever knows!? Fun times, either way. ;)

xos, Trudy

Bluebird49 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Leslie Harris said...

Congratulations Jane, on so many wonderful blessings going on at your home. The engagement party looks beautiful, and the best part is how your future daughter in law (and her family) fit in so well with you all. I hope we're that lucky some day.
Take care of your hand, sorry to hear about the infection :(
but I know it won't stop you from having a great time on your trip.

Susie said...

Blondie, Congratulations to your son and his wonderful girl. What a great surprise, and the fabulous party. Then to top it off with that adorable baby's arrival. Glad your hand is healing...I agree, I think keeping it dry is better. You are going to love your trip. Blessings, xoxo,Susie

It's me said...

Congratulations with your son's wedding....owww what a sweet baby....and i hope your hand Will heel quikly recover happy sunday from me Ria...!!

Rita C at Panoply said...

Congratulations and kudos to raising a son who enjoys the fanfare created with that life event! Ya gotta love a guy who has spirit! So many good things coming your way right now, and I'm happy for you. I know what you mean about the weather and planning - we just came from our trip and we both went through the same thought process of how to pack for transitional weather. Have fun on that trip!

Vicki @ lifeinmyemptynest said...

How exciting and best wishes to the happy couple. Another wedding in your future!

Julie Marie said...

Congratulations to Jeff and Deirdre... how exciting for everyone.. wow, a party for 100 close friends?... now that's alot of close friends!... and a new baby in the family... and your hand is doing better... love hearing good news... your pumpkin cheeseball is adorable, I saw it on your pin on Pinterest and kept it too... and a trip to Ashville... so happy for you Jane... sending much love, xoxo... Julie Marie

Kathy @ Creative Home Expressions said...

Well, you have had a lot going on, Jane! Congratulations to the newly engaged couple. Her ring is gorgeous.

Glad to hear you got that infection and stitches taken care of. I can't believe they called you that same day to set up the next one. Sheesh! Give a girl a little break between surgeries! : )

Have a great week!

Theresa said...

So much HAPPY in this post:) Congrats to the happy couple and the baby is precious! Happy that your hand is healing! Take care of that hand! Have a blessed Sunday dear Jane, HUGS!

Unknown said...

Wow!! What fun! Beautiful ring. What a sweet family you have. So happy for all of you. Take care of your hand, and have fun on your trip. :)

Primitive Stars said...

Morning Jane, Congrats to the sweet couple to be, great party.... I love your ring, so beautiful and take care of that hand..... That is the cutest pumpkin cheese ball ever, I want to make it, thanks. Have a great day, Blessings Francine.

Anonymous said...

so much happy happy at your house, and oh my I love those shoes, oh I do!!!!

Gypsy Heart said...

Such excitement in your family! Congrats to the couple and yes, the ring is stunning! Glad your hand is improving. I'd be over the moon going to Asheville ~ enjoy!


Betsy Brock said...

So many fun and exciting things happening! Glad your hand is improving, too. Love the engagement party, sweet and that pumpkin cheese ball is adorable! yum!

Marty@A Stroll Thru Life said...

Congratulations to you and your son. It looks like a fabulous engagement party. Have fun on your trip.

Debbie said...

What a beautiful ring your son designed. Congratulations to your son and his fiancé. So many happy occasions to celebrate in your family. I love the pumpkin cheese ball! I think I will make this for a thanksgiving snack while we're watching the Bears! Hope you have a wonderful time on your trip.

Simply LKJ said...

Lots of wonderful things happening with your sweet family. Those cookies are so adorable. Praying your next surgery and recovery go smoothly.

Row homes and Cobblestones said...

Glad your stitches are out and all is healing. you have been strong though it all and brave I will add.
Congratulations to your son and his future bride. The engagement ring is indeed beautiful. Red velvet cake is my favorite cake! OMGosh the cookies too adorable, whoever made them did an outstanding job.
I'm going to make the toooooooo cute pumpkin cheese ball this week but can even be made up to Thanksgiving. Always love a visit to your blog.

Helen said...

Hi Jane! Great post ~ I'm exhausted just reading about all of the excitement (both good and bad) .. So sorry you developed an infection, thrilled with news of your son's engagement ~ and seriously loving those shoes! Happy Sunday!

Art and Sand said...

After 13 hours in the ER and 2 units of blood, I am back, almost. At least I can sit and read my favorite blogs.

Our son also recently go engaged. I have never planned a wedding and I am amazed at all the work. Aylin's parents left on 1 month European vacation just a week after the engagement so I am helping them find venues and checking them out. So far nothing has "fit", but I heard of a place last night and sent them a link. They love it and can't wait to check it out.

Thanks for the sweet shout out on the banner. I love how you have it stretched across the fireplace. I am glad that I added the hearts to make it a little longer.

podso said...

Congratulations to your family!

Terri Steffes said...

Congrats to you and your family! She sounds like a wonderful woman. Love the cookies, too! I love her ring, and the sentiment that went with it! I hope your hand gets better. That's no fun. Can't wait to hear about the trip!

Mary@mydogsmygardenandmary said...

Congratulations Jane! I am so happy that your son found a wonderful young lady. Her family sounds great and what a great wedding they will have. The ring is to die for - so special and beautiful.
Glad that you hand is much better.
I know you can hardly wait to go on vacation. Have a wonderful time - eat, sleep and just relax and enjoy those beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains.

Lisa @ Texas Decor said...

Congrats to Jeff and Deirdre! Looks like many fun times are ahead for your sweet family! Enjoy every minute of it!

Unknown said...

Congrats to you and your family, Jane! Love the ring and all the yummy food! How cute are those cookies! I hope your hand heals well soon.

jp@A Green Ridge said...

You have been so busy with wonderful things happening in your life, healing should be the least thing on your mind!!!...:)JP

SImple and Serene Living said...

Congratulations to the happy couple, Jane. What a gorgeous ring. He did good. Hope that hand heals up quickly. Your next surgery is so very soon. xo Laura

Sandi~A Cottage Muse said...

Wow, congrats, the ring is gorgeous and the cookies are so cute!
Just might try that pumpkin app, looks yummy!
Take care of yourself!

Carla from The River said...

Thank you for sharing your fun news.
What a grand party. :-)
Glad you are feeling better. I am like you when it comes to stuff like that. I do not like pain at all and worry.
Love the shoes...excited for you.
xx oo

chateau chic said...

Exciting things going on with you and your family! Congrats to your great when the families blend so well. Sounds like a fabulous celebration.
Have a wonderful vacation, Jane!
Mary Alice

Beth said...

So happy for your son and d-i-l to be! Beautiful ring, beautiful hand, and the pumpkin cheeseball and fancy cookies are amazing. Glad your hand is healing too. Sorry you have to go through it again but in a few weeks it will be totally behind you and you'll be glad it's over. Enjoy your vacation!
Hugs, Beth

Brenda Pruitt said...

Congrats on all the good family news! There's been a lot of that around your place lately. Oh, I hope after this surgery I can one day wear shoes again. Two of the same shoes would be wonderful. Instead of one sneaker and a steel boot.

Elaine said...

Always busy in your family. Your son sounds so sweet! Glad he found his soul mate.

You are lucky to have such a nice extended family!

Love the pumpkin cheeseball. That would be perfect for my Harvest Dinner that is coming up on Saturday.

Is that your fireplace? Gorgeous!

Melanie said...

Lots of exciting things going on in your life! Congratulations on your new soon-to-be DIL. Her ring is so pretty and those cookies are so cute. Glad your hand is feeling much better.

Kit said...

Such wonderful things going on! And glad to hear your hand is doing better. Enjoy the anticipation of your trip. :) Kit

Courtney@Golden Boys and Me said...

Jane, Congrats on the many blessings happening in your life!! I am now following along and so glad that you found me through Kris. Courtney

Heather @ Simple Wives said...

What a gorgeous ring! And I love that cheese ball...will have to give it a try! :)

Anonymous said...

Hi Jane,
Oh, I loved this post, laughed out loud with the pic of your hand, and how you just woke up and they were calling you to schedule the next one! but happy news with your son and fiancé, that's wonderful. Love the cookies!! xx Nancy (Stonecrop Sister)

Cindy (Applestone Cottage) said...

Hi Jane,
Congrats dear friend! That is great news, and what a beautiful ring..oh my.
And that baby, how cute! Won't be long until your grandbaby girl is here.
Going to Ashville should be just about perfect this time of year.
Oh I feel a bit envious!
My mom and her sister are leaving for Williamsburg, VA in the morning. That seems awfully wonderful too. Loving all your pictures too.
Hugs friend and enjoy that trip!
And take care of that sore hand.

sandy said...

oh so sorry about your poor hand :( and after you talked about your hand and then showed your future daughter-in-laws hand, i thought it was yours and i thought wow that's healing rather nicely lol but congratulations to them! weddings are always nice to look forward to :)

oh well, i was a bit confused till i read further. but i will be thinking and praying for your 2nd surgery to go well and heal quickly! wish you didn't have to go through that at all!

sandy said...

i just read where you said you were going to be in Asheville in a week. and you sound like me with the packing. i always take too much. we spent 10 days in the smokies over Labor Day and had to make a quick stop in Asheville along the way. I just love that place and the people are really cool too. it's like a great big going back in time hippie city lol have fun! don't take too much lol remember you can wash things :) {famous last words because we had a washer and dryer in the cabin too and i didn't listen to myself}

Babs said...

So many wonderful fun family times at your house. Glad you hand is doing nicely. Have fun in Asheville. We've been there several times and always had a nice visit. Hugs. :)

Scribbler said...

Congratulations on all the happy goings-on in your family! Lucky is the family with "extensions" everyone loves or at least likes.

Hope your hand is tip-top soon, and that you have a wonderful time on your trip.

I looked up that recipe for the goulash and save it. I used to make it years ago, although it probably was a little simpler than this one. If the weather ever gets cool enough here, I am going to give this one a try.

Kathleen Grace said...

Sweet mother of diamonds! Your son should be a jewelry designer, that ring is fabulous! Congratulations to him, what a happy time! That cheese ball looks so yummy, I really thought it was a real warty pumpkin!

Poppy said...

Such sweet and joyous happenings in your world, Jane; I'm so thrilled for you and your family! Glad the hand is on the mend - keep being a good girl and you'll be able to bake up a storm just in time for Christmas!

P.S.: Those cookies are TOO cute!!

Kelly said...

I'm just like you and get very chatty when I'm nervous. I rattled the alphabet outloud while I got my epidural while in labor with my last child. LOL!!! (Very embarrasing, looking back.) Glad that your hand is getting better. Congrats on your son's engagement! Even better that you like his fiance. I loved the cute cookies at their party too.

Unknown said...

Hello Jane,
I'm having so much fun catching up with your blog today. Congrats and best wishes to your son on his engagement. Indeed this is a happy time to be celebrated. You had me at that cheese ball that looks like a pumpkin. Just added a couple of items to the shopping list for that one. Happy fall dear Jane!

Judy at GoldCountryCottage said...

Jane, I can't believe what's going on around your house. So much excitement. Congratulations to your son and his fiance. That is so wonderful. It is important that you like the new additions to your family. That little appitizer looks so pretty and sounds yummy..Glad your hand is doing better and have a very Happy Halloween..Judy

Suzanne said...

You have such exciting and wonderful things happening (except for that hand, of course)! So glad you're feeling better, and congratulations on all your great news! xo

deb @ frugal little bungalow said...

Was this ever a fun one! Love the ring, the pumpkin cheese ball is ingenious, and those cookies!!!! How cute !!

Glad the infection is clearing up too and what a precious little baby!

Maria Elena said...

Jane, first i want to say I am glad you are doing better and the infection is under control. Surgery is not fun, that's for sure. Congratulations on your son's engagement! What a wonderful surprise!That is a gorgeous ring.
Have lots of fun on your trip! Hugs, Maria

Karen (Back Road Journal) said...

I've just spent the morning catching up on your journal and what a nice way to end with the engagement of your son…congratulations. Hopefully your hand is on the mend from the infection. Wishing you good times.

Jacqueline said...

Jane, what a wonderful ring with a new little one and a wedding on the horizon! You are so busy. Glad that your hand is beginning to heal.
Congrats to Deidre and Jeffery, what a beautiful ring and looks like they had a wonderful party - nothing big right?!!
Have a wonderful trip. We are off next week too. So crazy just to get ready to go!!

Traci said...

Congratulations on the engagement!! How exciting! Those cookies look amazing!! So glad you're feeling better. Hate that you have another surgery to go through.

Anonymous said...

Hi Janie! Congratulations to your son and his sweetie! Those little cookies are so cute and I wish them the very best. You poor little thing with your hand. Thanks for popping in to see me and I hope you'll heal very quickly.
Be a sweetie,
Shelia ;)

Unknown said...

Congrats to your son and future daughter in law!! The party is fabulous. Jane, thanks so much for stopping by and your pumpkin is adorable.


TexWisGirl said...

1. i sure hope your infection heals up right as rain so you don't have to worry about it for your trip!

2. sorry about already scheduling the next surgery (bummer...)

3. CONGRATULATIONS on the engagement! sounds like you'll be gaining a wonderful daughter! LOVE those cookies!

4. what a nice way to propose - privately, at first, then the party later!

Balisha said...

I'm going to try your pumpkin appetizer for Thanksgiving. What is the appetizer on the tray with two tomato looking (salsa?) Almost looks like a roll up of some sort?
Have a great day,

Balisha said...

I forgot....Congrats on all the new goings on in your family.


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Stan and Jody Gabara said...

Jane, Congrats to your son and future bride. The party looked like so much fun and the cookies were darling!! The ring is gorgeous, Lucky girl! Glad you hand is doing better! Take care and have a wonderful vacation!