CINDY CHAMBERS / WHOLE FOODS MARKET
1 pkg. (8 oz. each) Cream Cheese, softened
1 pkg. (8 oz.) Shredded Sharp Cheddar Cheese
1/2 cup Grated Parmesan Cheese
1/2 cup Mayonnaise
2 Green Onions, chopped
1/4 tsp. Pepper
1 cup Pecan Pieces, chopped
2 Tbsp. Pimiento Strips
In a medium bowl, mix together the first six ingredients. Shape into 2 round balls one smaller one for the head and one larger ball for the body and set aside. Place pecans on a flat plate or sheet pan and roll cheese ball in pecans to cover. Place on serving plate or platter.
To form the tail of the bird, working from left to right, place almond slivers in a rows to cover the back of the cheese ball.
To make the eyes and nose of the bird, place 2 cloves in the smaller ball for the eyes and one centered directly below the upper two for the nose. To attach the head to the body of the bird, use a tooth pick and inserted it in the "head" ball. Next, insert the other end of the tooth pick in the body of the bird.
The wings of the bird are formed by using two thin pretzel sticks, one on each side of the ball at the two o'clock position.
Surround the bird with your favorite crackers and serve.
Baked Apples with Raisins
6 7- to 8-ounce baking apples (such as Golden Delicious, Braeburn or Rome Beauty)
1 1/4 cups raisins
3/4 cup (packed) light brown sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 cup unfiltered apple juice or cider
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
Preheat oven to 375°F. Using melon baller, scoop out stem, core and seeds of apples, leaving bottom intact. Using vegetable peeler, peel skin off top half of each apple. Arrange apples, bottom side down, in 13x9x2-inch glass baking dish.
Stir raisins, sugar and cinnamon in small bowl to blend. Pack about 2 tablespoons raisin mixture into cavity of each apple. Sprinkle any remaining raisin mixture into dish around apples. Pour juice over and around apples. Dot apples with butter.
Bake apples 15 minutes; baste with juices. Continue to bake until apples are slightly puffed and tender but still holding their shape, basting every 10 minutes, about 1 hour. Transfer baking dish to work surface; let apples stand 10 minutes, basting occasionally. Spoon pan juices over apples and serve warm.