Kathy Price spends her days nose-to-nose with actors. As a professional hair and make-up artist for the film and commercial industry, Price travels the globe prepping models and actors for the spotlight, but her home base is Grand Rapids. Price said because her day job is so social, cooking has become a time for her to relax and enjoy some alone time. “It can be intense at times. When I get in the kitchen it’s just me and the pots and pans. It allows me the time to unwind and express myself in a quieter way. I let the food do the talking.”
Price developed her love of cooking as a kid watching her grandmothers in the kitchen. “Both of my grandmothers were excellent cooks. I enjoyed being in the kitchen with them and they would give me little tasks and tastes. It is how they showed their love and I picked up on that. It brings me a lot of joy to cook for friends and family.”
Price is sharing her herbed chèvre cheese ball recipe, which she said is simple but can be elevated by a creative presentation. “I wanted to share something simple but delicious with familiar flavors but in a fun and creative form,” she said. “The cheese ball, inspired by nature which I am surrounded by in my country home. Perfect for your fall gatherings. The cheese mixture can be made days in advance and creating a little still life platter can be a Zen experiment for the chef or a fun project to pass onto the kids.”
Herbed chèvre cheese ball
16 ounces local fresh chèvre
Fresh finely chopped herbs: 1 tablespoon parsley; 1 tablespoon chives; 1 tablespoon dill; 1 teaspoon finely minced garlic; ¼ teaspoon lemon zest; ½ teaspoon kosher salt; ¼ teaspoon fresh ground tri-color peppercorns
Note: Cream cheese also can be substituted for chèvre or a mix of both if desired.
Top with almonds or pumpkin seeds
Almonds: Melt 2 tablespoons butter in a small sauce pan. Add 1 teaspoon kosher salt, 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce, 1 tablespoon soy sauce, 1/8 teaspoon cayenne. Pour over 2 cups of almonds and stir to coat. Spread on a baking sheet and roast at 250 degrees for 1 ½ hours. Pumpkin seeds: Mix 2 cups pumpkin seeds in 1 tablespoon olive oil and 1 teaspoon kosher salt. Spread on a baking sheet and roast at 250 degrees for 20 minutes.
Mix and chill the cheese ball. Roll the chilled cheese in your hands and form into a pine cone shape, slightly tapered on one end. Lay the log down on a piece of wax paper and starting at the top, place the seeds snugly in rows into the cheese. The wax paper will help you move it easily. It can be made a day in advance if kept chilled. Present on a platter with rosemary, crackers and whatever strikes your fancy.