Spooky Bash in a Dash

Looking for some snacks that go perfectly with cold fronts and scary movies? Give your Wind & Willow products a spooky twist with these 5 easy serving suggestions. You will be ready to throw a spooky bash in just a dash!

Pumpkin Pie Cheeseball

Pumpkin Pie Cheesecake Cheeseball with bell pepper stem

If a Pumpkin Pie Cheeseball was not already the most festive item on our dessert table, shaping it into a pumpkin will send it over the top! After allowing your cheeseball to chill in the fridge, shape it into a ball and roll it in the graham topping. Then, use kitchen twine or the back of a knife to press ridges into the cheeseball. Top with a stem from a bell pepper to complete the look.

Graveyard Dirt Cake

orange and black halloween graveyard dirt cake cheesecake trifles

Our take on dirt cake replaces the traditional pudding filling with a rich cream cheese stripe. Lay down a base of crushed sandwich cookies followed by a layer of Spiced Orange & Chocolate Cheeseball. Then, sprinkle on the cookie topping. Lastly, decorate with gummy worms and headstone cookies to add the graveyard feel.

Caramel Cheesecake Stuffed Apples

Cheesecake stuffed caramel apples

These baked apples are filled with Caramel Apple Cheeseball, drizzled with caramel sauce, and sprinkled with graham cracker topping. Its like a caramel apple meets cheesecake meets apple pie. Yes, please!

Trick and Treat Cheeseballs

Sweet and Savory Cheese balls for Halloween appetizers

Our friends Trick and Treat have a secret to tell. One is sweet and one is savory, but it is up to your guests to guess who is who! Decorate a sweet cheeseball with red licorice candy and taffy eyes. Meanwhile, hint at your savory cheeseball with chips, olives, and peppers.

Spooky Dessert Pizza

Spooky Halloween Dessert Pizza pumpkin Shape

This dessert pizza is spread with Pumpkin Pie Cheeseball and topped with caramel sauce, apple pieces, and festive candy. A bell pepper stem gives it the look of a pumpkin. This dessert is a crowd pleaser without a doubt!

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Turtle Cheesecake Brownies

As summer fades into autumn, our cravings have also started to shift. Instead of light meals designed to keep us cool, we are wanting warm hearty dishes fit for a cold front. Soup, Chili, and all the flavors of fall are on our menu this month. Most of all, we are looking forward to some decadent desserts this season.

From everything pumpkin to our favorite apple pie recipe, we can’t get enough dessert this fall. Our new favorite is the decadent Turtle Cheesecake Brownie recipe we are sharing with you today. They have a thick brownie base and a creamy turtle cheesecake swirl. Frankly, they are irresistible once you have drizzled them with a bit of caramel sauce.

Turtle Cheesecake Swirl Brownies with Wind & willow

There are a few tricks to make this recipe turn out photo perfect every time. First, if you want perfect squares, place parchment paper in your 8 x 8 pan first and then spray that with non-stick cooking spray. This will allow you to lift the brownies right out of the pan once they have cooled, then you can easily cut them on a cutting board to create perfect squares.

Many boxed brownie mixes have two options: chewy/fudgy or cakey. The chewy option usually takes only two eggs instead of 3. This is the one you will want to use. Likewise, if you are using a homemade recipe look for one that only uses 2 eggs or says chewy/fudgy.

To get a perfect swirl every time, pour your brownie batter in the pan first, then dollop the top with spoonfulls of the cream cheese mixture. Drag a butter knife through the two mixtures to swirl the dollops of cream cheese together with the brownie batter. Mix only until you see swirls. If you over mix, the two will just become one light brown color. The contrast between the two textures is the best part!

Drizzle caramel over your Wind & Willow Turtle Cheesecake Swirl Brownies

To take this recipe over the top, we suggest you finish it with a generous drizzle of caramel before serving. The best part about these brownies might be that they are just as good cold as warm – playing to either the brownie or the cheesecake aspect.

Turtle Cheesecake Brownies

Ingredients

Wind & Willow Turtle Cheesecake Cheeseball Mix

• 1 brownie batter (prepared from box directions or your favorite recipe)

• 8 oz cream cheese

• 1 egg

Directions

Prepare boxed brownie mix (or your favorite brownie recipe) according to directions. Pour batter into a greased 8 x 8 pan, but wait to bake until after the next step. Combine Cheeseball Mix and topping packet with room temperature cream cheese and one egg. Place spoonfuls of the cream cheese mixture on to the uncooked brownie batter. Dragging a knife over the surface of the brownies, gently swirl the two mixture together – careful not to over mix. Bake the brownie according to boxed directions, adding about 10-15 minutes of time or until a toothpick comes out clean when poked into the center of the batter. Allow the brownie to cool for at least 10 minutes begore serving. Optional: top with caramel or chocolate syrup. 

How to Throw a Last Minute Harvest Party

When you have Wind & Willow on hand, you have a last minute party right in your pantry.

When you have Wind & Willow on hand, you have a last minute party right in your pantry. By gathering just a few additional ingredients that you likely already have in your pantry and fridge, you can create a whole menu for a Harvest Party! Hot cider and a festive party mix will tide your guests over while you prepare the main dish. Then really wow guests with two gorgeous dessert options. Guests will think you prepped for weeks, and they never need to know the difference!

Hot Apple Cider

Warm apple cider in a mason jar with a cinnamon stick. Cozy fall scene with warm drink.

Greet your guests in from the cool fall weather with a warm cup of cider. When you have a batch of Wind & Willow Apple Cider simmering on the stove the smell fills your whole house and sets a cozy fall mood without even setting out decorations.

Harvest Party Mix

Fall party cereal mix snack with corn candies, checked cereal, and pretzels.

For this super easy recipe, simply gather an assortment of cereal, crackers, and festive candy that you have on hand and coat in oil. Then, mix in Fiesta Ranchero Dip Mix (or Back at the Ranch for no spice). Serve in a bowl right away or store in a large zip-top bag overnight for an even bolder flavor! Check out the full recipe here for full details.

Pumpkin Chili

Pumpkin chili recipe that makes a big batch and is perfect for fall.

In our family, nothing says fall like a big pot of chili. This amazing recipe feeds a crowd and uses our Pumpkin Pie Cheeseball Mix to really enhance the flavor. Just grab some ground beef at the store (or defrost some from the freezer), because you likely already have everything else on hand for this easy recipe.

Turtle Cheesecake Brownies

Turtle cheesecake swirl brownies with gooey caramel sauce.

Prepare a boxed brownie mix. Prepare a Turtle Cheesecake Cheeseball Mix plus one egg. Swirl the two together. Experience the most decadent dessert of all time. Once cut up, these basically become a portable cheesecake with a super thick brownie crust.

Pumpkin Harvest Cookies

Have you ever seen anything more festive? The great news is that these cookies are as easy as they are cute! Prepare a Pumpkin Pie Cheeseball with cream cheese and butter. Then, spread the mixture onto a dozen sugar cookies. Finish by decorating them with assorted fall candies, nuts, and the graham topping.

Fall Harvest Party in a Flash

With just a few pantry and fridge staples, your fall harvest party will come together easily and likely without even a trip to the store when you keep Wind & Willow products on hand! Be sure to take pictures of your gathering and tag us @windandwillowfoods on Instagram and Facebook

Fall for Apple Cider

Fall is in the air and we are ready to gather around good food with friends and family.

Fall is in the air and we are ready to gather around good food with friends and family. Cozy in and warm up with all of the products in the Wind & Willow Fall Shop including Apple Cider Mixes, Roasted Pecan Mixes, and our Harvest Cheeseballs – Pumpkin Pie, Caramel Apple, and new Spiced Orange and Chocolate!

Our cider mixes are especially versatile. The original recipe just calls for a gallon of apple cider or apple juice, and it will fill your entire home with the smell of sweet autumn spices. These mixes can also turn your traditional apple pie into a Caramel Apple Pie, store bought sugar cookies into Spiced Orange Cookies, and with a splash of spiced rum, your mug of cider will turn into a Caramel Toddy. Last, but not least, The Incredible Apple Cake is one of our favorite recipes this fall and it only calls for 4 added ingredients! Check out the full recipe below.

Incredible Apple Cake Blog

Incredible Apple Cake

Ingredients

Wind & Willow Original Mulled Cider Mix

• 2 eggs, beaten

• 1 box yellow cake mix

• 1 can apple pie filling

• 1 cup chopped pecans

Directions

Combine ingredients in a large mixing bowl.  Stir just until dry ingredients are moistened.  Pour into a lightly oiled 9×13” pan.  Bake at 350 degrees for 35 minutes.  Cool and serve!  Top with whipped cream and caramel sauce for an extra special treat!

Stay in Touch

We have loved seeing all the ways you are using Wind & Willow. Make sure to tag us on Facebook and Instagram @WindAndWillow for a chance to be featured on our page.

After-School Snacks your Kids Will Love

It is that time of year again: back to school! Treat your littles to some fun snacks after the bell rings!

It is that time of year again: back to school! Whether your kids are going to school or studying from home, after-school snacks are the perfect way to mark the end of the school day. These are three of our favorite snacks for kids (and adults!) that are perfect for after school, a packed lunch, or even special breakfast. 

1. Toast Critters

This adorable critters are sure to excite your little one! First, toast your favorite bread; we used hearty, whole grain toast. Then, spread a prepared cheeseball on top of the bread. Next, decorate with fruits, vegetables, and cereals to create little faces. Serve as an after school snack or for a quick breakfast!


2. Pinwheel Roll-Ups

Kids will love these small pinwheels. Simply spread a prepared savory cheeseball over the surface of a tortilla. Roll up the tortilla and cut it into pinwheels. This recipe is perfect for an after school snack or as part of a boxed lunch. 


3. Tuscan Owl

If you have a few mouths to feed, this tuscan owl is the perfect recipe. Combine 8 oz of cream cheese with Tuscan Olive Cheeseball (or savory cheeseball of your choosing) and instead of making one cheeseball, create two smaller cheeseballs. Use vegetables and crackers to create an owl (or other animal).  


Show off your Snack

Snack time doesn’t have to be boring. With these fun recipes it can be a special and creative time with your kids! It can help you set up a routine for the end of a school day and the beginning of family time. 

We would love to see your after school snack creations! Tag us on Instagram @WindAndWillowFoods or on Facebook.com/WindAndWillowFoods with your Wind & Willow creations for a chance to be featured on our page. 

The Perfect After-School Snack

One of the most classic flavor combinations of all time has to be grilled cheese and tomato soup. It doesn’t take a sophisticated palate to know that the two flavors are a perfect balance. The only improvement that could be made? Cut out the middle man! Our Grilled Cheese & Tomato Soup Mix combines the two classics into one cheesy, crowd-pleasing soup. No need to whip up both components. That being said, we couldn’t help but garnish these cute little glasses with a hardy and trendy garnish for an  after-school snack!

Check out our recipe below for these Grilled Cheese & Tomato Soup Shooters or check out one of our many kid friendly recipes on our website. Our Cream Cheese Critter Toasts are bound to ignite your child’s creativity, and Pinwheel Roll-Ups are perfect for a lunch box. 


Grilled Cheese & Tomato Shooters

Ingredients:

Wind & Willow Grilled Cheese & Tomato Soup Mix

• 8 slices of bread

• 16 slices of American cheese

• 1 stick of butter

Directions:

Prepare Wind & Willow Grilled Cheese & Tomato Soup Mix with water as directed on the package. Allow to cool slightly. Meanwhile, prepare grilled cheese sandwiches, layering two slices of cheese between two slices of bread. Spread butter on the outside of each sandwich before placing on a pan over medium heat. Cook on each side until the bread is golden brown and cheese is melted. Cut each grilled cheese into four triangles. Pour soup into large shot glasses or heat safe glass or mug of your choice. Garnish with mini grilled cheese and enjoy!


Stay Connected

We love to see how you are using Wind & Willow. Do you create kid-friendly recipes with Wind & Willow? Are you throwing a Wine and Cheeseball party? Tag us in your photos @WindandWillowFoods on Instagram and Facebook for a chance to be featured.

Cheeseball and Wine Pairings

Cheese and wine is arguably one of the most well known flavor pairings. In France and around the world, this classic pairing may even be gaining popularity. There is no need to run out and try to find the weirdest stinkiest cheeses and the most expensive bottles of wine to join in on the rising trend. Simply pick up your favorite type of wine, some cream cheese, and check out which Wind & Willow Cheeseball flavor will match up with it perfectly. Cheese and wine meet your match: cheeseball and wine pairings. 


Smokehouse Bacon with a Bold Red

smoky bacon, appetizer, red wine, cheese and wine pairing

Smokehouse Bacon Cheeseball & Appetizer Mix pairs perfectly with a bold red like Malbec, Shiraz, or Cabernet. The intensity of these wines can stand up to the bold flavors of smokey bacon and cheddar cheese in this mix. These types of wine also pair well with starchy vegetables like potatoes. Take this opportunity to shake up your wine and cheese pairing party by preparing the simple loaded potato skins recipe that is listed right on the box!


Bacon Bleu Cheese with a Medium Red

bacon and bleu cheese, red wine, cheese and wine pairing, medium red, appetizer

Bacon Bleu Cheese Cheeseball & Appetizer Mix pairs perfectly with a medium red wine like Merlot or Zinfandel. The pungent taste of blue cheese and the smokey flavor of bacon pair well with these types of wine. Serve this cheeseball warm on a baguette as directed on the packaging for the perfect bite to go with your wine.


Bacon Stuffed Mushroom with a Light Red

bacon stuffed mushroom, cheeseball, cheese and wine, light red wine

Bacon Stuffed Mushroom Cheeseball & Appetizer Mix is excellent alongside a light red wine such as Pinot Noir. This Type of wine is excellent with cured meats like bacon and is always great with a mushroom dish. Serve our mix as a cheeseball or follow the easy directions right on the back of the box for easy stuffed mushrooms that make for the perfect portable appetizers. 


Bruschetta with a Rosé

rose all day, bruschetta, cheeseball, appetizer, cheese and wine pairings, rose wine

Rose goes perfectly with… well, almost anything! But it pairs particularly well with herbs, tomatoes, and hard cheeses like Parmesan. So, pairing it up with Bruschetta Cheeseball and Appetizer Mix is a no brainer. Serve the cheeseball on toasted baguette bread and prepare for an explosion of flavor.


Garlic Herb with a Dry White

garlic herb, cheeseball, appetizer, dry white wine, cheese and wine pairing

Garlic Herb Cheeseball & Appetizer Mix pairs perfectly with dry white wines like Sauvignon Blanc or Pinot Grigio. These types of wines love to pair with alum flavor, like that of garlic, and also go great with the herbal flavors in this mix. Prepare some Cracked Pepper and Garlic Roasted Pecans and serve with your favorite crackers to perfectly round out your cheese platter. 


Caramelized Onion with a Rich White

caramelized onions, rich white wine, appetizer, cheese ball, cheese and wine pairing

Rich white wines like Chardonnay pair perfectly with alum flavors, like onion. This makes it a perfect match with Caramelized Onion Cheeseball & Appetizer Mix. This mix also allows the decadence of the cream cheese to really shine which makes it perfect for this type of wine that loves soft cheeses and cream.


Jalapeño Peach with a Sweet White

jalapeno peach, cheese ball, sweet white wine, moscato, reisling, appetizer

Sweet. Salty. Spicy. We cannot get enough Jalapeno Peach Cheeseball. Yet somehow our obsession just leveled up. This perfectly balanced mix still errs on the side of savory, so a sweet white wine like Moscato or Riesling offers another layer of balance. We seriously cannot stop eating this combo. 


Lemon Cheesecake with a Sparkling White

lemon cheesecake, sparkling wine, champagne, prosecco, cheese and wine pairing, appetizer

Lemon Cheesecake Cheeseball & Dessert Mix pairs perfectly with a sparkling white wine such as Champagne or Prosecco. Full of bubbles and a little on the tart side, these types of wines love to be paired with fruit like lemon and soft cheeses like the cream cheese needed to make the simple cheeseball recipe right on the box. 


White Chocolate Cherry with a Dessert Wine

white chocolate cherry cheesecake, dessert wine, port, sherry, dessert, cheese and wine pairing

Dessert wines like Port or Sherry are the perfect end to a meal. They are even better when paired with the flavor of chocolate or fruit like in our White Chocolate Cherry Cheeseball & Dessert Mix. Serve the prepared cheeseball with your favorite cookie for a crowd-pleasing dessert spread. 


Plan your Gathering

There are so many ways to serve up your favorite cheese and wine pairing. If it is just you or a couple friends, pick your favorite pairing, plate up the cheeseball or appetizer, and pour everyone a glass of your chosen wine. For a bigger party, you could ask a few guests to bring certain types of wine while you prepare the coordinating cheeseballs ahead of time. Have fun with your display and encourage party guests to try different pairings through the night.

We would love to see what cheese and wine pairing you choose. Tag us in pictures of your party or any other way you are using your Wind & Willow products for a chance to be featured on our page. We are on Facebook and Instagram @WindandWillowFoods.

Key Lime Cheesecake Tart

Key Lime Pie Cheeseball & Dessert Mix was one of the original flavors from Wind & Willow. Since it first hit the shelves, this mix has been a summertime best seller year after year. The classic lime flavor is familiar and comforting, yet light and refreshing. This is summer comfort food. 

The simple cheeseball directions on the box make for an easy, no-bake summer dessert that your friends and family will love. However, it is hard to resist taking the mixture one step further. By folding in whipped topping and adding the mixture to a pre-made graham crust, you can easily make a  Quick Key Lime Pie Cheesecake. This summer we are taking it over the top with our new Key Lime Cheesecake Tart recipe. See below for full directions on this show stopping summer dessert. 


Baked Key Lime Tart

Ingredients:

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a mixing bowl, combine Key Lime Cheeseball Mix, softened cream cheese, and egg until smooth. Pour the mixture into a graham tart crust. Bake for 30 minutes. Allow to cool at room temperature before refrigerating. Optional: top with slices of fresh lime and whipped topping. 


Stay Connected

The Wind & Willow blog is all about grilling this month! Our most recent post is all about punching the flavor up with Wind & Willow products. We also posted a full guide covering the components of a perfect grill-out menu. Perfect your summer barbecue with these tips and hundreds of recipes at windandwillow.com/recipes.

We love to see how you are using Wind & Willow this summer! Tag us on Facebook and Instagram @WindandWillowFoods for a chance to be featured on our page.

Grilling Tips and Ideas

Marinate to Infuse Flavor

Infuse your meat and veggies with flavor by marinating them before grilling. Combine 1 cup of oil and 1/2 cup of vinegar or citrus juice (lemon or lime). Mix in a Wind & Willow Dip Mix such as Roasted Red Pepper, Back at the Ranch, or Fiesta Ranchero. To the mixture add your meat (in a separate bowl or zipper top bag, you can also marinate vegetables). Stir to coat each piece and allow to marinate for at least 30 minutes (up to four hours) . Remove the meat and veggies and place on paper towels to catch excess moisture. Grill vegetables until slightly softened and meats until appropriate internal temperature is reached.



Pick a Contrasting Dip

You’ve kicked up the flavor with the marinade, now let’s add even more depth with another layer of flavor.  If you marinated with spicy Roasted Red Pepper Dip Mix, try dipping your meat (or kabobs as pictured) into a cool Cucumber Dill Dip Mix or Asiago & Roasted Garlic Dip Mix prepared as directed on the packaging. If you marinated with something cool and tangy like Back at the Ranch Dip Mix, try dipping your grilled masterpiece into something with a little kick like Chipotle Cheddar Dip Mix.


Grill up a Side Dish

While you have the grill hot, why not grill up your side dish as well? Try one of our grilled side dish recipes to complete your summer meal. Roasted Corn is as simple as combining Roasted Red Pepper Dip Mix and oil, then coating fresh corn before roasting it on the grill. Bacon Wrapped Stuffed Jalapenos are stuffed with the classic BLT Cheeseball and Appetizer mix, wrapped in bacon, and then thrown on the grill until the bacon is nice and crispy. Another great grilled side dish are Zucchini Boats. Just spread some prepared Bruscetta Cheeseball & Appetizer Mix on to zucchini halves and cover with fresh tomatoes and cheese. Grill them until the cheese has melted and zucchini has began to soften.  



Show us your Creations

We hope these ideas and recipes inspire you to gather with your family and create memories over good food. We love to see how you are using Wind & Willow products whether you are preparing them according to the directions right on the box, cooking up one of our hundreds of recipes online, or creating your own original recipe. Tag us in pictures of your creations on Instagram and Facebook @WindandWillowFoods for a chance to be featured!

Summer Barbecue Menu

Around here we call it “grilling out,” but what ever you call it, preparing and eating food outside with family, is one of the best parts about summer. So, what’s on the menu? We believe there is a bit of a formula to it: a great appetizer to tide the family over while the meat is on the grill; grilled veggies that are packed with flavor; a crisp, fresh salad; and of course that meaty main dish that everyone came for. These are all components of the perfect summer barbecue menu. Let us explain each of these components just a bit more. 


Fresh Veggies and Dip

Timing is everything, especially when it comes to waiting on the main dish on a hot summer day. To keep the family at bay, it is important to have a fresh little snack for them while they wait. Any one of our Dip Mixes would make the perfect starter. Prepare with mayo and sour cream as directed on the box (or sub in Greek yogurt to keep things light.) Serve with fresh, crunchy vegetables or your favorite chips.


Grilled Veggies

We love grilling summer vegetables as a side dish for a barbecue. Simple but full of flavor, our roasted corn recipe fits the bill perfectly. You could use the same technique with a number of vegetables such as zucchini or portobello mushrooms, just adjust the heat and time on the grill accordingly. 


A Bright Summer Salad

The perfect way to lighten up the traditionally heavy menu at a cookout is to include a nice light salad. Cut up vegetables into bight-size pieces and toss with vinaigrette.  For the vinaigrette simply combine Roasted Red Pepper Dip Mix with 1 cup of olive oil and 1/2 cup of white wine vinegar. Add about a tablespoon of agave nectar or honey for a little sweetness. Whisk until well incorporated and drizzle desired amount over your salad.


The Main Dish

Don’t let the main attraction fall flat! Jazz up your main dish with a punch of flavor. Top burgers with a zesty sauce; incorporate chipotle and cheddar right in your hamburger meat; and if steaks are more your style, you will love this bacon and blue cheese steak recipe. 


Finishing Touches

Don’t forget to set out condiments. Displaying them in glass bowls makes them feel a bit more polished. To really elevate your condiment game, try this super easy homemade relish recipe from Pearl and Johnny. Once you try homemade relish it will be hard to ever eat the jarred stuff again.  We also like the idea of having two entree options in case there are any picky eaters in the bunch. Grab a few hot dogs and buns to have some variety.

If possible prepare things ahead of time. Your dip and burger sauce could be prepared a few days in advance. You could also prepare your vegetables to go with the dip and any vegetables – like lettuce, tomato, and onions – that you might want to top your burgers with. This will ensure you have maximum time to spend with guests when they arrive.