Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Tomorrow is National Cheeseball Day!

By Diane Ruyack of Winners Drink Milk

What are round, fun and tasty?  Cheese balls! They were born to party! They’re also one of the easiest cold appetizers to prepare.  

April 17th is National Cheeseball Day. Cheeseballs make a great presentation for any party, and they aren’t just delicious for the winter holiday season.

With Easter just 3 days after National Cheeseball Day this year, why not include a cheeseball as part of your Easter festivities.  Let the children help build a bunny, baby chicks or a plate of miniature cheese balls decorated like Easter eggs.

There are savory or sweet cheeseballs   Savory cheese balls are usually made by blending cream cheese with your favorite shredded hard cheese, spices, chopped onions and garlic. Sweeter options are made with cream cheese with fruit and/or candy additions.  Then, the ingredients are rolled into a ball and rolled in a crunchy topping such as chopped pecans, almonds, bacon bits, etc. You can really add just about anything, and then serve with crackers, veggies or fruit or cookies fanned out around the cheese ball.

Cheeseball Recipe
8-16 ounces of cream cheese, regular, low fat, Neufchatel

Add any of the following ingredients that blend together taste-wise:

For Savory:
1 Cup or more of other cheeses: Cheddar, bleu, Colby, Swiss
½ cup green or black chopped olives
½ cup of ham, pepperoni, dried beef or bacon
½ package of onion or vegetable soup or ranch dressing mix
½ cup chutney
Spices such as garlic and/or onion powder, parsley, Worcestershire sauce

For Sweet:
8 ounces crushed pineapple
½ cup dried cranberries or cherries, chopped apricots
¼ cup maraschino cherries, chopped
½ cup chocolate chips, toffee bits, peanut butter chips
Spices such as cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, allspice
½ cup coconut

To Make your own cheeseball, mix cream cheese with other ingredients that go together, form into a ball and roll in chopped pecans, walnuts or if you are making a sweet cheeseball, toasted coconut or miniature chocolate chips. 

For Easter, decorate a bunny-shaped cheese ball with bunny ears made from romaine lettuce leaves, lengthwise carrot or cucumber slices or pear or apple slices.  Black olives or gum drops would make eyes and nose. Use alfalfa sprouts or green coconut as grass.  Rolling smaller cheese balls in a variety of toppings such as parsley, nuts, chopped carrots and different colored peppers, crushed cookies etc. would give the appearance of Easter eggs or in yellow coconut to make baby chicks.  Whether you're planning a large dinner party or just looking for a fun snack, cheeseballs are simple and delicious.

Serve with savory crackers or vanilla wafers for either an appetizer cheeseball or as a sweet snack cheeseball.

1 comment:

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