Social Media

Cheese Ball Trio






Happy holidays, readers! I truly hope you are eating well today in the company of family and friends. The gift of celebrating good food can and should be a focal point of the holidays. Whenever my family gets together, the gathering is not complete unless one of us brings the Mai Family Cheese Ball. It’s legendary. Of course, my siblings and I have altered it to our own tastes over the years (oh, the sacrilege). It was written down by my Aunt Winnie, my father’s sister, and then written down in a cookbook by my mother to me. My mother is responsible for making this a family tradition. 

Reflecting on my cheeseball history (which I often strangely do), that gross cheddar wine cheese spread in a plastic container is all I can recall seeing in grocery stores. I might have tried it once as a curious adult. And we were Baptist; maybe my parents didn’t like the idea of mixing cheese and wine for kids! Now that I can cook, I have a glass of wine with my cheeseball, and the combination can be very addicting. Suddenly the plate contains only a few stray nuts and the cracker box is empty. At my family gatherings, we all crowd around it, dipping in continuously like crows on roadkill, one or two of us on the outside edges trying to get a hand in.

Following are three delectable cheese ball recipes, including the Mai Family Cheese Ball. One is Greek, a flavor profile I enjoy immensely. The third is for dessert, for all of you sweet tooths out there. Be sure to use Philadelphia brand. Mix ingredients in with your hands after the cream cheese is fluffed with a fork. Vary the crackers and nuts to whatever you like. You can put added ingredients into food processor first to make them finer. I prefer the chunks. You can also add nuts or not to the inside of the cheeseball, and add other kinds of freshly grated cheeses or soft cheeses to the cream cheese. Make it a dip instead of a ball; you’ll end up storing it like that, anyway. Eat up, friends. For next month we’ll attempt to reboot and refocus on a new year of tasty, healthy, beautiful food. Bon appetit! 







Mai family cheese ball
Serves 4
Ingredients
1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened
1 8.5 ounce can crushed pineapple, drained
1/4 cup chopped red or green bell pepper
1/4 cup finely chopped onion
1 tablespoon Lawry’s seasoning salt
2 cups chopped pecans
Pita bread or pita chips

Instructions
Combine everything except one cup nuts (does best to use hands). Roll in one cup of nuts. You may need to form into a ball, refrigerate for an hour, then roll in nuts.
 



Greek cheese ball

Serves 4

Ingredients

1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened
1 cup (4 ounces) crumbled feta cheese
2 ounces chopped kalamata olives
1/4 cup finely chopped cucumber
1/4 cup chopped red bell pepper
1/4 cup finely chopped red onion
1 tablespoon finely chopped parsley
Salt and pepper to taste
1 cup finely chopped walnuts
Pita bread or pita chips

Instructions
In a large bowl, beat cream cheese until fluffy. Stir in everything else. Then mix with hands. Shape into a ball; roll in walnuts. Wrap tightly in plastic wrap. Chill until serving. Serve with pita bread or pita chips.



Chocolate chip cheeseball
Serves 4
Ingredients
1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup butter, softened
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup powdered sugar
2 tablespoons brown sugar
3/4 cup miniature semisweet chocolate chips
1 cup finely chopped pecans
Pretzel chips of graham crackers

Instructions
In a large bowl, beat cream cheese and butter until fluffy. Stir in everything else. Cover with plastic wrap and chill one hour. Shape into a ball; roll in pecans. Wrap tightly in plastic wrap. Chill until serving. Serve with pretzel chips or graham crackers.





Comments

Popular Posts