If you’re tired of the same old cheese ball, here is a delectable new version. The tartness of the dried cranberries pairs wonderfully with the sharpness of the white cheddar. Please shred your own cheese. The few minutes it takes to shred a small block of cheddar will make all the difference in the texture of this cheese ball. Pre-shredded cheese is coated with cellulose so that it doesn’t stick together in the bag, which also means it won’t blend together smoothly for the cheese ball.
Cranberry, Pecan and White Cheddar Cheese Ball
•1/2 cup chopped pecans
•One 8-ounce package cream cheese, softened
•8 ounces good quality sharp white cheddar cheese, shredded
•1/4 teaspoon salt
•1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
•1 1/2 cups dried cranberries.
•Crackers for serving
Place pecans in a small skillet over low heat. Toast pecans for 5 minutes or so, stirring often. Remove from heat and set aside.
In a large mixing bowl, using a hand mixer, beat together the cream cheese and the cheddar cheese. Add in the pecans, salt and the Worcestershire sauce. Continue mixing for another minute or two until everything is well combined. Remove the mixture from the bowl and form into a ball with your hands.
Using small handfuls at a time, place dried cranberries all over the cheese ball, pushing in lightly to secure them into place. Try to cover as much as possible except the bottom of the cheese ball.
Wrap in plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes. Serve with assorted crackers.
Pumpkin Pie Dip
This is a perfect light snack for the Thanksgiving crowd to enjoy while they are waiting on the turkey and dressing to finish baking.
•1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened
•2 cups powdered sugar
•1 cup canned pumpkin
•1/2 cup sour cream
•1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
•2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
•1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
•1 cup frozen whipped cream, thawed
•Gingersnap cookies, apples or cinnamon graham crackers
In a large bowl, beat cream cheese and powdered sugar until smooth. Add in pumpkin, sour cream and spices and mix well. Fold in the thawed whipped cream.
Serve with green apples, graham cracker snacks or gingersnaps. Store in refrigerator.
Courtesy of tablespoon.com
Southwestern Kale Dip
I know kale isn’t something you usually consider using as an ingredient in a dip. But for this baked dip, the kale when combined with Rotel tomatoes, cream cheese and Southwestern seasonings, is a hit. Serve this cheesy dip with tortilla or corn chips.
•2 tablespoons olive oil
•1 tablespoon butter
•1 large yellow onion, chopped
•4 cloves garlic, minced
•8 cups kale, packed
•1 cup chicken broth
•8 ounces cream cheese, softened
•1 can Rotel tomatoes (any flavor you like)
•1 teaspoon chili powder
•1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
•2 cups Mexican blend cheese, divided
Heat olive oil and butter in a medium-sized Dutch oven over medium heat until butter is melted and bubbling. Add onions and sauté until they are softened and translucent. Add garlic and cook until lightly browned.
Add the kale and chicken broth and let the kale wilt down. Reduce the heat to low and let simmer gently until kale is cooked, about an hour, stirring occasionally. If there is any liquid remaining, increase heat and cook until liquid is evaporated. Keep a close watch, you don’t want it to burn.
Add the cream cheese, Rotel tomatoes and seasonings and blend well. Add 1 1/2 cups of the Mexican blend cheese and stir to combine.
Lightly grease a 7-by-9-inch casserole dish and spoon in the dip mixture. Sprinkle with the remaining cheese. Cover with foil. Bake at 350 degrees until dip is hot through and bubbling. Remove foil and put in the broiler for a few minutes to brown the cheese on top. Serve immediately.
Laura Tolbert, also known as Fleur de Lolly, has been sharing recipes, table decor ideas and advice for fellow foodies and novices on her blog, fleurdelolly.blogspot.com, for more than eight years. She won the Duke’s Mayonnaise 100th Anniversary nationwide recipe contest for her Alabama White BBQ Sauce. You can contact her at facebook.com/fleurde.lolly.5, on Instagram, and at email@example.com.