I always like to include a good cheeseball on my menu when Iím entertaining guests. Whether Iím having a buffet or sit-down dinner, a good cheeseball is always popular; the only drawback is that once most of us start eating, we canít quit, which can be disastrous if thereís lots of good food to come! I have several friends who purchase ready-made cheeseballs at the grocery store. These store-bought cheeseballs are quite goodóat least passable--but they are never as good as the homemade variety; store-bought cheeseballs are also quite expensive.
It may surprise you to know that you can make an excellent cheeseball in about 15 minutes hands-on time. A mixer makes it easier, but isnít absolutely necessary, and since you are making it yourself, you can add or omit ingredients as you wish. To vary the look, you can shape your cheeseball either into a ball, or a log; if you have lots of time (most of us donít), you can even take the cheeseball mixture and shape it into small individual cheeseballs, rolling them into different toppings. Most cheeseballs, can be made ahead and frozen up to three months. The following recipe can be shaped into a cute pumpkin for your Halloween BOO-ffet. For other times, you can roll it in sliced almonds and parsley.
Smokey Pumpkin Cheeseball
Makes 1 large pumpkin cheeseball to serve about 25
3 8 oz. packages cream cheese, softened
1 cup grated cheddar jack cheese
1/4 cup dehydrated onion flakes
2 tablespoons granular beef bouillon
1/4 cup bacon, crumbled
orange paste food coloring
green bell pepper
yellow bell pepper
Whip the cream cheese and cheddar jack cheese until fluffy; add the onion flakes, beef bouillon, and bacon. Whip until the bouillon is dissolved and the ingredients are well-mixed. Add enough orange food coloring to make the mixture pumpkin colored.
Line a 1-quart bowl with plastic wrap. Scoop the cheese mixture into the bowl and fold the plastic wrap over. Refrigerate until firm. Remove the cheeseball from the plastic wrap and transfer it to a serving tray. Using the plastic wrap, reshape the ball, then using a skewer, make small indentations starting at the tip to the bottom to resemble a pumpkin. Cut the green bell pepper into a stem and leaves for the top of the pumpkin; cut three triangles from the yellow pepper and a jack-o-lantern mouth. Push the pepper pieces onto the pumpkin. Cover and refrigerate until serving time.
Serve with crackers.
Amount Per Serving
Calories 122 Calories from Fat 101
Percent Total Calories From:
Fat 83% Protein 11% Carb. 6%
Nutrient Amount per
Total Fat 11 g
Saturated Fat 7 g
Cholesterol 35 mg
Sodium 117 mg
Total Carbohydrate 2 g
Dietary Fiber 0 g
Sugars 0 g
Protein 3 g
Vitamin A 12% Vitamin C 15% Calcium 0% Iron 2%