Favorite Cheese Ball

A few years ago, my sisters and I were asked to bring a cheese ball to a bridal shower. We threw a few things together, tasting as we went along, until the flavors were just right. It was a great success, and to our pleasure, a lady asked for our recipe.

We have tried other cheese ball recipes, but none can compare to this one. Simple, yet very tasty. Dad complains if we try any other recipe.

The original recipe contained cranberries. We generally leave these out, but it is quite good with them. We have also tried it with a few drops of liquid smoke with excellent results. If you prefer a spicier cheese ball, simply increase the amount of cayenne, pepper, or onion. Or decrease the amounts if you like your cheese ball mild.

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:: Favorite Cheese Ball ::

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Ingredients:

  • 1 8-ounce package of cream cheese
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 1 cup finely shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1/4 cup shredded parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped onion
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • a pinch of cayenne powder
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/3 cup dried cranberries, optional
  • 1/2 cup toasted pecans, chopped coarse, optional

Directions:

1) Place all ingredients except pecans in a large bowl. Beat with a hand mixer on medium-low speed until well combines.

2) Scrape the mixture onto a piece of plastic wrap. Cover with the plastic wrap and shape into a ball or log. Put the cheese ball on a plate and place in the refrigerator to harden, about 30 minutes – 1 hour.

3) Roll the cheese ball in the chopped pecans and place on a serving plate. Serve with crackers.

Note: This cheese is best if allowed to sit for at least 1 hour in the refrigerator to allow the flavors to blend. The flavors are best if it is allowed to sit at room temperature for 15-20 minutes before serving.

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Sweet Onion Dip

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: : Sweet Onion Dip : :

Skip the prefab dips in the market; this cooked Vidalia dip is beyond better. The onions are subdued to begin with; cooking them concentrates their sugars for extra sweetness.

Adapted from Martha Stewart

Ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 Vidalia onions (1 pound total), finely chopped
  • Sea salt and ground pepper
  • 1 cup Sour Cream
  • 2 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons white-wine vinegar
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped chives
  • Potato chips, bagel chips, or crackers, for serving

Directions:

  1. In a large skillet, heat oil over medium. Add onions; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring frequently, until golden brown, 12 to 15 minutes. Let cool to room temperature.
  2. In a medium bowl, combine onions, sour cream, cream cheese, vinegar, and chives; season with salt and pepper. Chill dip until slightly thickened, about 1 hour; or cover and refrigerate up to 2 days. Serve with your choice of potato chips, bagel chips, or crackers.

Makes about 2 cups