I told my mom I would make an appetizer for Easter. The trouble is coming up with an appetizer to make! I wanted to try something new and I wanted to choose something that could be prepared a day ahead of time. Decisions…
I decided on a cheese ball. For one, I love cheese and two, our blog hadn’t yet seen a cheese ball post. So this was a win-win.
We prepared the cheese ball on Saturday and took it out of the fridge right before company got to our house Sunday afternoon. All that was left to do was roll the ball in chopped pecans and lay out some crackers. The second I removed the plastic wrap I was brought back to 1995. Let me explain.
Long Grove, a 20 minute drive from my parents house, was a regular stop for my family growing up. There were cute shops and restaurants. The General Store had specialty foods AND SAMPLES. Everything from vegetable soup, to crackers, to dips, to cheeses. They had this cheese that smelled and tasted just like this cheese ball! I don’t know what the name of the cheese was, but it came in a small plastic container and was a light orange color. Anybody who has been to the General Store should know what I’m talking about! Recently a lot of the stores in Long Grove have closed. It makes me mad just writing about it because some of my favorite foods came from Long Grove. I wouldn’t be surprised if the General Store was gone too. 🙁 Luckily I found a cheese ball equally as good, if not better than the cheese from The General Store.
My family and I scarfed down this cheese ball, it was so addicting. I went with two kinds of cheddar cheese mostly because I like to experiment with the fancy cheeses from Marianos. The mild white cheddar and sharp cheddar mixed with the parmesan cheese were a match made in heaven. It was a cheese lover’s dream. Try this one out!
8 ounces cream cheese, softened
¼ cup sour cream
1 cup cheddar cheese, shredded (we used half sharp cheddar, half mild white cheddar)
¼ cup parmesan cheese, shredded
¼ cup onion, finely diced
½ teaspoon garlic powder
pinch cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon lemon juice
¼ teaspoon pepper
⅓ cup dried cranberries
½ cup pecans, roughly chopped
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, mix cream cheese, sour cream, shredded cheeses, lemon juice, onion, dried cranberries, pepper, cayenne pepper and garlic powder in a large bowl. Beat until well combined.
Remove the cheese mixture from the bowl and lay on top of a piece of plastic wrap. Wrap the plastic tightly around the cheese then shape into a ball. Place the cheese ball in the refrigerator to harden, at least 30 minutes, or up to overnight.
Remove the cheese ball from the refrigerator and roll in the chopped pecans. Place on a serving plate and serve with crackers.
Source: adapted from Cooking for Seven