Monday, November 19, 2012

Pumpkin Cheese Ball

But there's no pumpkin in it, it just looks like a pumpkin or at least that is the intention.

I've been away for awhile, spending my nights on more important tasks like helping my son complete college and scholarship applications.  He's almost done. So now the waiting for decisions (including his) and waiting for  offers (hopefully, good ones) has set in.

Can we say "empty nest?"  It's almost here, sigh ...

Our annual Thanksgiving luncheon at work was last week and since the list looked like every side dish and dessert was covered I opted for an appetizer. And, since I waited until the last minute, it had to be something quick and simple.  This recipe for Pumpkin Cheese Ball is from a 2009 Southern Living. Definitely a quick and simple fix however I changed the cheese combination slightly.  It called for goat cheese and I'm not very fond of goat cheese and chose not to inflict that pain on anyone else.  I think this combination works very well, but if you like cheese of the goat you might want to try it in it's original format.

Pumpkin Cheese Ball

2 10-ounce blocks Extra Sharp Cheddar Cheese (one yellow and one white)
1 8-ounce cream cheese, softened
1 8-ounce tub garden vegetable cream cheese (here is where you can substitute 8-ounces of goat cheese)
1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
braided pretzel stick

Shred both blocks of cheddar cheese; set aside.  Blend together both cream cheeses in a small bowl; stir in Italian seasoning and black pepper.

Add cream cheese mixture to shredded cheddar cheese, mixing until combined thoroughly.  Here is where the bare hands work better than a spoon.

Roll cheese into a ball; flatten slightly and press an indention in the top to begin to form a pumpkin shape.  Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate several hours or overnight to firm.

The trouble with making a cheese ball is that so much of it hangs behind in the bowl, but of course, that just means you can grab a spoon and take care of it. And I did. 

Score the cheese ball to form pumpkin ridges.  The end of a spoon works nicely to draw the ridges, then use your fingers to smooth the edges.  Press pretzel stick into the top and serve with sliced vegetables or crackers.

And while I put this cheese ball together, my son prepared a delicious supper of Spaghetti Pie.  Do you think I could move to college with him?

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