February 16, 2013

This article will focus on making cheese balls in all their variety. It is simple to get one from a store, and they taste okay. But why not make one of your own, with ingredients never found in a store bought versions? You can make a couple of recipes and wow the guests with different flavor combinations. Have you thought of making individual Cheese Ball Pops?

They can be made up to 5 days in advance.

If you are making a cheese ball, it would be a simple next step to use a toothpick and make small individual Cheese Ball Bites, similar to the Cake Pop concept so popular right now. A pretty serving idea for these individual Cheese Ball Pops is to use a red cabbage. Cut it in half, and set the cut side down on a serving plate. Poke the little toothpicks with the cheese balls into the cabbage and they are all nicely available and visible without having to try and stack them. Once the party is over, use the cabbage to make your favorite recipe.

Ingredients and Variations

Ingredients that could be combined with varying effects would be some of these. Use cream cheese for the base cheese. It is easily molded and nicely neutral in flavor. Start with 1 pound of cream cheese. Some additional cheeses to add in are 8 ounces of shredded cheddar, white cheddar or Parmesan. A blue cheese such as Maytag Blue or Gorgonzola would be wonderful if your crowd leans to the gourmet.

Meat additions to this basic mixture could be 6 slices of bacon fried crisp and chopped or crumbled, or chopped smoked salmon, chopped dried beef or prosciutto. Additional flavors would be a half cup of things like chopped scallions, chopped craisins or raisins or mango chutney. Other flavoring agents could be minced garlic, 1 to 3 teaspoons of Dijon mustard, Worcestershire, curry powder or onion soup mix. Herbs can be added, such as fresh dill or basil. Nuts of many types can be added such as chopped pistachios, almonds, walnuts, pecans or hazelnuts.

Outer coatings for the finished cheese ball mixture can be chopped nuts, as mentioned above, or fresh herbs such as parsley, or a mixture of parsley with basil, cilantro, or oregano.

If making the Cheese Ball Pops, which are nothing more than individual servings of the cheese ball, look for toothpicks to skewer the little balls.

Assembly of the Cheese Ball - three variations

One possible mixture of ingredients is the pound of cream cheese, softened, half pound of shredded sharp cheddar, half cup scallions, 6 slices fried crumble bacon, 1 clove minced garlic. Using a hand mixer makes quick work. Combine the ingredients. For normal cheese ball size, make into one large or two smaller balls and roll into nuts or chopped parsley. If making the Cheese Pops, make one inch balls, roll into the coating of choice and skewer with a toothpick.

Another variation on flavors would be the pound of cream cheese, half pound of shredded white cheddar, 1 tablespoon minced fresh dill and a half cup of chopped smoked salmon. Roll the large or small balls into shredded Parmesan cheese or chopped pistachios.

Start with the pound of cream cheese and add a half pound of blue cheese of choice, 1 to 3 teaspoons of coarse black pepper, a half cup chopped craisins, half cup chopped scallions, then roll the finished ball or balls in chopped walnuts.

The variations are endless. Experiment using flavors that are ones you love. This takes an exceedingly short time to put together and can be made in advance.

Thank you for taking the time to read my article. I hope it was informative and helped you along your own culinary journey.

My passion is to teach people how to create a harmony of flavors with their cooking and help pass along my love and joy of food. I would love to hear from you! Join my "e-family" and share recipes, stories and good times in the kitchen. Visit my Web site http://www.aharmonyofflavors.com/ my Blog at http://www.aharmonyofflavors.blogspot.com/ my Marketplace at or join me on Facebook. Let me know, and I will send you a copy of my monthly news letter full of recipes the latest tips.

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