Festive Holiday Cheese Ball

My husband loves cheese balls– the ones with the pasty port wine flavored center and pecan coating.  He could survive on port wine cheese balls, Ritz crackers, and summer sausage if I and his doctors would let him.  As his health problems continue and at times seem to escalate, I have decided to choose to make the lesser of two evils for our holiday meals this weekend.  We are keeping my aunt’s red velvet cake and my grandmother’s traditional fruited pound cake, it’s not Christmas without them, and passing on some of our other favorites.  I am not buying a foot long summer sausage and the mondo cellophane wrapped cheese ball he loves so much.  We will still have our annual Christmas Eve chilli and stuffed mushrooms, however, and fortunately, I am visiting family so can donate half of the two cakes to their holiday meals, as both were part of their traditions in the past, as well.

As a trade off for the absent Christmas Eve cheese ball, I made this one to accompany homemade whole grain crackers and other hors d’ oeuvres for a meatless, take-out pizza free Friday evening.  It was not exactly a low fat meal, but much better than the pizza we were having almost weekly when realized we had to wise up and see that it wasn’t helping my husband feel any better.   He handled our healthy snack food dinner well and didn’t feel bad afterwards.  None of us missed the pizza.

Ingredients:

2 oz. cheddar cheese

3 oz. cream cheese

1 oz. asiago cheese

1/4 c. chopped walnuts

Method:

Grate asiago and cheddar in the bowl of a food processor.

Blend in the cream cheese.  Shape into a ball.  Roll in chopped nuts.  Chill until ready to serve.

You can add all sorts of things to this recipe such as herbs, different cheeses, cracked black pepper.  I have made them all different ways and have coated them in all different ingredients.  Dried herbs make a nice coating.

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