What’s your favorite holiday food?
I love asking this question. For foodies like me, the question itself makes the mouth water in anticipation of delicious flavors to be celebrated and devoured. And then we get to talk about food, so everybody wins.
My own answer is absolutely, unequivocally, the cheeseball. A hunk of cream cheese, blended with various flavors, molded into a ball and rolled in more flavors. Spread it on a cracker, and you’ve got yourself a party.
I thought about what I want to share with you on the blog today, and the only way I can think of to actually gift you with holiday cheer is to share my two favorite cheeseball recipes—both are crowd pleasers, and people will unfailingly ask you what’s in them, and would you share the recipe? And, in the off chance you have leftovers at all, both are well suited for snacking on while wearing PJs and sipping cocoa after the celebrations are over.
Cheddar & Blue Cheeseball
This recipe comes from an ancient spiral bound cookbook that’s been in my mother’s kitchen for longer than I can remember, with the tell-tale food stains and bent corners and nearly torn off cover that indicates a well-loved, much used kitchen favorite. I’ve increased the blue and cheddar cheese quantities, because obviously perfection required more than the prescribed 1 oz and 1/4c, respectively. My suggested quantities are below, but follow your heart (or, in this case, taste buds).
- 8 oz cream cheese
- 2-4 oz blue cheese (the recipe calls for 1oz, but I always, always add more)
- 3/4c cheddar cheese
- Hot sauce or tabasco sauce, to taste (I like lots for a noticable kick!)
- 1/4 t garlic powder
Soften the cream cheese in the microwave, then add the other ingredients and mix well. Taste and adjust the ingredients to your liking, then shape roughly into a ball and chill in the fridge for at least an hour. Pull it out, perfect the ball shape with your hands then roll in your choice of finely chopped almonds, cracker crumbs, or parsley. Serve with crackers.
Tuscan Olive Cheeseball
This one’s a semi-cheat recipe…but I’m not sorry. Similar to my cheater’s guacamole, this recipe was born from a really great storebought mix, then deciding it could be even better. Inspired by the ingredients on the package, I add chopped olives (whatever color I have on hand), a clove of minced garlic and a healthy pinch of red pepper flakes for extra spice. The flavor of these three ingredients allows me to use just half the seasoning packet each time I make a cheeseball, so I can get two appetizers out of one purchased packet.
This is so easy to throw together the morning before a big gathering, and the crowd goes wild. I always keep one or two boxes of this seasoning mix on hand during the holidays in case I forget to plan ahead. Here’s a link to purchase online; you can also find a retailer near you that carries Wind & Willow products here.
There you have it, friends! My favorite holiday flavors, from my kitchen to yours. I would love to hear what you’re most looking forward to eating over the coming days!
I’m closing up shop for the next two weeks to spend some quality time with family, lounge around in PJs for far too long, drink cocoa and do puzzles. I’ll be planning for the year ahead and looking back on the year…the dumpster fires, and the blessings both.
See you again next year! And in the mean time, I’m sending lots of love and gratitude for allowing me into your world.