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Monday Morning Recipe

freshairboutique

Best ever cheese ball img_0079I'm not sure how many of you are getting your Christmas on by planning early, but I am one of those types that gets things going sooner than later so I don't have to deal with ANYTHING in December.  This recipe for a cheese ball is easy and delicious.  It's a sweet cheese spread and, in my opinion, pairs well with a buttery cracker like Ritz.

INGREDIENTS

-1 Brick of cream cheese

-2 Cups shredded old cheddar (orange)

-2 Tablespoons dried cranberries

-2 Tablespoons old port

-1/2 cup chopped roasted pecans

-2 Tablespoons maple syrup

-1/4 Teaspoon orange zest

cheeseball3Make sure your cream cheese is at room temperature.  Place pecans in naked frying pan (don't add oil or butter) on medium heat and cook until browned and fragrant.  Take them off the stove and let cool.  Meanwhile place cream cheese in medium size bowl.  Add shredded cheddar, cranberries, port, and zest.  Mix well.  Roll into ball, wrap in plastic and chill.  When ready to serve, roll the ball in the pecans to cover the surface.  When your guests arrive, pour the syrup over the ball.

This cheese ball is a little sweet but because of its simple ingredients you can eliminate the syrup or even the cranberries.  The choice is yours.  So if you're a Christmas keener like me, you might have your menu planned already.  If not, maybe this little appetizer can get you going.  If that doesn't work, just know that there are 5 Saturdays left till the 25th.  That's right, I'm that guy with the constant reminding.... :)

Peace