Are you looking for an easy New Year’s Eve appetizer? This Mini Cheese Ball Recipe can be made 3 different ways and is great for tailgating too!
Now that Christmas is past us, I feel like I can finally breathe again! As much as I love the month of December, sometimes the pressure gets to be just too much! That’s why the week between Christmas and New Year’s Eve is my favorite. Everything winds down, the kids are off from school and you can just sit back and relax.
That is…unless your family comes down with the plague like ours just did! After years, yes years, of not being sick, we finally got slammed. Every single person in the house is sick and no one has the same thing. Yikes! Needless to say, we’re taking it very s-l-o-w right now.
But even though we’re all sick today, I’m hopeful that we can pull it together for our annual New Year’s Eve “Camp Out.” Each year, we drag the kids mattresses down to the living room and sleep in front of a roaring fire. We eat lots of snacks and apps all night long, and the kids try to make it until the ball drops. They’re still a bit young, so we’ve been known to watch the ball drop in other countries just so they can see it fall!
The night is super low key and we like it that way because no one wants me stuck in the kitchen while we’re watching a family movie on tv! So, we never serve anything fancy – just lots of kiddie favorites with some grown up food thrown in for good measure.
Since we’re all pretty ill right now, I wanted to come up with some easy to make, tasty appetizers that will satisfy all of us. I couldn’t believe my luck when I stumbled upon this Mini Cheese Ball Recipe from Kraft the other day. It’s so gosh darn simple, and I love that you end up with three different savory mini cheese balls when you’re done.
I wanted to give this recipe a trial run before New Year’s Eve and I’m so happy I did. All three versions were very tasty. The cranberry and pecan one is slightly sweet and I really loved the crunchy pecans paired with the creamy inner layer. Surprisingly, my kids went bananas for the poppy seed and sesame seed one, and I definitely didn’t expect that. The parsley, rosemary, and thyme one was also pretty good, but the recipe didn’t make enough of this mixture to fully cover 2 cheese balls – so I will double it when I make it again.
MINI CHEESE BALL RECIPE – 3 WAYS
- 1-1/2 pkg. (8 oz. each) PHILADELPHIA Cream Cheese (12 oz.)
- 2 Tbsp. toasted sesame seed
- 1 tsp. poppy seed
- 2 cloves garlic, minced, divided
- 2 Tbsp. finely chopped fresh parsley
- 2 tsp. chopped fresh thyme leaves
- 1 tsp. finely chopped fresh rosemary
- 1/4 cup finely chopped dried cranberries
- 2 Tbsp. finely chopped PLANTERS Pecans
Step 1: Cut cream cheese into 6 pieces; roll each into a ball.
Step 2: Combine sesame seed, poppy seed and half the garlic in small bowl. Mix herbs and remaining garlic in separate small bowl. Mix herbs and remaining garlic in separate small bowl. Combine cranberries and nuts in third bowl.
Step 3: Roll 2 cheese balls in sesame seed mixture, 2 cheese balls in herb mixture and remaining cheese balls in nut mixture.
So what’s on tap for your New Year’s Eve? Is everyone happy and healthy, or are they all ill like we are? We hope this super simple appetizer helps you make the most of your New Year’s Eve plans – and keep it in mind for tailgating season too!
Wishing you a happy, healthy 2016,