Sunday, October 01, 2006

My Favorite Fall-themed appetizers, Part I

Now that Fall is upon us, and I LOVE appetizers, I thought I would post my favorite tried and true FALL-THEMED appetizers. This is also a way for me to keep posting even though I don't have a lot of time to cook right now!

Up first,

Pumpkin Cheese Ball (from Southern Living, photo credit: Southern

Here's a great cheese ball recipe I got from Southern Living. This cheese ball is so cute - it looks just like a pumpkin and the broccoli stalk looks just like a pumpkin stem! I used all light cheeses and cut the recipe in half to make a small pumpkin. DH and I both thought this was delicious. A definite repeater.

Pumpkin Cheese Ball INGREDIENTS

2 (8-ounce) blocks extra-sharp Cheddar cheese, shredded
1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened
1 (8-ounce) container chive-and-onion cream cheese
2 teaspoons paprika (I usually use a beer cheese spice mix that I have. You might want to added a touch of seasoned salt to the paprika and ground red pepper. You can really play around with the spices, after all it is CHEESE and very forgiving!)
1/2 teaspoon ground red pepper
1 broccoli stalk Red and green apple wedges

INSTRUCTIONS Combine Cheddar cheese and next 4 ingredients in a bowl until blended.
Cover and chill 4 hours or until mixture is firm enough to be shaped.
Shape mixture into a ball to resemble a pumpkin. (I usually wrap it in plastic wrap for this step. Otherwise you end up with lots of cheese goo on your hands!)
Smooth entire outer surface with a frosting spatula or table knife.
Make vertical grooves in ball, if desired, using fingertips.
Cut florets from broccoli stalk, and reserve for another use.
Cut stalk to resemble a pumpkin stem, and press into top of cheese ball.
Serve cheese ball with apple wedges.

Note: To make ahead, wrap cheese ball in plastic wrap without stalk, and store in refrigerator up to 2 days. Attach stalk before serving.

YIELD: Makes 16 appetizer servings

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