Pumpkin-shaped Cheese ball

This is the perfect fall party food.  It’s easy to make.  It’s loved by everyone (at least everyone with tastebuds).  It’s only six ingredients.  Did I mention it is super easy to make?  So if you’re planning a game day watch party, tailgate or seasonal gathering, add this to the menu. 

When I made this cheese ball to photograph for this post, my starving 3rd grader was stalking the cheese ball. I was afraid I wasn’t going to get a photo before he made a huge divot in the freshly shaped ball.  Yes, he was a hungry kiddo, but it’s also that good.  I highly recommend making this when you have a crowd to feed, otherwise you might find yourself staring at a half eaten ball and in need of your “fat pants.”  

In fact if you have any leftover cheese ball, which I seriously doubt you will, but hypothetically let’s say you do.  This mixture makes an insanely decadent grilled cheese sandwich.  Yes, I had to test it.  I wore my “fat pants” and promised to sweat like crazy in the yard and hit the gym…. it was worth it.  I took a photo that I share at the bottom of this post— it’s of the grilled cheese… not my “fat pants.”

cheese-ball-ingredients

So here’s the ingredients:

1 8 0z. package of cream cheese
1 tub of garden vegetable cream cheese spread
2 cups of sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
1/2 pkg. of ranch dip/ dressing mix ( I think the whole pkg. is just too much ranch.)
1 or more red or yellow banana pepper (These are from the garden, but you could also use a red or yellow bell pepper.)
fresh chives, diced (These are also from the vegetable garden.  It’s so nice to add ingredients that you’ve grown.)

Directions:

Mix the cream cheeses and them add all the other ingredients.  You could use a food processor, but I just use some muscle.  I really hate the clean-up when using the processor.  

After you’ve combined the ingredients thoroughly, form a ball and wrap the ball in saran wrap.  Use rubber bands to form the pumpkin.  Here’s a photo example.

cheese-ball

After you’ve formed a pumpkin shape, place the cheese ball in the refrigerator to chill for at least 30 minutes or until your gathering.  You can serve this with any cracker, but I recommend toasted baguette slices.

Optional:  For a pumpkin stem, you can use crispy breadsticks like I did,  twisted pretzels or even form a stalk out of dough and bake it.

cheese-ball-ready

He couldn’t wait another second!

 

Here’s a quick tip on making your own toasted baguette slices:toasted-baguette-slices

Slice up a a store bought baguette.  I like to add a little melted butter and garlic powder.  (I melt two to three tbsp. of salted butter and mix in 1/2 teaspoon of garlic powder).  Just brush this mixture on the slices. 

Broil the slices in the oven for 3 to 5 minutes and serve warm.

 

 

So, as promised here’s a photo of the grilled cheese that I mentioned earlier.  I highly recommend adding a couple of slices of bacon.   This would be so good with a light, broth-based soup.  

I’d love to hear your thoughts on other ways to make a really decadent, gourmet grilled cheese!

gourmet-grilled-cheese

Until next time, happy eating!

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