As the name of my blog indicates, I spend a lot of time thinking about home. Of course, my Heavenly Home is the one that is eternal, so that’s where I need to lay up my treasures, and that’s the one I’m striving for. But in the meantime, I have been given this tiny piece of the here-and-now—this home on the edge of town, this family, this neighborhood—in which to serve Him. And, though this is in the earthly realm, I want the things that happen here to be investments in the Heavenly realm.

Monday, December 12, 2016

A Holiday Appetizer {Cranberry Pecan White Cheddar Cheeseball}

As our family has grown, so has the time it takes for our Christmas gathering. Lots of people, lots of packages to open, lots of paper, lots of food. Years ago, we exchanged a sit down dinner for an hors d'oeuvres buffet on Christmas day. 

Just because we are not having "dinner" does not mean that there is not plenty to eat. Au contraire! It just means that almost everything is finger food. Ham and biscuits, crab dip and crackers, veggies and dip, chicken salad, fruit...anything goes! And then there is dessert. (Lots of dessert.)

A couple of years ago, I can across this recipe at eat. drink. love. and Cranberry Pecan White Cheddar Cheeseball has become one of our standards. It is a yummy combination of sweet and tangy, smooth and crunchy and chewy...and it's pretty and festive. Not only does it show up at the Christmas buffet, but it comes to other Christmas parties and it has been a Thanksgiving appetizer as well. I made one this very evening for Ron to take to an office party tomorrow.  

original recipe ~here~

1/2 cup chopped pecans
1 8-ounce package cream cheese, softened
8 ounces sharp white cheddar cheese, shredded
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1 1/2 cups dried cranberries

Preheat oven to 350ยบF
Place pecans on parchment-lined baking sheet; bake for 5 minutes.

In a large mixing bowl, beat together cream cheese and white cheddar cheese.
Add pecans, salt, and Worcestershire and mix until well-combined.

Remove mixture from bowl and form into a ball with your hands.
Place dried cranberries all over cheese ball until covered. 
(Leave bottom uncovered so that cheese ball will sit flat.)
Cover and chill until ready to serve. 

Serve with crackers.

Do you know of any easy and delicious holiday appetizers? Do tell!


  1. I am in total agreement with having a buffet on Christmas Day. It is already so busy and it is just easier and every bit as festive and delicious. This appetizer sounds absolutely yummy. What is not to love about cheese and crackers. We have lots of finger rolls and sometimes many crockpot things like Swedish meatballs or BBQ Vienna Sausages. Oh and dips...must have dips and chips. A delicious shrimp dip is always tasty.

  2. This looks delicious. I saw this appetizer today that is so pretty and looks easy.

  3. Looks and sounds delicious. We like cheese balls, too. And they freeze wonderfully. There are so many wonderful crackers out there to accompany the cheese ball.

  4. I think this sounds wonderful! We do a buffet too, I usually cook a ham the day before, and we eat cold ham, and many finger foods! I am going to make this cheese ball. It sounds wonderful.

  5. looks wonderful and i'm sure tastes divine!
    we have a couple Christmas gatherings to attend,
    i may include this for one of them! i just read above
    where Lorrie stated this cheese ball freezes well.
    oooh. this provides ample opportunity! doing it.

  6. We did that too for many Christmas's...sooo wonderful. We just all kind of "grazed" all day, lol. This cheese ball sounds SOO good. I am going to pass the recipe onto my daughter in law as we will spend all day Christmas Eve and that evening with them...plenty of time to test this out, lol. Enjoy the rest of your week!

  7. Cheryl your cheese ball looks like Christmas. I must make your recipe this year. We often make crab dip served with crackers and an old family favorite, sausage balls. I too like buffet styled dinners for special occasions, but for Christmas dinner my family likes a sit down affair. They are so spoiled! Lol Enjoy your Christmas preparations. ♥

  8. Cheryl I'm thinking like you this year. On Christmas Eve we will enjoy a sumptuous repast (I'm quoting Dickens) of hot hors d'oeuvres and finger foods too! I'm still perusing Pinterest for ideas. Question: My granddaughter Ivy has an allergy to nuts. Would leaving out the pecans take away too much from this cheese ball? We all love cranberries.

    1. I think it would still be good, Debbie. There's a lot of flavor in there!

  9. We always have our buffet on Christmas Eve with several soups and lots of finger foods. One we've had each year for the last 30 is layered: refried beans, ground beef with onions, green chillies, a jar of salsa and top with two kinds of shredded cheese including some cheddar. Serve with taco chips. We usually have a big meal in the middle of Christmas afternoon, but not so much since the older generation died and its often just my husband and I now on Christmas day. This year will be different yet with a church service Christmas morning. Looking forward to that. Thanks for the recipe, I think I'll try it!

  10. Looks so yummy. I love a cheese ball and crackers or bread together and can make a meal out of that.
    I am going to try this one. Thanks for sharing.
    Happy Holidays.

  11. Oh yes! Any time, you add together, tangy, salty, sweet, crunchy, creamy, etc., etc., you are going to have a wonderful treat! Definitely be keeping this on my radar! I love the idea of a meal made of nothing but appetizers...sometimes I prefer it! Also, I really like the first photo with the beautiful bokeh in the background! Enjoy your week before Christmas, my friend!

  12. This looks like a delicious cheeseball! I will be trying it out. One of my quick and easy little snacks to put on a tray with assorted other goodies is to simply slice a cucumber (or two) and top with a dollop of vegetable flavored cream cheese. Another easy one that my family always loves is an old recipe which is a can of Rotel added to a block of Velveeta (yep, good old Velveeta!) and put in microwave for about 6 minutes, power 6, stirring at intervals until cheese is melted, and then add some crumbled hamburger that has been fried and drained. Serve with Scoops. I'm sure the first snack is the healthiest. :) Enjoy your holiday preparations!

  13. This looks so festive and sounds delicious. Our favourite appie is a baked savoury brie cheese one!
    500 gr. Round Brie
    ½ Cup Sundried tomatoes – chopped, drained and blotted on paper towel
    *save 2 Tbsp. of the tomato oil
    ½ Cup pine nuts
    1 clove garlic – crushed
    1-2 Tbsp. chopped fresh Parsley (I also like to add 1-2 tsp. chopped fresh Rosemary)
    3 Tbsp. Asiago cheese – grated
    Mix the toppings with the saved oil and spread on brie cheese.
    Bake for 15-20 minutes at 350 degrees.


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