Succumb to the Lure of Sculpted Cheese

Although it doesn’t nearly rise to the heights of cheese sculpture greatness I witnessed at the State Fair, I did want to share my pumpkin-shaped cheese ball with you as an example of how you can make a kind of boring appetizer into a more inspiring and creative seasonal offering.

Last week my Mothers of Preschoolers (MOPS) group had a “Taste of MOPS” outing, which was basically a potluck gathering for the moms to socialize. It was a fun way to get to know some of the other moms a little better, and there was a lot of delicious food. Each mom also brought the recipe for her contribution, which made for a nice collection of new things to try at home.

I got the idea for the pumpkin shaped cheese ball from my mom, who in turn got it from Southern Living. You could really do this with any cheese ball recipe, as long as it comes out sort of orange. The recipe I used follows:

Pumpkin-Shaped Cheese Ball

16 ounces sharp cheddar cheese, finely grated
2 eight ounce packages of cream cheese (I used the 1/3 fat version)
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon onion powder
1/4 teaspoon ground red pepper
fresh broccoli stalk

1) Combine all ingredients and refrigerate until firm enough to shape
2) Using an icing knife or flat edged knife, shape ball into a rounded pumpkin shape and press in vertical grooves to resemble a pumpkin. It’s OK if the cheese ball is a little lumpy or oddly shaped, real pumpkins are too.
3) Cut broccoli stalk to resemble a pumpkin stem and push it into the top of the shaped cheese ball.

How easy is that? And it looks much more interesting than your regular old garden-variety cheese ball. Very Autumnal if I do say so myself. You can serve it with a variety of crackers, or on vegetable sticks, or with apple, slices.

Make sure you visit Alaina for more Keeping Creative Kitchens posts!

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