Smokehouse Cheese Ball

Smokehouse almonds and cherry jam come together in this cheese ball to make for a smoky creamy appetizer that is perfect for serving on game day.

Smokehouse Cheese Ball

This post is sponsored by Blue Diamond Almonds. Thanks for supporting the brands that make Savvy Eats possible.

It’s the last big football game of the season on Sunday! My Wisconsin native husband is a Packers fan, and their last game was… crushing, to say the least. So we’re not particularly rooting for either team this weekend. We’ll just be tuning in for some football. And lots of snacks. Who doesn’t love a good excuse for lots of tasty snacks?

Smokehouse Almond Cheese Ball // Savvy Eats

This game changing snack is based off of a family recipe. Growing up, no potluck or buffet with my mom’s side of the family was complete without a dose of Gramma’s cheese ball recipe. Packed with blue cheese, cheddar, cream cheese, pecans and Worcestershire sauce, we served it with a boatload of crackers alongside the makings for deli sandwiches.

Here, I replaced the blue cheese with goat cheese, and mixed in just enough cherry jam to give it a little sweetness and tang. I also subbed out the pecans for some Blue Diamond Smokehouse Almonds, which lent a salty, smoky flavor to the cheese ball. The result is a bold creamy snack that is great for snacking on while watching the big game.

Blue Diamond Smokehouse Almonds make for a delicious cheese ball!

As an added bonus, it only takes 10 minutes to whip up this recipe, plus a little time in the refrigerator to firm up. That’s all that stands between you and the perfect spread for buttery crackers at this Sunday’s game!

Let’s do this:

Smokehouse Cheese Ball

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Yield: Serves 12-16

Smokehouse Cheese Ball

Smokehouse almonds and cherry jam come together in this cheese ball to make for a smoky creamy appetizer that is perfect for serving on game day.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup Blue Diamond Smokehouse Almonds, ground
  • 8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 5 ounces shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • 4 ounces goat cheese, at room temperature
  • 2 tablespoons cherry jam

Instructions

  1. Blend 1/2 cup of the almonds with the cream cheese, cheddar, goat cheese and cherry jam. You can do this by hand or with a food processor, though the final result will be smoother and creamier with the processor.
  2. Wrap the cheese in a piece of plastic wrap, shaping it into a ball as you do so. Chill for at least 1 hour.
  3. Roll the cheese ball in the remaining almonds. Serve immediately, or chill until ready to serve.
http://www.savvyeat.com/smokehouse-cheese-ball/

PS: This post is sponsored by Blue Diamond Almonds. All opinions are my own. For more Game Changing Snacks, visit Blue Diamond Almonds on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Thanks for supporting the brands that make Savvy Eats possible.

Homemade Queso Dip

Homemade queso dip in under 15 minutes to serve at this Sunday’s game with your favorite chunky salsa and some smoothly-melting cheeses. You couldn’t ask for more!

Homemade Queso DipI have to admit, I don’t care much about professional football (but I will cheer on my alma mater, the Wisconsin Badgers, whenever I can!). I honestly have no idea who is playing in any given playoff game, unless my husband’s favorite team happens to be a part of it. But playoffs and the big game call for lots of snacks, and that is something I can totally get behind. I’m not going to turn down an opportunity for cheesy snacks, gooey dips and the like.

Homemade queso dip // savvyeat.com

This queso is one of my new favorites. It is so much more flavorful than the kind you can get in a jar at the store. Plus, it makes use of one of my all-time favorite preserves: the corn salsa from Put ‘Em Up by Sherri Brooks-Vinton.  If you didn’t can some this summer and don’t want to take the time to make your own corn salsa (you have other snacks to make, so I don’t blame you!), you can use a store-bought salsa. Trader Joe’s has a good corn salsa that I know works well here, or you could use a chunky tomato salsa instead of corn. Your choice!

As for the cheese, you’re going to want to hunt down the American cheese. It is not the same as the individually wrapped slices of “cheese product” you remember from childhood, which have been processed to the point that they can’t legally be labeled as cheese. Boar’s Head, Land ‘O Lakes and a few other brands make American cheeses that can actually be called cheese. Go with one of those.  I found mine at the deli counter at the grocery store, and just asked them to cut thick slices, which I then chopped up further before melting it into the queso.

Homemade queso dip on savvyeat.com

It might be tempting to use other cheeses, but if you do, make sure you choose one that will melt easily and smoothly. I tried to make this queso three times with Monterey Jack instead of American cheese, and it came out clumpy and separated every time. No good, and a waste of perfectly good cheese and salsa.

Whether you’re cheering on your favorite team this Sunday, or just there for the snacks, this homemade queso dip is sure to be a crowd-pleaser!

Looking for more game day snacks? Try Kate’s jalapeno popper bread, Emily’s buffalo blue cheese dip or my jam-glazed chicken wings!

This post was originally posted on Food Fanatic.