Needless to say, my dishes-to-pass for these parties need to be fast and easy. Rather than coming up with four different dishes, I'm planning to make the same thing for each party (it's all different people at each party, so they'll never know - except for Ruthann, Richard, Mark and Char, but they won't mind, right?). I also made this recipe for Thanksgiving a couple weeks ago and it was a big hit, as always.
This is actually the recipe my mom has been using for as long as I can remember. It's super simple and super delicious.
Ham and Cheese Ball
8 ounces cream cheese - softened
6 ounces deli ham - diced small
6 to 8 green onions - sliced small
1 tablespoon garlic powder
4 ounces chopped nuts (I used pecans this time but any variety works)
Add all ingredients (except nuts) to a bowl and combine well -- either use an electric mixer or a wooden spoon (the manual method will give you a workout, the electric mixer will make life easier and faster). Once mixed, gather the mixture in your hands and form into a ball. Add chopped nuts to a shallow bowl and roll the cheese ball in the nuts on all side. It's ready to serve!
I like to serve my Ham and Cheese Ball with Triscuit crackers because I like the hardy whole-wheatiness of them. But not everyone likes Triscuit crackers, so I usually have a second type on the tray. But this recipe works for any type of cracker or even as a side to veggie wedges -- wide cut carrots or green peppers maybe? In fact, check out these adorable "Carrot Flowers" made by Dana at The Kitchen - great idea for a cheese ball dip! Be creative if you don't want to serve crackers -- let your imagination take over a bit and see what you come up with.
Other Great Party Recipes