On any given Saturday afternoon during football season I can usually be found with a big group of friends, gathering to watch our local college football team. The host is a master on the grill, and food is never (ever, ever) in short supply. My knowledge, and to be honest, interest, in football is limited, but I still look forward to getting together on Saturdays. It’s so fun to be around friends, cheering for our team, and eating good food.
The guys certainly didn’t care that this cheese ball was shaped like a cute pumpkin or that it used organic cheese, but they were definitely excited to realize that it had all of their favorite ingredients. Packed with flavor, this cheese ball is full of mix-ins so each bite has something to enjoy- crunchy toasted pecans, sharp cheddar cheese, bacon, and a little heat from the jalapenos.
This cheese ball can be served in a bowl or a ball. To decorate it like a pumpkin I first shaped it into a ball, then slightly flattened the top. The stem came from a bell pepper, and I cut thin strips of Organic Valley American Singles to make the ribbing on the pumpkin. Perfect for fall get-togethers!
Here are two more delicious cheese ball recipes to round out your fall and winter appetizer needs!
Use a mixer on medium speed to beat the cream cheese until smooth. Add the cumin and Worcestershire sauce and mix. Add the shredded cheddar cheese, green onions, bacon, pecans, and jalapenos. Stir until well combined.
Shape the mixture into a ball (if the mixture is too soft to shape at this time, refrigerate for a couple hours).
Optional: To make the pumpkin shape, lightly flatten the top. Place the strips of American Singles cheese evenly around the outside of the ball, gently pressing the cheese into the ball so it is slightly indented. Press the stem from the bell pepper into the top to cover where the strips of cheese meet in the middle.
Cover and refrigerate for several hours, the longer the better to allow flavors to meld.
Serve with your favorite crackers or sliced veggies. We especially enjoyed it with pretzel chips and buttery crackers.
A former member of CROPP’s Sustainability Department, Annie has relocated to Indiana but remains a CROPPie at heart. Annie has a M.S. in Environmental Studies from the University of Montana and continues to work in the field of environmental sustainability. When she and her yellow lab Boomer aren't outside exploring local hiking trails, Annie can usually be found in the kitchen. While she cooks for subsistence, Annie’s real passion lies in creating indulgent baked goods for friends and family.