Holiday Favorites Week 11 “Appetizers” Winner
We have our winning appetizer! New Year’s Eve is this weekend, and this appetizer is perfect for a party. Let’s hear from our winner, Mary Shivers!
“I love brainstorming in the kitchen! Many years ago I tried a cheese ball made with pineapple cheese and loved it. This was my version in festive, individual servings! I really enjoy betterrecipes.com because there is such a variety of easy-to-prepare recipes that call for ingredients that I usually have on hand. I thought it was a fun contest because the theme changed each week!”
This is such an exciting dish! The recipe calls for tree shaped pretzels, but flat pretzel chips can also be used.
The ever-popular cheese ball is made mini-sized for an easy and festive appetizer. A great crowd-pleaser that can be made well in advance of your next party.
2 (8 oz.) pkg. cream cheese, softened
1 teaspoon seasoned salt
1/8 teaspoon cayenne
1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1 cup crushed pineapple, well drained
1/4 cup thinly sliced green onions
1/4 cup roasted red bell pepper, diced and drained
1-1/2 cups chopped pecans
2 tablespoons parsley flakes
24 tree shaped pretzels
24 red bell pepper strips, 1/4 x 1 inch
In a large mixing bowl, beat cream cheese, seasoned salt, cayenne, and Worcestershire sauce on low speed until smooth. Stir in pineapple, green onions, and bell pepper. Shape mixture into 24 walnut-size balls. Place pecans in a pie plate. Roll balls in pecans. Place on a large plate. Sprinkle tops with parsley flakes. Cover and chill for 1 hour or until serving time. Just before serving, place each ball on the center of a pretzel and add a pepper strip to the top. Serve with crackers as desired. Serves 12-16.
Number of Servings: 12-16
Notes: These delicious cheese ball minis are crowd pleasers and great party food because utensils are not needed for serving; guests simply pick up a pretzel tree. They make a festive presentation, displaying red and green both inside and out.
Congratulations Mary! What makes this recipe special?
“I think this recipe is unique because most cheese balls are not served individually. The idea of serving these minis on pretzel trees added to the holiday theme.”
We are gearing up for new and exciting recipe contests in 2011. What advice would you have for others who enter Better Recipes contests?
“Submit unique, yet simple and easy-to-make recipes that call for easy-to-find ingredients!”
Any fun plans for the prize money?
“The prize money will be spent to buy our oldest son’s plane ticket home from California when he returns in January from a 7-month Marine deployment overseas.”
That’s wonderful! Everyone at Better Recipes welcomes him back home and thanks him for his service to our country! Since this is a “Holiday Favorites” contest, can you share some of your favorite holiday memories with us? Maybe tell us about some of the traditional holiday recipes in your home?
“My favorite holiday memories include the look of awe and wonder on the faces of our sons when they were small and they would enter the living room on Christmas morning to see what Santa had left them. I always make a breakfast quiche the night before then bake it on Christmas morning before we load the car to go to my in-laws for Christmas lunch. The holiday dessert that I make each and every year is a traditional pumpkin roll because it is a timeless favorite with both of our sons.
It is also a family tradition to spend Christmas Eve at my dad and mom’s, along with my six sisters, my brother, and all of their families. We all love to cook so we spend the first couple of hours tasting each other’s new dishes and exchanging recipes amid many “oohs” and “aahs”.
With food an integral part of any holiday gathering, these delicious memories, as well as many others, come from priceless traditions that I hope my family continues for generations to come.”
Thanks so much for sharing, Mary! Your stories and, of course, your recipe, are such a treat. Stay tuned to Better Recipes in 2011 for new and exciting recipe contests!
In the meantime, you have until December 31st to enter your favorite dishes in our Annual Recipe Contest. http://www.betterrecipes.com/contest/
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