Monday, November 17, 2008

The Famous Cheese Ball --- perfect holiday appetizer

Drum roll please. Here, published for the first time, is Nancy Simpson’s famous cheese ball recipe.

Cheese balls make a great appetizer, they are easy to prepare, and men love them. Fellow writer and poet Nancy Simpson brought her famous cheese ball to Netwest’s Prose Group last Thursday night at Tri-County College. The first person to comment, Jerry Hobbs, said, "Anything with pecans in it has to be good." It didn’t take long for the seven of us to devour it.

She kindly shared her recipe with me. It gets it kick from the Hidden Valley Ranch seasoning mix. Wherever she takes it, she says, people always request the recipe. Nancy likes to give her cheese ball as a Christmas gift by putting it on a pretty plate and adding a cheese knife. If you know Nancy, maybe you can get your name on her gift list because it’s that good.

Here, by popular demand, is her recipe.

Nancy Simpson’s Cheese Ball

1 (8 oz) package Original Philadelphia cream cheese
1 (8 oz) package 1/3 Less Fat Philadelphia cream cheese
1 cup grated sharp cheddar cheese
1 ½ cups crushed pecans (divided)
1 package Hidden Valley Ranch salad dressing and seasoning mix
1 teaspoon Heinz Worcestershire sauce
Pecan halves for garnish

Bring all three cheeses to room temperature. Combine both cream cheeses, cheddar cheese, ½ cup crushed pecans, salad dressing and seasoning mix and Worcestershire sauce. Roll into two large balls or three small balls.

Roll balls in 1 cup of crushed pecans. Garnish decoratively with pecan halves. Serve with Triscuits or crackers of your choice.


  1. I am SOO happy to finally get this recipe that I'm printing it out and heading to the market RIGHT now!!! Geez I love this stuff ....


    PS ... the word captcha below says "devour", which is sort of prophetic since that's what we'll all be doing by tonight! *grin*

  2. Sam ...

    I've often wondered if it would be etiquette of me to just take the entire cheese ball, put it between two slices of white bread and eat it that way?! Ya think? Acceptable for parties? Yes? Now?

    Anyway ... now you need to beg her for her "Magic Bullet Deviled Ham".


  3. Lynn, I think you should just grab the whole cheese ball while no one is looking and head for the door.

  4. Sam ...

    ... so are you giving me permission to eat it like an apple???

    I'm coming to your house for Thanksgiving!!! *grin*


  5. This sounds heavenly, Nancy. I will make this for Thanksgiving appetizer if I can wait that long. Thanks for the revealing this recipe. :)

  6. Hello Sam,

    What fun! This cheese ball talk tickles me no end. Thanks for posting the recipe. You did a beautiful job of the presentation. Now when others ask me for the recipe I can really tell them where to go.

  7. Nancy, it was my pleasure.

    The cheese ball recipe is a keeper and I will use it often. My husband is already asking when can we have it again. Thank you for sharing this yummy treat.


  8. Sam,

    I love your blog. Your wonderful recipes make my mouth water. Keep up the good work. Brenda Kay Ledford,

  9. Brenda Kay, welcome to my kitchen. Glad you stopped by.
    Congratulations on your new poetry book, Sacred Fire.

    I enjoyed your Mother's Christmas Greetings on your blog. She mentions her mother making fruit cakes. People often gave fruit cakes, sometimes homemade, for presents. I've made a fruit cake only once in my life, but I think I'll get out that recipe and give it a try this season. It's a nice way to remember holidays past.

    Hope you will visit again soon.


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