Mediterranean Dill Cheese Ball

Thanksgiving is a very special time of year for me. Since I was a little girl my mother made the exact same dishes every year for our Thanksgiving meal. Every Thanksgiving morning my family would wake to the smell of Mom’s homemade turkey stock simmering on the stove, and upon entering the kitchen she would be found drying out her homemade cornbread crumbles in preparation for her famous Sausage and Cornbread Dressing. She was a cooking warrior on that day waking up in the early morning hours to prepare a feast for our family of 5. We were always thousands of miles away from any family so it was usually just us and plenty of her amazing food. Thanksgiving quickly became my favorite Holiday, even outranking Christmas! The smell of that meal cooking is surely my favorite smell in the world and it brings my heart to a place filled with wonderful childhood memories.

After moving out on my own my parents and siblings relocated to Texas, I chose to stay behind in Maine. When I had my first Thanksgiving without Mom’s meal, it wasn’t Thanksgiving. That was easily the most depressing Holiday season I’ve ever experienced.  I soon started my own family and received a “Mommy Package” from my parents. It contained a recipe box filled with our childhood favorites, including her Thanksgiving dinner and desserts! That year I claimed Thanksgiving, made my Mom’s food, got my husband’s family hooked on the dishes, and have never given up my hold on being the Queen of Thanksgiving! Thank you Mom for passing on the torch! It has always been my dream to host a huge feast since I have never experienced a Thanksgiving meal with tons of family gathered around the table. This year my dreams are coming true. I’ll have my family and their loved ones as well as Jon’s family around my dinner table. It will be a day full of appetizers, spirits, and fun, followed by Mom’s Thanksgiving Meal cooked by yours truly.

Cheese Ball Preparation

 

This poses one problem, keeping within budget when shopping for this meal. This year I’m turning to Litehouse for help. Getting many of my ingredients to play double duty is how I’ll keep things affordable, starting with the appetizers. Thanks to Litehouse’s OPA Greek Yogurt Dressing and Artisan Feta Cheese Crumbles being absolutely packed with flavor, my Mediterranean Dill Cheese Ball will also be packed with flavor while only using a wee bit of product. I can then roll over my leftover ingredients into a lovely Mediterranean Turkey Salad the next day! Double Duty Mission #1, complete!

Serving on a cracker My Mediterranean Dill Cheese ball appetizer will be sure to please the crowds at my house on Thanksgiving Day. Cream cheese is given an unmatched flavor with Litehouse’s OPA Greek Yogurt Feta Dill Dressing and Artisan Feta Cheese Crumbles. Fun surprise ingredients such as roasted red bell peppers and sunflower seeds are added before shaping the cheese mixture into a ball and coating with Litehouse’s Instantly Fresh Dill. It is quick, easy, and the best cheese ball I’ve ever tasted…  I’ve eaten many a cheese balls in my life and this one blew me away. I will still have guests to feed the day after Turkey Day and those not diving into a plate of leftovers will be served a Mediterranean Salad! Fresh Romaine will be topped with leftover turkey, Litehouse’s Artisan Feta Cheese Crumbles, roasted red peppers, sunflower seeds, red onion, whatever other veggies we have left over from the veggie platter, and Litehouse’s OPA Greek Yogurt Feta Dill Dressing. The only ingredient not used the day before will be the lettuce, that’s some money saving right there!

Completed Cheeseball

Mediterranean Dill Cheese Ball

Serves 12-15 | Finish in 1 hour 5 minutes
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Cream cheese is combined with OPA Greek Yogurt, Fresh Feta Cheese Crumbles, and other Mediterranean inspired ingredients creating an irresistible appetizer!

Ingredients

2-8oz. bricks of cream cheese regular or low fat,
1/3 c. Litehouse OPA Greek Yogurt Feta Dill Dressing,
1/3 c. Litehouse Artisan Feta Cheese Crumbles crumbled into fine pieces,
1/3 c. minced red onion,
1/3 c. roasted red bell pepper strips chopped,
1/3 c. roasted sunflower seeds,
1/3 c. fresh parsley chopped,
1-2 Tbsp. Litehouse Instantly Fresh Dill for topping,
Crackers for serving,

Directions

1. In a large bowl blend together the cream cheese and OPA Greek Yogurt dressing until completely blended.

2. Mix in the remaining ingredients except the dill until thoroughly spread throughout the cream cheese mixture.

3. Shape the cheese mixture into a ball. I find this works best if I spray my hands with a bit of Non Stick Cooking Spray before handling the cheese mixture.

4. Place the cheese ball on a plate and sprinkle the top with desired amount of Instantly Fresh Dill.

5. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour allowing all of the flavors to marry.

6. Transfer to a pretty serving tray and surround with crackers for serving.

This cheese ball is firm enough to hold its shape yet is soft enough to be dipped into with a cracker so cheese knives are not necessary for serving!


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