I was cruising the internet 'tother day looking for some holiday party inspiration and crashed into a rendition of this fine not-so-feathered fella.
He's so cheesy! And completely nuts! In fact, he's gone crackers! (And that is how I humor myself friends...) So if you find this appetizer funny, and clever, and aren't worried about your teenagers groaning and rolling their eyes when you present him with a proud-as-a peacock (er, turkey) flourish. Then get your nutty cheese on!
Your favorite cheese ball recipe (I've included a recipe below if you don’t have one. Don’t be afraid to improvise and add/subtract spices and ingredients.)
Red, yellow, and orange bell pepper slices (the mini's do the trick!)
Crackers for tail feathers - oblong work best
Pepper Corns (or other edible "eyes".)
Make your cheese ball, wrap in plastic wrap, and refrigerate until firm.
Remove from fridge, place on center of serving plate.
Insert "tail feathers" in a wide fan - I placed a smaller number in front and in back of the wide row.
Press Pecans in at the "shoulders" working down and toward the back.
Press the sliced almonds in near the tail feathers.
Press the pumpkin seeds in in front of the almonds.
Cut a slice of the Orange Bell Pepper to form a "head and neck (experiment with this) an press into the front of the cheese ball.
Cut a "wiggly" slice of Red Bell Pepper and "glue" to the neck with a bit of the cream cheese.
Cut a tiny bit of Yellow Bell Pepper for the beak. I used the tip of a paring knife to poke a hole in the "head" and inserted the bit for the beak.
Find some "eyes." I used a bit of cracker, but I thought later that pepper corns would have been perfect! Glue the eyes on with another little bit of cream cheese.
Now, present that proud fine "bird" with a bowl of crackers and shake your tail feathers!!!
Cheese Ball Recipe
1 (8 oz) packages cream cheese, room temperature.
3/4 cups finely shredded sharp cheddar cheese.
1/2 cup shredded parmesan cheese
1 tablespoon bacon bits.
1 tablespoon chives, chopped.
1/2 teaspoon seasoning salt
Pinch cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon liquid smoke
Mix together all ingredients by hand, or using a mixer, in large bowl until well blended and an even consistency.
Form into a ball inside the bowl.
Wrap the ball in plastic wrap.
Place in the refrigerator until firm (about 2-3 hours.) Use the freezer for 30 minutes if you rarely think ahead (like me.)
Decorate your bird! OR
Roll in almond slices and serve with a basket of crackers.