Game Day Snacks 2!

It is that time of year that can only be described as Blah. Days here in central New England are either sunny and cold to an arctic degree, or cloudy and chilly and damp. Blah. However, a good friend recently brightened our life by inviting us to game night! A few rounds of Flux or Pictionary can make any Blah day fun and festive.

But what snack should we bring? Cheese and crackers are easy to eat while rolling dice and shuffling cards. We decided to bring cheese spreads. I went with a retro-style cheese ball. Mr. Food It Yourself made a batch of cheese spread he calls “cheese-fon-don’t”.

I scoured the internet for cheese ball recipes. I found recipes for ranch balls rolled in bacon bits, port wine balls rolled in chopped pecans, pizza balls rolled in diced pepperoni, red velvet balls rolled in chocolate chips…the variations are endless. It seems that a basic cheese ball requires four things:

  • 16 ounces of cream cheese (regular, low fat, vegan, whatever)
  • 1 cup of other cheese, grated
  • Seasonings
  • A substance to roll the ball in which coordinates with the seasonings

Here’s what I did.

It all started the night before game night. I melted a little butter in a heavy skillet and added a small, finely chopped onion. I sauteed it with a pinch of salt. This cooked over low heat until it was brown and caramelized.
I shredded one cup of sharp cheddar. I used the smaller shredding holes on my box grater. I don’t know if it matters, but it seemed like smaller cheese shreds would be easier to mix.

I used a gloved hand to smash the cheddar, cream cheese, caramelized onion, and some dried parsley and thyme into a smooth mass. I couldn’t get pictures and mix at the same time, though. Sorry about that. The cheese ball mix went into the fridge over night, covered closely with plastic wrap.

Next, we went to work on Mr. Food It Yourself’s cheese spread. Fist, we cut the cheese. Ideally, this is made with a blend of cheeses. This batch used cheddar, Monterrey Jack, and Muenster.
Mr. Food It Yourself ran batches of cheese through the food processor with a little butter and some garlic powder. He just goes by eye, not really measuring. I mixed the batches together for consistency, again, using a gloved hand. The mixed spread went into Mason jars and into the refrigerator.
I decided to roll my cheese ball in chopped herbs. Since it is mid-winter I had to buy them. I washed and dried some parsley and chives, then snipped them finely with scissors. I rolled the ball in the snipped herbs just before we left for the party.
Here are the cheese ball and cheese-fon-don’t, served with sturdy crackers and some charcuterie. There were a hit with our fellow gamesters!

Wintertime can definitely get this DIYeter down. However, a few friends, some snacks, and good-natured competition can help anyone forget the cold, dark, and damp of the season. What are your favorite party snacks to whip up? Share in the comments!