Party hearty with a delicious bacon-pecan crusted cheese ball!

It came to me in a vision on the way to Zumba this morning. As I made my way into the gym prepared to shake my groove thang (yes, I said it) for the last time this year, it dawned on me… the very best way to ring in 2012… Cheese ball!

I know it’s a bit 1975 (even though I wasn’t alive in 1975, ahem) but I couldn’t help myself. The thought of dancing around and sweating for 60 minutes made me instinctively crave cream cheese and bacon. And really, who doesn’t love a good cheese ball?

This sucker was a cinch to put together, can easily be made vegetarian, and is gluten-free. Not anywhere near healthy fare, but definitely a tasty way to ring in the New Year if I do say so myself.

Note: Cheese ball flavor gets better with time. Making it the night before a party is a good idea!

N.S.F.D. Ranking: *******

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Ingredients:
– 2 packages softened cream cheese (16 oz total), I used reduced fat
– 2-3 cups sliced cheddar cheese (sharp)
– 1-2 Tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
– 1 Tablespoon Hot sauce
– Garlic powder
– Onion powder
– Cayenne
– Pepper
– 5 slices of bacon, fried, cooled and crumbled
– 1 cup roughly chopped pecans

Directions:
1. Run the cheddar cheese through a food processor until crumbly.
2. Combine softened cream cheese, cheddar, Worcestershire, hot sauce, and spices. Stir well using a hefty spoon. Be prepared to really put your shoulder into it.
3. Taste, preferably using a Wheat Thin.
4. Adjust spices/sauces accordingly.
5. Form mixture into a ball, cover with plastic and pop into the fridge to firm up for 20-30 minutes (or however long you feel like, really).
6. Mix together the bacon bits and pecan bits, spreading out onto wax paper.
7. Roll cheese ball in the bacon-nut goodness.
8. Admire your handiwork.
9. Arrange on a plate with the crackers of your choice, but if you choose well, you’ll choose Wheat Thins. They hold up to the mighty cheese ball.
10. Serve and behold the happiness.

Note: I would’ve added some chopped green onions if I had any on hand.

xoxo,
shawna

P/S Happy New Year!

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