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Homemade Port Wine Cheese Ball

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There comes a point in your life when you just gotta have a good ball o’cheese.

Can a girl get an amen?

I *adore* the neon orange and pink port wine monstrosities that festoon Christmas parties and fooseball parties alike.

Gah, I just love them so.

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Know what I don’t love though?

I’m not thrilled by the fact that they cost, like, $5 or $6 bucks a pop and are probably filled with ingredients I can’t pronounce, then I have to wait until I take it to a party and, since I brought it I can’t necessarily dig into it first, so I have to circle and circle and circle the appetizer table like a shark until somebody finally has the gujungas to dip into it first and then they break their dang cracker in it b/c they didn’t use the spreader in the first place and then I have to wait even longer until somebody else comes and scoops off the area where the cracker breaker got his fingers in it until I can finally shove some of that ball in my face.

Le sigh.

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This recipe is stupid easy, and it makes not one but two balls of deliciousness so that whole thing about waiting? Yeah…not an issue. As for the crackers always breaking, I eat it with celery sticks instead! They hold up and work so well with this cheese that I don’t even think about eating it any other way.

And, no, this is probably not the healthiest thing I’ve ever posted; however, it is HEALTHIER than one you would buy in a store, and it justs tastes soooo much better! I’ll admit when I first made this recipe, I wasn’t exactly expecting it to taste like a store bought port wine cheese ball, but lo and frickin’ behold this stuff tastes just like it but…better.

BET.

TER.

I took one eensy, weensy taste of it, and I instantly did a back flip and donned a tuxedo-tard and top hat and just tappity tapped all around my kitchen with a giant grin on my face because it was better than I hoped it would be.

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And don’t you go a worrying yourself about spending a bazillion dollars on a a bottle of port that’s going to make one recipe and then sit in your liquor cabinet collecting cobwebs. Nope. The bottle I bought was the cheap stuff and was on sale for $6.99. No need to get all snooty here, people. This wine is getting mixed with cheese…you’re not going to sip on a tiny glass of it in your parlor while wearing ivory silk gloves and a black birdcage veil…but how fun would that be?!?

Ugh, but puh-lease whatever you do DO NOT-I repeat-DO NOT skimp on the quality of the cheese here, y’all. You can easily find a good block of all natural sharp cheddar without breaking the bank, and for the love of all things…don’t even think about using pre-shredded cheese. If you do, I will haunt your dreams FOR-EV-ER. Sandlot style.

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Getting to know you…

Have you ever made a cheese ball? 

Do you like to drink port?

Do you have anything collecting dust in your cabinets?

Scrumptious Port Wine Cheese Ball with a Drizzly Port Wine Reduction

Serves 18
Prep time 30 minutes
Cook time 5 minutes
Total time 35 minutes
Allergy Milk, Tree Nuts
Meal type Appetizer, Snack, Starter
Misc Pre-preparable, Serve Cold
Occasion Barbecue, Birthday Party, Casual Party, Christmas, Easter, Formal Party, Halloween, Thanksgiving, Valentines day
*WWpts= 3 pts per serving* *WWpts+= 2 pts per serving*

Ingredients

  • 8oz organic sharp cheddar cheese (shredded)
  • 8oz organic neufchatel cheese (softened to room temp)
  • 1/2 cup + 1 tbsp tawny port (I used Taylor's)
  • 1 pinch freshly grated nutmeg
  • freshly cracked black pepper (to taste)
  • 1 tablespoon sugar in the raw (DO NOT SUB WITH STEVIA)
  • 1/8 cup toasted pecan halves (finely chopped)

Directions

Step 1
Add cheeses, 1/4 cup + 1 tbsp port, nutmeg, and pepper to a food processor and pulse until smooth and creamy. Split mixture in half, wrap in plastic wrap, roll into balls and refrigerate until ready to serve.
Step 2
Add remaining port and sugar to a small sauce pan and place over medium heat. Simmer the sauce until it reduces down into a syrup. About 5 mins. NOTE: This will make a small amount that is just enough to drizzle on both balls. If you want more, double the amount of ingredients.
Step 3
Sprinkle balls with chopped nuts, drizzle with reduction, and serve with crisp celery sticks and crackers.
Step 4
Enjoy!

Love y'all!
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3 Comments
  • Kiersten @ Oh My Veggies
    January 8, 2013

    Pinned this! And now I am craving it. I am a midwestern girl and this was a staple at every family gathering when I was growing up. Oh man, so many memories. And so much cheese…