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HOLIDAY RECIPES: Artisanal Cheese Ball . . . Meatballs with Cranberry Sauce . . . Pumpkin Parfaits

Artisanal Cheese Ball 8 ounces fromage blanc or cream cheese 1 4-ounce package aged Cheddar, finely shredded 1 4-ounce package crumbled blue cheese 1 tablespoon sour cream 1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce 1/4 teaspoon each: garlic powder, fresh ...

Pumpkin Parfaits
Make-ahead Pumpkin Parfaits save holiday cooks valuable time. (McClatchy Tribune)

Artisanal Cheese Ball

8 ounces fromage blanc or cream cheese

1 4-ounce package aged Cheddar, finely shredded

1 4-ounce package crumbled blue cheese

1 tablespoon sour cream

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½ teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

¼ teaspoon each: garlic powder, fresh cracked black pepper

1/8 teaspoon salt

4 green onions, thinly sliced

8 slices smoked applewood bacon, cooked, drained, diced

Combine cheeses, sour cream, Worcestershire sauce, garlic powder, pepper, salt in food processor. Puree on low until mixture is smooth, about 3 minutes. Fold in onions; place mixture in a large bowl. Shape into a ball with a large mixing spoon; chill 1 hour.

Meanwhile, cook bacon in skillet over medium heat until crisp; drain on paper towels. Chop; set aside.

Gently remove cheese ball from bowl. Spread bacon bits on wax paper or cutting board; roll cheese ball until evenly coated. Serve at room temperature.

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Yield: Serves 12.

Approximate nutritional analysis per tablespoon: 165 calories, 78 percent of calories from fat, 14 grams fat (9 grams saturated), 43 milligrams cholesterol, 1 grams carbohydrates, 7 grams protein, 372 milligrams sodium, no fiber.

Meatballs with Cranberry Sauce

1 16-ounce can whole cranberry sauce

12 ounces chili sauce, such as Heinz

2 tablespoons brown sugar

1 tablespoon lemon juice

2 pounds ground beef

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2 eggs, beaten

1cup bread crumbs

½ cup chopped flat leaf parsley

1/3 cup ketchup

1 teaspoon salt or to taste

¼ teaspoon freshly ground pepper

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Combine cranberry sauce, chili sauce, brown sugar, lemon juice in medium bowl; set aside.

Mix beef, eggs, bread crumbs, parsley, ketchup, salt, pepper in bowl; form into 1-inch balls. Place in single layer in baking dish; cover with sauce. Bake until meat is cooked through, 35 to 40 minutes.

Yield: 20 meatballs.

Approximate nutritional analysis per meatball: 162 calories, 29 percent of calories from fat, 5 grams fat (2 grams saturated), 49 milligrams cholesterol, 19 grams carbohydrates, 9 grams protein, 418 milligrams sodium, 1 gram fiber.

Pumpkin Parfaits

½ pint whipping cream

2 teaspoons confectioners' sugar

1 29-ounce can solid pack pumpkin

1 8-ounce container mascarpone

¼ cup brown sugar

2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice

4 cups broken gingersnaps or molasses cookies

1½ cups toasted pecans, coarsely chopped

Beat cream to soft peaks. Add sugar; beat a few more seconds. Set aside. Fold pumpkin into mascarpone in bowl, blending well; add brown sugar, pumpkin pie spice.

Place some broken cookies in the bottom of each serving dish or glass. Sprinkle with some pecan pieces. Spoon in a layer of pumpkin mixture. Add a layer of whipped cream. Add another layer of pumpkin mixture; finish with cookie and pecan pieces. Cover each serving dish with plastic wrap; refrigerate overnight. Refrigerate remaining whipped cream, well covered.

To serve, dollop with whipped cream.

Yield: Serves 8.

Approximate nutritional analysis per serving: 542 calories, 38 grams fat (13 grams saturated), 56 milligrams cholesterol, 49 grams carbohydrates, 8 grams protein, 282 milligrams sodium, 7 grams fiber.

Artisanal Cheese Ball
An Artisanal Cheese Ball and Meatballs with Cranberry Sauce make for tasty appetizers at holiday parties. (McClatchy Tribune)

Related Topics: FOODRECIPES
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