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Recipe Finder | A cheese ball to please all

Susan Fisher from South Bend, Ind., was looking for a recipe making a cheese ball like the one she would buy some years ago that was made and sold by a sorority in Mishawaka, Ind., as a fundraiser. She would purchase several of them each year and says, "These cheese balls were absolutely wonderful. … Everywhere I took one, people would ask me for my recipe … but of course I couldn't give it to them." The sorority stopped selling them years ago and she has been searching, with no luck, for the recipe ever since.

She said the cheese balls were light and creamy and rolled in chopped nuts and parsley.

No luck finding anyone from Mishawaka with the exact recipe that Fisher was seeking, but good cheese ball recipes are easy to come by. It's something I make frequently for entertaining.

The base for most cheese balls is cream cheese, and then it's a matter of personal preference as to what other cheeses and seasonings you add. My favorite recipe comes from "The Crabby Cook" cookbook by Jessica Harper. (Full disclosure: I'm related to the author, and the recipe in her book is credited to me.

It's easy, tasty and versatile. Feel free to substitute the cheeses and toppings. And consider doubling the recipe and popping one ball in the freezer for the next time unexpected guests stop by. You'll be glad you did.

Requests

Nancy Harrell from Niles, Mich., is searching for the recipe for what she called "Wilderness Soup." It was served at Via Maria Trattoria in Holland, Mich. The soup was cream-based with mushrooms, garlic, rice and perhaps cabbage. She said she wrote to the restaurant some years ago, but it would not share the recipe with her.

Carlin Lohrey from Kelso, Wis., is looking for a recipe for she has lost for Super Ginger Cookies. She said the recipe was given to her many years ago by her daughter's piano teacher, and they were the best-tasting cookies she ever made.

If you are looking for a recipe or can answer a request, write to Julie Rothman, Recipe Finder, The Baltimore Sun, 501 N. Calvert St., Baltimore 21278 or email baltsunrecipefinder@gmail.com. If you send in more than one recipe, please put each on a separate piece of paper and be sure to include your name, address and daytime phone number. Important: Name and hometown must accompany recipes in order to be published. Please list the ingredients in order of use, and note the number of servings each recipe makes. Please type or print contributions. Letter and recipes may be edited for clarity.

Cheese ball

Makes 8 servings

8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature

1 cup shredded cheddar cheese

1/2 cup crumbled blue cheese

1/2 cup finely chopped walnuts, pecans, or pistachios

Combine the cheeses well by hand or in a food processor and form them into a ball.

Place the nuts on a pie plate. Roll the cheese ball in the nuts until completely covered. Wrap the cheese ball in plastic wrap or wax paper and chill for 2 hours or up to 2 days. Remove from refrigerator about 30 minutes before serving.

Variations: Instead of nuts, roll the cheese ball in finely chopped herbs, such as a mixture of parsley, chives, dill or basil. You can also use a combination of chopped nuts and chopped herbs.

Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun
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