I’ve always loved sports. I didn’t understand the phrase “love of sports” until I met my husband. Back in his single days…he would host football parties and do a big BBQ night, another friend would host the UFC fight night (which I still don’t love), my husband or someone else would host a March Madness party…the list goes on and on.
I’m from a small town in Idaho. I went to a small school in Idaho…sports parties weren’t really something I had ever been to until I was dating my husband. And let me tell you, I learned real fast FOOD is the key to the party. Yes, everyone is watching the game and talking but without the food, the guests might as well watch the big game at their house.
So, in the 9 years of dating/marriage to my husband, we have come up with a few fan favorites for those big game parties. One of my favorites that I grew up with around this time of year was my mom’s famous cheese ball. It isn’t anything complicated but simply amazing.
This year, we wanted to try something new…so I made mini (individual) cheese balls and added a new flavor. After a couple of adjustments, I think we have a new winner in our game book. We used crushed Blue Diamond Smokehouse Almond and the smokey flavor with the cheese really sets the cheese balls apart. Blue Diamond pulled off the smokehouse flavor spectacularly. We usually always have this flavor of almonds on hand because they are great to just grab a few and munch on. So throwing them on the cheese ball as the coating was a no brainier, the flavor combo worked great.
I also LOVE that the cheese balls are individual. One of the frustrating things for me with cheese balls is the fact you have to cut a chunk off to put on your plate and then you never have enough crackers or you have too many crackers for the amount of cheese you just cut off. This way ensures the perfect ratio.
Speaking of perfect ratio–it also ensures the perfect ratio of nuts to cheese. And this Diamond Smokehouse Almond that we used has amazing flavor–you want to make sure it is in every bite.
- 1 8oz pkg of ⅓ less fat cream cheese
- 8 oz shredded colby jack cheese
- 1 tbsp shredded yellow onion
- ⅛-1/4 tsp garlic powder
- 1 drop liquid smoke (optional)
- 2 tbsp chopped Blue Diamond Smokehouse Almonds + ½ cup chopped to roll cheese balls in
- Mix all ingredients in mixer until well blended.
- Roll cheese mixture into 24 balls (about 2 tbsp each).
- Roll each ball in chopped Blue Diamond Smokehouse Almonds
- Refrigerate until ready to serve. Serve with crackers.
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