No matter how highfalutin you want to make your party, you have to have a cheese ball, don't you? It's the sine qua non of holiday entertaining.
But while cheese balls are beloved by all, they are not especially fancy (though some may disagree). That is, if you're envisioning the store-bought, fist-sized ball of dubiously bright orange cheese rolled in chunky bits of rancid pecan. So DPaul was inspired to raise the humble cheese ball to new heights. By using only white cheeses, chopping the pecans very finely and rolling them into individual bites, the humble cheese ball became a dainty and elegant hors d'oeuvre.
Use equal parts grated sharp white cheddar, goat cheese and cream cheese, all at room temperature. Whip them together either by hand or with the paddle attachment on the stand mixer. Using a melon baller, scoop out equal portions of the cheese. Roll each ball gently between your palms to round them off, and drop directly into a dish of finely chopped pecans; roll to cover completely. Shake off excess, and roll the balls again between your palms to even out the shape and embed the nuts into the cheese.
Tarrant at Retro-Food serves up a classic cheese log.
Lisa, the Homesick Texan, has two versions on offer, with fond memories of Aunt Betty.
Kalyn rounds up amazing holiday appetizers on BlogHer.