Looking through my recipe box is like leafing through an old photo album. Tucked behind the appetizer tab of my Longaberger basket recipe file is a card with the instructions for Kim's Famous New Year's Eve Cheese Ball. Not only is this appetizer delicious, but it also conjures up wonderful thoughts of saying "good-bye" to 2006 and "hello" to 2007 with my childhood friends, Kim and Chris.
That year my husband and I loaded up our young children and drove them over the Chesapeake Bay Bridge to spend New Year's Eve on the Eastern Shore of Maryland. After stopping by the homes of aunts, uncles, and grandparents, we ended up at our BFFs' house and let our four children run wild with their six children! Yes, that's right, we have ten children between us! In addition to great food, our evening was filled with rocking babies, chasing toddlers, hunting down kids, and laughing about our carefree high school days when our biggest concern was what to wear to prom.
Although we took lots of pictures that night, eating a bite of pineapple cheese ball on a Ritz cracker conjures up just as many memories as looking through our scrapbook of that year. My daughter, who was nine at the time, recently prepared this party food and enjoyed remembering how 'Aunt Kim' taught her the fine art of caring for curly hair and how 'Uncle Chris' taught her how to beat her daddy in a long game of Risk. I remembered marveling at all the cute little people who were calling Kim and I Mom, sampling the Pineapple Cheese Ball, and recording the recipe as Kim simultaneously nursed her baby and spouted off the directions from memory.
Now our Pineapple Cheese Ball, also know as Kim's Famous New Year's Eve Cheese Ball, is a favorite at birthday parties, family gatherings, and, of course, New Year's Eve. It is easy to prepare and has a festive golden color. The secret ingredient, the vanilla pudding, adds an extra hint of sweetness and creates a lovely creamy texture. When combined with the salty crunch of a Ritz crackers this Pineapple Cheese Ball becomes the most popular item on any holiday spread. I am grateful for my collection of recipes that reminds me of good times from the past and I hope that Heidi's Recipes helps you create some fond memories for the future.
Happy New Year from Heidi's Recipes!
Pineapple Cheese Ball Recipe
a.k.a. Kim's Famous New Year's Eve Cheese Ball
1 small packet of vanilla pudding (3 ounce)
2 large blocks of cream cheese (8 ounces each), softened
1 large can crushed pineapple (20 ounce), drained well
1 cup crushed nuts (walnuts or pecans)
- Place softened cream cheese in a large bowl. Sprinkle dry pudding mix onto cream cheese. Mix well.
- Add the drained crushed pineapple. Mix until combined.
- Roll cream cheese mixture into one large ball or two smaller balls. If the mixture is too soft, wrap it in plastic wrap and place it in the refrigerator for about an hour.
- Place crushed nuts on a plate. Roll cheese ball in nuts, pressing to coat.
- Chill ball for at least an hour or overnight.
- Serve with Ritz crackers.