Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Cranberry Cheese "Present" Appetizer Recipe

Well I cook and bake a great deal
 but don't really blog about food I fix much,
 unless it's about tea party fare.
Today I am sharing one of my favorite Christmas recipes
 that I borrowed years ago from my friend Dawn.
 She brought this to our church choir Christmas Party
and I have been making it ever since!
It's a real show-stopper with lots of flavor!

This pic is kinda bleh taken years ago - way before my good camera and blogging
since then I never bothered to take pics of it again -
B ut it's too good not to share this holiday recipe with you all!
16 ounces shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1 cup REAL mayonnaise
½ cup finely chopped sweet onion
¼ tsp. salt
¼ tsp. black pepper
¼ tsp.  ground red pepper
1 cup chopped lightly toasted pecans plus 1/2 cup for topping
¼ cup chopped toasted pecan “dust”
1 8 ounce can whole berry cranberry sauce
Green onions (only need two of the green strips but have a couple in case they tear)
1 orange
party crackers or sliced baguette
Beat first 6 ingredients at med speed with mixer, then gently stir in  1 cup of your chopped  pecans.
Shape mixture into a 5 x 5 x 2 inch box.  (I made  mine by cutting up an old milk carton to make the sides and just placed on a waxed paper cardboard base –creating a makeshift “spring form” in a square shape.)
Spoon mixture into box to form a square shape.  Cover and chill at least 8 hours or up to 2 days.
When getting ready to serve:  Gently pull off the box form and discard. Sprinkle the pecan dust all over the sides and top of your cheese and press it into the cheese a bit.
Lift the cheese block onto your serving tray. Spoon cranberry sauce over cheese square and make it tidy on top- but don’t let it spill over the edges if you can help it. Then sprinkle the sauce with your reserved 1/2 cup chopped toasted pecans. You will see I used walnuts on my topper because I ran out of pecans that time. Either works but pecans taste better.
Cut the white part from 4 green onions. Blanch the strips in boiling water 1 minute until tender, and save the white part for other use. Run under cold water to stop the blanching and to cool the strip. Drain well and gently pat dry. Press two strips in the form of a cross on the top of the cheese – that will be your ribbon bow.  Cut a skinny long strip from your orange – longer the better, and it’s more difficult than it sounds – and gently tie into a “bow” and place in center of the cross portion of your two green strips.
Serve with crackers and/or bread.


  1. Mmm, I like the ingredients and the presentation. Your idea of a disposable spring form pan sounds sensible and I love the the cranberry topping.

  2. Sounds so yummy. I may have to give this one a try as I have two Christmas buffets to serve. That would look so pretty on the table.

  3. Yum! This looks and sounds delicious, Michele! The box used as a disposable spring form pan is brilliant! Thanks for sharing and for your very nice comment on my party. Enjoy the rest of your week, sweet friend.

    Christmas blessings,

  4. Oh, it sounds so good! Thank you for sharing!

  5. What a great recipe for the holidays - thanks for sharing!

  6. Looks wonderful & delish too! I need to make this!

  7. Oh this looks SO SO good. I'd like some right this very minute. I haven't blogged for a month now and have skipped many days on my please forgive me for not seeing all the wonderful posts you've done. I am up to my arm pits in pure holiday busy ness with my family and church. Know that I love you my sweet friend.


  8. Looks like a delicious, and savory dip...perfect for this time of year.

    Thanks for sharing!

  9. It looks beautiful and sounds absolutely dee-lish! I loved seeing pics of your niece, too, Michele! Wow!!!!

  10. I love cranberries. This looks so good!

  11. That appetizer is so cute. Need an appetizer to take for Sunday and this may be it!


  12. Michele, this looks beautiful and delicious! I have moved my blog, my party will be up as usual. You can find me at I appreciate you sharing with Home and Garden Thursday,

  13. What a fun presentation! And I absolutely love anything with cranberries, so this is a real winner!


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