This recipe is pretty simple as is, but to save even more time, leave the block of cream cheese whole and let your guests spoon up what they'd like. If you can't find crystallized ginger, simply substitute with a 1/4 teaspoon of ground ginger. —Lori Stefanishion, Drumheller, Alberta
FOR an Easter party at our church, I created this fun rabbit centerpiece from a cheese ball recipe. My children enjoyed decorating the bunny. We used carrots for his ears and mini jelly beans for the eyes, nose and buttons. The cheesy spread has great flavor and is perfect for serving with crackers or veggies. My aunt, Clarice Paulson, who always serves this recipe on holidays, shared it with me.—Beth Paulson, De Pere, Wisconsin
You’ll need only a few items for this unique cheese ball sent in by Melissa Friend of Oakland, Maryland. Coconut comes through in the cherry-flecked mixture that’s coated in pecans. It looks pretty and tastes delicious served with apple slices, pineapple wedges, berries and other fresh fruit.
Sesame seeds create an attractive coating for this easy cracker spread. “Be sure to watch when you’re toasting them; they burn easily. You’ll find rice crackers in the ethnic food aisle. You can use any flavor, but the wasabi ones are great.”
—Tammie Balon, Boyce, Virginia
With its hint of cinnamon, nutmeg and maple flavors, this thick and creamy pumpkin spread is sure to be gone in no time at your next brunch or special luncheon. Our Test Kitchen suggests spreading it on quick breads, bagels or homemade oven-toasted tortilla wedges.
Every Christmas, I make these cheese balls for an annual get-together. They aren't only for the holidays, however. You'll find they freeze well and last for a week in the refrigerator. I have even re-formed leftovers into smaller balls.
I do my cooking in an 1892 home we're fixing up (my husband's a renovations contractor). We have a son, 3, and a baby daughter born last spring.