Meet the Cook: Needing a quick appetizer one night when dinner was running late, I combined a few leftovers into this easy cheese ball. For variety, you can shape it into a log, or substitute favorite herbs for the pepper. My husband and I are the proud parents of two children, Kenton, 6, and Katie, 4.
-Tamara Rickard, Bartlett, Tennessee
If you like olives, you’ll love this special cheese ball from LaVerne Vinzant of Catawba, Wisconsin. “I received the recipe from a friend many years ago and am always asked to make it,” she writes. TIP: “I like to prepare this ahead of time and chill it for at least 3 hours. You can serve it with any snack cracker.”
Ramen noodles are the secret ingredient in this savory appetizer. “This is great to take to school functions, church fellowships and family holiday gatherings,” says Phyllis Stanley of Avery, Texas. TIP: “If you’re in a hurry, don’t form it into a ball. Simply serve it right away as a spread for crackers,” Phyllis suggests.
Don't be afraid of this cheese ball! The combination of the bold chutney and the mellow cheddar and blue cheeses creates a wonderful flavor. It's also a convenient make-ahead appetizer because it has to set up in the fridge overnight. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen
This billiard-inspired appetizer with chipped beef and three kinds of cheese can be served alongside clever breadstick "cues," as well as crackers and vegetable dippers. Make ahead of time to blend the flavors. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen