These two-bite cheeseballs were a big hit at a recent party. They’re two bites if you’re feeling ladylike. In truth most everyone popped them in their mouths right off the toothpick.
How do you get along with your mother-in-law? When I met John’s mother for the first time she must have been around 70 and I thought she was the sexiest old woman I’d ever met.
She dressed (and still does) like she’d just stepped off the pages of a fashion magazine and she’s as petite as she can be. I wanted to be just like her. She flirted with every man she saw and had them wrapped around her finger in minutes. Think Scarlett O’Hara in her 70s.
One thing she didn’t like about me was that I was American. It seemed that Americans all lived in big cities and they chewed gum and were downright unpleasant. Honestly, look at what’s on TV.
She changed her mind after a 3-week visit to the states, exclaiming, “There are neighbourhoods here that look like they could be anywhere in Australia.” Uh huh.
She never said I was overweight or dare I say it, fat but she often points out fat people and says things like, “She has such a pretty face, too bad she can’t shift the excess weight. Too many Maccas.” I suppose she hopes I’ll take the hint. I rarely go to McDonalds so it’s not the maccas that make me round. I suspect it’s butter.
I think she’d approve of these lovely two bite cheese balls that are perfect for any party. I brought them to a Christmas gathering the other night and they disappeared in under 5 minutes. I was surprised because there wasn’t one left for me. I should have brought more. They took about 5 minutes to prepare once the cheese was at room temperature.
- 1 block cream cheese
- ¾ cup crumbled blue cheese
- ¾ cup finely chopped dried cranberries
- ¾ cup finely chopped pecans
- Bring cheese to room temperature and blend together with a spoon or spatula.
- Mix in the dried cranberries and then form into small balls.
- Place the balls on a plastic wrapped plate and place in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.
- Roll in chopped pecans and stick in a toothpick.
My mother-in-law went into an aged care facility this week for the big A. She’s very confused and feeling abandoned, leaving our hearts broken. Rob speaks about her every time I walk past him and he can’t wait til she’s settled and ready for visitors. It must be tough after 67 years of marriage.
Barbara @ Barbara Bakes says
Funny my mom use to use the same expression about overweight people. Such a great idea to make little individual cheeseballs. Then you get the crunchy coating in every bite.
Maureen, what a story..? My mother in law is American, I’m Polish. Just two people with their own stories. The cheese balls are a big thing with my husband…I should make them more often. 🙂 ela
So sad about your MIL situation… I painted my fingernails red and all of a sudden, looking at the shape of one fingernail of my right hand, I saw my Grandma’s hand… exactly the same shape, and she had her nails painted red ALL THE TIME. Red fingernails, red lipstick, jewelry, and perfume before leaving the bedroom. A beautiful lady, who passed away at 91 years old, still with all her mental faculties intact. Her husband was the one in horrible shape, almost in a vegetative state for a decade due to a stroke. They were married for over 60 years. It is hard to see that type of situation hitting loved ones. I know it is hard for you…
loved this post…. hope she can somehow be back together with all of you….
Claire @ Simply Sweet Justice says
Blue cheese, pecans, and cranberries are always great additions to a salad, so I know this must be such a good appetizer! Keeping you and your family in my thoughts and prayers.
I love your MIL. I like anyone with attitude and sass!!! Wonder why??? When I grow up I want to be just like her.
Love those little cheese balls. How many ounces in 1 block? Cream cheese here comes in 4 ounce or 8 ounce blocks.
8 ounces. I didn’t know you could buy little ones. We can’t here. 🙂
John@Kitchen Riffs says
Sorry about your MIL’s situation – Rob must be going bonkers (I know you’re all going bonkers). Love the idea of these cheese balls. I’ve made something similar in the past, but without the cranberry. Need to try that! Thanks for this.
Wow…these look terrific. I can practically taste these. Will try these out sometime!
Never having had a mother-in-law I can’t relate though I think you got a good one and she would have definitely enjoyed these cheese balls.
I adore cheese! I think I could gobble these up in seconds!
Norma | Allspice and Nutmeg says
I love to see an elderly lady dressed to the nines. They look so confident and beautiful.
And these cheese balls – I like this idea. I will have to use it.
Hotly Spiced says
Your MIL sounds like a very interesting lady and I’m not surprised she took a liking to you. I’m so sorry to hear you’re having a stressful time with her and I hope she settles into aged-care quickly. Sixty-seven years of marriage! That’s quite a journey. I was at a carol’s event last night with a bunch of friends and one of my friends (we were besties from the age of 12) told me her mother has early stages of dementia. It’s so sad when vibrant people get struck down with terrible, non-curable conditions. These cheese balls look great and I love a quick and easy appetiser. I love how these have cranberries in them – would be a lovely contrast with the blue cheese xx
Oh, great looking appetizers!
suzanne Perazzini says
Cheese balls are perfect for a party. I love it when the elderly are sassy like your MIL. And here’s to butter!
Perfect timing for the holidays Maureen and I can just imagine how tasty that little bite of blue is in this recipe. I got along very well with JTs Mom too, it’s always so much nicer when we like the families we marry into.
Lizzy (Good Things) says
Ah, the MIL…. what a problem! She sounds like an interesting woman… I’m glad she took a liking to you (eventually)… how could she not??? Is she settled into the home now? I hope so. Your party balls sound yummy, Maureen. Wishing you bountiful season’s eatings this Christmas, my friend xox
The Café Sucre Farine says
These look amazing. I love how simple they are, perfect for this crazy time of the year and I think making them bite size like this is just brilliant. My family would go crazy over them and I’m pinning them for a holiday celebration. Thanks Maureen.
So sorry about your mother-in-law. That is so sad, my heart breaks for Rob. 67 years, wow, that’s quite an accomplishment in this day and age!
After 67 years together you know each other quite well. 🙂
Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella says
I’m sure after spending any time with you she’d change her opinion about Americans! 😀 I bet she adores her daughter in law. As for mine, well she’s the polar opposite of me but we get along fine (although we don’t see each other that often!) 🙂
Joanne T Ferguson says
G’day! Life’s too short to worry about what other’s think about their perceptions of someone is thin or fat, Maureen, true!
Honestly, I never see people as thin or fat, only if they are my friends or not…pretty simple…but guess that is me!
Your cheese balls look YUM and am SURE would brighten up any party!
Who would like one or two right now? ME! 🙂
Cheers! Joanne Hope you and your family have the best holiday season you can!
Shea Goldstein says
I LOVE how you described your mother-in-law! That’s awesome – and the little cheeseballs look fantastic 🙂
Hi Shea, so lovely to see you again.
I love these mini cheeseballs! And I MUST make them soon!!!
PS…I want to be chic like your MIL at that age. Hope she did well with the move.
She’s settling in but they aren’t ready for us to visit her as she’s still angry at being “locked away”. Poor dear.
Well, I am sure your MIL is very happy that you are there with John. When a person is as friendly and full of life as you you love them full stop. There is one thing people cannot resist and that is cheese in any form. So I can image rolled up in a ball on a stick cheese is completely welcomed by all
I brought all sorts of appetisers to this party because the hostess and good friend had shoulder surgery in Sydney last week! I can’t believe she still had oomph for a Christmas party for 50. Everyone brought food, even the guy down the street who owns the prawn trawler. Rob sat next to his bowl all night. 🙂
Bam's Kitchen says
Petite little cheese balls. I say these look more like a one perfect bite! I am so glad that others can dress so perfectly so I can admire them but that is tad bit hard to do when your in a test kitchen all day. I would love to have 10 perfect fingernails, but that day will never come for me. Wishing you a super holiday. BAM
Norma Chang says
Those cheese balls would be a one-bite for me. They look gorgeous.
Sorry to learn about your MIL, a very trying time indeed for John and the rest of the family.
Lea Ann (Cooking On The Ranch) says
I know nothing about your Mother-in-law except for the few sentences I’ve read here, and I find myself wanting to be just like her. 🙂 And so sorry to hear about the big A. We had to move my mom into a nursing home last year. No reason but advanced age. It’s really a hard transition. Much harder than I expected. I love these mini cheese balls, great idea. I’m all for the one big bite.
Hi Lea Ann, yes, it’s so much more difficult than I thought it would be.
Sorry about your mil. However, it was fun reading about her when she was all guns ablazing!
The cheeseballs definitely sound amazing and would be great for a party. Thanks for sharing.
Kristi @ My San Francisco Kitchen says
Sorry to hear about your mother-in-law. 🙁
These mini cheese balls are adorable, can you make some for our Christmas dinner?!
I can but they are only available for pick-up. 🙂
Erin @ The Spiffy Cookie says
I love mini cheeseballs! Much easier for parties.
Thanks, Erin, so nice to see you. I hope you have a lovely Christmas.
Choc Chip Uru says
There is no way you could have not pleased your mother in law, these appetisers look so addictive 😀
These sound wonderful to me! I love cheese balls, although somehow that name has always seemed a bit inelegant! And I bet your mother-in-law is very pleased her son has found such a nice wife!
LOL I bet not! I still have an American accent. 🙂
Hi Maureen, your story choked me up a bit this morning. Our family just celebrated my parents 51st wedding anniversary last night. We had so much fun. I can only imagine that things might be tough for your poor mother in law being away from familiar people and surroundings. I know you are busy but I have a picture of my parents on my instagram account @corriecooks with them wearing party glasses with flashing lights if you wanted to check them out. 🙂
OMG Corrie, they are SO cute!! My MIL is 88 and my FIL is 93 – they would have been like this years ago. We trotted them all over Europe when they were over 80 and NO resting. They wanted to see it all.
Pamela @ Brooklyn Farm Girl says
Perfect for holiday get togethers, I would definitely eat a few of these. 🙂 Have a great holiday!
Jill @ Mad About Macarons says
Maureen, firstly love the cheese balls. Never made them and it’s about time.
So sorry to hear about your Mum-in-law. Not easy: we’ve just gone through a tough situation with a 93-yr-old aunt, husband died 2 weeks ago – both of them didn’t want any care, so we do our best but not easy at all for any of us. Crikey, it’s tough to be old. Let’s s realise just what we have now, God bless. Back to appetisers. Maureen, as always, you rock! They look great. Must be a real treat to be chez toi over Christmas! All the best, Jill xo
Chez moi would be better if you and Antoine and the girls dropped by for a glass of Christmas cheer, Jill !
Abbe@This is How I Cook says
Everyone loves cheese balls and on your first visit I am sure your MIL will love them, too! Holidays are tough especially when one has family issues. Hang in there!
Curves that are the result of butter and blue cheese (and chocolate and peanut butter) are the best kind (and sexiest) of curves. 😉
LOL Hannah, you have made my day 🙂
Sugar et al says
I will forget to be ladylike and put two of these in my mouth in one go if I had these in front of me:-) Ha ha..I wish I’d be alone though! Cannot resist cheese and these look YUMMM!
Claire @ Claire K Creations says
I will politely choose not to answer that question.
Saving these cheese balls away for when I can eat blue cheese again. What a great idea! Mum made cheese balls for my baby shower but big ones. Love the idea of bite-sized ones.
Mireya Merritt says
It’s funny how stupid things a persons says can change your life. When I was sixteen, I was beach girl measuring 5’9 and weighing between 150-160. A neighborhood boy looked at me as I was showering off the sand at the outdoor shower. He said, “You know you’re kind of on the chubby side. You better lose some weight now because no one will love you when you’re sixty.” Being too shocked and timid to say anything I just let it go, but in my mind I said, “I’ll show you!” Now, just over the mid-fifties point, I think my body looks better than when I was sixteen. I’m not ashamed to wear a bikini and I probably owe it to that jerk.
wow, you definitely don’t look mid-fifties. I guess that kid did you a favor.
Oh my – my MIL is very similar! She’s a very petite woman and never could understand how people could be “large”….until she met me. 🙂 Like your MIL, mine too would love these cheese balls because if there is one thing that that woman could eat, was cheese. Hope you and your family have a very Merry Christmas!
Thanks, MJ – you too!
Shashi @ http://runninsrilankan.com says
These would be in ma belly via ma mouth in exactly ONE bite! These sound like a delectable appetizer Maureen! Thanks for sharing
I love the idea of a scrumptious bite in personalized mini cheeseball. YUM! Wishing you and your family a very Merry Christmas!! Feast. Laugh. Enjoy!!!
I tried something like this a lot of time and it goes really well with wine
Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to your family!
Great appetizer…like the idea of cranberries in the cheese and yes, the layer of pecan sounds just delicious.
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year Maureen 😀
I can certainly see why these disappeared so quickly! They look SO GOOD. Thank you for sharing. What a lovely holiday appetizer!
Serena |Serena Bakes Simply From Scratch says
Oh my goodness Maureen these look incredible! I found my self giggling about your Mother in law, mine can be quite the handful sometimes! She usually means well though.. I hope you have a Merry Christmas my sweet friend!
Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year 🙂 ela
BIG CHEF ONLINE says
really glad I found this recipe because the mini cheeseball appetizers are going on my menu for our New Years Eve party!
Thanks so much,
Rosana Santos Calambichis, CEO
BIG CHEF Online
Kim | a little lunch says
Maureen, thank you for sharing this story. xo (The appetizer, too.)
Laura @ Laura's Culinary Adventures says
Your mother in law sound hilarious! These would make great appetizers for New Years. Thanks for the recipe!