By Alisa Bangerter – Studio 5 Party, Holiday and Idea Contributor.
This is a fabulous recipe for a ranch flavored cheese ball. Using the recipe, I make individual mini cheese balls shaped like pumpkins. They are perfect for Thanksgiving or fall entertaining. I serve them with leaf shaped tortilla chips.
2 (8 oz.) packages cream cheese
½ cup grated cheddar cheese
1 packet dry buttermilk ranch dressing mix
4 green onions, chopped
¼ cup chopped black olives
5 pieces of bacon, fried and crumbled
thin pretzel sticks
Mix cream cheese and dry ranch packet until smooth. Mix in onions, olives and bacon. Drop by tablespoonfuls onto the chopped nuts. Coat each mound with nuts and shape into a small pumpkin shaped ball. Insert half of a pretzel stick in the top to create a stem. Add a cilantro leaf next to the pretzel.
To make tortilla leaves:
Cut flour tortilla shells into leaf shapes using a cookie cutter. Brush lightly with oil or spray with cooking spray. Sprinkle with seasonings if desired and place on a baking sheet. Bake at 375 degrees until lightly browned and crispy. Serve with cheese ball.
Note: The cheese ball recipe can be made into one nice large single cheese ball instead of mini cheese balls if desired. It can be shaped nicely into a pumpkin as well – just add a thick pretzel for the stem.