Everything old is new again. The enduring entertaining classic receives an update in these easy recipes.

blue cheese balls

Blue Cheese Ball

8 oz. cream cheese, softened

3 oz. crumbled blue cheese

4 Tbsp. chopped dried cherries


3/4 cup chopped toasted walnuts

Serve with cocktail toasts or water crackers. And a nip of port.

Mediterranean Cheese Ball

Mediterranean Cheese Ball

4 oz. goat cheese, softened

4 oz. cream cheese, softened

2 tsp. finely chopped fresh rosemary leaves

1 tsp. cracked black pepper


3/4 cup toasted pine nuts

Serve with toasted pita chips.

Spicy Cheese Ball

Spicy Cheese Ball

8 oz. shredded pepper jack cheese

3 oz. cream cheese, softened

pinch of salt

1 clove garlic, mashed

1/2 small jalapeño, seeded and diced


3 Tbsp. pure chile powder, 2 tsp. cumin and 1 cup tostadas, pulverized in a food processor

Serve with sturdy tostadas.


Lemon Cheesecake Ball

8 oz. cream cheese, softened

2 1/2 Tbsp. sugar (superfine is great)

zest of one large lemon

1 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice

1/8 tsp. vanilla extract


3/4 cup crushed fresh gingersnaps

Serve with thin Moravian-style gingersnaps.


In a food processor, blend softened cheeses and flavorings for each cheese ball. Scrape the mixture into a bowl, cover, and put it into the refrigerator to firm up. When it’s about the consistency of clay, mold the cheese into a sphere and roll it in the coating. You may have to pat the coating onto the ball. Cover and refrigerate until serving time.