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MamaRee’s Cheeseball

It’s almost Christmas, and for my family that means family time. I have a large family that loves to get together, but especially when it involves eating. Everyone has something special that they love to make for some special reason.

When I was a little girl, I was always interested in learning to cook new things. I wanted cookbooks and recipes from everyone, but especially from my great grandmother, MamaRee. She was the epitome of a classy southern lady. I’m quite the opposite, but she taught me well and I know she’d still be proud.

MamaRee had many recipes that she passed down to me, but the one that stands out is the one that we made most often. It was not a main dish but very simple to make and always a crowd pleaser. MamaRee’s cheeseball is my go-to for parties and events because I can make it the night before, and its ready in minutes. As a busy mama of 2, that is everything!

To make it, you will need:

2- 8oz packages of cream cheese

¼ cup bell peppers

1 small can crushed pineapple, drained

2 cups toasted pecans, chopped

2 tablespoons chopped onion

To make:

The easiest way is to mix the cream cheese, bell pepper, pineapple, and onion together.

Place in the fridge overnight, bring it out the next day and shape into a ball, then sprinkle with the toasted pecans. (To toast the pecans, you simply place the chopped pecans into the oven at 350 for about 8 minutes. Pay attention, you don’t want to burn them.)

To give a little more flavor to the cheese ball, you can put the peppers and onions into a skillet on medium heat and cook for about 2 minutes in a tiny bit of olive oil, and then mix all ingredients together as mentioned before.

To finish, and for a grand appearance, place on a cutting board with crackers. This also mixes well with charcuterie and your favorite red wine.

Another recipe that I grew up loving to make was my mama’s sweet potato souffle’. This one is a Thanksgiving staple and one that I just can’t live without. I get my procrastination and tardiness skills straight from my mama! I can always remember her running around like a mad woman on Thanksgiving morning screaming “someone check that my marshmallows aren’t burning on the souffle’, with a makeup brush in her hand, hair halfway in those big rollers, halfway dressed in pj’s and whatever the outfit of choice was for that day, with a phone in the other hand with my grandmother on the line wanting to know where we were at. (This is why the cheeseball is my go-to!) However, burnt marshmallows or not, the souffle’ was always perfect. -Whitney Cain, Assistant Manager


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