Festive Holiday “Cheese Ball”

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It’s time for a little holiday cocktail party.

A healthy cocktail part, of course.

When I was growing up, my favorite holiday ingredient was cream cheese.  My Nannie used it in her famous cheese cakes, my Grandma used it in koogle and I simply ate the leftovers with a spoon (okay and maybe on top of a bagel).  Those days are long gone since I can’t eat dairy but countless times I’ve tried to recreate such masterpieces for the holidays, but time and time again, I’ve fallen short.

Too creamy, too dry…not enough umphhh.

But this, my friends is perfection. Well, almost perfection. It’s easy, that’s for darn sure.

I got the idea thinking back to my mother’s famous appetizer that she brought with her to every party; Gesibel.

I know what you’re saying, “What the heck is Geisbel?” It’s simply a mixture of apricot jelly, pineapple jelly and horseradish mixed together atop cream cheese. Sounds gross but it is SOOOOO good. Served with crackers and always the hit of the party, this inexpensive and simple appetizer got me thinking…

I didn’t have any jelly or horseradish on hand but I did have a fresh box of Organic Valley Cream Cheese and Galaxy Vegan (Dairy-Free) Cream Cheese.  So, I got a lil’ creative and made a dairy-full and dairy-free version for my family and I.

I just bought a new bottle of those pretty Frontier Organic Dried Peppers and they reminded me of confetti. So pretty n’ flavorful. I just had to use them up. And I did.

I can never capture my momma’s Gesibel spot on. But this is a noble (sugar-free) version. And it’s pretty gosh darn good, too.

And since I can’t eat sugar or dairy- this is the perfect holiday appetizer for me.

I used a combination of dried red and green peppers, sea salt and pepper along with plenty of gluten-free whole grain crackers and crudites such as carrots, zucchini and celery.  You could surely add nuts or seeds to this, but I think I like it this way best.  Anytime I can get out of a lot of prep, I do.  That’s why these dried peppers were the perfect answer.  I bet they’d be pretty gosh darn good going straight into these, too.

Don’t cha think?

Whatever the question is, cream cheese is always the answer. Just stick with organic or the dairy-free- all those hormones and dairy won’t be helping you any, ya know?

And before you dig in, head on over to Cara’s Clean Eating Holiday Cocktail Party where I’m showcasing this pretty Holiday Cheese Ball.

And don’t forget to head over to my Facebook Page starting December 1st where I’m hosting the ’25 Days of Christmas’ Giveaway Every Day. I’ll be giving away a new gluten-free gift everyday from December 1st-December 25th.
Enjoy and Good Luck!

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Amie | 
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