Aunt Ellen’s Christmas tree cheeseball


As usual, my crappy cellphone pic doesn’t really do Aunt Ellen’s food artistry justice. Wish Bob would’ve had his work camera!

I stayed away from this cheeseball and most other goodies at the Decker Christmas on Saturday, but after successfully weighing in Monday night at Weight Watchers, I plan to make one to take to Mom and Dad’s on Christmas Day that I WILL at least sample. (I’m not planning to pig out, but I’m not going to stress out about trying a bit of whatever looks good, either.)

Recipe is below. But first, I’d like to wish everyone a Merry Christmas. No post tomorrow; I’m taking the day off.

Ellen’s cheeseball

Note: This is based on a recipe Ellen saw recently in one of those newspaper insert magazines – Dash or Relish, I’m not sure which, and neither was she. She adjusted the ingredients slightly to fit what she had on hand. (This is also a stylistic technique you could apply to just about any cheeseball recipe, including one of our family favorites, Grandma Decker’s cheeseball.)

Cheeseball ingredients:

  • 16 ounces reduced fat cream cheese (A deviation from the original, but she thought it held its shape OK)
  • 2 T herbs (the magazine version called for fresh;  Ellen used a combination of fresh dill, some dried oregano “about a hundred years old” and some dried orange peel she found in her spice cupboard, of all thing.)
  • 2 cloves minced garlic (Ellen thought this cheeseball was a little garlicky, so next time she would use less.)
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard (she used a brown mustard)
  • ½ teaspoon salt


  • Fresh parsley
  • Pomegranate seeds (the original recipe called for diced red peppers to form the tree “lights,” but I think her pom seeds were prettier.)
  • Star fruit
  1. Mix all ingredients for cheeseball and refrigerate for a couple of hours so it’s easier to handle.
  2. Shape chilled cheese mixture into Christmas tree shape.
  3. Roll in fresh parsley.
  4. Add pomegranate seeds where you want your Christmas tree’s lights to be.
  5. Cut a piece of star fruit for the star on top of the tree.
  6. Enjoy!
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