I have been making this recipe for many years – it is always a big hit.  I recently made it at my Holiday Gift Making weekend that I had back in November and several people wanted the recipe.  I am making some more for Christmas – to have out our family events throughout the holidays and thought I would share it with you.  In the past I have given it as gifts to teachers and neighbors. It was such a great teacher gift – a ready made appetizer for a teacher to take home for the holidays.  I made them when Kyle was in Kindergarten (he is now a freshman in college) and wrapped them up in a dish with crackers and a spreader to give to his teacher.  Several years later when ever we would see this teacher (she no longer worked at the school) she always commented on how she remembered that gift and how good it was.

Today I decided to wrap up a few for gifts – I actually divided one larger cheese ball into two smaller ones to wrap them.

I used several items from the Stampin’ Up! Holiday Mini catalog.  First the Deck The Halls fabric – I cut a large square and then folded it into quarters and used the Big Shot and the Scallop Square die to cut the fabric.  I lined the fabric up on the die so that the cut edges after I folded it up where getting cut and the folded sides were inside the die so they didn’t get cut.  This gave me a large scallop square of fabric – basically the size of 4 of them together – but one large piece of fabric.  I hope that made sense.

My cheese balls were rolled in almonds and then I wrapped them first with wax paper and then with plastic wrap.  Then  I put it in the center of my scalloped fabric square.  I took two opposite points and folded them across the cheese ball then took the other two points and brought them together at the top.  I used a large needle, some Linen Thread, and a Big Designer Button from the Deck the Halls pack – I used the smallest Always Artichoke button for these.  I used the needle to pull the Linen thread through the front of the button, through both layers of fabric to the back, through both layers of fabric again through to the front and through the button.  Tied that in a knot and then added a tag from the Tags til Christmas stamp set.  Tied it in a bow and trim the ends.  It dressed them up nicely!

Here is the recipe:

Almond Chicken Cheese Ball

1- 1/2 cups cooked chicken

1 Tbsp A-1 steak sauce

2 – 8 oz. packages cream cheese, softened

Combine above in a bowl. Mix well.

1/4 cup minced green onion

1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley

1/3 cup chopped celery

1/4 cup chopped almonds

Mix green onion, 2 Tbs parsley and celery with the cream cheese mixture.  Mix well, form 2 balls – refrigerate 4 hours or overnight.  Roll in “leftover” parsley and almonds.  Serve with crackers.

Here are some of my notes:

-I have been using canned chicken – just drain it well.

– I usually leave out the celery – my family doesn’t care for it.

– This time I left out the parsley because I didn’t have any – it’s mostly for looks.

– Forming the balls is messy on your hands.  I get out waxed paper and put a ball in the middle of each piece. Then roll that up and cover it with plastic wrap to put in the fridge.

– I was able to freeze one – but don’t add the outside parsley and almonds before freezing and do wrap in wax paper first – because when it defrosts it gets “wet” and the wax paper seems to absorb some of that.  Let it defrost in the fridge and then roll in the parsley and almonds before serving it.

Happy Holidays!!