Score with this simple spicy appetizer

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TEMECULA – Hosting a sports viewing party involves serving plenty of winning appetizers. While the quarterbacks are slinging the football, guests are looking for snacks that will score points with their taste buds.

The following recipe for “Spicy Cheese Balls” from A.J. Rathbun’s “Party Snacks!” published by Harvard Common Press, will have fans of lively hors d’oeuvres doing touchdown dances.

Spicy Cheese Balls

Makes 35 to 40 bite-size balls


  • 1 8-ounce package cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1 cup grated sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 cup finely chopped walnuts


Put the cream cheese, cheddar, garlic, parsley, cayenne, black pepper and salt in a food processor. Process for 5 to 10 seconds until well blended. Scrape the mixture into a bowl, cover and refrigerate for 1 hour.

Spread the chopped walnuts on a plate. Shape the cheese mixture into 35 to 40 small cheese balls, each about the size of a large marble. Roll each cheese ball in the walnuts, coating the outside. Press a little to ensure sticking.

Serve the cheese balls on a large platter. Put a toothpick in each ball or surround them with crackers and let guests use their hands. It all depends on what kind of party it is.

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