Fiesta Cheese Spread

Fiesta Cheese Spread

For any special event, a cheese ball is always a pleasing tradition. I’ve made this numerous times for parties and potluck events when I’m asked to bring an appetizer. People always ask for the recipe. It’s not only delicious, but it looks good, too, with all the colorful ingredients. It makes a large igloo shaped cheese ball or two smaller ones. If low fat cheese and cream cheese is used, calories can be cut to make a low fat appetizer.

2 pkg (8 oz. each) softened cream cheese
1 Tbsp. Southwestern or Tex-Mex seasoning
2 garlic cloves, pressed.
1 cup (4 oz) shredded cheddar cheese
2 green onions with tops, thinly sliced
1/4 cup snipped fresh cilantro

1 plum tomato, seeded and diced
½ cup pitted and chopped ripe olives

Mix well cream cheese, seasoning, garlic, cheddar cheese,
green onions, and cilantro until smooth.
Place ½ mixture into a rounded bowl lined with plastic wrap.
Add layer of tomatoes, Use 1/4 of creamed mixture and cover the tomatoes.
Add layer of chopped olives. Spread the last 1/4 mixture over
the olives. Let ingredients stand for 30 minutes to meld flavors.

Unmold spread, invert bowl onto plate. Use cilantro for garnish
if desired and serve with assorted crackers or tortilla chips.

Yields: 20 servings

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