This post is sponsored by Blue Diamond Almonds. Ditch the chips and celebrate Game Changing Flavors this football season!
When it comes to game day snackage, I like to keep things simple. Whether we’re entertaining a party of two or twenty, the snack options are always the same: cheese plates, cheesy dips, cheesier nachos, and the cheesiest of cheese balls. Notice a theme?
They’re all EASY!
Okay AND cheesy. My addiction is no secret.
Of course when the awesome folks at Blue Diamond Almonds asked me to come up with an easy game changing snack I knew exactly what flavors to incorporate into my snack sesh. They’re the same fantastic flavors and textures Paul and I default to over and over again: smoky + salty, sweet + juicy, crunchy + carby, crisp + refreshing, and of course something gloriously cheesy.
To illustrate these flavor combos in the most delicious way possible, I’m bringing you two stellar snack ideas perfect for tailgating.
First up, is a healthy snack plate sure to dominate the field and conquer hunger!
Could I be more dramatic?
A serious snack attack calls for a little bit of everything: cheddar and colby cheese, celery, crisp apple slices, cucumber, pretzels, and a medley of Blue Diamond Almonds (Habanero BBQ and Wasabi & Soy Sauce are our favorites!)
The combination of sweet-salty-smoky-cheesy-zesty-crunchy-creamy all on one plate is utter perfection and practically essential to have on hand while screaming at your favorite team through the television. Hopefully we’ll all be doing more screaming for sake of encouragement versus screaming in agony.
Next up is the cheeseball of my dreams, festively shaped into a football to appease the touchdown gods:
Don’t let looks deceive you, this impressive snack is so easy you’ll be plotting ways to make this your default appetizer for every future occasion.
Tailgate Party? Football cheese ball! Your team went to the championship? Football cheese ball! Baby shower? FOOTBALL CHEESE BALL!
Ok so that last one might have been a wee bit out of place. To each their own.
- 16 oz cream cheese, softened
- 8 oz medium or sharp cheddar, grated
- 1/4-1/3 cup chopped green onion, divided
- 1/2 tsp garlic powder
- pinch of salt
- 1/3 cup Blue Diamond Smokehouse Almonds, chopped
- 4 slices of bacon, cooked until crispy
- 1 slice mozzarella cheese
- assorted pretzels, veggies, apple slices, and crackers for dunking/scooping/spreading/faceplanting
- one epic game day party
- In a medium bowl, combine softened cream cheese, cheddar, salt, garlic powder, and 2-3 TBSP chopped green onion.
- Using a hand mixer, or food processor, whip the cream cheese mixture until fluffy.
- Line a small bowl with plastic wrap and add your cream cheese mixture, pressing it into the bowl while you roll into a plastic-wrapped ball (your hands stay cleanish this way, but feel free to skip the plastic and get messy!)
- Place the cheeseball on a flat surface and shape into a football. You'll want to press down on the middle and sort of pinch the sides while you press it into an edible football. I promise it's super duper easy, relive those play dough days and have fun with it!
- If cheese ball is too soft, cover with plastic and pop it in the fridge for anywhere from an hour to 24 hours. Mine was still firm yet soft enough to coat with toppings so I went with it.
- Sprinkle/cover with chopped almonds, the remaining green onion, and bacon and press firmly into the cheeseball to coat.
- For the laces, snag a slice of mozzarella cheese (though you can also use a slice from a large square of mozz as well as a cheese stick) and use a sharpened knife to cut it into thin slices. Cut one long slice for the center of the football and smaller slices for the laces. Place the long slice horizontally along the center of the football, then arrange the small slices horizontally on top. Again, super simple and you can basically use any cheese you'd like, if needed!
- Add all your favorite dippers from the list above and dig in!
- This cheese ball can stay room temperature for up to 4 hours before you need to pop it in the fridge. Leftovers taste deeeeeelicious spread on pretty much everything in sight the following day.
Optional Make-Ahead Instructions: Follow steps above up til the football-shaping and refrigerate up to 1-2 days in advance. When you're ready to serve, allow the cheese ball to soften slightly, then add your chopped almonds, green onion, and bacon to the football. I like to add the crunchy toppings at the end since I ADORE the crunchy texture with the creamy cheeseball; though if you don't mind them softening, you can certainly complete the entire cheese ball before chilling.Inspired by the lovely cheesy footballs at Mom on Timeout and Kraft Recipes
Big thanks to P&C partner Blue Diamond Almonds for sponsoring this game changing recipe. Enter for a chance to win an Ultimate Football Party Prize Pack, plus get great savings and ideas for delicious snack hacks at GameChangingFlavors.com!