Today is August 18, but my mind is already in holiday mode.
If you are one of those types of people who get annoyed by early seasonal celebrators, and like to enjoy the current season they are in, you may want to skip this post- or at least hear me out! 😉
When it comes to my favorite holiday season (for me, it starts in mid-September when I pull out all of my Fall & Halloween decor, all the way through New Year’s Day), I like to prepare early.
When the school supplies hit the clearance shelf making room for fall decor to make its yearly appearance, and the holiday recipe videos start to flood my timeline, I get a major case of the giddies, and I’m ALL in.
I love having a chance to prepare for the moooooooost wonderful tiiiiiiiiiime of the yearrrrrrrrr by purchasing new items to add to my holiday decor collection (and spacing out these purchases so I’m not spending a million dollars in one Target trip!), AND having the opportunity to experiment with new recipes to bring to my holiday table!
With that said, I’ll be upping my game here on the blog by sharing some of my favorite tried and true and some brand new low carb, no sugar, ketogenic friendly holiday recipes to kick off the pre-holiday season that will be PERFECT to share with the carb eaters and low-carbers in your life this holiday season! (PS- I’m approaching 1 year of following a ketogenic lifestyle this month! I’ll be posting an update on the successes I’ve had with this way of eating soon!).
I’m starting with this yummy recipe I recently whipped up for a pot-luck get-together!
I was first introduced to the Ham and Cheese ball when my cousin Stacy brought one to a family gathering. I had never had one before, with the exception of its cousin the store-bought pub cheese ball covered in nuts that you can pretty much pickup at any grocery store deli.
However, the addition of ham was new to me! And her version was SO much better than the pre-packaged stuff. But isn’t that the case with most things? Fresh is best!
I hadn’t thought about her recipe in forever, but the other day it popped up on my “On This Day” feed and, well, I had to have it! I decided to make a batch of mini bite-sized versions for my get-together. I looked up a few ham and cheese ball recipes, and ended up putting my own spin using what I had on hand, and making sure to keep these keto friendly!
These are made with whipped cream cheese, shredded Colby jack, uncured ham, pecans, and some savory seasonings, but what I love about these is that there is no limit to the flavor combinations you could whip up!
You could use cream cheese, shredded mozzarella, diced prosciutto, and pistachios!
Or maybe cream cheese, shredded pepper jack, diced pepperoni, and walnuts!
You could even use the combination of cream cheese, shredded cheddar, bacon, and almonds!
If you’re not a meat eater, you can definitely omit and add nuts or finely chopped veggies like celery, carrots, dried fruit like cranberries, or fresh chopped herbs!
They are also spreadable, so you can easily enjoy them on crackers, or celery sticks!
The possibilities are endless!
Here’s the recipe:
- 2 8oz. packages of full fat cream cheese
- 1/2 lb. thinly sliced ham (I used uncured Dietz and Watson)
- 1 1/2 cups of shredded Colby jack cheese
- 1/2 cup shredded parmesean cheese
- 1 tbsp. fresh finely minced chives
- 1 tsp. onion powder
- 1 tsp. garlic powder
- 1 tsp. black papper
- 1/2 tsp. smoked paprika
- 2 tbsp. hot sauce (I used Crystal brand)
- 1 cup chopped toasted pecans
- Use a stand or hand mixer to whip the cream cheese with the dry seasonings.
- While the cheese is mixing, chop the ham into small pieces.
- Add the shredded cheeses, hot sauce, and chives to the whipped cream cheese and stir to combine.
- Add the ham to the cheese mixture and stir to combine. Set in the fridge for 15-20 minutes to firm a bit. Add the pecans to a small bowl to prepare for rolling.
- Using a melon-baller or small cookie dough scoop, scoop out gumball sized balls of the ham and cheese mixture and roll into the toasted pecans.
- Keep in the fridge until ready to serve. These will stay fresh for up to a week! Enjoy!