“Cheese Balls: More Than 30 Celebratory and Cheese-licious Recipes” by Dena Rayess, Chronicle Books, 113 pages, hardcover, $16.95

Recipe developer and book editor Dena Rayess celebrates the cheese ball, the classic party treat, in a fun recipe book with a die-cut cover, exposed spine and retro-style photographs.

“Cheese Balls: More Than 30 Celebratory and Cheese-licious Recipes” offers quick-to-make cheese ball recipes for every occasion and season. Rayess begins with a quick tutorial on “cheese-scaping,” or how to shape a basic cheese ball, wheel or log, and how to prepare the owl, hedgehog and pumpkin shapes. She also explains how to toast nuts for use in the cheese ball or to decorate the outside.

Side Dish: Recipe for Garden Herb Cheese Ball

Recipes are divided into five chapters: Crowd Pleasers, like Spinach-Artichoke and Port Wine; Afternoon Snacks, like French Onion and Jalapeño Popper; Fresh Flavors, like Muffuletta and Balsamic and Fig; Holiday Statements, such as Crab Cake and Brie with Cranberries; and Evening Affairs, with Roasted Garlic and Spicy Mango.

This entertaining little book is perfect for anyone — even the noncook — who wants to offer guests a quick-to-make and flavorful cheesy appetizer.


Cheramie Sonnier is a food writer and columnist. Contact her at sonnierfood@gmail.com, and follow her on Twitter, @CheramieSonnier.