Everyone loves a good spa day, so turn your favorite relaxation time into a Spa Party Appetizer! This delicious cheese ball is funny, festive, and will have everyone wanting more.
A few years ago my friend celebrated a birthday of huge significance, you know one of those birthdays when you start counting backwards. Her life is full of constant stress, so I thought it would be nice to throw her a spa party where she could relax and be pampered for an evening. She loved it and I was happy to have hosted such a wonderful event for her.
During the party we dined on gourmet appetizers and over the top desserts, but I sure wish I would have come up with the idea to make this cheese ball back then as I know she would have thought it was so clever. I guess I just need to host another spa party:)
As I was dreaming up ideas for my birthday party recipes, that spa party and an image of a women enjoying a facial came to my mind. I've made food into faces before for Halloween parties, and had no trouble deciding just how to make this particular face. I wanted the woman's face to be covered in an avocado mask so I chose to make a cheese ball that tasted a bit like a taco - the flavors work well together. Her head is wrapped in a mozzarella cheese towel and she has cucumbers over her eyes and a roasted red pepper lips. It took me less than 30 minutes to create this whole thing. I love recipes like that.
Spa Party Appetizer - Taco flavored cheese ball
2 - 8 ounce blocks cream cheese, softened
8 ounces sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
8 ounces Monterrey Jack cheese, shredded
1-2 tablespoons taco seasoning (season it to your taste)
1 fresh mozzarella cheese roll
½ cup guacamole or pureed avocado*
2 slices cucumber
1 roasted red pepper
*I prefer the flavor of guacamole on the cheese ball, but you may just like pureed avocado. If you are using store bought or fresh guacamole, strain it through a fine mesh stainer to remove all of the chunky bits
Special Equipment Needed:
food handling gloves, optional
Wash the face mask with warm soapy water. Dry. Line it with a piece of plastic wrap.
In a bowl combine cream cheese, cheddar cheese, Monterrey Jack cheese, and taco seasoning. Stir well to combine. I like to put on some food handling gloves and just mash it all together using my hands. Press the cheese mixture into the face mask. Smooth out the top surface then fold the plastic wrap up over the cheese and smooth out even more. You can, if you want, refrigerate the cheese ball for up to a week. You want to decorate it close to the time you serve it.
If you want to decorate it now, just un-mold it and set it on a serving platter. The woman's skin will be very wrinkled. Use your finger to smooth away the wrinkles (wouldn't it be great if that worked in real life?)
Unroll the mozzarella cheese roll onto a cutting board. The two ends of the roll wont open up too flat, but you will easily be able to cut out a 10"-12" piece of flat cheese. Cut that piece in half lengthwise. The underside of the cheese, although wrinkled, is much more smooth than the top side. Flip both slices of cheese over and make sure the top side shows when placed on the face. It will really look like a towel.
Pick up one strip of cheese and set it at a diagonal across the left side of the face. Press the cheese up against the head. You want to form the cheese around the top and side of the head then cut off the excess cheese. Lay the second piece of cheese in the opposite diagonal direction across the right side of the face and repeat the process.
Spread guacamole or pureed avocado over the face. I think I would have liked my face a little better had I left more of it exposed. Try to spread the guacamole in an oval over the face, leaving some of the pale orange cheese ball showing. Place cucumber slices over the eyes. Cut lips out of roasted red pepper and place on face.
Serve. If you wont serve right away, don't add the green guacamole face mask. If you need to have it ready early, see the pictures below for other green mask options that can be refrigerated.
UPDATE - Reader's photos - You can see more reader's photos in the Reader's Gallery (here.)
I was so happy when I heard from Jo and Sue from the blog of the same name, for letting me know they had fun making this recipe for a friend's party. They made the cheese ball using my recipe with 1 tablespoon of taco seasoning. Then, because they were needing to make this several hours before the party and didn't want the guacamole to turn brown, they used sour cream tinted with green food coloring instead. I think it is a great option and love how the woman's facial mask has a cool glow. They also used Swiss cheese in place of the Mozzarella for the towel wrap. I think it looks just as good and it may be easier for many of you to find, just be sure the get long slices, not square ones. To see more pictures of their creation click here. Thanks for sharing Jo and Sue.
Cheryl and Liddy B. and me created this spa party cheese ball without the help of a mask. She molded her cheese ball by hand then scooped some out to create indentations for the eyes and used that cheese to mold a nose. It looks great. I particularly like her nose. In order to get her cheese ball to look pink, she added salsa. It added the right color and a flavor twist. Cheryl posted a tutorial on her blog so you can see just how she did this recipe. Thanks for sharing Cheryl.
If you can't find these plastic masks in your local craft store, you can buy them from Amazon.com (commission earned for sales). I love the mask without the holes. It is perfect for this project.