My mother, bless her heart, was not the most sophisticated woman in the world when it came to entertaining. Her idea of "classy" hors d'oeuvres were Ritz crackers topped with ham, pepper cheese and green olives, held together with toothpicks.
But let me give Mom a lot of credit and admit that they were really good. Unsophisticated or not, there's a nice little contrast of tastes and textures going on there. And it was fun for an eight-year-old (me) to put together.
But there was one party dish that my mother came up with that never failed to get raves. Her cheese ball.
Mom's Italian Cheese Ball
1 8oz package cream cheese, softened
1 packet Good Seasons Zesty Italian salad dressing mix
Slivered almonds (optional)
Combine cream cheese with dry salad dressing and mix thoroughly. Form into whatever shape pleases you, i.e., ball, log, etc. Roll form in slivered almonds until coated evenly. Chill in refrigerator or serve immediately.
Seriously, that's all there is to it! Isn't that about the easiest thing in the world? And I can say in complete honesty that I've never once made this cheese ball and had any leftover. Ever.
And that's what being a classy hostess is all about.