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Mini Holiday Cheese Balls

8 ounces cream cheese, softened
4 ounces soft goat cheese
5 ounces white cheddar cheese, grated in the small holes of a box grater
½ cup fresh pomegranate seeds
1 cup thinly sliced chives
48 small pretzel sticks

Make the cheese balls:
        In a medium size bowl, stir together the 3 cheeses until well combined. Using a 2 teaspoon scoop or pinching off about 2 teaspoons (you can scoop out rounded amounts with a 1 teaspoon measure.), roll into balls, and chill covered with plastic wrap. They can stay chilled for up to 3 days in the fridge.
        Pat the pomegranate seeds dry with paper towels, that way their deep red juice won’t bleed. Place the chives on a flat plate. Push 4 or 5 or more of the pomegranate seeds into each of the cheese balls and then lightly roll them in the chives. Cover loosely with plastic wrap, chilled in the fridge until ready to serve. Remove for about 10 minutes at room temperature to soften. Insert a pretzel stick in center top of each ball.

Makes 4 Dozen.     YUM!

LESSONS Learned:
1. You can make the cheese balls days ahead, just add the pomegranate seeds and roll in the chive mixture right before serving.
2. Be creative! Other possibilities abound. Roll them in all sorts of fruits, nuts and veggies. You could use chopped walnuts and chopped dried cranberries, or chopped parsley and finely diced red pepper, or chopped crispy bacon and dates, just to name a few.
3. Getting the seeds out of a pomegranate looks challenging, but there’s a trick! Slice it in half along the equator and then hold one half, cut side down over a large bowl, and whack the top with a big spoon. And, the seeds will easily pop out.