Southern Mom Loves: Let the Madness Begin! A Chic Basketball Party {Honey Apricot Cheese Round + Party Printables}

Let the Madness Begin! A Chic Basketball Party {Honey Apricot Cheese Round + Party Printables}

Monday, February 20, 2017

March is one of my husband's favorite times of year. Is it because the weather is warming and spring is in the air? Nope. It's college basketball tournament time. He loves the games, I love the get-togethers. This year, I'm taking our entertaining up a notch with drinks and a spread that are a little more chic for a get-together that's perfect for the grown-ups. Keep reading for my Honey Apricot Almond Cheese Round recipe (the savory and sweet together is amazing!) and the fun printables I used in my own setup.

I'm serving wine with some delicious pairings that will take your next tournament party from college frat to alumni status.

Frontera Wines are the perfect wines to serve at sports parties to pair with game day recipes or create fun cocktails with. I grabbed a 1.5L bottle of Cabernet Sauvignon Merlot, a custom blend you'll only find from Frontera, which was a perfect match with the apricot flavor of my main dish; A Honey Apricot Almond Cheese Round.

Frontera has created some amazing cocktails featuring their wines. Some of my favorites are the Apricot Jam (feat. Cab Merlot), the Happy Place Sangria (feat. Cab Sauv), the Chardonnay Al Fresco, and the Paloma Blanca (feat. Sauv Blanc). Check out the Frontera website for their wines, the perfect pairings, and yummy cocktail recipes.

Frontera has an awesome sweepstake going on right now to win a 55” HD flat screen TV! Check out the sweeps here, show your spirit for sports, and you could be watching next year’s playoffs on a new HD TV!

I created some fun printables for my set up, and you can use them for your parties if you like! Get the bunting flags here and the tournament bracket here.

Deep, rich reds go well with hard cheeses, like cheddar, and smoked meats, so I decided to serve cubed summer sausage and sharp cheddar on toothpicks with a dijon dipping sauce.

You can't miss with sweet, dark fruits like blackberries, grapes, and plums.

Olives are always a favorite, and I opted for a mix of various kinds.

Nuts are also a good pairing, and these delish lightly salted almonds left over from making the cheese round were begging to be put out in a bowl.

This cheese round will be a slam dunk at your own get together. I made this to take to a Christmas party and it was a hit! It's basically a cheese ball, but I've molded it into a round and indented the top to hold an amazing honey apricot sauce. All it takes to shape it is a bowl and some plastic wrap, and I'll show you how.

The cream cheese inside is herbed with chives and parsley and the round is covered in lightly salted almonds. The sweet honey apricot sauce on top just seals the deal for an amazing mix of flavors.

Honey Apricot Almond Cheese Round

  • 2-8 oz. blocks of cream cheese, softened 
  • 1 Tbsp. dried parsely 
  • 1 Tbsp. dried chives 
  • 1/2 c. lightly salted almonds, crushed 
  • 1/4 c. apricot preserves 
  • 2 Tbsp. honey 
  • fresh parsley to garnish 

1. In a large bowl, blend the cream cheese with the chives and parsley using a hand mixer.

2. Place a large sheet of plastic wrap over your molding bowl and scrape the cheese mixture into it. Use a spatula or the back of a spoon to spread the cheese evenly, getting out as many air bubbles as you can. Bring the edges of the plastic wrap up to cover the cheese and refrigerate to set.

3. While the cheese round is solidifying, make the apricot sauce by whisking together the apricot preserves and honey. Set aside.

4. Place the almonds in a large zipper bag and crush with a heavy object, like a rolling pin. Pour out onto a large, flat dish.

5. Once the cheese has gotten cold again (about an hour), pull the plastic wrapped bundle from the molding bowl, unwrap one side, place it on the almonds, and then pull the plastic off. Sprinkle and press in the almonds, turning it (a spatula might help) and making sure it is completely covered. Don't worry if it loses its shape. Place a fresh piece of plastic wrap over your bowl and re-mold your cheese round before serving.

6. It can be refrigerated for a couple of days before serving. When you're ready, turn the round over on your serving dish, using the plastic wrap to indent the top slightly. Spoon your sauce on, garnish with some fresh parsley and maybe some dried apricots, and you're all ready to serve!

It's such an elegant (and also yummy) cheese dish for entertaining. Set it out with crackers and watch it disappear!

Don't forget to grab a delicious Frontera wine to sip while cheering on your team!

Make every moment tasty with Frontera wine.


Are you a basketball fan? Will you be trying out my recipe? I love to read your comments!

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of CLEVER and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

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