photograph by Matt Hulsman

Yield: 2 cheese logs.

2 (8-ounce) blocks cream cheese, softened
2 cups sharp Cheddar cheese, grated
1 cup dried cranberries, roughly chopped
2 teaspoons crushed red pepper flakes
1 cup shelled pistachios, chopped

In a large mixing bowl, combine the cheeses, dried cranberries, and red pepper flakes and mix thoroughly, either by hand or in a standing mixer with dough hook.

Shape the cheese mix into two logs. Roll each in the chopped pistachios, pressing to ensure that the nuts adhere well. Roll the logs tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.

Serve with crackers on a tray or platter.

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Lynn Wells is a personal chef with more than 20 years of experience in the food and hospitality industry and a degree in Nutrition Management from UNCG.