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Recipe: Marinated Yogurt Cheese Balls in Olive Oil

Oh, how I adore the holidays! Thinking up creative handmade gifts is the most fun. The element of taking your time to create something special is the best gift to give. Why do we give? I think it is to honor those that are most special to us; to let them know that they are loved. Not because we “have to” or “need to” but because we want to. And reflecting on the reasons why we give helps me to find the joy in the giving. Here is a recipe for marinated yogurt cheese balls in olive oil to whet your appetite. Why not make and take this to your next dinner or office party? Then play with all the flavor options available in your garden or farmer’s market. First, make this recipe for yogurt cheese and then follow this:


  • Yogurt Cheese
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 1 tsp. lemon juice
  • 2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced or chopped roughly
  • kosher salt
  • black pepper
  • pitted kalamata olives (optional)
  • 2-3 Tbsp. chopped fresh herbs of your choice (rosemary, thyme, dill, fennel, lavender)


  1. Taking the yogurt when it is thoroughly drained, roll pieces of it into small balls about the size of walnuts.
  2. Combine the olive oil, spice and herbs and add to the cheese balls. Cover and refrigerate overnight.
  3. Serve the cheese balls at room temperature with crackers or slices of a baguette.

*It is up to you to create the wrapping.  How about a mason jar with a handmade tag and raffia ribbon? Enjoy the gift of giving.