Note 1: I love the flavor of toasted pecans on this cheese ball, plus toasting keeps the pecans from going soft as quickly. I recommend either purchasing roasted pecans or toasting yourself them before starting. To toast: Pour the (un-chopped) pecan halves into an even layer in a small, dry (no need to add oil or anything) skillet over medium-heat; stir them around a bit until they are fragrant and toasted to your liking. Watch the pecans carefully; they can go from perfectly cooked to burnt in an instant! I like to remove them as soon as they begin to smell fragrant. Allow to cool completely before chopping. The smaller the pecan pieces, the easier they adhere to the cheese ball and the more enjoyable the appetizer is to eat.