A Christmas gift to you, dear friends of The Café ............one of our all-time favorite recipes for a savory yummy treat with a sweet memory...................
When we were young, starry-eyed lovers we often picked up a good loaf of bread, some fresh fruit, a bottle of wine and a small carton of velvety smooth, garlic-herb cheese spread (a huge splurge for us back then!) - we'd hike for hours into a state park or national forest looking for the perfect spot, perhaps in the midst of a shady grove of trees or near a sparkling clear bubbling brook, to set up our humble, yet gourmet picnic. We'd spend the next hour or so enjoying each other's company along with God's incredibly beautiful creation.
We've crossed a lot of rivers and traveled many miles since those early days, but a number of things remain the same; we're as much (more! - photographer/editor's note) in love now than we were back then (though not so starry-eyed and definitely not so young!), we still enjoy hiking and spending time outdoors and the delicious garlic-herbed French cheese spread, familiar to many as Boursin, Allouette or Rondelé is still a special treat for us. We love it with crackers and crostini, but also as a spread for sandwiches, tucked into savory tarts and pastries and melting on fresh grilled hamburgers.
A number of years ago I found a recipe for a delicious spread that's similar, but even better (to us) than the original, and for a fraction of the price. It's made with cream cheese, sweet cream butter, fresh garlic and a variety of delicious herbs all whipped together and allowed to meld into this fabulous Provencal Herb Cheese Spread. You probably have all the ingredients you need, so why not put together a batch of this today? Maybe even a double batch! - and you'll be thrilled, when guests visit over the holidays, to pull out a platter with this yummy spread and a pile of crostini or perhaps a batch of Cheddar Poppy Seed Crackers (yesterday's recipe)!
Scott and I will be taking a break till after Christmas to enjoy family, friends and to focus on celebrating the birth of our Savior Jesus Christ who is our hope, joy, strength and to whom we owe ............. everything! We wish you all a most blessed holiday!
P.S. Check out the wonderful helpers I've had assisting me with holiday baking, cooking and celebrating............ Annie and Ellie my sweet granddaughters, visiting from London. As you can see from their faces, they bring us great joy and .............. one laugh after another - there's never a dull moment when they're around!
Mini sous chefs in training............
A serious job - making holiday butter cutouts -
(This is a fun idea to make any dinner special - a clever trick I learned from my sweet friend Regina!)
You'll probably never believe this, but they have just a wee bit of shenanigans up their sleeves!
1 clove fresh garlic
8 ounces cream cheese, softened
½ cup butter, softened
½ teaspoon dried oregano
¼ teaspoon dried dill
¼ teaspoon dried basil
¼ teaspoon dried thyme
¼ teaspoon dried marjoram
¼ teaspoon black pepper
1. Add garlic to the bowl of a food processor and process until finely chopped, stopping once to scrape down sides.
2. Add the remaining ingredients and process until smooth, stopping twice to scrape down sides.
3. Can be frozen up to 3 months or refrigerated for as long as 1 week.
I put it in a freezer zip-lock bag with a large piping tip, before refrigerating, and piped it into a small serving dish for the swirly presentation.
Adapted from Food.com