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Volume III
June 15, 2012

Weekly Home / Cook'n & Eat'n

Ideas for Using Cream Cheese

By Patty Liston

I was helping my daughter make some sandwiches the other day when I noticed some left-over cream cheese in her frig. She said she had run out of bagels and was afraid that the cream cheese may go bad before she was able to get back to the store.

Fortunately, I had just read several different articles from Tip Hero and (haha... love the name), that discussed uses for cream cheese that many of us may not have thought of. I shared them with my daughter and we used one of the fruit dips, listed below, that very afternoon.

Here is what I shared with her!

Create a New Party Dip. We love cream cheese for its yummy, creamy taste, so why not add it to your recipes to enliven your next party dip? Just add enough to taste. Or, try one of these:

Nutella Cream Cheese: this creamy dip made with Nutella and cream cheese tastes great with apples.

Creamy Caramel Apple Dip: use brown sugar and white sugar, vanilla and cream cheese to make another great dip for apples.

Maple Yogurt Fruit Dip: this is the perfect dip for apples, grapes, strawberries and pretty much any other fruit out there.

Make a Creamy Marinara. My mother spent all day making her famous spaghetti sauce. Seriously. All. Day. Now, most of us pop open the lid to a jar and call it good. However, if you want to add a little extra taste to that jar next time you use it, add a good amount of cream cheese to the sauce as you are heating it up. See if your family recognizes "something different."

Extra, Creamy Frosting: I adore cream cheese frosting. Carrot cake and red velvet cakes are two of my favorites; mostly because they are both layered in this frosting. It is suggested that we try adding some cream cheese to our other frosting recipes, or "canned" frostings, to give them a delicious taste as well. Great idea!

Yummy Mashed Potatoes: Yeah, you know where I am going with this one. I have always added several large tablespoons of cream cheese to my mashed potatoes as I beat them. This gives the potatoes an extra rich flavor that your family and company will rave about. Trust me on this one.

Use it as a Spread: Yes, cream cheese is great on a bagel, but have you ever tried it on your favorite sandwich? Try spreading a little on the next time and taste the difference.

Yes, cream cheese is has a high fat content. I am certainly not recommending you use ALL of these ideas every day. Moderation is key for most of the foods we eat. And remember that cream cheese now comes in "lite" varieties, which will cut the fat calories considerably. However, every once in awhile, the above ideas may be just the little treat you need to liven up a recipe.

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