There’s an excellent bagel shop in Douglasville, GA called The Bagel Meister that I used to go to all the time. Unfortunately I’ve moved about an hour away (and no longer commute) so no more delicious Bagel Meister on the way to work for me.
The first time I went in, I was a bagel novice so I ordered a sesame bagel with plain cream cheese. Mrs. Meister was working the intake line that day and she said, “no.”
“Oh yeah,” I responded. “Well then what should I have?”
Her reply changed my bagel order forever. “I’m going to make you an everything bagel, double toasted with veggie cream cheese. You have to taste it before you go because if you don’t like it, I’ll make the sesame bagel for you.”
It was delicious and that’s the only bagel for me now.
Making bagels at home is fun and rather easy but it’s time consuming. Making your own cream cheese flavors, on the other hand, is both quick and easy. I couldn’t find another veggie cream cheese that I liked as much as the Meister’s cream cheese so I decided to make my own.
- ¼ Vidalia Onion, roughly chopped
- ⅓ Red Bell Pepper, stemmed, seeded and roughly chopped
- 1 Clove Garlic, peeled
- 1 Hand Full Fresh Parsley, about ⅓ cup
- 1 Tbs Milk
- 8 oz Cream Cheese, softened
- Pulse all of the veggies in a small food process about 10 times until they’re finely chopped.
- Transfer the veggies to a cheese cloth or 4 paper towels stacked on top of one another, gather up the corners like one of those camper’s-handkerchiefs-on-a-stick things, and squeeze the moisture out of the veggies.
- Add them back into the processor with the cream cheese and milk and process until it’s all mixed together.
- Store for up to 2 weeks in an air-tight container in the refrigerator.
If you want to save on calories, use Neufchâtel cheese instead of cream cheese. It’s the stuff that is marketed as low fat or 1/3 less fat cream cheese and is right next to the real stuff in the grocery store.
You can certainly freeze this spread but it’ll lose some texture when you thaw it out. To loosen, beat in a little more milk after thawing.
Apparently making your own cream cheese is super easy. Who knew? I’ll add it to the list of things to try!