Breakfast for me in the morning has always been a tough challenge. Between getting Nick up, dressed, fed and ready for carpool in the morning, and juggling Madeline as she’s just waking up, there isn’t a lot of time to stop and think about breakfast for myself before I sit down to work. It continues to be an afterthought and usually consists of whatever I can grab and go. Lately that’s been Weight Watchers breakfast sandwiches. Not necessarily the tastiest thing, but not the most terrible either. It fills me up until lunch, is ready in two minutes and 15 seconds and I don’t have guilt about eating something that’s crazy with calories or saturated fat.
But every once in awhile, the planets align … Nick wakes up early and gets ready without lying on the bedroom floor first. Madeline sleeps until after he leaves so I’m not bouncing back and forth between the two. There are just a few extra minutes in the morning that gives me enough time to toast a bagel and spread on a delicious schmear.
But do I reach for a store-bought spread? Heck no! No reason to when you can make your own delicious one within minutes that beats anything that the folks at Philadelphia Cream Cheese could dream up (no offense to them, of course). If I’m thinking about it on the weekend, I’ll make the bagel spread then, so it’s ready to go. Grabbing a frozen bagel from the freezer and toasting it up, within minutes I have a terrifically crunchy bagel with an oh-so-delicious spread for a fraction of what I would spend at the bagel shop. As if I had that kind of time in the morning anyway!
This Creamy Garlic and Vegetable Bagel Spread recipe comes from Emeril Lagasse, and is from a 2004 episode of his now-canceled Emeril Live show (it was first published in his New New Orleans cookbook in ’93). It’s really delicious, packed with flavor and perfect on an crispy everything bagel. And once you get the basic formula down, it’s easy to swap out some of the flavorings to come up with a new spread that quickly becomes the perfect way to start your morning … even on those mornings when breakfast is an afterthought.
Creamy Garlic and Vegetable Bagel Spread
Recipe courtesy of Emeril Lagasse
1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup sour cream
1-1/2 teaspoons minced garlic
2 ounces sun-dried tomatoes, softened in hot water, drained and chopped
3 tablespoons chopped black olives
2 tablespoons chopped chives
1/2 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
Salt, to taste
In a bowl, cream together the cream cheese and sour cream. Add the remaining ingredients and mix well. Adjust the seasoning, to taste.Serve immediately, or cover and refrigerate until ready to serve. Bring to room temperature before serving. (The spread will keep for 3 days refrigerated.)
Yield: about 1 1/4 cups