Ok, so here’s the deal, I’m cheap frugal. Every morning I used to stop at a wonderful bagel shop (remember those) in the bowels of the many story building where I worked before heading up to my cubicle in the sky. (I still hate wind storms because of the way that building would sway in the wind.) But I digress.  Anyway, I would buy my bagel, but without any flavored cream cheese my plain bagel was just not acceptable to my highly sophisticated (and spoiled I might add) taste buds. So, here comes the part about my being “frugal”. I fell in love with this lovely creamy sun dried tomato spread. Those shop owners thought I should pay, every morning mind you, $1.50 more for just a wee smear of this blessed concoction on my already over-priced bagel. Since I don’t take lightly to paying more for something than I should, I went home and duplicated the flavor of their heavenly spread. From that day forward, I still bought their wonderful bagels, but cleverly disguised in a Tupperware container, I brought and smeared my bagel with this homemade version of their lovely spread. By the way, it’s not just good on bagels. It is equally happy being spread on crackers or toasted baguette slices.

  • 1 (8-oz.) pkg. reduced fat cream cheese, room temperature
  • 2 T. sun dried tomato bits (not oil packed is the best, but if all you have are sun dried tomatoes packed in oil, just drain slightly and chop finely)
  • 5-6 large basil leaves, finely chopped
  • 1 T. chopped fresh parsley**
  • 2 small cloves of garlic, finely minced**
  • ½ c. finely grated Parmesan cheese
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 heaping tablespoons light mayonnaise or low fat sour cream

Combine all ingredients; refrigerate at least 24 hours before serving at room temperature with crackers, toasted baguette slices, or even bagels.

**Hint: When you have both parsley and garlic to mince, and they are going into a recipe at the same time, mince them together. The parsley helps keep the garlic from “skipping” around your cutting board. In the case of this recipe, I add the basil to the garlic and parsley too. I’m lazy – what can I say?