Six years ago, I bought a little rosemary plant during the holiday season. It was pruned to look like a miniature Christmas tree. It was so nice to have the scent of rosemary in the house! When spring came, I planted it in a sunny spot in the front yard. It grew from a small little plant into a huge, huge bush. In the last few years, it even started getting pretty deep purple blooms on it–I didn’t know rosemary bloomed, so that was a nice bonus! I learned that rosemary helps keeps bugs away, so it was great to have it right next to the front porch. The bush stayed green all year long; it would stop growing in the winter months and then it would flourish with new growth in the spring. The nicest thing about having the bush was that I could pick fresh rosemary for cooking and baking anytime I needed it, year-round.
Well, this past winter was a lot colder and lasted longer than usual…so my rosemary did not make it through the winter. The bush gradually started turning brown, then totally dried up. I kept it in the ground for awhile with the hope that it would revive, but finally had to dig it out. The big bush actually came out pretty easily because it was so dried up! Recently, I bought another little rosemary plant that will hopefully do as well as my first one did.
One of the things I liked to make with my rosemary was a flavored cream cheese spread. It’s really easy, and if you don’t have fresh rosemary, you can use dried (but it’s better with fresh!). Here’s the recipe:
ROSEMARY-GARLIC CREAM CHEESE SPREAD
- 1 8-oz. package softened cream cheese (light or regular)
- 4 Tbsp. sour cream or plain yogurt
- 1/2 tsp. lemon juice
- 2–3 tsp. fresh rosemary, finely chopped (if using dried rosemary, you’ll probably want to use 3 tsp.)
- 1/2–1 tsp. garlic powder (or even more, if you want it to have a stronger garlic flavor)
Blend softened cream cheese and sour cream or yogurt in a small bowl; add lemon juice and blend well. Then add the rosemary and garlic powder and blend well.
This makes a nice spread for bagels, focaccia bread or other kinds of flat bread–spread on warm bread, top with some tomato slices, add some sliced olives, and sprinkle with a little Parmesan cheese–yum! You can use it as a dip for fresh veggies, too–add another teaspoon of lemon juice to thin it out a little more if using as a dip.