I am a girl who loves to cook. I know, I am stating the obvious. Why else would you be reading my little ramblings? But there are some things that are so easy, so obvious that it takes years to stumble upon them. I think that is one of the reasons I love to cook. You could spend hours creating masterpieces with complex ingredients. But it is the little stuff, the easy stuff, the stuff that you overlook until you are standing in the kitchen, tired and worn down with a little toddler circling your legs like a hungry little shark. It really is a matter of survival.
I remember when I got Julia Child’s cookbook, Mastering the Art of French Cooking, I spent an entire month learning how to cook an egg. Yes, an egg. It was oddly thrilling and enlightening. I learned to be slow and patient to yield the best results. Not too much butter, only a taste. Julia was the queen of mastering the little stuff. And my omelets have never been the same. Now light and fluffy, a little warm and gooey in the middle. Delicious.
Usually on the weekends I make a big breakfast. Some sort of pancake, or French toast, stuffed with mascarpone cheese and caramelized banana/maple syrup. I do this for the love of my family. Ok, I will admit I have an unhealthy crush on breakfast. It is, in my opinion, the greatest meal ever created. How can you beat pancakes, French toast and donuts smothered in butter and syrup and powdered sugar. Bagels with salmon, onion, tomato and cream cheese. Or eggs with melted cheese and fresh herbs, some skillet potatoes. Oh my.
But, even my love of breakfast can’t put the fire in my belly to want to get up and get it done. Sometimes on the weekends, I just want to relax. So as I was contemplating this dilemma over the weekend, looking in the fridge for something else to make, something easy, it hit me. Cream cheese. Not just your ordinary cream cheese, but flavored cream cheese. Made with anything my little heart could come up with. I am a sucker for those fruit cream cheeses when we go to buy our bagels. But it never occurred to me to make my own. Until now.
I grabbed the blackberries and blueberries, some mint, thyme and a lime, and I was on my way. It only took a few minutes to whir it all together. And it tasted so much better than those store-bought concoctions, which are usually a bit too sweet. Instead it tasted fresh and creamy. I combined the blackberries with some lime zest and mint. The mint really made it refreshing. The blueberries were paired with some thyme. The combination of herb and berry gave a slight contrast between savory and sweet.
The great thing about making your own cream cheese is that it is up to your imagination. Fig and orange, scallion and a handful of fresh herbs — and as my mind is running right now — cream cheese that tastes like carrot cake would be delicious. Or is that just me?
The family loved this berry delight — it was definitely a hit. So the next time you want to make breakfast but just don’t have the energy to whip up something complex, turn to the bagel, my friend. Turn to the bagel.
Blackberry Cream Cheese
3/4 cup blackberries
3/4 cup cream cheese
1 teaspoon fresh lime zest
1/2 teaspoon fresh chopped mint
Whir it all together in a small food processor. Or you could mash it up by hand, but the blackberries won’t get as pulverized. Smear on a bagel. Enjoy
Blueberry Cream Cheese
3/4 cup blueberries
3/4 cup cream cheese
1 teaspoon fresh thyme
Whir all together. And enjoy.
For more photos and recipe ideas, check out Corey’s blog, Intheorganickitchen.com. Visit often to see her latest organic obsession.