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I need to make a dish for a party...using cream cheese.....

We have been invited to a casual get together tomorrow around 5 pm. Is there something, either sweet or savory, that I could put together in the morning that would use up some of the pallet of cream cheese I seem to have hoarded in my refridgerator? THANK you! (It's a good sized party, probably at least 40 adults and maybe half as many all ages children/teens.)

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  1. Okay...casual. Crab rangoon springs to mind. Stuffed jalapenos. Spread on flatbreads/crackers with smoked salmon, or tapenade, on top.

    1. slice a block of cream cheese in half lengthwise, put a layer of wasabi paste in the middle, put it back together, roll in toasted sesame seeds, and then pour some soy sauce over it. I serve with Triscuits and it is a HUGE hit every time.

      5 Replies
      1. re: Njchicaa

        Thank you! I'm going to bring this to a picnic on Sunday.

        1. re: ChristinaMason

          Seriously! That does sound fab. I'm gonna have to bring that for next par-tay at work.

          1. re: DuchessNukem

            It was great! I added toasted almonds to the toasted sesame seeds (black and white), and topped the whole thing off with lots of chopped green onion, cilantro, and minced fresh jalapeno. Delish. We enjoyed it with seaweed-flavored rice crackers.

              1. re: ChristinaMason

                Glad you liked it! We love it too. So easy and delicious.

        2. Dips! Jalepeno popper dip, spinach artichoke dip, crab dip, 7 layer dip... The possibilities are endless! I could live off dips, especially hot ones.

          1. If you have the ability to smoke, Atomic Buffalo Turds. Even if you don't they would work.

            1. Just a couple of ideas,.. not exactly haute cuisine, but tasty. Cheese ball with clams, green onions and bacon. A little worstershire sauce and roll in minced green onions.
              Cresent rolls made with strawberry jam and cream cheese, or pesto and cream cheese.
              Tea sandwiches with cream cheese mixed with fine diced shallots, spread on raisin bread with turkey and basil leaves.
              Not sure if you want an appetizer or more of an entree...mix with some tangy goad cheese, garlic, pancetta and a basil chiffonade and make a tangy mac and cheese.

              1. +1 on the crab rangoon.

                other ideas:
                - baked crab dip
                - buffalo chicken dip
                - creamed spinach
                - smoked salmon spread/mousse
                - sweet or savory cheesecake (full-size or minis)
                - cream cheese swirl brownies
                - cream cheese coffee cake
                - red velvet or carrot cupcakes with cream cheese frosting
                - rugelach
                - fruit dip

                3 Replies
                  1. re: dianne0712

                    +2; this is a great 'strecher' of good savory cheese-course ingredients!

                    Savory crust, cream cheese with cream, eggs, blue or other sharp cheeses. Baked till firm.

                    Serve with grapes or other fruit, crackers and perhaps some fig jam. Delish!

                  2. This recipe is always a hit at get-togethers.

                    Party Pinwheels

                    2 pkg. cream cheese (8 oz size)
                    1 pkg. dry ranch dressing mix (1 oz size)
                    1/2 c. diced peppers
                    1/2 c. diced green olives
                    1/2 c. diced pepperoni or hard salami (optional)
                    1 pkg. soft flour tortillas (large burrito size)

                    Beat softened cream cheese until smooth. Add dry ranch mix. Mix well. Stir in peppers, olives, and pepperoni.

                    Spread a thin layer of mix on each tortilla. Roll up. Chill. Slice into 1” pieces. Serve chilled.

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: Spice_zing

                      I do a very similar recipe but I do it with diced pimentos, chopped scallions, canned green chilies, and minced black olives. Keep the ranch dressing mix. The colors make a nice presentation as well as the pinwheele effect.
                      I also like a pizza dip that is so easy and well received it is crazy.
                      In the case that it is 40 people I'd go with a lasagne pan size
                      Spread with about a half inch of cream cheese
                      Pizza sauce of your liking to a generous thickness
                      Pepperoni, peppers,ham,onions, olives, or whatever toppings you like on pizza
                      Mozzarella cheese to cover. Bake til bubbly but not brown because that makes dipping hard.
                      Serve with bresdsticks

                      Same theroy served with tortillas, go tex-mex
                      Cream cheese first layer
                      Refried beans next
                      Salsa next
                      Black olives,scallions,green chilies,diced tomatoes or your favorite Latin toppings
                      Cheddar cheese

                      1. re: suzigirl

                        Good ideas! I have mozzarella to use up too....

                    2. Allow a block of cream cheese to come to room temperature. Place on plate and pour pesto over the top. Serve with good crackers or pita chips.

                      1. For a super easy, and delicious appetizer start with a thick oblong slice of room temp cream cheese on a decorative plate. Follow with a few grinds of coarse pepper, and zest of one lemon. Take your favorite brand of seafood cocktail sauce and pour onto cream cheese in a rustic manner. Finally top with bay shrimp, and chopped chives. A few slices of lemon make for a nice garnish. I usually serve with Triscuits, or sliced baguette.

                        4 Replies
                        1. re: letsindulge

                          another good one! i'm liking this thread more than i want to admit :)

                          1. re: ChristinaMason

                            Me too. I am getting some good ideas here. I love party food.

                          2. re: letsindulge

                            My MIL regularly serves a block of cream cheese with just bottled cocktail sauce poured on top at family gatherings. She serves with buttery crackers. It isn't bad but I'm sure the lemon zest and other additions I saw in the recipe turn it into something special

                            1. re: Njchicaa

                              I have seen this many times and always wondered why the maker couldn't even bother to disguise the shape of the cream cheese. So I figure if you take the cream cheese and press it into even the simplest mold lined with plastic wrap (ramekin, small bowl, or such) and then turn it out on the plate and add your topping/s it will actually look like you made an effort.

                          3. Another option is the "resurrect the old' idea of a cheese torta; take equal parts cream cheese and butter, and if you can stand it $$ wise, at least 1/3 again of soft fresh goat cheese. Whiz all 3 (or 2) in the FP.

                            Chill the cheesy mix for an hour. take a bowl you like the shape of, and line it with damp cheescloth. Can be anything from a tall can - like from beans or such (this can give drama), or, just a tall bowl.

                            Put 1/4 of the mix into the cheescloth lined bowl, pressing down a bit. Add a layer of pesto, or roasted peppers whizzed up, or caramelized nuts, onions (flavor combo's are up to your chefly take on things...).

                            After adding flavor layer, add another layer of the cheese mix, more flavor burst, more cheese mix to finish. Fold the cheesecloth over the top of the can/pan/mold. Put plastic wrap on it and refridge for a few hours.

                            Unmold onto a platter, and gently remove the cheesecloth. Voila! you now have a lovely layered gourmet Torta with a visual appeal on your platter. Serve with fruit, crackers, baguette, or whatever suits your tastes with what your combo is.

                            Caterer's secret to inexpensive, drama appetizer:)

                            Flavor combo's I have made:

                            layers of basil pesto and red peppers alternating

                            Cilantro lime pesto and pepita's

                            Ground chili pesto and Cilantro Lime pesto

                            Walnut /balsamic pesto and chopped softened dried apricots

                            Softend dried cherries with cognac, Blue cheese paste

                            3 Replies
                            1. re: gingershelley

                              I just want to send gingershelly a personal thank you for writing voilá instead of the all too common wall-ah! Hehe

                                1. re: dianne0712

                                  Close... just flip that accent around and I'm with you! (It's "voilà.")

                                  This thread is making me sooooo hungry.

                              1. Here's one I got here, haven't made yet but it tickles my fancy

                                Dip for the Stars:
                                1 cup unsalted butter
                                3/4 pound feta cheese, crumbled
                                1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
                                2 cloves garlic, minced
                                1 shallot, minced
                                3 tablespoons gin
                                ground white pepper, to taste
                                1/2 cup pine nuts, toasted
                                1 cup chopped sun-dried tomatoes
                                3/4 cup pesto sauce

                                In a food processor, combine the butter, feta cheese, cream cheese, garlic, shallot, vermouth, and white pepper. Process until smooth.
                                Oil a medium bowl, or gelatin mold, and line with plastic wrap for easy removal. Layer the dip into the mold as follows: Sun-dried tomatoes, pine nuts, pesto, cheese mixture. Repeat. Pat down into the mold, and refrigerate for at least one hour.
                                Turn the dip out onto a serving dish, and add crackers.

                                I also have a treasured recipe from the 70s which is just a strong mustard sauce served over a block of cream cheese, I posted it recently but if it sounds good I'll dig it up again.

                                4 Replies
                                1. re: coll

                                  Coll, just like what I posted, but clearer. You have good taste:)

                                  1. re: gingershelley

                                    You're right, it's a great concept. The thing that caught my eye on this recipe was the gin and vermouth, it sounds so exotic. Someday I'll actually get around to trying it!

                                  2. re: coll

                                    This is on Allrecipes - I made it for a party once and it was inhaled in about 30 seconds.

                                    1. re: LisaPA

                                      It was delicious, and has an over the top presentation for just a few minutes of work: made it for two occasions since I wrote this, and had to give the recipe to multiple acquaintances. Have to think of a better name though, Dip for the Stars doesn't do it justice!

                                  3. Line a tallish bowl with plastic wrap. Mix half cream cheese and half unsalted butter - lots of them. Make an even layer in the bottom of the lined bowl. Add a thinner layer of homemade or purchased pesto sauce. Do another layer of cream cheese/butter, another of pesto, etc. Keep going until the bowl is full. Chill. Unmold onto a pretty plate and remove the plastic wrap. Decorate with chopped roasted red peppers and whole basil leaves. Serve with baguette slices.

                                    1. There are mac & cheese recipes using cream cheese. I tried one, and it wasn't my favorite, but it has some big fans, too.

                                      1. I am going to lose all respect from CHers, but I had this two years in a row at a Christmas party and it was the only thing that was completely finished both years. I asked the woman who made it what it was and she said she was too embarrassed. Finally I promised I wouldn't tell.

                                        Chipped dried beef balls.

                                        Sour cream
                                        Cream Cheese
                                        Minced onions
                                        Minced chipped dried beef (I think you can buy it this way
                                        Salt and pepper

                                        She said it took her about 5 minutes to make them and despite knowing what it is, I still think it's great.

                                        1. skyline chili dip is always a midwest party favorite:


                                          basically, spread 12oz of cream cheese in a baking dish, pour a bunch of chili over it, cover it all with shredded cheddar, and bake until the whole thing is a melty bubbly mess. its absolutely delicious

                                          1 Reply
                                          1. re: mattstolz

                                            This is one of my old trashy favorites from childhood - it's SO good. Hormel canned chili with no beans is perfect!

                                          2. Stuffed Mushrooms that are so addictive;

                                            Softened cream cheese
                                            Chopped bacon or real bacon bits
                                            Shredded sharp cheddar or crumbled blue cheese
                                            Hollowed mushroom caps

                                            Combine first three ingredients, fill mushroom caps, bake for 30 minutes at 350. People go nuts for these things:)

                                            1. cream cheese with pepper jelly
                                              or jezebel sauce and crackers

                                              roll balls of cream chesse in chopped herbs
                                              that veggie pizza like they serve at baby showers

                                              1. Dill cheese puffs. Mix softened cream cheese, dill and softened finely chopped sweet onion. Roll out a can of cresent rolls into a rectangle, pressing eges together. Spread mixture over 1/2 of rectangle and fold over. Cut into circles w/ a biscuit cutter(or just use a juice glass), brush w/ egg wash and bake a few minutes longer than on the can directions, until golden brown. You could also do this in pinwheel form. Always a crowd pleaser.

                                                1. I would love to know what you settled on for your party. Did ya use one of these ideas or did ya find another one from somewhere else? Curious...

                                                  3 Replies
                                                  1. re: suzigirl

                                                    Thank you, everybody for your suggestions. I had a hard time picking but in the end I went with a combo of gingershelley and coll's ideas and......OH my, how embarassing.....this party was
                                                    C-A-S-U-A-L! I showed up a little late (waiting on littlest kiddo to wake up from nap) and so, yeah, everyone saw what I brought. Let me set the buffet scene for you: already in action were, 3 different crockpots with meatballs, swedish-ish, italian, and I think a jelly/cocktailish sauce, kielbasa and kraut, 4 trays of mac-n-cheese, all looked a little different, coleslaw, chips, M& M's. 2 trays of brownies, choco chip cookies from grocery deli, and 4 different bags of potato chips. Thank goodness I grabbed a few sleeves of ritz before I left, no other crackers. I (thankfully) omitted the pine-nuts and I subbed feta for goat cheese because I had feta on hand. When I went to collect the dish at the end of the night, probably 2 TB's were missing, that's it. Not the right crowd, I guess. I sent the dip to torta to work with my husband, telling him to share it or pitch it, I don't want to know the fate either way.
                                                    I will use many of your ideas in the future though, because I STILL have an arsenal of cream cheese (MIL works for Kraft) and too many good suggestions to go to waste. Tnaks again. all!

                                                    1. re: kmlmgm

                                                      Well after I resurrected that recipe, I decided to make TWO of these, for two sets of company we are having this weekend for hubbys birthday. Only us plus two other people each day. This is mainly because I have TWO bars of cream cheese I got for 77 cents each, and just made pesto and have sundried tomatoes somewhere in the back of the fridge, and pounds of pignolia. Oh and I happen to have cheesecloth from my experiment with home made ricotta. Ah well, wonder if I should just make one and cut it in half??? It won't be the only appetizer by a long shot. Will let you know what happens, thanks for the heads up.

                                                      1. re: kmlmgm

                                                        I've been through the whole list of ideas (drooling the entire time), looking for something other than what I usually make, and am surprised to not see a version of my standard salmon spread. It goes like this:

                                                        1 small can salmon
                                                        1 brick cream cheese
                                                        sriracha to taste (if I know the crowd can handle it, I use a heaping spoonful)

                                                        It is so delicious and so easy. Always gets gobbled up.

                                                        My girlfriend Suzi is famous for her 'Tits on a Ritz' dip, which is just bleu cheese and cream cheese, whipped well.

                                                        Thanks, Hounds, for some terrific ideas.

                                                    2. I just made an awesome impromptu, whatever-I-could-dig-out-of-back-of-fridge spread using:
                                                      8oz package of cream cheese
                                                      ~1/2c. oil packed sun dried tomatoes
                                                      1T. capers
                                                      1-2t. sherry vinegar
                                                      fresh or dried rosemary
                                                      salt, pepper

                                                      Run in the food processor till blended and fluffy. Apply liberally to crackers or crostini.

                                                      1. I made a dip/spread for a party I threw yesterday that went down surprisingly well. Not shabby for something completely made up on the fly :)

                                                        -1 brick cream cheese (I used nuefchatel), softened
                                                        -about 1/4 c. sour cream
                                                        -1 envelope of French onion soup mix
                                                        -2-3 scallions, white and tender green parts sliced on the diagonal
                                                        -coarse-ground black pepper, to taste
                                                        -3 Tbsp. "Bufalo" brand chipotle hot sauce - http://www.amazon.com/Bufalo-Chipotle...
                                                        -3 Tbsp. agave nectar

                                                        Mix together all the ingredients except for the hot sauce and agave nectar and chill in a plastic-wrap-lined bowl until firm. When ready to serve, turn the cream cheese mixture out onto a rimmed plate or serving platter. Whisk together the hot sauce and honey in a small bowl and pour over the cream cheese. Serve with a spreading knife and crackers or sturdy tortilla chips (I used jalapeno-cornbread crackers; Wheat Thins would also be good).

                                                        This was inspired by French onion dip and those appetizers involving dumping a jar of hot pepper jelly over a brick of cream cheese.

                                                          1. I also make savory oatmeal cookies

                                                            1 cup quick cooking oats
                                                            1/4 cup warm water
                                                            1/4 cup olive oil
                                                            1/4 cup brown sugar
                                                            1 egg
                                                            1/2 cup cream cheese (or 1/2 cup sour cream, whatever you have left over)

                                                            1 cup flour
                                                            1/2 cup shredded parmesan cheese
                                                            1/2 tsp sea salt
                                                            1/4 tsp baking soda
                                                            3 teaspoon rosemary (fresh)
                                                            1/4 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper

                                                            reheat oven to 350F.
                                                            Pour into a medium size bowl 1/4 cup of water. Microwave that for maybe 30 sec so its warm. Mix in 1 cup of oats to it and mix it good. It should be pretty doughy and thick.

                                                            In a large bowl, mix the olive oil, sugar, egg and cream cheese. Add the oatmeal mix to this.

                                                            In another medium bowl, mix the dry ingredients (flour, salt, baking soda, fresh rosemary, parmesan, pepper).

                                                            Add the dry with the wet and gently fold until everything is incorporated.

                                                            Dollop about 1 tbsp onto a parchment paper lined baking tray and flatten then to 1/4 inch thick. Try to keep it roundish in shape (or not, however pretty you want to make it). Sprinkle on some more sea salt and crack some fresh black pepper over the cookies.

                                                            Decorate with rosemary leaves if you like again.
                                                            Bake 16-18mins.
                                                            Makes 30 cookies

                                                            These are pretty subtle tasting cookies with a sort of soft biscuit like texture. Great for mornings or afternoon teas!

                                                            Another variation would be to cut out the oatmeal and add 1/2 cup more flour for a crunchier and crispier cookie.

                                                            step by step pics on my blog

                                                            1 Reply
                                                            1. re: MDcooksfor2

                                                              Cranberry Delight Cream Cheese Spread

                                                              cream cheese, orange juice concentrate, cranberry, sugar, cranberry, orange zest, cinnamon, pecans


                                                              serve with crackers

                                                            2. For a quick Christmas dip, use a block of cream cheese covered with jalapeno jelly. Green or red jelly. Very festive.