Summer is going along at warp speed nine, it seems around here. In between trying to get a shed painted so our home owner's insurance wasn't cancelled (which was NOT on our agenda and we thought everything home insurance-wise had been handled last year), fighting a group of psycho squirrels that are determined to get into my garage roof one way or the other, carpenter ants and spider mites and summer school in between...it's been a summer where you WANT to run away to some place nice and relaxing, but quickly don't have the money to go anywhere.
So, when the heat isn't stifling hot in my house (our upstairs has been running at about 84 degrees by nine at night this summer...the disadvantage of having a house that gets full sun all day long in this heat), I've been trying to bake in the mornings. The need for somewhere relaxing to go and thinking of cool fall nights in New England (was trying to meditate on cool places to keep myself cooler...don't ask) had me immediately thinking of Boston Brown Bread. You know, the bread that usually gets baked in a can and is a small religion on the East Coast? The one time I got to try it, ironically enough, was in Boston a long time ago and I loved the stuff and my dad made it a couple of times when I was young...oh how we'd feast on that bread. And the only way to eat it, in my opinion, is with cream cheese on it.
So, I looked up a brown bread recipe online and then sat there and contemplated what to do with the cream cheese as I really didn't just WANT a regular piece of cream cheese on my bread. I wanted something that would make breakfast special and relaxing all on it's own (I know I'm odd). So I went online and searched around until I found this recipe of Rachel Ray's that looked promising, but I didn't have really anything that she put into her original spread. I've never even SEEN mango chutney at the store (and honestly I've never looked for it), so I started experimenting with the recipe and redid it to make it my own. And it came out yummy!
Eat this spread with a quick bread like zucchini bread or Boston Brown Bread and you are in for a treat! Or eat it with a spoon...which I might or might not have done on a few occasions *ahem*.
Macadamia Nut Cream Cheese Spread (gluten, egg free)
- 8 oz. Cream Cheese, softened
- 1/2 cup shredded cheddar jack cheese (I use Kirkland brand to avoid the corn...they use potato starch), or any sharp cheese
- 1 tsp. powdered ginger
- 1 tsp. cinnamon
- 1/4 cup orange marmalade (I used home made to avoid corn)
- 1/2 cup macadamia nuts
Place all items in food processor and process until spread consistency is reached. If you don't have a beefy motor in your food processor (or don't have one at all), put the macadamia nuts in a ziplock bag and give them some good whacks with heavy object (like a small cast iron skillet) to break them up for you and then just mix it all up in a stand mixer.
I have made this spread three times so far this summer just to dip fruit in and/or eat on brown bread in the mornings. It's a small way to beat the heat, but it IS a way.