Let a block of cream cheese soften to room temperature and whip up some delicious spreads perfect for that morning pandesal or mid-day snack. Get creative with your favorite ingredients or try some of these delicious combinations to mix in:

Garlic and chives
Olives, capers, and lemon
Honey and figs, dates, or dried cranberries
Bacon, onion, and jalapeno
Sun-dried tomato and Parmesan
Pesto (basil, garlic, pine nuts, Parmesan, and olive oil)
Walnuts and strawberry preserve

Or, if you’re entertaining guests, this caviar-topped version is the perfect appetizer to whet appetites before the real feast begins.

Creamy Caviar

Takes 20 minutes
Makes 4 to 6 servings

2 bars cream cheese, at room temperature
1⁄2 white onion, finely chopped
1 hard boiled egg, finely chopped
1 tub caviar
1 lemon

1 Whip cream cheese in an electric mixer with a paddle attachment in medium-low until smooth.
2 In a medium size glass bowl, evenly spread half of the whipped cream cheese. Layer with onion, egg, the rest of the whipped cream cheese and lastly, with caviar. (Use a spring-form pan if you want it freestanding. Refrigerate layered cream cheese for 30 minutes before removing from pan. Decorate sides with thin slices of lemon.)
3 Serve with lemon wedges and thinly sliced toasted baguette on the side.

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(Photograph by Erwin Obcemea. Food styling by Chiqui Lloren. Recipe by Maricel Abad.)

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