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      Mary Anne's Tailgate Party Cheese Spread

      The party continuesthe tailgate party that is! Be the hit of your tailgate or game day get-together with this scrumptious savory cheese spread! Oh my, your guests might even forget the game and just hang around the cheese spread, it's that good!

      20 Ritz crackers

      1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter, melted

      2 packages (8 ounces each) cream cheese, softened

      2/3 cup sour cream

      2 large eggs, room temperature

      1pkg. (10 oz.) frozen chopped spinach, thawed, drained and squeezed dry

      1 can (14 oz.) artichoke hearts, drained well, chopped

      6-8 slices bacon, cooked, drained, patted dry, and crumbled

      3/4 cup grated parmesan cheese

      1/4 cup chopped roasted red bell pepper

      1/4 teaspoon ground red pepper (cayenne)

      Crackers or favorite corn scoops, to serve

      • Heat oven to 350 degrees F. In a blender, food processor or by hand with a rolling pin, crush
        crackers. Mix with melted butter. Press onto bottom of 9-inch pie pan.
      • Beat cream cheese and sour cream in large bowl with mixer until well blended. Add eggs, one at a time, beating on low speed after each just until blended. Stir in remaining ingredients. Pour into crust. Bake 45 to 50 minutes or until top is puffed and center is set and has stopped jiggling.
      • Remove from the oven and cool for a few minutes. Serve with either crackers (Ritz), corn scoops
        (Fritos) or crostini (Italian bread sliced and toasted in oven). Refrigerate leftovers and reheat in a 150 degree F. oven.

      Makes 28 servings.

      Note: You can substitute Neufchatel for the cream cheese to lower the calorie count.

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