Applebee's International, Inc. is the leader in the casual dining segment of the United States restaurant marketplace. The company franchises and operates more than 1,100 restaurants under the Applebee's Neighborhood Grill & Bar name, about a quarter of which it owns. The eateries offer moderately priced, high-quality food and drink for all ages in a friendly, informal atmosphere. Applebee's is continuing to expand, with 1,800 outlets the company's stated goal. A smaller restaurant format has been designed for areas with populations under 25,000, to facilitate penetration of previously untapped markets.

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Tuscan Cheese Spread


TUSCAN CHEESE SPREAD
Applebee's Copycat Recipe

Tomatoes with Balsamic Glaze:
4 Roma tomatoes finely dices
1/4 Of a medium red onion finely diced
1/4-1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
1 1/2 teaspoons butter
1/4 teaspoon basil leaves
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
5-10 good twists of McCormick's Italian Herb Seasoning Grinder 
pinch of salt

Cheese Spread:
1 package cream cheese (no need to soften you'll be microwaving a bit)
1-2 teaspoons McCormick's Garlic and Herb seasoning (Start with 1 and add accordingly by your tastes)
5-10 Good twists of McCormick's Italian Herb Seasoning Grinder 
1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon dried basil leaves
pinch of salt
Parmesan and Romano cheese 
toasted ciabatta bread

Preheat the oven broiler.

For the tomatoes with balsamic glaze:  Slice and dice tomatoes and onions and place in bowl with a tight lid and set aside. Place balsamic vinegar, butter, basil leaves, McCormick's Italian Herb Seasoning and pinch of salt in a sauce pan and heat to a hard boil. Shouldn't take long. When butter has melted, add diced tomatoes and onion to boiling sauce and boil no more than 10 seconds. Pour into bowl and place lid on tight and let stew while you finish spread.

For the cheese spread: Place cream cheese in microwavable oven safe baking dish and add McCormick's Garlic and Herb seasoning, McCormick's Italian Herb Seasoning Grinder, garlic powder and dried basil leaves. Do not mix yet. Microwave 25-40 seconds or just until softened. Use a whisk to mix it all together really good and taste...Add more seasoning just a little bit at a time to suit your taste. Sprinkle with a good coating of Parmesan cheese to cover the top.

Set under oven broiler about 2 minutes just until parmesan starts to brown a little bit. Be careful not to burn it. Slice rolls in half and toast in a toaster or under the already preheated broiler(about 1 to 1 1/2 minutes). Dump sliced tomatoes and onion with balsamic glaze and all on top of cheese spread or keep separate.

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