Trick or Cheese

1 jar (6 1/2 oz.) marinated artichoke hearts, drained
1 round Edam Cheese (about 7 ounces)
1 package (8 oz.) cream cheese, softened
1 teaspoon dried basil (about 1 tablespoon chopped fresh)
garlic salt (optional)
black olives
black licorice whips
Assorted Crackers

Place artichoke hearts in food process and process to chop.

In the top of the Edam cheese, carefully cut the wax into 8 wedges. Cuts should just round the top edge of the cheese ball. Pull wedges back to expose cheese and to form curls. Carefully scoop cheese from the wax, leaving the wax ball intact.

Add cheese, cream cheese, and basil to food processor. Process until mixed and crumbly in appearance. Add garlic salt to taste, if desired (be careful, only a small amount is needed, too much will overwhelm other flavors). Blend again. Fill empty wax cheese shell with approximately 1 cup mixture. Place remaining cheese in a small bowl. Cover both the wax bowl and extra cheese. Chill 2-4 hours to blend flavors.

Spread excess cheese in the small bowl on assorted crackers. Garnish the top of each cracker with a spider made from a black olive cut in half. Create legs of spider using pieces of black licorice. (Licorice may need to be cut in half to achieve desired thickness of legs).

NOTE: Mixture makes a nice cheese quesadilla. Spread flour tortilla with cheese, add chopped roma tomatoes, and green chilies (or other ingredients of choice). Top with second layer of cheese. Place in hot heavy fry pan and heat until cheese is melted. Cut into wedges and serve with salsa.

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