For The Dip:
4 cups cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup sun-dried tomatoes, chopped
1/2 cup red bell peppers (or capsicum
1/4 cup dill pickles, finely diced
1/4 cup chives, chopped
1/4 cup parsley, chopped
1 tablespoon onion powder
2 teaspoons garlic powder
Salt, to taste (if desired)
For The Decorations:
1 1/2 - 2 cups pitted mixed olives (I use a variety of black, green and Kalamata olives) -- dried with paper towel
1/2 cup sun-dried tomatoes, chopped (dried with paper towel)
Rosemary leaves/sprigs to decorate
Ritz, water crackers or pretzels for serving
Salami slices, for serving
Prosciutto slices, for serving
In a bowl combine all the ingredients for the dip and mix until the ingredients are well combined.
Place a piece of non-stick plastic wrap on a clean bench top or work surface. Scoop the cream cheese mixture out onto the plastic wrap and completely cover with another piece of wrap (you may need two pieces to cover it).
Use your hands to mould the cream cheese into a tree shape. Then, carefully pick up the tree with one hand and peel off the plastic wrap on the bottom of the tree with your other hand. Place the tree straight onto a serving plate.
Use a cake spatula to smooth the edges. Decorate with olives, sun-dried tomatoes and rosemary leaves/sprigs, lightly pressing each element into the cream cheese to ensure they stay on. Brush with some sun dried tomato oil from the jar (optional but adds even more flavour)!
Top with a star cut out of a yellow or orange bell pepper OR a thick slice of cheese.
Serve with crackers of your choice, salami and prosciutto slices rolled up!