Monday, July 4, 2011

Party Nibbles

Gina of SPCookieQueen invited us to her macaron-making party on Saturday. It was a LONG trek to her house, on a sweltering hot day, but well worth the trip. We had a wonderful afternoon cooking in Gina’s beautiful and spacious kitchen and she’s an excellent teacher. It was fun to meet some other local bloggers as well.

There will be more party stories later, but for now, I’ll share one of the appetizers we prepared to provide sustenance for the busy students as we tackled the macarons. This was a last minute idea after seeing a recipe in a Bon Appetit magazine. The original recipe called for a log of goat cheese, but I discovered we only had about a third of a log. We had one of our favorite cheeses on hand, Redwood Hill Farms raw goat’s milk feta, so that was grated and mixed with the original cheese. The recipe called for adding lemon peel and olive oil on top after forming the ball of cheese, but Larry wasn’t paying attention and put them into the cheese mixture. 

So instead of a firm cheese ball, it was quite soft, more like a spread. But it actually worked out quite well. We liked it so much, we made it again for our dinner guests yesterday, reducing the oil so that it would form a firmer ball, but still adding the lemon to the mixture. Both ways were a hit. So here’s our version for the spread from Saturday:

Larry’s New Lemony Cheese Spread 
Adapted from Bon Appetit Magazine

½ log soft goat cheese
Equal amount Redwood Hill Farms raw goat’s milk feta, grated
1 tsp lemon peel, finely grated
3 Tbsp  high quality extra virgin olive oil
½ tsp fresh thyme, chopped
½ tsp pink peppercorns, ground or crushed
Meyer lemon oil or syrup

Mix first four ingredients well and shape into a ball or put into a small bowl. Chill. Before serving, drizzle with Meyer lemon oil and sprinkle with thyme and peppercorns. Serve with crackers or baguette slices.

I’ve been struggling to keep up lately and have gotten behind in both reading and posting. I’m winding down my job where I’ve been for over 17 years and will be departing at the end of the summer. I need to find a new job, but I have no idea what I want to do. Maybe a complete career change. My recent post-treatment tests showed good results and I’ll now go into a phase of two years of maintenance immunotherapy – that’s good news, by the way, compared to the alternatives. Life is unsettled; change is in the air.


  1. Judy - First it was a pleasure to meet you and Larry at Gina's on Saturday. This party nibble was absolutely divine. I will be making in the near future - thank you for posting! Have a great 4th of July!

  2. The party sounds like it was fun and informative. Macarons are something I could use some help on. Glad you enjoyed yourself and have a great 4th

  3. Hi Judy, It was a great pleasure to meet both you and Larry at Gina's home last Saturday. I've been thinking about that wonderful watermelon (I wonder if your recipe is hidden in your blog somewhere?), and am so glad you posted the recipe for the lovely goat cheese - I really enjoyed it. I imagine and expect some macarons from you soon (I can't wait to tackle it myself). I am sending positive thoughts as you face the changes ahead!

  4. Hi Judy,
    It was so great to meet you in person and Larry too. I served the little bit of leftover spread to my friends the next day and they all loved it. The lemon really made it pop. I'm so glad you were able to make the trek and I look forward to seeing you again soon.
    Hope you get some rest this week.

  5. I was SO envious of you all!! I can't wait to read about it and see some photos.
    This cheese sounds heavenly... perfect for a summer afternoon by the pool. Maybe with a glass of wine too??!!! :)

  6. I love a good mistake! Sounds like a winner.


  7. I was SO envious of you all!! I can't wait to read about it and see some photos.and so Please log on our website for Jaipur Property

  8. Oh I do wish I'd been there with you all. It sounded so much fun and this spread looks delicious. Looking forward to hearing more about your Saturday in that amazing kitchen!