Archive for July, 2013

Salad Saturdays: Changing Textures

Saturday, July 27th, 2013

We hope everyone’s been enjoying their summer (and their salads) so far! Up until now, most of the featured cheese parings have been creative variations of a salad staple: goat cheese. This Salad Saturday, we hear from Baker-turned-cook and Food blogger, Marnely Rodriguez-Murray. She writes for Marcus Samuelsson’s Food Republic and Honest Cooking Magazine and her beautifully photographed site can be found at

Cooking with Books

By now, you’re asking yourself “what is the cheese that sits atop Marnely’s summer salad?”

Nothing better than blue cheese crumbles over a crisp summer salad! The tangy cheese balances out flavors & adds texture to the meal! Even better? Try making your own blue cheese dressing for dips and salads – refreshing and delicious!

Mixing textures in a salad can really make it memorable, and that includes switching up the texture of the dressing! If you’re up for creating your own blue cheese dressing, You can pick up some blue cheese like Ile de France Roquefort cheese and try this recipe by Anjali Prasertong  for theKitchn.

Image courtesy of theKitchn

Follow Marnelly on Twitter at: @nella22 and like her page on Facebook: CookingwithBooksBlog!

Enjoy your Salad Saturday!



Salad Saturdays: GOAT = Greatest Of All Time

Saturday, July 20th, 2013

If cheeses were contending for the title of “Greatest Of All Time” and Salad Saturday was the judge, then Goat cheese would clearly emerge as the winner! We have seen how versatile and popular this cheese is in our first, second and third Salad Saturdays blog posts!

There are so many different ways to pair goat cheese with salads, nuts, fruits, dressing, and all the fixins’. This Salad Saturday, we are treated to a cheese and salad pairing from food blogger, Katerina. Katerina has a passion for cooking, baking, food photography, entertaining, and all food-related subjects, which you can find on her blog, Diethood.

diethood food blog

 She shares this salad cheese pairing tip with us:

“A generous sprinkle of goat cheese on top of a green salad with spinach, strawberries, and pecans! & a drizzle of homemade poppy seed dressing! OH MY! … ok…Seriously. I need to make this salad, stat.”

Salad recipe


We certainly agree that thinking about a yummy salad is enough to send us to the grocery store! If you’re looking to recreate this salad recipe using homemade poppy seed dressing, Pinch of Yum has a great recipe for Homemade poppy seed dressing.

Homemade poppy seed dressing Pinch of Yum

photo courtesy of pinch of yum


Let us know how your salads turn out! Post photos of your summer salad creations on our Facebook wall and we’ll share them with the rest of our community!

Until next Salad Saturday!


Salad Your Heart Out

Wednesday, July 17th, 2013

Summer’s not over yet and neither is Salad Saturday! We’ve got another salad and cheese recipe for you to check out! This round, food blogger, Stephie Swope treats us to a salad recipe from her food blog: Eat Your Heart Out.

eat your heart out

“Good food brings people together in a way that few other things can. Some of my favorite memories take place around the dining room table; even in the worst of times, it is around the table that my family has found the strength to smile and laugh.”

We agree with that Stephie!

This strawberry and pear salad recipe calls for Feta, but Stephie also suggests goat cheese as another alternative to use since it’s another cheese that pairs well with fruits and balsamic, etc. Stephie likes that goat cheese can add a salty tang to salads without having to add tons of dressing!



Until next Saturday!


Cheese Grating Made Fun!

Wednesday, July 17th, 2013
Why haven’t they thought of this before? Sammy Medina shares with Fastcodesign a flexible cheese grater might soon be coming to market. That is awesome news because grating cheese just got more fun! When a recipe like Smokey Macaroni & Cheese calls for fresh grated cheese, we all know that the annoying part of grating fresh cheese is cleaning the shards out of the grater.  Not so if you use the bendable Flexita Grater!
Flexia Cheese Grater
This flat grater made of thin steel has handles that you can use to grate with one hand. When finished, simply release and let the grater flatten out and the cheese particles drop.Currently, the award winning Flexita is still only a prototype, but with continued buzz around this novel idea, it won’t be long before we’re seeing it on shelves. Do you prefer store bought grated cheese or do you grate your own?
Check out our cheese grating guide for tips and recipes!


Salad Saturdays: Spinach Gets a Makeover

Saturday, July 13th, 2013

This Salad Saturday, we get a new spin on a salad staple, and just in time for tomorrow’s Bastille Day celebrations!

Food blogger Patty Price of Patty’s Food blog shows us how she livens up a healthy Spinach Salad:

My favorite things about my spinach salad are the sweet juicy cherries served along with the crumbled fresh goat cheese and walnuts. The walnut oil in the vinaigrette is also good with the goat cheese and fresh cherries.

This special recipe features a special vinaigrette that includes walnut oil, honey, and lime juice. Taking the time to craft your own dressing can lead to a much better result! You can find her complete recipe for this tasty spinach, cherry, goat cheese & walnut salad on her blog Spinach salad with cherries goat cheese and walnuts Spinach salad with cherries goat cheese and walnuts

Bastille Day Party Ideas

Thursday, July 11th, 2013


Besides Serving up some fine french cheese like Brie, Goat cheese, Camembert, or Roquefort, there are plenty of ways to add French Flair to your party. As long as the cheese is good and plentiful, all else can be arranged!

  • For edible decoration guests will feel guilty for enjoying, may we suggest trying this oh-so-simple Eiffel Tower Cookie Sundae recipe from What’s Cooking?: A Cookbook for Kids (Ratatouille) with an introduction and recipe by famous restauranteur, Thomas Keller. In it, you will find the most ingeniously simple idea of an Eiffel Tower made of wafer cookies! The blog Books Alive shows the final product of this edible iconic symbol of France! The image below is the finished product from the Books Alive blog.
eiffel tower cookie bastille day

Eiffel Tower Cookie Sundae image from Books Alive blog


  • Don’t put away all those 4th of July decorations yet! You can still re-use Red, White and Blue decor from your last fete. Just try to coordinate the blue on the left, white in the middle and red on the right, and steer away from stars and stripes. Alternatively, grab some on sale while they’re still available and just stick with basic solid red, white and blue. Food can also double as decor (as long as they last on the table!) So you can display those blueberries and strawberries next to your Brie for a blue, white and red theme and voila!

Food can double as decor


  • Set the party mood with a Bastille Day playlist! Browse on youtube, Spotify, or Pandora to find a French playlist. Songs with accordions could be a fun way to take you back in time to a bistro far, far away…
Bastille Day Youtube Playlist

A still from the French Accordion playlist on Youtube

Salad Saturday: Cheese Pairing From a Different Perspective

Saturday, July 6th, 2013

Fully recovered from your 4th of July celebrations yet? We bet more than a few of us out there still have plenty of party leftovers – luckily, adding the right cheese can transform tired leftovers into gourmet treats.

For this Salad Saturday, we’re getting our cheese and salad pairing tip from Tamara Eckles, dessert expert and food blogger at Jem of the South who shares a love for cheese!

“Being a southern girl, I love a fresh tomato salad, fresh basil, and goat cheese. Season with salt and fresh pepper. Toss in olive oil and vinegar.”

We agree with Tamara that this is a great go-to recipe! Classic and easy to prepare but also beautiful to serve!

Here’s a recipe on our site for Stuffed Tomatoes Provencal

Stuffed Tomatoes Provencal

Stuffed Tomatoes Provencal


Tamara can be found on Twitter and also check out her dessert blog Jem of the South for some yummy dessert recipes like this one for Sweet Surprise Banana Cake with cream cheese that looks so delicious!

Sweet Surprise Banana Cake

Sweet Surprise Banana Cake

Can Dishes Change your Dining Experience?

Wednesday, July 3rd, 2013

In her fascinating article on NPR, Maria Godoy discusses how we can change the perception of food tastes by changing plates and cutlery.

There have been studies that show:

– People perceive food as more enjoyable when eaten off heavier plates and heavier cutlery
– Round plate emphasizes sweetness while angular plates tend to bring out bitterness
– People tend to eat less when their dishes are in sharp color-contrast to their food
– Cheeses are rated as saltier when eaten off a knife compared to a toothpick, spoon or fork

Elizabeth Willing/Courtesy Flavour

It’s interesting to relate these findings to the dining experience. When you imagine ordering a dark chocolate dessert, does the server bring it on a square plate in your mind’s eye?

One practical takeaway from this article is that one might eat less when their dishes are in color contrast to the food. Perhaps this tidbit of info could be added to a dieting strategy to cover all your bases. It does beg the question, how many different sets plates would one have to collect?

The most burning question of all would be how to get your guests to start eating cheese from a knife? Do Skewers count? Here’s a recipe for Vegetable Skewers with Saint Albray.

Check out the full NPR article here: