Cheese Week! Chevre, take me away…

Sometimes, you have a day. It’s not that the day was bad, but you wouldn’t call it good either. It was just a day. And you need a little break, the chance to hit the reset button to make it through to the end of it.

Maybe a little snack? Something to amuse the bouche? We’ve been cooking a lot this week, so how about a little no-bake cheese break before dinner:

Goat cheeses are growing more popular, in part because goat’s milk can create a cheese that’s friendlier to the lactose-intolerant than most cow’s cheeses are. Goat milk is also lower in fat and cholesterol and higher in calcium and Vitamins A & D, compared to its bovine cousin.

For this pre-dinner treat, though, I had a sweet tooth. The Celebrity brand from Mariposa, a dairy based in Canada, was too powerful to resist…it has a touch of honey that settles in with the tang of the goat cheese without overpowering it. But that doesn’t mean you can’t find both goat cheese and honey at the Minnesota Cheese Festival next month! Ames Farm, a local honey producer, will be sharing their wares, as will Singing Hills Goat Dairy. Look them up – you won’t regret it.

Now, on to our snack. With cheese in hand, I grabbed some other goodies to assemble the somethin’-somethin’ I thought would help smooth out my day a bit.

IMG_3689A little chutney, some lingonberry jam, fresh berries, and a bit of honey left over from an apiculture course my husband took back in the winter. With mini toasts set out on my Brooklyn Slate Company board, (oh, you can browse their products at the Minnesota Cheese Festival too), I added a healthy schmeer of the goat cheese. And started topping things off.

IMG_3690

And there we had it: the perfect excuse to stop, sit down, and dwell for a moment on that tiny toast topped with tastebud teasers.

IMG_3691There’s no reason to say this must be a sweet treat. You could try any soft goat cheese, with herbs, or just plain, and top with a few flakes of smoked salmon and a sprig of dill. Or half a cherry tomato, or some chopped pepper. Whoosh up a little minced garlic with some olive oil, layer a shaving of cold lamb and drizzle the garlicky-olive oil mixture over that. Or, what about an olive tapenade?

I think you get the idea. Pair it with a glass of your favorite wine. You’ve got five minutes. Heck, you could stretch it to 10 if you don’t chug your drink.

Either way, take a moment to ask yourself: have you entered yet to win a pair of tickets to the Minnesota Cheese Festival? The clock is ticking, so head over to this post, leave a comment, and consider your hat thrown into a delightfully cheesy ring.

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