Daily Archives: 14 December 2010

Teacups for the Holidays

Last week I was invited to an event on Affordable Entertaining at the Whole Foods on River Street in Cambridge. There were demos by the cheese guy, tastings with the wine guy, and samples of prepared hot hors d’oeuvres and desserts.

The best part was the cheese table. Most of the display featured goat cheese, one of my favorites.

There were several goat cheese spreads, each prepared by combining a log of goat cheese with a different ingredient. One was mixed with finely chopped peppadews, another with finely chopped mixed olives, and the last with roasted tomatoes. The tomato spread was the most delicious (they were all delicious).

There were also a couple of goat cheese logs that had been rolled in chopped nuts. One was rolled in Marcona almonds; the other was coated in glazed nuts. The cheese guy said he coats the cheese with honey or maple syrup first to help the nuts stick. I’m definitely going to try this out.

The following night I was attending my first holiday party of the season. Each December, my garden club has a potluck dinner followed by a Yankee swap. If you’re not familiar with a Yankee swap, the way it works is that everyone draws a number. In order, each person opens a gift and then decides whether to keep it or to trade it for an already opened gift. At the end, the person with #1 gets to make a final selection. It’s usually hilarious.

This year, everyone brought a teacup (with saucer) to swap. Some time in the spring, we will each make tiny arrangements in our tea cups and have a mini-flower show. There was the usual stealing as we each took our turn. I was happy with the cup I ended up with. It had a sort of Art Deco design.

For dinner, everyone brings a different finger food, savory or sweet, and we graze. I decided the tomato-goat cheese spread I tried would be the perfect thing to bring. Before I left Whole Foods, I purchased some of the roasted tomatoes that are part of the array of offerings on the antipasto bar. The goat cheese I always have on hand. I was too lazy to hand chop the tomatoes, but it came together quickly in the food processor.

Tomato Goat Cheese Spread

4 oz roasted tomatoes from Whole Foods antipasto bar
8 oz goat cheese

Place the roasted tomatoes in the food processor and process until somewhere between finely chopped and pureed. Add the goat cheese and process until well combined. Transfer to a pretty bowl and serve with crackers.