Happy Hour: Cheese plate and planning

Hello my darlings. I know I have skipped a few happy hour posts lately and to be honest the next few weeks these posts are going to be more about more than just treats for myself and my babydoll. With so many gatherings there are treats to take with me to other places and easy entertaining recipes that don’t take a lot of time or money to put together.

Tonight’s happy hour is more of a planning session for me and my babydoll. Not that we both won’t enjoy putting out feet up and having a little treat. Tonight’s treat is a glass of beer that my babydoll made himself. It is quite delicious and quite frankly I chose this glass because everything feels fancier when sipped from it. Plus, I really like the way this particular beer smells and the shape of the glass seems to sort of capture the scent and funnel it directly to the nose, which I really like.

To go with the beer we are doing a simple cheese with crackers (and a few late season cherries. I was quite surprised the store had them and honestly they aren’t the best but I like a little fruit with my cheese so we are using them up.). I like water crackers as they have less of a competing flavor when paired with the cheese.

The cheese is actually a truffle goat cheese ordered from the igourmet cheese shop. They have a really great selection. I don’t think the truffled goat is still available at the moment although they do have quite the selection if you are looking to build a holiday cheese board. Since we will always use the goat’s cheese we tend to order extra and freeze what we don’t use right away. Because of the texture and moisture content goat’s cheese tends to freeze really well.

While we are having it plain with crackers tonight, I love putting it into my roasted beet salad. I roast and peel the beets and then use a mandolin to slice them super thin. Then I layer beets, crumbles of goats cheese, walnuts and a little bit of fresh sage in a small roasting pan, like you are layering a lasagna actually. Then I put it in the over at 350 degrees for about 15 minutes to get the cheese soft and oozy (it won’t fully melt like other cheeses so just look for warm and soft with all of the beet layers warmed through).

The earthy truffle pairs well with the beets and the tang of the goat cheese and fresh herbs help lift it up a bit. The walnuts are both a bit earthy and they have that slightly bitter element as well as adding crunch. It is a bit messy to eat and the cheese does turn a bit pink, but it is absolutely delicious. You can make it sweeter by using golden beets instead of red ones, but I personally like the dark red beets with this.

If you are looking to do super simple entertaining, you can also get pre made holiday platters from igourmet. They have pre made plates if you don’t want to choose your own elements or a selection of elements if you are looking to create your own. Where I live sometimes the foods I want aren’t easy to come by so ordering from a reputable company like this really helps. They also have various food based subscriptions and gift baskets if you are looking for gifts for food lovers. We have never had any problems with anything we have ordered from the, the quality is great, the variety is good and even with all that is going on the shipping has still been really good.

They are actually on the list of things my babydoll and I need to discuss tonight. While we will be bringing several things to other people’s houses as our contribution to the gathering, we will also be hosting our own gatherings in the near future. My babydoll looks at this as a way to get all the delightful treats that we don’t usually indulge in so we will be looking at not only my recipes but things to order in. No doubt there will be much perusing of both the igourmet website and the Vital Source website. (we tent to order our seafood from them and we are running low on salmon at the moment).

there will of course be some debate as the things my babydoll wants are usually about three times as many as we actually need. Tonight however is just the listing of desires. It can be as long a list as he wants to make it. We’ll save the paring down to a non-Friday night conversation. So tonight I will nibble my cheese coated cracker, sip my beer and watch my babydoll’s eyes twinkle at the delicious list for feasting.

Paired down reality can wait for a few days.

I hope whatever you are doing tonight, you are planning to have a fantastic evening and an excellent weekend.

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