Ever since I spotted this bold graphic placemat, I could not stop thinking about it. I'm a sucker for patterns, and this one is dynamic and unique. As my source of inspiration, I conceptualized a table setting of neutral-toned items to balance the bright colors of the placemat. It's a simple tablescape that I would love to enjoy during a casual dinner with friends.
I am captivated by the beauty of Julie's Kitchen food collages. Her compositions are vibrant, artfully arranged and just gorgeous. The fruits and vegetables she uses are never from a grocery store, but the Santa Monica Farmers' Market, from a neighborhood forage and her urban garden. For more collages and to learn more about Julie, take a look at her website.
Gorgonzola Dolce is a delicious young blue cow's milk cheese from Italy. Unlike other blues, it's aged for two months and has a delicate, buttery paste that is mild and slightly sweet in flavor. It has a subtle peppery bite and is a lot less pungent than Gorgonzola Piccante and Roquefort. Gorgonzola Dolce is one of those cheeses that you might fall in love with after one bite. I like to serve it as an after dinner cheese with a dessert wine like Moscato. The wine brings out the natural sweetness of the cheese and is a delightful contrast to the light piquancy of Gorgonzola Dolce. Have an awesome weekend!
My favorite nibbling cheeses are the ones that have a spicy kick. I find the addicting peppery flavor and pleasurable heat oh-so satisfying. I love anything containing pepper, even if it makes my nose run and eyes water. There are a lot of pepper-flecked, spice-laced cheeses out there, but these stand out above the rest. And don't worry, you won't be running for the milk!
Marco Polo The base of Beecher's Marco Polo is one of my favorite cheeses of all time, Flagship. Flagship has the nutty flavor of Gruyère and the sharpness of a nice aged cheddar. And when you add green and black peppercorns in the mix, you have a cheese that's bursting with flavor. The heat level is mild and the peppercorns tastes so fresh, almost as if they have just been milled. For more information about Beecher's Flagship, see my "Must-Try Cheese" post.
Sonoma Hot Pepper Jack This cheese is delightfully creamy. It's smooth and almost melts in your mouth. The heat is less pronounced when eaten with other foods. But, if eaten by itself, you will notice the heat. It's like a tickle- a good tickle, that leaves you wanting more. Image via Boudin Bakery My "Cheese Spotlight" post provides additional information about Sonoma Jack cheeses.
Mike's Firehouse Jack Mike's Firehouse Jack from Petaluma is truly a unique cheese. You can actually taste the individual red and jalapeño peppers. And the hints of cilantro, parsley and spices make it that much more flavorful. I can gobble this up!
****If you're looking for something fiery, definitely check out Cabot's Hot Habanero Cheddar. I'm warning you, it's HOTTTTT.
I'm a hungry gal from California who can't get enough of the delectably rich cheeses this planet has to offer. Join me--a former cheese specialist, a foodie at heart, and a designer by trade--on this journey in uncovering cheese, food, and design. And I'd like to add, all in the name of decadence.