Thursday, May 24, 2012

Lyonnaise Garlic & Herb Cheese

Another wonderful "non-recipe" dish to be added to the entertaining arsenal.........

Per Nana ~

 In 1996, we were celebrating our 42nd wedding anniversary, so hubby 
and I  decided to rent an apartment in Paris.  We found a place in the 
Montmartre section,  a 4th floor (walk-up) and we were in seventh heaven.
 Surprisingly, the Montmartre is more than just a tourist section of Paris. 
 It is a neighborhood of lovely food markets, restaurants and every day living.

Each morning we went to the boulangerie for our fresh baguette
 or croissant, had our cafe au laite, and planned our day.  Life was good.
We toured Paris in our rental car, and visited the food markets in the area. 
 One day I just had to have fresh flowers for the apartment and since there
 was  a florist at the corner, we bought a lovely mixed bouquet of autumn 
colors.  When  we arrived home,  we realized we did not have a vase ,
 so we improvised with a wine bottle.  As I said, life was good.

We learned how to pay a parking violation, and how to beat the parking 
meters before they expired.  (Obviously a car is not necessary in Paris)
Found the local church, St. Jean de Montmartre, and the local
 liquor store, Nicholas, and lived the dream.
Each day at "happy hour" we went to the various wine bars. I have written 
of this before but our favorite is Le Rubis, near the rue de Rivoli, for our 
daily " kir royale" or "pastis".  A wonderful way to enjoy our retirement.

FYI, every year in the numbered years (even) the first Saturday in October, 
there  is a wine/champagne tasting going on to celebrate the harvesting of 
the grape.  Montmartre has one of the oldest vineyards in Paris,  Many stands
 were set up on the Place Du Tertre, offering glasses of champagne, etc.  
We were so lucky to have witnessed this event.

Point of interest, if you do not want to ride the funicular down from the 
Basilique Sacré Coeur, there are more than 300 steps to the bottom.   
I know,  I counted them on the way down.
This brings me to this week's recipe.

One night we were out to dinner near the apartment, and after dinner 
we normally finish our wine with a plat du fromage. That night I wanted 
something sweet so I ordered creme caramel,  hubby went for the fromage.
 On the menu was fromage blanc.  (White cheeseright?)  Out came this bowl
 of what looked like sour cream.  Absolutely tasteless.    

I was so happy that for my sweet tooth because I really enjoyed it.  
I do not share well.  Ha! Ha! When I saw this week's recipe I had 
to laughed  thinking of our experience. I decided that Wegman's 
was the best choice to find fromage blanc, but it was not to be,
  so I settled for ricotta cheese and it worked beautifully.

 Dorie suggests that you drain the ricotta, but I don't think this is necessary 
 with the type that is sold today.   I  believe  the draining is for very fresh
 ricotta cheese, the type that is made daily.

This is a really great herb cheese  that can be used with chips or spread on
 a cracker.  I used some with an avocado, and also with tomato.
It is a recipe that will definitely replace my sour cream dips for a while.
Merci,  Dorie.

Let me just add that all of this  month's recipes  were  winners and hubby 
and I enjoyed each and every one of them. Looking forward to June~

Per Tricia~

I am taking a bye this week as my older son graduates from High School 
on Saturday and I am enjoying the festivities and the moment.  Soon enough 
I will have lots of time for "Dorie food", even if I am shy a taste tester :)

Happy French Friday
 and Congrats to everyone celebrating Graduations ~

(PS- this October Nana will celebrate her 58th anniversary !)


  1. Tricia, Congratulations to your oldest son on this memorable occasion. And, yes, you should drop everything and just enjoy the moments. It has gone quickly, hasn't it? And, thank you for telling how many years your Nana has been married. Their 58th anniversary? Wow. Nana, I loved your anecdote about your anniversary trip to Paris. It sounded wonderful and how nice to be able to relate it to us with this recipe. I agree about draining ricotta. I did the entire "drain deal", let it drain overnight in the fridge, and got about 1 TBS of liquid. I was a bit concerned about that so thank you for clearing that up. Nice Post. Enjoy your graduation week-end.

  2. Wonderful post! I really need to plan a trip to Paris! That sounds just delightful!

    John & I met later in life, so we just celebrated our 3rd anniversary. Congratulations on your continued love and happiness. You are so fortunate!

  3. I felt like I was in Paris for a moment as I read your post. Such great memories you have to share. I'm thinking I need to learn to appreciate the more subtle flavors of these kinds of dishes. We have so many distinct and bright, bold flavors with the Mexican influence on our local foods...we crave lots of spice in every dish. Your post helps me put this herbed cheese into a better place in my head...I'll appreciate the more subtle herb flavors next time. And congrats on all that is happening in your lives...big, important stuff! And, your cheese presentation is beautiful.

  4. Oh, what fabulous memories, Nana!!!! So glad this dish brought you back to Paris!

    Trish, congrats to you and your son (my youngest graduated hs last weekend :)).

  5. What lovely memories - I enjoyed living vicariously if just for a minute with you in Paris! Glad you enjoyed and Tricia - enjoy this time - you're right - plenty of time for Dorie food later on!

  6. I would definitely trade your trip to Paris for this cheese... how long were you there for? So romantic. Enjoy the graduation.

  7. Tricia - Congrats to the graduate :-) Enjoy every moment of it. Graduation here isn't until the end of June.
    Lovely job, Nana. I enjoyed the stories about Paris.

  8. Ah, I want to go back to Paris, always. But reading this made me want to go back right now! I didn't do the recipe this week, but will have to be sure to try it this weekend!

  9. Such a beautiful post! So many happy things going on for both of you - glad the dish brought back memories for Nana (and a 58th anniversary!), and congrats to your son, Tricia, as he graduates high school! Happy Memorial Day to you all! :)

  10. Nana - lovely post. I think we all experienced a little bit of Paris vicariously though you today.

  11. Nana …Such a beautiful post! I felt like I was there with you! I think I need to book a European Vacation! How quickly the time goes by…congrats on your 58th anniversary…what a blessing!
    Your cheese spread looks perfect. I really enjoyed this spread too! I did drain mine and got about ½ a cup of liquid.
    Tricia, Congrats on your son’s graduation! Have a wonderful weekend, Ladies!

  12. WOW!! Living in Monmarte was probably great! we really enjoyed that part of Paris when Mei and I were there in Jan! :)

  13. Thank you for sharing your lovely story. I love food memories ;)

  14. spent my honeymoon in Paris - probably why I LOVE anything French:)

    1. Thank you, I, too, love anything about Paris. Hubby and I have been to France
      many times and never tire of it.

  15. What a wonderful story Nana. The five days I've spent in Paris so far are nowhere near enough. I always love your tales of your times in the city. I tried draining the cheese while at work today, and it barely rendered any liquid - now I know I could have skipped that step.

  16. Nana, I enjoyed your memories about your Parisian adventure. It sounds so romantic. And, Tricia, congratulations to your son! Your cheese spread sounds like a perfect appetizer for your weekend festivities.

  17. Nana, I enjoyed reading about your Paris memories so much. I hope some day that my husband and I will be able to visit there and spend some time tasting the food and just drinking in all the sights and sounds. It must have been magical. I'm so glad that this week's recipe brought those memories back to you. Your herbed cheese looks beautiful. I have you have a lovely weekend.
    Tricia - What a happy weekend for your family! Enjoy every minute!

  18. Nana - what a beautifully written post packed full with such wonderful and romantic memories - absulutely fantastic!

    Tricia - congratulations on your son`s graduation from High School. I hope that you will all enjoy a terrific weekend! We wish your son all the best for his future!

  19. What a wonderful time of celebration and memories! I would love to live for a time in Paris (Montemarte is a particularly interesting area), how amazing! I really enjoyed this spread also and will be making it again, especially perfect for hot summer evenings!

    Congrats on graduation also!

    Hope everyone has a wonderful weekend!

  20. Nana, Thanks for sharing your lovely memories, it may be the closest I get to spending time in France any time soon. I saw fromage blanc at Wegmans yesterday.
    Congrats on your 58th wedding anniversary, that is fantastic!

    Tricia, Enjoy your son's graduation. My son graduates from high school, too, in June. Sigh, where does the time go? While we are proud to see Son mature into such a fine young man, we miss the childhood days of his. Like you, I am sure!

  21. Nana, thanks for sharing your wonderful memories! And Tricia, congratulations and enjoy your celebrations this weekend!

  22. Thanks for sharing your memories about Paris. Your cheese looks great!

  23. Nana, what a lovely Paris story - makes me want to be transported there (minus the parking violation!). Your cheese turned out well. Tricia, congratulations to your son on his graduation - hope you have all been having a great time celebrating.

  24. Love the stories! What a wonderful way to celebrate an anniversary. The cheese looks great. I took this week off as well since I am lactose intolerant. I wish I wasn't, though!

  25. Tricia and Nana - it is me again. I've nominated the two of you for a brand new award! Please stop by my blog to "pick it up”. I really enjoy reading your stories!

    1. We are so touched !!! Thank you thank you thank you - a wonderful end to an exciting week around here :) We look forward to posting about the award and your blog next week !

  26. Tricia - Congrats on your son's graduation. How exciting!

    Nana - I loved reading your post. I've been to Paris once, but all of the details you shared really make me want to go back. Great idea to rent an apartment. And funny story about fromage blanc - I have a sweet tooth, too, and never want to share my desserts!