A Tribute To My Girl

This evening my amazing daughter walked up the stairs and greeted me with “Hello, my daaarrrling.”  You could almost see the cigarette holder and the slinky, silvery, long dress as she said it.  It was vintage 1940’s starlet material-straight out of Rita Hayworth’s playbook.  Not bad for a five-year-old! 

I am the very lucky Mom to Julia, who we adopted from China when she was 10 months old.  She is an extraordinary girl; and, I marvel every day that somehow the stars and fate aligned to make her ours.  And, to top it off, she is a foodie and always has been.

My daughter loves blue cheese-the stinkier the better.  She loves avocado, spicy food, swordfish with blood orange salsa, guacamole, chili, grapefruit with no sugar.  In short, she is “game on” when it comes to food.   On our way home from adopting her in China, we had a layover in Hong Kong.   We checked into our hotel and realized we were completely spent from a very emotional and long trip.  Dining out with friends was not to be; we ordered room service and tucked in for the night.  I ordered a salad and Stilton Blue Cheese Soup- sounds heavy but was actually very light and heavenly- a chicken broth infused with Stilton cheese flavor.  The food had no sooner arrived, when Julia crawled up to me and opened her mouth for a taste.  Damned if she did not eat the whole bowl!  Thank God I ordered the salad.  Anyway, that’s my girl- the intrepid eater. 

One of Julia’s favorite dishes is a recipe that we call Goat Cheese Tiddley.  It is served with drinks before dinner- though Julia would be happy to have it at breakfast, lunch and dinner…. I told you, she is her Mama’s girl! 

Goat Cheese Tiddley

11oz of good quality chevre

4 cloves garlic, minced

¼ c. olive oil, plus more for drizzling

1½ c cherry or grape tomatoes, quartered

4 T fresh basil, chopped

Sea salt/pepper

Good crusty bread or crackers

Bring the Chevre to room temperature.  Mix garlic and olive oil into chevre until well blended and smooth.  Spread cheese mixture onto a serving dish so that cheese is about ½” thick all around.  Cover with tomatoes and basil.  Drizzle with olive oil.  Add sea salt and pepper.  Spread on good crusty bread or cracker and enjoy!

NOTE:  The cheese layer gets better after an hour or two.  I recommend making the cheese layer-leaving it out covered with saran or foil for an hour or so and then finishing the dish 15 minutes before your guest arrive.

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