Wednesday, February 06, 2013

Valentine Date: Chocolate + Cheese Pairing

Wednesday, February 06, 2013
Most of us are aware that Valentine's Day is coming up, whether we celebrate it or not. For us, it's an excuse to try a new restaurant in the area. On Valentine's Day two years ago we discovered a delicious beer, last year we discovered a delicious pizza, and this year we're hoping to try out a new restaurant that boasts southern + public house fare. I've been stalking their ever changing menu and I am hoping to indulge in some Chesapeake oysters, roasted bone marrow, and house red wine. 
We also celebrated a little early with a small event at our local Whole Foods. Outside on a cool + breezy night on their covered patio they set up a cheese and chocolate pairing class. We love stopping by the cheese section at Whole Foods, tasting new ones to take home, and we especially love the Taza Mexican stone ground chocolates they've been displaying in the specialty department. 
They created 12 rich + savory pairings for attendees, ranging from soft + tangy goat cheese with vanilla flavored chocolate to rich + creamy French cheese with coffee flavored chocolate. My favorite pairing was the parmesan cheese with orange flavored chocolate. I typically don't like orange and chocolate together, but put it with the floral and citrusy parmesan cheese, it was phenomenal! 

My new favorite cheese by itself was one called "Greek Kiss," in which it was soft goat cheese wrapped in a brined grape leaf, described as "sour, tangy, + tart." It was one that we had to go inside to the cheese department and bring home with us. 
The presentation was so pretty of this cheese, and it was definitely a pleasure to snack on. Goat cheeses are my favorite because of their unique tang, and I think the briny-ness of the marinated grape leaf added even more likable characteristics to it! 

Feeling culinary inspiration, we decided to make hummus + pita chips at home that evening. We grabbed our bowls full of pita + hummus and plopped down on the couch for a movie. 
The pita chips were simple and easy to make. I chopped the pita bread into triangles for easy scooping, then I spread them out on a cookie sheet, drizzled them with olive oil, salt, pepper, and garlic powder and popped them in the oven until golden brown + crunchy. 
We used this recipe and our new, big, and beautiful food processor to make a big batch of hummus. We added extra garlic to the recipe, and topped the hummus with toasted pine nuts + a sprinkle of parsley.

Classes seem to be flying by; I've already completed one of our semester projects and started on a few of the others. As usual, the semester is moving fast, but I hope it goes slow enough for me to get good grades. I almost feel as if this last semester worth of grades don't really matter, but I definitely want to be able to say that I finalized wedding plans while still making Dean's List. This week we finished our invitations! They were designed by one friend and letterpress printed by another. I'll be sure to give you guys a sneak peek once they're in the mail. One more thing crossed off our list of to-do's! 
Adieu, Yelle

19 comments :

  1. These kinds of meals are my favorite. Tiny snacks in copious quantities. And you can never go wrong with cheese of any kind, but goat in particular is something I could eat for every meal until the end of time. Next time you make hummus, try throwing a couple chopped kalamata olives in the processor with the chickpeas. It gives it a really nice tang! xo

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  2. The last two evenings I've been showing down on chipotle hummus, pita chips and a big bowl of veggies, yuuummm!!
    That cheese and chocolate pairing sounds divine. I wish I could enjoy something like that with my boyfriend, but he abhors cheese! So Sad. I think he must be crazy. As of yet, I have no valentines plans. It's tough to work that out when you live 2 hours apart. Guess I should get my thinking cap on...
    --Erin

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  3. I always love seeing your food pictures. Even though I wouldn't eat any of the food in the pictures above, you still can make them look really yummy! :)

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  4. I would have never thought of pairing chocolate and cheese, but I would certainly give it a try! and I really want to make my own hummus :)

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  5. These all sound so delicious! Beautiful photography too :)

    xo
    summer

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  6. Wow, this sounds really interesting. I've never tried a cheese and chocolate pairing before. I'd try it.

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  7. That looks amazing. You're a great photographer. Thanks for stopping by my blog.

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  8. that goat cheese, yum! i agree i love goat cheese - for one you can put it on almost anything, anything at all. your hummus looks fabulous (and i am a pretty picky hummus person having grown up with an extended middle eastern family) you do it up right : ) can't wait for the sneak peek on the invitations! xoxo

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  9. So many exciting things happening! :) I think Valentine´s day is the perfect excuse to try new thing, especially food! Have a great day and thank you for stopping by on my blog. I´m kinda new to this world and you make me feel at home! Thank you! :)

    Have a great day!

    Mari
    http://marilovescupcakes.blogspot.com.ar

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  10. phoar - this looks yum - in a very unique and unusual way...!

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  11. My friends and I do the same tradition every Valentines. We celebrate it together in a restaurant that is new to us. So I can totally relate in this post. ;)

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  12. Oh wow! All this looks so so good. Drooling here! And chocolate and cheese are two of my favorite things in this world.

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  13. I usually don't like orange chocolate either (even if it's dark chocolate), but perhaps the parmesan enhanced the taste and really made it fantastic! Must try someday...

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  14. mmm some of my favorite things..

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  15. What great little snacks! Getting so hungry!
    xo TJ

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  16. This looks so delicious! Dolmas are so gooooood and im sure that goat cheese was even better with those grape leaves. yum!

    Melissa
    http://shakeshakee.blogspot.com

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  17. Wooooaahhhhh. This is interesting in the coolest way possible.

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  18. Okay, I'm super hungry. What an awesome post. I love cheese and chocolate and hummus. Yum!!

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