Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Brie and Blue Savory No Bake Cheesecake with Toasted Walnuts and Honey


It is well into July and I feel like I deserted my poor, dear blog. Unintended but totally necessary, as you see my friends, I was welcoming the queen with very short notice. Yes, my mother came to visit. You know the one that just turned 80, but doesn't look it. She hasn't visited me without her male escort (my father),  since Alex and Zoe were 5 years old. And to what did I owe this visit? It was a dear, sweet puppy that enticed her.



We had a great time with queenly massages and perfect pedicures and a required stop at our favorite Vietnamese restaurant. We even made a stop at the Savory Spice shop where the Queen bought truffle salt, za'atar and other queenly spices.  Denver's weather was totally uncooperative but the coolness felt good to the queen, who hails from very hot Phoenix weather.  I even celebrated her short, but sweet arrival with a girl's happy hour where we ate this royal cheese appetizer that was quite fitting for a queen during tea time. So fitting, we skipped the tea and drank champagne sangria. No. I don't have photos of that.


In the meantime I've been exorcising my yard of weeds and watching Manservant pull down the kid's old tree house and turn it into a folly. My folly, and I can't wait to entertain my royal friends in it. He assures me that it will be finished in a few weeks which is a good thing because I have high hopes of using it this summer. Folly, in this sense was a new definition for me and this is how it's described:
"Folly": a costly ornamental building with no practical purpose, especially a tower or mock-Gothic ruin built in a large garden or park. I just hope this doesn't turn into a folly! My job is to find old windows to put in. The Manservant is even putting in a sliding barn door so I can open one entire side to the outside! I did save a few boards of graffiti that my darling kids left behind. This is one that is not X-rated.



My mind is in a bit of disarray and I best not try to remember all that has happened since the beginning of July. It is always amazing to me how long it takes to get back into the habit of blog writing. Only 12 days and I feel so behind and guilty!


So let's just cut some corners and get to this cheese! What a fun appetizer. It is rich and savory and totally decadent. It is also addicting. I loved serving slices of it to my friends on little individual plates and gave each person their own knife for spreading purposes. I put out some dried fruit and crackers and everyone chose their favorites. There are a myriad of ways that one could jazz this up, but this was simplicity at its best. I tore this out of a Martha Stewart magazine but I can't tell you when. It has been sitting in THAT drawer for a long while.

Now is the time to make this. It is perfect while summer sipping. It is perfect and easy and pretty. And we all know how good pretty tastes, don't we?


Brie and Blue Savory Cheesecake with Toasted Walnuts and Honey
From: Martha Stewart
Serves: 9-12
Time to Make: About 15-20 minutes

Ingredients:
15 oz fresh goat cheese
4 oz mild blue cheese, such as gorgonzola dolce
1 9" wheel of Brie, chilled
1 c toasted walnut halves (I put mine in a pie pan and toast them at 350 until I smell them. I'm guessing about 10 minutes. Cool, before using.)
1/2 c ruby port
2 T honey
Fresh thyme
2 c red seedless grapes sliced in half

Directions:
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat goat and blue cheese until light and fluffy. This may take a few minutes.

Using a sharp, serrated knife slice Brie in half horizontally, gently easing the two halves apart. Spread 3/4 c goat cheese mixture on bottom half of Brie. Sprinkle with toasted walnuts. Top with other half of Brie, cut side down, on top of walnuts.

Using a spatula, spread remaining goat cheese mixture over Brie. Chill 2 hours or even overnight.

Up to 1 hour before serving, combine port, honey and 2 sprigs of thyme in a small pot. Bring to a boil over medium high heat and cook until reduced by half- about 6 minutes. Add sliced grapes and cook 30 seconds more. Using a slotted spoon, transfer grapes to a small bowl to cool. Reduce remaining liquid until thickened, about 6 minutes more. This will become very syrupy. Remove from heat. If left to sit for too long this will become hard and difficult to drip over cheese as it will be like sticky candy.

Just before serving, arrange cake on a platter and arrange reserved grapes over top. Drizzle with port mixture. Top with thyme sprigs to achieve the pretty effect! Serve with dried fruits and an assortment of crackers.



The winner for May's Whole Foods giveaway is: LeaAnn of Cookin' on the Ranch!
Don't forget to enter the June giveaway.

Other great appetizers:
5 Great Appetizers
Middle Eastern Appetizers
Mexican Shrimp Cocktail
Smoked Trout Pate
Lemon Thyme Biscotti Crackers





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28 comments:

  1. Abbe, you serious that your mom is 80, not 60? Cool that she had a great time with your dog.
    That's a dream cheesecake and I totally love that port grape topping.

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  2. Oh, Angie. I think she will print this comment and hang it on a wall! It was a great visit and a great cheesecake!

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  3. Champagne sangria sounds like a wonderful idea! I haven't seen the word "folly" used in that sense in ages. Thanks for reminding me of it! Glad you've been having a swell time, but we've missed you!

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    1. It is so nice to be missed in this big, crazy blogosphere. Thank you! The sangria was great. I guess I must recreate but drinks are your job!

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  4. Hi Abbe, your mom looks like she has a lot of energy and is a lot of fun. So nice you got to spend time together, and the cheesecake looks like heaven on a plate, what a fabulous combination. Also I just know your extra room will be very special. Take care!

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    1. Can't wait to decorate it Cheri, but that's kind of like putting the cart before the horse. The good news is that he can't stand looking at unfinished projects, so I hope it will be finished soon! My mom is fun. MOST of the time!

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  5. Uh, o. I didn't know I was crowned. Thanks, my dear Abbe,for a wonderful few days. And kiss the sweet little boy, Geordie. Cheesecake was divine. Love, love. The Queen

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    1. Your whole life, Mom! Geordie did very well in his first obedience class, by the way!

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  6. Your mom is lovely!!! And who wouldn't want to come hang out with you and Geordie---especially when you're serving dishes like this spectacular cheesecake :)

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    1. That she is Liz. We ate a lot of good food, so it is a good thing she doesn't come very often!

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  7. The cheese looks wonderful and your mom adorable! I understand she needed to come and hug her grand-dog - our fur children are the best! So happy you had a good visit :)

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    1. They are the best, Tricia! Well, at least when the real ones aren't around! Thanks!

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  8. I can't believe how much that puppy has gotten! He is beautiful an so is this cheesecake. Just right up my alley.

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    1. He has grown, Karen. Where has summer gone? We must catch up!

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  9. Wow... this is what a call a happy bite. Great for parties and get-togethers because it's easy and quick to prepare and oh, so pretty.

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    1. It is a happy bite, Denise. And pretty. We must never forget the pretty!

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  10. When I see beautiful recipes like these, I wish that I loved goat cheese! What a beautiful appetizer! What an adorable mother and your puppy has grown!

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    1. OK! Use cream cheese. But my guess is that mixed with the blue, you would never know the difference. I used to not like goat cheese, but I think there are so many varieties now, that they have changed since they were first introduced!

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  11. your mom! how lovely that she got to come and hang out with you. and this cheesecake: i'd eat this all day long.

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    1. It is easy to munch on all day long. It was fun hanging out! Short and sweet is good!

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  12. Your Mom is like my Mom - she's turning 75 and I have to book stuff weeks in advance because she's so busy!

    OMG. . .almost an all CHEESE appetizer! I may have peed my pants a bit when I saw it - so good!

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    1. Too funny, Biz! This is a good one! Even to serve to a Queen!

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  13. You are such a lucky girl!
    A mom!
    A smiling happy mom:)

    And what a beautiful cake..
    I can't even tell you how much it bugs me..yes bugs me ..that I do not get your blog posts:(

    Hope to make this Abbe!

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    1. Let me try unsubscribing you and then try again. Maybe it will work that way! I'll email you! I am a lucky girl, Monique and my kids still have both sets of grandparents. How lucky is that at 25? Thanks!

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  14. I love love the pics of your Mom and the dog. Sooo precious. You are so lucky to still have your parents.
    I am a HUGE cheesecake fan. Brie is my favorite cheese too. Perfect Recipe!

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    1. Well, this isn't that kind of cheesecake but it is very good! You will love this! My doggie is precious!

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  15. OMG I just cannot handle the pornography on this screen! It's too much...AWESOME! ha ha!

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