by Danika Reed, Vivant Fine Cheese

Hello Cheese Lovers!

When I sit down to collect my thoughts and begin to prepare for the upcoming Holiday season, I get an overwhelming feeling of comfort, which makes me appreciate the rich life we enjoy because we live on the Central Coast of California.  Many of my friends are sharing their daily feelings of thanks online.  I find it uplifting and inspiring to read the simple everyday things people are thankful for and that I most often take for granted.  As we settle into a season of family and friends, my first thoughts focus on food and of course CHEESE!!  Many of the customers who frequent Vivant Fine Cheese inquire about what the cheese girls’ favorite cheeses are right now. We definitely have our favorites.  They usually change seasonally and sometimes daily.  Our favorites right now mostly revolve around recipe ideas.  We love to share our cheesy recipes with anyone who will listen.  Two that we think are quick, easy and perfect for your Thanksgiving appetizer table are Baked Brie en Croute and Baked Bucheron.  Each of these warm gooey treats are easily increased in size depending on how many guests you are entertaining and will make you the talk of the neighborhood for years to come!

Baked Brie en Croute (serves 4-6)
1 Wheel Brie 500 Gram
1 Box Puff Pastry Dough
¼ Cup Craisins or Raisins
2 Tablespoon Chopped Marcona Almonds (or any nut of your choice)
1 Tablespoon Honey

Lay out the puff pastry dough on a parchment paper lined cookie sheet. Place the brie in the middle of the pastry. Top with fruit, nuts and honey.  Gather pastry dough at the top and tie with cooking string.  Bake according to puff pastry directions or 400 degrees for approximately 10 minutes.  Serve with crostinis or crusty bread.

Baked Bucheron
½ Pound Bucheron (soft ripened goat cheese)
1 Tablespoon Honey
¼ Cup Craisins

Place Bucheron on parchment lined cookie sheet.  Place in oven under broiler until lightly brown and bubbly.  Remove from oven and top with remaining ingredients.  Serve warm with Mini Toasts or sliced toasted baguette.

I hope you get to impress your guests this Holiday season with one of these delicious treats.  I know once you try it you will make it a Holiday tradition for generations to come!
Danika Reed is the Cheese Monger at Vivant Fine Cheese, located in historic downtown Paso Robles. The Central Coast’s premier cheese tasting room features premium, local and imported handcrafted artisan cheeses paired with the finest Central Coast wine and beer.  Danika is our monthly guest blogger for Cheese’n it Up!

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