Tag Archives: goat cheese

Happy anniversary Dash and a Pinch! (Part 3 of 3)

When I made that first meal for the blog last summer, I was embarrassed at how ugly everything looked, and how terrible it tasted. What was I doing wrong?

Well, the answer to that my friends, was everything. 

I’ve come a monumental way since that ill-fated, barely edible, I-cant-believe-I’m-posting-this-online post, and I’ve picked up a few tricks along the way.

salad, summer, mixed greens, arugula, spinach, baby, mesculin, spring mix, strawberries, berry, berries, strawberry, goat cheese, chevre, light, lemon, vinaigrette

Mainly, I’ve become a pretty decent photographer/food stylist (I hope!). This mixed green salad with strawberries and goat cheese is basically identical to the one I made one year ago, but with a nicer camera, better lens, no camera flash, better props, better lighting (THIS is the big one here), and a newfound knowledge of photography.

Here’s the original shot:

And now the same salad, but with a year’s worth of experience behind the shot:

salad, summer, mixed greens, arugula, spinach, baby, mesculin, spring mix, strawberries, berry, berries, strawberry, goat cheese, chevre, light, lemon, vinaigrette

Mmm….moody. How about another?

Now you might be asking yourself, ok, I get how the lighting, camera, and props make a big difference, but the salad itself just looks so much nicer! What’s the secret, Sarah?

Brace yourselves, readers, because I am going to offer you a glance into the world of food styling, and peek at the obsessive compulsivity that must accompany it:

This is nuts. Halfway through washing and sorting through the spinach for the prettiest pieces, in 95 degree heat, I asked my mother if I had lost my mind. She said yes. I accepted this fact and continued to build a beautiful salad.

For the curious, here’s the book I’ve been using as a basic guide to getting my food to look nicer: Food Styling for Photographers.

So that’s it, I guess. I could lie and tell you I made a delicious vinaigrette to go with this salad, but I used up my last lemons making the citrus salsa verde for the salmon.

salad, summer, mixed greens, arugula, spinach, baby, mesculin, spring mix, strawberries, berry, berries, strawberry, goat cheese, chevre, light, lemon, vinaigrette

All in all, I’m pretty excited about where I’ve come in the past year, and looking forward to where the next one will take me. And I’m still waiting for the fame and fortune that I just know is right around the corner.

Original salad


Filed under Appetizer

Flatbread pizza with arugula, goat cheese, roasted red peppers, zucchini, mushrooms, and truffle oil

flatbread, MiKros, beer bar, flatbread pizza, flat bread, dough, goat cheese, parmesan, zucchini, squash, red pepper, roasted red pepper, mushrooms, portobello, truffle oil, Wegmans, recipe, weekend, date night, date, evening, sexy

This pizza was an experiment in recreating a dish I had from Mikro Beer Bar in Hamden, CT. I got it when I was staying with my sister’s family a few weeks back, and I could not stop obsessing about it!

The best thing about this pizza is the truffle oil.




Truffle oil.

I’ve been meaning to buy this expensive oil for months now, but finally I had enough incentive to do it. Never before have I experienced something as potent and magical as this, where just the smallest drops can transform your dish into something rich and sophisticated.

I’m torn between wanting to preserve what I have left in the bottle, and wanting to drizzle it on EVERYTHING. I’m starting to see why truffles are so expensive, and why people pay exorbitant amounts for the tiniest taste of one. And I’m bummed that I have such rich tastes on such a poor budget. But I can’t get enough of this stuff!

Hey, I’m sure the federal government won’t notice if I skip paying off my college loans for a month or two, right? Continue reading


Filed under Entrée

Pasta with goat cheese sauce, chicken, asparagus, and mushrooms

shallots, goat cheese, pasta, goat cheese sauce, alfredo, lactose intolerant, mushrooms, easy, asparagus, chicken, pasta dish, weeknight, 20 minutes, twenty minutes, sautee, garlic

You might notice a goat cheese trend on my blog, and there’s a perfectly reasonable explanation for this phenomenon: I freaking love goat cheese.

But the main reason is because my boyfriend is lactose intolerant, and as he loves to cook with me, we have been trying out some low-lactose dishes. Luckily, there are some amazing recipes with goat cheese out there, like this delicious pasta medley that incorporates the goat cheese into a tangy, alfredo-like sauce.

Disclaimer: the photography might not be quite up to par for this post, as I was cooking at Kevin’s apartment and he has little to no counter space to set up lights.  Continue reading

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Filed under Entrée

Toasted baguettes with goat cheese, basil, and shallots


goat cheese, shallots, basil, fresh herbs, fresh, minced, chopped, baguettes, toasts, toasted, baguette, french bread, sliced bread, baked, crispy, cheese, herbs, fresh herbs

You know how oftentimes at a party, the first appetizer to disappear is the simplest one? People will always love complicated dips, and food wrapped in other foods of course, but sometimes they just want something safe and delicious. Well, these toasted baguettes are easy to make and as non-threatening as you can get with an appetizer, and each bite packs a big punch of fresh flavor.

I don’t need to write paragraphs about how delicious these are, because I’m pretty sure that by reading “toasted baguettes with goat cheese, basil, and shallots,” you acquired a general idea of what they taste like. So lets skip right to the chase! Continue reading


Filed under Appetizer

Bacon-wrapped chicken breasts stuffed with goat cheese and spinach

stuffed chicken, goat cheese, spinach, bacon, bacon-wrapped chicken, bacon wrapped chicken, juicy chicken, easy chicken recipe, easy recipes, dinner recipe, chicken dinner, chicken breast, butterflied chicken, sausage

Some of my favorite cooking is when I get home from work, look in the fridge, and say, “what can I make with this?” It’s a fun form of problem solving for me. Sometimes I look up recipes, but more often than not I just make something up, hoping I create something new and exciting.

On one particular night my sister called as I was pulling out the possible ingredients, and she asked me what I was making. I said I didn’t know yet, so she asked what I had. I told her:

  • chicken breasts
  • goat cheese
  • spicy sausage
  • broccoli
  • mushrooms
  • bacon

I had been planning on chopping it all up and maybe sauteing everything, perhaps tossing it with pasta? But Leah saved the day once again and told me:

“Here’s what you do. You butterfly the chicken breasts. Cook the sausage and break it up, then mix it with the goat cheese. Stuff the chicken with the goat cheese mixture, and wrap it in bacon.”

She blew my mind, and dinner that night was so incredible I decided I needed to make it again and document it for the blog. This time I stuffed it with a goat cheese/spinach mixture, but feel free to throw in whatever you want! I’m thinking next time I’ll add fresh basil, maybe some garlic or mushrooms? Continue reading


Filed under Entrée

Mixed greens salad with goat cheese and strawberries

I originally had this salad at The Inn at Weathersfield in Vermont, when I went to my Grandfather’s wedding party. It was made with fewer strawberries, and a delicious lemon vinaigrette I haven’t been able to reproduce yet.

What you need:

  • Mixed greens (I buy the Wegmans bags of lettuce unless I go to the farmer’s market)
  • Strawberries
  • Goat cheese
  • A light vinaigrette dressing (lemon works if you want a more tart salad, but I’ve been using a sweeter raspberry)

Toss the lettuce and strawberries in a bowl with the dressing, add some chunks of goat cheese. It’s fairly strong, so a little bit goes a long way. Unless you’re like me and you love the stuff, in which case add a lot!


Filed under Appetizer