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Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Panko Crusted Goat Cheese Salad

What a fun weekend! It has been a blast looking through Halloween party pictures and getting great ideas for next year’s costume. I say “next year” because Ryan and I skipped out on Halloween this year. We just felt like ignoring it. Sure, we could have busted out the Mario and Luigi costumes again or the mad scientists, but instead, we did our own thing.

(Mario & Luigi Flashback)

We had an awesome time running errands together, sitting at Muddsuckers for a couple hours reading books (or distractedly reading while bopping to Vampire Weekend), and enjoying a long and casual dinner at Birchwood Café (2 pizzas + 1 bottle of wine = $30 Saturday Special). By the time we made it home, all the trick-or-treaters had retreated to bed while we lazily watched True Blood on DVD.

I’m amazed that we avoided all Halloween candy too. We did not buy any nor did we receive any. Don’t get me wrong, I love candy (especially anything gummi or sour), but I’d rather consume the calories in the form of cheese, specifically goat cheese.

During a recent trip to Des Moines, we ventured outside of my beloved downtown to the East Village to grab food and cocktails at The Continental (my new favorite DSM restaurant). We shared an appetizer of panko crusted goat cheese and fell in love with the crunchy yet smooth texture and decided to replicate it at home. Using this post as a guide, we went about roasting buttercup squash, mixing up a fig balsamic vinaigrette, and breading and baking our goat cheese. (Note: Use unflavored dental floss to slice the cheese!) We also threw in a few cranberries and roasted squash seeds to complete the meal.

It was a perfectly light dinner, but totally satisfying thanks to the goat cheese. It brought us right back to our barstools in Des Moines enjoying Pisco Sours and people watching.


  1. I love Vampire Weekend!

    That's a great tip about the floss. Slicing goat cheese is a tricky business indeed.

  2. Yum! I made a similar salad and I agree, the goat cheese makes it so satisfying! I didn't have squash in mine though, what a wonderful addition!

  3. You had me at True Blood. If you're going to watch them on DVD, that is fine...if you're willing to wait for each one to come by Netflix or visit the movie store.

    However, and I'll let you in on a little secret of ours, go to, and you'll be able to watch without the wait. All True Blood, all the time.

    Laura and I are going to catch up on the last two weeks of Mad Men right now. Last thing...goat cheese ROCKS!

  4. Thanks for the link - glad you liked the salad! I have been enjoying your blog for awhile - your photos are great!

    Also, the Birchwood Cafe rules.
    Ali (Green and Lean)

  5. Sounds like the perfect sort of weekend to me. We also "skipped out" on Halloween this year. Made sweet potato gnocchi and rum cider punch with a friend of ours... and raked leaves. Simple. And good. Just like a nice $30 special at a great local restaurant :)

  6. Great pics. Had a wonderful time at lunch today! And I'm with you on goat cheese -- so creamy, way better than any Halloween candy (not that I have the self control to stop eating it ;)


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