With the holidays coming up, it’s time for food and family. Growing up, whenever our family got together, there was always great food! At that time, my grandma lived a two day drive away, so we didn’t get to see her very often. So, when we visited, she really went out of her way to make amazing meals for us. My mom would tell her not to go to any trouble, but she would make us these incredible dinners every night of our visit. I didn’t understand it at the time, but food is one of the ways that our family shows that we care for each other, and I think a lot of the reason that I love to be in the kitchen is because of my grandma.
My grandma is one of those people who can take a little of this and a little of that and make make something amazing out of it. She doesn’t really use recipes when she cooks, and on the rare occasion when she does, she changes it into something completely new. She really has a gift for pairing food, and she’s taught me a lot about different foods that work well together.
Even though she doesn’t really use recipes, there are certain foods and dishes that I always associate with her and with going to her house. She’s always been about healthy eating, and I can still almost taste her amazing herb-roasted chicken and her no-cream creamed corn.
Now when it was time for snacks, there were always plenty of healthy options like veggies and golden raisins. My grandma always has a box of Sun-Maid golden raisins in her pantry, and they were my favorite. I was fascinated by the fact that they were yellow, and I always thought of them as the fancy raisin!
We also regularly had goat cheese with our snacks of fruit and crackers. My grandma loves the way the tang of the goat cheese pairs with the sweetness of fruit, and that was the inspiration for this Honey Thyme + Golden Raisin Goat Cheese Spread recipe. This spread is incredibly easy to make, which makes it perfect for snacking on at holiday gatherings. The goat cheese base could also be made ahead and chilled until you were ready to top and serve it. The fresh thyme brightens up the spread, and the golden raisins add a nice touch of sweetness. The spread is topped with some chopped pistachios for a little crunch. So, this spread is creamy and crunchy and tangy and sweet – perfect for serving alongside crackers or apple slices.
Honey Thyme & Golden Raisin Goat Cheese Spread
- 6 ounces goat cheese
- 1 oz. reduced-fat cream cheese
- 1 T. fresh thyme, divided
- 1/4 c. Sun-Maid Golden Raisins
- 2 T. chopped pistachios
- 1 tsp. honey
- In a small bowl, stir together goat cheese and cream cheese until combined.
- Stir in 1/2 tablespoon thyme
- Place goat cheese mixture on a piece of plastic wrap.
- Wrap plastic wrap around goat cheese mixture and press into a ball.
- Flatten goat cheese into an oval, and make an indentation in the middle.
- Unwrap, and place on serving plate.
- Top with Sun-Maid Golden Raisins, pistachios, and remaining fresh thyme.
- Drizzle with honey, and serve with crackers and/or apple slices.
Kate Dean blogs at i heart eating, where she strives to make accessible, family-friendly recipes that are sure to please.