This blog post is very late, but there are two good reasons why: the opera & Dolly.

marinated cheese ready

Jill and I just came home from witnessing a marathon performance of Wagner’s Lohengrin which was, unlike many things my students use the descriptor “epic” for, actually EPIC.  Mysterious heroes, accusations of murder, true love, witchcraft, war, revenge, heartbreak, you name it, it’s in there.

I went to the opera for the first time as a high school senior—why, I actually can’t remember (the two competing stories are: won tickets in a raffle or went to fulfill a performance-viewing requirement for my Humanities class), but seeing La Traviata is something I will never forget.  From that night on, I was hooked.

Opera’s appeal is lost on many.  Especially in a culture that places an inordinate emphasis on art needing to reflect “reality” and blurring the boundaries between those two things, the suspension of disbelief that opera requires can feel like too big of a gap to bridge.

But here’s the thing: it turns out human beings still need a grand gesture every once in a while.  We need to get lost in something, to virtually drown in a darkened theatre, cozied up to by the swell of strings, the shatter of voices, the collective gasp of the audience when we realize that the lovers before us are doomed.  We like being made to feel big, ridiculous emotions even though it’s passé to articulate those things anymore.

cheese marinade

Our most intimate concerns on the grandest of stages.  Performances that transcend what most of our bodies can and can’t do.  Myth over reality.  Sometimes I think we need a dose of that, and I’m very grateful I was able to get it tonight.

And to come home to this:


Say hello to Dolly, our new girl.  She is an old rat terrier whom we adopted via Ratbone Rescues (THE NICEST people) and flew down from Portland just yesterday.  Can I just tell you, this dog was meant to live with us?  I’ve never met a sweetier lap dog who is, at the same time, obsessed with her squeaky toy and impossible to beat in tug-of-war.  Last night she slept under the covers in our bed and cuddled up to me this morning, making it nearly impossible to get up and go to work.  I’m in love.

Needless to say, we’ve been a bit all over the place the last few days, but rest assured I have a wonderful recipe for you today, elegant enough for the opera and also Dolly-friendly (she’s a terrible beggar for cheese).


This appetizer looks much more labor-intensive than it actually is, making it ideal for dinner parties or the holidays.  Of course, you can make as much or as little as you like, so don’t rule it out as an “at home” dish, either.

If you celebrate Christmas, you can make this dish especially festive by adding chopped red pimentos to complement the green onions.

served up marinated cheese
marinade ingredients:

½ cup olive oil
½ cup white wine vinegar*
¼ cup fresh parsley, chopped
¼ cup chopped green onions (scallions)
2 cloves garlic, minced
salt & pepper

optional: 1 tsp. lemon zest


Any mild-flavored cheese will work, but I like the combinations of white & yellow cheddars or yellow cheddar with cream cheese.  If you’re using cream cheese, it becomes much easier to cut if you throw it in the freezer for a few minutes.

Cut the cheeses into slices (taking into account the size of the cracker you’ll be serving it with).  Arrange the cheese in a shallow dish, alternating the colors or arranging them into a design of your choice.

Place all marinade ingredients in a jar, tighten the lid, & shake vigorously.  Pour the marinade over the cheese, cover the dish with plastic wrap & refrigerate for at least an hour, up to 6.  Serve with crackers—we’re really loving this brand right now.

*If you can splurge on a higher-end bottle, do.

eaten cheese



  1. Thank you for opening your home and your hearts to Dolly!! There is nothing so loving as a rescued Rattie!

  2. Recently I have been marinating goat cheese with dried herbs, but I love the idea of using fresh seasonings instead. I can’t wait to try this out.

  3. that girl down south

    I followed your link from foodgawker.Looks yummy.
    I just wanted to let you know that onions are not good for dogs. Please don’t fed that sweet thing the cheese after you marinate it.

  4. That looks delicious. I clicked through from food gawker. I have to make some party grub next week and believe me, marinated cheese is where I’m going. Somehow, I’ll find a way to add bacon. Working on it.

  5. I had those crackers at a friend’s house and have been searching for themEVERYWHERE since. I must have gone up and down the aisles of whole foods five times before giving up. Thank you for posting the link, I just ordered some online. They’re fantastic!

    • Caroline–we are so lucky to have her! I’ve never met a dog with a sweeter nature & already can’t imagine my life without her! Thanks for all that you do.

      Frenchie–I love goat cheese with herbs & olive oil! I often make jars & give them away as gifts. Hope you try and enjoy this similar appetizer.

      that girl–thanks for the reminder, we’re very careful about feeding our dog scraps. you’re absolutely right–onions, chocolate, grapes, all no-nos!

      Chris–I’m wholly in favor of bacon, so when you figure out a way to add it in here, please do let me know!

      Dana–I’m so glad I was able to help you find these great crackers! I love their texture & elegant look.

  6. Anything that combines cheese with scallions has my vote…actually anything with cheese OR scallions. This is definitely going to be added to my Thanksgiving appetizer list to spice up the plain old crackers and cheese my family relies on. Thanks!

  7. Oooh, I’m lovin you ladies. Just whipped this up for a dinner party in T-2 hours. It looks so wonderful!

    P.S Jill, I am so intrigued by your scholarly work, ILL has “The Savage side” en-route. Can’t hardly wait!

  8. Made this for Christmas Eve, and it was divine. Making it again tonight for our Fireworks Extravaganza. Thinking it would be grand in the summer with some vine-fresh tomatoes, too.

    • bluejeangourmet

      Kelly, I’m so glad it turned out well & is making a second appearance! You’re dead right about summer tomatoes… summer tomatoes. We’ll have to give that a whirl in a few months.

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