Janelle Maiocco


Welcome to my blog. I live in the Wallingford neighborhood of Seattle on an Urban Farm (w/ five laying hens and a huge garden). I am a trained chef (w/ a certificate in food preservation), taught at a cooking school & like to share 'kitchen hacks' - culinary tips that save time, money & maximize flavor. If that isn't enough, I also run a food+tech startup called Barn2Door.com - a platform to help everyone easily find & buy food directly from farmers, fishers & ranchers (from CSA's to urban farm eggs to 1/2 a grass-fed cow).

ginger and goats: no prep appetizer

ginger and goats: no prep appetizer


To: all the moms hovering around this dish at the 'sixth grade mom's night' get together.

Really, throwing elbows was unnecessary. You can have it again and again, this isn't your last chance to enjoy this... besides, if you eat it that fast, choking is likely. It is easy to make... I can give you a list of the ingredients, and you can assemble this appetizer anytime, really.

I kid you not, bruises were handed out over this appetizer. I had no idea this appetizer was going to be such a hit (literally). People hovered, elbowed and devoured this appetizer. I know this, because I was among them (but I kept my elbows in).

There is no preparation required to make this appetizer. I know, amazing isn't it?

Upon being invited to this get-together, I was asked to bring an appetizer. Sometimes I take the time to make elaborate starters like leek and goat cheese filled mushroom caps OR Phyllo, Parmesan & Prosciutto wrapped asparagus spears OR I make a special dip, sauce or tapenade to go with a basket full of baguette slices or a plate of fresh vegetables.

But then there are the times where I am just proud that I get my feet out the door and actually go to an event. Without time or energy to actually plan for, buy ingredients, assemble or bake and then transport an impressive starter, well, then it is time to fake it. Improvise. Pretend you gave it a lot of thought, made special trips to the specialty market, poo-pooed various appetizer options until you landed on this perfect, one.

And when guests start remarking: wow...this is great...who brought this? You pretend not to hear, muffle your snicker, resist all forms of smiling, and by all means shrug your shoulders nonchalantly... But then they press, and you spill the beans, breaking your cover: "oh this? I just put this together last minute, so easy to make, transport, you name it. All you need is three ingredients and a plate to put them on."

I blew it again. Don't be impressed with me for my assembly efforts; just enjoy the remarkable communion of tangy ginger with sweetness, salty bites of trendy almonds and the mellowing presence of goat cheese (not the soft goat cheese in a log, this is a hard/firm goat cheese).

Ginger & Goats Ginger Preserves Marcona Almonds Dutch Goat Cheese

Directions: assemble on plate. I usually sprinkle 1/3 the plate with nuts, put either small cubes or a large wedge of the cheese and a cheese knife on another third, and a large dollop of the ginger preserves on the last third.

I bought all the ingredients at Trader Joe's. Yes, you can find them elsewhere. Just make sure it is the hard goat cheese (not chevre), and mild is good.

P.S. I googled for you. Here is a description of Marcona Almonds; I have seen them at Whole Foods as well. And here, here and here are pictures of Ginger Preserves. I am not earning a commission on them if you do buy them---just wanted you to see an example. And I haven't yet tried this, but here is a recipe for Ginger Preserves in case you actually want to add 'prep' to this peppy little appetizer.

Need an easy, impressive fall dessert?

Need an easy, impressive fall dessert?

Mummy Juice

Mummy Juice