Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Simple Cheese Cookies

I like watching Top Chef. You get to see a lot of mostly good food, shake your head at the judges, roll your eyes at the contestants and wonder who got Padma Lakshmi pregnant. Fascinating, right? But from time to time, there are a few people, gems who bring something to the show that really is 'real'. I remember Carla from Season 5, an underdog who made it to the finals. What a character! With her shock of hair and ready smile, that plaintive cry of 'Hootie', she was a pleasure to watch. I remember once, early on in the season, she said she was 'praying to her spirit guides'. It takes guts to say something like that on National Television :D Whenever I saw her on tv, I felt she was one of those people who were true to themselves.

When people say 'be true to yourself', there seems to be an underlying clause- but make sure you don't break social conventions. For example, 'rebelling against authority is wrong'. What happens when you're told that you've got to do something and you don't want to. Especially when everyone else is doing it. What happens when you're unique and the way you express yourself isn't comfortable to other people or doesn't fit in with the 'norm'. When I look back at my childhood, I gape at a path of such fearful docility, it appalls me- not that I was that way (I didn't know any other way) but that that was what was asked of me at every turn. Be who I want you to be. It takes conscious effort to break free of that kind of conditioning and I think all of us have it in us to some degree- things we don't question but just do, because its 'normal'. Time to raise questions, me thinks.

This recipe is a slightly modified version of what I saw on the semi-final episode of Top Chef this season.

Simple Cheese Cookies


1 cup goat cheese/cottage cheese
1 cup sugar
1 tsp lemon zest
1 cup flour
3 egg whites
black pepper
sea salt
3/4 tsp lemon zest
1 tsp chopped basil

Powder the sugar along with the lemon zest. Place the cheese and sugar in a bowl and with a hand mixer and cream it. If the cheese is too dry, add a dash of milk. Fold in the basil, flour and egg whites using a spatula and mix well. Spread out or pipe the mixture onto a flat greased baking dish and sprinkle salt and pepper on top. You could also sprinkle some sesame seeds. Place in the oven for 20 mins at 175 C.


  1. Mia, you are soooo funny!!! Loved your take on Top Chef!!! And these cookies - they remind me of churrios ;) But a savoury version. Adding basil would never have crossed my mind, but now I know what to make if I want unique cheese cookies to impress.

  2. Hi Mia, thanks for the answer! (I really like the rest of your blog posts too, something I forgot to mention before in my rush to solve the samosa mystery.)

    These cheese cookies sound good, and not too sweet with the addition of the basil.

  3. Hi! I ended up here when looking for millet polenta recipes and fell in love. Your blog looks both beautiful and inventive!

  4. Thank you :) though I haven't blogged in a while...it's taken a back seat for now.

  5. Love these cookies. My mom used to make a similar version for me as a child. This brings back memories