I love to cook; I guess I inherited this from my mom and my French background. I remember her spending all Sunday morning and afternoon cooking in her kitchen, preparing the family Sunday lunch and then in the afternoon planning meals for the week. When I moved to the U.S. 10 years ago I grabbed some of her signature dishes such as Salmon tourte, Tarte au pommes, Duck a l’orange and started to build my own “savoir-faire a la cuisine."

My husband and I would not entertain every weekend, but when we did have friends over, I would be in full “Martha Stewart” mode. Planning meals weeks in advance, arranging flowers, decorating the table, searching Food & Wine Magazine, Bon Appetit, and there was often a call to my mom in France.

Well this entire crazy, over-the-top meal and dinner party planning came to a screeching halt on January 21, 2011. This was the day my son Matisse was born. I remember telling Bob and Allison that not much would change and I could still do it all. I also recall a knowing smile from both of them (they each have 3 kids!).
Today I am still cooking but the techniques and habits have evolved a little bit (an understatement).  Now if I can put together a family dinner in 10 minutes, using fresh local ingredients, have leftovers for the next day’s lunch box all while hopefully avoiding a hungry toddler meltdown, I am a hero (to myself).

One trick that has saved me many times with Matisse is cheese. Matisse loves cheese. I suppose not totally surprising since both of his parents are cheesemakers. Chèvre is my ultimate life saver when Matisse morphs into picky eater mode.
So here are some of Matisse’s favorite ways to eat goat cheese and my favorite ways to keep life a little less chaotic:

  • Breakfast: Matisse loves “tartines” and we do either butter with jam or creamy goat cheese on toast or an English muffin with a drizzle of honey. The goat cheese is all gone first, then the bread if he feels like it.

  • Lunch: I love to prep a batch of rice, Quinoa, pasta or potatoes ahead, that’s my base! Then I get creative with what’s in the fridge. Like Orzo with crumble goat cheese, peas and ham. Or quinoa with cherry tomatoes and edamame and goat cheese of course. You wouldn’t believe what your kid could eat when it is mixed with goat cheese.

  • Snack: I often pop open a 4oz cup of creamy goat cheese and stick some baby carrots or cucumbers for dipping. He loves it — especially in the age where it’s all about “Matisse il fait” or I do it!

  • Dinner: Top broccoli or zucchini with goat cheese, stuff pork or chicken breast with it, fold into pasta, it is so versatile and adds creamy texture and fresh milk taste. For children is also helps balance some of the new strong or spicy flavors that our kids are discovering every day. For me, I can feel good about what type of food I’m giving my family.

I love that I can provide a story with our food teaching Matisse where his food comes from. We visit the farm to see where the goats are milked. At the creamery, he is learning about where Mommy makes cheese and how it’s made.

Our goat cheese is pure and simple; it is only milk, culture and salt, nothing else. But simple can go a long way to make moms, dads and kids happy