Ever craving something cheesy and carb-y but don’t want to completely overdo it?  This grilled goat cheese with figs and honey from Cooking Light is just perfect to satisfy those cravings!  Check out my post and the recipe over at Marcus Samuelsson’s blog!

A few weeks ago, the awesome folks over at McCormick Gourmet asked me if I would like to take part in their Dinner Party Chain and host a party that featured recipes using McCormick Gourmet spices and a McCormick Gourmet Dinner Party Kit.  Knowing that Mother’s Day was coming up, I thought this would be the perfect opportunity to create a delicious dinner for my mother…so I said YES YES YES!

It took forever to decide what to make for the occasion, but once I realized it was going to be 80 degrees on Sunday, I decided on a light, summery menu.  You’ve already seen the roasted vegetable bruschetta with queso fresco (featuring McCormick chipotle chili powder and roasted ground cumin!), but I also made a pesto pasta salad with roasted asparagus, green beans, and cherry tomatoes (seasoned with MCormick tuscan seasoning) and a deep dish strawberry rhubarb pie (infused with McCormick roasted ground cinnamon).  The recipes for the latter two dishes will be coming in future posts!  But suffice to say that the food was enjoyed by all and there were absolutely ZERO leftovers when the night was over!  Success!

Who says dinner party food has to be super complex and fancy schmancy in order to taste good?

Here are some gratuitous pictures of the family from the evening!


My brother, probably still slightly hungover, making a perfectly lovely face at the thought of eating an entirely vegetarian meal.  He cleaned his plate.  ‘Nuff said.


My sister, nibbling on a crostini before dinner actually started.  My mother declared a moratorium on eating before I got there, so they were all starving and this was just one of many pre-dinner nibbles.


Dana again, laughing with her mouth full.  Probably at my brother’s face.


My Aunt Jackie, eating some pesto pasta salad! Those are mini sun-dried tomato-stuffed ravioli. SO GOOD.


My father, right before we started discussing me paying back my student loans.  Things got ugly after that so it’s a good thing I snapped this picture in the nick of time.


And then, of course, the guest of honor herself! My mother.  She’s about ready to dig into her first bite…


Smiling mom = mission accomplished.

Thanks so much to McCormick for providing me with the means to host this dinner party and to make Mother’s Day so delicious for my mother!

But wait! There’s more! You guys can participate in the Dinner Party Chain by going over to the McCormick Gourmet facebook page and submitting an idea for your dream dinner party!  If you do, you’ll be entered to win a dinner party kit similar to mine that is themed to a holiday of your choice so that you can enjoy hosting a party of your own!  Go forth and submit!

You are reading this post on Eats Well With Others at Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to the author and or owner of Eats Well With Others. All rights reserved by Joanne Bruno.
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53 Responses to Grilled Goat Cheese Sandwiches with Fig and Honey…and a Dinner Party with McCormick Gourmet!

  1. Awww, love the pics of your fam! So nice of you to create such a delicious-sounding meal!! I look forward to the recipes (most especially the strawberry rhubarb pie…my FAV pie ever). 🙂

  2. So much fun! A little jealous that I wasn’t a part of that delicious meal. Oh, and your fam is obv adorable:-)

  3. Louisa says:

    Your family is adorable!!

    Also, goat cheese+figs+homey=one of the best food combinations ever!!

  4. I am loving the family pics, including everyone with full mouths!!! Yayayaya! 🙂 It is like seeing the characters from a good book come alive on stage. 😉

  5. i must make the goat cheese sandwich! what a combo!

  6. Sofia says:

    love this post! and this mother’s day celebration. yay family 🙂

  7. I just love the face your brother pulled!

  8. Your family is just lovely, and look super fun! Have you posted that ravioli? I need that…with this sandwich.

  9. Victoria says:

    Your family is awesome! So glad they enjoyed this meal! Daniel cracks me up, haha.

  10. Mary says:

    Brothers tend to have a gift for making the most outrageous faces, don’t they? That one is definitely photo worthy. Sounds like you had an excellent day with the family!

  11. Amy says:

    You can totally tell you, your sister, and brother (sans the grimacing face) are siblings. DNA is so amazing!

  12. Megan says:

    The pesto pasta salad looks delicious! What great family photos and memories!

  13. kelsey says:

    HOW FUN! How cute is your fam??

    Also are you serious about this grilled cheese? I have been craving something exactly like this and yet again you save my life.

  14. Cathleen says:

    This looks absolutely delicious! I couldn’t make anything for mothers day dinner because I was working for the past 4 days and am now teaching a class for 2 weeks
    Your brothers face is the best! Great photos

  15. bellini says:

    Looks like a great time was had by all Joanne.

  16. Awesome! I was kicked out of the kitchen on Mother’s Day, so I really wish I could have made something. It looks like a lovely meal, and I’m glad your parents agreed to a veggie dinner!

  17. Pam says:

    It’s so cool to see photos of your family! Now we need to see photos of the new guy too… 🙂

    The sandwich sounds amazing. I really need to try experimenting with figs.

  18. Love the sandwich idea, and it looks like you guys had a wonderful dinner!

  19. love2dine says:

    what a wonderful time with your family.. that is so nice. thanks for sharing the great photos. i would love to have the sandwich… yummy!

  20. Dana says:

    So fun to see shots of your family! I love it!

  21. You have a beautiful family Joanne! Looks like everyone had a great dinner. No leftovers are always good sign. 🙂

  22. You have such beautiful and adorable family!!!!
    The sandwich looks delicious…
    Every one seems to enjoy the food…

  23. I enjoyed reading this post. Your mama is really beautiful.
    Oh yeah, the food looked great too.

  24. annnnnd your brother is still making faces at food. Cue Music! LOL
    Looks perfect to me.
    Can you please stop all this NE rain that comes now every week? Thanks

  25. Awesome time with your family + delicious delicious food like this is unbeatable 😀
    Glad you had fun my friend 🙂

    Choc Chip Uru

  26. Catherine says:

    Dear Joanne, Thank you for sharing you dinner party pictures. I love looking at pictures! It looks like the party was a success! Cheers to you!
    I love the grilled goat cheese sandwich with that beautiful salad. Oh my! I am hungry! blessings dearest friend. Catherine xoxo

  27. Mo 'Betta says:

    Awwww, love the family pics!

  28. Erica says:

    HaHaHa….Love your brother’s face! Thanks for sharing those wonderful pictures!

  29. Katie says:

    What a fun meal! Everyone looks like they are enjoying themselves. I’m looking forward to seeing those recipes as you share them!

  30. sophia says:

    Invite me next time!!!!!! xD
    I’m in NYC! Hee hee.

  31. Blond Duck says:

    I love the family pics! Love even more your mom is in pink!

  32. So nice to finally meet your family 🙂 haha

  33. Julie says:

    What fun family pics and the menu looks delicious, too.

  34. great pics! and LOVE the sandwich.

  35. Hotly Spiced says:

    Lovely to see photos of your family Joanne. And of course your mother – I’m so glad she had a great Mother’s Day with all the family present. Looking forward to seeing the rest of your creations. Your brother seems a lot like my son, Archie – always hungover and always pulling faces xx

  36. Rachel says:

    I love the pictures of your family! I can see that they’re quite a bunch of characters.
    I also love that you kept things relatively simple for your dinner party. That sandwich is the perfect blend of extravagent, special, and do-able!

  37. JasmyneTea says:

    Your family is adorable! Love the look of that sandwich too 🙂

  38. daphne says:

    Goats cheese and fig and honey! I could have that without the bread and still be very happy!! and what a lovely family you have there-all looking relax and happy!

  39. Candace says:

    Love the family pics, Joanne! Thank you so much for sharing them with us and that sandwich looks amazing! It looks like you had a wonderful time and I know your mom enjoyed having you all there with her. I love McCormick spices so much. I think I have an addiction to the Roasted Saigon Cinnamon and the Roasted Cumin. I use those two with their Smoked Paprika in soooooo many things. The combo is particularly good on sweet potatoes and butternut squash. Love.

  40. Johanna GGG says:

    great photos – that one of your brother is hilarious – sounds like a great dinner – and the sandwich sounds like just what I would fancy for dinner

  41. The sandwich has amazing flavors going on – love figs! The pictures are a perfect addition…

  42. Margarita says:

    the look on your brother’s face… classic! your sister is so cute! that must be the belly button ring sister whose belly button you saved from destruction and infection! all the dishes in your menu sounds so delish!

  43. grace says:

    your family looks so fun! we really don’t appreciate them when we’re younger, or at least i didn’t. thanks for sharing, joanne!

  44. vianney says:

    How fun, love the pictures of your mom (too Cute)

  45. That Girl says:

    I’ve been seeing so many grilled cheese sandwiches lately – I really need to make one!

  46. Lora says:

    I absolutely love those family pix!

  47. Reeni says:

    It was fun seeing your family! And the goat cheese sandwich sounds divine! I would LOVE it.

  48. Elizabeth says:

    What a nice dinner! And that sandwich, it’s like my happy place

  49. Asmita says:

    The sandwich looks and sounds yummy! Looks like you all had a great time.

  50. I’ve had that sandwich bookmarked for so long but keep forgetting to make it, thanks for the reminder! Your family is so lucky to have such a great cook feed them all!

  51. Chris says:

    Awesome event, Joanne, and it’s so nice to meat your family in entirety. While dad was beating you up on loan repayment plans, was mom asking about grandkids? ha ha.

  52. Sounds like your family had a wonderful mother’s day, thanks to the awesomeness of cheese (and you!)

  53. Deborah says:

    How fun!! Everything sounds so delicious – and I wouldn’t complain at all about that vegetarian meal!

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