Feeds:
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘Cheese’


Today, the start of a work week, is the day that I devote to hosting the Mondays Finish the Story challenge. In the challenge, I ask that you write a story using between 100-150 words and that you use the opening line and the photo prompt to create your story. The opening line of the challenge is in bold and italics. Here is my story.

Photo taken of an old photo in 2014 Barbara W. Beacham

Photo taken of an old photo in 2014 Barbara W. Beacham

The family had no idea that little Luigi would grow up to be not only a well known cheese artisan, but also shortest mob boss on record. For years, the kids teased him calling “Gamberetto.”

From outward appearances, Luigi was just a regular guy who had a passion for making string cheese. He had a store on Fordham Road in New York. Cheeses hung from hooks in the window, and the smell of the cheese shop drew people in by droves. Samples were always available to anyone who wandered in.

Where the operations took place was, of course, in the back. Hidden underneath one of the workbenches, if you stepped on a particular brick on the floor of the cheese making area, a door swung open revealing a huge office. This is where Luigi’s conducted the family business. Little did anyone know that the Luigi the Gamberetto, or shrimp, was also the big cheese.

* * * * * * * * * * * *

Mondays Finish the Story

Mondays Finish the Story

I hope that you enjoyed my little bit of flash. 😀

You too can take part in this weekly challenge.  Get creative!  I challenge you!  To get to the challenge click HERE!

Thanks for dropping by today and be well… ^..^

Read Full Post »


Welcome back for another edition of Tasty Tuesdays on Life in the Foothills. In the summertime we get a lot of invitations to backyard barbecues and are asked to bring something to share. Well, here is an easy recipe for cheese straws that are guaranteed to impress! Are you ready to head into the kitchen? Let’s head on in.

Ingredients
1 sheet of puff pastry
1 egg, lightly beaten
1/4 cup of mild cheddar cheese, finely shredded
1/4 cup of a 3 cheese blend, shredded, I used asiago, parmesan and romano
1/2 tsp chili powder
salt
flour

The first thing we want to do is defrost a sheet of puff pastry. Take this out 40 minutes before making the straws.

The next thing we will do is get the oven pre-heated. Set the temperature to 400 degrees (204 C). Get out a baking pan and line with foil. Grease the foil.

Now take your cheeses and add them to a mixing bowl and add the chili powder and a bit of salt.

Cheese mixture

Cheese mixture

Sprinkle flour over your work surface. Get out a rolling pin and dust this too with flour. Then using the rolling pin, roll the sheet a couple of times. Turn the dough and do it again. You want to bring your sheet to about 15 x 10 inches. Then slice the dough in half. Set one piece to the side.

Pastry

Pastry

Take your slightly beaten egg and dip your brush into the egg, and brush the egg on both sheets of dough. Now take the cheese mixture and spread it evenly over the dough. Leave a little bit of a cheese free edge.

The cheese mixture is placed on the pastry

The cheese mixture is placed on the pastry

Using your hands, lightly press the cheese into the dough.

Now take the other piece of dough, and place it with the egg wash side down onto the cheese.

The other piece of the pastry is laid over the one with the cheese

The other piece of the pastry is laid over the one with the cheese

Press the edges to seal. Don’t worry that the edges are not even. It will not make a difference.

The next thing that we are going to do is to slice the dough. I did this using my handy dandy pizza cutter!

Cut into strips

Cut into strips

Carefully lift one of the slices of dough, give it a few gentle twists and place it on your baking sheet. Here they are all done. Don’t they look good?

Twisted and ready to bake

Twisted and ready to bake

To keep the strips in place, press down on each end. Now this is ready to go into the oven. Bake these for 12 – 14 minutes. Here they are right out of the oven.

I give you cheese straws!

I give you cheese straws!

One final step with these beauties. Remove the hot cheese twists from the baking sheet and cool them on a wire rack. Place them on a plate or stand them up in a glass container! These are sure to please and folks will think you worked for hours on these. Total time from preparation to the finished twist, about 30 minutes. These made 18. If you want more double the recipe and use both sheets of the puff pastry.

Thanks for taking the time to stop by today and joining me in the kitchen. Stay tuned for the next edition where we will be making a fantastic pork loin recipe. Be well… ^..^

Read Full Post »


One of the blogs that I have been following for years now is Conor Bofin’s One Man’s Meat. Conor has an amazing wit, and a similar taste in foods to mine. He recently did a post entitled “The Dreaded Sausage Roll – Another Reason to Hate Christmas.” He made an amazing sausage using pork, fennel and dried apricots, and covered the sausage in puff pastry. This is the dreaded sausage roll.

Inspired by Conor, but being a bit lazy, I decided to try what Conor created but cheated a bit using store bought sausage. I settled on Aidells Roasted Garlic and Gruyere Cheese sausage. Mmmm… Then the idea came to me that I should add to the sausage roll a bit of Gruyere to the roll. Mmmm… Ready to head into the kitchen?

3 simple ingredients

3 simple ingredients

Ingredients
2 sausages – sliced into 4 chunks and then sliced in half
2 sheets of puff pastry
3 1/2 oz. Gruyere, sliced width wise and then in half

First, get your baking pan ready, and set the oven to 350 degrees. Line it with foil and using a small bit of butter, grease the foil.

Set out some parchment paper, unfold the puff pastry, and roll it out a bit to smooth out the creases. Then cut into triangles.

Cut the pastry into triangles

Cut the pastry into triangles

Take a piece of cheese and set it on the large end of the triangle.

The Gruyere is placed on the large end of the triangle

The Gruyere is placed on the large end of the triangle

Top with a piece of sausage.

Add the sausage

Add the sausage

Roll from the large end moistening with water to seal.

Rolls are ready for the oven

Rolls are ready for the oven

Bake these for 25-30 minutes. Here they are half way through cooking!

Midway through cooking

Midway through cooking

Ready to get your mouth watering? Here they are right out of the oven!

Right out of the oven!

Right out of the oven!

When you remove these from the baking pan, do not forget the crispy cheese pieces! These are really good too! I served this with a bit of Dijon.

Serve with a bit of dijon

Serve with a bit of dijon

So, there you have it! The not dreaded sausage roll and a great appetizer for the holidays!

What do you think Conor? Did I do good? 🙂

Thank you dear reader for taking the time to drop on by and join me in the kitchen! Have a great weekend! Be well! ^..^

Read Full Post »


Undergoing chemo has really made me watch what I am eating. We had my easy taco casserole one night and I was instantly affected by it in a negative way. So, I was a bit hesitant with this recipe, but all turned out well. Here is an easy pasta dish whose recipes comes from Ree Drummond over at The Pioneer Woman. I did tweak the recipe a bit, but I really fell in love with the sauce. The cheese was just a bonus! Here is a preview…

Preview

Preview

Shall we head into the kitchen?

Ingredients
2 TBS olive oil
6 cloves of garlic, finely minced
1 medium onion, diced
1# Italian sausage
1# ground beef
2 14.5 oz. cans diced tomatoes
2 14.5 oz. cans of tomato sauce
2 tsp. Italian seasonings
1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes
salt and pepper to taste
16 oz. uncooked mostaciolli (The Pioneer Woman says to use Ziti but I could not find this in our grocery stores)
15 oz. tub of ricotta
1 1/2#’s shredded mozzarella
1/2 cup blend of asiago, parmesan, and reggiano
1 egg

Let’s get started! In a large skillet heat up the olive oil. When hot add the garlic and the onions and cook until just transparent. Then add the Italian sausage and hamburger and brown breaking these up into little bits as it cooks.

Brown the sausage and beef

Brown the sausage and beef

Drain most of the fat off. Leave just a bit so that it adds flavor.

Leave a bit of the fat in the pan

Leave a bit of the fat in the pan

Next add the tomatoes along with the juice, tomato sauce, Italian seasonings, and red pepper flakes. Stir this up really well and then set it to a simmer for about a half hour.

The sauce

The sauce

While this is cooking let’s get the cheese mixture made and get the pasta cooked! For the cheese, in a bowl add the ricotta, 2 cups of mozzarella and the cheese blend. Add a bit of salt and pepper. Crack in your egg and slightly mix.

The cheese before stirring

The cheese before stirring

This should be lumpy.

The cheese after stirring

The cheese after stirring

Get your pasta cooked until it is al dente. Drain your pasta and run it under cold water to stop the cooking process.

Cool down the pasta

Cool down the pasta

Now preheat your oven to 375 degrees.

By now your sauce should be done with the simmering phase. Remove 4 cups of sauce to a bowl and allow it to cool. Turn the heat off on the sauce. After a bit, check on the sauce that you set aside. It should be cooling nicely! Once the sauce has cooled add it to the bowl of cheese and stir to combine. Then toss in the pasta and give it a nice even coating.

The pasta mixed with the cheese and 4 cups of sauce

The pasta mixed with the cheese and 4 cups of sauce

Take a lasagna pan or casserole dish and spoon in 1/2 of the pasta mixture.

The first layer

The first layer

Top with 1/2 the sauce.

The second layer

The second layer

Top with 1/2 the remaining cheese.

The third layer

The third layer

Repeat the layers and it is ready to bake!

Ready for the oven

Ready for the oven

Bake this for 20 minutes until it is bubbly!

Just out of the oven

Just out of the oven

Remove from the oven, let it sit for 5 minutes and then serve it up! Serve this up with some crusty garlic bread and a green salad!

Dinner is served

Dinner is served

Here are some suggestions for some other changes and additions. Instead of using Italian sausage, try the basil Italian sausage, or the hot Italian sausage. Or, increase the canned tomatoes with the addition of one can and add in 1 1/2 cups sliced crimini mushrooms.

I love this sauce so much that the next time I make a lasagna this will be the sauce that I use!

I hope that you give this recipe a whirl!

Thanks for stopping by today, and may you have a magnificent Monday! Be well! ^..^

Read Full Post »


I decided today to write a post on frozen cheese. Now I am talking about Jack, Cheddar…that type of hard cheese. The cheese does not arrive at the grocery store having been frozen. It is the store that freezes the cheese. I discovered this on Tillamook cheese when I complained to them about the texture of the cheese.

So how can you tell if cheese like this has been frozen? When you attempt to slice it, which normally your knife should slide right through, it crumbles, or the texture has become rough. Check out this photo of this Jack cheese. Notice on the brick of cheese the texture…

A loaf of Tillamook Jack Cheese

A loaf of Tillamook Jack Cheese

When you slice the cheese you will not get uniform slices.

No even slices

No even slices

I used a cheese knife when slicing this cheese, so it was not the knife that caused this to crumble.

The cheese crumbles

The cheese crumbles

My lasagna did not look pretty!

Not a pretty lasagna!

Not a pretty lasagna!

So what can you do when you buy a cheese that is like the one in these photos? Call your grocery store and complain! The cheese in these photos was bought at SaveMart in town. I have had this happen as well with Tillamook Cheddar that I bought at Costco!

Now go out, have a great Thursday, and thanks for stopping by!

Read Full Post »


Can you imagine all kinds of food, and you can try most of it? Cheeses, meats, crackers, breads, drinks, delicatessen items, desserts….MMMMMMM! How about spending some time with me at the “Tony’s Fine Foods” food show?

Our host

Our host

Ready to attend the food show with me? OK, let’s go! Here is how we are greeted when we arrive.

The entrance to the food show

The entrance to the food show

We head into the building and are handed a bag for any samples we might receive! Samples? Yes, samples! Now this affair is held in the Sleep Train Arena in Sacramento. Yes an arena! So we head to the doors leading into the arena and here are two photos of the floor!

One shot of less than half of the main floor

One shot of less than half of the main floor

More of the floor

More of the floor

Now take a look at the photo above. There is another area, hidden from view, that houses the meats and seafood. That is on the left behind that wall! Yum! Let’s head on down the stairs.

Let’s stop and try some cheese, shall we? This company is called Fiscalini. They have some extraordinary aged cheddar cheeses. Shall we ask for a taste?

Two aged cheddars

Two aged cheddars

I loved the one on the left the best. How about you?

Heading further down another aisle there are some hand crafted salamis. Shall we sample these too?

Salamis

Salamis

As more people are showing up the aisles are getting more crowded.

Looking down one of the aisles

Looking down one of the aisles

Wow! Check out this food vendors fare. These are all precooked meats which all one needs to do is heat and serve! They want us to sample some tri-tip!

One vendor's display

One vendor’s display

Yummy!

Our sales representative meets us and tells us about the money booth. Let’s go check this out!

Win money!

Win money!

We see the money booth behind this sign. Looks like folks have already won some of the money, but check this out anyway!

Money, money, money, money

Money, money, money, money

The idea is you get 30 seconds inside the booth and you grab what you can as air is blowing the money all over inside the booth. I think we will opt out of this. Let’s continue on.

It’s really getting crowded.

Another aisle

Another aisle

Let’s stop here with this vendor who has fresh meats.

Another meat vendor

Another meat vendor

Boy I am full, how about you? We have tasted a variety of cheeses, meats, sweets, and beverages! And we have been here for more than 5 hours! Time to head back as we have quite a drive.

Thanks for coming along today! See you tomorrow?

Read Full Post »


I love corned beef hash! But I also love the hash that I make using leftover roast beef! So, tonight I want to share what I do with leftover roast beef! Are you with me?

Ingredients
2 1/2 TBS butter
1/4 large onion, chopped
2 medium potatoes, cut into 1/4″ cubes
10 oz. thick sliced crimini mushrooms
Slices of leftover roast beef cut into chunks
Cut up beef chunks
2 cups grated cheddar cheese
Salt and pepper to taste

The first thing you do in this recipe is get all of your ingredients together. Next, add the butter to a skillet and when the butter is melted and bubbly add the onion.

Start with the onions

Start with the onions

When the onions become translucent add the potatoes and the mushrooms.

Add the mushrooms and potatoes

Add the mushrooms and potatoes

To get the maximum flavor from all of these vegetables, caramelize them. They will look like this when done.

Caramelized mixture

Caramelized mixture

When this is done add the cubed beef to warm up the meat until it is steaming hot.

Add the beef to the vegetables

Add the beef to the vegetables

At this point you now want to add in the grated cheddar.

Add cheddar

Add cheddar

Be sure to taste test and add salt and pepper to taste!

When the cheese is melted the dish is ready! Are you ready to serve? Here is what you will be serving!

Ready to serve!

Ready to serve!

I love serving this up with a good crusty toasted bread! A lovely Petite Sirah would be a good match for this dinner! Or, try a porter beer!

Please let me know if you try this dish! And, thank you for stopping by! I am wishing you a great Tuesday!

Read Full Post »


Preview

Preview

It really has been a while since I have done a crock pot recipe, and with the weather being so cold, a warm hearty soup is in order. This one, a good one for vegetarians, is made with four types of mushrooms! It takes about an hour to prepare everything, and then 7-8 hours to cook on the low setting. Ready to head off into the kitchen?

Here is the list of what you will need:

1/4 cup of butter
1/2 large onion
3 stalks of celery
1/2 cup each, dried porcini and chanterelle mushrooms
2 TBS flour
2 cups water
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
1 cup fresh shitake mushrooms
1 cup fresh baby bella mushrooms
2 medium red potatoes
2 small carrots
2 cups of milk
1/2 cup of Parmesan, shredded

OK, now let’s get to it, shall we? Get out a skillet and add to it the butter. Next chop the onion up finely and add to the skillet. Then wash the celery and chop this into cubes. Add this to the pan.

Gratuitous celery and onion shot

Gratuitous celery and onion shot

Looks pretty huh?

Next get out a bowl and add the dried mushrooms. Add enough water to cover and set this aside so that the mushrooms will plump up.

Soaking the porcini and chanterelle

Soaking the porcini and chanterelle

While these are soaking, slice up the shitake mushrooms and the baby bellas. Set these aside. Next peel the potatoes and the slice to about 1/2″ in thickness, then cube the potatoes. Set these aside. Now turn on the heat on the butter, onions and celery. You are going to want to cook these until they get translucent. While this is heating up, peel and dice the carrots, and what do you do? You guessed it! Set these aside. Don’t forget to stir the onions and celery! Now check on those soaking mushrooms. They should be ready. Cut them into pieces and mix them up with the other mushrooms.

Mushrooms combined

Mushrooms combined

At this point the onions and celery should be done. Turn off the heat and add the flour, salt and pepper to the pan. Stir this up really well and then scrap the whole thing into your crock pot.

Cooked celery and onion

Cooked celery and onion

Then add the 2 cups of water slowly. The flour will explode as it soaks up the water.

Add water

Add water

Now add in the potatoes, mushrooms and carrots. Stir this up well.

Add potatoes, mushrooms and carrots

Add potatoes, mushrooms and carrots

Turn on the crock pot to low, and set the time to 7-8 hours, whichever you prefer.

After 7 1/2 hours of cooking

After 7 1/2 hours of cooking

Once the timer goes off on the crock pot, slowly add in the milk and the Parmesan cheese.

Add milk and cheese

Add milk and cheese

Turn the heat up to high on the crock pot and set the timer for a half hour.

Let’s eat! The aromas from the kitchen have had my stomach growling all day! Serve it up with a hot crusty bread or how about Parmesan Texas toast?

Serve it up!

Serve it up!

Thanks for stopping by and if you try this recipe, let me know how you liked it!

Read Full Post »


We have been having a mixed bag of weather. Rain, sunshine, hail, thunder, lightning, and now snow! What could be better on a cold spring evening than a pizza? Again, this pizza does not use sauce but tomatoes in its place!

Ingredients
Pizza dough
Extra virgin olive oil
4 medium tomatoes, sliced thin
1 1/2 tsp basil leaves
1 1/2 tsp oregano leaves
3 cloves finely chopped fresh garlic
Mozzarella, cheddar and asiago to your liking
Pepperoni
Hard salami
Mushrooms
Chopped tomatoes, from the tops and bottoms of the tomatoes
black olives

Tomatoes sliced for the pizza

These tomatoes are not too bad for this time of year. Summer time tomatoes are best, but these will do!

Lay out your crust then let it rest. Turn the oven on to 425 degrees. When the oven is hot, place the pizza dough in the oven for about 8 minutes. Remove from the oven, and let it sit for about 5 minutes. Then brush on the olive oil, lay out the sliced tomatoes, and add your herbs and the garlic.

Add the herbs and garlic

Top this with 2/3 of the cheese. Follow this with the pepperoni, salami, tomatoes, mushrooms and olives.

Add the toppings

Follow this with the remainder of the cheese. Then place this in the oven,

Pizza is in the oven

and set the timer for about 10 minutes. Check the crust to see how it is doing. I had to add another five minutes to the timer.

Pizza right out of the oven!

Let the pizza sit for about 5 minutes, then slice it up!

Pizza is served!

Serve this up with a hearty red wine or an ice cold beer!

Read Full Post »


Come and take a step back in time with me…Mid ’90’s it was. My parents offered me a trip to join them in France only if I paid the air fare, and they would take care of everything else. Who could not pass up an offer like this? I took it!

As most of this story is a chapter in a book that I have written and not yet published, I will tell you about part of our trip when we stayed with friends in Italy. And, of course this has to do with food…

We arrived at Alfredo and Luciana’s house late, and Luciana had lunch ready for us. A simple soup of tortellini in chicken broth. So here is the easy comfort food lunch we had that day, which we make for dinner on cold nights, and tonight is cold!

Ingredients
64 oz. low sodium chicken broth
Dash of white pepper
1 package of fresh chicken prosciutto tortellini
Olive oil
2 green onions, sliced
A couple of healthy pinches of Parmesan cheese

In a soup kettle, add the chicken broth.

Broth in the soup kettle

In another soup kettle add enough water to cook the tortellini. Add a drizzle of olive oil to keep the tortellini from sticking together.

Tortellini added to the pot with olive oil

Cook this based on the instruction on the package. While this is cooking,

Cooking tortellini

heat the chicken broth. When the tortellini is cooked, drain and add to the broth.

Add tortellini to the broth

Do not boil this but simmer gently. Serve by topping with cheese then the green onions.

Dinner is served!

Serve with a good crusty sour dough bread! Enjoy! BTW – tonight’s photos were taken by my husband who was really having a good time not only cooking but taking the photos. I was told to get out of the kitchen and not to touch the camera!

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »