Wine Cellars for any Cheese Lover

Party in the Kitchen Friday brings you...

National Cheese Lovers' Day! 

Whether you've celebrated this national holiday before today is irrelevant, it's never too late to join in a celebration!  So let’s focus on this cheesy and delicious holiday by breaking down some fromage.  Arguably, cheese is the most versatile, indulgent ingredient to compliment any kitchen, but it's often limited to pepperjack, colby or munster. These limits are a real shame, because cheese can bring so much more to any table and impress even the most temperamental guests. In honor of National Cheese Lovers' Day, let’s delve into new variations of cheese.

 

5 cheeses for the festivities:

 

Camembert

A common selection at dinner parties, this variety is an easy crowd-pleaser. It’s simple, delicious and soft for easy spreading onto your favorite cracker. Our key ingredient, Milk, is a big player in this cheese and quality breeds large taste dividends, so invest a little extra.

 

Roquefort

The elegant French blue stands above other classic blue cheeses with tradition. This is the oldest, recorded, blue cheese in European history. It comes from Sheep’s milk and brings sweet, gamey notes to the pungent blue cheese. This moldy cheese is one of the most flavorful and rewarding.

 

Cabot Clothbound Cheddar

This is not your momma’s cheddar. Cabot Clothbound Cheddar is a firm, grassy, cow’s milk cheese that brings you a lovely balance of sharpness and sweetness. It’s carefully wrapped in layers of cloth and aged in a cave, developing a rich, buttery English-style flavor with notes of caramel.

 

Constant Bliss (by Jasper Hill Farm)

While the name is busy pinpointing my overall feelings towards cheese consumption, the flavor and texture deliver perfection. It’s semi-soft with a nutty, mushroomy taste that exhibit bits of salt throughout. It’s an American Artisan cheese that’s evolved from an Old World recipe and it’s bliss.

 

Pleasant Ridge Reserve

A popular variation of gruyere cheese, this variation brings the full flavor of creamy butter. A great option is to serve this with your favorite preserves, nuts or crackers. This is also a common American product.

 

 

However, my secret to finding the best cheese is to find the best cheese shop, wander the aisles and gently poke the plastic coverings shielding the cheese. The softest, gooiest cheese under $6 wins.

*Bonus points for a good wine-pairing. Check out the amazing Northland wine cellars.

Let Viking Save Your Football Sunday

All Sundays should be spent relaxing. Five days of endless emails, phone-calls and meetings are just around the corner.  I soak up the calm Sunday morning with a cup of coffee, read the newspaper and then take my dog for a stroll. It's the day of simple pleasure.

Last Sunday, however, I had to work all morning, cutting my leisure time significantly. This was followed by a well-deserved nap. I awoke to the harsh sound of a garbage disposal running endlessly. Our kitchen sink was completely stopped up and filled with an unidentified liquid. Fantastic is the first word that comes to mind. Invest in a Viking Professional Series Food Waste Dispenser, it's quiet and has anti-jam technology that will save your Sunday.

To unclog a kitchen drain when your garbage disposal fails you, simply pour baking soda (½ cup) into the drain and follow with boiling water (2 cups). This worked like a charm. The kitchen sink was saved from sewage and I was free to order my takeout and watch the Giants-Packers game. And by “watch,” I mean that it was on, while I read InStyle.

 

Need more help? If the drain remains clogged, try chasing the baking soda with vinegar. Vinegar recently became my best friend. It cleans anything and everything (even laundry!) with a simple splash. The harsh chemicals in household cleaners keep me from storing them in my own home and vinegar is the perfect solution for a quick spot clean.

Appetizers for Your Party

Let's talk Friday, shall we? This is the day we look forward to all week, so let's celebrate.  Party in the Kitchen!

 

First stop, appetizers. This recipe is always a hit and has the low maintenance time commitment Friday afternoons require. It takes 5 minutes to prepare and 20 minutes to bake.

 

Buffalo Chicken Dip

1 can chunk white chicken, drained

½ cup Frank's Red Hot Sauce (or your favorite Wing Sauce)

8 oz. Package of cream cheese

1 cup shredded Mozzarella cheese

½ cup ranch or blue cheese dressing

 

Mix all of the ingredients together until evenly dispersed throughout an oven-proof serving bowl. Bake the dip at 350 (Fahrenheit) for 20 minutes. Serve with your favorite crackers or veggie sticks.

 

This is great for any gathering and recommended for a crowd of 6 (in an effort to avoid overeating).

 

Tune in next Friday for more Party in the Kitchen!