Who spent this weekend totally refreshed and inspired? And thankful, too? I hope you all had a great Memories weekend, doin’ your first official summer things – BBQ’ing, boating, or dare we say finally just relaxing and doing nothing at all? Not gonna lie, that’s exactly what I did. And I am so grateful I got to do that and spend some time reflecting on what this weekend really meant. Memorial Day weekend always seems like the official kick off of summer – even here in Seattle where it is a 99.9996% chance that it will rain – which it did, but I still couldn’t help but get into the summer-is-nearly-here-but-not-the-sun spirit with a classic Angel Food Cake recipe. I don’t know if it was the summer feeling itself or the fact that I bought 4 pounds of strawberries and I needed to find something to do with them all before they went kaput, but I got ‘em. And the only thing that came to mind as I was carrying that truck size load of berries through the store was, strawberry shortcake.
But no, I didn’t pick up angel food cake while I was at the store – because I have an abhorrence to said store bought angel food cake. Does store bought angel food taste chemically to anyone else? I might be crazy – it’s been firmly established here – but the after taste of it, with it’s chemical stabilizers and weirdness that I can’t pronounce just puts a bad taste in my mouth (literally) and makes me want to jump into the thick of things and make it myself. So I did. Yay me. You will absolutely love today’s How-To Tuesday because it goes hand in hand with tomorrow’s recipe of full on Strawberry Shortcake. You can’t have Angel Food cake with out stabilized egg whites, so that’s what we’re doing today – learning how to whip egg whites. And it’s cinch, with a couple of quick tricks.
There is always debate on whether room temperature or chilled egg whites are better to whip – and you know what I found out – it really doesn’t matter. Cold egg whites just take a little longer to whip than their room temperature counterparts – but the end result is the same. Just whip it, whip it good. No? Lame joke? I know, but that’s why you love me.
If you’re hard core and want to whip an egg white or two into stiff peaks by hand go for it – you’re a better (wo)man than I – but I prefer to go the easier route with my stand mixer and whip attachment. For this job I went with my 5 quart KitchenAid Artisan Stand Mixer in Ice. The cool teal is my spirit color, if there is such a thing. It brings me unequivocal joy. And it’s a champ in every way. For the 12 egg whites that I whipped up for the shortcake recipe it did it all in just five minutes. And a dozen egg whites is no short order and this beautiful tackled it splendidly. They were light and fluffy, evenly whipped and they held beautifully. So whether it be whipped egg whites for a shortcake or macarons, this will do the job and leave you feeling like a rockstar.
Step one is to source your egg whites. One of the biggest keys to success or failure with egg white whipping is ensuring there is NO YOLK in the egg whites. It seems trivial but it’s not. Look into the how-to I did on cracking and separating eggs to get it right every time. Once your eggs are separated, add them to your stand mixer bowl outfitted with the whisk attachment.
Another key to perfectly stabilized egg whites is Cream of Tartar. It’s not just for snickerdoodles anymore people! This is pivotal in keeping those egg whites fluffy, even after folding in additional ingredients. It will be an egg-white-awakening here friends. Really. For a dozen egg whites I used 1 1/2 teaspoons. You can always reduce the amount based on your egg white count in your recipe. I am dying to make macarons and add some in there, because folding my almond meal into my eggs always used to deflate the eggs and it made me have a serious case of the sads.
Starting with your mixer on medium-low, beat the eggs and cream of tartar until they start to foam and air starts to incorporate into the mixer. After about 1 minute, up the speed to medium to medium high and let ‘er rip allowing the air to incorporate into the whites. They will increase in volume and really start to get fluffy. It’s the The Blob!!
Once the eggs have started to set and thicken, slowly add in your sugar if it’s part of your recipe. Slow is key, like a gold fish – you can’t just toss it into the water! Be kind to your egg whites and slowly pour the sugar in allowing it to incorporate.
Lastly, add in your desired flavor. My favorite combination is almond and vanilla. It makes me want to say things like, “I’m super keen on it”. Because, well – I am. It’s a great balanced flavor and not totally boring. I love vanilla, but some days you gotta switch it up.
Then after about 1 more minutes, the peaks will set into semi-stiff peaks and you’re done! If your egg whites start to look curdled you’ve gone too far. But that takes a lot of egg-fort – get it?! So in five minutes you too can have perfectly whipped egg whites that will stand up to folding, piping, macaron-ning, and shortcake-ing.
Now, beat it.
Sorry, not sorry. Puns make me happy.
For additional how-to Tueday’s check out this list below!
You have expectations, credentials, standards, desired, requirements and firmly planted opinions on why you choose the things you do. I can tell you in an instant, I am super judgey on milk, butter, jeans, make up, nail polish, and hair ties. I know – weirdo! Hair ties, of all things? Really, Keno? I’m one of those crazy weirdos who can’t workout without a non-stretched out tie, it has to fit securely around my hair three times, and no more. And the odds are I have one attached to my wrist or in my pocket at all times. Usually there are no less than 15 around my shifter in my car. Like I said, weirdo. I get a bit judgey when it comes to consumables, dairy products and hotel pillows. And you can bet that I get judgey about cheese.
But really? What is it about cheese that makes it good, uber good, life altering good, or reprehensibly awful? There are plenty of things here people. Lucky for me, Cracker Barrel has taken the guess work out of finding really good cheese. And as a brand influencer they have taught me the way of the cheese, educating me on what it takes to make a great chunk o’ chez. These people are crazy about their cheese, but that’s not a bad thing – because you know that each chunk is going to taste the same every time, the consistency will be spot on and you can go back again and again for the same high quality result. So who cares if the Cracker Barrel cheese mongers are a little nuts, someone has to be!
Cheese tasting is a five part process, using all of your senses and sleuthing to really dig deep in get to the bottom of the cheese.
First comes the sniff test. No, I swear this isn’t a third grade “who ever smelt it dealt” it joke. Smell it! Cheddars, like Cracker Barrel, have a range of aromas, are they nutty, stringent, balanced, sour, smooth and even? Whatever smell you pick up on, make sure it’s balanced and no one smell over powers the other.
Second – open up your cheese and give it a deep, brooding glance. Is it smooth and consistent? Or is it crumbly, dry and uneven? A good quality cheddar should be smooth and even.
Now – we cut the cheese. *Insert third grade jokes here*.
Each part of the cheese judging process gives way to the overall cheese-perience. So how does your cheese cut? Is it dry and fall apart or does the knife glide through the cheese. Each cheese has its own characteristics – so it’s up to your astute observational techniques to figoure out what is best for your particular kind of cheese.
For this marbled Cheddar, it was smooth, slightly hard, but held together and cut cleanly.
Fourthly – we get to do something you mother never let you do with your food – play with it. Smoosh it. How does it feel? Each sense picks up something new. This cheddar smooshes down but has a slightly springy feel to it. It felt soft to the touch, but didn’t get gooey between my fingers.
And lastly – and personally, my favorite part – is the Savor part of the test. Basically, eat it. Here is where we let the whole experience come full circle. Does it taste different than it smelled? Or the same? How to does it melt in your mouth? Or is it a chewy cheese?
The beauty of cheese tasting – like wine – is there is no wrong answer!! Or at least in my humble opinion. So grab your favorite cheeses, or check out your local cheese monger to see what they have in store and compare your every-day or not-so-everyday cheeses together and see what comes out on top.
Check out Cracker Barrel for their fantastic cheddarrs that fit the bill between perfect for everyday and the obvious entertaining cheese. With a range of flavors and entertaining options, its nice to know this cheese is perfect for all occasions.
*Fine Print* I am working as a Cracker Barrel brand influencer. I was compensated for this post, but all opinions, as always, are my own.
I live for gardening season. It takes all my strength not to go out once the Seattle winter rains have stopped (worst joke, ever) and gather everything up and go to town. Except ever year that I do that all of my basil dies, my cilantro bolts, and the Starlings have a field day picking my garden to shreds and me running out onto my deck waiving my arms like a lunatic. Ben swears the birds just sit there on the edge waiting for me to see them and panic, only to fly off bird-chuckling at me. It’s a birdy conspiracy. But despite the bird-spiracy, I live for my summer garden, no matter how small it may be.
Living in an apartment and not down-home-on-the-range, makes having a garden – or at least the garden I want – a challenge. Easiet for us is simply doing herbs. But oohhhh the herbs we have. Half of it consists of various basils. I’m hopeless smitten with basil. The unfrotunate thing about basil in the PNW is that picking the right variety of basil is a challenge. You can’t turn around with out seeing Italian Large Leaf basil at the hardware store. It’s frekain’ EVERYWHERE! And for me, all four years of apartment gardening, it has died within 1 week of me planting it. D.e.a.d. I don’t know why I keep trying! Look up the definition of insanty, I’m sure you’ll see my picture right there. For me, Genovese basil has held up the best, it’s heartier and less prone to keeling over as soon as the temperature dips or the sun feels like playing a wicked game of peekaboo.
This year’s basil count puts me at 8 basil plants and they are thriving. Anything unused by the end of the season gets made into homemade pesto. I made gobs of it before leaving for my wedding last August, putting it into mini muffin tins and freezing it into cubes. It worked like a charm. Check out my pesto processing and how to make and freeze your own Pesto here. Weeknight dinner Godsend.
My other garden staples include…
Chives. Lemon Thyme. Lettuce. Cilantro – and lots of it! Spinach. And raddichio is my newest addition.
Because we have limited amounts of space on our deck – and limited sun – my favorite space saving trick is to hang the baskets over the side of the rail. That few extra inches makes sure the plants get a tad more sun through the day, they don’t take up space on my deck and when they’re draining – it all does down to the grass below and not on my deck for Huck to roll around in.
The planter boxes and adjustable hangers were purchased at my local Home Depot. The planter boxes rang in at about $10 a piece, depending on their length with the planter box hangers being $25. Worth every penny!! With a 10×6 foot deck, every inch of railing is occupied – lots of veggies and herbs abound! I love it.
If overhanging planter boxes aren’t you speed, plastic hanging baskets are cheap and hold a lot of plants, keeping them out of the way, but in easy access for harvesting and watering. I have one of these from the Home De-Pot for my chives.
Into the bottom of each planter a layer of large decorative rocks are laid out in a single layer to make sure that there is ample drainage for our plants. Then top with potting soil.
Once the planters are filled with potting soil, make a well into each spot you want to put a plant. Its important that you don’t pack the soil down too much, just move it aside until you get a hole about 3-4 inches deep, but not so far down that you reach the rocks below. Loosen up the roots from each of your started plants and place each plant into the well. Scrape the soil back over the roots of the plants and gently press down into place to secure each plant.
If you’re starting your plants from seed, get a plant starter tray with multiple wells to fill with dirt and place each seed. Once the seeds sprout you’ll have so many herbs you won’t know what to do with them all! Once sprouted, follow the same procedure for planting your starters.
When I grew up, I never understood my mom’s obsession with her garden. It was something I never had the patience for (much like sewing – and that one four year old apron project…). They were just plants, whoopity doo. But now, married to a farmer-turned-nurse and a phone call away from my near master gardener mother – I’ve got endless resources to pick apart for my newbie gardening fingers. Now I just have to figure out how to keep the dang birds out of my basil. Ben’s no help in that department, and he likes it that way. But onward I go, determined to get the most out of the limited space I have available and getting the most out of my gardening experience.
Try out a garden for yourself this year – it’s not too late. Don’t be afraid of herbs and plants, you never know what flavor combo you’ll discover next.
Morning rituals are important, especially on the weekends. Through the week, as so many of us can attest, we are busy and dragged in so many directions, we can’t figure out which way is up by the end of it. We crave that respite from the rest of the world, and the weekend morning ritual can start set the tone for the rest of the weekend and the start of your next week. When Folgers asked me to talk about my weekend rituals with you and tell you what an important part my morning cup of coffee and music played in it all I was thrilled to share the most important pieces of my weekend with you in hopes that you find your peace and weekend solace, too. It’s never too late to carve out your own ritual and see what pieces fall into place. By the end of the week I’m so thoroughly exhausted, from 4:30 wake up calls, to putting a full week at work, cooking, blogging, photographing and running every errand under the sun that sitting back for an hour to relish the time with my husband is just what the imaginary doctor ordered. As soon as our feet hit the floor, it’s into the kitchen we go to get the coffee brewing and the puppy fed. Huck gets awfully chatty if he isn’t fed immediately. It’s definitely the best part of his day! But until that first cup of coffee hits my lips, my day can’t officially start. My coffee doesn’t leave my side throughout the morning, it’s there while I fix breakfast, it’s sitting within hands reach of the stove, while I watch the news and while I get dressed and ready for the day. It’s permanently tethered to me – just the way I like it.
With Ben going to school full time for nursing, and me working full time our schedules don’t always overlap, so spending that hour on the weekend together, eating breakfast, listening to music or watching TV is a prized and precious time for us. The little things, like spending that quiet time together coffee in hand are what matters most. Between my coffee in hand and the radio playing in the background, I know my weekend in the kitchen cooking and dancing in the kitchen will be time well spent – full of creativity, food, and probably sugar. Chocolate, too.
And you can’t have a morning dance off without some great tunes. It doesn’t matter if it’s a jingle, an oldie, or the newest song on the radio – get up, get your coffee and rock on. To help keep those tunes flowing, percolate some new sounds into your ear buds from an up and coming artist – the flavors and varieties are endless, and you might find something new and lively to start your day. Folgers supports up and coming artists and takes pride in their annual Jingle Contest to give artists the boost they need to make it big. Take a look at the Folgers Jingle Contest Finalists and listen to the jingles that landed them in the Top 10! Cast your vote for the best one and make them your morning standard wake up tunes. Cast your vote once a day from now until June 19th. And voting isn’t just great for the artists, but great for you – with prizes available like free Folgers Coffee, iTunes giftcards, and signed CD’s from Gavin DeGraw! And maybe even a whopping $10,000 just for voting! ” Get your vote on here and be sure to follow the Road to the Jingle on Facebook to see how Folgers traveled the U.S. to track down the Top 10 contestants! Remember, you can vote once a day through June 19th!
If ever there was a weekend that needed recovery from, it was this last weekend. If you follow me on Instagram, you know I ditched the PNW, Ben and Huck and headed south to Orlando! And I learned two things down there – Me and the Florida sun do not get along (girl got fried!) , and air conditioning is a gift from the gods. I also might have learned that drinks are highly over priced, and churritos and churros are not the same thing – which is highly disappointing. But back to the drinking portion of our program. Yesterday’s How to Infuse Vodka started this whole process with a two week infusion of fresh cucumbers into vodka. And it only seems fitting to make sure you had something to pour that fresh and fun concoction into – some orange Sanpellegrino, if you dare.
This is a summer staple and I always keep a jar of cucumber infused vodka in the fridge for such occasion. And let’s be honest, there is always an occasion for these. After two rounds of $8.50 of Skinny Girl Coconut Mojitos poolside, I was definitely in the mood for a cheaper, fresher and tastier alternative when I got home. These were such a cinch.
And let’s be honest, after a hopscotch across the country from Orlando to St. Paul to Seattle, a nap and one of these was just what I needed. And some aloe, too. Apparently SPF 50 does nothing for my glow-in-the-dark Pacific Northwest skin. Ow. #worthit
If you’re viewing this post from the Country Cleaver homepage – be sure to click the “Read More” tab to get the recipe!
Need additional ways to refresh and stay cool? Check out these sippers below.
Buy booze, add berries, herbs or whatever the heck you want, seal and put in the fridge – wait two weeks and boom, flavored vodka. Or whiskey, or whatever boozey booze boozanite you can come up with. I love doing this at home! I went to the store to stock up on supplies for this and did a little price comparison – a quick fifth of flavored vodka was going for $25! Are you kidding me? Artificial flavors crammed into a bad bottle of vodka to begin with? Pass. So I grabbed an equally shoddy bottle of vodka, a cucumber, and a white peach just for good measure, and it added up to a whopping $10 dollars. That’s two flavored vodkas for less than half the price of one. AND it actually tastes like, ya know, something real. Learning how to infuse vodka couldn’t be easier. And why lie, if you heard from your friends that they were infusing their own vodka, you’d be pretty impressed too. No one really needs to know how easy it is.
It’s like Cocktail with Tom Cruise – but less flipping cocktails and neon print clothing.
To change things up a bit – I sliced up a white peach just for fun. You know me and my rebel tendencies.
Whatever fruit or vegg or herb you use, wash it first. For the cucumber and like items with a thick skin I removed them with a regular ol’ vegetable peeler and discarded them. The cucumber and peach were each sliced into ⅛ – ¼ inch slices and tossed into their respective mason jars. For the cucumber vodka I went with a 16 ounce wide mouth mason jar, and lid. For the white peach, I sourced two of my 8 ounce canning jars with their corresponding lids.
So into the jars they went.
Remember when I said I used some cheap vodka? Yup, but whatever you have on hand works – the final results is what matters.
Fill each jar about half way with berries, fruit, or veggies and then pour then fill the remaining jar with vodka.
Next, you just seal tightly and toss into your fridge for a couple of weeks. When it dawns on your while you’re sneaking your latest cube of cheese from the fridge at midnight, give the jars a gentle shake to keep it all mixed up a bit.
Tomorrow I’ll have a perfect and refreshing drink to add your newly infused vodka too. I can’t get enough.
You won’t be able to either. So let your imagination run wild – raspberries, blueberries, cucumbers or thyme.
And if you’re super daring, try whisky and cinnamon. See, rebels all of us!
1) I’m eating my weight in Churros this weekend. I think it’s a rule that you can’t go to a Disney-Land-or-World without doing so. I hear D.World has beinets. You may never see me again.
1b) Ben’s and my wedding was featured on Wedding Chicks this week! It’s full of Awwwww, lovie dovey sick stuff and lifetime commitments.
2) Struggles, my office desk fish, continues to freak me out every chance he gets by wrapping himself around his water filter and just laying there dead like. I panic every time. He’s the fish that cried filter, or something. But he likes it. Don’t bother me while I’m cleaning my room!! I feel like I invade his privacy when I tap on the tank. Bad fish mom.
3) Beka has me doing crafty crap again. Adorable crafty crap – From Pinterest. It must be stopped. But my desk at work looks fabulous. All is forgiven. Except for PInterest. Cause it’s evil. Here is the how-to from TidyMom and she rawwks the vintage look. #craftallthethings
4) Order this. By the pound. It’s like the Swedish Fish of dried fruit. There is a stash in my desk, in my cupboards, in my purse. Not kidding.
5) I kinda got a comment ear-full about not telling you guys enough about this photo. True story – I used to be a competitive lumberjack. Yup. I was even decent-ish. All fingers and toes are still intact. And the scar on my shin where I got my throwing axe lodged in is now practically gone.
6) The depths of my love over Bakingdom’s Geek Photo A Day knows no bounds. I mean a photo day devoted to Sheldon Cooper? Sold. What would be your favorite class at Hogwarts? Potions, duh.
7) Thursday night, as I was red-eyeing it to Orlando, I missed the season finales – in one case the SERIES finale of two of my favorite shows. My life is Ovahhh!
The Office, what will I do without you? Jim and Pam? My spirit tv couple. They are me and Ben. We are Jim and Pam. I can’t handle it.
And Scandal? Anyone else totally torn to emotional bits over this show? I mean, sure he’s a cheater president married to a ragin cow of a First Lady, but Liv wants to do the right thing, but they love eachother! Or do they? And adding Scott Foley to the mix – well I just don’t know which way is up anymore. Needless to say – I probably haven’t watched these yet – because I got into Orlando at 12:15 on Friday morning and hit the ground running. Thank the TV gods in heaven, Amen, for the invention of the HULU App. I’ll be leaving the airport streaming it ASAP! So no spoilers.
9) In an effort to be healthier – The OKMH group is instituting a new vegetable of the week. This week is Chard. Screw kale. I can’t handle the kale. I tried, but it’s not happening. Something about it being something only a cow could chew through, just doesn’t appeal to me. Unless it’s kale chips. Covered in nacho cheese dust. I made this because I had to use up a bunch of rainbow chard I bought before leaving for Florida. Ben - the Veggie Police – hasn’t even touched it. And he won’t. So it’s up to me. How did I marry a self proclaimed veggie fiend that doesn’t like chard OR ARTICHOKES? I missed something here. Anyway – this is a recipe for one. I will live off this gladly.
9b) So I used chard in today’s recipe – and I have mastered the One (Wo)Man Mac n’ Cheese with Jalapeno Cheddar Mac and Cheese for one. I ate it like a lion over a dead zebra – ravenously and with out abandon. It wasn’t pretty, but it was dayyuumm good. This recipe is easy to multiply if you feel like cooking for others… if you’re feeling generous. I won’t judge, eat it all yourself.
I defy you to saunter into Starbucks and not drool over the carb counter. I dare you. That’s a bet I’m not willing to make because I’m a sucker. S to the Ucker. Like the lemon loaf - so good, feels so right – kinda like that favorite pair of jeans you have that feel awesome, despite the fact that they’re totally mom-jean-esque CK’s you bought at Costco and you should be abhorently embarassed by them, but you wear them anyway…Uhh… Moving on. Well now they have their new Raspberry Swirl Pound Cake with cream cheese frosting slathered on top, thick as Henry Cavill’s Superman ‘do that I want to run my fingers through (yup, I just officially came off as creepy). If this pound cake had a butt-chin like Henry Cavill, I’d probably marry it.
*wipes frosting from face* A whole lot just happened here. Moving on.
I am in need of a Starbucks Anonymous group – because I have had a three slices in the last week and a half. It’s stupid. Ridiculously, fat pants be damned, kind of stupid. And then I went and made it myself – even worse!
Hello, I’m Megan. It’s been .38 days since my last Raspberry Swirl Loaf.
All together now — *Hi, Megan.*
What finally got my gumption up to make one of these one my own was Julie’s Copy Cat Lemon Loaf from eons ago. I’ve been pining over it for one year, three months and five days, and willing myself not to make it because I KNEW THIS WOULD HAPPEN! I wouldn’t be able to stop. I made two loaves of this – For Science! – since my first Raspberry loaf encounter at Starbucks and now it’s a legit sickness.
This is beyond easy – which makes it all the more dangerous to know how to make. And heck, go all Henry Ford on this and make an assembly line of Raspberry Loaves and you too can sell this for $2.95 a slice. Entreprenuership at it’s FINEST!!
Slap a Made with Love sticker on it and you could even bump it up to Three Fitty! Just helping you out here… Or not.
Chooo-Chooo!! The flavor train is rollin’ in friends – better hop on! Sorry about that. But not really. I’m still recovering from a weekend of cahoots and a lack of decent sleep so I say silly things. (What’s new?) There was not enough coffee in a Seattle Starbucks to wake me from this zombie like state. Pretty sure that not one person I talked to yesterday was having a good Monday – so let’s turn it all around and learn something new!
And delicious. Two of the best things.
Roasted peppers have a great fiery and sweet flavor to them. For this how-to I went with basic red bell peppers. But roasted poblanos – ohhh mama – divine! The steps to roast a bell pepper are the same for any other variety, so pick your favorite, maybe something with a little heat and go to Flavor Town, Population YOU! Sorry again – remember loopy.
Pre-heat your grill and clean the grates. Slather your peppers with olive oil on all sides, placing them onto the grill to begin to roast.
Grill baby, grill!
Cover with a lid, checking your peppers every few minutes, turning them when the skin starts to blacken.
Depending on your grill – it may take more or less time. I left them for about 5 minutes every side – but we use one of those cheap little tailgaiting BBQ’s… And this is why I wanted to get Ben a full size grill for the wedding. Nope, Mr. Practical wanted a CHEST FREEZER instead. Maybe the grill was more of a wedding gift from me, for him for me…but there is no need to slice hairs here – a good grill is a must have!
If you don’t have a grill – you can always roast your peppers under your broiler on a baking sheet, or if you have a gas range, you can plop each pepper right on top of the burner and roast it from there! Super handy.
Just repeat the char, rotate, char, rotate procedure and the results are perfect every time. This is such a versatile trick you can’t lose. And plus, roasting your own peppers just sounds impressive.
Once the peppers have roasted on all sides, place them into a plastic bag and seal them to steam. Steaming allows the skin to release from the meat of the peppers for easier peeling. Let them rest about 30 minutes, or until cool enough to get your mitts on them.
No burns here please!
The skin will peel off in sheets, just peel and discard. Along with the skin, remove the stem and the seeds inside the pepper.
When roasted pepper meat is all that remains you’re ready to go! Place your pepper on a panini, into pasta, mince add into a burger mix, or toss some in to your tomato sauce, or even onto a southwest pizza with grilled chicken! GASP, I think there is a pizza in my future!
So get your grill on and roast something other than your skin this summer! Peppers are so much better than sunburns. Just sayin’.
Wanna see more? Check out these other How-To Tuesdays of yore!
What is life without passion? I can’t tell you how many passions I’ve had, or what passion will strike next. At first is started with horses as a little girl – living, breathing, riding and putting a pony as number 1 on my Christmas wish list until I was 17. I was a determined and willful child. Sports took over through my adolescence, from soccer, to track, volleyball and fast pitch culminating in my college years as a lumberjack in college. Now I turn to cooking. Each of these chapters of passions gave me an outlet, a place of solice, a place to dive head first into and find a new part of myself that I didn’t know existed. It’s true! Wielding axes and running with chainsaws was never something I thought I would do, let alone fall so heartedly in love with.
One of the best things about finding your passions are meeting the people that share those passions right along with you. And so often when you find your passions and the people that share them, you find a new sense of community. What a wonderful thing. Now that my lumberjack days are behind me, I’ve turned to my passion of cooking to share my mind, creations, photography and writing with not only fantastic readers who are continually supportive and keep coming back for more – but a community of bloggers who have a true and unyielding passion for creation, and bringing people together through food. As we continue to cook and create we also learn, and to me learning new things continues that passion and helps forage new paths.
Passion is a fundamental quality of living – and living (and eating – who are we kidding!) without passion isn’t fulfilled.
Cracker Barrel cheese has a deep passion not just for cheese on it’s own, but for all of the facets that go into cheese-making like the formulas and science, the heritage and the quality and what the product represents. For years, Cracker Barrel has developed cheeses that speak to us, that we go to not just their quality, but because they were the cheese that our mom’s and grandma’s served us. And these cheese people have a passion for the cheese they create – knowing that the cheese they create goes on the table for those around the country for people who value the passion of others. And what a delicious passion to have, huh?
Here are twenty five other cheese-tastic recipes to share your passion with cheeses of all kinds. Shred it, slice it, devour it whole!
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