These are so amazing! I would love to grow a bunch of these around my garden. Who knows, maybe next Spring I will figure out how to do this. Here is the site:
Archive for September, 2009
Well, it further separates us from apes anyway. I found this article and thought it was so interesting. The author has a unique perspective. It’s short and will only take you a few minutes to read. So, have a quick look and see what you think. Also, this comes from www.gimundo.com which is a great online news site and only reports good news. I subscribe to it because that is the news I like to read.
I have to post this because it made me laugh. I think you will like it. http://www.guba.com/watch/2000903121?duration_step=0&fields=8&filter_tiny=0&pp=5&query=-1936485237&sb=7&set=-1&sf=0&size_step=0&o=1&sample=1238696373:cb9aeea3a714727eb27efac4639a48075db6eb23
Tonight my mom and stepfather and my sister are flying in from Los Angeles. I am so excited. It’s not all about me though. My other sister, Jessica, who lives near me is having a baby on the 29th. It’s scheduled…nice. So, people are arriving for the birth of a new baby.
Of course, I am prepared to have dinner ready and have the house smelling of delicious savory stuff when they walk through the door at eight. I am making corned beef and cabbage. I always have to have a vegetarian alternative for my daughter, Daphne.
Lately I have been making homemade pizzas. I even make the dough. Maybe that’s not so impressive? I made tons of pizza sauce from the tomatoes in my garden and canned it. I know that is impressive. I thought this was a fantastic idea for tonight because Daphne can share this pizza with Julia, my sister, who does not eat meat either. I’ll make it with cheese and grilled veggies, I thought.
Then, I remembered Julia’s a Vegan. Ouch. No cheese? I can’t even imagine; but, who am I to judge? I told you that I am a cheese fanatic. I tried to curb my cheese eating once because I thought I needed to lose a few pounds. I soon discovered life isn’t worth living if cheese isn’t in it. I chose to keep the pounds and my happiness in tact. Anyway, I digress.
I will buy some tofu cheese today before they arrive for Julia’s side of the pizza. It’s not that good: I have tried it. But, I can’t imagine not even pretending that cheese is on a pizza. I want to make Julia’s stay here as fantastic as possible so that she always wants to visit me on her vacations. I absolutely adore her company. So, I have found a couple of great websites about Vegan food and with Vegan recipes. I am sharing them here in case you are Vegan or someone you love is a Vegan.
Okay, so I told you how delicious Keith Adam’s Bent River Cheese from the Alemar Cheese Company tastes. If you missed that article, scroll down to the post just beneath this one. You might also want to scroll down to get all of the recipes I posted. Apparently, I am not the only one who loves Bent River Cheese.
There seems to be quite a consensus. Keith was interviewed this morning on Cities 97. You can listen to the interview here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iENKSr3lvQY They are eating it while they interview Keith. I was jealous listening to them taste it on the air. You will be too. They had a Cheese Goddess with them. I didn’t even know there was a Cheese Goddess and I think we should be properly introduced.
Also, by complete surprise, his cheese was mentioned on KSTP’s Twin Cities Live. You can see this at: http://twincitieslive.com/article/day/S20090917.shtml?cat=10699&articleID=190772. Finally, have a look at Keith’s blog and his reaction to all of this positive press: http://alemarcheese.blogspot.com/
I believe everyone who tastes this cheese will fall in love with the creamy delectible flavor. Be careful, because it’s addictive. Ask your local grocer to order this cheese. You will be doing everyone a favor. It’s a community service…really. Once you get your hands on this cheese, you will be thanking me. Well, I guess you should be thanking Keith. www.alemarcheese.com.
Alemar Cheese Company
Last winter, Claud told me a friend, Keith Adams, was making organic cheese in Mankato. I asked, “will we get some…how much…and when?” I am a cheese fanatic. I put cheese on eggs, sandwiches, soups, pasta…and I don’t mean sprinkling a little Parmesan, I mean grating loads of sharp aged cheddar over marinara. I could eat cheese and crackers for every in between meal snack. I have a manifestation board, like the one they tell you to make on “The Secret”, with all of the things you want to attract into your life. There are more than three pictures of cheeses on my board.
About two months ago, Claud brought home a wheel of Keith’s cheese for me to try. He barely made it through the door before I tore it out of his hands and grabbed the crackers.
I cut through the rind and, because it had reached room temperature on the drive, the creamy cheese poured out. I inhaled the pungent odor (not too stinky, but the real smell of cheese). My mouth watered. Claud said, “It’s like Camembert,” like I was listening. I wanted to slow down and take it all in. It was creamy beige in color. I sliced a small wedge and ate it plain. I wish I had a picture of the blissful expression spread across my face. “Good isn’t it?” Claud said. I just giggled in response. I tried another on a cracker, then on a cracker with tomato, then with tomato and basil, then with a slice of salami on a cracker, then with salami, tomato and basil, then on a cracker plain again, then on a Snickers. I realized I made a huge mistake: I don’t even like Snickers plain. I came to my senses and realized how sad I would be later if I ate the whole wheel.
How does milk miraculously transform into this creamy deliciousness? I asked Keith if I could follow him around for the day watching the cheese making process at the Alemar Cheese Company. He obliged. The day began with an early morning drive to the dairy. Keith makes cheese from milk that has been taken from cows on the same day. On the hour or so drive to the dairy, I asked how this whole cheese making idea came to fruition.
He had a nice job at a publishing company with health benefits, a steady paycheck, and people he enjoyed working with, but a key component was missing… passion. Keith wanted to do something on his own, something he loved. He believed he would be a better example for his children if he didn’t sacrifice this desire and instead showed his two daughters how he went for his dream win or lose. That passion, lucky for you and for me, happened to be Artisan cheese making.
Once again, I had to look this up. According to the American Cheese Society, the word “artisan or artisanal implies that a cheese is produced primarily by hand, in small batches, with particular attention paid to the tradition of the cheese maker’s art, and thus using as little mechanization as possible in the production of the cheese. Artisan cheeses may be made from all types of milk and may include various flavorings”.
Once Keith became determined to make cheese, he had to decide where he would purchase his milk. He studied all of the dairies in the area and finally found what he believed to be a perfect match in Cedar Summit Farm, an organic dairy located in New Prague, MN. One of several reasons Keith chose the organic milk from this farm is because of the people who run it and the way they treat their animals. He told me, “they have total integrity and care for their animals. Their operation is about more than the bottom line.” The fact that the milk tasted so fantastic didn’t hurt either. Everyone at the dairy was welcoming and warm. The farm was straight out of a picture book.
They have a country store with milk, eggs, spices, coffee, and more. I bought some fresh milk and vanilla ice cream to take home to my family. Jack even liked the milk!
Finally, I went back to see the rest of the cheese making process. Keith dressed up in white Wellington boots and a hair net and provided detailed answers to every question I had. He even showed me a monthly magazine all about cheese. I considered ordering a subscription but decided it would be torture to see pictures I couldn’t taste.
Please click on this link to watch a movie of Keith making cheese and our visit to the dairy http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W_aa-dh8Uh0. Please come back later today to see this. This Camembert style cheese is called Bent River Cheese. His cheese company is Alemar Cheese Company: www.alemarcheese.com. The dairy he partners with is: www.cedarsummit.com.
If you go into your grocery store and cannot find this cheese, please give them the website and ask them to order it for you. You won’t be disappointed.
Bent River Cheeseburger
Time: 30 minutes
1 glass of your favorite wine
1 pound ground buffalo meat (optional, substitute ground beef)
1 pound ground beef
2 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
½ C. Bread crumbs
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. pepper
½ wheel Bent River Cheese, sliced
1 tomato sliced
6 leaves romaine lettuce
1 Tsp. olive oil
2 onions, sliced
1 tsp. sugar
1 Tsp. strawberry jam
6 Burger buns
6 Tsp mayonnaise
6 Tbsp Dijon mustard
Take a sip of your wine and continue to drink throughout cooking time. Mix together the ground meat, Worcestershire sauce, bread crumbs, eggs, salt and pepper and form into patties. Grill about five minutes each side. Just before finished, topped with cheese to melt. In a hot skillet add the olive oil and the onions. Pour over the sugar and jam. Cook until the onions become caramelized. Toast the buns on the grill. Place the cheesy burger. Spread mayo and mustard on the bun. Layer with tomato and lettuce. Top with bun. Enjoy!
Deep Fried Bent River Cheese
Time: 20 minutes
1 Wheel Bent River Cheese
1 Tbsp. milk
2 C. bread crumbs
5 C. peanut oil (or whatever frying oil you prefer)
2 Tbsp Strawberry jam
Basil to garnish
Note: Bent River Cheese is best if eaten within three weeks. If you bought a few wheels, you may want to get them into the freezer before the three weeks are up. Then, you can thaw it out and make this recipe because it’s easier to do if still a bit frozen.
Cut the wheel into small wedges. Combine the egg and milk in a small bowl. Pour the bread crumbs into another bowl. Heat the oil to 300 degrees in a deep fryer or appropriate pot for deep frying. Roll the cheese in the egg wash and then into the bread crumbs. Make sure it is completely covered in crumbs. Deep fry for one minute. Take them out and serve with the jam. Enjoy.
Bent River Cheese Stuffed Chicken Breasts in Morrel Sauce
Time: 40 minutes
1 whole chicken (or two breasts)
2 Tbsp Kosher Salt
1/4 wheel of Bent River Cheese
2 Tbsp butter
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. If you opted for the whole chicken, please see my video on deboning so you can cut the breasts off. http://www.youtube.com/user/SimplyFoodify#play/uploads/6/OSPHniPsCTw I prefer starting from the whole chicken because for close to the same price you will have chicken left to cook tomorrow and the bones to make a delicious soup or stock. Slice the breasts open and stuff them with the Bent River Cheese. Rub the salt on the breast skin. Melt the butter in a skillet. Place the chicken in the melted butter in the medium heated skillet. Let the chicken cook and turn brown for about five minutes. In about that time, the chicken should be easily flipped over. Allow the other side to brown. Place the skillet in the oven for 20 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked.
I made mine on a bed of fried eggplant and a creamy morrel mushroom sauce. You could do this or make any sauce and vegetable combination you prefer. Enjoy!
Tomorrow is the first day of Fall. http://www.gather.com/viewArticle.action?articleId=281474977820476&grpId=3659174697244816 This day is called the autumnal equinox, which is the day of equal light and dark. After having the best summer I can remember, I am really looking forward to the Fall. I have pulled out a few sweaters already and can’t wait to put on boots again. The leaves are turning shades of red, amber, gold, and bright yellow. We’ll start lighting the fire again and drinking tea and hot chocolate. We’ll savor our last few evenings out at the fire pit playing charades. Most of all, I am excited about Fall food. Once the weather cools down, I love to make soups and stews. I have pumpkins growing in my garden and will attempt to make pumpkin pie this Fall. I also love roasting pumpkin seeds with salt and garlic. And, the greatest thing of all about this Fall…Thanksgiving will be held at my house. All of my family from California will be travelling here. I’m thinking about making a turducken.
Anyone who knows me, knows I love to drink red wine. As a lover of red wine, it’s nice to hear about the health benefits. That way, I can tell people it’s medicinal. No, not really. There are a lot of health benefits in drinking red wine as evidenced in the longevity of the lives of Mediterranean people or people who adhere to a Mediterranean diet. Some people, however, would opt not to drink so much wine and still want to have the benefits found in the grapes. I don’t know why; but, I am not one to judge. Here is some information on a new supplement which is supposed to supply these benefits:
I am just offering this out as information. I am not sure, myself, if it will prolong your life. Just food for thought.
I wanted to give everyone a heads up on a festival. It will be on October 2-3 and October 9-10. You will not want to miss Oktoberfest in New Ulm, Minnesota. Follow this link to read all of the details. It is sure to be a blast. http://www.newulmoktoberfest.com/ If you can’t be in Germany for Oktoberfest, you might as well be in this beautiful German town. If you can’t be in New Ulm or Germany, check the web for Oktoberfests near you.
Duck and Apples
In the process of researching apples and apple picking, I discovered that this is turning out to be an exciting year for the apple harvest. Check out this article in “Midwest Agnet”: http://www.midwestagnet.com/Global/story.asp?S=11142685.
Also, it turns out, today is a big day for apple picking in Boston, Massachusetts. Apparently, with the cooler summer and more rain, apples are abundant, large and juicy. I discovered the same to be true for the apples in Southern Minnesota.
I began this week preparing to write all about apples and took the kids to an orchard.
If you don’t have a neighbor with tons of apple trees to pick, and you live in Southern Minnesota, check out this website to find a wonderful place to take your family apple picking:
Other than realizing the children were no longer helping and had instead decided to line the apples up along the road so people could smash them with their car, I had a great time (Sorry, Steve Odegard). The kids climbed trees and Daphne picked a bunch while on my friend, Crystal’s, shoulders. Here is a video of the apple picking day:
I came home with a Rubbermaid tub full of gorgeous fresh apples and a head swimming with recipe ideas.
I wasn’t sure what type of apples we picked and found this incredible website which helped me to figure it out. It tells you everything you need to know about apples:
Claud said, “We have to make Tarte Tatin”. Once again, illuminating how much I have to learn, I had to look it up. Apparently, two French women ran a hotel and one of them prepared most of the meals. One day, she either cooked the apples too long in the caramelized sugar and decided to put the crust on top, or she accidently put the crust on top. How do you accidentally put crust on top? Their last name was Tatin. The guests loved it and a popular Parisian chef, after tasting it, incorporated it into his menu. The rest is culinary history.
Making Tarte Tatin is very simple. I had everything I needed except for puff pastry. We headed out to the market. At the store, Claud bought duck and we roasted it for dinner that night. After roasting the duck, we cut the breast off of the bone, intentionally leaving some meat. We then cut the legs and wings off and threw the rest of the bones into a stock pot with water, onions and celery. We let that cook for hours. Meanwhile, Jack, Claud (Daphne’s a vegetarian), and I ate the roasted duck breasts, legs, and wings, with roast potatoes and asparagus. We had full tummies and plenty of leftovers.
The next day, for no reason, I woke up in an unusually aggravated mood and had a list of chores. Claud asked if I wanted to spend the day on the boat. I felt I should do all of the chores, but chose the boat option thinking I needed to get out of this funky mood. We ate lunch first.
We cut the leftover duck into slices and made sandwiches for Claud and Jack. I placed cold slices of duck over a fresh salad with a raspberry vinaigrette. Then, our friend Scott showed up at our back door and asked if we wanted to come on his pontoon boat. He even sweetened the deal by offering some of his homemade wine. I quickly changed out of my jeans and into a skirt and hopped on the boat with the rest of my family.
Cruising on the boat, listening to Bob Marley and sipping Pinot Grigio, my mood soared. Claud and Jack dove in the water when we stopped the boat. I never get in, so I didn’t even bother getting into a swimming suit. But, this day seemed different. Something magical was in the air: I felt happy and peaceful. I handed my wine to Kathy, Scott’s wife, ran to the other end of the boat and plunged into the lake, prairie skirt, button up blouse, sunglasses and all. I resurfaced to find I lost a lens in my glasses. I must have looked ridiculous. But, it was so exhilarating. My bad mood was washed away.
After a warm bath, I was ready to get started on my Tarte Tatin. I went to the freezer to pull out the “sheets” of puff pastry only to find, I bought puff pastry “shells” instead. I couldn’t make Tarte Tatin like this. I wanted to make a big one in a skillet. So, I started thinking about the duck stock that had been simmering and opted to make it into duck pot pie instead.
That was a perfect idea because it turned out to be so fantastic.
I was happy to have picked up the wrong pastry. With all of the duck eating going on, I decided this week was equally about duck. So, this is a duck and apples story. And, no, that is not cockney rhyming slang. Like the week that was supposed to be all about apples turning into a week about duck: my potentially miserable day turned into one of the year’s best.
A couple of days later, I got the sheets of puff pastry and made the Tarte Tatin with Claud and Daphne. Please take a look at a video of the making of the Tarte Tatin:
We all loved the Tarte Tatin (well, except Jack who called last week’s recipe, “awful poppel” so I can’t trust his critiques) and thought we would definitely be making this throughout the winter with all of the apple slices I froze. It’s easy, beautiful, and tasty. Enjoy!
Time: 1 hour
1 glass of your favorite wine and slowly sip throughout the cooking (optional)
9 apples, peeled, cored and sliced (I used McIntosh)
½ C. Sugar
I sheet puff pastry
Take a sip of your wine. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Take the sheet of puff pastry out of the freezer and allow it to thaw on the counter for 40 minutes. Meanwhile, peel, core and slice the apples. Place the sugar in a skillet on high heat. Once the sugar begins to caramelize (about ten minutes), stir. Once it is a light brown caramel, place the apple slices in the pan in concentric circles. Roll out the pastry dough until it is large enough to cover. Place it over the apples and press it into the sides. Cut a few slits into the pastry. Slide the skillet into the oven and bake for 20 minutes. Take out of the oven and cool for 15 minutes. Place a plate over the skillet and turn it over.
I also found an incredible savory apple recipe for Salmon Terriyaki with apples:
Found in a Disney Family Fun Magazine. Salmon in apple teriyaki recipe: http://jas.familyfun.go.com/recipefinder/display?id=14141
2 Tsp. kosher salt
1 tsp. pepper
2 Tsp. rosemary
½ C. olive oil
Preheat oven to 325 degrees . Clean the duck thoroughly. Place the duck into an oven roasting dish. Rub on the spices. Rub in the olive oil. Bake 25 minutes per pound.
When you finish, save the duck fat. Pour it into a jar and put it in the refrigerator. It is excellent for cooking. Use it like butter in the pan. It has a better flavor and can stand a higher temperature.
3 slices toasted bread
4 slices duck breast
2 slices tomato
2 slices raw onion
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon mayonnaise
Toast the bread and spread the mayonnaise and mustard onto the bread slices. Layer the other ingredients into two sections with one slice of toasted bread in between (like a club sandwich). Enjoy.
3 leaves romaine lettuce
6 pitted kalamata olives sliced in half
½ C. garbanzo beans
1 Tbsp. pepitas
1 Tbsp. feta cheese, crumbled
¼ C. shredded carrots
2 Tbsp. Rasberry vinegar
1 Tbsp. olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
Tear the lettuce leaves and put into a bowl, combine beans, pepitas, carrots and cheese. Drizzle with vinegar and olive oil. Salt and pepper to taste. Enjoy.
Duck Pot Pie
1 package of frozen puff pastry shells (6)
6 C. duck stock (Duck bones and meat simmered for several hours with chopped celery, bay leaf and onions. Remove the bones.)
2 C. sweet corn
4 small yellow squash, sliced
1 medium onion, diced
1 C. celery
2 cloves garlic, sliced
Salt and pepper to taste
2 tsp. arrowroot
Cook puff pastry shells according to package directions. Saute onions, squash, celery, and garlic. Combine these vegetables to the stock and simmer on medium heat. Add the sweet corn. Add salt and pepper to your liking. About five minutes before serving, pour the arrowroot into a glass of water and stir. Slowly spoon this mixture into your filling to thicken it up. Take the cooked puff pastry shells out of the oven. Cut the tops and spoon the filling inside. Enjoy.
Next week: Organic Cheese.