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Ontario, Canada
I am a wife, mother and grandma who enjoys the many aspects of homemaking. A variety of interests and hobbies combined with travel keep me active. They reflect the importance of family, friends, home and good food.
Cook ingredients that you are used to cooking by other techniques, such as fish, chicken, or hamburgers. In other words be comfortable with the ingredients you are using.
--Bobby Flay

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Thursday, December 21, 2006

Fun With Cheese!

We are true cheese lovers here so at any given time will have upwards of 20 different cheeses, some of them homemade at any given time. We just enjoy cheeses so much! Most freeze well so end up being a true convenience food and fresh they just make a meal. I really enjoy playing with cheeses especially when cooking.

Cheese Cups

Cheese cups are something I just sort of came up with while looking for a new way to serve salads. I came across the idea for making cheese crisps on the food network. There was a show about low carb that I kind of stumbled upon and really liked the idea of shredding cheese then baking it. So I decided to experiment.

I shredded cheddar cheese then mounded it onto parchment paper and baked it until almost crisp. Now this was really good, a nice type of cheese cracker that I make often. However, I immediately saw the versatility of cheese crackers. What if I formed them into bowls to seve salad in? I thought that would be rather a neat presentation where you could eat both the salad and bowl. So I baked the shredded cheese in rounds and while still warm, I drapped over a juice glass, pressed a bit then let them cool. This was the result and I must say my family loves this presentation!

Cheese Sticks

Cheese sticks just sort of happened and I can't really recall why other than our love for cheese and a bit of kitchen experimenting. I use a ABM pizza dough (recipe follows) then the dough into narrow strips and roll in cheddar cheese and bake. This is a true family favourite!

Pizza Dough

1 1/2 c beer
1 1/2 tbsp butter
3 tbsp sugar
1 1/2 tsp salt
4 1/8 c white flour
1 1/2 tbsp instant yeast

Add ingredients as per your breadmaker instructions. Set to dough setting. When finished, remove from bread pan and roll out the dough. Cut into strips and roll into shredded cheddar (or cheese of your choice) cheese. Let the dough rise then bake at 350ºF until cheese is bubbling and bread is golden brown.

Cheese on Salad

We eat a lot of salads, usually daily, so coming up with variations can be challenging. For the most part I much prefer fresh cut greens and vegetables from the garden and I do love adding fresh cut herbs as well. But a bit of cheese really makes a salad sparkle. It accents the homemade viniagrette well and just adds that perfect sparkle. I love freshly shredded parmesan cheese for this purpose but often use other cheeses too.

Now If you are wondering the viniagrette is a homemade purple basil, lavender, lemon thyme and organo vinegar combined with a bit of honey, dijon mustard and fresh chopped onions and chives. I make a lot of homemade vinegars from my herb garden and I insist on using fresh herbs whenever possible.


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