10 January 2009

La Fête du Fromage: Apple Cinnamon Monterey Jack

I've been absent from Loulou's cheese event the past month or so, as the time before last in Kalona we (gasp!) forgot about the cheese shop. I wasn't about to pay regular price for any cheese beyond shredded cheddar and mozzarella, so I've had to abstain, but fortunately we returned to the joys of cheese this month. You can see a photo of the making of cheese curds at my photo blog, if you're so inclined. I didn't get any cheese curds, but I did get a few new cheeses to sample, including this lovely (on sale) apple cinnamon monterey jack.

Like any monterey jack, this one is soft and a good melter. I melted it on a tortilla for a snack, which is satisfying, and I also tried it as pictured on crackers with a green salad for a light supper. The apple cinnamon is stronger in smell than in taste, which is very subtle. The cheese is dotted with little bits of it, but you pick up more on the monterey jack's own cheesy flavour than the addition. That was okay by me, as super-sweet cheeses are much harder to pair with other things. This went well with my toasted wheat crackers, which at least gave me the illusion that I was eating healthy!

03 January 2009

Can I Interest You in a Kiss?

I was super-bummed when my area for whatever reason didn't carry the Pumpkin Spice or Candy Corn kisses in autumn, because I love getting the different seasonal flavours, but it's all right because I think this is my absolute favourite, up there with peanut butter. I put these candy cane kisses on top of some chocolate cookies for a variation on the familiar peanut butter thumbprints. They were fortunately tasty and not super-dry à la Josh's taste on the West Wing, but I can't for the life of me remember where the recipe came from. I know it was a blog, and one I read frequently at that. I'll update this post when it comes to me. Anyway, I do think the cookie itself would be better with the white chocolate chips that were suggested, but when you press on a kiss and let it get all melty, it's a wonderful combination.

01 January 2009

More Quick Hits

Since it worked well in the last post, here's another little dump of the random stuff floating around waiting to post, so that I can start getting into the bulk of my November/December recipes.

This is Leeks Simmered in Wine from page 386 of Deborah Madison's Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone. I'm not posting the recipe because I found it fairly so-so. It wasn't bad or anything, but it's basically just leeks with a bit of wine and flavour, not a real sauce. I have a habit of flipping through this cookbook by vegetable, but what Madison really does well is sauces and more substantial vegetarian meals, so I'm going to try in the future to do some more focused flipping to find her gems.

This was a very nice dish, just some curried green tomatoes that I served over some polenta. I used a recipe from The Perfect Pantry, but I thought I'd like the pairing with polenta a bit more than brown rice or adding tofu. I was right, and the slightly spicy preparation and the tart tomatoes went wonderfully with the smooth, buttery polenta. Try it with white wine!

Continuing in the chocolate chip cookie quest, I tried the Martha recipe with toffee again and this time had considerably more success. The cookies were perfectly chewy, and I was happy to take them to school for a treat to go along with my World AIDS Day presentation. They fall apart when warm, so you have to be careful when transferring them, but otherwise perfect. It's funny how on the first go of two recipes, one comes out heads and shoulders on top, but then on the second go they flip-flop completely.

This was my first time playing around with delicata squash, so I just sliced it into lengths and roasted it simply with a bit of salt, pepper, and olive oil. It was still sweet but the skin crisped up pleasantly and I like the texture of this squash better than the other winter varieties. I think this would be a great snack for throwing in the bento box if I had one.

Welcome, 2009!

A lot of people are posting year-end round ups, so I thought I'd chime in. These are my favourite recipes for each month of 2008 (posting month, not necessarily the month I made it). Happy New Year!

January: Chocolate Orange Custard Cups
February: Winter Friendship Soup
March: Red Velvet Cake
April: Granola
May: Chocolate Chip Cookies
June: Cheesy Tortilla Pie
July: Espresso Granita
August: Grilled Cheese
September: Coconut Angel Food Cake
October: Eggplant Rounds with Cheese and Red Wine Tomato Sauce
November: Grapefruit Yoghurt Cake
December: Macaroni and Cheese