Friday, August 26, 2016
Friday, February 19, 2016
Winter is usually a quiet time and I'm able to catch up on things (like this blog). But it's been a busy start to a new year and I'm already feeling a little behind. Local cheeses have never looked more beautiful though. So, I thought I'd share a few shots of recent events and projects I've been involved with.
In January, I was delighted to provide local cheeses and FarmCrisp crackers for Trinity Cathedral's annual Medieval Feast. For this year's Downton Abbey themed event, I presented an entire wheel of Kokoborrego's Headwaters Tomme for a ceremonial cheese "cracking" as well as Mayfield Road Creamery's Bloomfield and Yellow House Cheese's Wooster Pike Blue. Guests enjoyed cheese perfectly paired with sherry. Lovely.
January also brought a fun shopping event hosted by Luna Bakery Cafe with beautiful jewelry by Bidwell Designs, Luna treats -- and wine and cheese, of course.
February is the season for Lake Erie Creamery's beautiful hearts of chèvre. Three flavors include Heartbreaker (raspberry- chocolate), Sweetheart (strawberry-lemon), and Fleur de Coeur (rose-lavender). They will be available for the next week or two but that's all. So don't delay or you'll have to wait until next year.
I've introduced a new flavor of FarmCrisp that pairs perfectly with the Sweetheart and Heartbreaker. The Cocoa crisp is made from a blend of local spelt and wheat and kissed with a little sea salt and raw sugar.
I absolutely love creating cheese boards to show off the incredible creations of our local cheesemakers. Lately, I've been obsessed with these round platters lately abundantly filled with cheeses, nuts and winter fruits.
All the cheeses I mention here are available for retail sale at Luna Bakery Cafe in Cleveland Heights. Made-to-order cheese boards are also available by special order for your next event. Just give me a call.
Thursday, June 18, 2015
These early summer cheese boards just might be my favorites.
Gardens and markets are brimming with all sorts of fragrant herbs, sweet berries, and edible flowers that make delicious, local cheese just that much more beautiful and enjoyable. And there are all those wonderful warm-weather flavor pairings... Mayfield Road Creamery's Bloomfield with first-of-the-season Ohio strawberries; Lake Erie Creamery's Hungarian Kötözött with cool cucumber slices and vine-ripened cherry tomatoes. Ah, the taste of summer!
It was my pleasure to work with two wonderful clients on some fun neighborhood events this past weekend. I'd love to create a seasonal cheese board for your upcoming summer gathering too. So, give me a call.
Tuesday, April 28, 2015
Spring is here.
There are buds and blossoms. And we've had lots of crisp, clear, unshaded sun to green things up.
Anyway, this list of recent obsessions is a good one. So, I thought I'd share some of these early spring pastimes.
What does color taste like?
Fika: The Art of the Swedish Coffee Table by Anna Bronnes with charming illustrations by the Johanna Kindvall
Jewelry made from fresh succulents by Twig Floral
Hellebore and Gooseberry blossoms (see above photo), the very first blossoms in my garden
Rhubarb and Cardamom
This Pickled Shrimp recipe from Gabrielle Hamilton that I found here and in her latest book, Prune
Writing that's full of beauty and color like the bittersweet, folkloric tale of The Snow Child by Eowyn Ivey
And these boots, which I may need to buy very soon...
Monday, April 13, 2015
It's that time of year when it seems like spring has arrived everywhere but here in Northeast Ohio. We've been enduring months of glossy magazine covers, Instagrams, pins, and posts featuring spring's fresh blossoms and bounty while we've patiently watched the snow melt, longing for warmer, sunnier days and the greening of our local landscape.
The calendar says it's spring, but only last week did my rhubarb decide to poke it's curly pink leaves out of the ground and it will be at least a few more weeks before I can harvest any.
So, I did it. I cheated on my rhubarb. I broke down and bought a few bright pink stalks at the supermarket. I just couldn't resist or wait any longer.
Lately, I've been whipping up simple fruit compotes to pair with the locally-made cheeses I sell. To my supermarket rhubarb, I added a few freshly-crushed cardamom seeds and made one of the tastiest yet. I served it last week as an accompaniment to Lake Erie Creamery's fresh lemon chèvre and, wow! The rhubarb offers a tangy, sour compliment to the sweet, dense creaminess of the cheese. I served it with my FarmCrisp cocoa crackers and it was delicious.
Several folks asked me to post the compote recipe (if you can call it that). It's terrifically simple and can be adapted a million ways. Don't care for cardamom? Try adding cinnamon or ginger instead. Depending on my mood or the season, I've also spiked rhubarb compotes with orange zest, coconut, vanilla, rosemary, and anise. Have fun experimenting with your favorite flavors. Or, add nothing at all and just enjoy that first, refreshing flavor of spring.
4 large stalks of rhubarb, chopped into half-inch pieces
1/3 cup sugar, honey or maple syrup (slightly more if you prefer a sweeter compote)
5-10 cardamom green cardamom pods, crushed and seeds removed*
2-3 tbsp water
Add the rhubarb, sugar (honey or maple syrup), cardamom and water to a small sauce pan.
Bring to a boil then reduce heat to low and simmer, stirring frequently until the rhubarb has fallen apart and reaches a thick, sauce-like consistency.
Simmer 10-15 minutes longer allowing the cardamom to infuse the sauce. Adjust the sweetness by adding a little more sugar if you prefer.
Serve the compote as-is if you like the texture of the rhubarb or puree if you prefer a smoother consistency.
Enjoy rhubarb compote with your favorite cheese, alongside a slice of pound cake, atop your morning yogurt, or layered with whipped cream for a delightful dessert called Rhubarb Fool.
*Green cardamom pods can be found in the spice section of most supermarkets. I also purchase them locally from Spicehound. Pre-ground cardamom is fine too but doesn't pack nearly as much flavor as freshly crushed pods. So, take a few extra minutes to crush your own. I use the back side of a chef's knife to smash the pod and then carefully pick out the seeds, discarding the tough shells.
Friday, March 27, 2015
Join us on April 9 for a Creative Workshop hosted by Borrow Rentals!
It will be an inspiring evening of jewelry designing with fresh succulents by Twig Floral. The talented ladies of Luna Bakery Cafe will be sharing their cake decorating skills. I'll be providing cheesy, local snacks and showing you how to build your own local, artisan cheese board. I'll have a variety of local cheeses, crackers, and locally-crafted cheese boards for sale as well.
Hope you can join us! Visit Borrow Rentals for more info and tickets by clicking here.