Friday, April 11, 2014

Cheese and a #Whole Foods #Giveaway

Little did I know that April is grilled cheese month. I'm not that organized and as far as I'm concerned every month is grilled cheese month. For that matter every day could be grilled cheese day...But where did this love of grilled cheese begin? I really don't know. As a child I hated cheese because all we had in our home were slices of American cheese, wrapped in cellophane. I remember my brother loving these, but they weren't very tempting to me. We never had Velveeta, though I do remember a Wisconsin cheese spread in a tub. Really, cheese was not a cusine highlight of my younger days.

Until! The Jewel grocery store opened in our giant, tiny metropolis. Though it was the beginning of the end of the Weiner superettes, the cute little groceries and butcher shops owned by my Papa and my uncle, the Jewel introduced us to a whole new world of food that my mother reminded us we should never talk about in front of my grandfather. (We still bought all the staples at the superettes, but things like cheese came from the Jewel.) And boy, did my mom discover cheese. And we discovered cheese through her. 

This cheese era began during my high school years-from what I can recall. This was also the time my father discovered fine wine. And you know cheese and wine go hand in hand. This was the beginning of his wine cellar and the extra pounds around our middles. After all, one can't have a good brie and French bread, after dinner without some cost, right? Yes, after finishing a normal dinner of steak, (We had a lot of beef growing up, because the Weiner superettes were known for their great meat. People came from all over our area to buy their beef) or  bbq chicken, or roast, my mom would bring out her cheese of the day. I have to admit that it was fun, and from that point on, we didn't just have American in the house.

After I went to college, I had a roommate who loved to make cheddar cheese soup from the can. I added real cheddar and beer to it and how I still remember this, I'll never know because I don't think I've eaten it since. Yes, cheese quickly became a part of my life, though I still never ate grilled cheese. I really don't know when I discovered real grilled cheese, but when I started making it for myself I began to see what all the fuss is about. Damn! Grilled cheese is good. I've never really posted about it, because I mean who can't make a grilled cheese? 

Anyway, Whole Foods wants cheese this month. I was happy to accommodate. So I made this. We had it before dinner. We could have had it after dinner. We could have had it FOR dinner. People always make room for cheese! It is fun to make a cheese platter. It is easy to make a cheese platter. But they are like way better to eat. Treat your company. Treat yourself. Start a family tradition and serve a cheese after dinner for dessert, with a piece of fruit. Educate your kids early on. Maybe they will even become a Certified Cheese Professional of which Whole Foods has many. (Yes, this is a real designation.) 

HOWEVER!  If you get hung up on what to buy, you can always ask the knowledgeable staff at Whole Foods. Derek at South Glenn is my guy. I asked him what his favorite cheese is and that was the starting point for my cheese board. From there, I always add a safe cheese, a cheese that is risky or daring, and other great fill ins to keep everyone happy. Derek also recommended the Panzanella crackers and they were great, too.

So get with it people. Go buy some cheese. Unless you are like way lactose intolerant, cheese is good. And good for you. Of course, everything in moderation! So tell me what's your favorite grilled cheese or what's your favorite cheese? I'd love to know!

Whole Foods is giving away 1 $25 gift cards to help fill your basket. Whole Foods does supply me with a gift card also, but no other compensation.  All opinions expressed are mine, baby. All mine. This giveaway is easy to enter as long as you live in the US. Giveaway closes on April 30th. Subscribe if you don't want to miss the announcement of the winner or tune in on May 1st to see if you won! (And please, if you have a common name, you need to give me a hint like Sue from Sioux City or something like that, or an email address to reach you) The winner will be chosen by a Random Number Generator! So now, to enter: (dahdah, dah, dah, de DAH!) Enter once by leaving me a comment and answering the above question. Enter again by following me on Pinterest or Facebook or Twitter. I'd love you to subscribe. Hey, I'll give you 2 entries for subscribing!

Cheese Recipe 
Serves: A lot
Created by: You

I used:  Alta Langa - a cheese made from goat's, sheep, and cow milk. I drizzled it with lavender honey. Lovely, but a bit strong for some.

Mitica Mahon - a Spanish cheese from cow's milk - buttery, slightly salty, the orange color is from paprika rubbed onto the rind.

Point Reyes Blue - Creamy, bright, peppery - perfect with steak or on salad or drizzled with honey and eaten with apricots!

Monti Trentini - Made from Cow's Milk with a hint of truffle - I drizzled with a bit of truffle oil.

Accompaniments: Thin slices of dried chorizo, quince paste which is like a sliceable jam and gives a hint of sweetness to compliment the saltiness of cheese, pistachios, because what doesn't go with pistachios? and some dried cherries. Just because. La Panzanella crackers-yum! 

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