Category Archives: Adventures

Enter the 36 Cheese Caves – An Ode to The Cheesemonger Invitational 2014

What happens when you round up 50 of the country’s best cheesemongers in a cold store unit in Long Island City with unlimited cheese, booze, and dance music? The Cheesemonger Invitational - that’s what. It happened last night and it was probably the best night of my whole entire life. There were spliffs being passed around, a whole hog bbq, endless Sixpoint beers (my fav!), fountains and pots of melting cheese, and a mother effin’ dance party. Seriously, what could you not like about that? … Um nothing, duh.

The event started off with some Wu-Tang, and well, I got to thinking ” Hmmmm, why aren’t there more wu-tang cheese puns and why don’t I own a shirt of one of these??” So this morning when I woke up, I followed through with my ideas and made some things that I think you guys will like. Here ya go… raw-wu-tang-cheese-500

wu-tang-cheese-whey-500

cheese-rules-everything-around-me

wu-tang-cheese-raclette-500   K, so let’s get to the CMI pics! Handmade Hazelnut Cracker topped with Chiriboga Blue, Rhododendron Honey, and Edible Flowers The CMI starts with the first round of the monger’s competition – crafting the perfect bite. This one was by Halley Zelicoff and featured Handmade Hazelnut Cracker topped with Chiriboga Blue, Rhododendron Honey, and Edible Flowers. Very, very good and very beautiful. cmi2014 There were about a million more, but these two were the most stunning to me. I’m not too sure which one this one was but I think it’s by Laura Chenel’s ash-rinded buchette canape on freeze-dried strawberries with mint and graham cracker crumble. If you were there, let me know! I think I was too busy stuffing my face to remember. CHEESEMONGER INVITATIONAL And then this happened… within minutes. Ultimate sadface. Andy Hatch After speed-eating approximately 40 bites, not realizing they were running out :(,  I ran into Andy Hatch, the HCMIC (Head Cheese Maker In Charge) of Uplands – who made the Pleasant Ridge Reserve cheese that I used in my last pop-up at Underground Butcher.  he’s great and I loved his shirt – THE FDA CAN SUCK IT! And I believe you can get the shirt from the peeps at The Cellars of Jasper Hill. pleasant ridge and sweetgrass dairy Then I made Andy HatchGabe Goodlett (of Sweetgrass Dairy), and Joanna Miller (Wisconsin Cheese) pose for a picture with me. Hah. Yeah, I’m totally faded in this pic. Shit. Eat Cheek meat And I know this pic is terrifying, but there was a whole hog bbq and getting down on some serious cheek meat was probably one of my favorite parts of the night. I felt ill I ate so much. Raclette They had all these amazing raclette melters and this babe would basically just heat up the cheese, and then smear it on top of your amuse-bouche which consisted of pickles, sausage, bread, grapes, and hmm I think that’s it. Raclette and Sixpoint Bengali This is what I was talking about in the last caption. It may look a little gross, but it wasn’t… like at all. Fondue and Sausage All I have to say for this one is FON-DO ME. Blue Cheese PlatterI love this pic because it kind of sums up the CMI. I mean honestly, what other party have you been to where someone has a giant platter of expensive blue cheese and is trying to shove it in random peoples mouths. Totally my kind of party. Mr Moo And lastly, here’s a pic of me and Mr. Moo… He’s the MC of the whole event and without him, it wouldn’t be happening. To be blunt, he’s a crazy mother fucker with great energy. You just have to go next near to see what I mean.

Girl’d Cheese – Which One Are You?

~~~Originally appearing on ProfressionGal.com~~~
 
It’s really weird to think that my love of the grilled cheese sandwich has helped launch a legit career for myself. Sheesh, it actually blows my mind. Just a few years ago I was in grad school at Columbia University for psychology, and I was completely miserable. Like so sad, mad, and bent out of shape that even my parents were on board for me dipping out early. But I didn’t quit because eff that. The cost of that ridiculous tuition was way too pricey for a student like me to leave after just one year. So like some chick with a death wish, I stuck through it.

Grilled Cheese Social live on “The Couch”

Well, if you’ve been following me on instagram, you probably already know that it’s national grilled cheese month – but did you know that I was on live TV?! Like the real, real, live kind. In front of cameras, ya know? SO UNREAL.

So yeah, check out this link on CBS’s The Couch to see me grill up some sandwiches and pair them with some really nice St. Francis wine. SUPER COOL, right?!

In this video, I smile a lot and I show y’all how to prepare The Bushwick Painkiller, The Pleasure Pasture, and The Blueberry Baby using all Wisconsin Cheese!

Wisconsin Cheese Grilled Cheese Party!

Want to host a dinner party but don’t want to deal with all the stress that comes along with it? Then host a DIY Grilled Cheese Party!
There’s nothing better than having all of your loved ones around the table, but hosting can be stressful; timing everything just right, and preparing something that everyone likes is just not an easy feat. That’s why throwing one of these parties is so great. All you have to do is buy the proper ingredients and tools and invite your friends over for a super fun night. Having them assemble their own sandwiches from the spread that you create is not only fun and interactive but it will also have your guests battling over who made the best sandwich – and that can be pretty entertaining to watch.
So whether your crew would rather stick to the classics and eat a gooey grilled cheese made with Wisconsin Muenster and baby heirloom tomatoes, or prefer something more sophisticated like a Wisconsin Blue grilled cheese with fig preserves and rosemary butter, you can specialize your smorgasbord to suit them. Here are three themes for DIY grilled cheese parties that will surely give your guests a delicious and memorable culinary experience.

Theme 1: The Classic Feast
Cheese: Wisconsin Cheddar, Swiss, Muenster
Bread: Classic White Bread, Wheat Bread, Potato Bread
Fillings: Tomato, Bacon, Avocado, Pickles
Butter: Salted Butter, Garlic Butter, Mayonnaise

Suggested Recipe:

Wisconsin Muenster Grilled Cheese with Heirloom Tomatoes and Garlic Butter

Theme 2: The Gourmet Get-Together
Cheese: Wisconsin Blue Cheese, Gruyere, Limburger
Bread: Cranberry Walnut, Sourdough, Garlic Loaf
Fillings: Quince paste, Onion Jam, Fig Preserves, Prosciutto
Butter: Rosemary Butter, Cultured Butter, Truffle Butter

Suggested Recipe:

Grilled Blue Cheese with Fig Jam and Rosemary Butter

Theme 3: The Sweet Tooth Soirée
Cheese: Wisconsin Mascarpone, Brie, Ricotta
Bread: Croissants, English Muffins, Pound Cake
Fillings: Fig Jam, Strawberries, Nutella®, Honey
Butter: Cinnamon Sugar Butter, Maple Butter, Bacon Butter

Suggested Recipe:

Wisconsin Brie Grilled Cheese with Strawberries and Honey

  

Party Tips

  • BEER
  • If you’re cooking for a large bunch, buy two large double burner griddle pans to make the most out of your space. This way, you can cook 16 sandwiches at once.
  • Having a variety of tools will inspire your guests to experiment with their sandwiches. I like to put out presses, spatulas, and cookie cutters. If you don’t have any heavy metal presses, then wrap bricks in tinfoil for a cheap alternative.
  • If you want even more variety for fillings, dig through your fridge for items like sundried tomatoes, roasted red peppers, sauces and herbs. The more offerings, the better.
  • Plastic spatulas make great, inexpensive party favors. Guests can use them at the party and take them home to remember the experience.
  • Because there are so many possibilities in a DIY grilled cheese party, it’s best to stick to the same thing when it comes to beverages. Be sure to have a variety of wine, beer, and alcohol-free drinks to keep everyone happy.
Check out the original feature on Wisconsin Cheese’s site [HERE].

 

The Grilled Cheese Social Holiday Gift Guide!

I’ve been thinking a lot about Christmas this week, mainly because it’s in like two weeks and I haven’t done any shopping yet AND because I need want a lot of new, awesome stuff. I’m not deprived in any sense, I mean, I work at a cheese shop and intern at Saveur magazine so I get a ton of awesome foodie stuff on the reg, but I am an American, so i always want MORE MORE MORE! And to be truthful, I don’t know what Santa is going to think about my behavior year, because depending on how you look I’ve been naughty and nice, totally in a non-weird way, of course.

But to get some extra brownie points, I figured I should do something good and share with you an ultimate holiday gift guide for the Grilled Cheese obsessed. So there’s two categories…1) that I’m cheesily posing by – which are the things that I absolutely swear by and couldn’t be a grilled cheese gal without, and 2) things that I’m hoping someone puts under my Christmas tree.

So happy holidays everyone!

 Products I swear by

1. Ultra-thin ultra-excellent OXO silicone turners

 Let’s get it straight, you need one of these. They’re super thin, really flexible and they’re heat resistant so it won’t get really hot and burn the hell out of your hand. It can slide right up underneath one of your grilled cheese sandwiches without pushing it to the other side of the pan, and for that, I love it.

Want one? Click here!

2. Super serious Calphalon double-burner griddle pan

Now this isn’t for everyone, but if you’ve got a family or a bunch of friends that like to mooch off of your creations, then this is totes for you. It’s super big and takes over two burners so you’ve got about three times the grill space. I couldn’t live without mine and my grilled cheese parties would be a bust without it, so yeah, I dig it.

 Want one? Click here!

This grater has no label at all, WTF?!

3. The most functional grater in the world

I don’t know if you can tell what this thing is, but it’s a grater that comes with a multitude of different size grater sheets. You basically get about three different sheets and snap them onto a base. It comes with a little plastic storage case so you can keep them all together when you’re not using it. I like it because I can get so many different size shreds out of it, and that’s important in my world.

Want a similar one? Click here!
 

4. Heavy-ass press

I am not very strong and sort of lazy, so that’s why I love having a heavy ass cast-iron press. I just set it on a super-hot burner and let it heat up for a minute and then place it right on top of my sammiches. It leaves nice little grill marks and it makes giant sandwiches more mouth accessible so you can pack a ton of stuff into your GCs.

Want one? Click here!

 

5. Sharp and sleek Henckels knives

I don’t know a ton about knives but I know the ones that my uncle gave me are totally rad. They’re sharp, strong, and cut like Patrick Bateman from American Psycho would have loved. Sorry that’s a little macabre but you get what I’m saying. They can cut through GC’s without smushing all the goodies out and I couldn’t do my photo shoots wihtout ‘em.

Want one? Click here!

6. Mildly embarrassing Rachel Ray cutting board

I’m just gonna say it. I have a love/hate relationship with Rachel Ray. She does some awesome stuff as a human, but I just can’t get into her shows. I can, however, get really into how much I love this cutting board that comes with a bunch of bacteria-resistant plastic covers. I’ve had mine for about five years and it’s still in perfect condition, and I use mine a lot, like a lot a lot.

Want one? They don’t make it anymore:( but here’s a similar one

7. Super fatty Plugra Butter

I don’t think I’ve ever talked about what brand of butter I use, but I swear by Plugra. It’s got a higher fat content than normal butter, about 85% I believe, so it makes a super nice, crispy crust and it’s also a cultured butter so it has a more buttery taste which is oh-so-freaking-good! Salted or not, it’s the only stuff I buy these days.

Want one? Click here!

 8. The Filling Station Salt

My roommate turned me onto The Filling Station last Christmas as a gift and I can’t get enough. They have a little shop in the Chelsea Market and I could spend my whole life in there, licking salt and taking mini-shots of fruity olive oils and fancy balsamic vinegars. I go through this stuff way too quickly, so I’m always trying new flavors. Right now, I’m on black truffle salt and Thai ginger salt. I LOVE salt.

Want one? Click here!

Things that I don’t have that I need BADLY!

1. OMG SO HIP Brooklyn cutting board

I have to have this. It is so cute and awesome and I love my neighborhood so much and AHHH! I can’t get over it. It will hopefully appear in a photoshoot sometimes soon!



Want one, too? Click here!

2. Grilled Cheesus Press

Jesus’s face in a grilled cheese? Could there be anything more Christmas than that? I don’t even know what else to say.

Want one, too? Click here!

3. Cheese Paper

Cellaphane and tinfoil just don’t work at preserving cheese. But this cheese paper does and it’s super awesome. It keeps it fresher, and doesn’t allow for extraneous flavors to seep into your ultra fancy fromages.

Want some, too? Click here!

4. Cheese Subscription

What’s better than receiving awesome blocks of cheese each and every month right to your doorstep? The only thing that I can think of is if the cute guys from The Bedford Cheese shop would hand deliver it and give me a kiss on the mouth. It might be a little better that way, I guess.

Want one, too? Click here!

While you wait

Well hello pilgrims! I know everyone someone (anyone?) out there in the blogosphere is probably in tears waiting for a new GC post to be up this week but unfortunately I’ve been super busy and haven’t had time to do a write-up. I’ve already shot it though, and let me tell you, a combo of caponata jam, goat cheese, and fresh mint grilled between some buttery whole wheat bread makes for one sassy little sandwich.

 And luckily for you, my good buddy ole pal, Travis, made you something AWESOME to smile at while you pass the time. Weeeeeeeeee!

Am i dancing? If not, click on me!

LOVE YOU ALL,

GCS