Tag Archives: dessert

The Sweet Treat – Vanilla Cardona, Spiced Nuts and Chocolate Chips Grilled Cheese

After I got back from that dreamy Californian vacay, I flew back to New York, “slept” a little bit, and then caught the first flight to Madison, WI for the 30th American Cheese Society Conference. My homies from Wisconsin Cheese invited me to spend the week in Madison to attend the most insane cheese freak conference in the country and I did… for five days. For 8 cheesy hours a day, I attended classes, met a ton of fromage friends, did an insane amount of tastings and gained about 25 pounds of fat happiness. #noregrets


The cheese conference was obviously the bomb and talking about it will probably only make you jealous, but I gotta say, Madison is such a cool city. Located on an isthmus, (Oh, you didn’t pay attention in 6th grade geography, either? it’s a small piece of land sandwiched between 2 large bodies of water), this college town/capital city has totally got it going on. My fav part? The food scene. It’s totally insane. The week I got back, I found out that my buddies from Forequarter, who were nice enough to feed me and hang out with me everyday (lucky me, i know!), were mentioned as one of the Top 50 New Restaurants in the country from Bon Appetit. And sure, there’s more cheese-makers and microbreweries than anywhere else in the country, but their farmers market is the sickest thing EVER! It wraps around the capital, is super cheap, mostly organic, and there’s all these hot farmer boys that are more than willing to lett you handle you their carrots and zucchini. Hah. Just kidding, but seriously though, Midwestern boys are SO much different. I’ll get back to you when I figure out what’s up with that.

And because I’m obsessed with Wisconsin cheese and am eternally grateful to be sent on these kinds of adventures, I’m dedicating the next month and a half to the all the amazing Wisconsin-based cheese-makers. Not only will I be featuring cheeses from the Badger state, but I’ll also be doing some awesome giveaways to help pump up the excitement so make sure to stay tuned! This first grilled cheese features a crazy vanilla cheese from Wisconsin’s Carr Valley, spiced pecans from Milwaukee’s Treat Bake Shop, and some semisweet chocolate chips on an English muffin.

OH & THERE’S A GIVEAWAY – FIND OUT HOW TO ENTER AT THE VERY BOTTOM!

Ingredients

– 4 thin slices of Carr Valley Vanilla Cardona Cheese
– 1 handful of Spiced Pecans from Treat Bake Shop
– 1 tbs Semisweet Chocolate Chips
– 1 English Muffin

First, cut your English muffin in half and flip it inside out – so that you’re putting the cheese on the outer crust. Then lay on some of Sid Cook’s finest Carr Valley Vanilla Cardona. You’re probably all like “Vanilla Cardona, wtf is that?” Well I”ll tell ya. It kind of tastes like what would happen if you magically turned a super tasty cheesecake into a semi-firm, sliceable cheese. It’s sweet, creamy, and has a hint of vanilla. When it melts, IT TASTES JUST LIKE CHEESECAKE. So you can think about this sandwich as a warm and gooey salted chocolate and spiced pecan cheesecake delight.

Here’s what Sid Cook’s peeps have to say about their cheese:

A delicious and unique sweet vanilla goat milk cheese with hints of caramel, coconut, and nutmeg. Has a unique mix of vanilla sugar on the rind and vanilla bean throughout. Took 1st Place at the 2011 U.S. Championship Cheese Contest and 3rd Place at the 2011 American Cheese Society Competition.”

Then add some of the spiced pecans from Treat Bake Shop.

Did I mention that YOU CAN WIN A FREE JAR??

Each batch of these nuts are made by hand in small qualities and are sourced from family farms in Georgia. They are so, so good and are really interesting in this sandwich. The texture of these pecans  gives a nice crunch to balance out the creaminess of it all, and the spices, which are a perfect balance of sweet, salty, and spicy, give an super amazing kick which really wakes up your palette. Pretty too, huh?

Then sprinkle on some semisweet chocolate chips to make the melty-ness factor of this sandwich get even more insane. I love dark chocolate, but you could totes switch it up and use some milk or white chocolate if you feel like it. NO RULES!

Now place the remaining cheese on top and plop the other side of the English muffin on – remember, inside out people. We want that crispiness to be on the bready side, not the crusty side.

Butter both sides of the sandwich and place it in a pan. Then turn the heat to medium and let the ingredients work their magic. As they begin to melt, the crust will become this beautiful golden brown, at which point, you should butter the other side, flip, and repeat.

If the chocolate begins to melt out the sides, you should probably taste it because why not? It’s super hot though so don’t burn yourself.

After it grills for a few minutes on each side, take it out of the pan and let it sit for a sec so the flavors can really develop. Once you can’t wait any longer, slice it open and serve it up. You did great, kid.

So that’s it for this week but don’t forget to ‘like’ Treat Bake Shop and enter the contest on FACEBOOK! Be sure to stay tuned for a ton of crazy new grilled cheese featuring all the cheese that I got in Wisconsin. I seriously brought back like 10 pounds worth plus a bunch of other crazy condiment type things that are going to blow your mind. SO YAY!

Ok, ENTER THE CONTEST BABES! I can’t wait to give someone the pecan treats!

xoxo,

GCS

The Sugar Daddy – Gjetost Grilled Cheese with Apple Butter and Cinnamon Sugar

Do you ever just have those days when you’re completely off? When something just isn’t right with you? When it’s just impossible to act like a normal human being without seeming like a total freak to the outside world? Ok, it might not be that bad, but for some reason as of lately, my attention span resembles that of a horny first grader with severe ADHD.

Take the other day for instance. I was working at the cheese shop (The Dep), prancing around like a helpful, knowledgeable little employee that I am, when suddenly a rogue customer needed some help. I did a little skip over to the register, and with a smile on my face, I asked how I could help. It turns out they wanted a quiche. A quiche, which we only sell two varieties of and which I’ve sold about three billion of since I started working there. But something strange happened when they asked me what kind we sold. I blacked out. I seriously blacked out like I had been binge drinking all night. For some reason, my brain was like “sorry girlfriend, I’m busy concentrating on the hot dude from across the street so I can’t help you now”. So ya know what happened? With a completely confident face, I told him we had egg quiche. 

And as the record player screeched to a halt and the crickets started rubbing their legs together to make that awkward noise (or however they do it), the reaction on my co-worker’s face and the poor costumer made me realize what had just happened. My helpful, overzealous smile turned into a slightly horrified grimace and I did the walk of shame to the backroom to take a breather.

Now I don’t know if it’s because Valentines day is approaching and I don’t want to do another sad sarcastic post about my pathetic love life (gahhhh is my love-life really driven my blog posts?) or if it has something to do with the overwhelming levels of hot dudes that my neighborhood contains but I seriously think I’m turning into a teenage boy. Seriously. All the hunks in my vicinity take my complete attention and I act a fool.

So yeah, get ready for my Valentines Day post in a few weeks. It’ll be a hoot, I’m sure. But in the meantime, check out this attention worthy grilled cheese with some whacky sugar daddy tasting gjetost cheese and apples. It’s like an apple pie grilled cheese with crack sprinkled all over it.

Have your own sugar daddy buy you these Like the independent person you are, buy these tasty ingredients for yourself!

Ingredients

– 1/2 cup of Gjetost (Ski Queen cheese), shredded
– 2 pats of salted butter
– 2 slices of cinnamon raisin bread
– 1/2 cup thinly sliced granny smith apple
– 1 tbsp apple butter
– 1 tsp of cinnamon sugar

First, smear on some of that yummy apple butter – both sides of the bread and maybe even the inside of your mouth or on a loved one.

Now it’s time to pile on half of the craziest tasting cheese of your existence. GJETOST!

This pasteurized goats milk cheese is out of control. When you first taste it, it’s sort of tastes like firm, salty butter but then all of a sudden it changes into this crazy caramel fudge-like-thing that tastes exactly like a sugar daddy. Not the kind that will buy you things and take you on trips, but like the caramel-y candy that you probably ate too much of at one point. It might have even helped form those cavities that you had filled as a teenager.

Then slap on some of those super-thinly sliced apples and douse them in cinnamon and sugar. I chose granny smith apples here because I thought the tartness would be a nice contrast against all the sweet things in this sandwich, but if you’re not into that, use whatever apples you like. I won’t be seeing my therapist for this or anything offended at all; I swear.

Now pile on the rest of the gjetost. You know I have absolutely no idea how to say this in real life, right?
 Then put the topper on and smear it with butter, sweet, sweet salty butter.

Now that it’s built, heat up a giant frying pan to medium low (ok, you don’t have to use a giant one, but it’s so much more fun when you do!) and place your little sandwich right in the middle. Let it cook for a few minutes until the cinnamon raisin bread starts to get all golden and crusty and the cheese starts to melt. It’s not going to really melt like normal cheese, but you’ll know what I mean as soon as it starts to happen.

Oh, and don’t forget to flip it dumdum.

Once it’s ready, take it off the stove and serve immediately! No waiting with this bad boy!

*Insert happy dance here< /a>*

Ok, so wish me luck on finding a boyfriend in like one week. At least one that will make me a nice dinner in a couple of Tuesdays. And for you single peeps out there, I’m keeping my fingers crossed for you, too, because I love you and appreciate you. Marry me?

xoxo,

GCS

The (F)unemployment Special – Poundcake Grilled Cheese with Brie, Fig Jam, and Rosemary Butter

 
 
(F)unemployment: (Noun) The state of being unemployed in New York City.  
Yeah, it’s cool for about a minute until you start to drive yourself crazy.  For once I don’t have work or school and I have no idea what to do with myself.  I guess I shouldn’t complain, it’s been great in some ways. My room is constantly clean, I’ve caught up on new music, and a lot of reading has been done.  But I want to work (which is a weird thing to say, i know). I need to have something to do, something to work on, something to keep my stress level higher than it is now.  It’s only been a week and I’m starting to feel like a blob –  I’m not into this blasé lifestyle AT ALL.

I did, however, have two interviews at one of my favorite food magazines this week, so please, please, please keep your fingers crossed for me!  I honestly don’t know how much longer I can last.  In the mean time, I guess I’ll just keep eating this sweet and savory grilled cheese sandwich to keep me happy.  It’s got a delicious rosemary butter, brie, fig preserves, and POUND CAKE. omg, yes.

Here’s what’s keeping me (sort of) sane :

Ingredients

– 2 thin slices of pound cake
– a few slices of brie
– 1/2 tbs fig spread
– 1 small rosemary sprig – chopped
– 1 pat of butter

It’s so easy. Just place a few slices of brie onto one piece of pound cake.

Smear some fig preserves on the other piece of bread.

Melt a pat of butter in your skillet on medium and throw in the chopped rosemary.  Keep heating the butter and rosemary for a few minutes until the leaves start to soften up and the rosemary flavor starts to infuse into the butter.  You’ll also want the little bubbles (that you see below) to dissolve before you put your sammie in. I think it makes for a better consistency when it’s soaking into the bread.

When it’s all smooth and melted, put both pieces of pound cake in your skillet (still on medium) and let’em cook.

After about three or four minutes you should start to see a nice crust developing on the bottom of the pound cake.  To look – GENTLY use your spatula to peek underneath. If you think it’s good to go, gently flip one piece onto the other.  Don’t worry if your brie hasn’t started melting yet, when you do this step the heat from the other sandwich will instantly heat up your cheese and finish the melting process.

Then take it off the skillet and eat immediately. Real fast. Inhale it.

So to those of you out there that don’t have a job, I hope this will make your life a little bit less stressful and more enjoyable.  And for those of you who do, quit your job so I can have it. Just kidding, but seriously – someone hire me before I go crazy.

Oh! How could I forget? I have A TON of Applegate coupons, and they’re all for you guys!  If you leave a comment and/or email me your address (grilledcheesesocial@gmail.com), you can expect some coupons in your mailbox!

xoxo,

GCS