Create a Cheese Board for all Seasons

Create a Cheese Board for all Seasons

I love creating cheese plates and boards and make them all the time, no matter what the season. I wrote about creating the perfect cheese board here. I sometimes do get in a rut with using the same cheeses with Dubliner and goat cheese being a favorite.

I thrive on entertaining and cheese boards are my go to dish. I was thrilled that folks over at Wayfair sent me a link to a post about creating a cheese board for all seasons. I am pretty good at using whatever fruits may be in season to pair with the cheeses but never really thought about using seasonal cheeses.

I loved that idea so much as well some ideas on different platters to use, I thought I might share it with you. You can read about their seasonal cheese boards here.

If you have any tips for creating cheese boards or have a favorite cheese you think I would like to try, please feel free to comment below.

 

Green Kiwi Smoothie

Green Kiwi Smoothie

This Green Kiwi Smoothie will get your St. Patricks Day or any other day for that matter off to a protein packed start. Enjoy this for breakfast or snack or any time of day when you need a boost of energy.

I promise you will want to ditch that infamous shamrock shake as this smoothie  is as sweet and creamy and way healthier!

Kiwi Green Smoothie
__________________________________________
Yield 2 – 16 oz Servings

Ingredients

1 Green Apple, sliced
1 Kiwi, sliced
2 Cups Mixed Greens
1/2 Avocado
2 Servings Protein Powder of choice
1 1/2 cups Almond Milk
1 Cup Ice Cubes

Method

Pour almond milk in blender. Add remaining ingredients and blend until smooth.

Enjoy!

 

Gorgeous Green Smoothie

Gorgeous Green Smoothie

This Gorgeous Green Smoothie recipe is courtesy of Tosca Reno. She is the author of the Eat Clean Diet® series of books. I have been a fan of this lady for quite some time and just had the chance to meet her on a wellness retreat, which you can read about here.

The Clean Living® Experience with Tosca Reno

The avocado makes this shake smooth and creamy while the pear adds just the right amount of sweetness.

Here is the recipe. Enjoy!

GORGEOUS GREENS SMOOTHIE

PREP TIME: 5 MINUTES | COOK TIME: NOT APPLICABLE | YIELD: 2 CUPS | NUMBER OF SERVINGS: 1

1 pear, cored

½ avocado

1 handful baby kale

1 handful spinach leaves

1 cup water or milk alternative of your choice

1 scoop vegan vanilla protein powder like Sun Warrior.

1 Tbsp flaxseed

METHOD:

1. Place all ingredients into a blender and blend until smooth. Add more liquid if necessary.

2. Serve chilled.

How to Build the Perfect Cheese Board

How to Build the Perfect Cheese Board

I love a great cheese board or plate and here are my tips for building the perfect one.

First, pick out the tray you would like to use. I prefer white, but any tray or even a wood cutting board will do the trick.

sartori cheeese

Start off with your favorite cheese.  Right now mine are the Sartori line of cheeses.  With flavors like merlot, rosemary, raspberry and balsamic it is hard to beat.  Whole Foods Market carries most of their cheeses and I wish to thank Whole Foods Market for supplying me with a gift card to purchase the ingredients for this dish.

Once you have picked out the cheese it is time to build around it. Just like wine some cheeses pair well with other things but I am not that picky and really like an assortment of choices.

sartori cheeese

Add some fruit.  Grapes are probably the most common but have fun with this and use what is in season. Apples and pears are divine in the fall while berries should be your go to fruit in the summer. Dried fruits work nicely year around. Try dried apricots or cherries.

Next add a little salt.  I love Castelvetrano olives.  They are slightly salty but also very mild and their bright beautiful green color is hard to beat. You could also add a few slices of cured salami or meat of choice.

Your going to want some crunch and that is where the nuts come in.  I really like walnuts but any nut will do. You can also throw in some crackers for added crunch as well.

Lastly is chocolate, dark is best but you can put out whatever kind you like. That is the beauty of putting together your own.

sartori cheeese

Cheeseboards can be terribly romantic, especially this close to valentines day.  Stay in this year and share a bottle of wine over your own cheeseboard creation. And then if you are still hungry, check out my recipe for Rosemary and Garlic Crusted Filet Mignon. With these two dishes up your sleeve, you may want to stay in for date night all the time!

The next time you are in charge of bringing dish to a party or hosting your own, cheese plates and boards could not be any easier, they look elegant and are absolutely delicious.

Below are some tips from Whole Foods Market on pairing the Sartori line of cheeses. Have fun trying different combinations and in no time you will have mastered your own perfect cheese board.

Sartori is a family-owned fourth-generation artisanal cheesemaker from Plymouth, Wisconsin. Each of the varieties below are based off of their BellaVitano Gold, a creamy, nutty, Parmesan-inspired Italian farmstead cheese.

Rum Runner – A Whole Foods Market Exclusive!
Buttery and slightly sweet, soaked in locally made rum.
Pairs with: Dark beers, smoked meats, and red grapes

Merlot BellaVitano
Berry and plum notes!
Pairs with: Crusty bread, dried fruit, and hoppy beer

Raspberry BellaVitano
Bright notes of raspberry combine with hazelnut and brown-butter flavors.
Pairs well with nuts, chocolate, or light Italian red wine

 

 

Rosemary and Garlic Crusted Filet Mignon

Rosemary and Garlic Crusted Filet Mignon

Filet mignon is delicious and also a little romantic, don’t you think? This recipe for rosemary and garlic crusted filet mignon is the perfect dish when preparing a date night meal at home and will impress your significant other.

This months Whole Foods Market Ambassador theme is all about their dry aged steaks. With Valentines Day just around the corner, avoid the long wait and crowded restaurant by celebrating at home with this delicious steak dinner.

Whole Foods Market’s steaks are aged for 14-21 days in-house. Humidity and temperature are controlled during this process. You can see it in person if you drop by your local store, many of them have cases with glass on the sales floor.

The aging process concentrates the steak’s natural flavor while also reducing the moisture content. Enzymes also break down the fibers on a microscopic level, which imparts a tender character. Dry aged steaks cook slightly faster, so make sure you’re monitoring the internal cooking temperature; 130-135 degrees for medium rare, and 140-145 for medium.

I wish to thank Whole Foods Market for supplying me with a gift card to purchase the ingredients for this recipe.

Rosemary and Garlic Crusted Filet

Rosemary and Garlic Crusted Filet Mignon

2 Beef Filet Mignon
2 Sprigs Fresh Rosemary, chopped
2 Cloves Fresh Garlic, chopped
2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
Dash of Salt and Pepper

Heat grill or desired pan of choice for cooking. Drizzle both sides of steak with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Combine chopped rosemary and garlic together.

Rub garlic and rosemary mixture around steak and place on grill.

Rosemary and Garlic Crusted Filet

You will want to make sure your grill is hot enough to get a good sear on the steak when placed in your pan or on the grill.

Let your steak develop a seared crust on the grill before moving or flipping it. If you try to lift the meat before it is ready, it will stick to the grates or pan and tear when trying to move it.

Cook steak to desired temperature of doneness as listed above.

Add whatever side dishes you like to complete the meal.

I recommend a classic baked potato and Whole Foods Market asparagus which comes ready to cook.

Roasted Asparagus

Just toss with some olive oil and place on roasting pan. Roast at 425 for 15 minutes or until tender.

If you love a little surf and turf try this recipe for Herb Roasted Lobster and Steak from Whole Foods Market.

 

 

Casting Details for the Great Food Truck Race

Casting Details for the Great Food Truck Race

Food Network’s hit show The Great Food Truck Race is now casting is currently casting for their 8th season. If you have ever dreamed of owning your own food truck now is your chance.  Details are below!

*** Details of the Show ***
In short, it is a cooking competition tv show for individuals (teams of 3) who dream of opening and running their very own food truck, they do not need to own a food truck for the competition. The winner receives their very own food truck and cash prize!!

Those interested can submit their answers to the following questions to foodtruckracecasting@criticalshows.com
1. Names, ages, and city/state of all three teammates (note: it is ideal if you and your teammates live in the same location)
2. Tell us about the personalities of you and your teammates
3. What is the proposed concept for your food truck? Please list potential menu items in detail
4. What would your food truck be called? Why?
5. What skills do you each bring to the team (cooking/selling/marketing etc)?
6. What is your relationship to your two teammates?
7. Send a few photos of you and the teammates (separate photos are ok)
8. Contact info for all three teammates (phone and email!)

Good Luck!