Lemon Pound Cake with Yogurt Cardamom Sauce

Pound Cake with Yogurt Sauce

I wanted to make a special cake for John for his birthday yesterday.  John is not a fan of birthday cake, especially the cloying sweetness the frosting.  When I make cupcakes, I always set a few aside without frosting, just for him.  This time I wanted something special, but easy.  Half of our Cheese Shop crew is gone on vacation so I am putting in a few extra hours this week.

Grilled Pound Cake is fast and easy to make and it has just the right amount of sweetness.  John wasn’t too sure when I put the cake on the barbecue grill, but he is now convinced that it’s what you need to do to a cake.  Grilling gives the pound cake a nice crunch on the outside while keeping it warm and moist in the center, plus the touch of smoky flavor elevates the tang of the lemon.  The Yogurt Cardamom Sauce was our daughter’s idea and recipe.  The sauce is perfect with the crunchy cake and the floral note of the cardamom adds a lovely compliment in flavor.  Based on those last few sentences, I think that I have been watching too much “Food Network” again.

Lemon Pound Cake

  • 1 1/2 cups unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 3 cups sugar
  • 8 ounces Appel Farms Quark
  • 6 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon lemon extract
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Butter and flour 2 loaf pans.
  2. Cream together the butter, and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the quark, then add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.  Beat in the vanilla and lemon. Combine the flour, baking powder and salt.  With mixer on low, gradually add flour, beating just until combined (do not overmix).
  3. Bake until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean, about 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 hours (tent with aluminum foil if browning too quickly). Let cool in pan 15 minutes before removing from the pan to a wire rack.  Cool completely then chill for a minimum of 30 minutes before grilling.
  4. Cut in 1/2 to 1 inch slices.  Grill over medium heat for 4-5 minutes per side or until lightly brown.   Serve warm with Yogurt Cardamom Sauce (below).

Grilling pound cake

Yogurt Cardamom Sauce

  • 1/2 cup Appel Farms Yogurt (or Greek Yogurt)
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 tablespoon heavy cream
  • 1 tablespoon Appel Farms Quark
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 teaspoon cardamom
  • Pinch of salt

Whisk all the ingredients together, chill 1-2 hours.  Both the cake and yogurt sauce can be made the day before.

The Marlies Method of Cheesemaking: Feta Edition.

Since I (Elizabeth) will be camping at the time this posts, I have invited my cousin Marlies to write a guest post! She is much like her mother in being a passionate foodie with a whole lotta sass, but in her father’s environment of the cheese room!

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From left to right, my cousin Marlies Appel, myself, and my little sister Katherine Appel. I had to run back to the plant to help out for a little bit, it’s not very often all three of us get to work together anymore!

The Marlies Method of Cheesemaking: Feta Edition.

Step 1: Wash those grubby hands. I know you probably licked your fingers after you ate that cookie for breakfast, you animal. Or was that just me?

Step 2: Sanitize your arms up past your elbows, even though you are only really going to use your hands. It never hurts to be prepared for a cheese emergency. You never know when you are gonna have to go all in.

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Step 3: ALL THE MILK. LOTS AND LOTS OF MILK WOW. And take a moment to appreciate all the work it takes to get that beautiful delicious milk. Cheesemaking doesn’t start with the cheesemakers. Cheesemaking starts with all the farmers, nutritionists and milkers that work so hard to have happy, healthy dairy cows. You’ve got a few minutes to think about it because it takes a while to fill up that vat- WOW SO MUCH MILK.

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Step 4: Resist temptation to jump into vat of milk. That part is hard.

Step 5: Add the stuffs that turns it into goopy goop. Let it do its thing. Don’t hover. Give it some space.

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Step 6: Have some coffee, and admire your goop. That is some nice goop. #coagulationadmiration

Step 7: Turn on the scary rotating knives, and then KEEP FAR AWAY. THESE BLADES STOP FOR NOTHING AND NO ONE. Particularly when checking temperatures with your handy dandy cheese thermometer, you must be vigilant. The last thing you want is to get your hand slammed and jammed in between the knife and the side of the vat.

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Step 8: Drain off some of the whey. Whey away. You don’t want so much whey in your squish squish.

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Step 9: Scoop the goop into the forms. These dope little forms have holes and are fitted with some nifty little cloths that allow the whey to just flow out. It’s literally magic. Feta curd is more jelloish, and it uses its own weight against itself to squish the whey out. Seems like it makes the process easier right? GUESS AGAIN. This basically means you fill the form, and then you have to top it off with extra curd approximately 3,209,183 more times while it settles and drains and drains and settles. It takes its own sweet time too, so I hope you aren’t in a rush.

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Step 10: Have some more coffee. All that draining and scooping can be tiring, so you earned it.

Step 11: Flip the cheese in the forms at some extremely inconvenient time, probably at night. Preferably sometime before Fresh Prince of Bel Air comes on though.

Step 12: (Next day.) Now that the feta is solid, you can pull those awkwardly large blocks out of their forms and put it in the illogically small brine tank. Stack stuff on top of them so they don’t float. It’s like Dead Sea salt content times infinity in there. You could put a cement truck in it and it would probably float. You want the feta submerged so it gets evenly salty salty. No one likes bland spots in their feta, you don’t want that kind of pressure on you.

Step 13: Take it out, bag it up. Seal it, and wheel it out. Let it hang out in the cooler for a while to make sure all that happy salt incorporates in to the center.

That’s all folks. See? Totally simple.11749589_10205436175437578_17631799_n

S’Mores Cheesecake for National Cheesecake Day

S'mores CheesecakeToday is national cheesecake day so I felt it was necessary, mandatory in fact, to make a cheesecake.  I found this fabulous idea by Lyuba at “Will Cook For Smiles” so I couldn’t wait to try it out and adapt the idea to my favorite Quark cheesecake recipe.

I enlisted Lindsey on her last day with us to help me out.  Lindsey made the crust while I made the filling.  According to Lyuba’s directions, you make an extra thick graham cracker crust, then top it with a layer of mini chocolate chips and a layer of mini marshmallows, then pour the filling over the top.  Once Lindsey had the crust ready, I poured in my batter.  Now is when I need to mention that Quark cheesecake batter is much thinner than a cream cheese batter.  As soon as I poured the batter on the little mini marshmallows they began to pop up to the surface.  Lindsey ran to grab a straw and began a rather hilarious game of “whack a mole” or “whack a marshmallow” to be more exact.  It was a losing game, no matter how fast she pushed the marshmallows down, two more popped up to take its place.  I tried cooking it anyway and ended up with a layer of burnt marshmallows on top.  I dumped it and started over the next day without the marshallows on the crust.  This time it worked beautifully!

S’Mores Cheesecake

Crust:

  • 1 ½ cups graham cracker crumbs
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 5 Tbsp melted unsalted butter
  • ¾ cup mini chocolate morsels

Cheesecake:

  • 24 ounces Quark
  • 1/3 cup cornstarch
  • 1 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 Tbsp vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2/3 cup heavy cream

Topping:

  • 10 oz hot fudge topping, warmed
  • 2 cups mini marshmallows

Spray an 8×3 inch cake pan with cooking spray, line the bottom only with parchment and spray the parchment.  Or if you prefer, use a greased springform pan wrapped in aluminum foil.**

In a small bowl, combine graham cracker crumbs, melted butter, vanilla extract and brown sugar. Mix very well.

Spread crumb mixture in the bottom on the spring form, evenly, pressing it over the bottom and half way up the sides.

Spread mini chocolate morsels evenly over the bottom.

Preheat the oven to 325̊F  Put half of the Quark (12 ounces), 2/3 cup sugar, and 1/3 cup cornstarch in a large bowl.  Beat with an electric mixer on low until creamy, about three minutes.  Scrape down the bowl and add remaining Quark, beat well.  Increase the mixer speed to medium and beat in the remaining sugar, then the vanilla.  Blend in the eggs, one at a time, and beating well after each addition.  Beat in the cream just until blended, do not overmix.  Pour into prepared crust.

Baking the Cheesecake

Place the cake pan in a shallow pan (I use a 10×2 inch cake pan, you will need something larger if you are using a springform pan) and place it on a low rack of the oven.  Fill the shallow pan with hot water, about one inch up the sides of the cakepan to form a water bath.  Bake 1 1/2 hours then turn off the oven and leave the oven door partway open, I like to use a wooden spoon to prop the door open.  Leave the cheesecake in the oven 30 minutes or until the center is set. Remove the cheesecake from the water bath and transfer to a wire rack.  Let cool for at least two hours then refrigerate 2 hours or overnight.

Flipping the cheesecake

Once the cheesecake is cooled, run a sharp knife around the edges to loosen from the pan.  Place a plate upside-down over the pan and while holding the pan and plate, flip them upside down.  The cheesecake should slide out onto the plate, if not, give it a gentle tap to loosen it.  Remove the pan and the parchment, place a serving plate upside-down on the crust and while holding both plates, flip everything over.

Cheesecake in pan

Spread warm hot fudge over the top of the cheesecake and spread marshmallows evenly on top.

Place cheesecake back in the center of the oven, under the broiler. Let marshmallow toast for only 30-35 seconds. Watch it because they toast very quickly. Take out the cheesecake once marshmallows are lightly browned.

Cool cheesecake completely, cover gently and refrigerate until ready to serve.

**I do not like springform pans so I developed this method that I love.  Feel free to use whichever pan you prefer…I won’t judge.

How the Story Began

Heinz Langerfeld

Heinz was a German immigrant who made his living distributing European specialty products to his fellow countrymen. There was also a market driven by many WWII veterans who had spent time in Germany during the war and returned home with a taste for German food. Heinz was working in the county when he heard a local farmer (Jack) was starting to make cheese. He thought it would be a good business venture to convince said farmer to make Quark, a staple in his homeland which was nearly impossible to find in America. I have no idea how that first conversation went, but I would have loved to have been a fly on that wall! Knowing these two strong willed men with their equally strong accents would have been a sight to see!

Long story short, we began making Quark in the early ’80’s. Quark is a soft creamy cheese and can be used in many ways.

Some of my earliest memories of Quark include the assembly line when I would “help” my dad and Pake in the Cheese Room. However my relationship with this particular cheese mostly revolved around the “bailing” process. Imagine a large tank, full of a milky jello-like substance that could be squished between your fingers. This is the early stages of Quark! Once it was in a cheese cloth covered basket, it would sit overnight, press the weigh out of itself naturally, and then be packaged. My job, along with whoever I suckered into helping me, (often my cousin, Marlies), was to get the Quark from the tank into the baskets. With a little gallon sized bucket. Now that was a work out! I can’t even imagine how many reps it would take to lift all that quark and fill ALL the baskets…but I do know I got some pretty good biceps out of the deal! Who needs a gym when you have a cheese room!

Elizabeth (Appel) Hayes
Elizabeth & Marlies helping in the Cami and John with Quark

Heinz was one of those characters you just never forget. We are so grateful he brought this product to the attention of a fledgling cheese factory. Without him we wouldn’t have Quark to help get the cheese business off the ground! We currently produce two different types of Quark. Traditional which is a full fat and a Low fat for those who are wanting something lighter.

Traditional and Lowfat Quark

How DNA determines your driving habits

Tractor at store drive-thru

I have a confession to make: I drive like a city person.  People who live in cities tend to drive closer to the center line.  It makes sense because you need to take care when passing the cars parked along the sidewalk.  A door might fly open or someone might step out from behind a bumper.  The city can be hazardous!

People who learn to drive in the country tend to gravitate toward the shoulder.  This also makes sense because you need to leave plenty of room for hay wagons and tractors, especially if the tractor is pulling a rake or a tedder.  Farm equipment can indiscriminately drift into the oncoming lane so it’s best to give plenty of room.  The country can be hazardous!

John and Marlies in the tractor
Marlies is in the tractor booster seat so she can ride along with her dad.

My brother-in-law Gerald tried to convince me to change my errant ways, but I really believe that its part of my city bred DNA to be magnetically attracted to the center line.  I was headed to the farm the other day when Gerald met me on the road.  He was driving a tractor and I was weaving back and forth trying to avoid him but still hugging my beloved center line.  He pretended that he didn’t know me.

Part of country life that I enthusiastically embrace is shopping for produce from local farms.  Now is the season when the produce farms are in high gear and the bounty overflows.   If you can get fresh produce from a local farm, by all means do it.  One of my favorite places to go is Bob and Vivian Small’s farm just up the road from us.  They don’t have a very big variety and they are only open on Saturdays, but what they have is ripened on the plant and fresh picked.  They opened last Saturday so I made sure to stop by and picked up cucumbers for the salad listed below.

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The cucumbers at Small’s Garden look beautiful!

Cucumber Tomato Feta Salad

Tomato, Cucumber and Feta Salad

  • 2 teaspoon red-wine vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • 2 tablespoon olive oil
  • 3 1/2 cups grape tomatoes, halved
  • 2 small cucumbers, peeled, halved lengthwise, seeded, and cut crosswise into 1/4 inch slices (about 3 cups)
  • 1 cup crumbled feta
  • 1/4 cup shredded fresh basil leaves

Whisk together the vinegar, sugar, and oil.  Add salt and pepper to taste.

Mix the tomatoes, cucumbers, feta, and basil in a large bowl.  Pour the dressing over and toss well.  Serve immediately.

Cucumber Plant

There is a corner in my heart labeled “Gouda”.

Gouda has become a central part of my life over the years. I grew up nibbling wedges and when I was older, made it daily. We make a variety of flavors of Gouda. From traditional Mild to spicy Jalapeno, from the bold Black Pepper to subtle Sweet Red Pepper. Our wide variety of this creamy cheese makes it easy for us to find a good fit for almost anyone… after some sampling of course! This cheese has been in our family for years, and though we have a wide variety now, it had a much simpler beginning.

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My Pake’s absolute dream while growing up was to be a farmer. I doubt the thought of being a cheese maker even entered his mind! Born in 1927, Jack Appel was the eldest son of the local milk man. However, it was hard to pursue his farming dreams during the occupation of Holland in WWII.  Civilians were commonly drafted into forced labor so my Grandfather spent much of his teen years staying out of sight from any German soldiers. Hardly the time to find a farming job!

After the liberation of the Netherlands, Paka found a job with a local farmer where he worked and learned the basics of farming. A few years later, at age 19, he moved to France to assist another farmer. It was this farmer who also made cheese 6 days a week, so part of my Grandfather’s job was to assist with this process as well. It was here he first developed the cheese making skills he would carry with him for the rest of his life.

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Jack immigrated to America in 1950 where he knew he would have a better chance of being a farmer than in Holland. In 1958, after marrying his wife Audrey in 1957, the new couple made the big move to Washington State. Eventually he realized his dream by purchasing a farm here in Ferndale, in March of 1967. This is the same farm he and his wife raised their five children on, three of whom are still involved in the daily running of it!

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This is Jessie cutting the pressed Gouda curd into blocks which will in turn be pressed into wheels. Yes, Gouda rounds start out as squares!

Although farming had always been his dream job, Jack continued to make cheese as gifts for his friends and family. It wasn’t until he had sold the farm to his sons and was very much encouraged by those who had tried his cheese that he started to develop his hobby into a business. I suspect he had too much time on his hands… it’s hard to tell a farmer to stop working! Eventually his sons bought this part of the farm as well and have continued to build upon the foundation laid by their father.

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This is one of our brine tank racks full of yummy cheese ready to be submerged! At the end of the day, our Gouda goes directly from the presses to these racks and into the brine tank. After a few days, they are then transferred to the aging room.

If you ask me which Gouda’s are my favorite I would point out the Aged and the Cumin. Many of my cousins would probably say the same. Why? Because they are the ones that remind me the most of my Pake. The Aged is traditionally drier with a bite only known to lovers of aged cheeses. It’s also the only cheese we still seal with a traditional rind coating. The Cumin has a little more of a nutty flavor from the tiny seeds speckling the finish. These two are my favorites due to growing up on the excellent flavors, but also because they were first handcrafted by a man whom I will always remember with great love and respect.

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Someone asked me about a cheese with little “thingies” in it. Turns out they were referring to the Cumin Gouda!

Mawwiage. Mawwiage is what bwings us togethew today.

Lemon Raspberry Cheesecake Pie

Like the famous line from the movie “A Princess Bride,” marrying into a farm family in a tight-knit community brought a little more togetherness than I expected.  Moving into the little house overshadowed by the main farmhouse where my in-laws lived was a whole different world for me. I was fresh from college with a degree in marketing and business management and for all intents and purposes, moving into my inlaw’s home.  My inlaws are the best of people but it’s still a little unnerving.  In spite of my reservations, I was eager to embrace farm life and volunteered for farm chores.  He didn’t say anything, but I’m pretty sure that my father-in-law looked at my manicured fingernails and was not optimistic.

I started out driving the scraper tractor and was eventually allowed to do a little field work.  Up until 1989, I thought that “harrowing” was an adjective not a verb so when I was told to harrow the field, I may have giggled.  Once John explained that I would not be emotionally tormenting the grass, I gave it a go.  I only harrowed a couple of fields before the farmers in the family concluded that tractor work might not be the best fit for me.  My neat orderly rows gradually devolved into a random zig-zag pattern.  My father-in-law did not appreciate my [ahem] artistic results and my career as a tractor driver ended shortly after it started.  It was probably a good thing.

Lemon Raspberry Cheesecake Pie

I don’t know if my skills in the kitchen are any better than on a tractor, but my family appreciates my efforts exceedingly.  I tend to make a recipe over and over until I get it just how I like it.  It took a lot of tries and failures before I successfully learned to blind bake a pie crust for this recipe.  I made a lot of frisbees before learning to keep the sides from sliding irrevocably to the bottom of the pie pan.  Thankfully, there are a lot of delicious things that you can do with a pie crust frisbee!

Once I succeeded at the pie crust, thanks to helpful advice from friends and YouTube video tutorials, the rest was easy.  I’ve been making cheesecakes with quark for many, many years but this recipe is a fun novel approach.   I brought a couple of these pies to a church gathering and they were well very received.  It’s a good sign if you come home from a church potluck with empty pie pans.

Lemon Raspberry Cheesecake Pie

Lemon Raspberry Cheesecake Pie

Raspberry Sauce

  • 1 pre-baked pie crust
  • 1 cup raspberries
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 2 tablespoons water

Mix all of the sauce ingredients in a small saucepan.  Bring to a boil, remove from heat and set aside.

Cheesecake

  • 16 ounces Quark
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon lemon extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/4 cup whipping cream

Blend the quark, sugar, and salt until smooth.  Add cornstarch, lemon extract, and lemon zest.  Gently fold in the eggs and cream, do not whip.

Spread the raspberry sauce in the pie crust, then spoon the cheesecake over the top.  Bake the pie at 325 degrees for 30 to 35 minutes or until barely set.

Turn off the oven and prop the door open.  Let the cheesecake pie sit in the oven for 20 minutes.  Remove from the oven and cool to room temperature then chill completely before serving.

Secret Farmer Handshake

Raspberry Quark Muffins

I was chatting with my new neighbors the other day as they rested under the tree by the fence that separates our properties.  They are a dwarf beef breed and the little bull calf was beyond adorable. I wanted to take pictures of the little guy but Mama was giving me a suspicious glare. I reassured her that I wouldn’t post the pictures on social media without her express written consent.  She looked dubious.  It was at that moment that my husband drove by in his pickup, he also looked dubious.  I get that look a lot.

Little Bull Calf

A farmer cares for his cows, loves them, feeds them, and keeps them healthy and comfortable, but he seems to draw the line at palaver. I think there is a farmer’s club where you lose your membership if caught discussing the weather with livestock.  I, on the other hand, have held some meaningful conversations with my 1,500 pound, four hoofed friends. Maybe that’s why I’m never invited to the farmer club meetings. I don’t know the secret handshake anyway.

Some local farmers occasionally meet in the back room of our store so I thought a bribe might be helpful to get into the secret club. I made Raspberry Quark Mini Muffins adapted from a Taste of Home Recipe.  I plunked a bowlful of warm, fragrant muffins on the table and requested entrance into the club. I got a thank you for the muffins, but they wouldn’t divulge the secret handshake, they even tried telling me that it doesn’t exist.  Now it was my turn to look dubious.

Raspberries
Raspberries from Boxx Berry Farm

Raspberry Quark Muffins

  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cups fresh or frozen raspberries
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 cup Quark (I used lowfat)
  • 1/2 cup cup canola oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla

Combine the dry ingredients in a large bowl.  Add in the berries and toss to coat.

Combine the wet ingredients in another bowl.  Stir the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients just until moistened.

Fill greased mini muffin cups about 2/3 full.  Bake at 400 degrees for 15-18 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean.  Cool for 5 minutes before removing from the pan to a wire rack.  Serve warm.

Fourth of July Picnic

John and I have been taking advantage of the nice weather and going on picnics on my day off. John starts work at 4am so we like to head to the park at 8 or 9am.  That makes it a late breakfast for me and lunchtime for him.  I thought it would be nice to come up with an easy stuffed sandwich that I could make the day before.  That way we could hop in the car as soon as John was done with his morning cheese chores.

John making feta
This is an old picture of John making feta. He doesn’t like having his picture taken so I have to sneak up on him.

I had my recipe books open which makes my son very happy.  I told him what I was looking for, he suggested using his favorite salad recipe.  This recipe was contributed to “A Taste of Tradition” Mt. View Church recipe book in 1998 by none other than my sister-in-law Ann.  We make this salad all the time as a light supper, especially during the summer.  Stuffing it into a loaf sandwich turned out perfect!

I also like this salad/sandwich because it uses three of our cheeses, Quark, Maasdammer, and Cheddar.  What’s not to love about that?

Elizabeth making cheddar
Making cheddar is a physically demanding job, just ask Elizabeth.

I do recommend choosing your bread carefully.  We loved the sourdough artisan loaf for flavor, but the chewy crust forced the filling to squish out a little bit.  It’s okay to get a little messy on a picnic, right?

Layered Basil Salad Sandwich

Layered Basil Salad Sandwich

  • Artisan bread loaf
  • 2 medium carrots, grated
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • 1/2 cup quark*
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • Lettuce, shredded (the amount will vary depending on the size of the loaf)
  • 1/4-1/2 pound deli ham slices
  • 1/2 red onion, sliced thin
  • 1/4 cup Maasdammer** grated
  • 1/4 cup sharp cheddar, grated
  • 2 hard boiled eggs, sliced

Mix the carrots, peas, quark, mayonnaise, mustard, salt, and pepper in a small bowl.  Set aside.
Cut off the top third of the loaf and dig out the center, leaving an inch of crust to make a bowl.  Fill the bread bowl with lettuce all the way to the top, this layer will compress.  Layer the quark filling evenly over the lettuce, followed by the ham, red onions, cheeses, and eggs.
Cover with the top of the bread loaf and wrap tightly in saran wrap.  Chill for a minimum of four hours, can be made 24 hours in advance.  Slice in wedges for a round loaf or thick slices for an oblong loaf.

*you can substitute sour cream
**you can substitute Swiss cheese

Larrabee State Park
Relaxing at Larrabee State Park

What is going on in the kitchen?

The Cheese Shop has been open for more than a year now and sometimes I have to pinch myself because I feel blessed beyond belief.  I am also blessed by my wonderful crew.  My crew is like family to me, some actually are family to me.  The teamwork here is phenomenal!  Everybody enthusiastically pitches in with all tasks (except weeding the flower beds).  We team up to bake the muffins, cookies, and biscuits fresh every day.  Strong teamwork is vitally important because one person may start a batch of muffins, then get called out to help a customer so someone else will need to take over.  We occasionally have a mess-up like missing an ingredient or adding double the amount of salt (oops) but for the most part the system works beautifully.

There may be a little bit of goofing off too…

Goofing off in the kitchen
Elizabeth is starting to get almost as goofy as her Aunt.

One of our fabulous team members has her last day this Saturday.  We are like family here, so it’s hard to see any member of the crew leave.  I feel like a proud Mom!  Mars has been working the Saturday morning shift since we opened.  We will miss her bright cheery face and easy laugh.  Mars graduated from Whatcom Community College and is moving on to an exciting future.

Mars is baking
Mars is testing a recipe for plum upside down cake. It was much too dense so we will keep working on it!

The crew also helps out with testing recipes for posting here.  We have to make a recipe several times to get it right and we take copious amounts of notations.  A new recipe that we tested and LOVE is Strawberry Scones with Brown Sugar Glaze.

Strawberry Quark Scones

Strawberry Quark Scones

  • 2 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking poweder
  • 4 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup cold butter
  • 1 cup strawberries, roughly chopped
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup Appel Farms Quark*
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Combine the flour, baking powder, sugar, and salt in a large bowl.  cut in the butter until it looks like course bread crumbs.  Add the strawberries and toss until the berries are coated.

Whisk together the egg, quark, vanilla and milk.  Fold the quark mixture into the flour mixture to form a moist dough.  Add more milk if necessary.  Turn out the dough and pat it into a circle about 1 inch thick.  Cut the dough into wedges and transfer the wedges to a greased baking sheet.

Place the scones in the freezer for ten minutes to chill.   Bake at 350 for 20-25 minutes until golden brown.  Let the scones cool before spreading on the glaze (recipe below).

Making Scones

Brown Sugar Glaze

  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Heat the butter and sugar in a saucepan over medium heat, stirring constantly.  Once the sugar has dissolved then add the cream, vanilla, and salt.  Bring to a boil, then remove from heat and let cool until thickened.

*I you don’t have access to quark, then you can substitute sour cream.