Everything Bagel Cheeseball

Everything Bagels are always a favorite at the Cheese Shop.  Here we carried the same wonderful combination of flavors to a cheese ball.  I served this to a group of teenagers who devoured it and begged for more!




Cheeseball Ingredients

  • 8 ounces Appel Farms Quark, room temperature
  • 6 ounces Appel Farms Black Pepper Cheddar, coarsely shredded
  • 1 ounce Appel Farms Extra Sharp Cheddar, coarsely shredded
  • 8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
  • 2 Tbsp chopped green onions
  • 6 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled

Topping Ingredients

  • 2 Tbsp dehydrated onion
  • 2 Tbsp dry minced garlic
  • 2 Tbsp poppy seeds
  • 2 Tbsp sesame seeds
  • Salt to taste


In a mixing bowl, mix together Quark, Cheddars, cream cheese, green onions, and bacon.

Form the cheese mixture into a ball and wrap it tightly in plastic wrap; chill in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours to let it harden a bit and the flavors to come together.  Even better, the cheeseball can be made the day before.

In another small bowl, mix together the topping ingredients.

Once cheeseball is set, roll it the topping mixture to completely cover.  Serve it with some bagel chips, crackers, pretzels, or fresh veggies.


Gouda Bread

The aroma of fresh baked bread speaks of home and comfort.  Adding the Jalapeno Gouda gives this bread a subtle spicy note.  Serve Gouda Bread warm with eggs for breakfast.

Gouda Bread

  • 2 teaspoons instant yeast
  • 1 cup lukewarm milk
  • 3 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 4 ounces Jalapeno Gouda (or flavor of your choice), grated
  • 1 ounce Aged Gouda (or other aged hard cheese), grated
  1. Place the milk and yeast in the bowl of a stand mixer and let it proof for 5 minutes.  Using the dough hook, turn the mixer on to low speed.  Slowly add the flour, salt, sugar, and Goudas.  Continue to mix until the dough forms a cohesive ball.  You can adjust the consistency with milk if it’s too dry.
  2. Turn the dough out onto a floured board and knead for 8-10 minutes.
  3. Form the dough into a ball and place in a covered greased bowl.  Allow to rise until double.
  4. Roll out the dough into a rectangle, about 8 inches by 12 inches.  Roll up the dough and place in a greased loaf pan.  Allow to rise again, about 30 minutes.
  5. Cut slits in the top to allow for expansion during baking.  Bake at 350 degrees for 20 to 25 minutes or until golden brown.  Allow to cool in the loaf pan for 10 minutes before removing.


Three Cheese Pumpkin Cheesecake

Three Cheese Pumpkin Cheesecake


  • 1 c. granola (no large nuts or raisins)
  • 1/3 cup graham cracker crumbs
  • 1/3 c. dark brown sugar
  • 1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp. ground ginger
  • 1/4 tsp. fresh grated nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 6 tbsp. unsalted butter


  • 1 1/2 c. granulated sugar
  • 8 oz cream cheese, room temperature
  • 8 oz Quark, room temperature
  • 8 oz. chevre, room temperature
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie mix)
  • 3 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh grated nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract


  1. Heat the oven to 350 degrees F. Toss the granola, graham cracker crumbs, brown sugar, and spices together in a medium bowl. Stir in the butter and pat the mixture into the bottom of a 9-inch springform pan. Bake for 15 minutes. Cool on a wire rack.
  2. Meanwhile, in a large bowl and using an electric mixer on low, beat together cream cheese and sugar. Add in quark and beat for 1 minute. Add remaining ingredients and salt; beat until mixture is very smooth, about 5 more minutes.
  3. Transfer batter to prepared pan. Bake on a rack positioned in middle of oven until just set, about 1 hour.  Turn off the oven and leave the cheesecake in the oven for 1 hour with the door cracked open. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until firm, 4 to 5 hours or up to 3 days. Serve with whipped cream.

Printable Version

Adapted from Country Living

Pumpkin Cheddar Rolls

Pumpkin Cheddar Rolls


  • 2 1/4 teaspoons (1 packet) instant yeast
  • 1 cup whole milk, scalded and cooled to lukewarm
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted 
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin puree, not pumpkin pie mix
  • 2 large eggs, divided
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups sharp cheddar, shredded
  • Sliced pecan pieces, for the “stems”


In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the dough hook attachment, stir the yeast, milk, sugar, butter, pumpkin, one egg, cheddar, and salt until well combined. Gradually add the flour and knead on medium-low speed until the dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl. Turn off the mixer and let the dough rest for 3 to 5 minutes. Continue to knead the dough on medium-low speed for another 5 minutes, or until the dough is soft and smooth. If it seems too sticky, add more flour, 1 tablespoon at a time.

Transfer the dough to a large greased bowl. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let the dough rise until doubled in size, about 45 minutes to 1 hour.

Punch the dough down and turn it out onto a lightly floured work surface. Divide the dough into 15 equal pieces and shape into balls. Use the palm of your hand to flatten each ball slightly. With a small knife, cut 8 slices around each ball, being careful not to slice all the way into the center, to make the pumpkin shape. Cover and let rise until doubled in size, about 45 minutes to 1 hour.

Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 350°F. Using the wooden end of a small utensil or your finger to poke an indentation in the center of each roll to create a space for the “stem.” In a small bowl beat the remaining egg with 2 teaspoons of water and brush all over the rolls. Bake the rolls for 15 to 20 minutes, or until golden brown. Place a sliced pecan piece into the indentation of each roll.

Printable Version

Feta Chive Scones

I don’t know about you, but I have a love/hate relationship with mornings.  I absolutely love to BE up early.  I love watching the sunrise, I love how energetic I feel when I get an early start on the day, I love that first sip of coffee that warms me to my toes.  What I hate is to GET up early.  With all the rewards of an early start, it’s surprising how long I can linger under those blankets.

Sunrise over the neighbor's barn

When my husband started work at 4am, he always beat me out of bed.  Now that he gets to sleep in until 6am, I’m often the first one up.  While I like to linger and enjoy my morning, he likes to roll out of bed, throw his pants on, and be out the door in a flash. If I time it right, a batch of scones fresh out of the oven stops him in his tracks.  I tempt him to linger with me over hot coffee, warm scones, and a breathtaking sunrise.  These moments are rare and precious and worth refraining from hitting the snooze button.

Feta Chive Scones with a cup of coffee


Feta Chive Scones

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1/4 cup cold, unsalted butter
  • 4 ounces plain Feta, crumbled
  • 1/4 cup fresh chives, chopped
  • 1 cup heavy cream (approximately)
  • 1-2 tablespoons heavy cream

Grease a baking sheet, or line it with parchment paper.  Preheat oven to 425 F.

Whisk together the flour, salt, baking powder, and sugar.  Work the butter into the mixture until it is crumbly, but some of the butter is in larger pieces.

Ingredients for Feta Scones

Mix in the feta and chives, toss to coat.

Adding Feta and Chives

Add 3/4 cup of the cream, stirring to combine.  Add more cream if necessary to make a loose dough.

Adding cream to Feta Chive Scones

Transfer to a work surface and knead lightly to bring the dough together.  Shape into a disk and cut into 8 wedges.  Transfer the wedges to the baking sheet.

Forming the Feta Chive Scones

Brush the scones with a bit of heavy cream.

Brushing cream on the Feta Chive Scones

Bake for 22 to 24 minutes or until golden brown.  Remove from oven and cool on the pan for five minutes before transferring to a wire rack.

Bake the scones to a golden brown

Here’s a printable version for your convenience.

Colcannon Cottage Pie

Colcannon Cottage Pie for Dinner

I enjoy serving something special for holidays, birthdays, Wednesdays…I admit it, I like to cook.  Cottage Pie sounded like a perfect fit for St. Patrick’s Day, but I wanted to add a unique touch to distinguish it from my usual Cottage Pie.  In case you are wondering why it is named Cottage Pie rather than Shepherd’s Pie:  the name Shepherd’s Pie is a reference to the protein source which is sheep.  If the protein source is beef, I don’t think we would want to call it Cow’s Pie.  Cottage Pie seems more like comfort food and less like fertilizer.  I muse about these things sometimes.

To make it special, I used Colcannon instead of mashed potatoes.  Colcannon is an Irish version of mashed potatoes with greens mixed in.  It is traditionally served at Halloween, but it works nicely with Cottage Pie.  I then took it a step further by giving it an Appel Farms touch with Bacon Cheddar.  Everything is better with cheese and bacon.

Here’s a song  to get you in a festive mood for making this dish:

Did you ever eat colcannon,
Made with lovely pickled cream.
With the greens & scallions mingled
Like a picture in a dream
Did you ever make a hole on top
To hold the melting flake
Or the creamy flavored butter
That your mother used to make

Yes you did, so you did
So did he and so did I
And the more I think about it
Sure the nearer I’m to cry
Oh wasn’t it the happy days
When troubles we had not
And our mothers made colcannon
In the little skillet pot.

Colcannon Cottage Pie

Prepare the filling:

Brown the ground beef in a large skillet over medium heat.  Drain any excess fat if necessary.

Brown the ground beef for the filling

Add the onion to the beef.  Cook for approximately 10 minutes or until the onions are soft.

Add the onions to the ground beef and continue to cook

Add the corn, peas, and carrots, cook for 2-3 minutes.  Add butter and stir until the butter is melted.  Stir in the flour, thyme, and garlic.  Stir for one minute.  Turn up the heat and add the beef broth.  Cook and stir until the broth thickens.  Add salt and pepper to taste.  Remove the pan from the heat and transfer the mixture to a casserole dish.

Add the vegetables, butter, flour, and herbs


colcannon cottage pie filling

Prepare the Colcannon

Put the potatoes in a medium pot.  Cover with cold water by at least an inch.  Add 2 tablespoons salt and bring to a boil.  Boil until the potatoes are fork tender, about 15-20 minutes.  Drain.


Melt the butter in a medium skillet.  Add the kale and saute until it starts to wilt, about 3-4 minutes.  Add the green onions and cook another minute.  The word of the day is smaragdine.  That’s the name of the vibrant green color that kale turns when you saute it.  Your life is now complete because you know that.

Wilt the Kale for the Colcannon

Mash the potatoes with the milk.  Fold in the kale, onions, and cheese, add salt and pepper to taste.

Fold in the Bacon Cheddar and Kale

If you ever want to serve the Colcannon on it’s own, it’s lovely with a big dollop of butter on top.


Spread the colcannon evenly over the beef and veggie mixture.

Colcannon Cottage Pie ready to bake


Bake at 425F for 20-25 minutes or until the colcannon is golden brown and crispy on top.  Serve and enjoy.

Here’s a printable version for your convenience.

Colcannon Cottage Pie



Nokkelost Bread

Nokkelost Bread with Pear and Cranberry

Nokkelost is a wonderful mystery to people.

“What is Nokkelost?”

“What do I serve it with?”

“It’s a ‘Christmas Cheese’ right?”

“How do you pronounce that?”

In answer to most, but not all of those questions: Nokkelost is a flavored semi hard cheese, great all year round.  Nokkelost is like other cheeses in that it’s very flexible which I think is why Nokkelost is popular in many parts of Europe.  I posted a Nokkelost Quiche recipe in December to show how well it works in a savory dish.  Today I have for you a sweet, quick bread recipe to demonstrate how well it blends with fruit.  We served it plain at Christmas time, because the flavors in the cheese do conjure images of carols and mistletoe.  In dishes like the quiche and in baking, it marries beautifully with other flavors to give year-round appeal.  If you are interested in trying it, it’s available at the Cheese Shop or you can order it online from Everybody’s Store in Deming.

The one question that I cannot answer is how to pronounce Nokkelost correctly.  Jeff from Everybody’s Store patiently tried to teach me the correct pronunciation.  In spite of my best efforts, I still mangle the accent.  Thankfully, I don’t have to pass a language test in order to eat this wonderful cheese.

Nokkelost Bread

Preheat the oven to 350º F.  Grease a 9″ round cake pan and line with parchment paper, grease the parchment paper.

Prepare the pan for the bread

Mix together the flour, baking powder, sugar, and salt.  Add the Cheddar and Nokkelost, toss to coat.  Mix in the butter until well combined and crumbly.

Nokkelost Bread Ingredients


Mixing Nokkelost Bread

Whisk together the eggs and milk.  Set aside one tablespoon of the mixture to brush on top of the loaf.

Mixing Nokkelost Bread

Add the egg mixture to the dry ingredients, stirring just until everything is moistened.  Fold in the pear and cranberries.  This will be very stiff and difficult to stir, but trust me, it will come together.

Mix fruit into Nokkelost Bread

Turn the batter into the prepared pan.  Wet your fingers and smooth the batter to the edges of the pan.  Make it slightly concave so the edges are higher than the center.

Put Nokkelost Bread batter in the pan

Brush the top of the loaf with the reserved egg mixture.

Brush egg mixture on Nokkelost Bread and it is ready to bake

Bake the bread for 40 to 45 minutes or until it’s a light golden brown and a toothpick comes out clean.

Allow to cool for 5 minutes, then run a knife around the edges to loosen the bread from the pan.  Turn out onto a rack, remove the parchment and allow to cool.

Here’s a printable version for your convenience.

Nokkelost Bread with Pear and Cranberry

Baked Alaska

Baked Alaska

We’ve been making ice cream at Appel Farms for over a year now.  We don’t have many flavors, but the flavors we do have are exceptionally good, if I do say so myself.  Handmade ice cream doesn’t need sprinkles or a cherry on top, but I just can’t resist.  So let’s have some ice cream fun by making Baked Alaska, shall we?

Baked Alaska has been around since at least the 1800’s, probably earlier but under different names.  Originally, it wasn’t called Baked Alaska, it was “Norwegian Omelette”,  “Omelette la Norvienne”, and Omelette Surprise.”  The name “Baked Alaska” didn’t appear in print until it was published in Fanny Farmer’s cookbook in 1896.  It was, and is, a popular dessert because the egg whites are a poor conductor of heat, so browning the meringue doesn’t melt the ice cream.  I enjoy serving it because it looks beautiful and is easy to make a couple of days ahead and keeps in the freezer until you are ready to serve it.  I noticed that if I keep it too long, it changes the consistency of the meringue so I don’t recommend making it too far ahead.

Baked Alaska

I like making individual servings so I line bowls with plastic wrap.  Use whatever size works for your needs.  These were a bit large for single servings, but I had them on hand.

Line bowls with plastic wrap

Fill with ice cream up to about one inch from the top.  I used Salted Caramel Ice Cream.

Scoop ice cream into forms

Cut cake to a size that fits your form.  I used a purchased pound cake here, but one of my favorites is a homemade apple pound cake with the Salted Caramel Ice Cream.  Sponge cake also works well.  Just think of all the fabulous flavor combinations!

Rounds of pound cake

My cutter is a little smaller than the bowl I use, but it works fine.  Wrap it all up and pop it in the freezer to firm up.

Pound Cake base for Baked Alaska

While the ice cream is firming up, go ahead and make the meringue.

Italian Meringue

Whip four egg whites with a little cream of tartar to form soft peaks.

Whip egg whites to soft peaks for Italian Meringue

Add the sugar and water to a small saucepan and heat to 240ºF.  It’s important to get the sugar syrup to the right temperature for two reasons: first, the hot liquid is going to cook the egg whites and second, to stabilize the meringue.  Stabilizing the meringue will help prevent it from  “weeping”if making the dessert ahead of time.

Sugar Syrup for Italian Meringue

With the mixer running, SLOWLY drizzle the hot syrup into the egg whites.  The syrup can cause serious burns so be very careful.  Don’t be surprised if the egg whites start steaming and the bowl gets hot.  That’s a good thing!

Pour hot sugar syrup into whipped egg whites

Keep whipping as the meringue cools until you get stiff peaks.

Italian Meringue

Turn the ice cream out onto a serving platter.  I used individual dessert plates.

Ice Cream formed for Baked Alaska

Put the cooled meringue into a gallon size sealable storage bag with a large star tip.  Pipe rosettes for an elegant look.

Piping Meringue on a Baked Alaska

I use a kitchen torch to brown the meringue because I like the control.  If you don’t have a torch, you can set it under the broiler, but watch it carefully!  It browns very quickly.

Pipe stars for a whimsical look…

Use a star tip for a fun Baked Alaska

…or spread the meringue on with an offset spatula for a rustic, casual look.

Spread the meringue on with an offset spatula for a rustic Baked Alaska


Here’s a printable version of the meringue recipe.


Enjoy Baked Alaska

Banana Bread

Coffee time with Banana Bread

Today is National Banana Bread Day.  Banana Bread Day is one of those made-up holidays that I have way too much fun with.  I especially like to learn the history of the dish or recipe, it’s really fascinating how things develop.

Banana Bread got it’s start during WWI when there were few ships to export the fruit from Hawaii.  People were looking for different ways to use bananas so that the fruit wouldn’t go to waste.  As they say, necessity is the mother of invention!  One of the first recorded recipes was printed in The Maui News on April 12, 1918.

2/3 banana
1/3 flour
Yeast, coconut milk or water

My favorite recipe isn’t nearly that old, I’ve had since about 2002.  It was hand written on a sheet of paper that ended up stained and torn from being pulled out so often.  I finally had to retype it before it disappeared completely.   While typing I realized that it’s one that you might really like too.  Rachel, who was working for us 15 years ago, gave me this recipe.  I plan to share more of her wonderful recipes in the future.  Quark, as I’ve said before, is fabulous for developing a moist, tender crumb in quick breads.

Banana Bread

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 cup Quark
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups bananas, mashed
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 2/3 cups flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts, optional

Gather your ingredients.  I know that you know that already.  You are smart.  I am telling you this because I wasn’t being very smart and was already getting started when I realized that I only had 1/3 cup of flour.  So here are the ingredients.Banana Bread Ingredients

Mash up the bananas.  It takes about four small bananas to get 1 1/2 cups.

Mashing bananas

Whisk together the dry ingredients.

Whisking dry ingredients for banana bread

Beat the sugar and oil for a few minutes, then add the eggs, Quark, and vanilla and mix until well blended.

Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients all at once and mix just until all the flour is just incorporated but don’t over-mix.  Fold in the walnuts if desired.

Mixing Banana Bread Batter

Scoop the batter into a loaf pan or mini loaf pan.  This batter makes one normal size loaf, or 8 mini loaves.

Banana Bread Batter

Bake at 350  for 50 to 60 minutes for a full-size loaf or 25 to 30 minutes for mini loaves.

Banana Bread Loaves Cooling

Aren’t these cute?

Banana Bread Loaves

Serve warm!  Here’s a printable version

Banana Bread

I made mini loaves to give away as gifts.  Like I said: CUTE!

Mini Banana Bread Loaf

Saag Paneer

Saag Paneer and Basmati Rice

They say that you eat with your eyes first.  I totally get that!  If something looks good, you expect it to taste good, and vice versa.  Unfortunately, to a lot of people this dish does not look good.  In fact, it can look a little bit slimy.  Don’t be fooled, it’s totally yummy!  The fragrant spices, mild spinach, tangy yogurt, and creamy Paneer are a heavenly combination.  Saag Paneer is a traditional East Indian dish with a balance of flavors.

Paneer is the go-to cheese for weekly vegetarian nights at our house.  It is so versatile, I can use it in all types of dishes from Asian stir fry to sandwiches ( I will have to share that with you sometime).

Saag Paneer

Cut the Paneer in one inch cubes and place it in a seal-able bag.

Cut up paneer cheese

Mix the turmeric, cayenne, and salt in a small bowl.  Whisk in 3 tablespoons of oil.

Indian spices and salt

Pour the marinade in the bag with the Paneer and gently massage the bag to evenly distribute the marinade.  Let that marinate in the refrigerator while you prepare the other ingredients.

Marinate the Paneer Cheese

Lightly saute the Paneer until it just begins to brown.  YUM!

Saute paneer cheese

Set the Paneer aside, then add more oil to the same pan and saute the onions and chile.

Saute onions

Keep sauteing the onions until they are well caramelized.  They should be a lovely toffee color.  This brings out the sweetness in the onions.  Once the onions reach a golden color, add the garlic, ginger, garam masala, coriander, and cumin.  Saute 3-5 minutes.  Add water as needed to keep it from drying out and the spices from burning.

Cook onions until well caramelized

Remove the pan from the heat and gently stir in the yogurt.

Add spinach and yogurt to onions

Mix spinach, onions, and yogurt in saucepan

Add the Paneer back in and cook for another 5 minutes or until heated through.

Add Paneer to spinach mixture


Saag Paneer and Basmati Rice

For your convenience, here’s a printable version.

This recipe is adapted from a recipe by one of my favorite Food Network cooks: Aarti Sequeira