Mushroom Havarti Rolls

Mushroom Havarti Rolls

These rolls are great for parties and entertaining, but are also quick and easy to make for a snack.

Mushroom Havarti Rolls

  • 2 Tbsp butter
  • 1 shallot, sliced
  • 16 ounces mushrooms, roughly chopped
  • 2 tsp fresh rosemary, chopped
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 1/2 cup vegetable broth (can substitute chicken or beef)
  • 8 ounces Appel Farms Havarti, sliced
  • 2 sheets puff pastry, thawed
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 ounce Appel Farms Havarti, shredded

Melt the butter in a large skillet, add the shallot, salt, and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the shallot is softened.

Add the chopped mushrooms and rosemary, continue to cook until the mushrooms are soft. Add the broth, continue to cook until the broth evaporates. Remove from the heat.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Mushroom Havarti Rolls
Mushroom Havarti Rolls

Lay out the puff pastry sheets and cut each into three strips, I use the fold lines as a guide. Lay the sliced Havarti down the center of each strip of pastry. Spoon the mushroom mixture over the Havarti. Brush the egg wash over one edge of the puff pastry and pull the edges together to form a long roll. Turn the seam side down, cut each roll into six pieces. Brush the rolls with egg wash, and sprinkle on the grated Havarti.

Mushroom Havarti Rolls
Mushroom Havarti Rolls

Place the rolls on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until golden brown. Serve warm.

Do you Dahi?

Well do you?

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Dahi (the Hindi word for yogurt) is a thick, creamy, yogurt traditionally made in India. However, we also produce it here! Yogurt days are considered “fun days” back in the plant. It’s a process that takes up a couple tanks, so usually we only produce yogurt making it a relatively light day. For the most part we just fill containers and buckets with a thick milky substance, chat, and try to make sure the cup filling machine (that thing has a personality all its own!) behaves itself.

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After the containers are filled they are then transferred to a warm room where the yogurt begins to set up. This is how we achieve that thick substance. There are no gelatins or preservatives in this type of yogurt, it’s just milk and a yogurt culture. They sit in the warm room for the afternoon, then are transferred to the cooler where they await to be packed up and shipped out.

When describing our yogurt to a customer, I typically compare it to a Greek yogurt. It’s got the thick, creamy goodness that could hold a spoon straight up! It’s also made with a milk powder, so there are more milk sugars, making it naturally sweeter than typical plain yogurt. However, if you are looking to use it in cooking it is very different. Greek style yogurts are made with additional additives (gelatin’s) to make it stiffer, and these break down when cooked causing problems with whatever you are making. Our Dahi style yogurt has nothing extra added to it, so it is wonderful to bake/cook with! Check back Thursday for a new yogurt recipe, but until then you can always try a dollop over some fresh fruit!

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5 reasons for Diabetics to love cheese!

For Diabetics, it’s typically not a great idea to cover everything in cheese (but hey, no judging if you do it anyway) due to the calories and saturated fat levels, but when paired with a well-rounded diet, a little cheese course can be an excellent thing! Here’s why!

  1. The protein in cheese can slow down the absorption of carbohydrates eaten at the same meal or snack and therefore help balance your blood-sugar levels and improve mood as well. Paneer
  2. According to the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, cheese eaters reported a 12% lower risk of diabetes than those who refused the goodness of cheese.
  3. Cheese has a low glycemic index, therefore if you pair it with a high GI item, it will balance to form a combo that would only moderately affect your blood sugar levels. For example, eating a piece of bread paired with cheeses would have a lower GI than the bread alone. cheddarandbread
  4. Replacing calories from carbs with calories from cheese is a great way to help achieve a more balanced blood sugar level. A good example of this would be using less pasta noodles in a baked pasta dish and instead adding a low-fat ricotta.
  5. Stronger tasting cheeses (something with an age or a flavor like our Sweet Red Pepper Gouda) will be easier to use as a replacement, because they have a fuller flavor. So you wouldn’t need as much Sharp Cheddar for example, as you would a milder version. cheddarbuffer2

Lactose Confusion

Most people tend to steer away from cheese if they are lactose intolerant, but let me tell you a little something. Cheese does not contain lactose. If you have a milk allergy, then yes, I’m sorry. Cheese shall not be a part of your life. BUT! There is no danger in cheese from lactose.

The cheese making process magically turns sugar (in this case milk sugar, aka lactose) into lactic acid, which is something entirely different and no longer a threat to people with sensitivities. The longer the milk is left to sour (a process called acidification), the more time the lactose has to dissipate. Drier, harder cheeses are therefore the safest to eat, while the fresh cheeses with a higher moisture content may retain a small amount of lactose due to the shorter acidification process.Parmesan

If you do have problems with cheese, most likely you have a milk allergy. But if lactose is what your body doesn’t like, cheese it up! No need to deprive yourself of such wonderful joy in life!

Say Cheese!

Did you know cheese is good for your teeth? It’s true! Research published in the General Dentistry Journal shows 12-15 year-olds who ate cheddar cheese had lower acid levels in their mouths than even those who ate sugar free yogurt or had a glass of milk! This is because cheese has cariostatic properties. Meaning it acts to prevent (or delay) tooth decay.

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Eating a small amount of cheese after each meal neutralizes the acid left behind by the food you have just eaten. Sodas and sugary foods are more acidic, so a little cheesy snack after these types of treats is even more effective.

Cheese (the harder the better) is also considered a “saliva maker”. Saliva is your body’s best natural defense against tooth decay because it contains traces of calcium and phosphate. Combined with the natural calcium in cheese, this increases the concentration of these minerals in your dental plaque, hardening your tooth enamel!

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I know you don’t need another reason to enjoy your cheese…but it’s nice to know your “guilty pleasure” doesn’t have to be quite so guilty 😉

What makes Quark special?

First of all, the name is pretty special don’t you think? The first time someone hears the name always gets a pretty good facial expression. Quark is mostly compared to cream cheese or sour cream, and makes a great substitute for either. This soft white cheese can also be compared to/substituted for ricotta and mascarpone. There are certain things to do when using Quark as a substitute, but overall it can be a great tasting, high protein, low fat alternative!

Quark is a German cheese classified as “fresh acid-set”. What that means, is the milk is heated, a coagulant (like an acid) is added, and it sets up overnight before it is packaged. I would describe the flavor most like a sour cream, but with a stronger, tangier aftertaste.

Cream-Cheese

Cream cheese is made in a similar process as Quark in that it’s heated and a coagulant is added. Mascarpone is also made similarly, but it’s basically one step away from butter. SO rich! It’s richness is perfect in desserts such as tiramisu!

mascarpone

Sour cream however, is made by fermenting (heating) cream or milk, and adding a specific bacteria (in place of an acid) to thicken.

sourcream

Ricotta is a little more fun because it’s a “whey cheese”. The whey is the byproduct of other cheeses such as Mozzarella. Ricotta is made by heating whey to a high temperature and adding an acid to create curd! It has a little more of a grainy, almost fluffy texture when eaten plain, but for the most part it’s a cooking cheese. The plain, very mild flavor blends well when baked into things like a cheesy lasagna!

 

ricotta

Each of these cheeses have their own unique flavors and textures, but all are great! Check in on Thursday to see exactly how to use Quark as a substitute for any of these cheeses!

Good News for Cheese Addicts!

You are officially legit.

Cheese is scientifically proven to be like a drug! I’m not even kidding. Yes, some of us have a loving relationship with our cheese, but we have research to prove there is more to it!

Gouda

Researchers have known since the 1980’s that cheese contains small traces of morphine, the same drug given as a painkiller in hospitals. No, it is not put there by evil people hoping to get you hooked on cheese. It is found to be produced naturally by both human and animal mothers! These little bits of morphine help the baby (calves or humans) to form a bond with the mother, and in turn get all the nutrients they need to grow.

Feta

Scientists have also found cheese to contain concentrated levels of protein casein. When digested, the casein breaks down into casomorphins which produces opiate effects!

Cheese-Piles

Now, both these factors are very small and don’t really do much due to the morphine being neutralized by your body before it hits your blood stream. It’s the same reason poppy seeds don’t make you “happy”. Now when you refer to someone as a “Cheese Addict”, know you can back it up and start a fun conversation to boot!

Christmas at the Appel’s

Christmas at the Appel household is always a special time. Laughter and hugs abound as we try to fit five families into one living room, but before we bow our heads to pray (and then eat!) we have a tradition. We read from a passage in the Bible, and listen to a few stories about the incredible workings of the Lord in our family. This quote is from the book Beppe put together, a precious thought to remember during this season.

“Who can describe the love, joy, and feeling of fulfillment that comes with a first born? Our Lord came in to the world that way. Such a humble beginning on earth for the Prince of Peace. It is a great mystery, and it changed the world. How can we ever be thankful enough for His unchanging love and mercy for us, His children?”

-Audrey Appel

Then, after our devotions, we sing!

 

Not going to lie, we have a pretty solid chorus of clear, strong voices complete with various harmonies. However, what stands out even more is the passion behind these voices. Voices reflecting lives broken, but pulled together again by the grace of God. Whole families who have had their trials, but are together for this day, because we are celebrating the birth of our Savior, and no squabble tops that. Hearts open in praise, because they can’t, and won’t, be held back.

I know Pake is singing his heart out in heaven, joining his rich baritone voice with his brothers and sisters in continuous praise to our Lord. But I also like to think maybe he takes a little break to peer into our living room full of family, and listen. The lessons he taught along with Beppe, continue to be taught by their sons and daughters, and someday will hopefully be taught by their grandchildren. A legacy of unchanging love and mercy never to be forgotten, and a Lord who deserves our highest praise.

Chris, Tyler, Shelby

Merry Christmas everyone! May you find your song, whatever it may be, and sing your heart out this Christmas season. Thank you for reading along 🙂

 

Stories from Beppe: Christmas Treats

Christmas time brings about some of the most delicious treats, reserved specifically for the holidays. The fall kicks off with Pumpkin flavored everything while the holiday season ushers in a festive selection of eggnog, candy canes, and star shaped cookies. We joyfully plunge into decor and gifting with anticipation of the big day, while trying to keep our calm weaving through the madness that is the mall.

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These classic sugar cookies are sold in our baked goods case! Can you guess our secret ingredient?

Let me, or rather Beppe, take you back to a simpler time. At the young age of 7, Beppe’s first Christmas away from home was spent with some local relatives. She has fond memories of her first Christmas tree and the treats that made the day special.

During Christmas vacation, I went to stay with some relatives about 8 miles away from where we lived. My uncle and aunt had one son and one daughter, both much older than I. Never in all the times I spent with them through the years did I ever feel unwelcome. It was in their home I saw a Christmas tree for the first time. The little tree was just a small artificial one, but oh, the wonder of it! I helped my cousin decorate it with glittering balls, real candles, and a little angel on the top!

In the Netherlands, we celebrated First Christmas Day and Second Christmas Day. First Christmas Day, (the 25th of December) was like any other Sunday except the pastor preached from the book of Luke or on the prophesies of Jesus’ birth. On Second Christmas Day, (the 26th) we attended church again, but this time the choir sang. Then in the afternoon service, the Sunday school children recited some Bible verses and we each got a cup of hot chocolate. We as Sunday school children also received a book and an orange. I too, got an orange. When we arrived home, my aunt cut a little hole in the top of the orange into which she put a little sugar. I could spoon the delicious juice into my mouth, what a treat!

Do you have a favorite treat? Some little thing to transport you back to a simpler time? For Beppe, it is a little orange with a spoon full of sugar. For me, it’s a pretty tin can filled with flavored (and somewhat stale) popcorn. This was the traditional Christmas tree decorating snack in our farmhouse. Even in my new home, I can’t help but grab a tin while holiday shopping! I hope you find that simple pleasure this Christmas season, and I hope even more you find the time to enjoy it!

Marshmallows

 

 

Stories from Beppe: The Little Smeerlap

With Thanksgiving come and gone, it is now officially Christmas season! The brisk weather ushers in a time where we may blast carols without being chided, wear obnoxiously bright green and red everything, and throw glitter around like no one’s business. The hustle and bustle of this time of year may be the source of a little stress for some, but deep down we love preparing for and spending this special day celebrating our Lord’s birth with our family and friends. For the month of December, I will be sharing stories close to our family’s heart, stories told to us by our Beppe. These have been the cause of much laughter at our family gatherings but also a source of wisdom, lessons to be learned, and fond memories. Please, grab a cup of coffee, some delicious, flaky banket, and come into our home! You may feel a little cozy squeezed between Aunt Elaine’s laughter, Uncle Gerald’s soft spoken stories, and who knows how many grand kids at your feet. We welcome you!

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We sell these as a fundraiser for a local school!

 

Growing up, we would often spend time with our Pake and Beppe while dad was working and mom ran errands. There have been tales of the grand children being stuck there because a “Nor’easter” blew in and stranded us there for the night. Eventually someone would plow a tractor down the road to pick us up, but we were always more than happy to stay with them until then! Here is a story told by Beppe of one winter when she and Pake took seven grandchildren for a whole week. The Richard in this story is my younger brother, whom has always been a little rascal… still is sometimes!
Katherine

“I often had them sit around the table, playing with play dough. One time, little Richard (this would be Richard Jr., my younger brother) who was four years old, got tired of it and started to throw play dough balls. Pake felt he had to put a stop to that immediately. He said “Quit that, you little smeerlap.” Richard responded promptly, “you’re a little smeerlap yourself.” Smeerlap, translated freely, means “dirty rascal”. It was so funny and Pake loved it, but I told him “Don’t tell Rich and Ann tonight!” When they got tired of the play dough I would send them down to the basement to play. One time, when they went down I heard excited screaming. The basement was flooded! They had already taken their socks off and were ready to wade in the water! So, upstairs again we go!”

Audrey Appel

I can’t imagine trying to entertain all of us, but I do remember playing with play dough quite often! I specifically remember making birds, complete with a nest and little eggs! We also made snakes, but I don’t like those as well 😉

richard
Look at his little angel face!