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.

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Chicken Nachos

Chicken Nachos with Squeeze Cheese

John and I are not very good about entertaining people in our home.  I say “John and I” so that he can shoulder part of the blame, that’s what husbands are for, even when they are blameless.  I get nervous about entertaining partly due to never realizing my unrealistic expectations of being the next Martha Stewart and partly due to the fact that anything I serve will probably include a liberal seasoning of cat hair.  If I could get all the cat hair under control…and if I could overcome my feelings of inadequacy…and if we had a football party…this is what I would serve.

The Squeeze Cheese is a recipe that I have shared before but I am so in love with it that I had to share it again!  It is so fast and easy to make!  I like to keep a bottle in the fridge for those moments when I really need to squeeze some cheese on something.  That happens a lot.

I made these nachos for my family a couple of times recently.  Something like this is easy for Sunday afternoon snacks, whether there’s a game on or not.  I kept the chicken in a crockpot set on warm and everything else in bowls nearby.  This would also work with a big bowl of lettuce for a taco salad, if you are in the mood for that, but I wasn’t.

Chicken Nachos

Squeeze Cheese

Start by pouring 1 cup of whole milk in a small saucepan and sprinkle 1 teaspoon of gelatin over it to soften.  Let it soften for about 5 minutes, then heat slowly over low heat until the gelatin dissolves and the milk start to steam.  Do not boil the gelatin or it will not set!

Dissolve gelatin in milk

 

Shred 6 ounces of Appel Farms Cheddar or Gouda in a food processor.  I used Jalapeno Gouda for one sauce and Sharp Cheddar for the second.  Depending on what you are making, there’s tons of flavor choices!

Grated Jalapeno Gouda

Turn the food processor on low and slowly drizzle the hot milk mixture into the cheese.  Keep it running until the cheese is melted and very smooth, about 30-60 seconds.

Pour warm milk onto Jalapeno Gouda

Blend Gouda and Milk

 

It is just that easy, can you believe it?  Immediately pour the mixture into two 8 ounce squeeze bottles.  The bottles are available at craft stores in the candy making section.  The sauce will start to set up right away, so you need to be quick!

Pour cheese sauce into bottles

The squeeze cheese will flow at room temperature, but is too stiff when chilled.  Trust me, I know.  Store in the refrigerator.

Chicken Mixture

Place 1 pound cooked shredded chicken breast in a large saucepan.  Confession time: I cook and shred chicken in large batches to keep in the freezer.  This chicken was previously frozen.  I’m not Martha Stewart.

Cooked shredded chicken

Sprinkle on one packet of your favorite taco seasoning.

Add taco seasoning to chicken

Pour on 8 ounces of tomato sauce and 1 cup water.

Add tomato sauce and water to the chicken.

Stir it all together and heat on low for 15-20 minutes.  Continue to heat and stir until the sauce thickens.  If it get too dry, add more water.

Stir and heat the taco mixture

While the taco mixture is simmering, go ahead and chop up your toppings.  Whatever you like on your nachos!  Go wild!  Have fun!  You can’t go wrong!

Chop up toppings

Now you can put the chicken mixture into a crockpot and let people make their own nachos, or make a big plate to share.  Throw on whatever you like.  Go wild! Have fun!  You can’t go wrong!  Unless you put avocado on mine, that’s wrong.

Building a plate of nachos. Step one: the chips

I know what you are thinking, those aren’t the right napkins for this year’s Super Bowl.  I’m not bitter at our team losing, those are the napkins that I happened to have in my cupboard.

Building a plate of nachos. Step two: toppings

Okay, maybe a little bitter.  I did have white napkins too.

Time for the Squeeze Cheese…

Building a plate of nachos. Step three: Squeeze Cheese

…and more Squeeze Cheese!

Building a plate of nachos. Step three: Squeeze Cheese

I thinned some sour cream with water and poured it in a squeeze bottle as well.  If I were smart, I would have labeled the bottles, but surprises can be fun too.  Sprinkle on cilantro if you like.

Building a plate of nachos. Step four: sour cream and cilantro

ENJOY!

Chicken Nachos with Squeeze Cheese

Gouda Bread

Gouda Bread and butter

Bread is wonderful, bread with cheese in it is out of this world!  A little tip for you: toasting the bread enhances the flavor of the cheese.  I used a combination of Garden Herb Gouda and Aged Gouda to give the bread a nice balance of flavor.  Any combination of your favorite flavors would work.

Garden Herb Gouda and Aged Gouda

kneading the bread dough

Roll the dough into a cigar shape

allow the dough to proof

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 Garden Herb 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.

Toasted Gouda Bread

 

Cheese Crackers

A customer recently requested this recipe. I first posted it in 2010 and she loved it.  She told me that she brought these crackers to parties and they were always a hit, but she lost the recipe somewhere along the way.

When I first posted it, I used a little cookie cutter in the shape of an alligator that my mother had given to me.  The woman who called told me that she searched for months to find an alligator cutter because she thought it was so cute.  She couldn’t find an alligator, but she did find a mouse.  Then I, of course, had to search for a  cookie cutter in the shape of a mouse.  I didn’t find a mouse, but I did find a rat from a Halloween set.  His tail didn’t stay on very well, but he turned out pretty cute…if you think rodents are cute.

cheese crackers (26 of 45)

cheese rat mouse

Cheese Crackers

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ¼ cup cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
  • 8 ounces grated Appel Farms Jalapeno Gouda, or flavor of your choice
  • 3 – 4 Tbsp ice water

Place the flour, salt, and butter in a food processor.  Pulse until the mixture resembles coarse meal.  Add the cheese a little at a time, pulsing after each addition, until the mixture again resembles coarse meal.

Add the water, one tablespoon at a time, until the dough forms a ball.  Pulse between each addition and be careful not to add too much water.

Form the dough into two balls and wrap each in plastic wrap.  Chill for at least one hour or up to 24 hours.

Using one dough ball at a time, roll the dough to about 1/8 inch thick.  Cut the dough into small shapes, with whatever method you prefer and transfer to a baking sheet.

Roll dough really thin

Cut into fun shapes
Stores with baking supplies have fun mini cutters

Bake the crackers

 

Bake at 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes or until golden brown, keep an eye on them after 10 minutes, they can overcook quickly.

When all the crackers are done, turn off the oven and pile the crackers onto a baking sheet.  Put the crackers back into the warm oven for anywhere from an hour to overnight, this will make them crispy.  The time it takes varies depending on how big and how thick the crackers are.

Alligator cheese cracker
My alligator cracker from six years ago

Low Carb Chicken Enchiladas

Chicken Enchiladas

Elizabeth shared about how cheese is an excellent part of a healthy diet for diabetics.  This is a subject that is near and dear to my heart, and my pancreas.  Type 2 diabetes is a big problem in my extended family and I am considered “borderline.”  So far, my A1C has been under control with diet and exercise, but sometimes it’s hard. Have you ever noticed that your desire for a food grows in direct proportion to how strictly you are to avoid said item? Thankfully, carbs are a part of a healthy diet as long as we are smart about it, which pretty much excludes donuts.

Chicken enchiladas with coleslaw

Low Carb Chicken Enchiladas

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 pound skinless boneless chicken breast
  • salt and popper to taste
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seed
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1 red onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 1 – 4 ounce can green chilies
  • 1 – 14 ounce can crushed tomatoes
  • 12 low carb flour tortillas (I used Mission brand)
  • 1 – 14 ounce can enchilada sauce
  • 2 cups Jalapeno Gouda, shredded (or 1 cup each Jalapeno Gouda and Sharp Cheddar)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F

Heat the olive oil in a large saute pan.  Season the chicken breasts with, pepper, cumin seed, and chili powder.  Cool the chicken over medium heat, approximately 7 minutes on each side or until no longer pink.

Saute the onion and garlic in chicken drippings until tender.  Add the flour and cook for one more minute.  Add the green chilies and crushed tomatoes.  Stir well to combine and cook for one minute.

Pull chicken breasts apart by hand into shredded strips.  mix the shredded chicken into the tomato mixture and heat through.

Shredded Chicken Breast

Coat the bottom of a 9×13 pan with 1/4 of the enchilada sauce.  Using a pie plate or shallow bowl, dip each tortilla in enchilada sauce to lightly coat.  Spoon 1/2 cup chicken mixture into each tortilla.  Fold the sides over and place seam side down in the pan.  Top with remaining enchilada sauce and the Jalapeno Gouda.

Shredded Jalapeno Gouda

Bake for 15 minutes until the cheese melts.

Serve garnished with cilantro, sour cream, chopped tomatoes, and/or avocado.

chicken enchiladas-5

I also served the enchiladas with a light coleslaw made with yogurt instead of mayonnaise.

Low Carb Chicken Enchiladas

 

 

 

 

 

Smoky Mashed Cauliflower

As we are getting older, John and I need to watch our diets more closely than we had to in the past.  It’s a part of life that is difficult for us.  One of us loves to make desserts and the other loves to eat them.  I won’t tell you which of us is which, I will let you guess.

One thing that we both need to cut back on are simple carbs.  Cauliflower is a serendipitous solution!  Cauliflower is a starchy vegetable that is low in carbs so it’s a perfect substitution for the higher carb vegetables such as potatoes, peas, and corn.  When mashed, cauliflower has a wonderful texture and the Smoked Gouda gives it a robust flavor that adds vitality to the dish.

smokycauliflower (1 of 1)

smokycauliflower (1 of 1)

 Smoky Mashed Cauliflower

  • 1 large head cauliflower, finely chopped (about 2 pounds)
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • 1 tablespoon roasted garlic
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup skim milk
  • 1 cup shredded Smoked Gouda
  • Sour cream (optional)
  • Fresh chives, chopped (optional)

 

Add the cauliflower to a medium-sized saucepan along with the chicken stock. Bring to a simmer over medium-high heat and cook until tender, about 8 to 10 minutes. Add the roasted garlic and season with salt and pepper, to taste. Stir in the milk and puree with an immersion blender until smooth. Mix in the cheese and taste for seasoning. Transfer the mixture to a serving bowl and garnish with sour cream and chives.

smokycauliflower-27

Cheese Fondue Pot of Love

John and I found ourselves in Seattle on Valentine’s Day a few years ago and thought we would try The Melting Pot for dinner.  If you have ever been to the Melting Pot you would immediately recognize our mistake.  Valentine’s Day is booked months in advance.  They allowed us to have an appetizer in the bar, which was very nice of them considering how full it was and considering that everyone else was sipping champagne while we ordered Diet Pepsi.  They seated us near the fireplace and it was a lovely evening.  The restaurant was beautiful and the service was marvelous.  The servers treated us like their best customers even though they made almost nothing on us that evening.  I was very impressed.  If you get a chance to go there, I highly recommend it.

This year I decided to make up my own Melting Pot dinner so I picked up a nice little fondue pot for $7 at a second hand store.  According to the website the “Romance Package” at the Melting Pot is $199.  My version costs around $25 including the second hand fondue pot.

candles
I picked these cute candles up at the second hand store for $1

Here is the “Romance Package” description from the Melting Pot website:

  1. “A secluded table in Lover’s Lane.”  No problem, our dining room is always secluded.
  2. “Surprise your sweetheart with roses waiting at your table.”  I am skipping the roses, John wouldn’t even notice them.
  3. “Toast to true love with champagne.”  aka Diet Pepsi
  4. “Relax and indulge in fondue courses at a leisurely pace.”  I don’t think John could handle an entire meal of fondue.  My plan is a cheese fondue appetizer, steak for dinner, and follow up with a chocolate fondue dessert.  I will fill you in on dessert next week.
  5. “Bask in the intimate atmosphere.”  I can’t say that the atmosphere will be particularly intimate, but we will be basking in something.
  6. “Discover how a fondue fork can give Cupid’s arrow a run for its money.”  We will probably end up using our fondue forks for sword fighting over the last tortellini.  It happens every time we have fondue…or long forks.
  7. “Gaze longingly into each other’s eyes over a steaming pot of cheese fondue.”  Okay, I might have a fit of giggling over that one.  The cheese fondue recipe is below.
  8. “Learn the recipe for true romance as you cook your entrees together in a fondue pot of love.”  I’m trying to figure out how my $7 fondue pot could be a “fondue pot of love.”
  9. “Feed each other chocolate fondue-covered strawberries.”  That will lead to more sword fighting, I’m sure if it.
  10. “Ignite the flame of romance as you watch your server flambé your chocolate fondue tableside.”  We will skip that one too, John doesn’t trust me with fire.

cheese-fondue-(115-of-118)

 

Cheese Fondue Pot of Love

  • 1/2 pound Maasdammer, grated
  • 1/2 pound Sweet Red Pepper Gouda, grated
  • 2 tablespoons corn starch
  • 1 cup chicken broth (or substitute dry white wine)
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
  • 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg, freshly grated
  • Assorted dippers

Place the cheeses in a small bowl and toss with cornstarch, set aside.

In a medium pan over medium heat, bring the broth and lemon juice to a gentle simmer.  Add the cheese to the broth a little at a time, allowing it to melt between each addition.  Once completely melted, add the mustard and nutmeg.

Transfer to a fondue pot and serve with dippers.  Some of our favorites are toasted baguette slices, fried kielbasa slices, fresh tortellini (cooked according to the package directions), broccoli, mushrooms, etc.

cheesefondue4

cheesefondue3

Gouda Pineapple Cake

Cheese and fruit go so nicely together.  There are endless possibilities of combinations that are superb and that will thrill your guests at the holiday table.  This cake was a particular favorite with some of our employees.  It is dense and super moist!

The employees tend to benefit from my love of baking.  My kids are grown so if we were to eat all of the things I bake, we would be in serious trouble.  I like that I can take things to the employee lunch room, drop them on the table and walk away.  Temptation removed.

pineapplecake

Gouda Pineapple Cake

  • 1 can (8 ounces) pineapple slices
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 3/4 cup flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup (4 ounces) Gouda, finely shredded
  • Heavy cream, whipped (optional)

Heat oven to 375°F. Line the bottom of a round cake pan with parchment.  I used a 10 inch pan.  You can use an 8 inch pan for a taller cake.

Drain the pineapple slices, reserving 1/2 cup juice. (Add water to make 1/2 cup if necessary.) Combine melted butter, brown sugar and 1/4 cup of the pineapple juice. Spread mixture in prepared cake pan. Arrange pineapple slices over mixture. Set aside.

Cream butter and sugar with an electric mixer. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Stir together flour, baking powder and salt in a mixing bowl.  Add flour mixture to the creamed mixture and beat on low speed until well-combined. Stir in remaining pineapple juice and cheese. Spread batter over pineapple slices in cake pan. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes. Cool 10 minutes. Carefully invert onto serving platter. Remove pan and paper. Serve warm with whipped cream, if desired.

adapted from Wisconsin Cheese

pineapplecake3

Cheese Soufflé

Cheese Souffle

There are a couple of things that my employees do for me that may not have been listed in the employee manual.  One is that they have to be able to read my mind.  I have a bad habit of not finishing my sentences, or starting in the middle of a thought.  Thankfully, I have a wonderful crew who just go with the flow and figure out what it is that I really mean, not necessarily what I say.

Another job skill not listed in the manual is posing for my photo manipulation hobby.  When the store is slow, you might find someone pretending to lean on a giant muffin or perched on a ladder.  I wonder if OSHA has any regulations against balancing my employees on a ladder.  I should probably look that up.

floating in the kitchen
Mars and Lindsey are flying

These people are also very tolerant of me saying, “here, grate some cheese for me!” then I snap a bunch of pictures while they smile and grate…and grate…and grate.  This week’s recipe is soufflé so we needed plenty of grated cheese.

We love the light airiness of the soufflé with it’s rich cheese flavor.  I started out using a wonderful recipe from my hero, Alton Brown, but over time I adapted it.  I especially wanted cheesier flavor, so I bumped up the cheese from one kind to three.  If you like a subtle cheese flavor, then you can cut it back to 6 ounces, but with cheese, more is definitely better.

Please note: My oven at the store is a professional convection oven.  No matter what I did, I couldn’t achieve the same lift on my soufflé that my oven at home does.  Your soufflé will look a lot nicer than mine!

Lots of cheese!
There is never too much cheese!

Cheese Soufflé

1/3 cup butter, cubed
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
2 cups whole milk
1 teaspoon dry mustard
a pinch of salt
Dash of hot pepper sauce
4 ounces (1 cup) shredded Maasdammer (or substitute Swiss cheese)
4 ounces (1 cup) shredded Cheddar
1 ounce (1/4 cup) shredded Aged Gouda
5 room temperature eggs, separated
½ teaspoon cream of tartar
1-2 tablespoons melted butter
2 tablespoons dry bread crumbs

Brush butter in ramekins or soufflé mold (I use 4 ounce ramekins for single serve dishes or 16 ounce soufflé molds for family style meals).  Add the bread crumbs to the ramekins and roll around so the butter and crumbs go up the sides.  Place in the refrigerator.

ramekins

In a small saucepan, melt butter over medium heat.  Stir in the flour until smooth; cook one minute.  Gradually whisk in the milk, dry mustard, hot sauce, salt, and pepper.  Bring to a boil, stirring constantly; cook and stir until thickened.  Reduce heat to medium-low; stir in cheeses until melted.  Transfer to a large bowl.

Preheat oven to 350.  In a small bowl, beat egg yolks until light colored and a creamy consistency.  Temper the yolks into the milk mixture, constantly whisking.

In a medium bowl, whisk the egg whites with cream of tartar on high speed until stiff but not dry.  Using 1/3 of the egg whites at a time, very gently fold the egg whites into the milk mixture.

filling

Remove the ramekins from the refrigerator and fill to ½ inch of the top.  Place ramekins on a cookie sheet and bake in the oven for 30 to 40 minutes, until tops are golden brown.  Serve immediately.

Cheese Souffle

Pumpkin Chili

Pumpkin Chili

Being married to the cheesemaker means that I never know when John will be home for dinner.  Sometimes he gets home first, sometimes he doesn’t come in until late.  When the kids were young, we tried to eat together but by the time they were in high school, we gave up trying.  With all of their activities and John’s crazy schedule, dinner became buffet style with eating in shifts.  The slow cooker was and is a life saver.  I love coming home from work to the smell of dinner bubbling softly in the slow cooker.

Pumpkin Chili

Chili is one of my favorite recipes for the slow cooker, the longer it simmers, the better it gets.  Grate some Cumin Gouda over the chili and it’s a total winner!  Cumin Gouda was one of the first Gouda flavors that Jack Appel made for friends and family at Christmas.  Komijnekaas is a traditional cheese very popular in the Netherlands that is flavored with Cumin seeds.  The pungent, peppery flavor of cumin is popular also in Mexican dishes.  Although Cumin Gouda is not in this recipe, it is a quintessential topping ingredient.

Pumpkin Chili

Pumpkin Chili

  • 4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 9 ounces ground pork sausage
  • 1 yellow onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 yellow bell pepper, diced
  • 1 orange bell pepper, diced
  • 1 15.5 ounce can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 15.5 ounce can kidney beans
  • 1 29 ounce can pumpkin puree
  • 1 28 ounce can petite diced tomatoes
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 2 teaspoons brown sugar
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  1. Saute onions in 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large pot until translucent.  Add the garlic and bell peppers, saute for about 5 minutes.  Remove from the pot and set aside.
  2. In the same pot, brown the beef and pork sausage in 2 tablespoons of olive oil.
  3. Once the meat is browned, add back the onions and peppers, then add the diced tomatoes, pumpkin, chicken broth, beans and spices.
  4. Bring to a low boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 1 1/2 to 2 hours, stirring occasionally.  Add salt and pepper to taste.
  5. Serve with Cumin Gouda, sliced green onions and sour cream.

Adapted from The Autumn Chili recipe from Taste of Home

Pumpkins