Tag Archives: cheese

It's been a crazy, crazy week. So instead of leaving you hanging on our regular Friday Recipe article, I'm reposting an older (short) one that you may have missed! Have a great weekend!!

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Food & Wine Magazine

I just got back into town and I couldn't wait to get this week's Friday Recipe posted.  It doesn't matter the time of year, I'm ready to eat pasta.  This recipe from Food & Wine Magazine is chock full of spinach which is so good for you but also luscious ricotta and creamy fontina which makes it xtra yummy.  Use the rigatoni or any other favorite pasta shape.  Just follow the link to get the full recipe.

Have a happy, relaxing weekend everyone!

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(pretend there's a picture here of a huge bowl of creamy, dreamy pasta; I didn't have time to snap a pic!)

I'm writing this last minute post to tell you about the last minute pasta we had last night because we threw a last minute Thursday night celebration.  Long story short, yesterday afternoon we received some really great news and invited a few friends over after work to share the joy.  After a few rounds of cocktails, the natives started getting hungry.  Luckily, right then some friends showed  with some delicious sausages to throw on the Webber.  But we couldn't sit around outside eating just sausages like some sort of savages.  We needed a starch to make it a civilized meal!

"Carey, think real fast!  What would go with sausages... uhhhh... how about buttered Parmesan noodles?  It's quick, it's tasty, it fills the belly, it will be perfect!"  Thus began the scrounging through the refrigerator, only to discover <gasp!> we were completely out of Parmesan!  What to do??!!

I'll tell you what you do: you treasure hunt for all the bits and scraps of cheese you can find in the cheese drawer, make a cheese sauce  and turn it into a stove top mac and cheese.

To further complicate things, I needed to cook up 2 lbs of pasta to feed the small crowd that had gathered.  The problem with that was what I  found in the pantry was one box of whole wheat shells, one box of regular white shells of a slightly different shape, a box of spaghetti, a box of corkscrew pasta and one bag of analletti (think Spaghetti O's).   I knew the whole wheat shells were going to cook at a different rate than all the rest but I took my chances and went with 2 lbs. of shell pasta.  I set that to boil and crossed my fingers.

Meanwhile, I rounded up all the leftover cheeses we had in the fridge.  It's a good thing I'm a cheese hoarder because this is what I found: 1/2 bag of shredded mozzarella, 1/2 bag of shredded "Mexican Style" shredded cheese blend, a couple slices of Swiss Cheese, about 6 oz. of sharp cheddar cheese, a couple slices of Provolone, 1 brick of smoked Gouda and 2 bags of mozzarella cheese sticks.

Yeah, we eat a lot of cheese.  You got a problem with that?

Into a medium saucepan I melted a whole cube of butter and sprinkled in about 4 heaping tablespoons of flour.  I let that cook out for about a minute then poured in enough milk to make a roux, about 4 cups.  Then I raided the newly organized spiced cabinet.  I fished out salt, pepper, ground mustard, roasted garlic powder, toasted onion powder and sprinkled a little of each into my pot of roux.

Then I stirred in the shredded cheeses.  I showed some restraint by only choosing the following cheeses:  the cheddar, the shredded mozzarella, the shredded Mexican style cheese and the smoked Gouda.

I drained the al dente pasta (thank goodness the whole wheat shells didn't overcook), but left about 3/4 cup of the pasta water in the pot then stirred in the gooey, melted cheese sauce.  I gave it all a vigorous stir so the pasta and sauce could get to know each other and it was done!

Those sausages with that pasta... well my friends... it was divine.  And I'm not just saying that because we were starving hungry (it was nearly 10pm by then).  It was a delicious feast, thrown together at the last minute and shared with 1 happy little group of friends.

The end.

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Are you watching The Chew?!  The Chew is a new show on ABC hosted by Mario Batali, Carla Hall, Michael Simon, Clinton Kelly and Daphne Oz and it is all about the food.  They are hilarious together, cooking up meals, talking about food related news and interviewing guests.  It’s a lot of fun, make sure you record it!

My sister Kim texted me yesterday that she made this stovetop mac-&-cheese for her family and they gobbled it up.  I don’t know about you, but when a mom says her 3 kids ate every last bit, I think it’s a recipe worth trying.  She also said that it’s easy and tastier than the “other” mac and cheese recipe she normally uses.  I won’t say who the recipe is by… but the initials MS might give you a clue.

So give this Mac & Cheese a try.  And stop by The Chew’s website, you can watch Carla Hall make it!

Happy Friday everyone!  I hope your weekend is cozy!

Food & Wine Magazine

I just got back into town and I couldn't wait to get this week's Friday Recipe posted.  It doesn't matter the time of year, I'm ready to eat pasta.  This recipe from Food & Wine Magazine is chock full of spinach which is so good for you but also luscious ricotta and creamy fontina which makes it xtra yummy.  Use the rigatoni or any other favorite pasta shape.  Just follow the link to get the full recipe.

Have a happy, relaxing weekend everyone!


If you have known me any length of time, you would know that I don't really love going to the big city. I was born and raised on a farm, the city freaks me out. But my friend Janna, who I haven't seen in ages, was attending a conference in San Francisco this past weekend and I just couldn't pass up the opportunity to catch up with her and meet her lovely friends from Louisianna Tech.
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So while Janna and her colleagues were busy with the conference, I headed down to the Ferry Building to explore.  While I may not love San Franscisco, you know I love a Farmer's Market and it just so happened to be in full swing when I got there.  After picking up some wax beans and tiny carrots, I wandered inside to check out the shops.

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The variety of shops is incredible.  I mean, how often to you find a whole store dedicated to mushrooms?!

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This was a little soap/lotion store but I snapped this picture so I could remember to try to replicate the artwork myself.

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And then the heavens opened, the waters parted... it was like the Mothership was calling me home.  Cowgirl Creamery!!  I have a love affair with cheese and it just so happens that Cowgirl Creamery is one of my most favorite.  The fact that they are Northern CA locals makes it even sweeter.

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I wasn't the only freak, there were plenty of other people taking pictures of the cheese counter.

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You don't know how badly I wanted to buy all these cheeses and take them home with me.  But I wasn't leaving til the next day and couldn't figure out how to keep them cold in my hotel room.  Darn it!

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Not only can you sample and purchase some of their cheeses at their mini-shop, you can order special menu items, tasty little (or big) bites featuring their delicious cheeses.  I ordered a little snack of San Francisco sourdough and melted Cowgirl Creamery cheese and a Cowgirl Creamery vanilla kiefer.  Kiefer is one of those weird things that unless you grew up with it you probably have never heard of it and won't like the taste of it.  It's like a cross between milk and yogurt.  It makes me smile.

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"Tasty Salted Pig Parts" also put a smile on my face.

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Again, I was not the only weirdo taking pictures of the meat case.

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I also was not the only weirdo who bought a "cone of meat".  It was like their version of a "sampler" served in a snow-cone-cup.  Yummy salami, mortadella and ham.  Tasty salted pig parts!!

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I wandered into an olive oil store, sampled about 10 and came out with this basil oil.  It was so.... unctuous... and buttery... and smooth.  I can't wait to make some veggie pasta with it.

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I swear, I didn't just eat!  I bought some washi tape and some other decorative tape to use with my artwork and journals.  I did also stop into a confectioner's shop and get this tiny french macaron.   I think all macarons shouold be this size, it was the perfect 3 bites of sweet, creamy delight.

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Here is something I did not eat... but only because the Ciao Bella store was closed for remodeling.  You'll be happy to know that after feasting at the Ferry Building I walked all the way back to my hotel.  Not because I wanted to... but because the cab company abandoned me.  I did the "mad-walk" all the way up the hill in my flip-flops, but it did help burn off some of those calories.

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This guy couldn't figure out that I don't share.

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The next day we all went over to China Town, somewhere I had not been in so many years.  We wandered in and out of some very interesting shops.  And we felt like we were in a movie, waiting for the bad guys to come running out of some restaurant.  You know that's always where the bad guys are hiding in China Town.

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The whole trip we were determined to find some good cioppino because several of Janna's friends had never heard of it or yet tried it.  Cioppino is very high on my list of favorite foods.  I'm very picky about it.  There is good cioppino and there is bad cioppino.  We were on the hunt for the good cioppino.  Just steps outside of China Town we wandered into Risorante Franchino because they had cioppino listed on their menu.  Ohhhhh what a happy accident that turned out to be!

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We were greeted by what I could only guess was the Mama.  The Papa, dressed in a suit and fedora, seated us.  They were so adorable I wanted to pinch their cheeks.  We were seated at the end of the room.  What you see is the entire restaurant.  Tiny, tiny, tiny!  I don't think you could fit more than 35 in the whole place.

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Their cioppino was sooooooo scrumptious.  It was light, it was chocked full of seafood, it had a tasty tomato broth... it was the good stuff!

Shortly after our dinner, I headed home.  I got lost trying to get back on they highway and wound up on the other side of the ballpark, down by the "docks".  That's when I swore it would be another 10 years before I ventured back to the big city, but I did have a yummy time!