In our humble opinion, Thanksgiving is superior to any other day of the year. In an effort to make this year’s feast the best of all time (sorry, Pilgrims and Wampanoag tribe), we’re bringing you the recipes, how-tos and decorating ideas to help you become a Turkey Day pro.
Did somebody call for an incredibly adorable pumpkin pie-impersonating appetizer? Lucky for them, these cheesy cracker bites exist solely to delight Thanksgiving dinner guests. They’re especially useful for giving the kids something to do while you’re busy baking the real pumpkin pie, as they’re easily assembled with a few crackers, some thick slabs of sharp cheddar and a whimsical “whipped cream” dollop of cream cheese on top. Only slightly more time-consuming than spreading club crackers across a plate, they’ll elicit three times the oohs and ahhs from your Thanksgiving company. Get the simple instructions for crafting these dessert-inspired snacks and then feast on a few of Cooking Channel’s cheesiest appetizers for turkey day:
A few weeks ago I asked people on Facebook what nutrition questions they want answered. This time, I got a question that surprised me: “What cheeses are the saltiest?” Random, I thought! Yet once I dived into writing this post, I realized it’s a really good question; Americans eat way too much sodium, and cheese is a high-sodium culprit. If you’re trying to lower the amount of sodium in your diet, knowing which cheeses are less salty than others could help you out. More generally, you can minimize the sodium load of your diet by cutting down on restaurant meals and processed foods — the two biggest sources of sodium in our diets — and cooking more meals at home using fresh, whole ingredients.
Here are some of your favorite cheeses ranked from most to least salty. To put these numbers in perspective, a teaspoon of salt is 2,400 mg of sodium, and the recommended daily limit of sodium for most people is 2,300 mg/day.
Continue Reading What Are the Saltiest Cheeses?
After my Cheese Bridal Shower, I knew I also wanted to have a cheese table display during the cocktail hour at the wedding. Lucy’s Whey is a store that stocks only American-made cheeses, and coincidentally enough, they have a location both in my office building and about a mile from my venue in East Hampton, N.Y. With a few cheeses in mind, my fiance and I went to their New York City location in Chelsea Market where the team put together a selection of some of their favorite cheeses – and mine – so we could come up with six options to serve.
Continue Reading The Food-Focused Bride: The Making of a Cheese Table
When my aunt offered to throw me a bridal shower in New York City, I didn’t hesitate with my venue selection. I’ve taken classes at the Artisinal Cheese Center before and always thought it would be a great place to have a party. Having been to my fair share of showers over the years, I thought it would be nice to have an activity weaved into the event (that would also help me avoid embarrassing shower games).
We started with a cocktail reception of sparkling wine, fondue and a few mild cheeses. Then, when everyone entered the room, we sat at round tables with a plate of cheese and a wine selection at each place setting. Two whites and two reds were featured: Sauvignon Blanc, Verdejo, Pinot Noir and Malbec. I have a few pregnant friends and I wanted to make sure they were able to enjoy the experience as well, so the venue selected a variety of juices that they thought best reflected the wines that the rest of us were tasting.
Continue Reading The Food-Focused Bride: Wine and Cheese Bridal Shower
All winter long I fill my side dishes with cheesy, gooey goodness. From cheesy roasted vegetables to cheese-filled pastas and casseroles, it’s a go-to ingredient fit for comfort food-filled months. But with the warm weather approaching, I’m not giving up one of my favorite forms of dairy. These summery side dishes have enough cheese to satisfy my cravings without being too heavy.
1. Antipasto Salad
Giada’s summery pasta salad features two types of Italian cheese: Asiago and provolone. The salty, crumbly Asiago and the more mild, smooth provolone are tossed with fusilli pasta, salami, turkey, olives, red peppers and a homemade red wine vinaigrette.
Continue Reading Sensational Sides: Cheese-Filled Summer Side Dishes
It’s more than just alliteration; it’s a statement, a proclamation that Thursdays are when the weekend should really start. Kicking it off right is the key, and what better way than with a cocktail that not only takes the edge off, but tastes good too. A hard thing to disagree with, we know. Drink up, get down and go to sleep happy.
Finally, a weekend without rain. It’s the perfect excuse to put together a food and wine party with friends. Serve nosh-friendly cheeses and charcuterie with a refreshing salad and an entree from the grill, all paired with wine. Cheers to online wine marketplace Lot18 for sharing refreshing ideas for the perfect pairings.
The Food: Friendly Cheeses (think chevre, pecorino and brie)
The Wine: Sauvignon Blanc
Also Pairs Well With: Young goat cheese pairs well with Pinot Noir or Sauvignon Blanc. An aged goat cheese is better paired with a more robust wine like Cabernet or Zinfandel.
Serve a friendly aged goat cheese or a young, creamy Comté (a nutty cow’s milk cheese) to start off dinner as these cheese won’t overwhelm your guests. Sauvignon Blanc pairs well with most varieties of goat cheese as well as with oysters and other seafood.
Continue Reading Thirsty Thursday: Pairing Wine With Summer Recipes
Your dad deserves a beer-pretzel cheese ball.
What do you make for the man who claims to have invented “pull my finger,” and who still responds to “I’m hungry” with, “Hi, Hungry, I’m Dad”? The man who proudly drove a minivan with the vanity plate GR8 DAD throughout your youth, dishing out lame puns (“Did you hear the Energizer Bunny got arrested? Charged with battery!”) as he carpooled you around town.
This guy deserves the best. And the cheesiest, to match his humor. Make him a cheese ball, a dad-friendly anytime snack that’s perfect for pop.
Because what says dad better than beer, pretzels, cheese . . . and bad jokes?
Here’s the recipe:
Continue Reading Beer-Pretzel Cheese Ball Recipe for Father’s Day
Are you crazy about cheese? Does the mere mention of a cheese plate make your mouth water?
Catch The Big Cheese this Sunday at 8pm ET, and take a look inside some of the country’s most famous cheese-makers and fromageries. Then see how today’s top chefs are pushing the boundaries of how to cook it up in delicious ways.
Continue Reading The Big Cheese: Name That Cheese!
In the French Pyrenees, Jamie becomes a member of the Brotherhood of Crostilot, which honors this artisanal bread.
Jamie Oliver is taking a detour from major cities this week on Jamie’s Food Escapes — check out his trips to Venice and Athens — to explore the charming, rustic towns of the French Pyrenees. On the French side of this mountain range that forms a natural border with Spain, the locals eat a healthy diet of rustic bread, truffles, cheese, sausages and duck confit. Miraculously, they also remain trim and have the lowest rate of heart disease among their French countrymen. “They live very, very long,” says Jamie. “There’s definitely something to be learned from these guys.”
Of course, Jamie dives into their cuisine head first, hoping some of that “French Paradox” will rub off on him. The locals welcome him with open arms — he’s even inducted into the “Brotherhood of the Crostilot Bread,” an artisanal sourdough made at one of the oldest bakeries in Cahors. “The brotherhood is about protecting brilliant food,” Jamie explains. “I told them I was a baker, and they said we’d love to initiate you!”
Continue Reading Untrapped: The French Pyrenees With Jamie Oliver
The guys at Best Pizza in Williamsburg, Brooklyn know what they're doing. Photo: Roberto Ferdman
When perfected, pizza crust is light and airy, substantial enough to hold its toppings, but never so heavy that it weighs you down. Each bite is at once chewy and crunchy, and each mouthful is a delicious balance between texture and taste.
But last week when I pulled a pie from out of my own oven, it was none of those. I kneaded it and let it rise, shaped it, dressed and tossed it into an oven set at the highest possible temperature. To my disappointment, the crust was dense and heavy. Where did I go wrong?
Looking for an answer, I caught up with Frank Pinello from Best Pizza in Williamsburg, Brooklyn to learn the ins and outs of perfecting pizza crust.
Continue Reading Crafting a Better Pizza Crust