Friday, April 11, 2014

Cheese and a #Whole Foods #Giveaway


Little did I know that April is grilled cheese month. I'm not that organized and as far as I'm concerned every month is grilled cheese month. For that matter every day could be grilled cheese day...But where did this love of grilled cheese begin? I really don't know. As a child I hated cheese because all we had in our home were slices of American cheese, wrapped in cellophane. I remember my brother loving these, but they weren't very tempting to me. We never had Velveeta, though I do remember a Wisconsin cheese spread in a tub. Really, cheese was not a cusine highlight of my younger days.


Until! The Jewel grocery store opened in our giant, tiny metropolis. Though it was the beginning of the end of the Weiner superettes, the cute little groceries and butcher shops owned by my Papa and my uncle, the Jewel introduced us to a whole new world of food that my mother reminded us we should never talk about in front of my grandfather. (We still bought all the staples at the superettes, but things like cheese came from the Jewel.) And boy, did my mom discover cheese. And we discovered cheese through her. 


This cheese era began during my high school years-from what I can recall. This was also the time my father discovered fine wine. And you know cheese and wine go hand in hand. This was the beginning of his wine cellar and the extra pounds around our middles. After all, one can't have a good brie and French bread, after dinner without some cost, right? Yes, after finishing a normal dinner of steak, (We had a lot of beef growing up, because the Weiner superettes were known for their great meat. People came from all over our area to buy their beef) or  bbq chicken, or roast, my mom would bring out her cheese of the day. I have to admit that it was fun, and from that point on, we didn't just have American in the house.


After I went to college, I had a roommate who loved to make cheddar cheese soup from the can. I added real cheddar and beer to it and how I still remember this, I'll never know because I don't think I've eaten it since. Yes, cheese quickly became a part of my life, though I still never ate grilled cheese. I really don't know when I discovered real grilled cheese, but when I started making it for myself I began to see what all the fuss is about. Damn! Grilled cheese is good. I've never really posted about it, because I mean who can't make a grilled cheese? 


Anyway, Whole Foods wants cheese this month. I was happy to accommodate. So I made this. We had it before dinner. We could have had it after dinner. We could have had it FOR dinner. People always make room for cheese! It is fun to make a cheese platter. It is easy to make a cheese platter. But they are like way better to eat. Treat your company. Treat yourself. Start a family tradition and serve a cheese after dinner for dessert, with a piece of fruit. Educate your kids early on. Maybe they will even become a Certified Cheese Professional of which Whole Foods has many. (Yes, this is a real designation.) 


HOWEVER!  If you get hung up on what to buy, you can always ask the knowledgeable staff at Whole Foods. Derek at South Glenn is my guy. I asked him what his favorite cheese is and that was the starting point for my cheese board. From there, I always add a safe cheese, a cheese that is risky or daring, and other great fill ins to keep everyone happy. Derek also recommended the Panzanella crackers and they were great, too.

So get with it people. Go buy some cheese. Unless you are like way lactose intolerant, cheese is good. And good for you. Of course, everything in moderation! So tell me what's your favorite grilled cheese or what's your favorite cheese? I'd love to know!

Whole Foods is giving away 1 $25 gift cards to help fill your basket. Whole Foods does supply me with a gift card also, but no other compensation.  All opinions expressed are mine, baby. All mine. This giveaway is easy to enter as long as you live in the US. Giveaway closes on April 30th. Subscribe if you don't want to miss the announcement of the winner or tune in on May 1st to see if you won! (And please, if you have a common name, you need to give me a hint like Sue from Sioux City or something like that, or an email address to reach you) The winner will be chosen by a Random Number Generator! So now, to enter: (dahdah, dah, dah, de DAH!) Enter once by leaving me a comment and answering the above question. Enter again by following me on Pinterest or Facebook or Twitter. I'd love you to subscribe. Hey, I'll give you 2 entries for subscribing!




Cheese Recipe 
Serves: A lot
Created by: You

I used:  Alta Langa - a cheese made from goat's, sheep, and cow milk. I drizzled it with lavender honey. Lovely, but a bit strong for some.

Mitica Mahon - a Spanish cheese from cow's milk - buttery, slightly salty, the orange color is from paprika rubbed onto the rind.

Point Reyes Blue - Creamy, bright, peppery - perfect with steak or on salad or drizzled with honey and eaten with apricots!

Monti Trentini - Made from Cow's Milk with a hint of truffle - I drizzled with a bit of truffle oil.

Accompaniments: Thin slices of dried chorizo, quince paste which is like a sliceable jam and gives a hint of sweetness to compliment the saltiness of cheese, pistachios, because what doesn't go with pistachios? and some dried cherries. Just because. La Panzanella crackers-yum! 



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85 comments:

  1. I like fresh mozzarella cheese
    jslbrown2009(at)aol(dot)com

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  2. Follow via pinterest as http://www.pinterest.com/lisalu24/
    jslbrown2009(at)aol(dot)com

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  3. My sons and I never met a cheese we didn't like! dc

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  4. I've never met a grilled cheese I didn't like! As for my favorite cheese...hmmm....that's a difficult question. Parmigiano Reggiano or maybe Manchego. Scratch that. My favorite is really a well-aged white cheddar from the U. S. of A.
    dmarie824 at aol dot com

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  5. I'm also a pinterest follower!

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  6. I came to enjoy cheese later in my life too. American cheese just doesn't cut it! Cheese platters are my go-to for sharing with company and I have learned of some new cheeses from your plate--thanks for labeling them so I can track them down myself.

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  7. I can't begin to tell you how much I enjoyed meeting you and Nanzeen, and of course seeing Ansh and Barb again. I thoroughly enjoyed every moment of your hospitality. I look forward to getting together with you all again sometime soon. As for cheese, I love every kind of cheese you can name, but if you hold my hand in the fire I'd have to say Cambazola.

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  8. I like all the cheeses that I have tried so far. I especially like blue cheese!

    Nancy
    allibrary (at) aol (dot) com

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  9. #1
    I am an email subscriber.

    Nancy
    allibrary (at) aol (dot) com

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  10. #2

    I am an email subscriber.

    Nancy
    allibrary (at) aol (dot) com

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  11. I also follow via Pinterest.

    Nancy
    allibrary (at) aol (dot) com

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  12. Love all cheese. Jenny icywit @ gmail.com

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  13. My favorite is smoked gouda
    tcarolinep at gmail dot com
    Jessie C.

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  14. Follow on PInterst-tcarolinep

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  15. My favorite type of cheese is swiss!

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  16. I followed you via Pinterest (www.pinterest.com/darayaj)!

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  17. Love the Eurythmics riff! I haven't heard that song in ages. Now, of course, I can't get it out of my head! We love cheese too. Whole Foods has good stuff, but our go-to is our favorite wine store. Great selection of wine, and a super cheese bar. And staff who know a lot about both. Oh, and the mouse picture? Fun, fun, fun!

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  18. It was so wonderful meeting you Abbe. Thank you for awesome hospitality and wonderful food you cooked . I look forward to getting together with everyone soon.

    My favorite cheese has to be a Chèvre. There is something about the creaminess that I just love

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  19. I love this song. That's a nice twist! ;)
    Uh oh.. I feel like I need to buy new cheese to try right now..lol ^.^

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  20. Your cheese platter looks so addictive, delicious :D

    Cheers
    Choc Chip Uru

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  21. Se ve absolutamente rico los quesos lindo post... delicia,abrazos

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  22. As you know, I grew up in England, home of cheese! Of course, my favourites are cheddar varieties. I used to hit all the cafés in London for cheese toasties which are like grilled cheese, and my favourite toastie is a grilled cheese and tomato. But I do like a lot of other cheeses too besides Red Leicester and Gloucester. The cheese guys at Whole Foods are really great and I also like the cheese section at Costco they have some great stuff! Thanks again for lunch Abbe! It was so great meeting you finally and everyone else too. Let's do it again soon xx

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  23. Love your cheese platter, Abbe. I too enjoy cheese, esp. blue cheese and goat cheese :-)) o man...just writing them makes my mouth water..
    Have a wonderful weekend!
    Angie

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  24. I love cheese, and have always been impressed by the cheese department at my neighborhood Whole Foods - lots of good info from the folks there.

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  25. Mozzarella is definitely my favorite cheese - other than that, I'm not much of a cheese fan.

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  26. What an amazing post. I love the story, and the photos. I can tell you have delved into this topic of cheese, knowing about the Certified Cheese Professional designation. A Whole Foods came to my area, within walking distance, and I love the cheese classes and the cheese department - outstanding - nothing like it anywhere around here. And they do have staff knowledgeable and passionate about cheese. I like hearing about Kathy Strange's (the HQ cheese buyer) adventures to cheese caves around the world. I would find it hard to pick a favorite cheese, but I would say Brie! I love the rind, too!!!

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  27. Oooh, a favorite cheese??? Such a difficult question...baked in pastry, it's brie hands down. But to eat with crackers, there must be a dozen varieties I love!
    PS. if not for my participation in Sunday Supper, I'd have never known about grilled cheese month, either.

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  28. I love every kind of cheese, but blue cheese is probably my favorite!
    Stephanie
    steph0828@hotmail.com

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  29. I subscribe- steph 0828 at hotmail dot com

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  30. I follow on twitter- @stephanienola

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  31. Abbe, such a wonderful discovery of cheese and what fun it brings into the kitchen....indeed when we were kids the only cheeses we got was ricotta, paneer and goat cheese (fresh)....by the time were in high school...there were delicious other options like Mozzarella, Cheese spread, slices,cheddar, Emmental and the like.....brie and others are still difficult to get even though a bit searching would give good results....and reading your post stirred sweet cheesy memories in us too....cause we have quite the same discovery of it and have loved it all the way,thanks so much for sharing :-)

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  32. Goat cheese. As you know. You can use it on everything a beet and got cheese grilled cheese, spread on toast with jam, in a salad, on a bagel with chives... The list could go on. Nothing a good goat cheese can't fix. Can't wait to see you!

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  33. I love all cheese - but I think my fav is blue cheese!

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  34. Goodness picking a favorite cheese is like picking a favorite color or book or or or. It depends on my mood. However even though cheddar is the work horse in my house, I would have to say Brie gets my heart to leap when I see it sitting on a plate with some crackers. And oh yes I do love the wine I would probably have in my hand at the same time.

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  35. I've yet to meet a cheese that I didn't like, Abbe. A favorite? Right now, burrata, unless I can find some fresh mozzarella de bufalo ... or a good sharp cheddar ... or a fine gorgonzola ... or a highly-veined bleu cheese ... or an aged Pecorino Romano ... well, you get the message. ;)
    Happy Passover to your and yours, Abbe.

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  36. Thanks for the recipe Abbe. Your recipes are awesome. Thanks for letting me know about the Certified Cheese Professional as another Profession. Thanks. #sitsblogging.

    -Amit

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  37. Wow, so many kinds of cheese. I liked the sound of the one with truffle oil! Personally, I like simple smoked cheddar and Goat cheese a lot!

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  38. I knew there was a strong reason I liked you Abbe - you are a cheese whore like me! My husband's niece is actually a Certified Cheese person at a Whole Foods in Florida - so jealous of that job!

    I never had good cheese until I was well into my 20s - but turns out I've made up for it ever since then!

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  39. I love that first poem (?). Thanks for the smile Abbe, I needed that. And I'll second and third and more what you've already heard about having us over. Your hospitality was so appreciated and the food was wonderful. My favorite cheese? I don't have one; I love too many. I love Brie and Cambazola and a white cheddar from Wisconsin with cherries in it!

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  40. This is a wonderful post Abbe. I love that your mom taught you about cheese - how fun. And you are right - we should expose our children (or grandchildren) to new and exciting foods! Yum -

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  41. My favorite is sharp cheddar, and it's something that I must have in the fridge at ALL times.
    cardprincess(at)sbcglobal(dot)net

    Tracy R from San Mateo

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  42. Love smoked cheddar, although fresh mozzarella is a close second!

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  43. I subscribe to your blog (aneesa824 at gmail dot com)

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  44. I follow you on Facebook (Alexandra Lewis), Twitter (@AneesaLewis1) and Pinterest (Aneesa Lewis).

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  45. My favorite cheese is pepper jack cheese - I use it for everything!
    Carolsue Anderson
    Digicats {at} Sbcglobal {dot} Net

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  46. #1
    I subscribe to your newsletter via e-mail.
    Carolsue Anderson
    Digicats {at} Sbcglobal {dot} Net

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  47. #2
    I subscribe to your newsletter via e-mail.
    Carolsue Anderson
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  48. Follower ---
    Twitter (MsCarolsueA)
    Facebook (Carolsue Anderson)
    Pinterest (@Cezovski9)
    Carolsue Anderson
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  49. I love cheese

    dlatany at gmail dot com

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  50. pinterest follower as sweetums82

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  51. I grew up eating grilled cheese made with Velveeta. My father swore by it. I haven't eaten any for about 30 years but I still remember.

    I think a nicely ashed goat cheese is pretty good.

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  52. My favorite cheese is 3 year aged Gouda! Discovered it at a Whole Foods 4 years ago and its AHmazing! And I love it with dark chocolate and a glass of Cab ;)
    amylynnbee22 (at)gmail(dot) com

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  53. I follow you on FB (Amy Lynn), Pinterest (/amylynnbee22) and twitter @amylynnbee22
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  54. I subscribe via email
    amylynnbee22 (at)gmail(dot) com
    #1

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  55. I subscribe via email
    amylynnbee22 (at)gmail(dot) com
    #2
    Thanks for the giveaway Abbe!

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  56. I hope Derek knows that he'll now be "my guy". I'll ask for him next time I'm in there. Love all of your cheese images, especially that little mouse with the helmet. My favorite cheese is colby. Nothin' fancy.

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  57. I love cheese and love those memes - especially the song - so funny! I don't know if I could pick a favorite cheese...

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  58. Love me some cheese,most cheese (except Limburger), just about all cheese. Was this post too cheezy?

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  59. Hi Abbe! Hope you had a lovely Passover! This post is so funny! We love the photo with the mouse. Anyway, would love a Whole Foods gift card- so generous of you! Have a great day! We have already subscribed!

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  60. Oopps forgot to tell you our favorite cheese - its Fontina!

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  61. muenster cheese & bacon on toasted rye w/Miracle Whip....mmmmm

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  62. everyone loves cheese, period. so true! i had to laugh at your plastic-wrapped cheese slice and tub of wisconsin cheese-youth: i had the same! i could be wrong, because i was little so my frame of reference is, well, little, but there didn't seem to be the variety of cheeses in our local markets that there is now. and certainly we never had things like whole foods when i was young: i'm sure there were cheese shop(pes!) around but it's just not something we did.

    that being said, i cringe at the thought of plastic cheese, although i do every so often grab for that "port wine cheese" in the plastic jar (no judgement!) :) i'll try anything, and i probably have lots of favorites. We have some amazing local cheeses, but my favorite all-purpose cheese is a really good parmesan. favorite indulgent cheese? maybe goat cheese: i tend to always find an excuse to throw it on...anything. :)

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  63. I like a plain ole grilled ham and cheese!

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  64. I love American cheese!
    pokergrl8 at gmail.com

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  65. email subscriber 1
    pokergrl8 at gmail.com

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  66. email subscriber 2
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  67. pinterest follower
    http://www.pinterest.com/mandy375/

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  68. I follow you on facebook as Amanda Sakovitz
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