Wednesday, February 27, 2019

Cheeselandia

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Part of the fun of this little hobby that I love, is the unique experiences that come up along the way. Wisconsin Cheese Board sent me an amazing party box loaded with napkins, cheese knives, a long bread board and 5 absolutely delicious varieties of cheese so I could have a small get together and share the goodness with friends. I figured my book club, "Reading Between the Wines" would be the perfect group to invite over!
We had a book swap, cheese and Scout & Cellar wine tasting that was so much fun!

I was sent:
The Blue Jay by Deer Creek - a quintuple cream blue cheese
Red Barn Family Farms Cupola - semi-hard handcrafted cheese 
Bread Cheese (Juustoleipa) - buttery and springy, served warm
Cello Copper Kettle Parmesan - Sturdy, dense and granular
Carr Valley Cranberry Chipotle Cheddar- spicy and smooth with a touch of sweetness
I truly loved all of the cheeses, but there was definitely a favorite of the group for sure! The Wisconsin Carr Valley Cranberry Chipotle Cheddar! I had just enough left over after the party to create some Cranberry Chipotle Pulled Pork Tostadas the next day.
I just loaded some leftover crock pot pulled pork onto a tostada shell, sprinkled it with shredded Carr Valley Cranberry Chipotle Cheddar  and broiled it just until the cheese was melted. Sprinkle with cilantro and dig in!
Are you following me on Instagram? If not, find me HERE where you can find a few videos of my set up, weekly lunchbox posts and, as always, updates from Beignet and Roux as well! 

#Cheeselandia #WisconsinCheese #visitcheeselandia

Monday, February 25, 2019

Little's Lunches

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 Happy Monday! I hope everyone had a great weekend. I started mine out with a really fun party on Friday! I invited my book club over for a book swap/wine and cheese tasting. I'll do a full post with all the details on Wednesday, so be sure to come back for that!
This week's lunches were filled with basic favorites for my kids- plenty of fresh fruit, cheesy treats and dips. Sometimes all it takes to convince my kids to try something is offering a dip to go with it. Whether it's ranch, BBQ sauce, honey mustard or salsa, dips make leftover proteins and veggies more fun! What's your kiddo's go to dip?
 Monday: deli roast beef and mustard on a slider bun, cheddar cheese stick, strawberries, mixed raisins, black olives and mini sweet pepper slices
 Tuesday: Colby jack cheese stick, pretzel chips, mixed raisins, mini sweet pepper slices, deli sliced roast beef, strawberries
 Wednesday: berry applesauce pouch, pretzel chips, Gouda Babybel cheese, mini sweet pepper slices, deli sliced roast beef
 Thursday: grilled cheese roll ups (I just take a flatbread topped with cheese and heat until melted. roll up and slice), cucumber slices, ranch, carrot slices, pineapple cubes, pretzel chips and moon cheese
Friday: cucumber slices, Trader Joe's mini cheese sandwich crackers, BBQ sauce, leftover roasted chicken, strawberries, pineapple cubes

Monday, February 18, 2019

Little's Lunches

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 Happy Monday! For this week's lunches I took some help form the store and included one of my kid's favorite treats - pre made spring rolls! They seriously love them and when paired with frozen microwaveable edamame, it's the easiest lunch around.  Using up leftovers like Cheddar Bay Biscuits and grilled sausages rounded out the week and helped me clear out the fridge. I hope some of these ideas help make this week of packing lunches easier!
 Monday: sliced grilled smoked sausages, triscuits, ranch, olives, baby tomatoes and yellow bell pepper slices, cheese stick and Gala apple slices
 Tuesday: roast beef and cream cheese flatbread rollups, fruit bar, blue cheese dip, cucumber and carrots, blueberries
 Wednesday: fruit to go fruit strip, shrimp spring rolls, edamame, raisins, red bell pepper slices
 Thursday: raisins, Cheddar Bay Biscuit, mushrooms, edamame, olives and baby tomatoes, cheese stick
Friday: dried apple slices, pretzel crisps, cheese cubes, edamame, baby tomatoes and carrot slices, mini yellow bell pepper, bacon

Wednesday, February 13, 2019

Bourbon and Bacon Birthday Bash

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 This past weekend my friend and I threw a party for our husband's birthdays. We decided on a Bacon and Bourbon theme and it was so much fun I thought I'd share all the details of what we did. We found some cute quotes about Bourbon and an image of classic bourbon cocktails and framed them to decorate the bar area. We had about 12 different bourbons to taste, an assortment of bitters, mixers, fruit, mint, simple syrup....literally anything needed for everyone to make their favorite beverage.
My friend ordered these adorable cookies that were as delicious as they were cute!
 As per usual, right before the party I was running super late so I asked the birthday boys to take pictures for me. The bacon you see in the glass is "Bacon Man Candy" that Celena made- dangerously delicious!
Celena's daughter also made a decadent Chocolate Pecan Cake with Bourbon Swiss Meringue Buttercream and Maple Bacon Rice Krispie Treats 
 I had cheese stuffed mini peppers as one of the appetizers. All I did was mix goat cheese, Boursin cheese, thyme and bacon together and spooned that into halved mini sweet peppers. Roast them at 400 degrees for 15-20 minutes and then drizzled them with a roasted garlic honey
 My bacon deviled eggs went fast! I couldn't believe we went through 48 of them!!
This Beer Cheese Spread is something I've made many times. It's so simple to make and can be made ahead of time. I served it with toasted baguette slices and mini soft pretzel bites.
 There's a small wine bar by my house that serves manchego stuffed bacon wrapped dates with a chimichurri dip that's to die for. I made my own version by stuffing pitted dates with a smoked goat cheese, wrapping them in bacon and roasting them until crisp. The chimichurri I made was actually a recipe my son and I came up with together while researching Argentinian food for his World Cultures class. It's delicious with grilled meats, as a dip, or as a salad dressing!
Chimichurri Sauce

2 cups packed fresh Italian parsley leaves
4 medium garlic cloves, peeled and smashed
1/4 cup packed fresh oregano leaves (or 4 teaspoons dried oregano)
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon cumin

Place all ingredients in a blender and puree until smooth
 A veggie and cheese tray is always a hit and for the main dish, I had pulled pork in the crockpot. I had a variety of sauces to choose from along with slider buns and tortillas allowing people to make sandwiches or tacos!
Overall, the party was a huge success. We had so much fun celebrating our guys!



Monday, February 11, 2019

Little's Lunches

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 Happy Monday! This weekend was super busy and a lot of fun! My friend and I threw our husbands a joint birthday party with a Bourbon and Bacon theme! So much fun, bourbon and bacon I'll be sure to share all the details soon!
 Monday: carrot slices, cubed ham, triscuits, gouda cheese, kiwi, strawberries and a Hershey kiss
 Tuesday: Roast beef cream cheese wraps, salami, baby tomatoes, blueberries, blue cheese dressing, graham crackers, cucumbers and carrot sticks
 Wednesday: salami, cucumber slices, cheese stick, fruit snack, ranch dip, blueberries, pretzel thins
 Thursday: Cheddar Bay Biscuit, cucumber slices, carrot slices, blueberries, baby tomatoes, kiwi, deviled ham salad
Friday: Cheddar Bay Biscuit, cheese stick, dried cranberries, edemame, ranch, red bell pepper slices

Monday, February 4, 2019

Little's Lunches

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Happy Monday! I hope everyone had a great weekend!!
This week, my lunch boxes are filled with a mix of leftovers and fill-ins. What I mean by that is, almost every evening, after dinner whatever leftovers I know will be good cold go into the lunches first- this week we had grilled sausages and chicken which my kids like sliced and dipped in either ketchup or BBQ sauce. Then whatever veggies or salads we have will go in followed by fruit or a snack or treat like cheese sticks, crackers or an occasional (but very rare) candy. Always packing lunchboxes the night before, and using up leftovers helps me lower my stress in the morning while getting my kids ready for school and our overall grocery bill!

Monday: Mixed Green Salad, prunes, pretzels, chicken salad
Tuesday: slices of grilled smoked sausage, green beans, BBQ sauce, triscuits, dried raisin mix, cheese stick
Wednesday: slices of grilled smoked sausage, green beans, BBQ sauce, blueberries, cherry tomatoes,  cheese stick
Thursday: leftover grilled chicken slices, sweet potato salad, mini sweet peppers, cucumber slices, mixed olives, strawberries, apple wedges
Friday: leftover grilled chicken slices, sweet potato salad, ketchup, yellow bell peppers, baby tomatoes, strawberries, kiwi

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