Tomorrow kicks off the first day of the annual Tour of America’s Dairyland, a cycling series that takes place in 11 Wisconsin communities. Check the schedule to find information on all of the free, fun family events, from high-energy professional races to just-for-fun rides for the kids.
We’re making these soon: Chicken and Broccoli Calzones. (via @LiveInKitchen)
Share these Prosciutto and Parmesan Stuffed Mushrooms at your next backyard dinner. (via @HandleHeat)
Mmm. Parmesan battered Stuffed Squash Blossoms. (via @kristelpoole)
Vegetable Frittatas are a warm and welcome way to start the day. Just add Wisconsin Cheddar and you’re set. Via the Mom 100.
Why haven’t we made this before? Grape & Wisconsin Feta Pizza via Simple Comfort Food.
Today, we’re introducing the Cheese Expert Q&A series, where we’ll chat with leading American cheese professionals. First up is Laura Werlin - cheese author, educator, consultant and self-described “American cheese cheerleader.” As Laura prepares to head back to Madison for the 30th Anniversary ACS Conference & Competition - 15 years after her first ACS Conference - she looks back at how the American cheese landscape has changed and shares her favorite Madison spots.
Tell us about your first trip to the ACS conference.
Coincidentally, my first ACS conference was to Madison in 1998. I had made the decision I wanted to write a book about American cheese, inspired by the cheesemakers in my local farmers’ market (San Francisco), so I went to the ACS conference to get a broader picture of the American cheese scene. Suffice to say, I got it – and then some! I’d never seen such a spectrum of American cheeses, let alone tasted them. But more than anything, I got to meet people like Judy Schad, Mary Keehn, and Paula Lambert, who were heroes to me even though I’d never even met them.
How have you seen the American cheese landscape change since then?
Well, for example, at the Festival of Cheese in 1998, I probably tasted most of the 300 or so cheeses that were available for tasting, but frankly, most of them weren’t that good. So not only do we have somewhere in the neighborhood of 1,700 cheeses at the Festival now, an infinitely larger percentage of those cheeses are absolutely world-class. No longer is the vast majority of cheeses of the flavored variety; instead, they are not only artistically made, very often by hand, but they are made with extraordinarily impressive scientific expertise that simply didn’t exist back then on the scale it does now.
What are you looking forward to for this year’s conference?
In a way, I’m looking forward to looking back, to really taking stock of where we’ve come from as a Society and more, as a cheese making and cheese eating culture. In 1998, the phrase “American cheese” was sure to be met with a disparaging remark; now it’s met with delight and curiosity, as in “tell me more!” But I’m also excited about looking ahead. If we’ve come this far this fast, whether it’s the number of cheesemakers now dotting the American landscape, the birth of the Certified Cheese Professional™ program, the exponential growth of cut-and-wrap cheese counters and stand alone cheese shops, and so much more, it’s positively thrilling to contemplate what’s next.
What are your must-visit Madison spots?
Without a doubt, the Dane County Farmers’ Market is one of the most spectacular events of any kind one can experience. In a way, it’s the mother ship of all other farmers’ markets and because of that is something for which I have deep reverence and appreciation. As much as visiting the vendors there and buying things like hickory nuts that I can’t get in California, I absolutely love watching the migration of families, couples, the elderly – you name it – circumnavigating the extraordinarily beautiful Capitol. Then, once at the farmers’ market, a trip across the street to Fromagination is also a must-do. Ken Monteleone has done a magnificent job of curating cheeses and other food products, many Wisconsin-made, and the very act of walking in his store is, for me, kid-in-a-candy store time every time. I also love love love love Tory Miller’s restaurants, L’Etoile (founded by our keynote speaker, Odessa Piper) and his newer restaurant called Graze. Tory is the ultimate farmers’ market chef, and I find his food very exciting. Finally, to work all that good food off, I love running along both Lake Mendota and Lake Monona, which afford beautiful water views as well as views of Madison itself.
What cheesy dishes are you cooking these days?
Well, having recently come out with a book all about macaroni and cheese, you can guess that there’s a lot cheese-grating and noodle-cooking going on in my kitchen. Fact is, I never tire of mac & cheese nor of grilled cheese, so some variation on those themes make regular appearances in my kitchen. Just as with everything, I cook seasonally, so right now I’m gearing up to make my asparagus, Swiss, and dill mac & cheese, and on the grilled cheese front, I’ll be making my recipe called “Cheese and Cherries a la Lynne,” (named for cheese woman extraordinaire, Lynne Devereux), which features fresh cherries, Gruyère, basil and fromage blanc. Say cheese!
Learn more about Laura at LauraWerlin.com, and follow her on Twitter @cheezelady.
A perfect summer cookie,Blood Orange Ricotta Cookies with Blood Orange Glaze via White On Rice
Wisconsin Milk Marking Board has launched the latest online issue of Grate. Pair. Share. (http://bit.ly/VUnjWl) and it is not to be missed!
The summer issue is full of easy party appetizers, new recipes for backyard barbecues and the best ways to match your summer produce with Wisconsin Cheese.
The cover features Zucchini & Potato Rosemary Pizza, which is one of the many fun ways to incorporate outdoor grilling into your weeknight meals.
A breakfast must-try: a savory waffle featuring Pepper Jack & Spinach. (via edible perspective - Home - Savory Spinach Cheese Waffles)
Use your Wisconsin Queso atop boats of Charred Mexican Zucchini by Joy the Baker.
Asiago + pesto + spinach = the perfect dish for a big summer gathering. (via Recipe: Double Spinach Pasta Casserole with Pesto & Asiago Cheese Recipes from The Kitchn | The Kitchn)
Feasting on Wisconsin's River Road - Chicago Tribune -
The Great River Road turned 75 years old this year. If you would like to celebrate this scenic highway that winds almost 3,000 miles along the Mississippi River, Wisconsin’s portion offers a luscious slice of great rural flavors.
S’more Ice Cream Cake. Need we say s’more? http://bit.ly/15TLQX3