Friday, December 27, 2013

Saag Paneer with Pure Luck Feta

Saag Paneer with Feta

Boxing Day always puts me in the mood for curry and a pint. It's a welcome change after stuffing my face with holiday hams and sugar cookies. I use Pure Luck's raw milk feta in lieu of traditional paneer. This dish is super simple and will make your kitchen smell amazing. Because fish and company start to stink after a while.   

6 oz Pure Luck Feta
1 lb fresh spinach, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons fresh ginger, peeled and minced
Kosher salt
2-3 tablespoons Sola Stella Extra Virgin Olive Oil 
1 pinch, red pepper flakes, or to taste
1 tablespoon cumin seeds
1 tablespoon curry powder
Sea salt and pepper, to taste
1-2 tablespoons tapioca flour
8 oz Lucky Layla Plain Yogurt 

Using a mortar and pestle or the flat part of a knife, make a paste with garlic, ginger and a pinch of kosher salt. Heat oil over medium heat and cook garlic, ginger and red pepper flakes in evoo, about two minutes, or until fragrant. Stir in curry powder, salt and pepper, then add spinach and cook until it begins to wilt. Stir in a dusting of tapioca flour and cook until flour turns slightly golden (like a roux or gravy). Add plain yogurt and cook gently. Lastly, add feta and continue cooking until warmed though. Serve over jasmine rice, with naan. 

Friday, December 20, 2013

Mint Chocolate Cookie Sandwiches with Chevre Frosting

Mint Chocolate Cookie Sandwiches with Chevre Frosting

This is going to seem very Ebinizer Scrooge of me, but I do not like Christmas music. Apparently, I'm the only one at the shop that will develop an eye twitch after 8 hours of yuletide carols. However, one holiday tradition I can happily celebrate is baking cookies. I caught myself humming a familiar tune while baking these cookies... I blame the dairymaids.

1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup TCHO Natural Cocoa Powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup Lucky Layla Golden Butter, room temp
1 cup sugar
1 egg
1/2 teaspoon mint extract

4 oz Pure Luck Chevre, room temp
4 oz cream cheese, room temp
1 cup confectioners' sugar 

Cream butter and cream together in a large bowl. Beat in egg and mint extract. In a separate bowl, sift flour, cocoa, and salt together. Add flour mixture into creamed mixture in batches, beating well after each addition. Divide dough in half and wrap in plastic wrap, refrigerate for at least 5 hours. Heat oven to 350. On a lightly floured surface, roll out cookie dough to about 1/4 inch thick. Use a small cookie cutter of your choice to cut out cookies. Place on cookie sheets about 1 1/2 inches apart. Bake 10 - 12 minutes. Let cookies cool completely before assembling sandwiches and frosting. For frosting, combine cream cheese, chevre, confectioners' sugar and mix until smooth.

*yields about 2 dozen cookie sandwiches

Friday, December 13, 2013

Devil's Gulch Hoagie

Devil's Gulch Hoagie

I consider myself a bit of a lunch snob. I won't settle for a quick bit of just anything and I avoid drive thrus at all costs. Sometimes this gets me into trouble and a side of me comes out that I refer to as "She Beast". She's an angry troll that you need to feed immediately. I take sandwich building very seriously, if it's not too late for lunch-pocalypse. This hoagie is loaded with the Cowgirl Creamery's winter seasonal - Devil's Gulch, a sweet and spicy triple cream. The parsley aioli and beautiful winter greens makes for one mean sandwich, perfect with a cup of soup. 

For Hoagies: 
4 bolillos
1 ripe avocado, sliced 
1 bunch escarole and micro greens 
1 round Devil's Gulch, sliced (each sandwich uses about a 1/4 round) 

For Parsley Aioli:
1 large egg yolk
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon dijon mustard
1 tablespoon red-wine vinegar
1 teaspoon garlic, chopped
1 cup Stella Sola Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 tablespoon fresh curly parsley, chopped
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste 

In a food processor, combine egg yolk, lemon juice, mustard, vinegar, and garlic. With food processor running, pour olive oil in a slow, steady stream, until mixture emulsifies. Add parsley and process to combine. Season with salt and pepper. Set aside or cover and keep refrigerated until needed. To assemble hoagies, toast bolillos until lightly golden. Slice each bolillo open on one side. On bottom half, spread a generous amount of parsley aioli. Top with avacado slices, Devil's Gulch and greens. 

*Makes 4 Sandwiches 

Friday, December 6, 2013

The World's Easiest Mousse - 3 Ways

TCHO Mousse 3 Ways

I'de like to think my quirkiness shows in my photography and recipes. Some people may think my frequent use of bacon and bourbon is unhealthy. Or that it's dorky to play Fire Place for your Home because you don't have a fireplace. It's true, I do my own thang. I took some TCHO Drinking Chocolate Crumbles home to experiment with and make a few varieties of chocolate mousse. Naturally, I default to a bourbon bacon mousse. The egg nog mousse ended up being my favorite, but all three are delicious! And this really is the world's easiest mousse, just whip and chill. Then relax by the fake fire.

Egg Nog Mousse:
1/4 cup store bought egg nog, scalded in a sauce pan until hot
3 tablespoons TCHO Drinking Chocolate Crumbles

Espresso Orange Mouse:
3 tablespoons brewed espresso, hot
1 tablespoon fresh squeezed orange juice
3 tablespoons TCHO Drinking Chocolate Crumbles
*Garnish with fresh orange zest

Bourbon Bacon Mousse:
1 tablespoon vanilla infused bourbon
3 tablespoons hot water
3 tablespoons TCHO Drinking Chocolate Crumbles
*Garnish with chopped bacon

Whip ingredients in a standard blender or with an immersion blender. Poor single batch into a demitasse or ramekin. Chill for at least 4 hours or overnight and garnish as directed above.

Friday, November 29, 2013

Thankful Eggs Rolls

Thankful Eggs Rolls

I have a fridge full of food that I spent over 12 hours preparing and my grocery budget is out of control. It's time to get creative with leftovers. You can stuff these egg rolls with just about anything from your Turkey Day table, including cheese! 

1 package frozen phyllo sheets 
1/2 cup melted Lucky Layla Golden Butter  
1/4 cup cranberry sauce 
2 cups leftover turkey, chopped 
1 tablespoon fresh rosemary, finely chopped 
1 tablespoon mayo 
Salt and pepper, to taste 
6 oz Greens Creek Gruyere, cut into 8 slices  
American Spoon Cranberry Mustard

*Makes 8 egg rolls 

Combine turkey, mayo, rosemary, salt and pepper for turkey filling. Place 1 phyllo sheet on surface, brush with butter. Repeat with 2 more phyllo sheets to make stack of 3 sheets, brushing each layer with butter. Place 1/4 cup turkey, Greens Creek and 1 teaspoon of cranberry sauce in center of phyllo sheets. Roll up, folding in edges. Lightly brush outside with butter. Place egg roll, seam side down, on ungreased cookie sheet. Repeat with remaining phyllo and turkey mixture. Bake 10 minutes and broil for an additional 5 minutes until golden brown. Serve warm with cranberry mustard.

Friday, November 22, 2013

Sweet Potato & Mac Gratin

Sweet Potato & Mac Gratin

This time next week, we will be nursing our tryptophan hangovers. There is talk of garnishing our bloody marys with tater tots and bacon.... I'm pretty excited. For now, I'm cherishing this quiet lull, before my kitchen becomes a war zone. In my final preparations, I whipped up this gratin that combines my two favorite Turkey Day sides: sweet potatoes and mac. They go together like tater tots and bacon!

For Mac:
8 oz elbow pasta
4 tablespoons Lucky Layla Golden Butter
1/4 cup flour
2 cups Mill King Milk
4 oz Wagon Wheel, grated
4 oz Challerhocker, grated
1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil
1/4 teaspoon dill

In large pot of boiling, salted water, cook pasta until al dente. Strain and set aside. Melt butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Whisk in flour a little at a time until well blended, very lightly browned and bubbly. Quickly whisk in milk and continue stirring until thickened. Add cheese and stir until blended. Reduce heat to low, add basil, dill and reserved pasta and cook for a minutes longer. Remove from heat and set aside.

For Gratin:
1 tablespoon Lucky Layla Golden Butter, room temp
Mac (recipe above)
1/2 cup Mill King Milk
2 large sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into thin coins
Kosher salt and ground black pepper, to taste
2 oz Wagon Wheel, grated
1/2 cup breadcrumbs
1 generous pinch dried rosemary

Heat oven to 400. Grease a 9x9 baking dish with butter. Arrange half of sweet potato slices on bottom, slightly overlapping. Season potatoes with salt and pepper and pour 1/4 cup of milk evenly over first layer, then spread 1/2 of mac over this layer. Repeat steps for second layer. Top with remaining cheese, breadcrumbs and rosemary. Cover dish and bake for 1 hour. Broil uncovered for 10 minutes to brown.

*a perfect side for 6

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Dairymaids Shopping List

Be sure to print out this adorable shopping checklist for all your holiday essentials! Just click on the image, save and print. Being organized is cool.

Friday, November 15, 2013

Bourbon Pumpkin Pie with Wackym's Ginger Orange Cookie Crust

Pumpkin Pie with Cookie Crumb Crust

As promised, it's all Thanksgiving, all the time, until T day! Thanksgiving throws normal food-preparation routines way out of kilter for home cooks like myself. At this point, I have come to terms with the amount of dairy I consume in the name of testing recipes. I'm also okay with a generous drizzle of Bourbon Cajeta all over my post turkey pumpkin pie. Nothing like butter and bourbon to induce a couch nap.

For crust: 
1 package Wackym's Kitchen Ginger Orange Cookies
1/3 cup melted Lucky Layla Golden Butter 
1 tablespoon turbinado sugar 

For filling: 
1 15oz can Organic Pumpkin Puree
5 oz Bellwether Creme Fraiche
1/3 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
1 dash of freshly grated nutmeg
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 tablespoon vanilla bean infused bourbon
Blue Heron Farms Bourbon Cajeta, to drizzle on top

Heat oven to 350. Process cookies in food processor until finely crumbed. Add sugar and pour in melted butter and process until well blended. Bake pie crust for 10 minutes until golden. Let cool at least 15 minutes before adding filling.

In a large mixing bowl, combine pumpkin, creme fraiche, brown sugar, salt, pumpkin pie spice, and nutmeg, whisk until smooth. Stir in eggs and bourbon, whisk again until well blended. Heat oven to 325. Poor filling into pie crust, gently jiggle to level the filling. Bake for about 1 hour or until set in the center. Drizzle cajeta over top before serving.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

A Dairymaid's Thanksgiving Menu

Dairymaids Thanksgiving Menu 2013

One trip to the cheese shop and you will be inspired for Turkey Day! We have tons of ideas, but here's just a few... and don't forget the cheese and olive plate to snack on while you cook!

For a quick, crowd pleasing breakfast:
Pumpkin Butter Cinnamon Rolls

Pre-game sharables to potentially spoil your dinner:
Marinated Pure Luck Feta

On to the main coarse, an impressive center piece or serve in lieu of a traditional turkey:
Greens Creek Gruyere Stuffed Pumpkin

My favorite part of Thanksgiving, all the starchy/carby and cheesy sides: 

Please pass the bread: 
Redneck Skillet Cornbread

Friday, November 8, 2013

Winged Bean Salad with Crispy Shallots and Chevre

Winged Bean Salad with Crispy Shallots and Chevre

Less than 3 weeks and counting until Thanksgiving! I'm anxiously preparing my menu and I'm feeling like a huge dork for already having my table set. My Christmas tree is up too, but it's in beta testing with 2 cats, 1 labrador and a toddler in the house. No worries though, with lots of cheese and wine on hand, I can handle anything. I will be posting Thanksgiving favorites all month, and stay tuned for a full Dairymaids Thanksgiving menu! 

1/4 cup Stella Sola Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 tablespoon Lucky Layla Golden Butter
1 large shallot, peeled and sliced into thin rings
about 1/2 lb winged beans
1/2 cup Artichoke hearts, quartered 
1/2 cup golden and heirlom tomatoes, quartered  

Heat evoo and butter in a saucepan over medium-low heat until it's about 200°. Reduce the heat to low, add the shallots, and cook for about an hour, until they are a rich golden brown, stirring occasionally. For beans, trim the ends, boil whole in salted water for about 1 minute, until they turn brighter green. Rinse with cold water. Toss beans, artichokes and tomatoes in shallots and remaining oil from caramelizing. Top with a generous amount of Pure Luck chevre crumbles. Serve warm or cool. 

Friday, November 1, 2013

Rustic Granbury Gold Pot Pie

Rustic Granbury Gold Pot Pie

I just love a simple and rustic dish that comes together easily... because life is messy. My husband doesn't mind the layer of flour covering every inch of the kitchen if it results in comfort food. The combination of creamy Granbury Gold, buttery Kalamata olives and caramelized onions cooked in wine is like medicine on a blustery November day. Is it normal to have an addiction to caramelizing onions? 

For filling: 
2 tablespoons Stella Sola Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1/2 yellow onion, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 cup white wine
1 can navy beans
1 tablespoon fresh or dried thyme
Freshly ground black pepper and Kosher salt, to taste
6 oz Granbury Gold, grated 
1/4 cup Kalamata olives, pits removed and coarsely chopped 

Pie pastry recipe here or store bought (don't hate) 
Fresh flat leaf parsley, for garnish 

In a saute pan, heat evoo over medium high heat. Add the onion and a pinch of Kosher salt and cook until soft, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cumin and cook until fragrant, about 2 minutes, then add the white wine. Cook until the wine has reduced by half. Stir in the beans and thyme and season with salt and pepper, to taste. Lower heat and gently simmer for 15 minutes. Remove from heat, add grated cheese and olives, mix to combine. 

Heat oven to 375. Lightly flour a surface and roll out pie crust to an 8 inch round. Transfer prepared pie crust to a large baking sheet. Put filling in center of pie crust, leaving about 2 inches on the outside. Gently fold outer crust over the filling to enclose the dough, pleating it to make a circle. Bake for 20 - 30 minutes or until crust is golden and filling is bubbly. Serve warm and garnish with fresh parsley.  

Yields 1 pie, serves 4 

Friday, October 25, 2013

Pumpkin Butter Cinnamon Rolls with Cream Cheese Frosting

Pumpkin Butter Cinnamon Rolls

Since we started carrying Pumpkin Butter from American Spoon, it has been flying off the shelf! It's not surprising, this stuff is delicious. And these pumpkin butter cinnamon rolls are equally as addictive. Store bought puff pastry makes this recipe super easy for the hectic holidays ahead. They will definitely become a permanent fixture at family gatherings.

1 sheet puff pastry
1/4 cup American Spoon Pumpkin Butter
3 tablespoons cinnamon chips

For cream cheese frosting: 4 oz cream cheese, room temp
4 oz Lucky Layla Golden Butter, room temp
1 cup confectioners sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350. Unfold thawed puff pastry dough. Spread pumpkin butter over dough. Sprinkle with cinnamon chips. Roll up and cut crosswise into 9 rolls. Place rolls on a cookie sheet and bake about 25 minutes until puffy and golden. Spread cream cheese frosting on and serve warm.

Friday, October 18, 2013

Tempura Pickles

Tempura Pickles

The last time I made fried pickles, they were so popular, I decided to re-visit this illustrious, salty treat. My "classic" fried pickle recipe post has 176 views to date, but who's counting? And I thought my mom was the only one reading my recipes.

I just can't believe I didn't think of tempura pickles sooner! I used Pogue Mahone's Ginger Habanero pickle chips and Sapporo for the tempura batter. Serve with sriracha + ranch = srirancha. The use of this condiment in our house borders on obsessive.

1 1/4 cup flour
12 oz light beer
1 teaspoon kosher salt
16 oz jar Pogue Mahone Ginger Habanero Pickles
Canola oil

Pour oil in a large heavy pot to a depth of at least 2", heat to 375. While oil comes to temp, prepare batter: whisk flour, salt and beer until smooth. Pat pickle chips dry with a paper towel. Working in batches, coat pickles in batter and fry until golden, about 3 minutes. Transfer to a paper towel lined plate. Serve after pickles have cooled for a bit, as they will be very hot coming out of the oil and then you'll burn the roof of your mouth and your weekend will be ruined.

Friday, October 11, 2013

Bourbon Cajeta Toffee

Cajeta Toffee

Trick or treat, smell my feet, give me some homemade toffee? Hopefully I can redeem my inability to rhyme with this salty, sweet treat... We have some new, fancy chocolates just in time for holiday baking and candy making.

20 Saltine crackers with sea salt (or enough to line your pan)
1 8 oz jar Blue Heron Farm Bourbon Cajeta
2 cups TCHO baking drops (milk or dark)
1/2 cup chopped Pecan Shop Natives: Family Recipe

Heat oven to 400. Line a cookie sheet (with at least a 1/2 inch rim) with parchment paper. In this order: line TCHO drops in a single layer, then saltine crackers in a single layer, then pour cajeta over saltines and spread to cover crackers completely. Bake for about 5 minutes, until bubbly (keep an eye on it to make sure it doesn't boil over, because that makes a terrible mess). Remove from oven and layer TCHO drops over the top and let sit a couple of minutes to melt, then spread it evenly, top with Texas pecans. Chill in the fridge for at least one hour before cutting and serving.

Friday, October 4, 2013

Twice Baked Butternut Squash filled with Bacon Ricotta

Ricotta has long been confined to traditional roles in the kitchen: baked into layers of pasta or cheesecakes. But these days ricotta is being used in sweet and savory applications, in unlikely places: dolloped onto grilled bread and pizzas or whisked into sweet pancake batter. Bellwether Farms Basket Ricotta is rich and versatile. When I have this beautiful product in my fridge, the problem is deciding what to do with it.

3 small Butternut squashes, cut in half and seeds removed
1/2 lb bacon
12 oz Bellwether Basket Ricotta
1 egg
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon fresh flat leaf parsley, chopped
1 tablespoon fresh basil, chopped
Kosher salt and fresh cracked pepper, to taste

Heat oven to 375. Cook bacon on a parchment lined baking sheet in the oven for 15 minutes or until desired crispness. Prepare squash while bacon is cooking. Remove bacon from oven, drain on a plate lined with a paper towel and set aside. Use the bacon grease to rub the insides of the squash (gives the squash a nice smokey, bacon-y bite). Bake squash for 30 minutes, cut side up. Meanwhile, prepare bacon ricotta filling. Chop cooked bacon and combine with ricotta, egg, garlic, herbs and salt and pepper. Fill squash halves and bake an additional 30 minutes, or until squash is tender. Turn oven to broil the last 5 minutes to get the ricotta filling golden brown. Serve with a simple Arugula salad.

*Serves 6

Friday, September 27, 2013

Marieke Smoked Gouda Turkey Burgers

Smoked Gouda Turkey Burgers

Football and Fall is upon us, therefore grilling on Sunday is mandatory. Marieke Smoked Gouda holds up very well in these turkey burgers. By cubing the cheese, rather than grating, you get big gooey melty bites. I served these with a kale and butternut squash hash, so I didn't feel the need to add any veggies to the burger... sometimes a burger just needs to be naked. May induce food coma and/or saying explicit words out loud.

Burger Ingredients:
1 lb ground turkey
1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt and cracked black pepper, or to taste
2 tablespoons whole grain mustard
2 tablespoons fresh chopped flat leaf parsley
4 healthy dashes of Worcestershire sauce
8 oz Marieke Smoked Gouda, 1/4 inch cubes

4 whole wheat buns
Lucky Layla Butter, room temp

*Yields 4 burgers

Combine burger ingredients in a large bowl, mashing with your hands (you just gotta get in there). Form 4 patties. Make an indention with your thumb in the center of the patty to prevent burger bulge. Grill over medium high heat, about 10 minutes per side. Dress buns with butter and lightly toast on the grill. Assemble and serve with your favorite mustard.

Friday, September 20, 2013

Homemade Parmesan Popcorn

Homemade Parmesan Popcorn

Now that I'm a mom my social life is no longer spent on a bar stool. I look forward to a quiet Friday night at home with my fam and a good movie. No movie night would be complete without popcorn and I'm not talking about the trifold bag or expanding foil ball kid stuff. This fancy popcorn is worth the extra effort and the possibilities are endless. Use your favorite cheese and let the rom coms roll!

3 tablespoons canola or grapeseed oil
1/ 2 cup popcorn kernels
1-2 teaspoons salt, or to taste
3 tablespoons Lucky Layla Butter, melted
3 oz SarVecchio, about 1/3 cup grated 
1-2 tablespoons fresh flat leaf parsley, finely chopped

Place the oil, popcorn and salt in a large seasoned cast iron skillet. Make a tent with heavy-duty aluminum foil and cut a few small slits in the top. Cook over medium-high heat and shake constantly. Continue shaking until the popcorn finishes popping, approximately 3 minutes. Remove from the heat and carefully remove the foil. Drizzle butter over the popcorn and add grated cheese and parsley. Serve warm.

Friday, September 13, 2013

Texas Gold Peach Pies

Texas Gold Peach Pies

With Fall around the corner, it's time I do something with the Summer peach harvest I have been hoarding in my freezer. Who doesn't love a handmade, mini pie? English and Texans alike, believe pie is better with some melted, bubbly cheddar on top. My other secret weapon is adding some fresh lemon or orange zest to my filling, to add brightness. *When it comes to pie dough, I have to admit Martha's pate brisee has never done me wrong. If you're pressed for time the store bought, roll out kind is great too. Personally, I will not touch pie if it's not ala mode. This Summer I discovered you can throw some Bellwether yogurt in the freezer and boom: rich, creamy frozen yogurt!

*Pie pastry
1 tablespoon all purpose flour, plus extra for dusting
1/4 cup sugar
1 tablespoon fresh lemon or orange zest
2 ripe peaches, skins peeled and chopped
1 handful of golden raspberries
Lucky Layla Golden Butter, cold
4oz Texas Gold Cheddar, shredded
1 cup Bellwether Vanilla Yogurt, frozen

Heat oven to 375. Dust surface with flour to roll out pie dough. Using a 4 inch cookie or biscuit cutter, cut out 6 circles. Place circles in a standard muffin tin, gently pressing to the edges. Reserve extra pie pastry for a heart or lattice to top mini pies with. For filling, combine 1 tablespoon flour, sugar, zest, peaches and raspberries. Divide filling evenly, top each pie with a few tiny slivers of cold butter, remaining pie pastry of desired shape and lastly, a generous pinch of cheddar. Bake for about 25 minutes, until tops are golden and fruit filling is bubbly. Serve warm pies with frozen Bellwether yogurt.

Yields 6 mini pies

Friday, September 6, 2013

Truffled Pepato Risotto with Roasted Beets

This week we found ourselves asking the question: "is it too soon for risotto?"... I can honestly say I'm glad Labor Day is behind us. I love everything about Fall. In Houston, it's a unique season, you can go swimming one day and wear a scarf the next. I look forward to Fall inspired recipes and enjoying some dining al fresco. Bring it on!

1/4 cup Stella Sola Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
4 1/2 cups chicken stock, warmed
2 cups arborio rice
1/2 cup white wine
4 tablespoons Lucky Layla Butter
4 oz SarVecchio, grated
4 oz Pepato, grated
4 red beets
Truffle oil (for garnish)
salt and pepper, to taste

In a large skillet, heat evoo over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until softened and translucent. Meanwhile warm stock in a pot. Once the onions are translucent, add the rice and stir until toasted and opaque, about 5 - 7 minutes. Add wine to the rice and add a ladle of the stock and cook, stirring, until it is absorbed. Continue adding the stock a ladle at a time, waiting until the liquid is absorbed before adding more. Cook until the rice is tender and creamy, about 1 hour. While risotto is cooking, prepare and roast beets. Wash and peel whole beets, place on a baking sheet, drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle salt and pepper. Bake for 30 minutes or until tender. When beets are cooled and risotto is done, use a mandolin slicer to make thin slices of beets. When risotto is cooked to your desire, stir in the butter and cheese until well mixed. Top plated risotto with beet slices and a splash of truffle oil.

Friday, August 30, 2013

Toasted Bijou with Honey Roasted Pears

Toasted Bijou with Honey Roasted Pears

I'm not one to brag, but this goat cheese dessert is straight up decadent! It's the perfect finish to a light Summer meal. The soft ripened Bijou turns slightly golden and bubbly when toasted, bringing out the buttery richness even more. Is anyone else glad that August is almost over?

2 Bosc pears
2 tablespoons Lucky Layla Golden Butter, melted
2 tablespoons Big Creek Farms honey
2 pieces Vermont Creamery Bijou goat cheese
pistachios, chopped (optional)

Heat oven to 400. Cut pears in half lengthwise leaving the stem intact on one half, then core using a small spoon or melon baller. Grease a baking dish with melted butter, place pears cut side down and brush tops with remaining butter. Roast pears for 15 - 20 minutes or until tender. Remove pears from oven, brush with honey and place each bijou on one pear slice. Put oven on broil and roast for an additional 5 minutes until cheese is golden and honey/butter mixture is a bubbly syrup. Carefully transfer pears to a plate, top with remaining juices and garnish with pistachios.

*Serves 2

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Prosciutto Wrapped Asparagus Salad with Super Gouda

Prosciutto Wrapped Asparagus Salad with Super Gouda

Take a creamy Gouda we all know and love... the one made by that brilliant Dutch lady in Wisconsin. Then age it for 18 - 20 months and you get Marieke Super Gouda. Yep, this cheese is older than my son and fastly becoming a new favorite. Really, I could stand over a cutting board and eat a whole wedge. Rather than do that, I decided that a fancy brunch would be a better vehicle for this cheese.

1 bunch fresh asparagus
fresh greens, such as arugula or kale
1 lemon
4 oz Marieke Super Gouda 
4 farm fresh eggs
Pepper, to taste

Heat oven to 350. Wash and trim asparagus where the ends naturally snap. Cut prosciutto in half lengthwise. Wrap each half slice around asparagus. Place asparagus on cookie sheet, drizzle a little evoo and season with fresh cracked pepper, then toss to evenly coat. Roast for about 10 - 15 minutes, until asparagus is tender and prosciutto is crispy. No need to salt, as the prosciutto and cheese add the perfect amount of saltiness. While asparagus bakes, fry eggs sunny side up, or to your liking. Toss greens in a little evoo, fresh lemon juice and lemon zest. Top greens with asparagus, shaved gouda and fried egg. Garnish with a pinch of pepper.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Grilled Cheese Tuesday - Carmody with Apple & Onion Jam

Happy Tuesday y'all. As I'm typing, I am enjoying this marvelous grilled cheese for lunch. Nothin like comfort food on a rainy day!

Slough Dough Sourdough  
Lucky Layla Butter, room temp

Carmody and Apple Onion Jam

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Grilled Cheese Tuesday - The Queso Queen's Deli Grilled Cheese

The Queso Queen has done it again! Nicole recently submitted her latest grilled cheese creation and the adorable story about how it came to be:

Once upon a time, before I was a Dairymaid, before I was even a Houstonian, I threw a grilled cheese party. I traveled three hours to the Dairymaids warehouse, back when it was only open on Fridays and Saturdays, to gather the cheeses.

I explained to former Dairymaid Charlotte (now co-owner of Boomtown Coffee) my reason for visiting and asked her to recommend a variety of cheeses suitable for ten varieties of grilled cheese.

"Have you thought about caraway, she asked?"

I shook my head.

"Caraway, like rye bread. You should do a caraway cheese with deli mustard and make that one of your grilled cheeses."

And so I did. The uniqueness of the grilled cheese married with the classic flavors of a deli sandwich = fantastic.

I decided to recreate the concept of that sandwich for this project - with a little more oomph.

1 oz Caraway to Heaven, shredded
2 slices rye bread
a few slices of pastrami
Famous Kream Mustard
1 tablespoon Straight from the Vine raw sauerkraut kimchi
1 tablespoon mayonnaise/Russian dressing
Lucky Layla Butter, room temp

Mix dressing with kimchi, set aside. Butter one side of each slice of rye bread. On the non buttered side of the bread: spread mustard, layer pastrami and half the cheese. On the other slice, spread mustard, kimchi mix and the remaining cheese. Assemble sandwich and place butter side down in a frying pan over medium/low heat. Grill until crisp, flip and repeat.

The Queso Queen's Deli Grilled Cheese

Friday, August 9, 2013

Roasted Figs and Grapes

Roasted Figs and Grapes

The perfect cheese deserves the perfect pairing. Some cheeses beg for a drizzle of honey or a spoonful of preserves. I packaged these still warm figs and grapes in a mason jar and paired the sweet jammy goodness with some creamy Point Reyes Blue. The figs were grown in the Dairymaids' backyard. The delicious grapes came from our farm share: Utility Research Garden in Jones Creek, Texas. This beautiful, local produce is available for pickup at the shop. The figs are for birds and friends. Inquire within.

2 tablespoons Lucky Layla Butter 
2 tablespoons Turbinado sugar 
2 tablespoons local honey 
1/2 lb green and red organic grapes, cut in half 
6 figs, cut in half 

Heat oven to 450. In an oven safe pan, melt butter over medium heat. Add figs and grapes, toss in melted butter, evenly sprinkle sugar and drizzle honey. Transfer pan to oven and roast for 15 minutes or until caramelized and syrup is thick and bubbly. Stir half way through cooking. Let cool before serving. Can be served warm or cold. 

Friday, August 2, 2013

Slap Ya Mama Salmon with Chiriboga Blue over Wilted Spinach

Slap Ya Mama Salmon with Chiriboga Blue

My fishmonger laughed at me when I told him I was going to put some Slap Ya Mama on his salmon. I guess I was a little embarrassed to say it out loud, but this salty and spicy seasoning is magic! I was impressed with how little I had to prep for this meal. In just 15 minutes dinner will be served! And then you'll think, "gee we should enjoy this out on the patio", but then you remember it's August and we live in Houston. Serve (indoors) with a light white wine, like our Siblings Sauvignon Blanc Semillon.

* Serves 2

2 6oz salmon portions
Stella Sola Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Slap Ya Mama Original Seasoning
Kosher salt 
Turbinado sugar 
fresh baby spinach 
golden tomatoes 
1/3 cup Texas sweet onions, chopped and caramelized 
4 oz Chiriboga Blue, crumbled 

Preheat oven to 425. Start by caramelizing onions first: chop onions in uniform pieces, heat about 2 tablespoons of evoo over medium heat in a sauté pan, add onions, then add a pinch of salt and sugar. Lower heat to slowly caramelize while you prep everything else. Rinse and pat dry salmon portions. Drizzle a little evoo in an oven safe dish. Place salmon in dish skin side down, drizzle evoo and sprinkle Slap Ya Mama on top of salmon (enough to lightly coat). Bake for 12 - 15 minutes until done and flakes easily. Put spinach and tomatoes in a large mixing bowl. Onions should be done caramelizing when the salmon is ready to come out of the oven. Pour onions and oil over spinach and toss to slightly wilt. Remove skin from underside of salmon. Plate salmon on top of greens and crumble Chiriboga on top of salmon just before serving.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Grilled Cheese Tuesday - Roasted Beet and Chevre Panini

This week Lindsey and Nicole are headed to the cheese mecca of the US - Wisconsin. Before jumping on a plane with her cheese bags packed, Nicole, a.k.a. The Queso Queen, submitted this pretty, pink creation for this week's grilled cheese. It's a take on the classic combination of beet and goat cheese on a salad. Here it is in sandwich form!

1 purple beet, scrubbed clean, roots and greens cut off
Stella Sola Olive Oil
coarse black pepper, to taste
Pure Luck Chevre
1 - 2 sprigs fresh mint
Slow Dough Ciabatta

Preheat oven to 350. Slice one large, firm beet, place on aluminum foil, drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle pepper, fold the foil over and crimp the sides closed. Bake for 30 minutes or until tender. Slice ciabatta lengthwise and spread both sides with goat cheese. Once beet is done and cooled to touch, place on top of chevre and top with fresh mint. Brush the outside of the bread with olive oil (I used the beet-infused olive oil from the roasting). Cook in a panini press (or use a griddle) and voila, a pink grilled cheese.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Vegetarian Lentil Tacos with Marieke Cumin Gouda

Vegetarian Lentil Tacos with Marieke Cumin Gouda

Okay, it's confession time. I admit that I'm a recovering vegetarian. I also admit that I have an unhealthy relationship with tacos. A good taco can literally improve my mood. I have been known to devour them in my car, alone, while driving. These tacos will hopefully leave you feeling good, rather than ashamed.

Lentils are a super food. They are healthy, delicious and my husband tolerates them. The earthy nuttiness of lentils pairs perfectly with Marieke Cumin Gouda and some fresh cilantro. My record is 4 in a row!

For lentils:
1 cup dry green lentils
4 cups water
garlic powder
Mexican oregano

Stella Sola Extra Virgin Olive Oil 
1 package frozen Boca Veggie Crumbles 
3 carrots, peeled and chopped
1 small green pepper, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
chili powder, to taste
salt and pepper, to taste
8 oz Marieke Cumin Gouda, shredded
1 bunch fresh cilantro
8 - 10 flour tortillas

Bring lentils, a dash of each spice and water to a simmer in a medium pot and cook for 20 - 30 minutes, until done. While lentils are cooking, coat a large skillet over medium-high heat with evoo, cook carrots and green peper until tender. Add Boca Veggie Crumbles, garlic, salt, pepper and chili powder and cook until crumbles are heated through. Combine lentils with Boca mixture so the ratio is even. Warm tortillas. Top Boca and lentils with cheese and cilantro.

Yields 4 servings

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Grilled Cheese Tuesday - Red Rock with Pogue Mahone Pickles

The best cheese pairings are often unlikely and surprising. Sometimes they are induced by late night hunger, like the grilled cheese we are featuring this week:

Slow Dough Sourdough
Red Rock
Pogue Mahone Dill & Garlic Pickles, chopped
Lucky Layla Golden Butter, room temp

Red Rock Grilled Cheese

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Grilled Cheese Tuesday - Shannon's Herb Chevre and Mozzarella Grilled Cheese

We are very fortunate to have Shannon on the Dairymaid team. She is a world traveler and super talented, but more importantly; she makes us breakfast every Saturday morning and other amazing baked goods! She recently sent me this ingenious creation for Grilled Cheese Tuesday: 

Slow Dough Ciabatta
Roasted chicken, shredded 
Lucky Layla Butter, room temp

Shannon's Grilled Cheese

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Jalapeno Jelly Glazed Bread Pudding

Jalapeno Jelly Glazed Bread Pudding

Bread pudding is a special dish in my house. One bite of a warm bread pudding and I'm taken back to family gatherings and my brother drinking all of the brandy before it made it into the bowl. It captures the creaminess of a custard and the fluffiness of a soufflé, yet it is so easy to make. I love both savory and sweet varieties, but to please any bread pudding aficionado, you have to use extra special ingredients. I have been infusing my favorite bourbon with vanilla bean for months. I glazed the golden top with jalapeno jelly and garnished a warm serving with creme fraiche. This heavenly concoction is boozy and slightly spicy.  

2 Slow Dough baguettes, crust removed and sliced 1/4 in
Lucky Layla Butter, room temp
3 1/2 cups milk
1/2 cup sugar
5 eggs
1/4 cup vanilla bean infused bourbon
1/2 teaspoon fresh grated nutmeg
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3/4 cup golden raisins
1 jar American Spoon Jalapeno Pepper Jelly
Bellwether Farms Créme Fraîche

Preheat oven to 350. Pour milk into a pot over medium-high heat, add sugar and bring to a boil. Beat eggs and bourbon together. Whisk in a little of the milk mixture at a time until mixed. Remove crust from baguettes and slice. Prepare a 9 in casserole dish with butter. Layer half the bread pieces in the dish and pour half the egg/milk mixture over it. Mash bread with your hands to pat down into a layer. Mix raisins with nutmeg, cinnamon, brown sugar, a splash of the egg/milk mixture and 1/4 cup of the jalapeno jelly. Spoon raisin mixture over the first bread layer. Layer remaining bread slices on top of raisins and pour the remaining egg/milk mixture on top, pat down. Bake 25 minutes. Remove from oven and immediately glaze with jalapeno jelly. 

Yields 9 - 10 servings 

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Truffle and Havarti Breakfast Grilled Cheese

Good morning dairymaids and dairymates. If you're truly committed, you have had a grilled cheese for breakfast in your cheese mongering career. It's a wonderful thing. You can even sandwich some scrambled eggs and fry up your grilled cheese with eggs and all, but I must warn you, it's messy.

1 farm fresh egg, scrambled in truffle oil 
Fresh cracked pepper, to taste
2 oz Sand Creek Havarti
Kalamata olive bread
Lucky Layla Butter, room temp

Truffle and Havarti Breakfast Grilled Cheese

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

This Week's Tasting Plate - Red, White and Rogue River Blue

The Ham Independence has us feeling mighty patriotic this week. It seemed only fitting to do a red, white and blue plate. These festive featured cheeses are: the oh so special Redhawk from Cowgirl Creamery. It is hand washed, creating a rind that is a beautiful red-orange. Rimrocker is tangy, sharp and proud to be an American, with it's bold red rind. Soft and delicate Del Cielo from Pure Luck, has a stark white interior that ripens quickly to a delectable ooze. Smoked Habenero Cheddar represents our spicy and diverse country. Last, but certainly not least is Rogue River Blue - Special Reserve. To celebrate their 80th birthday, Rogue Creamery sent us this special batch, aged for one year. It's creamy, nutty and has specks of rock candy, so divine! 

A friendly reminder, we will be closed on July 4th, so be sure to stop by the shop for your favorites. 

Grilled Cheese Tuesday - Haley's Favorite

This lovely grilled cheese was submitted by Haley. It looks so amazing!

Reading Raclette
Dijion mustard
Caramelized onions
Slow Dough Sourdough
Lucky Layla Golden Butter, room temp


Sunday, June 30, 2013

Texan Antipasto Salad

Truth be told, I have made a terrible dinner or two in my day. I'll never forgive myself for the infamous halibut and serrano ham disaster. Or the root beer demi gloss that was an epic failure. On the other hand, sometimes I surprise myself and a dish turns out absolutely perfect. This Texas inspired salad was a win! Who knew the unlikely combo of pickles and spicy borcellino would work. These hot Texas Summers produce the best tomatoes, perfect for slow roasting. Like a nice Antipasto plate - all the flavors compliment each other. Enjoy with a crisp, cold rose.

1 6 oz package La Quercia Spicy Borsellino Salami, thinly sliced
4 spears Pogue Mahone Dill & Garlic Pickles, chopped (plus some chopped dill from the jar)
1 pint cherry tomatoes or 4 regular tomatoes
4 carrots, shaved
Fresh mixed greens
Fresh Basil, julienned
Sola Stella Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Terra Verde Traditional Balsamic Vinegar
4 oz Latte Da Caerphilly, shaved
Salt and pepper, to taste
1 teaspoon Turbinado sugar
1 lemon

Heat oven to 250. If using cherry tomatoes, cut in half. If using regular tomatoes, cut in fourths. Scoop seeds out of tomatoes. Place on a baking sheet lightly oiled with evoo. Drizzle a small amount of evoo and balsamic on top of tomatoes, then salt and pepper to taste. Lastly, evenly sprinkle the sugar over the tomatoes. Roast in oven for about 1 1/2 hours or until wrinkled and caramelized. While tomatoes cool prepare the rest of the salad.

Dress carrots and greens in about 2 tablespoons of evoo, 1 tablespoon balsamic and 1 tablespoon of fresh lemon juice. For presentation: place greens in center of a large platter. Group pickles, salami and roasted tomatoes separately on the edge of the greens. Top with basil and Cearphilly. Toss together just before serving.

Yields 4 servings

Friday, June 28, 2013

The Dairymaids Declare Ham Independence!

We are so proud to be a purveyor of La Quercia cured meats, that we just had to enter their Ham Independence contest! Please vote for us!

Move over Rosie Riveter! Don't forget to stop by the shop for this week's yummy tasting and all the Ham Independence Day fun.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Green Chile Mac & Spicy Curd Grilled Cheese

I absolutely love the green chile mac n cheese that is made in house at Black Hole Coffee. It just so happens I also love grilled cheese sandwiches. Light bulb! What did you have for dinner?

Black Hole Coffee House's Green Chile Mac N Cheese, 1/2 inch slices
Mill King Spicy Cheese Curds, sliced or chopped
Rustic Wheat sandwich bread
Lucky Layla Golden Butter, room temp

Friday, June 21, 2013

Cheddar & Blue Broccoli Casserole

Alton Brown is one of my cooking heros. He's so nerdy and lovable. I even have the same Kitchenaid mixer he has (minus the super sweet flames painted on his). This recipe is modified from Alton's Broccoli Casserole using Ramen Noodles. Yes, I know Ramen Noodles have a bad reputation, but "Punkrock Gourmet" cooking is a skill everyone should master. It's a culinary rite of passage and comfort food at it's finest.

1/2 cup mayo
1/2 cup sour cream
6 oz Sharpshooter Cheddar, shredded
3 oz Chiriboga Blue, crumbled
2 eggs
2 teaspoons fresh ground black pepper
Flavor Pack from Ramen
6 cups frozen broccoli, thawed
8 oz Baby Bella mushrooms, sliced and sauteed in Garlic Herb Butter
1 package chicken flavored Ramen noodles, broken up
Terra Verde extra virgin olive oil

Preheat oven to 350. Combine mayo, sour cream, cheddar cheese, blue cheese, eggs, pepper, and flavor pack from noodles. Add broccoli, mushrooms, and broken noodles and toss to evenly coat. Grease an 8 by 8-inch baking dish with olive oil and cook for 45 minutes covered. Then remove cover and bake for additional 15 minutes to brown. Cool for 15 minutes before serving.

Friday, June 14, 2013

Speck Americano Wrapped Chicken topped with Blue Butter

Speck Americano Wrapped Chicken topped with Blue Butter

My dad is a super hero to me. He can fix anything and he always makes me laugh. But, the thing with Dad is that it takes a classic car, a pork product or something involving jalapenos to impress him. Once again, the lovely Dairmaids can help. We have all kinds of goodies to share with dad for Father's Day, except for the classic car (although, our delivery van is pretty bitchin).  

This recipe is great to serve to the whole family, but dad will love the Speck Americano - a lightly smoked prosciutto from La Quercia. I highly recommend toping with Chiriboga Blue Butter, finishing with some peppery arugula and serving with truffle oil tater tots. Trust me. 

1 package Speck Americano, 9 slices
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon fresh cracked pepper
3 organic, boneless, skinless chicken breasts
2 tablespoons Terra Verde Jalapeno Infused Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 bunch fresh Arugula 
Chiriboga Blue Butter 

Preheat oven to 300. For each chicken breast, layer 3 slices prosciutto on a cutting board or plate and sprinkle with a generous pinch of thyme and pepper. Lay each breast on slices of prosciutto and wrap around the chicken. Heat jalapeno oil in an oven safe skillet over medium heat. Add the chicken, fold or seam side up and cook until the prosciutto is crisp, 5 - 6 minutes per side. Transfer the chicken in the skillet to the oven to finish cooking for 10 minutes. Top with blue butter and arugula just before serving.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Grilled Cheese Tuesday - Grand Cru Tuna Melt

Happy Tuesday fellow cheese mongers! This week we have a super fancy tuna melt for your grilled cheese pleasure. Submitted by yours truly.

5 oz can Wild Caught Albacore Tuna
1 1/2 tablespoons mayo
2 tablespoon capers
1 tablespoon toasted pine nuts
1 tablespoon fresh basil, chopped
(combine above ingredients for tuna salad)
2 oz Grand Cru Gruyere, sliced deli thin
Whole wheat sandwich bread
Lucky Layla Golden Butter, room temp

Yields 2 sandwiches

Please don't forget, we are accepting entries for your grilled cheese creations. Send your recipe and pictures to

Friday, June 7, 2013

Chevre Crostini with Bacon Melon Relish

Chevre Crostini with Bacon Melon Relish

We're sipping iced coffee and blasting the AC... Yep, Summer is officially here! Perhaps you're still recovering from FPSF? This recipe is light and simple. Most importantly, it doesn't require turning the oven on. The sweet and savory combo of melon and bacon works surprisingly well on top of the chevre crostini. I especially love the variety of textures. Perfect to serve at your last minute, back yard soiree. 

For Relish: 
6 strips bacon, cooked and chopped  
1 cup Texas Honeydew melon, diced 
1 tablespoon fresh mint, chopped 
2 green onions, chopped
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar 
1 tablespoon Terra Verde extra virgin olive oil, plus extra for crostini 
Salt and pepper, to taste

Mix all relish ingredients, set aside. Slice baguette at an angle and brush with olive oil. Over a medium-high grill or griddle, toast baguette until crisp and golden. Spread chevre over warm baguette slices and top with relish. Enjoy immediately.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Introducing Grilled Cheese Tuesdays!

You know that silly ice breaker question: if you were stranded on a island what food would you bring? My answer is grilled cheese. Always. It's a sad fact that I eat entirely too many grilled cheese sandwiches. This mood enhancing food has endless possibilities. So much so, that we have decided to make Tuesdays - Grilled Cheese Tuesdays.

A lot of customers tell us about the wonderful creations they make using our cheeses and we want to share them with the world! Do you want 15 minutes of cheese fame? Please don't be shy and submit your grilled cheese recipe and pictures to kerrisa@houstondairymaids.comYour grilled cheese could become the next Grilled Cheese of the Week and be featured here, on the Dairymaid Diary. It's kind of a big deal.

For the inaugural Grilled Cheese of the Week, I present this undeniably delicious combo:

Sourdough bread
Lucky Layla Butter, room temp
La Quercia Prosciutto, broiled until slightly crispy
Heirloom tomatoes, sliced
Holey Cow, grated

Holey Cow Prosciutto Heirloom Tomato Grilled Cheese

Friday, May 31, 2013

Elote Quesadillas

Elote Quesadillas

As a born and raised Texan, I spent many a Saturday in the scorching heat, bargaining at flea markets. Where else can you get a personalized belt buckle, car speakers and a puppy? Of course, a trip to the flea market would not be complete without enjoying some Elote. This unpretentious, Mexican street food is grilled, then brushed with mayo and sprinkled with queso fresco and chili powder.

That spicy and savory treat inspired me to make these Elote Quesadillas. I used Pure Luck's creamy goat feta and smokey Scamorza, mixed with traditional Elote ingredients. Enjoy with an ice cold beer or Mexican coke. 

8 oz Goat Feta
1 ball Scamorza
2 ears corn with husks on
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon coarse ground pepper, or to taste  
2 tablespoons mayonaise 
12 small flour tortillas 
Lucky Layla Butter, room temperature 

Heat oven to 350. With husks still on, roast corn in oven for 30 minutes. Let cool to touch, remove husks and cut kernels off the cob. Transfer corn to a mixing bowl. Add crumbled feta, grated Scamorza, chili powder, pepper and mayo. Mix to combine. Butter one side of each tortilla. Sandwich the corn and cheese mixture between tortillas. Heat a cast iron or non-stick skillet to medium-high heat. Cook quesadillas until golden brown on both sides and cheese is melted. Slice and serve. 

* Yields 6 personal size quesadillas 

Friday, May 24, 2013

Fried Pogue Mahone Pickles

Fried Pickles

Among breakfast tacos and drive-thru beer barns, fried pickles are one of my favorite things in the world! As a young art student, I riddled the UH campus with neon green pickle stickers, so yeah, I'm kind of obsessed. You can imagine my excitement when we started carrying pickles. Pogue Mahone Pickles in Austin, Texas are making fresh and crisp pickles by hand. If you're of Irish decent, you know what "pogue mahone" means...  I guess that's what I was trying to say with my pickle sticker graffiti?

You can use day old Slow Dough baguette or ciabatta to make your bread crumbs or go with the plain, store bought variety if you're pressed for time. Dill and lemon zest added to the breading make these fried pickles bright and flavorful. Where is the cheese you (Nicole) might ask? This salty treat pairs well with Redneck Cheddar or creamy Pure Luck Chevre. Serve with homemade blue cheese dressing.

16 oz jar Pogue Mahone Dill and Garlic Pickles
2 eggs
2 cups bread crumbs
1 tablespoon fresh dill, finely chopped
1 lemon, zested
1 tablespoon chili powder, or to taste
1 tablespoon fresh cracked black pepper
1 tablespoon kosher salt
Canola oil

Heat canola oil in a large pot over high heat. Oil should be at least 2 inches deep in the pot. Whisk eggs and set aside. Mix bread crumbs with remaining ingredients. Pat pickles dry with paper towels. The more dry they are, the better the dredge will stick. Coat each pickle spear in egg, then crumbs. No need to double coat. Carefully place pickles in oil, working in batches and cook for 1 - 2 minutes until golden brown. Strain on a plate lined with butcher paper or paper towels. Serve hot.

Friday, May 17, 2013

Baked Green Hill

Baked Brie

Traditionally, a baked brie is wrapped in pastry or phyllo dough, but I'm a bit of a purist. Green Hill is such a beautiful cheese, it doesn't need much dressing up. Pair it with ingredients that really showcase the cheese and bake it, that's it. It's a very simple recipe that yields very impressive results. I hope the Sweet Grass Dairy family and their happy Jersey cows will aprove.

1 round Green Hill
Fig preserves or honey
Fresh rosemary, finely chopped
1 Slow Dough baguette, toasted and sliced

Heat oven to 350. Line a glass pie dish with parchment paper. Place the cheese round on the dish and top with preserves or your favorite honey. Lastly, top with fresh rosemary. Bake for about 10 minutes. Some cheese may bubble out and the preserves or honey will be nice and caramelized on top. Serve warm out of the oven with toasted baguette. So much of the flavor is in the bloomy rind, I encourage you to eat every last bit!

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Spring Has Sprung: Spring Cheeses and Rosé Wines

Spring Cheese and Rosé Wines
A selection of rosés at Houston Dairymaids

Now it might be a shock to some of you, but I'm fairly opinionated. And I like to share my opinions. Loudly. And until this year, I was not a fan of rosé wine. Probably because up until now, the only pink hued drink I'd had started with Boone's and ended with Farm.

Let me proclaim to the world just how wrong I was. I WAS SO VERY WRONG! Rosé wine might just be my new favorite drink. And I don't even care who thinks I'm a sissy for enjoying it. Because rosé is so crisp and fresh, with deep complexity ranging from floral to citrus notes. In short, it's just plain delicious. As the weather gets hotter, we all need something cool and refreshing, and not everyone can sip mint juleps on the veranda all day. If you can't spend the day recovering from a bourbon hangover, let rosé be your go-to drink this summer.

And as an added bonus? It goes great with cheese, especially spring cheeses. Try it with some chèvre or something light and nutty like parmesan.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Homemade Infused Butters for Mom

Infused Butters

As always, the Dairymaids got your back on Mother's Day. Every year, my mom insists that she already has everything she needs. And let's face it, mom does not want anything in the tchotchke department, unless she actually collects porcelain kitties. Come by the warehouse and see us - we have countless ideas, like fabulous Lucky Layla butter, that you can flavor by hand.

Infused or compound butters are so easy to make and the possibilities are endless. Little mason jars make for a lovely presentation and are easy to gift. Plus, they will melt mom's heart like... butter. (sorry)

Bourbon and Vanilla Bean Butter

1 cup Lucky Layla butter, at room temperature
1 vanilla pod, beans scraped out
2 tablespoons bourbon

Garlic and Herb Butter

1 cup Lucky Layla butter, at room temperature
2 garlic cloves, finely minced
1 tablespoon fresh rosemary, minced
1 tablespoon fresh dill, minced
1 lemon, zested

Chiriboga Blue Butter

1/2 cup Lucky Layla butter, at room temperature
4 oz Chiriboga Blue, at room temperature

Add ingredients to butter and whip to combine using a hand mixer. Transfer to an 8 ounce jar.

* Keep refrigerated for one month or frozen for 3 months

Friday, May 3, 2013

Holey Cow Cheese Puffs

Cheese Puffs

When I think "cheese puff" my mind goes to the quintessential road snack of choice; cheesy poofs. This recipe is kind of like Cheetos' classy French cousin, without all of the unwanted, neon orange residue.

Made with Central Coast Creamery's Holey Cow, these cheese puffs are pillowy and creamy when you bite into them. They are great to pass during cocktail hour and pair beautifully with oysters and an oaky Chardonnay. Like Cheetos, they are also fun to throw at your friends.

1 cup water
6 tablespoons Lucky Layla butter
1 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 cup all purpose flour, plus more for baking sheets
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
4 eggs
6 oz Holey Cow, or 1 cup grated
Fresh rosemary

Position 1 rack in top third and 1 rack in bottom third of oven and preheat to 425. Butter and flour 2 large baking sheets. Combine water, butter, a dash of paprika, salt, and pepper in a medium pot; bring to boil over medium-high heat. Add 1 cup flour and stir vigorously with wooden spoon until mixture forms a smooth ball and a film forms on the bottom of the pot, about 1 minute. Remove from heat. Beat in mustard and then eggs 1 at a time. Prepare yourself for an arm workout! Lastly, mix in grated cheese.

Drop batter by heaping teaspoonfuls onto prepared sheets, spacing about 1 1/2 inches apart; bake 15 - 17 minutes total. After about 10 minutes, reverse position of baking sheets and bake until puffs are golden brown, about 5 - 7 minutes longer. Garnish with fresh chopped rosemary and paprika, serve warm.

* Revised from Bon Appétit

Cows in Repose on Veldhuizen Family Farm. Dublin, TX