Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Barely Buzzed Steel Cut Oatmeal

I've been really into coffee lately.
Perhaps it is due to my new unemployed routine: leisurely mornings, sitting alone in my living room with a freshly-made cup of the good stuff.
Maybe it's because of a secret Common Motor Collective project that has me going to "cupping tastings" and trying blends from all over the globe.

And I've been really into oatmeal lately.
Perhaps it is due to my new unemployed routine: frugal AF, using whatever I have in my cupboards.
Maybe it's because it's filling and it's delicious on these nippy mornings. And I'm not going to apologize for having two oatmeal recipes in a row.

This oatmeal features Barely Buzzed, a cheddar from the Beehive Cheese Company that has a rind of espresso and lavender. I've featured Barely Buzzed several times before on this blog, but this is the first time I'm cooking with it.

Thus, a new cheese oatmeal recipe was born!

Coffee Steel Cut Oatmeal 

By , January 5, 2016

Coffee steel cut oatmeal

Wake up with a coffee steel cut oatmeal, featuring Beehive Cheese's Barely Buzzed Cheddar.
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 35 minutes
Yield: 1 serving

 - 1/4 cup of steel-cut oatmeal
 - 1 1/2 cup of milk
 - 2 eggs
 - 2 tbsp of shredded Barely Buzzed Cheddar (or other espresso-rubbed cheese)
 - garnish: I used what I had on hand which was chopped walnuts, dried currants, coffee beans and a drizzle of honey (if you have chocolate covered coffee beans, use those!)
 - a sprinkle of leftover coffee dust from your coffee grinder

Instructions: Bring milk to a boil in a small pot. Stir in oats, reduce heat to low. Simmer uncovered over low heat, stirring occasionally, for 25-30 minutes or until oats are of desired texture. While oats are cooking, shred cheese. When oats are 5-10 minutes from ready, poach eggs in separate pot. Transfer oatmeal to bowl, stir in cheese. Place remaining garnish, including poached eggs on top of the oatmeal. Enjoy!

Saturday, January 2, 2016

Savory Steel-cut Chällerhocker Oatmeal

"Do you want a bagel?"
"Yes and no."
"Yes, because bagels are delicious. And no?"
"No, because carbs and money."

It's a new year and I want to start off on the most conscientious and ubiquitous of resolute feet: being frugal and eating healthy.

So after my boyfriend left to grab his bagel and go to work, I made a breakfast with foods I had on hand: savory steel-cut oatmeal. I mixed in Chällerhocker cheese, one of my favorite Alpine cheeses. It is from Switzerland and is rubbed with wine and spices as it ages, resulting in a deep nuttiness but nuanced herbal flavors. It is also my favorite cheese with an umlaut and I found out at the American Cheese Society that is transported by Subaru. Win, win, win. It is also the cheese that I left out for Santa in 2012.

Savory Steel-cut Oatmeal with Kale, Radishes, Swiss Cheese & a Poached Egg 

By , January 2, 2016

Eat a savory oatmeal breakfast, complete with veggies and an egg.
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 35 minutes
Yield: 1 serving

 - 1/4 cup of steel-cut oatmeal
 - 1 1/2 cup of milk
 - 1 egg
 - 2 tbsp of shredded Chällerhocker or other melty, Alpine-style cheese
 - 1 kale leaf, cut in shreds
 - 1 radish, sliced
 - diced green onion, to taste
 - 1 tsp of salt
 - sprinkle of ground pepper
 - dash of olive oil

 Instructions: Bring milk to a boil in a small pot. Stir in oats, reduce heat to low. Simmer uncovered over low heat, stirring occasionally, for 25-30 minutes or until oats are of desired texture. While oats are cooking, shred cheese, cut kale, radish and green onion. When oats are 5-10 minutes from ready, poach egg in separate pot. Transfer oatmeal to bowl, stir in salt and cheese. Place remaining garnish, including poached egg on top of the oatmeal. Enjoy!

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Visiting The Marfa Maid Dairy

I make it a point to visit cheese farms and/or cheese shops in every town I vacation (I call it a "cheesecation"), and my trip to Marfa, TX was to be no different. It happened very serendipitously, as many things in my life as of late - I was staying at the Adobe Chi in Marfa through AirBnB (so awesome, stay there) and introduced myself to the owner as an internet marketer and cheesemonger. The owner told me about her friend, Malinda Beeman, the owner of the Marfa Maid Dairy and gave me her contact information to write about a visit. The farm doesn't regularly allow visitors, but Malinda knew of the Houston Dairymaids and invited me for cheese and wine. How nice! My boyfriend Brenden and I came by one afternoon in the middle of the week.

Malinda's farm has an incredible story. She was an art professor in Houston who moved out to Marfa and founded the Marfa Studio of Arts, which whoa, is quite the accomplishment in itself. But she didn't stop there - she decided to start a goat farm. A goat farm IN THE DESERT, with help from Kickstarter. She started it with her partner Allan McClane, whose grandfather had a dairy in Cape Cod. It's such a great story and they are so full of character that they've been filmed for a documentary, Simple As That.

I first encountered her cheese in The Get Go, Marfa's tiny version of a Whole Foods. It was light chevre which came in many different versions. I ate an entire cup in a day!

But on the farm, Malinda had alpacas (or llamas, I wasn't quite sure), a bunch of kitties and a small goat herd. It was April, so the kids were in abundance and we made friends with an adorable brindle named Aurora and the mischievous Quattro, who untied both of my shoelaces. Brenden had never been on a goat farm, which made it even more special when Aurora chewed on his jeans.

Quattro doing what he does best to Malinda

Beautiful Aurora

We had a small tour of the milking room and the kitchen, where Malinda discussed with me the style of cheeses she makes and the specifics of the pasteurization process. She put out a fantastic spread of cheeses, plain, jalapeno and sun-dried tomato chevre and plain and garlic and basil feta. Wowza! I was particularly impressed by the feta - so clean tasting. Because they live in the desert and can't pasture, Allan and Malinda feed their goats locally-made alfalfa. Allan is starting to grow his own oats.

When Allan came in, things became significantly more serendipitous. Allan, who is of French Canadian ancestry and from New England (like me), is a motorcycle fanatic (like Brenden). We explained the Brenden ran the Common Motor Collective and dealt with all kinds of motorcycles. Allan and Brenden went off to the giant warehouse full of motorcycles to geek out and Malinda and I stayed back, chatting and drinking more wine. Brenden said that Allan knew way more about motorcycles than him, which I know is rare. It all felt very much like kismet that we shared similar passions. It was magical and lovely, much like everything in Marfa.

Left to Right: Nicole, Allan and Malinda

Allan and Malinda are currently looking for an intern to stay on their farm and help out. Contact them if you're interested or would like to attend one of Malinda's cheese making classes. You can only get Marfa Maid cheese in the Big Bend region, so be sure to do so if you're ever taking a cheesecation of your own.

Much thanks for Allan and Malinda for inviting me to their farm! I adore them.

Monday, July 29, 2013

The Queso Queen Goes to Madison - ACS 2013

Big fat news in Queso Queen land.

On May 15th, which happened to me my second anniversary at the Houston Dairymaids, my cheese boss Lindsey, invited me to join her at the American Cheese Society conference. This year, it's being held in Madison, Wisconsin.

Y'all. This is a dream come true.
I'll arrive late Tuesday night in the motherland, the state of Wisconsin (neither Lindsey or I have been!).
Wednesday, we'll be going on a farm tour.

  1. Roelli Cheese 15982 Wisconsin 11, Shullsburg, WI 535861
  2. Hook’s Cheese  320 Commerce St, Mineral Point, WI 53565
  3. Bleu Mont Dairy 3480 County F, Blue Mounds, Wi 53517
  4. Grumpy Troll  105 South 2nd St, Mt Horeb, WI 53572
After the tour we are going to a Daphne Zepos fundraiser happy hour at Underground Food Collective

Thursday my morning session is about flavors of raw milk cheeses and my afternoon session is about Wisconsin beer and cheese pairings. That evening, I've reserved a spot at Madame Fromage's 7 course cheese dinner and book signing at Osteria Papavero. Whoa. 

Friday I have an afternoon cheese course on CURDS and Saturday I have a chocolate and cheese pairing course. 

All of my favorite things in four days.

Of course, I'll be tweeting, instagramming and foursquaring the whole way. (Be sure to follow the dairymaids on twitter and instagram as well, as I'll be pulling double duty). 

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Coach Farms Giveaway

I was chosen by culture: the word on cheese to write about the first raw milk cheese from Coach Farms in their "My name is..." contest. I had previously tried Coach Farms' (pasteurized) goat cheese during my 31 days of American Cheese Month while I was at Otto Pizzeria in Las Vegas.

I was sent a hefty wedge of the unnamed raw milk goat cheese and you can read my description and experience with it. I also recommend a name, Rawfully Wedded Cheese. Feel free to use that name, your own, or any of the names suggested in the "My name is..." series.

Now the good part: They also gave me a Coach Farms bag with samples: a triple creme, 4oz a sample of pasteurized goat cheese and the raw milk cheese! Here it is in the background behind that beautiful cheese! (uh hi, disclaimer, that's what I was provided for hosting this giveaway).

To win this Coach bag - it is super simple. Like the Queso Queen on Facebook and write on my wall the name you submitted in Culture's contest. If you already like my page, just write your cheese name on the wall. I really, really think "cake" should be in the name - but you can put whatever you'd like. I'll be contacting the winner via Facebook on Sunday. If these cheese samples stay in my fridge any longer, I'm going to eat them.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Cheese at Google

Y'all, I went to Google. I'm an internet marketer and just a little obsessed with the search engine, company, culture, you name it.

We went to Charlie's - a large cafeteria at the Googleplex and I picked out the cheesiest things I could find.

It's a bit hard to read (I was trying not to be the obvious non-Googler) but that is Point Reyes Blue Cheese dressing at the salad bar
Cheese pizza sprinkled with great parmesan and a pizza with oyster mushrooms and spinach.

Herbed chevre, blackberries, raspberries, blueberries and Polish rye.
Mascarpone Pie (it was Pi Day after all).
Our Google representative told me that the San Francisco office had a full cheese board every day. Google cheesemonger? DREAM JOB!

Baby Shower Cheese Board - Pregnant Friendly Cheeses

The Queso Queen is going to be an Auntie, y'all. My sister-in-law Jenny has done got knocked up and we had a little shower for her and my future niece or nephew. I selected some cheeses made from pasteurized milk for the occasion. On my plate:

  • Cabot Clothbound Cheddar from the Cellars at Jasper Hill (a favorite of Jenny's)
  • Smoked Habanero Cheddar from the Beehive Cheese Company
  • SarVecchio Parmesan crumbles from Sartori
  • an ever popular fig almond cake
  • Grapes and Potter's Crackers
Baby Shower Cheese Board

No cheese was left!