Events, Food recipes, Gourmet Food, Recipes, Uncategorized

Super Bowl Lineup – Sweet & Savory Crostini

And we’re back for round two! You didn’t think I’d leave you hanging with just one recipe now did you?

Today I’m back with another fantastic snack for your Super Bowl party. Another easy-to-whip-up, minimal ingredients, short-amount-of-time kinda food. Today, I give you: Sweet & Savory Crostini.

We start out by slicing a baguette into about 3/4 inch pieces and then drizzling with our favorite olive oil (this is also a fantastic way to utilize that hardened leftover bread you’ve got laying around!). Then we took a nice chunk of Ricotta Salata and layering that on top. To really spice things up, we used Rao’s Roasted Red Peppers–these babies are marinated in olive oil and mixed with golden raisins and pine nuts.

Lay one of those bad boys on top of your ricotta salata and top it all off with a golden raisin and pine nut or two, pop it in the toaster oven, and you’ve got yourself a touchdown!


Sweet & Savory Crostini

What you’ll need:

  • 1 Il Forno Baguette
  • 1 jar Rao’s Roasted Red Peppers
  • about 1/2 lb. Ricotta Salata, sliced into 1/4 inch slices
  • Izaro Olive Oil
  • optional: Creminelli Sliced Prosciutto

How to do it:

  • Slice baguette into even slices, about 3/4 inch thick.
  • Drizzle slices generously with Izaro Olive Oil and line them on a baking sheet.
  • Lay a slice of Ricotta Salata on each slice of coated bread, followed by a roasted pepper and a couple raisins and pine nuts.
  • Toast in toaster oven (or conventional oven on 350) for about 5 – 10 minutes, just until the bread is toasted and crispy.
    * Note that the Ricotta Salata is not intended to melt.
  • Optional: Top wih a thin slice of prosciutto.
  • Serve immediately.
Events, Food recipes, Gourmet Food, Recipes, Uncategorized

Super Bowl Lineup – Amber’s Antipasto Bites

Anddddddddddddd we’re back with another Super Bowl Lineup! It’s that time of year again where we get to watch two teams face off in the ultimate showdown in the NFL–and eat a whole ton of food while we do it, of course!

As usual, let’s start off with something quick and easy. First up is a nice bite-sized appetizer that’s simple to put together, requires no cooking time, but tastes delicious. My coworkers here can certainly attest to that last part–they ate all the bites as soon as I finished taking pictures of them!


I give you a spin on a classic. I started out envisioning the traditional mozzarella wrapped in prosciutto, but we amp up the flavors by using marinated mozzarella balls that have been infused with a variety of herbs.

Then we kick it up another notch by also throwing in one of my favorite secret ingredients: Peppadew peppers. So many people still don’t know about these little beauties; they’re little mildly spicy piquanté peppers that almost resemble cherry peppers, but man are these things packed with flavor. Wrap it all together in a thin slice of prosciutto and stick in a toothpick in it and you’ve got some simple and tasty finger food for the game!

Amber’s Antipasto Bites

What you’ll need:

  • 1 package Creminelli Prosciutto
  • 1 jar Peppadew Peppers, halved
  • 1 container Formaggio Marinated Mozzarella Balls
  • toothpicks

How to do it:

  • Slice prosciutto into pieces about 1 inch wide and 3 inches long–large enough for you to wrap it around the mozz and peppers.
  • Begin assembling your “bites” by placing 1 mozzarella ball in the center of a piece of prosciutto.
  • Top mozzarella with a slice of Peppadew pepper.
  • Fold prosciutto around the mozzarella and pepper & stick a toothpick through the center to secure it.
  • Repeat until you have the desired number of antipasto bites.blog1
Food recipes, Recipes, Uncategorized

Pumpkin Spice Mac & Cheese


Now I know you’ve read the title of this post, and you’re thinking, “Amber, come on now, you can’t put pumpkin spice into macaroni and cheese.” And I’m here to tell you that, yes you absolutely can!–and it’s delicious. This is for all my pumpkin lovers out there, as well as my sweet and savory fans; think butternut squash soup and sweet potato fries.

This recipe I’m about to share blends some sweet but hearty butternut squash with some rich and robust Beemster XO as well as their Pumpkin Spice Gouda. The end result is a cheesy and luxuriously creamy and complex macaroni and cheese that you won’t soon forget.

Beemster Pumpkin Spice Mac-n-Cheese

What you’ll need:

  • 3 cups Beemster Pumpkin Spice, shredded and divided 2cup/1cup
  • 1 cup Beemster XO, grated
  • 1 large butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 16 oz pasta (I like shells or fusilli so it traps some of the cheese inside!)
  • 3 tbsp butter
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 3 cups whole milk
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • Optional: roughly chopped flat leaf parsley, to garnish

Beemster Pumpkin Spice & X-O Mac-n-Cheese

How to do it:

  • Preheat the oven to 400F.
  • Toss butternut squash with olive oil, season with salt & pepper. Roast for 20 minutes or until squash is tender. Puree half the squash.
  • Meanwhile, cook pasta according to package directions & drain.
  • Melt the butter in a large heavy-bottom pot over medium heat. Add the flour and whisk for one minute. Pour in the milk, continue whisking until sauce is thick & coats the back of a spoon, about 5-6 minutes.
  • Remove the sauce from heat, whisk in 2 cups Beemster Pumpkin Spice, Beemster XO, mustard, and squash puree. Stir until cheese is melted.
  • Preheat broiler. Add the pasta and remaining butternut squash cubes, toss to coat. Pour into a greased baking dish, top with remaining 1 cup Beemster Pumpkin Spice.
  • Place pasta under broiler & broil until top is golden brown and the cheese is bubbly, about 5-7 minutes.
  • Garnish with parsley and serve immediately.


  • Original recipe from here.
Cheese, Food recipes, Gourmet Food, Recipes, Uncategorized

Labor Day Lineup – Day 1

Anyone else a little bit shook that Labor Day is just around the corner? I mean really, when I was growing up I remember summer feeling so much longer and now it just seems to fly by! Goodbye hot summer nights, hello cool autumn days–but before all that, we’ve got a holiday to get through! And I’ve got just the right snacks to share with you if you’re entertaining this weekend. Join me over the next couple days for some easy, cheese-inspired creations that will make everyone’s mouth water.

First up is a super simple and incredibly customizable appetizer/snack. Basically a sweet and savory taste in each bite, spiced up with some mild and delicious Peppedew peppers. Feel free to swap out the Gouda for your favorite Cheddar or Jack, or the Sopressata for your favorite Pepperoni or Sausage.

Image-1 (4)


What you’ll need:

  • 1 jar Peppadew Peppers
  • about 1 lb. Red Wax Gouda
  • 1 chub Daniele Sopressata
  • toothpicks


Image-1 (1)

How to do it:

  • Pat off Peppadew Peppers on paper towel.
  • Cut Gouda into 1/2 inch cubes.
  • Slice Sopressata into about 1/2 inch thick chunks, then quarter them.
  • Begin assembling: a piece each Gouda, Peppadew, Sopressata on each toothpick.

Have you made this snack at home? Show us a picture of your creation in the comments section!

Image-1 (3)

Cheese, Food recipes, Gourmet Food, Recipes, Uncategorized

The Blues are back in town!

Anyone remember when we did that big feature on Roquefort blue cheese a while back? If not, I can certainly refresh your memory! Roquefort was our cheese of the month some November ago.

The biggest, baddest blue in our arsenal, Roquefort is a classic French cheese made from raw sheep’s milk and has been made using the same traditions for hundreds of years. With a big, rich mouthfeel and an intensely complex blue flavor, this cheese is surely one for my blue-lovers.

Don’t let its pungency scare you away, though, as this cheese is also quite versatile. While its heartiness might be presumed to be enjoyed mostly during the cold months, there are quite a few ways to enjoy you some Roquefort during the warmer months as well.

  • Slathered on a cracker with Flo’s Grows Raw Honey
  • Mixed with some Cheddar and pulled chicken to make a Buffalo Chicken Dip
  • To make a refreshing snack: Little Blue Bites
  • As the blue cheese component in blue cheese dressing
  • Mixed with cream cheese for dunking raw vegetables

And my favorite way: on pizza!! & what a better time for pizza than now, when the weather is just right to grill it outside.

Now you may have realized at this point that my friend Karen has been sending me quite the blog-spiration lately–and she’s still going! Check out the latest mouthwatering recipe she sent my way!

Maple Bacon Roquefort Pizza

Roquefort Blue Bacon Pizza.png

What you’ll need:

  • Store-bought or homemade pizza dough
    • Pro tip: ask your favorite local pizzeria to buy some of their pizza dough! 
  • 2 small apples, peeled, cored and very thinly sliced
  • ⅓ cup real maple syrup
  • 12 ounces shredded Italian blend cheese
    • make it yourself with equal parts Mozzarella, Provolone, & Parm
  • 4 slices cooked bacon, chopped
  • ¼  cup roasted garlic cloves, cut into small pieces
  • 3 ounces crumbled Roquefort

How to do it

  1. Preheat oven to 475 degrees.
  2. Place the sliced apples in a small bowl and pour the maple syrup on the sliced apples and set aside.
  3. Line baking sheet with foil and sprinkle with corn meal or spray with cooking spray. Divide the pizza dough ball into 4 sections, reserving half of the dough for another use. Stretch the dough and place on baking sheet, working the dough into a rectangle. If the dough springs back, let it rest for a few minutes then continue to spread it into the corners of the baking sheet.
  4. Layer each of your pizzas with half of the shredded Italian cheese, then top with slices of apple, the bacon, the garlic cloves and finally the chunks of Roquefort.
  5. Bake for 8-10 minutes or until the cheese is melted and the crust is golden. Drizzle with additional maple syrup, cut and serve immediately.
Food recipes, Gourmet Food, Recipes, Uncategorized

Terrapin Ridge Focaccia Pizza

Have I ever mentioned that I have a big family?

Big as in, mom & dad, 6 kids, 2 brother-in-laws, and another 4 boyfriends/girlfriends. So you can imagine the craziness it is when we all manage to get together.

Like today! Today is actually one of my sisters’ birthdays, and tonight we’re planning on surprising her by getting the whole family together at her house while my brother-in-law distracts her. Hopefully she doesn’t read this blog…

Anyways. I’ve learned over the years that it can be very hard to make enough food for
everyone when there are so many of us. And I’ve also learned that pizza is always a fantastic go-to IMG_8858option.

It’s easy to make, you can easily customize it, & it can generally feed a lot of people.

SO I was very excited when I got an email a couple of weeks ago from our Vineyard Market lead in Morris Plains, Karen, giving me a recipe for some amazing-looking pizza.


So folks, if you want to find out how you can serve up this mouthwatering pizza, then just keep on reading below!

What you’ll need:

  • Terrapin Ridge Farms Creamy Chipotle Pepper dip
  • About  ½ of a 4 oz. Montchevre plain goat cheese log, crumbled
  • About ½ cup Manchego cheese shredded
  • Il Forno Focaccia bread
  • About  ¾ cup Shredded Rotisserie chicken
  • 1 small onion, sliced and caramelized
  • Olive oil

Karen Pizza

How to do it:

  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  • Place Focaccia on a sheet pan.
  • Dollop small amounts of goat cheese all around the focaccia bread.
  • Evenly drizzle Chipotle pepper dip over bread and goat cheese.
  • Sprinkle chicken over bread then top with shredded Manchego cheese.
  • Dollop a little more chipotle dip for good measure and drizzle entire pizza with olive oil.
  • Place sheet pan in oven and bake for 10-12 minutes or until golden and bubbly.
  • Ingredient amounts are very forgiving and easily interchangeable with other things. Make what you like!
    • Use pulled pork instead of chicken.
    • Add cooked bacon or pancetta.
    • Brisket would be great with sautéed mushrooms instead of onions


Cheese, Food recipes, Gourmet Food, Recipes, Uncategorized

Snowed-in Snackage

Did anyone else not really believe the weatherman when he said we were going to be snowed in yesterday morning? I mean really, they’re only right about 40% of the time…

So anyway, as you can imagine, I wasn’t exactly ready for the plethora of fluffy, white snowfall that I woke up to. Whilst everyone else’s fridges were packed to the brim with milk and bread, mine was seriously lacking.

But I’ll tell you what was in my fridge: cheese.


And so, this has inspired me to create this lovely little post for you on (drumroll please….) cheese fondue.

Now, let me start by saying that in my opinion, cheese fondue is one of the most highly overlooked foods. It’s such a simple concept: just melt some cheese! But I’ve certainly found myself trying to figure out the right basic ingredients to make the perfect fondue.

In the past when I’ve tried looking into this topic, I’ve always just found various recipes for different fondues, and most of them required an exorbitant number of ingredients–not what I was looking for.

But alas! I’ve finally found the secret to the perfect cheese fondue, thanks to the site Serious Eats. Basically your fondue requires 5(ish) ingredients:

  • Wine
  • Cheese
  • Cornstarch
  • Lemon Juice
  • Salt & Pepper

I know, that’s technically 6 ingredients, but salt and pepper is really like one thing anyway.

Now, I could already tell you off the bat that a great fondue starts with a great melting cheese; my go-to favorite is the classic Gruyere. I also know that a light white wine is ideal; however, last time I made fondue I ran into some issues because I think that
A. I used too much wine and
B. my cheese and wine would not combine together, so I ended up with this weird wine-soaked cheesy blob (gross).

SO. What I’ve learned from reading is the following:

  • Keep it simple; pick 1 or 2 cheeses and make sure one of them is super melt-able
  • Use about 1 cup of wine for every 1 pound of cheese
  • Heat your wine/cheese on a very low heat setting or flame
  • Shred the cheese and then toss it with some cornstarch before trying to melt it into the wine, otherwise it probably will not incorporate nicely (and you’ll end up with a weird wine-soaked cheesy blob)
  • Use lemon juice for some added acidity & also to help stabilize your cheese fondue
    • Being “stable” means that your cheese mixture will remain smooth and mixed together. When cheese sauces are heated too much or don’t have enough of certain ingredients to help stabilize them, they “break”, meaning that the cheese solids separate from the liquids and the sauce becomes clumpy.
  • Salt and pepper are very basic but key ingredients in enhancing the flavors in your fondue

All right, so now that we have some basic tips, let’s get into a quick and easy recipe that you can make with items from our Vineyard Market the next time you’re snowed in!

Super Simple Cheese Fondue

Too many cheese fondue recipes are super complicated and ask you to throw in too many ingredients (for my preference). This recipe is nice and easy and only requires 5 ingredients (give or take). Remember, we’re cooking here, so everything doesn’t have to be perfectly exact. If you wanna throw in a couple of tablespoons of grated Parmesan, do it. If you have some chives on hand that you want to add in, by all means. Experiment a little bit and have fun with it!

What you’ll need:

  • about 8oz. Gruyere, shredded
  • about 8oz. French Emmental, shredded
  • 1 cup Santa Silvana Pinot Grigio (or any dry, white wine)
  • 1 tbsp. cornstarch
  • 1 medium-sized lemon, juiced
  • salt & pepper
  • optional: 1 fresh garlic clove, halved
  • Your choice of dippables:
    • cubes of bread, chunks of fresh apple, baby carrots or broccoli

How to do it:

  • Pro-tip from Serious Eats: use the halved garlic clove to rub down the inside of your fondue pot before you start heating the wine to impart a nice garlicky flavor.
  • Put wine in your fondue pot (or over a very low flame or double-boiler) and begin heating it up.
  • Combine your shredded cheeses in a bowl and toss with cornstarch.
  • Little by little, begin adding the cheese mixture to your wine, stirring carefully with each addition to make sure it’s fully incorporating.
  • Once you’ve added and mixed in all the cheese and your fondue is smooth, add and mix in the lemon juice.
  • Next add salt and pepper to taste.
  • Bon appetit!