Labor Day Lineup – Day 3

If you’ve been following along the last couple days, you’ve now got some bite-sized apps on a stick as well as some super cheesy and spicy nachos. To wrap it all up, I thought I’d really take it home for you with a classic party food: pizza.

To keep things exciting, My friend Olivia and I decided to make two different types of pizza to share: a twist on the classic margarita pie and a smoky buffalo-esque cheese pie–both made with ingredients almost entirely from our Vineyard Market!

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These pizzas are:

  • Quick
  • Easy
  • Fun to make
  • Unique
  • Customizable
  • Packed with flavor

Let’s get started!

Cheesy Chipotle Pizza

What you’ll need:

  • 1 piece Il Forno Focaccia Bread
  • 1 jar Terrapin Ridge Spicy Chipotle Pepper Dip
  • about 1/3 lb. Lioni Fresh Mozzarella, shredded
  • Esti Feta Cubes in Brine

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How to do it:

  • Preheat oven to 400 F.
  • Place Focaccia bread on a nonstick oven-safe pan.
  • Spread a very generous layer of Terrapin Ridge Spicy Chipotle Pepper Dip over top the Focaccia bread.
  • Layer shredded Fresh Mozzarella on top, then crumble Feta cubes on top of that. Add more Feta for a more tangy bite.
  • Cook pizza in the oven for 10-12 minutes, until the crust is browned and cheese is melted and bubbly.
  • Let cool and serve with additional Terrapin Ridge Dip on the side.

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Parm-erita Pizza

  • 1 piece Il Forno Focaccia Bread
  • 1/2 jar Rao’s Marinara Sauce
  • about 1/4 lb. Lioni Fresh Mozzarella, shredded
  • 1/2 container Crema al Parmigiano Reggiano
  • fresh basil

Image-1 (11)How to do it:

  • Preheat oven to 400 F.
  • Place Focaccia bread on a nonstick oven-safe pan.
  • Spread Rao’s Marinara Sauce over top Focaccia bread.
  • Sparsely scatter shredded Mozzarella over the pizza.
  • With a small spoon, scoop dollops of Crema al Parmigiano Reggiano over the Mozzarella.
  • Add fresh basil on top, as much as desired to taste.
  • Cook pizza in the oven for 10-12 minutes, until the crust is browned and cheese is melted and bubbly.
  • Let cool and serve immediately.

Labor Day Lineup – Day 2

All right, guys. If you thought yesterday’s little recipe was a hit, just wait till you give this one a shot. I figured the first day, I’d give you an easy-to-whip-up no-bake finger food. Today, we’re kicking it up a notch with some nachos! And not just any nachos–spicy, layered nachos.

We’re turning up the heat here with a touch of some Ghost Pepper Colby Jack atop a mountain of rich, cheesy Monterey Jack on each layer of chips. Then we’re topping it all off with a drizzle of black bean & corn salsa. Trust me when I tell you that these nachos lasted only a few minutes among me, my brother, and my mom.

Fiery Southwest Cheese Nachos

What you’ll need:

  • 1 bag Green Mountain Gringo Tortilla Chips
  • 1 large piece Monterey Jack, about 1 lb.
  • about 1/2 piece Kindred Ghost Pepper Colby Jack, more or less to taste
  • 1 jar Desert Pepper Black Bean & Corn Salsa

How to do it:

  • Preheat oven to 350 F.
  • Shred all Monterey Jack, and separately shred about 1/3 to 1/2 of the Kindred Ghost Pepper Colby Jack depending how spicy you want your nachos.
  • On an oven-safe pan, spread out a thin layer of tortilla chips.
  • Generously coat with shredded Monterey Jack and then just sprinkle some of the shredded Ghost Pepper cheese over top.
  • Add another layer of tortilla chips and layer more cheese.
  • Continue until you’ve used up all the chips, about 3 to 4 layers.
  • Bake on the bottom rack of oven for 7 to 10 minutes, until the cheese is golden and melted.
  • When ready, take nachos out of the oven and generously scoop some of the Desert Pepper Salsa over top.
  • Serve with additional salsa on the side.

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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.

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App-on-a-Stick

What you’ll need:

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

 

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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!

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August Cheese of the Month – Smoked Bourbon Gouda

As far as liquor is concerned, I tend to stick towards more of the lighter stuff: vodka, gin, light rum… The dark stuff has just never sat well with me (yeah, whiskey, I’m looking at you). But somehow, someway, my boyfriend has convinced my tummy to accept a golden-colored friend: bourbon.

Bourbon and I got off to a bit of a rocky start, but now we very much enjoy each other’s company. Even more so alongside the right snacks; enter salted nuts and our new Cheese of the Month.

Image result for red apple bourbon goudaThis month’s featured cheese comes to us from Red Apple Cheese, a company well-known for their variety of apple smoked cheeses–you may have seen their Apple Smoked Gouda or Apple Smoked Cheddar floating around our stores. This new unique cheese is gently hickory-smoked, for just the right amount of smokiness, and infused with bourbon. Although semi-firm in texture, each bite has a super creamy mouthfeel and tastes of a mild smoked Gouda at the start but finishes with a punch of rich bourbon flavor.

Try this cheese melted on a burger or panini with caramelized onions, in drunken mac and cheese, as a fun addition to fondue, on top of tomato bisque, or in a dip for some freshly made pretzels. For all my bourbon-lovers out there, just cube this baby up next to a glass of your favorite bourbon and enjoy!

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It’s gettin’ hot out here – Spicy Cheeses

It’s been a hot couple of weeks here in North Jersey. Hot and humid. But what’s summer without a little heat?–both in temperature and in spice!

And with that thought I decided to share with you guys some oldies and some newbies to the spicy cheese family at the Vineyard Market. Spicy foods seem to be a recurring theme this year, and cheese has been no exception–and if you know me well, you know I love spicy. In my opinion, everything tastes better with a little hot sauce, right?

SO. Without further ado, let’s hop right into it.

Image-1 (5)Sartori Chipotle – First up on the list is the mildest in spice. From a company I’m a very big fan of, Sartori has done it again, taking their original BellaVitano cheese and rubbing it down and infusing it with chipotle peppers and spices. For me this cheese is very low on the heat scale but very high in flavor; it’s rich with robust warm smoky flavors throughout. A lovely change of pace and a great choice for summer BBQs.

Fromager D’Affinois with Chili – Next up we have another creamery I’m a big fan of. Fromager D’Affinois produces some of my favorite creamy cheeses out there, and this Chili Pepper version has certainly made it on my list of favorites. With the same classic rich creaminess of the original Fromager D’Affinois, the addition of peppers adds so much more flavor. The paste is a soft muted red hue and is filled with a red bell pepper flavor with a slight bit of mild spiciness at the end. Seriously delicious.

Image-1 (1)Chevoo Chili & Lemon – Chevoo is a newer brand that specializes in producing marinated goat cheeses (Meredith Dairy Marinated Feta anyone?). My current favorite flavor, of course, is their Chili & Lemon: goat cheese is blended with chili peppers, formed into cubes, and then marinated in lemon-infused olive oil. Each bite has a surprisingly refreshing taste at first, and the spiciness creeps up a bit on the back note. My favorite on some crusty French bread.

Image-1 (4)Kindred Sweet Fire Mango Jack – You might remember Kindred Creamery from last week’s post with our new Cheese of the Month. While that cheese was not spicy, Kindred also makes a variety of spicy delights, including their Sweet Fire Mango Jack. Certainly a unique cheese, this Jack is a combination sweet mangos and spicy ghost peppers in just the right way. I know ghost peppers sound scary but this cheese makes them quite approachable with the help of the refreshing bits of mango in every bite. If you’re feeling adventurous, this cheese is definitely worth the try.

Image-1 (2)Yancey’s Fancy Buffalo Wing – An oldie but a goodie, this cheese by Yancey is definitely at the higher end of the spice scale. With a cheddar cheese base, this cheese gets its heat from a combination of habanero, jalapeno, and cayenne peppers. With a super creamy mouthfeel and a punch of flavor, this cheese is incredible to nibble on by itself as well as melted on top of, well, everything. It’s truly a classic spicy option for me.

Image-1 (3)Kindred Ghost Pepper Colby Jack – And at the end of the list we have the spiciest of them all. Another hit from Kindred Creamery, this Ghost Pepper Colby Jack is not for the faint of heart. I’m a spicy-lover myself, so I need you to believe me when I tell you it is very spicy. The Colby Jack base is firm yet slightly creamy, and the addition of Ghost Peppers adds a nice flavor, accompanied by a lot of heat. Like if we were rating these cheeses on a scale of 1 to 5 peppers, this would be a 5. A great choice for my chili-heads out there.

And that wraps it up! What’s your favorite spicy cheese?

July Cheese of the Month – Forage Mushroom & Scallion Jack

Helloooooooo, everybody! How are we all doing on this gloomy, rainy day?

Well, I’m about to make everything better–with a new cheese!

This month’s Cheese of the Month takes us in a direction that I’m pretty hit-and-miss on: cheese with stuff in it. What I mean by that is any cheeses that have things added to them, besides cheese–for example Havarti with Dill or Stilton with Cranberries. Oftentimes, I’m a purist. I like to taste my cheese just on its own without any stuff in it; however, there are some exceptions such as Pepper Jack–and this new Cheese of the Month: Forage Mushroom & Scallion Jack!

Coming from Kindred Creamery in Wisconsin, each cheese produced is of the best quality. The Creamery practices sustainable production and implements a “Cows First” methodology; cows are treated like family and given no growth hormones, ensuring the highest quality milk and therefore the highest quality cheese. Our new Cheese of the Month is no exception.

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A Jack base, this Forage Mushroom & Scallion cheese begins its journey as a mild and creamy delight. Once the mushrooms and scallion are added, however, the cheese becomes full of yummy flavor. I’ll admit I was pretty skeptical when we first received this cheese. I mean, I’m not much of a mushroom fan myself so…

BUT. One bite off a piece of this cheese and I was in love. The flavor is bold but not overpowering. It’s semi-firm and has a creamy texture. The first taste is definitely onion, thanks to the scallions in it, but it’s quickly rounded out by the rich earthiness of the mushrooms–I swear, it just works. This is seriously a match made in heaven. There are so many ways to enjoy it too:

  • Serve on a cheese platter
  • Melt into a panini with caramelized onions or sauteed mushrooms
  • Grate into hot mashed potatoes
  • Add to quiche
  • Melt onto burgers or portobello mushrooms on the grill
  • Mix into fondue for a zesty bite

Get creative! Go crazy! The list is endless. AND to make things even better, we’ve got this cheese available in Bottle King Vineyard Markets for an incredible price of just $3.99. Stop by your local Vineyard Market this weekend for a taste & grab yourself a piece!

A Dutch Masterpiece is back

For those of you that have been following this blog for a while, you may already know that I have a special place in my heart for Aged Gouda.

Do not be fooled by the word “Gouda” in the phrase–Aged Goudas are a totally different class of cheese compared to their much younger counterpart. I can even remember a couple of customers that swore to me they hated Gouda and then quickly changed their minds after trying the Aged Gouda I was sampling. As with most aged cheeses, Aged Goudas become harder in texture, stronger in flavor, and develop some little crunchy bits throughout.

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And again, if you’ve been following me long enough, you might be familiar with one of my favorite Aged Goudas: Rembrandt–and I’m excited to tell you that it’s back in full swing, baby!

For those of you unfamiliar to Rembrandt, let me introduce you to him. He’s the cool guy at the party; he’s a smooth talker with a bold yet unoffensive personality. He may potentially be a bit older than the rest of the crowd, but he gets along with just about everyone–this cheese is a real crowd-pleaser.

Now if I just confused you with my crazy analogy, let me give it back to you in cheese terms. Rembrandt is an extra-aged Gouda, aged for over one year to develop a gorgeous light orange tinge. Even with this aging, however, this cheese is rich a creamy with a few crunchy tyrosine bits throughout. Its flavor is bold, yet incredibly approachable, with subtly sweet and caramel-y notes.

Every year, Bottle King usually partners with Rembrandt’s company, Jana Foods, to do a promotion and bring you all a fantastic-tasting cheese at an unbelievable price. I’m here to tell you that it’s that time of year again, and this time we’ve got a special contest and prize to offer, complimentary of Jana Foods! It’s easy to enter, and the prize is a stunning gift picnic basket, filled with wine, glasses, a Bottle King gift card, cheese, and other snacks. Check out the details below, and be sure to pick up some Rembrandt at your local Bottle King Vineyard Market so you can participate–and devour it!

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How to Enter:

  1. Bring home a wedge of our delicious Rembrandt Extra Aged Gouda.
  2. Take a picture of yourself enjoying our cheese–get creative!
  3. Post your photo to the Jana Foods Facebook with a fun caption–make sure to tag @bottlekingnj in your post*
  4. We’ll choose our favorite post and deliver the grand prize to the winner’s local Bottle King!**

More Details:

  • Contest will run 06/30/17 until 07/30/17
  • One (1) grand prize winner will be notified via Facebook chat by 08/06/17

* limit one post per person

** must be 21 or older to enter and claim

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