Sweet desserts are a rarity at our home. I find that sweets eaten after dinner just wind my kids up, making bedtime difficult. Instead, our after dinner treat is a more European style dessert of cheese! The protein and calcium present in nutritious cheese encourages a restful sleep.
When selecting your cheeses, think about what would be fun to taste side by side. One idea is to take Full Circle Creamery Raw Mild Cheddar, Medium Cheddar, and Smoked Cheddar because they are all cheddars made by the same cheese maker, just in different forms. The varying textures and taste adds interest. Then, include La Mancha Ranch Apples for some crunch and to cleanse the palate between tastes.
For goat cheese enthusiasts, try Fraga Farms Chevre (pronounced chev), Feta, and Farm House, three distinct cheeses made by the same milk and cheese maker, one soft, one semi-firm, and one firm. Add some Denison Farms strawberries, or later in the year, Crossroads Farm sweet peppers (available at the Saturday Market) and you’re good to go! There are many local cheese makers around, and many raw cheeses available at the co-op.
Slice cheese as thinly as possible so that the flavor is perceived fully on the palate. Slice apples or strawberries and arrange with cheese on a platter in a pleasing fashion. Allow cheese to reach room temperature. Taste. Savor. Taste again.
Alternate serving suggestion ~ while I’m reading bedtime stories and the kids complain of hunger, I call to my handsome cheese making husband to bring cheese. He brings in a chunk for each of us. We devour those and ask for more. He returns to the kitchen and brings us bigger chunks. This process is repeated until bellies are full. Since studies show that cheddar actually inhibits tooth decay, this is the one food I will allow my kids to eat after brushing their teeth. Look forward to more wonderful recipes that will be presented in a collaborative form in our next issue!
Recipe courtesy of Full Circle Creamery