Gillian, how long have you been eating Tillamook?
Loaf LifeNaturally Aged News
Top 5 Cookbooks for Kids
Looking back on my childhood, I wish I had spent more time in the kitchen. I always enjoyed the fruits of my parents’ mealtime labors (whether it was my Dad’s famous steamed mussels or my Mother’s lemon chicken) but I didn’t take the time to stand by their sides and learn their tricks for myself. I do remember my mother used a very special Peter Rabbit cookbook once to convince me to get in the kitchen…I made an orange-glazed carrot dish and felt overflowingly proud of myself.
To create more of those overflowingly proud moments for all our kids and inspire them to take those first steps into the kitchen, here are our top 5 cookbooks for kids to get them by our side, enjoying diverse foods, and cultivating a lifetime love of cooking:
Kids Cook 1 – 2 – 3: Recipes for Young Chefs using only 3 ingredients
The Best Part: With recipes like Magic Coffee, Bacon Candy, and Carrot Fries with Mint, the recipes are easy, yet “grown up”, letting the little ones play a food version of dress up.
Pretend Soup and Other Real Recipes: A Cookbook for Preschoolers and Up
The Best Part: Not only does each recipe have reviews from kids, but each comes with a recipe for the adult and then one just for the kiddos that shows each step with sweet illustrations. I absolutely love the imaginative spirit of this cookbook!
The Family Dinner: Great Ways to Connect with Your Kids, One Meal at a Time
The Best Part: This cookbook is chock full of recipes for parents, tips for how to have kids join the cooking routine, plus actual recipes just for kids – the wisdom in each tip and tidbit is ideal for anyone looking for a comprehensive plan for creating family dinner traditions.
The River Cottage Family Cookbook
The Best Part: This is the cookbook I needed when I was young (heck, I need it now!) because it explains the “why” of cooking. Why use that kind of flour in that kind of bread? Why are there so many different shapes of pasta? Why will using seasonal vegetables get your kids to eat more veggies?
Children’s Quick and Easy Cookbook
The Best Part: These recipes start with a basic step (buttering a bagel, popping popcorn, etc.) and then let kids choose-their-own adventure with variations of toppings, spices, etc. giving them a lot of control over their own creations. This approach can also be a great first step to kids cooking, by bringing options to the dinner table where each member of the family can then build their own meal (think tacos, pizzas, triple-decker sandwiches, etc.) right there at the table.
And a few Runners-Up Kids Cookbooks for those little ones with special interests :)
- Roald Dahl’s revolting recipes
- Winnie the Pooh cookbook
- Sesame Street “C” is for Cooking, 40th Anniversary Edition
- The Unofficial Harry Potter Cookbook: From Cauldron Cakes to Knickerbocker Glory–More Than 150 Magical Recipes for Muggles and Wizards
- Wookiee Cookies: A Star Wars Cookbook
Thanks! And please share the tips or recipes you’ve used to get your kids in the kitchen? There is so much more to learn!
The Perfect Thanksgiving Dinner!
Thanksgiving Dinner is comprised of 4 main food groups: turkey, cranberry sauce, pumpkin, and cheese! Let me elaborate using some of my favorite family recipes from past blog posts…Here is a delicious rundown of the perfect Thanksgiving menu:
Grandma’s Shrimp (for a lighter start to your meal!)
Cheese Platter (duh!)
The BEST Turkey and Gravy Recipe
Southern Cornbread Stuffing
Homemade Cranberry Sauce (at the bottom of the page)
Green Bean Casserole (with a new twist!)
Gluten-Free Buttermilk Biscuits (Click through for some other fabulous gluten-free Thanksgiving treats!)
And don’t forget the leftovers! What’s on your Thanksgiving menu?
Lunchtime Love Notes
The sack lunch was always something magical when I was a kid. It was made after I went to bed and showed up on the kitchen counter when it was time to go to school in the morning. I always looked forward to discovering come lunchtime what goodies had ended up in that brown bag. Even better than the snacks and sandwich and fruit was the little love note I would always get from my mom. It was always written on the backside of a Far Side comic torn off of one of those desktop calendars. I’d read the note first: “Have a wonderful day today! Love, Mom” or “Learn a lot today! Love, Mom” and then flip it over to see the latest antics of those silly talking dogs or absent-minded Vikings. I always felt so loved. So although I am in no way looking forward to sack lunch duty with my own kids, I do look forward to sharing a love note each day. What signs of love ended up in your lunchbox as a kid? How do you show your kids you’re thinking of them when they’re at school? Here are a couple of ideas – help me add to them!
- Make them a breakfast treat in the shape of a heart (yogurt or oatmeal with toppings in the shape of a heart, cinnamon toast with the cinnamon in a heart shape, etc.)
- Use a cookie cutter to make their lunch sandwich the shape of a heart
- Create fortune cookie strips of paper to be dropped into each lunchbox
- Write a note on the bag or napkin
- Have siblings write messages to each other that mom or dad can drop into future lunches
And let the Tillalympics begin!
The London 2012 Olympic Games begin tonight. The stage is now set for athletes around the world to deliver their peak performance and be named World’s Best. However, we couldn’t be more excited that today also marks the beginning of the Tillalympics! Tillamook has already been called World’s Best, but we still have to deliver our peak performance every day. To honor cheese fans around the world that are dedicated to natural, tasty dairy delights and our farmer-owners for their hard work day in and day out, please join us in cheering on our champions as they take on:
Tillamook Signature Chef Takes His Tasty Treats to San Diego
Chef Keegan Gerhard, featured in the Tillamook Kitchen, and his lovely and talented wife Lisa Bailey have just opened a new San Diego location for their much loved D Bar restaurant. This new location complements their original Denver, Colorado restaurant with the same dedication to phenomenal food and delicious desserts.
I had the good luck to join them for their opening night! Here are a few pics:
You know the best part about Keegan and Lisa? It doesn’t matter whether they are in the middle of opening a fabulous new restaurant or shooting TV shows or video recipes - they are always lovely and they always make sure you feel welcome, with a glass of something and a plate of something in hand. There isn’t a doubt in my mind that this new D Bar adventure will have as much success as all their others.
Cheers Keegan and Lisa! San Diego is lucky to have you!
Loaf Love for New Moms
I don’t know about you, but it’s baby time amongst my circle of friends. And a lot of the women that I love are becoming moms for the very first time.
I’ve been racking my brain trying to figure out how to make this new life experience just a bit easier. Now, I don’t know a thing about being a mom, but I do know a thing or two about food. Specifically, you can always use more and you can always use it delivered to your door!
So, I decided to put together a little New Mama Care Package, and it actually only took about an hour to shop, pack it up, and deliver. My care package included:
- Tillamook Cheese, of course! 3 snack bars that are easy to slice (or heck, even unwrap and gnaw on!) – Sharp, Smoked, and Special Reserve Extra Sharp
- Crackers, or something to slow down the cheese consumption
- Lots of fresh fruit (I hear new moms crave it?) – apples, oranges, pears, grapes
- A loaf of freshly baked french bread
- A big ole jug of fresh orange juice
- And finally, a 6-pack of Guinness (this could be for the new mom OR the new dad, but I hear it can actually help nursing mothers)
I packed it all up in a cooler, drove it over to my friend’s house, and sent a text message that there was something on her doorstep and that she didn’t need to call or txt me back. It’s important to note that a full meal is probably even more appreciated, but I’m much more of an “eater” than a “cook” so this was the best way for me to show my love.
Some other tools and ideas that I’ve come across since I started thinking about this:
MealBaby.com is an online tool where your friends can sign up to bring you meals right after you’ve had a baby. Great idea as an alternative to baby shower gifts, etc. And an added bonus is that when you drop off the food you get to meet the new baby!
I just love how pretty the New Baby Taco Box is that the folks over at the Kitchn Blog put together (they gave me the idea for the Guinness!)
These recipes would be great for a box delivery: Savory Bread Pudding (great for breakfast or dinner!), Apple Cheddar Salad, pack up all the fixins for Carne Asada Tacos, or Smoked Chicken Enchiladas, or even make a grilled cheese themed care package and fix up some Sharp Cheddar and Apple Chutney Grilled Cheese.
And finally, here are 5 tips on how to deliver food to new families.
What would you put in a friend’s New Mama Care Package? Or what would you want in your own?
On Location in Boulder, Colorado with Top Chef Winner Hosea Rosenberg
I consider myself lucky to have been able to spend the day with Hosea Rosenberg for a number of reasons:
2) He has great stories. From growing up in New Mexico, to starting out his professional career as an astronomer, to being the Season 5 Top Chef Winner, to starting his own company, Blackbelly Catering.
3) He raises Blackbelly Sheep and pigs! We were able to go out to Blackbelly Farm and meet them in person. So beautiful…
4) We got to be on location in Boulder, Colorado with the Flatirons looming and the sun winter-crisp and spectacular.
5) Over a final bite to eat to finish off the day, I realized spending time with Hosea is like hanging out with a friend. Granted he’s that friend that is in love with the celebration and art and quality of food, but don’t we all need a friend like that?
Sneaking samples behind the scenes at Keegan Gerhard’s D-Bar Desserts
I’m not one for being smitten with celebrities. I never had posters of New Kids on the Block on my bedroom walls, etc. But I’ve discovered recently, that food stars are an entirely different thing. Perhaps it’s because these celebrities capture so many of your senses at once, or because my adoration of food as one of life’s greatest and most profound pleasures gives me something in common with them, or perhaps it just because Tillamook is a choice product for so many incredible chefs and in this line of work I’m getting to actually meet them in person. Regardless, if I could find a poster of Chef Keegan Gerhard, I would most certainly hang it on my kitchen wall.
I recently had the good fortune to be on location at his famous D-Bar Restaurant in Denver, Colorado as were filming him for his debut in the Tillamook Kitchen. Keegan is part chef, part food philosopher, part entertainer, and part family guy.
Keegan as chef:
Showing us how easy it is to make a swan out of his pate a choux recipe! He said when he was in school they would practice making swan heads for hours to get it just right. I would say he still has his flair.
Keegan as philosopher:
The one thing I wish I could have captured for you all is Keegan’s dedication to making delicious food accessible. He has extraordinary classical training. He knows all the fanciest French words for tasty things. But he doesn’t use these tools and tricks to create food that is relegated to some white-linen, reservations-only eatery. He shows you how to do simple things to make your food good and whole and as it should be. Not being a terrific cook myself, I was so inspired to watch Keegan cook, because he not just makes it look easy but he teaches you how to make it easy yourself. His Mac & Cheese recipe is the perfect example. I have tasted a LOT of macaroni and cheese in my day, and I can definitively say his Mac & Cheese is the best I’ve ever had in my life, especially with a touch of the Tillamook 3 Year Vintage White Extra Sharp Cheddar. That little touch of quality made all the difference in the world in this easy dish.
Keegan as entertainer and host:
After a long day of filming (and mind you, Keegan and his crew had already been in the kitchen hours before we showed up prepping all the food for the day!) Keegan invited us to dine at D-Bar and we got the absolute royal treatment. WHAT a gracious host! Even though the restaurant quickly became jam-packed for the dinner hour, he repeatedly kept stopping by to check on us and bring us special dishes. He kept pairing drinks with all our delicious eats: beer to pair perfectly with his special bacon pimento cheeseburger, amazing wine from his friend’s secret stash, winter-warm coffee drinks to protect us from the 1 degree weather outside. And all presented and done with only the passion of someone who loves what they do.
Keegan as family guy:
Speaking of love, sweethearts and business partners Keegan and his wife Lisa Bailey wrote the book. When Keegan was finally able to drag Lisa out of the kitchen, we were able to capture this photo:
It just says it all.
Huge thanks to D-Bar and the wonderful crew out there in Denver! All in all, it was an amazing culinary adventure! Good luck on your new San Diego restaurant. We’ll be sure to stop by soon!
~ Gillian of the Tillamook Team
Behind the Scenes at the Famously Delicious Grilled Cheese Grill
I still remember my first Cheesus Burger like it was yesterday. A tasty burger smothered between two grilled cheese sandwiches – yes, you heard that right. Ever since I went Behind-the-Scenes at the Grilled Cheese Grill with Matt Breslow, as he was becoming our 4th featured chef in the Tillamook Kitchen, I haven’t been able to stop craving the Cheesus’ cousin, the Quesus Burger! Or the Open-faced Grilled Cheese Benedict! Or Morton’s Meatball Sandwich (where there is just the right amount of grilled bread so you can fully relish the melty meatballs)!
So what was it like behind the scenes? Well, I made a new best friend, Morton:
I learned how to poach the perfect egg (even with a ton of camera equipment crammed into your kitchen):
We thoroughly enjoyed taking advantage of a sunny day in wintery Portland:
Morton is a VERY well-behaved pup:
And it is never-ending fun to look through all the classroom photos that cover the inside of the buses (see if you can recognize Matt as he went through his school years!):
So when you stop by the Grilled Cheese Grill in Portland, Oregon to satisfy that childhood craving for grilled cheese, do be sure to say hello to Matt and Morton for me!
~ Gillian of the Tillamook Team
In the New Year Black-Eyed Peas for Good Luck, Tillamook for Good Taste!
A long-standing tradition in my house, and in the homes of all of our Texas kin, is to always eat a dish with black eyed peas to bring luck in the New Year. “According to Southern folklore, [it is] the first food to be eaten on New Year’s Day for luck and prosperity throughout the year ahead” – gosoutheast.about.com.
To spice things up a bit, I hunted down my favorite black-eyed pea recipes that have a bit of Tillamook flair! Fun fact: Black-eyed peas used to be called “cowpeas”, so perhaps they have more in common with Tillamook than you would think?
What do you do to start your new year off right?
~ Gillian of the Tillamook Team
Get Cheesy News!
Enter your email address to receive tasty Tillamook updates! (We promise we won't share your email with anyone else).top curvebottom curve
Beer and Cheese Pairings Sat, December 14
Pelican Pub will be at The Cheese Factory from 12-4pm sampling seasonal ales!
Pictures with Santa at the Cheese Factory Sat and Sun, December 14 -15
Santa is stopping by with his elves from 11am til 2pm to meet you & find out if you have been naughty or nice this year!