Gillian, how long have you been eating Tillamook?
Loaf LifeNaturally Aged News
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
Top Ten Social Media Posts From December
Yours in Loaf Love,
From Jeni Kaybee: Two Baby Loafs sittin’ in a…VW bus!
From John Frz Wilson: If I put cheese your cheese on your ice cream, would it rip open a hole to another dimension?
From Heidi Jones: I’m just sittin’ here eating my favorite late night snack. Tillamook’s French Vanilla Bean Yogurt which tastes like ice cream to me. I love the stuff so much that every time I’m at the store buying it I recommend it to strangers near me as I grab a bunch of them! Haha! Of course I loooove your cheese too, I’ve been eating it since i was a little girl. (I’m now 29.) Thanks for keeping it real and healthy..you know what I mean, no artificial colors or flavors and no rbst. and four different strains of beneficial bacteria to keep us all healthy! You guys are great! Love, Heidi♥
From Melissa Kane Cawthron: Last summer I brought my friend to Oregon and she had Tillamook cheese for the first time! She loved it and brought a sample pack back to Tx. ( we both did). At airport security her bags where searched because they thought she was Carying C4 explosive! It was her cheese! We all laugh about that regularly! Just wish I could get it with our being searched! Just happy they didn’t confiscate it for evidence!
From Eva Winchester: Everyone who has tried Tillamook Ice Cream at our home has begged us to bring them some! It’s tough to travel with…just as an FYI-so PLEASE put that magical ice cream out there for the rest of the world to experience! PLEASE keep doing it the way you do, though! It is perfection and really separates the Tillamook brand from the others out there…who are not quite so fortunate to be so FANTASTIC!
From @tgiKelli: Ahhhhh @TillamookCheese a couple of your mini squares get me thru a closing shift #truelove #tillamookforlyfe
From @Cassi Crawford: I could probably live off of grilled cheese sammiches and tomato soup! Mmmmm! Only made with @TillamookCheese of course!
From @Laura Kravac: You like the tillamook cheese factory? I LIKE THE TILLAMOOK CHEESE FACTORY #potentialpickuplines
From @Kaila Lafferty: My mom just told me the happiest day of her life was when she got to tour the Tillamook cheese factory. #thanksmom
From @mytrangha: reason 659 why i love my mom: she buys me tillamook cheese.
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Tillamook at Sunset Celebration June 1 - 2
Join Tillamook for some Yogurt at Sunset Celebration this year in Menlo Park!
Loaf Love Tour May 26 - June 1
Catch the Loaf Love Tour in Portland for samples, coupons & fun!
Loaf Love Tour June 3-9
Join the Loaf Love Tour in Seattle for some samples, coupons and fun! Check the schedule to see where we're headed!
Loaf Love Tour June 11-16
Come find the Loaf Love Tour in Spokane! We'll have samples, coupons and lots of fun!