Matt, what are your favorite Tillamook products?
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Pine State Biscuits is down-home cookin’ in the Tillamook Kitchen
If you have ever had passion for something, you’ll know why the newest Tillamook Kitchen chefs create some of the best food in Portland. They are passionate! About what they do. About where they’re from. About where they are. About eating local. And about good food. That’s a whole lotta passion and when you take it all and put it in one unbelievably good biscuit, or piece of fried chicken or bowl of grits…sit down. It’s that good!
If you live in Portland, I’m sure you’ve heard of them – you may have even been there. If you’re from out of town, you might have heard of them from Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives where they wowed Guy Fieri with their southern cookin’ done right in Portland, OR. Now you can learn about the guys that make it all possible and how their food is just so dang good (hint: it has something to do with passion.). Pine State Biscuits is joining the fold of great chefs on the Tillamook Kitchen. Show them a warm Tillamook welcome and eat some biscuits…and fried chicken…and grits…and honey…and fried okra…you hungry yet?
Tillamook at the 9th Annual Oregon Cheese Festival
Is there a better place to be than with fellow cheese lovers in a town that also holds a festival for William Shakespeare and has a totally down-home, hippie vibe that loves locals and welcomes artisans?! No. There is not. I know this because this past weekend I had the wonderful opportunity to, along with two co-workers, represent Tillamook at the Oregon Cheese Guild’s 9th Annual Oregon Cheese Festival!
The weekend started with a dinner featuring 4 varieties of Oregon Cheeses – and that doesn’t even include the cheese plate before the meal with about 20 different cheeses! WHOA! I had tasted some before (if you haven’t had it, you must try Portland Creamery’s Sweet Fire! It’s an unbelievably delicious Chevre with a Habanero Marionberry jam) and some I hadn’t had. After making sure to taste them all, I left with a greater appreciation of the quality of cheese making in Oregon. We’re pretty lucky.
The next day was the main event. Held right next to Rogue Creamery’s headquarters in Central Point, OR, nearly 10,000 people came to celebrate Oregon bounty under a tent that blocked not rain, but sun on this beautiful weekend! Tillamook was there with other Oregon cheeses from Rogue Creamery, Willamette Valley Cheese Company, Portland Creamery and many, MANY other artisan producers. We handed out about 60lbs of free samples of some of our more specialty cheeses: Smoked Black Pepper White Cheddar, Garlic Chili Pepper Cheddar, America’s Best Vintage White Extra Sharp Cheddar, Special Reserve Extra Sharp Cheddar and Sharp Cheddar cheeses. We also gave people recipes to try at home and wine pairing guides (which came in very handy – there were some great Oregon wines on hand to be tasted).
I have to throw in that if you are Ashland, you should stay at the Ashland Springs Hotel. It’s a beautiful, old hotel that is part of the Historic Hotels of America and is close to everything downtown Ashland has to offer. Try out Standing Stone Brewery for some great beer and Mix café for an AMAZING chocolate croissant, then hike Lithia Park and take a drive through Myrtle Creek and up the coast through Coos Bay, Newport, and Lincoln City to see all of the incredibly natural wonders that allow Oregon to have all of the bountiful food we do!
This event was an incredible celebration of the growing cheese industry in Oregon and Tillamook was truly thrilled to be a part of it! Make sure you remember to put this on your calendar next year so you too can enjoy some of the best cheeses in America – all under one HUGE tent!
Hopdoddy Tillamook Takeover
What happens when the most creative people around, the best burger under the Austin sky, and the tastiest cheese in the world team up? Magic! Like a unicorn that shoots rainbows; except better! Magic may be the best word to describe what happens when Tillamook is added to anything! Thankfully you can experience this type of mouthwatering euphoria on Saturday, March 9 from 12:30pm-3:30pm at Hopdoddy Burger Bar on South Congress. You’ll go for the Terlingua burger and the Buffalo Bill burger with a Caramel and Sea Salt Shake (say that 5 times fast)! What you’ll get is all that AND samples of the world’s best Medium Cheddar Cheese (used on the “Terlingua”) and Pepper Jack Cheese (used on the “El Diablo”). Oh there’s more! Your visit won’t be complete without great Tillamook coupons, cheesy recipes, and tons of smiles!
What are you doing Saturday that could possibly be more fun than this?! Nothing. You know you’ll have a hankering for a good time, so just come on out and see our beloved new Tillatruck, say, “Hey” to our friendly brand ambassadors, grab some delicious cheese, and get your hands on the best dang burger you’ll ever have! This is one cheesy event you won’t want to miss. See you Saturday! If you can’t make it Saturday, Tillamook will be in Austin until the 18, so check the schedule to make sure you can come out to experience the YUM! We can’t wait to see you.
Not your kitchen variety Bowl Battles
As an Oregon company we are excited not only about the wonderful area where we live and the great community we have, but about our college football! We are fortunate to have not just one, but two of our major universities playing in major bowl games this year. The Oregon State Beavers will be taking on the mighty University of Texas in the Valero Alamo Bowl in San Antonio while The University of Oregon Ducks will play Kansas State University in the Fiesta bowl in Phoenix.
While the Fiesta Bowl may have a higher billing, the Alamo Bowl is a great prize for a hard fought year from the Beavers. If they play a quality football game, they will certainly give Texas a run. If they win, they will finish a great year with a very respectable 10 wins. A few more than last year!
If the Ducks win, it would be their second BCS bowl victory in a row and would cement them as one of the premier college football programs. After a devastating last minute loss in the 2010 National Championship, the Ducks defeated Wisconsin in the 2011 Rose Bowl. Kansas is a solid football team, so this should be a great game!
Both Oregon schools have found success stemming from their commitment to using only the highest quality players and working tirelessly to perfect their craft. Kind of sounds like Tillamook products, eh? Enjoy this bowl season with some Tillamook Cheese or Ice Cream and root on both Oregon teams. Go Beavers, but especially GO DUCKS!!
Tillamook Cheeses out at The Wedge
I was recently in a restaurant and overheard some people saying they were visiting from Denver. I thought, really? Why, of the places in the world to go, did you come to Oregon? I mean, I love my home state, but it reminded me how amazing this place is, and that I need to do a better job appreciating the place I live and all of the wonderful things it has to offer. Like cheese.
In another celebration of abundant NW bounty, Tillamook was a sponsor of The Oregon Cheese Guild’s ‘The Wedge’ event. With goat cheese, Cotija, Gouda, and of course cheddar, some of Oregon’s foremost dairy companies turned out to sample and sell their delicious products. Nearly 1,500 people came out to enjoy their favorite cheeses and Rogue Beer on a perfect fall day. What is your favorite part of living in Oregon, or what is your favorite part when you visit? If you’ve never been – come on up. We’d love to have you.
Tillamook at Feast Portland
In late September Tillamook was a sponsor of Feast Portland, the first large scale epicurean event the city has seen. There were many other local companies like Jacobsen Salt, Widmer Brother’s, Moonstruck Chocolates and Portland Creamery (Goat Cheese). There were also a number of large profile chefs who attended this inaugural event. From Chef Amanda Freitag to Brad Farmerie to Chef Duff Goldman, they came out in force to enjoy a beautiful fall weekend in Portland. If you didn’t have a chance to go this year, this Eater article has all the information you need (as if you needed any) to help you make your decision to go next year! Because, YES, there will be another Feast!! 2013 is already on the calendar and we can’t wait to see what amazing things co-founders Mike Thelin and Carrie Welch have in store. If you can go, what are you most excited about?
The year is 2012. The place is Portland, OR. The venue is Feast. All of the world’s top culinary stars our out to shine on our humble and ‘weird’ city. They are here to experience Portland – a mystical place to those who don’t know it. You recycle? You grow your own vegetables? You know your chicken’s name before you eat it (ok, that doesn’t really happen)? They come to see what all the fuss is about. They will leave knowing exactly what the fuss is all about!
We were very fortunate to partner with Mike Thelin, Carrie Welch and their incredible staff at Feast to not only be involved, but to work with them to give a once-in-a-lifetime experience – the kind only Portland can offer! Tillamook, being the cheese-nerds that we are, couldn’t just hand out samples. Yes, we wanted to hand out samples, but we couldn’t just stop there. The next logical choice was, of course, grilled cheese sandwiches. But how do we make grilled cheese sandwiches that are perfectly crisp on the outside and perfectly gooey on the inside and get them to people who are all over the city at food parties? With phones of course.
Flip-phones to be exact! We handed out 200 flip-phones to super fans, chefs, writers, and generally, people who looked interested. The phone’s sole purpose was ordering a grilled cheese sandwich from Tillamook between midnight and 3am – just when you need it most! As soon as the order came through, our chefs went to work and made some pretty yummy combinations (think Apple Cinnamon and Vintage White Medium Cheddar, Bacon Waffle with Medium Cheddar and Tarragon Zucchini with Medium Cheddar and Pepper Jack).
At first people didn’t believe that we would actually deliver the sandwiches, thinking that it was just a marketing thing. But then, we did! We hand-made and delivered – in our yum bus – over 100 sandwiches in two nights! The smiles on people’s faces when they got their sandwich after a long day of cooking or eventing or twittering, were priceless and validated just how much we love our jobs! The last thing we did, because we couldn’t just throw the phones out, was ask the recipients of the phones to leave them with the front desk at their hotels. We then donated the phones to a local charity.
The year is now 2013. The place is still Portland, OR. The venue is still Feast. All of the world’s top culinary stars will be out to shine – won’t you please join them!? We’ll be there to meet you…You won’t regret it!
Baseball’s a Fall Sport
The leaves are turning colors, the rain is falling, and the nation is abuzz with election giddiness. It must be October in America! The biggest America’s Pastime event starts today and it is always a fun trip down memory lane combined with anticipation of close games marked by clutch plays. Bring on the Fall Classic!
Like hundreds of thousands of kids I played baseball growing up and dreamed of one day playing in ‘The Show.’ I would stand in front of my parent’s 19” Zenith TV with my plastic whiffle ball bat timing pitches. It became clear to me early on that, given the opportunity, I would be the next Mickey Mantle, Ted Williams, Rogers Hornsby, or Lou Gehrig. The pitchers I was timing would fear me as I went on to bat .800 with at least 80 homers. In my head, I never missed! However, about that same time in life, I began playing baseball with real pitchers and realized that it is actually far more difficult than it seemed standing in front of our grainy television with my feather weight plastic bat. The pitches dodge, dip, dive, duck, and dodge away from the bat – or they come straight ahead. There was no way to tell! The experiences I had standing there in the batter’s box give me a great deal of respect for successful major league hitters – especially when the pressures of October are upon them.
Since I have retired from all things sports related – after a valiant attempt at a high school career – I have taken up eating as the activity of choice. If a person isn’t going to PLAY the sport, the next best thing is to scrutinize it from the couch eating nachos, a grilled cheese sandwich and tomato soup, or mac n’ cheese – all made with Tillamook Cheese of course (I figure when the best is on your TV, it may as well be on your plate too, right?!).
Here are some tasty game day treats for inspiration.
Who do you root for – October or otherwise – and what is the food you eat when watching them play?
Test Kitchen: DIY Tillamook Cheese Smoking. Possible?
One of my favorite Tillamook Cheese varieties is the Vintage White Smoked Extra Sharp Cheddar. It is the perfect combination of smokey flavor and creamy, sharp cheddar. So, I thought why not try to smoke my own cheese using appliances I already have? Tillamook uses a cold smoker and unfortunately I don’t have one, so I was forced to use my Traeger smoker. When smoking meat, these are the best smokers available, but we learned they are not quite as good smoking a product that can melt. I went into this experiment hoping that I could get it to work and I’d be able to smoke my own cheese. However, after trying a few combinations of things, it looks like I’ll just have to keep buying my smoked cheese from the experts. Here’s what I did though – try it out and let us know if you come up with any other methods that will work better than mine.
I tried to smoke 4 different flavors – Medium, Special Reserve Extra Sharp, Pepper Jack, and Vintage White Medium. I was wanting to see if the age of the cheese would actually effect the ability of the cheese to be smoked. This was not a scientific experiment, but it appeared that the sharper the cheese, the more it picked up the smokey flavor. Why do you think that is?
I also tried a few sizes – 8oz, 1lb and 2lb. This was to determine if it was possible to infuse flavor into a baby loaf of cheese, or if the cheese needs to be thinner to pick-up the smoke. I punctured the baby loaf in order to allow the smoke to penetrate, but it didn’t flavor as well as the thinner 8oz and 1lb loafs. The benefit of the 2lb loaf though is that it had the fortitude to not melt down as much as a thinner loaf on the hot smoker. To combat the hot smoker, I tried to create a semi-cold smoker by turning the Traeger on and off – trying to keep it as cool and smoke filled as possible. Unfortunately the smoke just didn’t billow until it was hot enough to melt the cheese.
Overall, I was able to create a smokey flavor in the cheeses. However, the trade-off was that the texture and shape of the cheese was completely lost. Reheating cheese and then cooling it back down is a bad idea. If you have a cold smoker, this could be done, but I don’t recommend using a hot smoker. At the end of the day, the flavor was obtained, but the texture and consistency of Tillamook smoked cheeses was not. I’ll be buying my smoked cheese from now on!
After wake up, or after workout, these will shake you up!
I’ve recently gotten into CrossFit and it is an AWESOME program – even the general soreness, aches and pains! It has been awhile since I have felt this in shape! When working out as hard as the CrossFit program demands, eating better is a must, so I’m always looking for ways to combine flavor with quality nutrients. I was looking for something aside from the standard protein shake, raw eggs or steak cooked rare, something else that would fill me up with healthy ingredients. I wanted something that would give me protein, while also curbing my sweet tooth – for a little while anyway. What better than a yogurt shake?! It’s like a milkshake, but healthy!! Dynamite! With this realization, I went about making a few variations. I hope they inspire you to try something new with your Tillamook Light Yogurt!
This is my favorite shake of the three. Combining Tillamook Light Raspberry Yogurt with even more real raspberries, a banana and a little bit of orange juice makes for a very natural tasting and healthy treat! If you like tart flavors or raspberries and citrus, this is your shake to start the day!
2 cups crushed ice
¼ – ½ cup fresh raspberries
½ of a banana
¼ cup orange juice
6 ounces Tillamook Light Raspberry Yogurt
It’s summer – well, kind of – and that means peaches are running rampant around Oregon. To capture this window of time, how about eating some peaches and cream the healthy way?! The great thing about this shake is that it is like peaches and cream without the calories of the cream – where do I sign?!
2 cups crushed ice
1 whole peach
¼ – ½ cup milk (I used 1%)
6 ounces Tillamook Light Peach Yogurt
Vanilla Blueberry Shake
Vanilla. Good. Blueberry. Good. Shake. GREAT! Blueberries, a crop close to my heart since the age of 12 when I started picking them for gainful employment, are not only a good source of income but also antioxidants. Healthy squared. Sounds yummy to me! The flavor is calm, but luscious. The flavor is not overpowering but it tastes like it has ice cream in it. If you like that flavor, but not the calories, this is the solution!
2 cups crushed ice
¼ – ½ fresh blueberries
¼ – ½ cup milk
6 ounces Tillamook Light Vanilla Bean Yogurt
I know you are all better chefs than I am, so what is your favorite thing to mix with Tillamook Light Yogurt?
San Francisco Zoo Mad-libs
There’s a lot of talk about back to school right now and while the clothes, backpacks, and new school supplies were always my favorite part, it also means we get to start studying soon! Last weekend at the San Francisco Zoo, Tillamook helped some kids kick start their studying efforts by providing a fun fill-in-the blanks game about their day at the zoo. It is a fun and educational game that families can play with the kids and the prize was pretty awesome as well – a YEAR’S SUPPLY OF TILLAMOOK CHEESE! With such a fun prize, people submitted fantastic entries, but there could only be one winner! Thank you to everyone who entered, we hope you enjoyed your cheese and smiles at the San Francisco Zoo!
Annie Teng was the winner of the year’s supply of cheese with her fantastic story. I mean, who doesn’t love smiling monkeys and bite-sized Tillamook sandwiches?!
Are you ready for a “good” day at the zoo? Make sure you wave to the “polar bears” and they might just “wave”. Ask your “parents” to take your “picture”, then smile and say, “cheese”! If that makes you hungry, nibble on some Tillamook Cheese or a bite-sized “cookies”. Did you know that a “koala” absolutely loves to eat “yogurt”? Have a fun day at the “petting” zoo!
If you want a chance to win a year’s supply of cheese make sure you visit the Loaf Love Tour when we visit the Los Angeles Zoo on 9.15 for your chance to get creative and win some 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!