A Cheesy Food Gal Giveaway

Blue cheese with fortified wine -- a match made in heaven. (Photo courtesy of Chronicle Books)

I just had to laugh the other morning when a local newscaster joked that if he won the Lotto, he’d be spending it all on good cheese.

Just goes to show how much we all love the stuff.

To help you get a better and easier handle on all the wonderful cheeses in the market these days, Chronicle Books has come out with a new iPhone app, “Cheese Plate.”

Win this cool new ap that teaches you all about cheese. It’s based on the book, “Cheese and Wine: A Guide to Selecting, Pairing and Enjoying” by noted Bay Area food writer, Janet Fletcher. Curated by Fletcher, the app includes information and photos on how to put together 25 cheese plates, each consisting of three complimentary cheeses (and alternatives if you can’t easily find your first choice).

You’ll learn how to pronounce cheese names, who makes the particular cheeses, and the best descriptors for each type.

The app is $4.99 at the iTunes store.

One lucky Food Gal reader, though, will win a free app, plus a copy of the book that it’s based on. But wait, there’s more. That winner also will receive another book by Fletcher, The Cheese Course” (Chronicle Books), which is full of information on artisanal cheeses plus wines to pair with them.

How’s that for a deal?

Contest: It’s open only to those in the continental United States. Entry deadline is midnight PST Jan. 15. Winner will be announced on Jan. 17.

How to enter?

Just tell me one cheesy thing you hate to admit that you’ve done.

Here’s my own answer: “I actually saw the original ‘Star Wars’ 13 times when I was a teen-ager. Yes, in the theater, each time waiting in a very long line to do so. It got to the point that my brothers and I could recite the lines to one another. Not only that, dare I admit that my best friend and I even waited in line once to get autographed photos from Darth Vader and a Storm Trooper at a Toys ‘R’ Us? How’s that for mortifying?”

Buffalo mozzarella, summer tomatoes and the perfect wine. (Photo courtesy of Chronicle Books)

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  • Wonderful giveaway. A cheese platter is good any time of the day, any season.

  • I can so relate to the original Star Wars craziness but I don’t identify with the new ones much. It was another classic that got me in my 40’s to get on plane to go to Canada in the middle of a horrendous winter, pay for an over-priced hotel just so I could mingle and gush with other LOTR fanatics. My costume was Frodo (I’m short it worked)I had a black curly wig, expensive cape and cheap leggings and even went as far as the “rubbing dark make up” to simulate “dirty feet. I have my pride…except when it comes to Tolkien. And I had lots of company.I was also as sick as a dog from the cold weather by the time I got back home…but I made many new lifelong friends.

  • Oh that app and the books have my name all over it! Your cheesy memory sparked my memory on something I have not remember in decades and it is also movie related. My sister and I loved Red Dawn and while we saw it only once in the theater, when the Beta tape became available my sister and I recorded it with an audio cassette and then played that tape over and over memorizing the lines and then acting out the parts. We’d take turns being the guys or the gals, I think we drove my parents insane as well as my girlfriends. We eventually convinced my parents to buy the Beta tape and my sister and I would sit for hours on a Saturday watching over and over. The movie would end, we would rewind it and then start it again! I don’t know why we bothered or at least why we kept the sound on, we could do practically the entire movie – cheesy!

  • Fantastic giveaway, that sounds like such a fun app! More cheese, please! ๐Ÿ˜‰

  • Cheese giveaway? Be still my Wisconsin-born heart.

    I have something cheesy times two! We made fondue one night in a retro pot, decorated and plated in retro styles, and put on our best late 60s/early 70s attire. Oh, and can’t forget the oldies iPod playlist! Though I’m not really embarrassed about that; it was pretty fun.



  • Boy, these photos are making me hungry and it’s not even lunch time yet!

  • You mean something I actually cringe about? Or just something corny? Think I’ll go with something so 60’s it’s unreal. Back then (when it wasn’t really corny) I actually wallpapered a rec room in a basement with tin foil. I put colorful retro fabrics on pillows on the floor for seating.

    Anyway…love cheeses, would love the app!

  • Something cheese related or corny? I will admit that just about everything makes me cry, including over the top Halmark commercials. There. I said it.

  • I saw Billy Bob Thornton at a recent charity event just before the holidays and gushed about how watching Bad Santa is one of my Christmas traditions. I was just a little embarrased.

  • Hmm, I have to agree, I would buy great cheese as well. Something “cheesy” eating a whole brick of rich roquefort cheese for breakfast- I could not stop myself, it was just too darn good!

  • I’ve been known to dress like my kids on occasion, or to dress my son like my husband. Very cheesy, I know – but at this age also very cute. ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Not interested in the giveaway — just wanted to say what gorgeous photos you take. I’m smiling over the Star Wars confessions…

  • Kelly: Wish I could take credit for those lovely photos. But if you put your cursor on them, you’ll see that they were taken by a talented photographer for Chronicle Books.

  • I can’t think of anything cheesy but cheese related…I used to microwave a wheel of Brie and eat the whole gooey thing myself. I guess all the weight I gained was a little cheesy!

  • All these comments bring back lots of memories of cheesy things I’ve done. I guess the two best are the time I dressed up in a large garbage bag and impersonated a grape at a company Halloween party and did a line dance to Heard it Through the Grapevine and that I once threw an Attack of the Killer Tomatoes Party where all the food and decor were tomato and we watched the awful sci-fi movie.

  • As a 21-year-old, I arrived early to WQED studios in Pittsburgh and waited in a very long line to see Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood of Make-Believe before it was torn down and meet Mr. McFeely. I got photos with him and he signed portraits for my family members.

  • Oh geez. I chased Styx around the West Coast with my dad, which is bad even for his generation, but laughable for mine. I make my students write “Goals and Dreams” books. I start my holiday cards in October and spend way too much time taking / selecting the pictures. I sing Stevie Wonder’s “I Just Called to Say I Love You” on my sister’s message machine. I watch “The Cutting Edge” every winter break with my best friend and a bottle of wine… and now, because we’re getting classier, some cheese!

  • This is just perfect I just got the iPhone 4 for Xmas. My cheesy thing was driving around to various Mc Donalds in the Bay Area and buying up Happy Meals just for the mini Beannie Babies it contain. My family ate a lot of Happy Meals back then and those Beannie Babies are now in a box up in the attic. These days my family prefers fine wines and cheese. Don’t think they can stand to look at another Happy Meal.

  • Back in grade school I used to think it was really cool to have slicked back hair. I would get up from my seat during break time, go over to the sink in class, and just splash water on my hair and slick it back. Then I’d go to my seat with water dripping down my face.

  • I LOVE Hello Kitty! I have many Hello Kitty items,but probably the one that gets the most comments is my Hello Kitty Backpack when I wear it. I am 40 ๐Ÿ™‚

  • My childhood ambition was to be a dancer. I never took dance lessons as my single mother couldn’t afford any. Instead, I would retreat to my mother’s art studio in the garage when no one was around and make up dances to songs from The Lion King soundtrack and Savage Garden’s first album. I still have the notebook with my choreography mapped out. I bet I could still whip out my moves from “Can You Feel the Love Tonight.”

  • Sounds like a great book and a useful app! Cheesy things I’ve done–how can I pick just one? ๐Ÿ˜‰ When I was in jr. high, I spent an entire afternoon at our local mall waiting to see an appearance by two stars of Days of Our Lives. I took a terrible photo of the couple through the crowd and then had it enlarged so I could see the stars’ tiny faces in it.

  • I adore cheese! Found you through tastespotting and had to click on the lovely cheese picture. The giveaway, well that’s just a fantastic bonus!

    As far as something cheesy, I have to say I love moments of real cheese more than I have ever had many cheesy moments in life. I did once send my (now ex) boyfriend’s parents flowers on my boyfriends birthday thanking them for having had him. I know, gag, right? ๐Ÿ™‚

  • When that terrible movie “The Bodyguard” came out, circa 1991, with Whitney Houston and Kevin Costner, I actually bought the theme song as a single–on cassette. I believe the song is actually a Dolly Parton cover which makes the purchase slightly less cheesy and more cool but let’s face it, I bought the Whitney Houston version. And drove around LA listening to it in my friend’s Geo. Yep, pretty cheesy all around!

  • Most people are extremely surprised to hear that, even as an adult, I still LOVE Pee-Wee Herman. I love the episodes of his show (including the Christmas special), and the movie Pee-Wee’s Big Adventure.

  • I was #6 in line at the last Harry Potter book release. And I was dressed as Rita Skeeter. And my friends and I stayed up all night reading, keeping each other awake until we all finished it. Embarrassing? A little bit, but honestly I’m sort of proud too ๐Ÿ™‚

  • I still sing along to my first cassette tape….the Spice Girls. My best friend and I get together to do this at least once a year.

    As a French-American from Wisconsin, my life is all about cheese and wine! What great books!

  • Sounds like the perfect app. I really need to get an I Phone to take advantage of these products. Just not the same with a Blackberry.

  • I think I could write a book. Lets just say it starting way back in the Bobby Sherman era and leave it at that.

  • Here’s my entry: I went to a pop/rock dance party in the 80’s wearing hot pink corduroy pants and a green cummerbund.

    Thanks for calling attention to the offerings from Chronicle.

  • Yay Cheese!!

    For my entry: I’m afraid of flying and the only thing that distracts me is reading the Twilight series. And no, I am not 13. ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Ooh, I looooove cheese. The cheesiest thing I’ve done is probably squeal out loud when I saw a kitten in a movie while on a date. Very cheesy and the guy I was with was… less than impressed. Glad I dumped him soon after :p

  • Oh, the yummy goodness of cheese. Hmmmm… Went to Graceland as part of my honeymoon…so we could take a lip-locked picture in the Jungle Room!!

  • ooh, love the picture, that’s Valdeon right? yummy…

    Cheesy thing? oh gosh, I am a Star Wars fan as well, and my husband and I (along with a few of his friends) waited in line all day to see Episode 1 when it came out. Oh, and I was 8 months pregnant, the only pregnant lady in line. And when I was hungry, I ordered pizza and had it delivered to us in line. ๐Ÿ˜€

  • My cheese factor all seems to come on full force whenever I’m around celebrities. This summer I won a contest to attend an NBC industry event. When I met anyone I said “I won a contest to be here” because I wanted them to forgive me for asking to have a photo with them! Also, when talking to James Frain I said “I’m just a girl from Iowa!” and he responded “Look, sometimes we’re ALL just a girl from Iowa!”

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  • Many, many moons ago Madonna was appearing on SNL and my sister and I donned bows, a plethora of tank tops and painted our nails different colors in her honor.

  • I love the article! and the app sounds awesome. my cheesy moment….when i was in culinary school, i ditched school one day with a friend to go to top chef tour…so we showed up early and Ryan from season 2 was going to be there..(soo cute!) since we were early, we decided to walk around..so as we walk around ocean beach, we turn a corner and i almost run over Ryan! so what do i do!?! start giggling like a little school girl and turn bright red. i could barely talk, he was so charming and cute…and i was was such a dork! haha. i will never forget it!

  • Not nearly long enough ago, I memorized all the hand gestures that Gerard Way makes in the video for My Chemical Romance’s “Helena,” and I would perform them every time I heard the song.
    I hope no one I know reads this.

  • Mmmm, Cheese sounds good…And speaking of cheese…

    My cheese factor: I am a sucker for dressing up in total Renaissance costume (corset, belt, skirts, boots and all) to go to the annual Renaissance festival for about 4 weekends in my neighborhood! I put on my fact old english accent, and join the time warp that it is! ๐Ÿ˜€

    It’s funny that I saw the McDonalds beanie baby story because me and my Aunt and Grandma would drive around at midnight or later searching for those things around the Orlando area AND Broward county Florida. I think we had frozen happy meal burgers in the freezer for months after those escapades!!! Haha

    On the Star Wars front, I’ve seen the whole series many times, but I can’t even count how many times I’ve read the entire book series of Harry Potter!

  • What a great giveaway! Hmmm, recently the most cheesy is having full conversations with my dog! (is that cheezy or just a little wacky?)

  • I think I can top the Star Wars story, although this was in the privacy of my home. My friends and I used to have movie marathons – all six star wars films (yes, even the bad ones), then the lord of the rings trilogy (extended editions) and then the star wars films again. Took all day and then some. We didn’t leave the house all weekend, and we didn’t sleep either.

    Still not sure why I did that! Totally nerdy (and cheesy)!

  • Contest is now closed. Come back Monday to see who won.

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