Cranberry & Cinnamon goat cheese for spiffing up the holidays.
One of the easiest — and tastiest — no-fuss treats for holiday entertaining is cheese.
Just unwrap, arrange prettily with crackers, baguette slices, and maybe some toasted nuts and dried fruit, and you are good to go.
Laura Chenel, the pioneer in artisan goat cheese in Northern California, makes doing so especially festive with her flavored ones. Recently, I had a chance to try a couple samples that are particularly perfect at this time of year.
Her new Cranberry & Cinnamon Medallion is new this year. The 3.5-ounce thick round disk ($3.99) is naturally tangy from the goat cheese, but with a touch of fruity sweetness and warmth from the dried cranberries and touch of cinnamon.
An elegant brie en croute fit for company — or just spoiling yourself.
Who doesn’t love warm, melty, gooey cheese?
Swaddle it in flaky, buttery pastry and it’s even more irresistible — if that’s possible.
That’s what you get with Marin French Cheese’s Baked Brie en Croute.
America’s longest continually operating cheese company that was founded in 1865, Marin French Cheese brings back this popular product for the holidays through the end of this year. I had a chance to try a sample recently.
Its brie, inspired by the luscious triple cremes of France, gets encased in pastry dough made by La Boulangerie of San Francisco. It’s a simple idea. But the execution is top-notch.
A scoop of cheese ice cream and blackberry ice cream at Kurt’s Farm Shop.
SEATTLE, WA — Yes, I said, “cheese” ice cream. Not “cheesecake” ice cream. But ice cream made with actual cheese. Have I got your attention now? I should — because this ice cream is worth making a special trip for.
Hats off to my friend Tami, who lived in Seattle for a few years, and suggested I make time for the ice cream at Kurt Farm Shop on Capitol Hill. Tucked inside the Chophouse Row building food hall, this sliver of a shop sells cheese, grilled cheese sandwiches, and glorious ice cream.
The custard base is made at its Kurtwood Farm using Jersey cream and milk from its own cows.
Gotta love the cow art work.
They’re generous with samples. I knew I wanted the Flora’s Cheese flavor from the get-go. The ice cream is super rich and smooth, with a pronounced naturally sweet milky taste. There are actual bits of frozen feta-like cheese in this flavor. It’s cheesecake-like, but not quite as tangy. There’s more of a developed cheese flavor, though, no funkiness. It’s ever so savory and just a twinge salty. It’s one of those flavors that’s an instant classic.
Presenting the new burger at Bird Dog (conveniently cut in half for the two of us to share).
It might very well be the best burger you’ve ever had.
But it’s not listed on the menu. At least not yet.
The only way you can try the sublime double-patty creation at Bird Dog in downtown Palo Alto is to know about it and ask for it.
So for those of you reading this, go for it. You won’t regret whispering this order to your server.
What makes this burger so special?
Ice cream flavored with a toasty tasting Japanese product.
When my husband heads to the store to buy ice cream, I just roll my eyes.
Because he always gets the same flavor, no matter what.
In a world of Chunky Monkey, Tin Roof, strawberry cheesecake, Vietnamese coffee and more, he reaches for vanilla. Every single time.
Oh, he’ll tell me that he might get something different this time.
But of course, he never does.
So I am left to my own devices — to make my own. And in my mind, the more distinctive, the better.
That’s why when “The Perfect Scoop” (Ten Speed Press) was revised and updated recently, I couldn’t wait to pore through my review copy. The original frozen desserts bible by food writer and popular blogger David Lebovitz, who worked at Chez Panisse for a dozen years, was published a decade ago — when I didn’t yet own an ice cream machine. This time around, I was ready. Boy, was I, to make something creamy smooth and unique.