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Volume 1 :: Issue 1 :: Winter 2013

Grate. Pair. Share. cooking & entertaining with wisconsin cheese

Simply Seasonal easy, cheesy dishes with fresh ingredients

I N S I D E: 5 4 w a y s to b r i n g A m e r i c a’s D a i r y l a n d to y o u r t a b l e

Winter is a magical time of year in Wisconsin. We wait anxiously for the first snowflakes, dreaming of weekends spent crosscountry skiing, warming up by the fire and sharing a cozy meal with friends. Perhaps a bubbling dish of macaroni and cheese or a pot of fondue with all the trimmings. Around here, we’re serious about our cheese, and it’s been a proud part of our state’s history for many years. Today, third- and fourth-generation cheesemakers are continuing Old-World traditions and setting new standards in cheesemaking craftsmanship and artistry. There are 1,200 cheesemakers in the state crafting more than 600 varieties, types and styles of cheese. We’re so pleased to share a few of them with you in this first issue of Grate. Pair. Share. This magazine was written with you in mind—the home cook, the busy parent, the gracious hostess. Inside, you’ll find ideas for weeknight meals, seasonal dinner parties, cocktail party bites and decadent desserts. We’ve invited some of our favorite food bloggers and cheese experts to share their recipes and tips as well. We hope you’ll discover a new cheese or a new way to serve one of your favorites. On behalf of the Dairy Farm Families of Wisconsin, we invite you to pull up a chair and discover how cheese can enhance even the simplest of meals. We invite you to grate, pair and share.

Welcome to our table.

In This Issue

Share the Love

Cheese Plates for Every Palate

Side Show

A winter dinner party for cheese admirers.

Find your perfect pairing.


1 Cheese, 2 Nights

Go for a Dip!

DIY Desse

Easy weeknight dinners starring Wisconsin Cheddar, Feta & Pepper Jack.

14 scoopable, spreadable recipes.



p and kid-friendly recipes.


y Mascarpone Cheesecakes.

In Every Issue

First Bite Ricotta Flatbread with Cranberry Pomegranate Salsa On the Cover

Hot Dish Cheesy Bites & Dishes We’re Craving Right Now

5 Ways Mascarpone

Cheese Expert Q&A Recipe and Interview with Madame Fromage

Sweet Endings Baked Brie Bites

Co n t r i b u to rs

You may recognize some of these faces from your favorite food blogs. They’ve been busy in the kitchen, creating new cheese dishes to share with you.



Lori & Paul



Favorite cheesy winter dish:

Favorite cheesy winter dish:

Favorite winter cheese pairing:

Favorite winter cheese pairing:

If I were a cheese, I’ d be:

My mother’s cheese and green chile pie hors d’oeuvre. It is a really old-fashioned recipe, but it is so delicious. I love it this time of year.

Without a doubt, macaroni and cheese!

Creamy Brie with a deep, caramel malted beer.

Sliced ripe pears with Gorgonzola, drizzled with honey.

Aged White Cheddar– Continually changing and developing with age, a bit complex, thanks to my strong tastes but always aiming to please.





Favorite winter cheese pairing:

Favorite cheesy winter dish:

If I were a cheese, I’ d be:

A simple platter of rustic bread, chunks of nutty Gruyère and a dark beer. The perfect simple winter meal.

A warm bowl of beer cheese soup. I love a nice sharp Cheddar, so when that is an ingredient, I will give any dish a try.

Aged Gouda– Of Dutch heritage, approachable, pretty consistent but a touch of sharp flavor.

Grate. Pair. Share. is a publication of the Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board. For more information about Wisconsin Cheese, visit

Alexandra’s Kitchen

Not Without Salt

Baked Bree

Taylor Takes a Taste



FamilyStyle Food

Annie’s Eats


Joy the Baker


Cheese Index

Look for these Wisconsin cheeses in this issue’s recipes and pairings.

Blue Cheese




Cheddar Curds


Fresh Mozzarella






Pepper Jack


Ricotta Salata


first bite

R icotta F latbread with C ranberry- P omegranate S alsa By FamilyStyle Food Servings: 6

Ingredients: ½ cup pomegranate seeds ½ cup dried, sweetened cranberries; roughly chopped 1 shallot, finely chopped 1 tablespoon olive oil 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar 1 tablespoon honey 2 teaspoons fresh parsley, chopped 1 tablespoon fresh orange zest strips Pinch salt 1 oval prebaked flatbread, such as naan or pocketless pita 1 cup (8 ounces) Wisconsin Ricotta con Latte Cheese ½ cup baby arugula

Directions: Place baking stone or sheet pan in oven and preheat to 450°F. Combine pomegranate seeds, cranberries, shallots, oil, vinegar, honey, parsley, orange zest and salt in a bowl. Place flatbread on baking stone or pan; toast until warm and edges are lightly toasted, 5-10 minutes. Spoon Ricotta over warm flatbread and spread lightly. Arrange arugula over Ricotta; cut into serving pieces. Top each slice with pomegranate salsa.

print recipe

es h s i d & s e w C h eesy b i t o N t h g i R v ing a r C e r ’ e w

We’ re all about the thighs.

French Bread Pizza

More moist and higher in protein than chicken breasts, thighs are versatile, cook quickly and have a natural affinity for cheese.

updated with lots of vegetables and Fresh Mozzarella. Not just for kids anymore.

Recipe from Chef Brandt Evans

Get the recipe.

Blue Cheese

Homemade Condiments

Crumbly, creamy, mild, piquant, smoked, cheddared. There’s a Blue Cheese for everyone, and it pairs so well with winter flavors.

(think chutney, jam and mostarda) are great friends with cheese. Give them as holiday gifts, but be sure to keep some for yourself.

Learn more.

Recipe from It’s Not You, It’s Brie

Macaroni and Cheese is winter comfort food at its finest. We love it in all its variations. Get inspired.

Mac & Cheese, Please! The latest cookbook from cheese expert Laura Werlin. Get the book.

Breakfast Mac & Cheese by Dinner or Dessert

Cheese Plates for

Every Palate Sure, the cheese can stand alone, but why would it want to when a world of wonderful pairings awaits? Find your perfect match with one of these memorable cheese plates.

Kid-Friendly Winter Spice Cheese & Chocolate

Havarti Skewers with Grape and Apple

Fresh Mozzarella Balls with Salami

Cheddar Curds with Cracker Jack速

Kid-Friendly Cheese plates aren’t just for grown-ups. These playful pairings will please cheese lovers of all ages.

Wisconsin Fresh Mozzarella Balls with Salami Look for ciligene, cherry-sized balls of Wisconsin Fresh Mozzarella — with its clean, milky flavor—and wrap them in thin slices of salami.

Wisconsin Cheddar Curds with Cracker Jack® What’s more fun than cheese curds that squeak when you eat them? Adding the sweet crunch of another favorite childhood snack.

Wisconsin Havarti Skewers with Grape and Apple The mild, buttery flavor of Wisconsin Havarti is the perfect complement to tart apples and grapes. Say “Moo!” Download our free, printable cow masks for all your pint-sized cheese tasters.


Click to print

Winter Spice Cheese and spice and everything nice.

Aged Wisconsin Gouda + Allspice Butterscotch Sauce As Wisconsin Gouda ages, it develops an intense flavor with sweet, caramel notes. Accentuate the cheese with a drizzle of homemade Allspice Butterscotch Sauce. Get the recipe.

Wisconsin Blue Cheese with Candied Ginger Candied (or crystalized) ginger evokes a spicy sweetness that stands up to strongly flavored cheeses, like a creamy Wisconsin Blue. Look for it in the bulk aisle or baking section of your grocery store.

2-3 year-old WIsconsin Cheddar with Spiced Glazed Pecans Good things come to those who wait. After a couple of years in the aging cave, Wisconsin Cheddar has the nutty richness that makes it a perfect pair for spiced glazed pecans. Try our recipe for Bourbon Spice Pecans. Need a wine or beer pairing? Visit for even more ideas.

2-3 Year-Old Cheddar with Spiced Glazed Pecans

Blue Cheese with Candied Ginger

Aged Gouda + Allspice Butterscotch Sauce

Blue Cheese with Dark Chocolate Truffles Brie with White Chocolate & Cherries

Parmesan with Dark Chocolate Covered Almonds

Cheese & Chocolate Alone, they’re among our favorite indulgences. Together, they become something simply sensational.

Wisconsin Blue Cheese with Dark Chocolate Truffles Two rich and creamy elements. One sinfully indulgent bite. We love to enjoy this pairing with a glass of port wine.

Wisconsin Brie with White Chocolate & Cherries This crowd-pleasing trio hits all the right notes: creamy, savory, sweet and tart.

Wisconsin Parmesan with Dark Chocolate Covered Almonds A nutty and complex cheese meets its sweet soul mate. Want more cheese & chocolate? Download our new PDF pairing guide for more great combinations and tips on creating your own.

MAscARpone Rich, buttery and just a little sweet, Wisconsin Mascarpone is the secret to many creamy desserts, but it can also transform savory dishes into something luxurious and unforgettable. Here are five of our favorite ways to serve and eat this versatile cheese.

1. Easy Creamy Tomato Sauce Add a dollop of Mascarpone to prepared marinara sauce for pasta and grilled chicken.

2. Lemon Cream Ginger Cookies Combine equal parts Mascarpone and lemon curd and spread between ginger cookies for a creamy, sweet bite that’s more than a little addictive.

3. Balsamic Mascarpone Crostini Add 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar to 8 ounces Mascarpone and spread on crostini for a super-quick appetizer that will impress your guests. Top with fresh herbs, sliced fruit or roasted mushrooms.

4. Twice Baked Potatoes Use in place of sour cream or cream cheese. Try our recipe for Twice Baked Potatoes with Greens and Wisconsin Mascarpone.

5. Cannoli Cookie Dip Add 1/4 cup powdered sugar and 1/4 cup mini chocolate chips to 1 cup (8 ounces) Wisconsin Mascarpone. Roll in chopped pistachios and additional chocolate chips, and serve with vanilla wafers. Mascarpone Tip: When mixing into frostings, dips or spreads, be careful not to overprocess. It can churn into butter and develop a lumpy consistency. Always mix Mascarpone by hand.

Share the Love A winter dinner party for cheese admirers

We love cozy, casual dinners with friends — ones where everyone brings a dish to share. The recipes in this winter feast come from food bloggers around the country who share a passion for simple, modern dishes made with the finest ingredients including — of course — Wisconsin Cheese.

Servings: 6 to 8

Kale Salad with Ricotta Salata, Pecans and Oranges

Ingredients: 1 bunch (about 8-10 cups) kale ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar 1 teaspoon honey ¼ teaspoon salt ½ cup pecan pieces, toasted 2 navel oranges 5 ounces (about 2 ⁄3 cup) Wisconsin Ricotta Salata Cheese, crumbled Directions: Preheat oven to 350°F. Wash kale and remove stems. Dry leaves well. Tear into bite-sized pieces and put in large salad bowl. In small bowl, combine olive oil, lemon juice, apple cider vinegar, honey and salt, whisking together until well combined. Drizzle dressing over kale. Massage dressing into leaves with your hands for about 2 minutes. Set aside. Spread pecans on baking sheet and bake 5-7 minutes, or until just fragrant. Cool nuts, then chop if pieces are large. Peel oranges; divide into segments, leaving pith and membrane. Cut each section into three pieces. Add orange segments, crumbled Ricotta Salata and toasted nuts to kale. Toss to combine. Serve immediately or refrigerate until ready to serve. Note: This salad tastes even better a few hours after it’s made, making it ideal for pre-dinner party preparation. • Print Recipe

By Caroline of Whipped On cocktail pairings: “I like to devise a signature cocktail that reflects the menu. You can offer guests something fun to sip that hints at the flavors to come.”

Servings: 6 to 8 Ingredients: 3 pounds Yukon Gold potatoes, cut in 1-inch cubes 2 large apples, cut in ½-inch cubes 1 large red onion, large dice 1 ⁄ cup olive oil 3 1 teaspoon kosher salt Pepper For the Gruyère sauce:

Roasted Potatoe and Apples with Wisconsin Gruyè

4 tablespoons (½ stick) butter 2 garlic cloves, finely minced 4 tablespoons flour 3 cups whole milk 2 cups (8 ounces) Wisconsin Gruyère Cheese, shredded 2 teaspoons fresh thyme, chopped Salt & pepper 1 ⁄ teaspoon nutmeg (optional) 8 Directions: Preheat oven to 425°F. In medium bowl, combine potatoes, apples and onions; toss with olive oil. Spread onto rimmed baking sheet and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast 45-60 minutes, until potatoes are tender and deep golden in parts, gently stirring every 15 minutes. While potatoes and apples are roasting, prepare Gruyère sauce. In large skillet, melt butter. Add garlic and sauté until fragrant, about 1 minute. Stir in flour and cook 1 minute. Slowly whisk in milk. Simmer, whisking until sauce is smooth and slightly thickened. Reduce heat and add cheese and thyme, mixing well. Remove from heat. Taste and adjust seasoning with salt, pepper and nutmeg. Serve cheese sauce alongside warm potatoes. • Print Recipe

By Ashley of Not Without Salt Favorite dinner party memory: “We have a small space in which to entertain but on this night that didn’t stop us. With six adults and nine kids, our tiny house was flooded with people. We laid out a tablecloth on the floor for the kids to “picnic,” while we adults sat in mismatched chairs around them. We ate, we laughed and we’ve never forgotten that wonderful night.”


ère Sauce


By Bree of Baked Bree Stress-free dinner party tip: “Do as much ahead of time as you can. Set the table, set out your platters and serving pieces, prep and make as much as you can before your guests arrive. That way you can enjoy the party that you worked so hard getting ready for.�

erry and Walnut Cheddar-Stuffed Pork Loin

Servings: 6 to 8 Ingredients: 3 tablespoons butter 1 large onion, chopped 1 apple, peeled and chopped ½ teaspoon salt ¼ teaspoon ground pepper 1 clove garlic, minced 2 ½ cups fresh bread crumbs ¼ cup flat leaf parsley, chopped ¼ cup dried cranberries ¼ cup walnuts, chopped 1 teaspoon fresh thyme 1 teaspoon fresh sage, finely chopped 1 cup (4 ounces) Wisconsin White Cheddar Cheese, shredded 4-pound boneless pork loin, butterflied* 2 tablespoons vegetable oil Salt and pepper Directions: For stuffing: Melt butter in large skillet over medium heat. Add onions and apples and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Add garlic and cook 1 minute. In large bowl, toss bread crumbs, parsley, cranberries, walnuts, thyme and sage. Add onion mixture and toss to combine. Set aside. For roast pork: Preheat oven to 375°F. Lay pork out onto cutting board. Cover pork with stuffing and pat down. Sprinkle with shredded Cheddar. Roll pork over the stuffing, ending with seam-side down. Tie roll with string in a few places to keep closed. Dry outside of pork with paper towel and season with salt and pepper. Heat oil in large skillet over medium-high heat. Brown pork on all sides, about 8 minutes total. Spray roasting pan with cooking spray. Transfer pork to roasting pan. Roast 60-75 minutes, until pork reaches internal temperature of 150°F. Transfer to cutting board and cover loosely with foil. Let rest 20 minutes. Slice and serve. * To make your life a little easier, ask your butcher to butterfly the pork loin. • Print Recipe

Servings: Makes one 9 1/2-inch tart Ingredients: For topping: 1 teaspoon unflavored gelatin 1 12-ounce bag fresh or frozen cranberries ¾ cup sugar For crust: 30 chocolate wafer cookies ¼ cup sugar ¼ teaspoon salt 6 tablespoons butter, melted For filling: 1 pound (about 2 cups) Wisconsin Mascarpone Cheese 1 cup powdered sugar 1 ⁄ cup cocoa powder 3 1 tablespoon heavy cream Directions: For topping: Sprinkle gelatin over 1/4 cup water in small bowl and let soften 10 minutes. Put cranberries (thawed, if frozen) in saucepan with sugar and 1/4 cup water. Bring to a boil; stir to dissolve sugar. Lower heat to simmer and cook an additional 5 minutes or so; you want to soften cranberries but retain their plump shape. Drain cranberries over a bowl. Add gelatin to juice in the bowl, stirring to dissolve. Add cranberries to the juice, stirring gently. Cover and chill until the mixture thickens, about 8 hours or overnight. For crust: Preheat oven to 350°F. Pulse cookies, sugar and salt in a food processor until fine crumbs form. Add butter and pulse until mixture is moistened and holds together when you pinch it. Press crumbs onto bottom and sides of 9 1/2-inch tart pan with removable bottom. Bake crust 10-12 minutes; cool completely on a rack. For filling: Beat Mascarpone, sugar, cocoa and cream together just until spreadable. Spread filling over cooled crust and top with cranberries. Refrigerate at least 2 hours. Remove rim of tart pan before serving. • Print Recipe

Cranberry Choc Mascarpone Tar

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By Karen of FamilyStyle Food Dinner party philosophy: “Sharing food is always a time for celebration. My favorite moments are the ones that happen while gathered around the table.�

14 new dip recipes

Go for a Dip ! Heading out to a party? Whatever the occasion— holiday celebration, weeknight book club or game day get together— we highly recommend arriving with a cheesy dip to share.

Sriracha Blue Cheese Spread

Pepper Pistachio Cheese Torta

Savory Italian-Style Wisconsin Cheese Ball

Cheesy Chorizo Caramelized Onion Dip by FoodieCrush

A Dip’s Best Friends Baguette Slices Whole Grain Chips Carrot & Celery Sticks Cucumber Slices Sturdy Crackers Asparagus Spears Watermelon Radish Slices Fresh Mushrooms Roasted Vegetables Toasted Pita Wedges Apple & Pear Slices

Pimento Cheese Ball with Salted Pecans by Taylor Takes a Taste

Roasted Pumpkin Dip

Smokin’ Hot Pimento Cheese

Beer Braised Onion Dip with Brick

Tavern Beer Cheese by Chef Susan Goss

Can’t Get Enough? You’ll find more than 60 dip recipes at

Dairy Red Wine Blue Cheese Ball by Burp!

Baked Ricotta Dip with Tomato Jam

Mascarpone Gingerbread Dip

Mascarpone & Brandied Walnut Spread

Roasted Cauliflower Dip with Gouda

by Alexandra’s Kitchen

SIDE SHOW Sweet potatoes, broccoli or cauliflower casserole — these are holiday side dish staples. Dress them up if you’re serving a crowd with gourmet tastes, or go with classic flavors for kid-friendly appeal. The one ingredient that’s sure to please everyone? Wisconsin Cheese.


Twice-Baked Cheddar Sweet Potatoes By FoodieCrush Servings: 4 Ingredients: 4

sweet potatoes


slices thick cut bacon


tablespoons brown sugar


tablespoons butter, melted


tablespoons half and half, at room temperature


egg, beaten, at room temperature

1 ½ teaspoons orange zest 2

tablespoons maple syrup

1 ¾ cups (7 ounces) Wisconsin Sharp Cheddar Cheese, grated, divided Kosher salt and pepper Directions: Preheat oven to 400°F. Place sweet potatoes on rimmed baking sheet lined with parchment paper; bake 45 minutes. Remove from oven; cool until still warm but cool enough to handle. While potatoes bake, fry bacon over medium-high heat in skillet until crisp. Remove bacon from pan and break into pieces. Add 2 tablespoons brown sugar to bacon grease and cook to dissolve, about 1 minute. Add bacon pieces back to pan, mix to coat and set aside. Reduce oven temperature to 350°F. Cut off top third of warm potatoes, lengthwise, and carefully scoop out flesh of both sides into large bowl, reserving larger bottom skins. Combine sweet potato flesh, melted butter, half and half, egg, orange zest and maple syrup with hand or stand mixer until smooth. Fold in all but 2 tablespoons of bacon pieces and 1 1/2 cups Cheddar. Season with kosher salt and pepper to taste. Using piping bag with large star tip or gallon size freezer bag with one corner trimmed at 1/4-inch angle, fill bag with potato and cheese mixture and pipe into reserved skins. Top each with reserved bacon pieces and 1/4 cup Cheddar, dividing evenly. Bake 20-25 minutes or until cheese melts and tops begin to brown. Serve warm. • Print Recipe

Smashed Sweet Potatoes with Blue Cheese and Roasted Pears By FamilyStyle Food Servings: 6 Ingredients: 2

firm green pears, such as Anjou, halved, cored and cut into 8 wedges each


tablespoon olive oil


tablespoon fresh lemon juice


teaspoons sugar


teaspoon fresh rosemary, chopped


pounds sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 2-inch chunks


teaspoon salt


tablespoons butter

/3 cup (4 ounces) Wisconsin Blue Cheese, crumbled


Directions: Preheat oven to 425°F. Toss pears on rimmed baking sheet with olive oil, lemon juice, sugar and rosemary. Roast 10 minutes; turn pears and continue roasting until browned and tender, about 20 minutes total. Add 1 tablespoon water to pan, scraping to loosen caramelized juices. Reserve. Meanwhile, put sweet potatoes in large saucepan with 1 teaspoon salt; add water to barely cover. Bring to a simmer, lower heat, cover and cook until tender. Drain all but approximately 1/4 cup water from sweet potatoes; add butter and gently smash the potatoes to a coarse texture with potato masher or wooden spoon; season with additional salt to taste. Keep warm. Transfer potatoes to serving dish; top with pears and pan juices. Sprinkle with Blue Cheese. • Print Recipe



Broccoli and Swiss Cheese Bake By FoodieCrush Servings: 6 to 8 Ingredients: 8

cups broccoli florets, cut into 1-inch pieces


tablespoons butter, divided


small onion, diced


clove garlic, minced


tablespoons flour


cup half and half

½ teaspoon dried thyme 4

cups (1 pound) Wisconsin Swiss Cheese, shredded

½ cup (2 ounces) Wisconsin Parmesan Cheese, plus 2 tablespoons, grated, divided Kosher salt and pepper to taste ½ cup toasted Panko bread crumbs Directions: Preheat oven to 350°F. In microwave-safe bowl, add broccoli and 2 tablespoons water; cover and cook on high in microwave oven for 3 minutes or until al dente and still bright green. Remove, drain and set aside. In Dutch oven or large sauté pan, melt 2 tablespoons butter over medium heat and sauté onion and garlic for 3-5 minutes or until translucent. Raise temperature to medium-high and add 2 remaining tablespoons butter and melt. Sprinkle flour over onion mixture and cook another 2 minutes. Add half and half and whisk continuously until sauce thickens. Add thyme, Swiss Cheese and 1/2 cup Parmesan Cheese, kosher salt and pepper and cook another 2-3 minutes or until cheese melts. Remove from heat and add broccoli to cheese mixture, tossing to coat. Pour broccoli mixture into 9- x 12-inch casserole dish or 3-quart oven-safe serving dish, top with Panko bread crumbs and remaining Parmesan and bake for 20-25 minutes or until golden. • Print Recipe

Parmesan Cauliflower Gratin with Sage By FamilyStyle Food Servings: 6 Ingredients: 1

head cauliflower, separated into florets


tablespoon butter, softened


8-ounce container Wisconsin Mascarpone Cheese

1 ½ cups heavy (whipping) cream ½ cup Wisconsin Parmesan Cheese, grated, divided ¼ cup chopped fresh sage 1

garlic clove, finely chopped

½ teaspoon salt Freshly grated black pepper to taste Directions: Bring large pot of salted water to boil; add cauliflower and boil 5 minutes; place in colander, rinse under cold water and drain. Preheat oven to 375°F. Butter 7- x 11-inch shallow baking or gratin dish; arrange cauliflower in dish. Stir together Mascarpone, cream, 1/4 cup Parmesan, sage, garlic, salt and black pepper until smooth; pour over cauliflower. Sprinkle remaining Parmesan evenly over top. Bake 30 minutes, or until top is browned and sauce is bubbling. Remove from oven and loosely cover. Rest 15 minutes before serving. • Print Recipe


Holiday Side Dish Recipes





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R ec i p e a n d p h oto s by F o o d i eC rus h


G et t i n g to g et h e r w i t h f r i e n d s a n d f a m i l y fo r a c e l e b r a to r y m e a l i s a h i g h l i g ht of t h e h o l i d a y s . B u t of te n , t h e s e fe s t i ve fete s fo c u s m o s t l y o n t h e a d u l t s , s o w h a t to d o w i t h yo u r s m a l l g u e s t s w h i l e M o m a n d D a d a re m i n g l i n g a n d g et t i n g t h e i r m e r r y o n ?

W i t h s o m e e a s y p l a n n i n g a n d m a d e - a h e a d m i n i t re a t s , k i d s c a n p i tc h i n b y p u t t i n g t h e f i n i s h i n g to u c h e s o n t h i s s p e c i a l d e s s e r t . T h ey ’ l l h ave f u n a n d t a ke p e r s o n a l p r i d e w h e n t h ey ’ve c o nt r i b u te d to t h e c e l e b r a t i o n , s o re c r u i t t h e m to d e c o r a te t h e s e D I Y M i n i M a s c a r p o n e C h e e s e c a ke s t h a t a re b a ke d a h e a d a n d c h i l l e d u nt i l p a r t y t i m e . T h e ve l vet y M a s c a r p o n e c a ke s a re e a s y to d e c o r a te a n d d e s t i n e d to b e c o m e h o l i d a y m a s te r p i e c e s .

A F e w T ip s :

N Assign a space that is kid- and spill-friendly and set up a small table for decorating. A short table makes for an easy reach. Or, cover chair seats with towels for a work surface that will be easy to clean up and prevent stains. Choose sour cream, additional Mascarpone or whipped cream as a pillowy topper for the cheesecakes. Set out small bowls filled with edible decorations and cake toppers—fresh berries, jams, holiday candies and sugars.

Mini Mascarpõne Cheesecakes with Gingersnap Crust

By FoodieCrush Servings: 12 mini cheesecakes

Ingredients: 5 ounces (about 1 cup) gingersnap cookies 2 tablespoons butter, melted 1 8-ounce package Wisconsin Mascarpone Cheese, room temperature 1 8-ounce package cream cheese, room temperature ¾ cup sugar 1 ½ teaspoons vanilla 4 large eggs, room temperature ½ cup strawberry or raspberry jam 1 cup whipped cream* or sour cream for topping, if desired


Suggest ed toppings :

N Peppermint chips Chopped candy canes Red hot candies Chopped mint chocolates Mini white chocolate chips Shredded coconut Nonpareils

Preheat oven to 350°F.

Colored sugars

In food processor, process gingersnaps into fine crumbs. Add melted butter and mix. Press 1 tablespoon of mixture into bottom of 12-cavity (2-inch diameter) mini cheesecake pan (or muffin tin with liners). Bake 5-7 minutes. Remove and cool.

Raspberries or Blueberries

Reduce oven temperature to 325°F. In large bowl or stand mixer, mix Mascarpone and cream cheese. Add sugar and vanilla; mix 2-3 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, and mix until just combined. Do not overmix. Fill cheesecake cups slightly more than 3/4 full. Place on baking sheet and bake for 12-15 minutes or until puffed and golden but not browned. Remove from oven and cool 15 minutes; refrigerate 1 hour or up to 3 hours. Run a knife around edges of cheesecakes and remove from tin. Top each with dollop of jam and whipped cream or sour cream; decorate as desired. * Beat 1/2 cup fluid whipping cream for 1 cup whipped cream.

Chopped nuts Chopped candy bars

1 Cheese, 2 Nights Make Wisconsin Feta, Cheddar or Pepper Jack the star of your weeknight dinner table two nights in a row with these simple, satisfying recipes.

fe Foil Baked Fish Over Orzo Wisconsin Feta enhances other Greek-inspired flavors in this no-fuss recipe. By Annie’s Eats Servings: 6



8 ounces dried orzo pasta

Preheat oven to 425°F.

10 ounces frozen chopped spinach, thawed & drained

Bring medium pot of water to boil. Add orzo to pot and cook, according to package directions, until a few minutes shy of al dente.

¼ large red onion, chopped

Combine spinach, onions, tomatoes, olives and butter in large bowl. Drain orzo with fine strainer. Pour hot drained orzo into bowl with butter and vegetables; toss gently until well mixed. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

1 cup grape tomatoes, halved 4 ounces kalamata olives, sliced 1 tablespoon butter Salt & pepper ½ cup (3 ounces) Wisconsin Feta Cheese, crumbled 6 white fish fillets (such as halibut, cod or tilapia), about 6-8 ounces each Fresh dill for garnish For the compound butter: 6 tablespoons butter, softened 2 cloves garlic, minced 1 tablespoon fresh dill, minced ½ teaspoon lemon zest ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes Salt and pepper • Print Recipe

Cut foil into 6 12-inch squares. Place mixture on lower half of each foil square. Divide crumbled Feta evenly among each packet, sprinkling over orzo. To make compound butter, combine butter, garlic, dill, lemon zest and red pepper flakes in small bowl. Season with salt and pepper. Mix until well combined. Spread layer of compound butter over each fish fillet. Place portions of fish over orzo. Fold foil over and crimp edges together to seal packets. Place packets on baking sheet and bake for 12 minutes or until internal temperature of the fish registers 160°F on instant read thermometer. Remove packets from oven. Open packets, being careful to avoid steam. Garnish each serving with fresh dill. Serve immediately.

ta Minted Pita Pockets with Feta Filled with hearty garbanzo beans, fresh mint and tangy Wisconsin Feta, these pita pockets make a great lunch or light dinner. Servings: 4

Ingredients: 1 16-ounce can garbanzo beans, rinsed & drained

½ teaspoon cumin

/3 cup plain yogurt

/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper

Âź cup red pepper, chopped

4 standard-size pita breads

2 tablespoons green onions, chopped

Torn romaine leaves


2 tablespoons fresh mint, finely chopped


/3 cup (4 ounces) Wisconsin Feta Cheese*, crumbled


1 garlic clove, minced

Directions: Place beans in small bowl. Mash with fork until somewhat pasty, but still chunky. Stir in yogurt, red pepper, green onions, mint, garlic, cumin and cayenne. Chill, covered, at least 2 hours to blend flavors. Bring to room temperature before serving. Cut pitas in half vertically to form pockets. Warm, if desired. Line the pita halves with torn romaine leaves and sprinkle Feta inside, dividing evenly among pitas. Spoon bean mixture into pitas. * A flavored Feta, such as one with sun-dried tomatoes, may be substituted. • Print Recipe

ched Ham and Cheddar Frittata This crowd-pleasing frittata can be on the table in 30 minutes. The vegetable can be swapped out for whatever you have on hand —try it with broccoli, bell peppers or mushrooms. By Annie’s Eats Servings: 6 to 8



8 ounces asparagus, trimmed & cut into 1-inch pieces

Place asparagus into a medium saucepan and cover with water. Heat until boiling, and continue to cook for 2-3 minutes, until asparagus is crisp-tender. Immediately drain water and cover asparagus with cold water to stop cooking. Drain again, and set aside.

10 large eggs /3 cup milk


½ teaspoon salt Freshly ground pepper to taste 1 cup (4 ounces) Wisconsin Cheddar Cheese, shredded 2 tablespoons unsalted butter 1 ½ cups cooked ham, diced 3 scallions, chopped • Print Recipe

In medium bowl, combine eggs, milk, salt and pepper. Whisk until well blended. Whisk in shredded Cheddar. Melt butter in 12-inch cast iron or oven-safe skillet set over medium-low heat. Swirl butter around in pan to coat bottom and sides of pan. Add ham and scallions to pan and cook, stirring occasionally, just until fragrant and warmed through, about 2-3 minutes. Add drained asparagus to pan, stirring once. Pour egg mixture into pan and give mixture a quick stir to ensure even distribution of ingredients. Increase heat to medium and allow to cook without stirring. Cook until set around edges and center and top are still liquid, about 7-8 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat the broiler on high. Place skillet under broiler and continue to cook until top and center are fully cooked, about 3-4 minutes more. Remove from oven and let cool until set, about 5 minutes. Slice and serve. (Remember to use an oven mitt when handling the pan during serving — it will be quite hot!)


Quinoa, Chorizo and Cheddar Stuffed Peppers Wisconsin Cheddar and quinoa meet Southwest flavors in this hearty stuffed pepper. Serve as a main dish with a side salad. Servings: 6

Ingredients: 8 ounces fresh chorizo, casings removed

¾ cup quinoa

½ cup onions, diced

1 ½ cups chicken broth or additional, if needed

1 jalapeño chile, seeded & minced or to taste

1 15.5-ounce can black beans, drained in colander & rinsed

4 large bell peppers, preferably mix of colors, divided

6 ounces Wisconsin Cheddar Cheese, cut in ¼-inch dice

1 14.5-ounce can diced tomatoes, drained

½ cup (2 ounces) Wisconsin Cheddar Cheese, shredded

Directions: Preheat oven to 350°F. In large skillet, over medium heat, sauté chorizo, breaking it up, with onions, jalapeño and 1 diced bell pepper. Cook until vegetables are soft, about 5 minutes. Stir in tomatoes and cook 2 minutes more. Stir in quinoa and chicken broth. Bring to boil. Reduce heat and simmer until quinoa is tender and most of liquid is absorbed, adding more if mixture becomes dry, about 20-25 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add black beans and diced cheese; mix well. Halve remaining 3 peppers lengthwise and place in 13- x 9- x 2-inch glass baking dish. Fill each half with 3/4 cup quinoa mixture, cover with foil and bake 30 minutes. Uncover peppers and sprinkle with cheese. Bake until cheese is melted and tops are beginning to brown, about 7-10 minutes. Let stand 5 minutes and serve. • Print Recipe


Beans, Greens and Pepper Jack This spicy dish comes together in just a few minutes. Top with cooked sausage for a hearty main dish, or serve as is for Meatless Mondays. Servings: 4 to 6



2 14.5-ounce cans pinto beans, drained in colander & rinsed

In large saucepan, heat beans with chipotles in adobo sauce.

2 tablespoons chile chipotle in adobo sauce, diced (include some sauce to taste) 1 tablespoon olive oil 2 cloves garlic, minced 4 cups Swiss chard or kale, chopped 1 cup (4 ounces) Wisconsin Pepper Jack Cheese, shredded, plus additional for topping Salt & pepper, to taste

Meanwhile in large skillet, heat olive oil and sauté garlic until fragrant. Add greens and sauté until wilted. Add to beans; mix well. Stir in cheese and season with salt and pepper. Top with additional cheese, if desired. Serve with flour tortillas or cornbread. Add sliced fully cooked chorizo or garlicky sausage to beans for main course, if desired. • Print Recipe

r jack

Southwestern Chicken Skillet Take chicken breasts beyond ordinary with pantry staples and spicy Wisconsin Pepper Jack Cheese. Servings: 4

Ingredients: 1 teaspoon chili powder

½ cup prepared salsa

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

¼ teaspoon salt 4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves 2 teaspoons vegetable or olive oil 2 cloves garlic, minced

1 cup (4 ounces) Wisconsin Pepper Jack Cheese, shredded 2 tablespoons cilantro or green onions, chopped

Directions: Sprinkle chili powder, cumin and salt over chicken. Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add chicken and garlic; cook 5 minutes. Turn chicken over. Combine salsa and mustard; spoon over and around chicken. Continue cooking, turning chicken and stirring sauce, 5 minutes or until chicken is cooked through. Sprinkle cheese and cilantro over chicken. Continue cooking 1-2 minutes or until cheese is melted. • Print Recipe

Cheese Expert Q &A: m a d a m e

f r o m a g e

A Wisconsin native shares her journey into the world of cheese and a recipe inspired by the unofficial state cocktail— Brandy Old -Fashioned Bread Pudding with Mascarpone.

madame fromage Recipe and photos by Tenaya Darlington, aka Madame Fromage

Photo credit: Jason Varney

How did you become Madame Fromage? Madame Fromage evolved out of homesickness for Wisconsin. I moved from Madison to Philadelphia in 2005 to start a new job, and I didn’t know a soul. One day I passed by a cheese shop called Di Bruno Brothers, and I stopped in to pick up a wedge of (Wisconsin) Pleasant Ridge Reserve. The guys behind the counter were so excited I’d asked for that cheese, they offered me samples of half their stock. I left with a big bag of goodies and a determination to learn more about artisan cheese in general. After that, the cheese counter turned into my corner bar. I stopped in every few days for a nibble and conversation, and eventually I began taking notes. The blog evolved as a way to record my tastings — the name was just a joke at first, but I grew to like it. It’s like a stage name, which is perfect since every cheese board is slightly theatrical, in my opinion — a place where dramatic pairings can shine. What’s your perfect pairing with cheese? I’m on a chutney jag. I love pairing a good apple or mango chutney with sharp Cheddar— something a British friend taught me. Chutney pairs well with any Blue Cheese with a whoosh of pepper. Around the holidays, I love to pair Triple Crèmes with sour cherry jam and Champagne. What resources or tools do you find useful when learning about cheese? Honestly, your own nose and mouth. I am a big believer in sampling cheese before you buy it. Smell it, taste it. Think about the flavors. The more you train your palate bite by bite, the more you’ll notice how certain notes appear and reappear— like the smell of hay on bloomy Bries, or the taste of roasted garlic that often pops out in Alpine-style cheeses, like Gruyère. What is it about cheese that inspires you? I’m a fiction writer by training, so I think about cheese in much the same way I think about books. I like to browse. I like to discover. For me, finding a great cheesemaker is like coming upon a great author: it makes me want to taste every wheel that person has created. Great cheese, like great literature, requires skill and imagination — two things I respect very deeply.

Tell us a little about your recipe. I miss drinking Brandy Old-Fashioneds at the Tornado Club in Madison. One night, I was reminiscing a little, and I started wondering if it would be possible to make a hot Old-Fashioned— like a hot Toddy. That led me to the subject of warm, winter-time desserts, and since I often have a baguette lying around…well, I couldn’t not whip up a batch of boozy bread pudding. I also had some Wisconsin Mascarpone on hand, which I love to eat on toast. So, the combination was a karmic miracle. Read more at

Brandy Old-Fashioned Bread Pudding with Mascarpone B y M a d a me Fr o m a g e

Inspired by the Wisconsin state drink, this dessert is great for holiday entertaining — serve it after dinner around the fire, or for breakfast or brunch. You can make it the night before and store it, uncooked, in the fridge. Just be sure to give yourself time to soak the cherries in brandy — they need several hours to soften. A handful of pecans or walnuts is a lovely addition to this recipe, too. Serves 4 Ingredients: ½ cup dried cherries, or 1 cup frozen cherries, thawed ¼ cup brandy 2 large eggs ½ cup brown sugar, packed 1 ¼ cup whole milk 1 tablespoon orange zest 1 ½ teaspoons bitters 3 cups stale bread, cubed (try leftover baguette or challah) 2 tablespoons butter 4 ounces (about ½ cup) Wisconsin Mascarpone Cheese

Directions: For cherries: Soak cherries in brandy in covered dish for 3-4 hours, or overnight. If using frozen cherries, skip soaking step. For bread pudding: Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter 4 oven-safe ramekins or one 8- x 8-inch square baking dish. Lightly beat eggs with fork, then add brown sugar. Stir until combined. Add milk, orange zest and bitters. Stir until smooth. Fold in bread cubes and brandied cherries. Ladle mixture into ramekins or baking dish and place dabs of butter across top. Set dishes (or single pan) into large casserole pan filled with boiling water half the height of ramekins (to keep pudding moist while baking). Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until top browns. Serve warm with a scoop of Mascarpone. If desired, top with grated nutmeg or additional orange zest. Note: For a little more punch, stir 2 tablespoons of brandy into Mascarpone, along with 1 heaping tablespoon powdered sugar.

Sweet Endings

These Baked Brie Bites from Joy of Joy the Baker feel like the ultimate indulgence. Buttery and flaky puff pastry is filled with creamy Wisconsin Brie Cheese and sweet jam.

Baked Brie Bites Servings: 12 bites Ingredients: 2 sheets all-butter puff pastry, thawed but still cold 1 large egg, beaten 2 tablespoons milk 12 mini wooden ice-pop sticks (optional) 4-ounce piece of cold Wisconsin Brie Cheese, cut in 12 slivers ¹/3 cup cherry jam or other jam of your choice Coarse ground sea salt Directions: Open puff pastry sheets and cut into thirds along fold creases (store-bought pastry is generally folded in thirds). Cut each panel into four pieces, 2 1/4- x 3-inches. One sheet of puff pastry will yield 12 rectangles. Cut each rectangle in half. You will have 24 rectangles that will create 12 bites. Combine beaten egg and milk. Brush 12 pastry rectangles with egg wash. If using, place ice-pop stick halfway up length of puff pastry rectangle and press gently. Place small sliver of Brie (rind and all) on top of egg wash (and stick). Top with 1/2 teaspoon cherry jam. Stretch another rectangle of puff pastry slightly and place on top of cheese and jam rectangle. Use fork to press edges together, sealing well. Repeat with remaining rectangles. Pierce top of bites lightly with fork. Place rack in center of cold oven; preheat oven to 375°F. Line baking sheet with parchment paper and place bites on sheets. Brush tops with egg wash. Sprinkle with a bit of sea salt. Bake 12-14 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from oven and cool slightly before serving. Best when served warm. • Print Recipe Recipe and photos by Joy the Baker

Š 2012 Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board, Inc.


Wisconsin Cheese

adjective : when food is so delicious that it is savored for as long as possible before being swallowed. The last bite of Wisconsin Gouda always proves to be the most chewlicious.

Outdo Ordinary ™

Profile for Dairy Farmers of Wisconsin

Grate. Pair. Share.  

A magazine about cooking and entertaining with Wisconsin Cheese.

Grate. Pair. Share.  

A magazine about cooking and entertaining with Wisconsin Cheese.