Category Archives: Favorites

The Stinky Cheese Man and Other Fairly Stupid Tales

A Gift For Tiny Cheese Lovers

Buying gifts for kids when you don’t have one the same age is really hard. I never know what toys are age-appropriate or what’s so popular that the kid will already own it. (And probably have already gotten bored of it.)

But books always seem like a safe bet. I’m thrilled when someone gives me a new book for Elle, especially if there’s a personal inscription inside. If you happen to be shopping for a book for a miniature cheese lover, I would highly suggest “The Stinky Cheese Man and Other Fairly Stupid Tales.”

The Stinky Cheese Man and Other Fairly Stupid Tales

The book is an off-beat spoof of children’s fairy tales that’s just silly and gross enough to actually capture their attention. The ugly duckling grows up to be an ugly duck and the princess who kisses a frog doesn’t get a prince, just slime on her face. Of course, my favorite story is about the stinky cheese man. He’s got olives for eyes and bacon for a mouth and smells so bad that no one wants to even try to eat him. I think he’s pretty cute:

The Stinky Cheese Man

The book sells for $9.94 on Amazon.

Savannah Bee Company Cheese Honey

Cheese Honey

Dave and I hosted 11 people for Easter dinner yesterday. Like every dinner party I’ve ever held, I served a cheese board along with my other hors d’oeuvres.

Since we were having two types of deviled eggs, crab cakes and shrimp cocktail (in a bowl made out of ice!!), I kept the cheese assortment minimal — one cow’s milk, one sheep’s milk and one goat’s milk.

At the end of the night, one of the guests commented that the last time he came over, I had served honey alongside the cheese.

“Does honey not go well with these cheeses?” he asked me.

Why didn’t he speak up sooner? (When I put the cheese board on the table would have been a good time.) Blame the pregnancy brain: I forgot that people love honey. And I’ve found one that pairs well with a boatload of different cheeses: Savannah Bee Company’s Cheese Honey.

Honey can be a little tricky. You don’t want to overpower the flavor of a cheese with too much of it or one that’s too strong. The Savannah Bee Company product is specifically created to complement a wide assortment of cheese. This could be total bunk — a smart marketing ploy that completely ensnared me. If it is, I don’t care. I really like this honey.

I’ve tried it with cheeses ranging from goudas to blues to cheddars and it has always added to the flavor of the cheese rather than detracting from it. It’s not tooth-achingly sweet or too thick. Plus, it’s a tasty addition to Greek yogurt or stirred into tea. The company even suggests dipping a grilled cheese into it, but c’mon, doesn’t that seem a bit excessive?

I still like the drama and visual appeal of an entire honeycomb square presented on a giant cheese board. But for smaller plates or when serving just a few guests, this is the jar I’m currently reaching for.

Since there aren’t any stores near me that carry this particular product (although it’s pretty easy to find other Savannah Bee Company honeys), I order it online.

Savannah Bee Company Cheese Honey

A 12-ounce jar costs $12, while a pair of two mini 3-ounce jars cost $11. One of the little jars paired with a hunk of cheese or two would make a terrific hostess gift for a dinner party. Admittedly, the Cheese Honey costs a heck of a lot more than the plastic bear you’ll find on supermarket shelves. But there’s no comparison when it comes to taste.

34 Degrees Crisps

34 Degrees Crisps

There are certain items that no kitchen pantry should ever be without. For many people, that list includes bottled water, batteries and cans of soup. After all, you never know when Al Roker is going to warn of a sudden snowstorm or hurricane. For me, 34 Degrees Crisps are a pantry essential — both for weather- and entertaining-related emergencies.

(Example: What if the power goes out and we need to eat all the cheese in the fridge before it spoils? We need crackers, lots of crackers! Or…

Shoot! I didn’t know my husband was going to invite our dinner companions over for a glass of wine instead of meeting at the restaurant. Quick, put out some cheese and crackers!)

34 Degrees Crisps

These super-thin and crispy wafers are currently my hands-down favorite for serving with cheese.

Unlike many crackers, you can actually taste the cheese sitting on top of them. They don’t overpower it, instead serving as a sturdy yet unobtrusive little vehicle for shuttling a soft and gooey cheese straight into your mouth.

I typically buy the Natural flavor, but like both the Cracked Pepper and Rosemary options for serving with goat cheese. (The 34 Degrees website actually has a really easy and tasty recipe for a goat cheese, toasted walnut and honey appetizer using the Cracked Pepper crisps.)

You should be able to find the crackers at Whole Foods, or they can be ordered in bulk packages of six through Amazon.

Cheddar Popcorn

The Best Cheese Popcorn Ever

As an avid fan of both cheese and popcorn, I’ve tasted a not-so-small amount of orange colored kernels. Most are powdery and flavorless.

Garrett Popcorn’s cheese corn is the real stand-out. It’s my hands-down absolute favorite guilty-pleasure treat. I’ve even asked for it for Christmas — and might have, just once, told Dave that he better not come home from his business trip to Chicago if he wasn’t carrying a bag of the stuff. (I don’t know what they put in it, but it actually makes me crazy.)

The popcorn is buttery and cheesy and will stain your fingers bright orange for days. Just looking at the photo makes me feel five pounds heavier. But hey, sometimes you just have to throw caution and calorie-counting to the wind.

Garrett now has outposts in New York and Las Vegas in addition to several locations in Chicago, where it started. I’ll be honest, visiting its store in the shabby shadow of Penn Station just isn’t as exciting as lining up with other popcorn enthusiasts on Michigan Avenue. But in this weather, it’s nice to not even have to leave my couch. They ship.

(NOTE: Even though this post sounds like an infomercial, I am not being paid by Garrett. If the company does do paid endorsements however, I will accept payment in cheese corn.)