Cheese Ball Recipes

By Diane Ruyack

Everyone is hungry waiting for the holiday meals this season!  Try serving these delicious cheese ball recipes with veggies and crackers. The first recipe uses lower fat ingredients while the second one is super easy.  Enjoy!

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Celebrate National Cheese Pizza Day on September 5th!

By DeDe Hausmann

Love it!!  We have another reason to party-hearty.   Yes, September 5th is National Cheese Pizza Day and I’m going to enjoy one for my evening meal (along with a salad filled to the brim with brightly colored veggies and a big glass of chocolate milk).  How about you and yours?  Will you join me?

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Love At First Sight – Cheese and Zucchini


By Diane Ruyack

You are invited to a marriage!  Love at first sight, Cheese and zucchini go together like…..

All squashes, including zucchini, originated in the Americas. Archaeologists have found evidence of zucchini in Mexico as early as 7000 BC. Ancient Central Americans ate a diet rich in corn, beans and squash, a combination known today as “the three sisters.” When European explorers conquered the region in the 1500s, they brought back exotic foods from the New World, including zucchini.

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Artisans in the DuPont Building at the Indiana State Fair

By Mary Nicholson

An artisan is defined as someone that produces something, such as wine or cheese, in limited amounts, often using traditional, as opposed to factory, methods.  As I sit here thinking about that, I guess that would have made my Mom a needlework or yarn artisan, as she was a knitter extraordinaire!  She was pretty fast and furious with those needles, and she had quite a variety of shapes and sizes.  And remember those crocheted vests from the 60’s?  You can bet the ones my sister and I wore weren’t factory made!  At least that skill I was able to learn from Mom.  Even though my projects are rather limited in scope, I can turn out a pretty awesome granny square!

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Grilling Cheese?- You’ve Got to be Kidding?!

By: DeDe Hausmann

I’m not talking Grilled Cheese Sandwiches—anyone can do that in a fry pan on the stove. I’m talking literally GRILLING —as in on an outdoor barbeque grill.  We’ve all grilled many a food, such as meats, veggies and even fruit, but I never thought of grilling cheese.  Sure we’ve topped grilled burgers with cheese and oh what flavor bleu cheese can add as a topping to a scrumptious steak hot off the grill.  But to actually “cook” cheese on the grill, now that is a challenge.

So I went to the experts and the chefs at FOOD NETWORK came thru for me.  To add cheese to a food during the grilling process, aluminum foil comes to the rescue!!!  YEA—never thought of that, did you?!!!  And they make it sound so easy.

Here’s some recipes, using cheese, that can be made simply and deliciously, on your barbeque grill.  Do note that I adjusted the recipes so they have the “DeDe touch”:

1)    QUESADILLAS–shred Pepper Jack and/or sharp Cheddar cheese on ½ of a whole wheat (try it, you’ll like it) tortilla and top it with cooked meat (thinly sliced steak, pork, or chicken) and top with torn spinach pieces.  Sprinkle with cilantro and fold in half to close.  Place each on a double layer of foil, fold over and seal well.  Grill over medium heat, turning once, for 4-5 minutes.  Serve with Salsa and Guacamole and ENJOY!!

2)   MEATBALLS—mix 1 lb of a ground meat product (as in beef, poultry, or pork), ¼ lb. fine bread crumbs, ¼ C. grated Parmesan cheese, 1 minced garlic clove, and ¼ t. each of salt and pepper.  Roll into 1½” balls.  Arrange on a single piece of foil; top with ½ cup of a “flavored” tomato sauce (as in garlic and olive oil) and cover with another piece of foil.  Seal well.  Grill over medium heat for 15-20 minutes.  Serve with pasta or place in a bun, topped with more Parmesan cheese.   Serve with a tossed salad and a big glass of icy cold CHOCOLATE milk!

3)   VEGGIES AND PARMESAN—toss 3 C. of thinly sliced veggies (try zucchini, carrots, potatoes, peppers, etc.), 2 diced tomatoes, 2 smashed garlic cloves, a BIG shot of olive oil, fresh basil bits, 1 cup of grated Parmesan cheese, and salt and pepper in a disposable foil pie pan.  Grill over medium heat for 10-15 minutes,  gently stirring the veggies occasionally.

OK—it’s your turn.  Try one of the suggestions above OR invent your own grilled dish with delicious and nutritious CHEESE.  Say CHEESE PLEASE!!!


New Twist on Salad

By Abby Cropper

I am a Purdue University graduate and currently an IUPUI dietetic intern at the Dairy & Nutrition Council in Indianapolis.

The summer months tend to bring salads to our tables.  But, lettuce, carrots, tomatoes, and a slice of cucumber can get pretty boring.  It’s funny the way we associate salad with lettuce.  To some people lettuce is called salad and to others salad is just lettuce in a bowl!

So, according to the dictionary, the definition of salad is:

sal·ad/ˈsaləd: a cold dish of various mixtures of raw or cooked vegetables, usually seasoned with oil, vinegar, or other dressing and sometimes accompanied by meat, fish, or other ingredients Continue reading

Wine and Cheese- The Perfect Couple!

By Michelle Plummer

June is for weddings—Wine and Cheese that is! What better reception hall than the Vintage Indiana Wine Festival on June 2, 2012 at Military Park!

Here is why the marriage works. The higher the acidity and alcohol in the wine, the better to cut through the butterfat coating, thus marrying with the cheese’s creaminess and allowing for a balanced wine and cheese flavor interaction.

Contrasting Intensity is important- pairing contrasting characteristics in cheeses and wines creates very desirable flavor profiles, much like pairing sweet with sour or smooth and crunchy textures, which add complexity and interest to foods. An example would be the contrast between the saltiness of Gorgonzola and the higher residual sugar of a Port-like dessert wine.

Every wedding offers dessert! Wine and cheese boards are perfect. Select two to three wedges of cheese in a variety of intensity such as a sharp white cheddar, gorgonzola and brie. Add fresh ripe fruits that have their leaves or stems for visual appeal. Dried fruits will also add interest. Toasted nuts, chutneys and assorted breads- from rye to French baguettes, toasted, fresh and sliced are also luscious additions. Select a tray or platter and include a cheese knife for slicing.

Q & A from our readers and followers:

Q: It is well and good to talk about, marriages of wine and cheese but I want to be an active participant, can I do this in Indianapolis?

A: The answer is yes! Check out these Local Wine Events.

Q: What is a unique gift for a special wedding couple?

A: Make your own platters! Add a few cheeses and bottle of wine, an opener and cheese knife and the special couple truly has a memory! This process is called slumped glass and is wonderful fun for everyone involved!

Q: What if I am lactose intolerant?

A: Hard cheeses such as aged cheddar, Swiss and aged blue cheeses are lower in lactose and generally more tolerable. Don’t forget to go slowly and try small amounts.

Q: I am just getting started and don’t want to make a poor selection. Do I have to buy expensive cheeses and wines?

A: No, begin where you can afford and remember with all the other items you only need a small amount of everything to fill your board. Many cheese shops will let you sample before you purchase as will wineries.  Vintage Indiana is also a great time for this activity and you get to so many other things there as well!

Just so you know- my first wine was Strawberry Hill with American—I have since moved up but you have to start somewhere!

Hope to see you at Vintage on June 2nd and tell us your favorite pairing!