One of America’s Favorites – Cheese and Crackers

September 24, 2018 at 5:02 AM | Posted in One of America's Favorites | Leave a comment
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Cheese and crackers

Cheese and crackers is a common dish consisting of crackers paired with various or multiple cheeses. It is also known as cheese and biscuits outside the United Kingdom, United States and Canada. Historically the fare of sailors, soldiers, and pioneers, it became popular in American restaurants and taverns around the 1850s. It is prepared using various types of cheeses, and is often paired with wine. Mass-produced cheese and crackers brands include Handi-Snacks, Ritz, Jatz and Lunchables.

 

 

Cheese and crackers with red wine and other foods

Cheese and crackers is a common snack food or hors d’oeuvre consisting of crackers paired with various cheeses. In the United States it has also been served as a dessert, with the addition of ingredients such as jam, jelly, marmalade or preserves. It is also commonly served at parties in the U.S., and in the Southern United States, it is relatively common for hot chili pepper jelly to be served atop cream cheese and crackers at cocktail parties. Cheese and crackers has a relatively high amount of protein, per the cheese as an ingredient.

Cheese and crackers is a common food-pairing that can serve to complement various cheeses, and the dish can be paired with wines. The cheese can be sliced or cubed, and served separately with crackers or pre-placed atop the crackers.

Cheese and crackers has been consumed by various sailors such as immigrants, whalers and explorers before refrigeration existed, using hardtack crackers and cheese. It has also been consumed by various land explorers.

Cheese and crackers with cubed cheddar cheese

Cheese and crackers increased in popularity circa the 1850s, when bakers began producing thinner crackers with a lighter texture compared to hard tack. During this time period, the combination was placed on restaurant menus as an after-dessert course and was also served in saloons. Cheese and crackers was a food ration used by soldiers during the American Civil War (1861–1865). Some soldiers at the time referred to cheese and crackers as a “square meal”. Cheese and hardtack was consumed along with dried venison meat by Ezra Meeker during his time on the Oregon Trail in 1852. In 1915, mountaineer Philip Rogers consumed cheese and hardtack along with raisins and nuts during his expedition around Mount Rainier in Washington state.

Circa the beginning of the 20th century, cheese and crackers was being prepared in homes and cooked by baking it and adding additional ingredients after cooking, such as paprika and mustard. At this time, the combination was sometimes served with soups and salads, and was used on salads for decades thereafter. It was also commonly served at parties beginning around this time. It was consumed as a dessert, rather than after-dessert by some during the Great Depression in the United States, and was sometimes consumed by President Franklin D. Roosevelt and Eleanor Roosevelt in the White House for dessert, along with other foods.

Starting in the 1950s, cheese and crackers was recommended as a snack for children by parenting experts, home economists and authors of cookbooks. The snack increased in popularity during the mid-1980s when Oscar Mayer introduced its Lunchables product, which included cheese, crackers and lunch meat, and occurred in part to boost the company’s lunch meat sales.

A Handi-Snack

Handi-Snacks is a mass-produced cheese and crackers snack food that is prepared using processed cheese. Lunchables is another commercial product that includes cheese and crackers as ingredients. Fancy cheese and crackers was a cheese and crackers lunch product purveyed by Oscar Mayer in the mid-1980s that included additional foods such as lunch meat and a dessert.

 

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Ohio Festivals August 24-26, 2018

August 22, 2018 at 5:01 AM | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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August 24-25, 2018 Uncork’d WineFest – Ashtabula, Ohio
Formerly known as Wine & Walleye Festival. Original Festival, New Name. Celebrating Ashtabula County’s favorite exports, the festival has live music, wine tastings, a fishing tournament, and food from local restaurants.
http://www.uncorkdwinefest.com/

August 24-26, 2018 53rd Annual German-American Festival
Oregon, Ohio
Taking place at Oak Shade Grove. The Toledo Area’s Oldest, Largest and Greatest Ethnic Festival With Authentic German Food, Beer, and Entertainment. (also: gafsociety.org/Festival_Information.htm ) Attendance: 30,000
https://germanamericanfestival.net/

August 25-26, 2018 Annual Cleveland Garlic Festival – Cleveland, Ohio
Funds from the Cleveland Garlic Festival allow North Union Farmers’ Market to operate markets weekly throughout the year in Greater Cleveland. We administer and expand our educational and charitable market programs, which continue to be very important complements to our market season (Food Stamp enhanced purchases/EBT-SNAP, Music at the Market, Chef at the Market, Mighty Locavores K-2 educational programming in Cleveland Municipal School District and much more). With the help of 150 loyal farmers and producers, North Union Farmers Market will bring fresh, local, healthy food to more than 275,000+ customers this year.
http://clevelandgarlicfestival.org/

Hanover Wine Festival Weekend 8/19 and 8/20, 2018

August 16, 2018 at 11:30 AM | Posted in Festivals | 2 Comments
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Hanover Wine Festival Weekend 8/19 and 8/20

HW Annual Wine Festival Weekend 6:00 – 10:00 pm. Live Music and catered food! Angela Combs and Friends playing 7:00 – 10:00 pm. J. Damon’s Wood Fired Pizza – best pizza ever! Enjoy a wine tasting and/or purchase by the glass, bottle or case. Frozen Wine Frappe’s ~ bottled water ~ soda/cans available. No outside beverages permitted – no exceptions! Guests are welcome to bring extra chairs/blankets, the tables will fill up early. Guests 21 and over please.

$5.00/person
Tasting Room is OPEN 2:00 – 10:00 pm

Hanover Winery
2165 Morman Rd
Hamilton, OH 45013
http://www.hanoverwinery.com/hanoverevents/hanover-wine-festival/

Ohio Festivals – August 9-12, 2018 

August 15, 2018 at 5:01 AM | Posted in Festivals | 1 Comment
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August 9-12, 2018  48th Ohio Valley Antique Machinery Show
Georgetown, Ohio
Antique/craft/flea market, 4 parades, tractors, engines & equipment, Sunday antique car show, camping & RV sites, baby costume contest, entertainment, antique and garden tractor pulls, covered bridge, log cabin livin’, threshing, sawmill, rock crushing, canning, broom making, grist mill, block making, shingle mill, blacksmith, etc.
http://www.ovams.com/

August 10, 2018  11th Annual Summer Harvest Gourmet Gala
Tiffin, Ohio
The Gala is a gourmet food and wine event that benefits the Franciscan Earth Literacy Center and Seeds of Hope Farm in Tiffin. The event celebrates local and seasonal cuisine by featuring the chemical-free, fresh produce, herbs, poultry and eggs from Seeds of Hope Farm.  Chefs representing area restaurants and businesses from northwest Ohio and around the country participate in the Gala. Each chef plans his or her menu based on the available produce and other seasonal items from the Farm.
http://felctiffin.org/gala/gala-2018/

August 10-12, 2018  Germanfest Picnic – Dayton, Ohio
Presented by Dayton Liederkranz-Turner, the annual picnic will feature continuous live music, authentic German food, keg tapping, crafts, genealogy support, and kid zone.
http://daytongermanclub.org/

August 10-12, 2018  North Ridgeville Corn Festival
North Ridgeville, Ohio
The annual festival will feature Sweet’s corn steamed or roasted. Enjoy musical entertainment, parade, arts and crafts show, amusement rides, games, food, corn eating contest, 5 & 10k run, car show and horseshoe tournament.
http://www.nrcornfest.org/

Ohio Festivals August 3-5, 2018

August 1, 2018 at 5:02 AM | Posted in Festivals | Leave a comment
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August 3-4, 2018
12th Annual Van Wert Rib Fest
Van Wert, Ohio
Annual Event featuring Ribs, Music & Fun!
http://www.vanwertribfest.com/

August 3-4, 2018 Annual Vintage Ohio Wine Festival
Kirtland, Ohio
Vintage Ohio is a two-day festival in Lake County, Ohio which will feature Ohio wineries, many food vendors, arts and music. Wine will be available to taste, by the glass and by the bottle. There is a designated driver program and all ages are welcome.
http://www.visitvintageohio.com/

August 4, 2018 Corn City Festival – Deshler, Ohio
Deshler Park Deshler. Rides, a Parade, Volleyball, Kiddie Tractor Pulls, 1K and 5K runs, Live Musical Entertainment, band on Saturday night, along with great food! Car show on Sunday.

Ohio Festivals June 22-24, 2018

June 20, 2018 at 5:02 AM | Posted in Festivals | Leave a comment
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June 21-23, 2018 London Strawberry Festival – London, Ohio
The community is to be decorated in a strawberry theme. Event includes a strawberry shortcake tent, parade, nightly entertainment, and a car show benefiting Cystic Fibrosis.
http://www.londonstrawberryfestival.com/

June 23, 2018 Waterfront Wine Festival – Avon Lake, Ohio
Showcasing Ohio West Coast Wineries, Local Cuisine and Lake Erie Sunset. Featuring nine local wineries and food from Avon Lake’s finest restaurants. Enjoy relaxing music from local artists while sampling local wines and enjoying a gorgeous sunset on Lake Erie. Admission is free for the rain or shine event. Tickets for tastings are $20 and include 10 wine pours and a commemorative event wine glass. Also featuring Wine themed related vendors, local businesses and more.
http://avonlakewaterfront.com/index.html

June 23, 2018 Riverside Wine Festival – Findlay, Ohio
The Arts Partnership invites you to attend the fifth annual Riverside Wine Festival from 1pm to 6pm at scenic Riverside Park. This premier event will feature twelve Ohio wineries, local gourmet foods, fine arts and crafts, live entertainment, wine exhibitions, demonstrations and more!
http://artspartnership.com/outdoor/

June 23-24, 2018 Mulberry Creek Herbfair – Huron, Ohio
Enjoy herbal foods, plants and vendors at the herb farm’s annual fair. This year’s focus will be on ‘France: Food, Wine & Culture’
https://mulberrycreek.com/Events/index.html

Cincinnati.com Wine and Food Experience – Yeatman’s Cove When: June 16, 1 p.m.-4 p.m.

June 13, 2018 at 10:58 AM | Posted in Festivals | Leave a comment
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Cincinnati.com Wine and Food Experience – Yeatman’s Cove When: June 16, 1 p.m.-4 p.m.

June 16, Cincinnati.com’s first-ever Wine and Food Experience (#WFE) featuring The Martha Stewart Experience will deliver the city’s finest bites and fine wines, craft beers and spirits to sample.

This culinary event will feature celebrity guest Chef Graham Elliot, cooking demonstrations and a Grand Tasting Experience celebrating Cincinnati’s culinary scene along with the region’s leading gourmets and restaurateurs.

The highlight of the event will be The Martha Stewart Experience, a showcase of her latest lifestyle collections, including books, kitchen gear, tabletop vignettes and more.

Cincinnati WFE kicks off a 12-city USA TODAY NETWORK tour to explore the American culinary scene – this one with a distinctively Cincinnati perspective!

We can’t wait to share our amazing lineup of chefs, restaurants and sommeliers! Check back soon for more details.

Visit wineandfood.cincinnati.com/ for more information and tickets.

Special subscriber offer of $15 off Grand Tasting and VIP tickets only at cincinnati.com/xtras/

What: The first-ever Cincinnati.com Wine and Food Experience
Where: Yeatman’s Cove
When: June 16, 1 p.m.-4 p.m.

Note: This is a 21 & up event.

http://cincinnati.carpediem.cd/events/6415477-cincinnati-com-wine-food-experience-at-yeatmans-cove-park/

Summerfair Cincinnati at historic Coney Island June 1-3, 2018

May 31, 2018 at 10:44 AM | Posted in Festivals | Leave a comment
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Summerfair 2018, will be held 13 miles from downtown Cincinnati at historic Coney Island:
6201 Kellogg Avenue / Cincinnati / OH / 45228 (just off I-275 at Kellogg Avenue).

Dates are June 1, June 2 and June 3, 2018

Hours are 2:00 to 8:00 p.m. Friday; 10 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Saturday; 10 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Sunday.
We are a 100% outdoor show, and will be held rain or shine.

The Fair draws more than 20,000 paid attendees each year. Our demographic is 78% female, 70% income over $65,000. Media/Print/Social is funded with $32,250 with a value of $92,870.

Established in 1968, Summerfair is a combination of more than 300 fine artists and craftspeople from across the country exhibiting and selling works ranging from ceramics and sculptures to painting and photography; 4 stages of local and regional entertainers; a Youth arts entertainment area and a variety of gourmet arts. The annual fine arts fair is Summerfair Cincinnati’s primary fundraiser and consistently ranks among the top 100 art shows nationally.

All applicants’ work will be reviewed by a panel of judges, comprised of artists and art educators with backgrounds in the categories offered at Summerfair. In order to be considered, works submitted must be original art produced by the applicant.

Works in the following categories will be featured: ceramics, drawing/printmaking, glass, jewelry, leather/fiber, metal/sculpture, painting, photography, wood and 2D/3D Mixed Media.

https://summerfair.org/

CincItalia, Cincinnati Italian Festival – June 1, 2, and 3, 2018

May 30, 2018 at 9:27 PM | Posted in Festivals | Leave a comment
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CincItalia, Cincinnati Italian Festival – June 1, 2 and 3, 2018

Join us on June 1, 2 and 3, 2018, for a fun, FREE, festival atmosphere celebrating all things Italian: a wide selection of great food, wine, and beer…lively music to sing and dance to…cooking demonstrations…games and rides for kids…raffles and games for adults, including a Main Award with a grand prize of $10,000…spacious dining tent…convivial open-air wine garden…a recreated mini piazza with a small fountain surrounded by colorful flowers and Tivoli lights. Friday night is an adults-only (19+) “Carnevale,” and there’s fun for the whole family on Saturday and Sunday. Join us!

Harvest Home Park
CincItalia takes place at Harvest Home Park, located at 3961 North Bend Rd, Cheviot, OH 45211.

Parking
Limited street parking is available near Harvest Home Park and in the surrounding neighborhood. Parking on the park grounds is not permitted.

Shuttle
Because parking can be tight, the festival operates a FREE shuttle service between the Sam’s Club parking lot just north of I-74 at North Bend Road and the festival site. Shuttle vans are handicap-accessible. The ride takes about three minutes.
http://cincitalia.org/

One of America’s Favorites – Risotto

April 9, 2018 at 5:02 AM | Posted in One of America's Favorites | Leave a comment
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Creamy baked mushroom risotto

Risotto /rɪˈzɒtoʊ/ (Italian: [riˈzɔtto] or [riˈsɔtto]) is a northern Italian rice dish cooked in a broth to a creamy consistency. The broth can be derived from meat, fish, or vegetables. Many types of risotto contain butter, wine, and onion. It is one of the most common ways of cooking rice in Italy. Saffron was originally used for flavor and its attractive yellow color.

Risotto in Italy is normally a primo (first course), served on its own before the main course, but risotto alla milanese, (pronounced [riˈzɔtto alla milaˈneːze]), is often served together with ossobuco alla milanese.

Rice was grown in southern Italy since the 14th century, and eventually reached Milano in the northern region of Italy. While according to a legend a young glassblower apprentice from Flanders who used to use saffron as a pigment added it to a rice dish at a wedding feast, the first recipe identifiable as risotto dates from 1809. It includes rice sautéed in butter, sausages, bone marrow, onions with hot broth with saffron gradually added. There is a recipe for a dish named as a risotto in the 1854 Trattato di cucina (Treatise on Cooking) by Giovanni Vialardi, assistant chief chef to kings. However, the question of who invented the risotto in Milano remains unanswered today.

The rice varieties nowadays associated with risotto were developed in the 20th century, starting with Maratelli in 1914.

A high-starch (amylopectin), low-amylose round medium- or short- grain white rice is usually used for making risotto. Such rices have the ability to absorb liquids and to release starch and so they are stickier than the long grain varieties. The principal varieties used in Italy are Arborio, Baldo, Carnaroli, Maratelli, Padano, Roma, and Vialone Nano. Carnaroli, Maratelli (historical Italian variety) and Vialone Nano are considered to be the best (and most expensive) varieties, with different users preferring one over another. They have slightly different properties. For example, Carnaroli is less likely than Vialone Nano to get overcooked, but the latter, being smaller, cooks faster and absorbs condiments better. Other varieties such as Roma, Baldo, Ribe and Originario may be used but will not have the creaminess of the traditional dish; these varieties are considered better for soups and other non-risotto rice dishes, and sweet rice desserts. Rice designations of superfino, semifino and fino refer to the size and shape (specifically the length and the narrowness) of the grains, and not the quality.

Mushroom and Chicken Risotto

There are many different risotto recipes with different ingredients, but they are all based on rice of an appropriate variety, cooked in a standard procedure, requiring, unlike other rice dishes, constant care and attention. The rice is not pre-rinsed, as washing would remove much of the starch required for a creamy texture.

The rice is first cooked briefly in a soffritto of onion and butter or olive oil, to coat each grain in a film of fat, called tostatura; white wine is added and must be absorbed by the grains. When it has been absorbed the heat is raised to medium high, and boiling stock is gradually added in small amounts, while stirring constantly. The constant stirring, with only a small amount of liquid present, forces the grains to rub against each other and release the starch molecules from the outside of the grains into the surrounding liquid, creating a smooth creamy-textured mass. When the rice is cooked the pot is taken off the heat for mantecatura, vigorously beating in refrigerated balls of grated parmesan cheese and butter, to make the texture as creamy and smooth as possible. It may be removed from the heat a few minutes earlier and left to cook with its residual heat.

Properly cooked risotto is rich and creamy even if no cream is added, due to the starch in the grains, if properly prepared. It has some resistance or bite (al dente) and separate grains. The traditional texture is fairly fluid, or all’onda (“wavy, or flowing in waves”). It is served on flat dishes and should easily spread out but not have excess watery liquid around the perimeter. It must be eaten at once, as it continues to cook in its own heat, making the grains absorb all the liquid and become soft and dry.

 

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