What on Earth is a “Cheeseboard?”

A cheeseboard (or cheese course) is often served at the end of a meal, frequently replacing dessert. It has also become popular as an appetizer course when gatherings and parties are hosted in a more relaxed atmosphere.

There are a lot of things that take the subject of cheese to a deeper level than just grabbing a block from your local grocery store.  Especially these days.  With the dawn of exported foods and easy travel, we have variety available to us like no other time in history.  We have also entered a period of local craftsmanship and animal husbandry (fancy term for raising animals in case you were wondering!) that allows us to access food raised and crafted in our local cities and towns.  Throughout California and other states, you can meet your farmers and ranchers and even tour their fields and farms.  Not only is it possible (and has been for a while now), but its becoming more and more encouraged by these small family farms.  They want you to come and see what they are so passionate about!

As people learn more about their food and where it comes from, it opens us all up to a whole world about history and techniques as well as traditions and flavors.  This was our favorite part of learning about cheese. Continue reading “What on Earth is a “Cheeseboard?””

One Seasonal Soup You All Should Try: Roasted Pumpkin Soup with Spiced Cream and Pepitas

This twist on classic pumpkin soup will please everyone around the table. No one can resist this creamy and smooth soup with a hint of heat, and topped with toasted pepitas and spiced cream.

Around here, we eat a lot of soup this time of year.  It’s chilly and blustery and soup just comforts you.  Our Sprout enjoys soup too. She gets antsy at dinner time because she has to sit still.  Haha!  I’m sure you all know what I mean, especially if you’ve ever had a high energy, strong willed toddler. Anyways, soup is a quick meal for her and for us. Which is just what we need this time of year.

Soup requires very little skill, which makes it great for busy families like ours.  Basically any soup is comprised of a base (usually broth or cream), meat or protein, vegetables, flavor add ins (think bacon, scallions, etc.), and toppings.  Once you get that down, the options are endless!  It also freezes easily for future meals.  Make a big batch a freeze for up to 6 months! Continue reading “One Seasonal Soup You All Should Try: Roasted Pumpkin Soup with Spiced Cream and Pepitas”

Falling for Pickles!

The other beautiful part of fall is the abundance of produce that ripens at the end of summer/early fall. Especially cucumbers, tomatoes, and green beans. The cooler weather also makes pickling a little less exhausting at the cottage. Pickles are full of vitamins and minerals and are often consumed to aid digestion as well as other ailments.

Simple Cottage Dill Pickles
A classic and tasty recipe perfect for the whole family.

Fall is officially here and it’s starting to show. Our maple tree is turning red, the plum tree is turning too. We love autumn, especially here on the coast.  The weather is mild and sunny and most of the tourists are back home in school. The other beautiful part of fall is the abundance of produce that ripens at the end of summer/early fall.  Especially cucumbers, tomatoes, and green beans.  The cooler weather also makes pickling a little less exhausting at the cottage. Continue reading “Falling for Pickles!”

Spicy Stone Fruit Chutney

Our Spicy Stone Fruit Chutney is the perfect match for grilled pork chops, goat cheese flatbread, or paired with your favorite meats and cheeses.

In true punny form, we are ending this series with a bang!  Today we bring you a delicious and spicy condiment in Day 7 of our Summer Produce Series.  Our Spicy Stone Fruit Chutney is the perfect match for grilled pork chops, goat cheese flatbread, or paired with your favorite meats and cheeses. Continue reading “Spicy Stone Fruit Chutney”

Summer Red Sangria

One of our favorite drinks from that restaurant was the House Sangria. It paired so well with the warm and slightly spicy flavors of the dishes. It was light, sweet and refreshing.

We moved to the central coast back in 2012 for a job.  Dave had recently graduated culinary school and the recession hit us pretty hard.  We quickly realized that the jobs back in the mountains would always be seasonal, (at one point in late 2011, Dave worked a grand total of 36 hours in a month…MONTH not week!) and that the competition for each position would be cutthroat.  The recession ended up becoming the best adventure for us.  With only a few weeks notice, we packed up our whole life and moved 4 hours from everyone and everything we knew.

img_2072The job he took was for a new restaurant owned by a local restaurateur.  It was a tapas style restaurant with global and Spanish dishes.  We had never even heard of tapas before and had a hard time pronouncing items on their menu. We quickly learned all about this type of cuisine and what made it unique.  It’s now one of our favorite types of dining because of its unique social aspect. Continue reading “Summer Red Sangria”