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?””

The Best Things in Life Are Cheese

Cheese…what more can we say? It’s one of those ingredients that can make a simple meal so much better, a small party into a great gathering, and basically make most humans the happiest humans around! It’s a year round crowd-pleaser and satisfies those midnight cravings for munchies.

Cheese…what more can we say?  It’s one of those ingredients that can make a simple meal so much better, a small party into a great gathering, and basically…make most humans the happiest humans around!  It’s a year round crowd pleaser and satisfies those midnight cravings for munchies.

Cheese Boards by the Sprouted Cottage - Tips for choosing, assembling, and serving cheeses to a crowd.

We are big about cheese around here.  Busy days often call for homemade mac and cheese or a delicious, grilled-to-perfection, grilled cheese sandwich.  Before the Sprout came along, Dave and I would often frequent our local cheese shops and select a couple types to take home for Sunday afternoon lunches and beach side picnics.  Then the Sprout came…after two months of her experiencing acid-reflux symptoms and the screams to match, we discovered that she was lactose intolerant.  Heavy sigh…cheese was a way of life for Dave and I!  Well maybe not a way of life, but we definitely survived on it often!

Cheese Boards by the Sprouted Cottage - Tips for choosing, assembling, and serving cheeses to a crowd.We aren’t the kind of people who give up easily, though.  After all, Dave’s a chef…so we set out to find ones that she could tolerate, which also meant that I could eat them while nursing.  And find them, we did!  We found many varieties that she not only tolerated, but enjoyed discovering when she got older.  Life had returned!

Continue reading “The Best Things in Life Are Cheese”

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”

DIY “A” Frame Chalkboard Sign Tutorial

DIY portable, “A” frame easel chalkboard sign that is both flexible and sturdy.

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We thought we would change subjects for a bit and do our very first tutorial here on The Sprouted Cottage! Today we are going to be building a portable, “A” frame chalkboard sign.  DIY "A" Frame, Portable Chalkboard Sign Closeup

Continue reading “DIY “A” Frame Chalkboard Sign Tutorial”

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!”