A Cheese Primer: From Blue to Bleu – You Stanky Thang

Adult mac and cheese

Regardless of how you spell it, bleu (guess which I prefer?) cheese gets its blue veins from the mold Penicillum.  There are a few famous bleu cheeses: Roquefort (the King of Bleu) is a sheep’s milk cheese from France and can only be aged in  certain caves.

Gorgonzola is its Italian cousin, made from cows’ milk.  As with all cheese, the younger, the milder, but I have to say one of my favorites is a young gorgonzola called Gorgonzola Dolce.  It is an excellent melting and blending cheese that we use in some of our rich sauces at http://www.lulasforlunch.com .

Stilton, the English version of these royal bleus, is made from pasteurized cow’s milk, and has a rare sibling, Stilton White.  North America’s most famous bleu, Maytag, was brought into production by none other than the washing machine magnate himself when he heard of its invention at Iowa State  University.  Though it is made from modern homogenized milk, it is also aged in caves.

I discovered bleu as a young child – my mother loved it – and was fortunate enough to be able to order it from Clemson University where they created it in labs!  No other bleu will ever taste like my Clemson Bleu.  I also have a new, mild favorite, called Cambazola – sort of a blend of Camembert and Bleu.  We use Amish Bleu in our Adult Mac ‘n Cheese in the picture above.   What’s your favorite bleu?  Let me know at http://www.lulasforlunch.com/blog !

A Cheese Primer – the American Dream

Let’s face it.  American Cheese isn’t really cheese.  It’s a “processed cheese product” as defined by the USDA.  It has some cheese in it, but it also contains emulsifiers and stabilizers.  It was developed in World War II, along with margarine,  to help the war effort.

I refuse to be ashamed…for me, my first memory of a grilled cheese sandwich was Velveeta (a special American Cheese 🙂 ) on white bread.  As a teenager,  American Cheese on Seeded Rye with Grilled Onions and Tomatoes was introduced to me by a boyfriend whose family owned a restaurant.  As an adult, I began to have a preference for Grilled American Cheese on Whole Wheat loaded with Dill Pickle Rounds (with what I to this day call Crinkly Fries, well done).

Nowadays, it’s the vehicle in which Oscar the pug is given his medications – but we always get the “good” kind – so just in case, if we get a hankering, it’ll be there for us.

A Valentine Meditation

Think about what you LOVE to look at, and close your eyes and picture it. For me, I could spend all day staring at my pug’s amazing face.  His myriad of expressions melt my heart and simultaneously crack me up.

Now, think about what you LOVE to smell, and close your eyes and smell it.  Fresh lavender absolutely fills my senses, makes me stand still in time, and transports me to the middle of nowhere (a GREAT place to be!),  especially lavender from my herb garden, because I have the joy of sharing it.

Think about what you LOVE to taste, close your eyes and taste it.  Stinky, fine brie melts on my tongue and makes my eyes involuntarily roll back in my head with delight.

Hear your most favorite sound, close your eyes, and listen to what you LOVE to hear.  For me, the sound of rain somehow connotes warmth and safety, and I get the added bonus of rain in summer which smells vividly green and absolutely DIVINE!

Now, close your eyes and touch what you most LOVE to feel.  Really soft skin does it for me – nothing comes close, except MAYBE ultra fine plush cotton, or whispery thin silk – which kind of feels like skin…

Now THAT’s meditation LULA style!!  May this VD Meditation bring you BIG feelings of love for the rest of the week!!!Lavendar! '13

A Cheese Primer – Jack be Nimble

Some KIND a  Cheese Platter

Monterey Jack cheese is incredibly versatile and a great melting cheese.  It is a native of California.  It’s creamy, mild, deliciously salty, and can be used in everything from Mexican cooking to fondues to scalloped potatoes.  Its cousin, Pepper Jack, has (duh)  peppers flecked through it and is spicy.

When you’re stuffing sweet peppers, use Pepper Jack to zing things up!  Lula’s for Lunch…and More! Catering uses HERBED Monterey Jack when it’s available.  It’s so yummy, it’s a client favorite on cheese boards.  You can see it in the photo bottom left.  What’s your favorite way to use Monterey Jack?  Tell us at www.lulasforlunch.com/blog !!