Cheesy Friday

Yesterday morning, I shut off my alarm clock at 3:30am, as usual. I got out of bed, turned on my computer, got dressed, did my makeup, poured myself a glass of iced green tea and started my morning computer routine: Facebook, email, Livejournal, and food blogs while sipping away.

Somewhere in the area of 4:00am, I found a comment from a co-worker on Facebook saying “I’m the lucky lady who gets to work with you tomorrow.” Oh, yeah. I forgot that I agreed to work in the hospital switchboard at 6:45am instead of my own desk at 5:00am. Ugh. No one should get up at 3:30am if they don’t have to.

Still, I really like working in the Switchboard, especially with Mary Jo. The work day went by rather quickly, and as soon as I got home and showered, Dave and I went cheese shopping! We headed to the only gourmet cheese shop in town: Nala’s Fromagerie aka Heaven.

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It may not look like much, but inside this bag is Old Amsterdam, D’Affinois Brebis, Blue Shropshire, Wensleydale with Cranberries, and Appalachian cheese. Swoon.

I did my research online the night before so I had an idea of what I wanted to buy. I decided to stick with mostly cow’s milk (as I am not a fan of goat), but get one of each kind of cheese: blooming, semi-firm, firm, aged, blue, and flavored. Since I already had semi-firm and aged Trappist monk cheese from Gethsemani Farms in the fridge (as well as smoky), I now have a full set.

One of the ladies at the shop gave us a sample of the Appalachian, which is made from raw cow’s milk from the mountains of Virginia. So good. It just melts into a pool of flavor on your tongue. I also noticed that they had their own bottled balsamic, which I was really excited about. Our “good” balsamic is almost out, and the only place I know to buy it is from Sheboygan. We got a taste of the Cask 25 and had to buy it. It is as thick as syrup, sweet, and tangy.

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We spent $21.50 on this bottle. Good balsamic isn’t cheap, but it is definitely worth it.

After a few more errands, we invited our neighbors Shelby and Cory over for a low-key cookout. Dave did most of the prep work; the only thing I was responsible for was making our green bean dressing for the asparagus. This dressing is so simple, but so good tossed with cooked veggies. I would love to try it with broccoli sometime.

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tsp dried dill weed (fresh dill is better, but we rarely have it)
  • 1 tsp whole grain mustard
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper

I heard a chef say last week that “a chimney starter is the only way to start a fire.” A bit of an exaggeration, but it feels true. We have had much better success with starting our grill since we invested in a chimney starter.

002Dinner was relatively quick cooking.

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Dave cut the sweet potatoes into thin slices and salted them, then brushed them with combination of sweet chili sauce and red pepper flakes when they were on the grill.

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The salmon went on next. Dave did something funky with a fan that he promised to do a guest post on. Whatever it was, it was awesome, because this salmon turned out perfectly. He brushed it with a mixture of olive oil, lemon juice, and capers.

Then the asparagus, which we just threw on the grill and let cook, then tossed with the dressing.

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While we were outside, Cory recited a poem: The Love of J. Alfred Prufrock by T.S. Eliot which he knows word for word. It was beautiful, but it always makes me so sad. I listened to Anthony Hopkins recite it once, which was also amazing.

Pretty soon, it was dinner time, and I was more than ready to eat. I had eaten lunch at 11:00am, and it was about 8:30pm by this time.

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Crispy, sweet taters.

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Fresh, juicy salmon.

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This was honestly one of the best meals that has ever come off of our grill. I ate another helping of salmon after this along with one more sweet potato strip and a couple asparagus. We talked about watching a movie, but it became pretty evident that we were all exhausted and just decided to call it a night.

After all, tonight is the big show!

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