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February 02, 2012

Cheddar Cheese and Onion Breadsticks Recipe

I am moving recipes over from A Year in Bread before it goes dark. First: Cheddar Cheese Onion Breadsticks Step away from the Olive Garden breadsticks and try them. You will never go back.

Cheddar cheese breadsticks

When I was a young'un, I moved from "Baja Oregon" to a very small coastal town in southwest Washington. A town where the locals joked, in some cases bragged, that, upon arriving, you should turn back your clock 20 years - to the '50s. (um, no) A town where, in the only 'ahead of their time' moment I witnessed there, they hated Calif…er, Baja Oregonians with a vengeance.

Well, mostly.

Some folks (read: young men, sadly, with an emphasis on the young in all its myriad dreadful meanings) were utterly fascinated by the strange creature in their midst and vacillated between semi-awe and hormonal stupidity with occasional forays into West WTF. The strange creature, being a child of the coolest artistic little beach towns in Baja Oregon, thought this was mildly amusing behavior...for about 15 minutes.

I arrived in late-spring and my first summer there was, to put it mildly, not my best year. Two things saved me that wet, foggy summer. The first was a job at the local pizzeria, where Gina, a wise-cracking New Jersey girl — everyone swore we were sisters — taught me to toss rounds of dough high in the air and, much harder, catch them again. She also let me play with the brick oven.

I loved Gina.

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September 13, 2010

Feta Chive Cornbread Recipe

I am moving posts over from my Herb Garden site, which will be going away once I complete the task. This cornbread recipe is from a few years back. but it is one I regularly return to. I hope that you enjoy it as much as I do.

kitchenMage's Feta Chive Cornbread

As the days shorten and temperatures take a nightly dive, my food cravings begin to turn towards fall's hearty soup and stew offerings. It's not that I am done with summer – there are still lots of tomatoes on the counter and the herb garden is bursting with late summer goodness – it's more that I feel the need to diversify a bit. Hedge my bets against the day the sun doesn't shine so brightly.

Maybe it goes with the simmering pot of blueberry habenero chutney, another sure sign of fall, or perhaps it's just absence making the heart grow fonder, but the other night I found myself pulling a container of someoneElse's chili out of the freezer.

A brief digression may be called for here. Around our place, there are several levels of heat in food: warm, hot, hot+, hot++, and georgeHot. The latter refers not to George Clooney but rather is named for a friend who likes really hot stuff – a high point of one of George's recent vacations was discovering a tourist shop in a small Washington town with a shelf full of one of his favorite hot sauces from New Zealand...on sale. someoneElse has been working on making something so hot that George is satisfied. Said satisfaction may involve post-tasting skin grafts on his tongue. I, unfortunately, get sideswiped by incorrectly labeled things on occasion. This chili said hot+, I swear.

Where was I? Oh yes, chili...freezer.

The plan was simple: chili, salad, bread. A quick and easy dinner that could expand to include the friend who called from the road and was invited to join us. I was a happy mage.

Except that the month of the broken oven (now over, thank the flying spaghetti monster!) left me with darned little in the way of bread in the house. Nothing, actually.

Checking the clock, I realized that all I had time for was some sort of quick bread. Chili...quick bread...it must be cornbread! As the only part of the meal I could claim to have worked on, though, the cornbread had to be special. A peek in the refrigerator uncovered feta cheese. I can work with that.

Google "quick bread" + feta and I see this sentence: "Cornbread is a quick bread." Thinking, "Ah, cornbread, with a reference to feta somewhere - that must be a sign" I clicked on the link.

Kevin's Cheese Bread. Um, err, is that my site?

Is that a sign?

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February 26, 2008

Lamb Burgers with Feta Cheese Recipe

heart burger plated

When I was a kid, I was not exactly enamored with lamb. It wasn't common fare around my place and, when it was served, it was one of the few meats that got the utterly unimaginative preparation of salt/pepper/garlic, grilled and with mint jelly on the side. It wasn't bad, but it certainly was not the usual, creative dinner I was spoiled enough to expect. lambsFast forward a few years, errr, decades and lamb is rapidly becoming one of my favorite meat choices.

I am lucky enough to have friends, like Farmgirl, who have sheep and they have introduced me to many ways to prepare lamb - with nary a hint of mint jelly in sight. The only downside to this is that Susan lives halfway across the country and, try as we may, we have not yet figured out how to shove a rack of lamb through the tubes of the internets. Must be coming in the next version of Windows...

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January 17, 2007

Blue Cheesecake Recipe

This savory blue cheese cheesecake has become one of my go-to appetizer/potluck dishes. I usually serve it with Pain la Ancienne baguettes and some of the infamous Blueberry Habanero Chutney. The sweet and tangy chutney complements the creamy cheesecake and a bread like the ancienne - a simple white baguette with a well developed, nutty flavor - provides a neutral, yet not bland, base.

At a party, the bread, cheesecake, and chutney invariably end up getting swapped in with other dishes too, which is always amusing. I knew this was a great thing the first time I took one to a party (sleepover Saturnalia bash at a friend's B&B) and could overhear "OMG! Have you tried the chutney with that?" and, in response, "...and the cheesecake with that...!" from the next room. (I have no idea what they were pointing at, but I swear that many a combination was tried and they were mostly very, very good...)

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