Homemade garlic & herb cheese spread

Real talk. I haven’t updated this blog in almost a year. I’m sorry. I know I never even really got this blog off the ground. I’ve been distracted, but I’ll try to make it a more regular thing.

So, the reason I am posting is because I had a really personally important food breakthrough today. Do you know what Alouette Cheese is? Another similar brand is Rondele. This stuff is addictive, delicious spreadable cheese found in the fancy cheese aisle at the supermarket and it costs an arm and a leg for a tiny tub of it ($7, unless its on sale) and I literally have fought with multiple supermarket employees to try to get them to honor sale prices I saw advertised for this cheese. It’s like crack to me, particularly the garlic & herb flavored kind.

Today, I figured out I can MAKE THIS STUFF AT HOME AND ITS SUPER CHEAP AND 2X MORE DELICIOUS!

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This is the best garlic & herb spreadable cheese of all time. Note the adorable little mason jar I used to store the leftovers, which I will be packing for lunch all week.

 

There are a few nearly identical recipes I viewed, such as this one and this one. Other bloggers are calling it a DIY “Boursin” cheese, which is another trademarked soft cheese that I don’t like as much as I like Alouette or Rondele.  I honestly don’t even remember what the Boursin brand garlic & herb cheese tastes like. Or maybe it is amazing, but it’s just that it’s even more expensive than Alouette so I never have even bought it.

Anyways, when I made the recipe, I tweaked it a little bit. One of the above linked recipes calles for 8 oz butter while the other calls for 2 oz. I settled for a happy medium at 4 oz of salted butter (the other recipes call for unsalted, as if that would make this “healthy.”) I also did not use “the real stuff” when it came to adding my parmesan cheese. I used regular old store brand powdered parm.

Sorry I don’t use measuring spoons. This is the spice combo I used, and it was amazing: One small clove pressed fresh garlic, several hearty twists of fresh ground black pepper, large dashes of dried basil, dried chives, dried oregano and dried parsley, a sprig of fresh dill, and a tiny dash of dried mint.

I ate this cheese on fresh slices of Trader Joe’s mini baguette and I wanted to die of happiness. My life is now complete and I may get fat soon.

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Bacon guacamole

Last night, my mother took a few cold, crispy, paper-towel-wrapped bacon strips out of the fridge.

“What should we do with this leftover bacon?” she asked.

“WHY DO YOU HAVE LEFTOVER BACON?” I grabbed the strips and without hesitating, crumbled them into the bowl of fresh guacamole I was mashing. I was scared for a second, because what if it wasn’t a good combination? What if I had ruined some perfectly good guac and some perfectly good bacon? Haha. No way. It was just as awesome as it could possibly be. I ruined its aesthetics by eating a giant scoopful before thinking of photo-documentation, but you’ll get the idea from this Instagram:

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Recipe: Bacon guacamole for 2

  • 1 Large avocado
  • juice of 1/2 a ripe lime
  • 1 garlic clove, pressed
  • pinch of salt
  • 1/2 a small tomato, diced
  • 1 (or 2) extra crispy bacon strip(s)

Mash up that avocado with a fork or small potato-masher. Squeeze that lime juice. Mix in garlic, salt, and diced tomato. Garnish with your fresh bacon bits. Serve with tortilla chips. YUM. (Note: I do not work with cilantro, ever. It tastes like dish detergent to me. Put some in if you’re a fan. I prefer to add chopped scallions to my guac for flavor, but I didn’t have any that day.)

An introduction

Hello blogosphere,

Allow me to introduce myself. My name is Anna. I’m an aspiring journalist, recent college grad (seeking a JOB), Boston resident, kitchen-experimenter, breakfast food enthusiast, and yes, an ex vegetarian. My parents raised me meat-free, but in my late teens I decided to convert.

For the full background story, check out this column I wrote to accompany my feature article about ex-vegetarians for The Boston Globe. To make a long story short, I first discovered jerk chicken when I was 17, and that was that. A few short years after introducing poultry into my diet, I found bacon. My life has been forever changed. I’m basically a bacon addict. But this doesn’t mean I don’t still love tofu. After bacon, my second-favorite food is fried crispy tofu, breaded with nutritional yeast. This dish is essentially bacon for vegetarians, or tofu that omnivores actually enjoy. I swear! I’ll post a recipe soon.

This will be a food blog. I aim to share my recipes and babble about my culinary experiences, including those in restaurants, at my friends’ houses, and from my recent travels in Europe. Some of my recipes are totally vegetarian. Some of my recipes will include bacon as a prominent feature, which can be substituted with turkey bacon or veggie bacon. In short, this is a blog for everyone who loves eating delicious things as much as I do, especially open-minded, non-discriminatory eaters. I’m not looking for lectures from vegetarians, or vegans. I respect your choices, but I personally feel much healthier with a more varied diet. I can say this honestly after spending 17 years as a vegetarian. I may eat a lot of bacon, but I think I balance it out by eating healthily otherwise — lots of fruit & veg, small portions, very few sweets, etc.