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Seastack from Mt. Townsend Creamery

Seastack from Mt. Townsend Creamery

Hubs was out with co-workers and I had the evening to myself plus I had just accomplished a small milestone so I was in the mood to celebrate and in no mood to cook. I’d been saving since last weekend a 6 oz. delectable puck called Seastack from Mt. Townsend Creamery — they are located north of Seattle on the Olympic Peninsula. I got a taste of it at the Ballard Farmer’s Market the day after the cheese fest and instantly opened up the wallet. It’s a soft-ripened cow’s milk rolled in a vegetable ash.

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Seattle Cheese Festival Recap

Nicole and I have eagerly been anticipating the Seattle Cheese Fest since we decided we would volunteer back in March. Finally, the weekend arrived and we headed up to Seattle. We stayed with Nicole’s lovely sister and boyfriend who have a sweet apartment in Ballard. Friday night we treated ourselves to some Serious Pie and now I have a very deep crush on that place. Not only were the pizzas excellent and our appetizers delicious but the desserts were sublime. It’s a good thing that I’m already married because their cannoli was amazing. If you’ve been, you know. If you haven’t been, put it on your list already!

We got up bright and early and stumbled over to Cafe Besalu for some excellent coffee and fantastic pastries, I had the pear galette and Nicole had the strawberry, fresh from the oven. I love Seattle!! Then we made our way down to Pike’s Place Market. I had not realized when we volunteered that it would be at the Market and when that dawned on me I realized that this was going to be whole different beast.

Bluebird Day

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Seattle Cheese Festival Coming Up!

This weekend, May 16-17, at Pike’s Place Market in Seattle is the fifth annual Seattle Cheese Festival. There will be hundreds of different cheeses from local and international cheesemakers. There will also be bakers, preserve-makers, smoked meats, a wine garden and lots of other goodies. The event is free (though they accept donations) and cheese will also be for sale. Nicole and I are volunteering at the cheese concourse Saturday morning so if you see us, say, “Hi!” Right now the forecast is sunshine for the weekend so don’t miss out!

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Congratulations, Tami!

Tami Parr who writes the wonderful and informative Pacific Northwest Cheese Project has published a book, Artisan Cheese of the Pacific Northwest, a guide to this regions cheeses. I was pretty excited to get my hands on an autographed copy today at her signing over at Square Deal Wine Co and Steve’s Cheese in Northwest Portland (they share the shop). However, by the time Nicole and I got there, a mere hour after start time, she was all sold out!! Congrats, Tami — that is what I like to see! I think I will order my copy online and stalk her at her next signing event. You can, of course get it online or go to one of her next events but get there early!

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The Different Flavors of Mascarpone

I haven’t had much experience with mascarpone.  In fact, besides a few dessert recipes – think tiramisu – I didn’t know much about it when we decided to attempt it.  It is in fact not a true curd cheese.  It is often lumped in with the soft cheeses, but it is in the yogurt family.  Like yogurt you make mascarpone by heating milk and then adding a culture.  While there is some draining involved to get your desired consistency you don’t end up with curds like you do when making a true curd cheese.  It is originally an Italian cheese from the Southern Lombardy region of Italy and while most famous for its role in tiramisu, it is delicious when used as a cream cheese substitute, both as a spread and in cheesecake.


We decided to give mascarpone a go along with another batch of yogurt – who knew they were so closely related?  We did two batches of mascarpone, both from Ricki Carroll’s book.  One used a packet of direct-set creme fraiche starter and the other with tartaric acid.  Each of these recipes was very easy and something that could be tackled in your home kitchen in a few hours.  The mascarpone made with culture required you to heat the milk to 86 degrees and then let sit for 12 hours.  It can be drained in the refrigerator for a few more hours if a thicker consistency is wanted.  The mascarpone with tartaric acid required a 185 degree initial temperature before adding a 1/8-1/4 teaspoon of tartaric acid (I added a little over 1/8 of a teaspoon).  Once the tartaric acid has been mixed in thoroughly it is set to drain in a colander for 1 hour.  I actually let it drain for about 4 hours.

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Making Yogurt Again

Gallon of Whole Milk for Yogurt

I probably won’t post every time I make another batch of yogurt as it’s so easy and I have a feeling that I have a lot of yogurt making in my future. But, for this batch, we took the yogurt making another step further by using a starter from our last batch.

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Buy Cialis Online – Cialis 20 mg, Cheap Generic Cialis – Swiss Alps Cheesemaking

Buy Cialis Online – Cialis 20 mg, Cheap Generic Cialis

A couple years ago buy cialis online, my husband and I did a hut-to-hut hike in the Graubünden canton of Switzerland in the Alps. It was beautiful and soaring generic cialis and very, very humbling.

Hiking toward this mountain

Today, I came across a wonderful set of photos on Flickr by the very talented photographer François-Xavier. He travels and photographs and writes about food. His photos are so rich and varied and do that thing blood pressure that amazing cialis 20 mg photographers do of capturing the moment and the feeling of that cialis tadalafil moment just perfectly. They have a painterly feel almost like a still life which somehow erectile dysfunction ed seems so appropriate for showing people working ed treatment with heart attack food using methods they active ingredient love.

He did a story about 36 hours cheesemaking in the common side effects Swiss Alps online pharmacies and generic his drop in blood pressure photographs are just lovely.

Curds Block Draining Off

He writes short alpha blockers little captions to go along with the photographs, things like cheap:

I took side effects my cheese with treat erectile dysfunction me and walked on until the sexual activity pasture turned into a cliff. From there in one glance without prescription you can see blood flow Lake Geneva cialis online and the Lake of Neuchâtel with the entire canton treat erectile dysfunction ed of Vaud in the middle. No sound other than the wind across the grass. I lay on the grass and slept in the sun with half Switzerland unfolding effects of cialis below my feet. That was the best thing I did that week.

Pulling the Swiss Cheese out of the Whey

If you can hold back your envy, check out the rest on his website at — makes me high blood pressure want to put on some hiking boots, jump on a plane and go get some of that cheese.

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Cheese Plate

The last of the Willamette Valley Cheese Co. Boerenkaas from cheese festival weekend. Heaven on a plate!

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Hard Cheese Class at Kookoolan Farms

Sometime last year, Sarah had scoped out that there was a place called Kookoolan Farms doing cheesemaking classes. They are $50 which isn’t a bad price at all but not so low that you wouldn’t think twice about it. We all agreed that we were interested and have been keeping an eye on the schedule. I saw that they had a Hard Cheese class for March and decided to go. Due to schedules, I was the only one of our group that could make it but I’m so glad I did.

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The Cheese Nun

The last time I was at my local library (give it up for the Multnomah County system, what what!) I saw a copy of “The Cheese Nun” DVD. Of course, like a complete cheese nerd, I snatched it up! It’s a PBS documentary about a Benedictine nun, Sister Noella Marcellino, who goes in search of a deeper understanding of just what is happening to cheeses as they go through the ripening process. She ends up returning to college to conduct scientific research into the microbiology of cheese fermentation. She continues on in her studies to the cheese caves of France and the artisanal cheesemakers there who have been practicing their craft for hundreds of years.

The nuns of her Abbey are absolutely charming, working their land, milking their cows and making cheeses. The science behind the cheese fermentation process was fascinating and not something which I think I had even slightly grasped before. And the visuals of the cheesemaking process were really informative. If you’re at all interested in the history of cheesemaking and seeing how it’s done (in a variety of ways) then totally check out this DVD.

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