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A Trip to the Cheese Farm!!!

7 Nov

Any of you that know me know that I LOVE cheese (in fact, I’ve never met a cheese I didn’t enjoy!), so you can guess how excited I was when we took a trip with the Catering Club to a local cheese farm!

Last Monday, our club spent the day at Stone Meadow Farm in Woodward, PA, where we were treated to a presentation from the farmer who showed us how he makes cheese with raw milk from his own cows! Now that’s local cheese!  When we arrived, the farmer had already started his cheese-making process by adding rennet, which contains rennin (the enzyme to make cheese) to the milk. . After slicing down into the semi-solid milk/rennin mixture into cubes in a giant vat, they mixed that up & began to ladle it into cylindrical containers placed on mesh wire.  This allows the curds to stay in the cylinder and the whey to compress. That day, he was making Tellegio & brie cheeses. After some time, the curds compress upon themselves and whey drains out, so that the cylinders shrink down! I thought that was so cool! I had been to a cheese farm in Holland before, but never knew about this process!

Ladling the curds & whey into the cylinders

We even got to have some samples of various cheeses including: Tellegio, Cheddar, Jalapeño Jack, Camembert & Swiss.  They were all delicious! Some of us even sampled the whey.

While the curds & whey compressed, he took us into his storage cooler and showed us all the cheese he had stored in vacuum sealed packages. We had a picnic out on the yard & of course we all purchased some cheese to take home with us!  This was a really cool experience.  If you ever get the chance to see this, I really encourage you to do it!!

Support your local farmers at your nearby farmer’s market! It’s not all about the veggies & fruits! They’ve got some really cool products & I encourage you to explore everything they have to offer!

PSU Creamery: Arboretum Breeze

21 Sep

So as class let out early, I found myself with some extra time today and decided to stop by the Creamery for a snack.  As a was sitting by the window, wasting time, I noticed a new (at least I’ve never seen it before)  flavor on the board: Arboretum Breeze (For those of you that don’t know, PSU recently built an Arboretum near the Dickinson School of Law).  Intrigued, I decided to check it out.

The sign describes the flavor as: Mint Flavored Vanilla Ice Cream with Chocolate Chips & Raspberry Swirl…

Sounded…strange.  But since I have a gift card, and it was such a nice day, I decided to give it a go!  As a loyal fan of WPSU Coffee Break, this was a huge step for me.


The flavor combo initially reminded me of Valentines Day.  I like chocolate & mint and chocolate & raspberry, so I personally thought it worked for me. It is, in all honesty, kind of strange, but also very delicious.  While I initially tasted all three flavors in each bite, the mint flavoring seemed to shortly become overpowered with the sticky raspberry sauce.  The chocolate chips are similar to those in Coffee Break, being more flakes than typical chocolate chips, and the raspberry swirl is very very sticky and sweet.  Although I was disappointed in the disappearing mint flavor, this was all in all a good choice. Even though it doesn’t measure up to my lovely Coffee Break, I would definitely recommend giving it a try if mint & chocolate or mint & raspberry is your thing.

Overall grade? I’d give it a B+

WE ARE…lovin’ The Creamery!

Marinated Grilled Strip Steak

18 Jul

Sooo while at the store yesterday to pick up some hot dogs and such for a last-minute cook out with a friend, I spotted some yummy looking strip steaks on sale.  Individually packaged, they were just within my budget (I usually only get steaks when my Dad buys them for me!) so I picked out a good looking one to cook for dinner today.

Yesterday, while down by the pool cooking our hot dogs we were sharing a grill with some boys who were cooking some marinated steaks, etc and they offered us some to try. They were delicious and were my inspiration for marinating my strip steak.

My marinade was pretty much a concoction of the few things we had in our fridge and spice shelve:
olive oil, soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce, A1 steak sauce, garlic, Montreal steak seasoning & a little dried oregano.

So I poured a little olive oil into a sauce pan (I’d guess maybe a 2 teaspoons) and browned up a clove of minced garlic. Then I added in some soy sauce (again maybe 2 tsp?), the Worcestershire sauce (slightly more than the soy sauce) and the oregano.  Next I added in some A1 steak sauce.  This is an idea that comes from one of my favorite dishes my mom makes where she cooks down tips of beef in a skillet with A1 sauce. It gets gooey and sticky and just absolutely delicious. Ahh-mazing!

Next I added in some Montreal steak seasoning and allowed the mixture to simmer while I trimmed the fat off of my steak.  I know most people leave it for flavor, but I REALLY hate getting a big bite of nothing but fat when I’m hoping to bite into my nice juicy steak.  I pressed some Montreal steak seasoning into the meat, stuck it in a Ziploc baggie with the marinade and refrigerated for a few hours.

I then headed down to the pool to relax and cook my steak.  I powered up the grill on high heat & then let my steak sizzle.  I cooked directly on the grill as opposed to on aluminum foil because I love a good char on the outside edge and pretty grill marks 🙂  I also hate when the fat on your aluminum foil catches on fire and I wasn’t going to risk that with a lot of people around!

Now, I personally prefer my steaks somewhere within the medium-well to well done range so I just relaxed by the pool for awhile. Yeah, I’m that girl who orders her steaks very well done when I’m at Outback!  So I waited until my steak was nice and firm then headed inside to enjoy it with some buttered garlic egg noodles!

Yummy!

So I encourage you all, look for unexpected finds while you’re at the grocery store! They can really perk up your day & give you a special treat! (Especially if you’ve been trying to live on Cheesesteaks from the Mix & food from the dining commons for the last month and a half — like me!)

If you want to try this: I encourage you to be creative. Use what you have in your fridge.  Leftover Teriyaki sauce from the other nights stir fry? Use it in a marinade.  If you prefer to follow a recipe, check out the Garlic & Hot Pepper marinade of Bobby Flay’s here:
http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/bobby-flay/grilled-steak-with-garlic-hot-pepper-marinade-roasted-tomatoes-cabrales-blue-cheese-recipe/index.html

The whole recipe sounds fantastic and it’s definitely on my list of things to try!

A simple way to test the doneness of your steak:

  1. Make a  fist and press on the muscle between your thumb and index finger. As you tighten your fist and that area will become more firm.
  2. Press on the center of your steak with your turner/tongs and compare that firmness with the firmness of your fist.
  3. If the steak feels the way your fist does when loosely clenched, it is more rare on the rare side. If you clench your fist, that area between your thumb and index finger will become more firm. This is how the steak will feel when it is more well done.

Please cook your steak to a safe temperature!  Refer to this chart for temperature info.     http://www.tasteoftx.com/recipes/Steak_doneness.html

My Tips:

  • Check to see if your grocery store is featuring a grill section for the summer months! That’s where I found my strip steaks!
  • Be creative with the marinade. Use what you already have if possible.

WE ARE… enjoying juicy steak!