Smoky Jalapeño Poppers Wrapped with Bacon

This appetizer is a sensation whenever and wherever you serve it. Jalapeño peppers stuffed with Smoked Grafton Cheddar, wrapped with crisp, smoky bacon, glazed with barbeque sauce is a combination that can’t be beat. The great thing about this recipe is that there are no fixed proportions—it depends how many you want to make, and the size of the peppers. Plan on making twice as many as you think people will eat. Continue reading

Maple Bourbon Apple Pie with Cheddar Crust & Bacon Streusel

When you want to raise the bar and set a new record this is a go-to winner every time.  This pie is really as special as the name suggests. I recently served it as the grand finale for Sausage Fest. As you may imagine this is more than a meal it’s really more like an event. My family celebrates this much loved fest on an unspecified date, but always during the holiday season—that 6-week span beginning around Thanksgiving, and ending only after we drop into a collective feast-induced coma. Therefore, there’s no reason to hold back on the dessert course. This is a walk-off home run. Continue reading

Twice Baked Cheddar Soufflés

Recently, I received a piece of Grafton Clothbound Cheddar as a gift. If you love Cheddar you’ve got to try this cheese. The cheese makers at Grafton use hormone-free raw milk purchased from small Vermont family farms. The handmade Cheddar is then aged in special caves from one to four years. The texture is slightly crumbly and has a distinct earthy taste. A special cheese calls for a special recipe. These soufflés can be a first course or a light lunch. You can make these up to a day in advance and then just reheat to serve. They puff up beautifully on the second baking, which only takes a few minutes. If you have never attempted a soufflé because it sounds complicated, this recipe eliminates the timing issue. Continue reading

Cheddar Popovers

A basket of warm popovers with dinner is a real treat, but who wouldn’t be happy to see them at any meal. Sharp cheddar cheese caramelizes in the crust to give these popovers a special flavor and rich color. Serve these with sweet butter alongside stews, soups, roasts, with breakfast, on a buffet, or all by themselves. It only takes a few minutes to mix the few ingredients. This is an inexpensive means to an exquisite end result. Continue reading

Summer Potato Salad with Fresh Peas and Cheddar Cheese

The nut like texture of raw garden peas and spunky, tender mustard greens turns this ordinary dish into a refreshing seasonal offering. In northern Vermont, Farmers Markets have these ingredients available by mid-July, probably sooner where you live. There’s nothing like eating delicate vegetables when they are at their peak of flavor. This combination of flavors and textures makes me grateful to live in Vermont. This is true taste of place. Continue reading