What a blast! So much cheese, from so many wonderful cheesemakers. Wine, too! The event was held in the lovely, spacious Seattle Design Center.
I had a really great time! If you love cheese, keep an eye out for Cheesefest 2013!
Image from their Facebook page here.
I am going to Cheesefest in Seattle on Saturday! I am SO excited. There will be a whole gaggle of local cheesemakers there, as well as local cider and wine (beer, too, but obviously that is not of much interest to me!)
I am going to bring these crackers with me, because cheese is often served with crackers, flatbread, or bread, and it is unlikely that it will be gluten-free (also, I find it wise to have some sort of starch on hand when alcohol is present). I’ll put them in an easily accessible container so I’m not conspicuously getting out a giant box of crackers all the time. And if a particular cheesemaker is serving their cheese samples without any bread at all, I’ll just eat it the way they served it. I want to respect their vision for their cheese! And one more thing: if there is a cheese that is being dipped/cut into and then spread onto bread or crackers, I will stay away! Or, if they aren’t too busy, I will explain my intolerance and (nicely!) ask if they have a fresh one that hasn’t been opened or contaminated yet.
Can you tell I love cheese? Because I do. Hope to see you there (tickets are going fast!) and watch out for my recap!
I baked some bread! I seriously love this mix.
It’s by Glutino, but their baking mix line is sold under the heading of Gluten Free Pantry.
I decided to line my bread pan with parchment paper, because I share baking equipment with people who are not gluten-free. I always feel a little worried about getting items that are used to cook foods that are gluten-heavy all the way clean. This eliminated that worry.
Once you mix it according to the directions on the back of the box, this dough will seem kind of wet. Don’t worry, it will turn out great!
I spoon it into my bread pan. It’s kind of rough at first.
I get my fingers wet with water over and over (I bring my bread pan over to the sink for this part) and smooth out the dough. The water helps to keep the dough from sticking to my fingers. Then it goes into a warm place to rise.
All risen! Then into the preheated oven to bake.
See how pretty the top is? I love that cracked, homemade look.
An added benefit of the parchment paper is the ease with which the loaf comes out of the pan. I didn’t have to do any pre-greasing, either!
This bread slices really well.
On a recent trip to the farmer’s market in Ballard I bought this honey butter (they use raw honey!) from Golden Glen Creamery. The stall had the cutest little girl at it, working with her father. She had some great recommendations on which cheeses to try, and she is learning to make change. Stop by and say hi!
I also got this trufflestack cheese from Mt. Townsend Creamery. This flavor is limited edition, so hurry up if you want to try it! I’m almost sad that I tried this. It is one of the best cheeses I have ever had. It’s creamy, flavorful, and just the right amount of saltiness. I don’t know what I’ll do when they don’t stock it anymore!
I couldn’t decide what I wanted to try out first on my freshly baked bread, so I took a thick slice and I topped it with both.
This was such a wonderful mid-afternoon snack! This bread is so versatile. It is also great with jam, as a sandwich, or with butter and cinnamon sugar on it.
How do you like to eat your gluten-free bread?
Have you ever checked out the cuttings basket in the cheese section of your local grocery store? I’m in love with that thing. A lot of stores have them, they are simply the edges and pieces that happen while the cheese guy or gal is cutting up cheese to sell in the case. They get re-wrapped, and sold to those of us who don’t want to buy cheese in large portions. I usually swing by for a look while I am grocery shopping. Depending on the cheese, they are usually only a dollar or two a piece, enabling me to try a nice cheese that would have been too expensive for me in a larger portion. PCC (for those of you in the northwest), QFC, and even Fred Meyer have them. Really any store that is trying to incorporate more artisanal/small brand cheeses probably will.
These guys came from PCC:
Clockwise from the top:
- Couronne French Brie
- Somerdale Stilton with Dates and Orange
- Grafton Cheddar- Maple Smoked
It’s a fun little adventure to see what I can find each time. I like PCC because they re-wrap with the entire label, including the ingredients, so I can check for gluten (cheese is usually gluten-free, but sometimes they have flavorings like beer or malt, both no-gos).
No cheese plate is complete without a bread or cracker of some kind. I saw these Savory Thins at Trader Joe’s and I decided to give them a try. They don’t specifically say “gluten-free” on the label, but there are no gluten-containing items listed in the ingredients. They were pretty good. Nice and crisp, with a nutty flavor, and a bit salty.
I also threw some nuts I had in the cupboard on the plate. I then decided there was too much white and brown in my composition, so I ran outside (It was cold!) and grabbed a little sprig off of the rosemary bush that grows outside my house (get one of those started if you can, by the way. It adds great flavor to a lot of dishes and requires NO maintenance. It blooms with pretty little purple or blue flowers too!).
A few other things you can put on a cheese plate:
Flowers (edible or otherwise, just let your guests know not to eat them if they aren’t!)
The key is really in the presentation. Things just taste better when they look good!