Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Cheesegiving Ideas

One of the things I like to do when I can’t fall asleep is dream up menus. It’s a strange obsession, I know. Lately, I’ve been giving a lot of thought to the Thanksgiving dinner I’m planning for my Pops and his wife, Dayle, who will be flying in from Iowa. I’m even considering changing the name this year to…yup…Cheesegiving.

It might be overkill to put cheese into every dish, but I’m definitely planning to blast through tradition and try some new recipes. Here are some fave ideas, culled from food blogs, that I'm considering:

- Ezra Poundcake posted a butternut squash casserole recipe with cheddar cheese. This could be a nice change-up from sweet potatoes with marshmallows.

- Who doesn’t love a cheese appetizer, or an amuse served after the salad course? The Cheeselover posted about tumblers full of marinated goat cheese served with a mini baguette. It looks fairly easy to recreate, although she doesn't give an exact recipe.

- Blue Kitchen’s wild mushroom casserole with ricotta has me moaning within. Maybe for supper the night before Thanksgiving?

- I have a weird food crush on Closet Kitchen’s Jalapeno Popper Dip. It’s a little bit bowling-alley, but it would make for great nosh while people are chopping.

- Homemade butter at Food in Jars looks like something good to have on hand. I'm a cheese lover and a butter gal.

- Because I hate the thought of not having a solid breakfast before I start cooking, here’s what I’m thinking for Thanksgiving morning: Smitten Kitchen’s Bloody Mary’s, baked eggs, and chive biscuits. I’d add some cheddar to the biscuits, of course.

Finally, I can't resist previewing the baked blue-cheese-stuffed miniature pumpkins I tested the other night, thanks to Deborah Madison. The photo is at the top of this post. I'll be sharing the recipe at this Saturday's tasting, then I'll post it online. I think it's the best of Cheesegiving in a shell -- blue cheese, cream, black pepper, and individual pumpkins, all baked into a glorious blend of sharp, sweet, and saucy!

What are you making for Cheesegving, dahhhhlink?


  1. I'm a cheese lover and a butter gal.
    Ah, kin. The wild mushroom casserole looks out of my comfort zone - which makes me wonder why my comfort zone is so grossly under-pastafied. This will be a wonderful Sunday night dinner sometime after the first snow.

    I was at my parents' house a few weeks ago, and my father made me an asiago and sliced pear sandwich on toasted cinnamon-raisin bread - delightful. I may try to concoct some sort of cinnamon monkey-type bread with apples/pears and asiago cheese baked in for Cheesegiving - will surely update you if I do! Hope your holiday is fabulous.

  2. Well around my neck of the woods we celebrate thanksgiver. it is great, cram 30 people into a bite-sized living room and add 1 giant tofurkey. Well anyways there is 1 cheese based nosh.... pumpkin dip made with tofutti cream cheese. mmmm. Those little ginger snaps can't wait to dive into a pumpkin filled with creamy sweetness.

  3. I want to hang with the Dad who's making Asiago and sliced pear sandwiches! Yummo!

  4. Mmmm, thanks for the delightful comments, kids! I want cheese dip in a pumpkin and a pear-asiago sandwich.

  5. Pumpkin Cheesecake. I try to make one every year around Cheesegiving time. I use the recipe from Frank Stitt's "Southern Table," which uses a gingersnap crumb crust and tends to make for a dramatic display in the oven. The cheesecake puffs up and collapses, bringing the crust in around the edges to form an interesting lip and a rustic, cracked surface. Its even more dramatic when cooked on a cheap springform cake pan. Last time I made it for family, it "sprung" when I was taking it out of the oven, the bottom fell out, and the whole
    molten mess slid straight through the crack at the base of the oven door and onto the floor I consider it a testament to the recipe, however, that my family still gathered around with spoons and ate much of it off the floor.