Tag Archives: Cleveland

It’s National Grilled Cheese Month! What makes a grilled cheese great?

It’s April, and that means it’s National Grilled Cheese Month! A whole calendar page dedicated to gobbling up gooey sandwiches overflowing with glorious melted cheese. Grilled cheese has certainly come a long way from the days of white bread, Kraft American Cheese (product) and butter. Now, even some of the swankiest restaurants offer a signature grilled cheese on their menu along with a hefty price tag. In my area, Café Muse in Royal Oak, Michigan has even managed to snag a coveted “Favorite Things” recommendation from Oprah for their havarti, mozzarella and Danish fontina concoction. Continue reading

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Formal cheese service at L’Albatros starts the New Year right

Formal Cheese Service at L'Albatros Brassierie and Bar

Nothing says “Happy New Year” to a true turophile like a plethora of cheese. Thanks to Brandon Chrostowski, fromager and General Manager at L’Albatros Brasserie and Bar here in Cleveland, Ohio, The Mouse started this year off with a major “Hello 2011!”. Fifteen luxurious cheeses ready for the tasting was almost too beautiful to believe, yet there they were in all it’s creamy, milky glory. Continue reading

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gidi about cheese souffle…kinda

Chef Alex Guarnaschelli from  Food Network raved about a cheese souffle from the Florida restaurant La Goulue Bal Harbour that left me craving this fluffy, cheesy goodness to the point of distraction. Unfortunately, there are few restaurants in Cleveland that serve this sensitive and delicate dish so I was left to my own devices. The mere thought of attempting to create my own souffle from scratch sends chills up my spine (if you read my mac and cheese post, you have seen my pedestrian cooking skills). Imagine my elation when I happened upon the Entree Food Co. “gidi about cheese” souffle at Whole Foods! Parmesan cheese and farmhouse cheddar souffles with no fuss? I am all in. Continue reading

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Fat Free Fromage Blanc is FABULOUS!

Despite the recent articles touting  greater weight loss  from eating whole milk cheeses, indulging in favorites like Camembert (11.6 grams of fat per oz) or a schmeer of cream cheese on a bagel (10 grams of fat per oz) can potentially pack on the pounds.  Take heart, fellow cheese lovers, for I have found a tasty cheese that contains…wait for it…ZERO grams of fat yet has full fat taste! Fromage blanc is a French-style cheese similar to creme fraiche or yogurt in texture with the tang of sour cream. While relatively common in France, it may be more difficult to obtain in the US. Check the local Whole Foods or gourmet market dairy sections.  Be sure to buy it with the intent of immediate use as it does go bad rather quickly and at $4 for 8oz, it isn’t cheap. Continue reading

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The perfect mac and cheese. Thank you, Michael Symon! *UPDATE*

I grew up on Kraft® Mac and Cheese. Seeing that blue box on the counter would start me singing and dancing around the kitchen anticipating that powdered-cheese goodness! Over time we switched to Stouffer’s®, because only little kids ate Kraft® , right?  And then I tasted heaven on a plate, aka Michael Symon’s  Mac and Cheese.

I first had this tasty treat three years ago at Lolita’s in Tremont (a little borough on Cleveland’s near west side).  Hearing so much praise and adulation about this dish before tasting it,  I had a hard time seeing what all the hype was about.  The pasta wasn’t your typical macaroni and the color wasn’t that signature bright orange that I had come to know.  It was a creamy white with flecks of green. My inner child began to come out and rebel against this strange concoction. And then I tasted it.  The sweet/tangy flavor from the chevre mixed with subtle yet complimentary essence of rosemary was just perfect.  The blue box was outta my life for good. Continue reading

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Cheese World

Growing up in Shaker Heights, the highlight of the week was my mother taking me to Cheese World at Van Aken. Upon opening the door, my nose was aroused by the aromas wafting of glorious artisan cheese being sampled and sliced behind the counter. This was my playground. My mother knew taking me here meant sacrificing a better part of her day, but she understood my love of cheese better than anyone so she indulged her little house mouse and let me go wild. The 70’s weren’t really known for cheese so my selections by today’s standards may seem rather pedestrian. Back then, Leerdammer, Camembert, Emmental, and Chevre were rather extravagant for anyone,especially a five year old. In a world of Ritz crackers I preferred stone ground wafers to accompany the various cheese spreads made on premises. My favorite was the sharp cheddar with horseradish followed by the red caviar and chevre. Continue reading

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