Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Kitchen Play: Leap into February with Jarlsberg Dip

With an extra day to play in the kitchen this month, why not try something new? The lovely folks over at Kitchen Play and Jarlsberg cheese asked me to be a part of a leap year celebration - "29 Ways to Leap into Jarlsberg Dip".

I was introduced to Jarlsberg cheese at last year's Eat Write Retreat conference in Washington, D.C. (a fabulous event!) Jarlsberg was a sponsor and provided delicious samples at the cocktail party. Jarlsberg is a semi-soft, nutty Norwegian cheese. Have you tried it? Last May was my first time - delicious! It is a good addition to a cheese plate, great on sandwiches, melted in an omelet, and the list goes on. At the grocery store you can find it in the deli case (to order sliced) or in the specialty cheese case.

As you can tell from the title, Jarlsberg has a new dip that they are introducing! I'm excited to be the official kick-off post for "29 Ways to Leap into Jarlsberg Dip". Throughout the 29 days of February, Kitchen Play has enlisted bloggers to post recipes and serving ideas incorporating this new cheese dip. Jarlsberg dip is a nutty, flavorful combination of Jarlsberg cheese, real mayonnaise, and diced red onions. There are endless ways in which you could use the dip. I have two recipe ideas to start off the month of creative ideas!

My recipes may seem pretty basic - but they are flavorful! Perfect for watching the big game, a red carpet special before an awards show, or just a relaxing afternoon at home. I hope you enjoy!

Devilishly Delicious Jarlsberg Eggs
Makes 24 pieces

12 hard boiled eggs
1/2 - 3/4 cup Jarlsberg Dip
Salt and pepper
1-2 tablespoons finely diced pickles (bread & butter or kosher dill)

Note:  Start with a half a cup of Jarlsberg dip if you are using all of the yolks from the eggs. If you reduce the amount of eggs, add a little more dip to have enough to fill the eggs.

Slice the hard-boiled eggs in half lengthwise and carefully remove the yolks
In a medium bowl, mix the egg yolks with Jarlsberg dip
Taste and season with salt and pepper to your liking
Using a spoon (or pastry bag, or plastic bag with a corner snipped), fill the egg white halves with the 1-2 teaspoons of the yolk mixture
Sprinkle diced pickles on top

Alternatively, you could spread some dip on toasted bread and pile on sliced hard-boiled eggs and pickles for a quicker lunch!

Tasty Turkey Roll-Ups
My grandmother makes an appetizer that I request for every party - corned beef roll-ups. I took her technique and swapped in turkey and Jarlsberg for a new party favorite!

Serving size varies depending on the size of cucumbers used. I used three mini-cucumbers here and cut each into 5-6 pieces.

Mini cucumbers or pickling cucumbers
Thick sliced deli turkey, preferably oven-roasted
Jarlsberg dip (slightly softened)

Tear off one 10"x10" piece of foil for each cucumber you plan to use
On one piece of foil lay out 1-2 slices of turkey (wide enough to cover the entire cucumber)
Gently spread dip on the turkey slices
Lay one cucumber across the slices
Roll up tightly and then wrap tightly with the foil
Repeat until all are made
Refrigerate for a minimum of 2 hours (these can be made a day or two ahead of serving)

To serve, unwrap and slice each roll into 1/4 inch slices
Place on a platter and serve

I hope that these recipes will inspire you to try something new! And you can win some Jarlsberg dip and other tasty goodies as part of the 29 Ways to Leap into Jarlsberg month! For all the details on how to enter, visit the Jarlsberg blog. Sounds delicious!

The giveaway will include a tailgate tote stocked with:
Jarlsberg Lite Cheese
Jarlsberg Cheese Dip
Snofrisk (a Norwegian style cream cheese)
Honey crèmes
Honey vinegar

Disclaimer: I was provided with compensation to cover the cost of ingredients for these recipes. The folks over at Kitchen Play were kind enough to invite me to participate in this event with Jarlsberg cheese. My participation was voluntary and as usual, all opinions are my own. It's always fun to have a new ingredient to work with - and a little motivation to create a new recipe!

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Monday, January 23, 2012

New Year, New Baby, New Kitchen....Happy 2012!

Which will come first, the baby or the kitchen? That was the question I posed via twitter and facebook on Friday, December 9, 2011. At that point, the only thing cooking was the bun in the oven.

Five days until the due date!
The kitchen renovation was slowly approaching completion and the due date of December 14 was close. Well, the baby beat the kitchen! The little guy arrived two days early and we’ve spent the last six weeks as a family of three! The visitors are gone and we’re starting to figure out a daily routine of our own. Thankfully, the kitchen is also completed (minus a few finishing details). Even though I don’t have a lot of time to devote to cooking – I am trying to squeeze in as much as I have the time and energy for (babies are small, but exhausting).

So while I get in a little cooking (and hopefully blogging) in short windows of free time, here is a look at the kitchen renovation and completed look! We’re still waiting on the back splash and the molding. Those should be done in the next few weeks.

Our house was built in 1954 and had one owner before us. They redid the kitchen in the 70s, judging by the dishwasher that was here when we moved in. The kitchen was functional, but not really designed for the way we cook & live. Not nearly enough space for books, appliances, pantry items, and all my kitchen gadgets. And a pretty terrible floor too!

We asked my grandfather, an architect, to put together a kitchen design for us that had storage, counter space, and a functional layout for us. We also did not want to knock down any walls. So with those instructions he drew up a few options for us to consider. Once we settled on the design, we headed to pick out all of the cabinets and goodies to fill the space

Our style is what you might call transitional. We love arts & crafts and craftsman. I like the the look of the 50's (my idea for a diner look didn't make the cut). So we designed a look that works for us aesthetically and functionally. We've been enjoying it so far - and can't wait for the absolute final look!

Here are some views of the new space. The photography isn't my best work - but I'm doing in as much as I can when the little man naps!

New cabinets and relocated range

Real bookshelf! With a small fraction of my books.
The book selection will rotate!

Double oven for more cooking adventures

Now the trash and recycling are hidden - and a
normally useless corner cabinet is utilized.

Counter depth fridge

Open workspace!

Pantry & specialty sized storage

New hardwood floors - oak to match the rest of the house

Material - Quartz
Color - Stellar Fire

Wood: Cherry
Style: Mission

Hardware, Lights, and Faucet:
Oiled Bronze (almost black)

GE Profile double oven, counter depth fridge, and microwave

Happy 2012! Hope to be back here soon - all depends on how the little man naps :)

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Terrier for Life: Making Lasting Connections (And Please fill out a brief survey!)

BU Hockey wins the 2009 National Championship
Back when I was deciding where to go to college, I sent away an application to Boston University (along with about seven other schools). I wanted to go somewhere where I didn't know everyone and where I could have a new experience. When it came time to pick a place, I figured why not try something new? So I packed up a car full of stuff and headed east from my suburban St. Louis home and landed in the heart of  Boston. I couldn't have imagined that 10 years after arriving on campus that I'd be back to BU as an employee. On my first day of work I ran into my first professor in the elevator and almost had a panic attack that I forgot my homework! Almost four years later I'm approaching my 10 year reunion and still heading into the School of Management everyday for work. I had a great experience as a student and am glad that I can continue my connection to BU. Coincidentally, this weekend is Alumni Reunion Weekend. While I'll be working for part of the weekend, I'll also put on my favorite scarlet & white BU shirt to cheer on the men's ice hockey team from our season ticket seats!

About a month ago I got an email from Lily Keung, a BU student in the School of Management, asking for help with a school project. In the junior year at the School of Management, students work in teams to develop a new product and build a business plan from scratch. I gladly agreed to take part in a focus group - not only was it a BU project, but it also had to do with a cooking product! After the focus group, Lily asked if I could help her team gather some feedback on their product. I hope that you'll take a few minutes to read below and fill out her team's survey. It's short, fun, and an interesting new product to consider!

Hi fellow foodies!

My name is Lily and I currently attend Boston University. As Juniors in the School of Management, we are working on a semester-long project that involves teams of students creating a new product and developing a formal business plan. A large portion of this project involves getting feedback from consumers of our product to refine our target market and overall marketing strategy. Our product is in the category of bakeware, and thus we are reaching out to all those who love to cook and bake! If you would just take a few minutes to fill out our online survey, we would really appreciate it. Please also pass it around to anyone who loves to cook and bake around you (relatives, roomies, etc)! Lastly, thank you to Lara for hosting us on her blog. BU Love!

Survey deadline is Tuesday, November 2. 

Please feel free to contact me with any questions/concerns!
Lily Keung

Go Terriers!


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