cheese 101

Scardello entrance


Since I moved to Dallas, I’ve made it a goal of mine to explore different classes, entertainment, and events that the city has to offer. Luckily, I have a couple of friends that feel the same way, and we try to convene monthly, trying new restaurants, classes (cooking, athletic, etc).



There’s a huge benefit to living in a big city; we have a lot to explore and this cheese class was one of them! Cheese 101 at Scardello addressed much of the different cheese processes and their varieties. They even gave a shout out to my motherland, Wisconsin, as to where cheese curds were made in the total process of cheese production! Most people in the audience didn’t know what squeaky cheese was, but I was proud!

cheese with menu

They simplify these cheeses into categories for the average joe:

  • Fresh – No aging required. The opposite of fresh isn’t spoiled. The opposite of fresh is aged.
  • Semi-Soft – Bends instead of breaking. Aged 2-6 months.
  • Soft Ripened – Bloomy rind. Softens from the outside in.
  • Surface Ripened – Wrinkled “brain-like” exterior. Can be firm or gooey.
  • Semi-Hard – Firm texture. Aged a couple of moths to a couple of years.
  • Hard – Hard crumbly texture. Cheese that has lost almost all water content.
  • Washed-Rind – Orange rind, pungent smell. Can be gooey or semi-soft.
  • Blue – Blue mold inside the paste or on the exterior.

I highly recommend this cheese class or just starting your own “class” and sampling cheeses in your local market! You can’t go wrong! At any given time, we have about 2-4 blocks of cheese in our crisper, and I love them all!! Happy Cheesing!

bread bowl chili

I’m really ready for fall! Football has started, Starbucks has their Pumpkin Spice Latte, and Dallas has had a couple mornings in the 60’s! So, it’s officially time to bring out the chili!

Chili is one of my favorites fall recipes! It’s a great meal to make in a big batch so you can enjoy it all week long. I wanted to share one of my mother’s classic recipes (I believe she got it from a Kraft recipe book, but I couldn’t tell you which one. I’m sorry.) with my own personal twist!



  • 1 lb ground beef (I use venison)
  • 1/2 c chopped onion
  • 16 oz can kidney beans, undrained
  • 16 oz can tomatoes, undrained
  • 16 oz can tomato sauce
  • 1 Tbsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • Shredded sharp cheddar cheese

Bread Bowls

  • 1 cup warm water
  • 1 package yeast
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1 cup bread flour
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 1 tbsp olive oil

First, I used the instructions from my BBQ pizza post to make the dough. Make sure to allot for 2 hours-plus (before serving), in order to allow the dough to rise, bake the bread bowls, and chili.

P.S. I know making dough sounds primitive, and to me sometimes scary, but everytime I make it, I get reminded of how easy it really is! Don’t get discouraged! It’s easy and fun!

For the chili, I started by browning the meat; drain.

Add onion to meat and cook until tender.

Stir in the remaining ingredients, except the cheese. This is where you can get creative. I add cumin, cayenne pepper, etc depending on my spice level that day! Have fun with it!

Cover; simmer 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Now, back to the bread bowls. I used 4 corning ware 7 oz dishes, but any small (oven-safe) bowl will suffice. Spray each dish with non-stick cooking spray and mold the dough around the dish. The dough will make about 4 0r 5 bowls.

Place the bowls on a cookie sheet and bake until light brown, approximately 10-15 mins.

They should pop easily out of the bowl!

Add chili with or without cheese and enjoy!! I love me some bread with my chili and cheese, and these bread bowls are so easy and make for an adorable presentation if you’re hosting. Enjoy and Happy Fall!!