Sunday, May 31, 2015

Trying New Cheese: Entry 4, Orange Windmill Cablanca, Goat Cheese


My fourth entry into my cheese series was Orange Windmill's Cablanca, a goat cheese. I never had goat cheese before and I wasn't sure what to expect. I found goat cheese is different than cow's milk cheese in several ways. This particular goat cheese won a Gold at the Great Taste Awards.



ORANGE WILDMILL, CABLANCA

Milk: Goat
Country of origin: Holland
Type: Semi-hard
Pasteurized: Yes
Description: Creamy and pure white
Claim to Fame: Goat Cheese Gouda



The cheese comes in a wedge cut from a wheel. Very much in the Gouda style, it still had wax on its outer edge. Cablanca uses white wax instead of the trademark red wax of cow's milk Gouda. It was $6.99 for 8oz, that seems to be a trend in the cheese I am finding, 8oz seems to be a standard so when compared to other cheeses, this price was average. Not too high, considered this has been imported straight from Holland.


$6.99 for 8oz

TASTE
Cablanca is considered Gouda, but it wasn't like any Gouda I've ever had before. Cablanca was very white in color, that stood out to me. It was snow white, not like a regular Gouda that can be considered a pale yellow, but more like Mozzarella. At first taste you get the feel that you're eating Gouda. Goat cheese is known for being usually tangy but Cablanca is on the sweet side since it is aged for 5 weeks. It was mild, more mild than a regular Gouda. It was creamy but not as creamy as a cow's milk Gouda either. Definitely its own taste. It didn't leave a strong cheese aftertaste in your mouth and I think that could have been a trait of goat cheese.



All in all I have to say I had no clue what to expect when trying a brand new food for the first time, goat cheese. If I didn't know what I was eating I definitely would think there was something different about this cheese but I certainly would not immediately realize I wasn't eating a cow's milk cheese. As far as Gouda goes, I'll stick to cow's milk, it is just far superior. Goat's milk is better for people that are lactose intolerant (my condolences to you) but for the rest of us lucky people, there's nothing like a red wax Gouda.

I'm not sure how to rate this cheese because in all honesty it's the best goat cheese I've ever had since it's the ONLY goat cheese I've ever had, therefore it gets a nice default 10 out of 10. If you put it up against a cow's milk Gouda there would be no contest I'm afraid. I know this cheese won Gold at the Great Taste Awards, but perhaps it was up against other goat cheeses? I'm not sure how they judge. There are some huge fans of goat cheese out there and if you're one of them I suggest this cheese to you so you can try a Gold winning cheese.


CHEESE FACT: The first cheese to come to America was on the Mayflower.


Thank you for reading and don't miss my next installment in this cheese testing series!


Tuesday, May 19, 2015

SLOW MOTION VIDEO, WEBSTER CATCHES A CRICKET


After many attempts, I finally caught my pink toe tarantula, Webster, catching a cricket, IN SLOW MOTION! I know it doesn't seem very fast but notice the camera jerk after he jumps on the cricket, that was me being startled and that gives you some idea of his speed because of how late my reaction was.

Many people think Tarantula's are slow and docile but when it comes to catching prey, it's a different story.

Webster was sitting on the outside of his web. The shape is like a cornucopia, he sleeps on the inside during the day but comes outside at night time. I threw the cricket in and it landed on the web. He just sat there, not moving but that didn't matter because Webster saw him the whole time. He is very aware when there is an intruder in his territory.

video
Notice how still Webster sits. You might think he doesn't even know the cricket is there but you can bet he sees it. Then without warning, Webster strikes! He uses his long legs to pull the cricket to his fangs in one fluid motion. This clip makes it seem so effortless but believe me, it was lightening quick.

It's rare that Webster doesn't hit his target on his first try. He has been known to catch the cricket in mid air as I drop it in his container. Before the cricket even knows there is an attack, it's all over.

Webster started out so small he could have sat on a dime with his legs stretched out and still would have been entirely on the dime. Now he isn't quite as big as my hand, but he's getting there.

Thanks for watching! I still think tarantulas make good pets, but that's just my two cents.

Monday, May 11, 2015

Trying New Cheese: Entry 3, Kerrygold Dubliner


Oh! Top O' the mornin' to ya! The newest cheese that I had the pleasure of trying was the Dubliner, from Kellygold, a cheese imported straight from Ireland! 



KELLYGOLD, DUBLINER 

Milk: Cow
Country of Origin: Ireland 
Region: County Cork
Type: Hard
Pasteurized: Yes
Description: Light orange hard cheese
Claim to Fame: A replacement to cheddar with a combination of flavors



HISTORY: This is a rather new cheese considering some are 100's of years old. The Kerrygold company has only been around since 1962 but it is Ireland's most famous cheese company. Orginally called, "Argalen," this cheese was created in 1990 to be a replacement for cheddar but would still use the same process and equipment that cheddar used. Although it is named after the city of Dublin, it is actually made in Cork. It is a very popular cheese in Ireland and since the country is known for its green rolling hills, what better place for cows to produce some special milk? 

TASTE: The Dubliner has its flavor roots in cheddar cheese but one bite will tell you, there's a lot more going on! The taste is mild and for a split second you'd guess it was cheddar but quickly you realize the flavor has more to it than cheddar. It is nutty with a hint of sweetness and it does not have a lingering after taste. It is aged for 12 months but it isn't as sharp as you might expect. You'll often hear its taste described as a mixture of cheddar and parmesan and I would have to agree with that.  Its texture is hard and it will crumble but more like a sharp cheddar than anything else. This really is a robust, full-flavored cheese.

This would be a great cheese to entertain with on a cheese board because people would guess it is cheddar but not like any cheddar they've ever had before. Dubliner would go great with Cabernet or a dark beer.  

Ireland is well known for its alcohol but this cheese proves they know what they're doing with dairy as well. Dubliner would be a great cheese choice for the dark beer lover. This is a specialty cheese that would be absolutely perfect with a pint of Guinness after a dinner of corned beef and cabbage! Although very close to cheddar, it really is its own thing and I think anyone Irish should try it. I give it a 9 out of 10, mostly because it is so new and not very original, still definitely worth a try AND worth the money at 5.99 for 7oz, a pretty good value all things considered.

At the end of MY rainbow you would definitely find a pot of Kerrygold Dubliner, but that's just my two cents.

CHEESE TIP: Cheese should be stored at the same temperature that it was aged, usually this is about 50 degrees Fahrenheit.


Thank you for reading and I hope you check back for my next entry in this series!



Saturday, May 9, 2015

Trying New Cheeses: Entry 2, Beemster Vlaskaas


I have tried the cheese, Beemster Vlaskaas. A cheese that won at the 2004 World Champion Cheese Contest, which had 1000's of cheeses competing against each other. It received the gold medal and that means it gets recognition as one of the world's BEST cheeses.


BEEMSTER VLASKAAS

Milk: Cow
Country of Origin: Holland
Region: North Holland, the Beemster Polder
Type: Semi-hard
Pasteurized: Yes
Description: Pale yellow, a creamy texture but still has visible protein crystals, and its trademark purple rind
Claim to Fame: Made once a year to celebrate the flax harvest from the one-of-a-kind Beemster Polder pastures.


History: This is the newest cheese in the Beemster line but it is derived from their oldest recipe and used to be made centuries ago. Beemster Vlaskaas or roughly translated to, "Flax Cheese," isn't made with any flax but was named for the flax harvest time of year. The cheese was made only at this time of year to be eaten by the workers. In 2004 the harvest festival was brought back as a community celebration and the ancient recipe was rediscovered. Beemster produced the new Vlaskaas and took it to the World Champion Cheese Contest held in Wisconsin, where it won the gold medal. Beemster cheese is unique to all other cheese (including other Dutch cheese) because it is only made in the Beemster Polder. A polder is land that was once under water. This means that the blue ocean clay that produces the grass, gives it special nutrients so when the cows eat this grass to produce their milk, the milk and therefore cheese, has a very distinct and unique flavor. Ultimately, this makes the taste of Beemster cheese one of a kind!


Taste: After my first bite I could clearly see why this cheese had won a gold medal. The aroma is strong when you first open it. The flavor just punches you in the mouth, but slowly. Your entire mouth is filled with this tangy sweet flavor that was surprisingly very similar to a very sharp cheddar. Unlike sharp cheddar, the after taste wasn't over powering. The texture is very creamy and yet there are protein crystals, the kind you find in an extra sharp cheddar, which was surprising and curious because usually cheese that contains protein crystals has a texture that is firm and will crumble, not to mention so sharp it makes your mouth want to pucker! Not Vlaskaas, it was smoother than Gouda. I don't know how they did it.

This would be great with any white wine and fruit or nuts. Beemster also recommends a cheese board made up of all Beemster cheeses and although I haven't tried anything else that they produce, they probably all go well together.



I may not be a judge at the World Champion Cheese Contest....(yet) but I have to agree with them. I give Beemster Vlaskaas a 10 out of 10. If you're a fan of extra sharp cheddar, give this a try, the creamy texture is a welcomed change from the crumbling protein crystal filled cheese you're used to. This part of a wedge comes in at $6.99 for 5.3oz, not too bad considering it was imported from the Netherlands AND it is only made in one tiny part of the world AND it also can't be duplicated anywhere else AND it is an award winning cheese. After you realized that, we're pretty lucky that we even get to try some! Beemster, I take my hat off to you, and so the people out there know, Beemster has several more cheeses that have won gold medals. I think Beemster will be finding itself in this series in the near future.

A cheese that came from humble beginnings and made it all the way to a World Champion, that's a real underdog story with a happy ending. Vlaskaas is worth its weight in gold, but that's just my two cents.


Cheese Fact: Did you know? American Cheese is NOT considered cheese by law. It is illegal for a cheese manufacturer to label it as just, "American Cheese."

Thank you for reading and I hope you check back for my next entry in this series!







Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Trying New Cheeses, First Entry: The Port Du Salut

I have decided to make a new series where I review cheeses that I have never tried before. Did you ever see that cheese section in your grocery store with all those strange imported cheeses that you've never even heard of before? I have. Have you also wondered who is eating that cheese? I have. I am now one of those people. I will taste, describe, rate, and give a brief history on each cheese that I try.

 My first entry that I am going to try for you, the Port Salut.


PORT SALUT

Milk: Cow
Country of Origin: France
Region: Brittany, Loire Valley
Type: Semi-soft
Pasteurized: Yes
Description: Pale yellow with an orange rind.
Claim to Fame: Created by Monks in a French monastery.


History: The Port Salut or Port Du Salut is a French cheese developed by Trappist monks in the Notre Dame Du Port-Du-Salut Abbey in Entrammes, (some places around the world call this cheese Entrammes). They've been making it since the early 19th century. In 1873 they made a deal with a local cheese supplier and it was sold to locals for the first time. The demand was so great that they started to worry about protecting their cheese rights. The abbey wanted trade protection and the name, "Port Salut" was trade marked for this cheese. They ended up selling the rights in 1959 to a major creamery. Now we all can enjoy this cheese but it is still being handmade by the monks in many monasteries throughout the French countryside.
$5.99 for 5.3oz

The cheese comes in a wedge from what is known as a disc. It feels soft and appears to be creamy. Its smell wasn't as strong as I thought it would be, considering it is a rind washed cheese.

Taste: Seriously probably the best cheese I've ever had. It was amazing. It was very creamy, a velvety smooth texture that just melts in your mouth. It's a tangy sweet flavor as if it is sharp but it is only aged for 60 days. The flavor was intense but subsides quickly, leaving very little after taste, (for cheese that is). I actually couldn't stop eating this and although it was expensive for the amount you get (which is the case for most imported cheese) at $5.99 for 5.03 oz, it was worth every single cent, and then some. Do yourself a favor and try some of this cheese. It would go great with fruit, white wine, or on a cheese board.

I'm going to give Port Salut my best score ever, and since this is the first review it was going to be the best score no matter what, but even if it hadn't, it is still a 10 out of 10. Delicious is the perfect word for this cheese, just plain delicious. I highly recommend this cheese to any fan of Gouda, Munster, or Monterey Jack, you'll LOVE Port Du Salut. I'd definitely get more and I have to because I ate it all!

This was a cheese made by monks in a monastery and you'll find the taste to be...heavenly, but that's just my two cents!

CHEESE TIP:  Eat and serve your cheese at room temperature, cheese tastes better at room temperature.


Thanks for reading and come back to check out my next entry in this cheese series!



Tuesday, May 5, 2015

REAL LIFE PROBLEMS NEVER MENTIONED IN FAMOUS SITCOMS

We love to tune into situation comedies to get lost in their world of antics and crazy situations. Did you ever stop and think about some of the plots to these shows though? Here are few problems that never came up in any of the episodes but always had me wondering how nobody mentioned these things.

Charles In Charge
Oh Charles, in charge of our days and our nights. I want Charles in charge of me as well. Here's what really bugged me about this show. What was the father thinking? I mean seriously come on, what was his thought process? The whole premise of the show was flawed from day one! "I'll just take an attractive college guy, move him into my house to watch over my two hot teenage daughters, leaving him fully in charge of what they can and can not do." Father of the year material right here! In real life the only thing Charles would be in charge of would be paying child support to one or both of those daughters. Pretty sure it is the job of EVERY father, that has girls, to keep boys AWAY, not move them into your house for easy access, not to mention full discretion of rules and childcare.
It starts with a shoe, then a sock, then your daughter's knocked up.

Clarissa Explains it All
Hold on, father of the year isn't locked up yet! Remember when we'd hear that ladder hit the window sill and an electric guitar would strum while using the whammy bar? Yes, that's just Sam the teenage neighbor boy climbing through your teenage daughter's window. How many fathers out there would be ok with this scenario??? There was never any warning either, he would just randomly crawl through her bedroom window, which was always open if you noticed, so don't think miss Clarissa was so innocent. Then sometimes the dad would walk in and be like, "Oh hi Sam." Right, a teenage boy that just entered your daughter's room without you knowing is perfectly acceptable and then you greet him in a friendly manner? Plus you know about the ladder and you just leave it sitting outside under her window, that's dangerous even with Sam out of the equation! I think father of the year has some tough competition! 
"Oh hey did I catch you toweling off after a shower? I'll just watch."


"Sorry I dropped in unexpectedly, I'll let you get back to whatever the hell it is you're doing in here."

Just sitting on a teenage girl's bed with her alone in her room, no big deal. 


Full House
This house was full of something....LIES. So let me get this straight. Jesse's sister Pam was married to Danny Tanner and was the mother of Stephanie, Michelle, and D.J.  Jesse and his parents (also Pam's parents) both have dark hair, as they are of Greek decent. Jesse's grandparents are straight out of Greece. Got that? Danny Tanner, also has dark hair but nothing like the dark complected Jesse and one can guess, his sister Pam as well. HOWEVER, Danny and Pam's daughters are all blonde. Odd...Greek descended girls that are very light skinned and blonde haired. They COULD get their genes from Danny's side of the family but I think there is a much more obvious reason. JOEY IS THE FATHER!!! He is the father of all 3 of those girls, Danny's wife was cheating on him the entire time and there is living proof! Come to think of it, Jesse's twin boys both have blonde hair and are very light complected....JOEY HAS BEEN SCREWING ALL YOUR WIVES FOR YEARS!!! Danny and Jesse never made these assumptions and no one ever pointed out these affair babies.
Look at that guilty look on Joey's face! 


The Dukes of Hazzard
It pains me to find a flaw with this show but there is a pretty obvious one that even as a 3 year old, I wondered. Did you ever notice that Bo and Luke didn't have jobs? They just drove around all day getting into trouble and ended up at the local bar every night to drink beer. Once in a while you see them doing light farm work but they never have actual jobs that would make money. Daisy worked as a waitress but not sure a family of 4 could live off of that. The farm doesn't seem to produce anything other than goat's milk and we know that Uncle Jesse stopped making and selling moonshine so there is no income there. How did they pay for everything that they needed? I've made a list of Duke Family expenses and as you can see, they would have needed a large sum of money coming in every month. 
  • Mortgage payment that always seemed to be late (wonder why!)
  • Gasoline for a Hemi, even though I'm sure gas was under a dollar a gallon back then, it would still be a lot.
  • Bar tab (For nightly drinking, this would have added up)
  • Insurance on 3 vehicles (their premiums must have been horrible due to all the wrecks they were in and all the accidents they caused)
  • Constant upkeep on the General Lee from being wrecked every week
  • Food for 4 people and one goat
  • Water bill for laundry (Bo and Luke only had one outfit each but they were always so clean so I can only assume they did wash on a daily basis)
  • Bail money for their weekly incarcerations
  • Tire money (The General Lee seemed to have its tires shot by bad guys in about every other episode)
  • Fines for destroying public property (this includes police cars, road signs, fire hydrants, and everything else they ran over on the show)
    That's going to cost a lot.

    
    You'll need some bail money guys. 

    Probably have to pay for that barn....just sayin. 
After compiling this list I am really scratching my head on how the Dukes had so much money to spend on these things. On the flip side, Cooter, the local mechanic, must have been rich from working on the Duke boys' car all the time. 


Cheers
I'm not saying if you go to a bar you're a drunk. I'm not even saying if you go weekly you should be considered, by any means, an alcoholic. But, if you go every single night... come on, it's time for an intervention! I'd say Norm, Cliff, and Frasier are all alcoholics based on the amount of time they spend at Cheers. No one ever mentions this in the show though. I guess I can see why the bartenders and owner wouldn't try to get any of their customers help because they want their money. Also I'd like to point out only one of the characters has a New England accent, and it's not as thick as you'd think it should be for being the middle of Boston. 
Smile for your AA meeting photo! 


Gilligan's Island
In every episode of Gilligan's Island they attempted to get off the island. Not once did they just try to fix the boat. This always bothered me. I understand there were some big holes in its side, but if you can make huts, tables, chairs, and a radio out of a coconut, how come you can't patch a few small holes??? They clearly show the Minnow in the beginning of every episode and you can see, the damage isn't all that bad. I think they could have made some kind of tar-like substance and used all the trees around them for boards but they never did, they never even mentioned it. Seems like all of their efforts should have been focused into fixing the actual boat on the island, instead of coming up with new wild and crazy escape plans that Gilligan always ended up ruining for the castaways. 



My Two Dads
My two cents on your one problem. So this girl didn't know which of these guys was her father so the judge ordered she had to live with both of them. PATERNITY TEST! HELLO, judge idiot, have you heard of DNA testing? Instead of forcing this girl to live with these two strangers that may or may not have fathered her, she could have done a simple paternity test to find out for sure. In one episode they conduct a DNA test but Nicole doesn't want to find out so the judge looks at the results and doesn't tell anyone. YOU CAN'T DO THAT! You are forcing an innocent, possibly two innocent people, to have a responsibility that might not be theirs. I want to appeal this judge's ruling. 
Yes that's Paul Reiser, no that's not George Michael. 


Happy Days
That's right, I'm going to rip on Happy Days, and not only that, I'm calling out the Fonz! What's more, I'm calling his coolness into question. Blasphemy? Well think about this...Fonzie is SUPPOSEDLY the coolest person of all time. That town adores him, revers him and fears him. All he does is point out how uncool and how lame the rest of the high school kids are and how great he is and how much the women love him. Answer me this, who are Fonzie's friends? Doesn't have any you say? What about the biggest nerds in school? Ohhhh, right, his ONLY friends are the big dorks he makes fun on a daily basis. If I was Ralph or Richie I would have said, "You know what Fonz? You can just stop rolling your eyes at us. You're the lamest one here because all you do is say how cool you are but you're not, you have zero friends and you hang out with us, the biggest losers in school which makes you the KING of the losers, why don't you get out of here? We don't want to be seen with a grease headed, leather jacket wearing, motorcycle riding, failed out of high school, STD spreading, poor English speaking dick like you!" What's he going to do, kick their ass? I'd like to see him try when they all gang up on him and out number him. Anyway I never understood how the coolest person in school was friends with the biggest losers in school, doesn't add up Fonz...much like the way YOU can't add anything because you failed out of school you lame ass jerk. Your leather jacket is stupid, I can't believe you wore that while water skiing. 
Sitting with all your friends ARTHUR?

No, this doesn't look stupid at all Fonzie. You're so cool. 

Well, those are some of the problems I had with those TV shows. I do like all of those shows actually and watched them but I never could get over those few things that bothered me. Like, how come Seinfeld constantly wore his sneakers in his apartment? He never took them off when he was at home. Who walks around their house or apartment in shoes all day??? Doesn't that bother anybody else? Oh well, I'll keep watching.