Campo de Montalban Cheese – Review

Yesterday, I made a sandwich for lunch with some Campo de Montalban cheese inside one of my strangely unique wheat rye sunflower caraway rolls.

I love cheese but let me tell you, this particular cheese really rocks! The flavor melded so well with the flavors of rustic wheat and caraway seeds in my bread. I savored every single bite!

Campo de Montalban cheese (the name brings a smile on my face because I immediately think of Ricardo Montalban) is a yummy blend of cows’, sheeps’ and goats’ milk from Spain. I purchased a little wedge from Whole Foods on sale last week for $10/lb, which was cheaper than the yummy raw sheeps’ milk Manchego cheese. I think I am enjoying the Campo de Montalban cheese more than the Manchego!

This morning, I thinly sliced a few pieces to put on my breakfast Bruschetta with olives, garlic and basil. It melted beautifully under the broiler, keeping it’s shape. It didn’t get runny or stringy. It’s a “hard” cheese, not as hard as Parmesan though.

bruschetta with olives, cheese, garlic, & basil

Nutritional Data per 1 oz serving

Calories 108 Calories from Fat 81
Total Fat 9g
Saturated Fat 7g
Cholesterol 30mg
Sodium 160mg
Total Carbohydrate 0
Dietary Fiber 0
Protein 7g

Keeping Produce Fresh with Ethylene Gas Removers

Ethylene gas (H2C=CH2) is a harmless odorless, colorless, gas that is produced from both natural and man-made sources. Vegetables and fruit release the gas as they are ripening, but at the same time, the build up of the gas can hasten the ripening of produce.

Some produce produce large quantities of the Ethylene gas, some are more sensitive to the gas, and some do both.

For instance, lettuce releases a very low amount of ethylene gas, but is effected by the gas very strongly. Apples are very high producers, plus they are highly sensitive to the gas as well.

Ethylene Gas removal kits can absorb the gas from the area, so produce stays fresher longer!

I’ve been using Ethylene Gas absorbing kits in my refrigerator for years. I started out using the E.G.G. (Ethylene Gas Guardian) and when my supply ran out, I kept meaning to order them online, but it just seemed so expensive with shipping, so I kept putting it off.

A few weeks ago, I was thrilled to find the Bluapple brand refills at Whole Foods. A full year kit (8 packets to fill two containers for 12 months) was $10, so I saved on the S&H.

The cool part is the packets keep on giving even afterward. Open the old, used packets and sprinkle the contents on your plants. I just put a few older EGG packets on the tomato and pepper plants on our deck!

How To Cook Everything iPhone App – Review

I just picked up the “How to Cook Everything” iPhone app. It’s the full version of the Mark Bittman book! It’s on sale for only $2 (down from $5) until tomorrow (Sunday – Father’s Day)

UPDATED: June 22, 2010: I love this app. I’ve been using it for a few days now, and it works very well. It’s easy to find recipes, although it’s not the same as browsing through a cookbook.

You can save recipes to your “favorites” as well as set up grocery shopping lists. Search by key ingredient, cooking technique, flavor, or recipe type (fast, make ahead, vegetarian, essential).

I can tell that I will be using this app quite a bit. It’s on the front page on my iPhone! And with the new iPhone OS4, I don’t have to keep reloading the app, it’s been updated for multi-tasking.

This afternoon, I was pleasantly surprised with a wonderful feature! I was cooking the recipe for Zucchini Pancakes and I clicked the underlined text link for cook 10-15 minutes and was thrilled to find a timer pop-up for 10 minutes. There’s an option to add/subtract time, reset and stop the timer. These little touches are excellent and make the app such a pleasure to work with!


Oh and I found a great site called “I Heart Cooking Clubs” (IHCC) that sounds really fun. Until October, they are showcasing Mark Bittman recipes so I will definitely have a chance to put the app through its paces!

Divine Mint Dark Chocolate – Review

Eating clean doesn’t mean giving up rich foods like chocolate! There are some days that I just feel like I NEED chocolate, and as long as I consume in moderation, it’s all good!

And I don’t mean Snickers or Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups. Have you read the ingredients!? Yuck! I’m talking about REAL chocolate….the “dark” variety if possible 65% or higher, although partaking in rich yummy milk chocolate every once in awhile is okay too.

I have tried several brands, and one of my favorite is Divine Mint Dark Chocolate. It’s different than some of the other mint flavors/brands because when you take a bite, you’re tasting crushed chunks of peppermint stick candy! I love that!

It’s 70% dark chocolate, which is a good amount to look for and it’s made with “fair trade” ingredients, which is very important.

Now, keep in mind, you can’t eat the whole bar in one sitting! Remember, it’s all about moderation! Break off four squares for under 100 calories. Yum! It’s a healthy afternoon snack!

Hamilton Beach Counter Top Convection Oven – Review

hamilton beach convection oven

I love my Hamilton Beach counter top convection oven. It’s definitely on my top 5 favorite, most used kitchen tools!

Back in 2006, my husband surprised me with the oven as a Christmas gift. It was shortly after we moved into our current home and I was rediscovering my love of cooking. Initially, I was hesitant about the Hamilton Beach brand but after reading the reviews on Amazon, I decided to keep the oven. When and/or if this one dies, I will definitely consider purchasing the same oven again!

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Smile & Say Cheese!

I wanted my first official review for 52 Foods in 52 to be special, something significant and poignant.

What’s better than cheese! Yum! In fact, the original idea for my 52 Foods in 52 project popped into my head when I saw this particular cheese!

Healthy Delight French Style Yogurt Cheese

yogurt cheese

I love walking in the cheese department at Whole Foods, and even better when they have cheese samples out. Well, she just put out a fresh plate of samples for the Healthy Delight Yogurt Cheese, and as soon as a tasted a bite, I knew I had to purchase a block. Delicious, soft, and mild. I immediately thought about pizza topping and mac & cheese!

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