When planning to entertain a crowd, having tasty finger foods available is one of the easiest ways to please hungry stomachs and inspire conversation. Dips and spreads are the perfect choice because they can be made to serve small or large groups and they go well with chips, pretzels, crackers, veggies or whatever you have on hand.
For your next get together, reference this list of creative dips using Wisconsin Cheese:
- Beer Cheese Spread – A full-bodied brown ale or Porter gives this spread its adults-only flavor.
- Sriracha Blue Cheese Spread – If you enjoy buffalo-style hot sauce, this dip is similar in spice and boldness.
- Mascarpone Spread with Brandied Walnuts – Walnuts add just enough crunch to this spread complement the creamy Wisconsin Mascarpone.
- Cheesy Baked Jalapeño Popper Dip – Use more jalapeños to increase the spiciness or less to keep the dip on the mild side.
- Mascarpone Gingerbread Dip – Warm spices of ginger, clove and cinnamon make this dip just the right amount of spicy sweetness.
- Caramel Apple Pie Dip – Set this dip out with cinnamon graham crackers or wafers in place of dessert.
- Mascarpone Carrot Cake Dip – This uniquely delicious dip is based on classic carrot cake and will satisfy any sweet tooth cravings.
- Roasted Pumpkin Dip – Roasted pumpkin is divine with Wisconsin Fontina, Parmesan and Ricotta.
- Blue Cheese and Bacon Dip – Always a favorite, this creamy combination of Wisconsin Blue Cheese and bacon will be quick to disappear.
Don’t let your Wisconsin Cheese attend its next party alone. Match it up with the perfect libations using the free Cheese Cupid app, available in the iTunes app store. Whether you’re crafting a complementary cheese board for your upcoming cocktail party or picking out the ideal wedge for a date night with a bottle of Chardonnay, this app will lead you to an idyllic pairing of spirits and Wisconsin Cheese.
With this easy-to-navigate app, you will be well prepared to address any pairing dilemma in the coming holiday season. Now, get into a festive spirit and visit the Cheese Cupid Facebook page for the chance to win an official Cheese Cupid apron and a Wisconsin Cheese knife set.
How to Enter:
Visit the Cheese Cupid Facebook page, Facebook.com/CheeseCupid, and leave a comment answering the following question on the giveaway post:
Which Wisconsin Cheeses will you serve this holiday season?
- Entrants must be U.S. residents
- Entries are limited to one per household
- One entry will be chosen at random.
- Giveaway ends Friday, November 29, at 5 p.m. EST.
- The winner will be announced on December 2 and notified by a reply to their comment.
by Paula Jones from Bell’Alimento
If you’re looking for an easy and effortless appetizer for your upcoming holiday entertaining, this Herb-Marinated Wisconsin Edam recipe is one you should consider. We love the rosemary and parsley combination in ours, but it can be made with a variety of herbs, so feel free to experiment with your personal favorites.
To save yourself time, you can make this recipe well in advance of your event. After storing in the refrigerator, simply allow the appetizer to come to room temperature before serving. The Herb-Marinated Wisconsin Edam is delectable by itself on a toothpick or served alongside a charcuterie platter with toasted baguette slices. For a fantastic hostess gift, make a batch and decorate the jar with ribbon or twine for a personal touch.
By Paula Jones from Bell’AlimentoServings: 4–6
2 fresh rosemary sprigs
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 tablespoon flat-leaf Italian parsley, minced
1 small fresh chile pepper
1 1/3 cup (8 ounces) Wisconsin Edam Cheese, cubed
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
Place rosemary, garlic, parsley and chile pepper in 12.5-ounce canning jar. Add cubed Wisconsin Edam Cheese. Pour extra virgin olive oil over cheese. Mix to combine. Place lid on top and marinate cheese for a minimum of 2 hours at room temperature. Refrigerate if not serving immediately. Olive oil may partially solidify when chilled; allow mixture to come to room temperature before serving to reliquefy.
Just in time for a season full of family gatherings and holiday celebrations, the latest issue of Grate. Pair. Share. is now available. The second annual winter edition is overflowing with holiday recipe ideas, seasonal pairings and entertaining tips for all of your festivities.
The diverse varieties of Wisconsin Cheese provide endless options for meals full of flavor. Guest bloggers like Annalise of Completely Delicious and Tieghan of Half Baked Harvest share brilliant ideas your whole family will enjoy.
From rich side dishes to beautiful cheese pairings, entertaining is made easy with the help of Grate. Pair. Share.
See all of the recipes from this issue and more in the recipe section of EatWisconsinCheese.com.
By Tieghan of Half Baked Harvest
Celebrate the approaching winter season with this appetizer from Tieghan of Half Baked Harvest. Caramelized Butternut Squash and Gorgonzola Crostini is the perfect seasonal bite with butternut squash, thyme, sage, cranberries and Wisconsin Gorgonzola Cheese.
And for dessert, visit EatWisconsinCheese.com for Tieghan’s Mini Eggnog Crumble Bundt Cakes with Eggnog Mascarpone Glaze recipe.
By Tieghan of Half Baked Harvest
Servings: 20-25 crostini
4 cloves garlic
2 teaspoons plus 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 large baguette
2 tablespoons butter
1 1/2 cups butternut squash, peeled and cut into small cubes
1 tablespoon brown sugar
salt and pepper, to taste
1 tablespoon fresh thyme, chopped
1/2 cup dried cranberries
18 fresh sage leaves
1 1/3 cup (8 ounces) Wisconsin Gorgonzola Cheese, crumbled
2 tablespoons heavy cream or cream cheese
1 tablespoon orange zest
Preheat oven to 375°F.
To roast garlic, cut off top portion of garlic head to reveal cloves. Peel any excess paper/skin away from bulb. Drizzle 1 teaspoon olive oil over cloves, cover with foil and roast in baking dish 45 minutes, or until golden brown and soft. Cool. Squeeze garlic cloves from paper skins into small bowl and set aside.
Slice baguette into 1/2-inch-thick rounds and place on baking sheet. Drizzle with 2 tablespoons olive oil. Bake 8-12 minutes, rotating pan halfway through.
Melt butter in large skillet over medium heat. Add butternut squash, sprinkle with brown sugar and season with salt and pepper. Cook over medium heat, stirring frequently to avoid burning, 20-25 minutes or until squash is fork tender and beginning to caramelize. In last 5 minutes of cooking, stir in fresh thyme. Remove from heat and stir in cranberries. Transfer mixture to plate.
Return skillet to medium heat and add remaining 1 teaspoon olive oil. Add sage leaves and fry 20-30 seconds per side. Drain on paper towels.
In bowl of food processor, combine Gorgonzola, 4 roasted garlic cloves and heavy cream or cream cheese. Purée until cheese is whipped and smooth, scraping down sides as needed.
Spread whipped Gorgonzola mixture onto each piece of crostini. To serve, top crostini with spoonful of caramelized butternut squash and cranberries, and sprinkle with fresh orange zest, crumbled Gorgonzola, 1 fried sage leaf and cracked black pepper.
Heidi of Foodie Crush has endless ideas for spreading holiday cheer and welcoming dinner guests, beginning with offering small plates of tasty appetizers. Providing several food options early in the evening will avoid a rush to sit down for the main entrée and allows plenty of time to conversate with friends and family.
Start with a tray of fresh-baked Spinach and Feta Hand Pies, set out as guests arrive, to warm chilly fingers and silence empty stomachs. The comforting flavors of spinach, Wisconsin Feta and pine nuts wrapped in flaky phyllo dough make these pies a family favorite.
While everyone begins to mingle, offer a platter of Mini Blue Cheese Balls with sliced red apples. With the help of toothpicks, these rich bites of Wisconsin Blue Cheese are easy to eat without interrupting the socializing and small enough to provide sustenance without ruining an appetite.
And just before the main course is primed for serving, attract diners to their seats with a warm loaf of Smoked Mozzarella Pizza Bread. Preslice the bread into big cubes for an easy-to-pass, shareable plate. The melted Wisconsin Mozzarella with fresh herbs makes these bites of bread ideal for dipping into marinara.
‘Tis the season to eat savory and sweet! Warm up your kitchen and dig into these recipes for seasonal dining with Wisconsin Cheese:
- Fall Dessert Cheese Board – Sweet red grapes, raspberries, and candied walnut halves alongside rich varieties of Wisconsin Cheese qualify this plate as a dessert meant for sharing.
- Cranberry Chocolate Mascarpone Tart – Serve a slice paired with a bottle of moscato for an elegant dessert course.
- Chilled Raspberry Yogurt Soup – Yogurt provides a welcome tang in this sweet and zesty soup.
- Figgy Mushroom Pizza with Wisconsin Blue Cheese – Featuring Wisconsin Blue Cheese on top of a beautiful blend of figs, sautéed mushrooms, and red peppers, this pizza pie is pleasantly filling.
- Wisconsin Cheese Appetizer Board – Just in time for the approaching holiday season, this trio of Wisconsin Cheeses offers a variety of textures and flavors making it an excellent starter cheese board.
- Wisconsin Queso Quesadilla – Eat your veggies while still feeling like you’re indulging in a treat with delicious Wisconsin Queso Quesadilla cheese.
- Sweet Potato & Cheddar Crackers – Easy and seasonal, this after-school snack and more kid-friendly recipes are featured in the fall Grate. Pair. Share. online magazine from Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board.
- Brats with Smoky Beer Cheese Sauce – Perfect for football season, this Colby-Cheddar Cheese sauce is an inviting topping for grilled brats or burgers.
- Toasted Ham Sandwich with Wisconsin Swiss & Provolone – Thin-cut, deli-fresh ham with Wisconsin Swiss and Provolone on a toasted French roll makes for a delicious lunch break.
Wisconsin Edam, the featured Cheese of the Month, boasts a creamy texture and a distinctive nutty taste comparable to the much-loved Wisconsin Gouda. A semi-hard cheese that traditionally is sold as a sphere coated in red wax, Edam is perfect for a festive cheese plate. It also pairs tastefully with white wines, Champagne or lager, making it ideal for enjoying during the holiday season. Try adding shredded Edam to a savory fondue or assemble a tray of Dutch Picks for an inviting appetizer.