Cheese-Inspired Memorial Day Party Ideas


Memorial Day weekend is often considered the kick-off to summer. It is a time when people finally pull the lawn furniture from their sheds, start up the barbecue, and invite family and friends over to celebrate.

When hosting parties we understand that it can sometimes be overwhelming finding creative ideas to impress guests. So we have found 3 cheese-inspired pairings that will surely be a hit this Memorial Day weekend.

Mozzarella with Sauvignon Blanc
Our personal favorite combination is pairing mozzarella with tomatoes topped with tapenade and pesto while served with a light Sauvignon Blanc. If that doesn’t sound appealing you can also serve mozzarella with fresh olives topped with crushed garlic and olive oil.

Mini Flavored Cheddar with Pilsner
When making snack foods, add flavor to any dish by adding mini cheddar cheese to burgers, chicken, or salads. We suggest serving it along with a Lager or Pilsner to balance the taste.

Glue Cheese with Gewürztraminer 
Add blue cheese on your favorite salad, burger, or bread to add “richness and tanginess” to the meal. Pair it up with the Gewürztraminer to make the perfect summer dish for guests.

Click HERE to read other ways you can add cheese into your party this Memorial Day.

The Cheese Market Doesn’t Get Any Hotter Than This

Fridays at Jim’s Cheese, LLC in Waterloo, Wisconsin are hot – even in December. Making Habanero Ghost Cheese  creates a slight tickling in the nose and an undeniable effort to stifle the tear ducts.

The Southern customer request for a cheese hotter than Habanero came in September of 2011. Then owner, Jim Peschel quickly dreamt up a secret recipe using Habanero Jack as a foundation, while adding the seasonings of Ghost Peppers. What resulted has been described as “tongue numbing” and often accompanied by a warning sign on retail shelves and websites.  Habanero Ghost is sold in (2) 5 pound loaves or 7 pounds of random weight pieces

Ghost Peppers, or their native name, Bhut Jolokia grow north of the Himalayas in the Indian states of Assam and Nagaland.  Second only to the Trinidad Moruga Scorpion pepper, the Ghost Pepper is dubbed as one the hottest known peppers in the world.  Ghost is said to be 400 times hotter than Tabasco Sauce, listed in the 2007 Guinness World Records as the worlds’ hottest chili peppers, and is currently making grown men cry (Sampling Ghost Cheese). Still skeptical? Try it for yourself.

Jim’s Cheese also has a small delicatessen – Jim’s Cheese Pantry.  Here, on their new menu, Jim’s will dare you to try their “Knock Your Socks Off” Gourmet Grilled Cheese Sandwich“. Should one be brave enough to accept the challenge; your taste buds will be introduced to a deliciously hot combination of Habanero Ghost Cheddar, jalapeno peppers and onions on fresh sour dough bread.

Happy Holidays From Jim’s Cheese!

This month we are featuring our large assortments of Holiday Cheese Cut Outs and gift packs. Make sure your store is stocked with these great items as cheese is the perfect gift. We’ve also included three recipes to share with your customers!

Cheddar Apple Crisp

Servings: 6-8


4 cups apples (crisp and tart such as Braeburn), peeled and sliced
1 tablespoon lemon juice1/3 plus 1/2 cups brown sugar, firmly packed, divided
1/2 cup rolled oats
1/4 cup flour
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
1 cup (4 oz.) Wisconsin Sharp Cheddar Cheese, shredded

Cooking Directions:

Preheat oven to 350°F. Combine apples, lemon juice and 1/3 cup brown sugar. Arrange in buttered 8- or 9-inch square pan. Combine dry ingredients and cut in butter until mixture is crumbly; gently mix in cheese. Sprinkle evenly over apple mixture.
Bake for 25 to 30 minutes. Serve with ice cream or whipped cream, garnish with shredded cheese.

Eggnog Sparkle Cookies

Servings: 5 dozen


1 cup (2 sticks) salted Farmhouse Kitchens Hand Rolled Butter, softened
1 cup granulated sugar
2 large egg yolks
1/2 cup purchased eggnog
2 1/2 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg

2.25 ounces (1 jar) red decorating sugar (1/3 cup)
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Cooking Directions:

Cookie: In a large mixing bowl, cream together butter and granulated sugar until fluffy. Beat in egg yolks until combined. Add eggnog.
Whisk together flour, baking powder and nutmeg; add to butter mixture beating until thoroughly combined. Refrigerate dough 2 hours or until firm.

Topping: Combine topping ingredients on paper plate. Roll dough into 1 inch diameter balls; roll in topping mixture. Place 2 inches apart on lightly buttered cookie sheet.
Bake in a 400 degree oven for 8 to 10 minutes or until set.

Baked Wisconsin Brie With Almonds

Servings: 8


1 wheel (1 lb.) Wisconsin Brie cheese
1/4 cup butter
3/4 cup slivered almonds
French bread, sliced

Cooking Directions:

Place cheese on oven-proof serving plate. Sauté almonds and garlic in butter until just browned. Pour over top of Brie. Bake at 350° F for 12 minutes or until warm throughout, or microwave on medium heat 3 to 5 minutes. Serve with French bread slices and fruit.
Variation: For a flavorful variation, sauté 1 clove of garlic with the butter and almonds.

Recipes and pictures provided by WI Milk Marketing Board

Thanksgiving and Wisconsin Cheese!

The leaves are changing and the temperatures are getting cooler… Below are some recipes to include in your merchandising promotions for the Thanksgiving meal. These specialty dishes include pumpkin, turkey and of course, WI CHEESE! Print and distribute these recipes in your store for customers to take home.
Call your Jim’s Cheese sales representative to place an order for the WI cheeses highlighted in these Thanksgiving recipes. Pictures of recipes and 3 X 5 recipe print outs are available upon request.

Indian-Spiced Pumpkin Bread With Wisconsin Colby
Servings: 1 loaf or 12 servings
3 tablespoons butter, divided
1/2 cup finely chopped onion
2 teaspoons curry powder
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
3/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup flour
3/4 cup cornmeal
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 tablespoon sugar
8 ounces (1 cup) canned or pumpkin puree*
1 1/2 teaspoon finely diced hot chile, such as jalapeño or Serrano
2 eggs, lightly beaten
2/3 cup buttermilk
3/4 cup shredded Wisconsin Colby cheese**, divided.

Cooking Directions:
Preheat oven to 350ºF. Butter a 9 1/4″ x 5 1/4″ x 3″ loaf pan.
In skillet, heat 1 tablespoon butter. Add the onion, curry powder, ground cumin, cayenne pepper and salt. Cook over medium low heat, stirring frequently, until the onion is soft, about 5 minutes. Let cool.
Sift the flour, cornmeal, baking powder, baking soda and sugar into a bowl.
Melt remaining butter and set aside. In a large bowl, whisk the pumpkin puree, chile, eggs, buttermilk, onion mixture and melted butter. Mix just until moistened. Add flour mixture and stir just until mixed. Fold in 1/2 cup shredded Colby cheese. Spoon the mixture into the prepared loaf pan. Bake 35 minutes. Remove from oven and sprinkle remaining Colby over the bread top. Return to oven 5-7 minutes longer, until the cheese melts and the bread is baked through.
**Wisconsin Cheddar cheese can be substituted.

The Pilgrim with Gouda Cheese
Servings: 4
3 tablespoons cranberry sauce
3 tablespoons Dijon mustard
6-8 tablespoons butter, at room temperature
4-5 fresh sage leaves, chopped
8 slices honey wheat bread
16 slices Wisconsin Gouda cheese
8 ounces turkey breast, sliced
8 ounces fresh spinach leaves

Cooking Directions:
In small bowl, mix cranberry sauce and Dijon mustard. Set aside. (Or use purchased cranberry-mustard.)
Mix butter with sage until smooth.
Heat large skillet or sauté pan over medium heat. Spread one side of each bread slice with sage-butter. Place 4 slices butter-side down in pan and spread each with 1 tablespoon cranberry-mustard. Top with 2 slices Gouda, 2 ounces turkey, and 2 ounces spinach. Top with 2 more slices Gouda and bread slice, butter-side up. Grill, turning sandwiches once until bread is golden and cheese is melted. Serve remaining cranberry-mustard on the side.

Wisconsin Five-Cheese Macaroni
Servings: 8
1 1/2 cups (12 ounces) small-curd cottage cheese
1 cup (8 ounces) sour cream
1 egg
1/4 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon white pepper
1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
2 cups (8 ounces) shredded sharp Cheddar cheese
2 cups (8 ounces) shredded Colby cheese
8 ounces elbow macaroni, cooked, drained
1/3 cup (1 ounce) grated Parmesan cheese
1/3 cup (1 ounce) grated Romano cheese
1/2 teaspoon paprika
2 tablespoons chopped parsley

Cooking Directions:
Preheat the oven to 325°F.
Blend the cottage cheese in a food processor or blender until smooth. In a large mixing bowl, combine the cottage cheese, sour cream, egg, flour, salt, white pepper, and dry mustard. Stir in the Cheddar and Colby cheeses. Add the cooked macaroni and stir gently until well-combined. Spoon into a greased 3-quart glass baking dish. Top with grated Parmesan and Romano cheese and sprinkle with paprika. Bake for 40 to 45 minutes until browned and bubbly. Sprinkle with parsley to serve.
Recipes and pictures provided by WMMB.

Great Cheese Recipes for Football Parties and After School Snacks

‘Tis the season for Back to School and Football!

Below are 3 quick and easy recipes that are sure to grab your customers’ attention for after school snacks and football party appetizers. Post these recipes in your store or make copies of the recipes for customers to take home.

Call your Jim’s Cheese sales representative to place an order for the cheeses highlighted in the recipes so your customers can make these tasty snacks! Pictures of recipes and 3 X 5 recipe print outs are available upon request.

Cheesy Wisconsin Bagels, Servings: 6 bagel halves

Cheesy Wisconsin Bagels


1 cup (4 ounces) Wisconsin Cheddar Cheese, shredded
1 cup (4 ounces) Wisconsin Swiss or Monterey Jack Cheese, shredded
1/4 cup slivered almonds, toasted
1/4 cup real bacon bits
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup green onions, chopped
1/4 cup sour cream
2 egg whites, stiffly beaten
3 bagels, split

Cooking Directions:

Preheat the broiler to broil. Combine the cheeses, nuts, bacon, mayonnaise, onions, and sour cream; mix well. Fold in the egg whites. Spread the mixture on bagel halves. Place bagels on baking sheet and broil until bubbly, about 3 minutes.

Strawberry Shortcake Bites, Servings: Variable

Strawberry Shortcake Bites


Sugar Cookie or Shortbread
Crave Brothers Mascarpone Cheese
Sliced Strawberry

WI Havarti Pesto Stuffed Mushrooms with Tomato Concasse, Servings: 6
wisconsin specialty pesto jack mushrooms

Stuffed Mushrooms:
3/4 pound hot Italian sausage, casing removed
1/4 cup pine nuts
2 tablespoons sun-dried tomatoes, diced
1 cup (4 ounces) WI Havarti Pesto Cheese, shredded
6 large (12 ounces) Portobello mushrooms, stems removed

Tomato Concassé*:
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 shallot, diced
4 large Roma tomatoes, diced
2 tablespoons fresh basil leaves
1/2 cup roasted red peppers, chopped
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper

Cooking Directions:

Preheat broiler. In a skillet, cook sausage over medium heat, breaking apart until fully cooked; remove from heat and drain fat. Add pine nuts, sun-dried tomatoes and Wisconsin Pesto Jack cheese. Mix well; set aside.

In the pre-heated broiler, broil mushroom caps, rounded side up, for 3 to 5 minutes. Remove from oven; turn caps over and carefully spoon warm sausage stuffing into each cap. Return to oven and broil 3 to 5 minutes.

For concassé, heat olive oil over medium heat in a small saucepan. Add garlic and shallot; sweat 1 minute to release flavor. Add remaining ingredients and cook until softened, 6 to 8 minutes. Cool slightly. In a food processor, pulse tomato mixture to desired consistency. Spoon onto tops of filled mushrooms and serve immediately.

*May be replaced with 14-16 ounce jar of chunky Italian-style tomato sauce.

Recipes and pictures provided by the Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board.

Wine and Cheese for Beginners

With entire books written on the subject, wine and cheese is one of the most famous culinary pairings around. For those of us who aren’t wine and cheese connoisseurs, it can be quite intimidating to find out where to begin. But in the ocean of opinions on wine and cheese pairings, a few rules and classic combinations provide an excellent starting point.

For those new to wine and cheese, there are a few simple guidelines to start you off. First, white wines tend to go well with “softer” cheeses that have a stronger, more pungent flavor and smell. Second, red wines generally work better with “harder” cheeses that have much milder flavors. Third, fruity and sweet white wines, as well as dessert wines, pair with the widest variety of cheeses. Finally, pair pungent cheeses with sweeter wines.

In addition to these guidelines, some classic wine and cheese pairings have emerged over the years. These classic pairings work best for entertaining guests. The full-bodied red wine cabernet sauvignon happens to pair well with sharp cheddar. Meanwhile, mild cheddar, along with provolone and parmesan, go well with Chardonnay. Brie cheese compliments both champagne and merlot nicely, while gouda cheese mixes with Riesling and merlot.

Don’t forget, though, that these established guidelines and classic pairings aren’t etched in stone, and everyone has a unique taste palette. Don’t be afraid to experiment and discover some personal favorites, be it at dinner, a party, or for a bedtime snack. Feel free to share some of your personal favorites in the comments!

wine and cheese go well together

Grilled Cheese Sandwiches

Grilled Cheese with a Twist!
Grilled cheese sandwiches have been a longtime staple for a quick, low-fuss and tasty meal. But with a little creativity you can put some twists on the old classic that can make for some unique dishes. We’ve compiled a few ideas for some more unconventional grilled cheese sandwiches. Try one yourself, and don’t be afraid to get adventurous and make your own. Feel free to share any of your own creations in the comments. We’d love to hear them!

Jalapeno Poppers Grilled Cheese
This sandwich is a simple way to capture the flavor of jalapeno poppers. Spread some cream cheese on one side. Cover the other piece with some cheddar and some spicy pepper jack. For some extra crunch, put some crumbled tortilla chips in.

Greek-Style Grilled Cheese
This one goes particularly well with wheat bread. Take some feta cheese along with some cheddar, and add some red onions and thick tomato slices. Fry it up and serve it alongside some hummus and pita chips.

Mozzarella Sourdough
Combining mozzarella, tomato, and fresh basil on some sourdough makes for a great lunchtime sandwich. Be sure to slice the tomatoes nice and thick.

Italian Pesto Grilled Cheese
For this one, take a few slices of Italian bread and combine some provolone and American cheeses. Add a few slices of tomato and a tablespoon of your favorite pesto sauce, and you’re all set.

Peanut Butter and Bacon Classic
This is one that you probably wouldn’t think of off the cuff. Just take your standard old white bread grilled cheese with some slices of American. Before frying it in the pan, add some peanut butter and a few slices of bacon. The sweetness and creaminess of the peanut butter compliments the otherwise salty and crunchy sandwich surprisingly well.

Grilled cheese can be unique, too