For all of us cheese lovers, something we can look forward to monthly: the Cheesemonger Box. Yes. A subscription cheese box from two cheese heads, Laura Downey and Chris Palumbo.
According to the pub for their service, the artisan cheese subscription is "freshly cut-to-order". Really? You used that phrase? Fresh cut? "Who cut the cheese? Cheesemongers did."
We don't care who's cutting the cheese, because we need this in our lives. There are a few different boxes to choose from:
The Classic Box - The Classic Box comes with three ½ pound cuts of cheese. All of which is cheesemonger selected and freshly cut for you from the world's very best producers delivered right to your door. $75 (choose from one-time gift or monthly)
The Signature Box - The Signature Box comes with three ½ pound cuts of cheese along with an artisan cracker and a small batch accompaniment such as a jam, spread, or charcuterie - all selected by a cheesemonger and freshly cut for you. $95 (choose from one-time gift or monthly)
Build Your Own Box – two choices
The classic box build your own comes with three ½-pound cuts of cheese, cheesemonger selected, and freshly cut for you. Select from such cheeses as Harbison, Cabot Clothbound Cheddar, Stilton, and so much more. $75
The signature box comes with three ½ pound cuts of cheese along with an artisan cracker and a small batch accompaniment such as a jam, spread, or charcuterie. All of which is cheesemonger selected and freshly cut for you from the world's very best producers. $95
P.S. If we had a cheese box selection, one would be called the Pull My Finger… and this is why we own nothing.
Honeynut Highball. While that may sound like a James Bond temptress, it's actually a tastebud temptress. And now that we're getting back to getting cozy, let's cheers with this bev from Q Mixers.
1.5 oz Dark Rum
0.5 oz Amaretto
0.5 oz Lemon Juice
5 oz Q Ginger Beer
1 Lemon Slice
Shake all ingredients except Q Ginger Beer and pour into an ice filled glass. Then top with Q Ginger Beer and garnish with an orange slice. Recipe can be scaled for single serve or punch bowl if you keep the ratios consistent.
It's now officially Fall. While you may be thinking of apple cider and flannel, you need to be thinking about your casa. Don't treat your home like some THOT you enjoyed for summer, and then tossed aside. You need to buckle down and get ready for the following season-- that nasty Karen known as Winter.
Modernize Home Services is here to help you ready the homestead for Fall with these tips (we offer no such help):
Check the HVAC System - Call a professional to inspect the home’s heating system to ensure it’s functioning properly. Faulty HVAC systems can result in uncomfortably cold homes as the weather changes and higher energy bills. Make sure all air ducts are well-sealed and insulated. Leaks can reduce a home’s energy efficiency by about 20 percent.
Crack Wisedom: So we shouldn't crawl around in the duct work like Bruce Willis in Die Hard?
Roof and Gutter Maintenance - Check for loose shingles on the roof and replace any missing shingles before inclement weather arrives. If the home is located in a climate prone to ice and snow, adding extra insulation in the attic can help prevent freezing and ice dams on the roof. Clean out the gutters and consider investing in leaf guards before any storms hit to keep water away from the foundation.
Crack Wisedom: Some of us just got out of the gutter, we're not getting up and in it.
Sprinkler System Winterization - Winterizing a sprinkler system can reduce the chance of broken pipes and make it easier to turn back on in the spring. First, turn off the main water valve. Then set the automatic controller to rain mode or simply disconnect it. Be sure to drain the water from outside and close the shutoff valve.
Crack Wisedom: Who's rich enough to have a sprinkler system?
Fireplace & Chimney Inspection - Annual fireplace inspections are essential ahead of use, as build-ups and blockages are dangerous and can lead to accidental fires. It is best to hire a professional prior to using a fireplace to check and remove any flammable residue from burning wood.
Crack Wisedom: Isn't that what Santa's for? His jolly belly and sack of goodies should clear things out.
Walkway and Driveway Repairs - Fix any cracks in the driveway as well as uneven walkways and loose railings. These can cause hazardous walking conditions once winter ice storms hit.
Crack Wisedom: But that's our on-the-cheap home security system. 'I've fallen, and I can't break in!'
It's not Fall. It's Pumpkin Spice Season. It's. In. Every. Thing. Food or non-food, people have a mad-crazy obsession with pumpkin spice. So, for you lovers of the spiced-up orange, round gourd. this-- from oh, how CIVILIZED:
Pumpkin Spice Chai Latte
2 cups milk any kind
2 chai tea bags
4 tablespoons pumpkin puree
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoon ground ginger
⅛ teaspoon ground cloves
⅛ teaspoon ground nutmeg
Heat pumpkin puree and spices on low heat.
In a saucepan, stir together pumpkin puree, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, and nutmeg. Use a spoon to mash the ingredients.
Add milk, brown sugar, and chai tea bags. Simmer on low for five minutes then take off heat. Discard tea bags and add vanilla extract.
If you're using loose tea, put the tea into a tea filter bag. Keep stirring while on the stovetop so that pumpkin puree is completely incorporated into the milk and the sugar has dissolved.
Froth pumpkin spice chai latte.
Pour drink into an electric milk frother or French press to froth. To froth in a French press, fill it halfway with the latte and pump the plunger up and down a few times until the drink doubles in volume.
Pour latte into two cups.
It's a day of mourning when the family shuts-down the pool for summer in locales that get T.H.O. cold. We wait for summer to get here, and then it's all gone in a splash. But there is hope, Crack Wiseians. Swimply is the Airbnb for swimming pools. There are over 20,000 pools on the platform, spanning all 50 states.
You could pool-hop across the country and truly live an endless summer. That means more floatin'-and-feastin' on summer cocktails! Who's ready for a road trip? Especially if you can stay in a castle like this:
Pack that Speedo and sunscreen and let's go! Okay... maybe not a Speedo....
Pineapple is delish, and good for you. And if you're really skilled, you can balance one on your head. We cannot... But we bring to you this balanced gem, courtesy of The Olive Scene:
Pineapple Balsamic Salad
¼ cup Olive Scene mild Olive Oil
3 tablespoons Olive Scene Golden Pineapple White Balsamic Vinegar
2 tablespoons honey
¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
pinch of salt
Add the vinegar, honey, salt and pepper to a bowl or a blender. Whisk or blend, and then slowly drizzle the oil while whisking or pulsing, until smooth. Allow to sit for 15 minutes, and use. Or pour into a glass jar and refrigerate. If it solidifies, allow to come to room temperature and whisk or shake well before using.
2 cups baby spinach, mescaline greens, or a combination of your choice
1 ounce slice of black forest ham chopped into bite size pieces
1 ounce fresh mozzarella thinly sliced or diced
¼ cup semi dried tomatoes
Add the salad ingredients to a bowl, in the order listed. Drizzle with the prepared dressing and allow to sit for 15 minutes.
Toss before serving. Enjoy!
Order some tasty olive oils HERE.
P.S. Did you see this hack on how to handle a whole pineapple?
With Fall here-ish (still sweating from places we shouldn't), it's time to prepare for hibernation. Yes, we are in favor of hibernation for humans. Anywho, a nice, cozy breakfast sounds perfect on a Fall weekend. You know how it goes: big breakfast, then a nap. Why not get cozy with some sheet pan pancakes? Grab the butter and maple syrup, the bacon, the sausage, the eggs... and enjoy!
Fluffy & Soft Sheet Pancakes
*sounds like pillows
*pancakes can be hard?
*recipe courtesy of The Flavor Bender
3 tbsp butter melted
2 cups AP flour
1/3 cup confectioner's sugar
2/3 cup cornstarch
4 tsp baking powder
½ tsp kosher salt (heaped tsp) Use less if you're using regular salt
2 large eggs or 3 small eggs
2 cups buttermilk
1.5 tsp vanilla
5 tbsp butter melted
Line a sheet pan (about 18" x 13") with parchment paper and brush the bottom with 1 tbsp of butter (or more).
Preheat oven to 425°F.
Sift all the dry ingredients together into a large bowl.
Combine and eggs, buttermilk, vanilla and 5 tbsp melted butter in a jug and whisk to mix well.
Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix until just combined. Do not over-mix.
Scrape the batter into the prepared sheet pan, and then using an offset spatula, evenly spread the batter. Gently shake the sheet pan to make sure that the batter is evenly spread, but do not shake or knock the pan too hard (as this may deflate the batter).
Place the sheet pan in the center of your oven and bake for 5 - 7 minutes. Check at 5 minutes - the pancakes are done, if the center of the pancake is springy to the touch, and a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean.
Remove the pan from the oven and switch the oven to broil. Brush the surface of the pancake liberally with the remaining melted butter and place it back under the broiler for 1 - 2 minutes, rotating the sheet pan half way through, until the surface starts to turn a golden brown in color. DO NOT WALK AWAY FROM THE PANCAKES while they are under the broiler, as they can burn quickly!
Remove the sheet pan pancakes from the oven as soon as they turn golden brown.
Cut the pancakes (while they are hot) into 8 (large), or 12 (medium), or 16 (small) portions.
Serve while warm with maple syrup, or pancake syrup and other toppings.
The cracked Crack Wise Staff-- warriors of the Funformation Movement.