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Mary's Tavern

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Friday Feast | #Cheese Lover for Life

Welcome to Friday Feast in the Tavern! Let's travel back in time about 36 years...

When my son was a toddler, he was diagnosed with severe food allergies. One of those allergies happened to be dairy products. For a devout lover of cheese, I was horrified! My poor wee lad couldn't have cheese, along with so many other food items (eggs, chocolate, corn, and soy, along with all dairy). Since the soy allergy wasn't as bad as the others, we opted to include a few light-based soy items. As he grew older, he took charge by reading the ingredients on boxes. The amount of corn syrup in products never ceased to amaze me, even today. A lot has changed over the decades, and you can now find dairy substitutes. Thankfully, our son outgrew some of his allergies, and he did become a great fan of cheese. Just like his mom. :)

My love of cheese has no boundaries. I'm willing to experiment with any new variety. However, when I started my weight loss last year (from all the mass eating and drinking during Covid), I limited my cheese to two days a week. Brutal for someone who tingles at a wedge of good Parmesan. There are moments when I think I should have become a Cheese Sommelier, along with an astronaut, archaeologist, historical professor, time-traveler--the list is endless.

The two books above are some of my favorite cheese cookbooks. And don't ask me how many cookbooks I have on the subject. I've lost count.The Cheese Lover's Cookbook & Guide by Paula Lambert has a wonderful recipe: Cornish Game Hens on Gorgonzola Polenta with Caramelized Onions. Simply delicious!

So, any cheese lovers out there? If so, what's your favorite?

Until next Friday, eat cheese and spread the love!

Sláinte mhath!


Roasted Red Pepper Spread


2 medium red bell peppers

2 oz. cream cheese, softened

10 oz. shredded mild cheddar cheese

½ cup mayonnaise

1 ½ teaspoons hot sauce (I use Frank’s Red Hot Wing Sauce)

¾ teaspoons Worcestershire Sauce

¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper

¾ teaspoon salt

¼ teaspoon ground black pepper


Heat oven to 425 degrees. Slice bell peppers in half and remove seeds. Place on baking sheet and roast for 40 minutes. Skin will be black and blistered.

While the peppers are roasting, mix cream cheese, cheddar cheese, mayonnaise, hot sauce, Worcestershire sauce, cayenne, and salt and pepper in a large bowl.

Once the peppers are done and are cool enough to handle, chop and dump into the bowl with the other ingredients (I like to keep the charred flesh of the peppers, but others like to remove the blackened flesh before chopping). Transfer everything to a food processor and pulse until the mixture is combined. You can make this coarse or smooth, depending on your preference.

Chill overnight for all the flavors to blend or for several hours in the refrigerator.

Serve with bread, crackers, or vegetables.


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