Tag Archives: blue cheese

Green Salad with Crater Lake Blue Cheese Dressing

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Green Salad with Crater Lake Blue Cheese Dressing

One of the really cool things about living in Southern Oregon is that we are so lucky to have such a wonderful creamery located right here in the Rogue Valley.  It’s called the Rogue Creamery and in my opinion, the Rogue Creamery is home to some of the BEST blue cheese I have ever tasted.  Ever… The Rogue Creamery makes at least 8 different delicious varieties of award winning blue cheese and several amazing types of cheddar as well.  They’re all absolutely delicious!

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Crater Lake Blue Cheese

My Crater Lake Blue Cheese Salad Dressing was inspired by a day trip to Crater Lake National Park.  Crater Lake National Park is the only national park in the state of Oregon and one of the most cherished National Parks in the United States.  It’s about 90 miles from Rogue Valley and 250 miles from Portland.  Crater Lake is famous for its gorgeous blue water, breath taking scenery and the fact that it is one of the world’s deepest lakes.  In the summer months, tourists from all over the United States and the world flock to this destination.  In the winter months, only a fraction of the tourists come to visit due to the cold winter weather and icy road conditions.  There’s a visitor center, lodge, restaurant and gift shop.

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The West Entrance to Crater Lake National Park.  The other entrances to the park are closed during the winter months.  The West Entrance is the only entrance open for access to the lake because maintaining the roads in winter is incredibly difficult.  Difficult because Crater Lake National Park gets on average of over 44 feet of snow accumulation per year!  Grab a tape measure and see just how much that is… You’ll find that it is a heck of a lot of snow!

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Before Bruce and I arrived at the West Entrance of the park, I asked him how much money we needed to pay for the admission. Well… Within minutes, I received my answer.  Surprisingly, the day we were there was free.  As you can see, there was no park ranger in the booth to take our money and there was a sign on the side of the booth that stated there was no cost for admission.  Crater Lake Lodge was closed for the season and the restaurant and gift shop was operating under “winter hours”.  Before scheduling a visit be sure to check the park fees, hours and rates on their website.  Also, if you plan to visit during the winter months, be sure to have chains on hand or studded snow tires on your vehicle.

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One more foot of snow and we would not have known that we were in a no parking zone.

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Our first peek over the rim at Crater Lake in the winter.  Bruce and I had to climb over 10 foot snow banks in the parking lot just to get a view of the lake.  Once over the top, the view was breathtaking!

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Do you see the thin layer of ice covering the lake?   In the summer months, the ice is gone and the water is a brilliant blue color that you would not easily forget.  The snow covered peak in the background is Mount Thielson.

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A view of the lake next to the lodge.  We were really careful not to get too close to the edge.  It’s crazy steep and trying to get close to the lake is not worth slipping into the caldera below.

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A view looking down at the icy blue water.  When I shot this photo, it looked as if I was pointing the lens up towards the sky.

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An easterly view of the lake.  In the summer months you can drive around the entire rim of the lake.  Given the opportunity, you’ll find that it is one of the most visually stunning day trip drives that you will ever take in your life.

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Wizard Island.  Wizard Island is a cinder cone that rises several hundred feet above the lake.  It is one of the most memorable features of Crater Lake.  If you ever have the chance to visit Oregon, trust me, you must schedule a visit to Crater Lake.

My Crater Lake inspired green salad with Crater Lake blue cheese dressing is simple to make, tastes delicious and is perfect for serving up on a busy weeknight or for a more formal weekend dinner.  It’s made with fresh organic lettuce, grape tomatoes, bits of blue cheese and drizzled with the Crater Lake Blue Cheese Dressing.  My blue cheese dressing is a combination of Rogue Creamery Blue Cheese, fresh buttermilk, Greek yogurt, cracked pepper and a splash of low sodium soy sauce.  Makes about 1 1/2 cups of dressing.  Enjoy!  Tessa

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A wedge of Roquefort blue cheese.  Another favorite!

Blue Cheese Dressing Ingredients:

  • 4 ounces Blue Cheese or Roquefort
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 1 – 5 ounce container plain Greek yogurt
  • 1/4 tsp cracked black pepper
  • 1 tsp low sodium soy sauce

Add all ingredients to a blender and pulse until desired consistency.  Store in a covered container up to a week.  Makes about 1 1/2 cups.

For each salad:

  • 2 cups fresh green lettuce or your favorite greens
  • 5 or 6 grape tomatoes
  • shredded carrots
  • sprinkle the top of each salad with bits of blue cheese
  • top with a tablespoon or two of the Blue Cheese Dressing
  • fresh cracked pepper to taste

Chicken Pot Pie with Blue Cheese and Havarti

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I don’t know where the time has gone…  It’s been over a week since my last post and that’s not like me.  Well, I have been under a rock lately, and it was about time that I got back in my kitchen.  It’s been a week of frozen meals and takeout dinners and I am sick of it.  I am seriously done with that.

I am happy to be back and in celebration of being back in my kitchen I cooked up this yummy treat.  It’s a Chicken Pot Pie with Blue Cheese and Havarti.  It’s a twist on a traditional chicken pot pie that is stuffed with tender chicken, sautéed carrots, onions and celery with a creamy blue cheese bechamel and buttery havarti cheese.  I even made the pie crust from scratch.  It’s good, it’s homey, it’s rich and it’s delish!  Enjoy!  Tessa

Ingredients:

  •  4 1/2 cups cooked chicken (cubed)
  • 1 1/2 cups celery (chopped)
  • 1 1/2 cups onion (chopped)
  • 1 1/2 cups carrots (chopped)
  • 1 Tbls. butter
  • 3 cups blue cheese bechamel  sauce (see recipe below)
  • 6 ounces havarti cheese (shredded)
  • 1 egg (beaten with a bit of water)
  • pie dough for 2 pie crusts (see recipe below)

Begin by cubing up your cooked chicken and set aside.  Buy one of those precooked chickens from the deli or store if you don’t have time to cook your own.   Chop up your vegetables and set aside.  Preheat your oven to 425 degrees.  Grab 6 oval shaped casseroles and spray with non stick spray.

In a saute pan add your butter, celery, onion, carrot, and a pinch of salt.   Cook until the onions are opaque and the carrots are barely tender.  Remove from heat.  Add your cooked chicken and cooked vegetables to the oval casserole dishes.  Add 1/2 cup of the blue cheese bechamel to each casserole.  Add your havarti cheese.

Divide your 2 pie crusts into 6 pieces.  Roll out on a floured board, pie crusts large enough to cover each casserole.  Use a fork and crimp down the sides.  Put slits in the top of each pie.  Brush with beaten egg, place on foil lined baking sheet and pop into the oven for about 45 minutes or until the tops are a golden brown.  Keep an eye on them and rotate halfway through the baking process.  Lightly cover with foil if it is browning too fast.  Pull from oven, let cool for about 5 minutes and then dig in!  Makes 6 individual casseroles.

Blue Cheese Bechamel

Grab a medium sized sauce pan or saucier.  On medium low heat whisk together 6 Tablespoons of butter and 5 Tablespoons flour.  Cook until it is nearly golden in color.  Add 3 cups milk, 1/4 teaspoon white pepper, 1/2 tsp. dried thyme and 2 ounces blue cheese.  Oh, and add a splash of dry vermouth.  Cook slowly, constantly whisking until it has thickened.  Taste it, you may not need to add salt because of the blue cheese.  Do not over cook.  Remove from heat.

Easy Pie Crust (2 crust pie)

Grab a food processor.  Add two cups all purpose flour, 3/4 cup shortening and 1/2 tsp salt.  Pulse until lightly mixed.  Add 5 – 6 Tablespoons ICE COLD water, one tablespoon at a time.  Lightly pulse until the dough sticks together and forms a ball.  You are done.  Remove from the food processor and wrap in plastic wrap.  Put pie dough in your refrigerator for about a half an hour before rolling.  Makes 2 pie crusts or 6 little crusts for the casseroles.