Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Cheese is Good: Uplands Cheese and Our First #Giveaway

Pin It Over the last five years, we've made plenty of mistakes.  As new bloggers, we didn't have the slightest idea how to take photos of food. Heck, we didn't even have a digital camera until about two months into the process.  So, you can just imagine how much fun we had with our first few posts (look back on them if you must, but we're warning you).

Needless to say, one of the first lessons we learned while blogging is that you can't take yourself too seriously. Blogging is about relaxing, being yourself, and giving yourself room to grow.  If that means taking really bad photos for almost two years before you finally figure out how to rig up pseudo professional lighting in your dark kitchen, so be it.  Have fun. Don't give up.  And keep on blogging.  In other words, a little bit of "cheese" can be a very good thing.

Speaking of cheese...

Over the weekend, we were treated to a fabulous adventure by the Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board. They took us, along with numerous other Wisconsin food bloggers, on a whirlwind tour of three of Wisconsin's most fabulous creameries -- Chalet Cooperative, Hook's, and Uplands Cheese.

While every one of the creameries had its charms, we were absolutely beguiled by the inner workings of Dodgeville's Uplands Cheese, producer of two of our favorite farmstead cheeses, Pleasant Valley Reserve and Rush Creek Reserve.

What endears Uplands to us in such an intimate way is not only the cheese they produce, but the care with which they produce it. This family-run dairy farm in southwestern Wisconsin cuts absolutely no corners when it comes to the production of their cheeses. In a time when the term "artisan" is slowly losing its meaning, Cheese Maker Andy Hatch uses century-old knowledge to produce Alpine-style cheeses in the most traditional fashion possible without fancy approaches, short-cuts, or pretense.
From the carefully orchestrated rotational pasture grazing of their 130 Holstein cows, to the painstaking care they take to hand-craft and age their cheese, Uplands is the epitome of old world simplicity. And their cheeses are a reflection of that.

Modeled after the Beaufort cheese of France, Pleasant Ridge is sweet and nutty with an earthy bite and a long finish. Produced from raw spring and summer milk that carries the flavors of the sweet, tender, sugary grasses of the Driftless countryside, this cheese is all about the milk.  As Andy says, "With this cheese, we get out of the way and let the cheese do its thing."

Rush Creek, on the other hand, is made with raw milk from cows who've grazed on fading autumn grasses and hay. Inspired by the French Vacherin Mont d'Or, its flavor is more dependent upon the ripening process, which allows the rich young cheese to age in Spruce bark, imparting a rich woodsy flavor.

Uplands makes its cheese in small batches, the old fashioned way, sacrificing efficiency for the sake of producing a superior product. Their ways are simple, and their cheeses complex and filled with the passion and handiwork that only old-school can produce.

And gosh, that's just the sort of thing we can't get enough of.
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Of course, we couldn't end this post without leaving you with a little bit of something in celebration of our 5th Burp-Day.  This is the first of five... make that seven giveaways taking place on the blog all through the month of June. So come back often, and come hungry!

Since June is Dairy Month, we want to give you the opportunity to sample some cheese of your own. So, thanks to the generosity of the Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board, we'll be sharing the wealth.


Two lucky readers will win a wine and cheese set, complete with a round wooden cheese board, multi-function corkscrew and three cheese knives.The accompanying insulated, zippered compartment stores the board and keeps cheese and accompaniments chilled during travel.


To enter, simply visit DairyDaysofSummer.com, look through the list of great summer recipes, and leave a comment telling us which recipe you'd like to make first. For a bonus entry, tell us your favorite Wisconsin cheese to take along with you on summer picnics.


You'll have until NOON on June 30, 2012 to enter.  Winners will be chosen at random and notified by email, so please leave your email addy with your comment if it's not included with your Blogger profile. Entries from the U.S. only, please.


As an added bonus, all entrants will ALSO be entered to win a grand prize assortment of hand-selected Wisconsin cheeses.


Full Disclosure: This giveaway is sponsored by the Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board, who covered all of our expenses related to the aforementioned creamery tours.  WMMB also provided us with the products for our giveaway. However, all opinions expressed in this post are our own.


©BURP! Where Food Happens

34 comments:

  1. Great blog Lori!

    While is is incredibly challenging to choose just one of these awesome recipes, I would have to go with the Wisconsin Cheese Garden Lasagna. There is so much good local produce to be had and love that the recipe combines both.

    And my ultimate picnic and party cheese is the Pleasent Ridge Reserve from Uplands. Truly one of the best foods I've ever tasted.

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  2. Gonna have to go with the Chipotle Chicken Tacos - we're really on a Mexican kick lately.

    And instead of taking cheese on our picnics, we've started taking our picnic (or more accurately, camping) to the cheese. Coincidentally, our last trip was to Governor Dodge so we could check out Uplands, Carr Valley, and one other that eludes me right now. Also, we found an AWESOME butcher in Belmont!

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  3. South of the Border Grilled Cheese

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  4. My favorite to take on picnics is Wisconsin Cheddar

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  5. Must try the Wisconsin Cheese Garden Lasagna...and I take Widmers Brick along for all occasions....mmmmm

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  6. Since I have some fresh rhubarb in the fridge, the Rhubarb Cheese Pie is pretty tempting!

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  7. I would definitely bring some cheese curds on a summer picnic - portable and delicious.

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  8. My husband just requested I make scallops sometime soon, so I'm going to try their recipe for Seared Scallops in Citrus Ginger Butter. Yum!

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  9. I know it's the first one on the list, but I'm a sucker for anything rhubarb, so I have to go with the Rhubarb Cheese Pie.

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  10. It was between the rhubarb cheesecake and the mac and cheese. The Mac won out in my heart because of the unique use of cold pack cheese. I think that I might have to make that recipe ASAP as I'm already salivating thinking about it.

    Dill Havarti is my favorite picnic cheese with a nice rose wine :)

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  11. I would like to make the Raspberry/Lime Smoothie first because it is the perfect weather for it today....hot! But Wisconsin Cheddar would have to be my favorite cheese because it is so versatile. Cheddar can do just about anything and go with just about anything. It is the little, black dress of cheese!

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  12. As it happens, I just roasted some asparagus and have what I need to make the garlic lime yogurt sauce to put on it!
    My favorite cheese is Saxon Creamery's Evalon.

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  13. I'm really curious about the rhubarb cheese pie! I love pies with cheese in them :)

    sblake1[at]student[dot]framingham[dot]edu

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  14. Wisconsin cheddar is the best!

    sblake1[at]student[dot]framingham[dot]edu

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  15. The Seared Scallops in Citrus Ginger Butter sounds mouth watering! That would def be the first one I would try.
    rachelrodman@hotmail.com

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  16. I would take cheddar on a picnic :)
    thanks!
    rachelrodman@hotmail.com

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  17. I would love to try the Wisconsin Cheese Garden Lasagne. It's awesome how they take a heavy dish that I would normally only make in the winter and "veg it up" making it much lighter. My kids might even like this...

    My favorite cheese for picnics is Cheshire served with apples.

    Kim kim@kbimagephoto.com

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  18. Yum! Chipotle Chicken Tacos for sure.

    christina.coursey@gmail.com

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  19. I'd like to try the Avacodo dip recipe!

    tcrowley122 at hotmail dot com

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  20. I'd love to try making the Wisconsin Cheese Garden Lasagna.
    rsgrandinetti@yahoo(DOT)com

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  21. The Ice Cream Over Grilled Pineapple really caught my eye!

    Kristen
    kris1205 at hotmail dot com

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  22. Tiramisu Smoothie would be first on the list...it looks like a superdelicious version of one of my family's favorite treats! Many thanks!

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  23. I think our favorite picnic cheese is Cojack...everyone seems to love it, on grilled sandwiches, crackers or just snacking right off the tray. Cheers!

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  24. I love the idea of the Berry Fresh Brick Cheese Salad. A little bit of WIsconsin to mix in with my California berries. I would kill for some fresh curds to bring along for a summer picnic. Will definitely be stocking up when I'm in Milwaukee this summer!

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  25. Rhubarb always sounds interesting, so I'd go with the rhubarb cheese pie.

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  26. I love summer salads--and ginger--so the Apple Berry Salad with Lemon Ginger Cream looks delicious! artofnaturalliving at live dot com

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  27. Pleasant Ridge is one of my favorite cheeses--any season! artofnaturalliving at live dot com

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  28. The Rhubarb Cheese Pie is calling my name!

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  29. I have fallen in love with Wisconsin Apple Cheddar.

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  30. I would make Chipotle Chicken Tacos - we love Mexican food.

    sandyknights at comcast dot net

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  31. Love cheddar cheese so would take Wisconsin cheddar or Wisconsin Apple cheddar on a picnic!

    sandyknights at comcast dot net

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