I found these Ile de France “Brie Bites” yesterday while grocery shopping and decided they would be the one impulse buy I would allow. I’m a big fan of The Laughing Cow Babybel cheeses as well as any brand of pepper jack cheese sticks. It’s what a I grab when I feel like I’m crashing in between meals. They’re a quick way to get back on track without indulging in scones from the coffee shop across the street or the perpetually full candy dish that sits in your co-worker’s cubicle taunting you every time a stressful email comes in.

I just tasted one of these delicate bites and I’m throughly in love. It was creamy, tangy, and seriously hit the spot. I’m a little worried though since I bought these in the suburbs yesterday and not my usual grocery store. I’m going to be very mad if I have to book a Zipcar now when I want to stock back up on Brie Bites. At only 70 calories though they might be worth the extra effort.

I also think that they would be a super cute appetizer to serve at parties. I love making baked brie for the holidays but you could definitely arrange these small rounds on a pretty crystal tray (either wrapped in pastry and hot or simply at room temperature) and allow your guests the gift of brie that they don’t have to share with anyone else.

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Gaby Green Cheese GraterMeet Gaby Green! She’s here to grate your cheese into shape. According to her bio “this lady has a style all her own. Functional fashion is her thing. Her outfits are always sharp even if sometimes they’re a little cheesy.” This useful dame is even comprised of a recycled plastic and wood blend.

Gaby isn’t the only Green that can grace your kitchen though. There’s an entire family of Greens including Mayor Corey Green (an apple corer), Marshall Green (potato masher), and Joyce Green (citrus reamer). By the way, if your Green happens to need to go to that “great kitchen in the sky” please remember that they can be recycled in this life too.

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30 Minute Mozzarella & Ricotta KitAfter reading Barbara Kingsolver’s Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life I fell thoroughly in love with her family’s inspiring year-long adventure in living the locavore lifestyle. In case you aren’t already aware locavores are people who only consume locally grown foods. The entire Kingsolver family worked tirelessly raising various farm animals, tending a large garden, and canning food for the winter month. Their efforts were truly awe inspiring.

One of my favorite takeaways from the novel was the notion that you can make your own cheese at home. I realize this is a no-brainer to most people but honestly I hadn’t really given the notion much thought, however, after reading about the process I became fascinated. Animal, Vegetable, Miracle suggested looking up Ricki Carroll online at the New England Cheese Making Supply Company for at home kits and supplies. While I’ve yet to order a kit for myself I did give one to my grandmother for Christmas last year. This year I’m going to ask Santa to put one under the tree for me. I think making my own homemade mozzarella and ricotta sounds like the perfect way to spend the holiday break from the office, don’t you?

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