Celebrating the Holidays with Wisconsin Cheese

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by Alice Choi, Hip Foodie Mom

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If there was ever a time to take a trip to the craft store and get a little creative, it’s the holiday season! One of my favorite parts about the holidays is gift giving. I love getting a little creative with my gifts and food is almost always involved.

Last year I made a few food gift baskets for fun and they were a big hit. My friends loved them so much that I decided to make some again this year, but this time I’m making a few more. With just a visit to your local craft store for baskets or wooden crate boxes which also make great containers, and holiday supplies, you can really put something together beautiful and stunning.

I kept the decorating to a minimum, and used holiday ornaments and cinnamon scented pine cones, things that can be re-used around your house during the holidays, but you can certainly decorate the baskets more and wrap thick holiday ribbon around the basket handles. It’s up to you and how you want to decorate the baskets.

And that’s the special thing about giving gift baskets. You’re making them on your own, with someone special in mind. You can customize and personalize each one!

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For me, no holiday is complete without cheese. We always have some out on a platter with crackers, salami and fruit. Cheese is the perfect gift to give over the holidays. And you can pair the cheese with so many things! Chocolate, wine, beer, crackers, cranberry relish, nuts and more!

I’ve partnered together with Wisconsin Cheese and have put together three gift basket ideas for you:

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My first basket focuses on some limited edition seasonal cheeses from Sartori. Sartori is one of my favorite local cheese makers here in Wisconsin. I immediately fell in love with Sartori after trying their BellaVitano cheeses. My favorites are the Merlot, Espresso, Balsamic and the Citrus Ginger . . these cheeses are so good! For the holidays, Sartori has made a cinnamon-spiked Cannella BellaVitano, ChaiBellaVitano and Peppermint Bellavitano! These cheeses have hints of seasonal flavors and would make such a great gift for the holidays! You guys have to try these cheeses!

 

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My second basket is for the cheddar cheese lovers in your life. We all have friends and family who love cheddar, right? Cheddar cheese is one of my favorites and Hook’s Cheddar from here in Wisconsin makes the most phenomenal cheddar cheese. I have never tasted cheddar like this before. It’s so good and creamy!! Tony and Julie Hook have been making cheddar cheese since 1976 and they have an entire line of different aged cheddar. It was Hook’s that made the 20 year aged cheese, which I actually tried at a dinner with Wisconsin Cheese, after we shot the Harvest Issue of Grate. Pair. Share. It was like butter. So creamy and smooth. Amazing!

I put a few of my favorites from Hook’s cheddar into this basket because, if you have a friend and family member who likes cheddar, they absolutely have to try this cheese.

 

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And since I live here in Wisconsin, I had to create a gift basket that celebrates some of my favorite cheeses, because after all, I am in America’s Dairyland. I have Dunbarton Blue from Roelli Cheese, Marieke Gouda from Holland’s Family cheese, and Pleasant Ridge Reserve from Uplands Cheese.

 

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These cheeses are really popular here in Wisconsin and they are all really delicious and pair beautifully with crackers, wine, dried fruit and nuts. All of these cheeses can be ordered online. So, what are you waiting for? If you’re interested in ordering any of these cheeses visit EatWisconsinCheese.com.

And, if you don’t have the time to create your own cheese basket and still want to give some as gifts, the Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board has compiled a list of cheese companies, creameries and specialty stores offering mail order cheese and gift baskets.

I hope you now have some holiday gift basket inspiration. Happy Holidays!

 

GIVEAWAY!

Win your own Wisconsin Cheese Holiday Gift Basket from Wisconsin Cheese. Enter at EatWisconsinCheese.com.

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