Holiday Cooking with Local Utah Ingredients | Heber Valley Cheese, Winder Farms, and Oakdell Farms

Two of my favorite things: the Holiday season AND local, fresh food.

It is amazing how changing out a few simple ingredients in your cooking can make a big difference. If you are like me, when cooking for family and friends, you want everything to be perfect, flavorful, and memorable. Using local and organic key ingredients, such as eggs and dairy, can really enhance the flavor of your food. Not to mention, create great appetizers with a great story.

We recently had some friends over for a pre-holiday dinner and I decided it was the perfect opportunity to use some fresh ingredients that had just been sent my way. Heber Valley Cheese, Winder Farms, and Oakdell Farms have recently partnered to encourage Utahanโ€™s to use local, quality food products when doing their holiday cooking. I love the idea of people using these fresh, high-quality products from local family-owned companies to showcase their love for cooking, and their families.

Heber Valley Artisan Cheese has brought more than 30 varieties of fresh and finely-aged artisan cheeses to the Utah market. Some of these unique cheeses include Wasatch Back Jack, Wasatch Jack, Juustoleipa (banana pepper, jalapeรฑo and tomato basil varieties), Queso Fresco Fuego Verde, Snake Creek Fresh, Kakao Cheddar, Swiss Girl, Amber Sharp, Cascade Raw (made with raw milk) and fresh squeaky cheeses.

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Heber Valley Cheese is a fourth-generation, 80-year old family farm, that produces the finest cows milk, and now great cheese in their sparkling new state-of-the-art Kohler Creamery. Their artisan cheeses are really outstanding. They made for a perfect appetizer, paired with cured meat and olives. Each cheese was unique and insanely creamy. This is definitely a business that you will want to support – and they even have awesome holiday baskets that make perfect gifts. My favorite cheese was the Flavored Juustoleipa – a perfect snacking cheese that pairs well with anything you put with it – in this case, garlic-stuffed olives. Yum!

Heber Valley Cheese
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Winder Farms and Oakdell Farms helped me to create a delicious Buttermilk Pie. Let me say, I have never made a Buttermilk Pie before, so I was a little nervous about the whole thing. However, I am a firm believer that the lovely flavors that the pie offered up were due largely in part to the fresh ingredients: the tartness of the buttermilk, the freshness of the eggs – it all came together for a great holiday dessert. And I HAVE to mention the amazing Winder Farms heavy whipping cream; it was absolutely heavenly.

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I used this recipe as a base, with some modifications. Here is the recipe I ended up with.

Buttermilk Pie
Buttermilk Pie

1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
4 tablespoon flour
2 tablespoon grated lemon zest
4 large Oakdell Farms organic eggs
1 cup Winder Farms buttermilk
1/2 stick butter, melted
1 unbaked 10-inch basic pie crust shell

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Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. In a large mixing bowl, combine the sugar, flour, and lemon zest. Whisk in the eggs, one at a time. Stir in the buttermilk and melted butter. Pour the buttermilk mixture into the pie shell and bake until the top is lightly browned (then cover with tin foil, as to not burn the top), about 10-15 minutes. Continue cooking until the center sets, about 45 minutes. Make sure to watch this pie – it takes quite a bit of time to set.

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Remove from the oven and cool to room temperature. Pie will set best if refrigerated overnight. Slice the pie into individual servings. Garnish with Winder Farms whipped cream, mint, lemon, and berries.

ENJOY!

Let me take this opportunity to say this: please buy organic and local eggs, friends. PLEASE! Happy chickens produce better quality and healthier eggs, and we really shouldn’t be supporting chicken factories; they are absolutely terrible. Purchasing Oakdell Farms eggs is a great way support local. Oakdell Egg Farms organic eggs are produced by cage-free birds that eat feed that contains no commercial fertilizer or pesticides. That alone is worth any extra cost.

Winder Farms is also a great service, providing local and organic ingredients to your door. Even purchasing just a few items through Winder Farms allows you to support local businesses and create dishes with that extra freshness that you are looking for, especially around the holidays. Need more info? See their list of 20 reasons why you sign up for their service.

I urge everyone, if the only organic and local ingredients you ever purchase are dairy, meat, and seasonal fruits and veggies, you are making a huge impact for good in our environment and our economy. Start small if you have to – replace your milk, your eggs, OR your cheese. It makes such a difference!

I hope everyone has a wonderful holiday season – full of wonderful food, family, and friends.
-Nosh
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