Need a crunch in your bite and a spring in your step. Cheese sticks are the ultimate comfort food on a day like today when it is snowing and the temperature has dipped to -8°C and feels like -14°C because of the wind chill.
I feel terrible because of a simple mistake this morning that lead to a big failure costing dearly. Now, I have to take my mind off it. Being alone at home and remorseful was doing no good. So I decided to exert myself against my will. The shovel on the porch and the snow all over the place sent me a clear chilling message. A lot of white stuff had accumulated overnight. The cleared driveways of my neighbours teased my lethargy putting me to shame. So I started clearing the snow like a bulldozer at a demolition site.
Basically, it would have been easier to shovel when the snow is fluffy and light. But I had to deal with harder ice, compressed by car tires and glued to the surface. My hands were prickly numb, lungs filled with stinging air and the epidermis on my face was ripped off by the freezing wind in minutes. I worked with a vengeance because I had to prove a point to myself. For nearly an hour my mind and body worked in unison and soon the front yard was immaculate.
After all that strenuous exercise, is it wrong to reward oneself generously? So I yearned for some comfort.
Comfort translates to cheese in my book. I love cheese with a passion that no one at home can understand. The reason is simple…I cannot stomach it. Cultured cheese carry a load of bacteria and they also befriend some sitting on the shelf. These are not so friendly with the organisms partying in my stomach culture and clash invariably to upset me (…a cultural clash, for all I might say). I have encountered many unpalatable adventures eating different types of cheese with unspeakable outcome. But do I give up? NO! I found a remedy…consume it very fresh or well cooked to reduce the negative interactions. Baked cheese sticks proved to be the perfect snack that would silence the tummy and satiate my craving.
This recipe is inspired by Pizza twists in the book ‘Sweet & Savory Bake Fest’. You can find it here: //www.canadianliving.com/
- 1/2 cup butter
- 1 cup grated cheddar cheese
- 1 cup all purpose flour
- 2 tbsp milk
- 1tsp ajwain (celery seeds) gently crushed to release the aroma
- 1 tsp red chilly powder (cayenne pepper)
- A pinch of dried basil
- 1 tsp cumin seeds crushed
- 1/2 tsp sesame seeds
- Mix butter and cheese in a bowl
- Add flour and salt.
- Knead gently into a rough ball using milk.
- Divide into 2 parts.
- In one part add ajwain and red chilly powder.
- To the other part add cumin seeds, sesame seeds and dried basil.
- Roll each separately into 1/2 inch thickness and cut into thin strips.
- Lay them as sticks or twists and place on a parchment lined baking tray.
- Preheat oven to 350°F and bake.
- Bake until it turns golden brown about 12 -15 minutes.
- Remove the tray and cool the cheese sticks on a wire rack.
Store them in an air tight containers for a snowy day. Dip them in ketchup and they will perform a harmonious duet together. Any dip sauce would do the magic and be a cheery choice.
A snack for relief! Snack on it for fun!