Many of us (myself included) eat butter and cheese almost everyday. But we often forget to consider that many butters contain additives (
such as growth hormones, preservatives, and dyes) that can be harmful to us and our families. What if I told you there was a way to sidestep those potentially dangerous chemicals, embrace all-natural great taste, and take your baking and cooking game to the next level in honor of National Dairy Month?
I recently discovered Finlandia Cheese —a brand that has been crafting some of the highest quality cheese and butter for over a century—and was so inspired that I decided to share a few secrets to help you create some of the best-tasting food you and your family have ever eaten.
SECRET #1: USE ONLY HIGH-QUALITY INGREDIENTS
Great dishes are a sum of their parts. Those parts should be delicious alone AND in your culinary creation. When I tried Finlandia for the first time, I was blown away. Not only are their cheeses and butter all-natural and hormone-free, but they taste incredible. Imported from Finland using milk produced by well-cared-for cows, Finlandia Butter is rich and creamy. It's nothing like any butter you've ever tasted. And you could eat Finlandia Cheese straight from the package—no crackers needed.
SECRET #2: CARE ABOUT THE SOURCE OF YOUR FOOD
Life moves fast, and most of us don't have time to research every single product we consume. However, when it comes to products like cheese and butter, which we eat almost everyday, it makes a big difference to be aware of what we're putting into our bodies. Finlandia Butter is made from pure, hormone-free milk, which comes from happy cows that live on family-owned farms in Finland—the greenest country on Earth. No hidden chemicals, no factory farms—just pure, creamy goodness.
SECRET #3: GET THE WHOLE FAMILY INVOLVED
Getting your family involved in the kitchen can help create lasting memories and start an important conversation around nutrition and health. Baking sheet cookies? Get out the cookie cutters and let your kids create the shapes. Cooking a grilled cheese? Let your significant other butter the bread. If you're in need of some culinary inspiration, check out the Finlandia Cheese Facebook page.
- 1 (16-ounce) box Cavatappi or other favorite pasta
- 1/4 cup Finlandia Unsalted Butter, cut into chunks
- 1/2 cup minced red onion
- 5 tbsps all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 cup whole milk
- 1 1/4 cup vegetable or chicken broth, hot
- 1 tsp fine salt
- 1/2 tsp finely ground black pepper
- 1/2 tsp smoked paprika, plus more for garnish
- 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
- Cayenne pepper, to taste
- 11 oz (about 14 slices) Finlandia Swiss Cheese, cut into thin strips
- 7 oz (about 9 slices) Finlandia American Cheese, cut into thin strips
- 7 oz (about 9 slices) Finlandia Muenster Cheese, cut into thin strips
- 2 tbsps minced, fresh parsley
- 1 cup crushed crispy fried onions
Cook and drain pasta according to package directions. Spray a 9″x13” baking dish with cooking oil; set aside. Preheat oven to 375°F. Heat butter in 4 quart sauce pot over medium heat just until melted. Add the minced onion. Stirring often with a wooden spoon, slowly cook onions until they are soft and starting to caramelize, and the butter is starting to brown, about 3-5 minutes. Immediately sprinkle in flour. Continue to cook and stir over medium heat until flour mix is lightly browned and smells like baked piecrust, about 1-2 minutes. Reduce heat and slowly whisk in stock then milk, a little at a time, stirring well to remove lumps between each addition. Whisk in salt, black pepper, smoked paprika, nutmeg, and cayenne pepper. Increase heat, and simmer until flour is cooked and the sauce is velvety, about 5-8 minutes; stir and scrape sides and bottom of pot constantly. Reduce heat, and add cheeses about ½ cup at a time, stirring constantly, and waiting until each batch is fully melted before adding the next. Remove from heat and add parsley. Stir into warm, cooked pasta, and pour into prepared baking dish. Top with crushed crispy fried onions. Bake for 10-15 minutes or until bubbly and starting to brown. Serves 8-10 as main course
Got any baking secrets of your own? I'd love to hear about them! Be sure to share your thoughts in the comments below.
Check out where you can buy Findandia products!
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received the above mentioned product for free in the hope that I would mention it on my blog. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.