The cheesiest Weekend Assignment ever!

Karen‘s question for this Weekend Assignment is about one of my favorite foods: 

  Weekend Assignment #311: What is your favorite kind of cheese and why? Do you have it often, or just occasionally?
  Extra Credit: Is there a kind of cheese you hate?

Cheese, cheese, cheese…I wish I didn’t like it so much. For one thing, I suspect I’d struggle with my weight less if I didn’t enjoy it. For another, I’ve recently found that it’s best – for me and those around me – if I take a Lactaid tablet before I eat something cheesy, and that does detract from the enjoyment a bit. (Sorry for the TMI, y’all.) I should eat it less often than I do, really. But it’s so tasty, how can I NOT like it?

I rarely eat cheese by itself, though; most of the time, it’s an ingredient. Grated Parmesan cheese must be added on top of my pasta and tomato sauce, and it’s essential to my homemade meatballs and my husband’s favorite baked chicken breasts. My from-scratch baked macaroni and cheese takes shredded Cheddar; I prefer the flavor of sharp, but mild tends to work better when cooking, and I use the reduced-fat 2%-milk variety. I like adding a slice of sharp Cheddar cheese to a toasted sandwich, which makes it melt just a bit, and grilled-cheese sandwiches (sometimes with ham added, sometimes not) are a favorite guilt-inducing pleasure.

When I started Weight Watchers over six years ago, there were certain things I had to accept that I would rarely or never eat again. One of the first things to go was my beloved twice-baked potatoes loaded with melted Cheddar. Cheesecake wasn’t far behind. I’ve gained back some of that weight (although it seems to sit differently now), but it wasn’t due to starting back up with the cheesecake and potatoes; the cheesecake remains an occasional treat (but since my husband doesn’t like it I don’t make it at home any more), and I can’t remember when I last ate the potatoes. If I said I didn’t miss them, though, I would totally be lying.

I’m not a fan of strong-smelling cheeses in general, and I don’t like Swiss all that much – sometimes, it just tastes a bit soapy to me. If I need that sort of flavor in a recipe, I’ll try to use Gruyere instead. And despite my half-Italian heritage, I don’t especially love mozzarella either, but I can get similar results and more flavor when cooking with provolone.

I have to stop writing and find myself a snack now. It may or may not include cheese.

All cheesy comments are welcome!

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