Growing up we ate almost every dinner outside on our front or back patio. We didn’t have central air, so eating outside was our only escape from the heat of the house. Mom also loved to pack up and go on a picnic. I remember having picnics anywhere from our local park to the beach to wine country on eastern Long Island
New Yorkers love their outdoor dining too, but it is vastly different from what I grew up with.
You would think with two beautiful big parks at my disposal the real, true picnics of my youth would happen more often, but instead my husband and I find ourselves dining al fresco at our favorite restaurants most of the summer. Sure we’ve enjoyed a picnic or two while on vacation (Sacre Coeur comes to mind), but never in our home city..
When Casey from Kitchen PLAY asked me if I wanted to join in and celebrate 30 Days of Outdoor Dining with Land O’Lakes, I immediately said yes. The best part about me saying yes was, I actually had an outdoor picnic in Central Park planned!
All I needed to do was come with something creative using LAND O LAKES® new 4 Cheese Italian Blend. Since I knew I would be outdoors and grilling wasn’t an option, my mind immediately went to pimento cheese spread – that guilty Southern pleasure.
Land O’Lakes new deli cheese is sharp due to the Asiago, Romano and Parmesan cheeses, but creamy like American cheese. It complements cheddar, which is traditionally found in pimento cheese, perfectly.
As I researched how to make pimento cheese, there was a lot of debate on the exact preparation. Since the Land O’Lakes cheese is a sliced deli cheese, I needed to run it through my food processor to break it up. However, the mayonnaise and pimentos should be mixed in with a spoon, creating a slightly chunky texture. The spread itself is best served at room temperature. I also paired it with two different pestos to brighten up the flavors a bit.
- 8 ounces sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
- 6 ounces LAND O LAKES® 4 Cheese Italian Blend, sliced and broken into small pieces
- 1/4 cup pimentos, chopped
- 1/3 cup mayonnaise
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- salt to taste
- optional basil or garlic scape pesto
- In the bowl of your food processor add your shredded cheddar cheese and LAND O LAKES® 4 cheese Italian blend.
- Pulse 8-10 times until the cheese looks like pebbles.
- Transfer to a mixing bowl and stir in the pimentos, mayonnaise and cayenne pepper.
- Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary.
- This spread is best if made ahead to let the flavors develop in the refrigerator. Serve at room temperature on toasted bread points with a dollop of basil or garlic scape pesto.
In the end my outdoor picnic ended up moving indoors. With temperatures soaring above 100 degrees, there was no way we would survive the day outside! My friends and I still enjoyed a feast full of spinach salad, three different pasta salads, fried chicken and for dessert some mixed berry hand pies! Perhaps sometime this summer I will still make it out to the park to recreate the picnic memories of my youth!
Be sure to check Kitchen PLAY every day for the next fabulous recipe featuring new LAND O LAKES® 4 Cheese Italian Blend or LAND O LAKES® Deli American Cheese. Then, get in on the fun by leaving a comment with your own “30 Days of Outdoor Dining” tip for dining al fresco this summer. If you do, you’ll be entered to win a lovely grilling prize pack, including one grilling spatula, one marinade brush, one set of tongs and one grill scraper. Kitchen PLAY will be giving away four prizes total, one each week! Please visit Kitchen PLAY for sweepstakes guidelines.About LAND O LAKES® 4 Cheese Italian Blend
New LAND O LAKES® 4 Cheese Italian Blend is the best combination of the most flavorful Italian cheese—Asiago, Parmesan and Romano—blended with the creamy goodness of LAND O LAKES® Deli American Cheese. Add this delicious cheese to everything from favorite dishes to lunchbox sandwiches or burgers hot off the grill. The creamy, decadent taste truly makes each dish an everyday masterpiece. The Land O’Lakes Test Kitchens have developed recipes and tips that highlight the wide range of uses for this new cheese. Find recipes, photos and tips on our new Taste of Italy product inspiration page at http://www.landolakes.com/4CheeseItalianBlend. Currently, LAND O LAKES® 4 Cheese Italian Blend is available in the service deli section at a wide variety of grocery stores. *Disclosure: This post was sponsored by Land O’Lakes as part of the Kitchen PLAY SideCar series. All opinions given are my own.
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I can eat this by the bucket-ful. That can be arranged, no?
I believe that it can.
this looks like all sorts of amazing! yum!
Thanks! You have no idea how addicting this was.