Cheese and Crackers Exalted

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Cheese and Crackers Exalted
From the kitchen of Maple Trout Lilli

I recommend placing a thin slice of your favorite VT cheese …hard, sharp cheddar or soft creamy, tart Brie, onto the most delectable of crackers. The combination of crunch, slight maple sweetness and ever-so-tart cheese will do for to your taste buds what above freezing temperatures and sunshine are doing to the sugar maples this spring. Enjoy two local, unique products whose flavor should invoke your own personal images of the beautiful place we call home. Spread the Joy!



1 ½ cups all purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
¼ cup maple sugar + more for sprinkling
1 teaspoon salt
1 stick cold unsalted butter cut into ½ inch pieces
1/3 cup water
1/4 cup maple syrup + more for brushing
Pinch of coarse sea salt or to taste
Optional dried rosemary  [Editor’s note: not optional to my mind]


In a food processor, combine both flours with ¼ cup maple sugar and salt. Pulse to mix, Scatter cold butter on top and pulse until a coarse meal forms. Add water and ¼ cup of maple syrup and pulse until the dough comes together when you pinch it. Scrape out onto a work surface and press together. Divide dough into 4 equal pieces and shape into disks; wrap in plastic and chill for an hour or longer.

Preheat oven 400 and line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. On a floured work surface, dust 1 disk of dough with flour. Roll out dough into a 12-inch round and transfer to prepared baking sheet. Repeat. Brush with syrup and sprinkle with maple sugar and a bit of coarse sea salt. Second time around I added a sprinkling of dried rosemary onto before baking for a more savory flavor.

Bake for 18 minutes, until crisp; shift the sheets from top to bottom and front to back halfway through. Transfer to racks and cool completely. Repeat with remaining dough. Break into shards.

-MTL, Inspired by Justin Chapple

Sweet & Sour Meatballs 

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Maple-Trout-Lilli writes: 

Sweet & Sour Meatballs 
From the kitchen of Maple Trout Lilli 

This savory recipe is sure to be a crowd pleaser. 

1 20 oz. can unsweetened pineapple chunks
3 TBS unseasoned rice vinegar
2 TBS ketchup
2 TBS reduced-sodium soy sauce
1 TBS Nebraska Knoll Maple Syrup
2 tsp. cornstarch
¼ tsp. crushed red pepper
1 large egg
1 medium carrot shredded
¼ cup chopped scallion whites
2 TBS minced fresh ginger
1 ½ tsp Chinese five-spice powder
¾ tsp. salt
8 oz ground turkey breast
8 oz ground pork
2 tsp. canola oil
1 large red bell pepper, cut into 1" pieces
½ cup sliced scallion greens

Preheat Oven to 450.

Line baking sheet with foil and lightly coat with oil.

Drain pineapple juice into a small bowl and whisk in vinegar, ketchup, soy sauce, Nebraska Knoll Maple Syrup, cornstarch and crushed red pepper.  Set aside.

Finely chop enough pineapple to yield ½ cup.  Press out excess moisture.  Reserve remaining pineapple chunks.

Lightly beat egg in large bowl.  Stir in carrot, scallion whites, ginger, five-spice powder, salt and finely chopped pineapple.  Add turkey and pork; gently mix to combine.  Using a scant tablespoon each, make 36 small meatballs.  Bake until just cooked through about 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, heat oil in large skillet over medium heat.  Add bell pepper and cook for 1 minute.  Whisk the reserved juice mixture and add to the pan.  Bring to a boil and cook, stirring for 1 minute. Stir in remaining pineapple and the cooked meatballs.

To serve, thread a meatball and a pepper onto a small skewer or toothpick.  Transfer to a platter and drizzle w/sauce an sprinkle with scallion greens.

Adapted from Eating Well Magazine
Submitted by Maple-Trout-Lilly