“Look at a stone cutter hammering away at his rock, perhaps a hundred times without as much as a crack showing in it. Yet at the hundred-and-first blow it will split in two, and I know it was not the last blow that did it, but all that had gone before.” ~ Jacob A. Riis
Along with all of the posts before this one, all 99 of them, this one definitely is a milestone as well. Yes, each one has been a milestone. The fact I even took a leap of faith and love to begin The Onyx Plate is still amazing to me. What was it that began it all? What was it that compelled me to strike out on a journey of my own self-discovery through cooking? Was it the biography I watched on Ina Garten? Was it the repeated askings of my friends when was I going to write my own cookbook? Was it Julie and Julia (cheesy, but could be)? Was it the love and support of my family wanting me to find something I could call my own? Or, was it a spark inside of me that lit itself and has never went out?
Whatever it was, I am thankful and blessed to have felt moved by the beautiful life that surrounds me every day. There have been times when all I could hope for was a hobby of my own. All of my family members have something they enjoy or are very talented at. Even the hub has a passion. I didn’t. I needed that, and I found it. It’s doing these posts…for you. Knowing that you are out there reading my inner most thoughts, adventures, and food-related Southern stories, and hopefully being inspired yourself, makes it all worth while. This is the hobby I hoped for…dreamed of…and still have dreams of what this hobby can and will become.
Obviously, along with any life, one desires support and love from the ones around them. I can tell every single one of you reading this, that I am not lacking, in the least little bit, in the support department from family or friends. Even when I wasn’t sure of myself and this journey, someone in my circle was. I love them all for this and am grateful for them in my life daily.
Speaking of support…you may remember reading about a special delivery I received before Christmas. It was a tasty gift box of Tillamook Cheese from none other than my wonderful Uncle! On the invoice it read, “Hope this makes it into a cheesy recipe”. His support meant the world to me, and it still does. Thank you, Unc!
You can read the original post on my heart-warming, cheese-inspired, Tillamook delivery by clicking here.
I have made many recipes on this site using the Tillamook Cheese I received that day. Sadly though, I am down to one more block. It’s time for me to order more! I refuse to run out! You can order yours by clicking here and visiting their site…they have a lot of great sales on their masterpieces!
Recently, Tillamook ran a recipe review contest. You made one of the new recipes posted on their site, you reviewed it, and submitted it. After that, they would pick a winner to receive a Baby Loaf Love Gift Box. I bought all of the ingredients and ended up having an extremely busy week (no complaints though…Kid Rock concert in there one night!), and I was unable to make it in time for the deadline for the contest. But, that’s fine and dandy with me (congratulations to all of the winners), I still wanted to try it…the recipe seemed quite yummy. Below, you will find the recipe link from their site, and also see what I changed or added (since I was out of the contest time, I could adjust, hehe).
The recipe is from Dave Danhi of The Grilled Cheese Truck (one of their local food trucks on the West Coast). It called for Tillamook Unsalted Butter, and of course I don’t have that on the East Coast. However, I do know that Tillamook supports their local farms and companies, and they have a passion for good quality farm-fresh items…hence the AMAZING cheese quality! So, with that being said…I used Homeland Creamery Unsalted Butter from Julian, NC (absolutely fabulous butter!), and I used Neese’s Bacon (I know all of you local yokels are confused with the word Neese’s and Bacon being together, as they are traditionally synonymous with fabulous sausage, but I found it in my local grocery store) from Greensboro, NC. To add that yummy Southern-style to it, I used Duke’s Mayonnaise from Richmond, VA. Local is always good! Sidenote: I was out of Tillamook Smoked Medium Cheddar Cheese, so I used the Smoked Black Pepper White Cheddar Cheese…oh my, taste explosion!
Visit Tillamook’s website here for the full recipe and instructions for the BLAT I made. You won’t be disappointed!
I did add one naughty Southern thing to the mix…I took the bacon grease and fried Jalapeno slices in it, and added them to this wonderful sandwich. I would probably add some sautéed onions to it next time for another flavor layer. The avocado, although very good on the sandwich, controlled the flavors almost too well, and some of the flavors were lost. More Spinach next time, as well!
Wow! Can you believe it? This is the 100th post…
101 breaks the block in two pieces according to the quote above…therefore, The Onyx Plate is going on a ride…are you coming with???