New Guest Blogger – Meet Monique!

Monique

Monique Rodriguez blog is called I Are the Food Snob check back later this week for her original recipe featuring Ile de France Cheese!

A little about me:
Im a single gal living in Queens. I developed a love for food at a young age and started a cookbook collection that has since led to an obsession with dinner parties. After spending hours of my day searching for new and interesting food blogs to read, I decided to start my own so I could document all my fun adventures that revovle around food. As for my training, i have only taken a class on sushi making and one on cake decorating. My life long dream is to go to Culinary school… and for my dog to learn how to wash dishes.

How long have you been cooking and when / why did you develop a passion for food?
I can remember way back to when I was about 5 or 6 and mom would be in the kitchen making dinner. I would sit by the entry way and watch her as she added spices, basted, and stirred with such fascination. And when she saw my interest she put me to work. I was her best cheese grater for her baked ziti and macaroni and cheese. When I was 8, I made my first batch of pancakes. They were the ugliest pancakes in the history of food but I was proud of them! And by the time I was 16 I was hosting weekend dinner parties for all of my friends.
I love how food brings people together. I also love making it my own. I have always had a fascination with art and find that food is a great medium.

What do you like about French cheese?
Where do I begin? First, any and all cheeses have their own uniqueness that I am madly in love with with but with french cheeses like brie and camembert, i love the creaminess and softness and their mild flavor that lends itself to things so easily (and deliciously!) And the tartness and creaminess from goat cheese is phenomenal. I love its bold flavor but how accomodating it is with other ingredients. I remember making a grilled eggplant dish a few months ago with a garlic aoili sauce and after tasting it, feeling that it needed something extra… i crumbled some goat cheese on top and sure enough, Perfection!

Favorite thing to serve at a party or family gathering?
My favorite thing to serve at parties is a baked brie or camembert. I first saw this being done on a cooking show and thought it was a simple but fancy enough item to enjoy at my upcoming family gathering. I made two. I made one with spicy salsa and the other with dried cherries and currants. I baked them in phyllo dough and served them with water crackers and the family devoured both cheeses. Any time we have get togethers, they no longer ask me to bring hte cheese- they demand it.

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