Monday, January 11, 2010

Avery Aames Cheese Stix

I don’t know if I’ve told you, but I recently moved back to Los Angeles. It’s where my husband and I met, and we wanted to return to warm weather, sunshine, and family.

[Book note: For those of you looking forward to reading The Long Quiche Goodbye, the first in A Cheese Shop Mystery series, family is all-important to my protagonist Charlotte Bessette.]

Now, granted, our twenty-three-year-old son and his young bride have chosen to live in New York and why not? It’s such a fabulous city. We figure we’ll visit them there a lot. But for now, as my husband moves into a new career consulting for college sports, and I can write anywhere, we’re in the West.

And loving it! [Did you know LA had 75 degree temperatures for the past month, whereas the rest of the country was suffering from ice storms and more? It's the main reason people move to California during the winter.]

One little MOVING snag. We thought we could buy a house, close quickly, and move in, except we couldn’t find one that didn’t need a total reconstruction. Not just a kitchen. Not just a bathroom re-do. An overhaul. What an experience! I won’t bore you with the details, but let’s just say that the house is quite naturally air-conditioned at this moment!! We're living in a little apartment.

This also means that most of our “things” are in storage. Lock-down storage. In Connecticut. Where we can’t get to them.

So...working out of a kitchen that I didn’t supply with more than the essentials has proven to be a challenge for my “gourmet” blogging needs.

Today, I improvised by combining wine with cheese.

No, I didn’t use wine in my cheese stix. I used a wine bottle as a rolling pin! I kid you not!!!

Take a look.

And then enjoy the flavor of these tasty morsels.

Perfect with salads.

Perfect as a mid-morning or mid-afternoon snack.


1 cup flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
1/8 tsp. paprika
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
4 Tbs. butter
1/2 cup cheddar cheese, shredded
6 Tbs. heavy whipping cream
2 Tbs. water (as needed)
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, shredded

Mix flour, salt, pepper, paprika, baking powder. Cut in the butter.

Mix in cheddar. Add cream and enough water to make dough sticky.

Roll it into a ball and cover with plastic wrap. Store in the refrigerator for an hour.

Remove from refrigerator. Knead then roll out on a lightly floured board, about 1/8 inch thick and 3 inches long. Cut in slices. Set on a cookie tray.

Bake at 425 degrees for 8 minutes.

Cool and enjoy!

***For Gluten-free cooks, make it one cup of your favorite GF flour, add 1/2 tsp. Xanthan gum, and know that you’ll have to hand-form these little gems because it’s too hard to roll out the dough. But they taste absolutely fabulous!

Remember, our next Iron Chef week is coming up with our new secret ingredient.

Also remember, if you’d like, sign up for my next newsletter, where I share lots of tidbits about my new book as well as a history about particular cheeses, click on this link: Avery Aames Newsletter. My first CONTEST via the newsletter is NEXT WEEK. All who are signed up are eligible to win.


  1. My 3 year old son is going to LOVE these! I'm sure I will, too, but he's the one that really counts (as I'm sure you understand!) :)

    If my GF flour blend already has xanthum in it, do you think I would need to add more?

  2. Sounds really, really good, Avery!

    75 degrees! I usually live in a warm place too, but it's been absolutely frigid here. Bleh.

    Hope you're house is move-in ready soon!

    Mystery Writing is Murder

  3. Karen, I would bet that if you use something like Pamela's or Bob's Red Mill, with the Xanthan in it, don't add it to this recipe. Know that you might have to hand form these little cuties for this recipe, but the cheese holds them together in the end. Enjoy!

  4. How clever of you to use a wine bottle as a rolling pin! I've heard of people who placed dried beans in the bottle to add weight.

    Your cheese sticks sound great!

    ~ Krista
    also in frigid country

  5. Ooh, those look yummy! This site is so much fun for cozy lovers like myself who like to cook. Perfect combo. Have a wonderful week!

  6. Avery - I love your improvisation! So clever and fun! Thanks for sharing your "moving" stories with us - you have quite the challenge on your hands, but you're managing admirably! I am very jealous of your 75 degree weather. We're hoping it gets up to 25 today and 40 by Thursday. Mmm... a heat wave! ;-)


  7. You are a hoot!

    These cheese sticks look and sound very good. We eat quite a bit of cheese here, so I know these would go over very well.

    Good on ya for moving across country. That is a huge amount of work.

  8. commenting from CT, where the chill remains (especially in your absence ;). Thinking of trying these cheese sticks with that Welsh Collier you wrote about in the newsletter...what do you think? Although I don't think the kids will like them as much.

  9. LOL on the wine bottle roller! Very inventive -- no wonder you're a writer. The dudes are going to love this!!! Thanks, Avery.

  10. LOL... Great recipe. i got a rolling pin for Christmas... before then, I used a wine bottle as well. Worked just fine. Funny, as I could possibly be living in someone elses kitchen (either a communal, or a small studio apartment) ... details to come this week, but I will be following my wife to her inconvenient day job as well...

  11. Colleen, I think the Welsh Collier would be perfect! A nice bit to them. Yum.

  12. Nice recipe! I love the idea from you and Colleen to test it with different cheddar cheeses. You are also one clever lady to use the wine bottle as a rolling pin. I am so sorry for your moving hassles. I hope it all works out for you soon. And in the meantime, a little swig or two from that rolling pin might just take the edge off. :)

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