the life and times of J T Frey

"Pretty Good" Cheddar Spread

Every year at Christmas a coworker of mine brings Better Cheddar spread and crackers to our holiday party. The spread comes from an establishment in Hockessin, Delaware, where he worked when he was younger. It's delicious on just about any kind of cracker: small chunks of sharp white cheddar cheese, bits of scallion, and mayonaise and secret spices binding it all together. This is my attempt to replicate that delicious stuff — and both my wife and I agree it's pretty darn close.

Written by Jeff Frey on Tuesday December 25, 2018
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Abby's Mint Ice Cream

The summer of 2022 Abby picked-out a spearmint plant at Home Depot that she wanted to grow. With mint's propensity to spread, I forbade her from planting in anything other than a pot on the deck. The plant grew quite well (May and June were wet and more spring-like than has become usual) and produced many leaves: the question became, what do we do with those delicious leaves?

Written by Jeff Frey on Wednesday August 10, 2022
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Abby's Spaghetti Meat Sauce

Question: how do you know your kids don't watch much television? Answer: when they happily sit and watch episodes of "Good Eats" on a Saturday afternoon. We recently saw Alton's classic episode on spaghetti with meat sauce (as an American classic dish) and Abby's love of spaghetti led us to give it a try. The original recipe uses a dutch oven for a long cook and some ingredients that were tough to find during a pandemic; I decided to pare it down and use a slow cooker for an unattended cooking. Abby ground the beef herself and helped me put together the sauce.

Written by Jeff Frey on Tuesday May 26, 2020
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Alfredo Sauce

Abby proclaimed this to be the best pasta sauce ever. The recipe is adapted from (oddly enough) "The BEST Alfredo Sauce" recipe on Gimme Some Oven: black pepper (not white) and no solid bits of garlic or heavy garlic flavor. I also have some prosciutto on hand at the time, so garnishing with crispy bits of that and parsley may have put it over the top.

Written by Jeff Frey on Saturday November 21, 2020
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Apple Cider Vinaigrette

Autumn means many things: leaves changing color, temperatures dropping, and picking apples. So a nice crisp cold salad with an apple-themed dressing seems apt. This recipe uses freshly-picked apples to make a thick apple cider "molasses" to help emulsify the dressing.

Written by Jeff Frey on Saturday October 2, 2021
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Bacon Cheddar Dip

Our girls went through a phase where every bowl of popcorn needed a very liberal dusting of cheddar cheese powder. Supplying such prodigious quantities of that powder led me to Alton Brown's recipe for popcorn seasoning — and 1 pound bags of cheddar cheese and buttermilk powder. When the cheddar popcorn craze ended, I needed something to use those ingredients. Grab a bag of ripple-cut chips and this dip and forget the popcorn.

Written by Jeff Frey on Tuesday March 13, 2018
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