[recipe title= “Dorothy’s Cheese platter with Homemade Gravlax” print= “true”]

  • Dorothy’s Keep Dreaming Cheese
  • Homemade Gravlax (recipe below)
  • Asparagus (blanching instructions below)
  • Jammy eggs (directions below)
  • Green goddess dressing MAGIC ELIXIRSâ„¢ (Whole30 version here/non Whole30 version here)
  • Marinated Red Onions (click here for recipe)
  • Cornichons
  • Strawberries
  • Fun Easter Chocolates

Homemade Gravlax

  • 1 pound of salmon, boneless, skin on (filet should be the portion of the fish taken from the tail up)
  • 3 medium beets peeled, grated
  • ½ cup kosher salt
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 3 Tbsp vodka
  • 1 tbsp each of lemon juice and orange juice (I prefer Meyer lemon and mandarin or tangerine)
  • 2 tbsp of zest, (½ lemon and ½ orange)

Mix together the sugar, salt and zest.  Then add vodka and juice and stir until well combined.

In a glass or ceramic pan, place an old, clean dish towel (that you don’t care about staining or tossing afterwards). 

On the skin side of the fish, place about 1/3 of the salt/sugar mixture and rub in gently.  Then turn over and place the remaining 2/3 of the mixture on the top, Rub gently.

Make sure the fish is completely covered with the salt/sugar mixture.  Then, completely cover with the grated beets.  Fold the towel over to cover loosely.

Then, cover the whole pan with plastic wrap and place something heavy on top to weigh it down.

Let it sit in refrigerator for 2 days.  Open it up and touch it”¦if its firm, it’s done.  If it doesn’t feel firm and is not done yet, leave in the refrigerator for one more day.

When it’s done, remove from the towel and pan.  Gently brush off the salt/sugar and beets.  Then rinse with cold water and pat dry.  

Blanching asparagus

Bring salted water to a boil. 

Cut woody stems off the asparagus spears. Once the water is boiling, place the asparagus in the boiling water and cook for 2-5 minutes. 

Remove from water and place into cold water for 2 minutes to stop cooking process. Dry them and dress with Marinated Onion oil on your platter.

Cook’s note: Make sure you don’t overcook your asparagus.  If they are thin, 2 minutes will do.  If they are thicker, you may have to cook for 4-5 minutes.

Jammy Eggs

In a medium sized pot, bring water and 1 tbsp salt to a boil. Once boiling, gently place eggs in the water.  Cook for 7 ½ minutes.

Remove from water with slotted spoon and place immediately into an ice bath for 1 minute.   Remove from ice bath and gently peel.


I am thrilled to be in the kitchen with Dorothy’s Cheese–locally made, hand-dipped, coated, and wrapped. I feel a kinship with Dorothy.  She’s a rockstar cheesemaker and a trendsetter—and I love her story.

Dorothy was born in the 1930’s into a big family with a passion for cheesemaking. Her attempts to enroll in university in 1949 were repeatedly rejected because she was female. But I love a gal who persists! She became the first woman to graduate with a degree in Dairy Science from Iowa State University.  She spent her entire life on her family’s dairy farm, dedicated to improving her community (by employing nearly the entire town of Lena, Illinois) and making incredible cheese. I love that! She was a true visionary making Brie and Camembert at a time no one knew what these were and she was amongst the first one to develop the Iowa Style Baby Swiss or Domestic Feta (her husband Jim was Greek). Take a peek at Dorothy sharing her story, here.

Dorothy is now in her late 80’s, and these cheeses pay homage to her passion. Rbst-free milk from local cows and proprietary cultures give them fabulous vintage flavor. Their unique shape is inspired by the fresh spring flowers that grow in the Apple River Canyon at the foot of Kolb-Lena. Kolb-Lena previously owned by Dorothy is where Dorothy’s cheeses are crafted today. The current cheese maker used to be Dorothy’s apprentice. Son and nephew of Dorothy still work at the plant.

You can find Dorothy’s cheese in many local grocery stores but you can also order direct from their website (here) or click on the images below. 

Comeback Cow honors Dorothy’s adage that she would “work till the cows came home.” It has rustic, fragrant notes in every bite. Dorothy’s Comeback Cow won Best in Class GOLD at US Championship of Cheese in a really difficult category.

Keep Dreaming reflects her lifelong dream to make a cheese that was robust in flavor but still soft like a brie, and it’s truly a dream come true. 

I am a gal that loves a charcuterie board!  It’s perfect for entertaining, a lazy Sunday afternoon or even a weeknight dinner. I’ve built this one with two Dorothy’s cheeses, the size is just right so you can do two.  Then I added beef salami, mortadella, peppeoncinis, oranges and apples, candied nuts and some fun sauces — a new spin on my yellow pepper mayo and a simple apple butter.  Just like one of my platters, a charcuterie board is a great way for everyone to grab what they like and build their own plate.  Mine is filled with the things I love, but this is just a template so make it your own with all your favorites! 

[recipe title= “Dorothy’s Cheese and Charcuterie Board” print= “true”]

Orange Pepper mayo

  • 3 bell peppers (3 Orange or 2 red and 1 yellow)
  • 1 tsp extra virgin olive oil
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp pepper
  • ¾ cup mayo
  • 1 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 500°F. Place peppers on roasting pan, oil, salt and pepper. Roast them for about 15-20 minutes (not too black — light brown) flip every 5 minutes.  Make sure they don’t burn.

Remove from the oven and place in a paper bag for about 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, remove from the bag and remove as much skin as possible. Remove the seeds too.

Transfer to a food processor and add the mayo and red wine vinegar, blending until smooth. Season to taste.

Apple butter

  • 2 apples red apple of your choice. 
  • 1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
  • ¼ tsp cinnamon
  • 2 Tbsp clarified butter
  • ½ tsp Dijon mustard

Heat oven to 450°F.

Peel apples and remove core. Coarsely chop into bite sized chunks. 

Place on sheet pan and toss with butter and spices. Roast until tender and slightly brown, about 30 minutes.  Flipping a couple of times. 

Transfer to food processor and blend until its smooth and looks like butter.  Scrape into bowl or jar and add mustard. Stir to combine. Store refrigerated, serve room temperature. 

Sugared Pecans (recipe adapted from The Minimalist Baker)

  • 2 cups raw pecans
  • 1 1/2 Tablespoons coconut oil, melted
  • 2 Tablespoons coconut sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons real maple syrup
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne
  • 1/4 teaspoon cardamom
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

Place your pecans on a sheet pan lined with parchment paper.  Drizzle the coconut oil and maple syrup over the pecans.  Then sprinkle with the coconut sugar, cayenne, cardamom and salt.

Toss for a minute or two making sure that all of the pecans are well coated evenly.  Spread them out into a single layer.  Place in a 350°F oven and bake for about 12-15 minutes (toss/stir with a spoon or spatula halfway through)