Boxcarr in Seattle!

seattle public market, sam
We recently took a trip to Seattle to meet with our new distributor, Petersons. They don’t yet have our cheese available but will soon be distributing Boxcarr throughout Portland and Seattle! We’re very excited to be signing on with them. We also had a great time exploring the city – and eating lots of cheese and other tasty food of course. Let us know if you have any favorite Seattle spots for our next visit!

xoxo,
The Boxcarr Team

brunch food sam at brunch sam and cheese cheese counter pizza sam drinking wine sam at public market

Cottonbell for Valentine’s!

To celebrate Valentine’s this year, we decided to make heart-shaped Cottonbell! We know, a little cheesy … 😉

heart shaped cottonbell

In addition to our limited edition Cottonbell, we’re also celebrating Valentine’s by pairing up with a new friend for a photoshoot! We recently got the chance to play around with a Cheese Grotto, which is an innovative home storage unit for cheese.

The Grotto keeps cheeses at the optimal temperature and humidity to prolong their shelf life, and is perfect for anyone and everyone who loves to always have the highest quality cheese in their fridge. The shelves are removable and can turn into an instant cheese serving board!

slate with cottonbell

The creator, Jessica Sennett, has worked in the cheese world for years, both as a cheesemaker and cheesemonger, so we were also excited to have her taste Cottonbell – and put her expert cheese board skills to work on it!

cottonbell with flowers and oranges cottonbell with blood orange

We thought our Cottonbell looked pretty great in the Grotto! Either would make a great gift for your cheese-loving Valentine!

cottonbell with wine

Good Food Award!

We are so grateful to have been chosen for a Good Food Award this year, for our favorite mixed milk cheese, Cottonseed!

good food award winner

Congratulations to all of the other winners – you can check out the full list here – including some amazing North Carolina friends! We’re humbled to be included in this group of amazing makers, and we hope to get the chance to taste products from all of the winners!

xoxo,
The Boxcarr Team

Introducing Nimble!

A dutch baby for our new baby! New cheese baby, that is. We’re excited to announce Nimble, a mixed milk version of Lissome, made with half goat’s milk and half cow’s milk. Like Lissome, it also has a beer-washed rind, and a creamy interior that melts in your mouth. We add a dark brew from our friends at Mystery Brewing when we add the culture, as well as washing the rind in beer, to add a unique richness to the flavor. This version is a little funkier, with the goat’s milk adding a savory element at the end of the bite.

The Nimble is exactly that; versatile & great on it’s own, or fitting into any number of recipes that need a little extra goat kick.

Since we love cheese for any meal, we decided to make a savory dutch baby with the Nimble. Dutch babies make for a great weekend breakfast and are surprisingly easy to make.

We used this recipe from Bon Appetit. For the toppings, we roasted some apples with cinnamon, black pepper and thyme. Just heat up a skillet with butter and add the apple slices once the butter starts to brown. Add 3-4 sprigs of thyme, cinnamon and black pepper to taste, and let cook until soft.

When the dutch baby comes out of the oven, add slices of Nimble right away so it melts a little, then top with the roasted apples for a sweet and savory breakfast.

You could make this with any number of toppings – a soft cooked egg and bacon or avocado would go just as well! Hope everyone is staying cozy and eating lots of delicious cheese this January!

xoxo,
The Boxcarr Team

Cottonbell for Winter

A new cheese to ring in the New Year!

cottonseed

As we see Winter approach, the goat milking season comes to an end, cow’s milk’s butterfat content increases, and we take any chance we can get to celebrate with decadent food and drink. Representative of the transition into the winter cheese season, Cottonbell’s all-cow’s-milk-decadence takes the place of Cottonseed in the caves. There are few better aesthetic compliments to cranberry reds and mistletoe greens than the immaculately white, fluffed rind of Cottonbell. A cut into the near three-quarter-pound squares yields what everyone is after this time of year: a contained, slow ooze of butter-rich cream. Like Cottonseed, the unaggressive rind adds a textural snap along side seashore-minerality and fresh mushroom earthiness – making it a perfect player alongside champagne effervescence as well as puff pastry crust.

cottonbell before baking, cottonbell with thyme, garlic and olive oil

Recently, we’ve been experimenting with baking Cottonseed, much the same way one would with brie. This recipe is really very simple, with dramatic payoff! Just add whatever toppings you prefer and pop it in the oven for 10 minutes – the smaller the dish to contain it the better, as we discovered, it tends to ooze! To make our version, make small slices into the top rind of the cheese, and add 2 cloves of sliced garlic, 2 sprigs of minced thyme, and 1 tbsp olive oil. Bake at 350 for 10 minutes. Serve with freshly toasted bread, jam, and any other treats you find. You can also try a sweeter take on this with rosemary, figs and honey, or with berry jam – really anything you think might taste good; have fun coming up with your own versions!

cottonseed label with thyme cottonbell after baking melted cottonbell dipping bread into cottonbell cottonseed on bread cottonbell dripping

Let us know if you tried this, and we hope all of you have a happy New Year!
xoxo, The Boxcarr Team

melted cottonbell

A Goat’s Story

a goat's story flowers

handdrawn valentine from baby to mama goat

This baby goat was born on February 14.

handdrawn months when goats are born

Some mama goats have babies earlier, for example in January, other mama goats have babies later, in May.

handdrawn milk, udder and bottle

Baby goats,who are called kids, drink milk or milk replacer for a while before they can eat big goat food.

Some goats grow, play and have fun until the fall of the year that they’re born. Other goats get to play and run around for even longer till the next fall!

little and big handdrawn goat

All goats big and small go into heat in the late summer or fall on into early winter. They will keep coming back into heat until they are knocked up!

handdrawn pumpkin and ghost halloween goats

They find their mates. This one found her mate on Halloween.

handdrawn baby goat in mama goat's tummy

She will grow her baby in her belly for around 4.5 to 5 months, during which time she won’t produce any milk.

handdrawn birthday cake for mama goat

Her baby was born on February 13th, what a great birthday day present for mama!

handdrawn mama and baby goat love

This mama goat will feed her baby milk until she is ready to be weaned onto big goat food. At which point we will take all the milk to make cheese!

handdrawn yummy handdrawn cheeses

This cycle goes on forever! This is why we don’t have goats milk once the goats get knocked up; they won’t produce milk while preparing their bodies to have their babies. We have had goats at home for a long time, and we have had the luxury of leaving the babies with their mothers, even if it meant waiting tables or working multiple jobs to pay for their food. Keeping goats can be very expensive, especially if you have a larger herd, so many farmers don’t have the luxury of paying to keep the mamas and babies together as long as they would like to. In these instances, the babies are given milk replacer – similar to giving formula to human babies – so that the mama’s milk can go to making cheese sooner. We hope this helped you learn a little more about a goat’s life!
Xoxo,
The Boxcarr Team

Not Your Ma’s Mac & Cheese

bowls of mac n cheese with beer
Everyone at Boxcarr loves simplicity, particularly when it’s the end of a long day and you just want a fast, warm, comforting dinner. So we’ve created the easiest homemade mac n cheese recipe possible – perfect for those days when you need a ten minute dinner, but also savory, unique & rich enough to impress friends.

close up of the lissome mac n cheese with sage

This dish uses Lissome, our cheese with a beer-washed rind. Recently we’ve been making a version of Lissome with a mix of both cow’s and goat’s milk. The mixed milk version is perfect for cooking with; adding a hint of savory, deep goat-cheese taste, without being too sharp or overloading the flavor. We’ve been loving this version of the cheese so much that we’ll continue to make it, as well as giving it a new name. So keep an eye out for that at markets & in stores soon!

ingredients for mac n cheese

This cheese is so rich and creamy that all you need to do is melt it to have the perfect sauce for mac and cheese. Then all you have to do is pour it over pasta, and add anything else you like in your mac n cheese – choose your own mac n cheese adventure!

pouring sauce onto pasta

We made this right after getting home from the Food Matters Again food show in Brooklyn, and we had a bag of Sfoglini pasta that we’d been given – handmade in NYC. So we decided to cook that up, and it was awesome! You can add some olive oil to the water while its cooking, or salt, although the Lissome is salty enough that you don’t necessarily need to.

sfoglini handmade pasta bag

While the pasta is cooking, melt down a chunk of Lissome on low heat on the stove, and stir well! If you want a smoother or thiner sauce, add a little milk or half & half, but if you like your pasta sauce thicker, just use Lissome. You can also add a little bit of pepper, and to make it look even fancier, add some chopped herbs. Rosemary would be good with this, or sage. We added some chopped sage to the sauce as well as used it as a garnish later.

lissome sauce with salt and pepper

And that’s it – pour the melted cheese onto your pasta, add anything else you want: fresh veggies, even a cut-up hotdog for some real throwback comfort – we won’t tell. Pair with a cold beer & relax!

mixing in the sauce to lissome mac n cheese

Let us know how you liked this, and if you have ideas for a new name for the mixed-milk Lissome, let us know @boxcarrhandmadecheese. Happy eating!
Love, The Boxcarr Team

macncheese with beer

ACS Ribbons!

We were surprised and overjoyed to take home two ribbons from this year’s American Cheese Society Competition! This is a life-long dream come true, and we couldn’t be prouder of our cheeses and our amazing team that made this happen. We’re still so overwhelmed with happiness!

boxcarr team at the acs competiton, acs ribbons

Our Cottonseed won third place in the Soft-Ripened Cheese Mixed Milk category, and Rocket’s Robiola won second place in the American Originals category! The Cottonseed in particular is a favorite of ours – Samantha has been making this cheese for years now, long before the creamery was built, in her kitchen with milk from her personal goats. For this cheese to win a ribbon is truly a dream come true for Samantha! The Robiola is a newer creation but we are equally excited that it won a ribbon as well!

We’d also like to congratulate all of our fellow competitors; in particular we’re very proud of Goat Lady Diary, a fellow NC dairy where Samantha used to work, for their blue ribbons! We had a blast and learned a ton at this year’s ACS, and can’t wait for next year!

Summer Simplicity

With the hectic and hot beginning of summer, all the Boxcarr team wants to do right now is eat cheese boards. A full meal is too much effort and too heavy! Soon we’ll transition to salads and BLTs, but for now we’re taking the easiest route with simple, savory cheese boards to nibble on.

cottonseed cheese board

Luckily we had a little bit of the Cottonbell left before it vanished for the season — it was replaced by Cottonseed for the summer!

cottonseed closeup

We enjoyed a last few bites with fresh bread, almonds and pear. This month we’re all about the path of least resistance: a few high quality ingredients and no fuss.

cottonseed cheese with pear and bread

Summer is one of our busiest times at Boxcarr – the farmer’s markets are in full swing, the goats have new kids, and there’s a huge amount of milk to make into cheese!

Cottonseed Cheese Board Closeup

Say hi to us this year at the Durham Farmer’s Market, or pick up some of our products around town – or out of town.

cottonseed cheese with bread and pear

What’s your favorite summer dinner you’re looking forward to? Let us know in the comments or on Instagram, and check out the blog in June for our favorite salad recipe!

Cottonseed Cheese Board with Almonds and Bread

The Return of Cottonseed!

As some of you may know, our popular Cottonseed is replaced by the Cottonbell in the winter, when our goat milk supply dries up for the season. We’re excited to announce that the Cottonseed is back! A creamy, decadent cheese made with both goat and cow milk, the Cottonseed has a delicate rind and is one of our favorite cheeses.

Cottonseed seemed to have fun on her vacation, too–we managed to get an exclusive interview, and some pictures, of what this complicated cheese was up to during the break.

B: Welcome home, Cottonseed! We’re glad to have you back. How are you?
C: Well it’s just fantastic to be back for the season. I’m refreshed and better than ever, and ready to rock everyone’s world.

B: What were you getting up to while you were gone?
C: Well, just roaming, really. Want to see some pictures?
B: Of course.

cottonseed with flowers

C: I spent a lot of time hanging out in trees–because I’m amazing anywhere, at any height.

cottonseed in a tree

B: Looks fun!

C: It was! I also had a lot of picnic time with friends. As I’m sure you know, I’m an amazing addition to any cheese board, but I’m also great standing on my own. Even just with bread and some berries or nuts, I’ll rock your world. And although the conventional thinking is that red wines go best with cheese, often times they can clash with the cheese.

I need room to stand out on my own! A delicate white isn’t the best choice, but a sturdier white such as a chardonnay or rhone will provide complimentary notes without overshadowing my unique flavors. Not to mention, the weather is heating up and a white wine will be a little more refreshing this time of year!

cottonseed with wine, bread & berries

B: Good to know! We know you love adventures–did you go anywhere else exciting?

C: I went to NYC! I love hanging out in all the cheese shops there–you can click here to see everywhere you can find me! Here’s some pics of my vacation there.

cottonseed in front of the brooklyn bridge, hudson river

B: Looks like a great vacation, Cottonseed. We’re glad to have you back!

C: It sure was–and don’t forget I’m always up for an adventure. You can tag #cottonseedadventures if you want to make me famous on Instagram. Xoxo!

cottonseed in front of the brooklyn bridge & hudson river