Unfortunately, original Thing 33 has been discontinued. Costco used to have this awesome cheese—Lake Country Asiago. It was the best deal ($5.50/pound) and one of the most delicious and versatile hard cheeses out there. It was perfect to eat by itself, or could be added to a huge range of foods. I always had some in my fridge. RIP Lake Country Asiago.

But, Peri in Rochester needs a Thing, and there is plenty more I like, so we continue on. In many other countries, everywhere you go, there is a kettle. The US is just not kettle country, which is silly because they are awesome. I have a kettle in my office and a kettle at home, and my winter is greatly enhanced by always being 60 seconds away from tea time.  Plus, with the rise of better instant soups, emergency lunch is also right at my fingertips.

TIP: Trader Joe’s is the place for cheeses. You can put together a fantastic, fancy-looking cheese board for under $12. An excellent entertaining cheese adage to remember is: something old, something new, something goat, something blue.

Old: aged, smoked…a hard cheese. Aged goudas are an excellent choice, as are parmesans. RIP Lake Country Asiago
New: soft & creamy— think Brie. Never go too funky with a soft cheese when entertaining
Goat: Chevre is a classic, but don’t limit yourself
Blue: see rule on new. Gorgonzola is usually a crowd pleaser.