Sunday, September 11, 2011

Sargento Cheese and Pumpkin Cheddar Muffins

Guess what?!  I got to participate in another Tastemaker event through Foodbuzz.  This time it was with Sargento Cheese.  The challenge was to compare Sargento natural cheese with a processed cheese.  I headed to the market and picked up some Sargento Reduced Fat Shredded Cheddar Cheese and their new sliced Natural Provolone Mozzarella along with some classic American cheese slices. 


For some reason we all grow up with those American slices, whether or mom made grilled cheese, cheeseburgers or if you had it as part of your afternoon snack.  I am a huge cheese lover, hard, soft, stinky- I love them all!  To do my taste test, I thought what better than a grilled cheese contest.  Both sandwiches were made with freshly baked sourdough bread, buttered, with cheese slices and pepper on the inside.  I grilled them both up on the stove and the bread crunched when I cut them in half.  (You know that’s a good sign).


That’s the Sargento Provolone Mozzarella on the left (hard to see the cheese since it’s white) and that’s the classic American cheese on the right.  Here’s what I noticed.

American Cheese:  The American cheese seemed to just disappear and absorb into the bread, I might have needed to use another slice of cheese perhaps?  The texture of the American sandwich was also a little mushier, I think a thinner slice of bread might have worked better- the softness and freshness of my sourdough may have absorbed all the cheese? 

Sargento Provolone Mozzarella Cheese:  The Sargento cheese seemed to hold up its form a lot better than the American slice.  When I cut the sandwich in half the cheese did that sexy stretchy thing that we always see in the commercials.  The Provolone Mozzarella blend was quite tasty and I found myself finishing that grilled cheese first. 

The verdict?  I think there is a time and place for all cheeses, I would definitely use Sargento cheese for sandwiches that I would make at home or when friends are over.  I would definitely buy these cheeses again!  But an American cheese grilled cheese sandwich after late night shenanigans or on that random McDonalds cheeseburger- somehow still hits the spot every once in a while.   

PS- the Provolone Mozzarella makes excellent melts!  Check out the buffalo chicken salad melt I made the other day!


Here is what I made with the rest of the Sargento Cheese that I purchased!  I have been wanting to make these forever.  And now that Fall is on it’s way, pumpkin is back!  Love these spicy savory pumpkin muffins from Baked!


Pumpkin Cheddar Muffin
from Baked

1 can pumpkin puree
3 Tbsp. Greek yogurt
2 large eggs
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, melted and cooled
2 cups flour
1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. cayenne powder
1 1/2 tsp. salt
1 1/2 tsp. black pepper
4 oz. grated cheddar cheese

1.  Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.  Spray your muffin tin with cooking spray, evenly coating each muffin holder- or if you use a silicon tray they will pop out nicely. 

2.  In a large bowl combine the pumpkin puree, Greek yogurt, eggs and melted butter.  Mix until the ingredients are well combined.


3.  In a second bowl whisk together all dry ingredients except for the cheese.  Make a well in the middle of the dry ingredients and slowly add in the wet mix, stirring the batter until evenly mixed.  Fold in 3/4 of the cheese.

4.  Divide the batter among the muffin cups.  Sprinkle each muffin with remaining cheddar cheese.  Bake for 20 minutes or until the muffins are a golden brown. 


Let the muffins cool for 10 minutes and serve warm. 


I love these muffins, they have a little spicy kick to them and it was such a nice flavor combo.  Who knew that pumpkin and cheese went so well together!  Your left overs (if there are any) heat up super nicely in the toaster oven as well!   

Disclaimer:  I received a $25 dollar gift certificate in the mail to purchase Sargento cheese, a processed cheese and any other accompanying ingredients.  The opinions in this post are my own and I am not receiving any other compensation from Sargento.