Date Night Idea

Start with that classic pair, wine and cheese, and add a few other tidbits to create your own sweet combos for a party buffet, or just the two of you in front of a fire.

Let’s get started …

Cheese Board

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Dried fruit offers a sweet contrast to a slaty or savory cheese.


A few nuts add texture, sweetness and a hint of salt.

Blue Cheese

Known for their blue vein coloring, these varieties are boldly flavored – from salty to spicy.


A burst of sweetness can increase the flavors of some cheeses.


Strong, savory flavors enhance the taste of cheese or crackers.

Goat Cheese

This soft cheese has a robust aroma and tart, earthy flavor.


The perfect dessert cheese has a soft, silky texture and a buttery flavor that pairs nicely with fruit or nuts.


The subtle, salty flavor and crunchy texture provides balance and substance.

Fig Jam

A hint of berry with a honey-like sweetness serves as a perfect match for Brie.

Colby Jack

This classic blend has a semi-hard texture and mild flavor.

Country Style Meatloaf

Active Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
Serves: 10

1 medium fennel bulb (about 8 ounces)
2 Schnucks large eggs
3/4 pound Meat Masters extra lean ground beef
3/4 pound Pride of the Farm fresh ground pork
1/2 (8-ounce) Schnucks sourdough mini loaf, torn or cut into 1/2-inch pieces (about 4 cups)
1/2 cup dry sherry or white wine
1/2 cup Schnucks finely shredded Swiss cheese
1/2 cup Schnucks vitamin D whole milk
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
6 slices Schnucks hardwood smoked bacon
2 tablespoons Schnucks pure honey

  1. Preheat oven to 375°F. Remove fennel fronds; set some aside to use later for garnish, and chop 2 tablespoons fronds. Trim off stem and root end from fennel. Finely chop fennel bulb. In large bowl, lightly beat eggs. Add fennel, chopped fronds and remaining ingredients, except bacon and honey, and mix until well combined.
  2. Line rimmed baking pan with aluminum foil. Shape meat mixture into 9 x 5-inch loaf. Starting at 1 end, wrap bacon in single layer crosswise over the meatloaf, tucking ends under meatloaf.
  3. Bake 25 minutes. Brush bacon with honey. Bake 20 to 25 minutes longer or until internal temperature reaches 155°F. Let stand 10 minutes before slicing.

Each serving: about 250 calories, 13 g total fat (5 g saturated), 95 mg cholesterol, 480 mg sodium, 12 g carbohydrate, 1 g fiber, 4 g sugars, 18 g protein

banner rueben casserole

Active Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour
Serves: 8

1 tablespoon Schnucks unsalted butter or vegetable oil
1 medium onion (about 5 ounces), chopped (about 1 cup)
1 small green bell pepper, chopped (about 1 cup)
1 can (8 ounces) Schnucks sauerkraut, rinsed and drained
3 (1/4-inch-thick) slices Schnucks Select top round corned beef (about 1-1/4 pounds), cut into 1/4-inch pieces, or 3-1/2 cups shredded or diced leftover cooked corned beef
1 bag (20 ounces) refrigerated shredded hash browns
1 container (10 ounces) refrigerated light Alfredo sauce, divided
1 package (6 ounces) Schnucks finely shredded Swiss cheese, divided

  1. Preheat oven to 375°F. In nonstick 12-inch skillet, melt butter over medium heat. Add onion and bell pepper and cook 6 to 7 minutes or until tender, stirring occasionally. Add sauerkraut and corned beef and cook 2 minutes or until heated through, stirring frequently.
  2. In 9-inch square or 2-1/2-quart metal, glass or ceramic baking pan, spread refrigerated hash browns. Spread half of Alfredo sauce over potatoes (about 1/2 cup) and sprinkle with 1 cup cheese. Spread corned beef mixture evenly over cheese, then top with remaining Alfredo sauce and cheese to cover.
  3. Cover pan with aluminum foil; bake 15 minutes. Remove foil and bake 15 minutes longer or until top is lightly browned.

Each serving: about 339 calories, 17 g total fat (10 g saturated), 81 mg cholesterol, 1040 mg sodium, 20 g carbohydrate, 3 g fiber, 26 g protein

Cheese skillet dip

2 pounds Jarlsberg cheese, shredded
8 ounces cream cheese
1/4 cup pale ale
pinch smoked paprika

Stir together all ingredients. Transfer to cast iron skillet. Bake at 350°F for 20 minutes or until cheese melts. Serve with your favorite crackers or sliced baguette.

Chef Tips

Garnish with fresh rosemary leaves.

Cheese mixture can be divided into smaller cast iron skillets, then baked as needed to serve hot.

Brie figspread

Active Time: 5 minutes • Total Time: 5 minutes • Serves: 6

2 tablespoons fig spread or Schnucks raspberry preserves
1 tablespoon toffee bits
1 wheel (8 ounces) Brie cheese
crackers, fresh fruit and/or sliced baguette (optional)

Cut Brie into 6 to 8 wedges and place on cheese plate. Spoon fig spread on top of Brie wedges; sprinkle toffee over spread. Serve as an appetizer or dessert cheese course with crackers, fresh fruit and/or sliced baguette, if desired.

Each serving: about 159 calories, 11 g total fat (7 g saturated), 38 mg cholesterol, 258 mg sodium, 7 g carbohydrate, 0 g fiber, 6 g sugars, 8 g protein

Apple brie pita crisps

Active Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 12 minutes • Serves: 2

Split 2 pita bread rounds; brush with olive oil and sprinkle with salt. Bake at 375°F for 5 to 7 minutes or until golden brown and crisp; cool and break into pieces. Serve pita crisps topped with sliced Brie cheese, sliced Granny Smith apple and a drizzle of honey; sprinkle with chopped pistachios.

Cook’s Wisdom

Freeze Brie 10 minutes just before slicing. Soak sliced apples in 1 cup cold water mixed with 2-1/2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice to prevent browning.