How often do you think of grammar, parts of speech or word origins? (If you are a regular reader of Felt Like a Foodie you are saying that I don’t think about it enough!)  Do you get excited when you see your favorite noun in a sentence?  Does it make your skin crawl if you see a missing apostrophe or comma?  Maybe you just smile when you conjugate a verb?

I was walking the dog the other day and started to think about compound words.  (In case you need a refresher….compound words are when you put to words together and they form a different word and meaning.)

I really like compound words.  Simple words like cheesecake, grapefruit and watermelon are great examples.  Cheese means one thing and cake means another but smash them together and you get cheesecake!!!  Isn’t that fun?  I am either getting old or having a nervous breakdown (another compound word) because I thought about this for a long time.

I thought about compound words so much I decided to go online and look at more compound words and then my mind was blown…..I never thought about the fact that there are 3 kinds of compound words (closed, open and hyphenated.)

I’m sure I must have learned this in my childhood (boop….another compound word) but for some reason I only thought about closed compound words.  Closed compound words don’t have a space in between them…like popcorn, breakfast, peanut, buttermilk, strawberry, oatmeal….I could go on and on.

Open compound words put two words together to form a new word but there is a space in between them….like hot dog, peanut butter, ice cream.

My mind was whirling thinking about all these new options when I started thinking about including hyphenated…the most controversial of the compound word combination.  I’m still not 100% clear but it seems like a compound hyphenation is necessary if you are making a compound with an adjective (maybe adverb)-noun combo.  (Now this seems to be part of a great debate on the internet of how to use these compound words as modifiers…I won’t go in-depth (another compound word) but you can see why this could cause a war between friends and scholars.

I found it a whole new challenge to think of hyphenated compound words but then I remembered things like twice-baked, egg-shaped and hot-cross buns.

As I continued my vey thought provoking journey into all these compound words, I had to make dinner. I was making steaks with a blue-cheese compound butter!  What a coincidence!!  (Not really but it was a great lead up to my recipe!!!!)  My biggest question while cooking was I making a compound compoundbutter, a compound-compound butter or a compound compound-butter?  The world may never know.

Blue Cheese Compound Butter


1 stick of butter, softened

6 ounces blue cheese (You can use less if you want it less blue)

3 green onions, chopped

1 garlic clove, minced


In a small bowl, mix all the ingredients.  I used a fork to mash it but if you want it super smooth use your mixmaster.

On large piece of parchment, scoop out the entire bowl into the center so it resembles a log.

Fold the parchment over the “log” and shape with your hand.  (You can also do this with plastic wrap or a benchscraper (which is a compound word.)

Place in fridge until nice and cold.

Cut a circle or two and place on top of a nice hot steak.  (If you don’t use the entire batch when eating your steaks, it makes a great add in to potatoes, eggs or freeze it in tiny coin shapes for future steak enjoyment.)