Tag Archives: cheese

Beer Battered Cheese Curds

1 Jul

Cheese Curds 1
While living in Minnesota, we were introduced to fried cheese curds and totally fell in love with them. I mean, how could you not like battered, deep-fried cheese? One of our favorite places in Minneapolis to eat, Psycho Suzi’s, had the best cheese curds and we miss them dearly since moving.
Cheese Curds 2
When we were at the farmer’s market last weekend, we stopped by a little cheese stand and they had cheese curds! I couldn’t resist grabbing a bag and heading home to batter them up for an appetizer!

Joel may have gone out to throw steaks on the grill and promptly come back in to see me sitting on the couch, with my feet on the coffee table and the basket of these balancing on my belly. I may have inhaled half the batch during the 30 seconds he was outside. And I may not have felt a tad bit bad about any of it. These are all hypothetical situations of course.
Cheese Curds 3
Beer Battered Cheese Curds
recipe from allrecipes.com

2 quarts peanut oil, for frying
1/4 cup milk
3/4 cup beer
2 eggs
1/2 tsp. salt
1 cup all-purpose flour
2 lbs. cheese curds

1. Heat oil to 375 degrees F. Meanwhile, mix together milk, beer, eggs, salt and flour.

2. Coat cheese curds in the batter and shake a bit to remove excess batter. Place in the hot oil and cook for 1-2 minutes, until golden brown. Serve with ranch or marinara for dipping.

Cobb Salad

26 Jun

Cobb Salad 2
Now that the summer heat has set in, I have been craving cool, crisp salad all the time. The only problem here is one of those boys I live with (the big one) doesn’t think salad is a meal.
Cobb Salad 3
In comes the Cobb Salad to prove him wrong because if you know me, you know I like to be right. I even have a magnet given to me by my mom’s best friend that states: “The Happy Couple: Mr. Right and Mrs. Always Right.” It’s a problem I have. But not really…life is just easier if things are done my way.
Cobb Salad 1
How could a salad covered in grilled corn, hard boiled eggs, bacon, chicken, avocado, cucumbers and cheese then drizzled with roasted garlic vinaigrette not be deemed a meal? Well, people…it was. I knew I would convince him (if he knew what was good for him). And there were no complaints from the dinner table. I call that a success!

Cobb Salad

1 romaine heart, chopped
1 head of butter lettuce, chopped
2 ears grilled corn
2 hard boiled eggs
1 avocado, sliced
4 strips bacon, cooked and crumbles
1 grilled chicken breast, cut into bite size pieces
1/2 english cucumber, sliced into half moons
1/4 cup bleu cheese, feta or gorgonzola
croutons 
Roasted garlic vinaigrette

Mix together the romaine and butter lettuce. Place chicken down the middle. In a line layer the avocado on one side and the cucumber on the other. Continue with the remaining items (except dressing). Serve individual portions being sure to get all the toppings. Drizzle with dressing and serve.

Cheesy Herbed Monkey Bread

22 May

So I’ve been a really lame food blogger again and I’m really sorry. My only excuse is that I’ve been using all my free time to work on a quilt for the little cupcake. And now that the warm weather has finally hit, it’s really hard to stay inside and sit on the computer. I don’t know why I don’t just go sit on our patio swing and write…that sounds like a much better idea. Enjoy the weather and be productive. I promise I’ll be better.

While I’m off topic (I know you all come here for the food so sorry again if you don’t care – just skip below the picture for the food), I’m officially 20 weeks along! It’s hard to believe I’m halfway done! My big ultrasound is next week and we are still strong on not finding out the gender. We are still convinced it’s a girl though and let’s hope it is because we cannot agree on a boy name. But now, onto the food.
Cheesy Herbed Monkey Bread 1
I can’t get enough of freshly baked bread these days! There is just no comparison to the store-bought version. This baby must be a girl since I am loving the carbs this time around. Because of my recent addiction, I have been finding any excuse to bake up bread just about every week for the past few months!

This delicious bread was made to go alongside spaghetti which was just perfect. I smothered my pasta a bit more than usual with sauce so that I could sop up all the extra with these little nuggets of buttery bread.
Cheesy Herbed Monkey Bread 3
I would probably eat this bread every day if carbs didn’t like to stick around my hips so much. It was incredibly tender, light and delicious. And I have to tell you, I usually like the middle pieces of breads since they are softer and more doughy but with this recipe I loved the outside pieces. The parmesan got a little browned and crispy but the bread with still light and fluffy, the perfect combination.
Cheesy Herbed Monkey Bread 4
Cheesy Herbed Monkey Bread
recipe from The Pastry Affair

2 tsp. active dry yeast
1 1/3 cups barely warm water
2 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
2 tsp. salt
3 1/2 cups all purpose (or bread) flour
1/4 cup butter, melted
1 Tbsp. dried parsley flakes
1 Tbsp. dried basil
2 cloves garlic, minced
3/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

1. Mix together the water and yeast in the bowl of a stand mixer. Let stand for 5 minutes or until it’s foamy. Stir in the olive oil, salt and flour and mix with dough hook attachment. Knead for 5 minutes in the mixer until the dough is elastic and it no longer sticks to the sides of the bowl. If kneading by hand, place on a flour surface and knead for 7-10 minutes. Place in a large bowl coated with non-stick spray, turn to coat other side then cover with a kitchen towel. Let rise in a warm place until doubled in size (about 1 1/2 – 2 hours).

2. Once dough has doubled, combine the melted butter, parsley, basil and garlic.

3. Punch down the dough and rip off small pieces about the size of a medium spoon. Roll them in the butter mixture then place in a bundt pan coated with non-stick spray. Continue until you have one layer of dough balls. Sprinkle with 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese. Continue the process until you have three layers of dough and cheese. Cover with a towel and let rise again for about 30 minutes.

4. Bake at 350 degrees F for 25-30 minutes, or until golden brown.

Loaded Baked Potato Salad

8 May

Loaded Baked Potato Salad 3
I am a huge fan of baked potatoes but now that spring has finally arrived (or so it seems) they just aren’t something I cook. I hate heating up the oven and the house once the warm weather hits and I avoid it at all cost. So what do I do when the craving strikes? Make up this loaded baked potato salad! It provides all the delicious taste of a loaded baked potato without having to heat up the oven. Plus, it’s chilled and refreshing which helps beat the heat.
Loaded Baked Potato Salad 4
There really isn’t anything not to like about this potato salad. Cheese, bacon and ranch are always a winning combination! This would be a great side dish to bring to a summer bbq or just to whip up on a weeknight with a yummy grilled steak.

Loaded Baked Potato Salad
recipe slightly adapted from Key Ingredient

4 large russet or Yukon gold potatoes
1/4 cup light mayo
1/2 cup light sour cream
1/2 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1 Tbsp. dry ranch seasoning
8 strips bacon, cooked and crumbled
1 tsp. black pepper
salt to taste

1. In a small bowl, mix together the mayo and sour cream. After thoroughly combined, stir in cheese, ranch seasoning, salt and pepper.

2. Chop potatoes into bite size chunks (you can peel them if you want, I was lazy and didn’t). Boil potatoes for 10-20 minutes, until tender but not falling apart. Drain potatoes and allow to cool a bit.

3. Mix potatoes and 3/4 of the bacon into sour cream mixture. Top with remaining bacon and chill until ready to serve.
Loaded Baked Potato Salad 2

5 Cheese Pasta Bake

15 Apr

5 Cheese Pasta Bake 1
My dad doesn’t like cheese. Seriously, it’s lucky I love him because otherwise he would have to be disowned. Who doesn’t like cheese? I truly don’t understand what would cause such a thing? I totally get people not liking blue cheese or gorgonzola. Those are strong cheeses and a bit too much sometimes. But cheddar, mozzarella, gouda….I can’t fathom a life without them! Cheese is pretty much it’s own food group in our house. So when I saw this recipe, I knew it would have to grace our table.
5 Cheese Pasta Bake 2
This was a great weeknight meal as it was easy to throw together and has a quick cooking time. The boys loved it because, well, there are five cheeses. That was a no-brainer for them. I thought it was yummy and cheesy but it lacked a bit of flavor for me. Next time I would definitely switch out the swiss or provolone for sharp cheddar for a bit more of punch (they aren’t my favorite cheeses anyway so I wouldn’t miss them). I also think some cayenne would be nice if you don’t have a bunch of wimps in your house like I do.

It’s definitely a calorie-buster but would be worth it when you are craving some warm, cheesy, ooey-gooey pasta.
5 Cheese Pasta Bake 3
5 Cheese Pasta Bake
recipe from allrecipes

1 pkg. (16 oz) elbow noodles or other small pasta
1 cup mozzarella, shredded
1 cup swiss, shredded
1 cup Parmesan, shredded
1 cup provolone, shredded
1/2 cup ricotta (I used part-skim)
1/2 cup sour cream (I used light)
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 Tbsp. fresh parsley, chopped
1/2 tsp. dried Italian seasoning
1 tsp. garlic salt
1 tsp. black pepper

1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Lightly grease a 9×13 inch baking dish. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add macaroni, and cook until tender, 6 to 8 minutes. Drain.

2. In a large bowl, toss together the mozzarella cheese, Swiss cheese, Parmesan cheese and Provolone cheese. Remove about 1/2 cup for topping and set aside. In a separate bowl, stir together the ricotta cheese, sour cream and heavy cream. Season with parsley, Italian seasoning, pepper and garlic salt.

3. Pour the ricotta cheese mixture and drained macaroni into the bowl with the cheeses and toss lightly. Do not mix too thoroughly, it’s better left messy. Pour into the prepared baking dish. Sprinkle the reserved cheese over the top.

4. Bake in the preheated oven until cheese is melted, about 10 minutes, then turn the oven to broil. Broil for 3-5 minutes to brown the top (keep a close eye so it doesn’t burn).

Chicken Enchilada Soup {Chili’s Copycat}

16 Jan

Enchilada Soup 2
I love soup. Broccoli cheese, chicken noodle, clam chowder and potato soup are some of my favorites but I also love a good enchilada soup. I will fully admit I don’t like a whole lot of veggies in my soup so I am sometimes leary about ordering enchilada soup. I have never had Chili’s version but my mom has told me it’s delish. After looking at the recipe, I knew most of my household would love it (Joel is a soup hater, boo).

Masa harina, a flour made of ground corn, is used to make tortillas, tamales and other traditional Mexican dishes. In this recipe, it not only lends that traditional enchilada taste to the soup but it also helps thicken it. Masa harina is usually found in the baking aisle by the flour or in the Mexican/ethnic food aisle. I’ve seen it at Wal-Mart so it shouldn’t be too hard to find. But if you can’t find it, or don’t wish to buy it for one recipe (although you could make this delicious dish with it), you could mince up some flour tortillas and they will dissolve into the soup for added flavor and texture.
Enchilada Soup 3
The Chili’s version does not include corn or black beans but we like them around here and they add more texture and yumminess so I decided to add them. This is a really simple, convenient meal that is quick to throw together so it would be a great option for a busy weeknight or for when you don’t feel like cooking.

This makes a huge amount of soup so I should have halved it, especially considering the whiny boy. I ate it for lunch for a few days and froze the rest in individual portions. I will have to update on how the freezing went once I try some.
Enchilada Soup 1
Chicken Enchilada Soup {Chili’s Copycat}
recipe from Lindsay’s Lucious

2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 medium onions, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 quart chicken stock
1 tablespoon chicken soup base
2 teaspoons ground cumin
2 teaspoons chili powder
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper, to taste
1 (8 oz). can tomato sauce
1 (19 oz.) can enchilada sauce (or two 10 oz. cans)
1 cup masa harina (or 6 small corn tortillas, minced)
16 oz. Velveeta, cubed
1 cup colby jack cheese, shredded
1 (22 oz.) bag Tyson roasted and diced chicken, thawed
1 can whole kernel corn, drained (optional)
1 can black beans, drained (optional)
Garnishes: pico de gallo, sour cream, shredded cheese, crunchy tortilla strips

1. In a skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat, and saute the onions until they are tender. Add the minced garlic and cook another minute or two, then scrape the onions and garlic into your crock pot.
2. Add all the other ingredients, except the chicken, corn and black beans. Cook over high heat for two hours or low for four. Whisk until smooth (you may wish to use a stick blender).
3. Add the chicken pieces, corn and black beans and heat through, maybe another 30 minutes to one hour. Check seasonings, and garnish as you like before serving.

Easy and Delicious Stromboli

14 Jan

Stromboli 5
I live in a house full of boys who love pizza. And I mean LOVE. Now don’t get me wrong, I like pizza as much as the next person but it can get a little old and boring sometimes (at least the kind of pizza Joel likes). So I like to mix up our pizza nights every now and then with stromboli or calzones.
Stromboli 3
I totally cheat and use frozen bread dough rather than making pizza dough to make this easy and possible for a weeknight meal. It doesn’t take much effort but tastes so so good. And you could add in anything you like. A little ricotta slathered on before the toppings would be yummy. You could also go with Hawaiian or veggie supreme. The options are endless.
Stromboli 2
I usually use a mix of cheddar and mozzarella for the cheese but this time I had some leftover thick sliced colby jack cheese from the deli that I needed to use up so I threw that in with a little bit of shredded sharp cheddar and it was pretty amazing. I definitely recommend you try that combination.

This is a wonderful way to spice up the pizza night routine!

Stromboli

1 loaf Rhodes bread dough, risen
8 oz. shredded cheese (use your favorite)
6 oz. diced pepperoni*
1/2 lb. Italian sausage, cooked and drained
Olive oil for drizzling
Kosher salt, to taste
Dried Basil, for garnish
1 recipe pizza sauce, for dipping

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Roll dough into an 18×12″ rectangle on a floured surface.

2. Evenly distribute sausage and pepperoni through the middle of the dough (lengthwise), leavin an inch edge on the short ends and about 4 inches on the long sides. Top with cheese then roll lengthwise and pinch tightly to seal.

3. Carefully move stromboli to pizza stone. Drizzle with olive oil and brush it over the top and sides. Sprinkle with kosher salt and basil to taste.

4. Bake for about 20 minutes or until golden brown. Enjoy!

*I place the pepperoni on a paper towel lined plate and microwave it for 30-60 seconds to get rid of all that excess grease. After microwaving, blot with more paper towel.

Creamy Cheesy Potatoes

17 Dec

Creamy Cheesy Potatoes
Life has been hectic around here but good. We painted rooms this past weekend. I should post before and after pictures….Noah’s room used to be camouflage sponge painted…NOT.GOOD. We are working on a navy blue and white chevron feature wall instead. Much better.

I’m going to keep this short so I can get back to business. These potatoes are simply the best, most delicious and easy side dish. They only require 4 ingredients (not counting the salt and pepper). You couldn’t really ask for more in a holiday side dish (or any time of the year).
Creamy Cheesy Potatoes
I was a little skeptical when I tried this recipe because it just didn’t seem like there was enough to it but I was totally wrong. The cream gets thick and bubbly while the cheese gets ooey gooey delicious. I could pretty much eat them every day if my pants would allow it.
Creamy Cheesy Potatoes
Creamy Cheesy Potatoes
recipe from Get Off Your Butt and Bake

About 5 – large potatoes (or enough to fill a 9×13 glass baking dish)
1 pint (2 cups) whipping cream
Salt and Pepper
2 tsp. parsley flakes
2 cups grated cheddar cheese
1. Cut your potatoes into thin french fry strips and then lay them in a 9×13 glass pan.
2. Pour all of the cream over the top of the potatoes then salt and pepper them generously. Sprinkle at least 2 cups grated cheddar cheese over the top and sprinkle parsley flakes on top of the cheese.  Cover with foil, and poke a fork through the top of the foil 2 or 3 times to allow a little steam to escape.
3. Cook at 400 degrees for about 1 hour, 15 minutes or until potatoes are tender.

Broccoli and Cheese Stuffed Chicken

19 Nov

Broccoli and Cheese Stuffed Chicken

Although this recipe looked delicious, I was worried about making it because it seemed involved and complicated with the pounding, filling, wrapping, breading and baking. Turns out it wasn’t so bad once I had all the required ingredients collected and placed in a little assembly line.
Broccoli and Cheese Stuffed Chicken
I knew I would love this recipe because it combines some of my very favorite foods: chicken, cheese and broccoli. Plus, it has a cripsy coating but is still healthy. I couldn’t really ask for more in a dinner. Well, maybe I could ask for more cheese but everything could always use more cheese in my world.

Broccoli and Cheese Stuffed Chicken
recipe adapted from Eat Yourself Skinny

4 chicken breasts
1/3 cup shredded part skim mozzarella
1/2-3/4 cup steamed and finely chopped broccoli (depends on size of chicken)
1 large egg
2 tsp. water
3/4 cup whole wheat seasoned bread crumbs
Nonstick cooking spray

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. In a small bowl, combine egg, water and a little salt.  Beat with a fork to make an egg wash.  Set aside.  Fill a second bowl with breadcrumbs.

2. Butterfly chicken breasts then pound them to make them thinner and so that they are easier to roll.

3. On half of the chicken, sprinkle lightly with cheese then top with broccoli. Wrap chicken around to completely cover cheese, using toothpicks to secure.  Season with a little salt.  Dip chicken into egg wash, then breadcrumbs.  Spray cookie sheet with nonstick spray and place chicken on cookie sheet.
Broccoli and Cheese Stuffed Chicken
Lightly spray chicken and bake about 25 minutes, until cooked.

Twice Baked Cauliflower

7 Nov

Twice Baked Cauliflower
Ok, I have to admit this isn’t the most appetizing looking dish but it tastes absolutely amazing. It’s seriously one of the best things I have made in a long time. When I told Joel I was making it for dinner he was quite skeptical and wondered why I didn’t just make it with potatoes. I told him to buck up and deal with it and that he would like it. And I was totally right. It was creamy, cheesy and tangy, a bit salty and crispy. It was deliciousness.
Twice Baked Cauliflower
I’m excited to make and share this at Thanksgiving this year. Although when we have Thanksgiving at Joel’s family, corn casserole is usually the top request from my recipes. I guess I kind of have a thing for cheesy vegatables.
Twice Baked Cauliflower
Twice Baked Cauliflower
recipe from Kalyn’s Kitchen

1 large head cauliflower
4 oz. low fat cream cheese
1/2 cup low fat sour cream
1/4 cup minced green onions
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese (If you only have finely grated Parmesan, use a bit less)
6 slices reduced fat bacon, cooked until very crisp, fat blotted with paper towel and then crumbled
1 cup reduced fat sharp cheddar cheese

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Cut out stem and core from cauliflower, and cut into small pieces. Cook in large pot of boiling salted water until cauliflower is tender, but not overly soft. Drain well and mash with potato masher, leaving some chunks. Mix in light cream cheese, light sour cream, green onion, Parmesan, and 3/4 of the crumbled bacon.

2. Spread evenly in a medium-sized glass casserole dish. Sprinkle with low-fat cheddar cheese and reserved bacon. Bake 30-35 minutes, or until hot and bubbly.
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