Tag Archives: cheese

Can Dream

Cheese Sticks

Cheese Sticks

Happy May Reveal Day!  This month I was once again partnered with Erin of Making Memories with My Kids for Group A of the Secret Recipe Club.  Her blog is full of fantastic recipes and awesome science experiments – so lots of awesome things to look at.  I was apparently craving carbs when I was checking out her blog as every recipe I flagged was hardcore sinful.  Top of the list were (and are) her apple fritters but every time I got to the store I was unable to nab some Pink Ladies.  Luckily I was able to find some awesome cheddar cheese allowing me to make her fantastic Cheese Sticks!!!   These delicious treats are made using ingredients that I normally have on hand but decided to go the distance and get some really good cheese.  I went for some Vermont Extra Sharp as well as some Vermont Mild White – which is why mine aren’t as vivid as Erin’s!  I also added minced garlic in place of the garlic powder as I prefer the fresh stuff, no risk of vampires in this house!

Cheese Sticks

Serves: Makes 45 three inch pieces (9 snakes)

Ingredients

3 10 ounce bricks sharp Cheddar Cheese, room temperature

1 cup butter, softened

3 1/2 cups flour

2 tsp. salt

1/8 tsp. black pepper

1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper

2 garlic cloves, minced

Instructions

  1. Put softened cheese and butter in the bowl of a heavy-duty mixer and beat for 30 minutes or until mixture has consistency of whipped cream.
  2. Preheat oven to 325 degrees and line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
  3. Sift 3 cups of the flour, salt, pepper and cayenne pepper. Gradually add the seasoned flour to the cheese mixture by large spoonfuls, beating well after each addition. Add until the dough is somewhat stiff - adding the final 1/2 cup of flour if needed
  4. Portion the dough into nine balls - one at a time roll out into a snake formation going the length of the cookie sheet.
  5. Bake for 20 minutes or until golden brown and crisp. While still on the sheet cut into three inch strips and allow to sit for 5 minutes before removing to finish cooling on a wire rack.
  6. Serve and Enjoy!
http://dancingveggies.com/2016/05/can-dream.html

Lesson learned on this: read the recipe all the way!  My sticks weren’t nearly as pretty or evenly cooked as I missed the part about having a cookie press which is one of the few kitchen tools I don’t own.   These disappeared pretty quickly here, with both of us enjoying these with dinner and then again for breakfast!  I enjoyed them slightly warm and toasty while Joe was eating them however they were available. Needless to say another successful SRC recipe! I can’t wait to see what June has in store – but first there will be a bonus BBQ and Picnic SRC recipe at the end of the month.

Can I get

Three Cheese Swiss Chard

Mac & Cheese

mac_n_cheese

Sometimes it’s fun to be a bit indulgent, for example using three types of cheese to make mac & cheese.  I try to keep my dairy intake to a reasonable amount as I’m slightly lactose intolerant but sometimes have to just take a lactaid and enjoy the cheesiness of life!  In attempt to tease myself into thinking this dish is at all healthy, I added some swiss chard.  Regardless, it’s all 52weeksofcookings fault as they were the ones who posted a Mac and Cheese challenge – so totally blaming them for all the calories in this dish!

Can I get

Serves: Serves 4-5

Ingredients

1 lb small shells

2 tbsp butter

2 garlic cloves

2 tbsp flour

2 cups milk

1/2 tsp yellow mustard

1/2 cup shredded extra sharp cheddar cheese

1/2 cup shredded colby jack

1/2 cup shredded monterey jack

2 cups swiss chard, torn

salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. Cook the shells per instructions on box until just under al dente. Drain, rinse, then return to pot and set aside.
  2. While shells are cooking, melt the butter in a medium sauce pan over medium heat. Add the garlic and cook for 5 minutes before stirring in the flour. Slowly whisk in the milk, breaking up any clumps that form. Then add the yellow mustard and stir in.
  3. Begin adding the shredded cheese to the milk, allowing each bit to melt before adding more. Once all the cheese has been added pour over the pasta.
  4. Put the pasta pot with the cheese sauce over medium heat and cook for an additional 5 minutes or until pasta is fully cooked. Toss in the swiss chard and stir - allowing the leaves to wilt.
  5. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
http://dancingveggies.com/2016/03/can-i-get.html

This Mac&Cheese is so rich that we actually had leftovers for lunch the next day which is something that normally doesn’t happen.  I warmed everything back up on the stove, adding just a bit of olive oil as this dish did not need more diary.  Joe then topped his with Old Bay (shocker!) while I enjoyed mine as is.

Sweet Summer

Acapulco Tofu

acapuco_tofu_taco

Welcome to March’s Secret Recipe Club!  It feels so awesome to be joining the SRC again after taking my baby break – I missed the fun that comes with being sent a blog to explore.  This month I was given Sid’s Sea Palm Cooking, a blog I was very familiar with thanks to Facebook and previous SRC reveals.  I had a very hard time picking a recipe this month as Sid’s blog is stuffed to the gills with all sorts of recipes including retro favorites and Danish treats.  Two of the “finalists” were part of the Danish block: Baked Omelette and Cauliflower with Herbs.  In the end I could not get past her Chicken Acapulco recipe and decided that I had to give it a whirl.  I replaced the chicken with extra firm tofu and since I was unable to find the McCormick meat seasoning in the original recipe I made my own.

Sweet Summer

Serves: Serves 4-5

Ingredients

1 lb tofu, cubed and well pressed

1 packet meat seasoning

1 tbsp olive oil

1 tbsp water

1 tsp apple cider vinegar

1 jalapeno, diced

2 cloves garlic, iced

1 Spanish onion, diced

3 roma tomatoes

1 tsp gourmet garden cilantro (or 1 tbsp fresh cilantro, diced)

1 cup Monterrey jack cheese

1/2 cup extra sharp cheddar cheese

Instructions

  1. Place the cubed/pressed tofu in a deep bowl. In a small bowl i together the seasoning, olive oil, water, and vinegar then pour over the tofu. Allow to marinate for 30 minutes, flipping the tofu over halfway.
  2. In a large bowl, mix together the jalapeno, garlic, tomatoes, and cilantro - set aside.
  3. Heat the vegetable oil in a large deep skillet over medium heat. Once hot, add the tofu. Cook for at least 5 minutes on each side, tofu should be a light golden color. Add the tomato mixture (Pico de gallo) and turn heat to low. Allow to cook for 15 minutes.
  4. Slowly stir in the cheeses being careful to not over crowd the pan. Once cheese has melted, serve on a warm tortilla or over yellow rice.
  5. Eat and Enjoy!
http://dancingveggies.com/2016/03/sweet-summer.html

Fantastic!  The spices and the cheese went together perfectly and by giving the tofu enough time to drain it was really able to soak up all the flavors.  We enjoyed ours taco style for dinner and as a burrito bowl the next day with some Spanish style rice – adding some fresh avocado and green pepper each time.  I had never heard of acapulco chicken (or tofu!) before finding this recipe but now it will be on regular rotation.  It might require a number of bowls but it comes together super quick.  For a real short cut, pick up some fresh made pico de gallo at the grocery store.  Another great recipe thanks to the Secret Recipe Club!!!

Happy Birthday

  Mexican “Beef” Corn Casserole

mexican_casserole

Welcome to September’s Secret Recipe Club!  I’m always a fan of the first Monday of the month because of SRC, but this month is extra special as today is also my birthday!   Plus next week is husband’s birthday so lots of celebrating going on over here.  This is part of the reason why I wanted something quick and (especially) delicious for this month’s SRC, something that would work for serving a group of hungry visitors.  Thankfully the blog I was partnered with this month was more than up for the challenge as Mostly Food and Crafts is STUFFED with incredible recipes.   From Rice and Lentils to Mocha Chocolate Chip donuts (DONUTS!!!) to Tomato Basil Pie – there were so many recipes to pick from.  Oh, did I mention she has an entire section on her recipe page dedicated to beans – vegetarian dream!  In the end I could not get her Mexican Beef Corn Casserole out of my head, all the taste of a taco without the work.   An easy switch from regular beef to “beef” and recipe was good to go!

Mexican "Beef" Corn Casserole

Serves: Serves 4-5

Ingredients

1 lb ground "beef" (I used Wegmans "Don't have a cow")

1/3 cup cilantro, chopped or torn

2 cups black beans, presoaked

1 cup fresh corn off the cob

1/2 cup tomato

3/4 cup salsa

2/3 cup sour cream

1/4 cup shredded Mexican style cheese

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Cook the beef substitute per instructions on the box/bag and then set aside.
  2. In an 8x8 inch pan, combine the corn and the black beans then top with an even layer of cilantro. Add the ground "beef" and cover with the salsa before adding the sour cream and cheese.
  3. Bake for 20 minutes, or until cheese has melted. Remove from oven and allow to slightly cool before serving. Enjoy!
http://dancingveggies.com/2015/09/happy-birthday.html

This casserole was exactly as advertised!  All the taste of a fantastic taco without the mess and work that comes with a taco.  I served this with some chips and sour cream

Orioles Magic

Nopal Dip

nopal_dip

Welcome to a special August edition of the Secret Recipe Club!  A few months ago it was decided that instead of the 5th Monday of the month being a “buy” week, it would be a time for all four groups to get together around a common theme.  The first theme: Tailgating!  While we’re not really tailgators in this house, we are huge fans of chips and dips and all those other delicious finger foods – we just tend to serve them during (board)Game Days.  This year we did treat ourselves with (partial) season tickets for the Orioles, so have had a few more opportunities to indulge in tailgate treats while at the game.  For this special feature, I was sent to check out Micha’s Cooking Mimi blog which has a bunch of delicious treats.  In fact, the recipe I settled on in the end is really a 2 for 1 as for the perfect Nopal dip you have to first make her Pico de Gallo salsa.   I had to make one change to each recipe, dropping the lime juice from the salsa (allergy) and subbing some black beans in for the ground beef in the Nopal dip.  I’m sure a beef substitute would work, and that had been my original plan, but I’ve had a hard time finding my favorite one lately – which of course is store brand so limited in options.  Anyway – this dip came together super fast and was delicious!

Nopal Dip

Ingredients

5 Roma or plum tomatoes, chopped

1 medium vidalia onion, diced

2 jalapeños, diced

1 tbsp fresh cilantro

Salt

1¼ pound White American Cheese, cut into ½ inch cubes

1 cup whole milk

2 cups black beans, presoaked and rinsed

Salt/pepper to taste

1 recipe Pico de Gallo (above)

Instructions

  1. Prepare the Pico de Gallo by mixing the tomatoes, onion, jalapenos, and cilantro in a medium bowl. Season to taste with salt, then set aside.
  2. Add the milk and cheese to a heavy bottomed pot and slowly melt the cheese over medium low heat stirring frequently and once melted add the black beans. Season to taste with salt and/or pepper.
  3. Combine the cheese and pico de gallo in serving sized portions. Serve and enjoy!
http://dancingveggies.com/2015/08/orioles-magic.html

We enjoyed it with chips (of course) and some burrito bowls for a perfect Mexicanish dinner.   The salsa had the right amount of bite thanks to the two jalapenos which is always an issue for us as many are a bit too mild.  I did notice my salsa came out a bit thicker than Micha’s but not exactly sure why.