Tag Archives: cheese

Looking Pretty

sconesRoasted Onion and Cheese Scones

Time for October’s Secret Recipe Club recipe – which was originally going to be the final post on this blog (at least for the near future.  However, it was announced yesterday that next month will be the final month for the Secret Recipe Club, so there will be at least one most post!  When it was time for me to pick my recipe I thought it was going to be my last so I decided to go BIG.   I wanted a recipe that was going to push me and WOW was I assigned the right blog!  Baking Fanatic is a blog stuffed with delicious baked goods that I tend to avoid for fear of destroying my kitchen.  Based out of Surrey, Philip is a math teacher with a passion and INSANE talent for baking.  Reading his blog posts I couldn’t help but hear them in the voice of Mary Berry and Paul Hollywood (RIP GBBO) due to his use of “bakes” as a noun.   This was one of the hardest picks ever as every deliciously amazing bake seemed better than the last – at one point I had over 20(!!!!) recipes marked to try.

In the end reason, and having a nine month old, won out and I went with a recipe that was somewhat familiar in that I had worked with each of its “parts” before.   Philip’s  Roasted Onions (done that) and Smoked Cheese Scones were my first attempt to ever make a savory scone and oh my goodness were they worth all the dirty pans.   The original recipe is gluten free but I went the gluten way using the direction provided in the original post.  I did debate caramelizing the onions on the stove for fear of overheating the kitchen but fall has finally decided to arrive – so was able to open the windows and get a nice cross breeze going.

Looking Pretty

Serves: 15 small scones (about 2.5 inches)


1 medium onion, peeled and chopped – about 200g chopped weight

3 tbsp of olive oil

1 tsp fresh rosemary

salt and freshly milled black pepper

2 1/2 cups all purpose flour (250g)

3 tsps baking powder

1 tsp kosher salt

1/3 cup unsalted butter, softened

1/4 cup smoked Cheddar grated- plus extra (2 tbsp) for topping

1 large egg, at room temperature, beaten

1/2 cup milk

2 tsps grain mustard


  1. Preheat oven to 320. Coat the onions in the olive oil along the rosemary and toss into a roasting pan. Bake for 45, stirring halfway thru to make sure onions are browning and not burning. Remove to a plate and place in fridge to cool.
  2. Turn oven to 360 and place parchment paper on a large cookie sheet.
  3. Sift the flour, baking power, and salt into a large bowl.
  4. Cut in the butter until the dough resembles bread crumbs then stir in the cheese along with the chopped (cooled) onion.
  5. In a small bowl mix together the mustard, milk, and egg before quickly mixing with the dry ingredients until just combined. Kneed until smooth, adding more milk if needed.
  6. Break dough into 15 balls of roughly the same size and place on cookie sheet leaving at least 2 inches around. Bake for 15 minutes, or until golden brown in color.
  7. Remove to a wire cooking rack then enjoy!

My scones are not nearly as pretty as the originals since I had to do a drop method for lack of a biscuit cutter.   The end result however was fantastic, beyond fantastic even.  The sweetness of the onions partnered so well with the smokeyness of the cheese – every bite was just packed with flavor.  Since I went grated the cheese was pretty evenly melted but every now and then there was a pocket of gooey “nuggets” of awesome.

Big Noise

Simple Beet Salad


Summer is most certainly here – hitting over 100 degrees earlier this week before the heat index!  I’m trying to stay as cool as possible in the house, so avoiding the oven as much as possible.  Thankfully the local farmers’ markets are BOOMING with fresh and delicious produce making it super easy to make healthy dinners that don’t require much cook time.  With this simple salad the trick is to slice the beets on the thin side so that they can be cooked in under 7 minutes, nice and crispy on the outside and melt in your mouth delicious in the middle.

Big Noise


1/4 cup balsamic vinegar

3 tbsps shallots, thinly sliced

1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil

6 medium beets, peeled and sliced (about 1 lb)

3 ounces soft fresh goat cheese, coarsely crumbled

Salt and freshly ground black pepper


  1. The night before, place the beets and oils in a tupperware and toss well.
  2. 10 minutes before supper, heat a large saute pan over medium heat. Add the beets in a single layer and cook for 3-5 minutes or until crispy - then flip and repeat.
  3. Turn heat off and leave beets in pan to slightly cool. Season to taste with salt and pepper - and do a final stir in the oils.
  4. Remove to salad plates and top with goat cheese.

To make it even quicker to get dinner on the table, I prepped them the night before so that they could soak in the oils.   We enjoyed these with a cold pasta salad, which had also been prepped the night before!  I find it so much easier to cook right before bed (and after dessert) and since it’s cooler outside the kitchen doesn’t become a mini-furnace.

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)


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


  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!

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


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


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


  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.

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


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


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


  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!

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!!!