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Breakfast Crescent Pizza

So I was searching in the fridge for something different for breakfast.  I came up with plenty of eggs and half a kielbasa sausage.  Then I noticed a rolls of crescent rolls, which are usually bought for a purpose and I was surprised to see it in the fridge.  This is how I came up with breakfast crescent pizza.

Keep in mind anything would really work for your toppings.  Scrambled eggs are the base and I would choose some great meat or sautéed vegetables on top.

Breakfast Crescent PizzaBreakfast Crescent Pizza:

  • crescent rolls
  • scrambled eggs
  • grated cheese
  • bacon, sausage, or ham, cooked and chopped
  • mushrooms, spinach,onions,zucchini,bell pepper, etc., chopped and sautéed until tender

Start by rolling out the crescent roll into rectangles.  Each can would make 4 large rectangles.  If you tried this with triangles you wouldn’t be able to fit very many toppings on.]

Bake the rectangles according to directions minus 1-2 minutes.

Meanwhile scramble eggs, cook or brown meat, and sauté your vegetables.

Remove the crescent rolls from the oven.  Top with eggs, vegetables, meat, and a bit of grated cheese to lock it all in.

Place back in oven for 1-2 more minutes until cheese is melted.

Breakfast Crescent Pizza

I ate mine with salsa on top or some might like ketchup!


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Cheeseburger Meatloaf

Came across this recipe from Recipes Straight from the Kowboys Home: “Big Mac” Meatloaf.  Big Mac meatloaf sounded right up Mr.Picky’s alley.  The recipe turned out nice and moist, not sure about tasting like a big mac.  It definitely tasted like a cheeseburger.  Cheeseburger meatloaf is not your average meatloaf and was a great change.

The technique was really interesting and I am going to run wild with it.  I can’t wait to stuff all kinds of fillings into meatloaf.  I would serve this as cheeseburgers to company by just slicing and serving on buns.

cheeseburger meatloafCheeseburger Meatloaf:

  • 2 lbs. lean ground beef
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup thousand island dressing
  • 2/3 cup cracker or bread crumbs
  • 1/4 cup sweet relish
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped onion
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese

Combine all but the cheese and mix well until evenly combined.

Divide the meat mixture in half.  Spread each half flat in to a rectangle on a piece of wax paper.

Sprinkle the cheese even between the two flat rectangles.

cheeseburger meatloaf

Roll each sheet of meat as if making cinnamon rolls, from the long end to long end.

Place the rolls side by side in a 9 x 13″ baking dish.

cheeseburger meatloaf

Bake 350 degrees for 30 minutes, remove from oven and top with a bit of ketchup and some more cheese if desired.

Continue to bake another 15 minutes or so.
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Broccoli Quinoa Bake

Broccoli Quinoa BakeI made broccoli quinoa bake as a meatless meal last night.  We loved it, in fact I am already thinking of endless quinoa bake ideas.  Mr.Picky was not around to try it but I think he would tolerate it.  We ate it as a main dish because quinoa is full of protein and we had plenty of broccoli in it.  It would also make a great side dish accompanying any meat really.

Think of it as an easy risotto.  Don’t let the broccoli and quinoa fool you.  We combined both healthy ingredients with some cheese to come up with a family edible solution.

I had inspiration from many recipes I found but I ended up revamping the recipe to my taste.  I made a white sauce by scratch with pulled the whole thing together.  The fat content in other recipes seemed extremely high to me and I reduced that and all turned out well.  Give it a try, it is a great dish to test quinoa out on the family.  I just told them it was rice.

Broccoli Quinoa Bake:

  • 3/4 cup quinoa
  • 1 1/2 cup water
  • dash salt
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 Tbs cornstarch
  • 1 chicken bullion cube
  • 1 tsp Morton Nature’s Seasoning
  • salt to taste
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • dash of nutmeg
  • 1 cup shredded blended cheese (Colby,cheddar, or mozzarella)
  • 1 green onions,chopped
  • 2 cups broccoli, steamed until tender and chopped
  • 2 Tbs mayonnaise
  • 2 Tbs parmesan cheese, to sprinkle on top

Bring quinoa, water, and dash of salt to a boil.  Cover and reduce the heat to low.  Continue to cook for 15-20 minutes or until the quinoa looks like it has white tails.  Fluffy with a fork and set aside to cool slightly. (You can skip this step and use leftover cooked quinoa about 1 1/2-2 cups worth).

While the quinoa is cooking steam up the broccoli or use frozen and thaw.  Either way coarsely chop the broccoli.

In a saucepan you are going to make a white sauce or base soup to pull the whole dish together.  Combine 1 cup cold milk and 1 Tbs cornstarch.  Whisk until smooth and continue to heat over medium heat.  At this point you can add the chicken bouillon, salt, 1/4 tsp pepper to taste, dash of nutmeg and to season I added Morton Nature’s Seasoning (see link to create your own).  Continue until starting to thicken, make sure and taste your seasoned sauce.

Cream of whatever or white soup.

Cream of whatever or white soup.

(In substitute to the white sauce you could use a can of cream of mushroom, cream or chicken, or cream of celery soup.  You can also add in mushrooms to the white sauce or any other vegetable you desire)

Now to put it all together in a large bowl combine the cooked quinoa, cooked broccoli, the white sauce, 1 green onion chopped, shredded cheese, and mayonnaise.  Stir until well combined.

Broccoli Quinoa Bake

Pour into a lightly greased 1 1/2 or 2 quart baking dish.  Spread evenly and sprinkle with 2 Tbs parmesan cheese.

Bake at 350 degrees for 35-40 minutes until bubbly and cheese is starting to brown.

Broccoli Quinoa Bake

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Cheesy Crab Bread

Cheesy Crab BreadThis might sound gross to some of you.  To be honest cheesy crab bread is the last thing that appeals to me, this would be because shellfish is one of the few things that I don’t like.  That might be why I like this.  I make it with imitation crab meat, this is the only thing I ever buy it for and it is rare that this bread is made.  My sister growing up used to make it all the time for dinner.  It is a fatty comfort food and sometimes it just sounds good.

Mr.Picky likes anything on bread and with cheese so he also enjoys it.  It is verily rich so a piece or two is usually good for the year.  I try to serve a decent amount of vegetables with this because it is full of fat.  Did I mention it is worth the fat?

Usually cheesy bread is a side to some sort of main dish.  But Cheesy crab bread should be thought of more as an opened face sandwich.  You can easily reheat any leftovers in the over for the same cook time.

Cheesy Crab Bread:

  • 8 oz. imitation crab meat, flaked or shredded
  • 2 cups shredded cheddar, mozzarella, or cheese blend
  • 1/3-1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 Tbs Johnny’s garlic seasoning
  • 1/4 cup red or green onions, finely chopped
  • 1 Tbs butter, softened
  • 1 loaf french bread, sliced lengthwise

Combine all ingredients but the bread and mix until evenly combined.

Spread the mixture evenly over the halves of french bread.

Cheesy Crab Bread

Place bread on a cookie sheet and bake at 400 degrees for 10-15 minutes until cheese is bubbling and starting to brown.

Slice and Serve hot!

 

Baked Southwest Chicken Flautas

I enjoy making and eating Spinach Chicken Flautas but was feeling creative the other night when I started to prepare them.  This is how I came up with Southwest Chicken Flautas.  I combined the other recipe with what was on hand in the fridge and these turned out even better.

These flautas are not as dry so you can eat them without dip.  The sweet corn plays nicely with the spice of the pepper and spices.  Mr.Picky said these ones are way better and took many to work with him the next day.

Baked Southwest Chicken Flautas:

These have been cut in half to cool for the kids!

These have been cut in half to cool for the kids!

  • 6-8 8″ tortillas
  • olive oil spray or cooking spray
  • 4 cups cooked chicken (thighs or breast), shredded
  • 1/2 cup sour cream or greek yogurt
  • 1/2 cup salsa
  • 1/2 jalapeno or 1 serrano pepper, seeded and minced
  • 2 cloves garlic, pressed or minced
  • 1/2 cup corn
  • 3 cups baby spinach, chopped
  • 1-2 green onions, chopped
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 cup mexican cheese blend (or half Colby jack and half cheddar)

Prepare a cookie sheet by lining with foil and lightly spraying with olive oil or cooking spray.

In a small saute pan combine jalapeno, corn, minced garlic, baby spinach, and 1 tbs olive oil.  Saute until corn starts to brown and the spinach wilts.  Set aside.

In a large bowl combine all of the remaining ingredients and the vegetables that have slightly cooled.  Mix until evenly combined.

Using the tortillas cut them in half.  Spoon about 2-3 Tablespoons of filling on the straight side of the tortilla.

Roll the tortilla tightly from the straight edge to the round edge.  Place on the prepared cookie sheet seem side down.  Lightly spray the tops of flautas with cooking spray or olive oil spray.

Bake at 400 degrees for about 10 minutes, flip and cook 5 minutes more until golden brown.  Allow to cool for about 5 minutes before serving.

We served our flautus with refried beans and guacamole.

They reheated great in the oven at 350 degrees for about 10 minutes for a quick lunch the next day.

Reheated Flautas for lunch

Reheated Flautas for lunch

Funny Face Toasted Cheese Sandwiches

As a child I loved to make these funny face toasted cheese sandwiches. They are often forgotten in my house until the mood strikes me. My kids were so pleased to not only make their own dinner but to play with their food as well.

We arrived home late last night to no dinner plans.  I offered the idea of tomato soup and grilled cheese sandwiches.  This led me to the idea of Funny Face Toasted Cheese Sandwiches.  We had everything and most people do.  Even not making a face this is a tasty sandwich.   I’m not sure if it is tasty because this is a comfort food or actually good.

The possibilities are endless with these sandwiches.  As a child it was always an onion smile, olive eyes, and thinly sliced dill pickle nose.  We worked with what we had and to each person’s taste.

Funny Face Toasted Cheese Sandwiches

Funny Face Toasted Cheese Sandwiches:

  • sandwich bread, square bread works best
  • ketchup
  • medium cheddar or Colby jack cheese, sliced
  • onion, thinly sliced
  • olives, sliced
  • salami or pepperoni
  • bread and butter or dill pickles
  • Mrs.Dash or Italian seasoning, optional

Place a slice of bread on a baking sheet.  Spread about 1 Tbs of ketchup per piece of bread.  Sprinkle with Italian seasoning or Mrs.Dash if desired.

Funny Face Toasted Cheese Sandwiches

Top with sliced cheese and decorate with vegetables.

Broil sandwiches until cheese is melted and hot.

Great served just as a sandwich or with tomato soup.

Funny Face Toasted Cheese Sandwiches

Candied Jalapenos

My Mr.Picky is one spicy man.  The hotter the better, years ago he tried candied jalapeños on a burger and has craved them since.  He found a recipe from Tasty Kitchen-cowboy candy and hoped for the best.  They turned out better than he hoped.  Tasty kitchen had great directions for canning if mine are too general.Candied Jalapenos

 I tried one with just a few seeds and it was wonderful.  Once he opened the jar, they were gone within a week.  He put them on everything from sandwiches to inside burritos.  These are spicy but with a sweet flavor.  A few of them would do me fine, but Mr.Picky eats them straight out of the jar.

We adjusted the recipe to make about 2 pint jars, and this is the quantities we used.

Candied jalapeño:

(This will yield 2 pint jars)

  • 1 1/2 pounds of jalapeños,sliced with seeds
  • 2/3 cup cider vinegar
  • 1 1/2 cups sugars
  • 1/8 tsp turmeric
  • 1/8 tsp celery seed
  • 1 tsp granulated garlic
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper

Wash and slice jalapeños with the seeds into rings.  Wear gloves during this part to keep from the jalapeño oil getting on your hands.

In a medium pot bring to a boil sugar, vinegar, and spices.  Boil for 5 minutes.candied jalapenos

Add in sliced jalapeños, and boil exactly 4 minutes stirring occasionally.  With a slotted spoon or spider scoop out jalapeño and place in sterilized jars.

candied jalapenos

Bring the sugar mixture back up to a boil and continue to boil another 6 minutes.  Fill each jar with equal parts of liquid, leaving at least 1/2″ head room in each jar.

Wipe jars down and place a clean new lid and seal with a screw band.  Process pints for 10 minutes and remove to cool at least overnight.  Store jars in a cool place for at least two weeks before opening.

Antipasto Pasta Salad with a Zesty Dressing

Antipasto Pasta Salad

My grandmother passed me a container of some of the best dressed pasta salad I had eaten in a long time.  She had gotten the recipe out of a magazine.  I will make the salad dressing from now on as a zesty Italian dressing.  The salad can contain any or all of the following ingredients.  What vegetables your family will eat will work and just leave the meat out to make it vegetarian.

Antipasto Pasta Salad with a Zesty Dressing:

  • 1 pound pasta, cooked
  • green peppers
  • tomatoes
  • garbanzo beans
  • salami, chopped or cubed
  • pepperoni, mini or chopped
  • cheese (provolone, cheddar, mozzarella,or Monterey jack),cubed or shredded
  • olives
  • artichoke hearts
  • broccoli,blanched
  • zucchini
  • cucumbers
  • grapes
  • avocado

Dressing:

  • 1/2 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 Tbs dried oregano
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 3/4 cup olive oil

 

Combine any combination of salad ingredients in a large bowl.  Chopping all vegetables to bite size pieces or smaller.

In a jar whisk together all dressing ingredients but olive oil.  Once sugar is dissolved slowly whisk in olive oil.  Place lid on jar and give it a good shake.

Top salad with 1/2 of dressing and add more as needed.

Ham and Cheese Pretzel Sticks

I came across  Ham and Cheese Pretzel bites Recipe | Key Ingredient, and wanted to try these.  I used the recipe and was lazy so I made a much simpler stick version.  The soft pretzel dough is definitely one I would make again.  The filling was not that filling and needs to be improved or removed.  The butter was way too much even after reducing, so I am taking it down even more.

All and all the family said they would eat them again. This is a recipe that needs some attention.  The technique and dough are perfect, but you will have to watch for updates on fillings because I have some ideas.  I am passing the recipe as I made it but I would increase the filling by double or change the filling all together.  The butter has been reduced to what I would use next time.

Ham and Cheese Pretzel Sticks:Ham and Cheese Pretzel Sticks

Dough:

  • 1 package of dry yeast
  • 2 Tbs plus 1 tsp brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup warm water
  • 1 cup warm milk
  • 2 1/2 – 3 cups flour

Filling:

  • 1/2 cup ham, diced
  • 1/2 cup shredded cheese, I used cheddar and swiss

Water:

  • 6 cups water
  • 4 tsp baking soda

Topping:

  • 1-2 Tbs butter, melted
  • 1 tsp or to taste coarse sea salt

 

In a large bowl mix together with a wood or plastic spoon yeast, 1 tsp brown sugar, and warm water.  Allow to sit about 10 minutes or until bubbly.

Mix together in a measuring cup milk and 2 Tbs brown sugar.  Add to yeast mixture along with 2 1/2 cup flour to start.

Stir with a spoon until dough comes together, then turn out on a floured surface.  Knead dough until it becomes a smooth ball, adding a bit of flour as needed.  Place in a greased bowl and allow to double covered for about 2 hours.

Turn dough out and cut dough into 4 even pieces.  Roll each piece to about a 12 x 4″ rectangle.

With the long side facing you place equal parts cheese and ham on each rectangle along the long edge.  Roll tightly like a cinnamon roll.

Cut each roll into 4 pieces, you should end up with 16 little sticks total.  Pinch the ends of each little roll, this way no filling can escape.

Prepare a sheet pan with parchment paper, placing all rolls on the parchment paper.Ham and Cheese Pretzel Sticks

Meanwhile in a pot or deep skillet boil water and baking soda.  Dropping in a few sticks at a time in the water, boil for about 1 minute each.  The dough will puff and become almost airy looking.  Make sure you turn your sticks as they are boiling so all sides are cooked evenly.

Transfer each boiled pretzel stick back to the sheet pan and continue boiling until all pretzel sticks are finished.

Bake pretzel sticks at 400 degrees about 15 minutes or until golden brown.  Brush with butter and sprinkle with salt while warm.Ham and Cheese Pretzel Sticks

Cheesy Prosciutto and Vegetable Rice with Cauliflower Cream Sauce

I had this beautiful head of cauliflower to use up and wanted to change it up from the usual seasoned roasting side dish.  Although my kids will gobble it down when I use my Seasoned Roasted Cauliflower recipe, I was looking to make a main dish.  I had saved Creamy Cauliflower Sauce – Pinch of Yum a long time ago and figured I would give it a try.  I used her inspiration to create my variation and make my dish into a vegetable risotto like dish.

I couldn’t believe how creamy the cauliflower got when blending, and in my recipe I did not add milk or cream.  When I got to the point of adding milk, I realized it was completely unnecessary because the cauliflower was amazing on its own.  My mother has always made cauliflower cheese soup and used an immersion blender but not to the point of completely smooth texture.  If I didn’t already say it, amazing idea and way to incorporate vegetables so no one knows.

After making my sauce I had to decide what to do with it.  I had brown rice in the cupboard, lots of vegetables in the fridge, and a bit of frozen chopped prosciutto in freezer.  I figured this would create something wonderful and it did.  We ate this two nights in a row and plan on making regularly.  Both kids had seconds of this vegetable loaded dinner.

Easily remove the prosciutto and make it vegetarian.  The sauce made about double what I needed for the rice but I used the rest later in another dinner.  I imagine that you could use all the sauce or it would probably freeze fine for a quick dinner in the future.

Cheesy Prosciutto and Vegetable Rice with Cauliflower Cream Sauce

Cheesy Prosciutto and Vegetables Rice with Cauliflower Cream Sauce:

Sauce:

  • 1 head of cauliflower, cut into florets or about 2″ pieces
  • 2 cups of vegetable or chicken stock
  • 1 tsp salt, or to taste (I required more)
  • 1/2 tsp pepper, or to taste
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 6 cloves of roasted garlic, I keep mine frozen but raw could be steamed with the cauliflower

Rice:

  • 1 cup brown rice
  • 2 cups water
  • 1/2 cup carrots, chopped (I used rainbow carrots)
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 Tbs olive oil
  • 3-4 cloves crushed garlic
  • 1/4-1/2 cup prosciutto, finely diced
  • 1/2 large onion, diced
  • 1/4 cup sweet peppers (yellow,red or orange), finely diced
  • 2 Tbs fresh parmesan cheese, grated
  • 1/2 cup cheddar cheese blend, grated
  • 2 green onions, chopped (optional)

Place the rice and water in a pot with salt and bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer and cover to cook for 45-50 minutes.  About 20 minutes into cooking I tossed in my frozen peas and carrots, to the rice gave it a stir and allowed it to finish cooking.  If using white rice use the recommended amount of water for 1 cup rice, and put the vegetable in when you turn down to simmer because white rice cooks faster.

While the rice is on, place cut up cauliflower in a pot with a steamer basket with about 2 cups of stock.  If you do not have roasted garlic, simple peel 4-6 garlic cloves and pop them in the pot to steam with the cauliflower.  Cover the pot and steam the cauliflower until tender.

No dairy added

No diary added

Remove the cauliflower, reserving the liquid separately and place cauliflower in a blender or food processor.  A blender is going to get your sauce smoother, but make do with what you have.

Add salt, pepper, nutmeg and roasted garlic to cauliflower with about 1/2 cup of liquid and begin to blend.  Add liquid as needed and to the desired consistency.  Taste and add any additional salt or pepper.

Once your sauce is done and the rice it cooked, it is time to put it all together.

In a large non-stick skillet over medium heat place olive oil and additional 3-4 cloves of crushed garlic.  Toss in onion and sweet peppers, cook until onions become tender.

Dump in the pot of rice and vegetables mixing until all is combined and then add the desired amount of cauliflower sauce.  I used about half my sauce mixture.  Stir until all is hot and well mixed together.

Mix in cheeses and green onions if desired.Cheesy Prosciutto and Vegetable Rice with Cauliflower Cream Sauce

*Any vegetable would work in this recipe.  Mushrooms and zucchini would taste great, added at the point the onions are added.  Mix it up and add what vegetables your family will eat.

 

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