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Posts Tagged ‘Cheese’

The last macaroni and cheese of the season… Because it really is much more of a hearty wintertime dish, even though it is oh-so good. It follows pretty much this recipe here, adapted from Gourmet Magazine. Here’s the way I make it…

  • 1-lb Maple Bacon
  • 3 Tbsp Butter
  • 3 Tbsp Flour
  • 1/2 tsp Red Pepper Flakes
  • 2-3/4 cups Milk
  • 3/4 cups Half and Half (because that is what is in the house)
  • 4 cups Shredded and/or Cubed Cheeses (I use a variety of cheese, also depending on what is in the house. This batch had: Smoked Cheddar, White Cheddar & Monterey Jack.)
  • 2 tsp Mustard
  • Pinch of Salt
  • 1-lb Whole Wheat Pasta (this batch was elbows and they worked very well.)

1. Boil water for pasta. Cook as directed, drain and set aside.
2. Rough cut bacon and cook. Drain and set aside.
3. Melt butter in a large pot over medium low heat. Whisk in flour and red pepper flakes. Cook, while whisking, for 3 minutes to make a roux. Continue to whisk and add milk in a slow stream. Bring the sauce to a boil and continue to whisk constantly. Simmer, whisking occasionally, for 3 minutes. Stir in 1/2 and 1/2, cheeses, mustard and salt. Remove from heat. Stir in cooked bacon.
4. Add cooked pasta to cheese sauce. Pour mixture into a lightly-oiled baking dish. Cook, covered, for 20 minutes in a 400-degree oven. Uncover, and cook for approximately 10 more minutes, until bubbly and golden. Enjoy! It’s really really good…

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With asparagus being in-season and available now, and with my rediscovery of my fondness for red potatoes, we’ve been having some sort of variation of this meal about once a week. The asparagus is roasted, as are the red potatoes, and I usually add some sort of chicken breast dish to the plate. This past week, it was a stuffed chicken.

I cut up some deli ham and brick cheese and used that as the stuffing. After I butterflied and pounded out the chicken, the ham and cheese mix went inside. I was going to lightly bread and cook the chicken in a skillet before baking, but these chicken breasts weren’t really ‘together’ enough for that. So, I skipped that part and they went straight into the oven. After they were done cooking, I sprinkled a bit more of the ham and cheese mix on top. Then, into the broiler for one more minute… And that is literal, because our current broiler has been known to set things on fire if left for more than 60 seconds. No fire this evening… just a warm and tasty cool night’s dinner. 🙂

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Basically, this meal was a quicker version of the recipe found here. I rather quickly cooked up (over medium-high heat) the garlic, mushrooms, baby spinach, red pepper flakes, cumin and salt. I drained the excess liquid and then added about a 1/4-1/2 cup of salsa (after draining that, too). Next, I added about 3 Tbsp. of cream cheese and removed the pan from the heat. I stirred in the cream cheese with the still-warm filling and then let it cool for a couple of minutes. Next, I put the filling in a tortilla, sprinkled some cheese on top and wrapped it up. (A bit more shredded cheese on top of those, too.)

Since our broiler tends to pretty faithfully ignite food items in less than one minute (yes, literally!), I opted for a 350 degree oven for 8 minutes or so to melt the cheese on top. Tasty, quick, a bit cheesy (so be it), with leftovers for lunches tomorrow. Works for us!

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Broccoli Mashed Potatoes…
Broccoli-Mashed-Potatoes

I think that mashed potatoes do not photograph well because of their light coloring and mish-moshy texture. See above photo… I’m sure they photograph well in proper light and when one is not quite so hungry… 😉 But I was doing a quick shoot here, and it didn’t quite turn out so well.

All that said, I did love adding the broccoli to the mashed potatoes for a lil bit of extra veggie boost. The broccoli mashed and made it creamier than I had expected it to be. Sometimes, when it is a wee bit hard to add extra veggies into things, I think this is a good way to do just that…

This is the recipe that I ended up using, and was adapted from this Eating Well Recipe

  • 2-3 lbs. Gold Potatoes
  • 1-lb. Broccoli Crowns
  • 1/4 Tbsp Butter
  • Salt
  • 1/4 Cup Milk
  • 1 cup Shredded Cheese, of choice

1.  Rinse potatoes and chop.  Add to boiling water and cook for 15 minutes.  While cooking potatoes, steam broccoli for 6-8 minutes, or until tender.

2.  Transfer broccoli to bowl and mash.  Rinse potatoes when done.  Add broccoli, butter,  salt, and cheese.  Mash.  Add Milk and mash until smooth, adjusting ingredients as needed.

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This is Mr. Food Groove’s chili recipe and it is very darn good! He mentioned making it for this past weekend, and I couldn’t get the thought of it out of my head until we had some cooking. After a morning trip to the grocery store yesterday, we very much enjoyed this chili last night. It’s a warm and hearty meal, particularly delicious on those cold and snowy days. We do indulge a bit with it sometimes by adding bacon. Surprisingly, to me, the bacon adds a nice smoky flavor, along with the chipotle peppers and adobo sauce.

  • 1-lb Maple Bacon – Actually, for me, I’ll bet using maple bacon adds just the right amount of sweetness to an otherwise semi-heat-filled dish.
  • Medium-sized Yellow Onion, chopped
  • 1-lb Ground Turkey
  • Garlic, minced – Garlic is always good
  • Small can of Diced Green Chilies
  • 2-3 Chipotle Peppers, chopped with 2-1/2 spoonfuls of Adobo Sauce – This is where the heat comes in, and as I’m not a big heat fan, this can be increased as desired.
  • Few shakes of Ground Cumin
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • 3 cans of Bush’s Chili Beans
  • 2 cans of Diced Tomatoes
  • White Cheddar Cheese, shredded
  • Sour Cream
  • Brown Rice, optional

1.  Rough chop the bacon and cook through.  Set aside on paper towels.  Remove and discard most of bacon grease.  If making rice, prepare as directed while cooking chili.

2.  In bacon pan, add chopped onions and cook on medium-high heat for 5 minutes.  Add ground turkey, garlic, green chilies, chipotle peppers and adobo sauce, cumin, salt, and pepper.  Cook through until turkey is browned.

3.  Pour turkey mixture into a large chili (soup) pot.  Add the bacon.  Add beans and diced tomatoes.  Warm through and let simmer for 15 minutes or more.

Serve over brown rice, if desired.  Top with shredded white cheddar and a dollop of sour cream.  A warm and hearty dish indeed!  We especially enjoy making some scrambled eggs and adding the leftover chili for another night’s dinner too…

Here’s my original chili post from a few months ago… although not a lot of postings ago. Slight variations, some rice, and still delicious.

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Well, I meant to cut into this burrito-of-sorts before I took the picture… It’s filled with a saute of mushrooms, garlic and baby spinach, mixed together with cream cheese. Quite yummy, if I may say so myself. I rolled that mixture into the tortilla type of wraps and sprinkled some shredded cheese on top. That went into the oven to bake and warm and melt the cheese. I pulled out some garden-grown yellow cherry tomato salsa that I had in the freezer, and I also mashed up two avocados for the topping here. (I did, however, add too much fresh lime juice… so be it.) Cut it all with a dollop of sour cream and call it dinner. 🙂 I had actually assembled the burritos the night beforehand and kept them in the fridge… very nice to come home and just stick them in the oven…

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Nachos

And they are particularly good for Football Sundays! Sometimes I like my nachos with a lot of “stuff” on them, but more often, I like them simple. My basic method of preparation involves chopping fresh tomatoes and green onions, sprinkling shredded cheese (usually a cheddar blend) over top, and warming them in the oven. Yes, pretty simple and pretty darn tasty. The guacamole that I made here was excellent… 2 avocados and the juice of 1 lime. It was fantastic! Just enough lime to enhance the avocados, which were perfectly ripe. And a dollop of sour cream on the side…

Of course, there are time when nachos call for something more, like chicken or beans. I think that refried black beans are my favorite, though I’ve been known to sprinkle some straight black beans on them, too. I’m not a fan of heaps of salsa, but sometimes I’ll add a little on top, or more likely I’ll serve it on the side. When it comes right down to it, my one requirement would simply be lots of cheese. 🙂

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