Tag Archives: Cheese

Mac and Cheese

Throw out your recipe for mac and cheese and replace it with this one….like seriously….do it! I have made this recipe several times. I’m not sure why I haven’t shared it on my blog. I wish I had because I panicked that I had lost it. I look through so many recipes and it is becoming very hard to remember what websites I’ve been on. Thankfully I found it again! This gem was found on throughherlookingglass.com.

The only change I made was to use more elbow macaroni. I used 10 ounces of dry macaroni instead of 8. If you are using a bigger pasta…I would add just 8 ounces.

For the fresh bread crumbs, I used brioche buns that I had leftover from a previous dinner.

This recipe is EASY! The only time spent was grating the cheese, which took no time at all. This makes a great weekday meal and leftovers make great lunches for the kids.

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8 ounces dried macaroni (elbow or spiral)
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 cup fresh bread crumbs
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
3 cups milk
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 1/2 cups coarsely grated, sharp white cheddar cheese
1 cup coarsely grated Swiss-style Gruyere cheese
1/4 cup finely grated Jack cheese (can use Monterey Jack if you can’t find the dry Jack)

1. Preheat oven to 375F.
2. Grease a 1 1/2 quart souffle baking dish. Set aside. (I use a 9×13 glass dish)
3. Boil a large pot of water to cook macaroni according to package directions. Stop cooking about two minutes early (Pasta should be slightly underdone)
4. Drain and rinse pasta with cold water and set aside.
5. In large saucepan, melt 1 tablespoon of butter.
6. Add fresh breadcrumbs and stir until thoroughly coated. Set aside.
7. In a small saucepan or microwave, heat milk until very hot but not scalded.
8. Meanwhile, in the pan you used for the breadcrumbs, melt remaining 3 tablespoons butter over medium heat. When butter is bubbling, add flour and stir until cooked, about 1 minute.
9. Slowly whisk in hot milk, whisking continuously until all milk is incorporated and sauce begins to thicken, about 5 minutes.
10. Remove pan from heat and stir in salt, black pepper, cayenne, 1 1/2 cups of cheddar, 3/4 cup of Gruyere and all the dry Jack cheese.
11. Mix well until all the cheese has melted.
12. Add cooled macaroni to the cheese sauce and pour mixture into the buttered casserole dish.
13. Sprinkle with remaining cheddar and Gruyere cheeses, then top with buttered bread crumbs.
14. Bake uncovered for 25-30 minutes, or until the breadcrumbs are golden brown and casserole is bubbling.
15. Let sit for 5 minutes, then serve.

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Bell Pepper Nacho Boats

Bell pepper nacho boats make a great appetizer or dinner. I served mine with avocado slices.

To make appetizer boats, make sure you pick peppers that have 4 bumps. It will make for smaller servings.

This recipe is great for a make ahead meal too. I pre-cooked my turkey and added the spices and salsa. I put the turkey mixture into the fridge until ready to assemble.

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1 pound lean ground turkey
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
3/4 cup salsa, no sugar added
1 cup grated cheddar cheese, reduced fat
3 bell peppers

1. Remove seeds, core, and membrane from bell peppers then slice each one into six vertical pieces where they dip down. Set sliced bell peppers aside.
2. Cook ground turkey over medium-high heat, breaking up as it cooks. Cook until the turkey loses it’s pink colour and is cooked through. Drain off any fat.
3. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
4. Combine cooked turkey with spices and salsa. Evenly distribute mixture into the bell peppers boats, top with cheese.
5. Bake on a parchment lined baking sheet for 10 minutes or until cheese is melted and peppers are hot. Optional ingredients: sliced jalapeño peppers, diced avocado, fat-free Greek yogurt or sour cream, or sliced green onions.

Tortellini Chicken Noodle Soup

My son ate two bowls of this soup. I’m shocked!  My son complains and complains about carrots and celery in soup, but he loved this recipe.  My husband and I also really loved this soup.  I make lots of great soups, as you can see on this blog, but this one really stands out!  The best thing about this soup is that it is so EASY! My husband and I fought over the leftovers the next day.

I found this recipe on Pinterest.  The original recipe comes from http://www.cookingclassy.com.

Instead of 4 cans of chicken broth, I used 2-900ml chicken broths. I also used Italian flat leaf parsley instead of regular parsley.

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1 1/2 Tbsp olive oil
1 1/2 cups chopped carrots (from about 5 medium)
1 cup chopped celery (from about 3 stalks)
1 cup chopped yellow onion (1 small)
4 cloves garlic, minced
4 (14.5oz) cans low-sodium chicken broth
1 1/2 tsp Italian seasoning
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
12 oz refridgerated three cheese tortellini
1/2 cup packed parsley (stems and all), plus more for serving
2 1/2 – 3 cups shredded rotisserie chicken (from one 29oz chicken)

1. Heat olive oil in a large pot over medium heat, add carrots, celery and onion and saute 3-4 minutes. Add garlic and saute 30 seconds longer. Stir in chicken broth, Italian seasoning and season with salt and pepper to tatse. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat then cover and boil 5 minutes. Add tortellini and place parsley in a mound submerged into broth on top of tortellini, cover and boil 6-8 minutes longer (or one minute less than time on package). Using tongs, remove parsley (stir around in the soup first just to get all the flavour out). Stir in chicken and cook until heated through, about 1 minute. Serve warm, topped with chopped fresh parsley leaves.

YIELD: About 5 – 6 Servings

Chicken Meatloaf Layered with Monterey Jack Cheese and Roasted Red Pepper

This is not a boring old meatloaf recipe! The flavour combinations in this loaf are so delicious!

I took this recipe from one of my favourite cookbooks “The Best of Rose Reisman” by Rose Reisman.

I love a recipe that I can throw together in the morning to bake later that evening. It can also be made ahead, up to a day in advance.  Reheat in a 300F oven for 15 minutes.

Rose Reisman also states in her cookbook to try mini meatloaves by using either a muffin cup mould or mini loaf pan. Divide mixture into 12 servings.

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1 1/2 lb (750 g) ground chicken
1/2 cup (125 ml) seasoned dry breadcrumbs
1 1/2 tsp (7.5 ml) finely chopped garlic
1 large egg
1/4 cup (60 ml) finely chopped yellow onion
1/4 cup (60 ml) ketchup
1/2 tsp (2.5 ml) dried basil
pinch of salt and pepper
1/3 cup (80 ml) finely diced green onions
2 oz (60 g) roasted red pepper, chopped (about 1/2 red bell pepper, roasted)
1/4 cup (60 ml) diced rehydrated sun-dried tomatoes
1/2 cup (125 ml) shredded Monterey Jack cheese or white aged cheddar (2 1/4 oz/65 g)
2 Tbsp (30 ml) grated Parmesan cheese (1/2 oz/15 g)

1. Preheat oven to 375F (190C). Line the bottom and sides of a 9×5-inch (2 L) loaf pan with foil or parchment paper.
2. In a large bowl, combine the ground chicken, breadcrumbs, garlic, egg, onion, ketchup, dried basil and salt and pepper until well mixed. Pat half the chicken mixture into the prepared loaf pan. Sprinkle with the green onions, red pepper, and sun-dried tomatoes. Mix the Monterey Jack and Parmesan cheese and add all but 2 Tbsp (30 ml) of the cheese mixture to the loaf. Pat the remaining chicken mixture over the filling. Bake for 40 minutes or until the interior temperature reaches 165F (74C). Sprinkle with the remaining cheese and bake for 2 minutes or until the cheese melts. Let stand for 10 minutes, then slice and serve.
MAKES 6 SERVINGS

Nutritional Information per serving:
Calories 280
Carbohydrates 13 g
Fibre 1.8 g
Protein 22 g
Total fat 14.3 g
Saturated fat 4.9 g
Cholesterol 130 mg
Sodium 420 mg

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Quick Cucumber Pickles with Rye Bread and Cheese

This amazing recipe is from “The Epicurious Cookbook” by Tanya Steel and the editors of Epicurious.

I brought this appetizer to a potluck Christmas dinner.  I loved the fresh taste of these pickles.  I made them an hour ahead and the cucumbers stayed nice and crisp.  I used a mandolin to cut the cucumbers.

As stated by the cookbook, you can jar these pickles to give as a gift, or serve alongside sandwiches in a buffet. The tart, lightly spicy crunch of the cucumber is a refreshing complement to most cheese, from Cheddar to goat.

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2 English cucumbers
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1/2 cup cider vinegar
1/4 cup sugar
1 tablespoon dry mustard
2 teaspoons drained bottled horseradish
1 tablespoon chopped fresh dill
1 loaf rye bread (1 pound)
2 (6-8 ounce) pieces semisoft cheese (preferably German, such as Cambozola or Mirabo)

1. Cut the cucumbers crosswise into 1/8-inch thick slices, then toss with the salt in a bowl and let stand 15 minutes. Rinse and drain the cucumbers and pat dry with paper towels.

2. Whisk together the vinegar, sugar, mustard, horseradish, and dill until the sugar is dissolved. Stir in the cucumbers and let stand at least 5 minutes.

3. Slice the bread and serve with the pickles and the cheese.

YIELD: Makes 6 hors d’oeuvre servings

DO AHEAD: The pickles can be made 2 to 4 hours ahead and chilled, covered.

Broccoli Salad

I have had this recipe for so many years. I’m not even sure what cookbook it came from. I have seen this salad with many different additions, crumbled bacon, sunflower seeds or raisins. I have also seen this salad with cubed cheese instead of shredded. This is a great recipe to make your own by adding the flavours/textures your family likes.

Below is the full dressing recipe, but I have cut it in half. I seem to be the only one who eats this salad, so I don’t like to make a whole massive bowl of it. I just add enough broccoli, cheese and onions to last about 2 days. I also find that the dressing has a lot of sugar in it. To make it less sweet….add less sugar.

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Fill a bag and a half of broccoli spears
Medium red onion, diced
Grated cheddar or marble cheese

3/4 cup sugar
1 cup mayonnaise
2 Tbsp vinegar

1. Cut up broccoli and onions. Mix together with the grated cheese.
2. Mix together the sugar, mayonnaise and vinegar. Add dressing to the broccoli and let sit for about a day.

Halved dressing recipe
6 Tbsp sugar (I add 4 Tbsp)
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1 Tbsp vinegar

Southwestern Salad with Ranch Salsa Dressing

My husband and I seriously loved this salad! I added chicken to ours and made this salad our dinner. I took this recipe from “The Best of Rose Reisman” by Rose Reisman. You can find the ranch dressing recipe on this blog as well under “Ranch Dressing”.

A tip from Rose: To bake a tortilla bowl, preheat the oven to 400F. Brush 2 large flour tortillas with a mixture of 1 Tbsp (15 ml) of olive oil and water. Place the tortillas over the 2 empty cans from the corn and beans and bake for 5 minutes just until browned. Fill with salad.

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1 cup (250 ml) corn
8 cups (2 L) chopped romaine lettuce
1/2 cup (125 ml) diced sweet onion
1 cup (250 ml) halved cherry tomatoes
1/2 cup (125 ml) sliced avocado
1/2 cup (125 ml) canned black beans, drained and rinsed
2 tsp (10 ml) minced jalapeño peppers
3/4 cup (185 ml) grated Monterey Jack cheese or aged cheddar (2 1/4oz/65 g)

RANCH SALSA DRESSING
2/3 cup (160 ml) Ranch Dressing (recipe on blog)
1/3 cup (80 ml) medium salsa

1/4 cup (60 ml) chopped cilantro
1 cup (250 ml) broken baked tortilla chips (1 oz/30 g)

1. In a skillet sprayed with vegetable oil, sauté the corn just until seared (about 5 minutes).
2. Meanwhile, arrange on a serving plate the lettuce, onion, tomatoes, avocado, beans, jalapeños and cheese. Add the corn.
3. TO MAKE THE RANCH SALSA DRESSING – Combine the ranch dressing and salsa. Pour overtop the salad and garnish with cilantro and tortilla chips.

MAKE AHEAD: Prepare the salad early in the day and dress just before serving
MAKES: 6 servings
CALORIES : 255 (per serving, not including tortilla chips)

Cobb Salad Wraps with Chicken, Avocado and Black Beans

This wrap is amazing!! I took it from “The Best of Rose Reisman – 20 years of healthy recipes”. In her notes, Reisman states that a Cobb salad traditionally has chicken, blue cheese, bacon and heavy dressing…this is her lightened up version made into a wrap.

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8 oz (250 g) boneless skinless chicken breasts (about 2 breasts)
1/2 cup (125 ml) diced plum tomatoes
1/2 cup (125 ml) diced red bell pepper
1/2 cup (125 ml) diced ripe avocado
1/3 cup (80 ml) canned black beans, drained and rinsed
1/4 cup (60ml) finely chopped green onions
1/4 cup (60 ml) chopped parsley
4 tsp (20 ml) lemon juice
1 Tbsp (15 ml) reduced-fat sour cream
1 Tbsp (15 ml) olive oil
1 tsp (5 ml) finely chopped garlic
1/2 tsp (2.5 ml) hot chili sauce
Pinch of salt and pepper
4 large whole wheat flour tortillas
1/2 cup (125 ml) shredded agreed cheddar cheese (45g)

1. Lightly coat a nonstick grill pan with vegetable spray and set over medium heat. Grill the chicken for 4 minutes on each side or until no longer pink. Cool slightly, then slice thinly.

2. Combine the tomatoes, red pepper, avocado, black beans, green onions and parsley in a large bowl. Add the lemon juice, sour cream, olive oil, garlic, chili sauce and salt and pepper and mix well.

3. Spread half of each tortilla with some of the tomato mixture. Top with slices of chicken and the shredded cheese. Fold the 2 sides in and roll up. Place the wraps in a clean grill pan and cook for 5 minutes, turning halfway, just enough to warm through. (Or heat in a 400F/200C oven for 5 minutes until warm.). Cut in half and serve.

Make ahead: Make wraps up to 2 hours in advance. Cover and refrigerate.
Makes 8 servings

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World’s Best Lasagna

I found this recipe on allrecipes.com.  It got rave reviews!! Make sure you give yourself time to make this one, since you have to simmer the sauce for 1 1/2 hours.
I used about 17 noodles and I also used grated mozzarella cheese. My lasagna started to spill over slightly during cooking, so you may want to put a cookie sheet under your lasagna to avoid a mess.

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1 pound sweet Italian sausage
3/4 pound lean ground beef
1/2 cup minced onion
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 (28 ounce) can crushed tomatoes
2 (6 ounce) cans tomato paste
2 (6.5 ounce) cans canned tomato sauce
1/2 cup water
2 tablespoons white sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons dried basil leaves
1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
1 tablespoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
4 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
12 lasagna noodles
16 ounces ricotta cheese
1 egg
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 pound mozzarella cheese, sliced
3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

1. In a Dutch oven, cook sausage, ground beef, onion, and garlic over medium heat until well browned. Stir in crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, tomato sauce, and water. Season with sugar, basil, fennel seeds, Italian seasoning, 1 tablespoon salt, pepper, and 2 tablespoons parsley. Simmer, covered, for about 1 1/2 hours, stirring occasionally.
2. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Cook lasagna noodles in boiling water for 8 to 10 minutes. Drain noodles, and rinse with cold water. In a mixing bowl, combine ricotta cheese with egg, remaining parsley, and 1/2 teaspoon salt.
3. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C)
4. To assemble, spread 1 1/2 cups of meat sauce in the bottom of a 9 x 13 inch baking dish. Arrange 6 noodles, lenghthwise over meat sauce. Spread with one half of the ricotta cheese mixture. Top with a third of mozzarella cheese slices. Spoon 1 1/2 cups meat sauce over mozzarella, and sprinkle with 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese. Repeat layers, and top with remaining mozzarella and Parmesan cheese. Cover with foil: to prevent sticking, either spray foil with cooking spray, or make sure the foil does not touch the cheese.
5. Bake in preheated oven for 25 minutes. Remove foil, and bake an additional 25 minutes. Cool for 15 minutes before serving.

MAKES: 12 servings
PREP TIME: 30 minutes
COOK TIME: 2 hours 30 minutes
READY IN: 3 hours 15 minutes

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Taco Dip

I found this recipe on allrecipes.ca.  I have had this taco dip many times made by various people throughout the years.  This dip seems to be quite the classic.  I searched through the many reviews on this recipe and people have commented that they’ve made it for their kids and now their kids make it for their kids.  Obviously, this one has been around for quite some time.

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In the reviews, I noticed that some people used 8 ounces of cream cheese and 8 ounces of sour cream (instead of the 16 ounces asked in the recipe).  I used the full 16 ounces of sour cream since my husband isn’t a big cream cheese fan and I wanted to see if the cream cheese taste was still strong…and it isn’t.  I used low-fat versions of both the cream cheese and sour cream.

Be sure to use a hand mixer or food processor to smooth out the cream cheese before adding the sour cream and taco seasoning, since your base will come out super lumpy.  I made mine in the afternoon and threw it in the fridge.  I then assembled the veggies and cheese on top before my guests arrived.

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In the reviews I noticed that some people added salsa on the base before adding the vegetables on top.  You can use whatever veggies you like really, some people added red onion to theirs.  In my dip, I omitted the bell pepper and used a Tex-Mex cheese mix.  I also served my dip with  multi-grain tortilla chips.

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This recipe makes 25 servings.

1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
1 (16 ounce) container nonfat sour cream
1 (1.25 ounce) package taco seasoning mix
1/4 head iceberg lettuce – rinsed, dried, and shredded
1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
3 chopped tomatoes, seeded
1 green bell pepper, chopped
1 (2.25 ounce) can black olives, drained

1. In a medium-sized mixing bowl, combine cream cheese, sour cream and taco seasoning. Spread this mixture in a 9-inch (or a little larger) round serving dish. Top the mixture with lettuce, Cheddar cheese, tomatoes, bell pepper and black olives.

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