Posts Tagged ‘cheese’

…is one of the most wonderful foods on this planet, period.  Make it into mac and cheese, and you have a little (who am I kidding, HUGE) plate of sheer delicious joy.

For gnocchi mac you need:

  • 1 pound purchased or homemade gnocchi
  • 2 Tbsp. butter
  • 2 tsp. garlic
  • 1 Tbsp. flour
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 1 tsp. Dijon mustard
  • 1/4 cup shredded Gruyere cheese
  • 1/4 cup shredded Fontina cheese
  • Salt and white pepper, to taste
  • Parmesan cheese, for garnish
  • Basil, for garnish

This is a surprisingly simple recipe, too!  One of the most wonderful things about gnocchi is how quickly it cooks.  So, start here, by bringing a large pot of water to a boil.  Salt it, and throw in the gnocchi until they begin to float, which only takes about 2 minutes.  Drain the delicious dumplings and place them in a small (1 1/2 quart) baking dish that’s been greased and heat the oven to 375.

While you’re waiting for the water to boil, melt the butter over medium heat in a saucepan. Add the garlic and cook just until it becomes fragrant, then whisk in the flour until it bubbles.  Whisk in the milk and dijon, and continue stirring until the sauce thickens, about 3 minutes.  Then, add the cheese by handfuls, stirring until each addition is completely melted.  Season the delicious cheese sauce with your salt and pepper, then pour over the gnocchi.  Top with a bit of parmesan and pop the dish into the oven for about 20 minutes, until bubbly and slightly browned.

Garnish with basil and be prepared…

…to go to Food Heaven.  I could not be more serious.  Once you make this (and you must, it is not optional), you will never want to return to regular mac and cheese with plain old cheddar and elbow noodles (that is, unless you are eating my aunt’s crockpot mac and cheese, which will also get you in to Food Heaven).  FORGET making mac and cheese out of a box ever again–this stuff is too delicious AND easy.  Try me.



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…makes my mouth water at the mere thought of it.  Has it really been almost 8 months since I was last helping clog the Internet with a delicious recipe I dug up somewhere?  At the encouragement of my mom, I decided to jump back in and occasionally update good old SC when a recipe is just too good to keep to myself.   So, here it is: an incredibly easy, yummy chicken pot pie–no pictures for this post though, as it is all gobbled up!

For this simple pie with great reward you need:

  • 1 lb. ground chicken
  • 2 Tbsp.  Italian Dressing
  • 2 cups frozen mixed vegetables
  • A couple pinches of crushed red pepper
  • Freshly cracked pepper
  • 1 can creamof chicken soup
  • 1/4 lb. (4 oz.) VELVEETA, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 1 sheet frozen puff pastry, thawed
  • 1 egg, beaten

The original recipe call for a pound of chicken breasts, cut into chunks.  I typically prefer to cook with ground chicken, as I think it is much easier (and faster!) and I prefer the texture.  Heat a skillet over medium high heat and add the chicken tossed with the salad dressing.  While the meat is cooking, heat the oven to 400.

When the meat is fully cooked, stir in the mixed vegetables, soup,  pepper seasonings, and Velveeta.   Pour the mixture into a greased 9-inch baking dish.  Place the sheet of puff pastry on top, pressing it closely to the sides and top of the mixture to form a good seal.  Cut a few slits into the pastry and brush the top with egg to give it that beautiful golden coloring when the pie is baked.  Place the dish on a cookie sheet (in case of spills!) , pop it into the oven, and bake for about 20 minutes, or until the pastry is golden brown.

Let the chicken pot pie rest for 5 minutes, then dig in and enjoy.  This dish literally comes together in minutes with the help of the soup and puff pastry.  It will absolutely delight your (and your family’s!) taste buds.  With Fall practically here, and Winter trudging along behind, put this on your list of must-tries.

bien manger!


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…is one of our favorite foods, and my family has, without a doubt, the best recipe for mac and cheese available on this planet.  We make it in the crock-pot with plenty of cheese and milk and it is about as close to culinary perfection as you can get.

For our family’s crock-pot macaroni and cheese you need:

  • 1 & 3/4 cup macaroni, cooked/drained
  • 12 oz. evaporated milk
  • 1/2 stick butter, melted
  • 3 eggs, beaten
  • 3 cups cheddar cheese
  • salt and pepper, to taste

To start, combine the milk, eggs, and butter and season with salt and pepper.

Stir in the macaroni and 2 cups of cheese.

Pour the mixture in the crock-pot and top with the rest of the cheese.  Cover the crock-pot and cook on low for 3 hours.  Enjoy!!

Anyone who has eaten a meal with my extended family and had this mac and cheese will tell you it is the best Earth has to offer, hands down!  And, it couldn’t be easier to throw together.  Try it for Thanksgiving this year–it is sure to be a hit!!


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…is one of our favorite meats to cook with.  However, we don’t use it too terribly often because of the fat content!  When we do decide to splurge and eat this delicious sausage, it is always enjoyable.  Lately, we’ve been attempting to develop our own recipes, and last night we made the much-anticipated creation that we now like to call “chorizoloaf.”

For Mexican meatloaf  you need:

  • 1 lb. ground elk/beef
  • 4 links Mexican-style chorizo
  • 1/2 white onion, chopped
  • 1/2 cup bread crumbs
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup cilantro
  • 1 14.5 oz can fire-roasted tomatoes, drained
  • 1 chipotle pepper in adobo
  • 1/2 tbsp. adobo sauce
  • dash of cinnamon
  • 3/4 cup crumbled queso fresco
  • salt and pepper to taste

Preheat the oven to 350.  Combine the meats, eggs, almost all of the onions, breadcrumbs, milk, and cilantro.  Mix it together using your hands and mound it into a loaf.

Next, combine the tomatoes, chipotle pepper, adobo sauce, cinnamon, and the rest of the onion in the food processor.  Pulse the sauce until it is thick and mostly smooth.

Spread the sauce on top of the loaf and bake it for about an hour.  In the last 10-15 minutes of cooking, top the loaf with the queso fresco crumbles.  When the cheese is melted and slightly browned, it’s time to eat!

We served a slice of chorizoloaf with an ear of corn on the cob topped with herb butter.

This version of meatloaf is delicious, if I do say so myself!  Experimenting in the kitchen is always a lot of fun, and (as I’ve said before) you really can’t go wrong when chorizo is involved…


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…is absolutely delicious–who doesn’t love coming home to a bowl of pasta, rich tomato sauce, meat, and cheese?!  However, in her recipe for summer ziti, RR raises a good point–traditional ziti isn’t exactly the best summertime meal.  So, she rewrites the dish so you (and your vegetarian friends!) can enjoy ziti goodness all year long!

For this delicious dinner you need:

  • 1 lb. ziti/penne rigate
  • 1 lb. asparagus, trimmed and diced
  • 28 0z. can san marzano plum tomatoes
  • 4 cloves garlic, grated
  • 3 shallots, sliced
  • olive oil
  • salt and pepper
  • 1/2 cup basil, sliced
  • 4 sprigs fresh tarragon (leaves only)
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • 1 cup ricotta cheese
  • 1 cup Parmigiano-reggiano
  • 1 tsp. lemon zest
  • 1/2 cup mozzarella

Start boiling a pot of water.  salt it, and cook the pasta for about 9 minutes.  Then, toss in the asparagus and peas and continue cooking everything for another couple of minutes.  Also, preheat the oven to 400.

Meanwhile, heat a couple tablespoons of oil in a big skillet over medium heat.  Cook the shallots and garlic until they are tender and fragrant, then stir in the tomatoes and mash them.  Also, if you have one, toss in a Parmigiano rind–it adds incredible, rich flavor to a sauce!  Always buy your Parmigiano with the rind still intact–it really is a better deal because you can cook with the rind and there’s often more cheese included in the weight when the cheese isn’t grated.  It’s a bit more work, but it’s worth it!

Season the sauce with some salt and pepper and let it cook for about 5 minutes.  Then, stir in the tarragon and basil and get it off the heat.

When the pasta and veggies are drained, add the ricotta and half of the Parmigiano to the pot.  Get everything well-incorporated.

Pour half of the tomato sauce in a baking dish.  Then, add the noodle mixture and the rest of the sauce.  Top the ziti with mozzarella and the rest of the Parmigiano.  Pop it into the oven until the cheese is brown and bubbly, about 12 minutes.

We whipped up a fantastic fruit salad to go with our pasta.  In the summer, fruit salad is the simplest, most wonderful thing!  For this version, you need:

  • several handfuls green grapes
  • 1 package strawberries, sliced
  • several handfuls blueberries
  • 1 small package raspberries, sliced
  • zest/juice of 1 lemon
  • a few squirts maple syrup

After slicing the fruit, squeeze the lemon juice and zest over it.  Add a few squirts of maple syrup and stir everything to combine.  This is quite possibly my favorite fruit salad of this summer!

Serve up a plate of delicious pasta with the fruit salad alongside.

I am so excited that we will be having this meal several times for clearance dinners this week!  Every bite of it is just fantastic.


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…can come together to make one of the most amazing foods you will probably ever eat.  I found RR’s recipe for Carbonara deep-dish pizza months ago and can’t believe it took us this long to get around to making it!  With the combination of pancetta, noodles, and Parmigiano, it really and truly is fantastic.

For a delicious twist on pizza you need:

  • salt
  • 18 oz. linguine
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 pound pancetta, cut as thick as bacon, chopped
  • 3 to 4 cloves garlic, grated or chopped
  • 1/2 to 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmigiano-reggiano
  • pepper
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup cream
  • 2 cups ricotta cheese
  • a handful fresh flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
  • 1 cup shredded provolone or mozzarella cheese

Start by preheating the oven to 425 and bringing some water to a boil.  Salt it and boil the noodles for about 3 minutes–they don’t need to be fully cooked.  Then, heat a drizzle of oil in an oven-proof skillet (or wrap your handles in aluminum foil) and brown the diced pancetta over medium-high.  Add in the garlic and crushed red pepper and continue cooking for just a minute.

Add your drained pasta to the skillet and toss it with the meat and spices.  Stir in the cheese.  Then, beat the eggs with the cream and season with salt and pepper.  Pour the mixture over the pasta and let it set, cooking for 1-2 minutes.  Mold the noodles to make a fairly flat, even layer in the skillet.  Bake the “crust” for about 5 minutes.

Combine the ricotta and parsley and spread this mixture over the crust.  Sprinkle some shredded cheese on top and pop the pie back into the oven for another 8 minutes.

Cut the pizza into wedges, grab some salad, and you are ready to go!

This dinner is absolutely delicious.  We loved it so much that we actually took leftovers for lunch some this week and we were both quite sad to finish our last slices!  When you want a good Italian meal, this is pretty darn tough to beat!


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…is absolutely one of our favorite food “genres.”  With the commonly used flavors of cilantro, cumin, paprika, and chili powder, how can we not love it??  A few weeks ago, I found this recipe in one of my mom’s Taste of Home magazines.  With merely a  quick glance at a few of the ingredients, I knew we would be making (and most likely loving) this chicken chili lasagna in the very near future.  Well, I was right.  We made this dish Sunday and it could not taste better.  Fantástico!!

you need:

  • 6 oz. cream cheese, softened
  • 1 medium onion
  • 5 green onions
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 8 oz Mexican cheese
  • 3/4 tsp. cumin
  • 1/2 tsp. cilantro
  • 3 cups cooked chicken
  • 1/8 tsp. pepper
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1 1/2 cups chicken broth
  • 1 cup monterey jack
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 4 oz. green chilies
  • 1/8 tsp. thyme
  • 1/8 tsp. salt
  • 12 tortillas, halved

Start by mixing the cream cheese, all the onions, 1 1/2 cups of Mexican cheese, the garlic, 1/4 tsp. cumin, and the cilantro.  Stir in the chicken. Honestly, i eyeballed all the spices. This isn’t a cake, so it isn’t exact science!

Next, make the cheese sauce.  BEST part.  Melt the butter in a sauce pan. Then, whisk in the flour until smooth.  Next, gradually add your broth and bring the sauce to a boil.  Cook and stir it for about 2 minutes, or until it is thickened.  I think the key part is adding the broth in slowlyyyyy.  Take it off the heat and stir in your Monterey Jack, sour cream, chilies, thyme, salt, pepper, and some more cumin.  DELICIOUS.  You will want to swim in it.

Spread about 1/2 cup of the cheese sauce in a greased 9×13.  Top that with 6 tortilla halves, 1/3 of the chicken mixture, and about a fourth of the luscious cheese sauce.  Repeat this two more times.  Then, just top it with the remaining tortilla halves, the rest of the sauce, and the Mexican cheese.  Cover it and bake at 350 for 30 minutes, then uncover it and bake for about 10 minutes more.  Finish up by letting it stand for 5 minutes before you slice it.

It may not be a beautiful plate, but with some corn and a margarita, this is one fantastic dinner.


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