Tag Archive for Cheese

Cheesy Eggs with Pepperoni

Cheesy Eggs with Pepperoni

My kids’ school starts on the later side, so I am able to make them a hot breakfast without having to get up at the crack of dawn. This cheesy eggs with pepperoni dish is a big hit with them, and the protein fills them up! Normally I would put in turkey pepperoni, but I didn’t have any on hand! 

Level of Difficulty: Easy
Time Required: Prep Time – 5 min; Cook Time – 10-15 min.

Ingredients:

Pepperoni slices

1 T. butter

6 eggs

1/2 cup non-fat or 1% milk

1/2 c. shredded cheddar cheese

Salt and pepper to taste

Special Equipment and Other Items Needed:

Rubber Spatula

Preparing Cheesy Eggs with Pepperoni:

Spray skillet with non stick cooking spray. Heat the pan on medium. Add pepperoni and cook until crisp, about 30 seconds. Drain on paper towels. 

Cheesy Eggs with Pepperoni

Wipe out the inside of the pan. In a mixing bowl, whisk together eggs and milk. Add salt and pepper. Melt 1 T. butter in pan. Pour egg mixture into pan. Cook until it’s almost set (about 5-7 minutes), using a rubber spatula to make sure it doesn’t stick to the pan. Add pepperoni and cheese. 

Cheesy Eggs with Pepperoni

Put a lid on top of the pan to cover and cook until the eggs are completely done and the cheese melts, about 3-5 more minutes. Serve hot!

Cheesy Eggs with Pepperoni

Variations:

Put anything in the eggs that you would put in a traditional omelette. You really can’t mess it up!

 

Mexican Spinach Dip

My sister and I are always looking for new appetizers to make. She turned me on to a very similar version of this Mexican Spinach Dip a few months ago. I’ve made it a couple of times and it is always a huge hit! 

Level of Difficulty: Easy
Time Required: Prep Time – 15 min; Cook Time – 30 min.

Ingredients:

1 10 oz package of chopped spinach, thawed & drained

1 8 oz. package of light cream cheese, room temperature

1/2 c. chopped white or sweet onion

1/4 c. seeded, chopped jalapeño

2 cans Original Rotel, 1 drained, 1 undrained

14 oz. shredded Mexican cheese blend

1/3 c. sour cream

1/2 tsp. cumin

1/2 tsp. chili powder

1 package of tortilla ships

Preparing Mexican Spinach Dip:

Preheat 350. Combine all ingredients in a large bowl. Turn into a baking or casserole dish. Bake 30 min. or until hot and bubbly. Serve with tortillas chips. 

Mexican Spinach Dip

Variations:

If you want to add some extra heat, use more jalapeños or a spicier pepper. You can also use “hot” Rotel!

Got Leftovers?:

This dip actually heats up very well. 

Filet Mignon Stuffed with Spinach and Manchego

stuffed filet mignon

Normally, I think filet mignon should have nothing on it but a nice amount of Kosher salt and fresh cracked black pepper. A meat this perfect, should be allowed to shine. BUT, for our little challenge of trying to be different, I knew Denise would play it safe which meant I had to go out on a limb. I’m happy to report the limb didn’t break!

Level of Difficulty: Moderate
Time Required: Prep Time – 10min; Cook Time – 15-20 min

Ingredients for 4:

4 filet mignons, about 2-3 inches thick

3 oz  fresh spinach (give or take, it’s not rocket science)

4 oz Manchego cheese

Kosher salt

Fresh cracked black pepper

Special Equipment and Other Items Needed:

Toothpicks

How to make filet mignon stuffed with spinach and manchego:

Preheat grill on high heat.

Take your beautiful and thick filet’s and cut a small slit in the center of one side. Use that slit to put your knife in and cut a small pocket towards both ends but without going through the meat. Take your time. Feel around with your fingers and see if you’ve got a large enough pocket with a minimal hole in the steak.

Once you are ready, cut some slices of manchego and stuff into the pocket. Then take a stack of a few spinach leaves, roll them up and shove inside the pocket. Repeat for as many as you can fit. I did 3 rolled bunches of spinach and 2 slices of manchego.

Grilled stuffed filet mignonbeef tenderloin with spinach and manchengo

Repeat for the other filets, then secure the opening with a toothpick or two.

grilled beef tenderloin

Sprinkle generously with coarse Kosher salt and fresh cracked black pepper.

When the grill is hot, add the steak. Cook on high heat until the meat comes away from the grill grate. If it is sticking, don’t turn it! It will release when it is ready to be turned and will give you a nice crust.

grilled filet mignon

Cook until medium rare. Since these are stuffed, you really can’t shove a meat thermometer in there. You’ll just have to do by feel and trust yourself.

Remove and let rest before serving.

grilled beef tenderloin stuffed with spinach

Here is a view without the salsa.

stuffed beef tenderloin

I topped these with a fire roasted tomatillo and poblano salsa too! Delicious.

 grilled filet mignon with tomatillo salsa

Important Tips:

Don’t overcook the meat and try to make as small of an exterior slit as you can in the beef.

Variations:

Next time, I think I’ll choose a more melty cheese instead of Manchego.

You knew I would play it safe? Are you kidding me? Gee, I’m sorry. When you said cook a beef tenderloin on the grill, I took that as COOK A BEEF TENDERLOIN ON THE GRILL! I didn’t think to change the rules (like you did last week, and clearly this week) and slice it up to make filets. I will go out on a limb when you least expect it…and you will be wishing that you were at my house for dinner!!!! -Denise

There she goes again. Really? Changing the rules by cooking beef tenderloin on the grill as individual filets? Have you never watched an episode of Chopped? Transform the ingredients!! I can’t wait until we do McNack’s Chopped. Can we say easy target? ~Melissa

Simple French Onion Soup

French Onion Soup

I had some onions I wanted to use up and thought I’d make some onion soup. I normally use beef consommé but this time I used mostly beef broth with just two cans of beef consommé. It’s all part of my well stocked kitchen experiment so I had to use what I already had! 

Level of Difficulty: Easy
Time Required: Prep Time – 15 min; Cook Time – 1 1/2 – 2 hours

Ingredients:

4 sweet onions, sliced

4 T. salted butter

1 T. fresh thyme

1 tsp. EACH salt and pepper

1 T. sugar

64 oz. beef broth

2 10 oz. cans beef consommé

3/4 cup port wine

4 slices baguette (lightly toasted)

4 slices Swiss cheese

Preparing Simple French Onion Soup:

Sauté onions in butter and thyme for about 10 minutes. Sprinkle sugar over onions and mix well.

French Onion Soup

Add salt and pepper. Add beef broth and beef consommé. Stir well. Cover and let simmer for 1 1/2 hours. Add port wine. 

Preheat oven to 400 Degrees. Spoon soup into serving bowl. Add baguette and top with one slice of cheese. Bake for 10 minutes. Remove from oven CAREFULLY and enjoy!!

French Onion Soup

Important Tips:

Don’t rush the onions. Let them cook and take their time!

but sugar is cheating….low, slow, caramelization – Melissa

I wasn’t going for caramelized, just wanted to sweeten them a bit. – Denise

Variations:

Gruyere cheese is traditional but Swiss is what I had on hand.  

Lasagna Bundles

Lasagna Bundles

I wanted to make a new pasta dish for my family and came up with these little lasagna bundles. They are a bit time consuming to prepare, but once they are in the oven, you can sit back and relax knowing that a great dinner is on it’s way!

Level of Difficulty: Moderate
Time Required: Prep Time – 30min; Cook Time – 45 min.

Ingredients:

Cheese Sauce:

4 T. salted butter

1/4 c. all purpose flour

4 c. fat free milk (you can use whole milk, but I try to cut the fat)

1 c. shredded cheddar cheese

3/4 c. shredded mozzarella cheese

3/4 grated parmesan

pinch of salt

Filling:

1 lb. ground beef

1/4 c. onion, chopped

1 T. fresh thyme, finely chopped

1 T. fresh rosemary, finely chopped

3/4 c. your favorite marinara sauce

Bundles:

1 T. olive oil

1 package lasagna noodles

1 c. mozzarella cheese

2 T. grated parmesan

Preparing Lasagna Bundles:

First, make the cheese sauce: In a large saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Whisk in the flour until smooth, whisking for about a minute. Gradually whisk in milk and salt until smooth. Bring to a boil and cook, whisking often, until the sauce has thickened, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat and add the cheeses. Set aside.

Next, make the filling: Brown the ground beef in a large sauté pan along with the onion. When the meat is brown, add the thyme and rosemary. Drain.  Put into a mixing bowl and add in the marinara sauce and mix well. 

Preheat oven to 350 Degrees. Boil a large pot of water and cook the noodles for 8 minutes. Drain and rinse under cold water. Pat dry and lay out on a work surface. Pour about 2-3 cups cheese sauce on the bottom of a 9×13 in. baking dish. Place about 1 spoonful of filling on an end of each lasagna noodle.

Lasagna Bundles

Roll up and place seam side down into the cheese sauce on the baking pan. Repeat until the dish is full.

Lasagna Bundles

Top with more cheese sauce, 2 T. parmesan cheese and 1 c. mozzarella cheese. 

Cover with foil and bake for 35 minutes. Uncover and bake for 10-15 minutes more, or until the cheese starts to brown. Let rest for 5 minutes before serving!

Lasagna Bundles

Variations:

You can stuff the lasagna bundles with whatever ingredients you like, add some mushroom, make it vegetarian, or use a different meat.

Got Leftovers?:

This reheats very well, so make sure you save the leftovers!

Roasted Broccoli with Cheddar Cheese and Breadcrumbs

Roasted Broccoli with Cheddar Cheese and Breadcrumbs

My kids love broccoli with cheese sauce. You know the kind you get in the freezer section at the grocery store? Well, I’m always trying to find new ways to cook the foods that they like so they won’t get bored. I came up with this recipe for roasted broccoli with cheddar cheese and breadcrumbs below from several recipes that I have recently come across.

Level of Difficulty: Easy
Time Required: Prep Time – 5 min; Cook Time – 25 min

Ingredients:

4-5 cups of broccoli flowers, washed

3 T. olive oil, divided

1/2 salt

1/2 c. Panko breadcrumbs

1 c. cheddar cheese

1/4 tsp. nutmeg

Preparing Roasted Broccoli with Cheddar Cheese and Breadcumbs:

Preheat oven to 425 Degrees. Place broccoli on a baking sheet and toss with 2 T. olive oil and salt. Roast for 15 minutes. In a small mixing bowl, mix together breadcrumbs, cheddar cheese, 1 T. olive oil and nutmeg. Sprinkle over the broccoli.

Roasted Broccoli with Cheddar Cheese and Breadcrumbs

Roast for an additional 10 minutes. Serve hot.

Roasted Broccoli with Cheddar Cheese and Breadcrumbs

Beer Cheese Soup

Beer Cheese Soup was a must have on the Beerfest menu. I had never made it before and was surprised at how easy it was. It’s definitely not the healthiest thing in the world, but it sure was good!!

Level of Difficulty: Moderate
Time Required: Prep Time – 15 min; Cook Time – 30 min

Ingredients:

1/2 c. butter

1 sweet onion, chopped

3/4 c. chopped carrot

3/4 c. chopped celery

1 c. all purpose flour

2 c. chicken broth

1 12 oz. beer (preferable a Pale Ale)

8 oz. shredded cheddar cheese

8 oz. shredded swiss cheese

2 c. half and half

1/2 tsp. salt

1/2 tsp. dry mustard

1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce

How to make Beer Cheese Soup:

Melt butter in large pot over medium heat. Add onion, carrots and celery. Saute until softened. Add flour and cook for 5 minutes, stirring often. Add chicken broth and beer. Heat until it comes to a boil. Slowly add cheese while stirring until boiling and smooth. Add half and half, salt, dry mustard, and Worcestershire sauce. Reduce heat to low and cook until soup has thickened.  Serve immediately.

Beer Cheese Soup