Cheddar Cheese Soup

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It’s been so cold here over the past few days like it has been in many places.  Soup seemed like a logical choice for dinner so off I went to search out a recipe in my cookbooks.

This recipe has a lot of ingredients but they all work together to make a wonderful, flavorful soup.  This recipe is not hard to make and it helps to get all the ingredients ready before you start since it cooks up quickly.

The croutons are from my recipe that I posted yesterday and they are great in this soup!  Here’s the link ~ Make Your Own Croutons

Cheddar Cheese Soup

Cheddar Cheese Soup

6 tbsps butter
3/4 cup minced onion
3/4 cup minced carrot
1/2 cup minced celery
4 tbsps flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/8 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp paprika
pinch cayenne pepper
4 cups chicken broth
1 cup heavy cream
2 tbsps dry sherry
3 cups grated sharp cheddar cheese
1/4 chopped parsley for garnish
Croutons, optional

In a large pot, melt the butter and saute the onion, carrots, and celery for about 8 minutes. Sprinkle in the flour and all the seasonings and blend. Gradually add the chicken broth, stirring constantly until thickened. Reduce the heat to a simmer and add the cream and sherry, stirring. Add the cheese in cupfuls, stirring each until melted into the soup.

Garnish with parsley and croutons, if desired, and serve at once.

Cheddar Cheese Soup 2

Makes 4-6 servings.

Source:  Lagniappe

Happy Cooking!

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The Best Grilled Cheese Ever!

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I found the recipe for this sandwich on Pinterest (I think) and it came from a blog called She Wears Many Hats which is a great blog which I hope you visit. This is now my favorite sandwich so thank you!!

Back to the sandwich.  First of all, I am NOT a fan of grilled cheese and what compelled me to make this sandwich, I have no idea.  However, I DO love roasted onions and mushrooms and that is what probably spurred me on.  The combination of ingredients is perfect.  It is very easy to make so it meets my criteria but it does take a bit of time to roast the vegetables. I am going to make another today for lunch but I am using Dubliner cheddar instead of the gouda for a change.

Grilled Cheese 1

The Best Grilled Cheese Ever!

8 ounces mushrooms, cleaned and sliced
1 medium onion, sliced
2 tbsps olive oil
salt and pepper
4 tbsps butter
4 slices of bread, your choice as to type of bread
1 cup gouda, shredded

Preheat oven to 400º.

On a baking sheet, mix the sliced mushrooms and onions with the olive oil. Season with a little salt and pepper. Roast in the oven for about 20 minutes or until done to your liking. Just don’t let them burn. When finished, remove from oven and set aside.

On the stovetop in a large skillet, melt the 4 tbsps of butter over medium heat being careful not to burn.

While the butter is melting assemble sandwiches. On one slice of bread, layer the gouda, some onions and mushrooms, another layer of gouda. Top with another slice of bread. Repeat for second sandwich.

Carefully place sandwiches in skllet and let toast, being careful not to burn the bread. Flip and repeat for other side of bread. Cook until cheese has melted and bread is toasted.

Makes 2 sandwiches.

Recipe from: She Wears Many Hats

Please don’t forget to enter my giveaway for one copy of Gooseberry Patch’s cookbook Hometown Harvest.   To enter, click here!!

Happy Cooking!!

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Baked Mozzarella Sticks

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Don’t forget to enter the Gooseberry Patch cookbook giveaway!  For a chance to win a copy of Weeknight Dinners, click this LINK and leave a comment!

First of all, I love the deep fried mozzarella sticks and while the baked sticks don’t come anywhere close to tasting like the fried sticks, they are a wonderful substitute.  Especially if you are counting calories or, like me, are too lazy to get the deep fryer out and mess with all that oil.

This recipe is easy but plan for all the freezing involved.  These sticks MUST be watched in the oven or they will melt.  I watched mine and couple melted very quickly so please keep an eye on them.

I found the recipe on Pinterest and it comes from a site called The Comfort of Cooking.

Baked Mozzarella Sticks

Baked Mozzarella Sticks

12 mozzarella sticks, cut in half to make 24 pieces
1 egg
1/4 cup flour
1/4 Italian-style bread crumbs
1/4 cup panko
2 tsps grated Parmesan
1 tbsp dried parsley

Freeze the 24 pieces of mozzarella until hard ~ about 30 minutes.

Place the egg in a shallow dish and whisk. Place the flour in a separate dish. Place the breadcrumbs, panko, Parmesan, and parsley ~mixed~ in a third shallow dish.

Line a baking sheet with foil and spray foil with cooking spray.

Working quickly, dip frozen mozzarella halves into the flour, then egg, then breadcrumb mixture and place on prepared baking sheet. Repeat until all pieces are coated. Freeze on the cookie sheet for 15-20 minutes until frozen.

While the coated cheese is freezing, preheat the oven to 400º.

When the coated cheese is ready, place in oven and bake 4-5 minutes. Remove from oven and turn pieces over. Return to oven for an additional 4-5 minutes.

WATCH STICKS CLOSELY because they will melt quickly.

Serve immediately with warm marinara sauce.

Makes 24 mozzarella sticks.

Happy Cooking!

Cremini, Bacon and Shallot Crustless Quiche

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This quiche was the most popular dish at the couples shower.   I only got a smidge for a taste but I must agree ~ one of the most delicious breakfast foods I have had in a long time.  I found the recipe on the Food Network site and it’s from the Food Network Kitchens.

Gruyere cheese is really expensive but is worth it in this recipe.  I don’t know enough about cheese to suggest a substitute but if someone has a good sub, please comment!  I made the quiche just like the recipe said to (I know, shocking!) EXCEPT I put it in a 9×9 baking dish because I didn’t think it would fit in my deep dish pie pan.

Please forgive the really lousy picture.  As you can see, I was following around behind people to try and get pictures.

VIEW PRINTABLE RECIPE HERE!

Cremini, Bacon and Shallot Crustless Quiche

8 slices bacon, chopped
4 tbsps unsalted butter
1 lb cremini mushrooms, cleaned, trimmed, thinly sliced
1/2 tsp kosher salt
6 medium shallots, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
2 tbsps minced fresh Italian parsley
2 tbsps minced Parmesan cheese
2 cups half and half
2 large eggs
2 large egg yolks
freshly ground black pepper
generous pinch of nutmeg
4 ozs grated gruyere cheese
2 tbsps snipped fresh chives

Preheat oven to 350º.

Cook the bacon over medium-high heat until crisp. Drain on paper towels.

Discard all fat except 2 tbsps. Add 2 tbsps of butter to the fat and melt. Add the mushrooms and salt. Over medium heat, cook until mushroom juices evaporate ~ about 7 to 10 minutes. Add the shallots and cook until tender and mushrooms are golden. Add the garlic and parsley and remove from heat, cooling slightly.

Butter a baking dish ~ either a 9 inch deep dish pie pan or a 9×9 dish ~ and sprinkle with grated Parmesan. Place the pan on a baking sheet for ease in getting in and out of the oven.

Sprinkle the half the Gruyere in the pan and the all of the bacon on top. Add 3/4 of the mushroom mixture over the bacon and then scatter the rest of the cheese over the mushrooms.

Whisk the half and half, eggs, egg yolks in a large glass measuring cup. Season this mixture with salt and pepper and a pinch of nutmeg. Pour over the the fillings in the baking dish. Top with the remaining mushrooms and sprinkle with chives.

Bake until the center of the quiche is set ~ about 40-50 minutes. Cool slightly before serving.

Makes about 8 or 9 servings depending on the type of pan you use.

Happy Cooking!

Easy Peasey Blueberry Cheese Danish

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I am trying to cook my way through the all my food pins on Pinerest and this is one of the recipes on my Breakfast/Brunch board.  The recipe I pinned was for blackberry cheese danish and although I like blackberries, I like blueberries better so I just switched the berries.  In fact, I think almost any berry would work in this recipe.

This recipe came from the blog Lauren’s Latest, which is a really cute blog with some delicious recipes ~ check it out!  She has step-by-step pictures, too.

Easy Peasey Blueberry Cheese Danish

VIEW PRINTABLE RECIPE HERE!

Danish:
1 tube crescent rolls or 1 tube crescent dough
1 (8-oz) pkg cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla
3 tbsps flour
1/2 pint fresh blueberries, washed and dried

Frosting:
1 cup powdered sugar
4 tbsps heavy cream ~ more may be needed to get the right consistency
1 splash vanilla

Preheat oven to 375º.

In a bowl, combine the cream cheese, sugar, flour, and vanilla and set aside.

Unroll the dough on a parchment paper lined baking sheet. Roll out the dough and place squares in a row lengthwise. Pinch the perforations together to form one sheet of dough.

Spoon the filling down the center of the dough leaving about an inch on both ends of the dough. Sprinkle blueberries over the top of the filling.

Make cuts on each side of the dough so the strips are about 1/2 inch  in size.

Fold an end over the dough and start braiding the dough as you go down. Tuck the other end of the dough under the strips as best you can.

Bake for 25-30 minutes or until the dough is golden and filling hot.

Let the danish cool.  While cooling, mix the icing and then drizzle the icing over the top. Sprinkle extra blueberries over the top if you have them.

Makes 8 servings.

Happy Cooking!

Southwest~Style Cod

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I really like fish and seafood and I don’t make it nearly enough.  Last week my local grocery had US caught cod fillets on sale and happened to have recipes for it right at the counter so I bought the cod and grabbed a recipe.  The recipe was very easy and was excellent.  I’ll be making it again for sure!

Southwest~Style Cod

2 lbs fresh cod fillets
1/2 cup grated Parmesan Cheese
1/4 cup yellow corn meal
2 tbsps flour
1 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp black pepper

Spray a baking dish with cooking spray and set aside.

Mix all ingredients except cod in a Ziplock bag. Add the cod and shake until the fish is well coated. Place coated fish in the prepared dish. Sprinkle with any remaining cheese mixture over the fish.

Bake at 400º for 12 to 15 minutes or until the fish flakes when tested with a fork.

Makes 4 servings.

VIEW PRINTABLE RECIPE HERE!

Happy Cooking!

Cheese Grits

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Make sure you check out out the Recipe Index up in the top bar ~ it makes it much easier to find what you are looking for.  If I have missed anything, let me know!

Awhile back we went to brunch at Hanover Tavern where our soon to be son-in-law is the assistant director.  Mr. Meat Eater went crazy for the cheese grits.  Not being from the south, I have never been a fan of grits but after he asked me a million times, I finally found a recipe and made them.  He LOVED them.  I used the wrong kind of grits ~ old-fashioned instead of quick and I have no idea if that made any difference at all.

I would suggest that you eat them the same day they are made ~ DH said the texture was like cake when I reheated them the next day.

Cheese Grits

4 cups milk
1/4 cup butter
1 cup uncooked quick grits
1 egg, lightly beaten
2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 350º.

Bring milk just to a boil in a large pan over medium-high heat and gradually whisk in the butter and grits. Reduce the heat and simmer, whisking constantly, 5-7 minutes until the grits are done. Remove the pan from heat.

Stir in the egg and the next 3 ingredients.

Pour into a lightly greased 11×7 baking pan. Sprinkle the Parmesan over the top.

Bake, covered, for 35-40 minutes or until set.

Serve immediately.

Makes 6-8 servings

Happy Cooking!

Parmesan and Garlic Fries

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These are to die for!  The hardest thing about this recipe is cutting up the potatoes.   I wanted mine to look like fries so it took a bit to cut them up and then I realized I had a little contraption that would have done it for me.   Argh!!!  No matter how you cut them up, you have to try them ~ they would be perfect for a Super Bowl party, too.

Parmesan and Garlic Fries

4 large russet potatoes, cut into 1/4 inch strips ~ you can leave them unpeeled if you prefer
1/4 cup olive oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 tsp thyme
1/4 tsp seasoned salt
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese, divided
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley

Preheat oven to 425º.

In a large mixing bowl, place the cut potatoes and pour the olive oil over the top. Sprinkle on the garlic, thyme and seasoned salt. Mix well until the potatoes are evenly coated. Spread the potatoes on a baking sheet in a single layer. DO NOT throw away the oil that is left in the bowl.

Bake 30 minutes, turning the fries over halfway through (I didn’t do this because I forgot and I don’t think it really matters if you do or you don’t). After 30 minutes of baking, return the fries to the bowl with excess oil and sprinkle with the Parmesan cheese and parsley. Toss to coat and return to baking sheet and bake for another 10 minutes.

If desired, sprinkle fries again with a few shakes of Parmesan and a few shakes of seasoned salt.

Makes 4 servings.

Happy Cooking!

Goat Cheese and Mushroom Tart

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This is such a simple appetizer but packs loads of flavor.  It was a huge hit at our party and with my family.  I made it again the next day so we could have a bigger piece.  It would be great as a light supper as well as an appetizer.

Goat Cheese and Mushroom Tart

Mushroom Filling:
8 ounces baby bella mushrooms
3/4 cup coarsely shopped onion
2 tbsps butter
salt to taste
1/2 tsp fresh thyme leaves
1 tsp fresh lemon juice
1 tbsp mayonnaise
1/2 tsp Worcestershire sauce

Tart:
1 refrigerated pie crust
1/3 cup crumbled goat cheese
Leaves from 3 or 4 sprigs of fresh thyme

To make the spread:
Clean the mushrooms, remove stems and cut into quarters. Place the mushrooms and onions in a food processor and finely chop ~ I just chopped finely by hand.

Heat a skillet over medium heat and melt the butter. Add the mushroom/onion mix, salt and thyme and saute for 5 minutes. Reduce heat to low and saute for 5 minutes longer or until most of the moisture has evaporated and the mixture is like a paste in texture.

Spoon into a small bowl and let it stand until cool. Add lemon juice, mayo and Worcestershire sauce and mix well.

This filling may be made 1 day ahead and refrigerated until needed.

For the tart:

Preheat the oven to 450º. Let pie crust stand at room temperature according to package directions. Unroll the pastry on a parchment paper lined baking sheet.

Spread the mushroom filling evenly to within 1 1/2 inches from the edge. Sprinkle with cheese and thyme. Fold in one edge of the pastry toward the center covering part of the filling. Work around the edge, pleating as you go.

Bake for 10 minutes. Then reduce heat to 350º and bake 20 to 25 minutes or until pastry is golden brown.

Remove from oven and cool pan on wire rack for 10 minutes before serving.

Makes 6 servings.

Happy Cooking!

Savory Cheese Ball

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I like having a few recipes that I can turn to for parties that everyone loves and are easy to make.  This one fits the bill.  It’s equally perfect for a party, sports event or just to have in the fridge to snitch a bit from.

I make this the day before servings to let the flavors really meld together.

Savory Cheese Ball

1 (8 ounce) tub onion and chive soft cream cheese, softened
1 (8 ounce) pkg cream cheese
I cup shredded cheddar cheese
3 fresh chives, snipped
1 package dry ranch salad dressing mix
Pecans, chopped or whole

Combine the cream cheeses, cheddar cheese, chives and salad dressing mix in a bowl mixing well.

Shape into a bowl and roll into pecans.

Serve with crackers.

Makes 10-12 (or more) servings

Happy Cooking!