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Cheesy Steak Bake

Cheesy Steak Bake

Cheesy Steak Bake

1 lb. steak tips

1 C. sharp cheddar cheese, grated

1 C. fontina cheese, grated

6 slices bacon, optional

2 white onions, thinly sliced

2 cloves garlic, minced

1/2 T. herbs de Provence

kosher salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

Preheat oven to 375º F. If using, cook bacon to personal preference. (Don’t make it too crispy, as it will also be baked later.) In a large pan or skillet over high heat sear steak tips until browned on all sides. Transfer steak to a plate or bowl and drain off fat, leaving 1 T. in the skillet.

Reduce heat to medium-low heat and add sliced onion. Season with salt and pepper and sauté for 10-12 minutes, stirring occasionally, or until onions are softened, translucent and golden brown. Add minced garlic and cook for another 1-2 minutes, or until fragrant. Place steak tips in a large baking dish, add bacon strips (if using) and cover with caramelized onions and garlic.

Top with both cheeses and sprinkle with herbs de Provence. Place in oven and bake for 15-20 minutes, or until cheese is melted and bubbly and steak is cooked through. Remove from oven and serve hot.

Blue Bayou Monte Cristo Sandwich

Blue Bayou Monte Cristo Sandwich

Blue Bayou Monte Cristo Sandwich

1 egg

1 3/4 C. plus 2 T. water

1 3/4 C. all-purpose flour

1/4 tsp. salt

1 tsp. baking powder

8 slices egg bread (challah works well), sliced 1/2-inch thick

8 thin slices ham

8 thin slices turkey

8 thin slices Swiss cheese

3 C. canola oil

Confectioners’ sugar

Blackberry preserves


Line a cookie sheet with paper towels; set aside. Whisk the egg and water together in a mixing bowl. Add flour, salt, and baking powder and whisk thoroughly for 2 to 3 minutes or until smooth, scraping sides of bowl. On one slice of bread, arrange 2 slices of ham, turkey, and cheese, covering the bread evenly. Place another slice of bread on top and slice each sandwich in half diagonally. Heat oil to between 365 degrees F and 375 degrees F in a 10-inch pan. Do not let the oil reach a higher temperature than this; if the oil starts to smoke, turn the heat down. Dip half of the sandwich into the batter, allowing excess to drain, and very carefully place into the oil. Repeat with the other sandwich half. Cook 3 minutes on each side, or until golden brown. Place the cooked sandwich on the prepared cookie sheet in a warm oven until ready to serve. Repeat with the other three sandwiches. Cook one at a time and allow the oil to reach the desired temperature between each. Sprinkle with confectioner’s sugar and serve with blackberry preserves on the side.

Breakfast Cheese Bread

Breakfast Cheese Bread

Breakfast Cheese Bread


Cooking spray

2 2/3 cups baking mix

3/4 cup whole milk

2 large eggs, lightly beaten

2 teaspoons dry mustard

1 1/2 cups shredded sharp Cheddar cheese, divided

2 tablespoons butter


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Lightly spray a large loaf pan. In a large bowl stir the baking mix and milk with a spoon. Add the eggs, mustard, and 1 cup of the cheese. Pour into the loaf pan. Sprinkle the remaining cheese on top and dot with butter. Bake 45 to 50 minutes. Cool in the pan for 10 minutes, and then remove and cool on a wire rack before slicing.

Puff Pastry Cheese Twists

Puff Pastry Cheese Twists

1 sheet frozen puff pastry, 1/2 (17.3-oz.) package

1/3 C. grated Parmesan

2 T. extra-virgin olive oil

2 tsp. minced garlic

1 tsp. dried oregano

1/2 tsp. salt

1/2 tsp. cayenne

1 large egg

All-purpose flour, for dusting


Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.  Line 3 large baking sheets with parchment paper. Thaw the pastry sheet at room temperature covered by a clean kitchen cloth, about 30 minutes. While the pastry is thawing, combine cheese, olive oil, garlic, oregano, salt and cayenne in a small mixing bowl. Stir well to combine. In a clean small mixing bowl, beat the egg with a fork. On a lightly floured surface, gently unfold the pastry.  Sprinkle the pastry lightly with flour and using a rolling pin, roll into a 14 by 10-inch rectangle. Brush the top of the pastry with a beaten egg. Cut in 1/2 lengthwise to form 2 (7 by 10-inch) rectangles. Spread the herb-cheese mixture with the back of a spoon evenly across 1 rectangle. Lay the second rectangle across the coated piece, egg side-down. With the rolling pin lightly roll the 2 sheets together to seal. With a large knife cut crosswise into strips, about 1/3-inch wide each. (Alternately, you can use a pizza wheel to cut the strips.) One at a time, grab the ends of each strip and twist in opposite directions to form a spiral. Transfer to the prepared baking sheets. Bake until light golden brown, about 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool on baking sheets until cool enough to handle. Serve either warm or at room temperature.

Fluffy Cheese Puffs

Fluffy Cheese Puffs

Fluffy Cheese Puffs


1 C. water

1 T. butter

1 T. olive oil

1/2 tsp. salt

1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper

1 C. unbleached flour

4 large eggs

1 C. shredded Cheddar cheese

2 T. minced chives or scallions


Heat the oven to 400° F. Lightly coat 2 cookie sheets with cooking spray.  In a medium saucepan, combine the water, butter, oil, salt, and cayenne pepper. Bring to a boil. Remove the pan from the heat and add the flour all at once. Stir the mixture with a wooden spoon until it forms a smooth paste.  With the wooden spoon, beat in the eggs one at a time, blending completely each time. Stir in the Cheddar cheese and minced chives or scallions.  Using a tablespoon, drop balls of batter onto the cookie sheets. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until the puffs are firm and well browned. Serve them warm or at room temperature. Makes 30 to 40 puffs.

Cheese Chowder

Cheese Chowder

Cheese Chowder


1/4 C. Onion, finely chopped

2 T. Butter

1/4 C. Flour

2 C. Milk

13oz. Can Chicken Broth (13/4C.)

1/4 C. Carrot, finely diced

1/4 C. Celery, finely diced

1/2 C. Sharp Cheddar Cheese, cubed


Cook Onion in butter until tender.  Blend in flour; Add remaining ingredients except cheese.  Cook and stir until bubbly and thick.  Reduce heat.  Add cheese, stir to melt.  Simmer 15 minutes.  Serves 4.

Bacon, Avocado, and Cheese Omelets with Tomato Salsa

Bacon, Avocado, and Cheese Omelets with Tomato Salsa

2/3 C. finely chopped seeded tomato

2 T. finely chopped red onion

1 pickled or fresh jalapeno chile, or to taste, seeded and minced (wear rubber gloves)

2 T. minced fresh coriander

1 T. fresh lime or lemon juice

4 large eggs

2 T. water

1 T. unsalted butter

3 slices of lean bacon, cooked and crumbled

1 small avocado (preferably California)

1/2 C. coarsely grated Monterey Jack (about 2 oz.)


In a small bowl stir together the tomato, the onion, the jalapeno, the coriander, the lime juice, and salt and pepper to taste until the salsa is combined well. In a bowl whisk together the eggs, the water, and salt and pepper to taste. In an 8-inch skillet, preferably non-stick, heat 1/2 T. of the butter over moderately high heat until the foam subsides, pour in half the egg mixture, tilting the skillet to spread the mixture evenly over the bottom, and cook it for 1 minute, or until it is almost set. Sprinkle half the omelet with half the bacon, half the avocado, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch pieces, and half the Monterey Jack and cook the omelet for 1 minute, or until it is set. Fold the omelet over the filling, transfer it to a plate, and keep it warm. Make another omelet in the same manner with the remaining butter, egg mixture, bacon, avocado, and Monterey Jack and serve the omelets with the salsa.

Wild Mushroom-Cheddar Burger

Wild Mushroom-Cheddar Burger

Wild Mushroom-Cheddar Burger

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 tablespoon unsalted butter

12 ounces assorted mushrooms (such as cremini, lobster, chanterelles, and stemmed shiitakes), chopped

1 small shallot, finely diced

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme leaves

2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves

1 1/2 pounds ground chuck (80 percent lean) or ground turkey (90 percent lean)

1 1/2 tablespoons canola oil

4 slices sharp cheddar cheese

4 hamburger buns, split; toasted, if desired

Chipotle Ketchup (optional, recipe follows)


1 cup ketchup

2 to 3 tablespoons pureed canned chipotle in adobo (depending on how spicy you prefer it)

1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper


Heat the olive oil and butter in a large sauté pan over high heat until almost smoking. Add the mushrooms and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft, about 5 minutes. Add the shallot, season with salt and pepper, and cook until the mushrooms are golden brown, about 5 minutes. Stir in the thyme and parsley and transfer to a bowl. Divide the meat into 4 equal portions (about 6 ounces each). Form each portion loosely into a 3/4-inch-thick burger and make a deep depression in the center with your thumb. Season both sides of each burger with salt and pepper. Cook the burgers using the canola oil (see Cook’s Note) and topping each one with a slice of cheese and a basting cover during the last minute of cooking.

Place the burgers on the bun bottoms and top each burger with chipotle ketchup, if using, and a large spoonful of the mushrooms. Cover with the bun tops and serve immediately.


Chipotle Ketchup:


Whisk together the ketchup, chipotle, salt, and pepper in a small bowl. Cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes to allow the flavors to meld. The sauce will keep for 1 week in a tightly sealed container in the refrigerator.

Oregon IPA Cheddar Soup with Garlic Hazelnuts

Oregon IPA Cheddar Soup with Garlic Hazelnuts

Oregon IPA Cheddar Soup with Garlic Hazelnuts

1 cup roasted hazelnuts halved or roughly chopped

4 garlic cloves, grated

3 tablespoons unsalted butter

12 ounces Deschutes Fresh Squeezed IPA

1 tablespoon cornstarch

1 tablespoon water

8 ounces Tillamook Sharp Cheddar Cheese, shredded

4 ounces Tillamook Medium Cheddar Cheese, shredded

¼ teaspoon ground black pepper

1 tablespoon chopped fresh chives


Add the hazelnuts, 1 clove of garlic, and 2 teaspoons of butter to a medium skillet. Heat over medium high and toss gently to melt the butter and gently cook the garlic as it coats the nuts. Cook for about 1 minute and remove from the heat. Melt the remaining butter in a small soup pot over medium heat and add the remaining garlic. Let cook until it just begins to sizzle, about 1 minute. Remove the pan from the heat and pour in the beer. Return the pan to medium heat. Stir together the cornstarch and water in a small dish. Pour this into the warming beer and whisk. Continue to whisk as the beer heats and the liquid thickens slightly, about 2 minutes. Turn the heat to low. Add the cheeses a handful at a time and whisk the soup well to melt the cheese. Once the cheeses are smooth. Remove the soup from the heat. Ladle into 4 small bowls and top each with garlic hazelnuts and fresh chives before serving.

Polenta Casserole

Polenta Casserole

Polenta Casserole


Cooking spray

1 tsp. olive oil

2 C. chopped onion (about 2 onions)

3 C. (12 ounces) coarsely chopped shiitake mushrooms

2 garlic cloves, minced

1½ tsp. salt

â…“ C. red wine

1 T. tomato paste

1 T. chopped fresh thyme

1 (15-ounce) can diced tomatoes

1 C. polenta

½ C. shredded Asiago cheese (2 ounces)

¼ tsp. freshly ground black pepper

½ C. fresh goat cheese

1½ tsp. unsalted butter, cut into small pieces


Preheat the oven to 400°F. Spray a 9 × 13-inch casserole dish with cooking spray. Heat the oil in a medium sauté pan set over medium-high heat. Add the onions and cook for 8 minutes, until they start to brown. Add the mushrooms, garlic, and ½ tsp. of the salt, and cook, stirring, for 4 minutes. Add the wine, tomato paste, and thyme and cook for 3 minutes. Stir in the tomatoes, reduce heat to medium, and cook for 10 minutes, or until thick.  Bring 4 C. of water to a boil in a medium saucepan. Stir in the polenta and the remaining 1 tsp. of the salt. Reduce the heat to low and cook, stirring, for 20 to 30 minutes, or until thick. Spread a third of the polenta into the prepared casserole dish. Spread half of the tomato sauce over the polenta and sprinkle with 2 T. of the Asiago cheese and ⅛ tsp. of the pepper. Crumble and sprinkle half of the goat cheese across the casserole. Repeat the layers, ending with the last third of the polenta. Top with the remaining ¼ C. of the Asiago cheese and top with the butter. 5 Bake for 25 minutes, or until bubbly.

ATK Farmer’s Cheese with Homemade Tomato Jam

ATK Farmer’s Cheese with Homemade Tomato Jam

ATK Farmer’s Cheese with Homemade Tomato Jam

If you can’t find farmer’s cheese, goat cheese works well, too. Fish sauce can be found in most supermarkets in the international foods aisle alongside other Thai and Vietnamese ingredients. If you want the jam to be spicier, add the reserved chile seeds. Serve with Garlic Toasts, thinly sliced baguette, or crackers


2 pounds plum tomatoes, cored and chopped

1 1/4 cups sugar

3/4 Cup red wine vinegar

1/4 C. fish sauce

6 garlic cloves, minced

1 large jalapeno chile, stemmed, seeds reserved, and minced

1 T. grated fresh ginger

2 star anise pods

8 ounces farmer’s cheese


Combine all ingredients except cheese in 12-inch skillet and bring to boil. Reduce to simmer and cook until mixture begins to thicken, 25 to 30 minutes. Remove and discard star anise. Mash mixture with potato masher until relatively smooth, then continue to simmer until spatula leaves trail through jam, 5 to 10 minutes longer. Transfer jam to bowl and let cool to room temperature. (Jam can be refrigerated for up to 7 days; bring to room temperature before serving.) Transfer jam to serving bowl with spoon or spreader, and serve alongside farmer’s cheese.  (Makes 2 cups).

Apple Cheddar Bagel Broil

Apple Cheddar Bagel Broil


1 bagel

1/2 apple – sliced

1 tsp. butter

2 thin slices of cheddar cheese (American works too)

1 tsp. sugar

1 tsp. cinnamon


Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Combine cinnamon and sugar together. Split bagel in half and lightly toast in oven or toaster. Spread a little butter on each half. Top each bagel with apple slices and a sprinkle with cinnamon-sugar. Place cheese slices on top and broil until cheese is bubbly.

Mini Cheddar Garlic Popovers

Mini Cheddar Garlic Popovers

3 tsp. Oil

¾ C. Milk

1 Egg

1 Egg White

¾ C. Flour

½ Tsp. Johnny’s Garlic Seasoning

1/3 C. Cheddar Cheese (shredded)


Spray 24 mini muffin cups with cooking spray, place the muffin pan on a cookie sheet. Add 1/8 of a Tsp. Oil to the bottom of each cup. In a small bowl combine the milk, egg and egg white, mix well using a whisk. Add the flour and garlic season then mix well, once fully combined stir in the cheese. Warm the cookie sheet/muffin pan in a 425 degree oven for about 5 minutes, once heated divide the batter between the muffin cups. Bake for 18-20 or until golden brown. Immediately remove popovers from the pan and serve warm.

Cheddar Crackers

Cheddar Crackers


6 ¼ ounces all-purpose flour

4 ounces (1 stick) cold unsalted butter, diced

8 ounces shredded sharp cheddar

1 teaspoon nigella seeds

¼ teaspoon powdered mustard

Generous pinch cayenne pepper

Several drops Worcestershire sauce

½ teaspoon kosher salt

3 tablespoons water


Combine all of the ingredients in a mixer fitted with a paddle attachment and mix on low for about 3 minutes, or until the dough comes together. Transfer the dough to a sheet of parchment paper and roll into a 2-inch log. Refrigerate for about 45 minutes, or until firm. Preheat the oven to 400˚F. Unwrap the dough and cut into 3/16-inch slices. Arrange the slices about an inch apart on parchment-lined baking trays. Bake for 14 to 16 minutes, or until lightly browned. Transfer crackers to a rack to cool. Makes 4 to 5 dozen crackers. This is an extremely versatile recipe; try experimenting with different cheeses and flavorings. For example, instead of nigella, try freshly cracked black pepper—a very coarse grind is best. Or substitute Parmegiano-Reggiano and 2 teaspoons minced fresh rosemary for the cheddar and nigella, omitting the mustard, cayenne, and Worcestershire.

Cheddar Grit Cakes with Roasted Peppers

Cheddar Grit Cakes with Roasted Peppers

1 C. 1% low-fat milk
1 (14-oz.) can fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
3/4 C. uncooked quick-cooking grits
2 tsp. minced jalape�o pepper
1/2 C. (2 oz.) shredded extrasharp cheddar cheese
Cooking spray

3 medium red or orange bell peppers
2 tsp. extravirgin olive oil
1 tsp. balsamic vinegar
1/2 tsp. ground coriander
1/4 tsp. salt

To prepare grits, bring the milk and broth to a boil in a medium saucepan. Stir in grits and jalape�o. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 5 minutes or until thick. Stir in the cheese; cook until cheese melts. Spread grits into a 9-inch square baking pan coated with cooking spray; cover and refrigerate for 8 hours or until set. To prepare peppers, cut the bell peppers in half lengthwise; discard seeds and membranes. Place pepper halves, skin sides up, on a foil-lined baking sheet, and flatten with hand. Broil 15 minutes or until blackened. Place in a zip-top plastic bag; seal. Let stand 15 minutes. Peel and cut into 1-inch strips. Combine peppers, oil, vinegar, coriander, and salt; toss well. Invert grits onto a cutting board. Cut grits into 4 (4 1/2-inch) squares. Cut each square diagonally into 2 triangles. Heat a large nonstick skillet coated with cooking spray over medium-high heat. Add triangles; cook 4 minutes on each side or until lightly browned. Serve pepper mixture over grit cakes. Prepare the peppers up to a day ahead, then reheat them in the microwave before serving. This frees the oven so you can roast the chicken.

Yield: 4 servings
Serving size: 2 grit cakes and 1/2 C. pepper mixture

Calories: 247
Fat: 8.2g
Fiber: 2.5g

Apple-Cheddar Popovers

Apple-Cheddar Popovers

butter-flavored cooking spray
1 tart apple, such as Pippin, Granny Smith, or Fuji, peeled, cored, and chopped
1/3 C. shredded 2% sharp cheddar cheese
2 large eggs
1 C. unbleached all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp. salt
1 C. low fat (1%) milk
1 T. stick reduced-fat margarine, melted

Preheat oven to 450�F. Lightly coat 8 popover cups with cooking spray. Place 1 T. each of the apple and cheese at the bottom of each popover cups. In a food processor or blender, combine eggs, flour, and salt. Process until well blended. With the machine running, add milk and margarine through the feed tube. Process until smooth. Fill the C. two-thirds full with the batter. Bake for 15 minutes, reduce oven temperature to 350�F, and continue to bake for another 20 minutes until popovers are puffed and golden brown. Let cool at least 15 minutes, then remove from pan.

Yield: 8 servings
Calories: 111
Fat: 4g
Fiber: 1g

Broccoli with Burrata, Pine Nuts and Warm Anchovy Vinaigrette

Broccoli with Burrata, Pine Nuts and Warm Anchovy Vinaigrette

3/4 C. (about 80g) fresh breadcrumbs (preferably from sourdough bread)
1/3 C. (80ml) plus 1 tsp. extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 C. (70g) pine nuts
1 tsp. flat-leaf parsley, chopped
about 1 lb. (450g) Italian broccoli, sprouting broccoli or broccolini, trimmed
4 tsp. (60g) unsalted butter
2-3 anchovy filets
pinch dried chili flakes
1 tsp. minced garlic
1 tsp. fresh thyme
1 lb. (450g) burrata or fresh buffalo mozzarella
1 medium shallot, sliced
juice of 1 lemon, plus more for serving
salt and pepper

Preheat the oven to 375F/190C. Bring a large pot of heavily salted water to a boil over high heat. Toss the breadcrumbs with one tsp. olive oil. Spread them on a baking sheet, and toast 8-10 minutes, stirring once or twice, until golden brown and crispy. Spread the pine nuts on another baking sheet, and toast them 4-5 minutes, until they’re golden brown and smell nutty. Crush half the pine nuts in a mortar and combine them with the whole pine nuts, breadcrumbs and parsley in a small bowl. Season with salt and pepper. Blanch the broccoli in the rapidly-boiling water for 2-3 minutes, until just tender. Drain and set aside to cool. Meanwhile, heat the remaining 1/3 C. olive oil and the butter in a large sauté pan over low heat. Add the anchovy and chili and cook 5 minutes, stirring with a wooden spoon as the anchovy melts into the sauce. Add the garlic and thyme and turn off the heat. The garlic will finish cooking in the hot oil. Pour out into a small bowl and season with a generous pinch of salt. Don’t wash out the pan. Cut the burrata or mozzarella into 6 slices, and then cut each slice in half. Place the sauté pan over high heat. Add the anchovy butter, shallots, and broccoli, and season with salt, pepper and a squeeze or two of lemon juice. Toss well to warm the broccoli and coat it with the anchovy butter. Taste for seasoning and add more salt, pepper and lemon juice as needed. Arrange half the broccoli on a large platter in one layer. Tuck half the burrata slices among the broccoli and continue layering the remaining broccoli and burrata. Shower the pine nut breadcrumbs over the top. Serve with additional lemon slices for squeezing.

Mozzarella Cheese Puffs

Mozzarella Cheese Puffs


1 cup flour, sifted

1/4 tsp. salt

1/4 tsp. Paprika

1/2 cup butter or margarine

6 oz. shredded mozzarella cheese


Sift the dry ingredients together. Cream the butter and the cheese. Add the dry ingredients and mix well. Shape the mixture into small balls about 1″ in diameter. Place them on a lightly greased baking sheet and bake them for about 15 to 20 minutes at 350 degrees.  Also substitute different cheeses. I might use cheddar with chopped walnuts or provolone, sun-dried tomatos, and basil.

Cheddar Shrimp Nachos

Cheddar Shrimp Nachos

3/4 lb. peeled deveined, cooked shrimp 

1 1/2 C. shredded cheddar cheese

1 (4 oz.) can chopped green chilies, drained 

1/3 C. chopped green onions 

1/4 C. sliced ripe olives, drained 

1/2 C. mayonnaise 

1/4 tsp. ground cumin 

48 tortilla chips, scoops 


Combine the shrimp, cheese, chilies, onions and olives. Combine the mayo and cumin; add to shrimp mixture and toss to coat. Place about a T. of the shrimp mixture into each tortilla scoop and place on baking sheets.  Bake at 350° for 5-10 minutes or until cheese is melted. Serve warm.

Cheddar Pinecone

Cheddar Pinecone

8 oz. cream cheese, softened
8 oz. Cheddar cheese spread
1 T. horseradish
1/2 tsp. hot pepper sauce
Whole almonds
Rosemary sprigs


Blend first 4 ingredients. Shape into an oval. Stud with almonds. Garnish with rosemary.

Smokey Havarti, Caramelized Onions & Fig Jam Grilled Cheese

Smokey Havarti, Caramelized Onions & Fig Jam Grilled Cheese

Smokey Havarti, Caramelized Onions & Fig Jam Grilled Cheese

2 slices Bread

Thin slices of Smokey Havarti cheese

1/2 onion sliced thin

2 T. fig jam

3 T. softened butter



In a small frying pan, add 1 T. butter and sliced onions. Cook on med-low heat cook until softened and lightly browned while stirring occasionally. Cook about 20 – 25 minutes. Set aside. Butter one side of each piece of bread. Add cheese slices to the other side of the bread until covered (opposite of the buttered side). On one slice of the bread, spread the fig jam over the cheese. On the other slice, spread the onions over the cheese. Place the slices of bread (buttered side down) in the pan on medium low and cover with a lid. It only takes a minute or two for the bread toast and the cheese to melt. Once bread is browned, take out of pan on a plate and put sandwich together. Cut in half and serve.

Appetizer Cheese Gift Box

Appetizer Cheese Gift Box

1/2 T. butter

1/2 C. finely diced leeks (white part; reserve green part for ribbon and bow)

1 T. minced garlic

1-1/2 tsp. thyme

1/4 tsp. each salt and pepper

1 pkg. (8 oz.) cream cheese, softened

1 log (4 oz.) goat cheese, softened

Thinly sliced medium radishes, cut in triangles


Line a 5-1/2″x 3″ loaf pan with plastic wrap so that ends extend and can be wrapped over top of pan. In skillet, cook leeks in butter 5 minutes until soft. Add garlic, thyme, salt and pepper. Cook 1 minute longer. Cool. In bowl, beat cheeses until smooth; blend in leek mixture. Spoon into prepared loaf pan; spread evenly. Cover with plastic wrap. Chill 24 hours until very firm. Uncover, invert onto serving plate; remove plastic wrap. To make bow, drop reserved green leaves into boiling water just until color brightens. Immediately remove with slotted spoon and plunge into ice water. Remove when cool and pat dry. Place one long or two medium strips lengthwise on top and down sides. Place another “ribbon” crosswise. Place large loops on loaf lengthwise to make bow loops. Place a short loop in the middle to form the knot. Place 2″ notched pieces as shown for bow ends. Press radishes randomly on package.






Ravioli with Seven Herbs & Ricotta (Ravioli Alle Sette Erbe)

Ravioli with Seven Herbs & Ricotta (Ravioli Alle Sette Erbe)

Ravioli with Seven Herbs & Ricotta (Ravioli Alle Sette Erbe)


1 1/2 (680 g) lb. ricotta

1/4 C. loosely packed basil leaves

1/4 C. roughly chopped flat-leaf parsley

1 T. roughly chopped mint

1 T. sliced chives

1 T. roughly chopped chervil

1 tsp. roughly chopped oregano

1 tsp. thyme leaves

Kosher salt

1/4 C. (59 ml) extra-virgin olive oil

1 recipe egg pasta dough

2 T. freshly grated pecorino cheese, plus more for serving


In a food processor fitted with the blade attachment, add the ricotta, the herbs, and 2 tsp. of the salt. Process until the herbs are chopped. With the motor running, gradually add the oil in a steady stream until it is incorporated, the herbs are finely chopped, and the mixture is the consistency of mayonnaise. Reserve 1/3 C. of the cheese mixture and set aside. Divide the dough into four pieces. Using a pasta machine, roll the dough out, starting with the widest setting and then going down until the dough is 1/8 inch thick. Lay out one sheet of pasta. Drop tsp. of filling down one side of the pasta sheet at 1/2-inch intervals. Fold the pasta over the filling and gently press out any air between the filling and the dough. With a fluted pastry cutter, cut the ravioli into small squares (about 1 1/2 inches) and place on a lightly floured baking sheet. Finish the remaining ravioli in the same fashion. Bring a large pot of well-salted water to a boil. Drop the ravioli into the boiling water and cook until they rise to the surface, 2 to 3 minutes. Reserve !4 C. of the pasta water, then drain the ravioli. Toss the ravioli in a bowl with the reserved cheese filling, a little of the pasta water, and the pecorino cheese. Serve immediately with more cheese if desired.

Welsh Rabbits

Welsh Rabbits

Welsh Rabbits

1/3 c grated Cheddar

1 egg yolk

1 tsp cream or milk

2 or 3 drops Worcestershire sauce (or to taste)

Pepper, to season

1 English muffin, split and lightly toasted

Peas, thin slices of carrot or snow peas, 1 black olive (pitted and halved) a few fresh chives and scallion, to garnish


Preheat the broiler to high. Put the cheese, egg yolk, cream and Worcestershire sauce into a bowl and mash together. Season to taste with pepper.  Spread the cheese mixture on the cut sides of the toasted muffin, spreading right to the edges. Place the cheese-topped muffin halves about 3 inches away from the heat source – don’t have them too close, as the egg in the mixture can make them brown very quickly. Broil for 3-4 minutes, until the cheese has melted and is golden and bubbling. Decorate the cooked muffin halves with peas for eyes and strips of carrot or snow peas for ears, half an olive for a nose, chives for whiskers and scallion for teeth. Serve immediately.


From Top 100 Finger Foods

Pepperoni Rigatoni Bake

Pepperoni Rigatoni Bake

Pepperoni Rigatoni Bake


1 package(s) (16-ounce) rigatoni or penne pasta

2 large eggs

1 cup(s) whole milk

1 cup(s) (4 ounces ) shredded part skim mozzarella cheese

1 cup(s) (3 ounces ) grated Parmesan cheese

1 container(s) (15-ounce) part-skim ricotta cheese

4 ounce(s) (1 cup) sliced pepperoni, cut into slivers

1 package(s) (10-ounce) frozen peas

1/2 teaspoon(s) salt

1/4 teaspoon(s) ground black pepper


Heat large covered saucepot of salted water to boiling over high heat. Add rigatoni and cook as label directs. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Grease 3- to 3 1/2-quart casserole (about 2 inches deep) or 13- by 9-inch glass baking dish. In large bowl, with wire whisk, lightly beat eggs. Stir in milk, mozzarella, Parmesan, ricotta, pepperoni, frozen peas, salt, and pepper until well combined. Drain rigatoni. Add rigatoni to cheese mixture and toss to coat. Transfer rigatoni mixture to prepared casserole. Bake, uncovered, 20 to 25 minutes or until edges are golden and center is almost set. Let stand 5 minutes before serving.

Yield: 6 servings

Calories: 675

Fat: 26g

Golden-Topped Macaroni and Cheese Casserole

Golden-Topped Macaroni and Cheese Casserole

Golden-Topped Macaroni and Cheese12 oz. Elbow Macaroni
5 T. Butter, divided
3 T. Flour
3 C. Milk
2 tsp. Paprika
1 tsp. Dry Mustard
3 C. shredded Sharp Cheddar Cheese
1 C. shredded Colby Cheese
½ C. freshly grated Parmesan Cheese
12.5 oz. can petite cut Diced Tomatoes, drained
1 C. crushed Potato Chips
½ C. Cornflake Crumbs

Preheat oven to 350. Coat a shallow 2 quart baking dish with cooking spray. Cook the macaroni according to package directions. Drain about 1 minute before the pasta is completely cooked and rinse under cold water. Drain again and transfer to large bowl. Meanwhile heat a medium pot over medium high heat and melt 3 T. butter. Stir in flour and cook, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon until the flour just starts to turn light tan. Whisk in the milk, paprika and mustard. Cook, whisking constantly until mixture thickens, a few minutes. Reduce heat to low and stir in cheeses and cook, stirring, until melted. Pour cheese sauce over macaroni and toss until combined. Stir in tomatoes and spread the mixture in the baking dish. Melt the remaining butter in the microwave using a small glass bowl. Combine flakes and chips in a bowl and add the butter. Toss until moistened evenly the sprinkle over the macaroni. Bake until bubbling and the top is golden, 25-30 minutes. Remove from oven and let stand 10 minutes before serving.

Grilled Cheddar and Apple Sandwich with Savory Raspberry Coulis

Grilled Cheddar and Apple Sandwich with Savory Raspberry Coulis

6oz white cheddar cheese, grated and divided

1 green apple, peeled, cored, and thinly sliced

4 slices bread



1/2 C. fresh raspberries

2T. honey

1 tsp. Dijon mustard

1 tsp. balsamic vinegar


Start with the coulis: in a food processor, whizz together the raspberries, mustard, honey, and balsamic vinegar. Feel free to adjust the seasonings to taste. Set aside. Heat a heavy saucepan (I like cast iron) over medium heat. Butter the bread slices on one side. On two of the slices, spread the unbuttered side with raspberry coulis. Place two slices of bread butter side down (coulis side up) in the skillet. Take half of the cheese and spread it evenly over the two slices in the skillet. Then, place half the apples in a thin layer on each slice. Distribute the remaining half of the cheese over the top of the apples–at this point you should have bread-coulis-cheese-apple-cheese. Place the remaining pieces of bread on the tops of the sandwiches–butter side up. Press down with your spatula to really mash everything together. Cover loosely and cook for five minutes. After five minutes, uncover and carefully flip the sandwich. Cook for another 3-4 minutes, until it is oozing and amazing. Serve with a nice salad and a drizzle of the remaining coulis. Makes 2 sandwiches



Broccoli with Cheddar Crumbles

Broccoli with Cheddar Crumbles

1 pound broccoli, cut into walnut-size pieces 

1 T. trans-fat free spread 

2 T. dry whole grain bread crumbs 

1/8 tsp. salt 

2 T. shredded extra-sharp cheddar cheese


Bring 1/2″ water to a boil in a nonstick skillet. Add the broccoli. Cover and cook, tossing occasionally, for 2 minutes, or until bright green and crisp-tender. Drain the broccoli. Set aside. Wipe the skillet dry and place over high heat for 1 minute. Add the spread, bread crumbs, and salt. Stir to mix. Return the broccoli to the pan. Cook over medium heat, tossing for 3 minutes, or until the crumbs are toasted. Remove from the heat. Scatter on the cheese. Toss for about 1 minute, or until the cheese coats the broccoli and starts to melt.


Yield: 4 servings

Calories: 88

Fat: 4g

Fiber: 3g

Cream of Cheddar Soup and Lime Chicken Avocado Salad

Cream of Cheddar Soup and Lime Chicken Avocado Salad

2 T. butter

1 large yellow onion, chopped

3 garlic cloves, chopped

1 tsp crushed hot red pepper flakes

salt and pepper

2 T. ground cumin

2 T. flour

1 quart chicken stock or broth (I thought they were the same. Hmm.)

1 C. heavy cream (half and half works just fine)

Extra Virgin Olive Oil (aka EVOO)

5 thin chicken breast cutlets (I used two breasts)

1 T. ground coriander

2 limes

1 ripe avacado

1/2 head iceberg lettuce (I used spinach)

cherry tomatoes, cut in half

1/4 C. fresh cilantro leaves, chopped

4 C. good-quality aged Cheddar Cheese, grated


Heat a soup pot over medium heat with the butter. When the butter melts, add the onion, garlic, red pepper flakes, salt, pepper, and 1 T. of the cumin (a palmful). Cook for 3 minutes. Add the flour and cook for 1 minute more. Whisk in the chicken stock and heavy cream, bring up to a simmer, and cook for 10 minutes. In the mean time. Preheat a large skillet over medium-high heat with 2 T. of the EVOO. Season the chicken breasts with the remaining T. of cumin, the coriander, and salt and pepper; add to the hot skillet and cook for 2-3 minutes on each side, or until cooked through. Remove the chicken to the cutting board, squeeze the juice of 1 lime over the chicken, and allow it to cool slightly. Dice avocado and scoop it out. Place lettuce (or spinach) on plates, followed by chopped cilantro, avocado and tomatoes. Cut the chicken into strips and add to each plate. Squeeze the juice from the other lime in a small dish and mix in 3 T. of EVOO. Divide the dressing among each plate. Season with salt and pepper. To finish the soup, turn the heat off. While whisking, add the grated cheddar cheese in 3 additions. Service the cheddar soup immediately alongside the lime chicken avocado salad.

Caramelized Onion and White Cheddar Dip with Apples and Dark Bread

Caramelized Onion and White Cheddar Dip with Apples and Dark Bread

4 T. butter

2 large onions, finely chopped

1 bay leaf, fresh or dried

1 tsp. dried thyme or poultry seasoning

Salt and pepper

3 green apples

1/2 lemon, juiced

1 small, round loaf crusty pumpernickel bread, cut into bite-size cubes, 1 pound

3 T. all-purpose flour

2/3 C. dry white wine

2 C. half-and-half

1/2 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg

A pinch or 2 of ground cloves

2 1/2 C. shredded sharp white Cheddar


Heat a heavy bottomed medium pot or deep skillet over medium heat. Melt butter in pot and add onions, raising heat slightly. Add bay, thyme, salt and pepper to onions and cook, stirring occasionally, until onions are soft and caramel in color, 20 minutes. While onions cook, slice apples and douse with a little lemon juice to slow browning. Arrange the apples and bread on a board or platter. When onions are soft and sweet, add flour and cook a minute. Whisk in wine, cook a minute then whisk in half-and-half. When the liquid comes up to a bubble, season with nutmeg and cloves and adjust salt and pepper, to taste. Stir in Cheddar and melt then remove from heat and serve in fondue pot or transfer to a small, warmed sauce pot which you can return to the stove top to reheat sauce as necessary. Dip apples and bread in warm cheesy sauce and enjoy.

German Cheddar and Beer Fondue

German Cheddar and Beer Fondue

1 sack, 10 ounces, 2 1/2 C., shredded sharp Cheddar, available on dairy aisle

1/4 to 1/3 pound, 4 to 6 ounces, Gruyere, shredded

1 rounded T. all-purpose flour

1 C. German lager beer

2 T. spicy brown mustard

A few drops hot sauce

A few drops Worcestershire sauce

For Serving:

1 1/2 pounds cubed or thick sliced and browned wursts: knock, brat or brot,

1 package mini party franks (recommended: Boars Head)

1 head cauliflower, separated into florets

1 small jar mini Gherkin pickles, drained

1 small jar pickled onions, available on vegetable aisle

1 small, round loaf rye, pumpernickel or sour dough bread, cubed


Combine cheeses in a bowl with flour. Add beer to a small pot and bring up to a bubble over medium heat. Reduce the heat to simmer and add cheese in handfuls. Stir constantly, melting the cheese in batches. Stir in a figure-eight pattern with wooden spoon. When the cheese has been incorporated fully, stir in the mustard, hot sauce and Worcestershire sauce. Transfer fondue to warm fondue pot. In a large skillet, bring 2-inches of water to a boil and blanch the cauliflower for 2 to 3 minutes, drain and arrange around the fondue pot. In the same pan, bring the cooking water back to a boil and add the mini franks and sliced wursts. Cook, uncovered until all the liquid has evaporated. Add 1 T. butter to the pan to crisp the casings. Pile wursts and dogs near fondue. Complete the dipping selections with dishes of pickles, onions and cubed bread.


Fresh Mozzarella and Tomato Pasta

Fresh Mozzarella and Tomato Pasta

1 envelope Italian Salad Dressing Mix

2 T. oil

2 T. balsamic vinegar

2 lb. ripe tomatoes, coarsely chopped

1 lb. pasta, cooked, drained

1 pkg. (9 oz.)  Fresh Mozzarella Cheese (27 balls), drained

1/4 C. chopped fresh basil

1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper


Mix salad dressing mix, oil and vinegar in large bowl until well blended. Add remaining ingredients; toss lightly.


Yield: 8 servings

Calories: 350

Fat: 11g

Fiber: 3g

Kidney Bean with Cheddar Cheese Soup

Kidney Bean with Cheddar Cheese Soup

1 C. dried kidney beans, sorted and rinsed
4 C. water
1/2 C. butter or margarine
4 celery stalks, chopped
4 medium onions, chopped
2 large carrots, peeled and chopped
1 C. green pepper, chopped
1/2 C. flour
4 C. chicken broth
4 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
1/2 tsp. chili pepper
11/2 C. apple juice
3 C. (3/4 lb.) cheddar cheese, shredded

Place beans in large pan, cover with water and either soak overnight or use the Quick-Soak Method. Drain beans, keeping soaking liquid, adding extra water to soaking liquid to equal 3 C.. Place beans in pan with the 3 C. of liquid. Heat to boiling, cover and simmer until beans are tender (11/2 to 2 hours). Melt butter in pan; add celery, onions, carrots and green pepper and sauté for 5 minutes over low heat. Gradually add flour and cook 1 minute. Gradually add chicken broth, Worcestershire Sauce, chili pepper, and 2 C. of beans. Bring to boil, reduce heat to low, cover and simmer 30 minutes. Stir in the rest of the beans and apple juice. Cook 15 minutes. Add cheese and stir until it melts.

Blue Cheese Sauce

Blue Cheese Sauce

1/3 C. nonfat plain yogurt
3 T. crumbled blue cheese (1 oz.)
1/2 tsp. balsamic vinegar

Combine all ingredients in a small bowl and blend with a fork to make a lumpy sauce.

Yield: 1/2 Cup
Serving Size: 1 T.
Calories: 19
Fat: 1g
Fiber: 0g

Creamy Bleu Cheese Dressing

Creamy Bleu Cheese Dressing

1 C. nonfat cottage cheese
1/3 C. nonfat buttermilk
1/4 C. crumpled blue cheese
Black pepper to taste

Combine first two ingredients in a blender or food processor and blend until smooth and creamy. If thinner consistency is desired, add more buttermilk. Stir in cheese & pepper. Cover and refrigerate.

Note: This works out to about 15-20 calories per T., depending on how much buttermilk you add. I made double the recipe, blending in 1/4 C. blue cheese with the cottage cheese to give more flavor throughout I still thought it was a little bland so I tossed in about 1/2 T. white wine vinegar, some garlic powder, extra pepper, and some chopped parsley and it was better.

Macaroni Au Gratin

Macaroni Au Gratin

8oz Penne
15 oz. ricotta cheese
1/2 tsp. onion powder
1 T. of mayo
2 tsp. of Worcestershire sauce/soy sauce
1 tsp. of mustard
1.5 tsp. of white pepper (black pepper is fine)
1 large egg
1/2 chicken bouillon cube
1/4 C. milk
salt to taste
6 oz. mozzarella cheese
3 oz. Parmesan cheese/cheddar cheese
1 small clove of garlic

Add the penne to 3 1/2 to 4 C. of salted boiling water. Cook the penne until al dente ( do not cook the pasta completely, the oven will cook it through). While the pasta is cooking preheat your oven to 400 degrees F. In a separate bowl or baking dish (I’m using a 1.5 quart baking dish) beat the egg then add in the milk, mustard, a pinch of salt, pepper, mashed bouillon cube, mashed and chopped garlic, onion powder, mozzarella and ricotta cheese. Mix, mix and mix. Set aside. Once the pasta is ready. Drain then toss into your mixing bowl/baking dish of mixed ingredients. Make sure each penne is coated. This is when you want to add to baking dish, if you haven’t already. Then sprinkle the parmesan cheese on top. Bake until the cheese is melted and slightly brown. Remove from oven immediately. Let rest a few minutes.

Bacon-Cheddar Toasts

Bacon-Cheddar Toasts

Bacon-Cheddar Toasts1 C. Mayo
2 Tsp. Worcestershire Sauce
1 C. (4oz) shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1/2 chopped onion
3/4 C. slivered almonds, chopped
6 bacon strips, cooked and crumbled (and maybe one or five extra to eat while cooking…)
1 loaf of French bread

Combine mayo and Worcestershire sauce in a medium bowl. Stir in cheese, onion, almonds and bacon. Cut bread into 1/2 inch slices; spread with cheese mixture. Cut slices in half. Place on a greased baking sheet. Bake at 400 for 8-10 minutes or until bubbly. Makes 4 dozen.

Cheesy Baked Tortellini

Cheesy Baked Tortellini

Olive oil
2 C. marinara sauce
1/3 C. mascarpone cheese
¼ C. chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
2 tsp. chopped fresh thyme
1 lb. purchased cheese tortellini
2 oz. thinly sliced smoked mozzarella
¼ C. freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Preheat the oven to 350. Lightly oil and 8x8x2” baking dish or 4 individual gratin dishes.
Whisk the marinara sauce, mascarpone cheese, parsley, and thyme in a large bowl to blend. Cook the tortellini in a large pot of boiling salted water until just tender, about 2 minutes. Drain. Add the tortellini to the sauce and toss to coat. Transfer the tortellini mixture to the prepared baking dish or dishes. Top with the smoked mozzarella cheese and Parmesan cheese. Cover the dish or dishes with foil and bake for 20 minutes, then remove the foil and bake uncovered until the sauce bubbles and the cheeses on top melt, about 10 minutes longer.

Baked Mini Cheese Puffs with Chives

Baked Mini Cheese Puffs with Chives

Baked Mini Cheese Puffs with Chives

2 tsp. Butter
3/4 C. flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 C. Finely Shredded Medium Cheddar
2 tsp. chopped chives
2 large eggs
3/4 C. whole milk
1/4 C. water

Preheat oven to 375˚F.  Butter C. of a 24-C. non-stick mini muffin pan. In small bowl mix together flour, salt, cheese and chives. In bowl with pour spout whisk together eggs, milk and water. Add flour mixture and whisk until ingredients are blended, but still lumpy. Heat muffin pan in oven for 2 minutes. Remove and divide batter among muffin cups. Bake 20 minutes until puffed and golden. Quickly cut a small slit in each puff for steam to escape and serve immediately.