Thursday, January 23, 2014

Chocolate and peanut butter buckeye balls

Review by Lyndee:

2 cups creamy peanut butter
3 cups rice krispies
3 cups powdered sugar
¼ cup melted butter
2 packages melted chocolate chips or almond bark

Mix all ingredients but the chocolate together.  Form into small balls and place on cookie sheet.  Set in fridge until firm.  Once firm, dip in melted chocolate.  Place back in the fridge until set (about an hour).  Store in fridge or freezer until ready to eat. 

I’ve always loved this sweat mix of chocolate and peanut butter but it seems I only get them around Christmas.  I decided to try a batch and keep them in the freezer for when I need a quick sweet tooth fix.  They turned out delicious.  Mine weren’t as pretty as the ones my family makes.  I got lazy rolling the balls and instead used an ice cream scoop.  Then I ran out of chocolate so some of them didn’t get completely covered.  Again, they still tasted great but they aren’t going to win any food presentation prizes.  

Pizza sticks

Review by Lyndee:

We love pizza at our house.  Any form of it.  My step-daughter loves making these and she’s not big on cooking. So I thought I would give it a try the other night.  It’s like a mozzarella stick and a pizza roll had a baby.  Minimal ingredients and they taste great.  A fun, quick and easy to make twist on pizza. 

Egg or spring roll wrappers
String cheese
Pepperoni (I used turkey pepperoni)
Egg white

Place 3 or 4 pepperonis in the middle of an egg roll wrapper, so that they run corner to corner.  Set mozzarella stick on top.  Roll tightly and use a beaten egg white to seal the wrapper together.  Place in fryer or bake until golden brown and crispy and cheese is beginning to bubble out. 

Monday, January 13, 2014

Roasted Cauliflower and Aged White Cheddar Soup

Review by Lyndee

1 small head cauliflower, cut into florets (I used a 14 oz bag of frozen florets)
2 tablespoons oil
salt and pepper to taste
1 tablespoon oil
1 medium onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 teaspoon thyme, chopped
3 cups vegetable or chicken broth
1 1/2 cups aged white cheddar, shredded
1 cup milk or cream (I used skim milk)
salt and pepper to taste
4 slices bacon fried and crumbled (optional)

Toss the cauliflower florets in the oil along with the salt and pepper and arrange them in a single layer on a large baking sheet. Roast the cauliflower in a preheated 400F oven until lightly golden brown, about 20-30 minutes.
Slice up bacon and fry in pan with onion and minced garlic. Saute until tender, about 5-7 minutes. Add thyme and saute until fragrant, about a minute. Add the broth, deglaze the pan, add the cauliflower, bring to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer, covered, for 20 minutes..
Puree the soup until it reaches your desired consistency with a stick blender. Mix in the cheese, let it melt without bringing it to boil again. Mix in the milk, season with salt and pepper and remove from heat.

I made this in the crockpot instead of on the stove.  I also added bacon which wasn’t in the original recipe.  It turned out pretty well. It has a nice smoky taste to it and was easy to make.  The biggest issue I had was finding aged white cheddar at my local grocery stores.  

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Mom’s Broccoli & Cheddar Soup

Review by Jami:

It's cold outside and time for some yummy winter soups! 

Start with
2T butter
2 lbs. broccoli - peel big stems and chop all into 1/4 inch slices
1 med. onion chopped
2 med garlic cloves chopped or 2 teaspoons
1 1/2 tsp. dry mustard
pinch of cayenne
1 tsp. salt

This all gets blended so don't worry about neat chopping.  Melt butter in a large dutch oven pan over med. heat and when foaming stops, add all of the above and cook for about 6 minutes, stirring frequently until fragrant.

Add 1 C water and 1/4 teas. baking soda, bring to simmer, cover and cook until broccoli is soft - about 20 min. stir once or twice.

Add 2 C or one can of low sodium chicken stock or veg. stock and 2 C water, bring to simmer over med. high heat.  When mixture begins to simmer stir in 2 C of loosely packed fresh spinach and let it wilt - about 1 min.
Shred 3 oz. sharp cheddar cheese (3/4 C) and
1 1/2 oz. parmesan cheese (3/4 C)

Use a hand blender to smooth soup, always use care when blending hot stuff. Place a dry towel over the top and hold firmly to prevent burns. Adjust consistency of soup by adding up to 1 C water if desired. Salt and pepper to taste.  Serve with croutons and a bit of shredded parmesan on top. 

Monday, January 6, 2014

Jalapeno Popper Cheeseball

Review by Lyndee

2 (8 oz) blocks cream cheese
1 (4 oz.) can diced jalapenos drained
1 (4 oz.) can diced green chilies drained
1/4 tsp. garlic salt
1/3 cup cooked and finely chopped bacon
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1/2 cup panko bread crumbs (I used Italian style)
1 Tbsp. butter
1 Tbsp. parsley flakes

In a large bowl, combine cream cheese, diced jalapeños, diced green chilies, garlic salt, bacon, Parmesan cheese and cheddar cheese. Form into a ball shape and chill for about 15 minutes in the fridge. While cheese ball is chilling, melt butter in a saucepan. Once butter is melted add panko bread crumbs and parsley flakes. Toast, stirring constantly, until golden in color. Take off heat and let cool completely. Once bread crumbs have cooled and cheese ball has chilled, roll and cover the entire outside of cheese ball with toasted panko crumbs. Cover and keep chilled in fridge until ready to serve. Refrigerate any leftovers. Serve with crackers.

This is a great recipe from chefintraining.  I’ve attempted cheeseballs before and they never turned out too pretty.  This one not only looked decent, but it tasted great! Just the right amount of heat and creamy goodness.  I will definitely make this again for future gatherings.