Tag Archives: cheese

Cranberry Pecan Spinach Salad

First I thought I’d start this post off by sharing a bit of the lovely spring weather I’ve been lucky enough to experience lately…

lovely lake

And show your our ducks. It’s a Muscovy duck, I believe.

ducky

Anyway, I’ve been really busy lately and haven’t been cooking a lot, so I decided to try eating healthy by re-creating a salad that I had in a hotel restaurant over the summer during my road trip. The restaurant is Kahill’s Steak-Fish Chophouse in South Sioux City, Nebraska. It was the BEST restaurant we visited during the trip and even though if you know anything about me you know I’m not into salad or most raw vegetables, this was the best salad I have ever had. All I had to remind me of the ingredients was an at-best blurry picture of the menu.

tah-dah

So, without further ado, here is my take on this salad. This recipe is for TWO SERVINGS but ingredient amounts can be adjusted according to your preferences. Obviously to make this salad vegetarian-friendly you can just remove the bacon!

Ingredients:

4-6 oz. Baby spinach
1 pear
1/8 cup gorgonzola cheese
2 strips bacon
1/4 cup red onion
4 oz. spiced pecans (RECIPE HERE, or use own recipe, or purchase from store)
1/4 cup crasisins or dried cranberries
Cranberry vinaigrette (to taste. I couldn’t find this so I used raspberry pomegranate vinaigrette but I find that this salad doesn’t even need dressing)

Recipe:

1. Wash and drain spinach.

2. Chop pear into small cubes.

pear cubes

3. Cook bacon and crumble into desired size.

bacon-y

4. Finely chop red onion.

5. Add all ingredients to bowl and toss.

tossed

6. Serve with or without your vinaigrette.

salad complete!

with vinaigrette

7. Enjoy!

Post & photos by: Melissa

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Asiago garlic bread (loaf)

Since I had already tried making asiago bagels I decided to do something different this time, and bake a loaf of asiago cheese bread. I chose to add garlic to mine because that’s always a winning combination. The recipe calls for optional rosemary, which I think would be a great choice too. It should be noted that this recipe takes SO long for the dough to be ready to bake ~3 to 3.5 hours, with steps in between wait times. But let me just tell you that it was so worth it. This bread is light, cheesy and flavorful. It would’ve been crispier if I could’ve baked it a little longer but you may know by now that I get very paranoid about burning my baked goods.

Ingredients:

3-3.5 cups of bread flour
1 teaspoon granulated sugar
1 package dry active yeast
1.25 cups water
2 Tablespoons olive oil
2 teaspoons of rosemary or thyme (optional) and/or 2 teaspoons minced garlic
1 teaspoon salt
1.25 cups asiago cheese or other firm cheese, cubed (swiss, gruyere, etc.)
Cooking spray (like Pam)

Recipe:

1. In a large bowl, combine 1.5 cups flour, the sugar and yeast and mix. Add the 1.25 cups of warm water (about 120 degrees Fahrenheit) and stir until all combined into a ball. Let stand about 1 hour, until bubbly.

first

bubbly

2. Stir in the oil, rosemary (or other herb/garlic) and salt with a wooden spoon. Stir in the remaining flour, 1/2 cup at a time, until dough is soft, easily leaves sides of bowl, and is easily handled. Cover with plastic wrap and let sit 15 minutes.

handle that

3. Sprinkle flour on flat surface (counter or cutting board) and place dough. Knead the dough, pulling toward you, pressing away with your palm and rotating 1/4 each time between pressing. Sprinkle more flour if the dough sticks. Knead in 1 cup of the cheese. Spray a bowl with the cooking spray and place the dough inside, turning to coat. Cover and let rise 45-60 minutes, until about doubled in size.

cheesy

poof cheese

shiny

4. Deflate your dough with your fist. Spray a cookie sheet with the cooking spray. Gently form your dough into a football shape, about 12 inches long. Coat loaf with flour. Let rise in a warm place, covered, another 45-60 minutes until about doubled in size.

dough ready!

5. Place an 8×8 or 9×9 square baking pan halfway filled with water on the bottom rack of your oven. Heat to 450 degrees Fahrenheit.

6. Sprinkle or spray your loaf with water and sprinkle desired amount of flour. Cut a line in the middle of your bread lengthwise about 1/2 inch deep and fill with remaining cheese.

full of cheese

7. Place in oven on middle rack, above the water-filled pan’s rack. Bake about 10 minutes. Reduce heat to 400 degrees Fahrenheit and bake another 20-25 minutes, until browned and cheesy. At your own risk, bake a bit longer to get it really crusty. I was unable to do so, but this bread is still delicious and will get harder if left on the counter.

yum

8. Enjoy! Experiment with your own combination of spices, cheese, garlic, onions, whatever! I think this is a versatile recipe that you can easily customize. ūüôā

cheese holes!

Post & photos by: Melissa


Shepherd’s Pie

Shepherd’s pie is more of a “fall” food but after this rainstorm:

Summer doesn’t seem like summer anymore. So we went ahead and made it anyway. Colin makes the BEST pie crust ever and now I really want to bake a normal pie, like a blueberry pie because they are the best berries! Anyway, this is just a simple pie made with steak and garlic mashed potatoes. I’m going to include the pie crust recipe in this post, but you can use a pre-made crust if you would like.

Ingredients:

1.5 pounds steak
salt and pepper
A splash of lemon juice
Grated Pepperjack cheese
One package of garlic mashed potatoes (or a package-sized amount if you make your own)
pie crust
(For pie crust: I wish I could site where this came from! I’m sorry. It’s the recipe I use.)
 

You can always choose to just use a pre-made crust, or your own favorite crust recipe. I will include the pie crust pictures and recipe in another post.

Recipe:

1. Make sure steak is thawed. Stick in pan over medium heat.

2. Cut into sizeable chunks and sprinkle with salt, pepper, and lemon juice.

3. Brown steaks in a pan.

4. Cut into strips.

5. Tear strips into small, shredded pieces with your hands.

6. Make your instant, (or from scratch), garlic mashed potatoes.

7. Bake your pie crust for about 10 minutes at 400 degrees Fahrenheit.

8. Add your meat, topped with your potatoes and cheese, to the pie crust.

9. Bake until potatoes are slightly golden/crispy.

10. Enjoy!

You can also add so many other things to this, like peas, carrots, corn, gravy, bacon, etc. ¬†Just experiment. ūüôā
I never thought that I would like Shepherd’s pie but I LOVED this. I can only imagine how much I’d like it with corn and bacon (or even bacon bits to keep it simple.) I totally recommend this for those cooler summer days. And the pie crust is even better, in my opinion, when filled with fruit! Try a peach pie for something different.

Post by: Melissa Rook
Photos by: Colin Diltz and Melissa Rook


Pork sloppy joes

Hello everyone!

So I went home last weekend and I was talking to my parents about my food blog. They haven’t really been too into it but when I mentioned sloppy joes my dad seemed interested. I, however, didn’t know that sloppy joes are normally made with beef. Thus this recipe is a little different from the traditional recipe, but here goes! I feel like this is a very American food.

Ingredients:

1 lb. ground pork (thawed)
1/4 cup minced onions
1/4-1/3 cup grated Pepperjack cheese
1 teaspoon (or so) BBQ sauce
Sriracha (to taste, maybe 1/2 teaspoon)
Cumin (to taste, 1/2 teaspoon)
Chili powder (to taste, 1/2 teaspoon)
Lemon juice (to taste, 1/3 teaspoon)

Optional: Hamburger buns

Recipe:

1. Grate your Pepperjack cheese.

2. Mince the onion.

3. Add your pork to the pan, breaking it up into small, separate pieces and browning it on both sides.

4. Add the onion and lemon juice.

5. Add chili powder and cumin and stir.

6. Add your Sriracha and mix.

7. Add your BBQ sauce of choice and mix.

8. Plate your sloppy joe on a hamburger bun and enjoy!

Post by: Melissa Rook
Photos by: Colin Diltz


Bacon Pepperjack Macaroni & Cheese

Hello everyone!

Today I’m going to introduce my first recipe, the ultimate comfort food with a twist: bacon Pepperjack mac & cheese.

Ingredients:

1/2 cup Milk
A half cup or so of Pepperjack cheese (grated)
A few sprinkles of Parmesan cheese
A few tablespoons of Flour
1 box of Elbows Chifferi (or other noodles if you prefer, such as macaroni noodles)
4-6 strips of Bacon (depending on personal preference)
1 Pot
1 Pan
1 Baking/casserole dish
1 Cheese grater (or another method of grating cheese)

Recipe:

1.  Boil a few cups of water in a pot.

2.  When the water is boiling, add the noodles. Cook as directed on box and to desired softness. For firmer noodles, cook less, and for softer noodles, cook longer.

3. Drain the noodles and set aside.

4. Grate the Pepperjack cheese and set aside.

5. Using a pan, cook bacon to desired crispness and set aside.

6. Using a pot, on medium-low heat, add the milk.

7. While stirring, add the Pepperjack cheese and a few sprinkles of Parmesan cheese.

8. Depending on the consistency, add flour by the teaspoon until thick like cheese fondue.

9. Continue stirring sauce.

10. Add noodles to casserole dish.

11. Add sauce to casserole dish, over noodles.

12. Slice bacon into bite-size pieces.

13. Add bacon to casserole dish, over noodles.

14. Stir contents of casserole dish together.

15. Bake for 10-20 minutes at 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

16. Enjoy!

Photos by: Colin Diltz
Post by: Melissa Rook