Tag Archives | cheese

Pimiento Cheese Jalapeño Poppers

Pimiento Cheese Jalapeño Popper image

One of our friends always makes jalapeño poppers whenever we get together. It’s not that they’re a showy dish — in fact, I think their simplicity is part of their addictive charm. I admit that at first I was wondering why they were always on the table, but now I seek them out eagerly. After all, there’s a reason why they’re called poppers.

I might have to switch it up a little on the popper front, though, because these pimiento cheese jalapeño poppers are basically the best way to kick off your end-of-summer party. Why use cream cheese when you can use pimiento cheese, right? (And no, my pimiento cheese does not have cream cheese in it. I can’t do that to my Texan friends.)

Pimiento Cheese Jalapeño Popper ingredients

Honestly, for these poppers the hardest part is getting the bacon to stay wrapped around the peppers. Or maybe waiting for the peppers to cool down enough to eat without searing the top of your mouth. Whichever. The point is, even when making pimiento cheese from scratch, the whole dish comes together quickly, and you can even be a party ninja and do everything in advance, then toss ‘em on the grill or in the oven when the first guests arrive. Twenty minutes later, boom! Mouthful of happiness right there, folks.

I used aged cheddar in these, but you can really use whichever kind of cheddar you prefer. Sharp cheddar is classic, but smoked gouda is also darn good. The great thing is that this makes far more pimiento cheese than you need for the jalapeños, which means you can either set the rest out with a bowl of crackers or make the best darn grilled cheese in history.

Pimiento Cheese Jalapeño Popper photo

I made these pimiento cheese jalapeño poppers as part of the August Progressive Eats! Jump below the recipe for more information on our fun monthly progressive dinners, and get the rest of this month’s recipes.

Pimiento Cheese Jalapeño Poppers

Ingredients

  • 7 to 8 ounces cheddar (or use a mix of cheeses)
  • 2/3 cup mayonnaise
  • 2 ounces diced pimientos
  • 1 teaspoon grated shallot
  • Pinch cayenne pepper, plus more to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 10 jalapeños
  • 8 strips bacon

Instructions

  1. Shred cheese and set aside.
  2. Stir together mayonnaise, pimientos, shallot, cayenne, and salt. Fold in cheese. This can be made ahead of time and stored in the fridge until ready to use.
  3. Preheat oven to 400°F or prep grill.
  4. Halve jalapeños lengthwise and remove seeds. Fill each cavity with pimiento cheese.
  5. Slice bacon into halves or thirds (depending on size of slices) and wrap around each jalapeño, securing with a toothpick if necessary.
  6. Bake for 20 minutes, or grill 10-15 minutes.
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Welcome to another edition of Progressive Eats, our virtual version of a progressive dinner party. If you’re unfamiliar with the concept, a progressive dinner involves going from house to house, enjoying a different course at each location. With Progressive Eats, a theme is chosen each month, members share recipes suitable for a delicious meal or party, and you can hop from blog to blog to check them out.

We have a core group of 12 bloggers, but we will always need substitutes and if there is enough interest would consider additional groups. To see our upcoming themes and how you can participate, please check out the schedule at Creative Culinary or contact Barb for more information.

This month’s theme is Summer Barbecue hosted by Liz of That Skinny Chick Can Bake. You’ll love all the summertime recipes that will be perfect for your next cookout or Labor Day gathering.

Main Course

Appetizers

Bread

Salad

Soup

Sides

Beverage

Desserts

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Homemade Cheese with Roasted Tomatoes and Basil

Homemade cheese is easy with this simple method. Adding seasonal tomatoes and basil makes it a summer staple.

Homemade Cheese with Roasted Tomatoes and Basil

The cherry tomato plants are taking over.

Deciding that their carefully placed cages are too confining, they’ve reached out their limbs in every direction, trying to make their move out of the garden box. Tomatoes, it seems, don’t realize they’re meant to be eaten.

After a few years of frustration, we now only grow cherry tomatoes in our garden. Thanks to birds and squirrels that are far more industrious than I and the years-long drought, larger tomatoes are best left to those who are experts — or at least have drip tape installed. This year, I happily pluck tomatoes from our plants nearly daily, and my only worry is how to tether the ever-lengthening branches.

We do get more tomatoes than we tend to eat in on any given day, but luckily summer is the time for tomatoes and their consort basil to shine. In particular, mixed together in this homemade cheese.

Homemade cheese is remarkably easy, and every time I make it I wonder why I don’t do it more often. This is a basic ricotta-like cheese, and it only needs milk and vinegar, plus salt to taste.

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Apple Cheddar Breakfast Sausages

Make breakfast better with homemade sausages studded with apples and Kerrygold Skellig.

Apple Cheddar Breakfast Sausage

Nearly three months later, kindergarten is still a transition. Amid his successes in the classroom, home life is fraught with denied exhaustion, harsh words, and frustrated tears. You could say we’re still trying to find a balance, but when you’re six years old, I’m not sure balance is even an option. Throw a baby brother into the mix, and it’s no wonder 3 out of 4 people in this house are in or near tears every night.

I can’t control what happens during the day, but the least I can do is put a good breakfast in him. We really enjoy biscuit breakfast sandwiches, but I don’t get much time to make them during the school week. Plus, even when I buy the best sausages I can, I don’t like not being in control of the ingredients. Then I remembered how easy it is to make your own.

Making sausages with chicken is as simple as getting white and dark meat (already ground if you don’t have a grinder at home) and mixing it with whatever spices and other ingredients you want. For this sausage, I added Skellig, Kerrygold’s newest cheese.

I first tasted Skellig after Maggy from Three Many Cooks hooked up my pregnant self with a lot of cheese and butter. Almost immediately it became my new favorite cheese – it’s a sweet cheddar, but not sweet-sweet in the traditional food sense. There’s also a bit of nuttiness that is in all the cheeses that I really love.

Skellig pairs really well with apple and maple syrup, so I added those into the sausage as well. With the small cubes, the cheese doesn’t make a melty mess in your pan, but adds bites of flavor within the sausage.

And the verdict? Well, when I served these up for brinner, my son said, “I wish I had one hundred of these!” Sometimes, all you need is a hug and some homemade food.

Apple Cheddar Breakfast Sausage

 

Apple Cheddar Breakfast Sausages
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Serves: 12
Ingredients
  • 1/2 pound ground dark meat chicken
  • 1/2 pound ground white meat chicken
  • 3.5 ounces Kerrygold Skellig cheese, cut into small cubes
  • 1 small apple, peeled and diced
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • 3/4 teaspoon dried sage
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 3/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
Instructions
  1. Put chicken, cheese, apple, and syrup in a large bowl. In a small bowl mix together spices, then pour into large bowl. Mix everything together until ingredients are evenly distributed.
  2. Form sausage into 12 patties and chill until ready to cook.
  3. Cook over medium-low to medium heat for about 12-15 minutes, flipping halfway through cooking time. Extra cooked sausages can be stored in the freezer; reheat on the stove with a little water in the pan (just like commercial sausages).

Disclaimer: I received cheese and butter from Kerrygold to create a Skellig recipe as part of their contest for the Kerrygold Bloggers Network. All opinions are my own, and obviously, I like cheese.

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Beer Cheddar Waffles

Beer Cheddar Waffles close up

Football has been part of my life for as long as I can remember. When you grow up in Wisconsin, that’s just how it is. On Sundays, the local radio station would start playing Packers-themed music two hours before kickoff. (Yes, there is enough to fill two hours. Maybe more at this point.) The grocery store and the mall were ghost towns during the game. You quickly learned which teachers you had to tiptoe around on Mondays in the event of a loss.

Although I was never extremely into the games growing up, it was always on, so it became part of my subconscious. Now that I live in Texas, I spend half of Sunday griping about how I don’t even get to watch my team, thanks to local channel programming. The rest of the day? I work on recipes, of course.

This particular recipe came together while I was thinking about how Sunday brunch coincides with kickoff. Football people never go to brunch during football season, but they deserve waffles too. Waffles with lots of cheese inside and topped with crispy meat and cool sour cream. Waffles made with beer.

Beer Cheddar Waffle

These waffles don’t taste boozy, but you get a nice hit of malt flavor. The yeast in the beer makes it a natural addition to waffle batter, helping the waffles rise and create a fluffy interior with crispy crust.

I used a local German-style pilsner, but I think these would be even better with a dark ale. If you make these, I’d love to know which beer you use!

Beer Cheddar Waffles

Yield: 4

Ingredients

  • 1 ounce prosciutto
  • 1 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup whole wheat flour
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 12 ounces beer
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled
  • 2 cups shredded cheddar, such as Kerrygold Reserve (about 3 ounces)
  • Sour cream
  • Chives

Instructions

  1. Crisp prosciutto by baking it on a parchment-lined baking sheet at 375°F for 10 minutes. Set aside on a paper towel to drain.
  2. Whisk together flours and sugar in a large bowl. Whisk in eggs, beer, and butter, then stir in cheddar.
  3. Let batter rest for 30 minutes.
  4. Preheat waffle maker and cook according to manufacturer's instructions.
  5. Top waffles with sour cream, chives, and crumbled prosciutto.
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Queso Mac

Queso Mac

When I was pregnant, I often turned to comfort food when it was time to eat. For me, comfort food often involves cheese: grilled cheese sandwiches, cream cheese on a bagel, a bowl of queso dip, or maybe an entire box of macaroni and cheese.

It’s not like I didn’t know that a giant bowl of cheesy carbs wasn’t good for me. Sometimes you just gotta give baby what baby wants.

I shared a lot of my food habits with my friend Amber over Skype while I was pregnant, and I’ve continued to share the ups and downs of newborn life with her. She keeps me sane when the baby is having a bad day (or I’m having a bad day). I didn’t really have people to vent to when my first was a baby, and Amber’s friendship is priceless to me.

That’s why I can’t wait for her baby to be born in a few months. I just know our sons will be great friends. She and her husband James have been waiting a long time to meet their baby, and now we’re in the home stretch. I know from experience that the last month or two is the slowest time of your life, so luckily Amber will have plenty of recipes to cook through, thanks to her surprise shower!

We love you, Amber!

Amber's Baby Shower

Since Amber is a Texan, we all made Texas-inspired dishes to share. The last time Amber and I hung out, we attacked a big bowl of queso from Torchy’s, so I figure she would appreciate this Rotel-ish macaroni and cheese. Plus, we’ve gotta get that baby’s taste buds ready for Tex-Mex!

Queso Mac
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • 8 ounces macaroni
  • 1/4 cup diced onion
  • 2 jalapeños, seeded and finely diced (leave the seeds in if you want it hotter)
  • 1 large tomato, seeded and diced
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 tablespoon flour
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 1 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 cup cream cheese
Instructions
  1. Cook macaroni according to package directions.
  2. Meanwhile, saute onion, jalapeño, and tomato together until onion and peppers are softened. Stir in the cumin, chili powder, and salt.
  3. In a small saucepan, melt the butter, then whisk in the flour. Stir in the milk and cook until slightly thickened. Remove from heat and whisk in cheeses until completely melted and smooth.
  4. Once macaroni is done, drain, return to pot, and pour in the cheese sauce. Stir in the onion mixture. If desired, pour into an oven-safe dish or individual ramekins, top with crushed corn chips, and bake at 350°F for 15 minutes. Or, just eat as is!

 

Be sure to check out all the blogs and recipes celebrating the arrival of Amber and James’s baby boy!

Sugarcrafter | Breakfast Tostadas
My Kitchen Addiction | Baby Texan Cookies
My Baking Addiction | Texas Sheet Cake
Simple Bites | Grilled Shrimp Tacos with Charred Corn Salsa
Stetted | Queso Mac
Food for My Family | Texas Pepper Barbecue Sauce
Dessert For Two | Frito Chocolate Chip Cookies
Confessions of a Cookbook Queen | Coconut Tres Leches Layer Cake
TidyMom | Pizza Bread Sticks
Miss in the Kitchen | Blackberry Milkshakes
Art of Gluten Free Baking | Peach-Pecan Pie, Gluten-Free
Bon Appetit Hon | Cheddar Ranch Crackers
Food Babbles | Southern Pecan Pie
Jelly Toast | Peach Iced Tea
Sweet Adventures of Sugarbelle | Decorated Elephant Cookies
i am baker | Texas Brownie Cake
The Kitchen Trials | Coca-Cola Cake
Cookies & Cups | Sticky Toffee Pudding Cookies
A Farmgirl’s Dabbles | Peanut Butter Bonbons the Size of Texas
Steph Chows | Fiesta Dip

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Green Chile and Bacon Burgers

This post was created for Tillamook Burger Month. Read on for the recipe!

Around here, grilling season means any day that doesn’t have a high winds warning, but there’s still something special about cooking outdoors in the warmer months. Maybe it’s the excitement of not having to turn on the stove or oven. After all, grilling doesn’t count as cooking, right?

Burgers are, of course, one of our favorite things to grill up. They provide endless opportunities for customization, and yet you can also go classic with just ketchup and cheese, and end up with a stellar meal. Using quality cheese goes a long way in making a memorable burger. Our household graduated from rubbery, processed cheese slices long ago, and I’m happily using Tillamook Natural Sliced Cheddar Cheese on my burgers and my son’s grilled cheese sandwiches. The thick slices are excellent for any sandwich, and best of all, they don’t contain any funky ingredients. It’s even created without animal rennet (rennet being a key component in most cheeses), meaning it’s a great choice for vegetarians.

Sorry about this burger, however, vegetarians.

Green chiles are a common ingredient in the Southwest, and every year food lovers in Austin go completely bonkers for the new crop of Hatch chiles. Hatch chile season isn’t until August, but most stores carry tinned roasted green chiles alongside the jalapenos and salsas. You can also swap in a fresh Anaheim or Poblano pepper and roast it yourself, if you like. Note that the heat can vary on peppers, so be sure to try a bit of it before adding to the meat in case you want more or less heat. Topping with Tillamook cheese slices, avocado, and pickled onions makes this a hot-and-cool burger full of flavor. There’s also bacon, because why not?

 

Green Chile and Bacon Burgers
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • 1 pound ground grass-fed beef
  • 4 slices thick-cut bacon, cooked until crispy and crumbled
  • 1/4 cup roasted diced green chiles (such as Hatch variety)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 4 Tillamook Natural Medium Cheddar Cheese Slices
  • 4 hamburger buns
  • Butter
  • Sliced avocado
  • Pickled onion
Instructions
  1. Preheat grill.
  2. Mix together beef, bacon crumbles, green chiles, salt, and pepper. Divide mixture into four equal parts and shape into patties, creating a small well in the center of each patty.
  3. Cook burgers 3-4 minutes per side.
  4. While the burgers are cooking, butter tops and bottoms of hamburger buns.
  5. In the last minute of cooking, add the buns to the grill butter-side down and grill for 1 minute. Remove buns to serving plate, and place burgers on bottom halves, topping with cheese slices immediately.
  6. Top burgers with sliced avocado and pickled onions, and enjoy!

 

 

 

What’s your favorite kind of burger?

 

 

Disclaimer: I received a box of Tillamook goodies and Natural Cheese Slices for participating in Burger Month. I was not otherwise compensated for this post. My opinions are my own, including that you should never ever “squeeze” a burger while it’s cooking.

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