Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Baked Cheese Sticks

Cheese is the third member of our family. We eat it daily, multiple times a day! We love going to restaurants and trying different types of fried cheese sticks, especially cheese curds. I decided to try a version of cheese sticks at home that was a little more waist-friendly. Baked instead of fried, these are are so yummy and we gobbled them up and added them to our list of repeat recipes!

Baked Cheese Sticks
Printable Version

10 cheese sticks
30 won ton wrappers
Olive oil

Stagger 3 won ton wrappers diagonally on top of one another. Place a piece of string cheese near the bottom corner of one wrapper. Moisten all edges with water. Fold bottom corner of wrapper over cheese. Alternate folding sides toward center over cheese. Finish by folding the far end of the wrapper over cheese, and fold sides over top.

Brush tops with olive oil and sprinkle generously with salt. Repeat with remaining wrappers and cheese.
Bake at 400 degrees for 15 minutes, then turn cheese sticks over and bake for an additional 5 minutes. Serve with marinara sauce.

Makes 10 cheese sticks.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Garlic Roasted Brussel Sprouts

Brussel Sprouts? These were two strange words in our home just days ago. Hubby’s father tried to introduce them to us on our last visit home, but we just couldn’t imagine eating them. On my last few visits to my favorite fancy grocer I have been tempted to buy them, however. The first time I was with hubby and he shot me down, and quickly at that! Last time I was with a girl friend, and so I threw some in my cart, and boy am I glad that I did! These little morsels were delicious! They have a perfect texture, not too chewy, not too mushy. No slime, a hint of a broccoli flavor but with some sass! The garlic is hardly recognizable in this recipe, although so necessary for an extra kick of flavor. When topped with a sprinkle of salt just before serving these babies went like hotcakes! That is a feat for a veggie in my house, add it to the list along with corn, peas, and broccoli~! It makes our side dish selections a little more exciting, that is for sure. Don’t be afraid, I promise you won’t regret whipping up this easy, healthy dish for your family!

Garlic Roasted Brussel Sprouts
Printable Version

2 lb Brussels sprouts, trimmed and quartered
6 cloves garlic, minced fine or pressed through a garlic press
3/4 cup water
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. To trim brussel sprouts, cut of ¼ inch of the stem, then remove the rough outer leaves (usually 2-3 leaves).

In a 9x13 inch baking dish, toss together brussel sprouts, garlic, water, oil, salt and pepper and spread out in a single layer.

Bake for 40-50 minutes until caramelized to taste, tossing once about 25 minutes into cooking time. Remove from oven and season with additional salt and pepper, serve immediately.

Serves 8
Recipe adapted from thecookingphotographer.com

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Sweet Pulled Pork

This is my FAVORITE recipe of all time. My mom has been making it for me, well, forever. There is not a birthday that I can remember that I didn't request this meal. Which, I am sure made my mother sooooo happy seeming how it is the easiest meal ever, and since my birthday is so close to Christmas she was stressed out enough! It is tangy, juicy, perfectly tender. MMM! I am still stuffed from eating this for dinner 4 hours ago and I want to have seconds...right now...at 10:43 at night! I LOOOVEEEE it! Anyway, I obviously hope that you all try this recipe, tomorrow, preferably!

Sweet Pulled Pork
Printable Version

1/2 cup ketchup
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 Tbs. vinegar
4 Tbs. soy sauce (or this to be GF)
3 lbs. pork butt

Wrap the pork butt completely in foil. Put in the slow cooker and pour ½ cup water around pork. Cook on low for 8-10 hours. Remove from crock pot and drain juice and water. Shred pork, removing excess fat, with two forks.
Meanwhile mix ketchup, brown sugar, vinegar, and soy sauce until blended. Return shredded pork to crock pot and pour sauce mixture over pork roast and cook on low for an additional 1-2 hours.  (There are days when I just need that extra punch...so sometimes I make a little extra sauce to put on top...but that is not needed!) Serve over your favorite rice or on hoagie rolls and be amazed!

Serves 6.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Ritz and Cheese Chicken

Ritz crackers, melted cheese, and a creamy sauce...can you go wrong? Not in my book! This dinner hit the spot for a quick and delicious weeknight meal. We gobbled up every last bite. There is just enough flavor from the spices, and the gooey-licious cheese pouring out all over the chicken was to die for! I loved the sauce on top, my hubbs omitted it, so it’s your choice which direction to take this yummy meal!

Ritz and Cheese Chicken
Printable Version

2 large chicken breasts
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
2 Tbs milk
1 egg
1 cup colby jack cheese, grated
¼ cup fresh grated parmesan
½ sleeve Ritz crackers, crushed
¼ tsp garlic powder
1 tsp dried parsley
5 ounces cream of chicken soup
1 Tbs sour cream
1 Tbs milk

Preheat oven to 375. To make the sauce, in a saucepan, stir together cream of chicken soup, milk and sour cream. Heat to a light simmer and set aside.

Season the chicken breasts with salt and pepper. In one bowl, whip the milk and egg. In a second bow, combine the cheese of your choice and parmesan. In the third bowl, mix ritz crackers, garlic powder and parsley. Dredge chicken in  eggs, then cheese,  then ritz crumbs. Place in a baking dish. Bake for 25 minutes.

Remove from oven, top with preheated sauce, and serve.

Serves 2.
Recipe adapted from jaimecooksitup.blogspot.com

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Baked Monte Cristo Sandwiches

MM. MMM. Good. I love an easy weeknight meal where I have everything on hand. These took about 5 minutes to whip up, 20 to bake, and we were at the dinner table chowing down. The flaky crust of the puff pastry was to die for, and the melted cheese poured out when you cut into your first bite! Believe it or not, dipping these yummy sandwiches in maple syrup made every bite delightful! Even my hubby dipped, and he is an anti-dipper:) Enjoy this easy weeknight meal!

Baked Monte Cristo Sandwiches
Printable Version

1  egg
1 sheet Puff Pastry, thawed
4 thin slices deli Black Forest ham
4 slices deli Swiss cheese (about 4 ounces)
Confectioners' sugar
Pure maple syrup

Heat the oven to 400°F.  Beat the egg in a small bowl with a fork.
Unfold the pastry sheet on the work surface.  Cut the pastry in half, diagnally to create two large triangles. Brush the edges of the pastries with egg.
With a corner of 1 pastry facing you, place 2 slices ham and 1 slice cheese on the bottom half of the pastry.  Fold the pastry over the filling to form a triangle and press the edges to seal.  Crimp the edges with a fork.  Repeat with the remaining pastry.  Brush the top of the pastries with the egg mixture.  Place the pastries onto a baking sheet.
Bake for 20 minutes or until the pastries are golden brown.  Sprinkle the pastries with the confectioners' sugar.  Serve with the maple syrup.

Recipe adapted from puffpastry.com
Serves 2.